Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Patch 2013

Last week we went to the Pumpkin Patch.  I love the Pumpkin Patch not only because the kids have so much fun but I just love all of those fall flowers and decorations.  We didn't get a chance to go last year so all of the kids were really excited for it this year.

Aw, I love these kids.  They all look so big, though, in this picture.  Makes this Mommy a little sad.

Gracie's eyes in this picture crack me up.

This particular Pumpkin Patch is the one that we went to the first two or three years for Kanin.  I need to go back and find a picture him at ages one, two, and three in one of these same little carts.

The kids loved these big tire swings.  They really are a lot of fun!

After the Pumpkin Patch, we came home and decided to paint our pumpkins.  The kids were so excited to paint them.  We I usually end up carving them and it takes me forever so I decided that this year the kids would actually decorate their own pumpkins.

As much as I hate to see the summer come to an end, I love all of the fun activities that come with fall and the changing seasons.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Caleb Is a Big Boy!

While I am slowly trying to catch up on writing about the major activities of our family over the past few months, I started thinking about major changes in our life that happened over the summer.

First and foremost, Caleb became a BIG BOY!  He stopped wearing diapers AND gave up his binky.  This was a long, hard road on both fronts.  I had attempted several times to potty train Caleb and he just wasn't having it.  Off and on all summer long I would attempt to potty train him and he would just say, "No, I want to wear diapers."  I cleaned up more accidents than I care to remember.  Finally, one day I guess he just decided that he was ready and that was it.  No more accidents. 

While, of course, I was very happy to be out of diapers I do have to admit that I was also a bit sad.  No more babies.

The binky was not nearly as easy to get rid of.  In fact, we have only been a couple of months binky-free.  I tried several times to take the binky away and he would always find one somewhere.  Finally, it came time to go on vacation and I came up with a story.  I told Caleb that binkies were not allowed in Jamaica.  I kept telling him this for a couple of weeks before we left.  The night before we left he said, "I better have my binky because I can't take it with me."  I did actually pack a binky but he never even asked for it on vacation.  He took naps and slept at night and didn't make an issue out of it at all.  Once we got back, no more binky. 

Isn't it crazy how kids work?

4th of July in Chicago

from July

This year we decided to go to Chicago for 4th of July to visit family.  Our niece's husband is in a band (Mason Rivers) and they were playing at a couple of festivals up there.  We had never seen them play before so we thought it would be a great way to visit family and see the band.  (Check them out HERE).

Our kids do not do so well driving so we decided to ride the train from St. Louis to Chicago.  My sister-in-law and niece do it all of the time and highly recommended it.  I'm not going to say that it was the easiest thing in the world but what is with 3 kids?  They all thought it was really cool for the first couple of stops but then they kind of got bored with it.  Scott and I, though, thought it was great.  We didn't have to drive and we could each just sit back and relax.  The one thing the kids did love, though, was the food car. 

All decked out in our Red, White, and Blue

Kanin, Caleb, my great niece Kenzie, and Gracie.  You can see Mason Rivers in the back round playing on the stage at the Naperville Rib Festival.

Here they are the next night (I can't remember the name of the town).

Here is Gracie being Gracie.

It was a great weekend in Chicago.  The weather was perfect (not too hot), the music was great, and it was good to be able to hang out with family.

July Birthday Babies

from July 2013

I can't believe that my youngest two babies are already 6 and 4.  Where has the time gone?

GracieAnn's birthday is on July 1 and Caleb's birthday is on July 3.  They are still young enough to have joint birthday parties and, for now, we still do family parties.

Because they are still so young, I can still get away with matching birthday shirts.  Kanin has long outgrown this practice and I have a feeling than in another couple of years, Caleb will be putting up a fight, as well.

Of course, our Gaga made the birthday cakes again.  He does such a good job.  I hope the kids will always want him to make their cakes.

Our friends and family are always so generous when it comes to birthdays.  These kids don't know how lucky and blessed they are.

After opening presents it was time to blow out the candles.  Then, it was outside to spend the night playing with our friends.

It was another successful birthday party.  Looking back at these pictures, I can't believe how much they have both changed in only a short, few months.  Precious times!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lincoln Museum

from June 2013

This summer we took a day trip to Springfield, Illinois to the Abraham Lincoln Museum.  Scott had work in Springfield and his sister and brother-in-law live there so we thought it would be a perfect time to spend some time with "She She" (Sherri) and get a little history, as well.

If you ever have a chance to go this museum, I highly recommend it.  There is something for everyone at the museum:  a movie, interactive play, and lots of archives.

Around the courthouse square, there are statues of the Lincoln family.  All of the kids had fun walking up and "talking" to them.

Here is the whole Lincoln family. . . plus three.  As soon as we saw these mannequins, Kanin noticed the man staring at them from the far corner.  Do you see him?

That's right, it is John Wilkes Booth.  You can see what Kanin thinks of him.

Generals McClellan and Grant

All three kids loved playing dress up.