Monday, November 28, 2011

A bunch to be thankful for...

I'm not sure how, but Thanksgiving has been here and gone. I can not believe we are turning the calendar to December the end of this week. Time flies when you're having fun! This Thanksgiving was extra special in a couple ways... one, it is the first Thanksgiving since my grandmother passed away and we always celebrated her birthday during this time, as well as usually enjoyed many of her delicious recipes. I did my best to copy her home-made rolls recipe, but it just wasn't the same as hers. We found our way back to my home-town for lunch with my side of the family. I was thankful to have a place to go and enjoy good food and family!  

"Black Friday" we headed to Dave's "home-town" (sort a kinda) to gather with his side. It was Dave's Grandma Violet's 90th birthday this year on thanksgiving too! Wow, now that's a lifetime filled with thanksgiving! On Dave's side there are so many cousins running around that it is everything but quiet :) A few years ago, Dave's sister and hubby, built their dream home and with that included a gym attached to their house. Needless to say, this has become our new family gathering spot for just about everything! They did a fine job of having a vision for providing a gathering place for many people when they designed this home. It has truly blessed us all. Our kids LOVE playing at the "gym house"! 

As the thanksgiving season has come to an end, my heart is over-flowing with gratitude for the faith we share and teaches us about love, grace, and life; family we have, our friends whom we live life closely with, our home church who walks with us in every season, our "things" in life that make our life easier, good health, and each other. At the end of the day I look back and can honestly is very good. We are so blessed and God has been so good to us.

 My parents with all 8 of their grandkids... soon to add 2 more!

 Colorado cousins (and 1 Iowa gal :)

 My brother brought his puppies...

 and I ALMOST said yes to this little face :)

 Carson and cousin Jazlyn just catching a bit of the FB game while we eat!

 Gathered around the table.... part of us :) the rest were sitting on steps, couches, counter tops, and standing! We're a big group even for a big house!

 Doesn't take long for the kids to find the hoops!

 Thankful for a place like this to share family time!

 My Babe... he's still got it at 34!! (wink, wink)

 There are 2 swings hanging from rafters... the speed they spin at makes me want to puke, but these two love it!

And I can't believe I didn't get one picture of our neighbor Thanksgiving!! We have a house just two houses down from us. As homes close to us pop up for sale or rent I always start to pray hard for whoever moves into them. I truly believe community needs to exist amongst neighbors and I love having good neighbors around us who share part of our family life and who my kids interact with. We have been blessed beyond words with our newest neighbors just a yard away. They are the kind of friends who we can ask for a cup of sugar or just drop in to say hi. We play in the yard together and share meals and tools and laughter and tears. We are so blessed by them and we kicked off our Thanksgiving with this wonderful family! A perfect start to the Thanksgiving season!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Carson is 4 months old!

Um, my baby is 4 months old? Whoa, that flew by! I can say that now but it didn't feel like it was flying by the first couple months!! I am so happy to report this month that we have ourselves a pretty happy and content little man. No, he still doesn't like to sleep a ton, but he is happy! I will take it!! 

Oh Carson...where do I start? He is teaching me SO much these days and I am loving having a baby in our home again. He has become a very smiley little man and will sit on your lap and coo with you all day if you want to. He "talks" a lot and loves to be on my shoulder watching what is happening around him. He recognizes all of us too and it is so fun to see his face light up when we give him some attention. He loves to lay on my lap and have me read board books to him, play on his floor mat and started to grab the little animals, giggle when you squeeze his chunky spots in his legs or under his arm pits, loves his bath usually, and likes to cuddle. He's just started to get in the bumbo chair and jumpy thing and the verdict is still out for how much he enjoys those.  He also rolled over for the first time last week. His cloth diapers give him such a bubble butt though that he can only roll without it on :)

Sleeping wise- again, he is a "routine baby" I'd say. Wake up, nurse, awake time, nap, and that same routine all over again about 3-4 times a day. He takes anywhere from 30 min- 1.5 hr naps and I am slowly learning how to adapt to a babe who is unpredictable in how long he will sleep. The days I plan to accomplish something like laundry he naps for 30 minutes. The days I plan nothing and start nothing because I am sure he will wake up any minute he sleeps 2 hours and I could have cleaned my whole house in that time. (It's amazing how fast you learn to get things done when given very short amounts of time to accomplish anything or vise versa... how little you get done when you have a baby who never sleeps... I about died when my friend, Natalie, saw my laundry pile, er I mean mountain, this week!! :-) He is pretty happy in between these mini naps though and I am grateful for his happy temperament. He has also finally relaxed a bit with his eating schedule. He nurses about every 3 hours during the day and at night will go down usually between 7:30-8:30 and nurse once before he wakes between 7-8am. The last week he has been up a bit more at night, but I think he is having a little growth spurt...I hope!

He got his shots today and weighed in at 16 pounds and 24 1/4 in long. Supposedly, that is 80% and 15%. All in all, we are blessed beyond words with a very healthy baby boy and we have come to just love what he brings to our home! Happy 4 months sweet baby boy!

 Thanks to big brother Jaxon he had a painted blue nose one night... I found him like this while making dinner. Oops, Carson was not impressed and it did not come off for a couple days. Kind of funny looking down at your baby with a blue nose!

 Carson LOVES being outside.... oh, how we miss the warm fall days!

 Our little rolling boy...

 He is so sweet to watch sleeping.... yes, he is a tummy sleeper and loves his binkie and blankie tucked under his arm :)

 Our chunky monkey!!

 4 months old!

Lets see how fast he fills up my basket :)


Sunday, November 20, 2011

caught ya!

Barely got my camera out in time to catch these two just hamming it up the other day! They were smiling up a storm at each other, clearly impressed with each others view :)

And he might kill me some day for this picture, but how "Austin-ish" is this? :) Caught him!

Yup, clearly have no clue who wrote this on my window frame.... unless you know any kids in my house who can read and write and get the lids off of the markers... oh, wait, that leaves me with just one boy in mind???  :)

And lastly, I caught my little man with two favorite fingers in his mouth... just like his daddy did as a boy :) Like father, like son already!

Friday, November 18, 2011

turkeys and snowen

The first snow has come... and gone! I don't know what it is, but I just can't wrap my head around the fact that the holiday season is here!! We still have bright yellow leaves falling, bikes in our garage being rid, and football games happening in the backyard. The first snow surprised my boys as they awoke one day last week and they were dressed and out the door by 7:30am building their first snowman. Two days later, I was making hand turkeys with the little guys. Oh, Iowa weather... you never surprise me!

 A bunch of turkeys...

How funny does this snow guy look with green grass under him and fall leaves behind him?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trick or Treat

My boys love Halloween! We do everything pumpkiny, sweet, simple, with friends, and just have fun. We use pumpkin carving as a perfect time to share the idea that God cleans us out and uses us to shine for Him. I have some great childrens books that really help teach this image to our kids. The last handful of years we have done a little party at our house for anyone with young kids who want to come over for chili, kid food, and fun before trick or treating. It's become a really fun tradition we all look forward to. I love seeing the kids get all dressed up playing all over our house and yard. I really enjoy feeding people, even if it's basic chili and pigs in a blanket :) We had a beautiful day for the party this year, followed by a perfect night for trick or treating. I'm not going to lie, it was a busy few hours... but worth every barfed on shoe I had, spray painted head I saw, apple cider on my floor, and counter full of dishes left at the end of the night!!!  

 We started the afternoon fun by heading to school to see Jaxon in his costume parade.

 There's Jaxon this year... a ninja :)  His choice of costume this year, whatever it is they do!

 Let the party begin... lots of cute kids to be found, but I was terrible at getting pictures this year!! Too much going on!

 Our home was filled to the brim... and I loved every second of it!

 Babies were EVERYWHERE!! I think I counted 9 new babies that were not here last year at this time! How crazy is that? God has been good to so many of us!!

 I got nervous the food would run out. Some how the "real" food was all gone and I was left with pans full of pumpkin bars... how did that happen?

 Getting ready to head out with Dad for trick or treating... a different year for us with Carson. I needed to nurse him so I stayed back and caught up to them at our friends home later. I hear the boys made out very well thanks to Dad's work crew :)

 Ah, boys... what else can I say? This involved my son, his best friend, and a can of black spray paint. Need I say more?

 Carson was a bear this year and he played the part well about 30 minutes after I put this on him.

Okay, so I never actually found a time to snap a pic of all 3 boys on Halloween... so a few days later counts too, right?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

fall favorites...

The days are shorter and the mornings so chilly you can't help but want that cup of hot tea to start your day. I down-loaded my camera and realized I had tons of fall pictures I never blogged. Here are a few of our favorite fall moments at our house. 

Pumpkin carving with little friends!

Painting pumpkin faces with some of my daycare crew!

Our yard gets TONS of leaves every year. While it is work, I love it. And so do our boys :)

A lazy Sunday fall afternoon.... we have a picture of Dave as a kid on this same bridge outside of town. We drove out to check it and the river out.

It was a little high for me, so I hung out at the end and held on tight while snapping pictures :)

Halloween cookies, of course!! I had two great helpers for this project.

And they did a great job!

Little buddies finding their smiles at the same time... too precious!

This fall Austin has just clicked with putting puzzles together. He does all kinds and ones I would think to be too hard for him. He spends long stretches doing this, it's so fun to watch him.

More leaves and more leaves and more leaves...

Jaxon has mastered tree climbing and I have to tell him to come back down from WAY too high of places! Ah, boys!

And more leaves :)

And more leaves and more cute boys :)

What a beautiful time of year to be outside.