Friday, January 23, 2015

September/October 2014 Highlights

Wow. The whole Fall, and half of Winter blew by. This past weekend, I spent a few hours, during an NC visit, ignoring my kids downloading and sorting photos from Brad's and my phones from the past 4 months. Our computer at home is not letting me download photos from my phone anymore (boooo!), and our laptop is ancient. Brad's Gram's computer in NC to the rescue! I was going to start "fresh" with this month, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. This is my baby/family book, of sorts, so I can't not chronicle Strider's 3rd birthday, or my brother's wedding, or Christmas! So, a retrospective it is then, starting with September and October....

These two photos are from a Touch a Truck event in VA Beach in Sept. I did not go to this personally, because I actually "kicked" everybody out of the house, so I could do some badly-needed deep housecleaning. You ever clean a tiny house with 4 other people in it? Yeah, uh, not happening. "The kids will have fun at this event!", I told my mother and Brad. Unfortunately, it also happened to be a super steamy Summer-like day, but everyone managed to survive. I like these two photos, because the kids just look so dang cute.
Ahhh! Look at how "wittle" he is!

sweet smile
 The following weekend in Sept, when we heard that "Nana and Papa" (Chris and Debbie, Brad's dad and stepmom) would be visiting NC, we dropped everything to bustle over there, so the kids could spend time with grandparents they don't see very often. Strider took a shine to Papa, and made himself QUITE comfortable on Papa's lap. And both kids had a blast with Nana that involved Hot Wheels cars, a ramp, and a bucket of cold water. When the excitement of the car ramp wore down, the bucket of cold water became stone soup of whatever "ingredients" the kids found on the ground. Nana had many "helpings" of that! LOL.
Yep, I'm comfortable. And you?

Fun with Nana!

Serenity took this photo
My big brother, Robbie and his lovely wife, Tracey got married in early October. The Felt Family (and my mom) loaded up the car and took the 14-hour drive from VA to FL. Well, 14 hours according to the GPS, but when antsy kids (and several stops) are involved, it's more like "Good God, are we ever going to get there?!". We broke up the drive into two days, and stayed in a Georgia hotel overnight. I took these two cute photos during our overnight stay.
Grammy and Serenity giggles

Looking more like 13, instead of 3.
We arrived in FL on my mom's birthday, so Brad and I made her a butter pecan cake (transported from VA), and we all sang to her, at my Dad's house, after supper.

The next day, Robbie and Tracey had their rehearsal dinner at a local pizza place (yummy pizza!), and I made them minion cupcakes for the rehearsal party. They didn't come out exactly the way I wanted (I was pulling out my hair and gnashing my teeth), mainly because I did not have time to "practice" making them beforehand, however, my brother happily ate them, so I guess I can call that a success!
The bride- and groom-to-be
The weather on the day of the wedding was beautiful, but true to Florida's nature, even in October, it was HOT! The ceremony was brief, but lovely. This was my kids' first time really attending a wedding, and Serenity had an absolute blast! As far as she was concerned, we could go to a wedding all day, everyday, if it had a"beautiful princess" (the bride), her fun Uncle Robbie, and tons and tons of dancing. This girl can really bust a move!

Strider, however, wanted none of it. It fell around his naptime, he was surrounded by a lot of people he didn't know, in a unfamiliar place, with loud music. To say he wasn't a fan of it all, and was cranky, is a tad understatement. He was super clingy on me, and I tried everything to placate him. Poor kid didn't know what he wanted. Finally, I just asked Brad to take him out to the air-conditioned car for a nap. Brad, being an introvert, happily obliged. LOL.  
I love this photo of my brother and I, with my kids

the happy couple

Serenity was captivated.....or waiting for her turn to dance....either way. LOL

Deliriously happy to hold the bride's bouquet!
During our visit, we stayed at my Dad and Cindy's house. I really loved seeing my dad have fun with his grandkids. He was very cars with Strider in the kitchen, and having a silly pillow fight with Serenity. The kids also loved "swimming" in the bath water ocean with Grandma Cindy and Grammy Kathy. Nobody had bathing suits, but it didn't matter!
If you want to be Strider's BFF, just race cars with him. :)

Look at those smiles!

enjoying the sun, sand, and water

The kids with Grandpa Bob and Grandma Cindy
In the middle of October, we had another milestone, of Serenity attending her first birthday party for one of her Pre-K school classmates. We have since attended 3 more classmate parties (all in December - more on that later!). And so, between the school's field trips, events, and classmate parties, we are diving head-first, into our first year, in the world of "big kid school". This particular birthday party was held for a boy classmate at a local karate school. It was quite the party! Serenity got to learn some karate moves, play a live version of Angry Birds, eat pizza and cake, whack a pinata, and just generally run around like a crazy 4-yr-old with energy to burn. If I can afford it someday, I would really love to put her and Strider in karate lessons....and swimming lessons....and dance lessons.....sigh. 
Serenity is in the red shirt
With the official arrival of Fall, and Halloween soon approaching, naturally we had to check off some stuff on our Fall bucket list. We went to a Fall Festival at a local farm in VA Beach. Serenity got her second-ever pony ride (Strider "politely" declined), plus we painted pumpkins, petted some animals, climbed on playsets, and jumped in bounce houses. It was a noisy, chaotic afternoon, but the kids had fun, and we got a nice family photo out of it.


Thanks for reading about our adventures so far! More photos and blog updates to come soon!