Sunday, October 16, 2011

Family Time!

I can't believe we're already halfway through's been a busy fall with trips, hunting, family visiting, work, play, etc.  Plus, we're getting ready for Halloween and trying to take advantage of the last few warm weeks of the year before the snow flies.

Last weekend, my parents visited from Colorado - they hadn't seen Ava since last Thanksgiving, and they couldn't believe how big she has gotten, as well as how chatty she is.  Scott and I think there was some definite bonding that happened, as my mom called this past week to say hi to Ava.  Not me.  But Ava.  :)

Here are just a few highlights from their visit:

Reading with Grandma Karen

At the Afton Apple Orchard

Climbing up the tire mountain...

And back down...

Lots of swings to play on!

Although, I think she might be a wee too big for this one.

Not so sure about feeding these animals...

On the hayride

Helping Grandpa Doug find the perfect apple!


All smiles except for the short one...

Still not smiling...

There we go!

Great family picture!

Yeah, I don't like black licorice either, Ava...

Making Spooky Spider cookies!

Hm. This was an interesting experiment in hair styling.

Look at the fear on her face...

Grandma Karen might not have the most artistic talent - but at least she tries!  We debated if this rendition looked like Princess Belle, or a witch.  The witch got all the votes!

Happy at dinner!

Saying good-bye... :(

Not related to my parents' visit, but still fun stuff we've been doing...

Ava got a balloon animal at On the Road Again in South St Paul...not sure what this really was supposed to be...

Our pumpkins!

The last pepper plant in our garden produced some lovely crop!

Out with my friend Tina - Ava couldn't get enough of her!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Oh Alice!

Ava's Halloween costume came on Friday, and it is so stinkin' cute!  She was super excited to try it on, and had I let her, she would have run around wearing it for the rest of the night.  We need to buy a pair of black mary janes to complete the outfit, and then we will be set for the big day!  I think we're going to try to do some sort of event where she can dress up, so she can wear it more than once.  Ava has told me that Isabel (Darren and Tiffany's daughter) is also going to be Alice in Wonderland, while Evie (their youngest daughter) is going to be a bee.  Wonder if they know this yet...!

I'm getting kind of excited about Halloween this friend Jean posted some very cute treat ideas on her blog (Typical Suburban Family) and I can't wait to give them a try.  This has started me thinking about the holidays, and all of the fun things that we'll be able to do with Ava (yes, three DOES have its benefits - she actually participates in the activities now!)  In the upcoming weeks, we're going to hit an apple orchard, the Sever's Corn Maze (I think), and take advantage of the Children's Museum's new exhibits.  Grandma Karen and Grandpa Doug are coming to town and we are going to keep them busy!

Planning waaaay in advance...I think my friend Amy, her oldest daughter Kelsi (4), and Ava and I are going to see the Nutcracker this holiday season.  Both of us used to go with our families when we were little girls, so this seems like a great way to carry on the tradition!  Then I started thinking about the Holidazzle parade, the Macy's 8th floor display, Christmas light looking, and eventually...snow.  It's like my mind went from 0 to 120 in 5 seconds.

So, we're going to take a step back and focus on October.  Starting this Wednesday, my friend Corinne is hosting a connection (church) small group at her house - bonfire and s'mores!  I'm excited to meet new people in the area - many with kids around Ava's age.  I'm craving play dates for Ava, and also getting to know new people in the surrounding towns.

We did meet a little girl who lives down the street from us, when she came with her big brother to sell popcorn for the Boy Scouts.  I had no idea there was a 4 year old just half a block away from us!  Hopefully we'll be able to set something up soon.  Although Ava yelling, "Doyouwantocomeinandseemyroom?!?!?!?!?" as soon as she saw them at our door, and then proceeding to zoom around the front yard like a deranged bee, while they just stared at her in wide-eyed astonishment (perhaps fear), might not have been the best way to start a friendship.

It reminded me of how I met my first best friend in kindergarten - Amanda was playing a game by herself on the playground, and I came up to her and told her how she could play it better.  I have no idea where Ava gets her bossy side from... ;)

Happy October - it's simply a gorgeous day in Minnesota, and I'm excited to get outside to work on the yard.  Time to plant some mums!