Monday, November 28, 2011

Talking Turkey!

Week 25: This was a week of celebrating Thanksgiving (even if it was the week before)! We had a fun week of talking about pilgrims, Indians, and turkey! The kids each took a treat to their class to celebrate! I let them both pick out the treat that they wanted me to fix for their class. This was Mary Virginia's choice for her class! (My secret confession is that I raided all of the Halloween candy to pull together the pieces for both of the treats!) It was such a fun way to make a turkey! I can't wait to do this again next year! This was John Bay's choice. His was a little bit easier, but again I raided the Halloween candy. He was signed up to bring desserts for his Thanksgiving feast - I wasn't sure how this would go over, but the class loved it! There is nothing better than slice and bake cookies, m&m's and icing!
Ok, enough about the food....It was another normal week in Louisiana with the exception of Thanksgiving Feasts. We were not invited to celebrate with John Bay's class...they didn't want the kids upset when it was time for the parents to leave. We did get to go to the feast at Mary Virginia's school. The kids were so cute and they dressed up like pilgrims and Indians!

What a fun week of teaching the kids the meaning of giving thanks. We cannot wait to see all of our family next week. We are packing up and heading back to Alabama for fun with family and LOTS of good food!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sitting Around the Campfire

Week 24: Yet another fun week in Louisiana! We had Girl Scouts this week and the girls made the cutest "I am thankful" turkey hats! I still can't believe how lucky we are to have such a good group of girls and some great leaders! And of course, we spent an afternoon at the barn! Mary Virginia was a little disappointed that she didn't get to ride Baily - she is the horse that MV can jump on! This week, she rode Jack. What a sweet horse! He is not a typical beginner lesson horse - you actually have to know what you are doing and give him some direction. MV did great and she really enjoyed riding him (he has a fast trot and is very stubborn)!
The week would not have been complete without a trip to Bass Pro Shop. I am not sure if you know, but Santa's Village has officially arrived to Bass Pro, so we needed to check it out! The kids saw an ad and decided they needed to make a Christmas craft and check out the new toys! We rode the carousel ...

and then MV found the gift that she wanted!

This is as close as I came to a photo op! I don't know how I got this one, they can't sit still when they are at Bass Pro - something about all the "toys"! (I didn't get a picture of the craft time - I was covered in glue and paint from "helping". We did make some CUTE Santa ornaments from popsicle sticks!

We also took some time to explore all of the camping gear, since that is the latest interest for the kids and Ed. They want to camp out more than anything. I thought we might make it this weekend (in the backyard), but the temperature dropped and it was just too cold!

We did light up the fire pit and have a "campfire" to cook dinner (hot dogs) and make s'mores! We had a great time and the girls from across the street came to play too!

(The fire pit was one of Ed's birthday toys!)

(eating yummy s'mores)

We had a fun week, but we are looking forward to the school Thanksgiving celebrations next week and lots of turkey crafts!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Up, Up and Away!

Week 23: Sorry for the delayed post....I got Halloween up and then forgot about the rest of the week! Once we finished all of the Halloween festivities, we switched gears to get ready for JB and Ashley's wedding! Ed and John Bay headed to Birmingham early Friday morning so that they could take Balba out to lunch to celebrate his birthday. Mary Virginia and I made our way to Birmingham by airplane! I love the fact that I didn't have to drive the 6 plus hours, but to quote Mary Virginia as we were sitting in the Charlotte Airport..."mom, it is dark and past bedtime, we could have been there if we had just driven." She was so excited to take her first flight, but by the time we got to Birmingham, she was over it! It will be a long time before she wants to fly again! We ran into a little trouble leaving Louisiana! Which I have since learned not to take the 6:30 Friday night Delta is usually delayed or canceled. Ours was delayed enough to make us miss our connector - along with everyone else on the flight - so we were rerouted to another airline, which meant we were Charlotte bound! MV was in good spirits the whole time, but the plane from Charlotte was full of Alabama and LSU fans which made for an interesting flight with a 6 year old! Most of the fans were well behaved and got a long surprisingly well...except for that one man in the back of the plane...

We had a great time visiting with friends and family in Birmingham and the wedding was amazing! My friend Becky did the flowers and they were beautiful (almost as pretty as the ones she did for our wedding)! The reception was held at a place that I have never heard of, Old Car Heaven. Check it out if you get a chance. I hope we have the chance to go back there sometime and actually look around - I would love to take my dad to look at all of the restored cars! The trip was way too quick - but we had fun visiting! I can't wait to be home again in a few weeks!

Friday, November 4, 2011


Let the Trick or Treating begin!

We started the festivities a day early....the kids wanted to go Trunk or Treating with our church. The church has purchased some property to build a new facility. They have somewhat of a pavilion in the middle of the property and this is where they have some of their gatherings. It was perfect for a night of Trunk or Treat! It was fun to see how creative everyone was with their cars and trucks and pumpkin carving. I am amazed at how much everyone decorated! The kids had a ball seeing their friends and getting a jump start on the candy!
Monday morning it was time for a little more Trunk or Treat...but at Mary Virginia's school! John Bay chose all of the decorations for the car and told me where to put them! We had fun hanging out at the school, meeting new friends and neighbors, and seeing all of the kids dressed up! John Bay had fun playing and handing out candy - he thought he was one of the big kids!

I guess he had a little too much candy!

Then we were ready for the big night! The girls from across the street went with Ed and the kids! I love how our neighborhood does trick or treat...everyone sits out in their driveways or on the sidewalks and then kids just go up and down the street (it felt like being back on a military base). If no one is outside, they don't ring the doorbell. It made things so easy for Bandit! Will have to remember this for the future - from now on, you will find me outside with my bucket of candy!

Now, what do we do with all of this candy!

Cowgirls Rule!

Here we are with our Cowgirl Party! I wouldn't have expected anything else from Mary Virginia!

I am going to brag...I did make this cake and I am very actually looks like a boot!
The S'mores were the hit of the party! John Bay and I made these. I have a feeling that we will be having these at all of our family functions from now on! Get ready, they are yummy!
This is how the spread looked...Cowgirl Cake, S'mores, Trail Mix, Haystacks, and Gold Nuggets! The kids loved it!
To go along with the bounce house, we had a pony corral. The kids could rope the "pony" with the hula hoop lasso! Also a hit, but the kids decided it was more fun to ride the sawhorse pony than to try to rope it. They wanted to lasso each other instead!

The kids had fun playing in the bounce house and dressing up like cowboys and cowgirls!

And then it was time for cake and snacks

and the pinata!

(MV had some success)

(John Bay, not so much luck!)

Time to eat candy!

It was such a fun party. The only thing missing was a real horse!

A Pirate Party

John Bay couldn't decide between a Pirate Party or a Superhero Party. Finally, he decided that he could be a pirate on his birthday and a superhero for halloween! The best of both worlds!

It was a cold, wet and windy day at the park with friends, but we had fun!

John Bay wanted to share his super sliding skills by running and sliding down the wet ramps!

After a little playtime with his was time for cupcakes and snacks!

We had pirate cakes, "walk the plank" cookies, fruit swords, Pirate's Booty (popcorn), and gold nuggets (gold fish). Be sure to check out JB's precious shirt that Allison made for him!

Then we played again! This time the boys decided to dress up in their pirate gear and jump on the play boat and give us their best "arrrrrg".

After a fun morning, we sent all the boys on their way with some pirate treasure and a new pirate sword!

And then it was time to do it again so that Mary Virginia and the girls across the street could help us celebrate!
It was too windy at the park to take a picture of all of the decorations, so maybe this will show you a little of what we did!

And then...time for more cupcakes!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Week of Parties!

Week 22: Another crazy week in the lives of the Whatley family, but it was a week of fun and celebration! We started out the week with Girl Scouts. Mary Virginia was pinned with her Daisy pin on Tuesday! She was so excited to add a new treasure to her Girl Scout uniform! She also earned a few patches! (On a side note, thank you to everyone that made a purchase from the Fall Fundraiser - you are wonderful - she was excited to turn all of the orders in!) The girls saying the Girl Scout Pledge.

The Girl Scout Troop

And then the parties began...John Bay took cupcakes on Wednesday to celebrate his birthday - a little early, but then on Thursday he had a fall party at school (instead of a Halloween party). They were all told to dress wacky and of course, he wanted no part in this. He was happy in his birthday shirt and shorts while the rest of the class was dressed CRAZY! There were tutus, blue hair, mismatched clothes and so much more! Maybe next time he will want to dress up.

Mary Virginia had "Drug Free Week" at school this week. She dressed up each day - and was very excited not to wear her uniform! There was a red shirt day, camouflage day, school jersey day (the Auburn clothes did make an appearance), and jean day ("Be a "jean"ious, don't do drugs"). It was fun to see the kids all dressed up! She also had her first field trip on Friday! They went to the pumpkin patch. She was so excited, but not for the pumpkin patch, because she got to ride on a school bus! Typical kids!

Friday was also a big day for JB...His Birthday! After we had a yummy birthday breakfast of Micky Mouse pancakes, we headed to the park to set up for his birthday party, but he wanted to make a pit stop first. I asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he told me "all I want for my birthday is the cow jumped over the moon milk from Starbucks." I couldn't turn him down, so we made a quick stop! He is such a silly kid! We had a fun morning with friends at the playground (I will do another post with some party pictures - there are just too many for this post). Despite the freezing temperatures, the wind and the rain we had a great time!

By the afternoon, it was warm again and we headed out to the barn for Mary Virginia's riding lessons. This is how John Bay spends his time at the barn - climbing the stalls, yelling at the dogs and cats, and petting all of the horses!

Friday's lesson marked the 1 year point of MV riding horses! It was a big day for her too! She rode her favorite horse, Baily - and she jumped for the first time! I was so proud of her. She was not scared at all, she told me that all you have to do is hold it was nothing! Something tells me that she is going to want bigger jumps very soon! (I think she ended up jumping 4 or 5 times)

And then on to the next party...Mary Virginia had a Cowgirl Party on Saturday (I will do another post for this later!) We had a great time celebrating with friends and neighbors! The kids loved the bounce in the backyard and all of our cowgirl fun!

It was such an overwhelming week that we waited for the family birthday celebrations and gifts until Sunday! After church we told the kids that they could pick any restaurant they wanted for the birthday lunch...they chose McDonald's. I should have known. We tried everything to get them to change their mind, so the other choice was Chick-fil-a..MV already knowing that they were closed and we wouldn't be able to go there. So the 3 and 6 year old birthday lunch was held at McDonald's! After a yummy, quick birthday meal we headed home to open the gift (a joint gift this year)! The kids got a trampoline - Mary Virginia has been asking for her very own "bounce house", so we thought this could be the next best thing!

We are embracing the Louisiana weather (warm all year long) and looking forward to many warm afternoons of playing in the backyard!
And then it was time for Trunk or Treat! Our church had their annual Trunk or Treat on Sunday night! We loved seeing our new friends and having a yummy dinner with a wonderful church family. We are so lucky to have found such a wonderful group of people! The kids were excited to dress up and start the warm up for Monday night Trick or Treating! (Look for our Halloween post coming up soon!)