Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Well. Let's start off with a treat:

Is this not the sweetest pumpkin you've ever seen?

Okay, on to the obligatory Halloween photos.

A fireman, a ladybug & a fairy

The whole neighborhood gang set to go

I just crack up every time I look at this picture. The kids were at their second house getting candy... meanwhile Carter is just standing there staring at his M&M's in disbelief, thinking 'Someone just gave me candy. For free! And all I had to do is say trick or treat!'

Two very happy kids eagerly looking over their loot. I so vividly remember doing this as a kid. And then sneaking candy all night long!

Sweet dreams!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Kindergarten Parade ... and a little ladybug

It's a big day at the kindergarten center ... Halloween parade and parties today! Parents were invited to come watch the fun. So Carter, Chloe & I went over to see the big event.

Getting ready to go. My curling iron was dead, so I had to break out the hot rollers. Which I haven't used since probably 1988! I almost had to make an emergency call to our neighbor & hair guru, Kelly! But it all turned out ok. The nice thing about afternoon kindergarten? I didn't have to rush around doing this at 7 am.

A "spookified" kindergarten center sign.


Singing a song for the parents

And last but not least ... my cutie-pie little ladybug. Isn't she something?? :)

Don't worry, Carter will get in on the fun tomorrow!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A day or two in the life. Late October edition. :)

Audrey has been wanting to have a "matching" outfit with Chloe since she was born. Unfortunately, their sizes are so far apart they will probably never really have matching dresses or anything ... but I found a pair of baby overalls and girls' skirt that matched at OshKosh. So today they matched for the first time. I don't think Audrey's desire to match will last much longer. I have a feeling that very soon it will be very "uncool".
Carter obviously was not into wearing purple. :)

Carter is a very good big brother who has perfected the high-pitched "HIIII CHLOOOOOEEEEE!" ... and he loves to hug, cuddle & play with Chloe. Usually he's gentle but let's just say I make it a point to "supervise" their play. :)

Caught a big ol' happy smile from Chloe! She is a very smiley little girl right now!

This guy's pretty smiley himself :)
Except for 12:30 am last night. What was up with that???
This morning I asked him why he was crying and screaming in the night.
His answer? "Uhhh ... I fo-get."
Ugh. Last night was a long one.

Leaf Jumping

One of my favorite parts of fall? The beautiful leaves. Looks like the kids love them too!

Okay, Chloe didn't actually jump in the leaves. But I think she wanted to. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Just wanted to post a picture of Chloe with her cousin Brooke, who was born just a few weeks before Chloe. Yesterday they met for the first of what I hope are many fun times together. Brooke came to visit with her mommy Molly (Chad's sister) and her daddy Josh.
Grandpa Smith was also here so it was so nice to all be together!

Don't they look thrilled to be together? LOL!

Boy, we sure have had a lot of family time over the past week or two! What a blessing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

100 years old

This past weekend we traveled with my parents to my mom's hometown of Kansas City, Missouri for a very special event. My Grandpa, C.P. Henry, is turning 100!!

This is the birthday boy :) Isn't he cute? I just love him.

So the big debate a month or two ago was: do we ALL go to Kansas City or just me & Chloe? Or me & Chloe & Audrey? And can Chad and I survive a 3 hour plane ride and 3 nights in a hotel room with our kids?? Obviously we decided to go for it ... but with much fear and trepidation on my part. I always seem to picture the worst. But ultimately we felt that we wanted to ALL be there for my grandpa. And he had never had the chance to meet Carter or Chloe, and who knows how much time he has left? So off we went.

The kids did AWESOME on the plane. We had lots of snacks, games, and of course the handy-dandy DVD player to keep them occupied. Crisis averted.

My grandpa's church had a reception for him on Saturday, and there were probably at least 100 people there. I think my Grandpa taught Sunday School there for like almost 50 years. What a wonderful Christian heritage!
This is our family with him. From left, my brother Andy, Aunt Linda, Uncle Ron, Grandpa, my Mom, us, and my Dad holding Chloe.

Chloe & her Great-Grandpa. Almost a century apart in age!

Probably the most amazing thing about my Grandpa is how healthy he is for his age. Sure, he moves slowly, but he still exercises just about every day!! He also has a great sense of humor and is a wonderful story-teller.

The doting grandparents with Chloe.
Every time I turned around someone new was holding Chloe. She was a good sport about being passed around. I just hope no one was sick ...

I didn't notice this at the party, but do you see anything unusual about this cake?
Hint: spelling errors drive me crazy ...

Most of this trip was not very kid-oriented (ie, Carter spent most of the reception running the halls of my Grandpa's church ....) but we tried to keep the kiddos occupied and made a few side trips to keep them busy and happy. One morning we took them to a local mall that had an indoor play area and this really cool double-decker carousel. Another day Chad took the two older kids to the park to play. Gotta get that kid energy out somehow.

Chilling in our hotel suite.
The hotel we stayed in had free hot breakfast, free popcorn and sodas every afternoon and evening, and free drinks and snacks around dinnertime. The kids loved this feature of the hotel, and we were right around the corner from the food area ... I think we got our money's worth in the food department. :)

It was a very busy and semi-stressful weekend, but I am so glad we went. I think it blessed my Grandpa to have us all there, and I am so glad we got to spend time with him and that my kids got to meet him!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

3 months old

Phew! We made it through those first 3 months. I am always glad when we hit this stage because babies always seem to get SO much easier and more fun when they get to be about this age. And Miss Chloe is certainly getting easier and oh-so-fun these days.

Look at those big blue eyes. I could just eat her up! Chloe is super smiley lately and is already gurgling and cooing and "talking" up a storm. Girls just seem to have a lot to say!

Chloe is holding her head up very steadily now, and she wants to stand on my lap all the time. She also tries very hard to sit herself up. The other day my mom held her hands and she actually pulled herself all the way up to a sit from a lying-down position. So far she is one strong little chick. And boy do I wish I had those abs of steel like she does!

I even tried her in the Bumbo seat the other night for a change of scenery. Chloe is now starting to grab at toys and also tries to get them into her mouth. Audrey got her first teeth at 4 months (!) so we'll see when Miss Chloe starts teething in earnest. Could be starting already ...

We are starting to get into a "schedule" of sorts also ... more regular naps and bedtime. For the last two nights she has only gotten up once to eat, so here's hoping that we continue with that trend. I feel like a new woman! Can you imagine what I might be able to accomplish when she actually sleeps through the night??? :)

We are just lovin' this little gift from God. Chloe means "blooming" and she is certainly blooming right before our very eyes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Apple Pickin'

We spent a beautiful Friday afternoon at Varner's Farm picking apples and having some fall fun. Another of my favorite fall traditions!

Chloe & I are ready to go

Audrey showing Carter some apples he could pick - so sweet... for the moment

Apples & "Cheese!"

Pumpkinheads :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mmm, cat food

I have spent a good part of the last week or two trying to get Carter to STOP eating the cat's food.

Numerous times he has come out of the kitchen crunching on something and when I force his jaws open, sure enough, there is cat food in his mouth. Gross. The other day I even asked him incredulously "does that really taste good?" and of course he smiled real big and nodded yes. Ick.

So anyhow, perhaps this morning I found out why Carter thought it was appropriate to eat cat food.

Chad was sitting there eating his cereal, and Carter looked over at him, peered into Chad's bowl, and said "Daddy eat cat food?"

Yes, Carter -- Kashi Go Lean cereal DOES look an awful lot like cat food. :)

No wonder the kid is confused.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A fun fall tradition

Well, anyone who knows me knows that the fall is my absolute favorite time of the year (well, that and Christmas time). And the other night one of the fun fall traditions began ...

....Chad and I came home from our small group and found this stuff waiting on our porch!

We'd been Booed!

This is a really fun Halloween tradition in our neighborhood. Each year in October somebody special drops a little package on your front porch at nighttime. In the package are some goodies to eat or play with, a little friendly ghost picture to tape to your door, and instructions on what to do next. The kids LOVE this and have so much fun trying to guess who might have booed them. Well, they also love the candy. :) The best part, I think, is that part of the deal is that once you've been booed, your job is to turn around and "boo" two other people. It is so much fun to drive through the neighborhood and see all the ghost pictures on the doors, knowing that people have made a point of being kind to one another while having some fun.

So today the kiddos and I went to the dollar store and picked up a bunch of goodies, and tonight Audrey and I will be sneaking around the neighborhood ... fortunately we will not be spreading mischief, just good fun.

[Audrey decided to "boo" Chloe too ... so she put a little package in her crib (with a pacifier and little hair clips!) and taped a little homemade ghost to the door ... thought that was so sweet!]

What are your favorite fall traditions? Do share!

{PS - If you're by chance interested in starting this in your own neighborhood, click on the highlighted link above!}

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

try this: apple crisp

In honor of the lovely fall-like weather that is finally descending upon southeastern Pennsylvania, I am putting my favorite apple crisp recipe up on the blog. I just made it the other day for our small group, and it was, as always, DELISH, if I may say so myself!

[I am also posting this to participate in girlymama's 'try this' carnival this week.  What is a "blog carnival" you might ask?  I don't even know myself ... all I know is that by participating I might win an autographed copy of a Paula Deen cookbook! Yee-haw, y'all!  And I LOVE recipes so.... here I am.  So if you want a chance to win ... click on the girlymama link above.]

Apple Crisp

4 medium, peeled, sliced tart apples (Granny Smith's are good)
3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. oats
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 c. softened butter

Preheat oven to 375.  Butter a square baking pan.  Place the apple slices in the pan.  Mix the remaining ingredients and sprinkle over apples.  Bake 30 minutes or until apples are tender and topping  is golden brown.  Serves 6 (or if you like it as much as I do, it may just serve one ...)

taken from Sweets to the Sweet by Susan Branch - gotta give credit where credit is due!

You can serve this hot or cold, but my definite preference is hot out of the oven.  Topped with lots of vanilla ice cream of course.  It's just not the same without the ice cream!!

Happy Fall everyone!!