Birthday Tradition

Today was your Dad's 42nd Birthday. 
He picked you up from your art lesson at Nanna's,
and brought you home to begin your traditional 
scavenger hunt together!!!

It started at the mailbox,
which contained birthday cards
and your first clue.

This year, I was able to make the hunt
a little more difficult,
since you are another year older and smarter.

It was so much fun to watch you first find all the clues
to each riddle, and then solve them to find the next.

There were jokes, riddles, clues, and problem solving.

The clues were spread out between all three levels of the house.

And there were gifts for each of you at each clue site.

From your favorite snacks, to glow sticks, masks and balloons.
There were many new chapter books for you,
and even a black light art studio! 

It took you and your Dad about an hour to complete.

Your favorite clue was in the spare bedroom, upstairs.

There were MANY balloons, and in each balloon 
there was one word of the puzzle. 

You and your Dad had to break every balloon and 
decipher the code. :)

It was another great success,
and I'm so glad to have this fun tradition
well underway.

I know we will enjoy it for years to come. :)


Bouncing into the Unexpected

Today, we were invited out with some friends of ours. 
We spontaneously agreed, and they picked us up 
when you were done with school. 

We went to a bouncy house place in town. 
We planned to just let you and your friend bounce 
until you were ready to fall over, pile you back in the car, 
and take you home to dinner and your beds. 

What actually happened was quite a surprise. 

The place was nearly empty. 
There were only a couple of other families there. 
After we had been there for a little time, you and your friends 
brought over fists full of coins for the games you weren't playing. 
We advised you to find the owner and return them. 
So you did. 

When you found who owned the coins and tried to return them, 
the owner told you to keep them. 

You were so excited. 
So you played your first game and hit the jackpot, 
winning 100 tickets right off the bat!!! :) 
You were thrilled. 

Your friends rode on rides, while you continued on your hot streak. 
You won A LOT of tickets in the few games you played.

The family who gave you the coins came over 
and offered you ANOTHER roll, 
saying they were leaving and wouldn't use them. 

You accepted gratefully, and THEN, 
they pointed at a MOTHER LOAD of tickets in the middle of their table 
and told you their son was only 1 yr. old and wouldn't need them. 

We talked about what a great lesson this was in honesty. 
How you would have never been so blessed as you were 
if you had snuck those found tokens and played them on the sly. 

As the family was leaving I realized who they were. 
The Jones', as in Green Bay Packer, wide receiver, JAMES JONES. :) 
I was only sorry that I couldn't tell you until it was too late
-you were being spoiled by a Packer Player. 

(art off internet)

Well, just after I utter the words into you ear and your eyes lit up, 
in walked AJ Hawk, and Mason Crosby, with their families in tow. 

They didn't spoil you. 
But it was kind of a wild and unexpected afternoon of 
playing with the Packers' kids at the bouncy house.

You ended up with a tally of 1021 tickets. 

The three of you went home with a total of about $3.50 worth of prizes. :) 
But it was the fun of it that made it all special. 

I'm sure we'll be doing it again soon enough... 
however, probably not with same star studded itinerary. :)


Michael Surprise

Today, we set up a little desk station and you did school in your room by your gata, of course. :)

It was kind of peaceful for me. You keep your door closed so the cat can't get out and no dogs come in.

I would bring up a class, go over the materials/directions/lesson with you. Then I would tell you how long it would be before your next class would start. You knew that if you finished before the time was up, you could have a break to play with Mea.

This worked great because usually I wait for you to finish, and then we move on. But sometimes you will take your sweet sweet time (messing around) before you finish.
Today, you not only had incentive to finish, but I didn't suffer with you if you didn't. We called any left over work "homework". That made you feel special since there is no such thing in your world (or rather, it is ALL "home"work)  :)

After school, we went to your counseling appointment. While you were in your session, Aunt Kim, Nanna, Puppa and Michael showed up for Michael's own appointment with a different counselor. We didn't even know Michael went to the same place we do! When you were each done, you and Michael asked if you could stay together. I let you go home with Nanna and Puppa, and I went to visit Gigi.

Puppa brought you back home at about 7pm. You said that you and Michael played football and scored a 60 to 60 tie. And that you ate a floppy noodle casserole with meat, apple sauce, bread, butter, milk, an ice cream cone, a fruit roll up, some doritoes... seriously. You put DOWN at your Nanna's house! We need to bring her some FOOD! :)


Cat Room

Today, we got your bedroom ready for your cat. 
Although, we're not completely finished, we were able 
to bring her inside and get her settled in her new place. 

Your Dad and I fixed some of the things that were not working right 
-namely, your closet doors and the rods of your curtains. 

Then you and I cleaned up and organized things. 
We changed your closet around so we could put your drawers 
of toys, paper work, and legos out of the way, inside. 

Then we took your tiny table and chairs set 
(that you don't even fit in anymore) down to storage. 

We took out some of the posters from your Cat Magazines 
and put them up on the walls, 
brought in a new short bookshelf/end table, 
moved your hamster to the toy room, 
and brought in Mea's things. 

There is no way we would have agreed to this if it weren't for 
Mea's amazing, fully self cleaning, odorless cat box. 

We also bought her a couple new toys 
and are looking into getting her a cat condo 
(which you have wanted since we first adopted her)

I made a little canopy corner over your bed to put all your stuffed cats in. 
It's kind of like a little fort for you, and I think Mea likes it too. 
She lays on your pillow right under it, as if she knows it's the safest place. 

Of course, once she was in your room 
we didn't see you for the rest of the evening. 
You ate dinner in your room, 
and watched a couple of shows on your iPad with her in bed.

I'm amazed at how cuddly and approachable she is. 
When I read to you tonight, she actually came up and laid right 
above your head, put her paws around you, and PURRED! 

I don't know who's happier, you or Mea. 

Apparently, the way to make an independent cat want you 
is to have it live outside in the screen room for six months, 
then bring it back into the house when it starts to get cold. :) 

I'm so happy for you, both.

P.S. This is your dream cat condo:


Bouncy Houses and Sparklers

Today, you spent the day at your Nanna's house. Cousin Michael didn't have school, and Aunt Kim took the two of you to The Bouncy Houses. You played for hours. Then, you and Nanna did art at her house for the week. You made clay ornaments. She will bake them and you can paint them during next weeks art lesson. 

This evening we did sparklers in the yard. I don't know why. You and your Dad decided it would be fun. It was. :)

It's getting very cold outside now. 

We have a housewarming party (kids included) this weekend, and the Packer Game, Sunday. Other than that, we'll be relaxing, playing video games, snuggling in, and doing the family thing. 


Today it was beautiful outside. The sun wasn't showing, but the temps were perfect. We started out early with some outdoor play time, just like yesterday morning. We didn't go exploring in the woods, but we enjoyed the front yard with the pups for awhile before we got to business. 

You struggled with staying on task a little bit for school today. I felt bad for you, missing all the nice weather. So, I stepped out to do some leaf blowing, and then you and I resumed school on the deck, with the dogs. 

You finally finished at 2:10pm. Quite a bit later than usual for you.

You emptied the dishwasher and put you clean clothes away in your closet. When I came up to see how you were doing, you had a bunch of your cat magazines spread out on your bed. You said you were creating a special cat room for your cat, and you would like to bring her in for the winter. 

My first reaction was to say no, but then I realized this isn't a bad idea at all. The screen room she lives in now is about the same size as your bedroom, and the winter won't be as fun to be outside as the rest of the year is for her. 
We're working out the arrangement, and we'll see how it goes. 

Tonight, you and I rented Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 on Vudu. It was cute. Now you are playing a little "Joy Ride", a cool xbox360 game you found when you went on your search for God honoring video games last week. :) 

In about 20 minutes you will have to start your evening routine. 

It usually takes you between 15 and 20 minutes to get ready for bed. You put on pjs, brush your teeth (you still set the timer on the kitchen stove for 3 minutes), then you have a glass of water, go potty, and extensively wash your hands. You finish up with some lotion on your hands and a good night hug and kiss for your Daddy. 

THEN, we tac on another 30 minutes for me to go up to your room with you and read whatever school story we have delegated to save for bedtime. This week is was "Sarah Noble" and the three chapters of "American Patriots and Pioneers". 
Then, we do your "Little Visits with God" devotion, pray, snuggle, and FINALLY, I get to return to your Dad for our evening together. 

Just one word for all of this comes to mind as I look at it all "on paper":




Foggy Morning Fun

Yesterday, I changed my facebook profile picture to this old photo of you:

Gra liked it so much and commented asking if it was a recent picture. 
I had to look it up to find out exactly when it was taken, 
but even I was surprised to learn that you were just 
two years and some months old! 

I remember that morning well. We lived in the city. 
We woke up to a beautiful sunrise in fog. 
I threw on your clothes and took you outside 
to shoot some photos of your cuteness. 

Oddly enough, we woke up this morning to another beautiful sunrise fog. 
You and I took the dogs outside to play and get some photos.

We spent almost an hour playing in the woods, 

riding the tire swing, 

(this was your face and you scoot along avoiding a spider)

hiking and exploring in the fog. 

Frank and Apple loved it. 

Apple showed Frank around the woods.

She ran circles around us, and he did what he loves most...

chewed on sticks. 

(you look just like your Dad when he was your age)

It was a fun hour or so before we got into our day of school. 
I enjoyed being with you and our pups having fun together in our woods. :)