November 24, 2014


We've had some cold weather lately.
But before the temps dropped, the boys enjoyed some fall like weather. 

Although they still ask nearly everyday if
I'll please put the sprinkler under the trampoline!

Other disappointments were getting rid of the pumpkins.
The squirrels were eating them anyway.

 But flying kites in the fall breeze is fun.

Then... one day... the snowflakes started falling!
You can't see them in the picture, but they were there.  :)

And in the next few days, it snowed (flurries at least) on and off.  And one morning there was actually a tiny bit of accumulation.  The boys headed outside as soon as they were done with breakfast!  

It was a race against the sun to see who could clear the driveway first!

Miles is still finding bugs that need to be 'rescued' from winter weather.

I ran to the store one evening and it was barely snowing.
But when I came out, it had snowed quite a bit!

It was blowing and cold and very white.

I got around the corner and headed home and drove right out of it! There was nothing at home... which disappointed my boys very much. They tell us there is much, much more to come this winter though.  We wait with anticipation! :)

November 19, 2014

Nature Birthday Party

My boys got an invitation to their friend, Emma's, birthday party.
It was held at the Forest Park Nature Center.

When we got there Miles headed immediately for the creatures.

They had bugs! These are Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. 

There was also a tarantula.

And another creature that the naturalist got out to play...

A snake.  (!)

After they learned all about it, the kids got in line to pet it.

And then she put it away.

Next up to get out of their cage were the cockroaches.

Everyone got to touch those too.

Each child also got something to take home. Thankfully, this one is fake!

The snake didn't know it though, and Miles tried to feed it to him.

The naturalist also took us on a hike.

We saw (among other things) five deer!

Then, back inside, Emma opened her gifts.

And the kids had a treat.

And sang and had cake. (rice krispy treats)

And somehow, Miles ended up back over by the creatures.
Shown here digging his fake bug out of his pocket to entice the snake.

We had a fun afternoon at Emma's party!

Thanks for having us, Emma!!

November 17, 2014

Hunt Success

Illinois' archery deer season starts in October and goes through January.  They have to take a break during the week of firearm season, but it's a nice long season for bow hunters.  Derek purchased four tags this year in hopes to stock our meat supply.  He got tags for two antlered and two non-antlered. (or all four could be does/non-antlered) Derek hunts on public land which means there are other people nearby and the deer get picked over.  It adds challenges to it all too... we're always looking to make a friend that has hunting property. Ha.

Before October was over, the first buck opportunity came and Derek got him!

It was an exciting moment when Daddy got home with him.

He was a small one but we're all thrilled with meat in the freezer.
And the boys are impressed no matter the size of it's antlers!

The success of the hunt is a very, very small part of the work.  The prep to get out there, the sitting and waiting (often coming home empty handed), the field dressing, the processing...  it's a lot.  But Derek has two willing helpers.  For parts anyway.

There are always fun things that happen too though...

And the reward of filling up our bellies.   Mmmmm.   :)

To re-cap, Derek put together this video of the fun:

November 15, 2014

Trick or Treat!

We like costumes around here.  This year the boys dressed up as some of their favorite things.  Miles was a ::::drumroll:::: BUG!  Ha.  And Cooper was a Jimmy John's Delivery Man. 

Except for the things we had around the house (the trash bags and string) I spent a grand total of $1.88 + tax on these costumes.  :)  $1 for the red spandex shirt Cooper is wearing and $.88 on Miles pipe cleaner antenna.  Oh... and $3.49 on a Jimmy John's sandwich in preparation.   This is how we acquired the bag to carry.  They probably would have just given us one if we'd walked in and asked, but these boys love some Jimmy John's so it was a fun treat.

Late afternoon we went over to Derek's office and trick-or-treated.

Stopping by each office and saying Hi and gathering candy.

Then they boys played with Daddy's desk.  It moves to 'sitting' or 'standing' position with the push of a button... way fun for them.

We hung out just a little and then headed on our way.

Once Derek got home we re-costumed. 

And headed outside for another photo shoot.

It was cold...

By this time the temperature was only in the low to mid 40's.

But these guys are good sports!

And soon we hit the streets of our neighborhood.

It was fun and we got to say hello to all our neighbors.

One of them wanted to take a picture of us, but couldn't find her camera battery, so she took one with my phone and I emailed it to her. :)

One neighbor (Thanks, Joe & Carol!) gave the boys glow sticks.

They had so much fun with them.

Derek might have tried them out too.
(sorry, Derek!)

The rest of the evening was spent having a family movie night and eating candy.
Miles suggested, "How about you taste this so I can taste that"... and Cooper was all in.