Friday, November 30, 2012

{Thanksgiving 2012}

We were so pumped when my brother and sister-in-law decided to come up from Vancouver for Thanksgiving!  The kids love being together and it was fun to celebrate the holiday weekend with them.

 

Becca drove up on Wednesday and together we made a major dent in the cooking extravaganza.  We baked the rolls and pies and a bunch of food prep for the Thursday.  As per tradition, each of my kids had to make a pie.  They grumble about it a little, but mostly enjoy it.  Pies are tough...so if you can master that, you can handle most things in the kitchen!  We hide (a few) almonds in the pies and then you are rewarded with a prize if you find one. Always a fun tradition.  



Bryce met up with the fam on Thursday afternoon and the ladies baked away in the morning prepping a great meal! Thanks Becca for all your help!  The eating part is always over so fast, but it sure is fun putting it all together (at least once a year, that is).





It's nice to pull out the fancy dishes and decor!






The kids were great eaters.  We were stuffed and happy the rest of the day.  






But Beck and I managed an awesome Black Friday shopping trip in the AM.  We only hit 2 stores and didn't leave the house until 7am. We scored some great deals!  We swapped with Trev who also headed out for a few purchases. 



I'm so glad they stayed one more night.  We got a babysitter and headed to dinner and a movie.  So nice being able to enjoy a kid free zone for a few hours. The kiddos were having a blast back home. 

It was an awesome holiday! We love to host and love to have family around.  Nothing better.  Thanks for coming Bryce and Beck and boys!!

Oh, and we tried a new FHE lesson to list out the things we were thankful for.  I pulled leaves right out of yard. It was fun, kids loved it.  (Although next time, dry and press the leaves first...they dried and shriveled up, so it couldn't be salvaged).  



Thursday, November 29, 2012

{Wicked}

My awesome friend, Vivian, organized a huge group section of tickets to Wicked when it was playing in Seattle in November.  We intended on an adults-only outing on a Friday night, but when we discovered the weekday matinee prices were about 2/3 the cost, we jumped at that and decided to include the kids too!
 
I've been trying to make a conscious effort to do things with Carson and Addy without the little boys.  I love doing things all together as a family.  But the demands of a 4 year old and baby often take over, and the big kids must take a back seat to what is going on.  So it is nice to take them out on their own once in awhile. It also gives me hope for the future in actually doing these things again as a big family.  I often feel like we will be in the baby stage forever!  But the kids really do grow up, can sit through movies, can be polite at restaurants, and enjoy Broadway musicals!
 
 
 
We had such a good time!  Trevor and I saw it a few years ago, so I knew the kids would love it and be able to easily follow it.  Some of the kids got scared, but not my troopers.  We downloaded the soundtrack as soon as we got home.  And the kids love the music (especially the song "Popular").  So glad we were able to take them and give them a little cultural experience.  My parents were great about that....it's a good thing!
 
A few of the moms got together and ordered these cute tulle skirts for the girlies.  I wish I had a picture of them together. They looked so cute! 
 
 
There was a huge group of about 30 of us and it was such a blast! Grateful to be included with such a wonderful group of friends that enjoy getting our kids out for outings and adventures and musicals!! 
 
We ended the night at Cheesecake factory...yum, yum!
 
 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

{Miles 18 months}

Oh he is growing up so fast!  I can't believe how much he has changed since his birthday in May.  He is bursting now with personality and attitude (good and bad).  And the biggest change...his vocabulary.  He is jabbering, babbling, singing, and talking every minute of the day.  Trevor and I lost count at 100+ words.  He is just a sponge absorbing new words each day.  He can call all the kids by name: "Car-Car", "Addy", and "Ry-Ry".  And will often say "Where's the kids?"  It's just so funny hearing it from such a small little guy.  He's also mastered the word "no" and knows when and how to use it.  Lovely.
 
 
 
He's our tough one for sure. I often tell people the power of the house has shifted from Rylan to Miles.  He's tough to take anywhere.  It's definitely not fair when I take the 3 bigger kids on errands and Trevor takes Miles. That's a way harder deal.  And Trevor always does that.  Bless him. 
 
18 month stats fall right in line with our Pettingill mold:
 
Height: 33 inches (70%)
Weight: 24 pounds, 1.5 ounces (25%)
Head:  18.5 inches (25%)
 
 
Other things to note:
 
1.  At 18 months you get to attend the nursery at church.  No more roaming the halls with a restless baby.  Except, he hates it.  Screams, cries, acts like he is being tortured.  Sigh.  He doesn't want anything to do with me most of the time, but in nursery he wants to be sitting right on my lap.  It'll get better someday.
2.  He loves to dance. He bops and trots and stomps to the music.  Hilarious.  The kid has rhythm. 
3.  He's still a screamer.  He's got zero patience, so anything not going his way evokes a scream.  We are working on it.  Mostly unsuccessfully.
4.  He can fold his arm for prayers and mumbles (incoherent) words.  So sweet.
5.  He gives big hugs and kisses. He'll run up and grab my leg and say "Ooooh, Mom".  Again, sweetness.
6.  As with any 18 month old...he's into everything.  Especially my pantry, which I try to keep locked.  But he'll go inside and pull the door shut (which turns off the light).  And then in the dark, he'll pull down cereal boxes and crackers and eat in peace.  He's a snacker like my Ry Ry.  But, he's a good eater overall. Not too picky. 
7.  He really loves bedtime stories.  He keeps saying "Books! Books!" when things are winding down. We'll read to him for awhile (sometimes the same book over and over).  And he never tires of it.  He cries every night when story time is over.  Every night. 
8. He loves showers. The bathroom that we use for him and Ry only has a shower, and they both love it. Miles will stand directly under the shower and let it pour right over his head and down his face.  He doesn't have any panic attacks from water in his eyes (like Rylan).
9.  Favorite toys are:  trains, books, cars, Mickey Mouse (which he calls "Moucatoo"...weird...don't know why?), and basketball. 
10.  "Backetball" gets it's own item because the kid says that word about 100 times a day.  "Backetball, backetball, backetball".  Any time he sees a ball (soccer, football, softball, or an actual basketball), or anything round, or a hoop...he's saying and pointing at it over and over.  The kid LOVES them. 
11.  Other favorites: Binkie and Blankie.  Must have at all times.  Total crutch, I know.  All my other kids were done with the binkie by 18 months.  It's going to be a tough weening process.
12.  Loves, loves, loves animals. Especially dogs. He has no fear. Wants to ride them, snuggle them, and torture them.  Luckily Grandma and a few friends have some he can love on, because that isn't happening anytime soon in our house.
13. Still takes 2 naps and sleeps like a champ at night.  It's my only time to get anything done. 
 
 
I love my time at home with him!  Ry has preschool for a couple hours 3 days a week so it's just Miles and I.  I love that.  I love having a baby in the house...the kisses, the talking.  And watching him learn and grow is such a blessing.  I can't imagine our family without him!  He is so dear and sweet. 
 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

{Soccer 2012}

 
I'll keep plugging away at my blog pretending I am not so far behind....
 
 
Ok, soccer 2012.  It's always something the kids get really pumped up for at first and then it fizzles out as the weather turns colder and the season drags on. This year, the club scheduling system was completely messed up, so half of the September games got cancelled and moved to the end of the season.  Carson's last game wasn't until the second weekend in December.  Ugh. That was torture.
 
Carson had one of his best friends on the team this year which helped tremendously with carpools.  And thankfully both Carson and Addy practiced (two times a week!) on the same days at slightly different times (and different locations!). But I could drop off Carson, scream over to Addy's practice, stay at her practice and leave just as it ended and race back to get Carson.  I was grateful that most nights Trevor met Carson at practice to do the drive home with him. 
 
Carson still calls soccer his favorite sport.  He had new coaches this year, which was hard. He's in the middle of the pack in skill level. Which is a good place to be. He really improved this season.  And is already talking about doing some soccer camps this summer.  The team struggled though.  Winning just 2 games.  But the boys had a great time and didn't seem to mind one bit. 
 They are big time this year with uniforms with their names on it (translation = more $$!)

 
 
 
He scored his first (and only) goal of the season on the last game in December.  I totally cried.  It was so great for his confidence. We were all super pumped for him! 
 
 
Addy loves the social aspect of the sport the most (and the treats).  She instantly bonds with the girls and loved both practices and games. She's had the same coach for a few years, so that really helps with the consistency.  The team dominates the league too.  They are undefeated 2 years in a row. 
 
 
 
 
 

We missed team pictures this year when we were out of town in September.  But I didn't really mind. We have loads and loads of soccer pictures over the years.  It was a fun season for both of them!
 

 Rylan was too young (next year!).  And Miles always had to have his own ball at practices and games. He'll chase the ball around while running (and accidentally kicking it) and dribble the ball right down the field all on his own.  A few more years for this guy! 
 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

{Carmen's Wedding}

My BFF from high school got married in November!  Life has taken us both on crazy adventures since high school.  After finishing college, I was married and had babies.  Carmen was traveling everywhere from Europe to Zambia (where she lived for year!).  She's spent time at various jobs as a Presbyterian minister in NYC and Philadelphia and recently, in South Carolina. 
She found her perfect match in Clark Scalera.  After a couple years of dating...they have tied the knot!  They got married at the church that she works for in Charleston. 
I wasn't going to miss it!  I traveled solo across the country and met up with 4 other ladies also traveling sans husband. 
 
I loved the solo flight.  I haven't flown by myself in years...maybe 5. Yes. 5. years.  I thought I would sleep the whole way, but instead I loved the alone time to read and watch the entire Season 2 of Downton Abbey.  I didn't sleep a wink.  It was awesome.

We stayed in an amazing house on Daniel Island, hosted by a wonderful couple. All accommodations set up by the bride herself. 
 
This is a view from the trail in the neighborhood. We stayed in the house on the far right, hidden behind the trees.  Their backyard view was amazing!!
 
 
First up was brunch with the bride at a condo on the beach hosted by some friends from college.  It was lovely and fun to meet so many of her friends from different time periods of her life.  We worked our way out to the beach in the lovely 70 degree weather in November.  Gorgeous. 
 
 
 
 
The bride headed out for last minute wedding to-do's, and I headed off with a few girls to do some site seeing in lovely Charleston.  I haven't spent much time in the South.  It is unique, beautiful, and charming. 
 
We toured one of the oldest working plantations in the United States: Boone Hall Plantation.  It dates back to the 1600's.  The lovely oak trees that line the 'avenue' to the home were planted in the mid 1700s.  Incredible to think how much the world has changed since then.  There are several original slave cabins on site.  A humbling experience to walk through. 
 
 
*photo credit: Boone Hall official website. 
 
Afterwards we headed to downtown Charleston to walk around.  It was so beautiful!  There is a church on every corner.  Literally.  Hundreds of churches in the area.  Church definitely felt more integrated into the general community ... more so than out West. 
 
 
 Almost every church has their own cemetery.  Right in down town.  Just tiny square plots of land crammed with gravestones.  We walked through a couple of them...just in awe at the history that exists in the area.
 
We came across this gravestone of John Rutledge; one of the signers of the US constitution. 
Some of the cobblestone streets were preserved. 
 
 
And most porches had staircases covered in this ivy.  I loved it!
 
 
 
The next day was wedding day!  We helped set up the reception hall in the morning. Carmen planned her entire wedding by herself...and everything was so well executed.  She had a huge crew of friends who gladly set up while she was busy hair, make-up, and pictures.   
 
After a quick change, we headed to the church.  Another completely adorable white church. 
 
The wedding was beautiful and lovely.  She was beaming walking down the aisle.  She just glowed with happiness. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We hurried over to the reception to help with last minute set-up and enjoyed the evening in celebration. 
 
Gorgeous sunset from the balcony of the reception center.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 The fabulous group of girls I stayed with.
 
 
It was a fun-filled day and such a treat to be there. Carmen is a life-long friend...I love her to death!  Even though life has been so different for us the last decade, we always pick up right where we left off when we are together.  I truly treasure her friendship.
 
The bride and groom were off, but I still had a half day left. My flight didn't leave until 3pm, so I booked a guided kayaking tour with Kristin along the coast. I'm so glad I fit this in before heading home! Our tour guide was awesome and took us around the various swamps and marshes as well as along some huge shrimping boats. We saw a dolphin jump a few feet in front of us. The scenery and the wild life were amazing.   
 

 
 

It was such a fun getaway for me!  I loved every minute of it, but I was really ready to get get back to my kiddos who were in good hands with my husband and awesome mother-in-law who came over to help out.  Thank you!

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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion pictures...it is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

Currently I am trying to focus on my photography skills...reading, reading, reading, and taking pictures when I can. Then edit, read, read, read some more. I finally feel like I have a basic understanding of exposure...hooray! I updated my blog template so I can display larger photos because...aren't pictures better than anything I have to say anyway?

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