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Archive for November, 2011

 

 

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year–one that will always be a special memory.  For the last several years, Dan’s family has celebrated Thanksgiving at his sister’s house, but this year we all gathered at his parents’ home.  I am pretty sure that we hadn’t been there since before we adopted Kara, so it was good for the kids to go there.  It brought back special memories for the older kids and built new ones for us all.

One of the best parts of our visit was when Grandma taught the kids how to play Dominoes.  I don’t think I have ever played that game right and had no idea how much fun it was!  After we played several rounds, Grandma gave us the domino set to bring home.  This was a special thing because these dominoes actually belonged to her mother, so they are a precious heirloom that we will treasure.  (And we have already enjoyed using them here at home too!)

Over the years we have mentioned the little old rusty amusement park area across the street from Grandma’s house.  None of the kids really remembered that, so I had told them that we would all take a walk to see it sometime while we were there.  That ended up being quite a fun walk too.  Cosette, of course, really wished that the old train and ferris wheel still worked, but it was still neat to see.

So, we had a good holiday.  It was good to see all of Dan’s brothers and sisters, nieces and nephew.  It is also wonderful being with his parents–we treasure the times that we spend with them!

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Cupcake Hats

Cupcake Hats

My girls LOVE–and I do mean LOVE–cute hats.  In fact, the cuter and/or sillier they are, the more they like them!  Several months ago, we saw a picture of a cupcake hat, and, of course, Cosette and Kara seriously wanted to add them to their collection.  I looked online for patterns and found several different ones, but they were all written for very small girls.  I told the girls not to worry.  After all, they have a wonderful Grandma who can make all kinds of things with yarn (including darling little clothes for their Webkinz pets!). So, I showed Grandma the picture, and she said that she would give it some thought.  Well, needless to say, she came through, and I think these hats are even cuter than the ones in the picture!  The girls were delighted and they have been wearing them constantly since she brought them over yesterday afternoon.  Yes, the girls have a very special, very talented Grandma!  🙂

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A Simple Pleasure!

I love this thing!  Let me tell you about it:

Several weeks ago, a friend invited me to a Scentsy party.  I had never heard of Scentsy before, and, to tell you the truth, I really wasn’t very interested when she told me it was all about fragrances without flames.  To be polite, however, I decided to place an internet order on a clearance warmer to support her party, and, boy, was I in for a treat!  My kids were almost as excited as I was when our package arrived.  After putting in the wax and turning on the lamp, we were all happy with the wonderful smells filling the room!

I had started burning candles in our school room about a year ago.  It just seemed nice to have a nice, welcoming fragrance while the kids worked.  Now we can enjoy the same effects without the risks of the flames, and the scents can be changed as often as we desire!  So far we have tried the Silver Bells, Happy Birthday, and Sugar Cookie wax bars from Scentsy.  I also picked up a Better Homes and Gardens wax scented as a Spiced Apple Wreath from Wal-Mart.  I have been seeing warmers and wax all over the place this holiday season, but I still prefer the genuine Scentsy scents over the ones that I have seen.

So, I guess I am hooked!  It is a simple, non-caloric indulgence!  🙂

 

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This year my American Heritage Girls joined the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts in the Veteran’s Day parade.  It was a good way to pause and be grateful for the sacrifices made for our freedom.  We can never be reminded too often.

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This article from the Washington Times expresses many of our reasons for choosing American Heritage Girls.  It is well worth reading!

HAGELIN: With Girl Scouts astray, a wholesome alternative – Washington Times.

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Kara’s 8th Birthday

Brock was not the only one with a birthday last week!  Kara also had a very exciting 8th birthday!  This was quite a landmark day for the Prairie Family because our state’s vehicle booster seat law is in effect until a child is 8 years old.  So, when Kara turned 8, our car seat/booster seat days came to an end–after almost 15 years!  It kind of seems strange not having to have those things everywhere we go!

Kara did have a wonderful birthday. She is such a happy person, so on a special day like this she just shines! As I was looking through the pictures, almost every single one had her beaming–and that is just who she is!

The hit of her birthday was the silly puzzle ball that Kara is trying out in this entry’s picture.  It is called a Perplexus Maze Game, and it has rarely sat unused since the moment it was opened! We all agree that we can’t decide if we love it or hate it, but it sure keeps you coming back to try to get that crazy little ball around all of the track!  I don’t think anyone has made it all of the way from the beginning to the end yet without having it fall off, but it sure is fun trying! Believe it or not, this ball has been more popular than even the video game that we gave to Kara!  Now that is saying something!  There is another ball in this series called the Epic Perplexus, and I have gotten many not-so-subtle hints that the kids would like one under the Christmas tree in a few weeks!

Kara has also been enjoying her real, “big-girl” camera.  She is kind of dangerous with that thing!  She takes quite the candid pictures and videos!  I guess sometime I’ll have to post a Smilebox of life from Kara’s perspective–that would make for an interesting, entertaining post!

So we are finished with 2/3 of the birthdays for this time of year.  Cosette’s birthday is the first week of December, and then, of course, we will be focusing on Christmas.  Lots of presents and lots of fun!

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Brock’s 13th Birthday


Last week the long-awaited day finally arrived for Brock:  he had his 13th birthday!  He had really looked forward to being a “real” teenager, so he was happy when his birthday finally came.

He had a nice birthday, although there were a few complications.  Brock had wanted a pocket knife for quite some time.  We wanted to wait to give him one until he earned the Boy Scout of America’s Totin’ Chip, which is the card issued upon completing knife safety requirements.  I had actually picked up a knife several months ago from BSA for him, but had put it away until he had that card.  Well, a few weeks before his birthday, Brock attended a camp where he successfully completed the knife safety requirements, so he gave pretty strong hints that he wanted a knife for this birthday.  So, I dug through my stash to make sure I still knew where the knife was and got it wrapped up for a present.

The complication came the evening before Brock’s birthday when Brock’s best buddy came over with a birthday present for Brock.  Although he didn’t want to open it until his actual birthday, I could tell that it was also a knife!   Ugh!  What do I do with my knife for Brock?????  So, when Dan got home from work, I asked him what to do, and he said that I should carefully open up his friend’s gift to see what that knife was like before I panicked and got him something else for the very next day!  So that is what I did, and I discovered that it was indeed another knife, but it was a very different kind of knife than I had wrapped for Brock.  So, Dan said he thought it would be ok to just go ahead with the two knives–after all, they were completely different sizes and could be used for different things.

I was still a little apprehensive when Brock was opening those gifts.  I didn’t want him to be disappointed!  To my surprise, though, Brock was absolutely delighted with both knives and is thrilled to have “one for each pocket!”  He has been carrying both of them, and always is happy to come help when we need something opened!  🙂

Later that evening, we took Brock to Pizza Hut for a birthday dinner, and we ended up with another birthday surprise that none of us was expecting!  Just as we were getting ready to leave, the manager came up to us and asked if we would like to take some extra pizza home.  She said that someone had called in an order to be made later that evening, but the cook had misunderstood and had already put the order in the oven, so they had extra pizzas.  We asked how much they would be, and they said that they were FREE!  So, we brought home THREE free pizzas!  Now that was a great birthday surprise!

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