{ Super Hero Halloween }

I feel like some days you got it, and some days you don’t.

Halloween this year was one of those “don’t got it” days. Scott and Ryan have been planning their costumes for weeks-well, mostly Scott was doing to grand planning for them both and Ryan just smiles and happily agrees to his plans. As for the girls they pulled out the witch costumes from a few years ago, didn’t want pictures, and were well overdue to go out trick or treating by the time Aaron came home from work. We took a few pictures of the little boys since they were really the most excited and called it good.

That being said, I am so glad I stopped and took the time to take a few pictures, this first one really is so cute to me. I  love to remember this time in their life. They are not only partners in crime crime-fighting, they are the best of buds. They tell each other all the time, “You are my best friend!” I love to hear that!

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Show me those superhero stances boys!

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And just ONE picture with your eyes open Scott! This was not by accident-that little stinker thinks it’s so funny to close his eyes on purpose the minute I get ready to snap a picture. Maybe this superhero is just a little camera shy?

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Okay, maybe this one? Nope, no such luck.

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Yeah! I snuck one in!

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“Okay, back to business mom, I‘ve got to be serious if I am going to fight those bad guys.”

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Superman Scott-Age 4

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Batman Ryan-Age 3

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“Last chance for a smile mom, before I go save the world…and load up on some treats”

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These two little ones were RUNNING (especially Ryan) from house to house the first half dozen or so. I thought, “What a difference from last year”! I was quickly brought back to reality when Ryan slowed down his trick or treating pace and was begging to be carried. We had to beg him to go just a few more houses just so we could keep caught up with the big girls. We ended up convincing him to make it around the rest of the neighborhood, had fun talking to some of our neighbors we don’t see as often, and enjoying plenty of treats along the way. Happy Halloween!


{ Erika’s American Girl Birthday }

We have had some major American Girl fever around this place, and Erika has been right at the middle of it. For the last few months, every time an American Girl magazine would show up in the mailbox the girls would grab it and be circling stuff like crazy. They finally made their own little binders with pages for each girl they liked, and cut out items and would glue them to each page. Erika was positive about what she wanted for her birthday-the American Girl doll Julie. She would show me almost everyday something new about Julie that was so cute she would just have to have it. She wasn’t shy about what she expected to show up in one of her presents.

We have an American Girl Doll store on the North side of Atlanta about 2 hours away-she was torn about whether she wanted to open the Julie doll for a present or go to the store and pick her out herself. Those back and forth decisions were changing on a daily basis, and as her birthday was coming closer, I had to make a decision and hope it was the right one…Present or Store?

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One of the other presents I had gotten for her months ago-like way back in April. She had been mentioning wanting another set of Lego Friends-The Vet, forever, so when I bought Brooke and Abby’s presents back in April I found a great deal and picked this one up as well. It had been hidden away in my closet for all these months hoping that she would still be interested in it by October. Lucky for me, she was, and had fun putting it together with Brooke and Abby that night.

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Her other present….I picked the STORE. I figured the memory and a special date with mom and dad was a lot more fun that just opening a present. We told her that she could bring Brooke and Abby if she wanted to or just go with Aaron and I. She really wanted to share her excitement with her sisters since they are just as American Girl doll crazy as she is- so the date was set for next night after school.

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Our newest 9 year old and our “Cake of the Year”-the chocolate stampede from Longhorn Steakhouse. SO GOOD!!!

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We left after school and stopped in Atlanta at a special pizza place we had heard about. It was suppose to have authentic Italian pizza-and it proved to be a great place to eat. It’s called Antico and it sits close to the Georgia Tech campus. It was fantastic-at least Aaron and I thought so. The menu was all in Italian, and they made the pizza right in front of you, threw on big clumps of cheese and cooked it in their brick oven. I love that the times say ”Open at 11:30am-until the dough runs out”. By the time you pay, and find a seat in their small cafeteria style seating, your pizza is ready. Talk about fast service. The thin crust and clumps of cheese made me long to be back in Europe! Aaron and I were in heaven. The girls tolerated it, and mostly enjoyed the tiny little soda bottles that they sold there.

They mostly wanted to eat as fast as they could so we could keep driving and get here….are those girls excited or what?!

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Erika went straight to the Julie display case. I don’t think I could have saw a bigger smile on that girl. She was so excited!

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We wandered around the store, the girls oohing and ahhing at one thing after another. I have to admit, I think Aaron and I was oohing and ahhing just as much-okay maybe me more than him, but he was being very excited for birthday sake too. If I was a nine year old girl-I would have been in heaven, there was so many cute things there. The girls had a good solid hour there of walking around and adoring all the cute dolls and accessories. A few minutes before the store closed Erika had picked out her Julie doll, a new brush, and some cute eyeglasses for her doll. The lady opened her up out of the box for Erika (Erika decided to keep her hairnet on for a little while longer so it wouldn’t get “ruined”), and a very happy girl left the store that night. The whole ride back we heard the three girls talking and giggling and playing dolls. It was a very happy birthday.

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9 Things We Love About Erika At 9

  • Her love for animals. She says she wants to be a vet someday.
  • Her complete dedication to something. NO matter what it is, she goes all out finding out anything and everything about it. If it’s horses, she goes horse crazy for awhile. Horse books, horse games,horse shows…She loves to be totally dedicated to something.
  • How she tears up when I share something spiritual during Family Home Evening. She is very close to the spirit-I love to see her little testimony bloom and grow.
  • Her excitement for her little brother to be born. She is completely obsessed with my stomach. She really would walk around ALL day long with her hands on my belly, just waiting for this little guy to kick, if I would let her. She is going to be a great big sister.
  • Her love of pasta. Some things never change. I am pretty sure I have written about her love of pasts for the last nine years. It is definitely her food of choice. She would rather have it than cereal for breakfast if I would make it for her.
  • Her laid back nature.Nothing bothers this girl too much. As long as she eats and sleeps on her very definite schedule-she is good.
  • Her bright imagination. She loves to “PLAY” still, which I love. Her and Abby or Brooke are always coming up with something to play. The latest ones are gymnastics, horse anything, dolls, dogs, and ice skating.
  • She is super observant. Keeping secrets from her is close to impossible. She is constantly looking over my shoulder. I always have to be one step ahead of this girl-which is HARD! She almost always figures out surprises beforehand. She definitely keeps me on my toes.
  • She loves to come and give random hugs-they are the best!

Happy Birthday Erika. We love you!!!


{ Ryan’s 3rd Birthday }

Ryan LOVES the Lorax movie. Everyday he wakes up, and the first thing he wants to do is watch the movie on my phone. He walks around the house quoting phrases from it like, “She’s a woman,… in high school”, and makes us all crack up. He even started standing up on the coffee table and saying really fast, “I’m the Lorax, I speak for the trees”, and then he falls over on to the couch and starts laughing. This kid is such a crack up. He sure knows how to make us laugh.

About a month before his birthday I thought it would be fun to have a Lorax themed birthday party for him-just our family of course, but really that’s as many people as any kid party. I started pinning ideas from Pinterest, and planning for some really big Lorax fun. I knew if I told Ryan that he would be asking me everyday if today was the day for his Lorax party. We kept that our little secret until just a few days before when I asked him if he wanted to help with making the cake pops for his cake for his Lorax party. Scott and him were so excited. We love cake pops around here, but don’t make them too often because they are so much work. The little boys were pretty excited to be my helpers in the kitchen to make our cute little Truffula tree cake pops.

During Ryan’s nap, Scott helped me to make our Truffula Trees for decorations, and put together our orange Lorax Gatorades. Scott loves to be my sidekick when it comes to any birthday surprise related thing. He always promises me he won’t tell what the presents are, but we play it safe and save it until naptime right before the party to wrap them. It’s fun to have everything set up so as the kids start trickling home from school they see the party all set up and ready to go-it makes them get so excited for whoever’s birthday it is.

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We’ve been working really hard to get Ryan to hold up three fingers instead of just two, and he was really proud of himself that he had mastered it before his actual birthday. He would get so excited when someone would ask how old he was just so he could hold up his three fingers.

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His birthday book this year of course was The Lorax. He was just a little bit happy about that. I love that big grin of his!

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I love seeing how excited he gets over opening his presents. At three he didn’t really have any big birthday wishes, except for one (his Lorax bag which he opens next), so his surprise was about as real as it could get when he saw what was inside. Being the youngest of seven marks off a lot of toys from the list, since most of them already live in our toy closet in the playroom. Some how Mr. and Mrs. Potato head were not part of our toy collection. He was so happy with them, though at first I’m not sure he knew exactly what they were.

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His only request for his birthday was this Lorax trick-or-treat bag from Pottery Barn Kids. When we received the magazine in the mail he found the page that had a Lorax costume and this cute little Lorax treat bag. He would carry that magazine around with him everywhere, and remind me that he wanted it. He would panic if he couldn’t find the right page that it was on, and come running to me, yelling, “Where is it?Where is it? Where is “I speak for the trees”?

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What is becoming our traditional three year old present-some new big boy underwear. He really was excited about it, even though it looks like he was a bit more consumed with his potato head toys. Afterwards, he took them all out of the package and wanted to put all of them on at once. Scott even tried to convince him that he should “share” those cool Incredibles underwear with him.

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And the most exciting gift was his new backpack. NO more sister-hand-me-down pink backpacks. His new elephant backpack was quickly filled up with all his new toys and all 7 pairs of underwear. Scott and him are big backpack kids-they are constantly carrying around their backpacks filled to the brim with toys and books that they carry with them everywhere. They are always finding some treasure to bring to preschool to play with or in the car to pick up Brianna from school or to do errands or to church (that one we usual have to compromise to bring it in the car, but leave it there while we are inside at church because I usual don’t monitor very well what gets put in there. I’m pretty sure at any given time there are some pretty noisy toys…or a whole bunch of extra underwear that doesn’t really need to be spread across the pew). To have his very own backpack was a pretty big deal for him.

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Later that night, Ryan put on his new batman pajamas he got and started filling up his new backpack with his toys, and all his new underwear. ‘'I need it for preschool!” I keep hoping that that new underwear will motivate him to want to actual be potty trained. Though hopeful, I’m not holding out. I think his main problem is a very tired, pregnant mom. Hopefully by the time this baby comes we will both be more motivated.

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3 Things we Love About Ryan at Age 3

  • The way he moves his eyebrows up and down and says, “How you doing?”
  • How he loves to have multiple binkies when he goes to sleep. One to suck on and two to hold in his hand and play with
  • His independence and the way he is quick to do stuff himself. There are times I am trying to “love” this about him because with independence comes a lot of super strong will power, but other times I love it. I will just mention in passing to Aaron that we need to do something and he will go and already do it. He is really good at going to get on his own pajamas, getting out everything and trying most morning to pour his own cereal and milk, and setting the table for us. One night I asked for him to help one of the bigger kids to set the table, and they were a little slow to help out, but Ryan went right to work setting it. When we sat down he had used all of the little kid plates and cups, and I was about to correct him that we needed big people plates when I noticed that he had color coordinated everyone's big plate, cup, and little polka dot plate. We happily ate our food that night on plastic because he had done such a good job matching everything.

Happy Birthday Ryan! We love you!!!