Saturday, November 26, 2011

Caleb & Daniel's 4th Birthday

This was the first year that we had an all out, friends invited sort of party for the twins. We had it earlier than their actual birthday (on Dec. 7th) because Grandma and Grandpa were here for Thanksgiving and wanted to celebrate with us. In year's past, we just had a small "photo op" type of situation with just my parents, a few gifts and some cupcakes to make their faces all frosting-covered for the photos. They had a great time blowing out the candles and Caleb exclaimed afterward, "I did it!" Click on the link here to hear us singing to them.

As you can see, they aren't quite a messy as they used to be! This is of course a great development for me as colored frosting is QUITE a mess to clean up!

Miss Naomi has not learned the finer points of staying clean while eating cake just yet though and as always she looks super cute!

Caleb is showing off one of his gifts that he got here. It is a gift card to McDonald's! This was used very soon afterward of course! Thanks to the Burns' family for those!

Daniel is opening his Leapster game that we got him and as you can see, this is quite popular! He is wearing his doctor's costume and Caleb is wearing the knight's costume that we got them too.

Naomi later tried on the doctor's costume and looks very concerned here as you can see! Being a doctor is very serious business apparently!

This is a shot of some of the party guests and the decorations that we put up for their party. Our friend's the Allbee's came (Kim, Colton, Kylie), the Burns' (Kristi, Evan, Isaiah, Elijah), Neriah Graham, and of course Grandma, Grandpa as well as Great Grandma and all of us. It was a small gathering, but super fun for the boys!

We had a Buzz Lightyear pinata for the kids also and Daniel was getting a big kick out of it here as you can see. Caleb was the winning pull for the pinata and all the kids were scrambling to get the candy afterward of course. We also took some video of the pinata as well.

The night before, Grandma and Grandpa presented the boys with 2 photo books each that go through all the years of their life thus far. Grandma has been doing that with each of the kiddos, and they look at their books often!

Great Grandma Margaret and Grandpa are reading Naomi's book to her as she did not want to be left out of the fun!

Josiah was having a little bit of a hard time with Caleb and Daniel getting all of the attention and expressed days later that he wondered why noone loved HIM anymore. Poor oldest child, we love you very much and we talked him through how to be happy for others too. A hard lesson to learn, but glad we had the opportunity to help him. Josiah did enjoy playing with his buddy Colton and they played some Leapster together.

The party was a big hit for the boys and they talked about it many days after and enjoyed their gifts very much. Thanks to all who came and celebrated with us, it was a great time!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving---Part 1

This year, we were able to host the Thanksgiving feast for many of our family members. My Uncle Mike and Aunt Genny (and their daughters Erin and Lauren), Erin's friends named Randi and Evan, my Uncle Steve, Aunt Sandy and son Jonathan, my Aunt Debby, Uncle Mark, daughter Abby and son Luke, my Mom and Dad, my Grandma Margaret all came to celebrate with us this year (22 in all including us!) David was the chef for the day and I was the hostess.

We put in the leaves in our table and then put another table at the end to extend it so that we could all eat together and that worked out nicely! Everyone brought something to share and we had ham, turkey, green bean casserole (two kinds, gluten-free and regular), stuffing, gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, rolls, and of course pies for dessert! Aunt Genny and her girls made pumpkin, pumpkin and pecan and I think another pecan pie as well. We also had homemade whipped cream and ice cream to boot! The kids ate at the little kiddy picnic table that we normally keep outside and Naomi ate in her high chair and miraculously we all had hot food!! Yeah for David!

I was in charge of the mashed potatoes and of course ended up getting distracted with all the people here and didn't check on them often enough. The result of this was that most of the potatoes cooked into the water and I thought I may have to throw them all out. I drained them in the sink and was able to salvage them, but soon after that the sink backed up. I had heard that it was a "no-no" to put potato peels in the garbage disposal, and had done it before with no problems, but this time there was a BIG problem! We tried Draino to no avail and I ended up having to haul dirty dishes/cookware down to the utility sink downstairs in order to keep the kitchen clean enough to work in. So as we ate the "lovely" smell of Draino wafted through the yummy dinner smells. Yuck!

After dinner, my uncles Mike and Mark set to work to help unstop the drain. Mark looked on and gave some good tips and Mike got down there and with various make-shift tools that I had on hand was able to unclog the drain. He had to dump water from buckets off the balcony, since it wouldn't drain properly and later discovered he lost his wedding ring! We weren't sure where it might be and a day later I found it lying on the ground in the back yard! I was SOOOO glad that my Uncle knew how to fix our sink and SOOOO glad he didn't permanently lose his ring in the process! It happened to be my Uncle Mark's b-day on Thanksgiving also, so we sang him a very hearty "Happy Birthday" as he ate his pie after dinner. (The picture above is of Grandma, Great Grandma and the kids the following day, but I wanted to throw it in here too.)

My Uncle Mike and David are always getting into it about the teams they root for. David likes the Yankees and Mike likes the Mariners, David likes the Cowboys and Mike likes the Seahawks, you get the idea! Anyway, since the Cowboys were playing on Thanksgiving, David thought it would be funny to get Naomi a little Dallas Cowboy's cheerleader outfit. As you can see, she was a rather reluctant cheerleader. We could tell she liked the outfit, but was a bit shy to shake the pom poms for us!

Then we had her pose with him, but as you can see she isn't too fond of people she doesn't know as well! Of course, my Uncle Mike and Aunt Genny said, "She is really crying because she wants to be a Seahawk's cheerleader!"

Overall, we had a great time visiting with everyone and spending time together. My Aunts and my Mom went to visit Grandma Betty in the nursing home in the afternoon and the uncles, my Dad and our family stayed at the house and watched the Cowboys game. We were glad to host and it seemed everyone had a good time. Thanks all for coming!

Thanksgiving--Part 2

The day after Thanksgiving, Grandma Walker and I headed out with the kids to get their pictures taken at Sears for the now 2nd annual Carpenter kiddos Christmas picture. She bought them matching outfits for the occasion and we were hoping for the best when we got to the picture studio. Sadly, the kids were NOT very cooperative, in that rather than smiles we got grumpy faces and bad attitudes. It made it harder to choose some photos to buy, but even the grumpy kiddos were rather cute and I told my mom that perhaps this is a "perfect reflection" of this time of our lives! However, afterward we went over to the play area and I took my own pictures as well just in case and as you can see here I got some better smiles. Sweet Naomi is driving the ice cream truck here and is tickled pink to be doing it too!

Josiah was having fun driving the race car here. We can still take them to these areas in the mall with the ride-on toys and they have fun just sitting in them. Sometimes when Grandma or Mommy has spare change they get to ride them, but they have just as much fun climbing on them and pretending, which is fine with me!

This is the ice cream truck and Caleb was very kindly serving me up some ice cream here! Chocolate chip mint or Cookie Dough ice cream please!!

Daniel and Josiah are riding in the train in this shot. Josiah is the engineer and Daniel is just along for the ride. Perhaps he is the conductor shouting, "All aboard!!"

The boys are cruising the hood in their pink ice cream truck. Yeah....they are that cool! They love serving up cones to those passing by though and are very generous with their ice cream giving!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Visit to the Grimm's

Back in October, we went to visit some long time friends of ours who live about two hours south of us now. Charlie was actually one of the groomsmen at our wedding and the last time we lived in Spokane, Charles and Janice came to visit us when we only had Josiah as a baby and they had no children yet. So now six years later, it was our turn to go and visit them (with only a "few" more children in tow)! We met them both in the same place where we met each other in a Young Career's Group at Westwood Baptist Church (where David and I got married). I think it is really neat that two thriving marriages came from that group! We always laugh about how Janice (whose maiden name was Carpenter) became a Grimm and I became a Carpenter. Now they have three lovely children named Michael, Abigail and Samuel and we have our four. We had such a great day catching up with them and watching the kids play. Josiah now refers to their house as the "far away house" and I later discovered that he now "loves salad" because they served it there and he apparently likes it now. They live out in the country near some fields with lots of open space for the kids to play outside, and the boys had a great time exploring. They also have a bouncy house that Charles set up for them downstairs in their home. A good time was had by all! Janice later told me that her Michael (he is four) said, "I was terrified when they left!" What he meant was that he was very sad, but it was cute how he expressed that.

Abigail and David were getting acquainted here as David was showing her his Ipad. And here is a link to some video of Daniel riding the little horse at the Grimm's house as well.

It was so nice to get away for the day and they were great hosts as well! We are hoping to have them over here again very soon! Thanks Grimm's for your hospitality and a great day!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Hair Cuts

The boys' hair was getting really long again, and so I took them to a local hair place to get their mops cut. It turns out that my friend's sister works there, so it was fun to see her when we went also.

This is Caleb before he got his hair cut. Unfortunately, I didn't get any after shots because they were all getting into everything and I wanted to exit stage right as soon as possible, so I just paid and we left.

Daniel kept moving a lot because the shaving tool kept tickling his neck. I had to hold his head straight so he wouldn't get cut. At the end, they all got a balloon animal or sword to take home.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Visit to Daddy's Work

David's boss was in town and she had requested to see the kids and so we made our way to David's office today to visit with her and some of David's other co-workers. As per usual, Naomi is wary of strangers at first, but eventually started to warm up. Vivian (David's boss) was admiring sweet little Bu-buhs (our name for her) hair and she wasn't too sure about that.

Daniel got right to work...playing on the Ipad that is! The look on his face says it all! Very serious!

David got all the kiddos some water to drink and Daniel especially kept trying to go back and get some more. Josiah was playing shy nearly the whole time and was either hiding under the table or facing the window in his chair (as you see here). We all met with some of David's co-workers in the lunch room, so as not to disrupt the people who were talking on the phones upstairs. And goodness knows, we cause quite a disruption wherever we go!!

Silvia (left) and Vivian (right) are listening to David talk and were watching the kiddos as they interacted with him. Naomi was chowing down on some candy that Silvia brought down for the kids. Thanks Silvia!

Naomi found the table that had some patriotic decorations on it and claimed this little flag and bear for her own for a while. She was vigorously waving the flag for a while and kept bopping the little bear on her nose for whatever reason.

It was fun to see Silvia and Vivian again and the kids thought it was the greatest thing to go and see Daddy's work. Josiah asked the next day if he could go into work with him again in fact and was very disappointed that he had to stay home.