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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!!

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....