Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treating

As is our tradition, the Mulders came up to celebrate Halloween with us this year.  The afternoons are filled with playtime, baking and pumpkin decorating (we carved one and 'painted' two with Sharpies this year).  Then, after dinner (homemade pizza, salad and breadsticks), it's time for costumes on--  Enjoy the photos!

Uncle Sam and Auntie Carrie handed out candy while we roamed the streets!
Happy Trick-or-Treating!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween 'Projects'

Auntie Carrie was kind enough to bring her very special hair over for Halloween.  That just sounds weird, doesn't it?  She had some beautiful extensions for the wedding, and Alex was in awe of the entire process, so Carrie treated her to a "Rapunzel" night.
She looks so old!

After the Great Hair Experiment of '12, they got to work making some yummy pumpkin muffins using the pumpkins that we baked this weekend.  Now THAT'S my kind of Halloween project!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Return of the Dragon/Di-no-noh

Today was Justin's ECFE Halloween Party.  We settled, once again, on our makeshift dragon/dinosaur costume.  He actually refers to himself as "Dicky Dicky Di-no-noh" (from a Charlotte Diamond song of the same title), so that's what I'm going with.  Even with the crazy sparkly horn.
This kid is so patient.  There was quite a bit of chaos surrounding the group shot and Justin just sat there until all the other kids decided they couldn't sit any more and the moms had to all jump in.  Then he sat some more until all the photos were done.  No smiles, but what more could you ask for?
                                                                    Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2012

To the Zoo!

In an attempt at normalcy, we've really done a bunch of nothing this past week.  So, in an attempt to get out of the house and away from cleaning before my head explodes, we set up a zoo playdate with some friends from school!
It seems like every time we're at the Minnesota Zoo, we run into Aedan and Conlan, so I decided to see if we could run into each other on purpose this time.  Alex had so much fun visiting with them and Justin was just in awe of the two 'bigger boys' AND their di-no-nohs...

Attempt at a photo of four of them.  All children are in the shot.  That's what I was going for.
The new baby tigers were right up next to the window.  We were very excited to get to see them in person for the first time!  Soooo fluffy!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kowalski's Boo Bash

We've been home for a few days now, and things are starting to return to our normal rhythm.  However, this pesky Halloween thing gets thrown in and messes everything up again!  I decided to just roll with the punches this year, though-- we decided to go to Kowalski's for their annual trick-or-treating event.  It's great because the kids get to wind through the store to show off their costumes, it's climate-controlled, not too crazy AND they give out a minimum of candy.  More like baby carrots, sting cheese, cartons of milk, animal crackers.
Alex is Charlotte.  Justin was supposed to be Wilbur, but he balked at the pink crochet coat and pants that I found at Goodwill.  They were PERFECT, but he was NOT going to wear them.  So we mustered up a variation of the dragon costume that's been hanging around forever.  Seriously gotta love those dragon tails!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Back on the Road

So, even though we ran, like 13.1 miles this morning, we have to get back so Dave can go to work tomorrow.  After lunch we limped to the car, strapped the kids in, got most of our stuff packed up (thanks for taking care of my pillow, mom) and headed back to Woodbury. 
Dave and I were a little worried about being tired, but Justin kept us all awake the ENTIRE way up with his various renditions of "Do Re Mi". 

Des Moines Half Marathon 2012

While Daddy, Uncle Willy and I went off to run our race (which we all finished in under our projected time- yea!), Alex and Justin went to Church with GranMama and Pastor GranPapa.  We met back at home afterwards and were able to catch up with Alex's Fairy Godmother, Cathleen, and her mom Cathy.  Cathleen was the instigator  inspiration for running this race-- however, she dramatically injured her ankle in a high-speed bicycle collision and was unable to run.  We were surprised when we saw her on the sidelines-- around mile 7-- holding up some AWESOME signs to cheer us on!  Thanks so much!!!
We're "Team Yak" because all four of us are signed up for an Everest Base Camp Trek this upcoming May.  That's why.  It's not because we run so hard we vomit.  That potential meaning dawned on me when people started moving away from us during the race.  We're also not large smelly creatures.  Or I hope not.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pre-Race Pumpkin!

Uncle Willy came over to hang out today-- we went to the Race Expo to pick up our bibs (we're official!), played in the yard, walked to the bakery to pick out some treats AND carved a pumpkin!
Alex came up with five or six designs that we all had to vote on.  Here she is drawing out the winning pattern on the pumpkin!
 Playtime with Tikva in the yard.  SO many leaves to scuffle through!
 Helping the Artist achieve her vision:
 Nice work, Uncle Willy!
After-Pumpkin snacks for all!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Put away the shorts, pull out the down vests!

GranMama and GranPapa were kind enough to host us this weekend in Des Moines (Half Marathon time is nigh!).  I think I had JUST enough time to unload one suitcase and throw things in a slightly smaller one for this trip.  Out went the tank tops and shorts, in went the woolies and boots!
Justin and GranPapa enjoyed breakfast together this morning.  We met Gramps and Grams for playtime and lunch, visited Great Grams to see her beautiful new apartment and even had time to stop in at GranMama's school for a quick visit.  Alex was so excited to be a 'student' that she wanted to stay all day-- (she got to sit in on a lesson for a bit AND be the line leader!).
After a fun dinner with Uncle Willy at The Machine Shed, it was off to bed for these two jet-setting kids!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hiking Morning

The morning after the wedding, Papa Bob led us on a beautiful hike at the trail near their house.  Justin was a little frustrated because a) he had to wear sister's hat...we misplaced his,  b)he REALLY wanted to walk, but I wasn't so keen on his exploring the desert unescorted, and c) the sun was bright.  For a kid who loves nature, he sure doesn't like the elements too much!
 Justin convinced us that it was time to turn around and head back, but Alex and Papa Bob kept hiking!  She was determined to make it just as far as he went!
What a perfect 'last memory' of Phoenix!  Home again, home again tomorrow...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wedding Day!

It's the Wedding Day!  Alex started off her Flower Girl experience the right way.... A new casual 'getting ready' navy dress with lots of sparkles AND a bright blue box from Tiffany's.  She received a beautiful sterling chain that matched all the bridesmaid's chains! 
 Then it was off to The Secret Garden-- a wonderful venue where we had the ceremony and reception.  The ladies took over the upstairs of 'the House' and started getting ready!  Alex, Rorie and Grandma Mary arrived soon afterwards.  Did I mention that Auntie Rorie was Al's personal attendant for the day?  How wonderful IS my family!
After Alex's hair was perfectly braided AND curled, Auntie Carrie had one more surprise for her.  She had a handkerchief made (using pieces of lace from Alex's flower girl dress) for Alex to use as her "something old" on her future wedding day  *sob*.

Pink champagne for the bridesmaids, pink lemonade for the flower girl!
Time for makeup!

A family shot-- wish you could see J's knickers fully, but until the professional photos come back this will have to do for little guy shots!
After a beautiful ceremony, with the most serious flower girl in the history of weddings (seriously-- she was so focused on her job!)  The florist accidentally gave us enough flower petals for TWO flower girls, and Al took great care to distribute them evenly down the aisle so Auntie Carrie would know which way to go.  She had a few petals remaining when she reached the altar and 'discreetly' sprinkled them at random times throughout the ceremony :-)   Justin spent the ceremony with GranMama and Auntie Rorie-- apparently doing gymnastic stunts with the folding chairs (thanks for catching him, Alan!)
  Presenting Auntie Carrie and UNCLE Sam!  Hooray!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Toddler and Tiaras... wedding edition totally was what was running through my mind this morning.  GranMama and I took Alex to have her nails done (*this wedding fever thing is catching*).  Alex has been such a trooper, what with the time change and the late nights, that she deserved a very special Flower Girl treat.  She was so excited to have her nails painted!  The technician was trying to convince me to go day-glo pink, but I averted that potential disaster by firmly saying "No thank you" and handing her a champagne color.  Phew!

The rest of our day was spent getting spray tanned (at least the older ladies.... no spray tans for this princess!), finishing wedding prep and playing with all the fun people in the house!  Oh-- then there was a Rehearsal Dinner that the kiddos decided to stay home and play with a babysitter for.  :-)
Our beautiful bride!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Marotz Mexican Buffet! (or the Rehearsal Rehearsal Dinner)

To kick off the celebration weekend, Mary and Bob hosted a wonderful casual dinner at their place this evening.  I got to play 'party planner' and spend the afternoon setting up lanterns and stringing lights (ok-- Dave helped with the stringing part-- but only a little).

By the time the two important ladies (Bride and Flower Girl) had relaxed a little, it was time to party!Dinner (Reynoso's buffet-style) and Chatting ensued-- followed by some sparkler action.  Alex was very excited to pass out the sparklers, but kind of got herself in a bit too deep.  None of us thought ahead enough to imagine what a giant sparkler would look like when you're eye to eye with it.
Being comforted by Grandma Mary.
Justin and Alex only have two more days until this guy is 'officially' Uncle Sam!  I think everyone involved is super-excited!  Justin also got to hang out with Miss Mandy (Sam's sister) while Alex learned cheerleading moves from Miss Emily (Sam's other sister).  The whole family has embraced our two little ones-- it's a good thing that they are well-behaved (at least in public).
Happy Pre-Wedding, Sam and Carrie!