Monday, October 28, 2013

Party of Thirteen!

My cousin Emily is nine months older than I and we've spent nearly our entire lives being the best of friends. This past weekend, we had the chance to visit her and her beautiful family in Richmond, VA. The kids had a blast being together and it was so great to get caught up on life. (Neither of us have a very easy time finding a quiet moment to call!)  

Okay, Eden looks too cute not to include this picture - one day Josh will smile when I ask him to.

Love these happy faces!  Hayden (left) is the oldest, followed by Elise and Mary (both 6), then Lauren and Caleb (both 4), Lucas and John (both 3) and last but not least Eden and Andrew (5 months and 2 months) - What a crew!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Grammie and Granddad Come to Town

A much anticipated visit from Grammie and Granddad - their first visit to our new digs in North Carolina! You may notice that they came along with Flat Stanley (a stowaway guest from my cousin Erica's 1st grader, Nolan!) We enjoyed a beautiful fall weekend with a few adventures and a lot of laughter!!!
First stop, North Carolina BBQ!
More fun at the NC Museum of Life and Science.

...visiting Maple View Farm for ice cream...of course!

Granddad was kind enough to take on the "Pumpkin Carving Challenge!"  Thanks, Dad!
Eden was not terribly impressed with all the pumpkin carving fun.

Ta-da!  These friendly faces joined us on the back porch while we enjoyed a chilly grilled chicken dinner!
This was followed by a very silly photo shoot which included Grammie's now-famous "It was an accident" Dance!  (You'll have to ask her about it...though I think it was one of those "Had to be there" moments!)
Grammie, Granddad and the whole Arthur crew!
Our last hurrah for coffee and cookies at Foster's Market - to make their Durham Circuit complete!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Caleb's first field trip!

Caleb's preschool organized a family field trip to nearby Ganyard Farm and we got to enjoy autumn bounty at its best! Corn maze, hayride, pumpkin picking...what a day!
Southern Style!  We got to pick cotton, too.

He seriously grinned from ear to ear the WHOLE time we were there. 

We got to pick feed corn and bring it home.  We're still sharing it with the squirrels in our yard!

Somebody liked the feel of the cool grass!

Lucas, the proud and silly pumpkin picker!

Caleb searched and searched for the biggest pumpkin in the patch!

Hanging out in the corn crib!  What a blast...though I'm still finding kernels in my washing machine!

I must say that "Autumn" was one of the things I missed the most during our time in Sicily.  There just wasn't the same brisk feel in the air and we had to travel miles and miles to the top of Mt. Etna to find any hints of leaves changing color. (and we did!)  There's something about the smell of freshly picked apples, the fun of a just-raked leaf pile, and the chance to curl up on a Sunday afternoon and watch some football that makes me glad to be enjoying autumn here this year.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Big Red Fire Truck

If you've been around any elementary or preschool in the past few decades, you are well aware that October is Fire Prevention Month! Our local firemen were so proud to share about their jobs, their gear, and their shiny red engines. They also gave us some great fire prevention tips for keeping safe in our home. We're so thankful for their service to us and our community...and wow are those trucks cool!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Five months old.

Our little cuddle bug is five months old today. Eden continues to delight us with her happy coos and sweet, sweet smile! She's gotten quite a bit more chatty this month and just about jumps out of our arms when one of the kids comes into view. Sadly, she moved out of the swaddled sleeping phase and has had a bit of a rough transition to sleeping on her back in the crib. I think we may be making we'll hope for a good night sleep sometime soon! In other news, she's just about steady enough to sit up on her own (her fairly sizable thighs must be good for balance!) and she's reaching out and grasping EVERYTHING that's within a few inch radius of her tiny fingers. She may soon be rolling from her tummy to her back, but for now she just rolls from back to tummy, plays for a bit and then lets us know when her tummy time is up. What a blessing it is to watch her learn and grow and change before our very eyes.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Look who's free...I mean three!

In case you didn't know, turning three is a pretty big deal!  I think Lucas has been planning the big day since we celebrated Elise's birthday back in July.  He's invited just about everyone he's met in the past 3 months (from our nearest and dearest to the men who moved us in and our mailman!)  He's requested at least a month's worth of food (mostly sweets!)  Other outlandish ideas also include: "getting married up" (after spending a week in PA hearing about Hannah's wedding preparations he figured he did not want to miss out), having everyone wear two pairs of underwear (still not sure where that idea came from), and spending the day at his yellow house in Sicily to see his friends and eat granite (okay, I'm totally down with that!)  This boy has had "BIRTHDAY" on his mind! And now, the 12th of October is here at last so let's celebrate our wild and wonderful Lucas!!
Waking up to a fun surprise!  Lots of new train accessories to add to his collection.
Birthday breakfast!  Juice, sliced fruit and donut muffins - yum!

Opening some birthday packages!  Fun treats from Grammy and Granddad.

The North Carolina Museum of Life and Science was the perfect place to explore and play on a chilly and rainy Saturday!
And of course, some chocolate birthday cake with chocolate buttercream frosting for dessert!  This boy is sweet in more ways than one!  Happy Birthday, Lucas Emmanuel.  We love you very very much!