Friday, November 25, 2011

Honorary Family

So...there are just some people in your life...they aren't family...but they should be. I have some people like that....their names are Art and Maureen.


I've grown up with them...they lived in Ft. Wayne...way back when. We went to the same church...they had kids my age (sort of). But...then, they moved to Michigan. We didn't have family close for Thanksgiving...and neither did they. So...we started a tradition...one that has lasted over 30 years.


While in Michigan...we took turns. One year they came here...the next we went there. That lasted several years...until they moved to North Carolina. Now...they come up here every year and their kids come down from Michigan (when they aren't at the inlaws)


I think there was 1 year it didn't happen....but seriously...Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without the Vollmers.


We see them other times...my parent's travel with them every year at spring break. We occasionally vacation at the same beach resort and rent houses next to each other. Sometimes they just stop by on their way to Michigan. It's certainly not enough.


And sometimes... like 4 years ago...when Kate was really sick and in the hospital...they would come all the way from NC just to watch Seth. AMAZING! They just loved on that little boy...and spent the time with him, when we couldn't.

buying doughnuts...October 07
Lovin' on Kate too..the day she came home

They are the type that you don't see for a year...but there is so much history it just becomes old hat.


And...then there is the fact that they just spoil our boys rotten...especially Seth. I know they have a special bond...they spent a lot of time with him 4 years ago. But every year...they get presents at Thankgiving. The boys love it...they love them! Seth is always so excited when Art and Reen are here.


Seth this year with his new Simon Flash game...and more than gifts...he just knows that they ADORE him.
Grant with his new game...Hungry Hungry Hippos! Art and Grant are good buddies...in fact the other day Seth and I had dentist appointments. I dropped him off...but mom was gone. Art took him right downstairs, tucked him in bed and Grant took a nap with NO FUSS! I tell you...Art...you have the magic touch! That never happens.


We love you Art and Reen...more than you know! Anxiously awaiting next summer...thankful we don't have to wait another year to see you!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving Festivities began last week...in preparation for going to Grandma and Grandpa Ted's last weekend. The boys and I made cookies to take with us.


Making Indian Corn Cookies...out of Reese's Pieces.

We also decorated pumpkins....this is what happens when you turn your head! Grants version of a pumpkin!
We headed down to Portland last Saturday. Grandma cooked a yummy Thanksgiving meal and we ate an amazing lunch. We headed downtown to take a carriage ride...but they were cancelled due to the rain. So...we walked around the courthouse and looked at the trees. At 6..we went back downtown and watched the Parade of Lights. It's a fun parade where all the floats and vehicles put on lights...and pass out candy.






We came back...ate dinner and had plans to stay overnight and have a meal with Ted's family on Sunday. Well...Seth was acting funny and having problems urinating. We thought for sure it was a bladder infection. He was getting some serious cramping. We opted to bring him home...very bummed that we were once again missing the family Thanksgiving.




Well...the trip home was rough on Seth and he was in a lot of pain....so he and I headed to the ER...after a few tests, we got a diagnosis: constipation. Evidently that can mess with you and cause lots of problems. After some medicine...he is doing just fine.


Wednesday night we headed downtown for the annual lighting of Santa and festivities downtown. I would show pictures...but a memory card in your camera is a necessity for that. It was a great night...and we had fun seeing the lights as well as the fireworks at the tin Caps stadium. It was packed...but a fun night.




Thursday morning we spent watching the parade (LOVE IT....someday I am going!) and making more cookies for our Thanksgiving with my side of the family! More Indian Corn Cookies









We (well, I) made some cute turkey cookies too!






Grant wore his turkey shirt that I made him...he was so excited about it...but probably picked the eyes off at least 3 times! I thought it turned out really cute...it's his hands as feathers.






We headed over to my parent's around noon. My brother and his family was there as well as my sis-in-law's parents. Plus...Art and Reen, our life long friends and Thanksgiving companions. After games...we ate some yummy turkey. The cousins at their own table where they seem to eat much better on their own.

Grant chowing down on some yummy food.
And then...a wrestling match! The perfect way to help your food settle!



Then...pies and cookies and more games. It was a fun day for everyone. The boys are old enough that they don't have to be watched all the time...which allows a little more free time for mommy and daddy to play and rest too!




It was a blessed day packed full of family and friends....the perfect way to celebrate the countless blessings God has poured out on us.




And...Andy and I went to Parkview North today and ran Kate's Kart. We remember being in the hospital on Thanksgiving...it's no fun. It was nice to brighten the day of a few families...while remembering our little girl too!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seth's special guest!

Last week was Seth's special week at school. Basically, they make a poster to share with the class about themselves. Plus, they get to bring in any special toys/awards/things throughout the week. Finally, on Friday, a special guest is invited in to read a book to the class.

We asked if instead of reading...if Oompa could do some of his special science "tricks". Oompa is a science teacher and has a group of HS kids he mentors and they work on all kind of cool science demonstrations. Oompa came in by himself and wowed the class. Smashing soda cans...with just some cool water! Kids thought this was really cool!

Making "elephant toothpaste"...this always gets the kids going since it just grows and grows and grows.



The big finale...flaming hands! Even his teacher agreed to do it!



It was a special treat for Seth and the whole class! Thanks Oompa for making Seth feel special!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bible Quizzing

Our church has a pretty awesome bible quizzing program. As a 1st grader, Seth is now old enough to be a part of it. We never said anything to him...but he told us he wanted to do it. Fortunately, their practice is during Sunday School...so it's not really another time committment through the week.

He has jumped right in and loves it! He is wicked smart and has this amazing photographic memory. It sometimes scares me. He can rattle off his memory verses and can correctly answer every question.

This past Saturday was his 1st area quiz meet. He competed with about 22 other 1st-3rd graders from churches in the area. He was the only 1st grader from our church...but was with 2 other 3rd graders. Basically...there are 2 rounds of 15 questions each. The proctor reads the question twice (it's also on the overhead) and then says answer. Each kid has their own "box" and then has to immediatly pull out the piece with the correct answer and place it in front of their box. A scorekeeper at their table keeps score. Well..little mister smartie pants didn't miss 1 question...so he not only received a gold ribbon...but a medal with 2 stars for 2 perfect rounds.





All 3 boys got gold ribbons...yeah!



I'm so proud of him...excited that he has the desire to do this...and is burning God's word into his heart. He is so excited about the Bible now...wants to read it all the time and is bound and determined to memorize the song that has all 66 books in it.




There will be 4 more meets in Jan-April. He can't wait. I told him he may have to choose between a basketball game and the quiz meet....he said he wanted to quiz!



I'm one proud (and grateful) momma! Oh yeah...he also got the candy bar for correctly reciting his 5 memory verses...which included all the beatitudes. He is truly hiding God's word in his heart.

Just a perfect fall day

Our October Saturdays were packed...between the end of Upward, cookies baking and 2 weekends of camping...our outdoors was in need of some TLC. Fortunately, we lucked into a BEAUTIFUL Saturday on Nov. 5 to play catch-up.

The boys were a huge help...they loved being outside. As a family we tackled:
chopping and moving wood to the wood pile and into the garage
raking leaves
tearing out the garden
cleaning out flower beds
putting away Halloween decor...and putting out the Thanksiving
cleaning the attic
putting away lawn furniture
mowing the yard
cleaning garage

It was a good productive day...with a little bit of fun mixed in!
He's quite the little raker! It wasn't a HUGE pile..but still big enough to jump in and have some fun


and do some tackling


What is it...little boys just want to mow like their daddy's?


So cute...he wants to be big so bad

After that long day...it was a great night to order in some pizza...pop some popcorn and watch Cars 2! Needless to say, we all slept well that night.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Carnival HoeDown

Last Friday was Seth's school carnival! I remember my elementary carnivals! I LOVED THEM! I so looked forward to them. Little did I know how much work they were.

Seth wanted to enter the cake decorating contest....he choose a cowboy boot to go with the hoedown theme. He had so many ideas...I let him go and do his thing. He won 2nd place in the 1st graders in the best theme cake!


Plus, there was a bake sale. I used the extra cake from cutting out the boot to make my 2nd attempt at cake balls. I guess you need to freeze them upright to keep them perfectly circular. I thought it might be cool to put them in the cups as a little bouquet! NOPE! I went to move them to my car and they all just toppled over! OOPS! I was able to salvage a few of them and just wrapped them in cellophane! Oh well!


And...each class has a theme and makes a basket for a silent auction. Seth's class was "Family Game Night" I volunteered to assemble the basket...it was too big for a basket...so I just made a tower. I thought it turned out pretty cool. It sold for a pretty good price too.



Both boys had fun...but I think Grant had the most fun! He absolutely LOVED all the games...he was in heaven too, cause you get a prize after each game as well.



Seth had fun as well..after he gave up on winning a cake at the cake walk (isn't that a carnival favorite) he was hooked on a silent auction bid we made on an Upward Bag full of balls and gear as well as a certificate for registration for the basketball season. He was pretty excited when we won...AND mom and dad were excited when we got it all for less than a normal registration fee.