Sunday, November 30, 2014

Clowning Around

Joseph and I finally had the chance to get our Flu shots together at my office last week.  He couldn't resist clowning around with a certain well known clown on the way of out the building.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thankful for Everything

Happy Thanksgiving!  

Due to our work schedules we stayed in town for the holiday this year, but we are fortunate enough to have the bestest of friends as neighbors who invited us to join their family feast.  I naturally insisted on providing dessert.  I'm not much of a pie baker, but pumpkin pie is a must on Thanksgiving. I really wasn't so sure if those leaves would still be recognizable after baking, but they turned out alright!  One thing I knew would turn out perfectly was my traditional caramel pecan tart, which Brent insists on every year.

Is this the most gorgeous kids' table ever?

One of their Thanksgiving traditions is anonymously writing down what you are thankful for and putting your paper in a jar, then after dinner they are read out loud.  It's obvious who wrote this one, and his sentiment is music to my ears.  I couldn't be any more thankful for having this sweetheart in my life.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Let It Go

The holiday catalog and super circular season is upon us.  JT has taken to circling nearly everything in sight with a Sharpie, as long as it is not for babies or girls.

Clearly, he is not as enamored as the rest of the free world with Disney's Frozen.  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Heroes and Wizards

Joseph got to see the movie Big Hero 6 opening weekend to celebrate Benjamin turning 6.  We went to Brent's company's annual gala and awards ceremony, themed "Mystique."  Weekends always bring very interesting things.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Chairman

It seems no matter where we go, Joseph is able to make himself comfortable in any chair he finds.

Luckily most people find him as charming as can be, so there's always a seat open to welcome him.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Got it Covered

When only one cookie is pictured on the cover of a Martha Stewart cookie cookbook, it must be good.  When the description of the cookie inside the book says "To say these are memorable is an understatement," you make them.  I've been desperately waiting for Fall to give them a try!

I already make just about the best chewy ginger cookies in the world around the holidays every year, but adding cocoa powder and chocolate chunks to something that's already good cannot be a bad thing, right?  Let's see what my #1 taste tester thinks.

An empty plate and that face covered in chocolate should give you an indication that they are worthy of their cover cookie status.  The recipe is a lot more time consuming than the ones I usually make, but I'm sure these cookies will find their way into regular rotation somehow.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


It may not always seem like it, but I do have a job.  Really, I promise!  When I had to work a few weekends ago,  Brent took Joseph to see the battlefields at Antietam, near Sharpsburg, MD.  Our living room is constantly overrun with little green army men, and one of Joseph's classmates who is (inexplicably) obsessed with the Civil War has gotten Joseph interested in real battles as well, so there's the backstory.  Brent and Joseph had previously gone to Gettysburg, but this time around they brought the camera.

The flyer they brought home from the National Parks Service describes the 12 hour battle in September, 1862, as "the bloodiest one-day battle of the Civil War," in which 23,000 of 100,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing.  I'm guessing the pictures above reflect the major sites listed on the map, like Cornfield, North and East Woods, Lower Bridge, and Sunken Road (Bloody Lane).  Turns out I don't mind missing some things because of work after all.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Random #2

October is always crazy busy!  There are so many important people with birthdays to celebrate throughout the entire month.  With juggling birthday parties, playdates, sleepovers, Halloween prep and all the other activities of life and work,  I managed to forget to bring my camera with me many times, and never had a chance to blog about so much!

Even though he was born like 5 minutes ago, my godson Will managed to turn 5, and I was entrusted with the role of Jedi Master at his Star Wars themed birthday party.  Despite my lack of study time for the script, Jedi Training Academy was a huge success, and I love the photos Missy sent.

Jedi training the day after a sleepover is difficult for even the finest Padawan.  But teach him to sleep in, this will not.

Ethan went and turned 8 when we blinked, and included us all in his birthday dinner at Benihana.  Super fun!

Benjamin is now 6, but delayed his birthday party for the opening weekend of Big Hero 6, coming up in just a few days.  His little sister, my sweet Chloe-bear, is all of 3 now!  Joseph may or may not have trampled all of the other toddlers in attendance to secure his loot from the piƱata.  Oh, dear.

Lastly, Joseph and his friends at school have become obsessed with the game Risk.  They have no idea how to play it correctly, but they are all on a quest for world domination when we pick them up from aftercare.  Joseph begged us to get him the game for home.  It's really just a miniature version of  him playing with all his army guys.  No instruction booklet necessary.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween 2014

When it comes to Halloween, not much aside from Joseph's costume matters to me, but there are the rest of the festivities to review.  I was fortunate enough to have to the day off from work so I could lead the class party.  As per usual, I gave no thought to my own costume, and wound up recycling the SpongeBob I had made to wear at work many years ago, pre-kid. It would have been awesome to do a family themed costume and had me and B go as Hobbits or Elves.  There's always next year.....

Really, Joseph did look completely awesome marching around in the school parade.

I loved this treat idea I used last year, and ran with it again for this year's party.  Mandarin orange cups + Sharpie = Jack O' Lanterns.  About a zillion people asked me if I bought them that way.  Note to the marketing department at fruit cup makers around the world?  Plus, Joseph shamed me into making cake pops as well.  "You know you haven't made them in a REALLY long time, Daddy." He was right; it might have even been last New Year's Eve.

I also brought a craft for the party - spider webs made out of craft sticks, yarn, and spider shaped buttons.  Crazy simple, cheap, and the kids though they were pretty cool.

I'm not normally a fan of goody bags filled with tons of plastic junk at every party, but I managed to hit the craft store when they were having a blow out pre-Halloween sale, and got all these glow in the dark vampire fangs and witch fingers, along with straws and toppers, for under $4 total.  Sold!

At night we hung with our usual posse, our fabulous neighbors, including Ethan and Benjamin in the back row, and Abby, Sam, and Chloe in the front.  I was surprised how many people knew that Joseph's costume was Gandalf.

Even though we didn't bother to stay at home and pass out candy at our our house this year, I still carved some pumpkins.  Joseph picked out the designs.  We both loved the skull made up out of words.

It was a good haul this year for the grey wizard!