Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Fun

Happy Halloween! This is quickly becoming EMN's favorite holiday. She loves the dressing up, the parties and visiting neighbors. Tonight she was Dora the Snow Princess and we finally convinced MTN to be Diego, the Animal Rescuer. We've been asking him what he would like to be, Diego or a chef, and his answer was always "just a boy".

EMN and I carved pumpkins after her rest. She was very specific about the designs and announced "pretty good Mom" when I was done.

Then she helped make dinner. We had mummies, which we never did successfully explain so we just left it as pigs in a blanket.

Our neighborhood had a party in one of the cul-de-sacs and then Mike took the kids around door to door while I handed out candy back at the house. The kids were very excited about their loot and are looking forward to looks of treats over the next several weeks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall is here

With chilly mornings becoming more common around here, it's apparent that fall is in the air! I do miss seeing leaves turn colors but I don't (yet) miss the snow my parents got yesterday - 14"! It is nice having cooler weather as it is more in keeping with the season. We had several years in AZ where a trip to the pumpkin patch was cut short due to extreme heat.

First up is painting pumpkins in the park. The kids seemed to enjoy it, MTN particularly, but both loved the snacks even more.

Next up is a photo from EMNs very first field trip! She got to ride in the school van, pick out her own pumpkin, run through a hay maze and dress like all her friends. She enjoyed her trip but did not care for me trying to preserve it with photographs. So I have this one and that's it.

And finally, her birthday hoodie that I finished up about two weeks ago. It lives in our van so she can throw it on when she's chilly. She chose the yarn herself so I knew she'd love the color. It should fit her for at least a few more years. She is genuinely pleased with it and it always feels good to be appreciated.
Tomorrow we'll be carving pumpkins and decorating for our neighborhood's Halloween festivities. We have a small party in one of the cul-de-sacs and we're all looking forward to getting to know our neighbors a bit better.

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Food!

For the last two months or so, we've been eating almost every meal at home. I set up a meal plan for each day and plan my grocery shopping around that list. No more fast food drive-thrus or take out, save for the Tuesday pizza routine. A large, one topping pizza for $5 is a deal! Mike gets to be the hero because he brings it home and then I get to escape to grocery shop by myself. It's truly a win-win for all of us.

Anyway, every meal made in this kitchen. It's easy to get stuck in a rut so I try to keep breakfast and lunch standard but shake up the dinner routine a bit. Last night we had sushi. MTN couldn't get enough and EMN was skeptical but tried it. I think they liked the new chopsticks most of all! Next time EMN would like to use the chopsticks on chicken.

So why every meal at home? Several different reasons. One is to save money. We're in Financial Peace University, a Dave Ramsey course, and we're doing all we can to make our money work for us. Also, we ate a lot of fast food and take out meals while we were moving and it wasn't healthy for us. The kids got used to eating almost every meal out and that set up bad expectations. They still call out all the fast food options as we drive around town but now we only include that as a treat, such as EMN's birthday. The kids do enjoy helping to make meals at home and are learning to like lots of different foods. And a perk of Mike's new job is that he's home every day about the same time and we can have dinner as a family every night. The benefits of that are innumerable but the best is enjoying time as a family each day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


October begins with several celebrations for our family. On the second, Mike and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. My parents had arrived the day before so Mike and I had a great dinner out at Bin 555, just the two of us. We were married here in San Antonio so it's fun to be back in the city that holds so many memories for us.

On Saturday, we went "balling" as EMN calls it. Mike had to work so he missed out on the fun, but the rest of us had a great time!

On the 6th, our daughter turned 4 and what a day she had! Since it was her day, she got to choose the food and activities for the day (within reason of course). Breakfast was waffles, lunch
was McDonald's (and eating inside), and dinner was ramen noodles and broccoli. Cake and ice cream followed and it all added up to one very happy girl. In addition to gifts from family and friends, EMN also received lots of cards and letters from friends in Arizona that made her smile. Thanks to all of you, friends and family alike, for making her day!! Below are a few photos from yesterday. First, she woke up happy and ready to celebrate! Hats were distributed to all and then after breakfast we were off to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens to see "bushes and butterflies" as she called it. The Gardens currently have a treehouse exhibit that was fun and the vegetable garden received lots of interest. The rest of the pictures are probably pretty self explanatory.

And in honor of her birthday, I'll do a brief retrospective of her last few years. First, the day after her birth in Seoul, at five months old near the glaciers in New Zealand, and then on her first, second and third birthdays. Amazing how quickly the days go ...