This year, for the first time in our marriage, we had Thanksgiving in our own home and even hosted some family! I was a little nervous at first (mostly because I was keeping 5 of the guests a secret until the night before) but it all turned out awesome.

Michael, Ben, and all the kids older than 3 went and started the day off right by doing Meals on Wheels. The kids thought it was pretty fun and enjoyed going out with their cousins and dads.

Meanwhile, Kimberly and I started on our feast. When Michael and the crew came back, the kids played, while we hurried and cooked the rest of our dinner. Right as we were sitting down to eat, Lindsey and Kenny came and joined us! It was perfect timing. Lindsey even brought a yummy brussel sprout salad (my first time having brussel sprouts). It was perfect. Dinner was delicious and it was so much fun having everyone there. Since the kiddos were happily playing, the adults ate first, then invited the children to come eat some too. It was nice to be able to eat our food while it was hot:)

Our "Tree of Thanks" for the month of November. It ended up being more of a tree for Jada and I, but it was fun to do it with her every day. I enjoyed thinking about my life and coming up with things I was most grateful for.


Michael Turns 30!

Happy 30th Birthday to this handsome man of mine!

I feel so blessed to have him by my side. We sure love you Michael. We are so grateful for you and all that you do. I am so glad all my plans and surprised worked out so that you were able to have an extra special birthday this year!

On his actual birthday he had to work of course, so we all went and met him at his office, then took him to lunch at Farm Burger. This was our first time visiting dad at work and the kids love it. It was great to meet his co-workers and to be able to put some faces with the names he has been talking about for years. The kids also really loved going out to the restaurant and spending some extra time with Dad.

We spent over a week doing different things to celebrate Michael and his big 30th:)

A special THANK YOU to:

Rhet & Jessica for watching our kiddos so that Michael and I could go on not 1, but 2, long dates in Charleston. On one of our dates we went to the outlets and Michael found lots of new dress clothes, which was awesome. You guys are the best. We loved visiting and can not wait for Christmas. We promise not to leave so much:)

Kimberly & Ben for driving down from Michigan and surprising Michael for his birthday. It was so fun to have you and your boys here for a few days, we loved every minute!

Everyone who sent letters and gifts for Michael. He really loved them all. He was so impressed and touched by everyone's thoughtfulness, so thank you, thank you!

Peter for the awesome steak and root beer. It ended up being his birthday dinner and it was perfect. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

As you can see, lots of people helped make his birthday awesome. And for that, I will forever be grateful. Thank you all!

Blowing out his candles on his favorite carrot cake


Memphis's 10th Month

As of November 21st, Memphis:

* is a fast little crawler! One month ago he had barely learned to crawl and now he is all over the place and into every thing
* loves to stand and can pull himself into the standing position. He is always standing when I go get him from his crib and always tries to stand whenever he reaches his destination after crawling:)
* can say "mama" but usually chooses not to
* loves playing with Tucker and Jada! He can often be found sitting with them playing Lego's, in their room taking everything out of the toy kitchen, playing in the toy car bin, or where ever Jada and Tucker are. He doesn't like to be left out
* experienced his first Halloween and did awesome. No matter what costume we put him in, he was a good little sport. He didn't complain, even when there was a big crocodile head hanging off one side of his head making him work to keep his head up straight:) He fell asleep in his stroller while trick-or-treating and stayed asleep until it was time to go home
* learned to scream/squeal/shriek in excitement (thanks Tucker and Jada). It was pretty cute at first . . . luckily it has phased out over the month
* signs "all done" and "more"
* waves "hi" and "bye"
* loves pizza
* really enjoys being in the grass and playing with leaves
* has started pulling the DVDs off the shelf
* has let go with both hands a number of times when standing and stood there on his own for a few second
* enjoys taking all the book soff his book shelf and likes to go through the pages of some of his favorites. He always picks "Peek-A-Who?" and "Twinkle Twinkle"
* sleeps through the night completely. After a rough week of him waking up around 4AM, nursing, then screaming/whimpering for hours, I decided if the nursing wasn't helping him go back to sleep, then why do it. I quit nursing in the night and after only a few nights he quit waking up all together. Success!
* gets so excited when Daddy comes home! If Michael forgets to come say hi to him (if he is stuck in his high chair or something and dad is giving the other 2 hugs and such) Memphis will start yelling to get his attention. He sure loves his daddy
* likes to walk with help
* love his siblings to death and is always excited to see them in the morning

I can't believe he is almost 1! This year has really flown by. I am so grateful for my Memphis. He is the best little thing around!

Oh I love these kids!

His sister can always make him smile:)

Memphis's 1st donut . . . yes he is a 3rd child. Can you tell?!

Cute photos from my phone

Christmas Jammies from Gramma J

Hiking at Sope Creek

Slow down! You are growing too fast!


Happy Halloween!

Welp, after being Hook, Tinker Bell, and a crocodile for Trunk-or-Treat, the kids decided to be Captain America, Ariel, and a bear (ok I picked the bear) on Halloween night.

After trick-or-treating to Bob and Jean's house across the street, we headed over to our friends, the Aguilera's house, to join them in their neighborhood for the rest of trick-or-treating. The kids loved it. It was fun to be in a neighborhood full of families and kids running around everywhere. Jada was really into it this year and wanted to go to every house. She kept running from house to house yelling, "more candy"! It was pretty funny. She must take after her mom. Tucker on the other hand was done after about 8 houses. Someone gave him a ring pop, which he immediately wanted to eat. Once we said OK he no longer wanted to get anything else. He just wanted to ride in the wagon and eat his ring pop. I even tried pulling him in the wagon all the way to the door step, but he still wouldn't get out to walk up one step and grab a piece. So Jada and I did all the trick-or-treating for the both of them. Memphis did well for about 30 minutes. At that point he was super tired because he didn't take a good 2nd nap so he was done and just wanted to go to sleep. Luckily after only a few tears, he fell asleep in his stroller:) We did one big loop inside the neighborhood and called it good. Jada was satisfied and Tucker finished. We went back to our friends, played and ate a little pizza, then headed home to get the kids to bed.

Side note: We left a bucket out with treat (full size candy bars) in case anyone came to our house, but when we got back there wasn't one missing:( Lame-O. I knew we didn't get many trick-or-treaters, hence the full size, but I thought we would at least get a hand full:(

The kids lined up their candy, picked their favorites to save, then went to bed happy.