The kids were super excited when the first flakes started to fall.
It started on the 21st and didn't really stop until Thanksgiving. I was a bit afraid that we'd have to miss some of our guests but everyone made it to the house safe and sound.
But before we had Thanksgiving and before the snow really hit us, we brought the kids out to a local nursery to see the reindeer.
Trey has always stuck to waiting to celebrate Christmas until after Thanksgiving. This means no Christmas music, no Christmas drinks and NO Cranberry Bliss Bar from Starbucks.
But guess what? The snow got to him...and he totally bought one! And then? When we got back into the car? Yup! He turned on some Christmas music!!
Now that Thanksgiving is over we are officially getting into the Christmas spirit. Even our dogs are getting in on it...although they aren't as excited as the rest of us.
Trey was the puppet master this evening so I could greet all the goblins and ghosts at our door...although it's been a bit slow going.
Hazel was the puppet and August was "Mustache Man".
I'm super proud of both the kids this year. They came up with their own costumes and were totally original.We couldn't leave out our biggest chicken:
I finally got around to getting pictures taken of the kids!
I would highly recommend our friend Monica Wilkinson if your family is in need of some updated pictures. Take a look around her website...holy COW! Looking at her newborn pictures makes me want to have one just so she can snap some shots!
When I hear the crinkle of paper I get as excited as a kid who just lost their first tooth. I'm not even kidding!
Hazel's notes have often come at the end of a rather rough day. She has an amazing sense for when I could use a little pick-me-up. And her notes are just the thing.
This last one says:
"I love my momy. I hog and kiss her evrey day. I miss her when I'm at shcool and when she is away. When I am mad at her I still love her. When she is sick or srest (stressed) I triy to help. I don't caer if I donet hav a berth day or get eny toys I still love her."
I mean come on! She's killing me lately!
Hazel did have a Girl Scouts event that she almost missed because I had the time wrong, but thankfully her wonderful troop leaders drove past the house to pick her up so she didn't miss a thing.
Once Hazel came home I gave the kids some video time before calling them up to make caramel apples. Let me be clear- I love caramel apples, so when I bought the bag of caramel I said I was doing it all for the kids...you know, so they'd have something fall-ish to do on their day off...but really? My mouth has been watering just thinking about making them.
Growing up in Michigan meant that there were several trips to apple orchards to pick fresh apples, eat warm apple donuts and drink delicious cider. Oddly enough, there are no orchards out here that do any of that. So, I buy the apples, and eat pumpkin donuts from Top Pot instead.
Back to the caramel apples...In my humble opinion, the best caramel apple out there comes from a little store in Michigan called Kilwin's. I will always make time to pick a few up when I visit. Often saying that I will share them only to sneak down when no one is looking and slice them up all for myself. It's shameful, I know.While these apples don't look as pretty as Kilwin's I'm sure they'll do for now. Both August and Hazel helped out by melting the caramel, but once it came to covering the apples I just had to take over. It was pretty easy. I can totally see this becoming an autumn event in the Many house.
I think August is feeling the effect of having to wake up at 7:00 each morning. He has his own alarm, which really has saved our relationship, and takes a shower every day. Poor kid has somehow received his father's ability to take super long showers and has to set an additional alarm in the bathroom so he knows when his 10 minutes are up.
This morning I couldn't help but notice that he was dragging a bit more than usual. Last night we picked Trey up from the airport and didn't get home until 10:00pm. I think the kids now understand why we keep their bedtime between 8 and 9.
Speaking of Trey, he spend the weekend in LA so he could see a few shows and came home so sick! He's got that body ache and headache and he just wants to sleep. We're keeping him away from everybody so that it doesn't make it's way through the family.
The kids and I all got our flu shots the other day...well, I got my flu shot and the kids cried and generally threw a fit until the nurse happily suggested that they get the nasal mist. August has always had a hard time with shots, but Hazel? She's been so brave every time...except this time.
But I'm hoping having had the immunizations, we'll be set for a healthy winter.
There is this restaurant we used to go to pretty often out here called Blue Star. Wonderful brunches, always long lines on Sunday, you know the kind of place...every city has one like it. Anyway, we would go there and of course, while we waited, August would talk about super heroes. What his favorite power was, who the strongest of the strong was, you get the picture. When suddenly he stopped talking and just went slack-jawed. I followed his line of vision and saw the bus boy. Wondering what was wrong I tapped August on the shoulder and asked. He continued to stare and said that the bus boy looked like someone.
Let me pause here and remind you that I have played many tricks on my poor son. There was the Mommy Dot- where a dot would appear when he lied and only a mom could see it. (He spent years covering his forehead whenever he told a lie.) There was also the time when I told him that whenever he steps on ants the bees are notified and they'd come after the person who killed the ant. (Totally believed me.) We won't mention the Tooth Fairy, he figured that one out when she kept forgetting to put money under his pillow.
Back to Blue Star. I took a good look at the bus boy and though that he did look like someone. He looked like Tobey Maguire.
By this time we were in our seats and I too kept sneaking peaks at our man Tobey when I looked back at August and whispered, "Oh my GOSH! I know who that IS! It's SPIDERMAN!"
August's eyes widened and...he believed me. Bought it hook, line and sinker. He wondered what Peter Parker was doing in Seattle and I told him that he must have needed to get away to conceal his secret identity. That he got the job at Blue Star pretty easily and can be a regular person until his Spider Senses went off, then he could slip out the back door and no one would ever know.
For months we kept going back to Blue Star and August would always stare at "Peter Parker". Even felt sorry for him at times. Finally one brunch, August went up to use the bathroom and we called "Peter" over to the table and explained that our son thought he was a super hero, Spiderman to be exact. That we all agreed, he did look a bit like Tobey Maguire, surely other people told him that. Nope. We were the first.
After chatting for a while we asked if he would consider playing along. He loved the idea and when August came back from the bathroom "Peter" quietly came up to our table and started talking to August. Thanking him for keeping his identity a secret.
I watched my little boy turn all shades of red while his eyes widened, he agreed to continue to keep the secret.
August has come a long way since those days. He thinks twice before believing EVERYTHING I tell him. But he's still pretty trusting.
He's about to be a sixth grader. Starts a new school next Wednesday. I've been watching my friends on Facebook post pictures of their kids on their way to school. Many of them lament days gone by when their children were younger.
I am not lamenting those days. I enjoyed August so much when he was a baby. Enjoyed him as a toddler and a little kid. But I am so excited for my son to become more independent. Can't wait for him to feel that he can make his own way and be his own person. Next Wednesday is the start of all that.
We cleaned out his room a few weeks ago. Worked on getting rid of the little kid stuff and replaced them with band posters and such. The huge bin full of his super hero action figures was pulled out of his closet. He sat in the hallway and looked at each one. Asked us if we remembered when he did this or that with this guy. Took some time to pose each one. And then informed us that he wasn't going to get rid of these.
Between the two families the kids had a great time. We packed snacks and let them graze as they saw fit while Monica and I sat and talked in the sun.
One of the many benefits of doing things with Monica is that she's a photographer. We're not talking a mom with a camera kind of photographer, we're talking a woman who can take great pictures. Check out her website if you're looking for some really nice photos. She snapped some shots of our little outing today as well:
After spending the afternoon together, the girls went to our other neighbor's house to check on their most recent project. Today the guy was making a salad bowl. Yup. They needed a salad bowl so he went out in the backyard and made one. No joke. These are the same neighbors who have chickens. They are selling 2 of their chickens along with a really nice chicken coop if you're in the market...just a thought.
I believe this is one of the chickens they are selling.
After all the running around August and Emma went with our youth group to hang out in Lake Washington till 10:00. They came home super tired.
And now? I'm sitting on the couch with a cool breeze blowing through our screen door while I watch Top Chef and write this blog. All is quiet in the Many house.
Tomorrow? We are going to see Shakespeare in the park in Lynnwood. But that's not till the evening. Think we'll take it easy during the day.
I've got to say- I really love living where we do right now. Having the freedom for the kids to be able to run from one house the other has been so wonderful. It reminds me of when we were young and would spend the whole day outside riding bikes and rollerskating with all the kids in our neighborhood.
Here's a sneak peak at what we got to do:
Yup! Kangaroos! At the party! Hopping around the yard! And there was a baby Wallaby! It was the softest thing I've ever felt in my whole life.
The kids always love visiting Jonah and we look forward to his birthday parties every year but honestly? Not sure how they are gonna top this one!
I've posted all the pictures to my gallery...feel free to check them out.
Recently we watched Scout for a few days which added some excitement to our backyard. Cute little Scout wanted desperately to get back home and would occasionally disappear under the fence only to realize that no matter how much barking she did at her back door, no one would open it for her. So she reluctantly would allow herself to be picked up by Hazel or August and brought back over the fence to our backyard. She's a funny little thing.
You can't really blame us for having to make a quick stop on our way to the dog park to grab some doughnuts. I made everyone chuckle by not ordering a doughnut for myself. Instead, I took bites of everybody's choices. What? I was able to nibble on a variety of tasty treats and was left feeling better about myself for not eating an entire doughnut.