Monday, November 30, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Sunday morning we headed out to get our Christmas tree. We always get a real tree and this year we decided to visit an actual tree farm. We went Kidman Tree Farm in Polk City.Despite the cold temps we had a great time. We went on a wagon ride pulled by two Clydesdale horses. That was definitly everyone's favorite part. Drew was even brave enough to hold the reins and drive for a bit!We visited Santa. Only Drew and Tony sat on his lap though. Brodie was a little too nervous and just told Santa what he wanted for Christmas while his head was hiding between Will's legs. We got to see a reindeer named Mistletoe. And of course we picked out the most perfect Christmas tree. We decorated it Sunday night. I love watching the kids go through their box of ornaments. I remember how fun it was when I was their age and how much fun I still have looking through my box and remembering where I got certain ones. We always got an ornament each year. Now, I always get my kids an ornament each year. I mark them so they now whos is whos and they each have their own box to put them in. When they get older and leave the house they can take that box with them to put on their Christmas tree and hopefully start the tradition with their family. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

Thanksgiving and Family Pictures

We had a nice long Thanksgiving weekend. We spent part of the weekend with Will's parents at their house. We played cards, drank coffee and enjoyed their fireplace. Friday Mom, Jenny and I had a ladies day out and left all the guys at the house. We went out to lunch and spent the afternoon touring little boutiques and antique shops. We had a great time and it was nice to be out and about without any children!

Sunday we had Thanksgiving dinner at my moms house. I love being surrounded by family. We are so lucky to have everyone live so close to us. We don't have to travel far to see anyone. Dinner was great and all the cousins had a good time.

Each year at Thanksgiving I try and get a family picture taken of us to use for our Christmas cards. It's never very easy to get a good shot of all 6 of us at the exact same time. This year proved to be no different. No one was really in the mood for their picture. I think Tony was the only one who cooperated for the 5 minute photo session. Who would have thought pictures could be so stressful.

This is how it all began. Drew on the floor. Typical.Followed by Brodie on the floor. What one does, the other follows. Ok, standing up pictures not going so well let's all sit and try. Nope, that doesn't work either.
Jake is thinking, is this what my life has come to?Alright Brodie if you aren't going to smile, we will make you smile.Now he is really mad. Drew is outta here.Ahhh, the proud parents.Believe it or not we did get one decent photo out of that mess. This will be our holiday photo this year.Thank you Jen for capturing such a memorable Thanksgiving photo session! Hopefully next year will go a little better.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

T is for Turkey and Thanksgiving

I know I am a little late in posting this. It's been a busy week so far. Drew battled a fever for about 36 hours but seems to be better now.

The last week and a half we have been talking about the letter "T". We have done lots of turkey and Thanksgiving activities. We made handpainted turkeys.We made a couple different kinds of turkeys just cutting shapes out of construction paper.Here is a picture of our Thanksgiving tree. For the last week we have each written down one thing each day that we are thankful for on a leaf and then we put it on our tree. The boys had fun with this activity. I cut out a large circle from cardstock. This was our "plate". I gave them each some grocery ads. I told them to pick out what they would chose to eat if they could plan the Thanksgiving dinner. It was pretty interesting to see what they picked. They cut out the different foods and then glued them onto their plates. This was Brodies.He picked ham, oranges, corn, broccoli, blueberries and at the last minute found some candy canes.

Then here is Drews. He picked peanut butter and jelly, donuts, cookies, juice, chocolate milk and marshmallows!We also did some crafts with Indians and Pilgrims. We talked about how the Indians taught the Pilgrims how to hunt and plant. It was funny, because you can just see the wheels turning in Brodie's head. Then today he asked me, "are the Pilgrims and the Indians coming to our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow?"

Tonight was family night. We made these cute turkey cookies. Even Jake who is almost 14 said "Gee mom, this was a really good idea, this is fun!" That made me smile.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Somebody was hungry. And we couldn't figure out who or what it was. I have had nibbles out of all my pumpkins. But this pumpkin in particular must have tasted pretty good.

Then as I was cooking breakfast one morning I saw him (or her). It has been out there daily for the last few days eating away.Now this is all that is left of my poor pumpkin.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Drew Bug

It's hard to believe that 3 years ago Drew was born. I'll never forget how excited Jake and Tony were to have yet another brother! 3 years have gone by way to fast.Drew has been a wonderful blessing to our family. We love you so much buddy, Happy Birthday!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

S is for Spiders

We wrapped up the letter "S" this week. We talked a lot about spiders. Here are a few more crafts we did. We made this spiderweb using marbles and paint. I just put a piece of construction paper in a pan, added some white paint in the center and a marble and had the boys tilt the marble back in forth through the paint. After it dried we added a diecut spider.For this craft all you need is:
egg carton
paint brush pipe cleaners
googly eyes
I cut apart the individual egg containers and had the kids paint them. Brodie of course chose blue since that is his favorite color right now. Once dry, I poked 8 holes around the sides with a tiny screwdriver this way they could put in their own pipe cleaners for the legs. Then we glued on the googly eyes.
Linked to Learning Through Love at My Family My Forever.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spider Craft

Here is a fun craft we did this week. You will need:
Some sort of plastic lid. We used Folgers Coffee lids.
Hole Puncher
Plastic Spiders

First cut the center out of the plastic lid and use the hole puncher to punch holes all the way around the edge.Thread yarn through the holes to spin a web. Attach your spider!A really funny spider book we read before making this craft was Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin.

Linked to Showcase Friday at The Ramblings of a Crazy Lady.

Spider Math Mat Game

We started the letter "S" this week. We have been talking about spiders. Here is a fun math mat we are using. I printed the mat from this site.I picked up a bag of spider rings on clearance at Michaels for $.39 on Monday. They work perfect. I just cut the ring part off. Each child gets their own stack of spiders. You take turns rolling the dice and counting the number. Then you get that many spiders to place on the webs. Whoever fills up their mat first wins.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Drew , the Lion and the Crazy Emu

Friday is was so nice outside I decided to take the little boys to the Zoo. They always love going there and it may be our last trip of the year. It was great because there was hardly anyone there. This is the boys looking at the jellyfish tank. Usually this place is really crowded. We took our time walking around and the kids played at the new playground and we enjoyed a picnic lunch before heading back home.

Here are some pictures of Drew and a lion. This lion was laying up against the window and Brodie was totally freaked out by it. He didn't want to get anywhere near it. But Drew, he walked right up to the window and even tapped on the glass. He stood there munching on his Cheez-Its talking to it like it was just another kitty cat. I think they were both feeling a little down. Drew was sad because the giraffe display was gone. Blocked off due to construction going on and the lion was sad because he was stuck in his cage and couldn't get out to eat the giraffe. Here is a picture of the Emu I thought was going to attack us. Remember how I said it was great because there was nobody at the Zoo? Well this was a little scary. This Emu got spooked for some reason and ran right up behind us and was following us for a good 15 steps. I was getting really nervous because I didn't even have to reach my arm all the way out to touch it, it was that close. Finally I had the boys (which I had pulled in front of me to protect in case the bird got a little nasty) stop and not move. We all stood like statues for a few seconds and the bird slowly walked around us and moved back up onto the grass. Whew, that was one time I wish there was other people around. We could have gotten attacked by a deranged Emu and no one would have even known!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Owl Cookies

To go along with our Owl theme this week we made these cookies. Aren't they cute? I can't remember where I saw a picture of these. I know they used Hersey's kisses for the eyes and cashews for the beaks but I didn't have either of those. I did have M&M's and candy corn and it worked perfect!

Here is the recipe.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup Crisco
3 T milk
1 T vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

1. Heat oven to 375.
2. Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, Crisco, milk and vanilla in a large bowl and beat till well blended. Add egg and beat will mixed.
3. Combine flour baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture and mix till blended.
4. Roll into balls and place 2 balls next to each other on cookies sheet and smash down.
5. Bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes. Cool for 1-2 minutes on cookie sheet before removing. I added the M&M's and candy corn while the cookies where still warm.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Have You Met...

the newest editions to our family?? We have added 11 fish to the chaos. I got this tank at a garage sale over the Summer and we finally decided to take the plunge and fill it with fish. All the boys got to pick a fish (or two). We have had many evenings just sitting and watching them. We are really enjoying them.
The cat on the hand, is not quite so sure.