Thanksgiving is a time when most of us reflect on the things that we feel blessed to have. Although I am one of those people too, I sometimes think we have this holiday backward. I think we are so blessed everyday; we should feel this way every single day.
I think often about the things I am grateful for. It's something I talk to my savior about daily. But, in the interest of blogging, I will share with you some of the things in my world for which I am thankful.
Elvis lives! Well, Elvis our scout elf anyway.
I absolutely LOVE this Christmas tradition. As I plan for his imminent return, I thought I'd look back at when our elf came to live with us.
I love reading. I think I've written about it before. Shane calls me a nerd. And I will proudly wear that title any day.
Yesterday I finished an incredible book. It's Sandra Brown's Exclusive. AH-MAZING! I have been a big Brown fan for many years. And I know this is not her newest novel*. But I LOVED this one.
It is true to Brown's style of action, suspense and sexual tension. The plot had so many twists and turns, I am sure if you tried to plot it out on a line, it'd look more like a maze. I thought I had it figured out, but I was wrong. The action did not end until the very last page. I won't give you any spoilers, but I can say "Do NOT skip the epilogue. Read this to the very last page."
What are you reading these days?
Since it's only a few weeks away from Thanksgiving, I really need to get my butt in gear and figure out our Christmas cards for this year.
Naturally, I have been scouring Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. And I have been looking back at some of our holiday pics from the past... I love how so many Christmas pictures are done in pajamas. Want to stroll down Memory Lane with me?
Let's Go Way Back...
I feel like recently my posts have been about Rea. I think because I really feel (sometimes) like I am failing as a Mom with her. It's so hard to be a parent. It's harder to be a good one. I am definitely the mother of a strong-willed, snot-mouthed daughter... she clearly gets that all from her Dad since I am an angel. Anyone who knows us will agree.
When I was looking through the blog and my photos, it dawned on me that I haven't spent much time talking about Buddy. He's so easy-going. Sometimes I fear that works to his disadvantage.
So let's catch up with the little goofball.
Rea's big school project last month was "Ellis Island". Her class learned about the US, our government levels and immigrating to this country. She had to create a timeline of her family history dating all the way back to ancestors immigrating to the United States.
I have to admit, this task was overwhelming, but at the same time I became mildly obsessed with the research. I don't know how 2nd graders were really supposed to know or find this information. A few of our family lines don't go back that far... my dad is first generation American, so that tree branch was easy. Others traced back to the 1500s. It was so cool.
With the help of ancestry.com, we were able to find out that my husband is not German at all, like he has always claimed. He is in fact Canadian, with a tiny touch of Swedish. Hahaha. It reminded me of their commercial:
Anyway, back to us. Rea wanted to make her timeline look like a family tree we found on Pinterest (how did I survive before Pinterest?). I thought this was a great idea. We gathered all of the supplies and information. Then it was time to hunker down and create the tree.
I somehow managed to not take a single photo of the finished product. Ugh. Oh well, when it comes home from school, I plan to frame it.
The most exciting day for the kids was Ellis Island day. They created personas of immigrants, Rea's was a combo of two of her great-grandparents. The students had to dress the part. Then, in the Media Center at school, they had to "come through Ellis Island". Complete with a health check from the doctor and nurse, some students were isolated for germs they may have contracted in transit. The kids had to answer questions about their homeland, their reasons for leaving, their intentions for life in the US. Then they had to have new photo IDs taken. Finally they were sworn in by the justice on duty.
It was really an incredible thing to witness. I am so glad I was able to be there in person helping.
Even though it just past, I still have Halloween on the brain. It is my favorite holiday after all.
This year was an exhausting success. We did not host our Boo Bash, like in the recent years. We were happily the guests of someone else's party. And we finished the night trick or treating with close friends.
The costume situation is always really stressful for me. With kids, at least mine, it's difficult to nail them down to one costume. Take this year for instance. In September, I began looking at the costume sites for some options (I am not the crafty Mom who can take things from our own closets and create incredible and creative costumes.). So I store buy most of ours. In September, Buddy wanted to be a minion (again). Rea wanted to be Evie, from Disney's Descendants. She thought I should be the Evil Queen, Evie's Mom. And we weren't totally sure about Stu.
I waited though before purchasing. Past experience has taught me that what is exciting in September will be old hat by October.
For the month of October, the kids changed their minds. They wanted us to be a family of vampires. I was very excited about this... figuring that even Stu would get in on the action. Mommy and Daddy love vampires. It was not really a shock when my 5 year old came up with the idea. So we began discussing costume options. Vampires are awesome because you can wear anything, then slap on some white face make up, fangs and blood. We had fun coming up with our characters' back stories. I was so excited about this.
Then the week of Halloween came. I dragged my feet about going to the Halloween store. I had a feeling I would be leaving with much more than a family set of vampire fangs.
I was right.
Take a stroll down memory lane with me... Check out our past Halloweens.
As I predicted, Buddy decided that he did not want to be a vampire anymore... the rest of us could (his words). So after about 30 minutes of walking up and down every aisle Buddy decided on being a Ninja Turtle. It was money well spent. He wore this costume for two days straight.
Rea was still planning to be a vampire. She had chosen clothes from her closet to wear. But she wanted real fangs. Not the cheap looking mouth pieces that kids get as party favors. I was happy to oblige thinking that her costume would only cost about $15. Not too bad.
On Halloween, after karate, we stopped by a different Halloween store. I was not in love with the idea of my vampire costume. I just wanted to look around. And this time we had Stu with us. He could find something for himself. I found a modest Indian outfit which made me super happy. It seems like there are only two styles of women's costumes: SKANK or SWEAT YOUR BUTT OFF. It's Florida. We do not have a cool Halloween... the high for October 31 was 86! No way do I want to be a Cat in the Hat in full body felt! Yuck.
When we began getting ready to go to the party, we had lots of trouble with Rea's fangs. They were simply way too large. And we could not get the wax to properly adhere to her tiny teeth. She was crying, which in turn ruined her face makeup. Which, of course, made her cry more because now a lot of makeup was going into her eyes. It was a disaster.
Back to the costume shop.
Finally, we made it to the party! And I think we looked pretty fantastic!
The party was fabulous... my favorite part was the tiger! Yes, a six-week old baby bengal tiger. It was incredible. There was also a year old alligator and year old crocodile. They were feisty little monsters.
Nothing super fancy here... Just crazy stories from our day to day life. Or random thoughts from my brain. Enjoy.