Friday, November 29, 2013

These busy fall days

I love seasons. Even though the time change always throws us off our schedule for a little while, I love settling into crisp afternoons outside and cool, dark evenings at home. I love that season to season our activities change; my favorite fall/winter activities are pretend Kindermusik classes in our living room, watching Olivia and Leo play doctor with Daddy, and going to the playground all dressed in our outdoor gear! Here are some glimpses into these busy fall days!

One picture from the Birmingham Science center a few weeks ago. We love that place, too, and it is perfect for cold and rainy days! The three friends to the left of Olivia met us there, and we all had a ball!

Shopping one day a couple of weeks ago, and Leo put his head on Olivia's shoulder and said, "I love you, Ia." 

Playing musical chairs in Olivia's bedroom one morning. Olivia and Leo are actually beginning to play together on their own for five to thirty minutes at a time without me. This is outstanding for me getting things done, and it is so beautiful to watch their little friendship developing!

Later, doing "tummy time" with their babies.

After a playground trip, the kids often play in the driveway while I get dinner on the table and/or they are waiting for Daddy. The got brooms out the other night and pretended they were horses. I love these creative kids! And look at that gorgeous sunset behind them!

These are with the good camera. I didn't adjust the settings correctly to get the kids, but the sunset is perfect!

And one day when I needed something new to do with the kids, I broke out this market from IKEA that I picked up on my trip this summer. The kids love it! I probably should have waited until Christmas, but...perhaps it can be a puppet theatre if we put it away for a while and bring it back out after Christmas!

Guess who? If you guessed Leo, you would be right! He loves to dump stuff out of drawers and baskets and bowls and plates. Oh, the messes we clean up in a day! 

Nicholas's advisor from grad school came a couple of weekends ago for a conference that Nicholas helped organize on campus. Brian is super nice, brought the kids some gifts, played with them a lot, and didn't even act put out by their constant requests to play ring-around-the-rosy even when it was making him dizzy. They loved him!

On another playground trip, we ran into several friends from the neighborhood, and the kids had a blast jumping in, crunching, and throwing leaves! We all love fall!

We went to the historic train depot in Northport last Saturday. The model trains inside were a hit, especially Thomas, of course. The caboose outside was super fun, too!

Then on Sunday we hit the playground with one of Olivia's classmates. They had so much fun! Olivia had been asking me to have a one-on-one playdate with this friend, so it worked out perfectly...except that Leo was along, too, but they all had a great time on that cold, sunny afternoon!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Olivia and Leo's Thanksgiving Feast

Olivia and Leo had a Thanksgiving Feast at their school last Wednesday. This is Olivia's third "feast" there, and this year was the best yet! Each classroom joined with another and set up a table in the halls. The kids made artistic place mats and hats. (I say that loosely with Leo's class as it looked like the teachers did most of the work!) And the tables were decorated in pin-worthy style! I know it was a lot of work for the teachers, but it turned out great! So many parents and grandparents showed up to see the kids' work and help them feast! Happy Thanksgiving!

Leo's table--you can see his spot in the middle front with the blue and red sippy cup.

Olivia's table on the left, and her with a couple of friends in their classroom on the right.

Leo and his best friend Thad sat next to each other. Leo would not put on his pilgrim hat, but he was all about the food when it was put out!

Olivia's table as everyone was seated. Look at all those parents!

Olivia eating at her table.

An then eating at Leo's table. The three of us stuck together. Leo didn't want me to leave him, so I carried him over to check on Olivia, then she didn't want me to leave her. So we went back to Leo's table. It was a bit less chaotic at his table because there were fewer people and because it had a corner location so people could walk by better.

Now back to Olivia's table for desert. Leo's class only had healthy desserts, so he was stoked to see some bright orange frosting!


I am so thankful for Olivia and Leo's little school, their teachers, and their friends. Both of them are learning SO MUCH right now. What exciting and fun ages! Leo is speaking in sentences most of the time now. Olivia's memory and vocabulary just continue to improve. I am so thankful for both of them!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My new favorite crockpot recipe

This is a recipe from the kids' school fund raiser cook book that I tried last week. It's easy, and so yummy that even Leo ate an adult size portion!

Chicken with Corn and Black Beans

1 lb chicken breasts
1 can corn (Mexicorn, white corn, yellow corn, whatever)
1 can black beans -- drained
1 large jar of salsa

Put all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low 5-6 hours until chicken is totally done and very tender. Shred chicken with forks. Serve with rice or chips, top with cheese or sour cream if desired.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I thought we would be going to a bunch of football games this year, so I delayed posting this one from September 28th. We missed all of October due to other fun events. Since we also "tailgated" this past Saturday, November 9th, I thought I would go ahead and post. The weather changed, the fun did not! The kids have a great time seeing campus, jumping on the bouncy houses, eating junk and playing in Nicholas's building. It happened back in September after getting back from tailgating, my friend called and asked if we wanted her two tickets on the 20 yard line. We took her up on it. Olivia and I went for Olivia's first ever game! She had a blast!!  Here are the highlights:

September 28 -- UA vs. Ole Miss:  25 - 0

Just out of the car and ready to Roll Tide!

In front of the fountain by Nicholas's building

Bouncy houses, here we come!! It was hot, hot, hot that day, but the kids had fun!

We met up with our friends whose kids are our kids' best friends at school:

Then, later at the game, Olivia did great! It took a long time to get into the stadium, but once we were in there, she enjoyed (1) the band, (2) the cheerleaders, and (3) watching the ball. We were close enough to be able to see it!

November 9 -- UA vs. LSU: 38 - 17

It was a perfect tailgating day as it was cool, the fall leaves were gorgeous, and when we got to campus around 11, the bouncy houses weren't totally crowded yet! 

After eating lunch, we stopped by the Natural History Museum on campus. We had done that last year and had a good time, and the kids had a good time again seeing the dinosaurs and other "old things!" It was totally worth the admission cost of zero dollars since kids under 5 are free and it is also free to faculty and staff of UA!

We hit the bouncy houses again and then went home. The kids took naps, and Nicholas let me take a nap while he fought them to take theirs! We had pizza delivered later and watched the LSU game after eating the cake Nicholas baked for my birthday! I only had a small emotional meltdown about getting older!