Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lots of great photos!!!!

My camera got a good workout this week. I've been wanting to take Bella's 4-year-old portraits and Tuesday was a beautiful day to do it. I'm pretty much done with taking her to professional places for portraits. I always walk away a little bummed (except for her baby pics). We had our family photos taken last week for our church directory and they turned out just OK. Graydon is not smiling and Bella has a cheesy, fake smile. When it comes to our whole family, I'm kind of at the mercy of other photographers; but when I have the ability to take the pictures myself, I'm definitely starting to opt for that route. Here are Bella's photos from the other day. I'm very pleased! This one is my top fave and the one that's going in the frame. OK family - if you want any pics of Bella, let me know which one and which size. I'll be bringing them home at Christmas!

Andy was planting some mums in the front yard and I thought that they looked like a nice backdrop for some photos of Graydon. Unfortunately, he's at that "I-don't-sit-still-for-more-than-five-seconds" phase. This is the best one I got and he is clearly on the move here. So we enlisted the help of Bella to keep him still.
There are quite a few that look like this. Graydon has a thing with faces. . . Who needs a dog when you've got this little guy? Some cheerios spilled on the floor. I went to clean them up and by the time I returned, every last one was gone.
We went to the pumpkin farm with a group from church today. The weather was perfect!

Bella in search of the perfect pumpkin.
Graydon found a keeper!Graydon waves now. This started last week. Here he is waving at all the friends in the pumpkin patch.
Bella found another one!
We also enjoyed the hayride!9 months old
A girl and her baby (this was begging to be scrapped)
Apple picking

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A girl and her baby. . .

In case I haven't mentioned it yet, Bella has become quite the little mommy. Her baby (whose name is also 'Bella') goes with her everywhere. When I say it's time to go Bella quickly grabs her baby, her purse, and sometimes a blanket and baby bottle filled with water. She changes her baby's clothes right down to the diaper. And when she doesn't know that I'm listening, I hear her talking to baby, explaining how things work. She's so good to her little ones. I've gathered quite the collection of photos where baby pops up. Here are a few. . .

heading off to church. . . getting ready for bed. . .
at the park. . . can't forget to buckle her in. . . off to the pool (in Hershey). . . at ballet class. . . in the wagon with Graydon. . . in the high chair (notice that she's wearing a bib here). . .
apple picking. . . This is just a summary of photos. I don't have pictures of baby at church or the grocery store or in bed with Bella at night and the tons of other places that baby shows up at. She is pretty much another member of our family.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Apple Picking

We love fall. And we really love beautiful fall days. What better way to enjoy one than to get outside and do a fall activity - apple picking!!! Here's some photos from our trip to the farm. The fall fun didn't stop there. We took our freshly picked apples. . . . . . and made mini caramel apples. I cut up an apple with a melon baller and inserted toothpicks. Bella took care of the dipping. She loved this project. We also made some homemade apple pie! Bella's job was to load on the apples. Our end result! Yummy! If anyone is interested, the recipe is below. I love how this pie tastes. I've tried a few recipes and this one is by far my favorite. It came from one of my scented candles of all places.

Baked Apple Pie

Ingredients:
2 9" pie crusts
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1/4 cup water
8 apples (we used Empire)
(peeled, cored, and sliced)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar, and brown sugar - bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off. Cover with the other pie crust. Place foil around edges to keep from over-cooking. Bake 15 minutes in preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking for 35-45 minutes until apples are soft.

Enjoy!

And here's a bonus photo of Graydon after eating some mashed potatoes. Can you tell that he fed himself? I don't think the photo captures just how truly messy he was.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Anniversary Week

These are the flowers that Andy got me. Seven roses for seven years. When we first got married, our first anniversary seemed so far off. Hard to believe that we're at our seventh. Here's our anniversary photo. Upon reviewing photos from our past two anniversaries, it appears that we have pretty much done the same pose on the same couch. I think we need to get a little more creative. Next year.Spaghetti was on the menu that evening. Graydon got his first taste of it. We thought he was just shoveling it in until we took his tray off and discovered the majority of it on his lap. He's loving big people food. No more pureed stuff for this boy.
We celebrated our anniversary by taking a mini family vacation to Hershey, PA. Our main event was visiting Chocolate World. While there, we watched a 3-D movie. Check out our cool 3-D glasses. Bella brought this pink bottle along. She often fills one with water and brings it wherever we go in case her baby gets thirsty (she's a very attentive mommy). Graydon claimed it as his own this day and was very appreciative of big sister's preparations. We also took a little tour ride to see the chocolate-making process. Bella loved this part.Graydon was a little unsure. We stayed in a hotel that evening and did a lot of swimming in the pool. When back in the room, I ended up banishing Graydon to the pack 'n play for a little while. The kid is like a bull in a china shop. He was bumping into everything and grabbing onto every cord he could find. He is such a boy. Later in the week, Bella threw me a spontaneous birthday party complete with "cake" and "presents". She prepared everything by herself. Using her Beauty and the Beast dishes, she set a piece of cake (i.e. Honey Bunches of Oats cereal) for each of us. There were even presents. That were initially wrapped in this paper. We even sang the Happy Birthday song!

I am really loving Bella at this age. Of course every age has its cuteness, but I love seeing Bella's imagination and creativity explode. Just today, she transformed the living room into a beach with some chairs and blankets. The dining room chairs were our beach chairs and the blankets were the ocean. We swam in it and ran from the waves.

These days are truly filled with wonder and adventure.


***
We have a 9 month old boy who is very happy to pose with his teddy. He really looks older to me here. It's probably the teeth.
He was in an exceptionally good mood. If you look super close, you might even be able to see his top teeth coming in. It's officially fall around here. Andy came back from a corn maze yesterday with a gallon of apple cider. Love the stuff! I go through several gallons each fall.