Saturday, November 29, 2008

Marathon Shoppers

My mom and I could qualify for some sort of marathon shopping award after yesterday.
I used to think people who got up in the middle of the night to stand in long shopping lines are crazy. But one year about 5 years ago we decided to try Black Friday shopping and it's been our tradition ever since.
Yesterday was perhaps our longest day of shopping yet.
We left my house at 3:30 a.m. and didn't return home until 7:30 p.m.
Crazy, I know.
Especially crazy considering that my mom didn't get any sleep before we began our shopping excursion. She had laid down to bed around 10 p.m. on Thursday night, but the anticipation of shopping and knowing she had to get up early caused her to toss & turn all night. I don't even know how she did it, but she was a shopping machine as usual.
I did buy her a Peppermint Mocha Twist from Starbucks to help fuel her with caffeine.
Yummy!
We always go to Younkers first, and this year was no different. We were there at 4 a.m., when the doors opened, and it was worth it. I got Jason some much needed gifts {which I can't divulge here because he actually reads the blog sometimes.}
And, I got two pairs of knee high boots and a pair of dressy black flats for under $90!
Awesome, I know!
We also went to Gap, where they were having a 'buy one get one free' sweater sale.
Sweet!
And many, many, many other stores...American Eagle, Bath & Body Works, Maurices, Dress Barn, Gordmans, Staples, Target, Kohls, Old Navy, Pier One, and Toys R Us, just to name a few.
I did make one purchase I didn't set out to buy. And since I was suppose to be Christmas shopping for other people, I feel a tad guilty about it. But, since Jason likes the new home addition, and likes the price I paid, it makes up for the guilt.
Here it is...

A sofa table from Pier One, regularly $400 marked down to $98 {it has a small nick on the top, so I got it cheaper!} Now I have more space to display photos, since I'm running out of wall space. I was so excited, I already have it all decorated!
Anyway, great shopping day for us!
Not so great for some people.
Jason ran across a news story of a deadly shopping encounter at Walmart in Long Island, New York. One Walmart employee was killed and another pregnant employee was injured when shoppers broke down the doors to get inside the store. Check out the New York Post story, complete with video footage, here.
Crazy!
But what do you expect at Walmart, right?!? {Yes, we are snobs and don't go to dirty gross Walmart unless we absolutely have to, maybe once a year.}
Hope your Black Friday was as merry as ours!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Every Thanksgiving we head over to Jason's parents' home and have to eat dinner.
Then everyone heads outside to put up all those Christmas lights that families enjoy driving by every Christmas.
Hey, it's a great way to work off some of those calories!
And it's a fun way to kick-off the Christmas season.
Although I've had my Christmas decorations up for two weeks, causing my children to say things like, 'Thanksgiving? I thought it was Christmas?'
I know, a little ridiculous.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nap Time

To a mom of young children,
isn't nap time sometimes the greatest time of the day?
It's a break in the busy day when there's finally
some peace and quiet.
It's a time to get things done,
or to do nothing at all.
It's a time when you get some time to yourself.
Nap time is wonderful!
Can I get an amen?!?
{And apparently it's a time to do some random thinking,
and here mine is recorded.}

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Marshmallow Pilgrim Hat Treats

Gabe brought treats for his Kindergarten class Thanksgiving party today. These Marshmallow Pilgrim Hat treats are super cute, super fun to make, and super easy {always a great combination.}

All you need is...
marshmallows

milk chocolate chocolate chips

chocolate-striped shortbread cookies

and yellow decorators frosting.


Then...
1. Set the chocolate-striped cookies stripes down on a wax-paper-covered tray, spacing them well apart.

2. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave.
3. One at a time, stick a wooden toothpick into a marshmallow.

4. Dip the marshmallow into the melted chocolate, swirling it around to completely cover the marshmallow.

4. Promptly center it atop a cookie. Using a second toothpick to lightly hold down the marshmallow, carefully pull out the first toothpick.
5. Chill the hats until the chocolate sets, then pipe a yellow decorators' frosting buckle on the front of each hat.

And Voila....

A happy kid with Marshmallow Pilgrim Hat Treats. Seriously, what's better to a kid than chocolate and marshmallows?

Thankful For My Children: Part 3

Last but not least, I want to give thanks for the baby of our family, Chloe.
Again, Chloe was easily conceived, and again, the pregnancy was better than my first.
We decided not to find out whether the baby was a boy or a girl, but I knew, and I mean knew, I was having a boy. All the elements of the pregnancy felt very similar to the boys, and I had that gut intuition that this baby was a boy.
Needless to say, I was shocked when the nurse yelled, "It's a Girl!"
Chloe was born on May 26, 2007. She weighed an even 8 pounds and was a beautiful little sight. I remember I just kept looking at her, thinking, "I really had a girl?" The shock lasted for days!
I was so thankful to have been blessed with this little girl, but so unprepared. I made Jason stop at Old Navy on the way home from the hospital and we went shopping for girl baby clothes with newborn Chloe in tow. Being the clothes hound that I am, I couldn't let this girl be lacking a fashionable wardrobe.
And she sure doesn't. I think Chloe probably has about 15 pairs of shoes! Granted, some have been given to us as hand-me-downs and some purchased on ebay {another of my vices.} She has any color and style of shoe that would be needed for any outfit and occasion, which Jason finds a little ridiculous. Sorry Jason :) But deep down, way way deep down, I know he's also thankful that I can finally exercise my right to shop on our little girl.
But enough about fashion. There's many other distinct elements that make a girl much different from a boy. Chloe is extremely animated, using hand gestures and raising and lowering her vocal tone so that you're sure to know what she's talking about. And she talks all the time, sometimes non-stop! It's usually very cute, unless you're locked in a car with her on a 19 hour road trip.
Chloe is very sensitive and it doesn't take much correction to scold her. Look at her with disappointment and she'll crumble, which doesn't exactly work for the boys.
Chloe is a great little toddler and is so much fun to interact with. Joy radiates from her and she is usually smiling and laughing, except when that regularly scheduled nap is too far overdue! She loves to give and receive kisses, and loves to sit and snuggle.
I look forward to her growing up and having a mother & daughter bond that is so unique, as my mom and I have. But I cherish these days when she's young, because as I said before, they go by too fast.
Thank you God for Chloe!

I think our cup overfloweth with blessings this Thanksgiving as I look at our children.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thankful For My Children: Part 2

Continuing my thankful-themed posts, I want to thank God for Cooper.
Cooper, like Gabe, was easily conceived, but unlike Gabe, didn't cause me to be sick the entire nine months of pregnancy. After about five months of sickness, I felt much better, which to many may still not sound like a cakewalk, but after my first pregnancy, to me it was.
The doctor did ultrasounds throughout my pregnancy since I was again measuring small and my first pregnancy produced such a surprisingly large outcome! At one of the ultrasounds we found out we were having a boy. I remember I was so happy, thankful for Gabe to have a brother to play with.
Cooper was born on June 10, 2005, and weighed in at 8 pounds, which seemed tiny after his 'big' brother. He was a good baby from the start, sleeping through the night within the first few weeks home and content most of the time.
We often refer to Cooper as 'little Coop' because he's so small. At three and a half years old he only weighs about 32 pounds. But there's a whole lot of sweetness packed into that tiny little body. Cooper is the one who often grabs my face in his little hands as to make sure he has my attention and says, 'You're my best mommy ever!' And he means it, so genuine and sweet is that boy!
Cooper is happy-go-lucky, well, most of the time. I have to say, Cooper went through about 2 or 3 months of the 'terrible two's' that every once in a while still rears its ugly head to this day. When I tell others that he can be quite a little stinker, they often don't believe me because Coop is usually well behaved. But believe me, he does have an ornery side. But one little smile can make you forget any wrong he has done.
Cooper loves trucks and tractors. His grandparents call him their 'tractor boy,' which is so fitting. I wouldn't be surprised if he grows up to be a farmer.
Cooper also LOVES Christmas, definitely a child after my own heart. He points out anything vaguely relating to Christmas...lights, wrapping paper, ornaments, etc., and says, 'Look! It's Christmas!'
Cooper enjoys playing with other kids and especially likes to interact with younger children and babies. He goes right up to toddlers and starts 'helping' them as he calls it, getting them toys or singing them songs. I think that's why he loves to be in the nursery during church, because I get reports that he is just another one of the helpers. I've also found Cooper taking a front row seat to different babies just to watch them sleep or to talk to them in his sweet little voice. If his behavior is any indication, I think he'll make a great dad someday.
I could go on and on, but I'll just end with one final thought.
Our lives would be a whole lot less sweet without our little Coop. What a special kid.
Thank you God for Cooper!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thankful For My Children: Part 1

As I think about Thanksgiving and the many blessings the Lord has given Jason and I, the most cherished, of course, is our children.
When we first got married, we both knew we wanted to have kids. The number of children we were planning to have was not set, but we knew the Lord would be our guide. We wanted to wait a few years, give us time to get settled into married life and take a few adventures as a young couple in love while we still could. You can't easily travel to an amusement park and ride those roller coasters Jason and I love so much with a bunch of babes in tow! Well, I take that back, we have done that since children, but you have to take turns riding, while the other stays with the kids. Not as fun as riding together for sure!
In 2002, we decided through a lot of discussion and prayer that two years had been enough time and we made the leap of faith to try for a child. We had prepared ourselves for a time of waiting, thinking we wouldn't get pregnant right away. I remember at a young age, when I was still a little girl, God had really laid adoption on my heart. Two of my best friends growing up were adopted, so I always thought I would love to adopt a child some day, seeing the love those friends gained from a family who welcomed them into their home. Because of this openness to adoption, I had felt that maybe God was preparing me for a difficult time conceiving, or not being able to conceive at all. But that was far from true.
I became pregnant practically as soon as we thought about trying, and we were both surprised and ecstatic! But those nine months were soooo long. I was very sick from the start, literally, every day. I lost weight instead of gaining it in the first and second trimesters, was still sick throughout the third trimester, and gained a total of 9 pounds with my pregnancy.
And my stomach measured very small, so the doctors were estimating a 7 pound baby. Were they ever wrong! After 3 and a half hours of pushing, Gabe was finally born on March 29, 2003, a healthy 10 pounds! Yes, that's right, 10 pounds. The story is, when our pastor announed Gabe's birth and weight at church, the congregation gasped! No one could believe the size of this kid!
But what a beautiful baby, and with the funniest full head of hair, dark on the roots and blond on the tips. He looked like he came out of a beauty salon with highlights in his hair. And at 10 pounds and a full head of hair, he looked more like a six-month-old than a newborn. We called him our little man, because he truly looked like a little man!
I'm not going to lie...Gabe was NOT a great baby. He cried all the time, ate all the time, that is, when he wasn't crying. And slept very little in those first two months. Then, all of a sudden, he changed overnight and started sleeping straight through the night 10 hours at a time! He has never been one to do things half way, it's all or nothing.
I cannot believe that big baby I once held in my arms is now a 5-year-old! Older parents tell us all the time to cherish these baby and toddler years because they go by so fast, and they are not kidding!
Gabe has grown so much, and to have the privilege of watching him grow into a strong, respectful, kind young man is beyond words. He is so fun, his laugh so contagious, and the joy he brings his dad and I is so sweet.
Gabe is kind and outgoing, and because of this, makes friends with everyone. He is funny, loves to entertain, or to show-off, whichever you want to call it!
Gabe is all boy, 100 percent. He loves to rough house, and loves all sports and physical activities.
Gabe has so much energy, which thankfully now that he's getting older, is being used for good instead of evil, like when he was a toddler and was a little spinning tornado breaking everything in his path. {Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but he was a rambunctious toddler!}
Gabe is already a leader like his dad, willing to stand alone and do the right thing. He has a passion for knowledge, curious about everything and yearning to know more. He loves God, and is understanding more and more what Jesus did for him on that cross. And Gabe has a passion for life, wanting to get out in the world and experience all there is to experience.
What a wonderful young little man he is,
and we couldn't imagine our lives without him.
Thank you God for Gabe!

{Since I've written a book about our first child, I'd better continue this post and write about Coop and Chloe on a separate entry!}

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thankful For My Husband

Since it is almost Thanksgiving, what better than to write about the blessings in my life, giving thanks for those things I am grateful for.
To start this mini-series, I want to write about my husband.
{Warning...be prepared for a whole lot of sappy, mushy talk.
What can I say...I love my husband!}
Where do I begin? I met Jason in high school, and we have been together for over 13 years now, married for eight. I was a 16-year-old junior in high school when I was assigned a seat next to 17-year-old senior Jason in an American literature class, and I have to admit, wasn't taken by him at first. I thought he was cocky, arrogant, and a bit of a show-off. I later found out this was his method of attempting to get my attention, which backfired on him a bit. Truth be told, I was actually dating one of his friends at the time, so wasn't looking for anything more than friendship. But as we became friends through study dates and get-togethers, I soon saw who he really is, and he won my heart.
Jason is a kind, caring person, not afraid to show his love for his family. He is the first to take care of me when I'm sick and to cheer me up when I'm sad.
Jason is understanding, calm and easy-going. I know I can talk to him about anything and everything, and he is always there to listen and to understand.
Jason is encouraging, inspiring me to fully live and to strive for better, to take chances and to try new things. He can squash the fears I have and encourage me to overcome doubts about myself because I know he believes in me.
Jason is a provider, working hard for his family. He supports my desire to stay at home with our children and shares in that desire. And after long hours at work, Jason will still come home and offer a helping hand with the house work.
Jason is a forever kid, able to find fun in the littlest things, which I love.
His children adore him, and so does his wife. And he adores us to, always praising and encouraging the kids, and telling me I'm beautiful and I'm loved.
Most of all, Jason is a man who is a leader of our household, and who is centered in the Lord and guided by His Will, leading us through every day with wisdom and maturity. I have full confidence in my husband throughout everything, and my heart belongs to him.
He is my rock, my love, and I thank the Lord daily for blessing me with such a wonderful man. He inspires me to be a better wife and a better mother.
Oh, and he's pretty darn cute too!

I love you babe! Always!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No more princess chicken?

Our local Chinese food is in jeopardy.
Today our little 5,000 plus community was thick with immigration officers and our beloved Peony was raided.
Four illegal immigrants were arrested and the restaurant is currently closed for business, leaving the Sanders family with one important question...who is going to make our princess chicken now?
And what about our crab rangoons?
Our other favorite Chinese food place in C.R. turned into a sushi bar a few months ago. Yuck!
What's happening to the world?
Hopefully this local restaurant will somehow be able to stay open and learn to hire their employees from the vast pool of legal citizens.

Cooper at the Movies

On Sunday afternoon, we took Cooper to his first movie in a movie theater.
He's actually the same age Gabe was when he saw his first movie...3. The difference is, the first movie Gabe saw was 'Doogal,' and if you're one of the few people who actually saw that movie, you'll know it wasn't that great.
Cooper's first movie was 'Madagascar 2,' and both Cooper and Gabe loved it, and mom and dad didn't think it was half bad either!
Cooper's favorite part...the popcorn! That comes as no surprise if you know Coop's love for popcorn.
In the middle of the movie, Cooper whispered in my ear, "Mom, we're not at home. We're in Cedar Rapids at the movies!" I looked at his face, and he was smiling so big. Then he gave me a kiss, as to thank me for bringing him. It was so sweet.
Here's Cooper's review of the movie...

A big thumbs up!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Anthropologie

It's no secret that I love to shop online. Currently, I've started to do some Christmas shopping via the internet. Much easier than dragging three children through the busy stores.
Of course, my online gift shopping always somehow gravitates to clothes shopping. Hmmmm, why does that keep happening?
Since my funds are not limitless, I often find myself 'window shopping,' but it's still fun. Shopping is shopping, right?!?
Lately, I've been checking out Anthropologie. They have such cute and unique clothes!!! A bit pricey for me, but I love to look.
I adore this dress...

So classic and lovely!
At $159 and no where to wear it, I can't justify the purchase.
And then there's this sweater...

It's called the 'ski trail' sweater.
I ski, but I can't/won't afford a $98 sweater.
And this blouse...

Shown in orange, but I'd get the teal.
Still, it's $68, just for one blouse.
I'll wait for the sale.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cooper Photo Re-take

So I was looking through the photos from our photo shoot day at Atalaya Castle I posted about earlier and I realized I didn't have many photos of Coop.
Well, actually I have photos of him, but many where he wasn't cooperating. It just wasn't what he had in mind that day. And with a three year old, sometimes there's just no changing their mind!
So today, I tried again. This time we went to the train depot, which I chose because there is brick there and I wanted to get some photos of Cooper that have the same look as the ones taken at the castle so that I could use them all together on our Christmas cards. {It would be completely appropriate to insert your comments about how picky I am here. I know, I know...I'm a bit of a perfectionist about things like this!}
We had fun and Cooper wanted his photo taken today which yielded some good shots. His only request was that he have his sweater hood up, to which I had no complaint because that hood made for some sweet pictures.
Here they are...I know I'm partial, but Cooper is just so dang cute!!!







Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Name Art


I found this site called Name Frames the other day, and I love the idea of creating a personalized piece of artwork like this! At $149 a frame, I'm thinking I would rather be creative and take the photos myself. It may take a little time and effort...ok, maybe a lot of time and effort.
But it's always more special when you do it yourself anyway, right?!?
Regardless, what a neat idea! Check it out here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chloe's Latest Obsessions

If you're the type of person who notices the little things, the details like the little notation after a post that says when the post was published, then you'll notice that this post is published in the middle of the night. Yes, it's 2:26 a.m. as I write these words. I can't sleep, so why not blog.
I was thinking about our littlest joy, Chloe, and how fast she's growing. I was also thinking about all the new words and funny quirks she exhibits everyday. Then, I was thinking I should write these new advances as of late down before I forget them and they're lost forever.

So here it goes...a list of random facts about Chloe.

1. Sometimes when Chloe gets herself laughing really hard, she covers her mouth like this:

It's so cute!

2. Chloe can sense when we're getting ready to go somewhere. When she thinks we'll be leaving the house soon, she goes to the stairs or the door and waits, saying, 'Ready?' in a high-pitched voice over and over again. The boys love it, and they start humoring her, saying 'Ready Chloe?' back to her. It's an endless cycle that's cute at first but will drive you nuts after awhile, and causes you to hurry even faster to actually get ready and leave for your destination. Maybe it's all part of Chloe's little plan to get us to where we're going on time.

3. On vacation, our condo unit was on the sixth floor of the building. And every time we'd get to the elevator, Gabe and Cooper wanted to push the elevator buttons. Gabe was always asking, 'what floor?' And the answer was often, 'six,' because our unit was located on the sixth floor. So, about mid-week, Chloe started pointing at the elevator and saying, 'Six,' over and over again. I think she thinks the word for elevator is six. Ooops! Hopefully we can correct that one, cause that could be quite a confusion throughout her life.

4. Chloe is already showing signs that she may in fact be an early potty trainer. If she has a dirty diaper, she runs to either Jason or I, usually me of course, and says, 'Whew, stinks!' Without fail, when she says, 'Whew, stinks!' she's got a dirty diaper that needs changing.

5. Chloe is definitely the most animated child of our three. Maybe it's because she's a girl, but she has her own little language that she verbalizes non-stop sometimes. She mixes real, distinguishable words in with her own language, and has plenty of actions to go along with her conversations. Lately, she's been shaking her index finger and saying, 'No, no, no! No, no, no!" Wonder where she gets that from? And I can't forget to mention her facial expressions. She looks really serious one minute, then breaks out into a huge smile the next. This girl has got her verbals and non-verbals mastered.

There's many, many more Chloe facts to share, but I think I may actually be getting tired, so I'll save them for a later post. Thanks for tuning in!

Monday, November 10, 2008

We're Home...and it's Cold

We are home!
We left Myrtle Beach Saturday morning at 9 a.m., where the weather forecast called for the temperature to reach 80 degrees on the beach. We arrived home at 8 a.m. Sunday morning to temperatures around 30 degrees. Talk about a shocker! It's amazing what a difference in weather you experience if you drive for a day!
So even though it's hard to remember the beach now with these cold temperatures outside, I thought I'd post a few more photos our vacation.
We can look at the photos and pretend we're warm...
{Chloe was fascinated with the sand between her toes, and stood there on the beach for the longest time just wiggling her feet and staring at her toes. It was very cute, if I do say so myself!}

{The boys found a crab. Not a live one, but Cooper didn't care. 'He's just sleeping,' Cooper kept saying, as Gabe tried to tell him otherwise. Of course, I had to get their photo with their deceased friend.}

Friday, November 7, 2008

Atalaya Castle

We have had such a great time on vacation!
We leave for home tomorrow, and our long 19 and a half hour drive. But the last two days have been a wonderful end to our time in Myrtle Beach, with the temperature warming to nearly 80 degrees both days! That made for great beach weather, and great times on our other outdoor adventures.
We visited Huntington Beach State Park yesterday, which has a great castle called Atalaya. I had seen it online and knew it'd be a great studio location for photos, so we had ourselves a photo shoot. The kids humored me pretty good, as did Jason...thanks guys!
So here's a few of the photos we captured. There are TONS of photos from our morning at the castle, so I really had to narrow it down!
This first photo was captured without them knowing, and I love it! You can see sweet little Cooper helping Chloe down the stairs!

Here's a couple of little miss Chloe...


And if Cooper were older, I think this could be his senior picture. I love his pose!

Here's a couple of Gabe (with his favorite hat by the way)...he's getting so big!


And here's one Jason took of me...better than some of my senior pics I think! The lighting in the castle was awesome for photos!

And Gabe took one of Jason and I...

I am so happy we got to have a little photo session, and were able to get some good shots from it! Who needs to pay a photographer anyway?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Brrrr on the Beach!

So apparently where ever we go lately, we bring on the cold. It was nice at Myrtle Beach before we arrived, and has now been rainy and cool every day since we got here. This week at home in Iowa, it's been unseasonably warm, warmer than it is here currently. But there's snow in the forecast for Iowa to welcome us home on Sunday. What's the deal?!?
Hopefully the forecast for tomorrow is correct...74 degrees and sunny! That will be nicer beach weather than we had today...62 degrees and overcast.
I didn't capture too many photos on the beach today, because Chloe was tired {and cold} and wanted to be held, making it hard to take pictures! And when I opened the photos on our laptop, I realized the lens must have been wet and sandy because most of the photos have a haze over them. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.
So here's a few photos of the kids. The boys did not mind the cool weather at all, particularly Cooper who sported shorts and a t-shirt. {Yup, he's crazy!}
We stopped at a beach store and picked up some cheap pails and shovels for the kids to play with...

After filling his pail with sand, Coop later filled it with sea shells...

I actually really like this photo of Gabe. It shows his true natural smile. He was so overjoyed to find such a large shell...

And then there's Chloe. She was not wanting her picture taken today. I think this photo is funny though, because it almost looks like she's humoring me with a fake smile so that I'll leave her alone. Talk about Miss Independent!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ripley's Aquarium

Today we went to Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach. Well, I guess since it is now past midnight, it was technically yesterday. Regardless, we had such a great time.

Gabe liked the sting rays the most, while Cooper favored the clown fish, which he calls "Elmo," actually meaning to say "Nemo" as in the fish from "Finding Nemo." The kids' favorite sea creatures are also reflected in their choices from the gift shop. {We let the kids pick out a stuffed animal coutesy of grandma, who gave them spending money for vacation!} Gabe chose the sting ray and Coop chose a clown fish, which he's named "Elmo."

And then there's Chloe, who I think liked everything about the aquarium. She had her face pressed to the glass, yelling "fishies....fishies...fishies" over and over again. Chloe got many laughs from strangers at the aquarium who were entertained by her excitement and animation.

Jason put together a clip with the video footage we captured from our field trip, and chose a very appropriate background song for the video by "Three Crosses." What a perfect song for a outing to the aquarium. It truly is amazing when you see so many vastly different creatures of the sea, knowing that God created each and every one of them with unique design and purpose. It really brought tears to my eyes thinking of how much care God must have given creating these sea dwellers, yet how much more He cares for us! We have done nothing to deserve or earn His love, yet He loves us anyway. And since I'm already on bit of a tangent, I just want to remind everyone that God is always and forever in control of this world, no matter who was elected as our president.
So, back to the aquarium...check out the wonderful video Jason put together, which displays some of the wonders of God's creation.

video

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gabe's Vote for President

I was reading a friends blog tonight {Hi Shawna} where she talked about her daughter 'voting' for president in her preschool class. It was such a funny story, and reminded me of Gabe's voting story.

About a month ago, Gabe came home from school and said, "Hey mom...who are you going to vote for, that Bo Bamma guy or the old white-haired guy?"
After the laughter stopped, I of course answered, "I'm going to vote for John McCain, the 'old white-haired guy' as you put it Gabe."
"Ooops," Gabe replied.
"What...what's wrong Gabe," I said.
"Well, we voted at school today and I voted for Bo Bamma. Was that wrong? Should I not have done that?" Gabe said.
So then, I felt like I had failed my son. Of course, in the grand scope of lessons I felt pressing to teach Gabe, like how to write lower case letters or how to tie his shoes, somehow I didn't think political education was quite as pressing. But I guess it is, as apparently, they're already having political discussions at school, and I certainly don't want the teacher thinking we're guiding our son to vote for 'Bo Bamma!'
So after a long discussion as to the reasons why I'm voting for John McCain instead of Barrack Obama, I felt like Gabe had a pretty good understanding of the political candidates.
Later, when Jason came home, I learned I hadn't done such a great job...
Gabe: "Hey dad, guess who I voted for at school today!"
Jason: "Who?"
Gabe: "Barrack Obama" {Getting the name right this time!}
Jason: "Really?" {With disappointment.}
Gabe: "Yeah, but I'm gonna tell the teacher to change my vote tomorrow cause I don't want to vote for the bad man. I want to vote for McCain. He's the old guy who likes babies. {Referring to John McCain's pro-life views.}
Well, there's a five-year-old's political take for ya!

The Beach

We woke up to a rainy day in Myrtle Beach, which means no beach fun for us today. But we did get a chance to check out the beach and walk along the shore yesterday.

Of course there were many photo opportunities.
This one of the boys is so cute, with Coop's hand on his big brother's shoulder...

The kids all enjoyed watching the waves come into shore. They would dig holes and watch them fill in with water...

And there's always shell hunting in the sand...
{what a tiny shell}

Chloe was a little unsure at first, wanting me to hold her...
{She was probably thinking that's a lot of water all in one place.}

Then she got a little more at ease and she was literally squealing with excitement as she watched the waves crash onto the shore...

Gabe enjoyed running from the waves. I love the look on his face in the photo below.
{Click on the photo to enlarge it and see him up close.}
He was having so much fun!

There's always fun to be had on the beach, but with the rain we're experiencing today, we're thinking about doing some indoor activities this afternoon. Maybe we'll check out the Ripley's Aquarium or do some shopping {or both!}

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our Trip & Condo

I think the most exciting thing about our car ride down to Myrtle Beach, besides the trick-or-treating that I already posted about, was this:

Gas under $2 just south of Indianapolis. To think, just about 6 months ago we were paying over $4! Now that's a savings!
On to our Myrtle Beach condo...We are staying at the Wyndham Ocean Boulevard, which consists of four towers of condos. Ours is a spacious three bedroom unit, which works great for our family. Below is the view from our living room window. That's another Wyndham tower across the street from ours.

The kids love the view:

The only downfall is that you can see the pool from our balcony, which results in constant requests to go swimming!
And some of the other rooms in the condo...notice the 'art deco' decorating theme, which the boys think is pretty cool!
{The Living Room}

{The Master Bedroom}

{And Master Bathroom}

{Chloe's Room...it's pink, perfect!}

{The Boys' Room. Gabe LOVES that they have their own tv, a feature their room at home does not have!}

{The Kitchen}

We're really liking our place for the week and love to see the ocean view across the street! The boys asked why we can't have an ocean outside our home in Iowa. Gabe says he'd even settle for a pond, like the neighbor has. That's all we need...more home projects!