Friday, November 7, 2014

VIGNETTES

It is a sad reality that we have been in our house for so long and yet so much is still undone.  And I'm not talking about the big stuff, because we always said we would work at our own pace on the basement.  What I mean is that we will soon have been in our house for five years, and not a lot of art on the walls.  So I got a bee in my britches last weekend and decided to remedy that.

Two new holes went into Mason's walls.  The first was of a print that I had picked up years ago at a place like Target or World Market.  I just liked it, so I hung onto (cough...hoarder).  The second was something I picked up at a craft fair just the week before.  And...voila!



So after I accomplished that little task, I decided to just keep going.  Our family room is often overrun by the toys that I haven't quite figured out how to corral.  In the corner, though, we have a small bookshelf that houses all of Mason's books and a few other things.  We've managed to keep a plant or two alive on top, so I went ahead and added a bit more personality.  I had ordered the family print a few weeks ago, and the other two pictures were things I had on hand.  There is a reason that you aren't getting a wide angle shot, but what do you think?


These two small projects have really motivated me to get some more things checked off my list.  Are there any small updates you're making around your house?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

TRICK OR TREAT



This will bring us to the end of this fall-slash-Halloween extravaganza.  The last thing that we did with Mason to celebrate Halloween was trick or treating.  As usual, I stayed home and passed out candy while Byron and Mason took on the neighborhood.  Well, taking on the neighborhood was a quick five houses, followed by Mason saying "Daddy, I shivering."  So they came home quickly.


But then Mason quickly adapted from collecting candy to passing it out.  He took his job very seriously.  Every time the doorbell rang, he would jump up and say "That's my job!"  He would open the door all by himself, put one piece of candy in each kid's bag and watch them walk away.  Several times after he closed the door he would even wipe is brow and say "That was hard."  Where does he get all that cuteness?


Here he is checking out his spoils.  It wouldn't be much, but we have a certain next door neighbor (Papa) who may have loaded him up with some special treats.  I guess this is all until next year.  It is neat to see how things have changed over the past years and it will be neat to see how Mason handles it all next year!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

HOW NOT TO CARVE PUMPKINS WITH A PRESCHOOLER

Remember when you were a kid, and carving pumpkins involved stabbing them with a steak knife in order to get triangle eyes and a jagged smile?  That was more or less the pumpkin carving experience of my childhood.  Fancy was when our pumpkins had a few teeth thrown in the mix.  Fast forward to today, when elaborate patterns and power tools are plastered all over Pinterest.  Those ideas are great and all, but let me tell you they are not for us.  At least not until Mason turns 16.

We bought the pattern book.  "This is going to be great!" we thought.  Mason and Byron conspire to select the best patterns.



They decide on two different skeletons.  SKELETONS.  This is where things started to go wrong.  Skeletons have dozens of teeny tiny bones.  I didn't realize it at the time, but like five minutes later I would see the error in our ways.  Second mistake.  How many adults does it take to understand the directions on how to apply the pattern?  She looks happy.  It's fake.


And then, when we were carving and carving and carving those tiny little slits, we all began to feel like this.


We did finally finish those pumpkins...right before Mason went to bed.  The redeeming moment was when Byron got them finished, he turned out the lights and showed Mason what they look like lit up. Mason exclaimed, "Daddy, you made a Halloween!"  Love him.

So next year, would someone please remind me that we will enjoy ourselves a whole lot more if we just cut out triangle eyes?

Monday, November 3, 2014

THE GREAT PUMPKIN PARTY

The second of our fall traditions is to go to the Great Pumpkin Party hosted by my sister's church.  Games, inflatables, candy...what could be more fun?  We stuck mostly to those three things, although the church offers a science show, petting zoo, pony rides, concerts, and probably much much more.  Mason was a bit hard to capture, so I only got a few photos.  But isn't he the cutest little Triceratops you ever did see?  Of course he is.






At the end of the night and after several turns in the bounce house, the costume definitely came off.  That dinosaur head is no joke.  We also did something that was a family first - we took our turn in a photo booth.  So not only did we come home with plenty of candy and a worn out little boy, but a cool souvenir as well!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

PUMPKIN FARM

Just a warning - this year we did a LOT of fall-slash-Halloween activities.  This is just the recap of the first.  And yes, it's November already.  I hadn't intended for there to be such a lag in me blogging our activities, but whoops...it happened.

The first of our fall activities is our favorite tradition, visiting Howell's pumpkin farm.  We have done this every year since Mason was born, which means this was our 4th trip.  Yes, I remember taking Mason there when he was just three months old.  I think Byron thought I was nuts at the time, but this year I even heard him say something about being thankful that I (ridiculously) insisted this become our tradition.  We all love it.  This year it was FREEZING but we still had a good time.

First up, the pony rides.  Mason rode our favorite horse, Mocha.  Why is she our favorite?  There is no good reason other than that's who he rode last year.



Up next were the swings and the wiggle cars.  I don't know if I have mentioned this but I am pretty obsessed with the wiggle cars.  I'm so good at them!  Okay, so the other drivers had the average age of four, so I guess I have an unfair advantage. Mason and I rode them for quite a while.  Long enough that I bet there are several families who get home and say "Why is there a weird adult in this video of our kid on the wiggle cars?"  Well, that's just me.




A definite favorite this year were the teeter-totters.  I don't know where this new love came from, but he didn't want to leave them!



We did actually buy pumpkins this year, but we still haven't actually taken the hayride out to the pumpkin patch to pick them.  I also didn't get any photos.  It was just too cold, I guess.  I love this little tradition of ours.  If it were warmer, I'm sure we would have done the corn maze and the corn shooter, too, but that will be fun to try next year!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

IT ALL HAPPENED SO FAST

It started like this - I had been watching Mason for a few hours while Byron worked in the basement, and when he finished for the day, he came up and decided he wanted to do an activity with Mason. He grabbed some finger paints, a random plexiglass sheet we had in the garage, and headed out back. I didn't really think much of it until I heard a knock at the back food and Byron motioned for me to come out and watch. I could tell there was something fun going on so I grabbed the camera and ran outside. What followed was a very messy but very giggly little boy.






Tuesday, September 16, 2014

PUTTING THE LITTLE GUY TO WORK

We've been up to our eyeballs in basement progress (just kidding...more like dust) but I think we are approaching the home stretch and can start to envision what having the extra space might look like.  The phase we are at now is quite possibly the worst, however - sanding drywall mud.  It isn't really a difficult task, but I guess it is just more...unpleasant.  If any of you have ever done it yourselves, then you know how messy it is.  All three of us were down sanding one night and man, it was literally like walking in a cloud of chalk.  Thank goodness for masks that make the job tolerable.

So we keep carving out chunks of time to make progress, and steadily trudge toward completion.  But as I mentioned, we are all getting in on the action.  Byron manned the sanding block, Mason manned the vacuum, and I manned the camera (when I wasn't sanding, of course).  Be prepared to see one of the cutest helpers you have ever laid your eyes on!