Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 was a wonderful year of kids growing older and memories being made. As we enter the new year I thought I'd take a moment and reflect on a few of the things that the previous year has meant to us...

An Inauguration celebrated in icing.A baby girl turning one.First steps.First attempts at art.A lot of mommy's time spent here.A celebrity (chef) encounter!A brother and sister having fun times together, sometimes.And other times, not so much.Springtime traditions.A family vacation to California.Spending time with family in Michigan.The loss of a friend.A boy with a blankie.And a girl with her bunny.A day out with a favorite engine...And a costume to match.Meeting a sweet new baby cousin.Indoctrination.Happy Christmas memories.And a big boy turning four.Happy New Year! May 2010 bring you many treasured memories of your own!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Carter's 4th Birthday!

Carter turned four today! FOUR!! Can you believe it? I can't. It seems like just yesterday he came into our world. And yes, I probably will say that exact same thing on his birthday for the rest of his life. So you better get used to it! :-) For the big four year celebration today, we decided to do a small party at Chuck E. Cheese's with family and friends. Carter and Courtney both had a complete BLAST, they LOVED it!! Here are some photos...

When we first arrived it was playtime. Carter had sooooo much fun playing air hockey with his buddy Adrian!Courtney really had fun with the games too - here she's bonking some sharks, with Daddy's help.Next it was time for dinner - pizza, of course! Here's the party crew - Carter was joined (counterclockwise) by his friend Rachel (whose 4th birthday was the day before!), sister Courtney (you can only see the top of her head), Zoe, Derek (Rachel's little brother) and Adrian.Carter was very happy that Grammy & Papa were visiting from Michigan and got to be with him for his birthday!And here's a gratuitous adorable baby shot! Have I mentioned how incredibly adorable Carter and Courtney's baby cousin Morgan is??Next the mouse himself, Chuck E. Cheese, made an appearance! He led the singing of Happy Birthday...And Carter blew out the candles on his Cars cake!Next the part Carter looked forward to most - eating the cake!!Ok, opening presents was pretty great too.Courtney was soooo excited about Chuck E. Cheese, she even ran over and hugged his legs, all on her own!All in all, a super fun birthday party! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARTER!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Well I think Carter has a new favorite holiday. I'm sure it will all change once Christmas/birthday time rolls around again, but for now, he just cannot believe he got to walk around the neighborhood collecting candy! We had a really fun Halloween - I'll show you the photos from last night in this post, and then try to get back here in the near future to share all the fun things we've done leading up to Halloween!

So did you have any doubt about what Carter would want to go as?? Of course, he's Thomas the Tank Engine! Actually, the little smarty, because the hat came with the costume, he pointed out that he's both Thomas *and* Mr. Conductor at the same time. :-)I asked him if he could open his eyes a little wider for a photo... and he did! LOL!Here's our sweet little Dorothy! I wanted to get her to stand & pose for a photo like Carter did, but she wanted none of it. It was mostly because her shoes were bugging her. I already had these hand-me-downs from Rachel, and thought they'd be good enough for one night. Well, they are size 8, and Courtney only wears a 5 and a half. She was not thrilled with how they fit, despite my efforts to stuff the ends with cottonballs!Here's Carter, Daddy and Courtney posing for the camera. I had on a fun witch hat, so we had to find a funny hat for Daddy to wear too!In the wagon, ready to head to the park for the neighborhood Halloween party!Oops, Mommy goofed! The party was 3-5pm - Mommy thought it STARTED at 5! Oh well, we had fun playing at the park instead. The Thomas costume is having a short rest - too hard to seesaw while wearing it. :-)Notice the ruby slippers are officially gone at this point.Finally the trick-or-treating begins. Here's the first house they went to. Carter loved ringing the bells and yelling TRICK OR TREAT as loud as he could. And everyone told Courtney she was the cutest little Dorothy ever. She couldn't figure out why everyone kept calling her Dorothy! :-)Trick-or-treating is finished and we're heading back home. They couldn't wait to dive into that candy!Once we were home, Carter got super excited every time kids came to OUR door to get candy - he'd grab out candy bowl and hand it out to the kids and tell everyone "Happy Halloween!" It was cute. Now I'm faced with the challenge of keeping C &C OUT of the candy they collected - I turn my back for a minute and they have suckers in their mouths! This morning Carter actually tried climbing up on top of the fridge to get at the candy, while I was changing Courtney's diaper. For now it's hiding in the microwave - sssh, don't tell him! :-) I hope you all had a very Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rainy Day Fun - Making Crayons!

After a long, hot summer of complaining about the lack of rain, I'm now on the verge of complaining about too much rain!! Boy, we sure have had a lot of it lately! But then I drive past Lake Travis, and see all the "islands" that are still there, and remember that rain is good. Especially when you have fun things to do with the kids on those rainy days - like this idea that I got from my friend Jenn! We turned Carter's old broken crayons into funky new round crayons!! Here's how:

Step 1: Remove papers from the crayons and break into small pieces. Carter was such a great helper!!Step 2: Fill a mini muffin pan, sprayed well with Pam, with the crayon pieces. Fill each cup all the way to the top.Step 3: Bake in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. This is how they looked when I first pulled them out - VERY melty!Step 4: After cooling completely on the counter, pop them into the freezer for a few minutes so they come out of the muffin pan easily. Voila! Funky new round crayons!! :-)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Day Out with Thomas!!

So you all know that Carter is a little Thomas the Tank Engine fanatic, right? Well today we did something very exciting - we drove up to Burnet, TX for a DAY OUT WITH THOMAS!!! The weather did not cooperate, it was fairly miserable - cold and rainy - but that didn't spoil the fun! And as long as nobody ends up with pneumonia (!!) it was all worth it. :-) Here's the photos...

First stop was waiting in line in the meet Sir Topham Hat!Next we headed down to Imagination Station - a tent filled with fun activities for the kids. Once Carter saw this great big train table, there was no getting him to move for a while!But Courtney tried some of the other activities, including coloring......and the Lego table!Finally it was time to ride the train!! Courtney saw Thomas coming down the line...Here he comes!Carter had his ticket ready to he could board the train!Carter was so excited to be riding on Thomas' passenger coach! He did, however, point out that the coaches didn't really look like Annie or Clarabel - but, he was ok with that. :-)Carter enjoyed a snack as he rode on the train.Grandma was happy to be out of the cold and rain for a little while!!After the train ride, Carter got his photo taken with Thomas himself!And Emily...And Murdoch!There was a pen of sweet little farm animals.And a maze, although Carter was more interested in walking on the "walls".Carter watched a Thomas video for a little while - because, you know, we can't do that at home (HA!).Our last stop was listening to Cowboy Sue sing and play her guitar for a bit - Carter and Courtney both had so much fun "dancing" to the music (aka running around in circles!).When I bought the tickets, I assumed you needed them to get into all of the activities. But it turns out, they were only really needed to ride the train. But as we drove home, I asked Carter what his favorite part was, and he said "RIDING ON THOMAS!!!". So, I'm glad I bought the tickets. Fun day!! :-)