I'm not a fan of trick or treating. I never really have been, though there were a couple years in my mid-20's that I got into it, but nothing really before or after that. I'm NOT a fan of being scared and I have a hard time celebrating something that I don't believe in celebrating. Emily got to trick or treat at school on Thursday, both the girls got to go to Em's school carnival on Friday and then there was the really cool church Fall Festival on Saturday – complete with bounce houses/moonwalks, games, pony rides and hay rides around the massive parking lot on a John Deere tractor!
I was relieved when Emily approached me after school on Friday and begged me to do a family movie night instead of trick or treating on Halloween and I jumped on that opportunity. So, I got a mixed bag of candy that everyone liked (not just mommy – LOL!), just in case they were going through candy withdrawals (I should have known better b/c it was barely touched) and on Sunday I made my totally yummy and easy homemade caramel dip with toffee nut topping and sliced Honeycrisp apples thin and we got in our PJ's and cuddled up on the couches to watch Beetlejuice, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Hocus Pocus and eat those apples with the dip and topping and drink hot chocolate.
The kids enjoyed Beetlejuice, laughed like crazy at Charlie Brown and Em's favorite line is now "Amok, amok, amok, amok...uhhhhh" from Hocus Pocus. Hahahaha! Several times both Patty and Em commented how much better this was than trick or treating and Em remarked at one point, "This is way better than walking around, going house to house and doing the whole, 'ding dong, trick or treat, next house...ding dong, trick or treat, next house...ding dong, trick or treat, next house...'" I've always thought that trick or treating is a lot like being a door to door salesman or Jehovah's Witness or something like that. LOL! Both of the girls said that they wanted to do the same thing next year with the family instead of trick or treating. I could definitely do that!
So, here are some pictures of my kids all dressed up for Friday and Saturday. Despite the lack of smile in the first picture (she didn't put on her wings for it), Patty liked her costume but admitted afterward that she was too cold in it, even with a sweater over it, and getting a picture of a non-blurry Nate was difficult b/c that little bugger moves EVERYWHERE! Thankfully I got lucky on a couple of them. I just need to find my regular camera instead of relying on my phone camera – which has vastly reduced reaction/capture times, even though it's an 8MP camera.
Patty as an Autumn fairy (without the wings):
Em and Nate as a UT cheerleader and Astronaut Commander Nathaniel Kelso (too cute!!!):
Nate being adorable:
Emily and Patty diving for gummy worms in plates full of whipped cream:
Nate started a new classroom today. He's with the "big kids" now (12-18 months) and is a total little social butterfly. Imagine that! LOL! Patty started off her day in the office b/c they needed updated immunization records before she could go to class and Em took her starter earrings out for the first time (which was a little traumatic b/c of the tightness of the earring back on the earring and the deep groove in the earring post) and switched them out for normal earrings. Everyone made it to where they needed to be on time though – including me! I was actually even a couple minutes early to work. PHEW!
Nate turns ONE YEAR OLD in just a short 18 days! I can't believe how fast time has gone by since he was born! Life certainly has changed with him in it! He is such a precious, rambunctious little one and he is ALL BOY! My little man is in to EVERYTHING! So different from Emily when she was a baby! Nate is all about open and close, crawl here, pull up there, scream with happiness and cry with anything that comes near his nose or medicine and he loves to hug when he's tired and gives GREAT BIG KISSES on shoulders. Four or five in a row sometimes. He'll press his little open mouth to your shirt and then go "WAH!" as he's giving the "kiss" and then lift his head up and then do it all over again. It really is the cutest thing! And he "sings" with me when I sing him to sleep.
Nate has a rather extensive vocabulary now for his age. He says:
• MY ma-ma when he sees me and crawls to me to be picked up (along with ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma, which I'm sure is the precursor to "mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy... ")
• MY beh-puh and crawls to her (What we call my mom instead of grandma: Beppe)
• Da-da (Oscar got that one finally the day after his birthday – LOL!)
• "Nigh-Nigh" and "I nigh-nigh" (Night-night) and he'll point to the light when it's bed time or when he's tired and rubbing his eyes. Just the cutest thing! He KNOWS what it means. My baby is so smart!
• Nay-Nay (we THINK he's saying Nate-Nate)
• We have gotten "I wa" when he wants something and will reach for it so we figure that's "I want", especially when he is demanding about it. LOL!
• And we have gotten "I you" with a hug a couple of times so we think he's trying to say, "I love you" but it comes out as "I you".
My two precious miracle babies!
I was never supposed to be able to get pregnant with either one, so they're just such immense and amazing blessings, words can't even describe!
So, we're looking forward to heading to Midland for Thanksgiving! I love my in-laws! I've said it before and I'll say it again, they are just the best in-laws to have! Oscar's dad and step-mom and mom and step-dad are all so great and wonderful and I am looking forward to going to see them. I wish we were able to live closer to them, but as much as I love them, I do not want to live in Midland or Odessa. LOL!
I'm so glad that October is over and November is here! It's getting closer to the BEST part of the year where family and friends get together and there's much good food and good laughter to be had. This year, instead of buying tons of gifts for the kids that they barely even play with – seriously, ¾ of the "stuff" we got them last year that they "wanted" are just sitting there, we will be buying 3 gifts each for the girls, representing the 3 gifts of the Magi – one of my friends suggested that (Emily is getting an acoustic guitar as one of the gifts) and some learning toys for Nate and then pooling our money for a BIG family gift that we can all enjoy. I'd say a higher end karaoke machine, but Oscar would veto that so fast that I wouldn't even get the word out of my mouth. LOL! So, I'm thinking something for outside like a huge outdoor fire pit, outdoor beverage cooler and seating for around the pit that we could use year round – seeing as how we barely get a winter here. I think that would be fun! I don't know though. We'll have to discuss it.
I just think that Thanksgiving and Christmas has become so commercial. I think we will also end up volunteering, maybe at a homeless shelter or something, to teach the lesson that life is about what we do for others, not what we do for ourselves or what others do for us. Definitely also have family nights where we make ornaments for the tree and bake goodies and watch classic Christmas movies (A Christmas Story(!), It's a Wonderful Life, Frosty, Rudolph, Miracle on 34th Street, etc.), listen to Christmas music and focus on what this season of the year is REALLY about. HINT: Jesus is the REASON for the season. Just times where we grow together as a family instead of letting the stresses of the commercial aspect of this time of year get to us; talking and slowing down and enjoying being a family instead of running around in the rat maze of shopping and "BUY THIS...GET THAT...ONLY 40/30/12/5 MORE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS...SALE, SALE, SALE!!!...STUFF WILL MAKE YOU HAPPIER". Ugh! Just reading that makes my blood pressure start to go up!
Like the song "Luckenbach" says, "Maybe it's time we got back to the basics of life..."
What are the basics in your life that you need to get back to?
P.S. Your prayers are requested as Oscar is having a procedure on his back tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. Central Time to where they are going to put him under general anesthesia and give him a spinal block and then stick needles into his back to shoot radio waves toward the nerves they think are causing him the problems he's been dealing with. After 2 inconclusive MRI's and extensive doctor's visits, they think they've figured out that certain nerves have gotten "caught" in the joints between the vertebrae in his lower spine and they're getting pinched whenever he moves a certain way, causing him the pain that can literally drop him to his knees at times. They're hoping to "kill" those nerves with the radio waves and they also might be moving the nerves out from those joints with some really long needles they slide into his spinal area. They are hoping that this causes the problems with his back to be completely over and done with so that he can go back to work and go back to living a normal life without excruciating pain.
One thing is for sure, this has certainly taught us to trust in God and His provisions for our lives. Without the faith that we share, neither one of us would be able to get through this past year plus of everything we've been though without feeling hopeless and desperate and just unable to see anything positive about this. But God uses ALL things for good for those who love Him and it has only served to increase our faith in God and learn that God knows what is best for us, even when we can't see it. There is a good measure of peace in the middle of this stress and it's a peace that truly does pass all understanding.