Saturday, November 5, 2011

I was wondering why I haven't had time to update our blog and then I looked back at pictures and realized how busy we really have been!  Here are some of the highlights...

In the corn... at the pumpkin farm.
We took the younger kids from our Great Minds group to a pumpkin patch for an afternoon.  Great Minds is a program that our church runs for one of the housing developments near our church.  We've volunteered with them for the last few years.  The kids range in age from kindergarten up through high school.  The pumpkin patch was especially fun for all of us!

Enjoying a hay ride.

Having a picnic dinner from Subway.

I don't have as many pictures of Brennan
at the pumpkin patch because he was in
another group.  He had a blast though!

  Brennan's project for Time Machine Day also kept us busy for awhile.  He worked hard and was excited to present it on October 20th.  He did a GREAT job!  He said his biggest audience was about 17 people once.  He presented from 9:00- 9:30 AM over and over and over again... probably about ten times total.  Who knew that the little kid who cried when he had to sing in his program in kindergarten would develop into this outgoing kid that can present to so many people without even being nervous?!!!  A huge thank you goes to The Raleigh School and all of his fabulous teachers that encouraged him and helped him grow so much!                                                                                                                                                                   

Brennan made a perfect
Jacques Cousteau!
Kate watching her favorite movie
on the ride to the beach.
We were all happy she had
headphones... Barney may be her
favorite but not ours!

And then we took the older Great Minds kids to the beach for the day!  Brennan spent the day fishing so he didn't go along... but Kate did and it was her first time at the beach!  We left around 8:30 AM and our first stop was the aquarium at Fort Fisher.  We all enjoyed looking around the aquarium and then we headed to the beach for a picnic lunch (Subway again) and to splash in the waves. 

She LOVED the beach once she got used to it!
She ran and splashed and laughed the entire time!

One tired little girl after the big
beach day!

It was great to meet up
with Alison and her family!  Her girls are adorable!

It was great to meet up with a good friend in Raleigh.  She now lives in Virginia and it had been two years since I had seen her last!  We had a great visit and promised not to let as much time between visits again!

I finally met her youngest too!

Kate always loves being with Sue
who was also excited to see Alison and
her family.

Brennan missed the beach day and the breakfast with Alison because he was fishing with Mr. Thanos!  They went fishing in the brackish waters off the coast and had a GREAT time!  They fished until 1:00 AM and then got up and fished some more at 7:00 AM!  They both came home smiling from ear to ear and smelling of fish themselves! We are always thankful to Mr. Thanos for taking such wonderful care of Brennan and giving him so many wonderful memories!

This is just the fish they kept!

Driving to Black Mountain was fun too!

I went with Brennan to his overnight fourth grade trip to Black Mountain.  We left on October 27th which was the perfect time to see the beautiful fall leaves!  I was especially excited to go on this trip! I had gone on this trip ten times as a fourth grade teacher and always loved it... but have to admit it was even more fun just being a parent!
The two days were filled with many fun adventures including teamwork games, candle making, dinner, time playing and running around, a huge campfire complete with S'mores and ghost stories, breakfast, the fast moving game of predator and prey, and time in the stream.  The weather the first day was perfect but a little cold the second day. We all bundled up and had a super time!

They had to work together to get this ramp to
balance... they finally did it!

Another team working activity.

The view was BEAUTIFUL!

How many kids can climb the same tree?

Three cheers for the mountain trip!

The perfect place to play
the predator/prey game!

Brennan got to be fish during one
of the rounds of predator/prey.

Brennan's favorite activity
was finding and catching critters
in the stream.  You know it's cold
when Brennan's wearing a coat!

Dave and Kate met us in the mountains on Friday for the weekend.  We stayed at a beautiful place in Hendersonville and had a relaxing and fun time.  The weather was a little (ok a lot) cold... but that didn't stop us!  We still went paddle boating, fishing, hiking, more fishing, and played with the goats.  Our resort included a delicious breakfast each day and our room was adorable! 

At breakfast Brennan managed
to spill his water both days...
we moved all liquids away from his reach!
Silly kid!  He wanted to blame it on Kate
the second day but she's too smart for that and
didn't let him get away with it!

Paddle boating was a little
tricky in the wind... but we did it!

Here is our favorite goat-
he was more like a dog than
a goat though!

Eating breakfast in Flat Rock at
a place called Hubby Bubba's.

You ordered the food outside and
then sat under ceiling heaters
to eat it.  It actually was warm enough and
fun!  Plus the food was delicious!

Brave Brennan with the frog...Kate
was scared of this frog and wouldn't
go near it.  She is so funny!

This may become our Christmas card this year!
I love this picture and I love these two kids so much!

We played in the game room too!

Of course Brennan caught some fish!

Kate didn't catch any fish
but she had fun trying.

Our princess had to wear a coat
over her dress..
this coat and hat were
perfect for a princess though!
  Before we knew it- it was Halloween!  I had a teacher workday on the 31st so Brennan spent the day with Dave and Kate went to her school like normal.  I worked hard on progress reports and other things all morning and then Kate and her class came to visit!  They were all in their Halloween costumes and had gone by all the work places of the kids' parents.  Kate was so excited to bring her friends into my classroom!  They enjoyed looking at our class pets (two birds, a fish, and a guinea pig), playing in our tent, and playing on our playground.  Our guinea pig named Taco was the favorite though!

Kate and her friend dressed
up for Halloween.

Kate and Ms. Julie (her teacher).

Taco our guinea pig is so sweet.
So are the kids in Kate's class!

After Kate went trick or treating at school she knew
exactly what to do at night!  Here is our princess
with her vampire brother ready to protect her!

It was raining so we thought we'd try trick or treating at the mall... but it was CRAZY!  Apparently
everyone had the same idea!

We ended up trick or treating in our neighborhood because it stopped raining.  Brennan and Kate had so much fun and got a ton of candy!  Kate truly enjoyed her first Halloween in America!

Brent designed Kate's butterfly shoes
and wanted to add some cushioning
to the sides.

We've been so busy we haven't
even had time for a haircut!

We've also been busy going to physical therapy and occupational therapy each week.  Kate LOVES going and it gives Brennan and I a chance to work on his homework and projects together.  We accomplished a lot on his game board based on the novel Soft Rain.  Somehow going to Wendy's for french fries and a frosty before the appointments has become a new tradition too. 

It's nice to be home for a weekend and I finished my progress reports, paid some bills, cleaned the house a little, and finally had a chance to catch-up on the blog.  The kids are running around trying to trap Zamboni (our dog) and laughing together.  So much for the clean house.... apparently every pillow and blanket was needed to capture that sneaky dog.  :-)  Their laughter is music to my ears! 

We have so much to be thankful for and today we are especially thankful that both of our kids go to such amazing schools, they are both healthy and happy, we have a warm house and warm clothes to wear on cold days, and we are surrounded by amazing people!