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Monday, November 17, 2014

Doggies and Divas

This post is by Halle.  She meant to write it on her blog, but she posted it on mine instead.  :)

This past Saturday I volunteered for a fundraiser event called Doggies and Divas. The Doggies and Divas luncheon was hosted by the SPCA, an organization that helps animals in need.  The SPCA is an all volunteer, no-kill organization.

At the event there was both a silent and live auction along with a fashion show. In the fashion show there were fifteen models each wearing clothes from local boutiques. The models were walking  dogs that were rescued by the SPCA across the stage. During the fashion show there were people handing out raffle tickets to restaurants in the area.  All of the money raised by the event went into helping animals in the SPCA.


The SPCA has rescued hundreds of animals such as this dachshund mix puppy named Blake: 
                                      

Blake used to be in a animal hoarding situation. He was very sick and was close to dying. He then got transferred to the SPCA in Montgomery, Texas and was able to survive and lead a happy, healthy life. Blake was at the Doggies and Divas event. He is now healthy and is ready for adoption thanks to the SPCA. ALL of the money in the Doggies and Divas fundraiser was put into helping animals like Blake.


Blake was in a hoarding situation

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Neighborhood friends

I took these just as I was writing this post.  These are perfect.  They just got out of school.  They ran and grabbed their bikes, rode for a bit, then all sat around the goal to eat after school snacks and chat.
We love our street and all of the kids that live on it.  It has become a part of our regular routine to let the kids play outside for several hours after school.  I feel so blessed that my kids can run around in the front yard and in the cul de sac without worrying about a car speeding by at 50 mph (like on our old street.)  When a car does turn into the cul de sac, one of the kids or parents will yell "Car!" and all the kids know to scatter to the curb.  Lol.

In our cul de sac alone there are a set of six year old twins and an eight year old girl.  Arden plays with them all of the time.  Jack has a four year old boy that is his new buddy, and they play well together.  Halle has a twelve year old friend who lives two two doors down.  In addition to them there's also an eight year old boy that joins in on playing, too!  And this is just our little circle!  Ten kids in all. Beyond that are many neighborhood kids that come down and join in on playing games, as well.  There's A LOT of kids both Arden and Halle's age.  Halle's met many of the junior high kids and has made quite a few friends.

The kids all get together and play games.  The older ones and the little ones join together.  Brian and I sometimes play, too.  I can hold my own in Four Square!  

They ride bikes, scooters, play basketball, etc.

Halle's friends are really into sports.  When they're outside they play a lot of soccer, volleyball, and basketball.  This makes my heart happy, that the older girls don't just hang out inside on the computer or their phones.  

The quietness of these still shots don't do them justice.  What's missing is the squeals of laughter, chatter, and other noises of play.


playing with Arden's parachute from her birthday party


Arden with her friends

Jack with his buddy.  They're just observing all that's going on

a game of Horse

Some are playing 4-Square

Jack and Jake playing catch with the football

the Hargraves and friends dressed up for trick-or-treating
it's hard to see, but this is a typical view from my front door.  The kids all play outside until dark.  I LOVE IT!!

A day in the park


Papa Mike's and Gigi's birthdays are a week apart.  So, on the first day of November, we celebrated  both of their birthdays with a barbecue picnic at Burroughs Park.  It was a beautiful sunny day!

 We all had a nice time hanging out at this local park.  The littles were able to run around like the nuts they are.  They enjoyed playing on the playgrounds and riding their bikes.  Adam and Arden also had a chance to fly the kite since it was windy.
Brian grilled some chicken on the park's fire pit.

Jack on his trike
Arden's current thing is to race down a hill on her bike.  Here, she's about to turn around and do just that.  The "hill" is usually our driveway, but at the park, it was a walkway onto the playground. 
Papa Mike and Gigi are blowing out their birthday candles
Arden digging for worms.  She wanted to fish in the pond really bad.  No worms, though.  :(




the first time of the season to break out the scarves
Jack is almost asleep on Aunt Sarah's shoulders.  Look at that dirty face

poor Halle is freezing. 
Brian was not amused that I was taking a picture of his back side.  This is a good father/son picture, though, so I had to take it.

good times

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Fall Festivities

We kicked off the fall season by taking family fall photos.  The first cool weathered weekend, we headed to the neighborhood park.  I suckered my friend, Crystal, into taking our pictures.  They turned out nice!  The pictures on the bridge were taken right by the park, over Metzler Creek.  These are some of my favorites.







Arden washing clothes
Another weekend in October we joined Papa Mike and Gigi in Montgomery for a Texas heritage festival.  There were volunteers dressed like they lived in the 1800s and there were a lot of demonstrations of how the settlers lived.  There were several activities and history lessons for the kids.  Arden learned how to use a washboard, Halle learned how lye soap was made, and Jack played a few old fashioned games.  He was also very intrigued by the longhorn cow.  

They got to contribute to the building of this statue; it's going to be put on display in the historical district.  The kids contributed by adding a piece of clay to her dress.  Their names will be added to the statue.  How neat is that?!

decorating a pumpkin
I turned the pumpkin into a cream cheese pumpkin bread.  I'd never made this recipe before and it was oh, so good....


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

But I Birthed You!

So I'm trying to not eat sweets.  I completely fell off the Paleo wagon and have succumbed to the temptation that is sugar.  It's a drug I tell ya!
In my efforts to regain control and kick the habit, I have designated Halle as my personal sweets police.

When I appointed her a few weeks ago, she was a little more than hesitant about taking on the job.  See, I've tried to do this before.  I've appointed her as my sweet police before.  I'll tell her to take the muffin/cake/cookie/whatever away from me and go hide it before I can get it.  (My hand has a mind of its own and it will grab it without me knowing.) But, the problem is she's my daughter and is very obedient.  She WOULD hide it, but then I'd bribe her.  Or I'd sweet talk her into it letting me have it back.  She was a push-over and I would eventually get my crack candy back.  So when I told her she had to be my personal sweet Nazi again, she's wasn't too keen on taking on the job again.  She said, "Last time you guilted me into giving it to you by saying, 'But I birthed you!'"

I told her this time she had to be strong.  She had to be forceful and not be a pushover.  She had to be firm and not give into any of my tactics.

Whoa, this girl has done her job!  Over the last few weeks she has brought it.  She'll snatch the sweet away from me or knock it out of my hand.  She's like a ninja.  From the time I can reach down and pick something up until I get it into my mouth, she's there to take it away.  Like, if I would have had just a hundredth second more, it could have passed my lips, and I would have had a sweet victory.  A few times I've managed to get it into my mouth without her knowing.  As soon as she sees it, though, she's forces me to spit it out.

Last night we literally had a fight over the Nutella (Nutella in our family is worth a whole 'nother blog post.) I was armed with my spoon and headed to the pantry.  I opened the pantry door and grabbed the jar of heaven.  I got my spoon and scooped a heaping mound of Nutella on it.  She was there in a flash to stop me.  She yanked the jar out of my hand after an initial struggle.  She got the spoon out of my clutch, too, and after more struggling she got Nutella all on her shirt.  That's okay, I thought, because I'd managed to keep the lid in my possession.  There was a smidgen of Nutella on the lid, enough for me to get my fix.  But Halle was too fast.  We were physically wrestling over the lid.  She was finally able to pry it away from my grip (she's freaking strong!).  Brian was in the bedroom wondering what all the commotion was about.

By this time we were laughing at the madness.  I gave up and after all the fighting my cravings were suppressed.  Halle later said she actually saw a monster come out.  Ha!  So, all I can say now is thanks, Halle!  You saved me from myself.

But, there's always next time......  :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sick in bed.



It doesn't get any sweeter than this.  Bear is comforting him while he's sick.






Jack and Bear have been through a lot together.  Bear has literally been through the wringer (many times) and I've had to sew him back up.  But, he's always there for Jack.  ;)

What's behind your back, Jack?

Jack thinks he's being sneaky.  If he has something he's not suppose to have, he will put it behind his back as soon as you look at him.  It's usually something I've already told him no to (marker, thermometer, candy, whatever).

Me: "What's behind your back, Jack?"
Jack: He'll shrug his shoulders and make an "I don't know" sound.
This is when I usually give my well-practiced stern mother look.
Which is then followed by a big mischievous grin by Jack.  Then in his sweetest voice, he'll say, "Hi," as if that's going to make me forget he's doing something wrong.
I continue with an even more furrowed brow and mean look.
This then prompts him to chunk the object away quickly, hoping I didn't see him in the act.
He'll then walk over to me and give me a big kiss to butter me up so he won't get in trouble.

Little Stinker.