Sunday, November 23, 2014

Disney World Vacation!

This is a very picture-heavy post.  It took us until mid-November but we finally went on vacation this year.  It was quite a vacation too!  We went to Disney World for a week and had a great time.

This seemed like a good time to take the kids because Samantha loves princesses.  We definitely got to meet a lot of them!



Of course she wasn't the only one to get some princess love - they adored Josh (particularly Cinderella and Rapunzel!).  On a side note, lipstick is hard to remove from an infant's forehead!


Don't forget the stars of Disney - Tinkerbell was a huge hit!



We spent 6 days in the parks (3 at Magic Kingdom and one at each of the rest (Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios)).  We had some ups and downs but overall we had a great trip.  Samantha particularly enjoyed some of the rides - especially Dumbo, Mad Tea Party, Barnstormer, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, It's a Small World, and the Tomorrowland PeopleMover.  Most rides aren't great for picture taking but here are a couple of the Tomorrowland Speedway.



One thing that surprised me about Disney was how much time it took for me to plan the trip - reservations for the resort, dining, FastPasses, etc. all have to be booked well ahead of time.  It takes just about forever to go through the dozens of Disney related websites and books to figure out the best way to do everything.  I think Chris and my parents are glad that I'm the one the did all the leg work so our trip went as smoothly as possible.

There are so many things I could write about our vacation but I'm just going to post some more pictures instead.


It may not have been a relaxing vacation but it was a fun one!  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Halloween and Soccer!

We had a great Halloween with the kids.  Samantha requested a "pink butterfly" costume so I was able to put this together.  She also said that Josh should be a caterpillar.  Not bad for having no pattern!

Samantha had a great time trick-or-treating and Josh was just happy to be in a nice comfy carrier during the chilly night.

Samantha has been playing soccer this fall.  This week was her final "game."  It was really just the kids having fun with the ball - going on adventures while learning some soccer skills.  She normally did a great job but she is still very shy around others.  This shyness resulted in what could be the slowest goal in the history of soccer on her last day (it was dress up day).

 Her coach is from England and had a great accent - she had a lot of fun with silly "Coach Sam!"

We've been doing a little more preschool type activities and I think she's doing very well.  She even sometimes "reads" to herself which I think is adorable.

Here is one of her worksheets that she did this week - she loved that it was princess themed.

I had shredded a lot of paper this week and before I had a chance to take it to the compost pile, Samantha discovered it while I was changing Josh.  Fortunately she helped me clean up afterwards.

Josh is still a very happy baby overall.  He looks so big - we sometimes feel like we're carrying around a toddler.  He's also working on three more teeth and he has a cold so he's been a little more fussy than normal.  Hopefully they'll come in quickly!

We were busy in the kitchen this weekend.  We have been collecting peanuts from our food baskets for a long time (we just didn't have anything else to do with them). 

I decided to make peanut butter and we won't have to but it for a long, long time!

Chris picked the rest of the peppers from the garden before the first hard frost and decided to make some pickled peppers.  I don't have a picture of that since he's making them as I type this but I'm sure they'll be great!

It's starting to get cooler here so many of our house related activities will be moving inside soon.  Fall is just never long enough!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

More Fall Fun

Well there is not a lot of work done on the house the last couple weeks - fall is just too full of fun!  While it's perfect weather to work outside, we're kind of stalled because our wheelbarrow wheel is flat (as a pancake with no hope of fixing it).  Chris said it's now just a "barrow."  The wheelbarrow was free and has served us well but we've had to fix the tire so many times that it's just done.  It's an easy thing to go buy a new one (or even a new tire) but we're having too much fun this month!

I took Samantha to a "Sofia the First" class through the county and she had a lot of fun.  They had different activities and she got to make a pretty princess crown.

The University of Maryland farm held an open house that we attended with the kids.  It was a great event complete with pumpkin painting, hayride, robot demonstrations, chick hatching, etc.  

We also went to a local farm that has a fantastic fall festival.  There are a ton of slides, mazes, play pits, animals, etc., etc.  Samantha had a great time - and the weather was perfect!


Josh had his six month appointment at the pediatrician and is finally (just barely) back on the charts!  He is still very big at 21 lb. 13 oz (99%) and 28 3/4" (97%).  Overall he's a very healthy guy.

He's also doing a great job with eating and he just got in his third tooth.  He mostly eats purees but we sometimes give him larger pieces of food to explore - and it's fun to watch his reactions to them too!

After working from home part time for the last 2 1/2 years, it was time for me to quit my job at NASA.  I worked there for 12 years and was so blessed for having the opportunity.  I went in to work a couple weeks ago to fill out all the exit paperwork, clean up my office space, and say goodbye to co-workers.  Even in the last minutes, my boss was begging me not to leave - it's nice to feel valuable!  It will take some transition time to fully realize what I can accomplish as a full time stay-at-home mom though! 

Chris' parents and aunt came down for a short visit.  On my last day at work, Chris took off so that he could spend some time with them and the kids.  It was nice having them here and Samantha was very disappointed when they had to leave!

Another fun activity was the Fall Festival in town.  Samantha was so excited to eat a lot of food samples, get a balloon butterfly, a heart glitter tattoo, and get her face painted with a princess crown.

It seems like our fall weekends are full of activities so we'll see if/when we'll be able to get much done on the house. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Patio Landscaping and Fall Activities

The last couple weeks have been full of fun (and a little bit of house work).  The only significant difference to the house is the addition of some landscaping around the patio. 

We still have to finish the other side which will take a lot longer but it's already an improvement.

I am helping out with the crafts for my Mothers of Preschoolers group and I am trying to get ahead with some of the prep work.  The craft we're doing in December is making some hand warmers.  I spent an evening cutting all the pieces and another evening sewing them together.  After 150 of them, I'm glad I got them out of the way!

Fall is by far my favorite time of year and it never seems long enough to do everything that I want to do.  We spent a morning last weekend going apple picking with the kids.  Samantha had as much fun eating the apples as she did picking them.

Samantha is playing soccer this fall.  It's a Mommy and Me class and she's doing a great job.  Coach Sam has them go on a different "adventure" each week.  I put Josh in the carrier and run around with her each week - it's a lot of fun!

Our church had the dedication of the new multi-purpose building this weekend.  The arch-bishop celebrated the mass and they had a big celebration afterwards - complete with pumpkin patch and hayride!

After six months of ridiculously crazy hair, I gave Josh a haircut.  He had a really bad comb-over look with a lot of big wispy hair on the sides.  It makes him look a lot older but it's much better!

I'll end with some more pictures of the kids. 

Samantha enjoys sorting things - here she is putting all her blocks in line so that the pictures are facing up. 

Apparently, she also thinks having quintuplets would be neat.

Many times during the day, Josh has a look of terror on his face when Samantha tries to hug him.  It just says "Please Help!"  Fortunately, she's more gentle than she used to be.

Overall, he's just a very happy baby!


We still have many weeks of fall left and a lot more fun to have!