It snowed today and so I got Madeline all dressed up for her first real snowy day fun in the backyard. Luckily her snow outfit still fit from last year. She was a little unsure of how to walk in the snow and what to do with it while in the backyard so I decided it would be a better idea to start out with a walk around the neighborhood. Madeline loved our little walk and even ventured off the sidewalk to walk around in the snow. When we were about halfway around the neighborhood I started making some snowballs for her to throw. She loved that too. She was so intrigued by the snow that she kept wanting to touch it without her gloves on. By the time we made it back to the house she was happy to play in the backyard for a few minutes. Then we headed inside so that she could have her very first cup of hot chocolate with whipping cream and marshmallows. She drank it so fast I couldn't believe it.
Halloween in Colorado is always so unique because it could either be super warm or freezing cold. This year it decided to snow on us. Since this is our 6th Halloween here the kids were not really phased by the snow and cold and were still excited to go trick or treating with their friends. As in years past, I dropped in on Abby's ES class Halloween party to take a few photos and see all the costumes. The kids were having a great time playing different games and eating yummy treats. I can't believe that this is Abby's last year to enjoy these fun class parties since she will be in middle school next year.
For Halloween night the kids were all scattered this year. Abby went with her A-team friends (Avery, Anna, Addy, and August) while Emma went with her friends Natalie, Grace and Keira. Andrew went to a Halloween party at Sam's house and then went over to Brady's while Peter hung out with Josh and went trick or treating up in Pine Creek. Mike and I took Madeline down our street of houses to do a little trick or treating. She thought it was so much fun. Mike put on his Sulley costume since it was warm and Madeline loved holding his hand as we walked down the sidewalk. We decided to dress Madeline up in a warmer costume so we pulled out the giraffe costume that all the kids wore when they were her age. Everyone thought she was adorable and she was pretty shy when the older kids stopped to tell her how cute she was. Every once in a while we came across some costumes that Madeline did not like but we quickly skirted past and all was well.
This year we all went as characters from the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Mike was Gandalf, Sara was Arwen, Andrew was Frodo Baggins, Peter was a Ringwraith, Emma was Galadriel, Abby was Tauriel, and Madeline wore the cutest shirt that said My Precious on it while sporting a golden binky. It was a miracle that we were able to get everyone on board this year to dress up together for Andrew's last Halloween with us.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS & THE HOBBIT
ABBY'S CLASS PARTY
HALLOWEEN NIGHT WITH MADELINE
Madeline is SO adorable. Everyday I get to spend with her is a treasure. She is really turning into a sweet 2 year old. She has only had a few temper tantrums that usually happen when she is ready for a nap. She loves watching movies on the iPad too much. It has been my mission to keep her occupied as long as I can before I break down and give her the iPad. Her favorite movies are still: Big Hero 6, Finding Dory, Charlie Brown, and Kung Fu Panda 3. She also still loves watching The Little Einsteins.
As much as Madeline loves to be on the iPad, she loves to be outside even more and will drop everything just for the chance to go outside to run around and play. She loves to go for walks and will usually end up running. She is so fast and I have to run just to keep up with her. I know she is going to be a runner. She also loves to jump on the trampoline. She can jump up and down on the ground pretty well now, which makes jumping on the trampoline even more fun. Madeline loves to play at the park and will almost exclusively go down the slide the entire time. She loves walking up the stairs and going down the slide all by herself. She is not to keen about the swing.
Madeline still sucks her thumb and does it more now than she did when she was younger. I think it has become her go to comfort mechanism. She usually will only suck her thumb when she has her blanket with her.
Madeline is like a sponge…she soaks up everything around her. That also means that she says pretty much anything she hears. That has been a good and a bad thing. She has been known to copy a few things after hearing her siblings say: Shut up, Oh my gosh, and What the heck. The only way to get her to stop repeating those phrases is to distract her with a more suitable phrase for her age. Yikes. On the flipside, Madeline does say some pretty cute things. When she gets up, she will say, “I wake up.” When she is excited about something she will say, “I like it.”
Madeline played in the snow for the first time this month. She has walked in the snow before but this was actually the first time that she play in it. We went for a walk around the neighborhood and then played in the backyard. She loved it when I made her snowballs to throw at me. That seemed to make her giggle. Playing in the snow was fun but what was even better was drinking hot chocolate with whipping cream. Madeline loved her first hot chocolate drink. I only filled up her mug halfway and she drank that so fast and wanted more. This girls loves chocolate.
One of Madeline’s other firsts this month was going to the Aquarium in Atlanta. She LOVED watching the fish in the big tank but got a little nervous the first time she saw the big sting rays and the big whale sharks. As soon as we pointed out that the whale shark looked like Destiny from the Dori movie, she became so excited and stood at the tank until Destiny came back around. From that point on she wasn’t interested in anything other than seeing her friend Destiny swim in the big tank.
Madeline also got to enjoy the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo for the first time. She loved seeing the giraffe but wasn’t too thrilled about getting up close to feed them. She also loved the elephants, tiger, bear, and surprisingly, the turkey. We saw lots of other animals but these were her favorites.
Madeline knows her animals and the sounds that they make so well for a 2 year old. After seeing her excitement at the Atlanta Aquarium earlier this month I knew that she would get such a kick out of visiting the animals at the zoo. After doing a quick 2 year old photo shoot at Monument Valley Park we headed over to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The first thing we did was go straight to the Giraffe exhibit so we could feed them. There were a few other people there as well feeding the giraffes. This sweet lady lifted Madeline up and gave her some of their lettuce so she could feed the giraffe. Madeline was all on board until the giraffe came too close to her. She wasn't having it after that. Still, I bought some lettuce just in case. I ended up feeding the giraffes but Madeline loved looking at them as long as they didn't get too close.
After the giraffes we walked past the zebras and lions. The lion was sleeping in the lion house so we didn't spend too long there and instead headed to the Elephant area. She LOVED seeing the elephants. The elephants are probably one of Madeline's favorite animals. She loved watching them get the hay from the barrels and put it in their mouth with their trunks. After that we saw the alligators, snakes, and kangaroos and eventually we made it to the see the tiger and bear. She LOVED both of those big animals. They were both very active which made it fun to watch them. As we were making our way back to the entrance of the zoo we passed by a turkey and heard it gobble gobble. For some crazy reason Madeline just loved that turkey and wanted to go back up the hill to see it. It was so funny that of all the animals, she seemed to be the most excited by the turkey. Go figure.
We had so much fun at the church Trunk or Treat this year. The entire family decided to dress up together and go as characters from Lord of the Rings. It took some convincing to get Andrew to join us but I'm glad he did. Since Mike's costume hadn't arrived yet he quickly pulled out the Sulley costume and took the broken door and wrote Boo's door on it. All of the kids thought it was hilarious. He had so much fun interacting with all the little kids. Madeline loved some of the games as well as the girls. The boys had fun being in the haunted house again this year. Peter screamed so much he lost his voice. When it was time to do the trunk or treat outside I let the girls go off with their friends while I took Madeline around to get candy. She was SO CUTE and said trick or treat at each of the cars with a little thank you after. She wasn't even scared and just went from car to car gathering more goodies in her bag. After going around once I sat her down on the sidewalk and let her pick out a piece of candy to eat. She was in heaven.
I took our family photos again this year and although the location I picked was really pretty it turned out to be difficult to take a family group shot there. The weather was warm enough for the end of October but it was really windy which was not ideal. I did my best to capture our family and there were a few decent shots but these were definitely not my favorite photos of our family. By the time I got to the individual shots I was losing light. I never did get a great photo of Madeline but I was able to capture the older kids perfectly. The reality is I was just glad to get the photos done even if they weren't perfect!
Peter had a rough start to the season as he was in physical therapy for his knee problem. It was such a blessing that we found an excellent PT who was able to diagnose what was going on with Peter's knee injury. Turns out that it was actually more of an ankle problem and his running form that was causing all the pain in his knees. With some work he was able to work through and strengthen those areas that would help him be free of his knee pain. He started out the season with his slowest time and ended the season with his PR of all time for the 5K. By the 3rd meet Peter was finally able to break 20 minutes. Our entire family including Myisha, who was still visiting, was able to be there to witness his PR. It was such a fantastic moment for Peter. Throughout the rest of the season he continued to push hard in practice and at the meets and finished his last 3 meets under the 20-minute threshold. In the Metro League Finals Peter came in 9th for JV boys and the JV Regionals he crossed the finish line with his PR of 19:14. He was a little disappointed that he didn't break 19 minutes but we were all so proud of how much he accomplished, especially starting out the season being injured. He will only get faster and I can't wait to see how fast he gets in the years to come.
MEET 1 - Norrise Penrose Stadium - 22:03
MEET 2 - Widefield HS - 20:17
MEET 3 - Heritage HS - 19:52
MEET 4 - Air Academy HS - 21:25
MEET 5 - Monument Valley Park - 20:11
MEET 6 - Littleton Invitational - 19:49
MEET 7 - Metro League at Ft. Fort Carson - 19:40
MEET 8 - JV Regional Meet at Monument Valley Park - 19:14
Meet 3 at Heritage HS
Meet 4 at Air Academy HS
Meet 5 at Monument Valley Park
Meet 6 at the Littleton Invitational
Meet 7 Metro League Finals at Fountain Fort Carson
Meet 8 JV Regionals at Monument Valley Park
I finally had a moment to take Andrew out to snap a few senior photos for the yearbook. He was a pretty good sport while we were there and I even got a few really genuine smiles out of him. It was nice that the park I had chosen was empty. We had the entire place to ourselves, which was awesome. It was a bit windy so I had to keep brushing his hair down but we managed. We had planned on going to the club to do some swimming photos but decided that it was a little cold for that so we wrapped up our session and headed home. On the way home he looked through the camera and had already picked out his favorites. It made me happy that he was happy with the photos. I really had so much fun spending time with Andrew this afternoon. I don't know what I am going to do next year when he is not here.
I decided to tag along with Mike to Atlanta while he participated in an ENT conference. We brought Madeline along with us and left the boys at home while the girls stayed at the Garlocks for the weekend. We stayed with John and Amy and had a great time hanging out with them. John and I were able to go on a 9.3-mile trail run together at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. It was such a great run and also very challenging. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and watching General Conference together while enjoying Amy’s cinnamon rolls. After Mike got back from his conference we all headed to the town of Rosewell to eat at a cute little southern restaurant called Roux On Canton. We had fried okra and pickles for our appetizer, which was very southern. On Sunday we watched some more General Conference, ate more cinnamon rolls and went for a walk around the neighborhood. On Monday Amy and I took Madeline to Stone Mountain. It was decorated for Halloween, which was fun. We took the Sky ride up to the top of Stone Mountain and walked around on top. Then we came back down and rode the train with Madeline. Later that night, Kyle and Natalie watched Madeline while Mike, John, Amy and I went to the Simple Minds concert. It was so much fun to hear some of those songs we grew up hearing. On Tuesday we headed to the Atlanta Aquarium with Madeline before getting on our plane home. Madeline LOVED the whale shark and kept calling it Destiny from the movie “Find Dory.” It was fun to walk around the city of Atlanta before heading on our plane back home to Colorado.
SIMPLE MINDS CONCERT
Abby had another great cross country season running with the Landsharks running club. Even though she started swimming with the Rapids swim club she still wanted to keep running so that she could be with her friends. I couldn't convince her to do the shorter 1 mile race because she was set on running the longest race with Anna and McKenzie. I was so proud of her for not stopping during her hilly race. This year she ran in the longer race during all of the meets. Even though her best time was during the second meet, her first meet's time was already an entire minute faster than her time from last year. Wow...what an improvement.
Meet 1 at MVE - 1.5 mile run in 12:49
Meet 2 at MVE - 1.5 mile run in 12:32
Meet 3 at MVE - 1.5 mile run in 13:03
Photo Above: Annie, Abby, Anna, McKenzie