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Saturday, October 26, 2013

October 20-26

 A favorite picture of my girlies from the pumpkin patch.
 Sunday evening a very teary Bella told us she didn't think our hedgehog was doing too well--he was refusing to eat and breathing funny.  And she was right, he died during the night.  Monday afternoon we gave our prickly little friend a funeral and buried him in the trees.  Bella had the hardest time with it, but she has a really tender, squooshy heart--I think that first day was the worst.
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Isabella took my camera out to photograph cats, so I took the day off from taking pictures. ;o)
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After reading Lois Ehlert's "Leaf Man" to Owen he has been waiting for some leaves to make his own.  And FINALLY they're falling, so he raced in with his treasures to assemble a little friend, complete with zinnia hair.
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 Jackson's grammar work--he was supposed to capitalize the appropriate words, but the sentence kind of rubbed him the wrong way . . . ;o)
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 Owen has a lot of energy, and we have often found that the best way to channel it is by directing him to "big people jobs" because then he feels super important.  He mopped my floor several times this week and is now obsessed with vacuuming.  I could get used to this!
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While driving around looking for a good spot to take our Christmas pictures we happened upon this big guy.
Yay for having a camera ready! ;o)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Scarecrow Patch

Believe it or not the last time we managed to get ourselves to a pumpkin patch was three years ago--prior to moving out here to Arapahoe!  We decided to revisit the one we discovered a bit north of Grand Island.  What I love about it--they have a family rate, $30 for the whole family, which in our case, saves us a bit of money and they don't do scary, gory Halloween stuff.  The whole place is just dedicated to pumpkins, animals, and fun "farm style" fun.  The kids always have a blast and nobody has to get traumatized during the process. ;o)

 The big slide
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 "Jumpin' Pumpkin"--the best way I could describe this would be a huge heavy duty tarp somehow anchored to the ground with an air compressor blowing a constant stream of pressure?  I really don't know how it works.  It isn't super springy like a trampoline, but it is humongous and fun to scale to the top.
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 Plastic culvert swings
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 Tire caterpillar
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 The corn box--always a favorite!
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 Some burying went on . . .
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 A zipline
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 Various animals to love on--goats, cow, mini pony, rabbits
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 Of course the hayrack ride to the pumpkin patch
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And subsequent return for a "straighter stem."
Third time's a charm. ;o)

They also have small bonfires going so the air smells of wood smoke and if you want you can purchase a little s'more kit and go roast your own marshmallows.  All in all, it's a really neat place and if you ever find yourself in the Grand Island area some weekend in Sept/Oct I highly recommend checking it out.  One last cool thing--all the activities you want to do are included in the the admission (there is nothing that they charge extra for!!).  That's a nice perk too. ;o)

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 13-19

 Owen spent the whole Sunday sermon working through this little "how to draw" book. Marissa got it shortly after she turned four and it never fails to continue to be a hit for the little crowd.  
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 Lots of rain!  Probably the most we've personally witnessed since moving out here (not to say Arapahoe never has rain, but it seems when a storm does come through we're gone for the weekend or something).
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 A little reading buddy.
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 First frost.
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 All of my mums are looking pretty.
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 I took Marissa around Grandpa/Grandma's to get some 12 year pictures of her--shoes were too much of a hassle in spite of the fact it was kind of chilly.
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The big birthday surprise (and maybe a bit of Christmas surprise too . . .). ;o)
We don't plan on there being in guitar lessons in the near future, this is just more of a "teach yourself" kind of endeavor.  We think it is an excellent way to spend free time though. ;o)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Happy 12th Marissa Grace!



To you on your 12th birthday:
A few nights ago we drove into Lincoln, past the children's zoo, and your daddy and I remembered a "Boo at the Zoo", where we took two of the most adorable little blonde ladybugs.  That memory is so vivid and it feels like it was a few weeks ago.  But instead, it was nine years ago.  We can't help but wonder over and over, where does the time go?

It is a strange thing to watch your first baby girl turn into a young lady right before your eyes.
So very, very bittersweet.
But what I want you to know most all of right now is that you bring crazy joy to our lives.
Your smile, your willingness to help, your desire to "get it right," your work ethic when it comes to new challenges, that crazy brain of yours with a memory that must might be photographic--all these things make you into the amazing young woman we see blossoming in front of us.  I love having conversations with you, I love your teachable heart, your thirst for more and more and more knowledge, and your witty sense of humor.  I love that in spite of the fact your world is expanding you still have such respect for your daddy and me.  You love to talk things out and get our opinions.  You want to do it right.  And I hope and pray with all my heart you won't lose that as we head into those "tumultuous teenage years."
You are a pretty special and amazing girl.
We are blessed to call you "ours."
But ultimately we know you are God's and we know He has great plans for you.
We pray you continue to grow and thrive and thirst for Him.  May He always ground you and be your compass in this crazy world.
May you always know how very much we love you.
Happy, happy day sweet girl.

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 6-12

The board games reappeared this week.  Sometimes set up to play and sometimes just because it is fun to line up little plastic army men in perfect rows.
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 The last one left at the table--this little guy must have been growing this past week, because he just kept eating and eating, even after everyone else had moved onto other evening activities.
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 Watching Daddy send bottle rockets off into space.  
And I mean actual "rockets" made from plastic bottles--it's an activity he does with his classes each year, they construct/decorate a plastic pop bottle and then they attach one end to an air compressor hose.  There is some sort of ripcord and the bottle flies up in the air.  I'm sure they do something mathy/sciencey with the results.  Honestly, it all seems a bit too "fun" to me. ;o)
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Kitten cuddles before heading off to Cubbies.
 Help mixing up some pumpkin pancakes.  We are slowly making our way through "recipes we must eat in October."
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 Kittens.  They keep growing and we are earnestly looking for new homes.  They are so very cute, but I would rather our home just have children under foot. And the hedge hog and chinchilla (though truth be told, I could do without them as well . . .).  Humans are enough. ;o)
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Lovely morning glories!  It took them until October to look this impressive, but they have completely enveloped the shepherd's hook from which our bird feeder hangs from.  But I know a freeze is coming soon--I'm enjoying them while I can!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

September 29-October 5

 We spent the afternoon at my parents' home, got in some fishing as well as some combine rides.  My dad was cutting beans (which as I've mentioned before is nowhere as cool as corn) but we didn't think we'd be back again before he finished this year's harvest, so it was beans or nothing. ;o)
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I did a bit of my own harvesting in my mother-in-law's pumpkin patch.  She grew some giants!  I took what I thought I could comfortably fit in our minivan.
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I worked on this chalkboard back in September (blatantly copying from another blog because I'm not sure I have a single *original* idea).  It took me forever and cramped my hand up so bad it took a few days of recovery.  But it was completely worth it to have this all pretty for my favorite month of the year. ;o) And it will be REALLY hard to erase it when time--definitely the most complicated design I've tried!
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 The kittens like to cuddle up on Isabella's giraffe pillow pet for their (many) naps.  Maybe it is a surrogate mother to them?
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 Marissa had her first choir concert at the school.  The highlight for her was getting to accompany both the jr. high choir and the 5th and 6th grade choir on violin.  Okay, and probably the highlight for her mommy and daddy as well. ;o)  
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 The kitten Galadriel finding a perfect perch.
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My family building a sandwich.  I opted out.
Josh--bread
Isabella--lettuce
Jackson--turkey
Emmett--cheese
Marissa--mustard
Owen--tomato
I suppose I would have been the other slice of bread, but somebody had to take the picture.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 22-28

 In North Platte for church this Sunday, just in time to see the river all swollen from the massive rains that Colorado received.
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 Snapping a picture of my girls before bed because I had not taken any pictures all day.
I'm not sure why Marissa is wearing a knight's helmet?
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 When we have a bit of time to kill before lessons on Tuesday we usually head over to Cottonmill Park (Kearney).  Sometimes the mini donkey and mini horse are out and the kids feed them grass.  Sometimes they irritate the peacock (Emmett).  If nothing else, there is a playground. ;o)
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 After removing the summer plants (which met rather unfortunate, neglectful deaths) the cats have found a new place to cuddle.  I was hoping to find some ornamental cabbage at Walmart again to plant for the fall, but didn't see any this year.  I guess the cats will have to do.
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 Kitty cuddling with Bella.
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 Told Owen I needed a picture of his pretty blue eyes.
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A super fun afternoon for Marissa and her friend Sierra celebrating their upcoming October birthdays.
Neither of these girls are what you would describe as "girly girls" and so our afternoon included a nature walk at Pioneers Park, playing at the playground, games like potato sack and three-legged races, a scavenger hunt, and roasting our own hot dogs and s'mores on a bonfire.  It was just a beautiful fall day and I think all the kids had a blast.