Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve with the Jackson Clan at Kim's house. After dinner and chit-chat, it was time for the kids to open presents. This year Ben has a new-found love of unwrapping gifts. He barely noticed what was inside because he just wanted to open the next one.

Here he is opening his Thomas ball pit. Big hit!

And his Home Depot tool bench.

A cheesy grin for the camera!

I think he liked Kenny's gift, a gas tank for the boat, best of all. He tried using it to fill up his own boat, which was another huge hit!

And Santa even paid a visit to the kids this year. As usual, Ben was very excited as long as he could keep his distance. It is a little tricky trying to take a video while holding the person you are trying to tape, so this isn't so great.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


It's no secret Ben loves his mint chip milkshakes. On Christmas Eve day, we whipped up a batch for Ben.

In Ben's world, no milkshake is complete without whipped cream. Thanks Gammy!

While we made milkshakes, Dad was whipping up some  meatballs for Christmas dinner. Ben was "helping":

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

This year we hosted Thanksgiving for 20+ family members. With me 25 weeks pregnant, we were already down some manpower as I move a lot more slowly these days, so it kind of sucked when Mike accidentally sliced the pad off his left index finger while prepping/brining the turkey the night before Thanksgiving.

He refused to go to urgent care, so we bandaged it up and put a glove over it. That didn't stop it from bleeding though. 6 hrs later, at 11:30 when we went to bed, it was still gushing blood, so he finally went to urgent care and they got him all fixed up in time for Thanksgiving day.

While Mike was prepping the turkeys, Ben was "helping" but when he saw this cooler (or garbage can, as he called it), all bets were off. He had a blast just dragging this thing around the house and pretending he was a garbage man.

Clearly we were a little busy, because some how I managed to get only one photo of Thanksgiving day. Here are the kids eating dinner at the "kiddie table." So cute! (That's Riley, Ben, Carson, and Parker, from left to right, in case anyone was unsure.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mad Face

I planned to post all about our Thanksgiving, but it appears I've run out of photo storage space and can't upload anymore photos until I rectify that situation. (Any suggestions? Do you guys pay the monthly fee or what?)

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with this video of Ben showing me his "mad face" while Mike was brining the turkey. He is so distracted with Finding Nemo on TV, I can barely get him to look at me. Which is annoying and funny at once.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Kuiper's Farm

We took our annual trip to Kuiper's Farm a few weeks ago. We go each year with Ed, Meg, Scarlett, and this year, baby Harry! The apple orchard was closed due to the rough Spring we had, but we still had a great time.

We started our day with some apple cider donuts, a Kuiper's Farm specialty. And Ben and Scarlett were both very excited by the apple juice in the apple-shaped containers. Those two little bites are all Ben ate of his donut. Still not a sweets-eater.

After breakfast, we headed out to do some playing.

Ben's face in this next photo would make you think I am torturing him. I was going to delete it, but it makes me laugh because, as usual, asking Mike to get a few pictures resulted in one unusable photo. Way to go, hon!

Even the big kids (Ed and Mike) had fun on this giant slide.

Baby Harry stayed cuddled up and cozy and was so good the entire time!

Ben's favorite activity had to be his ride on the "choo choo tractor," as he called it.

And he loved his ride on Silver. He was a little apprehensive of the pony rides at Blackberry Farms this summer, so I was surprised how happily he rode the pony this time.

Next it was off to feed the goats.

A quick stop to clown around, then off to the petting zoo.

By this point, Ben was tired, hungry and grumpy, so we wrapped it up by selecting a few pumpkins. Ben was obsessed with pulling the wagon, but by the time we loaded up all our pumpkins it was heavy and he was grumpy and some tears may have been involved.

But all in all, a very fun day. See you next year, Kuiper's!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Clean Up

I forgot about these photos I took with my phone a few months ago. Ben and I were vacuuming, and he asked if we could vacuum the playroom. I told him there were too many toys on the floor to vacuum. He disappeared for a bit while I finished up vacuuming the family room.

I assumed he was playing, but instead he was picking up the toys off the floor so we could vacuum this room. When I came in, he was seeing "clean up, clean up, everybody clean up" (a song they use in daycare) and had piled all his toys on the table. He was so proud of himself!

He added the final toys onto the table, and we were ready to vacuum.

The final result.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Ben was very excited for Halloween this year. Last year he was still too young to "get it" but not this year. He chose his costume -- a dinosaur. And he couldn't wait to hand out candy and go trick-or-treating. While we waited for Dad to get home from work, we sat on the front step and Ben handed candy out to all the kids. He loved this!

Once Dad got home, we turned out our lights and headed out to do our own trick-or-treating. I felt bad not being there to hand out candy, but neither of us wanted to miss seeing Ben.

This is him roaring. Not a great photo, but a great roar.

On our way to the first house.

He did a great job of saying trick-or-treat and thank you. I thought he would be scared or shy, but nope. He was excited!

Here he is waving bye to the first house.

We have a neighbor that we often see out walking his dog, Ike. Ben loves Ike and asked us several times the last few days if we could trick-or-treat at Ikey's house. So here he is saying hi to Ike.

Last year we went to two houses and Ben was over it. Not this year. We went around the entire block choosing houses. Probably 15 or so total. Big success.

Around 7 p.m. we headed home and I begged Mike to get a picture of me with Ben. You can also see the pumpkins we carved. Mike's is a Chicago Bear's "C" and Ben's is a "scary face," per his request. Mine is hidden behind my rapidly increasing body.

Once we got inside, Ben wanted to check out his loot and sample some candy. He had a sucker and then insisted on trying a few pieces of chocolate, until he tasted them and remembered he doesn't like chocolate. Both pieces of chocolate were quickly discarded into Dad's willing hands.

He even offered me one of his beloved suckers. Such a good sharer!

Happy Halloween, until next year!