Friday, November 30, 2012


I am the world's worst procrastinator. Several months ago I decided to do an advent calendar this year. And that is as far as it went. Tonight I remembered that I'd wanted to do one and panicked. I hit the internet and found that there are quite a few that are based on actions instead of little prizes. Since I was so late to the game this would work perfect. 

I don't want my children to think that Christmas is all about gifts for them. I want them to remember that we are celebrating Christmas as a remembrance of Christ's birth and to enjoy each and every aspect of the season and not just the gifts.

Here is my last minute advent calendar using whatever I could find in the craft closet. I'm not very creative, but was impressed with my last minute project.
 I will try to blog about each day and what we did, but based on past experiences I wouldn't hold my breath on it.

Tis the season!

I absolutely love Christmas. Thankfully my kids share my enthusiasm. So the Sunday after Thanksgiving we pulled all of the Christmas things out and began decorating. Each year gets better as the kids are more able to be involved.

There are two Christmas things that I collect - snowmen and nutcrackers.
So every year the kids chose the snowmen and snowflakes to decorate the tree with. But this year they finally found the nutcrackers. They acted like I'd shown them candy. Now every nutcracker I own is on or near the tree.

Dominic was a bit more concerned about placement this year.
  Caitlin not so much. She had all her ornaments in one spot.
"So kitty can reach them and play with them."
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Zombies and Justin Beaver

The kids were chasing each other around the house pretending to be chased by zombies. Dominic flops into a chair and announces -
"I'm tried of being chased by zombies."
Caitlin - "Then lets pretend to be chased by Justin Beaver. He's scary."
Dominic - "No Caitlin. Girls like him because he sings funny."

My children have both heard Justin Beiber sing and were NOT impressed. And I swear I didn't influence this opinion. I share it, but want them to make their own opinions about art, music, etc. before voicing my own.

On another note:

When we got home from church I told the kids to go change their clothes. I should have figured out how our day was going when they both came out wearing t-shirts and pajama bottoms.
Today has been slow and lazy, but very fun.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Miss Independent

Caitlin will try something forever with horrible results before she'll ask for help. She wants to do EVERYTHING by herself.

A couple of days ago we had all finished eating breakfast and left the table. Caitlin was finishing up a few things on her plate (she eats incredibly slow). I was sitting on the couch reading a book while I waited on her. But I noticed her missing and some noise coming from the other side of the table.

This is what I found. She'd decided she was still hungry so she got the ingredients for a cheese sandwich out of the fridge.
 Anyone care for a sandwich made by Caitlin? She's very generous with the mayo. =)

Race day

This year Dominic wanted to run the Turkey Trot with my dad and I. So I signed him up for the 1mile fun run. He started off too quickly so didn't do as well as Sunday, but he was still quick. So I was very thankful for my dad being there to run with him again.

I love his enthusiasm. If little dude would actually practice he could probably do even better.
 Coming in to the finish line.
 Every participant received an award. Dominic was less than pleased with this concept.
"You mean even the last place person got one. That's not good."
 My dad did really great this year and won first place in his age division. Unfortunately for him, he received a turkey along with his award. Probably the only vegan in the room and he wins a turkey. =)
So Jon gave it to his instructor at the Y. The guy seemed really appreciative.
I'll be posting my race info on my other blog when I get the chance. 
It's too beautiful of a day to spend it on the computer.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The race before the race.

On Sunday we headed to Nashville to do a little shopping and running. We met my dad so Dominic and I could run a race with him.
It was a race that was promoting healthy families so there were some kids activities.

The fun run was .75 miles and started 15 minutes before the 5k. But the finish line for the kids race was a bit from the start of the 5k. So I asked my dad to run with Dominic since I wasn't sure if I could run that much or that quickly. In the previous races Dominic has run at my pace. Turns out he can run under a 9 min mile. He ran that race in 6:42. 
Jon had to hurry as well to get the kids down close to the start to get pictures. 
There were over 8000 people running that race so the first several shots had people blocking his view.
This is the only one of me starting off that you can actually see me.
I'm in the purple shirt.
 A bit blurry, but it's my dad crossing the finish line.
 And me already across and trying to find some water. It was a bit warmer than I'd expected.
 Walking back to our car.
It was lots of fun.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Birthday

My dad had his 60th birthday this last weekend and for many months now we've been planning a surprise birthday party for him.

Daddy is amazing at figuring out surprises so I knew I'd have to have a surprise within a surprise. We (the Murrell's) drove up on Friday evening. It was nice to spend a quiet Sabbath with my parents. We drove to a local park and spent the day.

My first surprise was going to be my grandparents coming. I arranged with my uncle to drive them up. They arrived on Sabbath evening and while my dad was expecting a surprise I don't think he was expecting them. We even had a dessert and sang happy birthday to him that evening to throw him off.

 He was still a bit suspicious though. So I ran with him on Sunday morning and then we "left". At least that is what we made it look like. Then we headed over to the building I had rented for the party.
My dad said he was expecting something, but as the day wore on and nothing happened he figured maybe he'd been wrong.

My grandparents told my dad they wanted to take him out to eat before they left. This was the ruse to get my dad to the party. He was definitely surprised.*
Happy 60th to a wonderful, amazing dad!!!
Love you Daddy!

*He told me that there was no way that we would be able to surprise him for his 70th since we'd pulled a surprise for his 50th and 60th. I guess he is planning on being incredibly suspicious. =)

Random Caitlin Things

Just a few random pictures of Caitlin.

Our MOPS group went to Amazin' Acres. Caitlin had a ton of fun.
 Picking out yet another pumpkin.
 She is doing her school work. I left her with instructions on how to do the page and left for a few minutes. I returned to find her like this. Her tongue is sticking out. She was seriously concentrating.


We had a really great Halloween this year. Dominic and Caitlin loved their outfits. Both outfits were chosen with their future play time in mind.

It was a busy evening, but the kids were amazing and proved once again that I have the best kids in the world. We went to a friend's nursing home right after Jon got off work. 

After a quick supper and stops at a couple of neighbor's houses we split up.
Jon went to Pathfinders and the kids and I met some friends and went to a church party.
These are the only two decent pictures I was able to get before my camera died.

I was impressed with the time and thought that went into this party. We felt safe and had tons of fun. Since the kids weren't given candy until leaving it was nice not to have a huge amount of sugar-induced crazies running around too. =)

But what made the day so great was how well behaved my kids were. I was a little worried since I was going to be alone essentially with Jon at Pathfinders. But they were great and made me so proud.