Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

Tonight, we carved our pumpkins for Halloween. Well, I should say that I actually did the carving. We bought some gigantic pumpkins at Sam's but they were rock hard and I could barely get our pumpkin saw through them. Mia was so disappointed that she couldn't do any carving, but I was fearful that she would slip and cut herself. That's all we need is another set of stitches! The kids did each get to pick out their pumpkin design. Mia chose a kitty face and Seth chose a mean face. I think they turned out really cute. While we were working, we roasted pumpkin seeds in the oven. Yum!

Campsite Trick-or-Treating

On Saturday, we went out to Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Park to meet up with our neighbors and other friends who were camping out there. The kids played on the hill above the lake most of the afternoon. For dinner, everyone pooled their food together and we had quite the feast: ham & beans, hamburgers, Italian chicken, chili, meatballs, BBQ mini dogs, etc. After we ate, the kids changed into their costumes and went trick-or-treating from campsite to campsite at dusk. Many of the campers brought Halloween decorations, lit pumpkins, and of course, plenty of candy. The kids pumpkin buckets were full by the time we were done. It was such a blast! Seth went as a blue Power Ranger and Mia went as a cheerleader.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Slider & Squirt

Just wanted to give an update on our pet baby turtles: Slider the red-eared slider (he's the larger, green one) and Squirt the painted turtle. We recently moved them to a smaller tank after the demise of our beta fish, Gabriella. Since the fish tank is smaller, we were able to make the water deeper. The turtles are really loving their new habitat and spend alot of time at the bottom of the tank. We put our remaining platy fish, Tiger, in the tank with them, and much to our surprise, he's still alive and kicking. Good thing these turtles are still so small. I was able to get some good photos of the turtles under water the other day. I especially love the 2nd photo, which shows Slider casually leaning with one "arm" against the rocks. If you look close in both photos, you'll see a bubble on his nose as well.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Raving Review

Warning: Parental brag fest ahead! Stop reading now if you feel the content might cause you discomfort.

Parent-Teacher Conferences were held yesterday at Mia's school. Mia's teacher, Mrs. Dodd, told us that Mia is doing very well in class and she loves having her. Mia made all A's on her report card, 2 "M's", and 3 "E's" (there are a few subjects for which they don't get a grade, just an "M" for Meets Expectations, or an "E" for Exceeds Expectations). According to our neighbors who have daughters older than ours at the same school, the E's are really hard to come by. We also found out that Mia's reading skills are comparable to those of an average fifth grader (Mia is in 2nd grade) and that she scored 99% or higher than kids her age NATIONALLY in reading. We knew she was a good reader, but we were still floored. Obviously, we are extremely proud of her!

I debated whether I should share this news as I'm not crazy about parents who brag about their kids ad nauseum, but I think it's important to recognize a child's strengths and hard work. So how could I not share this exciting news?!! Plus, we know that Mia is far from perfect. For one, she is a terrible slob. We're continually asking her to pick up her room or pick up the basement. There's more but I don't want to ruin the festive mood!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What a Character!

Mia's teacher assigned the kids in her class the Pumpkin Project. The kids are supposed to pick a book that they've never read before, read it, and determine the main character. Then, design their pumpkin to resemble the character. Mia choose the book "Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day" by Jamie Lee Curtis (yes, the actress!).
We set to work last night with my paper, punches, and ribbon to work on her pumpkin. In this book, the character doesn't actually have a name because she refers to herself all the time. I've included photos of Mia & her pumpkin, a closeup of the pumpkin, a drawing of the main character from the book, and the back page of the book (which is a dial-a-face......Mia chose to do the silly face on her pumpkin).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Seth's First Hunt

Last weekend, Brian took Seth on his first hunt. Of course, Seth is still too young to shoot a gun but he loved hanging out with daddy in the field across from our house waiting for doves to fly in. I hope this is the first of many hunting trips for the two of them - Brian is eager to pass on his love of hunting to Seth.

Firehouse Fun

Seth's 3's & 4's class went on a field trip to the Fire Station last Thursday. They've been before but never get tired of seeing those big trucks and the firefighters. We got to tour the fire station and see where the firefighters eat & sleep. The kids couldn't resist jumping on the beds in the dormitory. While we were there, one of the engines had to go out on an alarm call, though they were back a little while later. Before we left, the kids each got a plastic firefighter helmet.

Girls Rock!

Mia's pom pom dance debut was Friday night. The day was beautiful until an hour before game time and then it started to rain. The entire grounds were a wet, muddy mess. We bundled up anyway and headed out. Grammy even came up for it. Luckily I got some pictures of Mia at home before hand because her 80's-style hair was flat by the time half-time came around and my photos of the girls on the field were really blurry. The girls did a dance routine to a small part of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" song. It was really cute but was over way too fast.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ray's Octoberfest

Our friend Ray throws a huge Octoberfest celebration in his yard (it's big) every year. This year, the party spanned part of 3 days. We had German pork sandwiches on Friday night. These fried pork-loin style sandwiches were as big as a plate and make the oversize buns look small in comparison. On Saturday, the kilt-clad guys and girls from Ancient Athletics led a small parade down the street and then held sheaf (and keg) toss contests most of the afternoon and evening. On Sunday, the polka music was in full swing, led by a lederhosen-clad fellow. There was root beer on tap and fresh Orange Julius slushie drinks (both alcoholic and non). The kids had a ball every day and so did we!

Seth with two of the Ancient Athletics guys (that's Merle on the left...he's wearing a fake tattoo sleeve) Seth in his kilt

Mia's kilt no longer fit her but she was just as happy in a cute skirt

The Ancient Athletics sheaf toss set-up

Brian helping Seth in the kid version of the Chicken Dance contest (they had a contest for the adults too)

Mia Gets Stitched!

Well it's been an eventful week for Mia. She had to get stitches on the top of her left big toe last night. She was playing barefoot in our church's garage with some friends and cut it on a piece of metal. She ended up with a gash about 2 inches long by 1/2" wide and it was down to the tendon. She kept asking, "Is that my bone?". Brian got the call at home that she was hurt so he ran up to check her out and promptly knew that the injury was beyond anything he could fix. So, he ran her up to the local Priority Care. Meanwhile, I had ran out really quick to do some shopping (unfortunately without my cell phone), and didn't find out until I got home. When I got to Priority Care, they were still waiting in the waiting room. Poor Mia was just crying and shaking. We finally got called back and the doctor took a look at it. Fortunately her tendon was intact, so stitches were the only thing needed. They numbed her foot with some topical ointment and all was going well, but then he had to inject the numbing fluid in her wound. Though she held her foot still the entire time, Mia screamed until he was done because it hurt so much. But then the area went entirely numb and she was fine. She laid back on the chair while he stitched her up. She ended up with 12 stitches. She's doing great as of this morning as I write this post. Says it doesn't even hurt that much (unless she tries to put weight on that foot). The only bad thing is that she has pom pom practice tonight and tomorrow and was supposed to cheer during half time at the high school football game on Friday. Now she'll only be able to do the hand motions and yell. She's actually taking the news pretty well though. What a trooper!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mia Gets Pierced!

Mia has been dying to get her ears pierced for a couple of months now and I was all set to take her to Claire's at the mall. I pictured that Norman Rockwell moment where mom takes daughter on her first rite of passage into girlhood. You can envision it with me: we pick out a cute pair of earrings, the guns come out, and we stop for ice cream afterwards. Well, it didn't happen like that.....not by a long shot!

When I told Brian that I was going to take Mia to the mall, he told me "oh, no you won't". He told me that if she wanted her ears pierced, he wanted her to go to a professional. He's heard too many stories of botched ear piercings using the piercing guns. So, this past Monday, we had the day off and sent Seth to daycare. We arrived at DreamTime tattoo shop and signed the necessary paperwork. There were a few people in the shop and they had plenty of tattoos and piercings between them. We looked through the photo albums at all the tattoos (keeping Mia away from the 18 and over only book!). I got a great shot of Brian and Mia surrounded by all the tattoo wall art while we waited for the guy who does the piercings. In walks Stephen, complete with orange mohawk (it glows in the dark), bullnose-style nose ring, and a ton of tattoos. He pierced Mia's ears the old fashioned way........with a needle. Then he put in some small hoop earrings. Mia was pretty brave through it all. She cried during the needle sticks but was fine by the time we left the shop. Not your typical Normal Rockwell moment by any means, but Mia's piercings are perfectly centered and this was a day we'll remember forever!

Family Posts

I started this blog several months back with the intent of posting photos and activities of our family, but didn't really get it finalized. Now that it's done, I'll be posting when there are interesting photos or stories to share. I'm so bad about communicating via phone and mail that I needed another solution to keep you all up-to-date. I'm a computer girl at heart, so this blogging world works for me.