Wednesday, October 31, 2012

No Tricks Just Treats

Tuesday morning, the little ones and I got up and quickly headed out the door. Voting was the FIRST thing on my "to do" list for the day, and I had hoped to be there when the doors opened.  I was keeping my fingers crossed that I would experience short lines and little wait time. Unfortunately for me, the line wasn't that short. In fact, we waited outside for nearly 20 minutes before even entering the building. That's a good sign though, right. Lots of people are voting;)
Once inside, the line moved pretty quickly AND because I was voting at a fire station, there was plenty of exciting things for the kids to look at while we waited. 
I tried to explain to them what an important thing mommy, and all the other people there, were doing. I told them that many men and women had given their life so we could have the privilege to vote.
Yeah...I'm not really sure how much they understood, because the minute Shane got home from work that night, all the little ones could talk about was the big red fire engine mommy took them to see;)
After we got home, we got right to work in the kitchen. 
Halloween Treats were on the agenda for the day.
The first one we conquered was...
Candy Corn Snack Mix
I don't know about you, but I love me some candy corn. Miss AK is totally addicted to the stuff  too. In fact, its the ONLY candy she really likes. It's also the treat we used as a reward for her potty training successes.
The girl is serious about her candy corn;)
I'm sure there's a formal recipe, but I usually just throw in whatever I have on hand.
Yesterday we used:
Plain M&M's
Candy Corn
It makes a ton and so there is always plenty to share. 
I like to package it up and give it as Halloween treats for friends and the boys teachers at school.

The little ones and I also make these Candy Corn Pudding Parfaits for an after dinner treat.
All you need for this one is a box of vanilla pudding.
I divided it in half. Added a little red food coloring to one bowl (in order to get orange), and then layered the pudding in these glasses.
SOOOO easy, and a definite hit with my kids.
 Of course, we topped ours with whipped cream, sprinkles, and candy corn too;
Pure Sweetness!

Weekend Catch-up

It seems like every weekend flies by at warp speed. We are always running from one activity to the next, attempting to catch our breath in between. I can't wait for things to slow down just a bit! I LOVE being busy, but I'd also give anything to enjoy a quiet, relaxing Saturday at HOME!  I'd LOVE to stay in my jammies til noon and actually have time to sip a SECOND cup of coffee before running out the door. {AHHH BLISS}
 With the end of our sports season only a few weeks away though, maybe a lazy Saturday is in my future {maybe}.
 So once again, (since it's Wednesday and I'm just now posting about our weekend--ugh) this is going to be a bullet point type post with LOTS and LOTS of photos. I think I took nearly 200 pictures over the course of the weekend;) Don't worry...I didn't include them all---just most of them-HA;)
Consider yourself warned;)

Terrific Kid Breakfast at the boys school.
Corban was chosen by his teacher to be this months Terrific Kid!
Each month, a different child from each grade is chosen based on the character trait they are focusing on at that time.
This month was Individuality.
Our Corban is growing into such a sweet young man.
  He is flourishing at school this year (prayer answered) and
we couldn't be prouder of him and his accomplishments!

Then it was off to a fun fall play date with some friends from church.
My friend, Kara hosted this awesome play date and the kids and I had an absolute BLAST!
The kids played while I enjoyed chatting with old friends and making new ones.
The weather was PERFECT, the costumes were stinkin' ADORABLE, and the fellowship was oh so SWEET!

 After dropping the boys off at practice, the little ones and I headed up to my sister's neck of the woods for yet another play date.
This time we were meeting her and her gang at the Romp n' Roll.
Romp n' Roll  was hosting a HUGE Halloween Bash complete with pizza, crafts, games, prizes and MORE.
The kids had a total BLAST!
 They would have been happy JUST hangin' with their cousins anywhere, but getting to hang with them at a super-duper place like THAT was an EXTRA special treat!
Oh, and to top it off...
After the Romp n' Roll Bash...Sophie and Hudson had a sleepover at their Mimi and Papa's house.
Talk about a DAY;)

Of course, Saturday was filled with the usual Saturday stuff...
I did my L-O-N-G run Saturday morning before heading out the door for games--which both boys WON--YES!!!) Then the boys headed to an awesome angry birds birthday party that afternoon.

 We headed out to watch my sister KK play in her very LAST soccer game of her college career.

 KK is senior this year and she has been blessed with FOUR great/healthy years playing soccer for her school!
She is quite the athlete and we are SOOOOO very proud of her!

She played an AWESOME game and we were so happy to cheer her on from the stands.
The BIGGEST blessing this weekend was that Corban's BEST(est) buddy Knox was here visiting from Tennessee. Knox's family used to live right up the street from us. During that time, Knox and Cor were inseparable!!! They were the BEST(est) of friends and what one did the other followed. I'd never seen such sweet, SWEET friends! Needless to say, when Knox moved away, we were devastated.
Knox and his family spent the weekend in town, and when we found out they were coming we jumped at the chance to have Knox stay with us!
Corban had the best time with his sweet buddy and they leaped right back in to where they had left off a year ago.  They were back outside, tossing a football around like they had never ever been apart.
Good friends are such blessings, and I'm so grateful Corban has found one in Knox!
There were many crocodile tears shed when they had to say goodbye on Sunday morning, BUT we are already looking forward to another visit this summer!!
We can't wait!
And that wraps up my weekend "catch-up" post--HA
Stay tuned..because there's sure to be more Halloween fun to follow...;)

Monday, October 29, 2012

"These are a few of my favorite things"

Thursday evening, I hosted a "Favorite Things" party for the girls in my Sunday School class. I was beyond excited about this FUN evening and couldn't wait for it to begin. Once everyone had arrived, we chatted for a bit while enjoying a wonderful array of yummy treats. Each person brought their FAVORITE dessert or appetizer to share as well.  We had such a huge spread with way too much food, but everything was delicious! Once everyone had finished eating, we gathered in a circle in my living room and one by one began sharing our favorite things.
Here's how it works:
Each guest was asked to pick a favorite item (costing no more than $5), purchase five of that particular thing, and then bring all five items to the party. Once there, everyone’s name was put in a basket five times. Then each guest took turns sharing all about their favorite thing, why they love it, and where they bought it! Next, they picked five names from the basket, careful not to pick their own name or any duplicate names and proceeded to pass out their "thing" to the five names they chose.  At the end of the party, each guest goes home with five different "Favorite Things"!
 My "Favorite Thing" that I brought were these t-shirt scarves I made. Scarves seem to be all the rage right now and I LOVE how FUN, SIMPLE, and EASY these are to make!!
Here's a GREAT link if you wanna know how to make a t-shirt scarf for yourself.

Here's just a little peak at some of my AWESOME loot. I wish I had taken a picture of all the favorite things but some great ideas were:
Bath and Body works lotion and soaps
Silver bracelets with engraved  Bible verses
Hand-made ornaments
IKEA scrub brushes, picture frames, plastic tumblers and kids plates
Pizza dough and frozen dough w/ favorite recipes for each
Someone even talked about their favorite apps for their i-phone or i-pad.
Everyone brought different items and the best part was learning about everyone's favorite thing. It was a fabulous night filled with great conversation, delicious food, and interesting information about neat products.
It kind-of felt like Christmas and I can't wait to do a party like this again SOON!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sweet Tuesday (take 2)

It seems that I accidentally hit the publish button (instead of save) on this post BEFORE I had even written it! I didn't realize it until late last night.
 Oh well;)
Here is the completed post...
 On Tuesday morning, the little ones and I decided to join the boys at school for lunch. It was a beautiful day outside, so instead of driving over to the school, we decided to walk.
Sophie, Hudson and Addy-Kate LOVE visiting the boys at school!! 
 They think they're pretty hot stuff, hanging out and eating in the cafeteria with the BIG kids;)
And this year, since both boys have their lunch breaks back to back (and actually sit at the same table too) it makes our sweet lunch dates with them that much easier!
After school let out for the day, we packed up and headed over to the park to watch my brother, Tim, play in his LAST soccer game of the season.
Tim is a senior this year and this was actually the last regular season game he'll play in for high school.
During half-time, the coach and faculty at the school took time to recognize and honor each senior that played on the team.
It was definitely a bitter-sweet moment.
My kids always have so much fun watching their uncle (and aunts for that matter) play in their games.
They love sitting (and playing) on the sidelines while cheering their team onto victory!
Yup, our crew makes up quite the adoring little fan club;)

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's pumpkin time!

This weekend was once again chocked-full of nothin' but more FALL fun! Our calendar was packed and our days were busy. Weekends are not very relaxing around these parts, and that's okay. I kind-of like it that way;) Saturday morning, before we headed out to the CHAMP fields for the boys games, I had a long run. I'm gearing up for my marathon on November 17th. Only four weeks away-AHHHHH!!! After I ran the Savannah race last year, I vowed I would NEVER do a marathon again. Well, this spring, the runner bug bit me...and it bit hard;) That, coupled with a little peer pressure from my running partners, and I was motivated enough to sign up for the Charlotte race this fall. This weekend was our 19 miler...ugh! I'll be honest, I was COMPLETELY dreading the run, but I made it through and thankfully finished strong. Next week is our longest run yet. It's our 20 miler. After that we start to taper, which I'm really REALLY looking forward too;)
Anyone else doing long runs over the these next few weeks?? 
I'd LOVE to hear how you get through them;)
As soon as I got home from the run, it was back out the door for games.
Both boys played extremely well.
Cor's football team tied and Ri's soccer team walked away with a win!
After games were over, we rushed home for quick naps before we had to head back out the door. 
Saturday night, we were heading to our Sunday School Classes Annual Pumpkin Carve!
Jeff and Stephanie open up their home every year and host this fun class social.
Let me just tell you... this sweet family knows how to throw a party.
First of all, you have to understand that there were probably over 50 people there--30 (plus) of those were KIDDOS!!!
YES...there is definitely some CRAZY FUN to be had!!!
Our kids have a BLAST and LOVE hanging out and playing with their friends.
After a delicious potluck dinner, it was time for the pumpkin carving to commence.

Shane was the mastermind behind our jack-o-lantern this year and he worked really hard on this project. There were moments when we weren't quite sure if it would turn out, but that hard work payed off and our pumpkin looked AWESOME.

I'll tell you, it was a far cry from the creation Shane made at last years pumpkin carve.
Remember THIS...our throwing-up pumpkin;)
 Yeah...I liked THIS year's pumpkin MUCH better;)
Our fun, fall evening was made complete with a cake walk, popcorn, and movie under the stars.
What a GREAT night!
Thanks Davis family;)

Once we got home, it was straight to the BATH and then BED for our kids.
Corban and Riley were especially excited about their sleeping arrangements for the night though. 
They had constructed a fort in the living room earlier in the day and I had agreed to let them sleep in it Saturday night. They were beyond excited! 
Sometimes, it's just the little things, you know?!?;)
And look who was the first one to sneak in for a snuggle on Sunday morning...
I LOVE these three sweet sleepy heads!
Sunday, we headed to church, but before we left, I had to stop and snap a few pics of my girls in their pumpkin dresses.
Lookin' sweeter than a pumpkin pie, I must say;)

And speaking of pumpkin pie...we had THIS for dinner on Sunday evening.
Trader Joe's pumpkin pancakes topped with pumpkin butter!
If you haven't tried them, you are surely missing out!
It's like heaven in your mouth...not kidding;)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Five little pumpkins

Friday afternoon, Corban and Riley had a half day at school. As soon as the bus dropped my sweet boys off at the door, we jumped in the car and made our way to the pumpkin patch. It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day outside, with temps in the low 70's!
Just right for a pumpkin pickin' adventure;)
 We've been visiting this very same farm since Corban was a baby and
I have so many sweet photo's of my kids enjoying this patch.
 Of course, THIS year we had Miss AK with us and it was fun introducing her to this Bruce family fall tradition;)
We always kick-off our visit with a hayride.

 Then, we head down to the barn to feed some farm animals.
After making sure our furry friends were all well fed, it was time to feed our hungry bellies
We grabbed our picnic and scouted out a shady spot to enjoy our lunch.
As soon as we were finished eating, it was time to hunt down THAT perfect pumpkin for our porch..
We came across some pretty ones, but they weren't quite right.
Finally,  Corban spotted this beauty and
the consensus from our crew was unanimous.
We had found our perfect porch pumpkin and another year visiting Hunter Farms was deemed a GREAT success!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm a BIG Girl

I wasn't going to post these pictures, but goodness gracious the cuteness is just too stinkin' much not to share;)
 Yup, it's official. Miss Addy-Kate is growing up! 
We started the potty training process this week and low and behold, she took to it like a little PRO!
Although, since this is my third child to potty train in about a years time, I'm not sure if she can take ALL the credit for it going so smoothly;)
Maybe I'm getting a little better at this entire process as well-HA!!?!?
Either way you slice it, it's been a successful week and one we can BOTH be proud of;)