Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Patch


Halloween is probably the one holiday that I spend the least time preparing for.  I love carved pumpkins but don't like the work.  I like crafting, but for some reason making costumes isn't my cup of tea.  And I don't typically decorate the house because I don't want to scare the kids, and most Halloween decorations are a little scary!  I've been really busy this month preparing for the benefit walk/run we're putting together in our neighborhood, and in typical fashion I have spent almost no time prepping for Saturday.  However, today we got in the spirit!

This morning I took the kids to the local orchard/pumpkin patch.  I dressed them in matching outfits and planned to get some good shots of them (I can't miss the chance, you know!?).

We first looked through the old barn turned market and picked out some decorations for the house.  Eli checked out the antique cider press and was thoroughly intrigued by all the gears.

After choosing some mini pumpkins, dried corn, and a few treats (hot apple cider and home made apple dumplings... mmmm) we headed outside.

  They don't run the tractors to the field to pick your own pumpkin during the week, so instead we settled for checking out the large array of pumpkins they had outside the barn.  The kids had a blast walking through the "maze" of pumpkins and sitting on the "roller-coaster" of rocks.


We took home our prizes and spent some time painting them with washable paints.  I'll have to be sure to keep these on the porch in case there's rain before Saturday!  

We still had a little time before Eli had to hop on the bus, so we fashioned a large spider web out of white acryllic yarn and a spider to climb on it from black trash bags.  The kids think our spider looks a lot like a black octopus, but I don't think he's so bad :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Benefit Walk/Run

Michelle is 15 years old and has been diagnosed with leukemia. She and her family live next door to me. Michelle spent her entire summer at Riley Children’s hospital where she received numerous rounds of Chemotherapy and also underwent a bone marrow transplant. She is finally home with her family, but her immune system is very weak at this point so she will be required to stay out of school for one year while her body recovers and her immune system strengthens. Michelle’s mom, left her job this year to stay home with her daughter during this difficult time.

Our neighbors have decided to hold a benefit walk/run in our neighborhood in honor of Michelle and her family to show our love and support for our neighbor, Michelle. We are asking for each family/individual who participates to bring a monetary donation for the family in order to give them a head start on paying the many medical bills they have incurred over the past year. The run/walk will be for all ages and open to everyone. The walk will be one mile and the run will be two miles and both will end at the park in the adjoining neighborhood. We will have a benefit bake sale, cider, goodies, face painting, bounce house, and more at the park as well. The run/walk will begin at 10:30 am.

If you're interested and you live on the west side of Indianapolis, email me ( and I'll give you specific details!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Photo Shoot

My next door neighbor is a wonderful friend, and also an accomplished photographer.  She does natural light photography and family portraits around the Indy area.  Last month she did a promotional shoot downtown Indy for a store on Mass Ave, Nurture (if you're really interested in the details, check them out here).  Our kids participated and we got the best photos we've ever had of our kids out of the deal!  Its funny because we were pretty sure they were all going to turn out bad considering the kids never seemed to have a smile on at the same time.  Loree has a natural gift behind the camera and I have seen first-hand the amount of effort she puts into each session she does.  If you're interested in having family or child portraits done or your teenager needs great senior portraits, be sure to check Loree Alayne Photography out! I didn't want to post all the photos up here, but if you want to see the rest, go here.





Thursday, September 24, 2009

Morning with Mommy

The other day I found myself with an entire 3 hours with just my 5 year old.  His sister was in preschool and his cousin was at home sick.  As tempting as it was to fill that time with all the things I can't do when I have a 3 kids running around, I decided instead to spend that time just focusing on this little boy who is growing up way too quick.  After grocery shopping and picking out a special picnic lunch we headed to the local town park.  We played on the playground and had an impromptu photo shoot guided by Eli.

Next headed out on some trails and found a large field full of wildflowers with some paths mowed through.  The day was hot but beautifully sunny.  We walked around in the "labyrinth" (as Eli called it) for a good long time and I introduced Eli to how to take pictures with my camera (he took the one of me).  Eli wanted to take a picture of every flower we saw. 


I am so glad I took the chance to spend some time with my guy - this time is fleeting.... he's at a crossroads in life and is off and running to become a man right before my eyes.



Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I did not post much this summer, and one thing I neglected to mention was the fact that my brother was home from Italy. He is on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ doing ministry with the students in the metropolitan universities of Rome. He was home this summer for a 2 month visit during which we spent a lot of time just hanging out. He was here to raise support but was able to also devote a lot of time to family. Brian has been in Rome almost 3 years now and only been able to come home for short stays. Anna was only 18 months old when he left, Eli was 3, and our nephew hadn't even been born yet. Our older nephew was 10 when he left, and "Bubba" (as the now 12 year old has called him since he could speak) was sorely missed. Needless to say it was a wonderful time of reconnection with his niece and nephews! By the end of the two months, Anna was practically in tears at the idea of Bubba returning to Rome, but was comforted by the fact that he'll be home in a few months to celebrate Christmas.

On one of the last days of August, we celebrated Brian's last day home. We had a delicious dinner; played Molkky, football and Wits and Wagers; and generally enjoyed our last hours as a united family. As much as we all miss Bubba now, we are proud of the work he does in Rome and look forward to seeing him in a few months! Enjoy some photos of that last day.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Made by Rae Jackpack Backpack GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

There's a great giveaway for all you toddler moms out there - you can win a darling little Jack and the Beanstalk toddler backpack or the pattern to make your own. Check it out to see if you can win!

Made by Rae Jackpack Backpack GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Family Night

My new favorite way to spend a rainy Friday night:

Breakfast for dinner

Board games with the kids

Oh yes, and cantaloupe from the garden (this is NOT to be confused with cantaloupe from the grocery store, which by comparison is about like licking a rock)

Some restraint is required on my part to play board games with children, but it really helps when I actually LIKE the games we're playing! No Candyland around here - I'd rather eat a box of live snapping beetles! Ok, that's an exaggeration (is there even such an insect?), but I'm so glad we've moved on to some better games. Some of our family favorites at the moment are Monza, Tsuro, Treehouse, Incan Gold, Crazy 8's, Go Fish, and the one in the photo is Pandemic (not really a children's game, but the kids can tolerate it for a time).

How did you spend your Friday night?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Day of School

Eli started Kindergarten this year. It is so hard for me to believe my oldest is in "real school"! So far Eli loves every minute of his school day and has not asked to stay home yet - he did that regularly with pre-K :) Anna and I are enjoying having some one-on-one time while Eli is at school and my nephew is napping. It is also a good time for Anna to have a little quiet time, and mommy too! Below are some of my favorite shots of Eli's first day!

being silly while waiting for the bus

here comes the bus!

saying goodbye was hard for Anna that first day

on he goes!

"bye mom!"

off he goes!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Last Year...

...of my twenties! This month I am celebrating turning 29. My awesome husband did lots to make me feel special.

The weekend before my birthday he sent me on a camping/kayaking weekend with my mom, sister, and family friend.

There are simply too many photos to share in the post, so here's a slideshow of some of my favorites

On my birthday we visited a local waterfront restaurant for dinner.

Then the weekend after my birthday we had a party just for me, complete with cupcake cones and ice cream cake! (I didn't play photographer this time, so this is about the best shot I've got of the day)

What a way to celebrate my life - surrounded by family and friends!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Summa Time!

This summer has had us busier than ever. With both kids potty trained and not necessarily taking daily naps, we've been on the go a lot! Eli and Anna love going to the local aquatic center and playing in the childcare area while I work out at least twice a week. We hit the pool afterward, whenever the weather cooperates, which hasn't been all that often this year! Here's a few shots from our favorite summer activites.

Local County Fair

(my sweet cousin Deanna - the kids loved having her visit!)

Playing at the Aquatic Center

Fireworks a day late because the 4th was rained out!

Hanging out at Nana and Papa's