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We love going to the pumpkin farm.  Our family always has such a wonderful time.

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Whew, time has once again gotten away from me!  We have been busy creating, learning and enjoying fall.

I recently ran my first half marathon!  I am proud to have finally pushed myself past the three mile rut.  Some spots were tough, but I finished without walking and I am ready to run another one!

The race was in Albuquerque, NM.  While there we took the kids to Tinker Town.  All of the children enjoyed the wooden figures.  Ethan was the most excited.  He kept saying “Wow!”  It brought us such joy to see him so genuinely happy!

We have enjoyed learning about fall and creating Halloween crafts.
We made a family of ghosts for our front door out of tissue paper.

We made pumpkin play dough.  We just added allspice and a drop of food coloring to our normal cream of tartar play dough recipe.

I set up a Halloween card making station.  Madeline created cards for her friends for over an hour!

We got our skeleton puzzle out and discussed what it would be like if we did not have bones.  This was Ethan’s work when he was little and it was neat to see Madeline trying to figure it out!

We have been hammering wooden pegs into pumpkins.

We made a beautiful leaf sun catcher for our window.  Idea courtesy of The Artful Parent blog.

We created “Spooky, kooky, junky pumpkins!”  The children had a blast making these.  Especially Ethan who even created a detailed story to go with his pumpkin.

Whew, and finally we went to our church’s trunk or treat last night.  John and I were nerds.  Max was to be a cute little baby nerd, but he kept saying, “No, Max bird.”  He would say, “Bird, flies.”  So I gathered items for him to become a “cardinal.”  I love that as he is beginning to talk a bit more he can express his creativity a bit more!  Madeline decided last minute that she wanted to be a candy fairy.  So we added a sucker and ribbon to a dowel rod.  Super simple!  Ethan is a ninja.

Whew!  We have been super busy getting our new preschool and children’s studio remodeled and ready for show.  I am so excited that it is now finished on the inside, we are just lacking in the play yard area.  That will be ready soon.  I plan to get back to this space soon.

Ethan celebrated his ninth birthday on the 14th!  What a sweet boy he is, so kind and good with the littles.  He had a glow in the dark party with his friends that ended with a sleepover.  The kids played with glow sticks in the yard for hours.  We had different games to play and they invented some on their own.

My parents bought him a pogo stick that has been such a great gift.  He jumps daily and has went from not being able to jump even one jump to 986 jumps!  He hopes to break the world record!

Oh, I love this boy!

Our youngest babe celebrated his second birthday on the first.  What a lovely celebration it was.  The morning started out with cuddles from everyone in our bed and singing of Happy Birthday.
Then it was off to the kitchen for breakfast and a look at what birthday goodies were set out on the table. 

Then we celebrated with a few of Max’s friends.  He loves trains so naturally we had a train party!  We set the train table up in the living room.  It was such a peaceful party.

This goofy boy was giddy by all the Thomas shirts he received from family, 5 I think!  For presents from friends we had a used book exchange.  This is always such a nice way to end a party and an easy replacement to all the normal goody bag stuff.

He kept dancing when trying on his new shirts!

We ended the night with a quick trip to get frozen yogurt.

“Cheese!”
Oh how we love this silly, train loving boy of ours!  You are such a delightful character.  May you have a wonderful year Max!

One or two photos, just a few words. Enjoy!

Sweet little cuddle bug!

I saw an idea to let children build a mini campground on The Crafty Crow’s blog a while back.  I recently introduced this idea to the children and we were off on a two-hour adventure!

The children were so happy building and playing with this simple set up.  It reminded me to have more simple ideas ready for them to explore.  We even added a fishing pond and a swimmin’ hole!

The children came home a while back from a day hiking trip with new frogs.  We explained to them that next time they need to leave animals, etc. in their own habitat(they were not with us on this trip.)  Since we had the frogs we knew we had to provide them a new home other than the glass jar they were currently living in.  We decided to build a frog pond.
I had seen ideas for frog ponds around various blogs and decided to follow instructions from this site.


We set out to build the pond.


Releasing the frogs.


Looking for frogs!


We kept it watered, but our frogs took off pretty quickly!  They enjoyed this new space for about an hour and then we never saw them again.  We left for vacation and had family and friends refill the water several times.  When we returned, we were so excited to see hundreds of tadpoles! Only upon further investigation did we notice the “tadpoles”  were actually mosquitoes!  We emptied the pond out pretty quickly.
We may try this again some other time.  It was a great learning experience though and a great excuse to play in the mud!

We recently took a two week vacation to go see our Gramps who lives in Connecticut.  While in the area we stopped by New York City and Jersey for a few days of sightseeing.  We thoroughly enjoyed visiting Gramps.

We started with a quick trip to see the fireworks over the Hudson River.  The children enjoyed the show, even though we were pretty far away.

The next morning we went to Carlo’s Bakery where the now famous show Cake Boss is recorded.  We waited nearly two hours for our treats, they proved to be worth the wait though!

After our treats we made the two hour journey to see Gramps.  We were all happy to see one another again.  Max was quick to crawl up in Gramp’s lap for cuddles. 
One thing we love about Connecticut is the local dairy farm that makes fresh, homemade ice cream.  We went there several times!


We all enjoyed daily swimming in the hotel’s indoor and outdoor pools.  We quickly became use to an early morning dip.


Gramps bought us day passes to visit  Mystic Seaport.  This was such a fun little place to visit.  They had so many activities for the children to participate in.  We loved looking in the old shops and homes, learning about boats, riding a boat and playing in the children’s area.

Ethan learned how ships long ago would communicate by way of flags.  He enjoyed learning how to spell help and his name.

Max enjoyed playing the olden games and dressing up like a whaler’s son!

Madeline enjoyed catching “fish” at the children’s museum.

The children also enjoyed learning how people washed clothes before they had washing machines.

The children were even able to steer a real boat for a bit.

Like I said before, Max quickly took a liking to Gramps.  He followed him everywhere.  He even wanted to use a cane and wear one of his hats out and about!


After five days of visiting, we headed back to the big apple where our sightseeing truly began.  It had been several years since we have been to the city.  I wondered as we arrived if I would still love the city as I had before, or if I had changed over the years.  It is true the city has a magic to it.  People watching is so fascinating in a place that large.  But, I found I was longing for fresh air, the mountains and wildflowers.  The off and on of the subway cars quickly lost it appeal.
However, the children were all aglow.  They were so excited by all the city had to offer and that made for an enjoyable trip.

We visited the toy store, the Manhattan’s Children’s Museum, Central Park, Madison Square park for a kid’s concert, the Shake Shack, Times Square, the Empire State Building, took a ferry to and from Staten Island, ate lots of bagels, pizza and street vendor ice cream!  Whew, we did a lot in a few short days.  This trip was truly wonderful and the children did so well with walking and the long flight to and from.

We ended our trip with a quick day and a half visit with our Geeg.  What a way to end our trip, on a good note!

When John suggested camping over Father’s Day weekend I was so excited, we all were!

This trip was so enjoyable.  Being outdoors really calmed everyone down from the long crazy week we had just had.  We were able to hike, bike, eat, look at flowers and make s’mores!  That is until the storm came peeking out above the canyon walls.  John said it was going to be a bad storm and we should pack up.  He listed several other options and the latter sounded the most reasonable.  I was super sad to leave, but was glad we went that route.  Once we packed up and headed out, the rain started pouring and was so thick it was hard to see.  It rained all night long!

We are anticipating the next campout.

I saw an idea to make listening tubes out of toilet paper rolls on someone’s blog several weeks ago.  I have been saving these rolls and was excited to put them to use!  The children enjoyed going outside and listening to different sounds.  We also played the whisper game, where someone tells you a sentence and you have to then pass it on.  It was so funny to hear how the words were scrambled around.

What do you hear in your parts?

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