Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

For the first time since we've lived in Texas we didn't travel for a major holiday. Instead, we stayed home and hosted AJ and her boyfriend, Ferrell. The six of us spent three and half days together, celebrating the holidays (Thanksgiving and my birthday), catching up, eating and drinking, working off what we ate and drank at the gym, playing at the park, and watching football and all four Twilight movies. AJ and Ferrell watched the kids on Friday afternoon so Tom and I could go see a movie and do a little Christmas shopping, and I cooked my very first Thanksgiving dinner, as Hallie would say, all by my big girl self. (That's not entirely true, as I did have a little help here and there.)

We missed the rest of the Ferris clan, but it was wonderful to be at home and with at least some of our family.  Here's a recap!
On Wednesday afternoon, Tom took AJ, Ferrell, and Hallie
to Kyle Field while I took Will to a birthday party.
Ferrell and Tom, checking out 3-D TV.
Thank you Pinterest, for suggesting I create these
cute but simple candle and cranberry centerpieces!
This boy likes his meat!
Post-Thanksgiving-Dinner-Tom, COMPLETELY asleep, while
the rest of us enjoyed Twilight: Eclipse (if you look closely you
can see Bella on the television screen).
A beautiful birthday art project, created
by AJ and the kids, on the easel.
My haul.
After they both just started ripping open my gifts with reckless abandon,
we made them sit on the ottoman with their hands in their laps.  If they
stayed like this while I opened one gift, then I'd let them each
open a gift for me.  They were OUT OF CONTROL.
Super excited about my... TOMS shoes.  Red with white polka dots!
"You want me to put this where?"  Hallie wasn't all that
excited for Tom to lift her so high up in the air.  
Tom and I have never had a star/angel/tree topper.
A week or so ago we came across this one, which
we all loved - Hallie because it was sparkly, Will
because it's bright and colorful, and Tom and I because
it resembles a Ferris Wheel.  It's perfect for us. 
Photo courtesy of Will.
Hanging ornaments on the tree.
Will's pirate and Hallie's ballerina nutcrackers.
Admiring their work.
Thanks for coming, AJ and Ferrell!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


8am: 3 years old and wearing her mama's new glasses.

9am: 13 years old and breaking her mama's heart.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Report Cards!

Last week Will received his very first report card, which much to his dismay did not grade him on an A, B, C, D, and F scale. I'm proud to report, however, that Will "Met Expectations" in every gradable area, reads at a level "H", and writes at a level "N". I don't expect the reading and writing scales to mean anything to anyone who doesn't have a child in elementary school or isn't an elementary school teacher; I only learned about these levels a few months ago from Aunt Sara.

There was a supplement that explained the reading levels included with Will's report card, and as soon as he saw that it was possible to read at level "Z", he set a personal goal of reaching level "Z" by the end of the school year. I don't think it's very likely he'll reach that goal, but as we always say, both in all seriousness and in jest, "it's good to have goals".

Way to go, Buddy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Destructo Preschooler

It's no secret that Hallie likes to destroy things. Or to put a positive spin on her behavior, she's kind of like an engineer in that she likes to take things apart (to see how they work?) but has yet to figure out how to put these same things back together.

Here are just a few of the things Hallie has destroyed in the last 10 days.

1. Tom's Rubix Cube. I think most of us took the stickers off a Rubix Cube or two back when we were young; I know I did (sorry Dad). But not Hallie. Hallie figured out - and how is beyond us - to actually disassemble a Rubix Cube. Tom's been working Rubix Cubes for 25 years and has literally never seen a Rubix Cube come apart like this. Reassembling the cube required two hours, taking it apart the rest of the way, and using a Google tutorial to bring it back to life.

2. Her pants. I keep an ink pen in the console in my car. Somehow, in the seven minutes it took us to drive from our house to soccer practice, Hallie retrieved the pen and colored all over the pants she was wearing. I soaked and scrubbed those pants for close to an hour and put them through the washing machine twice, but eventually gave up.

3. All of our dental floss. This photo is of just a small amount of the dental floss I found scattered throughout our house. Needless to say, I didn't make any effort to save the dental floss.

4. Her socks. She used her My Little Pony's unicorn horn to poke a hole in her sock, and then stretched the hole until she could fit a couple of fingers through it. I keep Hallie's knitted sweaters out of her reach because I know with 100% certainty that if she ever got her hands on them, she'd find a thread and pull until she'd unraveled the entire sweater.

And just for fun, a link back to a couple of posts about Hallie's previous destructions.
Destructo Baby
Destructo Preschooler

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Art Show

On Halloween Eve, Hallie's school hosted its first annual Art Show Open House. In the first communications about the event it was mentioned that "costumes were welcome", since the event would be the night before Halloween and kids are always looking for more reasons to wear their Halloween costumes. It seemed that perhaps I was the only person who received that memo, however, as Hallie was the only child I saw wearing a costume that evening. She looked awesome as Super Girl though.
With her pumpkin painting.
With a few of her classroom projects.
Hallie's jack-o-lantern - notice how she created a face
on each of the four sections of the pumpkin.
Hallie's owl - this may someday make it into a frame
to be hung in her owl-themed bedroom.
This is very typical Hallie artwork - she works very slowly and with great
care at the beginning (the "H" and the "a") and then runs out of time or
supplies and has to speed through the remainder of the project.
Hallie's Halloween spider.
Ever since the art show, whenever Hallie plays pretend she pretends she's at an art show.  Or that she's Super Girl.  Or that she's Super Girl, saving an art show from impending destruction.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Neither Here Nor There

There is no theme to this post - I just had a few pictures and a video sitting in my phone that I thought deserved a little blog time.

Would you like a little toast to go with your jelly, Will?
At breakfast last weekend, Will used two pieces of toast as a way
to enjoy the contents of FOUR different jelly containers. 
And she's back in the lead!  (Of the sunglasses contest.)
Sometimes Hallie will eat more if she uses a (continuously
restocked by me with whatever we're eating at
that meal) teeny tiny plate and a teeny tiny cup.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

12 Months Later

At preschool, Hallie and her classmates learn (well, she relearns, since she sang the same songs last year) a song to go along with each month. Yesterday I filmed her singing the November song, which is appropriated named, "It's November".

As I watched this video I was struck by how simultaneously teeny tiny but also all grown-up Hallie seemed. She may be small in stature, but she is just the opposite when it comes to spirit and presence and awareness of the world around her and, well, verbal skills. That girl never stops talking. Ever.

After I watched this year's "It's November" video, YouTube redirected me to last year's "It's November video.

She was SO little, just a pipsqueak of a toddler who still resembled and spoke in a voice that belonged to her baby-self. Tom and I are both done with babies, and we're unbelievably proud of the children our babies have become, but there are moments when I would give anything to rewind the clock. But since I can't do that, I'll just watch these videos (over and over again) and shed a tear or two.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween Recap

This was our busiest Halloween to-date, but I'm not complaining - I love Halloween, and only wish I had more time and money to devote to Halloween costumes, parties, treats, etc. (Maybe it's a good thing I DON'T have more time and money to devote to Halloween, otherwise the holiday might turn into a month-long costume and candy fest.)

About 10 days before Halloween we "carved" our pumpkins using our pirate and princess decorating sets. Using these decorating sets requires also using a screwdriver (to make holes for the pieces to go into), and I was really impressed that Will could do so safety and completely decorate his pumpkin on his own.

I spent the day before Halloween baking and decorating seven dozen (that's 84) of our traditional Halloween cupcakes.  This year and for the first time ever, I changed things up a bit, going with a mummy instead of the haystack and Halloween sprinkles instead of the jack-o-lantern (my jack-o-lanterns never look very good).  The mummy was a huge hit, so I'll definitely keep him in the rotation, but I didn't like the sprinkles very much and will probably try to find a regular pumpkin design to use instead of the sprinkles/jack-o-lantern next year.

In the chaos of the actual holiday I neglected to take any pictures of Hallie at her school Halloween party and trunk-or-treat event (though I did grab the one below from a friend of mine), and I only took this one picture of Will at his school Halloween party - he was making a Tootsie Roll Pop ghost.

Trick-or-treating was lots of fun, though I only lasted about 20 minutes because the mosquitoes were EATING ME ALIVE. Tom and the kids trick-or-treated for more than an hour, while after those first 20 minutes I headed home to man our door. We set a new record for trick-or-treaters this year...199!

Later in the evening our friends Aaron, Stacey, Kendra, and Logan stopped by, and their visit really sealed the deal on an evening fun for all of us. While the adults enjoyed a beverage in the living room, the four kids played on the front porch and handed out candy to trick-or-treaters. They were having such a great time that when we ran out of candy, all four kids pulled candy out of their own bags to give away. At the end of the night Will and Hallie each had only a few pieces left but were as happy (and tired) as I could have hoped for.

And in closing, my favorite picture from Halloween night:

Hope your Halloween was happy!