Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ready for Christmas!

Christmas has always been a favorite time of year for me, and I love sharing that with my kids.  It has been so fun seeing their excitement of it finally being that time of year again, especially Brooks since he is old enough to remember some of our traditions each year.  He was so excited to put up the tree, put lights up outside, hang his nativity advent calendar, make some cookies and other fun things that come with the holidays.  He has been so focused on what day it is on the calendar making sure we don't miss anything (even Black Friday was marked and he insisted we had to do some shopping that day because "It's the biggest shopping day of the year!" I think he listens to us too much!) Anyway, so right after we celebrated Barrett's birthday, he knew it was time to set up our Christmas tree.  He talked about it the whole day in anticipation. 
 Brooks had to inspect each one and pick out his favorites again.  He loves Olaf, Buzz Lightyear, and the chocolate milk penguin one I had when I was a kid.
 Keely loves her Minnie Mouse ones of course, but also anything with a dog and snowmen.
 Barrett wasn't sure what all was going on, but he was fascinated with the lights and the tree.

 Brooks did pretty well hanging some ornaments himself this year
 So excited he got it to stay!
 The kids and me snuggling with the under the tree blanket before bed that night.  Sillies. 
 Brooks and Barrett checking out the tree the next morning.  Blake said Brooks got up and just stared at it for 10 minutes before doing anything else!
 We also put up a few outdoor lights this year since it was so nice! (ok, I would have made Blake hang lights on the house even if it wasn't nice, but luckily it was beautiful!)  On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Luke and Kit and their kids were able to come up for a short visit, and the kids had fun playing together.  It was great that the weather was cooperative and we could spend some much needed outdoor time! And Blake got some good help from Jesse in hanging the house lights!
 Keely was very concerned about the blowup Mickey and Minnie whenever they had to get unplugged for a bit and deflated.  
 She LOVES Minnie.
 She was so concerned about Minnie's face being dirty from the grass and had to brush her off.
 After the lights were hung, it was basketball time!
 Kids all had fun and it was good to see the Burgess cousins we hadn't seen in over a year!
 After they left we asked the kids if they had fun, and Keely said "Yeah, I like them." It was pretty cute :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Barrett!

This past week we celebrated Barrett turning ONE! Brooks has been watching the days go by on our November calendar all month waiting for Barrett's birthday to come.  Both Brooks and Keely were so excited for the party.  I had talked about what kind of cake to make for Barrett with the other kids a couple of months ago, and we had decided on a dog cake since Barrett seems to love dogs.  After looking on pinterest for ideas, we settled on one in particular.  It was definitely going to be the most elaborate cake I had attempted, but the kids were so excited for it, and it was too cute in the picture not to give it a try.  Brooks and Keely wanted a Dalmatian dog after one of their favorite characters, Marshall, on Paw Patrol.  So Friday I spent most of the day baking 2 cakes, one chocolate, one white, making 2 frostings and 2 batches of marshmallow fondant.  It was a lot to tackle, but I loved the end result.  And it was fun! I think Barrett liked it too!

 Barrett was unsure about the cake at first (even though he has eaten some bites of cupcake before, so it wasn't entirely new)
 He wasn't sure how to eat it, so he tried to just bend over and take a bite, but the tray got in the way. (reminded us all of Brooks taking bites out of his whole cake the past 2 years!)
 I finally  grabbed the slice of cake and let him take a bite. 
 Then he decided it was pretty tasty and finished off the rest on his own!
 As much as Barrett loves to rip paper, I figured he would have no trouble with unwrapping, but he didn't seem to have a whole lot of interest and needed some help.  Brooks and Keely had no problems assisting! 
But Barrett did get into ripping up tissue paper :)
 Brooks and Keely loved helping him out and checking out all the new toys. 
 Happy Birthday Barrett! We are looking forward to what this next year will bring!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Fall!

Yikes, it's been since July.  I know it's just an excuse, but we have been busy around here and blogging has not been on the top of my list.  So sorry to all of you who still follow me on here!  A lot of changes have happened around here for us.  Barrett is now officially walking, and is pretty good at it! He is also eating a few finger foods like peas, crackers, bits of bread, macaroni and cheese, and yesterday tried fruit loops for the first time.  He LOVED those :) 
 Brooks has started his 2nd year of preschool and is loving it.  He has really enjoyed learning to write his name.  He struggled in the beginning, but after his teacher sent home a practice sheet for him (a dry erase sheet with his name on it) he has been practicing about everyday.  He really has gotten better, and for having zero interest every time I have tried the past couple of years, I'm happy he's doing it!!
 Brooks also tried something else new this year, organized soccer! He has always had a love for sports but we were not sure how he would do playing with other kids and on a team.  He was really timid at first, but he at least ran around and followed the crowd of kids with the ball! He was probably about the youngest on his team (it was a 6 and under league), so he did really good considering.  Most importantly, he had fun doing it and is excited about playing again in the spring league. 
 He even started being silly and having fun with his teammates towards the end of the season.  It was fun to watch!
 Keely had fun too while he played...she mostly roamed around and played in the grass.  She's a silly one.
Keely is a typical middle child...she likes to pick on her brothers and is quite awnry.   She is definitely full of energy, loves to laugh, and is pretty silly.  She can also be a little difficult with a naughty streak (throwing food on the floor, pushing Barrett over, taking Brooks' toys just to make him mad), but we love her.
In other events, we have spent the past month enjoying beautiful fall weather, playing lots of board games, and making fall memories.  Brooks still loves Jr. Monoploy, and it's great that grandma still has the old version and we have the new version at home so he gets to play 2!
 The kids loved picking out pumpkins at Grandma's. 
 Barrett loves to ride on Blake's shoulders...the only kid that really has!
 We also went to our very first pumpkin patch this year! The kids had fun playing in the corn kernels, jumping on the big balloon, going down the big gunny sack slide, and looking at pumpkins.  Brooks' favorite though was definitely the corn maze.  He has wanted to go in one for over a year and finally got his opportunity!

We also did another fall tradition of ours, carving pumpkins!  Keely wouldn't touch the insides, but Brooks dove right in.  Glad he has enjoyed this event every year!
 The finished faces...not bad for drawing them freehand!
 On Halloween we went trick or treating in Henderson again with Lane, Katy, and Scarlett.  It was so cold that night, but the kids were so excited to go that they still seemed to have a lot of fun!
 Our Cowboy riding a horse and Minnie Mouse.  They were pretty cute!
 Scarlett was a Princess Kitty, Katy was a Shark, Lane was Iron Patriot, Brooks was a Cowboy on a horse, Keely was Minnie Mouse (minus the ears she wouldn't wear!), and Barrett was a cow. 
 Our Minnie Mouse trying on my mom's cowboy hat Brooks wore.  She was just too cute not to post!
Finally, the biggest reason we have been so busy this fall....we bought another Hardware Store! Yikes! It has been a crazy but exciting adventure so far and we can't wait until we get it all reset with ACE merchandise and really start selling things.  The store was a True Value, and it is pretty empty of inventory right now.  It's a little depressing for us because we can see the potential, but it won't be reset until December.  So it's a little bit of a waiting game right now, but we hope it can do what we think it can! It reminds us so much of the York store when we first bought it (the signage was just as outdated! Coast-to-Coast signage changed to True Value, and that transition happened over 10 years ago!)
 We bought the store October 20th, and we were closed the first day to get everything repriced over to ACE instead of True Value.  I was only able to take Barrett and Keely up with me that day since Brooks had preschool, and they had fun exploring the new place...and messing around with Daddy a little!

 We went up again on Friday and got an official picture including Brooks of us in front of the store.  Can't wait to put up pictures of it all updated and up and running!
Sorry for the long post, but I knew if I didn't include it all now, it wouldn't get put up! (at least for a few more months!) Hopefully it won't be as long this next time :)