Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October in the Happel House

We started off October w/ Rowen's third birthday- he wanted a fire-truck party so a fire-truck party he got! Matt and I built him a cardboard fire truck out of two boxes from a washer & dryer (kindly donated by standard TV & appliance- I may just go there and pick up boxes from time to time for the kids to play in! seriously!)

We checked out a billion fire-truck books from the library (which he's enjoying in the above photo.) I made my first ever shaped cake: a fire truck of course. Thank heavens for the internet, you can learn to do anything! It was chocolate w/ a vanilla buttercream, and more red food coloring than I care to admit.

Knowing our house is small, we only let him invite five friends, and it was still a packed house w/ all the siblings. So much fun, though. We put red/orange/yellow streamers up for fire, and some black for smoke,
his Pappy came in his turnouts so there was even a real firefighter at his party- can a kid get any luckier?
The very next day, we got to meet the newest Happel: Seattle edition. Mr. Justus James is as charming as can be, and we felt SO blessed to be there to welcome him & his new parents home. What a little bundle of lovin'!

Rowen's actual birthday was the following weekend, and one of his presents was this shiny red guitar. It was love at first sight.
Charlotte, on the other hand, is in love with saurkraut. (and I'm in love with her!) seriously. She got her first ear infection (double!) and it was really bad, so we chose to put her on antibiotics. :( I can't get the girl to eat yogurt for anything, but she chowed down on cultured red cabbage- so we got those probiotics in her! Thank goodness. (pay no attention to the party-aftermath that is the counter... )
The next week, while my friend Amber and I planned on going apple picking, the orchard we were going to go to was closed for the morning! It was such a pretty day, that we decided to visit a different apple farm anyway, even though there was no U-pick. There was, however, horses, which Charlotte couldn't keep herself from kissing. (oh my, my hair is a disaster. Just look at the cute baby kissing a huge animal, okay?)
Matt and I got to go to the David Crowder Band concert that night, which was amazing. Gunger was there, and they are phenominal. It was such a treat to go out on a date, and such a late one as well! Charlotte did very well being put to bed without us, which is pretty impressive. Anyway, it was at the Crystal Ballroom, and when we got there, we realized there is basically no seating! Here's where the evidence comes out that I am so old. I'm looking around at all the crazy young kids thinking "three or four hours standing in this crowd? I'm not going to make it!" My back had been really hurting that day (unusual lately) and I get a *little* uncomfortable in crowds like that. I'm under 5' tall, can't see, it gets real stuffy down there... you get my point :) Thankfully, after my split second of panic, we realized there was a 21 and over side, which included a balcony w/ a few seats. We were able to snag two of them. Relief. :)
Later that week we got to cook dinner for friends who just had their 2nd baby. Their 1st baby, Miss Emersyn, is Rowen's age. You see, we met in our birth class when we were pregnant over three years ago! So fun. Our paths don't cross much, so it was a treat to spend a little time together and enjoy Baby Everett as well :)
That weekend our church had a rare ladies event, and it was all day long. Which means I had to leave Charlotte for longer than she's gone without nursing before. Of course, Daddy was a trooper and Charlotte survived. (I swear she's so much happier when I'm not around! What a drama queen she is for me! God bless her.) It was really nice to spend a day in the Word and in fellowship and to worship my amazing Creator. What a big God we serve! I was really challenged in the area of having more purposeful quiet times and allowing Him to run my household. (Something I try to do anyway, but my efforts are so puny, right?) Very next day we got to enjoy our brand-new Home-Group! I got to hang out with all the kiddos upstairs and they were so precious right through dinner time. I love my church family. I love the way we support one another, lift each other up, challenge each other, I can't believe that just a few years ago we were struggling to get connected at Athey. Thank you, friends!
Early the next week, the kids and I met the Carters again at Sherwood Orchards for some apple & pear pickin' in the sunshine. (they were open this morning!) We got a 35# box of pear "seconds" @ 35 cents a pound (yeah!) and about the same quantity of apples.
Charley loves diving into the pairs. She sneaks one almost every time I put her up on the counter! And do you notice her pretty pearls? One day this week (of the photo) I was wearing a neclace (hard to believe, right?) and she kept trying to rip it off me. So i put one on her. She was so proud. She's worn it almost every day since!

The following week was super busy for Matt, so one night before putting the kids to bed by myself again, I asked Rowen if he'd like to do something special. His idea was to paint our toenails purple. What a guy :) I haven't painted my toenails in so long I can't imagine where he got the idea, but whatever! It was stinky, and fun :) Both kids loved staring at their pretty toenails for the week. :)

We waited one week for the pairs to finish ripening, and ended up with 22 pints of delicious chunky cinnamon pear applesauce just yesterday. It was a four hour canning adventure, with four little kiddos, and everyone survived.

And now we have a pretty little jar to open every month until next apple season! Score!

We're just about finished up with our second month of homeschooling "preschool" for Rowen. He loves it. We're using "hands on homeschooling" and packing three days a week worth of five days of curriculum. Here he is doing a science experiment about tastes, textures, and color. Love this serious expression. :)

He is memorizing scripture, learning shapes, colors, he memorized the Pledge of Allegance and says it each day, and basic skills like glue and paint and scissors and drawing certain shapes etc- it's sweet. So far, so good! Maybe I'll try to take more photos of his school work next month.

We are still loving Organics to You, though we took several deliveries off this summer to enjoy the farmer's markets, and other fresh local veggie options. Here's some greens as big as half my countertop... crazy. I made a lentil sweet potato curry soup with half of them, and will be making pesto with the other half tonight to pour over polenta. Mm!

And.... that's October in a wrap!