Tuesday, December 29, 2015

October iPhone Pictures

Rather than have ten separate posts for the month of October I've now entered that point in blogging where it's just easier to dump all the random photos I've taken during month into one giant post. It's a photo lovers dream! October was busy, busy, busy and lots of fun! I love October because it's my birthday month, it's balloon festival month, the weather usually starts to cool down, and there are a lot of fun activities we get to do around town. Here is some of the fun we had during October. 

Our balloon festival weekend didn't go as I had originally planned. Hot air balloons are so dependent on good weather and this year it was just way too windy. It made me kind of sad because I really do look forward to this weekend as soon as October arrives. I did get a great birthday surprise in the form of balloons though. Josh and Eli got me brand new rocking chairs for our front porch and Eli remembered that I wanted twirling hot air balloons as well. I literally squealed when I saw my balloons hanging and my chairs. It was such a great birthday present! 

Eli and I enjoying the new chairs one afternoon.

My chairs before and after I stained them. I love how they turned out!

The first night of the balloon festival is the balloon glow. This year some friends invited us to watch the glow with them on the bluff overlooking the river. It was a spectacular view! Eli found some friends from school to play with so he ran around the entire time with them. It was a very small area so he was very safe and I didn't worry at all (well, maybe just a tad because I'm slightly overprotective). The bridge at night was beautiful and we had the perfect seats for the fireworks show. Even though I only got to see one balloon the entire weekend we still had lots of fun. 

Our picture before the balloon glow.

The bridge at dusk.

The bridge at night. 

The only balloon I saw all weekend because of the strong winds. 
Maybe we'll have better luck next year!

Since we didn't get to see balloons that weekend, Eli and I planned other fun events instead. We rode our bikes to Sonic for a delicious happy hour snack. You can tell from the picture how strong the wind was that day. 

October is also a fun month for us in the garden because we get to dig up our sweet potatoes. This year we weren't even sure if we'd have sweet potato crop because we didn't get the potato slips planted until really late in the summer. It ended up working out though and we harvested a good crop to get us through the year. 

Sarah and I took our fourth graders on the first field trip of the year. It was a beautiful day at the Indian Village and the kids had a blast! This trip was also good because it gave me the idea to have Eli's 7th birthday party here :) I love when things work out like that!

Josh sent me this picture one day from work. A couple of his employees were rocking high waist belts and Josh felt left out so he did this to make fun of them. He's such a goober but his employees love that about him. 

Our school had their annual Fall Festival. Each class auctions off a piece of art during the festival and it's usually done by a room mom. For some strange reason no one volunteered from my class so I ended up doing it myself. I had my students paint their hands and then I cut them out, mod-podged them to a canvas, and wrote this quote in the middle. I think for a quick project it turned out really sweet.

I posted this picture on Instagram. This was popcorn seed from our garden two years ago that I've been drying out. I scraped it off the cob and decided to see if it would pop and it did!!

Eli was super excited one day to come home to a present from his daddy. He got a brand new youth basketball so he can play basketball this winter. He's been practicing with it ever since. We can't wait for basketball season!

Our family's super exciting news is that I'm getting another sister-in-law! My youngest brother, Caleb, popped the question to his girlfriend of 5 years, Kailey. We're so excited! Their wedding is in January and Eli is the ring bearer. We can't wait to celebrate with them :)

My birthday finally arrived and the present I gave myself showed up at my doorstep. I love The Pioneer Woman and all of her recipes. 

My gift from my parents also came in the mail that day and I'm now on the adult coloring book band wagon. I have to admit it is very relaxing at night and I love the beautiful pictures I get to create :)

When I got to school that day I saw that a couple of my students' moms had decorated my door and my classroom with Happy Birthday banners and balloons. They made me feel really special that day!

Josh took me out for sushi (my choice) for my birthday dinner and on our way back home we rode down the hill to look at the river. The sky that night was simply breathtaking and I made Josh stop so I could take a picture. This is it, completely raw and no filter. What a beautiful sight created by our great God!

In other news, I'm now a bread baking machine! A lady at work gave me a bread starter that I keep in my refrigerator and now every 7-10 days I'm baking homemade fresh bread. It's so wonderful to eat, especially straight from the oven with honey and butter. Josh and I are addicted! A few of our friends and neighbors have lucked out as well with a couple of fresh loaves. 

That was our October, full of wonderful memories, an engagement, a great 34th birthday, and yummy baked goods. 

Halloween 2015

Halloween this year was lots of fun just like always. Eli decided early on that he wanted to dress as Captain America this year so one weekend when we were visiting my mom and dad I picked up his costume at Target. Oh, how I wish we had a Target! 

The night before Halloween, I laid out all his Halloween goodies on our breakfast table so they'd be there when he woke up. I don't do much for him, just a couple little treats usually like a book and some favorite candy. This year I used some bonus points from my Scholastic teacher's account to pick up a Halloween Berenstain Bears book for him. He is reading like crazy and I want to encourage him as much as possible. I also love using the Frankenstein Halloween treat bag my parents gave him when he was only one each year in some form or fashion. It used to be the Halloween bag he went trick or treating with, but I guess now it's too "little baby" for him. My little boy is growing up too fast :(

I always like to give Eli's teacher a little "happy" during each holiday. It's nothing big but it's just a small token of my appreciation for all they do to take care of my little guy during the day. This year I found some pumpkin scented soap at Bath and Body Works (again when I was out of town because we have NO STORES in our small town) and printed out this cute tag I found on Pinterest. Nothing frilly or fancy, but I thought it was simple and cute. 

Our school adopted a superhero theme this year so all the teachers on my hall chose to dress up as superheroes for Halloween. Sarah and I went as Wonder Woman and Superman. We made our tutus and then pieced the rest of our costumes together. She found some of her stuff online, I found my shirt at Walmart in the kids section, and I borrowed Eli's cape and Clark Kent glasses. It was a super fun day and I always love teaching in costume. My first graders used to get a big kick out of it and I'm happy to say my fourth graders still think it's cool for their teacher to dress up as well.  

Sarah and I were also excited that we got to share another dress up day with Torri! I don't know if I've mentioned it on the blog or not, but Torri is now teaching at the same school with me and Sarah!! Yay!! She retired from our old school in May 2015, tentatively accepted a teaching job at another school in our area, and then got a call from the school where Sarah and I are (and where her daughter goes to school) for a third grade teaching position. I'm so happy that she accepted and she's back with us again. It's so refreshing to see her sweet, smiling face in our hall. What's even crazier is that next year the three of us might be teaching fourth grade together! EEK! Talk about a wonderful year that will be! No official word yet, but we're all crossing our fingers that it will work out :) 

The only sad part of the day was that Eli didn't get to trick or treat around school this year. They only let preschool and Kindergarten students dress in costume and trick or treat through the classrooms, but Eli was excited to pass out candy to the little kids. It's just hard for me to accept that he's not considered a little kid anymore. My students LOVED passing out candy to the little kids. A lot of them have younger siblings or cousins that come through so it's always cute to see their costumes. Even though our sweet boys didn't get to dress in costume they still had a super fun day and we managed to capture some of their craziness in our group picture at the end of our day. I love that we get to do life with these guys :)

The forecast for Halloween day was 100% chance of rain so the towns in our area decided to change the official trick-or-treat day to Friday night. Sarah and I made plans after school that day to trick-or-treat with the kids in my neighborhood, so Eli and I ordered pizza on the way home, ate, and then changed into our trick-or-treating outfits. We usually go to our church for their big Trunk-or-Treat event but because of the weather it was moved inside. I knew it would be crazy crowded so we opted to just walk around our neighborhood. In the long run, that was the BEST decision and probably what we'll do from here on out. Before we left our house Eli humored me and let me take some pictures. His serious poses in his costume crack me up! He's so much fun when he gets in character :)

Captain America means business!

Sarah and the kids still hadn't arrived after our quick photo session so we decided to go visit B's house because she'd sent a text saying she had a special treat for Eli. We are so thankful to have B and Mr. Tim on our street officially now. Eli loves riding his bike down to their house to play games and visit. We got to B's house, he rang the doorbell, and watched for B through the window.

B had a treat bag full of the good candy and Eli was so excited about that! 

We walked across the street to see Mrs. Diane and she gave Eli some yummy goodies too. I LOVE our street and our neighbors. It's such a wonderful place to live! 

Sarah sent a text saying they were close to our house so we walked back down to wait for them. When they got there I had all the kids take a quick group picture and then we were off! Our little gang was ready to trick or treat!

Some of our neighbors couldn't be home but they made sure someone covered for them and was there to pass out candy to the kids. Yet another reason why my neighborhood rocks :) 

Sarah's newest little one, Colt, slept through most of our walk around the neighborhood. He's so sweet and so big! He's definitely Sarah's biggest baby ever. 

We walked to Torri's house and she and Sohpie had a few special treats for our kids, too. It pays to know people at Halloween time :) 

Torri and Sophie with our whole crew. 

Colt woke up right as we were walking back to my house. He'd been a perfect baby the whole time!

These two were a hot mess...literally :)

It rained all day on Halloween day but we were still able to carve our Jack-o-Lantern on our patio. Eli helped me from start to finish and we even roasted the pumpkin seeds as a tasty snack :) We spent the rest of our rainy Halloween day watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks (anyone remember this old Disney movie??),  eating Halloween candy, and lounging around. It was a great weekend!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Eli's First LSU Game

At the beginning of October, Josh and his friend Guy took Eli and Hayden to their first LSU game. These two boys had the BEST time! Josh said they didn't quit talking from the moment they left. Eli wanted only two things...a big foam tiger paw and nachos. My sweet boy got both of his wishes as well as an experience to remember with his Daddy and one of his best buddies! This will probably become an annual tradition for these guys! 

Eli ran into one of my running partners, Carrie, while they were down there. 
She forced him to take a picture with her! 

Foam paw...check!

Enjoying the game with Hayden

Enjoying the game with his Daddy!
What a fun time!

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