We gave thanks.


Our Thanksgiving Day yesterday was simple but one of the best days.  We spent it at my parent's house.  My mom and sister cooked, my dad and I put away the pumpkins and pilgrims and set out the poinsettias and Christmas ornaments, and Jim kept Jake, Parker, and Emily busy outside hunting squirrels.  We spent just one night (Wednesday) and came home early yesterday afternoon (about two o'clock).  My mom and dad have had the boys since last Friday when my mom left with them right after the Grandparents' Day program at Jake's school, so we kept our time at a minimum so they would have as long of a much-needed (I'm sure...even though they wouldn't dare admit it.) break as possible before we see them again this coming week (My mom is still our "preschool" for Parker until the middle of December.), and it was just the right amount of time together.  

I know I've been posting a lot of videos lately (You can tell how much my iPhone has changed my life.  I got it just before the new five came out, and I really think I've recorded more video since then than I have in two years.), but I couldn't help but share just one more.  This is from Jake's Thanksgiving feast at his school.  It's his class singing their daily lunch-time prayer - giving thanks to the One who deserves all of our "Thanks You's"...because without Him, we would have nothing.      

I hope you all had a great day of giving thanks too!

"Twang That Thang"


My Jake had a big, big week this past week.  And a busy week...plus my mom was here with us Tuesday through Friday (hence, the lack of blogging).

He ate a Thanksgiving feast with his class at school on Monday.  He wore feathers on his head (the only part of an Indian costume we could come up with) and brought a lot of laughter to the room when he burped loud enough for the class across the hallway to hear (I'm not sure who was more embarrassed - me or the mom of the little guy who kept parading around pictures of himself with the deer he helped his dad kill the weekend before.)  Ahhh...he lives out loud.  What can I say?

He tested for and earned his orange belt in karate.  He showed off his skills, listened to and followed the instructions he was given, and broke his first board into two pieces with one stomp.

He made his first trip to see Santa (because just once per Christmas season in unheard of to him) and gave him the rundown of his wish list.

And he twanged that thang in the Grandparents' Day program his school has every year on the Friday before the week of Thanksgiving.  No pictures do this justice with the exception of maybe this one of him with his grandma...

so I'm posting a video.  He's the third one from the left on the back (and standing) row all decked out in his 50's attire - a white tee, blue jeans rolled three times, white socks, black dress shoes, and hair that didn't move. 

a reading corner built for two


These two definitely show a lot of love for each other (hugs and even kisses pretty often), but Jake also loves to push his little bro's buttons.  A game of "keep away" really sends Parker over the edge, and he'll come running, crying, and screaming "Miiiiiine!!!" while pointing in Jake's direction and pulling me to come with him to get back what he had or wanted to have before brother took it away.

Yesterday this happened pretty frequently while I cleaned.  But at one point, I looked across the hallway from where I was vacuuming and into Parker's room.  I saw Jake sitting in Parker's reading chair, and then I watched Parker walk over with a book of his own to read, turn around, and scoot his bottom back into Jake's lap (An empty lap that will sit still long enough for him to grab a book means read-to-me-time for him right now.).  So I ran and grabbed my camera as quick as I could because I knew it might only be for a few seconds.

I was working super fast, so the quality isn't the best.  But the quality of the moment won me over.        

mommy's little helper


 Today's my lucky day.  I'm spending it at home with Parker while Jim is at work and Jake is on a field trip (All of the Kindergarten classes at his school went to see "Martha Speaks".)  I suspect we'll have several more of these than we had anticipated between now and mid December when our Christmas vacation and breaks begins because he's out of preschool until January.  He was still being bitten way too often - sometimes multiple times in a week - and we just couldn't let him take it anymore (especially when he wasn't dishing it out in the first place or in retaliation to let them know how it feels).  He's enrolled at the same K2-12 school Jake is, but his start date isn't until January - just a few days before his second birthday.  So until then, we are taking my parents up on their offer to help, taking as many days off as we can to give his grandparents a break, and soaking him up like a sponge on days like this one.

Today, he's been my much-needed assistant.  I gave him his own never-used-before sponge to help me clean potties and wipe down our kitchen counters.  He picked out which shirt he wanted to wear and helped me get him dressed.  And being the lover of laundry that he is, he has helped me sort load after load and transfer it from our washer to our dryer (all while wearing various pieces of it on his head - put there all by himself).


"I touched him!"


So I finally uploaded a Halloween video of the boys.  We were at a church Fall Festival where they had bounce houses, a cake walk, games, a petting zoo, and candy.  Naturally.  As you can tell, they did dress alike for this one.  Jake's Leonardo costume came fresh out of its packaging with a two-inch hole in the side seam where some stitches were obviously missed.  I "warned" Jake that Leonardo might not exactly survive all the bouncing he wanted to do so it might be wise to save him for Halloween.  He heeded the warning and wore his flight suit that we ordered one size too big (the oops that made us the proud owners of two flight suits). 

I wish I had moved my phone around a little more, but I was as focused as Jake was on the duck.  I didn't want to miss him "touch" him.  Either way, I love it.  I love that Jake is sneaking around the cage the duck was in while holding his finger up to his lips to instruct Parker to be quiet, and I love his little voice, "I touched him!"     

Sneak attack well executed, Buddy!

Halloween 2012: It was a good one.


You may remember last year the boys dressed as a zookeeper and zebra.  It was the one and only year I thought I might be able to pull off a "theme"; but at the beginning of the costume season, I still had my hopes.  Star Wars is all the rage with Jake (Crissy, the light saber you gifted Jake for his fourth birthday was completely the start of something and the absolute perfect gift!), and Target had every character in costume he could ever want to be - they even had a Parker-sized Yoda, and I thought...This is perfect!  I'll have my Halloween duo yet again.  And then two Saturday mornings of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a seventeen dollar polyester replica of Leonardo changed his mind forever.  I never really checked to see if they had Donatello or Raphael in a size or two smaller.  I simply went to plan b - thinking back on Halloween's past and wondering if I could reuse something we already had.  Jake's first flight suit was a close fit, and we could personalize it to make it seem less "handed down" (like he didn't have his own costume this year)...it was a winner.

Here are my little trick-or-treaters in their Halloween garb.

Before we had even left our driveway, Parker tapped into our own candy bowl and had helped himself to a blue sucker.  And by the end of the night, he had gathered as much to hold out his pumpkin to our neighbors for more.  He'd walk away, set his pumpkin down, pull out what had just been dropped in it, and hand it to me to open.

Jake, the seasoned trick-or-treater that he is, darted from door to door in record time, plopped down on the rug in our front entryway, tore off his mask, and dug right in.  Just the way any seasoned trick-or-treater should. 

Just one from last night...


because no amount of leftover Halloween candy can keep me awake after catching up on our laundry tonight so I could have it done before the weekend gets here (I've got big, big plans to move Jake into Parker's room and Parker into Jake's room in just two days.).

Oh, they had the best time!  And just so you know, this is the last time they were seen together.  Jake left Parker licking a sucker that he took from our own candy bowl and totally in the dust while he ran from house to house as fast as his turtle costume-covered legs would carry him.

Goodnight ghosts and goblins!