Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Where has December Gone??

As I know it is for everyone, December has been an extremely busy month. I can't believe Christmas will be here in two days and I haven't posted one blog entry. We had a great Thanksgiving with Donnie's family and then after that it just seemed like I couldn't catch up and get things ready. But, just as they do every year, everything gets done.

We started the month off by going to a parade here in Lakeland. It was freezing, but the boys really enjoyed it. They loved having candy thrown at them and seeing Santa at the end. Of course, I have no pictures of it since I forgot my camera. Donnie also took the boys to Bass Pro Shop every weekend because they had a Santa workshop and made a different, really cute craft each weekend. They also got to sit on Santa's lap and get a free picture!

We attended a few parties, baked cookies, made candy houses, and the boys helped me decorate the house. My mom and dad also came last week which was really nice. We finished our last minute shopping and just spent some quality time together. Tonight we are going to ride around and drink hot chocolate and look at Christmas lights. I LOVE Christmas, but it seems to get here faster and faster every year!! I sent out the last of my Christmas cards yesterday--nothing like last minute!

Here are a few pictures of some things we've done. Hopefully I will get a few good ones Christmas morning!

This was the beginning of the candy house party. A little girl in Ethan's class invited us over to do this and it was a lot of fun!!

Their finished projects!

This was from Breakfast with Santa at our church.

Carter at a get together with my mom's group

Ethan wearing his elf hat his teacher gave him. This was during his class Christmas party on Friday.

From our visit with my mom and dad.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kindergarten Pow Wow and Feast

Yesterday Ethan's class had such a fun day at school being Indians!! A couple of weeks ago, a letter came home from Ethan's teacher asking us all to come up with an Indian name for our child that goes along with their personality. Since I don't have a creative bone in my body, I immediately called my sister. Without even thinking, she said "Deep Thinker." Then she rattled off several more, but we both agreed that Deep Thinker describes Ethan to a 'T'. Earlier in the week, they all decorated their Indian t-shirts and their Indian names were on them. They also earned feathers during the week for good behavior. Friday morning I got to go in to his school with him for some Pow Wow activities. We made Indian bracelets and necklaces and some other fun crafts (but I forgot my camera in the morning). I went home to have lunch and prepare my food for the afternoon feast.

The feast was incredible! One of the moms cooked a turkey, and we all brought something in. Along with turkey there was homemade dressing, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Everything was delicious!! Most of the moms dressed in black and white to resemble pilgrims and the kids looked adorable dressed as Indians! Ethan was so excited at the end of the day telling me that they didn't do any work at all that day!!

All 9 kindergarten classes ate out in the hall! It truly looked like the first Thanksgiving with all those Indians!!

Doesn't Ethan look thrilled to be at the end of the table and surrounded by girls?

Here he is looking thrilled again to be getting a hug from his brother!

All the Pilgrims and Indians!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Say No to Strangers!

Ethan's school PTA had a poster contest entitled Stranger Danger. He wanted to enter b/c there is a chance he could win a trophy!! We talked a little about why you shouldn't talk to strangers and some of the ways they might try to lure you over to them. So I went out and got him his posterboard and he immediately went to work. Of course Wal-Mart and Michael's were out of white posterboard, so that is why I got red, which happens to be Ethan's favorite color.

The idea was all his and the only thing he needed help with was spelling some of the words. You can click on the picture to make it larger. There is a picture of a stranger trying to get him to come over and get some candy. Both pictures of the boy are Ethan (in action!) The lines show him running over to me who is towering over my car!! I think he did a great job, but we won't find out the results until February.

Uncle Fudd's Farm

A couple of weeks ago, Uncle Fudd's Farm came to Carter's preschool. They brought chickens, cats, rabbits, and a horse. The kids even got to take a tractor ride around the school. Everyone got to take a ride on the horse if they wanted. I teach at Carter's school, and my class happened to be outside at recess when his class was at the "farm". Well, when they lined up to go in, Carter was crying hysterically, so I went over to him and he told me he wanted to ride the horse. At first I thought he just didn't speak up b/c he is so shy, and he never got a chance to ride the horse. The girl I teach with told me I should go in and let his teacher know he never had a chance to ride the horse. When I went in, he was still crying so hard that you couldn't make out what he was saying. His teacher told me she thought he was just upset b/c he saw me (which used to happen quite frequently). But when I told her why he was crying, she looked very puzzled and told me that she asked him twice if he wanted to ride the horse. He said no, and even as they were leaving, she asked him again and he still said no. I asked him why and he told me he was afraid the horse was going to bite him, but then after he saw everyone else ride, he wanted to. This is such a typical Carter thing to do! So I was standing there asking myself what I should do. His teacher told me I could take him out if I wanted, but since he was asked twice and said no, should I just let him learn a valuable lesson about saying what you mean? What to do, what to do?!?!

In the end, I decided to let him go out and ride the horse, b/c I don't want him to have a lifelong fear of horses, and I really don't think it was too much to ask for! He absolutely loved it and by the look on his face, I know I made the right decision!

Ethan's Soccer Trophy

I thought I better include a picture of Ethan getting his (4th) soccer trophy since I included Carter getting his trophy. On the day of Ethan's last game, one of the little girls on his team had a birthday party at a gym. That might explain why they are all so sweaty!! After the party, everyone on the team received their trophies.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Carter's First Trophy

Last week Carter had his last soccer game, and overall I would say he had a very good season. He scored a few goals and always went after the ball, but sometimes we had to coax him to go out and play. If we told him he only had to play for one minute, that would work and he would run out on the field. After the last game, the team went out to eat. After dinner his coach passed out the trophies, and Carter couldn't have been prouder!! He kept looking at it and never let it go. He hugged it and kissed it, and kept saying, "My very own trophy!" Ethan has played the last 3 seasons, so he has 3 of his own trophies, and Carter was so excited to finally have one of his own. On the way home he asked if he could sleep with it, and of course we said yes. And he did just that.

This is a picture of him throwing the ball in during his last game.

Monday, November 3, 2008

God Bless America

On the eve of this very important election, I thought it was fitting to show Ethan singing a patriotic song he learned at school last week. And for those who vote tomorrow, you can go to Starbucks and get a free coffee, Ben & Jerry's to get free ice cream (from 5-8), Chick Fil A to get a free chicken sandwich, and Krispy Kreme to get a free donut. You might want to call your local store(s) to make sure they are participating before going. All you have to do is wear your 'I Voted' sticker! Only in America!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat

Thought I would post some pictures of the boys' Halloween costumes. Carter has become obsessed with Wall-E lately, but I wasn't about to spend $100 on the costume. So, Donnie made the box and triangular wheels, and I decorated it. I bought some birthday party masks of Wall-E, and that was it. He is very happy with the result and has been wearing it around the house for the last week! Some people guessed that he was a TV tonight, along with a few other things, but most people knew who he was right away--especially if they had seen the movie. Ethan's Darth Vader is what I got him for his birthday, so that worked out well. My sister gave him the helment that she has had since her oldest boys were Ethan's age. It says many different things, but Ethan loves the voice changer the most. He would push that button and then say Trick or Treat. I must say Ethan was a little more scared of all the Halloween fun than I thought he would be. He was brought to tears twice!! He told me he thought Halloween was just about candy, not scary stuff. They did have a great time getting around tonight, though! Donnie hooked up a trailer to his four wheeler, and put some chairs in the back, and they loved riding around instead of walking!

They learn this in kindergarten???

The other night Ethan was doing his homework which was to copy and complete this sentence: Cc is for ___________. Ethan wrote Cc is for Carter, but halfway through spelling Carter, he looked at me and said that Carter is a proper noun. Just several years ago, I taught what proper nouns were to 2nd graders! Carter was not pleased with this, however. He kept yelling, "I am not a proper down!"

Then tonight as we were trick-or-treating, Ethan said he knew what circumference meant. When I asked him, he told me it is how big around something is. In the past, they all brought in apples and had to estimate (another word he knows the meaning of) how big around their apples were. They cut strings in order to do this, and then their teacher measured each child's apple with the string they cut. They kept track of how many kids guessed too long, too short, or who got it right. She then talked about circumference. I happened to be in the room volunteering the day she did this. They all brought in pumpkins this week, so I guess she did it again with pumpkins. When we got home from trick-or-treating tonight, Ethan told me he wanted to estimate the size of his head. So I got some string and he measured out how long he thought his head was around and cut it off. When I asked him to guess if he got it right, cut it too long, or too short, he said he thought it looked too short. And I'm sure I'm opening this up to many jokes from my family, but yes, it was too short--way too short. I'll just say he has to have a big head to hold his big brain since he is learning so many things in kindergarten!

Halloween Parties!!

This past Saturday Ethan and Carter were invited to two Halloween parties. The first one was held in the afternoon and it was a bring your own pumpkin party. Ethan's friend from school invited him and his mom was nice enough to say that Carter could come along, too. They had a great time there just playing in the backyard--it was a beautiful day! They got their faces painted and of course painted their pumpkins! The party after that was in the evening, and it was a costume party (for adults, too). A little boy on Ethan's soccer team invited us. They had a great time at this party too, b/c they just ran around and played!! It got pretty chilly out, but they had a huge bonfire even though the kids stayed warm running around! They also had a ton of food and hay rides! Donnie was gone this weekend (hunting, what else?!), so needless to say by the end of the night we were all wiped out. Carter had a soccer game that morning at 9:00 and Ethan had one at 10:00. It was a long day, but definitely a fun one!!

Then on Wednesday, a friend invited us to a Halloween party at the church her daughter goes to preschool at. I forgot to take along my camera, but they had such a good time. There were so many games set up, and after each one they got to grab a handful of candy! There were also moon bounces and lots of food!!

Ethan getting his face painted

Carter getting a Wall-E mask painted on

Painting their pumpkins

This was the hayride at the 2nd party

The moring after their parties--wearing the vampire teeth they got in their goodie bags!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Farmer's Day

On Friday Ethan had Farmer's Day at his school. He and his class had to dress like farmers and they also got to eat food that comes from farm animals. They had sausage links, bacon, and eggs plus hash browns and biscuits and jelly. Since I'm the room mom I got to go in and help out. They made their own placemats for the occasion, and they all had a fun time.

Of course since I was going in, Carter had to dress up like a farmer, too. Snapping and unspapping his overalls kept him occupied for over an hour!

Monday, October 20, 2008

All I Want For Christmas...

Ethan lost his 6th tooth last night and is now missing his front two teeth!! This second front tooth has been loose for weeks, but he wanted to lose it at school b/c a friend of his lost her tooth at school and she got a plastic tooth necklace to carry her tooth home in!! He's been so cautious taking bites on the side and avoiding the use of his front teeth. But last night while watching TV he took a bite of licorice without thinking and he just looked at me and closed his mouth. When I made him open, there was blood everywhere. But he wanted to keep it in for school!! It wouldn't stop bleeding, so Donnie pulled it. I can't believe he is missing so many teeth!! He loves sticking his tongue through the gaps, but has expressed some concern that he is going to turn back into a baby b/c he doesn't have many teeth!! The tooth fairy gave him $2, which he immediately gave Carter $1 and kept $1 for himself. He said it wasn't fair for Carter not to get anything!

He lost four on the bottom, but two have already grown in and a third is almost there!

Ethan is a Bus Rider!

Ethan has been bugging me for the last several weeks to be a bus rider. He informed me that only preschoolers are car riders and big boys ride the bus. Who knows who he heard that from at school. But, he doesn't want to ride the bus in the mornings, b/c he would have to get up earlier. So on Friday he rode the bus home for the first time that afternoon, and things didn't go so well. I must admit I was pretty nervous all day with the thought of him riding the bus. I know at the beginning of the year they take extra precaution to make sure kindergartners know where to go. But this wasn't the beginning of the year anymore and he didn't ride that morning, so I just wanted to make sure the bus driver knew he was on the bus.

I rode the bus when I went to school. But for some reason the thought of Ethan doing it made me nervous. Not b/c I think the bus is going to wreck. It's b/c of all the other kids on the bus. Big kids. I know Ethan is going to pick up things from school, but I'm sure he'll pick up a lot more from the bus. And that makes me nervous. But this is something he really wanted, and honestly, it makes it a lot easier on me since I don't have to go and sit in the carpool line for 30-45 minutes every day. So we set it up...well kind of. When I asked what time he would be dropped off, they told me they couldn't give me a time. All they told me was that most buses leave the school by 4:15. They also told me he would be dropped off in front of our development (which is on a busy road). So Carter and I went there a little after 4 and waited.

Around 4:30 a bus stopped in front of our house, but b/c of the hill I couldn't see anything else. As the bus made it's way to the intersection I was told to be at, I saw that it was Ethan's bus. The bus driver stopped and asked if I was Ethan's mom. I told her yes and she said she just dropped him off at our house. First I was surprised that she would drop off a kindergartner when no one was there to greet him. I told her that the office told me the intersection was the bus stop and she said that didn't make sense since she goes right by our house. We chatted a little longer so that I could make sure of a few things, and then Carter and I ran down to our house. Too late. I left the garage door open and Ethan was inside crying his eyes out and screaming for me. After I calmed him down and explained what happened, he told me that he cried on the bus b/c it took so long and he said the bus driver yelled a lot. A little boy in his class rides his bus, and their teacher told them to be buddies on the bus, but the bus driver told Ethan he couldn't sit by his friend.

Needless to say, not a great first day on the bus!! He said he wanted to go back to being a car rider, but I told him it would get better and asked if he would give it one more try. If it didn't go better on Monday, he could be a car rider again. He agreed to it and today was much better! He said he got to sit with his friend and the bus driver was nicer. He said she must have had a better day today! So now he wants to keep riding the bus and has even mentioned riding it in the morning, so we shall see.

Fall Break

Carter had the whole week off school last week and Ethan had Monday and Tuesday off. So a couple months ago we booked a flight to go home and visit my family. We left Saturday morning and got home Wednesday afternoon (Ethan missed school on Wednesday). It is always so great to go home and see everyone. This time was especially nice since I didn't have to make the 12 hour drive home. I just wish I could see everyone more often, I miss them all a lot (and so do my boys!) We flew into Pittsburgh and stayed at my mom and dad's in Washington, PA.

On Saturday my sister, brother-in-law, and 3 nephews came in from Columbus, OH and surprised us. They weren't supposed to come until Sunday, so that was very exciting (especially to Ethan who couldn't stop smiling!) Then on Monday my brother, sister-in-law, and 2 nieces came in from Cincinnati. They stayed until Tuesday and then we left on Wednesday. All the boys went to a pumpkin festival on Sunday and the girls went shopping, but we didn't have any major plans while I was in. The time home was just spent catching up and having a great time with family.

The Three Stooges! If Carter and Theron look particularly sad, that is b/c they were crying a lot when it was time to say goobye!

Carter and Ethan with their 3 boy cousins: Hunter is 13-but will be 14 in December, Chase is 11, and Theron is 5.

Carter and Ethan with their 2 girl cousins: Gracie just turned 4 and Emily aka Emmy Juice is 2.

In the airport on our way home.

On the flight home!!! They were exhausted from the trip!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lord, Give Me Strength!

Donnie is out of town this week, so I decided to treat the boys to Burger King for dinner tonight. The toy in the happy meals is I-Dog and they were both really happy about this! They played with their dogs all evening. After their bath, they came down and continued to play. But of course it didn't take long for an argument to start, so I told them to come in the living room and get their pajamas on. Carter said OK and came right in. Ethan told me he wasn't done playing yet. Ethan is an extremely sweet child, but for some reason he can never do what I ask the first time. He always has something to say instead of just doing what I ask. We have been working on his attitude for the last several weeks. So, I went into the other room and told him to give me whatever was in his hand. He reluctantly gave me his dog and began crying. I told him he could have him back tomorrow and he needs to work on his attitude. After I read them a book, he asked for his dog again, and again I told him he could get it back tomorrow. I tucked Carter into bed, and then went to get a pen and paper, b/c I know Ethan, and I knew what was coming. Here is what I overheard at his bedroom door (and these are actual quotes I was able to jot down without him knowing):
Dear Jesus and God,
I'm so sorry for giving Mommy attitude. I love my doggy and I miss him so much and I want to sleep with him tonight. But I'm not praying to get my dog back, I'm praying for you to give me the strength to be good for Mommy. I'm 6--I'm a big boy and I can do it! I can do it! I can be nice to Mommy...and Carter...and Ms. Wooley...and my friends. I can do it! I know I can! God...and Jesus, please give me the strength to be nice. And I'm sorry for all the people who have died. Like Elvis Presley. He was a really good singer. Amen.
And then he said the Our Father.

Corn Maize

This past weekend Donnie's brother and his two boys came to visit. My boys always get so excited to see them b/c they are really close in age and don't get to see each other that often since they live in Louisville. When they get together, they just play and play and play!! Tyler is 6 months older than Ethan and Cody is just a month younger than Carter. The majority of the weekend was spent playing outside and in the toy room, but they also made it to a park and a corn maize. That was fun, but it was a little warm, and all 4 of the boys started getting really tired by the end. It took just under an hour to go through. They also got to shoot corn on the cob out of a cannon! There were different signs up hundreds of yards away, and if you hit any, you would get whatever they were advertising. Carter hit the Super Cuts display, and got a coupon for a free haircut!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pump It Up!!

Ethan had his 6th birthday party yesterday at Pump It Up!! Besides the birthday boy, 26 other kids were there to help him celebrate!! I was so happy to have such a great turnout! His entire soccer team came (except for one girl), half of his class (8 out of 16), and several other friends. I think everyone including moms and dads had a great time jumping and sliding!! We had cake and ice cream in the party room and then came home to open up all the presents!!

Get 'em, Big Don!

Look out, Carter!!

Cheer up, Ethan! (I just got done telling him we didn't have time to open his presents there, we had to take them home).

Surrounded by presents and in his glory!

Ethan and Carter's First Soccer Game

Yesterday was Ethan's first soccer game (this is his 4th season) and Carter's very first soccer game. Ethan's team is called The Green Goblins and Carter's is The Pirates (not sure why!) The pictures we took at home were before their games--Ethan just happened to spill chocolate milk all over himself at breakfast. The excitement of having his first soccer game on the same day of his birthday party was just too much for him. They both did great!! Ethan scored the very first goal of the game and even though he didn't realize it at first, he got super excited after he figured out what happened!! He played hard and really went after the ball. Carter also did great for his first game. He went after the ball, and even got to kick it a few times! When he did, he looked over at me and Donnie and started jumping up and down yelling that he kicked the ball. At another point of the game, he looked over at me and just yelled, "I love you, Mommy!" He did a lot of jumping instead of running whenever he was in, and kept looking over and giving us thumbs up! But the most exciting part was that he didn't cry!!

I thought this was a cute picture! He told me he was tired of standing, so I gave him his ball to sit on.