Monday, November 14, 2016

Eleven Years (Plus the First Snow of the Year)

At look back at M's birthday.

Tuesday, October 25
Finn and Mabel get to play together every week during our mom/book club.  They are in motion the entire time they are together.  And then they spend the rest of the day sleeping. :)

We spent the afternoon working on more leaf mazes.  Admittedly, while Finn is a blast to play with in the leaves, he's a bit destructive to the leaf mazes. :) (Pics by M.)

M got a fun gift of stacking cats in the mail and had fun taking pictures of them.

T and I decorated the house to be all ready for M's birthday the next day.  After everyone was asleep I taped 11 pieces of crepe paper across her doorway.

Wednesday, October 26
Happy Birthday, M!

She got her own weather monitor.

Every year by her birthday, most of the leaves are off of the trees.

It was such a warm day that T was swinging in his Halloween costume wearing just a t-shirt.

After dinner (Ina Garten's Lemon Chicken) we celebrated with cake and a few last presents.

Her favorite author--Trenton Lee Stewart--just published a brand new book that she didn't know about. :)

We spent most of the day working on this 1000-piece puzzle and we stayed up late to finish it.

It was a fun birthday day.  While I often lament how fast the time is going, watching her grow really is a cool thing.  I'm sure that her eleventh year will be the best yet.

Thursday, October 27
While the day before had been warm and sunny, soon after waking up snow started to fall.

In the afternoon we finally made time to paint.

And then, because soccer practice was cancelled, we made lanterns from the stack of Tinker Crate boxes we still have to do.

They went to bed super-excited for Friday because Nana and Pop were on their way to celebrate, too. :)

The Beginning of Eleven

A peek back at the beginning of M's birthday week.

Saturday, October 22
The morning started with soccer being cancelled because of the rain. (None of us were very sad about having a free Saturday morning.)  That gave us lots of time to hear about J's trip and to see what souvenirs he had brought back.  (This time there were model Eiffel Towers and toy British taxis and double-decker buses.)

Then my parents and two of my (3) sisters arrived to start celebrating M's 11th birthday.  They showed up in their usual fun and surprising style. :)

A mummy cake for my "mummy" (whose birthday was coming up on the 24th) and M.

There was a long and intense game of Monopoly.

Sunday, October 23
They were up and on their way bright and early.  But first we took some photos.

And then we waved goodbye. 

T was all dressed up in his finest for church. :)

Where we had a Safety Day with local organizations that serve our community.

A beautiful artist gave them the coolest face paintings. (A shark, unicorn and raccoon.)

It was a super-packed weekend, but very fun. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Leaves All The Time

A look back at the third week of October.

Monday, October 17
We woke up to one of the most colorful backyards we've ever had.

And also to the sound of the pond being cleared out.

Which made a good show.

Then Beza and I ran a few errands,

While M and T were at a field trip learning more about pollution in creeks.

Beza spied this Bedstraw Hawkmoth Caterpillar as were were leaving.

The trees leading into our neighborhood are always stunning, but so fleeting.

We came home to the barren pond.

Tuesday, October 18
Confession: Every night I woke up T to take Finn outside with me.  Going into the backyard in the dark--alone--is not my most favorite thing.  (Now we have a rope and flood lights and he's older so it's way easier.)

Wednesday, October 19
When J is away, T often pretends to be a traveler, too.  He had his route all mapped out.

We could not stop staring at the colors.

Finn is growing fast.  And he loves dirt. :)

I found a series of these kinds of photos on my phone.  Ha!

In the afternoon we played a few games with leaves.  First, we took ten minutes to each put together a display of our top five favorites.

Then, we took ten minutes to see how many different kinds of leaves we could find.

M and T made their first scarecrow using their real clothes. :)

Thursday, October 20
Nearly every morning starts with some sort of playful exchange between Dave-the-cat and Finn.

We learned about paper money.

And found some pretty cool things hidden on bills with a UV light.

There were just enough leaves to start making leaf mazes.  

When J is away, after dinner we indulge in our favorite TV Show--The Great British Baking Show.  (We're on Season 2.)

Friday, October 21
From Instagram: "Today we rushed through school so that we could run errands in the rain. Next week we'll have an eleven year old and this weekend we get to start celebrating."

I could not stop taking pictures of the backyard trees.

While we were running errands, we also stopped at Panera's for lunch because Friday lunches should be fun for everybody.

This day also marked the end of my year-long mission to complete my continuing education credits to maintain my professional credentials.  For the past two weeks I had been staying up up for an extra two hours each night to finish up 20 hours of course work.  It felt like it would never end.  But it did!  And I am done!

And later--much later--J came home from his week away.  Whoo-hoo! :)