Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin Carving

We carved pumpkins with Emily and the kids!  We had a good system going:  Matt dug out the pumpkins while we sifted through to pull out the seeds.  Later, I washed and roasted them...yum!

Then we started in on the actual carving and decorating.  Emily was a big help with this!  She is so good with the kids.

Caleb drew his and carved some of it.  Matt helped too.  Pretty fun!

Abby wanted Elsa.  (shocker!)  I printed off a template and did my looked better the further away you were.  Close up, the general consensus was that she looked more like Ursula from The Little Mermaid.  :o/

Emily's mom sent some very cute decorations, so we used them for our third pumpkin.  The kids had a lot of fun decorating this one!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Farm Fun With Emily!

Emily just fits right in with our family.  She jumps right in and helps with the kids, chats easily, and just seems to be one of us!  I am so thankful that God sent her to us.  We ALL love her!

After church on Sunday, we visited a local farm.  Our family tends to make the farm circuit around this time of year because we really enjoy the fall festivals.

The first places we hit were the moon bounce and slide.  Abby was really excited...until we got over there and she saw all the rowdy kids!  She knows her limits, so she waited a while until it was a little calmer.

We have no idea who this little girl is on the right.  She grabbed Abby's hand and went on down with them...

We visited the animals, which is another favorite of my kids.  They love petting the animals and getting them to eat out of their hands!!

After waiting in line for the hayride, we rode it down the country rode until we had a view of some beautiful farmland!  The hayride took us to the pumpkin patch.  

After we paid for our pumpkins and put them in the car, we went through the corn maze.  This one was quite a bit bigger than the one we went to a few weeks ago, and I think Abby was getting tired toward the end!  Caleb liked leading the way though.  

Of course, I had to subject them to a few photo boards...

The kids enjoyed playing in the corn pit!  (Of course, what fun would it be without a few kids with absent parents who throw corn at the other kids?!)

We topped the day off with some delicious apple cider slushies.  Yum!

Seriously, doesn't she just look like one of our family?!  LOVE that girl!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Letter to My Daughter

My Sweet Abby Joy,

FOUR years old!  Wow!!  Where has the time gone?!  I still remember the day we brought you home from the hospital like it was yesterday.  We were so very thankful...and scared to death!!

You have changed from that tiny, frail little baby to a vivacious, energetic preschooler!  A lover of Frozen, princesses, Chloe, and your family (especially your momma!), your zest for life is so evident.

  Your laugh is contagious--your big belly laugh is my favorite!  I can usually get you to break out with it when I tickle your trach hole!

I love watching you when you are playing with Caleb.  Your love for each other is so pure and beautiful.  Your face lights up when you see him.

Abs, you're facing a lot right now.  You'll be having surgery #8 in two weeks, and then at least 2 more by the end of the summer.  I know these are hard on you, but through it all you stay so positive and upbeat.  You are such an inspiration, Ladybug.

As you grow, I truly hope that you recognize the importance of your scars and aren't ashamed of them.  You see, every scar tells a story--a story of God's faithfulness.  He has been with us every step of the way:  through every surgery, through every appointment, through every hard day, through every celebration.  Your scars will allow you to tell others about everything God has done in your life.  Make the most of those opportunities!

I love you, Abby. You are one incredible little girl and I am proud to be your Momma.

Mommy-o :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Name That Fungus!

Update!!  Thanks to Linda, I now not only know that this fungus is called Corn Smut, but it is also considered a delicacy in Mexico!  Very interesting, but I don't think I'll be adding any to my quesadilla.
We found this in the corn maze.

While I do kinda like this picture, I'm a little weirded out by it.  See the corn cob popping out at the top?!  Weird.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My New Favorite Appliance

This pretty lady is all mine now, thanks to a great find on the online yard sale!  I have been wanting one for a while, but wasn't willing to shell out the money.  This is in perfect condition and was less than half price!  Yippy!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review of Never Ever Give Up by Erik Rees

Jessie Rees was only 11 when she passed away from brain cancer, but many don't make the kind impact in 80 years that she made in 11.  After Jessie was diagnosed with DIPG, an inoperable type of brain cancer, she noticed that a lot of the kids in the hospital looked sad and she wanted to help.  From that compassion, Joy Jars were born!  Jessie started the NEGU Foundation, standing for Never Ever Give Up.  This foundation gave out Joy Jars to kids in the hospital, hoping to put a smile on their faces.  Jessie just wanted to make a difference; she continually thought of others, even as she lost her fight with cancer.

This book was so inspiring to me!  I was just amazed at not only Jessie's positive attitude, but that of her family!  Her whole extended family rallied around her during her fight, some even flying in from another state so that they could be with her.  Everyone focused on what they could do to help others and spread a little joy, because that's what Jessie wanted.  Even in her death, her family and friends celebrated her life and spread joy.