Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

Back in September, when we were in Indianapolis for Kris and Scott's wedding, I asked their family to come out for Thanksgiving. I was thrilled when I got the text on the way back home that they would be coming! It had been a long time since they had been out to our house and they had never been to our house in Oklahoma! I started the countdown! I couldn't wait!

After talking to Kris about when they would be leaving their house, I figured that they would get here really late. I was so happy when she called and told me they were able to get on the road a little bit early! Hooray for happy surprises!!
Thankfully, Thanksgiving Day was a fairly low key day. It was great to be able to just sit around and hang out with family. We opted for a later dinner time which meant that we didn't have to spend the whole morning in the kitchen. We played, talked, watched the parade, checked out the Black Friday (or Black Thrusday...) sales, watched football, munched on snacks, watched The Brady Bunch...

I had some fun making some festive little place cards for a fun and festive Thanksgiving table. The bottom picture is of the kiddy table. I think it helped the bigger kids not feel so bad about sitting at the "kiddy table".

Turkey success!
I know I had made a turkey breast before, but can't remember if I had ever done the whole bird. I have to say it turned out great! Super moist and delicious!

Time to eat!
I have so much to be thankful for, but this year, on this day, I am SO thankful that I got to spend my Thanksgiving with these special people!

Ben and Alex each requested a turkey leg... (gag!!) Man, I think they really enjoyed them! There were many sounds, jokes, and just plain grossness that went along with those legs! Kris, I know you know what I'm talking about here! I'm sorry, but it was just plain nasty to me! (I am not a fan of bones in my meat!)

Our Thanksgiving feast was amazing!
I got brave and tried to make a pumpkin roll. I love to eat them but have been too intimidated to actually try to make one! After seeing a friend do it and it looked easy, I thought I would give it a try. When I was putting it together on Wednesday didn't go so well. I made another one just to try again and have enough for eleven people and it went even worse! My cake didn't want to come out of the pan. Then it didn't want to roll without cracking and the filling oozing out. Let's just say there may have been a tear or two. Despite all of the trouble and stress, the pumpkin rolls turned out super! I will definitely attempt them again! (I would actually love to try some other flavors!)

I am a Black Friday shopper! I love Black Friday! I really wasn't thrilled about the stores opening at midnight (or even earlier). I really don't mind getting up at the crack of dawn and heading out in the cold to get a good deal. I actually look forward to it! With the stores opening at midnight, I wasn't sure if I would even go. Well...after looking at all of the ads, it was hard to resist! Kris and I made our lists and headed out! I had never been shopping with Kris on Black Friday, so I was looking forward to it even more!

I just have to say that I believe that having the stores open at midnight sure brings out A LOT more people! It was, by far, the craziest Black Friday I have ever experienced!

We had a great time and scored some great deals! We got everything on our lists for the day and were happy to take advantage of Walmart's ad matching benefits! Going shopping with my big sister was the best way to start my Christmas shopping!

Since the weather was so great, the guys decided to do a little bit of hiking out at Osage Hills.

While the guys were hiking, we tried and tried to come up with something crafty to do. We finally headed out to Hobby Lobby, but got sidetracked. We ended up going to lunch and then on a tour of Bartlesville. (Since Kris and the girls had never been here before.)

There are a few places you just have to stop on a tour of Bartlesville. The "big train" is one of them! Of course I had my camera with me!

I love it!

While we were at the train, Jon called and said that he and Scott were going to head up to the airport to go for a quick airplane ride. What?! He wasn't going to take the rest of us?!? I asked everyone with me if they wanted to go for an airplane ride to which I heard a resounding "YES!" Independence we all go!

I hadn't been on a ride with Jon in way too long! Isn't that how it goes? I figured if Jon was going to give rides, I wanted to get in on it!

Not only did I want in on it, but Luke wanted to go too! He knows that Daddy works at the airport and that he flies airplanes, but he had never been up in one. This was his lucky day!
YAY!! Luke's first airplane ride!
To say that he loved it would be a complete understatement! The little guy was in love! He couldn't really see anything out the window, but he didn't really care! He was up in an airplane!

This is how Luke felt about getting out of the airplane. He can't wait to go again!

We played a rousing game of Guesstures! Lots of fun! Lots of laughs!
"Underpants!" ha ha ha ha!!!

I bought these jammies for Luke on Black Friday. I still can't get over how stinkin' adorable they are! Could my little Luke be any cuter?!

Scott made some delicious omelets on Saturday morning! YUM!!!

Saturday we headed back to the train to take a few family pictures.

Something like this could be showing up in your mailbox very soon! :)

We "Love the Ville!"

If you are an avid reader of my blog, you know that I believe that no trip to Bartlesville is complete without a trip to Frank & Lola's. Jon and I knew that Kris and Scott would like it as much as we do. We decided that a double date was necessary! I think Frank & Lola's lived up to all of our hype. Kris and Scott really liked it! It was so great to hang out, eat amazingly delicious food and have great conversation. We had the best time! It was a super way to end our weekend together!

Not thrilled to be woke to get on the road...

Kris, Scott, Lex, Kortney, Reilly and Erin, thank you SO, SO much for coming out for Thanksgiving! This weekend lived up to all of my expectations and more! I had such an amazing time spending time with all of you! (We all did!) I wish we could see each other more often, but I think it makes our time that much more special! Thank you for taking the time and spending the money to drive out here. I know that we created memories that will last a very long time!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holidays in Hutchinson

Since we moved to Oklahoma over three years ago, we have gone back to Hutch for Thanksgiving. This year we had different plans for Thanksgiving, so we thought we would head up the week before.

Our family was excited to be able to go the Hutchinson Christmas Parade. For several years, Ben and Abby participated in all of the parades. It seems so different to be watching the parade with them instead of participating in it!

Luke really loved the parade! Everything that came by was so exciting to him! I love watching things like this through the eyes of my little guy as he sees these things for the first time! It was very chilly at the parade, however, so we ended up leaving early. Luke wasn't very happy when he found out that we missed the horses! Next time!

One of the things that I love to do while in Hutch is so see my friend, Athena! We don't get to see each other very often. For the past several years we have been doing our Black Friday shopping together. This year, we won't be together. :( This weekend we were able to meet up at Chilie's for a Diet Coke and some appetizers and catch up with each other! We had a great time! I am so thankful that Athena and I have been able to maintain a friendship since I moved! Thanks, Athena, for taking time out of your busy weekend to get together with me! I treasure your friendship!

Ben was also able to spend some time with his buddies while in Hutch. I am amazed that these teenage boys have been able to stay connected! I have said it before and I will say it again, I believe that these boys are going to be life-long friends!This is Luke's favorite thing to do at Grandma and Grandpa's house...

He loves to play with Toby! Thankfully it hadn't been too long since Luke had seen Toby last, so it didn't take very long for him to warm up!

I know this picture is blurry, but I think it so cute! I had to run out to the van to get the camera and capture this before either one moved! (The camera was cold from being outside.)

Abby enjoyed playing the Wii at Grandma and Grandpa's house! The two of us also enjoyed cable! We don't have all of the good channels at our house and got involved in watching cooking shows until midnight!

Since we weren't going to be together for Thanksgiving, Jeanie made an amazing meal in celebration of Thanksgiving while we were together. YUM!!

Thank you, Ken and Jeanie, for having us for the weekend!

Abby's First Band Concert

Abby has loved every minute of her first year of band so far. She couldn't wait until her first concert. I know I say this about every concert, but I just can't get over how much these kids learn in such to in such a short amount of time! I think at the time of this concert, the kids had been playing for about eight weeks.

This particular band concert in called a demonstration concert. The band directors along with the students show us the things they do in class to warm and breathing exercises.

Miss Benford featured the clarinets. (The metronome sounds off, but I think the clarinet section sounds great!)

The whole band playing "El Toro".

The whole band playing "Jingle Bells".

See, impressive! I am thrilled to be a band mom and that my kids are thoroughly enjoying band! I do believe the Lord has blessed me with some talented kiddos!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Leaves, Leaves and More Leaves!

We are really bad around here about raking and bagging the massive amounts of leaves that fall in our backyard. I think we ended up doing that in March this year. I swore we would never do that again! Jon got really motivated by the gorgeous weather last weekend and wanted to spend some time outside. It's usually me that wants to go rake and bag. However, this time I wasn't really feeling it. Jon made it really easy by using the mower to blow the leaves into big piles that would seriously limit the amount of raking that would need to be done.

Luke LOVES to be outside! Getting to use a rake and "help" Daddy was a huge bonus!

Of course, he spent most of his time just playing in the leaves! He wasn't happy with the fact that we were removing his "hiding spot". We reassured him that in a day or two, the leaves would all be back! Ugh...

As if the leaves weren't enough for Luke's fun day outside, he discovered kite flying! He loved it and did a super job!

I love a good, fall day outside! The weather here has been amazing! We got a lot of work done in the yard and had fun at the same time! Luke was having so much fun that we opted to let him skip his nap. (Which was fine until we made him come in the house!) The backyard is already ready for another rake and bag day...

No, I didn't intentionally leave Ben and Abby out of the pictures. They were out having fun with their friends while Jon and I did hard labor! Next time I don't think they'll be so lucky! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween ~ 2011

As a kid, my mom always made our Halloween costumes. Now, I don't believe there is any other way for my kids! I am not opposed to store-bought costumes! I just enjoy making my kids costumes!

Having said that, last year after Halloween I bought Luke a Yoda costume for this year. He loves Yoda and I couldn't pass up the bargain. (How do you resist 75% off?) As we were thinking about what each of the kids were going to dress up as this year, I tried the Yoda costume on Luke. Everything was looking great until I tried to stuff his head into the Yoda hat. The child does not have a small head! I didn't have a clue what he could be! As I was searching my obsession for Halloween costumes ideas I came across a cute idea for a box of popcorn. It looked super cute and fairly easy to accomplish.

I think it turned out great! Is this not the cutest box of popcorn you have ever seen?!

On to Abby...She didn't have a clue what she wanted to be for Halloween. She finally decided that she would just be the clown that she was a few years ago. I was fine with that since it was something that I had made and was pretty proud of. I loved the fact that she would get more wear out of it. Well, while searching for costume ideas I came across something very fun and colorful that I thought Abby would love. I was right. She fell in love and immediately decided against the clown costume.

Abby's hot air balloon costume turned out SO great! She loved it. I loved it. It. was. a. hit!! As Abby was trick or treating, I can't tell you how many people asked to take Abby's picture! It was crazy! As she was walking around people kept telling her how awesome her costume was! (Yes, I was a proud mama! Thankfully the Lord has forgiven me!)

Ben wasn't so sure whether he would go trick or treating this year. He thought he might be getting too old! I assured him that he wasn't too old, but that if he was going to go, he had to wear a costume. (I hate it when kids try to get candy without dressing up!) He decided to go as a hiker/backpacker. I liked it! (Sadly I didn't get a picture of Ben by himself.)

There they are. My hiker/backpacker, my box of popcorn and my hot air balloon. :)

Trick or Treat!

Abby and her ninja, friend, Anna.

Silly boy!

Checking out their loot!

I think the kids all had a fun night! Ben went trick or treating with some friends. Abby's friend, Anna called and asked us to all come over there so we could all go together. Luke has been sick all week and I was concerned that he wasn't even going to be able to go trick or treating, but he made it to about 8-10 houses before he was ready to be finished. I'm glad he made it!

We are already thinking about next year's costumes! :)

Our First Bountiful Basket

Have you ever heard of Bountiful Baskets Food Co-Op? It's a co-op that distributes produce baskets, organic produce baskets, artisan breads, as well as items that change every other week. (This time some of the offerings were Halloween cookies, pumpkins, boxes of apples...lots of fun things!) I had never heard of it until someone mentioned it at MOPS. I completely forgot about it after MOPS until a few friends said that they had ordered and were very pleased with what they ended up with. I told Jon about it and we checked out their website to find out as much as we could. It sounded like something we definitely wanted to try out.

So...this is what came in our basket this week!

Green Beans
Roma Tomatoes
English Cucumbers
Romaine Lettuce

All of that for only $15!! I have never made anything with cabbage or pomegranates, but I am looking forward to trying some new things!

I'm pretty sure we will be ordering again next time!

Nice & Cozy

Nothing beats a new blankie!

Thank you, Grammy, for Luke's new blankies! He has gotten a lot of use out of them while he hasn't been feeling well!