Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Well, it was cold, but successful! We trick-or-treated our way down Forres Avenue tonight -- the busiest street in town on Halloween! I don't have a lot of photos of the boys because they were ahead of me for most of the evening. Rhy lagged behind, so I did too of course. We had a blast and the kids got quite a haul! Rhy did great until we got to one house where the candy-hander-outer was wearing quite a scary rubber mask. This freaked her out on a level beyond shrieking. She just froze and stared at the guy. After that, she wanted me to carry her to each doorstep!! Poor gal!

My goblins wait on the front porch.

Me and my pretty princess!

Making our way to a neighbors door.

Rhy with her pumpkin pail.

See how far ahead the boys got? They were so excited, they couldn't be bothered with slow toddler sisters. :)

Brothers on the ultimate night-o-candy!

This is super blurry, but shows how pooped Rhy was by the end of the night. She just collapsed in these people's front yard. Too cute!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Carvings

We carved our pumpkins tonight! The kids were soooo excited! Sometimes I forget how Halloween ranks nearly as high as Christmas for kids. The sheer joy of dressing up and getting a seemingly endless supply of sugary candy is bliss for kids. And then there's the added adventure of going out into the dark night, into a world formerly so familiar and streets normally travelled during daylight walks to the park ... now transformed into something glittering and mysterious -- an entire new world, with hundreds of spooky friends to share it with! I, for one, am seriously looking forward to tomorrow evening! Happy Halloween everyone!

Rhy's pumpkin -- a spooky skeleton face.

Asher's pumpkin, carved by me -- a mummy!

Gabe's pumpkin, carved by Nate ... a spooky pumpkin scarecrow!

Rhy woke up from her nap while the boys were carving and I couldn't help but snap this super cute photo of her all rumpled and sleep-kissed!

Rhy thinks to herself "You want me to do WHAT??" She was NOT happy at the idea of sticking her hand inside a gooey pumpkin.

My cute boys workin' hard on gutting their pumpkins.

Asher must have used the word "GROSS!" about 1,000 times while we were doing this. But he still kept workin' like a champ.

Gabe guts his pumpkin.

Nate scares Asher with the pumpkin guts.

The boys with their lovely pumpkins!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Hunt

Nate has off work this week, so we went pumpkin hunting, despite my nasty cough. We suddenly realized that there are only 2 days till Halloween, and we'd better get crackin'! We struck out at the first place we went, but ended up going to a little place on Cleveland Avenue, right near Gabe's school. They had a train and some fun things for the kids to climb on, and several rows of beautiful pumpkins. We had a blast!

My three kiddos at the pumpkin patch.

Gabe and Rhy ... Rhylah loves her big brothers SO much!

Mr. Cutie.

Asher finds his pumpkin

Rhylah hunts for the perfect pumpkin. It's funny because she was immediately drawn to the pumpkins that were "her" size ... the smaller ones. We might have trouble carving it, but that's what she wanted!

Looking, looking, looking for the perfect orange gourd!

Look at all those perfect pumpkins!

Asher makes his "witch" face while Gabe makes his scary "ghost" face.

Me and Rhy give it a go.

Pretty girl with her pumpkin!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cookie Monsters

We took the opportunity this weekend to make some sugar cookies, in honor of fall. Grandma Staude recently sent some supplies, so the kids had a blast rolling out the dough, decorating them and of course ... eating them!

Each kid got a ball of dough to work with, and do with, whatever they wanted!

Rhylah presses out her dough!

And then rolls it out!

Little doughy hands are just so sweet!

Asher works on pressing out a leaf-shaped cookie.

Ash lends Rhy a hand.

Gabe puts frosting on a turkey.

All of our lovely, frosted turkey, leaf, and pumpkin cookies!

And of course, eating them is the best part! YUMMY!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Warrior Women

Just had an interesting discussion at Bible Study this morning and wanted to share, since I found it so empowering.

We're doing a study on the book "Understanding Purpose" by Carolyn James, and for any woman who ever feels trod upon, or weak ... here's an interesting thought that James brings up ...

In Genesis, when God is creating woman, the Hebrew word "Ezer" is used. (pronouced azer with a long A) which the English language has loosely interpreted to mean "helper."

Lest you should feel second-rate, consider this ... the word "Ezer" is used 21 times as a noun in the Old Testament. Twice it is used to describe "WOMAN." But check out the other times it is used...

3 times it is used to describe Nations Israel turned to for military aid. And 16 times it is used to describe God himself, as Israel's help. Ezer is a warrior.

A very powerful little word. James says that everytime the word Ezer is used in the bible, (outside of Genesis) it appears in a military context. A shield. A defense. A powerful weapon.

Interesting to think that God sent "Woman" into the world in this context. To help Adam defend himself against the evil that God knew was lurking in the world? To help Adam defend against his own loneliness, which may have reached epic proportions at this point?

Either way, it makes me feel powerful as a woman, to be called this wonderful, vibrant word. EZER!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Rhy turns 2!

Here are some quick photos from our day! My little girl is 2 ... I can hardly believe it!

Early in the day, I gave her the first present ... a tutu, which she loved. She yelled out "TUTU!!" as she opened it, and then proceeded to wear it. All. Day.

Opening presents!

A princess dress from mom and dad! (For dress-up fun and for Halloween). When she opened this, she gave a quiet sigh and then muttered a garbled "How gor-jus!" (gorgeous). !!! I didn't know she even knew that word, but she kept repeating this phrase over and over all night, whenever she saw the dress.

We also got her dress-up shoes, which she HAD to wear with the dress. She clopped around in them all evening.

Our baby girl.

Playing with the dollhouse that Grandma and Papa Staude got for her, WHILST wearing the princess dress.

Cake was a mistake, because we waited too long. She was sooooo sad to have to take the dress off that no amount of red velvet cake could make the pain go away. :) She did, however, blow out her own candles.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The death of the letter: Must it be?

Dear Reader,
Yes, I'm writing this post in letter form. And there's a very good reason for it.
My book club recently finished a charming little book called "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society." While I enjoyed this book on several levels, it also made me sad. And here's why.
People don't write letters anymore.
I used to write to my great uncle every once in awhile. But then I moved to his town. And I guess I write my grandmother every once in awhile. But I can honestly say that I don't really remember the last time I received a letter from anyone. Think about it. Pen and paper have become as antiquated as typewriters or telegrams. It's sad. More than that, it's alarming.
My book club had an interesting time chewing this over. What is it about letters, that make things more interesting, more PERSONAL even than an EMAIL. Handwriting came to mind for me, but since the book doesn't contain different styles of handwriting (other than the one style of print the publisher chose for the entire book) that couldn't very well be the answer.
Our group finally settled on an answer. It wasn't handwriting. Or penmanship. Or the "tangibleness" of a letter that makes it so special. It's the fact that a person takes more time and effort with it... puts more thought into it ... than we do even with emails these days.
Emails, we decided, have become so succinct. So brief and casual. But letters ... people used to take their time with letters. They were often so beautifully written and contained the details of everyday life. They were often a form of art.
An art form sadly lacking into today's culture.
So what did I do to lament my lack of snail mail? My lack of friends/family to write long, meandering letters to?
I went on a pen pal site.
Three hours later, I am now the proud recipient of a pen pal. Elisa is 28 and the mother of two girls, living in England. That's all I know of her, (and all I'll say, for her privacy's sake) but I'm super excited to get writing.
Maybe I'll bore her to tears with my random musings and we'll find that the real issue at heart is that our culture has outgrown the tolerance of long meandering letters.
Or maybe we'll both enjoy the outlet -- The ability to talk with a stranger far across the sea and share our random thoughts.
Either way, the chance to chat with someone new sounds delightful. I figure it's a win-win situation.
So here's to the "letter," long may it live! And I urge all you readers out there to sit down with some paper and write one up ... for old time's sake! If your kids ask what you're doing, tell them that this is how people used to communicate ... in the "olden days"!


Monday, October 05, 2009

Fall Photos

I took the kids to the park this morning before lunch. I took WAY more photos than were necessary, but it was fun. And since I haven't blogged in so long, I figure the "Grandmas" will appreciate the flood of photos. ;)

Rhylah was really smiling for the camera today. Check it out!

"Walk with me, Susie Lee!" I always hear those song lyrics in my head when I see these two hold hands while they trot along...

I loooove this shot! So busy, and yet a smile for mom on the fly!

Hugs for big brother.

SMACK! Kisses too!

The kids try to slide together, with interesting results...

They landed in a pile at the bottom!

Isn't Ash looking old??? Almost 4!

And my pretty girl will be 2 on Thursday!

Just hangin' around.

Pretending to be Spider Man, Asher makes a monster leap!