It has been a while and one day I will do an actual update for you but today I just want to show you our latest escapade with Red, our Elf on the Shelf.
The kids love finding him in the morning and to be honest- it is a lot of fun. I think my mom loves it the most of all of us...
Tomorrow the kids will wake up to find their poor little Red has been kidnapped!
This elf on a shelf thing is fun. I love Christmas... Now if only I wasn't 5 days overdue and wasn't such a procrastinator.... Anyways Merry Christmas!!!
It was that time again! Halloween. I know some people love halloween and some people hate halloween. I am in the middle. I love making costumes, I love taking the kids trick or treating- I am not in love with all the candy. But we make it work. This year was the year of the pirate and Princess Peach. Ruby decided she wanted to be princess peach and it was an easy costume to accommodate and once Noni got the idea of pirate in his head there was no turning back. I mean, he does walk around the house saying 'ay' for yes, so it seemed appropriate.
Here he is in all his pirate glory. He could not get enough of that eye patch and INSISTED on wearing it. My favorite is the tshirt. It was my first attempt at freezer paper stenciling and it turned out AWESOME!
Here is a view of the pirate hat I made him, and the spy glass he loved.
Noni and Ruby at the church party. Look at that sweet little Princess Peach- so prim and proper. Also take note of the mustache on Noni and the bird on his shoulder...
A view of Ruby's awesome crown!
We made sure to carve our own pumpkin. Ruby was right into it- unlike other years-.
and Noni, well... he looked like this most of the time. I mean what is halloween pumpkin carving without one cryer. He wanted the knife, and he hated the 'guts', all in all a pumpkin carving success I would say.
There it is, the master piece!
And there is my 33 week pregnant belly in the background. (and the two little squash we got for the kids because we couldn't find mini pumpkins...)
Halloween was great! We had 2 parties to go to plus Ruby had her class party- so we got a lot of wear out of the costumes- which is always a bonus. Halloween night was crazy slippery. It wasn't too cold but the ground was covered with a thin layer of ice- it was crazy. People going down everywhere you turned. I almost went down but was able to gracefully save myself by doing the semi splits and pulling my groin muscle. Worth it I say- it was all worth it. Noni and Ruby had so much fun going house to house getting candy. They are getting really good at saying 'Trick or treat' and Ruby is really good at saying thank you. Noni on the other hand is good at reaching into the candy bowl and helping himself. When we would ask him after he got candy what he should say- his favorite answer was ' Lets go to the next one house!'
We got the thank you's in where we could. He was just amazed he was getting so much candy and all he had to do was wear his pirate costume that he loved and say 'trick-or-treat'.
Because of the ice and our children's lack of stamina- we only go half way around one cul-de-sac. But we brought home this haul.
And we had the time of our lives. It really was a lot of fun.
Want to see our other halloween costumes? Check them out here and here.
We are all completely in love with Baby Juliette (our new niece).
She is so sweet and lovely.
Ruby cannot get enough of her.
Myers mostly ignores her until she is gone.
But he did once say that she was as cute as a marshmallow- and if you know Noni- that is a BIG deal.
It means her REALLY loves her.
We all really love her!
Ruby now wants to name our baby Romeo if it is a boy.
I just hope ours is as sweet and as cute as little Juliette....
One thing I really love about Ruby is her ability to notice and love all that is beautiful.
She really truly appreciates it.
The temple in Calgary has just been finished and they are having their open house right now (a time when anyone can go in and take a tour of the temple before it is dedicated.)
I knew we were going to take the kids but I was also looking forward to Ruby's reaction to the beauty of it. She did not disappoint and was sure to notice all of the little tiny details that only she could.
It was a great experience and I am so glad that we were able to go as a family and enjoy the peaceful feelings that were there.
Even Noni stopped for a second or two to take a look around.
I hope that as they grow they will remember the experience they had there, and the feelings they felt while inside. I am grateful for temples and for this new temple in Calgary. The open house is still going on for another week- if you get the chance it is well worth your time!
This is an old picture, I mean Justin has been working for 3 and a half months now- but still a picture that is worthy of the blog. Justin is now a full fledged Optometrist with his name in neon letters. What gets better than that? We are proud of him and grateful for all he does for our family. Not only is he a great dad and husband but he is a great Optometrist to boot! So if you are ever in need of eye care- you know who to come to!!!
This little Noni of ours HATES clothes.
I get them on if we are going outside and then that is about it.
He will only sleep in a diaper and that proves to be his preference when just relaxing around the house as well.
This does, however, pose a problem when one is trying to carry things around in his pockets.
Noni seems to have found a remedy for that.
Here he is with his wand in his pocket. I mean one never knows when the need for a naked magician will arise. He frequently carries around fake cell phones in his 'pocket' and has been known to even put his marshmallow potty candy in there for safe keeping- though was quickly stopped, as we prefer to practice safe food handling in this house.
One day he will like clothes again- right?
In the span of a few weeks my sweet little baby girl turned 5 and started Kindergarten.
It is still a little too much for me to handle.
We did some major contemplation when deciding about school for Ruby and in the end we felt best about sending her to Kindergarten this year.
I still am trying to emotionally accept this, but Ruby has seemed too embrace it whole heartedly and is absolutely loving it.
Before she began school I decided that we should start a new back to school tradition.
Each year we pick a word, a scripture, and a quote for the year.
This year our word is 'COURAGE'.
I originally picked it because Ruby was a little nervous about school but soon realised that it applied more to me that anyone else.
I needed the courage to follow what I felt we were being inspired to do (aka send Ruby to school), the courage to send her to school, the courage to be completely involved in her schooling and to always be her advocate, and the courage to parent her as Justin and I feel we should.
Plus I want her to have the courage to make new friends, to be herself, to choose the right, to remember what she has been taught, to be a good example, to be a friend to all.
We all need courage.
So I thought it was an appropriate word for us this year.
I am amazed how many times it has come up in the last couple of weeks alone.
I chose the scripture found in Joshua 1:9 'Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God iswith thee whithersoever thou goest.'
And this quote by Thomas S. Monson
So as we embark on this new journey in life I hope that we can have always courage.
Ok- we made it home.
This post is a little late- but my pregnant self has a hard time recovering.
I am still feeling constantly nauseous, but it is slowly getting better I think.
Anyway- we met up with my parents in Billings Montana and did a little shopping and eating and sleeping.
Then we decided that we would all extend our trip a bit and we headed over to Great Falls the next day.
Where we made the best discovery of the century.
There is now a Cafe Rio in Great Falls.
It is now my favorite Montana city hands down, no competition.
I don't care what Kalispell has to offer, if it isn't a Cafe Rio it can't be as good as Great Falls.
I ate a delicious pulled pork salad and I haven't felt that good for a long time.
I contemplated delaying our trip home for a few hours just so I could get another one.
I didn't, but I want to go back- SOON.
Anyone up for a trip to Great Falls? Not for the shopping just for Cafe Rio.
We got to Medicine Hat and are glad to be here. We are settling in and enjoying time with family.
Justin is really liking his new job.
And I am happy to be making money.
It has been a while....
I have lots to update you on- I haven't even gotten around to telling you about our DC and NYC trip with the Hughes- and that is a real tragedy- so I do plan to get around to doing that... Also we have been having some crazy summer fun over here in the Hat and it all needs to be documented... I will do my best and fastest work soon... I hope.
What yesterday lacked in adventure today made up for.
South Dakota is a gold mine of tourist destinations.
We were tempted by the billboards all along the way.
We stopped at the Corn Palace.
The only one in the world I might add.
We got some corn there and then left.
It was a much needed stop.
We continued our drive until the billboards lured us in again.... and our stomachs got the better of us we headed on to our next destination.
They have, hands down, the best burger I have ever had.
Even Reader's Digest says so, so it must be true.
And their pie. NO WORDS can describe the deliciousness.
It was so good. I just want another piece right now...
It is almost worth driving through South Dakota again.
Just kidding.... kind of. But really I'm just kidding.
We continued our journey but had to make a stop at Wall Drug.
I mean they boasted free ice water- and it is insanely hot out right now!
And we had been seeing billboards for it for over 200 miles.
It was a must stop.
Sadly it disappointed.
It was large, but after Casey's the food sadly disappointed.
And the ice cream wasn't that good.
And we have no need for needless tourist stuff. And it was stinkin' hot.
So if you are ever travelling through south dakota- don't get lured in by the Wall Drug billboards. Just go to Casey's instead...
And finally- Mount Rushmore.
The end to a very long drive but lots of memories made.
I think it was worth it.
I can easily say that when the day is over.
Tomorrow- on to Montana- and we get to meet up with Grammie Ruby and Papa Ken! Ruby has been looking forward to this day for a long time!!!
We crossed 2 state lines today.
Finished up Wisconsin (and the cheese), into Minnesota, and finally South Dakota.
Lots of driving and not much to report.
We crossed the Mississippi River too.
I like the Mississippi. It is always a sight to behold. I would like to take a steam boat down that river one day. I think they do that...
Tomorrow on to MOUNT RUSHMORE!
All of my travel dreams come true!!!!
We have made it to Madison Wisconsin.
We visited 3 states today- Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
The day went well.
We had a lot more kids sleeping and a lot less Noni squirming.
We passed the University of Notre Dame. It made me think of the movie Rudy. Was it about the University of Notre Dame? I could google it- but no time for that.
Anyway it was neat- fun to see- even if it was only in passing on our way to the highway...
We had a lot of toll paying today- that third axle is really killing us when it comes to tolls!
We stopped in Chicago to see the temple there. It was really beautiful and unique- a nice stop along the route.
The gate was locked so we couldn't get in and had some trouble turning around in the trailer after we took some photos but Justin is a whiz when it comes to trailer hauling so he got us out of there in a jiffy.
We are just relaxing and enjoying ourselves tonight.
The kids swam- I relaxed and Justin did most of the work. Well, I continued to grow a human so I guess I am working too...
Tomorrow on to South Dakota!
Are we seriously doing this again?
Driving across the country?
Does that seem insane to anyone else?
It seems crazy to me.
How did one year go by so fast?
I'm not done my Ohio Favorites posts (don't worry)- just taking a break while we DRIVE ACROSS THE COUNTRY AGAIN.
I'm feeling super nauseous right now so that might affect this post a little bit...
Anyway- all the work is done everything is packed up- our van looks like this-
and we are on our way.
We did a few last minute things this morning, said our goodbyes, and were on our way.
We took it pretty easy today- only going about 5 hours driving time- it took us about 7 so that should tell you how well the day went.
It mostly went like this.
(That's an angry face)
But we made it.
We are officially out of the state of Ohio.
One day down.
We are sad to leave Ohio. It just doesn't seem real. We had such a great year- definitely tough at times but it was great. We will dearly miss all the friends we have made. We are grateful for all of the service they have given us- especially during this move. And we are grateful for their friendship. I hope we can all keep in touch!
Fireflies, Lightning Bugs, Nature's Magic- whichever you prefer.
I love them. They are natures magic and my favorite thing to see at this time of year.
The kids love them too.
Myers loves when they 'light up the bum'- his words, not mine.
One of my favorite memories of Ohio is of the first time we saw the splendor that is the lightning bug.
We had just signed the lease for our rental place and were heading out to Columbus for some meetings that Justin had to go to the next day.
We decided to take some of the smaller highways to get there (I can't remember if this was by choice or accident) and headed through Amish country.
It was beautiful- and then the sun went down.
The whole country side was COVERED in lightning bugs.
It was so beautiful.
I wish there was a way to describe it that would do it justice.
It was like the stars were on our level and we were driving through them.
I will forever love that moment that our family had.
It was a great welcome from Ohio.
Since it was our first memory of Ohio it is only fitting that it was also our last.
The last night that we were there we stayed with our good friends the Wright's (whose help the last while we were in Ohio was greatly appreciated. They did a lot for us).
Justin and Tim were off finishing packing the trailer and doing the very last vaccuum of the place and picking up some Handel's milk shakes for us to enjoy.
When they got back we headed to the back yard for some firefly catching.
It was great. It was definitely a wonderful last memory of Ohio and good friends.
Unfortunately fireflies aren't that good at getting their pictures taken. So you will have to take my word for it.
I will definitely miss the Ohio magic makers.
I love that we can rake our leaves into the gutter and the city will come and suck them up with this contraption.
I hate raking leaves (you may remember how much) but if I am going to rake them then at least I have the pleasure of watching them get sucked up by something cool instead of having to rake AND bag them.
I know I have talked about them before- but seriously- their strawberry milkshakes are to die for.
This time we called up some friends and met them there for one last Handel's Hurrah.
(Honestly though- I think I must go back for just one more quick milkshake)
(These friends- the Wright's- are also one of our favorite things in Ohio. Though technically they are people and not things... Regardless, we will miss them. And our random runs to Handel's)
The kids got their traditional baby cones- just enough icecream for them to enjoy...
I got the handel pop.
They were out of vanilla so I got the strawberry. I would stick with the vanilla next time.
Translation- the strawberry was a disappointment- another disappointment- the apple dumpling sundae, just don't do it. Stick with the strawberry milkshake or any flavor of the delicious icecream.
And Justin got an oreo cone. I think he found a new favorite icecream...
We ate and laughed and watched Noni run- which is quite entertaining.
He was lucky enough to get 2 baby cones (one of the other kids wasn't feeling well enough to eat hers) and savored every moment.
There is only one ice cream treat that I know of that rivals Handel's strawberry milkshake- the Peter's raspberry sunday. MMMM I look forward to having another one of those soon- and the onion rings...
But what I love about Handel's is that they actually make their ice cream there and it actually tastes like it is home made. Unlike other places that claim to be home made but just taste like any store bought ice cream. This place reminds me of the ice cream that we used to make at the science center with liquid nitrogen. No ice cream is as good as that- but this comes close.
Seriously- try the strawberry milkshake- extra thick if you dare. But if going for the Handel pop- always get VANILLA.
Oh Handel's how we will miss you.