I'll just get to the photos now. I'm kind of rushed and have a lot so sorry, the captions won't be very good.
Also for Halloween Katie made a scary meal, lips and teeth, blood and bones, nummy mummies, ghosts, centipedes, spider-web dip and so on. The kids enjoyed it.
Katie was planning to take the kids out trick-or-treating, but our new neighborhood isn't set up very well for that. The houses are all on at least an acre, and they have to be at least 100' back from the road. We didn't see any trick-or treaters, and nobody looked like they were expecting any in our area, so we did a little Halloween carnival at home instead.
Pin the nose on the Jack-O-Lantern. Dianna is claiming she is at a disadvantage because she can't reach. That disadvantage was nullified by the fact that she didn't have to wear a blindfold.
We put little prices in these bowls and made the kids punch their way in. Lots of fun, but the tissues paper was stronger than the Styrofoam bowl in some cases.
Bobbing for apples. We also did a glowing ring toss outside. Overall I think the kids liked this better because they didn't have to have their candy taken away, again.
Brianna and Caden wearing dad's pants.
One of the stipulations for the kids coming quietly when we moved out to the "country" is that I had to build them a treehouse. It is now basically done, but it took a couple month's worth of weekends, especially since it got pretty rainy for a while there. This is the very beginning of the treehouse, the main two support crossbars and a few of the floor joists laid across.
These are the lag bolts that we used to attach the treehouse to the tree. Didn't want to take any chances. These puppies were a pain to get in, drilling deep into the tree and then bolting them in was quite a workout.
Here I set up four corner posts to help level the platform while I set the floor joists in place. Caden was a great helper through the whole project. He definitely likes working outside.
We don't have too many chances, but when it gets cold we have been enjoying our real fireplace, rather than the gas-log we had in the old house. The kids love building a fire, and Dianna always has to walk up and blow on it when it is going.
We took a family selfie for the church directory. Any more kids and we will have to get someone else to take our picture.
Wheelbarrow rides with dad.
Here is the platform with all the floor joists in place and the diagonal supports bolted in place as well. This thing isn't going anywhere.
After laying the floorboards we had a snack up on the platform. The kids were a little nervous about the height, it feels a lot higher than 8-9 feet when you are up there looking over the edge with no railing.
This is Alyssa in the middle of a gigantic pile of leaves. These suckers are a lot of work to clean up, but a lot of fun to jump in, and they make a huge pile.
I got rearended on the freeway on my way home from work. Fun stuff.
Aunt Alice sent everyone ornaments for the tree. Yay Christmas!
Dianna loves to hide in the cabinets. She will open and close the door for as long as you will pay attention. Peek-a-boo!
Here is the framing for the walls and roof on the treehouse. The pink lumber was definitely motivating for me to get the outside walls up, that thing was an eyesore for a while.
Here is with the roof plywood on. The platform is only 8x8, and the treehouse itself is about 8x6, but it works pretty well. We had dinner and family home evening in there a couple of weeks ago and we all fit just fine.
At Christmas we went over to Grandma and Grandpa D's house and acted out the Nativity. Caden was supposed to be a shepherd and somehow joined the taliban in the process.
We made gingerbread houses, of course Caden and I had to make ours a treehouse.
Brianna and her gingerbread house.
We took family photos while everyone was here at Christmas. I still don't have copies, but I did get some pictures of the kids dressed up. Caden is our little lady charmer.
Alyssa is still trying to figure out her "photo" face. This one was fun, but not what she was going for.
Brianna is working on a smile that won't tire out her cheeks after doing it for hours. This is the half-smile.
Dianna and Aunt Shellie.
Here I have put up the bucket and "pulley" (it is really just an eye-bolt with a rope run through it, I didn't want to deal with the rope being constantly stuck or off of the pulley). I have also installed three of the 4 walls and the balcony. I won't cut out the windows until spring/summer time when the extra ventilation will be needed. For new we are trying to keep the wind from whipping through there too much.
Here it is with the 4th wall up and the plastic on the roof. Now just a ladder and roof felt/shingles to go.
For Alyssa's baptism my niece Aayla came to visit along with my Sister Sally and my mom. It was great to have them. Aayla is quite a cutie.
I'm not sure what Dianna thought was so funny, but she was really happy to be in that swing.
My sister Sally and Alyssa playing checkers at the Woodlands children's museum.
What can I say about this one?
Here we are at Alyssa's baptism!
Brianna got into Katie's makup and decided to go for the Goth look. I had a hard time getting it to show up well in the photo, but she looked like she was dead walking around.
Here is the completed treehouse (minus the window cutouts that will come in the spring/summer and some paint). The ladder was the final touch and so now the thing is very secure and sturdy. A lot of work, but the kids love it and so does every other kid that comes to visit. Hopefully it will be something that we get a lot of use out of.
Dianna is upset that the thing isn't moving. Boring!
We had a special date with Alyssa, just Mom, Dad and Alyssa. She wanted pizza, so we went to Grimaldi's, which is coal fired New York style pizza. Delicious!
We went to the Lego store afterwards and then Ice Cream at the mall. Amazing that all of this was sanctioned by Katie. Alyssa was relishing the moment.
Well, got to get to bed, hope the New Year finds you well. Until next time.