Monday, December 14, 2009


Every year, we have a Christmas tea party for Mary Alice. This year, we decided to spice things up a bit. Instead of tea, we had breakfast. Instead of them coming to us, we came to them...early...VERY the morning. We had a kidnap breakfast for our girl. It was a hit!

First we woke our kiddoes up super early in the morning and gave them their Christmas Eve pajamas.

Milla was SUPER excited! She knew something fun was happening!

In this picture, Milla is squealing with excitement.

We piled into two cars and took off to begin kidnapping Mary Alice's friends. This started a little after 6 in the morning. It was still dark outside. I didn't take any pictures until we picked up the last girl, around 7:30. Josh caught all of the surprise wake up calls on video, though. :)

Here are some of the bunch leaving the last girls' house.

Back into the car...

At our destination... This year, we held Mary Alice's party at my parents' house. Mary Alice loved the change of location. It was really special.

Quick pose for the camera...

I couldn't get over Milla's reaction to everything at my parents' house. She was fascinated by all of the beautiful Christmas decorations. Her little voice said "Pretty!" more times than I can count! The hat that Milla is wearing was made by Mary Alice. A family friend showed her how to do it. Isn't it cute? I'm waiting on Mary Alice to make one for ME. Please give her a hint, will you?

Major got to participate in waking up the girls and even got to eat breakfast with his cousins, Landon and Jonah. They are becoming best buddies.

Here is Santa Gran with Mary Alice. Thanks to Gran for all of her hard work! Everything looked beautiful! When I asked Mary Alice what her favorite thing about the breakfast was, she said, "the hospitality..." I think Mary Alice was referring to the fun extras that Gran always has at her parties. Hospitality is definitely my mom's gift!:)

Here is Miss Milla Josephine Smith in the Christmas pj's that I bought her on clearance a month before she was born. I thought I was playing it safe by choosing size 12-18 months. These long johns were a little bit more like short johns for our girl, who is now in size 18-24 months. Who would have thought that that sweet little tiny thing who popped out a little over a year ago would be so BIG now???

Milla had PLENTY of attention during the party.

Just thought I'd post these three pictures in a row. First, Mary Alice is holding Milla. She looks pretty heavy.

This was almost a picture of Milla being dropped on her head. Thankfully, Mary Alice's reflexes were quick.

Perhaps we should put Milla down for the last picture?

And finally...Here are the girls watching Josh's video of their early morning moments. It was hilarious!

Hope you and yours are enjoying this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Bothersome Chimney :)

Just wanted to share a story that Mary Alice wrote today for an English assignment. She is such a silly girl! Also... Underlining titles is something that I can't figure out how to do on Blogger, so just pretend that the title is underlined instead of in bold.

The Bothersome Chimney

(by Mary Alice Smith)

Katie was a very sweet girl who played basketball,was Beth in a play, and was home schooled.

One clear morning, Katie was sweeping the ashes at her house.

She was also cleaning the chimney so she leaned up the chimney to clean it. When she tried to get out, her hair was stuck in the chimney!

"Help! Help! Help!" she cried.

The house was silent.

"Mom, please come help me!" she said. "Oh yeah, Mom's shopping," said Katie. (not to mention that Katie was thirteen years old and old enough to stay at the house by herself.)

Just then, she heard footsteps. "Oh yahoo! It's Emily!" said Katie.

Emily said, "Katie! Poor you! You look like you've been robbed!"

"Now, Emily, " said Katie, "Please just get me loose!"

"Okay." said Emily. "There."

And that night the two girls had a sleep over.

The End

This is an initial draft. We will spend the rest of the week revising and publishing. I thought it was pretty funny! The bothersome chimney! Indeed!

Thursday, December 03, 2009


With Christmas quickly approaching, I've been doing some thinking... It seems that with each passing year Christmas seems to be more and more about shopping, Christmas lists, presents, stockings and such. I like to have a little Christmas fun as much as the next guy, but sometimes, in our little family at least, I think the joy and true meaning of Christmas can get lost in the shuffle. It all starts to run together as one great big, greedy, festive blur during the busyness of the holiday season. I mean...the things that we love to do around Christmas (making gingerbread houses, having Christmas tea parties, Christmas cards, drinking egg nog and hot cider, making Christmas cookies, etc.) are all SUPER fun, but should be the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

Anyway...I've been REALLY convicted to change my own mindset. Why not focus on the perfect gift of Jesus during the Christmas season and of giving and sharing that with others? I have always desired to make Christmas more about Jesus, but have never really known exactly how to go about it. Then, last week, I stumbled upon some fabulous ideas that were exactly the types of things that my family and I COULD actually do. I am so excited about some of the ideas that I found and just wanted to share a few of them in hopes that others will embrace the idea of blessing others this Christmas season. One of my relatives attended a church where someone put up a sign in the worship area that said, "IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU." Sadly, someone removed the sign from the front of the worship area. I guess they didn't agree with the message? Anyway...I thought that the sign captured exactly what I feel Christmas should mean. Not only is it not about us, but it is about JESUS.

Over Thanksgiving, I came across a book that belonged to my father-in-law. The book was entitled What Kind of Difference Do It Make?. This book was amazing! I highly recommend it. It tells many real life stories of how God uses people for His glory. It was inspirational and showed how we CAN make a difference. It was exciting, really. Often I've felt as though it is too hard for me to make a real difference in people's lives. I am at home so much of the time with my kids. I thought that ministering to others wasn't something that I could do very easily. Reading this book was a step in the right direction. God has been working on my heart, showing me how much I need to get outside of myself and my little world and start making a difference in the lives of others.

Anyway... Here are a few of the ideas that I came across (many from the same source) of just how we can bless others in Jesus' name this holiday season.

1) Christmas Verse Books- One woman made 24 of these "books" using Christmasy scrap booking paper. She printed off 18 or so verses that she felt were appropriate for the Christmas season, specifically that were about the hope or joy that we have in Jesus. She cut out the printed out verses and attached them to coordinating sheets of scrap booking paper, using double-sided tape. The books were hole-punched and held together with a metal ring to make a "book". The idea is to give one of the homemade books out to 24 people, one on each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas, whether it be someone from your child's school, someone you met at the grocery store, someone you feel is having a difficult time, etc. It is just a way of sharing Jesus' love and hope with others. Who knows what God can do in a person's life through the sharing of His Word? I LOVED this idea because it was easy and very doable. If you are like me, the idea of sharing Christ with someone is something that you find difficult. This makes it so easy! I plan on making some of these with the kids and passing them out during some of the Christmas season. And...why not do something like this more frequently, even after the holiday season? LOVED this!

2) Make A Child Smile- WOW! What a wonderful way to bless a child during the Christmas season! I was attracted to this idea because it is really simple and so meaningful. I only wish I'd known about it sooner! This website features three children who are very ill. It has their pictures and tells all about them, so that your kiddoes can get to know them and pray for them by name. All you (and the kids) have to do is decorate and write cards to them. These children and their parents have gone through so much. How exciting to minister to them by sending some Christmas joy their direction. We are DEFINITELY doing this!

3) Visiting the Nursing Home- Mary Alice's piano teacher has some of the neatest ideas! This year, Mary Alice is having a Christmas recital at the nursing home. Each piano student is instructed to bring a plate of Christmas goodies to their piano recital. After the recital, the kids will share their Christmas goodies and lovely musical numbers with the residents. SO special! And... just as soon as my kids have no trace of a runny nose or cough, we are planning a visit to our local nursing home. Those of you with kids (or babies), this is SO easy and can really brighten someone's day. There is so much to learn from these people!

4) One of the ideas I came across, which I'm such a dummy for not thinking of myself is baking cookies FOR OTHERS. Yes, in the past, I have been quite good at baking cookies to stuff my OWN face and the faces of my family, but, sadly, not for others. Maybe our neighbors? Along with some of those Christmas Verse Books, perhaps? This one is SO obvious. DUH. We HAVE to do this.

5) Well chosen music- To help in making Christmas more about Jesus, how about throwing in some songs about Jesus into the mix of Jingle Bell Rock and Santa Claus is Comin to Town? After hearing someone sing "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" at Mary Alice's Christmas play last night, I am officially declaring it my favorite Christmas carol ever. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL, and OH-so-much-more meaningful than, say, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

6) An Advent Calendar- We have an advent calendar that we bought from Children Desiring God when Mary Alice was about 2 or so. I've heard that they are revamping it and am excited to see what Noelle Piper will come up with next! In the mean time, we continue to use the original (now broken) to remind us daily of the story from Luke 2. I found this neat idea on the net for another type of advent calendar. This one has several tiny gifts that you can give your children, each with special stories having to do with the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ. Neat, isn't it?

Advent Countdown

1. Quarter
2. Grape gum (or candy)
3. Smiley sticker
4. Gummy fish
5. Birthday candle
6. Bell
7. Fish crackers
8. Cotton balls
9. Piece of a map
10. Soap
11. Heart sticker
12. Cross
13. Packet of salt
14. Sand
15. Flowers(silk)
16. Raisins
17. Seeds
18. Christmas carol
19. Small rock
20. Crumpled foil
21. Mustard seed
22. Dove
23. Small scrap of woolly material
24. Blue marble
25. Picture of a baby.

December 1 - A quarter! That equals 25 cents. But 25 also stands for the number of days till Christmas, when God gave us His best present. Jesus told about one woman's gift and the way she gave it. Read: Mark 12:41-44

December 2 - Grape Gum! Grapes make jelly and juice, raisins and wine. But Jesus didn't need grapes to perform His first miracle. Read: John 2:1-10

December 3 - Here's a smile! A smile usually expresses happiness. Jesus gave us many instructions to keep us happy. Read: Matthew 5:1-12.

December 4 - Fish! Well, if you were surprised to find these fish, wait till you read the story today! Others were surprised to find fish, too. Read: Luke 5:4-7

December 5 - A birthday candle? As you know, we are getting ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday. However, Jesus talked about something else that is related to this candle. Light! Read: Matthew 5:14-16

December 6 - You could make some noise with this. But it would not have bothered a certain man--until he met Jesus. Read: Mark 7:31-37

December 7 - These would not go very far if you were really hungry! But Jesus could make much out of little. Surely He knew how to multiply! Read: Matthew 14:13-21

December 8 - These cotton balls would be helpful in a thunder storm, wouldn't they? We could use them for ear plugs to muffle the loud noises that thunder makes. But we know someone who doesn't need cotton. Jesus can control the weather. Read: Matthew 8:23-27

December 9 - People needing to use the other parts of this map are in trouble! Don't you get lost today! Read: John 14:1-6

December 10 - It's soap. Do you like to wash? Behind your ears? Washing turned out to be a happy time for a man who met Jesus. Read: John 9:1-7

December 11 - Hearts. Wordlessly, they speak of love, don't they? Jesus spoke some commands about love. Read: Matthew 25:17-41

December 12 - We use the cross as a symbol, representing Jesus. Do you know why? Read: Phillipians 2:1-11December 13 - Ordinary salt. Yes, Jesus related salt to us and our behavior. He also gave us some advice. Read: Matthew 5:14 and Colossians 4:6. (Notice that He doesn't recommend pepper!).

December 14 - Don't try to eat this! It's sand. It reminds us that Jesus knows something about architecture, about buildings--and building lives. See His instructions: Matthew 7:24-29.

December 15 - Flowers are pretty, aren't they? Jesus used flowers to teach us a reassuring lesson. Read: Matthew 6:28-34.

December 16 - Raisins! Many children are given raisins instead of candy for a snack. That's because they are a health-promoting and delicious fruit. Jesus told us how we can produce good fruit. Read: John 15:1-5.

December 17 - Jesus told a story about seeds that man planted. Then He explained it, revealing its deep meaning. Read: Matthew 13:3-8 and Matthew 13:18-23.

December 18 -Christmas is just about a week away. And here is an appropriate song. Sing it loudly! Read: Psalms 100.

December 19 - A hard stone! Can you change this stone into a piece of bread? Do you think Jesus could? Jesus was asked to do just that. Do know how He handled it? Read: Matthew 4:1-4.

December 20 - Try to smooth out this piece of aluminum foil and use it as a mirror. It's hard to see your reflection plainly, isn't it? Many circumstances are hard to understand, but someday everything will be clear. Read: 1 Corinthians 13:12.

December 21 - The mustard seed is the smallest there is! When it sprouts, it grows into one of the largest plants! See what Jesus said. Read: Matthew 17:20.

December 22 - We've learned that the cross represents Christ, but do you know what the dove stands for? Read: Matthew 3:13-17.

December 23 - The threads that compose this fabric came from the wool of a sheep. Jesus called Himself the good shepherd. Do you know who His sheep are? Read: John 10:7-18.

December 24 - A marble! Do you know what is sometimes called the "Big Blue Marble"? The world. God made the world for us. What does God continue doing to the world? And who is the world? Read: John 3:16.

December 25 - Isn't this baby cute? When he was born, he made a whole family happy. Jesus was born a baby, too. He came to make the whole world happy. Read: Luke 2:1-20. Enjoy your celebration today. Continue to learn about Jesus--and love Him forever!

7) Do Things For People- Whether it is the homeless, those in prison, or just people who are lonely or hurting, try to bless others in small ways. Who knows what God will do just through the simplest of acts of kindness? God can use you to bring about His purposes!

8) Small One- This Disney movie is so precious! My kids love it! It is the story of the donkey that carried Mary to Bethlehem. I have to warn you, this is a serious tear jerker! My kids will be watching this movie this Christmas, most likely with their cousins. I will be watching it too, but in the privacy of my own room, where I can cry with no shame. :)

Anyway, I just came across SO many great ideas (none of them mine) that I simply had to pass on to my friends and family. Remember when you are stressed about giving that perfect present or feeling less than pleased when you receive a re gift, "IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU" at all! It's about Jesus and about sharing His joy and blessings with others.

May God use you and yours to bless others this holiday season!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Kids and Their Clothes

One of the things that I love so much about our days at home is the amount of time that the kids have for uninterrupted play time. It is so special when I can go around the house and observe scenes like these:

1)Making Clothes (Mary Alice)

Here Mary Alice is hard at work on her art homework. In art class last week, the kids each created a doll out of who knows what. :) Their homework this week was to clothe their doll any way they wanted. Mary Alice used some scraps from her Halloween costume and crafted her doll into a Medusa. :)

This girl is going to be a WAY better seamstress than her mom. :) She sewed and hot glued this entire costume by herself. I was pretty proud of her results and even more proud of her efforts!

TA DA! The finished product...

2)Removing Clothes (Milla)

In further news, Milla recently discovered the art of removing her diaper, pants, socks, and anything else she has on her person. We find her throughout the house looking like this (minus the crying). Shameful!

We're working on teaching her to keep her drawers on!

Here are a few pics of our lovely Milla playing in Mary Alice's room. She LOVES to be in her sister's room. There are lots of fun things to explore and eat in there. Here she is playing with Mary Alice's dollhouse. She likes to play with Mary Alice's play kitchen. She's a sweetie!

3)Dressing Up in Clothes (Major)

And.. last but not least, this Saturday we got to attend Landon's fabulous fifth birthday party, hosted by my brother and his wife. Landon had a Star Wars themed party. It was AWESOME!!! If anyone has a boy and needs a great idea for a party, check out their blog. This party was by far the best boy party I've ever attended. Complete with an obstacle course, costumes, super-fun games, and this fabulous cake.

Is this not the BEST cake ever? Adam and Alisha made it together. They are a fabulous cake-making team, don't you think?

Here are cousins Jonah Skywalker, Darth Landon, and Storm Trooper Major. :) They look pretty fierce.

Have a great day!

Friday, November 13, 2009

How Could I Ask For More?

I heard this song on the radio this morning. Such a good reminder!

There's nothing like the warmth of a summer afternoon
Waking to the sunlight, and being cradled by the moon
Catching fireflies at night
Building castles in the sand
Kissing Mama's face goodnight
Holding Daddy's hand
Thank you Lord, how could I ask for more?

Running barefoot through the grass
A little hide and go seek
Being so in love, that you can hardly eat
Dancing in the dark, when there's no one else around
Being bundled 'neath the covers, watching snow
Fall to the ground
Thank you Lord, how could I ask for more?

So many things I thought would bring me happiness
Some dreams that are realities today
Such an irony the things that mean the most to me
Are the memories that I've made along the way

So if there's anything I've learned
From this journey I am on
Simple truths will keep you going
Simple love will keep you strong
Cause there are questions without answers
Flames that never die
Heartaches we go through are often blessings in disguise
So thank you Lord, oh thank you Lord
How could I ask for more?

(by Cindy Morgan)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On Not Becoming An "Amy"...

When I was a little girl I had a friend (I'll call her "Amy.") whose parents were exceedingly strict. Amy's parents had so many rules and regulations, each one of which Amy (who was a people pleaser) sought wholeheartedly to obey. I remember inviting Amy to go on outings with my family. Amy would get a shocked look on her face and say, "Oh no! We don't DO such and such in our family!" or "My mom and dad always say that.....etc." She would then continue on to repeat a line by line account of exactly why the heathen behavior was unacceptable to her and was expressly forbidden in her family.

I liked Amy and enjoyed hanging out with her, but often felt judged and stressed out whenever she was around. I always feared that I was going to say or do the wrong thing or suggest one of the activities that she deemed unacceptable. I remember inviting her over to spend the night once. I pulled out some Amy Grant music and started to play it, thinking that this would certainly be on the "acceptable" list. To my dismay, my music choice was not satisfactory. Amy pointed out that "We don't listen to that type of music in my family."

Clearly confused, I stared at her blankly. She offered me a rehearsed explanation of her parents' theory of how rock music caused your heart to beat irregularly and how listening to it ultimately could lead to some sort of horrible behavior in people. I was saddened to hear this new rule from the house of Amy and quickly turned the music off and hurried to find an alternate activity.

I invited Amy over several more times, but found, that no matter what I did, it seemed as though I would never be able to follow all of the rules they had at Amy's house. Moreover, I always felt judged when I was around her. I stopped wanting to invite her over. I was always her friend, but at a distance. I just couldn't relate to her strange ideas and ways and felt like such a terrible person whenever Amy (and her rules) came around. It became a bit of a joke in our house. Whenever the opportunity arose, perhaps when something was a little questionable, family members would make their voice take on a snooty air and say, "OH no! We simply DON'T do that in our family! That is simply UNACCEPTABLE behavior!"

Amy and I still keep in touch. She is a precious godly person. I care about her very much. Her parents were also very sweet people. They were only trying to do what they thought was best for her by giving her all of those rules to follow. I really respect their efforts to teach their daughter in the ways of God. BUT... I learned something from all of this. I learned that I don't ever want my children to be perceived as an "Amy".

Josh and I want to have guidelines for our kids, but not burden them with the huge baggage of unnecessary rules. We don't want them to have an "Amy" mentality, behaving like an automaton, or worse, possessing a judgemental spirit towards others. We also want to be able to ease up on these rules (on which movies they are allowed to watch, for example) as our children grow older. I would like our kids to slowly transition into making these rules for themselves, just because they want to obey God, not because of what "my mom and dad say..."

This is no easy task, to try to have our children be in the world and not of the world, to strike that balance of training them to run from evil things and yet to embrace people who have different beliefs from our own. I haven't quite found the perfect balance, though I've been searching.

All this to say, Mary Alice is heading to a sleepover soon. I trust the host of this party fully. As soon as I heard the word sleepover though, the thought entered my mind. Uh-oh... MOVIES... :( Josh and I both watched some totally inappropriate movies during our childhood (all while at friends' houses) and totally regret those moments. We have a few family guidelines about the movies that our kids are allowed to watch. I don't feel that our rules are over the top, but, then again, who really does feel that way about their own rules? :)

Not wanting Mary Alice to be an "Amy", I decided to e-mail the hostess of the sleepover beforehand, giving her a heads up about what kind of movies that our kids are allowed to watch. The host responded with grace and kindness saying that she "totally understood" our rules and thanked me for letting her know.

This morning, I spent some time discussing the "Amy" story with Mary Alice, explaining how there was a right and a wrong way to go about declining things with which you don't agree. We practiced being an "Amy" vs. being polite. We discussed how some things aren't necessarily wrong, but just our family rules. We talked about how it is important not to chant our family's mantras around other people's families, as it can make people feel badly and is really, none of our business what they are/aren't allowed to do. We talked about how she should try very hard to be respectful and kind. We went over several scenarios of this and also how it is okay to retreat off to another room to read a book if she isn't comfortable with a movie that is being played, but how she should try to participate pleasantly in any other activities unless she had a moral objection. :)

The last thing that I learned from "Amy", which was reinforced by a phone conversation with my mother, was that there are times to bend rules a little bit to avoid humiliating your child or causing them to become bitter. What I didn't tell you about Amy was that the teenage years of Amy and her siblings was full of turmoil. Several of the Amy's siblings rebelled against the super strict ways of their parents, some of them never to return. I believe there is such a thing as having too many rules or enforcing them too harshly. The too many rules thing is something that is difficult for me because I have perfectly good explanations for each of the reasons that I would prefer my children not do certain things or see certain things. Can you see a bit of a control freak tendency here?

So...If our family rules are not really rules at all, but merely preferences, if they are not matters of right and wrong, we've decided to let it slide a little bit, to avoid embarrassing our children unnecessarily. Sigh...

This parenting stuff sure is hard sometimes! Obviously, there is no guarantee that our children are going to grow up to love God with all of their hearts or that they are not going to spin off in rebellion. So we continue to pray... It is good to know that God is in control of it all. He will give us all the wisdom and grace we need to do our best to raise these precious little arrows He's entrusted to us.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Sweet Music To My Soul

An interesting thing happened to us on Thursday. It all began when we saw that it was gorgeous outside and decided that we simply had to toss our plans out the window, pack up a picnic lunch and rush out the door to the local park immediately. I was so glad we did! When we arrived, we heard the faint sound of music coming from one of the pavilions.

As I often do, I was compelled to follow the musical sounds to their location. Any place where there is music is a place I want to be. The kids and I headed toward the pavilion...and we found these guys...

The kids begged, "Oh! Let's have our picnic over here by the music!" I didn't need any convincing. We laid our feast on a picnic table and unwrapped our carefully packed goodies to the tune of some elderly men playing old timey mountain music. It was fascinating to watch them fiddle and strum away. Mary Alice said that it reminded her of Pa in Little House On the Prairie. These guys played their fiddle and guitar with such enthusiasm. It is always so encouraging to see elderly people who are so lively and energetic.

A crowd of people had gathered around to hear them play. Also present for the concert was one of the fattest dachshunds I'd ever seen! (This picture really doesn't do him justice. This seriously obese dog waddled around the pavilion throughout our lunch looking for bits of table scraps.)

Milla couldn't take her eyes off of the musicians for a second, except, of course when she saw us getting out the food.

Mary Alice eating one of her world famous deviled eggs. :)

"This is very entertaining." Major remarked during lunch. "These guys are sort of like those minstrels who played during feasts back in castle times." (We are learning about knights and castles in history. I had no idea this little outing to the park would tie in so nicely with our schooling. :)

We listened to the men play for about twenty or thirty minutes. They paused briefly and the kids and I jumped in with questions. "Where did you learn to play?" "How long have you played?" "Do you come here often?" etc... The men were good natured and friendly, as you might expect from men who were wearing matching monogrammed I LOVE JESUS hats. They continued on to explain that they did this as a ministry as a way to share the gospel with others. The man with the fiddle (on the right) then asked Major if he had any special requests. Major asked if they would play a gospel song.

"Any particular gospel song?" the man asked.

Major thought for a moment, then said, "How about Thy Word?" Both men got out of their chairs, and made their way to the center of the pavilion where we were sitting. They asked Major if he would sing along with them. Major is usually fairly comfortable singing in front of people, but was a little apprehensive at being asked so abruptly.

Major looked over at me, a little unsure of what to do. "Sis and I will sing with you." I told him. So...these musical ministers strummed away on their guitar and fiddle and sang "Thy Word" with us in the middle of the park. Then, the kids and I continued on to sing "Amazing Grace", "Just A Little Talk With Jesus", and other such hymns along with these musicians. It was such a neat experience to be singing gospel songs together with my kids amidst a crowd of onlookers. It seemed like a wonderful way to show to whom we belong. It was a beautiful day, in so many ways. The specialness of the moment continued for about five or six songs, until a lady in the crowd shouted, "Hey, you guys know Cotton Eyed Joe?" :)

After listening to a few more songs, we headed off to the playground.

I LOVE these guys!

Before they left the park, the fiddler and guitarist shook our hands and said that they hoped they would see us again on another sunny day. The fiddler pointed a finger at my precious kiddoes and added, "You're a truly blessed woman." He patted Major on the head. "God has really blessed you." he told me.

Yes...He most definitely has.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Thoughts on Halloween

Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday. This is for several reasons...

1)Halloween doesn't involve traveling, unless you count the trip around the block. The only packing and unpacking is the packing of your trick or treat bag and unpacking of the candy that fills it! (FUN!)

2)There is no stress involved, unless, that is, you don't finish making the kids' costumes until the night before, but WHO would be that much of a procrastinator? :)

3)It involves dressing up and being creative. I LOVE a good costume effort.

4) Also to be considered are the abundance of delicious treats like caramel apples and snack size candy bars. Who WOULDN'T love this beautiful holiday? Not I.

As a bonus to this year's festivities, we were able to spend the weekend with my brother, Adam, his lovely wife Alisha, and their three buddy boys. The weather was spectacular this Halloween, which made for a delightful night of trick-or-treating and church festival celebrating. Josh and I even fulfilled Mary Alice's yearly request for us to "PLEASE PLEASE dress up!"

Grumpy and Nonnie (Josh's parents) were able to come down and go trick-or-treating with us too. It was wonderful to have them along to join in the excitement of my favorite holiday. I was a bit surprised that Grumpy didn't come with blue hair. He's done it before. Oh well... Maybe next year?

The first pic of Halloween evening... (Notice that Major has his blanket in hand while trying to play the part of a spooky skeleton.)

My brother, Adam, and his wife went as Burger King and Queen. This is one of the funniest Halloween costumes I've seen. People kept staring at him at our church festival, wondering who the masked man was. A few people assumed that it was Josh, until they saw Josh in his costume. Adam heard quite a few lame jokes about burgers along with each jokester laughing at his comedic effort for telling such a funny joke. I should also add how VERY hard it was to take Adam seriously while he was wearing this thing. Hilarious!

The kids and their cousins ready for trick-or-treating...

Josh and I grabbed a few things and some discounted wigs and created these costumed characters.

More trick-or-treating...

Both of our families...

Adam and the kids on the train at our church festival...

Our Mary Alice girl...Isn't she pretty?

Josh and our Milla

Here are a few pics that my sister, Taylor, took before we went trick-or-treating.

Mary Alice as "Medusa" (After studying a little Greek Mythology last year and seeing a similar costume in a catalog a few months ago, Mary Alice knew that this was what she wanted to be...) Snakes,glitter,and unlikely combination...

Major as a skeleton... His cousins really wanted him to be a Musketeer with them, but Major was set on this silly skeleton costume. Whatever.

Milla the hula girl

Cousins in costume (The Three Musketeers) Aren't they precious?

Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! The year is flying by! Next up, Thanksgiving!