Friday, September 30, 2011

Homecoming 2011

This afternoon we met grandpa to watch the 2011 Red Oak Homecoming parade - Go Tigers!  In order to get good seats we needed to be there early. To pass the time Clark and Grant enjoyed listening to grandpa read them the library books we had checked out earlier in the day!

Even Addie wore the school colors - yes, we are tigers (orange and black).  Good thing I could find all of the kids' Halloween apparel! 

This was the first year the FFA had entered a float in a long time.  The FFA kids were really excited.  Alan helped with float building a couple evenings earlier in the week.  The boys even went with last night. 

Unfortunately the FFA float was not allowed entry into the parade after a couple teachers complained that the float's message was inappropriate.  OK - Alan and I are pretty hard core when it comes to what we consider acceptable both in general taste and in keeping a positive view of agriculture.  I guess I'll just show you the pictures and let you decide. 

We thought it was fun (no - not actual manure, just soil; and no - the PTO shaft was not hooked up, so no actual spreading of anything) as did all the parents and alumni and the administration.  However, the administration didn't want bad press - which I suppose we can't blame them there.  The funny thing is the kids got the idea after looking through some old 1980's scrapbooks where the chapter had done the same thing.  Funny how times have changed!

The FFA kids still went through the parade.  They carried their new Red Oak FFA banner, a bunch of them rode in the back of a truck with their FFA t-shirts followed by the John Deere tractor (without the attachment).  We'll chalk this up as a learning experience and move on - although my suggestion for next year is "PLOW them Under" - imagine the possibilities!

Our preschool activity today (other than story time at the library) consisted of sorting parade candy.  First sorted by general type, than color or more specific type.  Finally, Clark worked on some division as he counted them out and figured out how to equally split the candy pieces between himself and Grant.  We were in such a good spot on the parade that we won't need to go trick or treating :)

Wishing you all a happy last day of September and HELLO October!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Feels Like Fall!

Here's what I found Clark doing outside today!  He actually was having problems getting a nice pile together but once I showed him the proper way to use the rake he was all over it.  He was so excited to rake leaves - for jumping in of course.

The picture below is Clark tossing the walnuts out of the pile.  He decided those would hurt upon landing in the leaves.  Honestly, we have to watch it around here.  If one isn't careful there is potential to be hit on the head by falling walnuts! 

Seriously - I want to know how to maintain their enthusiasm to go rake for years to come (and sweep - I'll find them sweeping randomly as well).

They were very happy boys with their rakes and the leaves.

It provided lots of time for laughing and rolling in the leaves.  Here's to hoping there are lots of beautiful fall days left.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nature Hunt

 This morning we went on a nature hunt.  The boys had a lot of fun with this activity!  I handed them each a set of paint samples (in fallish colors) and asked them to find items outside that matched the color.  We walked all over the acreage finding lots of things.  Those items that we were able to haul with us we did (including the orange caterpillar) - the gray cement blocks and big hay bales we left where they were.

As you can see we collected lots of items.  It was also a good way to explore our new home.

Often Grant will say he doesn't know a color but today with this activity he had no problem matching real items up with the color samples.

 See our orange woolly bear caterpillar.  Luckily it was happy with the marigold we picked in the same color scheme.

We then proceeded to paint with pine branches.  Clark worked on mixing red and yellow to create orange.

This is his "sunset" picture.  It's nice to have a big ol' front porch where we could spread out and enjoy the outdoors.  Note: those are baskets of drying walnuts holding down the paper.  With so many walnut trees we hope to have some walnuts this winter.

Even baby Addie enjoyed time outside with us!  She truly seemed to enjoy sitting out on the porch with us today.  (And on a side note we're going with Addie as the spelling when we use her nickname - thanks to her aunt for catching my mistake yesterday!).

In other news today, I managed to clean out everything from the dining room.  I still need to clean off the table filled with dishes but the boxes are all emptied or moved to the room they should be in.  This allowed me to set up my sewing machine and organize some of my sewing materials.  Yes - I am going to be working on the machine a lot in the evenings I hope.  My goal is to sew up at least 2 new children's FFA jackets, make a Halloween countdown calendar and put together a black skirt for Addie.  We'll see how far I get.  With all that sturdy corduroy going through my machine in the next few weeks I plan to pick up some heavy duty machine needles while in Ames tomorrow (this of course means a trip to the quilt store - hooray!).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday (to me)!

Well, first Happy 1 Month Birthday to Addy!  Our birthdays are exactly one month apart!

Had to show the picture of her as big as one of her teddy bears.  For the boys I always photographed with a little sign I would make for them each month.  Which often meant because I didn't get the sign made some of their "month" birthday pictures were a bit off.  On a shopping outing in Council Bluffs last week I found these stickers at Hobby Lobby.  Made the decision to go the easy route on baby number three.  Although each month is a different color scheme so this may mean finding outfits to match.  Yeah, like I'll find that a hardship each month :)

Her big brothers like to get in on the photo fun!  Actually, their favorite thing to do with baby Addy right now is give her kisses on the forehead which they are doing in tandem in the photo.

Addy hasn't quite grasped the whole grabbing things yet.  However, she loves to grab and hold onto my hair and she has taken to grabbing her Little Red Riding Hood dolly's pigtails too during floor time.

Now on to my birthday.  It was a great birthday weekend!  I love my family so much!  The best part was that if my husband had his old job he would have spent Saturday at a board meeting ALL DAY!  But instead he had Friday off due to Parent/Teacher conferences earlier in the week so we had a 3-day family weekend! We went up to Grandma and Grandpa Clark's.  Mom and dad watched the kiddos on Saturday (thanks so much - that was an awesome gift in itself) while Alan and I did lunch and some shopping in Mason City.  Then we went to a beautiful wedding reception that evening in Hampton.  I do believe that is the longest amount of time I have spent away from Addy.

Sunday we ate mom's awesome chocolate birthday cake.  On our way home we stopped by the apple orchard south of Ames and had a lot of fun running around (gave the boys a good chance to stretch their legs).  The photo above is one I managed to get of both boys sitting in the old school house.  Which they thought was neat since we started preschool and tot school at home earlier this month.  On our way out we stopped to purchase some apples and some apple cider donuts for the ride home - yum!

And when we returned home this beautiful gift was waiting for us!  Finally, I have a full sized refrigerator!  Alan and I purchased a new stove and fridge for our home before Addy was born.  The stove arrived the week Addy was born and the refrigerator ended up being back ordered.  The store said it would be another 2 weeks.  That came and went.  Finally, the store called last week and said they were frustrated too.  The model we ordered had been discontinued and the manufacturer didn't know if they could get us the fridge we ordered or when it would be available for delivery.  So - thank you Nebraska Furniture Mart for upgrading us and getting us a fridge.  Seriously, there is only so long you can live with a family of 5 out of a dorm fridge!  We were sent one of the latest models that was bigger than we had originally ordered (and about $700 more expensive).  So that was a great birthday gift!  A true case of patience being rewarded.

Since we were up at my parents' house the neighbors we rent the house from came over to let them bring the fridge in.  I find it somewhat funny that our landlady sent Alan a text to tell him she was a bit jealous.

This morning the boys and I filled the fridge - it seems so empty.  They love it!  Although it is not quite so easy for the little guys to grab things out of the fridge now.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing!