A Typical Busy Saturday

We started our Halloween with our traditional Saturday morning pancakes a la Stuart. They are truly the best pancakes around. He even makes baby pancakes for Nicholas and Rachel. We are trying to teach Rachel the sign language for "more" so she can ask for what she wants instead of whining and pointing. But for now, she will just whines (or cries) when she wants more of something...including pancakes. But once she got her baby pancake, all was well with the world once more.

Nicholas had a soccer game today. The Dark Knights got 2 goals - their first goals ever (even though the other team scored one of those goals for them)! The kids loved going through the "archway" at the end of the game.

Rachel loved sitting in my lap eating crackers while making the occasional cheering sound with the other families.

After the game we headed over to WinKids for their festival. We got there shortly after it started but the parking lot was already packed. We had a good time. Nicholas wore his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume and had fun "trick or treating" at all of the vendor booths. Of course, there is always fun activites at WinKids. He played in the foam pit and on the gym equipment in each room.

He played games and tried some samples. By the time we were ready to go, the place was packed shoulder to shoulder. Glad we made it there early.

Rachel fell asleep on the way home so we pulled into Wendy's for some lunch. Nicholas and I ate and played on the playground while Stuart stayed in the van to let Rachel finish her nap. Once she was up, she got to play on the swings for a little while.

She enjoyed looking at the fall leaves on the trees.

And she even gave Mama a kiss :)

We finally headed back home where everyone is resting now. But that's not all. Soon we'll be heading out again for service at Fellowship church and their Trunk-or-Treat celebration later tonight. Can't wait!

Toddling with Daddy

Rachel enjoys walking while holding our hands. She even does quite well holding only one of our hands. Here she is toddling around with Daddy. I love how she stops to bend over and pick something up. And, no I don't know where her sock is!

The Pumpkin Pirate

Nicholas decorated his own pumpkin this year. He drew the face...

Punched holes and I helped to cut out the pieces...

Painted hair, beard, and a scar...

Ta Dah!

We later added an eye patch and pirate hat. Aargh!

Rachel's Push Car

I love Freecycle. It's an email list where people can post stuff they want to get rid of and other people can take it off their hands for free. Free stuff gets passed around to others who can use it and none of it ends up taking up space in a landfill. What a great idea!

This afternoon I picked up this great little pink push car for Rachel from a nice lady down the street who posted it on Freecycle. We probably wouldn't have spent the money to buy her something like this since she will soon be inheriting Nicholas' tricycle which has a push bar for the child to be pushed around before they can pedal. But this little push car is really perfect for her right now and will make for a nice transistion into the tricycle later. Rachel had her first ride in it today when we picked Nicholas up from school.

Nicholas had fun pushing Rachel down the street.

Rachel is just learning how to walk so we don't bother with shoes for her because we want her to feel what her feet and toes are doing when she stands. However, she also likes to let her feet drop off of the push car as we are going down the road. Each time I saw her do this I would stop the car and put her feet back on the foot rest. But apparently it happened more than I realized. When we got home today from picking Nicholas up at school, I noticed that there was a hole in her sock and her little foot was bleeding!

She never seemed bothered by it and was laughing the whole trip to school and back. I feel terrible about her toe but I know I stopped and picked her feet back up a squillion times during the trip so I don't understand how it happened. Fortunately we have some like-new pink and white tennis shoes (also acquired from Freecycle) so now she will have to wear those anytime she rides in the push car.

Bugs and Butterflies

I had another environmental outing for our Early Childhood PTA group this morning. We all met at a local park to learn about bugs, caterpillars, and butterflies. We read Eric Carle's classic book, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and learned about how caterpillars turn into beautiful butterflies and I passed around some plastic pieces representing each of the stages of a butterfly from egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis, to butterfly. Then we listened to a local environmentalist who told us about all of the different kinds of caterpillars and butterflies we might find in our area. Each child even got their own caterpillar and butterfly toy to take home with them.

We had a good turn out despite the cold weather and recent rain. But we were all happy to step away from the pavillion area and out into the warm sun on the playground once the talk was over. Rachel still can't do much at playgrounds but this girl does love the swings!

Hooray for Bad Weather

Nicholas doesn't usually get cafeteria food for breakfast or lunch so, of course, he thinks of it as a treat to go through the cafeteria line. Since Granddad's flight home was this morning we let Nicholas have breakfast in the school's cafeteria with Granddad.

Then Granddad got to walk him to his classroom and get one last hug before leaving for the airport.

But as Rachel and I were on our way to take Granddad to catch his flight, he got a call informing him that his flight had been cancelled due to bad weather between here and home. He got rescheduled for a flight tomorrow morning. Woo hoo! We get Granddad for one more day! This is the second time poor Granddad has gotten stuck here because of bad weather. The other time was back when we lived in Arlington and his flight got cancelled because of Hurricane George.

After Nicholas got out of school, we spent some time at a toy store. Nicholas had fun sword fighting with me with some soft foam swords that he found. He even gave one to Rachel who surprisingly knew how to handle a sword and did quite well with it. I guess that's what happens when you grow up with a big brother.

My Dad took this picture of me playing with Rachel. It is special to me because right after he took it he said in such a sweet tone that it was neat to watch me play with the kids like that because it reminded him of mom playing with my brother and me when we were little. That means a lot to me.

My Sweet Family

I'm so glad that my Dad is a photographer because he was more than happy to take some family pictures of us while he was here. It's hard getting a good family picture with two young kids but Dad was a trooper and acted silly so they'd look at the camera. The pictures turned out great. I will always cherish them and the fun we had taking them. Thanks Dad!

Alliance Air Show

Since my Dad and Stuart have both flown planes and since Nicholas loves anything that flies, I knew we had to go to the Fort Worth Alliance Air Show.

There were lots of booths and vendors and many parked planes, jets, and helicopters to look at and climb on. We saw a B-52 Stratofortress. The tire is bigger than Nicholas!

We even got to walk through the bomb compartment at the bottom of the plane. Wow!

Nicholas got to check out an Army transport helicopter.

And there were lots of other cool helicopters and planes to check out...

Of course, a boy must play and Hide and Seek is always a good game. Where could Nicholas be?

The air show was great but the loud noises startled Rachel so I held her the whole time while trying to keep her ears covered. Look at that sad little face!

Nicholas covered his ears a lot but loved the whole thing. I kept hearing, "Wow!" and "Look at that!" and "Oh, here they come again!"

The most exciting part of the air show was getting the priviledge to watch the Blue Angels perform.

The Blue Angels are a part of the U.S. Navy. Their team was created after World War II to try to gain the public's interest in the Navy and aviation in general. They performed their first flight demonstration in June 1946 at their headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. I was surprised to learn that the first team Blue Angels team coined their name "Blue Angels" because they liked the name of a bar in New York where they were performing in 1946. It seems like that name deserves a better story than that :)

The Blue Angels currently fly in Boeing F/A 18 Hornets. There were 6 performing together at this show. It was gray and cloudy and the Blue Angels were zipping by quickly but my husband got some amazing pictures of the demonstration.

Look how tightly they fly together. My Dad explained that the commander of the team leads the way and all of the other pilots don't look ahead but instead they look at an adjacent plane to determine their position.

I'm just in awe of their skill but fearful just looking at how close the wing tips are to each other. It's so incredibly dangerous. Do their mothers know that they do this? I don't think I could let my child do this no matter how old they were.

Here are two Angels flying on their sides as they zoom past each other. They were going so fast that they had to be positioned perfectly from the beginning because there would be no time to correct their alignment once they realized someone was out of place.

These two planes did an incredible trick. They swooped down in the air and it looks like they crash together but obviously they don't. I still cringe just looking at these pictures. That's just too close for comfort!

Of course, the Blue Angels are just beautiful to watch. They are truly masterful pilots and the best of the best.