17 December 2011

Ho Ho Ho NO!

I'm not sure where things went wrong. I can't tell you what happened specifically as I wasn't there, assuming there was even a "there" to be at. All I know is that one day my boys were thrilled with Santa, and the next Zeke was scared and Deacon was angry. Yes, you read that right, angry. Deacon came out of his bed room one day, and we had the following conversation:

Deacon: Mom, I don't want Santa to bring me any presents because I'm angry with him.
Me: You're angry with Santa?
Deacon: Yes.
Me: Why?
Deacon: Because he makes me angry. He can bring Ezekiel presents, but not me.

Then he walked away. The other night we put on "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and as it started Zeke said to the TV, "Santa Claus, I don't like you, you scare me." As far as I know, this is the first Christmas they're really aware of anything Santa at all, so I'm not sure where these feelings are coming from. Thus, when Santa visited our street on Wednesday, Finn was the only one who went out to greet him, and that's because Mommy physically made him (I picked him up and carried him outside).

(Sorry it's blurry. I only had my iPhone, and things were going quickly and my neighbor took the picture for me.) Finn did pretty well being near Santa. He sort of stared like he was trying to figure Santa out. Then he cried a little, but that was only when Santa patted his head.

When one of the police escorts saw the other two boys up in the window he asked if they were going to come out too. I told him one was scared of Santa and the other was angry with Santa. He chuckled and said, "Well, keep the angry one in there. We don't need Santa getting beat up." Heh.

It was a cool thing though. Santa drove up and down every street on base, in a fire truck, and handed out teddy bears to all the kids that came out to see him. So, that means we've seen Santa roll up in a paladin and now a fire truck. That guy really enjoys using alternative methods of transportation, huh? I think he also rode around on a little train thing the Spaghetti with Santa nights, but we didn't go to that, so I'm not positive that actually happened. And, as you can see by the picture below, he stopped right in front of our house.

If you look close enough to our window above the garage, you can also see Scaredy Scott and Angry Andy watching from the safety of their living room. I love how they keep life interesting like this. Oh, those Walter boys.

08 December 2011

This Year's Tree

In Alaska, our house came with an arificial Christmas tree. It was a nice enough tree so we used it the 2 years we were there. However, much to Josh's disappointment, our place here in New Jersey did NOT come with an artificial tree, so we decided to go out and buy a real one this year. This news thrilled Zeke, who counted down the days until we could buy a tree. Every day as he got off the bus he would say, "Three more days until we buy a Christmas tree, right Mom?" and so on.

So, Saturday morning off we went to get ourselves a real Christmas tree. When we got to the tree lot, we put Finn in the stroller, much to his dismay. Josh said, "Here, give him a rock to play with, he'll be fine."

Of course, Finn immediately put the rock in his mouth. Sigh. Notice the second rock between his legs. Deacon decided giving Finn rocks was a good idea, and was more than happy to go along with it.

I found one tree that was beautiful, but unfortunately it was also a little on the big side.

Even Deacon was skeptical. Oh well.

We did eventually find one, and despite the look on Finn's face, it is a lovely tree. (He was SO over being in that stroller.)

While Zeke and Josh paid for the tree, Finn, Deacon and I roamed around, mostly watching the guys open the trees that had just arrived from the farm. It was a pretty neat process. The one guy was super sweet and even gave Finn a little branch to run around with.

Once the tree was paid for and strapped to the top of the car we were on our way back home.

Here's Josh bringing the tree in. You know, before he set the stand up to put the tree in.

We set up the tree then left it for the rest of the day as we had that ball and what's it to go to. Sunday, however, Sunday is when the rest of the fun happened.

Since Zeke was super thrilled about the whole "tree thing" it seemed fitting that he put the star on the top of the tree (with some help, of course).

After the star came the lights.

After lights, Josh took the boys outside to put some more lights up out there, but not before Zeke got his one special ornament up on the tree.

After we came back in, Christmas tree decorating commenced...for everyone except Mommy who was sent into the kitchen to make dinner. Sigh.

And here's the finished product.

We are all very pleased with it. And now that I've written this post I realized I haven't watered it since we set it up so I should probably go and check on that. Ciao!

05 December 2011

Slow Down December!

Well, my plan to blog every day in December went right out the window! My apologies. I actually sat down on the 1st to blog, but then my friend texted me to see if I was going to the tree lighting ceremony on post that afternoon, and I figured, "Why not? It's a beautiful (if chilly) day." So then I figured, "If I'm going to this tree lighting thing, and Santa will be there and all that, I'll just wait to blog today and write about our afternoon in the evening."

Having decided to wait to blog then, I went upstairs to try on dresses for the ball Josh and I had to go to on Saturday. I know, who waits until Thursday to try on dresses for Saturday? This girl, that's who. And wouldn't you know it, not one of my 3 dresses fit right, leaving me dressless for the ball. Therefore, the evening of the 1st was spent online dress shopping just to see what might be in the stores. This also took care of any blog time I might have had on Friday, since I spent Friday at the mall dress shopping. Which also meant I was pretty worn out come Friday night.

This brings us to Saturday. I thought for sure I'd blog Saturday since I knew we'd be going Christmas tree shopping and what's it. But wouldn't you know it, Saturday I found myself back at the mall. As it turns out, the bra I bought to wear under my dress still had the security tag on it, so I had to go back and get the tag removed. And while I was there I got all the extras to go with my dress: shoes, jewelry, shawl, clutch, etc. Saturday evening was the ball, and Sunday, well, Sundays I don't blog usually anyway, but my sisters were here, and I wasn't feeling good, so here I am now.

So, back to Thursday. Thursday after school I took my 3 boys and Thomas (he's in 1st grade and lives on our street and rides the bus with Zeke) to the tree lighting ceremony on base. It was fun. The kids mostly ran around in circles ignoring all the festivities.

After the tree was lit (somewhat anticlimactic as it was still pretty light outside so you couldn't see the lights that were on) Santa rolled up in a paladin. That was fun. After he got out of the paladin, he handed out candy canes to all the kids. Zeke, who is thrilled with the idea of Santa, apparently is way less than thrilled with the actuality of Santa. He hid behind Josh's legs and said "NO! Santa's scary!" Thomas and Deacon were fine though. We also took a family Christmas card picture.

Lol, could you imagine if I did send this out and everyone was like, "Um? I thought Beth and Josh only had 3 kids? Who's this extra one? He looks like he belongs, but um..." Anyhoo...

Saturday morning we took the kids to buy a Christmas tree. It was a beautiful morning and we had a good time looking around, trying to find the "perfect" one. I'll write more about it later as I have some fun pictures/little stories from our time at the Christmas tree place.

Saturday night was the holiday ball on post. It was nice. The place was beautifully decorated. We were able to sit at a table with a bunch of people we know, so that was nice. The food was good, even if we did eat WAY too late. Everyone looked lovely and I had some sweet footwear (not sure if you can really see them in the picture, but they were gold and glittery with a 6 inch heel.

Sunday we went to church as usual, and after nap time we decorated the tree. And by "we" I mean Josh and the boys decorated the tree while I got stuck making dinner. Lame, right? But Zeke was thrilled to finally have a tree and to be decorating it. He'd been counting down all week, leading up to Saturday.

Also excited about the Christmas tree is this guy:

He woke me up at 6:45 this morning just so I'd go down and turn on the lights. As soon as they were on, he laid in front of the tree quite content looking, and stayed there for the next hour until the kids got up and ruined the serenity of his morning.

And that, my friends, is about all for December so far. Hopefully it'll slow down a little bit and I can get some time to put up some stuff from November (maybe even as far back as October...yeah, that's what happens when I skip an entire month of blogging).

30 November 2011

So, November Kind of Got Away From Me

Hey there! Long time no hear from, huh? Sorry about that. November sort of got away from me this year. I had thought about doing NaBloPoMo again, but totally bailed on that idea after the first day when I realized I'd be gone a few days this month and didn't really want to blog while I was gone. So I took the entire month off. I'm toying with the idea of "making it up to you" by blogging all of December. We'll see.

As for November though, the "few" pictures I took this month are up on flickr, and looking through them, we really didn't do too much that was exciting this month. Which is probably why I didn't blog too much this month. Thanksgiving was this month, so I'll blog about that (minus pictures because I apparently didn't take any that day).

The day before Thanksgiving Zeke's kindergarten class and the other kindergarten classes put on a little show/dinner for their families. It was super cute. He'd been singing the songs for us a good week or so before the show, but it was fun seeing him up there, singing and dancing with all the other kids. When they lined up on the stands, he look at us and almost started crying from excitement when he saw that ALL of us were there, since Daddy was able to leave work for an hour to be there as well.

Here's a video of one of the 2 songs they sang. Zeke is in the center on the back row. And if you look closely at the bottom left of the screen when I zoom out at one point you'll see a cute blonde woman - that's Zeke's teacher. I like her. Anyway, the video:

Aren't they all so cute?

Thanksgiving day we watched the parade in the morning. Well, I watched the parade while the boys ran around and played. Although, the Sesame Street float was a HUGE hit with Finn. He climbed into my lap and bopped around and pointed at all his friends. It was very sweet.

We had Thanksgiving dinner down at Josh's parents' house. We had a nice time. The bigger boys had a ton of fun playing with their cousin Sam, as well as Josh's cousin Holly and her husband, Jordan. Finn impressed everyone with his mad iPad/iPhone skills. It was really nice seeing everyone who was there, and enjoying a good meal with them.

The rest of the long weekened was spent playing LEGOs. Josh's parents gave us BOXES of LEGOs and LEGO sets and all that kind of stuff, which we spent almost the entire weekend sorting, and putting specific sets together, and organizing and all sorts of stuff.

We're not even close to being finished either. You see the big brown box there? That's FULL to the TOP with just pieces. Yes, I would say thousands of LEGO pieces. We aren't keeping them all. We're going through and trying to put together all the sets so we can send of them on to Linda for Sam to play with (you're welcome Lin!). Hopefully we'll have it done by Christmas.

And that, in a nutshell, was our holiday weekend. Nice. Quiet. LEGO-filled. Just how we like it. I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving as well.

02 November 2011

A "Marvel"-ous Halloween

What a day Halloween was here. Our day started like a usual Monday with some food shopping, but it was extra...let's say...exciting because Zeke was with us as his school was closed due to the storm we had rage through on Saturday.

After food shopping, we had a special event. Josh got promoted to Major! That's right, now he's a Major Pain In My Butt!! OH! I've been waiting for quite awhile to use that joke. All joking aside though, I am very proud of him and all that he's done.

Since Zeke's school was cancelled and since Finn was going to be there anyway, I made Deacon come too so all of us were there, including my mom who came up for the promotion ceremony. After the ceremony was over, I brought Deacon to school while everyone else enjoyed the food I brought.

Speaking of the food, as I was getting out of bed Monday morning, around 7:30am, Josh said to me, "Do you think we should have some sort of food at this thing today?" Umm...YES! So I frantically ran around that morning getting things together (also making food shopping "exciting"). But it all came together well, and we had a great time. Especially since Ironman and Spider-man were there!

This happened because Deacon had to wear his costume to school, which meant Zeke wanted to wear his costume. And since both boys decided to wear their costumes, Zeke insisted that Finn wear his too. So, we had a sweet little tiger in attendance too:

I think the tail was my favorite part of the whole thing:

After I got Ironman and the Tiger home from the promotion ceremony I put them down for naps as I was exhausted. Apparently I wasn't the only one who was exhausted...sweet super hero.

After naps a bunch of kids from the neighborhood(s) came to our street and there was a little costume parade. It was sweet, and a good number of kids showed up considering the snow and everything.

After the parade, Josh left for another trip (this time to Virginia), and then it was dinner and all that kind of thing, until trick-or-treating "officially" started at 6pm. We did our street with our friend Thomas, and his mom, Kris (also Thomas' brother Christopher and his friend Tay).

After we did our street, the kids didn't really have much loot (as only 5 houses were home) so Kris, because she's wonderful, took the bigger boys to another part of base to do more trick-or-treating while I went home with Finn to be warm and hand out candy. About an hour later the boys came home, I got rid of the rest of the candy and we went to bed a little late, but very, very happy.

30 October 2011

That's...a lot of snow!

So, we got about a foot of snow yesterday. We lost power around 7 last night. It came back on at 7 this morning, but it's out again. We are all fine. Just wanted to let you all know. You know, in case you were worried.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

18 October 2011

Pumpkin Day - Part Two

After we got home from pumpkin picking, we put the boys down for naps. After naps we played a little and had an early dinner. After dinner though, that's when the pumpkiny fun continued. This year I let Josh do all the carving since I got to do it all last year, and because I was just too tired to shove a knife through the big pumpkins we got. Since Zeke was still working on finishing his dinner, we started with Deacon's pumpkin.

Don't worry, we made him move back right after I took this picture. In fact, in order to keep the bigger boys occupied while Josh carved to his heart's content, I put the boys to work sorting out all the pumpkin seeds.

It really went like this though. I would pull out the gunk, then sort out the seeds. I'd hand the seeds to either Zeke or Deacon (whoever was standing there waiting), who would then put them into the colander. Zeke didn't like touching most of it, but Deacon was good about diving right in this year.

Zeke was also "responsible" for throwing away the chunks of pumpkin Josh would put on the table as he carved. At one point Deacon turned to Zeke and said, "Zeke. There are pieces over there for you to throw away." As Zeke got up to throw them away Deacon then said to Josh, "Daddy. Zeke is on his way to take care of that. Okay?" Oh, he makes me laugh. He was just SO matter-of-fact about it all.

Finn, who is too young to really participate in and enjoy the carving festivities, started out coloring (Josh made that face, not Finn, but he does color with his left hand).

Eventually he got bored with that, and then ran around the house like a crazy man. Zeke accompanied him in this, in an attempt at avoiding dirtying his hands. Finn also acted as safety inspector by showing us how easily he could get his little ninja hands on the knives that were hanging out on the table. Eventually we found safe spots for them and he left us alone.

And now the finished products:

After carving was done all the menfolk went upstairs to take baths, while I stayed downstairs and cleaned up. I also washed and toasted the pumpkin seeds. All in all, it was a very good day. A LONG day, but a good day.

17 October 2011

Pumpkin Day - Part One

Saturday we took the boys pumpkin picking. We were going to do apple picking too, but apparently that ended last week when we first thought about going before deciding to wait until this week. Oh well, now we know for next year. Having grown up in New Jersey, we decided to take the boys to the places we went as kids. Our first stop was the Cider Mill. Unfortunately, due to all the rain this summer/fall, their pumpkin crop was pretty much non-existent.

No matter how much we looked, all we could find were pumpkins that looked like this:

It was not a complete waste of a trip though as we did enjoy some of the world's most delicious apple cider (I may be a bit biased), as well as some tastey donuts.

Not wanting to go home without the pumpkins we went for, we decided to stop at Alstede Farms, pretty much right down the road. While Josh grumbled at first, saying I was a glutton for punishment, it ended up being a great idea, and we had a really good time. Especially since we got to go on a hay ride to the pumpkin field!

As you can probably tell by their faces, the boys were very excited with this, and totally made the trip worth it.

Once we got to the field, it was off to find the perfect pumpkins. Josh took the boys one way and looked for some nice big ones to carve,

while I followed Finn around, picking him up every time he fell down. Which was quite often as by this point he was getting tired. Plus pumpkin patches tend to have bumpy grounds and vines that make it very easy for little ones to trip.

Be that as it may, as the sign below says, we had loads of fun.

To end our afternoon out, while Josh stood on line and paid for the pumpkins, I took the boys to the giant haybale hill thing, so we could climb it and get out any energy the kids might have had left in them by this point.

All in all, a very good day. And for those who read the titles and noticed that this says it's Part One, that's because we carved the pumpkins later that evening, but since that involves more pictures I'm going to save it for tomorrow.

Oh! I also got some gourds. Aren't they cute? I have to admit, I never thought twice about these things until we moved to Germany and I became friends with Joni. Now they're some of my favorite things. Okay, until next time!

13 October 2011

So, September

And now, without further adieu, a quick wrap-up of all the fun we had in September (I will do my best to try and stay on top of blogging in October).

We checked out the water park on base and LOVED it. We can't wait for next summer so we can get a season pass and hang out there quite often.

We went to Josh's cousin's wedding. (Sorry no pics for this one...maybe on someone else's facebook?)

Zeke started kindergarten.

The chapel we go to here had a picnic, complete with tug-of-war (tug-o-war?).

Josh's parents brought Peavey back to us, much to the boys' delight.

We went to a little Oktoberfest celebration at Josh's boss' house.

My mom had a birthday and we went down for dinner. Sadly, Deacon (and me a little) got a bit sick, so we had to bounce right after dinner was over. (Again, sorry no pictures.)

We went to West Point to visit the Starlings. We also got to see the Golby and the Childress families while we were there!

Soccer season started.

I had my first back to school night, which was fun. (Also no pictures of this.)

And we did a bunch of just hanging out and "relaxing" when we weren't running around.

So, there you have it! September in a decent sized nut shell. The rest of the pictures are up on flickr, again, for anyone interested.