November 30, 2018

November Roundup

November came and went in a flash. Even though the month just ended, I feel like I barely remember what we did. I look back at these photos and can't even think what to say about them. My poor mom brain.

Ironically, at the beginning of the month we talked about how we've had a lot of large expenses lately and this would be the month to get our spending under control.... Ha! Instead it turned out to be one of the most expensive months this year. We both got new phones (our birthday gifts to each other), both cars needed new sets tires (due to normal wear), our disposal got a leak and we had to have someone come replace it (happened right after Thanksgiving), and we did all our Christmas shopping for the kids and family. Maybe next month will go better!

Sophie and I were at the store by ourselves for a reason I can't remember, so we got a special treat to celebrate it being just us girls

The two boys and their blankets

Sophie came home from school one day and then immediately left for a friends house. Davey was pretty upset that he was left behind, so we went for a walk to distract him. It was a beautiful fall day. Then it snowed 5 days later!

Davey never lets me hold his hand anymore, so I was holding his shadow instead :)

We went to the Discovery Center after school one day so Sophie could come along. She was able to do this climbing wall with Dave's help. 

Charlie learned to escape from the Bumbo seat, so that is no longer a safe place to put him

Davey started to become a little pantry thief while I fed Charlie. One day he finished off a jar of gummy vitamins (neither of us can remember how many were in the jar). Another time he helped himself to the marshmallow cereal. I ordered a door lock that afternoon. 

When it's cold and windy out, the best place to hitch a ride is in daddy's coat

We started our advent calendars early since we will leave for our Christmas trip to Seattle only half way through December. My mom sent these chocolate calendars to the kids and they LOVE them. Davey ate more than one the first day, so they had to find a new home in a high cupboard. 

Charlie is crawling everywhere and we find him in all sorts of funny places now

He is growing up, but will still sleep in my arms on occasion

We went swimming at WT and brought Sophie's friend Emery with us. They had such a great time with each other, so we'll have to do it again soon!

November 29, 2018

The BIGGEST Puzzle Ever

I received a 3000 piece puzzle for my birthday from Liz. This was double the size of the largest puzzle I'd ever done and I swear the box weighed about 5 pounds. We started right after the Thanksgiving meal was cleaned up, and then finished exactly one week later, during which we had to eat at the bar because this puzzle covered the entire surface of our kitchen table. 

Because it was so large, we had very little room to work and found the best way make progress was to sortsimilar pieces into bowls/pans so we could take those "projects" elsewhere to have more room to work. Dave was the master organizer, and then I would take his collections, assemble the pieces, and then reinsert them into the puzzle. The kids were also surprisingly good a leaving the puzzle alone, although Davey would often stop by and hook a few pieces into random places, which we would later undo. 

After it was complete I left it out for two more days to admire, and then we broke it up again. It would have been a fun one to mount and frame, but the kits I looked at for a puzzle this large were super expensive! To make things easier for next time (if there is a next time) we put the pieces away into a few different gallon ziploc bags so we can work on it just one section at a time. 

The initial dump

All finished!

Some close up shots... one of the hardest parts of this puzzle was trying to figure out the scale. Things that looked right next to each other on the box would end up being four or five pieces apart. 

The elephants (aka massive grey blobs) were the most challenging and the section we saved for last, but they sure look pretty put together!

Charlie enjoyed swimming in the pieces after we first dumped it out. This could be why a couple came up missing at the end...

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6 - so close

Day 7 - All finished!! As you can see, our table was just barely big enough!

November 25, 2018

Thanksgiving & a Visit From Grandparents

Our original plan was to drive to Dallas for Thanksgiving, but since Liz was working the shift the night before, we invited Dave's parents to come join us in Amarillo instead! I have never hosted a Thanksgiving or cooked a turkey, so I was a little nervous, but his parents brought a smoked turkey with them - perfect!! The turkey also came with potatoes and gravy, so we only had to put together a few sides for the meal. It wasn't the fanciest dinner ever, but it tasted great and the clean up went really fast. 

While his parents were here Sophie stole Grandma for several hours each day to play in her room, read books, do crafts and play games. Davey also loves his grandparents and spent time doing puzzles, building duplos, and playing cars with Papa. And Charlie just snuck in a snuggle whenever he could. We are all so grateful they made the trip out to Amarillo to celebrate Thanksgiving and spend time with us!

Sophie worked on her gratitude turkey (Davey insisted it was a chicken) all month long. Each day she would right on a feather and then add it to the turkey, and he was looking pretty full by the time Thanksgiving arrived. 

I am not a hostess or decorator, but our table actually looked pretty good! Sophie helped me make the little turkeys the day before, my grandma Lambert made the table runner, the gold pumpkin was a gift from my mom, and I was lucky enough to find a matching set of chargers on clearance at Michael's!

And of course, the table decorations don't really matter, just the people around it

Thanksgiving snuggles with Aunt Liz

After dinner was cleaned up, we started this enormous puzzle which took a week to finish (separate post coming soon).

Grandma brought this fun potholder craft for Sophie to work on. They had a great time completing it together and now it's in my oven drawer. 

The day after Thanskgiving we got out the Christmas decorations. It didn't take Charlie long to discover the tree and ornaments - busted!

Dave and his dad also took the doors off our built in cabinets! It was something I have been wanting to do for awhile, but we had just never gotten around to it. Now we can use the shelves for display, and it was the perfect place for my Christmas decorations!

We took grandma and grandpa over to Candy Cane Lane, a street in a nearby neighborhood that goes all out for Christmas. 

We found Santa! He was sitting out front of the last house and the kids were excited to tell him what they want for Christmas, although Davey was still a little unsure and wanted to keep some distance.  

On Saturday we went to see the new Grinch movie. I thought it was cute, and Sophie absolutely loved it. Davey did well too and stayed in his seat the whole movie. We'll probably add it to our Christmas DVD collection when it comes out next year. D

And for dinner we went back to the Big Texan because it's a fun place to take out of town guests, and I'm not one to say "no" to a second steak dinner! 

Charlie is overwhelmed by that place and just sat in his high chair looking around

Before grandma and grandpa left, they surprised us with these fun matching pajamas. Dave's mom knew he wouldn't care for these, but he put them on for a photo and then gave them back to return to the store. We make cute pandas :)

November 21, 2018

Big Texan Birthday

This year I turned 33 years old. I had a good day and received lots of thoughtful messages from family and friends. My birthday also happened to be "Grandparents & Special Friends" day at Sophie's school, so I went over to have lunch with her since we don't have local grandparents. My friend offered to watch Davey and Liz stayed back with Charlie, so it was just us girls. We had a nice time talking while eating Cheetos and soda together.

After lunch, Dave came home from work early so I could go out shopping by myself for awhile. I found a few new clothes, and just enjoyed having an hour of solitude. Dave also did school pick up afterward so I could have some time at home.

Me and Sophie at kindergarten lunch

As a family we didn't do too much to celebrate because Dave and I decided that this year we would get new phones instead of giving each other birthday gifts, since our current phones had entered the downward spiral of death. We did go out to eat however, and chose the Big Texan because I love steak, it's family friendly and they have a great birthday special. This was the kids' first visit and they had a fun time looking at all the animals and western decor. It's gaudy, but fun and Sophie has already declared that this is where she wants to go for her birthday. I'm glad she likes steak as much as I do!

Love my family!

Before sitting down to eat we let the kids play for a bit in the shooting gallery. There are lots of targets scattered around a room that make a sound or move if you hit it. Davey loves guns so he thought it was awesome!

You get 25 shots for just $1 so everyone was able to take a few turns, even Charlie :)

We had a wonderful waitress who took great care of our family. She brought out hats for all the kids to wear. Davey still wears his around the house all the time.  

Charlie had no idea what was going on, but was a good sport anyway

My free birthday meal, which was delicious! Prime rib, 2 sides (mac & cheese and mashed potatoes), a roll, and a drink.