Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fun at Granddad's work

Guest Blogger: This was a "boys only" outing, but I wanted to share it on the blog so this one is conveyed by Tate aka "Daddy" 

There are a few things almost every boy has in common. One of those things is the dream of what they will be when they grow up. At some point, every boy wants to be a football player, baseball player, doctor, astronaut, policeman and fireman. In many cases (as it was with me) you believe you will be all of them. Well, as a child I was lucky. My dad WAS a fireman. My play toys as a child were actual fire helmets, gloves, boots, coats. I even had one of those red lights that attached on an off duty car. It was pretty cool as a child. Still is. 
When I was about four or five I remember my first trip to dad's work. I remember the smell, what time of year it was and everywhere I got to go in the firehouse. The last time I was in that firehouse was about 20 years ago when I was in college. Lucky for me, and my boys, their granddad wanted his grandsons to have the same experiences I had as a child. I think the boys enjoyed it as much as I did when I was their age.

This truck we are standing in front of the boys' granddad actually drove.
It is still in service as the number 2 fire engine.
He also drove the big ladder truck.

The boys got to do tons of things and all of the guys who were working were great with the boys. I can't give them enough praise. The boys got fire helmets with lights attached to the sides like real firemen. They got to sit in fire trucks. They got to ring the bell on granddad's fire engine. They ran around the sleeping quarters and even ate cookies in the kitchen.

Here Jackson is showing a real fireman how to drive the truck.

Brett sitting in the same seat his granddad did.

Peyton in the jump seat ready to go!

When I was growing up our family's best friends were the fire chief and his family. Every time we got together I always played firemen with their son Tom. We either played fire station or talked about everything fireman related. Tom is now the fire chief of the same Fire Department where our dads worked. There was only one other chief between him and his dad. That too is a pretty cool thing.

The bed all the way on the right by the chief was granddad's bed.
The boys seemed to like running around the sleeping quarters the most for some reason.

All five of us had a great boy's outing. I'm pretty sure granddad and I had as much, if not more, fun than the boys did. I know I'm more excited than they are to take them back again when they are a little older. I'm sure granddad is too.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

So thankful

I saw this idea in a Pottery Barn catalog, but didn't want to pay the crazy price. Then I saw something similar on Pinterest and our Tree of Thanks was created.
Tate helped me draw the branches and Brett and I painted the whole tree. I created some leaf templates and the boys traced and cut them out. They practiced their letters writing what they were thankful for each night. We do thankfuls each night at prayer time, but this made it a little bit more special and they had to say why they were thankful for what they chose. It was so sweet and fun and even though we've put up our Christmas tree we haven't been able to bring ourselves to take down the Tree of Thanks.

The first night.

Here are some of the leaves:

Grandma & Granddad

Caroline & Sophie (their cousins)


Other thankfuls included Brett being thankful for his bed on a night he was super tired, Grammy and Poppy, Brett's teacher, me, family fun days, their aunties, some school and family friends, and even a few toys just to name a few. So blessed to have so much to be thankful for every day.

Election 2012

The boys were interested in the election and I was bummed that I couldn't take them to the polls with me since I had to go on my way to work.
While talking about it Jackson said: "I want to be president." so I asked him what his stance was.
"What's a stance?" he asked. After I explained he didn't skip a beat before saying: "Everything that needs fixing, I will fix." 
I believe I have a future politician on my hands. Then he says: "I think you should vote for me!"

So we held our own election. Each of the boys got to pick one item they wanted for breakfast and then they had to make a poster and campaign for their breakfast. Jackson had waffles. Peyton chose pancakes and Brett picked oatmeal.
The campaigns went something like "vote for mine it tastes good" and Peyton tried to persuade us to choose pancakes because they are "soft and fluffy" and Jackson went with how the waffle can hold the syrup in the holes and Brett just laughed, trying to get votes on his charm.

They used their click and drag skills on the computer to make their posters and then their cutting and pasting skills to add their breakfast item.

Pancake won the election, although we found out there was a spoiled ballot. Jackson confessed he voted for waffle because that is what he was campaigning for, but wanted a pancake so he voted for both. Yep, future politician.

Halloween Maytees!

Yo Ho Crew! This year the boys changed what they wanted to be for Halloween every 5 minutes. I thought we had landed on being superheroes and we were narrowing it down when my sister said her family was going to be pirates. I mentioned it to the boys and they loved the idea. They had just started watching the Disney cartoon Jake and the Neverland Pirates - a spin off of Peter Pan. Peyton called that he was going to be Jake and I thought we would have an argument on our hands but Jackson said he wanted to be Cubby, the other pirate. Brett is so easy going he didn't mind. He was given choices of Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Tick Tock Croc or one of the other pirates and he consistently chose Captain Hook. Then Tate got the idea to do something cool with Brett's wheelchair and we were off and running.

Here are some pictures from the fun day. A special thank you to Auntie Kerry & Auntie Nancy for taking Jackson & Peyton to their Halloween parade while I was at work. Auntie Kerry also went the extra mile putting some special touches on all the boys' costumes to make them as close to the characters on the show as possible.

After trick or treating we hosted the Halloween party that has become a tradition - Uncle Jackie makes chili and we all hang out. Everyone had a blast, but I am super bummed we somehow didn't get any pictures of Grandma & Granddad in costume. They dressed up too and Granddad even had a parrot on his shoulder!

Brett could only wear a costume to school that was like everyday clothes so he went as a White Sox player!
Jackson as Cubby with his treasure map in hand.

Peyton as Jake the pirate.

Peyton & Jackson showing off their pirate loot at preschool.

Jackson  &  Peyton's preschool parade.

Brett turned into Captain Hook when he got home from school.

Check out the awesome ship Tate made for Brett! It turned into a playhouse for a few weeks after Halloween.
Sophie, Peyton, Brett & Caroline.

Me and Jackson

The trick or treat crew.

Auntie Amy, Uncle Jackie, Sophie & Caroline.

The Campbell crew - Kerry, Nancy, Grammy, Poppy, Me and Amy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fall full of fun

There was a lot fun this fall.

There was a free fall fest near Auntie Kerry and Nancy's house and so we spent a family fun day enjoying some warm fall weather.
Jackson on a pony ride

Brett on a pony ride

Me, Amy and our kids.

Auntie Amy, Brett, Auntie Kerry, Auntie Nancy, Peyton and Sophie on the train (Jackson & Caroline were next to me).

On a hay ride.

Auntie Kerry and Auntie Nancy got the clothes together and the boys built scarecrows. We never did put heads on them!

Ok, so I think Halloween should be smiley ghosts and candy corns. Tate and Auntie Kerry and Auntie Nancy like the spooky side of things. Throughout the fall they would take the boys to the Halloween store to try on masks. Here is some of their creepy fun:

We went to the pumpkin farm for another family fun day when Grammy & Poppy were here visiting - it was one of the coldest days we have had but we had a great time.

Jumping on the big bubble.
Jackson & Auntie Amy at the top of the hay stacks.
Peyton & Auntie Amy
Poppy, Grammy & their grandchildren.
Caroline & Peyton
Sophie, Jackson & Uncle Jackie
Auntie Amy, Caroline, Auntie Kerry & Auntie Nancy
me and Jackson
Auntie Kerry & Brett on a pony ride
Jackson in the giant pile of corn kernels.
Brett walking through the corn with Auntie Nancy.
Peyton & Jackson with the pumpkins they chose.

A few days before Halloween Grandma & Granddad came over for a pizza party and to help us carve our pumpkins.
Peyton and Jackson look on as Tate plans out the Jack o Lantern face.

The boys and granddad make a Spiderman pumpkin.

Peyton cleaning out his pumpkin.
Grandma & Brett got the slimy job of separating the guts from the seeds.
Jackson & Granddad show off their pumpkin.
Peyton looks just like his pumpkin.