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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

second week of December

This was a celebratory week.

Sarah got her MBA!  We attended the graduation and celebrated with her on this great achievement.  Go Sarah!!!!

hahaha!  Big brother is proud.
I posted this under the Thanksgiving post, but this was actually taken at Sarah's graduation dinner.  Three generations of Hargrave men
The day after Sarah graduated, Mike and Christy got married!!!!  And guess what day they chose after 15 years of being together?  12/13/14!  Because of the unique day, there was a cameraman from ABC13 news there to film all of the couples getting married that day.  And Mike and Christy got the spotlight!  We got to see them on TV.  Woohoo, Go Papa Mike and Gigi!

the happy couple

Adam photo-bombing my picture

Recent Ardenisms

Arden, "Why do you have a statue on your back?"
Me, "huh?"
Arden, "A statue, why do you have a STATUE on your back?"  pointing to my lower back.
Me, "That's called a tattoo."

Arden, "Mommy, when are you going to teach me how to yarn?"
Me, "maybe when you learn to not call crochet "yarning."

Halle, "Arden, your breath stinks."
Arden, "well, Halle, your breath stinks."
Halle, "Arden, your breath reeks."
Arden, " NOO, it doesn't reek, it just smells bad."

Arden, to Halle, "Halle, a policeman came over to our house and he had a gun.  But don't worry, he was nice and didn't kill anybody."

[Arden has been on a Ramen noodles ("rotten noodles") kick.]
Brian walks in one Saturday morning with a huge box of donuts.  Arden looks at him with disappointment and sighs, "Daddy, donuts again???  Why do we always have to eat donuts for breakfast."  (we only have donuts about twice a month,"
Brian, "well excuse me.... what would you rather have for breakfast."
Arden, "Noodles."

I scolded Arden for asking me to play as soon as she walks in the door from school everyday.  As soon as I open the door I would hear, "Mommy can I go play outside?"
I told her she needs to come in and say hi, ask me how my day was, say she missed me, or something like that.
Now, as soon as she walks in the door, in a robotic and quick tone, "Hi Mommy, how was your day, I missed you, can I go play outside?"

Monday, December 29, 2014

First week of December

First week of December:
Arden started basketball practice with Upwards at our church.  She's good and loooooves it!

Christamas decorating!  We started pulling out the Christmas decorations from the attic.  Jack immediately found the Santa hat.  He's the cutest when he's runs around in nothing but his diaper or underwear along with the Santa hat.

December 2nd, we celebrated my sister's birthday.  This was a scary week for her (and all the family) because my nephew, Ray Ray, was in a bad car accident.  Thankfully he is ok, but he did lose the tips of two fingers.  So glad that my wonderful and loving nephew is fine.   

That weekend we had Ryan, Beth, Adam, Sarah, Mike, and Christy over to our house.  We hung out, ate dinner, and then got some exciting news!  Mike and Christy told us they were getting married!
Total photo fail because I didn't get any pictures of Ryan and Beth while they were in town.  :(

We had Christmas with Ryan and Beth on Sunday at Mike and Christy's house.

Sunday evening Brian and I had a Christmas party with our church group.  We wore our Christmas best.


It's been a while since I've blogged because December has been a super busy month!!!!  So, I guess I will cluster blog here to catch up!  Plus, Brian said he was having blog withdrawals.  So what's been going on, you ask???

We'll back up a bit to the end of November for Thanksgiving

We started our Thanksgiving Day with our traditional trip to Walden Yacht Club with Brian's side of the family.  Mike and Christy invite us all to a nice, yummy, and fancy brunch.  The brunch buffet is filled with a huge variety of breakfast items, appetizers, seafood, sides, as well as the usual Thanksgiving foods and desserts!  Each year I decide on one type of meal and stick with it.  Brian, on the other, hand, has breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in one sitting!
This is us sitting at the restaurant table.  Right outside the window is a patio and great view of Lake Conroe.
look at the fancy ice turkey.
After our meal the grandkids always take a picture.  
Then we got a few with the grandparents

After brunch, Brian, the kids, and I headed to Thanksgiving with my dad.  This year we went to my Aunt Barbara's house in Coldspring.  Her neighborhood is right on Lake Livingston.  After visiting at her house we drove down to the water's edge.
Arden and Halle got to ride on Aunt Barbara's golf cart
my cousin, Rhonda, her son, Ryan, and my Aunt Barbara
PawPaw and the grandkids
lastly, this is just a cool picture of spider webs in a tree.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kindergarten Arden

Arden LOVES school.  I don't mean she just really likes it.  No, she LOVES it.  She loves everything about it.  She loves her friends, her teacher, the schedule and structure, the library, PE, music, art.  Most of all, she told me that loves learning new things.  She thrives at school.  I'm sure it helps that she has an award winning teacher.  Her conduct is great, and she makes good grades.

She comes home in a great mood, and loves to do her homework.  I know this won't last forever, so I'm just enjoying it for the time being.    On Fridays she is exhausted, though.  She went from napping everyday to no naps.  By Friday she is asleep in the car as we're driving Halle to swim.

Here's some pictures that I got off of her teacher's website:

Arden on the first day of school
Arden is in the grey shirt.  Here the class is visiting the principal and assistant principal.  I know the AP so I instilled some fear into Arden.  I told Arden that I told Ms. Martin to give her swats if she ever had to go see her for misbehaving.  ;)
Each child was the king or queen for a day.
working in class
class pictures
another class picture.  The little boy two kids down from Arden, in the red shirt, is DJ.  He's her best friend.
helping carve a pumpkin
She's an Indian, and her Indian name is "Fast Dolphin.

project photo
that's Arden with her back to the camera.


Just like most five year olds Arden is obsessed with Frozen.  She also loves pink and purple, dressing up, reading books, dancing, and all things girly.  Naturally I assumed she would ask for these sorts of things for Christmas.  Nope.  For the last month she has been stuck on getting a ukulele.  We visited Santa at the mall (he was an awesome Santa by the way), and what does she ask for?  A ukulele.  She also tells her Aunt Sarah and Uncle Adam this is what she wants for Christmas.  That is the only thing she requests.  Random.  a ukulele?  Why?  That's totally fine that is what she wants, but she's never seen anyone play one.  Personally I think she just likes the way the name sounds.  She doesn't pronounce it properly, either.  She INSISTS that it's pronounced "oooh-coo-lay-lay."

Then.... Last night, she adds another set of items to her wish list:  An astronaut outfit, rocket ship, and "balls, you know, like Earth, Mars, Pluto, to hang in my room.  Oh also I want a string so I can attach it to my waist and to the space ship so I don't float away in outer space"  

Wait... What???

UPDATE:  I just learned that Arden is pronouncing it the way Hawaiians say it.  

Halloween Week 2014

Merida and Elsa
Halloween is fun for us.  There's usually multiple times to dress up prior to the actual day.  We started off with a Trunk or Treat at our church.  "Candy Crush" is what our church calls it, and is the biggest outreach of the year.  Thousands of kids attend the event and there's so much to do: games, candy, moonwalks, etc.  This is geared toward 5th grade and younger.  Each group of cars has a theme.  Our lifegroup chose Charlottes Web as the theme.     

Halle, as a seventh grader, helped her girls' group pass out candy to the younger kids.

Halle's swim team had a Halloween party.  Here she's dressed as the Pampered Chef.

Arden's school had a "ties and tutus" day at school.  This was the perfect day to wear her Fancy Nancy tutu outfit!  She also had to decorate a pretend cake for a cake walk.

On Halloween evening the kids went trick or treating in the neighborhood.  This is the first year for Jack to understand the concept of Trick or Treating.  He was all about getting candy!!!!  Brian stayed home and passed out candy while I took the kids.  There are a TON of kids in our neighborhood so he passed out A LOT of candy.

We got Arden's hair fiery red for her Brave costume

Halle is a veterinarian dressed up as a dog for Halloween.  :)

Jack as Sailor Jack from Cracker Jack.

My kids with their friends
Just another picture of Jack because he's so stinkin' cute.

Ruidi as a hot dog

And I dressed up at the last minute.  Me as a pink unicorn.  Haha!

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!!