Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cookie Making Fun

Ben really wanted to help me make some Christmas cookies last week, so I made the dough and let him roll it out.
 He preferred to use his hands, which made me glad I had him wash them before we started.
 At one point it didn't really matter how clean his hands were, because he kept shoving them into his mouth.  Then I found myself trying to remember just how hot the cookies would have to bake to kill bacteria.  I was pretty sure we were safe, and I wasn't planning on handing this batch out to the neighbors, so I let him freely partake of the best part of cookie making.
 He was very thankful, and we made some nice cookies.
 The next day after they had cooled it was time to decorate them.
 Ben was nice enough to let his brothers participate, but he did stake his claim to the multi-colored sprinkles.
 Andy insisted on wearing a shirt with a collar for the big event.  What you can't see are the athletic shorts that complete the ensemble.  By-the-way, there are cookies under all that icing and all those sprinkles.
 Jonah was more casual with his dress and more conservative with his decorating.
 Ben took a bite out of each cookie he decorated.
 Hey, wait a minute!  There were two cookies on that plate.  Where's the other one?
Yummy, yummy in my tummy.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


We went to Legoland, and it was awesome!  Mom got cheap tickets through the homeschool group.  We were just three of about 400 kids.  It was like a private field trip just for home schoolers. 

 Max was there.  This is the biggest we've ever seen him:

 There were lots of fun rides, and we were tall enough for just about all of them:

 Well, Ben wasn't, but there was plenty of stuff his size, too:

Mom went on this one with us.  I'm pretty sure I heard her scream:

It seemed like everything was made out of Legos:

Even some of the people.  At first Ben was a little scared of this guy, but he got pretty chummy with him after a few minutes:

I had no idea Legos were so strong... or sharp.  Ouch!

Ya, pretty sharp:

The absolute coolest thing in the park--where we spent most of our time--was this place where we got to build cars and race them on tracks.  We must have raced about a thousand times.  I'm pretty sure we won every time, too:

Mom liked this.  It was a bunch of miniature cities built with Legos. We were like giants:

It was a fun trip, and it gave us all kinds of ideas for how to use Legos.  Now, if only Santa would bring us about a million more boxes of them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Andy's Jumpin' Birthday Party

This kid just turned seven:
In case you don't recognize him--you know, because he's in disguise and all--here he is front and center, posing with his friends in front of the bounce house we rented for his party:
Andy typically gets a much simpler party than Jonah just because it falls around the holidays. This year we were determined to give him a great party, because he's such a great kid. We surprised him with a bounce house in the front yard.

It was a big hit. Everyone was fighting to get in:
Just how long will kids jump before they get bored, you might ask? We may never know. After six hours of jump time, we shut the party down while they were still springing along... in the dark... and the rain.

Other opportunities for fun included the ever-popular piƱata, which we had to hang from our neighbor's tree because we don't have anything but palms in ours:
Ben thoroughly enjoyed whacking it with the same bat we always tell him not to hit with:
Here we are walking back to our house after the kids filled up their goody bags with candy:
And here's Ben after being busted for stealing some other kid's bag:
Good thing he wasn't still carrying the bat.

Then there were presents:

And cake:
And, of course, face painting:
Which also drew a crowd:
Andy said he had a great time. When I asked him what his favorite part was, he said he loved the bounce house, and the cake and presents were great, but he mostly liked hanging out with his friends.
Happy birthday, big boy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I promised a couple grandmas that I would send Halloween pictures, so I'm going to play a little game of catch up before moving on to more current events. Allow me to take you back to mid October and pumpkin carving:
Jonah was the only one willing to touch the stuff until the other kids saw that it was safe. After they warmed up to it, it ended up all over the back porch and yard. I had to scrub it off the screen door and, at last count, I had thirty-two pumpkin vines sprouting up in the back lawn.
Here they are with the finished products:
Jonah chose this pattern... and I carved it.
Andy chose this pattern... and I carved it:
It didn't matter which pattern Ben chose because his pumpkin was so hard I couldn't carve it. Instead, I had to nail holes in it just to be able to squeeze some Mr. Potato Head pieces into it:
When did Halloween become so much work for Mom? Oh well, Ben was thrilled with his new toy, and that made it worth the effort:
Later in the month the kids dressed up and we headed over to the Hendersons' for some trick-or-treating:
Jonah was a spy:
Andy was a storm trooper:
and Ben was a magician. He made candy disappear:
I painted a jack-o-lantern on Maria's belly, much like the one Benay painted on me when I was pregnant with Andy--only smaller:
Here's baby Kevin's first Halloween costume:
Ben especially liked it:
John and I never got around to putting together costumes for ourselves, but Maria had some from last year that fit us perfectly:
This may be the first year I've ever been trick-or-treating with a fully-costumed group of this size. It was a lot of fun:
As we headed out, Ben insisted on staying with baby Kevin:
It was a beautiful evening, and the kids came back with pumpkins filled to the brim. What more could a kid want?