Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm baaaacccckkkk! Halloween, New Jersey, Work Woes, Thor 2 and Birthday Bash...whew, that's a mouthful!

Good grief...sorry I've been MIA...two weeks is like a year in internet time. *hangs head in shame...

Anywho, hope you have all been well. Been a roller coaster around here, that's for sure! I'll try to give y'all the cliff notes version for the last two weeks.

Coming up on Halloween we headed outside for our tradition of pumpkin painting. Each of the kids usually gets their own small pumpkin to paint...and a grownup carves a big one. This year Rachel found the most perfect pumpkin I've ever seen! It even had a little curly stalk hanging off the stem. It was too perfect to mess with so I just left it whole. :) She got another big pumpkin that she carved though. The kids had a blast as always...it's fun to see what they'll come up with. 

 Buddy in motion...Red Two's owl pumpkin
 Apple cider is the perfect accompaniment...Red One's creation
 Red Three and Buddy's pumpkins
 Success!

After we finished with our pumpkins we had to hurry off to Foster Family Farms for the girls' youth group outing. They actually are involved with two youth groups, this was for the group at my MOPS church. We don't attend Trinity, but we've been involved with them over the years that I've attended MOPS there. Anyways, it's our third church home...lol...and they were going to the corn maze for fun. This was fun for the whole family...it's a pretty neat place. Lots of tractors, playscapes, these cool pedal cars...and of course, the maze.


As soon as we got there, Red 1 and 2 ran off to be with their friends. Red Three, Buddy and I hung out. They played for a bit and then we headed for the maze. They had a short mini maze for the little ones, and then a couple of huge ones. We broke out the flashlights and map and headed in...

Spooky! ;)

I was super proud of myself! My map reading skills are intact...we found all 6 stamp stations within the maze, no problem...in the dark no less! haha ;)

After we made it out, the kids ran around playing for a while longer. Buddy had fun on the pedal cars. I loved the way his reflector stripes on his pants showed up in the pics!
 
Red One had fun!

David was working in New Jersey all that week. I had been wanting to visit my aunt and hopefully my other aunt and uncle since I had missed the family reunion in August. It seemed like the perfect time to head down there! After I picked up the kids from school on Thursday we hit the road, leaving Rachel to hold down the fort and keep Freckles company. Thanks Rachel!

We made it there no problem...other than the traffic in Hartford (right when we left, wasn't even rush hour!)...and also in Danbury (when it was rush hour) but no traffic in NYC or NJ...go figure. The girls were sad that we were missing out on trick or treating...but I let them wear their costumes anyways...and pick out candy for the trip, so it wasn't that bad.

Cute Captain Hook 
Caught Red One working like Cinderella (trust me, it don't happen as often as she thinks it does...lol) 
Here we are at the hotel...Red Three was a ballerina, Red Two was a, and I quote, "crazy person who escaped from the looney bin", Red One was a greek lady, and Buddy was a pirate...he kept making a hook with his hand :)

We made plans to go pick up my Aunt Pat and go over my Uncle Frank and Aunt Loretta's house. I was so happy to be able to go see him. He had a health scare a couple of weeks ago...he started throwing up blood and had to get rushed to the hospital. Turns out he had a bleeding stomach ulcer caused by medications that he was on...he had to get several transfusions...super scary! Thankfully they were able to get it under control and get him stuff to coat his stomach, so hopefully that won't happen again! He looked wonderful when we saw him though! It was so great to visit with everyone! I hadn't seen them since my cousin's funeral over a year ago. Thankfully it was under better circumstances this time. The kids loved stopping by my Aunt Pat's place...she always lets them go through her china cabinet and pick out tchotchkes to take home. hahaha...she's thrilled to get rid of stuff, the kids love bringing "antiques" home...works out! When we got over my aunt and uncle's house, we ate some delicious NY style pizza and just visited. Buddy was a hit! lol...got lots of laughs being his adorable self. Aunt Loretta brought up the box of toys that her grandkids play with...kids had fun while the adults got to visit. We headed out when my uncle started looking a little tired. He always slips me money when we love...one of the most generous men I know...he slipped me a bill and told me to take the kids for ice cream. When I got in the car, I saw it was a 100.00 dollar bill. That man!!! So sweet, both him and my aunt! After we dropped off my Aunt Pat at her place we headed back to the hotel to see David. 

I'm sure y'all notice the lack of pictures...I was so careful to bring my camera with me, put it in the front of the car so I wouldn't forget...and go figure, I forgot! GRRRRRRRR!!!! I was so mad at myself!

He was supposed to work Saturday, but then he got it off. We took our time on Saturday...stopped at an amazing diner!!! Oh my, we walked in and there were these ginormous pastries and crumbles and cookies right there. Not to mention the food was awesome too! Then we headed to this great bakery in Rockland (near the Tappan Zee bridge) that lets you go in the back and pick out your own bread, grab stuff hot right off the conveyor belt...it's so cool! We always try to stop anytime we are in NJ. We walked out of there with huge loaves of bread, rolls, bagels hot off the press (literally) and some sweet treats for the kiddos. I love it! It was nice for David getting home on Saturday...he'd still have a day off before going back to work.

He was scheduled to work at the shop (which isn't the norm...usually they are out in the field making money for the company). He was wondering if something was up...and there was. Due to a lack of available work, they laid him off. It's happened before...but always hurts. The timing stinks...hopefully something will come up soon! Not that we weren't before...but penny pinching is in full swing! :P Because he's in the union, he's gotta sign the books for unemployment...so Tuesday after turning in the work truck, etc, we headed to the hall so he could sign the necessary stuff. Did I mention this is in Boston? haha...fun way to spend the girls' day off from school for election day...oh well...I know that this is not a surprise for God and that He is working His will in all this. Not only that, He will provide, one way or another...but so hard to trust completely sometimes...and not freak out or worry. Every time I do find myself there, I just remember who is in control (hint - NOT ME! obviously!) and try to lean on Scripture and worship. It really does help. Gotta admit though, we certainly weren't planning on this! We were just starting to get caught up on bills too...haha...best laid plans, right?

Obviously, last week wasn't our favorite...haha...but still managed to have some fun. Rachel's birthday was coming up...couldn't do anything big...but I told her I'd take her to the movies to celebrate. Take a wild stab in the dark what we couldn't wait to go see...huh huh huh? Thor: The Dark World!!! Duh! lol...she had school until 10pm, so we hit the 11:00 showing...we were SO excited! She's starting to be a  geek...not quite there...but almost! ;) Seriously though, I've been looking forward to November for a while! Thor 2, Catching Fire, 50th Anniversary Doctor Who Special! Sherlock series 3 was supposed to be at the end of November too...but it got pushed back to January...:( Anyways, we were dying to see it...mostly because of the phenomenal Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki!!! I've totally gotten Rachel to have a crush on him too! If anyone follows me on Pinterest, they've seen multiple Tom pins....hahaha, along with Cumberbatch, the Supernatural boys, and of course, the Doctor! hahahahaha David couldn't believe that Loki is more popular than Thor, at least online...I told him girls love a bad boy. ;)

Guess who was there???? THOR!!!! 


My only question for him was asking where his brother was! "Where's Loki????" lol

Oh my goodness...we LOVED it!!!! I'm probably biased (I pretty much always like the Marvel movies...and I love Loki!) but I thought it was incredible! The cinematography was great...Asgard looked less like fairy tale land and more like an actual place. I loved it before, don't get me wrong...but it looked more realistic this time around (hahaha, not that any of it is at all realistic ;) The action was fun, the acting was great (especially Tom Hiddleston! again, totally biased), I thought Christopher Eccleston did great playing the big baddie, Malekith (love when actors cross over from other loved shows...Eccleston played the 9th incarnation of the Doctor). Definitely an A+ from me. Rachel and I had a hard time not squeeing like fan girls every 5 seconds...from the first Loki scene, to Eccleston showing up, to crying like a baby, to a what the heck!!! We left the theater at 1:00 in the morning, hyper as can be from the amazingness that we had just witnessed! Rachel said it was an awesome birthday present! I honestly can't wait to see it again...I told David he had to go watch it...it's just so good! He hasn't been yet...that man hates to leave the house, even for fun stuff! :/ lol

Rachel's birthday was yesterday. She wanted me to surprise her with the cake...but she picked out shepherd's pie for dinner. I made this hawaiian carrot cake...basically it has pineapple in it, and NO raisins! I hate raisins in baked goods! The frosting was delicious...better than normal cream cheese frosting...and I love cream cheese frosting. This one had a little bit of sour cream in it...I don't know, it was creamier, smoother, less overpowering but totally delicious. It also had coconut in it it...seriously good! We went to a paint your own pottery place before dinner...the kids can't wait to get their stuff after it's fired. 

When we got home, the girls decorated with streamers and balloons while I cooked dinner. The shepherd's pie came out great! I used a little beer along with the tomato soup for the meat part...it was a nice touch. I love cooking with beer or wine...not so much drinking them (I'm more of a cocktail fan ;) but love the way they taste in food! 

fun candles 
parties are fun! 
Awesome Doc Martens Dad got her 

The day was an overall success. While it was a smaller affair than normal (of necessity)...and bittersweet to say the least...first birthday since Mom passed away...it was still a good time spent with family and lots of love! Happy Birthday Rachel! I hope you know just how much we all love you!