Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! We spent a foggy Thanksgiving morning enjoying the Thanksgiving Day parade in uptown Charlotte--our first time making it to this parade, dubbed as the 4th largest in the U.S. It was definitely a fun way to kick off this day.

After the fog lifted and the parade ended with the arrival of the big man (a.k.a. Santa Claus) we headed home for a quiet Thanksgiving dinner. Jack says he is thankful for his mommy, his daddy, Ella and Gator, and the color of the leaves. Ella is thankful for her family and Mrs. Hunter, her kindergarten teacher. Jonathan and I were both thankful for a nice long weekend at home and this time with our kids.
Ella drew a cute picture a couple of days ago of the Pilgrims coming over on the Mayflower. I love their hats! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ella's Focus

While waiting in the hallway outside Ella's classroom yesterday at her elementary school, I noticed one of Ella's assignments hanging amongst the rest of the class's. She had colored a picture that said, "Hocus Pocus Drugs aren't my focus." And then, where you fill in the blank for "My focus" Ella wrote Baden's name. Yes, their love endures. It's amazing the kismet at work here with this relationship. Ella and Baden have such a strong bond....apparently, strong enough to keep Ella's focus off drugs!

A day off from school today gave us some time to hang out with Baden and his sister, Ilse. Ella, Jack, Baden, and Ilse are like peas and carrots. We met them at a playground this morning and had it all to ourselves. After an hour and a half of chasing each other, laughing, and playing the goodbye hugs and "I love you"'s took another 20 minutes or so. These are definitely friends of whom we are very thankful.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Feast

Ella's kindergarten class hosted a Thanksgiving Feast today in their classroom. The kindergarteners performed the story of the first Thankgiving dressed as Pilgrims and Native Americans, reciting lines from the story as Mrs. Hunter prompted them. The kids had also prepared food for the feast, such as minestrone soup and apple pie applesauce. The school's principal even joined our class for this Thanksgiving gathering and Ella loved showing her some of the writing she's done in her writing journal, even reading her a few lines she'd written in it about how she loves her mom and dad and misses them very much. I was blushing with pride. Ella also really dug her Pilgrim hat--she was still wearing it when she hopped off the bus today! Jack came home from his Thanksgiving lunch today wearing an Indian hat with a feather in it. His Native American name--ferocious bear. I guess now we're all set for our own Thanksgiving feast.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bird Watchers

Jack's been asking for weeks to go to the Carolina Raptor Center so he was pretty ecstatic when we decided to enjoy this beautiful day with a trip to this bird rehabilitation center. We found out within the first few minutes of arriving what he was looking forward to the most from this trip--he wanted a lollipop. Apparently Ella and Jack have gotten these pretty lollipops on long sticks the past few times at CRC. We haven't been here in over a year! It's amazing the things these kids remember. After we picked up a few lollipops for later, the kids did enjoy our walk through the woods to see all of the birds and even remembered some of the birds and their stories, too. Honeysuckle, the partially albino hawk, used to have some brown feathers and was now all white. Docents were out and about, showing off a red-shouldered hawk, a red-tailed hawk, a screech owl, and a turkey vulture. We got to see them up close and personal. Jack loved telling the docent pictured below that we see a red-tailed hawk in our woods and yard quite often. We love "watching" these beautiful birds and the paths at CRC always make for such a nice stroll. It was a great family outing. Ella and Jack also kept asking where they could find the owl named One-Eyed Jack. We were sad to see his little memorial stone.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jonathan!

Today was Jonathan's birthday! And, although it was a stressful work day for him, we had a fun night out to celebrate. We both admittedly enjoyed reading the 4-book Twilight series and since November 20th was opening night for the second movie of the series, New Moon, I purchased tickets nearly two months ago for a showing tonight. Now, we expected the crowd to include quite a few high schoolers, but we were literally surrounded by texting and screaming high school girls. They squealed every time Edward or Jacob came on screen. It was pretty hilarious. Jonathan's work and travel schedule today made no time for presents and cake (or to spend any time with his kids, for that matter), so we'll just have to celebrate again tomorrow. Happy Birthday, Jonathan! We love you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I ♥ Faces: Autumn Beauty

If you saw my previous post, you'll know that we were surrounded by Autumn beauty this past Saturday on the campus of Davidson College, my husband's alma mater. Our kids were so thrilled to be practically swimming in so many fallen leaves. They made a pile, fistful by fistful, to jump in, they inspected all of the different types, kicked the leaves, and showered themselves in leaves by throwing them in the air. The colors were beautiful and there were so many fantastic photo opportunities. This photo tells me the story of our day, and the simple joys of it.

To see more of Autumn's splendor, visit I Faces to see all of the entires in this week's Autumn Beauty contest.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Day in Davidson

We have lived under an hour away from Jonathan's alma mater, Davidson College, for the kids' entire lives, yet, believe it or not, today was the first time we took the time to make the trip up there. Jonathan was very excited about showing the kids his old stomping grounds. We hit the soda shop for lunch, cheered on the Wildcats at a football game, and walked and played on the campus for hours. Jonathan was almost giddy thinking of old memories (including pointing out a window he had broken), the kids were thrilled by all of the leaves (building a jumping pile, of course) and great climbing trees, and I was just amazed by how beautiful the campus is in the Autumn. I hope we take the time for this excursion every year. I couldn't help myself--I took a lot of pictures. It was just so beautiful there. See all of them on my Flickr Davidson set.
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