Sunday, December 20, 2009

Following in Daddy's Footsteps

6:55 a.m.--A considerable amount of stomping is heard downstairs. Mom and Dad are still in bed. Was that the garage door I just heard?

7:05 a.m.--"Hey, Dad! I'll be working out in the garage. Is it okay if I use the saw?" Um, no.

7:15 a.m.--In order to buy a few more minutes of sleep on a SATURDAY morning, Daddy convinces Son that builders need a set of plans to work from whenever they build something. Result? 15 more minutes of piece and quiet and this:

Oh my word. If you could see these "plans" up close, you would see each "step" carefully labeled and in sequence, boards drawn, and the whole bit. It was/is really quite impressive for a 6 year-old!
7:30 a.m.--A certain someone finally convinced Daddy to get out of bed and into the garage. And thus, the building began. And this was made:

It's a mailbox. And it's almost exactly the way Grayson envisioned it and drew it out in his plans. And he built it. And one for our little neighbor friend.
And now? Now both mailboxes sit outside our front doors, and daily the kids have been "delivering" mail to one another at all hours of the day. It's pretty much the cutest thing ever. We (G and M) have gotten cookies and birthday invitations, artwork, letters, and more! And I'll tell you what...If anything can get a kid to WANT to write all day long, it's a personal mailbox outside his front door!

Tis the Season!

Some people (my mother) have accused me of not being up to date on my blog. Huh. Mother, shall we talk about your history with Christmas newsletters?! ;) wink, wink

At this point in my life, the only Black Friday shopping I do is online. Instead of being out with the masses in the stores, it has become our tradition to have a leisurely morning breakfast, then head downtown to Mac's annual Santa Parade. Quirky it is, by all means stunning it is not, but it's got that great small town community feel to it, which is why I (and the kids) love it. It's the kick-off to our "merry season", if you will. And this year especially, we were spoiled with nice weather, lots of familiar faces to chat with, new stuffed animals (because apparently just handing out candy isn't good enough anymore???), and the big guy in red atop a fire truck (which followed the kung fu karate people (?) and the dozens of John Deere tractors--and to think my husband used to consider Mac a big CITY! Ha!).

Anyway, after SEEING Santa from afar, Molly thought that she was ready to visit up close. Turns out it was only a thought because notice who is missing in the picture:

This was Molly:

She was riding the carousel, holding on for dear life...afraid that Santa might, too, decide to take a spin on one of the horses. (By the way, after the parade we high-tailed it down to the Riverfront Carousel in Salem. Amazing that Santa was able to get there so quickly as well! What do you know?)
Following a really fantastic 4 day holiday weekend, it was time to get back in the school groove. Next up? G's Christmas program. Darling, as usual. Here's a little sample for your viewing pleasure:

Molly was a happy and excited spectator throughout.

Awwww. I don't know what else to do but giggle when these 2 are side by side. 12 days. They are TWELVE days apart in age!!!
The happy posers:

Seriously I want these 2 to get married just so we can use all these pictures in the wedding slide show!

As our busy month rolled along (Did I mention that I had jury duty?!) we managed to convince Daddy to let us put up a Christmas tree. Not that he's a bah-humbug grinch, but we are traveling for the holidays this year. So did we really need to put up a tree since we won't even be at our house on Christmas morning? YES! (We knew he'd come around.)

It was sunny and beautiful but C-O-L-D! Like in the teens cold! Seriously. So it was one quick trip out to the tree farm. And if you know me, you know that I don't usually make decisions that involve choices quickly. But put me in 15 degree weather and viola! That first tree right there--perfect!

When it came time to decorate, Molly put up the angel this year.

And that, friends, has been our December (so far) in a nutshell! Happy, Mom?! :)

Way to go, Buddy!

Our boy is having a GREAT 1st grade year! And no matter how I feel about the whole concept of 'Student of the Month' (the teacher in me hates it, by the way) I always contend that a little perspective is good. So, stepping out of my 'teacher' shoes for just a moment and into my 'mom' shoes, boy am I proud of this guy! Heart bursting proud!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fall Wrap-Up

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now before you all think to yourselves, "It's about time!" I will remind you that TECHNICALLY, it is still Fall, so TECHNICALLY this post is not late! Who cares that the last soccer game may or may not have been on November 5th. WRAP-UP! That's the key word. So here we go...
For the many of you who weren't at the last soccer game, yes, it was pitch black outside! At 5:15 p.m.

Medals and cupcakes--a team tradition.

I have a feeling that this foursome will pose for a lot of team pictures over the years!

Okay, last soccer game. Check.
Next up? The much anticipated sleepover!

The Little Gibbies spent the night right before Thanksgiving, so I got my crafty groove on and came up with this guy. (Last year we did this.)
Cute, eh?

Hmmm, the rest of that night is a blur. I know that we had 4 very happy kids on our hands, but perhaps I, um, waited a little too long to do this recap. Ggrrr.

In fact, this post isn't much of a "wrap up" at all, is it?! Which perplexes me because we were busy NONSTOP; yet apparently I have not much to show for it. Dang.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Can I just say that Halloween should always be on a Saturday?! And it should always be dry and relatively warmish. (Warmish, by the way, is all relative.) That's how I think it should be. Even in the PacNW. Because this past Halloween? So. much. fun. Truly. Thank you to the Gibson family for inviting us to spend the evening with them. It was a bit of a break from our usual Halloween routine. In previous years we had spent a lot more time in the car driving from one house to another. Homes of our friends who wanted us to stop by or who we knew our kids would enjoy seeing. And we've also always gone to the Trunk-or-Treat event that is held each year at the church we used to attend. And each year the kids always have a blast. But this year, I must say that it was nice to just park the car and let the kids canvas an entire neighborhood together. As buddies. Then a nice warm dinner with friends...perfect. And don't forget the candy! Candy galore.

Before our night got started, this little friend paid us a visit:

Such an adorable Pebbles!

And then it was time for the annual photo shoot. This year--Ariel Ballerina (??? I know, since when is Ariel not a mermaid?) and Commander Cody (Think Star Wars the Clone Wars).

Got to love this pair!

"Trick-or-treat, Uncle Joel!"

The Gibson/Ryan combo shot: 2009 edition.

These boys thought they had died and gone to heaven--getting to battle IN costume WITH weapons!

Monkey in the Middle, anyone? Ha! Ha! I couldn't resist.

Our little friend Aiden really is happy! I promise.

Yay! More friends! Terrible pictures, but we were so happy to run into the Eitzen family!

I *heart* them.

This was the scene once we got back to the Gibson's. I tell you what, there were 5 happy kids in that living room!

Day of the Dead

Sorry, I don't mean it to be a creepy title. It would be much more eloquent and much more appropriate to use in conjunction with the word 'celebration' if I actually knew how to write it in Spanish. Because it is, after all, a sacred holiday in Mexican culture--one that I, admittedly, don't know much about. But because G is in a dual language Spanish immersion program, Halloween-type festivities took a back seat this year, and instead his class honored Mexican culture and had a Day of the Dead celebration. And I think that Grayson really enjoyed it...after I convinced him that it was not "inappropriate" to have such a day at school.

But what type of celebration it was aside, it was, in fact, the first time EVER that I was able to attend one of G's school celebrations of any kind. (Contract issues...blah, blah, blah. I ended up with the day off! Half-time employee perk, in my opinion.) So fun. And Molly and Abby got to join in, too.

Day of the Dead masks.

First a ham...

Then a pouter.

Still pouting. Awesome masks though!

Parading thru the halls...

Rice shakers (a.k.a. noise makers) in hand.

This is her new camera smile as of late. Lovely.

I couldn't not go check on these boys in the next room over. So happy they all were.
(blankety-blank blurry iphone pictures...ggrrr.)

Miss Molly was really cute sitting at the back of the group while G's teacher read a story. So cute that the teacher asked me afterward how many years it will be 'til she can have Molly in class. Oh boy. If only she knew! Ha! Ha! Let's just say that I don't think Grayson and Molly will be ANYTHING alike in the classroom. And that does not work in M's favor. :) Get ready! 2011--she's coming at ya!