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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Catching Up!

I'm so behind on some of the things we've been up to.  Forgive me for all the photos coming up - especially the not-so-great iPhone photos.  Just a few snaps of our hectic, but wonderful, recent fall days.
We had a great time trick or treating with friends on Halloween!
But first, even ninjas have to get their homework done....

Ninja Brennan, Evil Jester Thomas, and Knight Justin - ready to score some candy
Brennan was a brave soul and had 4 teeth extracted in October.  This month he got his retainer and has done so well keeping up with it.  He's been very mature about it, and really looks adorable.

I can't tell you how well Brennan's school year is going - really, really great. 
He's in the school choir this year (5th/6th grade) and did just beautifully at the Veterans Day program.  It brought tears to me eyes - the whole program was so well done.  There were 72 veterans in attendance.  I wish my dad could have been there.

I got terribly blurry shots but it was terrific to see the kids.  Their voices were amazing.

Presenting the colors

 Brennan is on the second row from the bottom, second from the left.  He's a soprano.
He's really got a great voice.

Taps at the end of the program
In addition to the school choir, Brennan also participates in the children's Worship Arts program at church.  Here he is singing with the children's choir earlier this month.  It was soooo good!
I loved their second song when they were joined by some of the Silver Tones and performed a round.  Just beautiful!

We had the biggest deer wander into our yard one morning.  I had to take some photos from the upstairs window.  He only had one antler though.  He was in no hurry to leave, but when he did, he just walked through our yard over to the neighbor's house.  So strange.
Our friends Dave and Rosann welcomed baby girl Jocelyn Anne earlier this month!
I got to visit with Jocelyn and big sister Emma.  Jocelyn is adorable but I realized I was rusty with the burping business.  She forgave me though.  She's just so sweet!

Thomas has had a very full Fall.  The Youth Choir did a "green rap" at church last weekend, in their rapping casual clothes (Thomas's rap attire included khakis and a polo shirt).  He loves being a part of the church Youth Group.


 One evening I sent Brennan off to change out of his wrinkled t-shirt because we were headed to dinner with friends.  Here's what he comes up with for a quick Mexican dinner.  Including a handmade pocket square.
I sent him back downstairs to lose the formal attire because it was just Mexican with friends.
He kept the dress shoes, shirt, and sport coat, but threw on some jeans.  He takes his Mexican with friends very seriously.

 David took down 5 dying red bud trees in our front yard up by the street last month.  He took them down as far as he could go with the chainsaws and saws and his disposal.
Then we called in the stump removers to come finish the job for us.  They spent HOURS on those 5 stumps one morning.  It looks great our front now with the healthy trees thriving.
And finally...
The academic challenge program that the boys have been in at our elementary school had their annual Drama Days again on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  (I personally think they choose this day so we won't pull a sick day right before a holiday :))
Thomas enjoyed 3 years of Drama Days but is off to Junior High now - it about killed him that he couldn't see our school's three grades' plays and the other ac school in town present their plays.
Drama and all the prep leading up doesn't come easily to Brennan, but he did absolutely great this year!  He played George Washington in his class's first of two plays.  This play the class wrote themselves!  Brennan was awesome!

They even wrote the song and dance number (Brennan's on the far right in the George Washington wig, kicking off the song and dance...)

George Washington himself

Phew, and that's been our last few weeks!

Thanksgiving 2012

We decided to travel south for Thanksgiving this year to see my Daddy, in the states for a month, and to celebrate my mother-in-law Carolyn's birthday on Thanksgiving Day.
I am so thankful that we decided to travel this week, when we normally never do, because my grandmother had a stroke the night before Thanksgiving.
I got to see her on Thanksgiving afternoon, and while she has a long way to go to recover, I know she's in good hands.  And I'm thankful Daddy was here to be with her, along with all of her family and friends who mean so much to her. 
Please say a prayer for Hazel Martin.
Even though we had heavy hearts, we still had a nice visit with family, and got to see quite a bit of football!
Taylor, Ellie, Thomas & Brennan
Thanksgiving Pilgrims

Celebrating Grandma Carolyn's birthday on Thanksgiving Day!

We printed out these pages with each child's picture and "What I'm Grateful For".
I put the sheet of paper in a frame and they wrote their Grateful items on the glass in dry erase marker.

This idea was totally borrowed from Kelli at Random Thoughts of a Super Mom (who was undoubtedly cheering on the Bulldogs with me Saturday night - to no avail)

And our second Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.
Thomas, Natalie, Danielle, and Brennan

And more grateful photos
The Thanksgiving meals were wonderful and good news tonight that my grandmother came through the second surgery and is more alert, although she is still on the ventilator.
Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers for healing and peace.
Hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Addie's 1st Birthday

 Brennan and I had such a great visit to see our friends and share in Addie's first birthday!
Melissa, Brennan, and Addie

Renee and Melissa had the absolute cutest decorations!
I think God knew what he was doing when he gave me boys.
I could never think through all the sweet details!

I was so happy that we got to visit with Renee & Mike, up from Virginia, and Melissa, Gary & Addie.
They are some of my very favorite people!

Addie did great opening gifts.  She enjoyed all the paper, ribbons, and fun stuff inside.
I love her little bow.  As with most little girls, it didn't stay in long.  She gave it to Brennan!

I was glad to see she liked the alphabet apple we got for her. 
I know our boys both loved theirs when they were little.

And she loved her new little doggy.  He looks like Renee and Mike's Max!
She was petting gently.

She got the most adorable outfits!!

Seriously - Renee gives all of the credit to Pinterest, but I know better.
She made these pom poms and put these photos together, and took twigs from outdoors and voila - a beautiful centerpiece!

Aw, and these beautiful pom poms too!
The food was delicious and Brennan can vouch for all of it. 
He especially loved the chocolate fountain, the sandwiches, the apples and caramel dip, and birthday cake with "the best" vanilla ice cream - with vanilla beans.

 Renee and Addie!

Mike and Addie

Addie loved her new books.  She wasn't happy putting them down to open the next gift.
I love that about her!
Addie and Gary

No one had more fun than this kid!

On the drive home I asked Brennan if he was happy we got to go to Addie's party.  He said, "YES! And do you want to know my top 3 reasons why this was the best party?"  Well, of course I do.
"#3 - The chocolate fountain and the chocolate straws to dip in the fountain, and the marshmallows too!"
"#2 - Seeing all of Addie's gifts.  She got some great toys.  Oh, and clothes too."
"1.5 - The latte that Major Mike made me!"
"1 - Getting to see Addie.  And all of her cuteness."
I agree, Brennan.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fun on Oahu

Final Hawaii post. 
Lots and lots of photos to share.
We had such a wonderful trip to Hawaii.
I know we travel our fair share, but this was a special adventure for all of us.
Arriving in Honolulu...

Super cool tree at the Honolulu Airport

View of Waikiki Beach from our hotel balcony

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
at Punchbowl Crater
Punchbowl Cemetery

Inside the Arizona Memorial

Oil from the Arizona still coming up

Pearl City from the Arizona Memorial

Aloha Stadium from the Arizona Memorial

Inside the Arizona Memorial
My men

Beautiful plumeria tree - the flower that many leis are made of

Heading off to do the world's largest maze at the Dole Plantation

They finished the maze and were treated to some pineapple yummies

Cool pineapple plants

Heading up to North Shore

Waimea Beach on the North Shore

The Koolau mountains on the Windward side of Oahu

Chinaman's Hat island in Kaneohe Bay

Surfing at Waikiki

The Hawaii State Capitol
The pillars represent palm trees
The interior is absolutely beautiful 

Queen Liliuokalani statue outside Iolani Palace and the State Capitol

Stone head from Easter Island outside the Bishop Museum
(they're not unhappy, they're trying to make the same face)

Inside the Bishop Museum
Bishop Museum
Photo by our tour guide and my former teacher, Anna

And now for a few iPhone photos...
Thomas LOVES building in the sand at Waikiki

Down the beach at Waikiki

Photo Bombed!

We always loved the name of the public bus system when we lived there.
The Bus

Not to be outdone, The Cab is also in business
Waiting in line for noodles downtown for lunch one day

The banyan trees were beautiful.  The roots grow from the branches down to the ground and form pseudo trunks.

Best $5 rental fee

Downtown (Honolulu)

Our first rainbow

My first Mai Tai in a looong time

Last day, had to close with a pina colada

My idea of Heavenly weather

Hang loose, boys!