Saturday, November 19, 2011

Decorating for Christmas

We are hosting a holiday party tonight, Our First Annual "Friends" Thanksgiving.  We decided to decorate for Christmas beforehand and we had so much fun doing it!  Here is what our house looks like now!

 Always remembered....

Below are the pictures from the family decorating the tree...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Feliz Compleanos, Grace!

Grammy and I took the kids to a Meixican restaurant after swim lessons and told them it was Grace's birthday.  Here was their celebration for her...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Dinosaur

Here is the video of Claire watching the dinosaur eat the car. 
Claire's lines: "Oh, it's huungry!", and then after the dinosaur eats part of the car she yells "oooh, GREAT!" and then she says "Um, can we go home please?"

Below is a reminder of what the dinosaur looked like

Swingset Reveal

Here is the big swingset reveal to the kiddos!

Below is the assembly required...Matt and Pete for 14+ hours!

Claire feeding animals

On their first field trip, Claire and Grace were both given a bowl of food to feed the animals.  Grace did not participate much so I was unable to catch it on video but here is Claire.  She starts out with a big "Woah" and then says "They're huuungry!"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Claire and the kid-friendly "zip line"

Claire loved the "zip line" at the gymnastics Halloween open house party. 

Trick or Treat!

Claire and Jude trick or treating!

Happy Halloween!

Here are pictures from our Halloween this year!

Jude - pumpkin, Claire - Rapunzel, Grace - Minnie Mouse, Jake - Boo Boo Bear

 How awesome is this costume???  Our neighbor is the one with the saxophone and he was playing the "Angry Birds" theme song while they would put on a little show!

October 2011

October was "Hotel Vandervaart" and packed with a lot of fun things...

The first weekend of the month, I went up to Put In Bay for a good friend's Bachelorette Party.  It was a lot of fun but I certainly missed my kiddos!  On the 2nd we watched our good friend's (Mike and Anne) little girl, Ella so they could celebrate their wedding anniversary.  Our girls ADORE Ella and they had a lot of fun that evening.  I took Jake to the doctor for his 4 month checkup and he weighs 14 lbs 9 oz and measuring 26 3/4 inches.  His length is off the charts for being 5 weeks premature and in the 99th percentile for a term newborn.  In other words, he is long and lean!

The second weekend in October, my mom came to visit.  We went to a pumpkin patch and saw a metal dinosaur that eats was crazy and we have some pretty funny video of Claire watching the act.  My mom was also here (as well as Pete's parents) for when we revealed the kid's swingset to them.  (Pete's parents, my mom, and Pete and I bought the kids a swingset for Christmas).

The next weekend we went to Indianapolis for Light the Night (walk to benefit Leukemia & Lymphoma Soceity) and a friend's wedding reception.  It was an emotional night at the walk and we were very glad that we could be there.  The wedding reception was fun and it was great to see friends from high school.  The entire weekend was a wonderful catch up with family and friends!

The next weekend was supposed to be our 6th Annual Carroll Camping trip.  This has really just turned into whoever can make it.  I was originally going to skip planning it but got inspired in September.  It was too late to plan much of anything so we decided to do Carroll Camping at our house! Well, really just had a get together with some of the usuals and my sister came to visit from Indiana.  On that Sunday, we went downtown and did a breast cancer walk with Pete's mom and his family.  The kids were challenging on the walk but we all had a great time!

The next weekend, Claire's best bud Jude and his parents (Mike and Mallory) came for a visit.  Claire and Jude had a blast together and poor little Grace just tagged along behind them! We took Claire and Jude to a gymnastics Halloween bash and they had so much fun.  They were able to jump into a pit full of foam chunks, swing from ropes, jump on trampolines, and even do a kid-friendly zip line.  Mallory and I went out with some of my close girlfriends here on Friday night and then Saturday we just laid low.  We went trick or treating on Sunday and it was very fun!

On Monday, Halloween day I had my own version of scary!  I took all three kids around all day for 7 hours.   I took Claire and Grace to the dentist at 8 then grocery shopping then Grace to get her 2 year pictures at 1020 (EPIC FAIL! :)) and then I took them to lunch at their new favorite place, Don Pablos (because they LOVE chips and salsa).  Finally, I took the kids to Hyundai so I could get the oil changed in the van.  They did absolutely wonderful but we all passed out for a 4 person nap when we got home!!

Here are some pictures from our month....

Pictures from Don Pablos

They both did really well at the dentist
(Take note of the dental assistant who decided it was appropriate to dress up with scary tattoos of nails going into her face and a random third eyeball...needless to say, my girls would have appreciated a princess or something a little more kid-friendly)

Here we are at the Breast Cancer Walk

Yes, we dressed Jake in pink!!

Here are pictures from our Carroll "Camping" trip

Light the Night 2011
Jake and his cousin, Allison

Pictures from my mom's visit

Pictures of the girls on their new swingset!

Claire and Grace playing with their buddy, Ella

Jake has made a best buddy in Harrison (Scott and Trina's son)

Anne and Mike (and Ella), Trina and Scott, Pete and I went downtown for "Vintage Canton" which is a wine and beer fest.  We had a great time!

Claire and Jackson at Light the Night


Claire and Grace had their first field trip on October 11th.  The school went to a pumpkin patch!

Claire with her two favorite friends from school, Madison and Jada

Claire and Jude 


Our little man getting SO big!
He sucks his thumb and we think since it is his left thumb, he is left-handed! ?

Claire and Grace playing hide and seek with friends Eve and Ian

And so it begins, Jake...

We began spoon feeding this month and he is doing pretty well.  He LOVES green beans!

Claire and Grace have swim lessons every Wednesday.  Here they are patiently waiting for class while mesmerized by the adult aerobics going on!

Jake and his cousin, Bently