Wednesday, November 5, 2014

An Author Writes the Words…

I’m amazed at the things kindergarteners know now days. Annabelle knows a lot about books – she knows what an author is, what an illustrator is, the parts of the book and even the difference in fiction and non-fiction.

When we read, she usually points out the title page and asks the authors name and always reminds us that “the author wrote the words” to the story.

When I read online that Eric Litwin, author of the first four ‘Pete the Cat’ books was coming to Gainesville, I knew we had to go!

He was having two events – an afternoon one and an evening one. We already had plans for that night, so I decided it was definitely worth checking AB out of school early and going to the afternoon event. We invited her friend, Emma & her mom to go, too. I knew both the girls loved Pete the Cat and after reading about Mr. Eric online, I knew it was going to be fun and something we didn’t want to miss.

We hit Chick-fil-A for some lunch and then made our way to the public library headquarters. IMG_0456We got there at a perfect time and were able to get great seats right up front. IMG_0459

Mr. Eric puts on such a fun show. He sang songs, read two books and even shared a new character he’s working on. The kids sang along, danced and laughed their heads off at all his funny antics.IMG_0463 It was so much fun and I was SO glad we made the choice to let the girls skip school that afternoon. There are some things that can’t be experienced in a classroom, and I’m so glad we had this opportunity.

After his presentation, Mr. Eric stuck around to meet the kids and sign their books. IMG_0473


We ordered a hardback book for AB to have signed for her and one for her kindergarten class. IMG_0483

We also snagged enough Pete the Cat Bookmarks and stickers for everyone in their class.

It worked out perfectly, because AB’s special day (where they bring snack and show/tell) was the following Monday. So she took in Pete the Cat Cookies,IMG_0743 a “HUGE PILE OF STRAWBERRIES” (from Pete’s white shoes book) & was able to share about meeting Mr. Eric and then give her class all the goodies we’d grabbed for them.

SO fun!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kindergarten Field Trip

A couple weeks ago, AB had her first Kindergarten field trip to Coon Hollo Farm in Micanopy. IMG_0320

It was a morning of fall fun and we all had a great time.IMG_0227

The people at Coon Hollo put on a puppet show teaching the kids a few things about agriculture and then they had set up six different stations for the groups to rotate around. It was fun because the class got to stay together and do everything at the same time. IMG_0303

The stations included the cow train,IMG_0228


Petting Pen with goats and chickens, IMG_0238


Story Time with Nana,

a Hay ride where the kids got to feed the cows…IMG_0285



The giant hay slide,IMG_0253

IMG_0262 and the corn maze & hay bales…IMG_0313

AB’s favorite part was jumping the hay bales. Go figure. Something she could do anytime at home. :)

After all the classes had been through the rotation, we had a picnic lunch and then called it a day.IMG_0294


We visited Coon Hollo when AB was a toddler and it was a lot of fun then, too. It’s a great place for families to have something fall-ish to do and made for a great field trip!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Trick or Treat 2014

It’s MONDAY and boy does it feel like it. I wore my pj’s to drop AB off at school this morning. I do that sometimes, especially on cold mornings. It’s hard to trade in my comfy flannels for pants that have buttons. I’m always sure to say a little prayer, though, that nothing happens on the way to or from school that would warrant me having to get out of the car and actually being seen! Why yes, I’m a shining example of a star housewife today…just pass me the bon-bons and turn on the soaps.

We’re recovering from a three day long sugar high, though and I might just stay in my jammies all day.

About all that sugar…

Our Halloween 2014 festivities began the middle of last week. We like to stretch things out around here…especially if candy and fun is involved.

Lauren and I (or more like Tucker & Parker) fell victim to the Pinterest baby-in-a-pumpkin craze and we subjected our babies to sitting in pumpkin mush. They weren’t too excited about it, and they didn’t exactly hate it either… We didn’t get the amazing picture we were hoping for, but mercy, are these two precious?!?!?!?!?


We texted back and forth before carving our pumpkins that morning and we were both nervous about the leg holes… as we should have been. Turns out we cut them too small and our poor boys almost got stuck. I did NOT want to be explaining that one to their Daddies- so thankfully we got them out… unharmed. :)  The boys were relived to see Daddy/Uncle Devin pull up and fix our pumpkins. Of course DW would save the day. It’s his M.O. for sure. DSC_8249

The boys still weren’t super thrilled about sitting in a pumpkin. They both liked chewing on it though. DSC_8235DSC_8184

& I’m pretty sure they’re convinced their mommas are crazy. 



Thursday night it worked out for us to hit UF’s Greeks & Ghouls this year. We’ve wanted to go in years’ past, but it usually falls on the same night as our Cattleman’s meeting, so it’s never worked before. The girls were so excited for some pre-Trick or Treat fun and we were excited to see how cute they and the boys were in their costumes! DSC_8321

Of course my girls, like 98% of all the other little girls in America chose to dress up as Anna & Elsa. Grammy & Pop scored their costumes two months ago and they’ve been hanging in my closet waiting for October! Tucker got dragged into the theme, because it’s just who I am – and he needed to learn early that Momma likes coordinating kids. :) He was the cutest Olaf in the history of Olafs.DSC_8311 I made his little hat and glued some felt “stick” arms and buttons on a long sleeve onsie. Super easy and it all took less than 20 minutes.

AB was excited to have white color and glitter sprayed into her hair, but not nearly as excited as Mamie was over her wig. She LOVED it and it was hilarious. DSC_8283

Much to our disappointment, it FLOODED when we rolled into Gainesville. We tried to wait it out in the truck for a while before giving up and heading home. Adam & Lauren picked up Krispy Kremes, though, so the night wasn’t lost. DSC_8357We met them at Pappy & Nie-Nie’s so the kids could trick or treat there (Pappy & Nie-Nie were going out of town for the weekend and would miss Halloween, so we hit them early).



Halloween being on a Friday was so fun this year! That morning AB had her book character dress-up and dance. She chose to be “Cindy Moo.” IMG_0967She was crazy about her cowbell!DSC_8402 I felt like I should send an apology note to her teacher that morning. Instead I told AB to make sure she put her cowbell in her cubby when she got to school. Later that morning, one of the teachers had texted Aunt Nen a video of AB at the dance who forwarded it to me and I loved it so much because above the loud music you could hear the cowbell. :)

That afternoon, my mom & I went in for AB’s class’ pumpkin math party. We had a big time manning different math stations and enjoyed getting to see AB in her class and meeting all of her little friends.IMG_0970

That afternoon it was home to rest up for the big Trick-or-Treat festivities.  Mamie was so excited to have her friend Ella over. DSC_8409We had everyone meet up at our house for chili and hotdogs before we went to town. Uncle Adam got the trailer and hay all lined up for us and we pulled it through town with the 4-wheeler again this year.DSC_8446

The kids always love the “hayride.” We’d park it and walk to a few houses and then load back up and move farther down the streets. IMG_0992



We decided to call it a night once the sun started going down and the streets got more crowded. IMG_0999

DSC_8445It was the perfect amount of time for our little ones though.

Of course we had to hit Aunt Kels’ house on our way back home. DSC_8448



We stopped by our house to drop off our loot and take a family pic…



Then ended the night taking the kids by my Granny’s house to Trick-or-Treat one more time. DSC_8492

Halloween 2014 was so much fun!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

We love the Pickin’ Patch in Dunnellon and have been going for the past several years. photo 1

It seems like every year they add something new and it’s a fantastic place for an afternoon of family fun. DSC_7786

This year, we invited the brothers/sisters in law & cousins to come with us. Uncle Adam, Aunt Nen & Parker couldn’t make it that afternoon, but Uncle Van and his crew were able to join us.


Warren, Annabelle & Mamie had a big time picking out pumpkins.DSC_7613


DSC_7692 What’s so fun about the Pickin Patch is that it’s an actual pumpkin patch- not just a tent with some brought-in pumpkins. DSC_7644



We played on the hay fort, did the hay ride and even picked sunflowers before calling it done. DSC_7593


photo 2


It was a fun afternoon and we ended it with dinner at Swampy’s on the water.

Family- Fall- and Fun… they just go better together. DSC_7766