Monday, October 27, 2014

Leaves and Friends

I get sucked in every fall to pictures of kids in leaves.  This spring the water puddles sucked me in.  I guess there is always something that catches your eye.  So, bear with me as I post pictures of a leaf pile again.  We actually raked the neighbors front yard because we could get the most amount of leaves in them smallest area.  (Least work for the most fun!)  Ellie and Madison have both worked at helping rake these piles.  Madison does a pretty good job scraping leaves to the big pile.  Ellie, on the other hand, likes to have her own pile.  Then, with this pile, she systematically rakes it to another spot and then another spot and so on.  It is quite something to watch.


These pictures are best viewed as a flip book because they were practicing flopping backwards, so in one picture you will see them, and the very next shot, they have “disappeared.”  It is great.  Since I don’t have a flip book feature on the blog, you will just have to imagine it. 

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I caught a few other fun shots.

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This one being my new favorite of the girls.


We left the pile intact for a few days.  We had friends coming over to play this past Friday and figured it would be a great thing to play in.  It was.  Here are some of the best jumps they could give me…

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We also walked up to the park.  My theory is if I have kids over, we need to burn as much energy as possible outside the house.  I was so thankful for the streak of beautiful days we had (and are having!). 

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Fire Station

Madison had her first field trip with Bright Beginnings last Tuesday.  It was a walking field trip to the fire station.  I went along and took Ellie.  Madison listened attentively to the firefighters… and so did Ellie.


Ellie was pretty much done being friendly the minute Sparky, the mascot, came out.  But she still stood at attention – probably scared of being touched by that giant dog! 


Madison practiced how to stop! drop! and roll!


And she crawled under “smoke” (get low and go!) to safety. 

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The last thing they learned was the firefighters are look scary in all their gear, but they are still just the same friendly guys.  The kids gave them high fives to feel comfortable with them in their gear. 


The class was able to walk through the ambulance and the fire truck.    Even Ellie made it into the fire truck.


They ended with a class picture.  Super cute.


Great job, Firefighter Steve and Firefighter Frank on teaching the kids all about fire safety!

Around the House

So, the weather has been a bit dicey lately – cold, windy, rainy, sunny, warmer, muggy.  There have been some beautiful days in the mix to enjoy, and for that, I am thankful.  Random pictures/scenes from the last week or so. 

Leaf raking season has begun.  I suppose the only benefit to having no trees to speak of in our backyard is that we have very few leaves back there.  We do have a number of trees in the front/side to take care of.  Our neighbor, J., was on top of his leaves though, and the girls took advantage of the leaf pile.  They had a ball, and J. was very accommodating.

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Our church was working on the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes last Wednesday night for our service project.  Although I have heard about this program, I had never participated.  I realized after doing it this year that Operation Christmas Child is a great thing to do with your kids.  We have our four boxes at home right now.  You can pay for shipping at home and get special labels to be able to track where your box goes.  I think we are going to do that.  We will have a little geography lesson and personalize our giving.  Pretty cool.I decided that I would take the girls along to help find items for our shoeboxes.  We purchased items for two girls and two boys at Dollar General.  (By the way, Dollar General has some stellar deals; if you haven’t been lately, you should check it out.)  Can I just say it is VERY hard for two little girls to shop for other children and walk away with nothing.  It was stressful for me… and for them.  There was a meltdown by all at one point.  They did get into as we progressed and stopped telling me they needed everything they touched. 

In the end, they ended up with snorkels (80 cents each) to play around with.  They put them to use immediately after arriving home; it was fun to watch them turn the kitchen floor into a swimming pool/ocean/body of water. 

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Next up around the house… biking.  Madison caught on to her two wheeler (with training wheels) sometime in late August.  It was pretty awesome to see her pedal down the sidewalk, and then all the way to the park and back – even making it up this hill right before our house!  Now, she can even go out biking by herself as long as she stays within a certain distance.  (I am so thankful she follows the rules without arguing or breaking them!)  These pictures are from August when she was showing her new skills to Grandma and Grandpa Yoh. 

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Ellie would try to use the tricycle in an attempt to imitate Madison.  She couldn’t hardly reach the pedals and had no concept what it meant to steer a trike.  Suddenly, she has figured it out.  I told Jeremy it feels like she decided one day to get on the tricycle and just ride.  As I think back, she did some training in the house as she amped up her use of the hot wheels inside… learning how to pedal and steer.  Now she is an avid tricycler.  She wants to be out on her trike at least once a day, and even rode to the park – with some help from the pusher stick (an old hockey stick that we can use so we don’t have to bend over to push her up hills). 

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Even with this crazy weather, fall is my absolute favorite season.  It usually is cool and crisp.  It is beautiful.  The trees capture my attention more than the springtime flowers.  I don’t know it is just… refreshing.  So, on the dreary days, I will remember looking up and being able to see this:


right in front of my house.  Thank you, God, for giving us such amazing sights!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Fun Days

Since moving to the area, we have enjoyed participating in (taking advantage of?) the family fun days at local businesses.  Lehman’s and P. Graham Dunn had theirs on the same day this year.  AND I had a planned lunch with my mom and sisters-in-law.  In other words, our time was limited.  We went anyways.  We took our fall pictures outside of Lehman’s.  It always has inviting decorations.  (Seriously… I do not dress them or pose them, but they always make taking a picture fun!)

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We ventured to P. Graham Dunn.  The girls went down the big slide, rode the train, and painted a pumpkin in a record 30 minutes (maybe 45 minutes?).  It was a whirlwind, and therefore, not quite as enjoyable as normal.  But they put on a nice community event. 

While I went to lunch, the cousins (almost all of them) ate pancakes, played, slid down the “water slide,” and had great fun with Grandpa.  It was a good day for all of us. 


One Saturday in September, Jeremy had work to try to complete.  Instead of sitting around doing what the girls and I do every other day of the week, I texted my siblings to see if anyone was available for a last minute hike.  Luke, Steph, Sam, and Lilli were; I called my mom, and she joined us as well.  It was a beautiful day to hike – comfortable in the shade, not sweltering in the sun.  Perfect, really.  The leaves were looking more like fall leaves than summer leaves, which just added to the beauty.  We went to Wooster Memorial Park.  If you haven’t ever been hiking here, it is an easy trail, but pretty.  We hiked one that followed the rim and then went down to play in the water.  I had my little camera, and the pictures are less than blog worthy quality, but I am posting anyway….

The hikers.

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Grandma and her hiking buddy on the way to the stream.  On the way back, Luke pushed her in the stroller.  (It is not a paved path, but I have a decent stroller.  Luke said he actually enjoyed it.  I think it felt a little like working to maneuver a jeep over rocks!) 

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Looking over the edge.

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The stream.

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Climbing – Lilli, Sam, Luke, and Grandma made it.  Madison tried, but just couldn’t navigate on the sheer dirt side.

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We went for ice cream afterwards and headed home.  Ellie went without a nap for the first time this day.  During the nap time period, she did great!  That night about 6:30 or 7 she started breaking down.  It was not pretty.  Our unintentional trial proved that Ellie still needs a nap.