Halloween weekend began with a Fall Festival/Trunk or Treat at Oak Lawn UMC that was a blast! Halloween night we were so excited that Grandma and Grandpa (my dad and stepmom )came over from Mansfield. Everett figured out the whole candy thing very quickly. We had such a blast visiting folks in our neighborhood and then going over to my sister's neighborhood to trick or treat!
Everett (as Tony Romo, quarterback for the cowboys) filled his Halloween bucket!
The cousins! Sydney (a butterfly) and Madeleine (not quite sure, wearing a mask she made, her ballet recital outfit from last year, and some heart leggings)
At least they got some exercise walking all over....
Madeleine (using her Easter basket because it was bigger) and Everett on our way to visit neighborhood friends.
Madeleine swallowed a tooth! She was at school and it wasn't during lunch but afterwards, I'm a little unclear as to how it happened, but she probably just pushed on it with her tongue or something. She had to write a note to the tooth fairy, it took a long time to write, "I accidently swallowed my tooth." But the tooth fairy still delivered...
Now all Madeleine needs for Christmas is her two bottom teeeth, her two bottom teeth, her two bottom teeth.
This Saturday we had a great time. Roofers arrived at our house at 7 am and worked nonstop until 7 pm. Yeah a new roof! (There was hail in July so our whole neighborhood has gotten new roofs.) But it was loud, so the kids and I went to Lowe's for their kids clinic. Everett loves to hammer and Madeleine made the project nearly all by herself.
Check the kids out in their safety goggles.
Then, on to the Lake Highlands Area Early Childhood PTA Halloween carnival, games, food, balloon animals, tattoos, bounce houses, it was such fun! Check out Everett with his blindfold on pinning the nose on the pumpkin.
I think he looked under his blindfold.
Happy boy on the bounce house.
Madeleine was a rock star for Halloween, thanks to Nana for the great hat and sunglasses (Nana didn't know that Madeleine would use them for her Halloween costume!)
Everett was supposed to be a lion, but this only lasted for about 3 seconds. So, he carried his little football and wore his Romo jersey and was very happy.
The kids playing, it was been raining a lot in Dallas!
So, you know when you're about to hit a milestone birthday and you sort of freak out a little? Well, at the end of the month I will be 35. I know, that is so old! I will no longer be young adult clergy in the United Methodist Church! See, the United Methodist Church in 2007 had only 876 ordained elders that were under 35 years of age (I was ordained elder in 2006). My getting older is hurting our statistics! Well, since I love to travel, and I am hitting this milestone birthday, I asked for a trip for my present from Lee. Since I have never been to Philadelphia and I was looking for a 2 night trip away, it seemed like a good idea!
The main reason why I thought of Philadelphia was for the Barnes Foundation. The Barnes Foundation is a private art collection, and has the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world. There are 181 Renoirs, 69 Cezannes, 69 Matisses, as well as Picassos, Gauguins, Manets, Van Goghs. It was amazing! The Barnes Foundation is only open on Fridays and Saturdays and you have to get your tickets in advance. I am so glad that we went because they are building a new building in the middle of Philadelphia. The new building will be beautiful, but I wanted to see the Barnes before it moved. We couldn't take any pictures inside the Barnes, but check them out on wikipedia to see what famous pictures they have.
It was cold and rainy while we were in Philadelphia, but we had a great meal at Buddakan, enjoyed driving all around the city, going to a movie, and catching up with our friends Charles and Jessie who recently moved to Philadelphia. We did see the liberty bell and really enjoyed an exhibit of Princess Diana's wedding dress that was at the National Constitution Center. And of course, we had a Philadelphia cheesesteak at Jim's on south street! We also walked by Mother Bethel AME, the first African Methodist Episcopal Church started by Richard Allen. To read about how the AME began read this.
It was wonderful to get away (thanks mom for watching the kids!) and I think that I'm going to be okay (eventually) with turning 35!
the famous Love Park We ran up the famous Rocky steps outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art at night, so fun!
it was great to see leaves changing colors!
the view from our top floor hotel room (26th floor), this is of the Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Barnes Foundation will be on the right side of the street before you get to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (where all the trees are now)
We had a great time at the U2 concert at Cowboys Stadium here in Dallas. A huge thank you to our awesome college cousin Lauren who watched the kids from 5 pm - 1:30 am! A huge thank you to our friends Scott and Jen who invited us along! It was an amazing concert, I learned stuff (about Burma and what amazing work one.org had accomplished, 35,000 children in Africa able to attend school, the millions in Africa who had received retroviral medication for AIDS. The music was great and Bono was beautiful!
My favorite photo of the night, the band.
My favorite video of the night, it's not Bono singing but 70,000 people. Very cool!
We had a great time at Launa's Little Library's Birthday Bash. The library is 8 years old and such fun to visit! Mrs. K, who has the library in her home, is the sweetest, most patient woman ever! Madeleine enjoyed her tummy tattoo (she wanted one after watching the boys in front of her get one) and Everett got a bird. He kept saying, "Look, bird". Madeleine also got her face painted like a princess. And both kids won cakes at the cake walk! We love Launa's Little Library! Check out the report at their website, Madeleine shows off her tummy tattoo in one of the pictures!
We made our annual trip to the State Fair of Texas. It was Lee, me, and Madeleine (we took Everett to school so he would not miss his nap) and we had a blast! The first thing we did was watch Madeleine take her test drive. She did a lot better than last year and really enjoyed it.
Then we went to Little Hands on the Farm where the kids wear an apron, get feed, feed all the animals, milk the cows, plant seeds, get their crops, deliver all their food to market, sell it, and get to buy a treat. It is such fun!
Then we went to the children's barnyard where you get to pet lots of animals and feed them if you buy some feed.
Then we saw a dog show where the dogs do amazing tricks, then off to see the butter sculpture, the marionette show, the backyard circus, corny dog for lunch, and had to try out the winner for most creative fried item (the fried butter) and most tasty fried item (the fried peaches). There were both really yummy. The fried butter was a ball of butter fried in biscuit dough, so it was like a warm, gooey biscuit. Madeleine has been talking about cotton candy for weeks, and I know it may be hard to believe but she ate nearly the entire cone of cotton candy all by herself (Lee helped her a little). Then we played one midway game and Madeleine picked out a winning duck so she got a stuffed animal prize, then Madeleine did the kid bumper cars. Madeleine really wanted to ride the Texas star ferris wheel which is the largest ferris wheel in North America! Madeleine was not scared a bit, though I got a little queasy! I felt good after one ride around, and was ready to get off, but our $6 ride (each) included two trips around the ferris wheel! Madeleine loved looking out at all of the sites with her daddy. By now it was time to go pick up Everett and crash at home! We were at the fair from 10 am (when it opened) to 4 pm!
Madeleine with one of the marionettes
Madeleine at the backyard circus, she was a ballerina
the fried peaches, best tasting
the fried butter, most creative
Madeleine with her cotton candy, she ate the whole cone!
the bumper cars view from the Texas Star Ferris Wheel, downtown Dallas
it was windy up there! so happy!big Tex! family self portrait on our way to the car
Next year, we might be brave enough to bring Everett!
So, today was Everett's 2nd Birthday, and Madeleine didn't have school today (fair day/fall break), so she went with Everett and I to Oak Lawn United Methodist Church. Madeleine helped me lead chapel for 4 preschool classes - songs, Bible story, prayers, and although I didn't get much work done, we did have fun together. We went to Everett's classroom to watch as his class (more like his teachers) sang Happy Birthday and the kids made a mess with the Elmo cupcakes (you can no longer make cupcakes and bring them to your child's classroom, you have to buy them because of the peanut allergies in case someone uses peanut oil at home). Then, we got home and we all celebrated once again with Everett's favorite meal of spaghetti, and the last of the cupcakes.
The only sad news of the day was when I discovered that the last thread connecting the tag to Everett's blanket had disintegrated due to overuse. The tag to the blanket was on Everett's floor this morning and Everett mornfully kept saying, "Blankie, blankie" while holding the tag that was no longer attached to the blanket. Saddest thing ever. I will sew it back, as soon as I can figure out how to extricate Everett from his blankie.
All was quiet in our household, Everett was asleep and I was reading Madeleine her last bedtime story, when... she told me her tooth hurt and she put her hand in her mouth to check on the tooth and came out with the tooth in her hands! She was a bit surprised and scared at first, but very excited after the blood had been spit out of her mouth. It was a much more pleasant experience than her first tooth loss, when she was 18 months. Madeleine was wearing those footed pajamas, slipped, and hit her face on a kitchen chair. Her top front tooth came out whole and everything was okay (after the initial trauma). This time it is her opposite bottom tooth and she is just adorable! She has been wiggling her bottom two teeth since this summer when the dentist told her that it looked like she would loose her bottom two teeth by Christmas.
Here are some photos from the first tooth loss when Madeleine was 18 months and from tonight. The tooth fairy didn't come when she was 18 months because we used the tooth many times to explain why it wasn't in her mouth and what had happened. The tooth fairy is coming tonight, baby!
Lee and I were talking after the tooth loss tonight and we thought it was so funny that she would loose her first tooth (in recent memory) the same day as her brother's birthday, was she trying to outdo him?
On Friday (October 2nd), I took Everett to the Lake Highlands Area Early Childhood PTA's October Pumpkin Painting event. Madeleine was very upset that she couldn't go because she was in school. I guess now the mommy and Everett outings begin. Here is Everett with his pumpkin.
and other pumpkins, such creative kids!
but the playground was Everett's favorite, especially.... BABY JAIL!
so sad to be in Baby Jail!
Hey, I think he is trying to escape! Notice the hands at the top!
We had our family celebrations today for Everett's birthday. Below is a video of Everett's Happy Birthday serenade, my only question is why was I so sure that his name would have 3 syllables and counteract the shortness of the Smith last name when everyone says (or at least sings) Everett's name with 2 syllables. Oh, the mysteries of life!
Everett liked his cupcake a little bit too much,
and then the presents. The basketball net was a huge hit, (thanks Nana!)
loved the truck, (thanks Nana!)
but I think the football was his favorite (he had the biggest smile!) (Thank you Aunt Kristin, Uncle Andy, Sydney and Austin)
and was not happy when someone else tried to hold his ball.