Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Trip 2015 - Part One

For Thanksgiving this year, we decided to spend (almost) a week in Florida with Philip's family (without telling the kids ahead of time about our plans!!)

The plan was to not say a word about the trip, pack all the bags (even the kid's carry ons) get them into the van...and start driving... all without the kids having a clue what was going on.

It worked fairly well.    I almost spoiled the surprise about a dozen times in the weeks and days leading up to the trip (on Thanksgiving day), and Philip had a couple of doozies himself =)

How we made it work was having our bags all laid out in the (locked) guest room downstairs and stealthily sneaking things down there when the kids weren't looking.   I got the bulk of the packing done while they watched a movie the night before our trip.

Thanksgiving morning came.  We had breakfast, the kids got dressed, Philip and I got the last stuff put in the van (hidden under a blanket in the back, out of sight), and we told the kids we were going to go somewhere.   *When they had previously asked what we were doing for Thanksgiving, I said, "We're celebrating as a family". =)

After driving for a short while, we exited at the airport, and Keenan pipes up excitedly, "Who are we picking up at the airport??"

We just pulled up, got out, walked around, opened up the back...and handed the kids their carry ons.   They were soo confused and excited!!   "Wait, What??  What is going on!?  We're GOING somewhere??"

 Confused kids waiting for Daddy to get back from parking the van

When Philip got back, we did video of them finding out where we were going.   They were SO excited!!!!

 Here they are after finding out =)

We had a Perfect travel day - no delays, no problems (except Caleb having an accident while he was asleep on our first flight...and not having extra pants in his carry on...and not finding ANY pants for sale at the airport).

 The kids on the tram at the Orlando airport
(Notice Caleb is wearing Moriah's leggings)  =)

 My big helpers grabbed our bags off the belt and we headed out to meet up with Philip after he picked up our rental...

Jeep Renegade!   So fun!

We got to Mom and Jeff's just in time for last minute dinner prep before a Wonderful Thanksgiving meal!

 The kids table (super happy to be together again!)

 The adult's table

 A rare sweet moment of brother snuggles on the couch before bed

 An epic boy's monopoly game underway

 ...while the girls make some artwork

 ...and the parents watch a movie on the comfy new couch =)

 Watching a Christmas movie in the kitchen before the big breakfast on Saturday morning

 Jeff and "Mount Bacon" (this was 12 pounds of bacon that he grilled!)

 Other breakfast deliciousness

 There was a family dance party after breakfast

 Matt leading the way with "Watch Me"

Next up:  Family photos!

 Matt, Jessica, Reagan, Hudson and Adilyn

 The whole crew!

 Just the ladies

 Mom and Jeff with the grandkids

Isaac, Jeff and Mom
(Isaac is so grown up!)

 Jess, Mom and I

 Crazy town

 Hudson's birthday was on Saturday so he and Keenan are both eight right now! =)
(They played at least Three different monopoly versions)

Yesterday afternoon the couches were divided for the football game - Ohio State fans on the left and Michigan fans on the right.   Unfortunately Ohio State won =(

Will be back soon with our early Christmas festivities, cookies and much more!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Trottin' for Turkey

This year, instead of Philip and I running it, Keenan and Moriah ran the Turkey Trot!   It's a 2 (or 10) mile race, and we are soo proud of them for ramping up their mileage and doing a two mile race already!

The day of the race dawned COLD and windy.   The temperature was 33, felt like 23.  


 Caleb was not impressed

 The chilly runners ready to start!
(Philip ran with Moriah)

 The start line (there were 1,600 runners!)

 Keenan finishing (he placed 114th out of 1,609 and his time was 16:06)  He was the very first 8 year old to finish!!

I missed seeing Moriah finish in the crowd, but she did excellent, she placed 486th out of 1,609 and her time was 20:31)  She was the very first 6 year old to finish!!

With their 17 pound turkeys!!

We had some fun making some Christmas goodies for our CC classes...


Okay folks, on to our Thanksgiving trip to Florida!!!

Noshing in November (and other Novelties)

My tardy blogging trend continues... =0/

Here are some more random catch ups on our life:

Lots of food this month (hence the "noshing" - to eat food enthusiastically)

Yummy pork carnitas on carrot "tacos" with homemade refried beans

The pork carnitas also went into my first Posole (a spicy Mexican soup with fresh veggies on top)

More magnatile creations!
(Seriously, people, this toy NEVER gets old!)

I was impressed that this stood up on it's own!

Caleb's "slanted tent" ;)

My favorite salad right now - spinach, quinoa, pomegranate, walnuts and homemade sesame dressing

We let Keenan and Moriah spend the night in their "secret hut", the area under our stairs that is a fun little room with a door (they loved it and actually slept really well!)

That same night I went up to check on Caleb, who I assumed had been asleep for a long time.   When I opened the door, he didn't even notice me, as he read books in his bed with a headlamp.  This is his guilty look caught on camera when Philip took a picture =)

We have recently discovered (and love) coloring pages designed for adults.  They are much more detailed and the kids really enjoy them!

Caleb working on an airplane

Moriah's floral design

This one was mine.   I decided to have each member of our family color a section =)

Keenan's was a page full of gears!

Caleb's finished airplane

Beautiful flowers

See how much he loves me?   He even humored me and colored his own section (all blue and yellow, of course)

On a Sunday afternoon we went to our friend's, the Doolittles, to have pizza baked in their pizza oven - how fun!

When we showed up, Moriah and Jillian were dressed almost the same!

First pizza going in the oven

It only takes about four minutes to bake!

...tada!   They had every topping imaginable, so each person could have their own personalized pizza!

On November 21st, we got our very first tiny bit of SNOW!

The kids were thrilled!   Lots more to come, we hope!

That evening we celebrated "Friendsgiving" with a bunch of our friends and their neighbors!  What a great evening!

The food was amazing!

One of the kid's tables (the little girl to Moriah's right is named Moriah as well)

Lots of great people

Our table


The hostesses, Lindsay and Micheala!

Keenan and Jade spent most of the evening by the fire pit =)

Okay, just a few more things to catch up on before our Thanksgiving trip!