Thursday, October 25, 2012

Our Pumpkin Carvings

Ever since we went and picked our pumpkins last Wednesday, Jackson has been asking non-stop if we could carve them. I'll go ahead and admit it- I do not like or enjoy carving pumpkins. I am not an artistic person at all, and getting the pumpkins cleaned out is just gross to me. Maybe it is because I don't ever remember carving pumpkins when I was little (and if you know my mom this won't surprise you- right, mom!). When I was a kid we would have the coolest Halloween decorations... stuffed zombies, witches, ghost, etc. all throughout the yard and would even have the spooky music going on a cassette player, but never would you see a carved pumpkin at our house. The first time I really remember carving a pumpkin was my freshman year in college there was a pumpkin carving contest that my friend Emma and I decided to enter at our dorm (thankfully Emma was artistic and probably did most of the work-ha!).  Since then Eric and I have carved some throughout our married years, but when my sweet little 5 year old kept asking if we could carve one, I knew it was something I was just going to have to get over and do. Thankfully on Saturday night Eric came home a little early from working and told the kids to go grab their pumpkin and he was going to help them carve them- yes, carve more than one pumpkin. He said they each could pick out something to carve on their pumpkin and he would help them out. Jackson wanted a scary Jack-o-lantern face, Ansley wanted Ariel, and Elsie wanted Mickey and Minnie on hers. So, Eric grabbed a marker, outlined what each kid wanted on their pumpkin, and they were SO excited!
Eric drawing the outline for Elsie's Minnie & Mickey pumpkin

Eric then scraped the inside of each pumpkin and told the kids they could reach inside and get all of the yucky stuff out. Jackson started gagging- he is my child. :) 

Then Jackson and Ansley started poking holes and cutting on the outline that daddy drew for them:

Elsie stayed busy playing with the different pumpkin tools, even if she was only working on the "lid" of the pumpkin:

They had fun and were so excited with their finished pumpkins:

Vada Belle and I helped out by finding some candles to put inside, and taking the pictures! :)

My friend had posted this prayer from another blog that you can say while carving pumpkins. I didn't see this until after we carved ours, but will definitely have to remember this for next year! 
Pumpkin Prayer:

Lord, open my mind so I can learn new things about you and the world you created.
(Take off the top of the pumpkin.)
Remove the things in my life that don’t please you, including my seeds of doubt.
(Pull out the bag of seeds.)
Open my eyes and help me to see your ways.
(Remove the eyes.)
Open my ears and help me to hear your voice, so I may learn how you want me to live.
(Remove the ears.)
I’m sorry for the times I’ve turned up my nose at the things you want me to do.
(Remove the nose.)
Let everything I say please you, and help me spread your word to others.
(Remove the mouth.)
Lord, help me show your light to others through the things I do.
(Place a candle inside and light it. Then turn off the lights)

Also, I have heard this before, but just love it!
Being a good person is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all of the yucky stuff — including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a bright new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see!

 Happy Pumpkin Carving!

Vada is 4 months!

So I am a little late putting this blog post up, but last Friday (the 19th) Vada Belle turned 4 months old. I took her to the doctor on Tuesday for her 4 month well check up, and she weighed 10 lbs. 14.5 oz., was 23.75 inches and had another ear infection. She has also had a nasty cough and runny nose, so with that and her ears the doctor wanted to put her on another antibiotic. She had to get 4 shots and 1 oral vaccine and since then she has been running a fever, but thankfully today she seems to be feeling much better. Here are her 4 month pictures with her bear:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall in the Mountains

I love where we live because of the significant changes that comes with each season. There is something about each season that I love, and a few of the things that I love about fall are camping trips, hooded sweatshirts, pumpkin flavored treats, hikes, and the beautiful scenery that God has painted all around us. If you haven't been able to come to the mountains this fall, it has been beyond beautiful, and these pictures (taken just a couple miles from our house) still don't show the amazing colors in these mountains. How blessed we are to live in such a beautiful place!

Before I had Jackson and use to teach, this is the road I traveled every day- gorgeous, huh??

Look near the bottom right of this next picture- notice that little white church? That is our church nestled in all that beauty!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pumpkin Pickin'

On Wednesday I took the kids to a pumpkin patch so they each could pick out a pumpkin to either carve or decorate (which we have yet to do), and told them that once they found the one to let me know and I would take their picture beside of it. It didn't take Jackson long to find his, and he was proud that he could carry his (and his sisters) pumpkins back to the van with no help.
Ansley only had to look for a few minutes before she found this one:
Elsie looked and looked and couldn't find one she loved. Aunt Terri found one and laid it beside her and said that it looked like a great one for Elsie.

As you can see, she was not impressed with this pumpkin. She did find one not long after this that she thought was a perfect pumpkin for her, but for obvious reasons we had to leave this one behind, but I told her that she could take a picture beside it since it was the one she picked out:

(She said her pumpkin had melted!) ;)

It was such a beautiful day that we decided to go drive around look at the amazing colors in the autumn leaves.

These cute little boots were her dad's when he
was little, then passed onto Jackson, Ansley, and
after Elsie outgrows them Vada Belle will get her
wear out of them! :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Our "Bucket Filler"

When Jackson came home from school this past Wednesday, he had a note from the assistant principal saying that he had been chosen as a "bucket filler," which is one of the students of the week for the school. She included a copy of write-up that his teacher wrote. We were so proud of him and what was included in that note, and pray that he will always hold onto those wonderful qualities that she wrote about him. Here is what she wrote:

I chose Jackson as bucket filler of the week because he is an awesome
individual that loves learning. He puts others wants before his own. Jackson 
will attempt any academic task with eagerness. He attends school regularly 
and brightens up the day.  He works very hard to be a good example to those
around him.  Jackson is always ready to lend a helping hand to students as well 
as teachers.  He is a polite young man that has respect for fellow students and 
teachers alike.  He takes the initiative to help those that need help. Jackson is a 
great student to have in class and an example to all his peers.  I am proud to have 
Jackson Clifton in my class.

Way to go, little man! You make us proud. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Family Fall Beach Trip 2012

(If you look closely, you can see a rainbow over the water!)

Last weekend we took a quick weekend trip to Myrtle Beach. Jackson had Monday off from school and we found a great deal at the Sea Crest Resort, so we loaded up the van and we were beach bound. Our hotel was a perfect place for the kids to play in the fun water play areas, and the majority of the time we were there the weather was gorgeous! On Saturday we headed to North Myrtle to spend the day with some of our great friends, the Smart's.
Ansley, Palmer, Jackson, Harper & Elsie (Vada Belle & Archer were taking a nap during this picture!)

This picture doesn't show it well,but Eric made these girls a mermaid tail. Harper really wanted a "Merman," but Jackson said no way and we didn't think Archer would sit still long enough.

After dinner we took a picture of the daddies with all the kids:

and the mommies with the kids:
Some man asked Sarah on the beach earlier that day if we were running some kind of daycare- ha!
Then we had to say good-bye to our sweet friends:
and headed back to our hotel where we played in the outdoor kids area and pools until they kicked us out at 11:00. It definitely didn't take the kids anytime to go to sleep that night (one fell asleep before he got his pj's buttoned up!), and slept great no matter who was on top of who!

On Sunday we went to an early church service (where near the end of the preacher giving his sermon Vada Belle started getting fussy. I stood up to walk out with her and he says in his message, "It's only natural for babies to cry." At that exact moment Vada lets out a loud cry which was followed by laughing from the congregation. It couldn't have been more perfect timing!), then we spent the rest of the day playing at the hotel and on the beach.

Jackson & Ansley playing on the frog slide and lily pad.

Elsie playing on the fish in the pool.

Vada Belle decided just to lounge poolside most of this trip. I'm sure next year she'll be splashing around with the other three!

The kids loved the fun water play area & lounging around in the lazy river.

Dad playing in the sand and ocean with the kids.


Vada Belle after her first time sticking her toes into the ocean. I wonder if by next year she will love it and be crawling straight into the waves like Ansley did when she was only one year old.

I brought the mermaid outfit I made for Vada for Ansley's birthday party, and had to get a picture of her in it by the ocean. Eric laughed at me, but she got lots of "How adorable" comments from others on the beach. :)

Here are some more shots of our great weekend away.

Notice how they take a super sweet pic with daddy:
and then they are like this with mommy:
And a picture with all 6 of us: