Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Leaf Walk

A few days ago I took Allison on a 'leaf walk' we went around and collected a variety of fallen leaves from our neighborhood. Now they are securely stashed away in a book being pressed for another project we will hopefully get to soon.

She used her freshly decorated McDonald's Happy Meal bucket to collect leaves....and for several days afterward she wouldn't leave the house without it. Just in case we would find some leaves I guess. Or a stuffed kitty. Or a sock. Yes, I have found untold treasures in that little bucket. I think it will always be my favorite McDonald's Happy Meal 'toy' ever!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

An Afternoon at the Park

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, we had a great weather week last year. And the light in the fall is just special. I'm sure there is a scientific explanation for why but I don't really care about why. I do try to make the most of every minute of the great light I can. And not just for taking pictures! It is so much fun to play at the park on a beautiful sunny afternoon. I'm not the only one who thinks so, either.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Uncle Tills Round II

This past Saturday Allison & I made it to another one of my cousin's soccer games (we're enjoying having him close by). This was actually a really exciting game - they won 2-0 and Tills almost scored a goal! They also beat the team who is 3rd in their league (they were 4th) so they are hoping to be positioned better to make it to playoffs. I was thankful it wasn't raining. Allison had a great time. She even cheered a bit, much to the amusement of the crowd in front of us. Especially when her cheering became commenting on the dirtiness of the players (I mean dirt on their uniforms, not unfair playing!). It was pretty cute. Mark came for the second half as well and let Allison wander around with him, which she loved! Hopefully we'll catch at least one more game before the season is up. And after the season hopefully we'll get to see more of Tills, too!

Allison's second time to one of Tillerman's soccer games - and she got another happy meal. This one actually turned out to come with a useful toy - more on that later. Regardless, I think she's going to begin to associate Uncle Tills with chicken nuggets!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Play Date

Last Saturday Allison & I headed up north just a bit to visit with our good friends, the Moody's. Judson is about the same age as Allison and was very excited to have a friend over to play. Allison was very excited to see and even sort of 'hold' baby Cooper. Cooper was just over a month old (I think!). She is the one I made my purple quilt for this fall. And of course, while we were there I practiced taking pictures. I can't pass up a chance to take baby pictures, especially when the baby isn't very mobile! It was a typical foggy Oregon fall day so I ended up converting most of the indoor pictures to black & white - I was using a really high ISO setting and the grainy-ness looks better with black & white in my opinion.

Eventually we headed outside (much to Allison & Judson's delight). We bundled Cooper up and stuck Allison's old pumpkin hat on her. Doesn't she make a cute little pumpkin?

And we got Judson in a few pictures, too. Of course, he had already been playing around so he was a little wet but he still obliged. And he gave Cooper a sweet kiss.

And Allison & Judson played and played....

All around us.....

They are a pretty cute pair! We hope we'll get another play date soon!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Our Yellow Tree

The fall is my favorite time of year. Perhaps because it feels so fleeting. Just about a week ago the tree out front of our house was turning yellow and just starting to loose it's leaves. Now it is nearly bare. I'm glad I made Allison pose for me before the leaves completely disappeared! I love the color of this tree, especially since all of our trees are different colors in the fall.

She was giving us a big cheesy grin. We were bribing her with her water bottle!

I think she was pleasantly surprised to have a leaf flutter down by her!

We're getting some fabulous fall weather this week and we're doing our best to make the most of it (yes, that means photo ops!).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Glamour Girl

This little girl of ours is turning out to be quite the character! I never know what is going on in her mind and why she loves certain things. On one particular Sunday afternoon she wore her pajamas for her nap (that makes some sense, I suppose) and after her nap her outfit continued to improve. She grabbed her sparkly headband, then a necklace from her Nana the day before, then her favorite sparkly light-up shoes from Gammie. And don't forget the stickers Nana gave her the day before. Yup, that's my girl and that is her style. And I love every bit of it. Even the pink tu-tu she wore to daycare today!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Potato Stamps

Last week we finished our last activity for our 'Jesse Bear What Will You Wear' book. We made potato stamps and stamped designs like the one on Jesse Bear's kitchen floor. The stamps were easy to make, I sliced one large baking potato into thirds and then carved a circle, square and triangle into each third. I bought some inexpensive washable ink pads from Amazon and we stamped away! Mark had to do most of the work of helping Allison while I took pictures. I think he might still be a bit bitter about it, but I'm pretty sure deep down inside he loved it. I'm thinking we may be making some Christmas wrapping paper this way. We ended the night with a much needed bath time.

In the picture above she had just said 'I bite this' and I think she liked my reaction to that statement! Thankfully she learned pretty quick it wasn't a pleasant thing to bite!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Allison and the Pumpkin Patch

Last weekend I had my 10-year college reunion and was having fun about 60 miles away. I left the camera with Mark since I knew he & Allison were going to be meeting up with our good friends, the Wagner's for a Pumpkin Patch trip. It was Allison's first trip of the year. She went again on Tuesday with her daycare Toddler class. We heard more about the bus on that trip than the pumpkins and I have yet to see pictures but I can't wait. Anyhow, here are some of my favorite pictures from Mark & Allison's trip last Saturday. I really don't know what is going on in these....which makes it even more fun to look at them! Enjoy!

This is the pumpkin Allison actually came home with. I think Mark has a rule about her being able to carry her own pumpkin! I also heard a rumor of her trying to sit on hers like Bekah did hers...but I'll leave that for Jodi's blog.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Balancing Act

I thought it was about time for a bike riding update... When I look through pictures on our computer I find lots of pictures like the one above - I'm always trying to capture Allison's latest & greatest riding on a camera. And it is hard! What you can't see above is how she picks both her feet up, sticks them straight out and weaves around. It is pretty darn cute. And we are very proud of her ability to balance! As you can see below she takes her riding very seriously!

We try to get out for a walk or ride in the evenings when it is dry (and sometimes when it is wet!). Tonight was a gorgeous fall evening so we went around the block. The most significant thing I noticed tonight? It is about time to raise the seat on Allison's bike. She is growing so fast! And her latest trick from tonight? Trying to stick both her feet up on the cross bar of her bike when riding. She didn't quite fall trying it tonight but she and her father had a little talk about going faster when attempting tricks. I think it is sinking in....I heard 'I go fast' coming out of her mouth several times tonight. Gotta love every minute of it!

And yes, I know, we forgot her helmet tonight. I feel a little bad. But she does ride on the sidewalk and her 'fast' is still quite slow so we didn't worry about it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Hymn Sing

The worship pastor at our church does incorporate the occasional hymn on Sunday mornings but I realized Allison wasn't going to really learn the old hymns well if she didn't hear them a bit more often. So we started a quarterly 'Hymn Sing' this month. We invited a handful of friends over and Mark put together a collection of well known hymns. We sang them. Allison & the other kids danced and ran around. We're not sure how much they absorbed but we will keep trying! I enjoy having the opportunity to sing some of my favorite songs as well. We're looking forward to our future quarterly gatherings. Here are some pictures of Allison dancing....

And Benji Boy playing with the remote...he actually was probably the best behaved kiddo of the night. He sat rather quietly on his chair. Way to go Benji!

And to wrap up the evening I made Nanaimo Bars from scratch (and learned all sorts of history about the Canadian Nanaimo bar which I then repeated to my Canadian co-worker the next day, much to her amusement since she already knew all about them!). I used this Nanaimo Bars III recipe from (I used vanilla pudding instead of custard powder). They were fantastic! And I pulled out the Hot Apple Cider recipe given to me by my dear friend Myra who now lives in a climate that is much too warm for hot cider. Here is her recipe, it was quite the hit. I skipped the rum, it was a hymn sing after all! That and we don't have any around here.

Myra's Hot Apple Cider

2 qts Apple Cider
3/4 to 1 c. Lemon Juice Concentrate
1 c. firmly packed Brown Sugar
8 whole Cloves
2 Cinnamon Sticks
3/4 c. Rum (optional)

In a large saucepan combine all ingredients (except rum). Bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove spices and add rum just before serving (if desired).

So Jodi, Mel, Claire & Cara Lynn, I can now say you have the recipes you asked for!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Uncle Tills the Soccer Star

On one of the last days that actually felt like summer around here Allison & I headed to a soccer game my cousin, Tillerman, was playing in. It was a beautiful day and Allison thoroughly enjoyed playing in the dirt with the other kids. She was quite warm by the time the game was over and I did not pack enough water!

She did take a few breaks from playing in the dirt to clap and cheer for 'Uncle' Tills.

And she was pretty fascinated by him at the end of the game, especially his ice pack. At daycare they have little ice packs they get when they have 'owies' but this one was huge! It made quite the impression on her.

Yup, this girl, loves her Uncle Tills! The camera caught her just as she was starting to smile so she looks half asleep. She was TIRED after this game - all of the running around, playing and cheering wore her out. We look forward to a few more games before the season is over. But we'll likely be huddling under umbrellas (or playing in the mud) for the rest of them.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Jesse Bear Party

This fall I purchased the 'Before Five in a Row' homeschooling preschool curriculum to make sure I had plenty of ideas of activities for time with Allison. I've also been trading in my Amazon gift cards for lots of children's books from the curriculum. The first book we 'studied' (I use the term 'studied' very loosely) was Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? We had fun reading the book in the evenings and looking at the pictures. Eventually I scheduled a 'Jesse Bear' party with Allison's new friend, Annie, from church. I don't actually have any pictures of the girls at the party because we were busy doing activities but here is a glimpse of what we did. I had all of Allison's stuffed bears out to play with and Annie's Dad, Jeff read them the book.

Then we let the girls dress their own Jesse Bears (I cut them out of really thin cardboard and used my fabric scraps). They were both more obsessed with the glue than the thought of making clothes. At this point I was bummed Bekah had her school party and couldn't join us, I know she would have put together some fabulous outfits!

And our party snacks, gummy bears, mini Teddy Grahams and home made sugar cookies cut into small bears (I made cookie sandwiches out of them with frosting). The girls also 'dressed' (decorated) some butterfly sugar cookies...apparently I don't have a big bear cookie cutter...good thing neither of the girls cared! We're looking forward to more adventures inspired by books in the months to come. And Allison (and I) is thrilled to have a new friend Annie (and her Mom, Tana) to enjoy books with her!