Tuesday, November 29, 2011


So who did I forget?  Link up!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Everyday Owen: Church Duds

Photo by Owen's SS teacher Jack Knight.  Thanks Jack!
And, yes, that's a new haircut.  It's just one part of a big makeover he's undergoing.  More on that soon!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Alex City Thanksgiving

New fake smile and a major overreaction to eating cream corn.  That last photo is in no way representational of the tastiness of the meal.

Steven being a good sport and letting Owen and Jeff tie him up in blue curly ribbon.  Owen's favorite part was when Steven, the 'pwisonuh', escaped.  
Despite the fact that he kept referring to them as 'that guy' and 'the other guy', I'm pretty sure Steven and Jeff are Owen's new heroes.

Hand truck + potted plant stand = Not terribly safe but oh so fun riding toys
I'm hating myself for getting the lighting wrong on that top left photo- the look on his face!

It was a great day!  I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful too.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Conversations with O

September 2011

O:  Hurry! Hurry!  C'mon Dad c'mon Dad.  We gotta help Darth Vader!

Me (seizing the opportunity to inject a good vs. evil discussion into playtime):  Why are you helping Darth Vader, Owen?

O:  'Cause Mawwwm, he's out of town and he needs me to guard his ship.  He had to go to It-a-wee.

Me:  So... you're the Death Star house sitter?

O:   ???

O:  C'mon Dad.  Daaaaad!  Let's get them.  Let's knock 'em out!

Me (still not giving up):  Why do you have to hit them?  Can't you just try to talk to them about it first?

He gives me this look, like Seriously Mom?  Whoever heard of a pacifist with a lightsaber?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Somewhere out there...

is a good sized hawk with a bad headache.

The screen isn't pulled out.  It's ripped from the frame, and there are holes from the bird's talons too.  

No sign of the hawk, so I'll take that as a good sign of his survival.  He's much luckier than the one who crashed through our neighbor's plate glass window two months ago, setting off the burglar alarm and causing a stir with the police before someone finally noticed strange bird feet sticking out from under an ottoman.  Dead as the Wicked Witch of the East.

Seems our hawks around here aren't so hawk-eyed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Eating S'mores

But it sounds like spores when he says it.  And he won't let me melt anything.  He prefers his s'mores deconstructed.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall Hike

We spent this past Saturday out at Oak Mountain with some of our favorite families.  They'd all spent the night before out there camping, but we took the easy way out and met them there the next morning.  (Hey, our tent still looks like this.)  The fall colors are at their peak around here, and the temperature was just crisp enough to keep us from breaking a sweat on our hike.

I'm afraid Scott and I might have let this beautiful outdoor time of year slip right by us if it weren't for the adventurous influence of our friends, so thanks guys!

This photo should have a funny caption, but it's not coming to me just now.

Owen was smart and divided most of his time between these two lovely young ladies:

I wish I had a recording of him making conversation with Livi as they were walking along that fence.  He was trying so hard!

And speaking of Livi, a few minutes after I took that last photo she fell (literally right at my feet) and broke her arm.  I sure wish I could have caught you Livi, but mend well, and rock that hot pink cast in the meantime!    

Monday, November 14, 2011

Family Portrait

Owen drew his first picture of our family in Sunday School yesterday.

Scott is on the left, and I'm pretty sure Owen had some help with him.  Owen is the cutie on the far right wearing a hat.

Oh, and I'm the one-footed bearded lady in the middle.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

All Spaced Out

Planning your (only) child's birthday party can be dangerous.  On one hand, you want your kid to feel special for that day, and you want his friends to have fun and for their parents to feel it was worth giving up part of their weekend.  But you don't want to go so overboard that you risk turning your kid into a self-important brat or you yourself into one of those competitive mommy monsters.  It's enough to put me into a psychological death spiral I tell ya.

So my main goal for Owen's party was to spark the kids' imaginations.  If it was extravagant, I hope it only seemed so in a creative way, rather than in an expensive or showy way.  We used mostly everyday stuff and many things we already owned, just with a re-imagined purpose.  If I broke the bank on anything, it was aluminum foil.  That stuff was everywhere.

When the kids first arrived, they went to Owen's playroom, where we'd set up tables for the kids to color and to stamp pouches they would later use to store 'moon rocks' they hunted in the basement.  I needed to cover up Owen's wall of toy storage (couldn't handle the idea of LEGOs and farm animals and Pixar characters strewn everywhere), so I tried to turn it into a Mission Control-style bank of TV monitors with different scenes from the Apollo missions.  I kept out his train table and put all his NASA toys on it and I put out a big pair of gloves on his toy work bench so the kids could see what it's like for the astronauts to fix things in space.  (Which reminds me, many of my ideas were borrowed or adapted from this party.)

Once all of Owen's guests had arrived and completed their moon rock pouches, we passed out glow bracelets and headed down to our basement, AKA: the moon.

We'd replaced all the basement lights with black light, and I had suggested on the invitation that the kids wear white so they would glow.  (My apologies, parents, for then feeding them purple icing.  I hope nothing got ruined.  Didn't think that one out!)  You can barely see the glowing rocks scattered around on the floor in that upper photo.  I should have had more; they went fast, and the kids really seemed to enjoy hunting and gathering them.  They were just rocks Owen helped me gather in the yard and dip into fluorescent paint.  Our camping tent served as a space capsule- wrapped in foil, Christmas lights punched through a sheet of foam board left over from the open kitchen cabinet project and hung from its roof, and three car seats placed inside on their backs.

There was also alien bowling.  I'd painted a set of toy pins with fluorescent paint and taped alien eyes to them.

And we let the kids take turns putting on Owen's halloween costume.  I believe there is even a blackmail-worthy photo floating around out there of me with the bubble helmet on.

After everyone had been playing on the moon a while, Scott sneaked outside and set up a model rocket.  We gathered up the kids, did a countdown, and violated a few city ordinances by setting it off.  

Then we turned it over to the kids to do some stomp rockets.  It didn't take them long to figure out they could be re-calibrated to launch at each other.  The foam rockets were pretty harmless though.

Finally, we came inside for lunch and cake.  I took aluminum cupcake tins and wrapped them up like MREs.  Seemed astronaut-ish to me.  The kids enjoyed choosing which planet pop to eat with their cake.  Strangely, none of them selected Uranus.

We sent all of Owen's sweet friends home with a rocket party favor.  My mom helped me make them from shipping tubes.  We left the removable cap on the underside so they could open it and add their glow bracelets, rock pouches and coloring sheets along with the sucker and planet stickers that were already inside.

Thank you again to everyone who was able to come.  We're honored that you helped us celebrate our little boy's fourth year, and it's a day we'll treasure for a long time!

Ok.  Spot anything in the photos I forgot to explain?  Ask away!