Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

We had a fun thanksgiving this year. Devin, Deanna, and Oliver came to visit us! It's only a 4 hour drive from Knoxville to huntersville. It was fun to have guests and Macy and Anna loved having Oliver around. They played with him, got him toys, and made sure he was happy. 

Deanna was so helpful with making my thanksgiving dishes. I was exhausted the night before and it was hard for me to stand for long periods of time because my feet were so swollen. I "helped" her make the stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and apple pie. She did most of the work which I was so grateful for.

On thanksgiving day we were invited to the Campbell's house for dinner. They had a group of friends over and were kind enough to include Devin and Dee. The food was delicious, the girls played and were happy, and the company was nice. I just wish I could've eaten more! My stomach was being squashed by a certain baby so I didn't have much room.

Then Friday we went to our neighbors house, Keith and Karen, for thanksgiving lunch. They made a bunch of food for just the two of them so they were kind enough to invite us all over. I had two thanksgiving dinners this year just like I did growing up. 

Ja doing horsey horsey. 

And airplane. Oliver preferred Ja doing airplane rather than his own dad. 

As you can see from Anna's face she loves it. 

Deanna read books to the kids each night. Macy isn't in these pictures because she was a little sick and went to bed early. 

Saturday ended up having nice weather so we played outside in the backyard. Oliver liked romping through all the leaves Ja had raked into the middle of the yard. 

Anna grew to like Deanna and wanted Dee to push her in the swing. I was not good enough at it. 

Oliver hopped on the swing with Macy. 
Devin and Dee left Saturday afternoon. It was so fun to have them here. I hope they can visit again soon!

Macy brought this paper home from preschool. I thought it was so cute! All you need is salt, pepper, and 6 minutes to cook a turkey. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sealife Aquarium

On Tuesdays the Sealife Aquarium in concord mills mall has toddler free days and adults are half off. I was going to take the girls to the park but Amber Campbell called me about something and told me about the aquarium. I changed our plans so we picked Macy up from preschool then were off to the aquarium.

I was anticipating it to be busy since it was a "free" day but it wasn't. I love living in a place that isn't so crowded like DC. 

We had a great time. All the kids had fun looking at the fish. Charlie was very cute with Anna and made sure she saw everything.

There's a little area to touch starfish and sea urchins but all of the kids were too scared to touch them!

Macy and Claire 

The best group shot we could get
At the end there is a place for kids to climb and tables to color pictures. My kids enjoyed this as much as the fish. 

Of course they make you walk through a gift shop before exiting. This was the worst part of the trip because Macy wanted to buy stuff and I said no. If we go again we'll run through the gift shop so we can hopefully avoid meltdowns. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Anna loves Nursery

It took Anna a good 7 months before she started to go into nursery without crying.

At first she wouldn't go into the room unless Ja or I was holding her. We would have to stay for the whole time or she would scream and cry.

Then one of us would stay for the second hour of church with her. Once I got my calling in Young Women's I had to leave to teach my lessons. I would leave Anna screaming in the arms of her nursery leader.

Then I would only stay for 10-15 minutes. She would still cry when I'd try and sneak out. Luckily the crying didn't last too long because they never had to bring her out to us.

One Tuesday morning I had a doctor's appointment and her nursery leader (Diana Palmer) watched Anna for me at her home. Anna was a little hesitant to stay but then Elmo came on and Anna didn't mind that I left.

That next Sunday Anna was a new child. She walked into nursery a happy girl and didn't cry. I was amazed and almost didn't know what to do. I think having Diana babysit Anna was the key.

Diana is such a great nursery leader. Anna really likes her and gets excited when we see her before church or during sacrament meeting. Diana has been a huge help in getting Anna accustomed to nursery. They have a ritual now of taking their shoes off which Anna really enjoys and that helps her be happy too. They blow bubbles in class and get to take home a balloon most Sundays.

Today we were told that another little girl was crying for her mommy. Anna walked up to the girl and said, "Mommy class. Mommy class." Anna was assuring her that her mommy was in class and would be back soon. I love that so much. Anna probably remembers what it was like to miss her mommy and she's showing empathy towards a friend.

Now when Anna leaves nursery she gives Diana a kiss on the cheek and says good-bye. It's so sweet!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween 2014

Another Halloween has come and gone. We had two surprises: Macy wanted to be Elsa (ok, that's not a surprise) and Ja and I dressed up (that is a surprise!). In our 9 years of marriage we have never dressed up on Halloween. 

The Monday before Halloween (it was on Friday) we carved pumpkins. Of course, Austin and Parker joined us. 

Macy and her two pumpkins. She helped carve the little one at Austin's a few days before. 

Anna is holding her "happy" pumpkin. 

Macy wanted to make a silly face. 

Anna followed suit. 

Here is Macy's jack O lantern. She designed the face. I bought some lights at the dollar store that changed between green, red, and yellow. They looked pretty cool in the pumpkins. 

Here is a close up of Macy's other pumpkin. She helped designed this face too. 

Here is Anna's pumpkin. Maybe next year we will so something more exciting with our pumpkins.  The girls attention span was pretty short this year. 

I looked up maternity costumes on Pinterest and the pot of gold seemed easy enough to make. I thought it turned out cute. Ja was a great sport and wore all the silly things I bought him. People commented that he was too big to be a leprechaun. I thought he was great!

Our friend had a neighborhood party and invited us even though we weren't in her neighborhood. Ja took extra gold coins with him and any time a kid said they liked his costume he would give them a coin. Word spread quickly and kids ended up saying things like "I really like your costume" and "your costume is out of this world." The bigger the compliment the more gold coins he handed out. 

We also wore our costumes to our ward Fall Festival. This was the best ward party I've been too. There was a cake walk, popcorn machine, games set up in the gym, ooey gooey house, face painting, hot dogs, and chili. It was held mostly outside which was awesome. It was great not to be squashed in the gym. The other great thing was our two neighbors came with us! Austin and Parker had a great time which was nice. 

Neighbor Karen had white spray paint for hair so we painted Macy's hair. She loved it and said, "mom, I want to do this every year!" The snowflakes are from the face painting table. 

The third Halloween party was at Macy's preschool. The day before Halloween the kids wore their costumes and they had a little party. And guess what, there were 5 Elsa's! It was cute to see Macy with her friends all dressed up. Macy was getting over a sore throat so she wasn't feeling great and looked tired. Poor girl. Luckily she was all better for the big night the next day!

Finally, it was Halloween! Trick or treaters started coming around 6. It wasn't dark yet and we hadn't eaten dinner so it took me off guard. Ja was setting up the firepit in the drive way. The girls were anxious to go so I quickly are a few bites and off we went. 

Anna is yelling trick or treat

We did spray paint Macy's hair white and sparkly but you can't see it in this picture. 

I borrowed an Anna dress (from Frozen) for Anna to wear but she refused. Instead she insisted in this Tangled dress. She would tell people she was Anna though so I guess in her mind she was. She was so adorable. 

Macy kept up with Austin and Parker. 
Anna was a little slower so I stayed behind with her. She was super excited so say trick or treat and yelled it on the side walks but got scared when she got to the door. She would say it but really quietly. She was good at saying thank you too. We eventually caught up to the big kids. I could hear Macy being very polite at the door. The other kids would just grab candy but Macy would say trick or treat and thank you. After going to one house she ran up to me saying, "mom, I even said happy Halloween!" She was so proud of herself. 

We looped back around to our house so Ja could take the girls the other half of the night. I stayed back to hand out candy. We almost ran out of candy so we borrowed some from our neighbor. Around 8pm it started to sprinkle. Then it started to pour and got really windy. It was a nice way to end Halloween night. No late night trick or treaters!

Macy and Anna poured out their candy over at Austin's. They ate a lot! Well, Anna would eat half of something then put it down. If it was a good candy I would finish it for her. 

It's now November 3rd and the thanksgiving decorations are out. Bring on the holidays!