Sunday, November 29, 2015

November 2015

As most people with children realize, the month of November started with day light savings time change.  No matter how many times we psyched the kids up that they get an extra hour of sleep, they were all still up at the crack of dawn.  Ha ha.  As November comes to an end, the girls are getting up closer to 8 on the weekends.  Jake on the other hand.... still the crack of dawn :)

Claire and Grace really took off with their Girl Scout troops and have each had a couple of events this month.  The first weekend in November, Pete and I took a road trip to a Casino in southern Indiana.  We stopped at Columbus outlet malls and started some holiday shopping.  We got home late Saturday and immediately got things ready for Grace's birthday party. Her birthday party was at a local YMCA where the kids swam and played for 90 minutes and then we had snacks, cupcakes, and presents in a room afterwards.

In the middle of November, I ended up in the ER with severe abdominal pain.  After multiple scans and bloodwork, I was diagnosed with an ulcer.  I took a week of triple antibiotics and seem to be all better.  There is occasional residual pain from time to time, but completely bearable.  

Claire celebrated the sacrament of Reconciliation on November 14th.  She was very nervous but when she was done speaking with the priest, she came over to Pete and I and said "Yay, now I have a clean heart!"  God bless her...

We decorated for Christmas this month which was really fun to do since our renovation this year.  It was exciting to see how it would all look when we were done and we love it.  We also hosted our 5th Annual Friendsgiving.  We had such a great time with some of our closest friends.  We laughed so hard throughout the night and it just always feels like a great way to kick off the holiday season.

Thanksgiving was quiet over here in Ohio.  We had the pleasure of celebrating with the Vandervaart family on Wednesday evening.  Due to family conflicts and travel plans, Thanksgiving day was our family of five, Tim, Kimmy and Kristen.  We enjoyed the weather outside, played games, and watched football.  It was a smaller Thanksgiving than we are used to, but we loved every minute of it.

For the first time since I can remember, I did not go out and shop on Black Friday.  There's something to be said about online shopping and the comfort of your own home.  On black Friday, we met up with a couple family friends and took the kids bowling.  The kids had a really good time and it was the first time that I saw my children bowl without the metal slide.  It was a slow process to watch the bowl slowly go down the lane, but I appreciated their efforts.

We ended the month with a rainy Saturday.  We went to a local breakfast joint and then went to see "The Good Dinosaur" with the kids.  It was a cute movie, but Claire cried a couple of times and at one point, Grace turned and asked me if we could go home.  It wasn't as fun-loving, free-spirited as the previews make it seem.

Here are some pictures from our month of November:

Family movie night

My mom came to visit and brought the usual multiple packs of donuts... :)

The following pictures are from Grace's birthday celebration

Claire's reconciliation

Aunt Beth and Uncle Matt bought Grace horseback riding lessons.  She is her usual shy self when it comes to shouting commands at the horse.  We practice throughout the week to have her say "Walk On, Sandy!" but she is silent come the next lesson.  She has had a really good time with the lessons!

Decorating for Christmas

5th Annual Friendsgiving

Grace's Daisy troop learned about honesty and fairness.  They toured a local police department and then we went to the library and read books about lying and being fair.



Family breakfast and movie

More from Grace's horseback riding lessons:

More from Christmas decorating:

Happy Holidays from the Vandervaart family!!

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