Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy 8th Birthday, Bella!

November 30th through the years. . . here's my growing girl!









When I found out that I was pregnant in the spring of 2005 with a due date of mid-December, I knew that the upcoming Christmas season would be a special one.  I looked forward to it all year.  But I didn't allow myself to listen to any Christmas music until after Thanksgiving.  I didn't want to jump the gun and take away any of the 'special-ness' that I knew this Christmas season would bring.  Those Christmas songs were almost like my reward for making it to the end (something I often feared I wouldn't make it to). 

I just started listening to Christmas music today and thinking back to this time eight years ago.  Not only was Bella born, but the mom in me was born.  I remember all of the excitement. . . and the anxiety.  After working in a daycare for a couple of years, I knew that I could take care of a baby.  But be a mom - that was something completely new.  As we celebrate Bella's eight years of life, I also celebrate my eight years of being a mom.  As she grows up, I think that I am growing up too.  I get a little sentimental when I think back to that teeny baby from 2005.  Bella has changed so much since then - it's almost hard to believe it's her!  We've been on a pretty amazing journey together and I am so thankful that I get to be her mom.

Happy birthday, Bella!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cell Phone Pics: October/November

Our minivan recently broke the 100,000 mark!

Moms Club Halloween party.  Those pumpkin cupcakes were SO good!

I chaperoned Bella's class field trip to Pennsbury Manor.  She's trying to write with an actual quill and ink.

And the kids all got to crush apples for apple cider that was made right in front of them. 

That was a chilly day.  And I woke up that morning with the beginnings of a cold.  So we made our way to Starbucks afterwards to warm up!

A boy from her class had a Halloween/birthday party.  Since it was a boy's party, Bella was feeling a little self conscious about her super girly Halloween costume, so she wore Graydon's pirate costume instead!  The sleeves and pants were a bit short, but for a pirate it doesn't really matter.  She looked cute!  (And the party was held at a fire station). 

This was our candy loot BEFORE trick-or-treating.  Between parties, parades, and church friends, we acquired quite a bit of treats!

Girl Scout Thanksgiving service project.  The girls all cut out their handprints and made these little turkey baskets that will be used for community Thanksgiving dinners. 

This photo generated quite a few comments on Facebook.  Curtis had a very difficult time packing up his shorts for the season.  After a while, I had to take this last pair off of his legs - he wouldn't do it.  And I had to bribe this little guy with Halloween candy in order to cheer him up. 

Getting ready for a soccer game.  Bella is holding Mr. Squirmy, her class pet.  She had him for a long weekend and had to take photos of their activities together and document them in a class journal.  She also could have taken home the real pets - two hermit crabs, but she opted not to.  In her words, "I think that would be too much."  The girl knows her boundaries! 

This is pretty much our Saturday mornings for the past two months - cheering for Bella on the sidelines of her soccer games.  This particular morning was really chilly!  She had her last official game of the season last Saturday night - full field and under the lights!  Her final game will be this coming Saturday - she was asked to play in the All-Star game!  I can't claim any of her athletic ability, but I sure am impressed with her. 

Bella and Mr. Squirmy in the nursery at church.  And she also brought Squiggles, Mr. Squirmy's cousin. 

Andy and I left the kids with a babysitter one day.  When we came home, Curtis was giddy as ever as he had discovered a pair of shorts that I somehow missed when packing them away. 

One morning after grocery shopping, Curtis asked if we could go to the park.  With the air being a little chilly, I knew our groceries would be fine for a while.  Before even getting to the park equipment, we made piles out of the MANY leaves all over the ground.  We had such a fun time together that morning. 

Last week, I took the kids shopping to pick out presents for Operation Christmas Child.  We finally packed our boxes on Saturday. 

If you haven't packed a box and want to, there's still time!  This week is drop-off week.  Click HERE to locate a drop-off location near you. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Happy Halloween

Pumpkin carving!

This was a fun night.  It began with an afternoon at a fall festival put on by another church in our community.  Bella and Curtis got little pumpkins painted on their faces.  When we came home, the kids drew faces on their pumpkins.  Andy and I did our best to carve those faces out.

Graydon's is on the left.  His original nose and mouth were so close together that they ended up becoming one big nose.  Bella's is in the middle.  She has another drawn face on the backside of the pumpkin.  Ever the perfectionist, it wasn't to her liking and so the face we see here is the second attempt.  Curtis just drew a smiley face on his, so Andy just made those features a little bigger when carving.  We roasted the seeds and watched 'The Great Pumpkin.'  Loved that evening!

The night before Halloween is called 'Mischief Night' around here and there is always a Halloween parade that night. 

Halloween morning!  The boys are dressed and ready for their playgroup Halloween party. 

Halloween was a busy day!  We had the boys' Halloween party in the morning.  I dropped them off with Andy around noon so that I could make it to Bella's school for her parade and class party.  I'm a room mom this year so I get to help out with that stuff!

After the school day, we came home for a little breather and then it was time to get ready for another Halloween party!

We don't get trick-or-treaters at our house, so we always go to some friends' house for a potluck and then trick-or-treat in their neighborhood.  It was so warm this year that the kids didn't have to cover their costumes with their winter jackets!

All of the big kids ran from house to house!

Curtis had a hard time keeping up. 

Post trick-or-treating wind down with a little bit of candy and some Scooby Doo!

The kids definitely broke their candy record this year. We have so much!  I've sorted it out and a bunch is being donated to the middle school who is collecting for the troops and Ronald McDonald house. 

Happy Halloween!