Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Trick-or-Treating, October 31, 2008

Well, I will begin by saying that I know not everyone agrees that it's acceptable to take your kids trick-or-treating, and I respect that. I grew up taking part in the festivities, and we have continued the tradition with our children (within reason).
This year, since Hayes has been sick lately, he stayed back at the house with Shane and helped hand out candy while Josh, Sara, and I took Xander, Cade, and Gage around in our neighborhood. As you may see, Cade is wearing a different costume than the one he had on at the Fall Festival. I don't know if someone finally convinced him that Venom is a "bad guy" or what, but he decided that he wanted to pull out is old Spiderman costume for this occasion.
Packing the little ones into Gage's little red wagon, we set off for a chilly evening. For us northerners, the weather was just perfect for the holiday and made us think of our own childhood Halloween memories. While carting the boys from house to house, we greatly anticipated the warm bowl of chili and hot spiced cider back at the house.
Oh, I just LOVE fall!
This was absolutely hilarious to me! As we were walking, Gage was chucking his candy over his shoulder onto the road while Cade was hysterically laughing at him and Xander was running behind them picking up the candy. Anyone who knows these three children will understand that this SO exemplifies their individual personalities! Gage is such a bulldozer, leaving mayhem wherever he may go...Cade is the free spirit who loves nothing more than a good laugh, especially at someone else's expense...and Xander is SUCH the rules boy, unable to stand disorder however little it may be! I could hardly stand up, I was laughing so hard! Oh, you just gotta love kids!
Gage was trying to get a head start on his candy!

Wrapper and ALL!

(we had only been to one house so far! :)

Josh and Sara got all of the boys these cute personalized buckets from Anything Joe's to match their costumes. We love that Aunt Sara understands that the LAST thing they need for Halloween is MORE candy and gets them something that won't give them a sugar-high!

One house really got into the spirit with costumes and decorations!

I was afraid our resident scaredy-cat (Cade) would freak out, but he handled it pretty well. The people really seemed to enjoy the kids and kept loading them up with candy!

Super-Gage and Super-Mom!

Heading back home after another successful year of trick-or-treating!
Xander and Cade
Even super-heroes vote for McCain-Palin!
Sara and I wore our "Palin Power" shirts trick-or-treating, and to Fall Festival, and to the grocery store, and to...well, you get the picture!

After two fun-filled evenings in a row (the night before was Fall Festival), the boys crashed hard. Don't you agree that there is nothing cuter than a sleeping child?!
Well, that wraps up our October Festivities...on to Thanksgiving!
Growing up in a family filled with traditions and making family memories, I am thoroughly enjoying establishing these wonderful traditions and memories for our children.
When all is said and done, these are the moments they will take with them and remember fondly for years to come!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall Festival, October 30, 2008

Every year, our school has a Fall Festival which is our biggest fundraiser of the year and is open to the public. The kids dress up in their Halloween costumes and enjoy the many booths, inflatables, hay rides, and much more. This was Hayes's first time attending the festivities; so as you can see, he was "thrilled." Xander and Cade decided to dress up as Batman and Venom (even though Cade is still under the impression that Venom is a "super-hero"), so we thought we'd dress Hayes in a Spider man costume to match.

Here we have the battle between "good" and "evil"; and it's a little sketchy as to who was "winning"! :)

Cousin Gage rounded out the super-hero team by dressing up as Superman! Watch out villains! You've now met your match!

Soo....have you heard about the fairy tale where Raggedy Ann and Venom fall in love and live happily ever after? Okay, so neither have we...but we do know that Raggedy Ann (aka Laura Grace- the little girl my sister-in-law nannies) and Venom (aka Cade) love being friends!

Above left: The boys with Landen
Above right: Cade and Leah

Our close friends, Lee and Dawn

Tinkerbell (aka Kyla) and Peter Pan (aka "Uncle" Neal)

Cade and his good buddy, Lowell.
Oh, no! TWO Venoms! :)

As you can see, we had a wonderful time! At the end of the night, everyone was thoroughly exhausted and very glad the next morning we had "late-start" at our school! (we didn't start until 9:30am)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pumpkin Carving Party 2008

Once again we had our annual Pumpkin Carving Party at our house, and once again it was a huge success! We literally start talking about and planning for next year's party almost immediately after we have concluded this year's party! And that's no exaggeration! For the past four years, we have gathered at our house to carve our pumpkins, toast the pumpkin seeds, eat wonderful fall dishes, and kick off the holiday seasons! The above picture is our "couldron" of "Goulish Punch" to go with our yearly "Cheeseburger Soup," "Fall Spiced Cider," "Pumpkin Cheesecake," and many other wonderful autumn dishes!

The children of the group! It's hard to believe that when we started having this party, Xander and Cade were the ONLY kids! Seems like we add a couple every year! :)

The girls of the bunch. Poor little Kyla has to endure a houseful of little boys!

The boys of the bunch. Well...all except Hayes. He was already snoozing at 7 o'clock as usual.
Cade with the pumpkin Shane and the boys carved.

Xander and the pumpkin that Shane and the boys carved.

Gage and the pumpkin he and Josh carved.

The Sarah Palin Rally

Several weeks ago, Shane was able to get us tickets (which was NOT an easy task!!!) to the Sarah Palin rally at the Minges Colluseum so we attended the event with Sara (my sister-in-law) and Michelle (Laura Grace's mom). Over 8,000 people were in the colluseum and over 1,500 people were seated in the ECU football stadium next door to watch on the big screen. It was AMAZING to see all of the support for the Republican Party, more specifically Sarah Palin!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Brazillian Steakhouse in Raleigh (Sunday School Class Activity)

This past Saturday, we went to Raleigh with some of our Sunday School couples for dinner at the Brazillian Steakhouse. With an exotic salad bar (some things unrecognizable! Okay, most...) and endless meat choices, we walked out with our bellies full and our wallets empty. Although I'm not much of a meat-eater, I enjoyed sampling the choices and taking part in the entertaining conversation.

Dan and Sarah Wall with baby Ian

Pedro and Jill Hernandez

(we later realized that Pedro looks like a "Who" off of "Horton Hears a Who" with that flower coming out of his head! Bad photography blunder on my part! oops! :)

Terry and Sara Dawson

Andy and Crystal Blease
(with those wine bottles and Andy's half-closed eyelids, they look like the heavy drinkers of the group! :)

Cade's First Field Trip (Briley's Farm)

We all remember our first field trip...right? Okay, maybe not. But our MOTHER'S probably do! The same will probably be true for this "monumental" occasion in Cade's life; therefore, I made sure to capture every second in pictures so that I can later "remind" him of what fun he had! :) Starting the day off with a bang, I lost the bus at a stoplight and thus proceeded to get lost only to FINALLY arrive at the farm just in time to watch the hayride with my precious little 4-year-old on-board rolling out of sight. Typical. (I guess it's a good thing he won't remember everything about this day.)

Once the hayride returned, Cade jumped off the wagon with pumpkin in tow and trotted past me without even questioning my tardiness. Gotta love kids. The rest of the morning ran smoothly, and the spontaneous hugs and kisses more than made up for my initial greeting!

Cade and his best buddy, Lowell

Cade "milking" the mock cow

Cade picking his own cotton

Mrs. Stephens and Cade

Super-Hero Fun!

Our little super-heroes! Recently, Laura Grace came over with Sara and Gage for the day. As always, the kids dressed up in their favorite super-hero costume.

Keeping Up With Xander

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Cade's Chronicles

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The Days of Hayes

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