Monday, December 29, 2008

Teepees, Digital Cameras and Bikes, OH MY!

This was a fantastic Christmas. Cindy and Ryan and their girls made the drive up from Georgia, through freezing rain to visit us for Christmas.
He looks happy, trust me, it didn't last too long. There are pajamas and worst of all underwear in that package. Pretty embarrassing to open in front of so many girls!They were a little happier to get their new jammies!
Uncle Chuck made a dollhouse for Phoebe and Chloe. He was attaching shingles on until midnight on Christmas Eve.

Granny came down on Christmas Eve too. Then we headed up to her house on Christmas afternoon. We had dinner at Chick and Ron's house (Grandma Hackwell's sister) It was quite a party. Lots of fun games and great food.
Santa brought Eli a new Tee pee. The kids all squished in. Abby took pictures of them with her new digital camera.
Abby didn't stay up late enough to enjoy the campout in the teepee.
Neither did Chloe.
What Fun!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Program

I am so proud of Abby! She did such a wonderful job. There must have been about 500 people there. I was so nervous for her I was shaking...but she got right up there and sang her lines with no trouble at all.

Watch Abby Dance.
Try not to be too distracted by the little guy to her right. He was hilarious, but annoying her all night. Finally she swtiched into big sister mode and gave him a little swat. I always feel bad for the good kids they make sit by the naughty ones.

Watch Abby Sing
Abby's part is at the very end. She was one of only 4 kids picked to do solos from the whole 2nd grade.

I know it looks like I turned off the camera before the song was all over but don't worry I got all of her part in. And she was so excited to get her pink roses from Granny after the program!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our Perfect Winter Day

Decorating the Tree
Hot Chocolate, Donuts, and Gingerbread Cookies while watching Elf. Wrapping GiftsSnow

(Perfect until trying to tie the Christmas Tree to the top of the Jeep, ask Chuck how perfect he thought it was)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Feast

We were lucky enough to have visitors from both sides of the country this Thanksgiving! Grandma Smith came for a week and Uncle Matt made the long drive to spend a few days with us.
Uncle Matt brought the kids neat gifts from Peru. It didn't take him long to have Eli pounding his drum to wake us up in the morning. I think it backfired as he was soon threatening to take it away.

Grandma spent time Christmas shopping, reading, making crafts, and running around the playground with Abby and Eli.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dear Tooth Fairy...

Somewhere between the grocery store and home Abby's tooth fell out. After searching the car's interior by flashlight she realized she might have swallowed it while eating her pretzels. She is such a high stress child. Concerned that the tooth fairy would pass over her pillow she left this note (found by the tooth fairy and read by nightlight while she slept).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Best Case Scenario

It is the official end of the first nine weeks of school. Along with that came parent teacher conferences and report cards. I am so proud of the children! They both came home with straight A's and great reports from their teachers. Along with that good news Abby won the class spelling bee and was given a solo in the upcoming 2nd grade Christmas Program. I was so excited for Abby. Later that evening I was going through Eli's communication folder from his teacher and found a note from the Principal. GREAT! What did he do now? When I opened it I was happy to see that he had been picked from his class to be in the Lancer Lunch Bunch (a pizza lunch with the Principal) for being the most Repsonsible student for October. Good work Eli!

When walking the kids to school this morning the music teacher ran up to me. She explained that they had their first practice with Abby's solo and that she has the most beautiful voice. She has a natural....(fill in some fancy music word here, due to my lack of musical talent I have no idea what it is) and how wonderful it is. So now I am headed off to glue pom poms onto reindeer collars for the program. What do you think the odds are that she was just buttering me up before she asked for my help?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yes, I am a mean mom!

Finally they are big enough to help. You can tell by Abby's face how thrilled she is to be a part of it all. They had all of the leaves in a nice tall pile...until they figured out how fun it is to play in. Looks like I will have to rake again when the rain stops.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


This was the first year I didn't have to clean out 2 pumkins. This year only Abby wasn't brave enough.
"It was Too Slimmy!"

Halloween here is completely different than in California. The city manages it and this year decided to have Trick or Treating the day before so it wouldn't conflict with other activities. Also, children don't knock on the door. I was wondering why we didn't get any trick or treaters last year. We have to sit on the porch or sidewalk to hand out the candy. *Note to self for next year, a 125 piece bag of candy is just about right*

On Halloween we had Trunk or Treat at the church. Which wasn't with trunks at all. People signed up to decorate classrooms instead. Total Chaos. Abby brought her friend Maddy the zookeeper along.

Monday, October 20, 2008

****13 Years Later****

We saw the kids off early in the morning. They were up before the sun. I had to hike up to the meadow and pull them off of the swing to get them to say goodbye. Nice to know we would be missed.

We began our drive east through Pennsylvania. It was beautiful. The fall colors were in full display. We thought we would only be able to get a glimpse of them through our estimated 3 hour drive through Penn.

But we were lucky to see about twice as much due to the detour and our sense of adventure that got us lost. A map you say…yeah, if only stores or gas stations in Penn. Sold maps. What a novel idea! This is the picture I took of the only gas station in town, it wasn't that small of a town either! We finally had to stop at a Post Office and ask for directions because our gas was running low. We had to back track 15 minutes or so to find some gas and then another hour to find a map.

We stayed in Frederick, MD. This was the first area that Chuck served his mission in 13 years ago. It is amazing to see all of the early history. It was a heavy slave community. There were slave quarters in all of the homes down town that we were able to see as we walked around. Right down the center of the town is a wandering river. Chuck has pictures of him by these murals under one of the bridges on his mission. How could I resist having him take a picture by them again.

Saturday was very busy. On our trip we saw 5 States! It is strange to drive through so many in such a short time. I am not sure we could have made it from North to South California in one day. We went on a short drive through VA and into WV to see Harper's Ferry. It is on the Potomic river. Lots of fun stuff to do, canoeing, white water rafting, hiking, etc. We didn't do any this time...Next time!

We went on into Baltimore. It was beautiful at the Inner Harbor. We parked at Camden Yards and walked down to the inner harbor. There was an old Civil War Ship there. Lots of big ships and even little paddle boats that looked like Chinese dragons. We will definetely go back with the kids.

The highlight of the trip was driving by Chuck's old area in Brooklyn Park. WOW! They let 19 year old boys live HERE? This is the area that has trash pick up monthly and the people just toss their trash into the street and alley ways to be shovelled up by the city workers. He also has fond memories of helping a nice lady load all of her belongings into a shopping cart to move her down the street to a new apartment. That's right, matress and all in a shopping cart, going down the street. The beautiful weather had the streets hopping with activity. As we started to drive up the street, in our shiny black car with my dark sun glasses on, an interesting man started to approach the car. GO CHUCK, GO! Nice to know that they are willing to business with anyone who is in the area. As we were leaving the neighborhood Chuck asked if I got any pictures of him. Are you kidding me?
To another 13 years!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Homecoming Parade

This week was Lakewood's homecoming. The parade is just down the street from us so we walked down to the curb at the beginning of the route and waited for the fun to begin. I forgot that last year the kids got TONS of candy and I was not prepared. The nice little man, that lived in the house behind where we were sitting, brought us out a grocery bag to hold all of their candy for a tootsie roll in exchange.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cars that go....MEOW

This afternoon we all loaded up in the car to go down the road to Kroger for some groceries. It takes about 3 minutes to drive down the road to the store, just a quick trip. So we get parked and pile out of the car. As the kids are unloading I notice the car making a wierd sound. I think "oh great, what's wrong with the car! I can't deal with this, we just bought the thing." Chuck notices it too. The more we listen the more it is sounding familiar. The lady loading her groceries across the parking lot must have thought it was familiar too as she ran across the parking lot to the rescue. So I head inside with the kids, sure that when they (Chuck and the animal loving lady) open the hood there will be a mangled cat or squirel or some other creature. A few minutes later I peek out and a small crowd has gathered. They are all cuddling with a small cat that is now scared to death from its race down Highway 40 on top of my engine. The cat is fine and has a new loving home with a teenage girl that was one of the first on the scene. I needed my groceries and I was sure not going to return the cat back to our home. And she was thrilled to death to have a new pet. She lives nearby us so I made her promise she would keep an eye out for anyone with a missing cat. The lady didn't look too thrilled, but she didn't volunteer to drive it home either. I need a nap!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend Fun

What a busy weekend. Friday we spent the evening making ghosts and decorating for halloween. Halloween is definitely Eli's favorite holiday. He spends hours looking through magazines with spooky decorations and party ideas.

Saturday was the first annual Hebron Music and Arts Festival. We watched a parade of high school bands, saw a chalk drawing contest, looked at old cars, and ate aND ATE! Abby even lost her front tooth while eating a hot dog! After we were done with the festival activities we headed over to Pigeon Roost Farm down the road. It is a wonderful little pumpkin farm set up with tons of fun things for the kids to do. We went through a corn maze, saw the enchanted forest and spent the rest of the afternoon playing on the toys and games they had there.