Monday, November 30, 2009

While her brothers are away -

baby sister will play... with their stuff!!

My little helpers

I ran several hours worth of errands today, and it was so nice coming home to my house all decorated! Bryan got the lights up outside and put up the tree in the dining room on Friday. I decorated the majority of it on Saturday but saved some ornaments for the boys when they got home from Grandma's house...
This was not the best idea! The star is really too heavy, and it is VERY tricky to even get it to stand, much less stand up straight. We did the best we could to let Brady put the star on, but I had to get up there to make it look presentable :) Mallory has already removed several ornaments and picked up some presents, so hopefully she doesn't tug too hard on any of the branches, or she may get a gold star in the face!
I was surprised by Mallory's reaction when she saw her santa hat - she wanted to put it on right away. Of course, that only lasted for a minute or so. Enough for a cute pic, not a great one.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Our thanksgiving

We took some pics as soon as we got to Grandma's house... no telling how long until Mallory takes off her shoes and spills something on her dress!
Someone left some silverware on my tray - awesome!
For those of you in the Dinkel family, you will appreciate how rare this pic is... one of Mary with her eyes open and smiling, on the first try!!
What would thanksgiving be without roasted marshmallows??
The boys enjoyed some quality time with Grandpa while Mommy was at the aggie game :) In case you were wondering, I had a great time! It was cold, and it would have been nice to win, but the general consensus was that we played much better than expected and it was a very exciting game. Of course, just being on campus and feeling the spirit of aggieland is always worth the trip... even when we stink!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My little turkeys

When I pulled out my turkey plate this year, I knew immediately I wanted to do something similiar with Mallory. Brady and Drew did theirs when Drew was only a few months old - using his foot and Brady's hands. So, I took Mallory to Painted Potter and came up with the smaller turkey plate. Look at the size of her foot compared to

We sat down tonight and wrote our letter to Santa. Brady wrote a good portion of it, and then I took over (otherwise all the words weren't going to fit on the lines provided!). I was almost scared to hear what he was going to ask for, considering I'm pretty much done shopping for the kids. Needless to say, I was influential on some of his choices... He asked for a wii game and is getting one, but not the one he asked for. The one gift I am now on the hunt for is an action figure Two Face and the Riddler to go along with his batman stuff. We've never seen such toys before, but he was convinced that wouldn't be a problem for Santa since the elves make everything - such confidence!! Drew wasn't much help, so Brady (not surprisingly) tried to "help" him come up with some ideas. By the time we got to Mallory, I was tired, so we didn't ask for much for her. Brady knows she doesn't care yet, so he was fine with the few things we came up with. He was concerned about how the letter would get delivered, but I assured him that the postman delivers letters to the North Pole all the time, so it wouldn't be an issue :)

We're spending Thanksgiving tomorrow at Bryan's parents' house. The boys will be having a sleepover, and I am going to the aggie game with my dad and brother in the evening. Mallory will come home with daddy. Hopefully, the rest of our weekend will be spent putting up the christmas tree and other decorations. It would be great to have it done by Monday, esp. considering it's practically December already!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dear Christmas tree,

I look forward to seeing you again this year. However, I am concerned for your well-being. I will try to protect you from Mallory, but there is only so much I can do. God be with you.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

A few random pics...

While we were at Marc's, we went ahead and gave Dawson his christmas present - a grocery cart and some food. He seemed to think it was pretty cool!
A pic of me at Mt. Vernon - my intention was to get some of the fall leaves, but there aren't many in this pic. I thought Brady would appreciate seeing some of the oranges and reds that we never see around here...
Brady's Thanksgiving Feast at school - they celebrated this past Friday since school is out all this week.
We had some friends over today - two of my college roommates, and one of Bryan's. Meredith is three and had a great time "chatting" with Mallory and telling her what to

Friday, November 20, 2009

Late night

I was up until 3:30 this morning... on purpose. I went to see Twilight last night at 9 p.m., followed by New Moon at 12:01 a.m. It was very crowded - the AMC we went to showed New Moon on 27 screens. Yes - 27!! They sold right at 5,000 tickets. Was it worth it? Yes! I loved it. The only thing that would have been better is if the concession line had been more reasonable. Kelly stood in it for a bit, only to find out it was moving even slower than we hoped. Those that know me well know I NEVER go to the movies without getting a coke and popcorn (hell, that's half the reason I go!). So, it's a good thing I enjoyed the movie. But, I am looking forward to going to see it again in a few weeks, with no crowd and my usual snacks :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We're back!

After a long drive home from the airport, we're home! Brady and Drew were thrilled to see us. Mallory was happy to see daddy and gave me a bit of the cold shoulder. She looked at me for a minute, then ran towards me, but turned around and ran back to Grandma before I could give her a hug. She was more receptive to Bryan, and I think this is my punishment for leaving her... lol. I can't say I'm too surprised, although of course it's a little disappointing. Oh, the drama! We had a great time visiting with Marc, Sheree, and Dawson. Little Reagan decided it wasn't time to put in her appearance just yet. But, as always, I'm happy to be home and see the kiddos.

I know you all must remember the two teeny tiny fender benders I've already had with the minivan. Not sure if I mentioned it before, but I also have a long scratch on one side THAT WAS NOT MY FAULT. So, imagine my surprise when Mary tells me today that she got in a little fender bender while we were gone. It was not her fault, and I have to admit I was a little happy that it happened when I wasn't driving the car! It's the car, not me! I knew it all along! Anyway, I haven't looked at the damage yet, but it sounds like it's pretty minor. Perhaps I will get everything fixed all at once - the new damage, the scratch, and the original dent. I got an estimate on the dent long ago, but they wanted to paint the whole side of the car, and I'm not willing to invest in that. Frankly, I'm not even sure why it would need to be repainted. It's mainly a dent, and if there are scratches around the dent, they are very minimal. So, I need to take it again and find out what it would cost without the repainting... Needless to say, there's really no convenient time to be without my car, esp. since all of our car seats don't even fit in Bryan's car.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our trip

Well, we've enjoyed our time here so far. We've spent a lot of time relaxing in the hotel room, and some time sightseeing. Friday we went to Mount Vernon - it was cold and wet, so we were happy when it was time to come back to the hotel, but we did enjoy the tour of the mansion and the National Treasure tour (took us to different parts of Mount Vernon and compared what happened in the movie to what is actually true). Yesterday we hit Old Town Alexandria to eat and take a look in some of the shops. Then, Marc and Sheree picked us up for dinner. This afternoon, they are picking us up from the hotel and we are spending the next few days at their house.

Grandma and Grandpa took the kids to the zoo yesterday, so they were thrilled with that. Of course, I talked to Grandpa this morning and Brady has already been asking what fun thing they will do No surprise there! Sounds like they will spend a good portion of the day working on a project for Brady's school. He happens to be star of the week this week, so he has to make a poster all about himself. Not the best timing - oh well! After Bill heads home tonight, I'm sure Mary will enjoy the day to herself tomorrow since all three kiddos will be in school.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We're off!

I may or may not post while I'm away... Bryan is taking his laptop. The weather in DC is totally crappy right now, and as we're walking out the door our flight this afternoon is still on time. We'll see what happens - I totally expect to get there an hour from now and find it delayed.

Brady was a little teary-eyed about us leaving, and Drew didn't seem to care much. We'll see how it really goes! It's probably good that they're at school as we're leaving and Grandma will be here when they get home. Pray for Mary... my kids are good, but still a lot of work! Grandpa is coming out this weekend, so that will be helpful.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Party time!

All dolled up for Brady and Drew's soccer party at Chuck E. Cheese
This was the first time Mallory has been to Chuck E. Cheese and allowed out of the
She was fascinated by this teletubby ride, although she couldn't ride it because it was out of order. She did really enjoy riding in a car with Chuck E. Cheese, but that pic didn't turn out so well :)
Drew was very reluctant to go get his trophy, so I went up with him. I do think he was excited, though. It was so cute watching him and Brady try to find spots for their trophies once we got home.
The old pro... doesn't Brady look old here??

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A lot going on...

This month is a busy one for us. Saturday we had our last soccer game - Brady scored a goal, and Drew was happy to know the season is finally over. He was even happier to find out that the team party is at Chuck E. Cheese - I'm excited to see what he thinks of his very first trophy. I think we will probably not sign him up for anything in the spring, but I bet by next fall he will really enjoy playing soccer. Hopefully by then, he will be a bit bigger!

Thursday, Bryan and I are leaving for our trip to Washington D.C. - technically, we are staying in Alexandria, VA. We will be on our own the first few days, and then are staying with Bryan's oldest brother and his family. I'm looking forward to some time on our own but it's a long time without the kids... esp. Mallory. Speaking of Mallory, she has finally started calling me by name - she has been saying "mama" for a long time, but not really directed towards me. Yesterday she was clearly talking about me when she said it and has done it several times today, too. Bryan also heard her say "bear" when pointing to one of her stuffed animals. I think I've decided that I am officially going with "juice" as her first word. She always points to her cup at meal time and says "juice" when she wants it.

I also found out this week that I'll be going to Vegas in March. My parents are taking my brother for his 30th birthday, and I am tagging along. It's too far away to get excited about yet, but once the holidays fly by, I will start thinking about it more. With our trip this week, Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. Brady is going to the aggie game with my parents on the 21st, and then I am going to the t.u. game on Thanksgiving night. We're also having some friends over on the 22nd, so you can see why I say it's a busy month!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Not my best day...

I think everyone has these kind of days every once in a while, where nothing seems to go right. It's just little things, but it's one after the other and seems to really wear you down! I forgot my phone at home, which really is a minor thing, but was just a sign of the kind of day I would have. I probably should have known when I heard Mallory at 5:15 a.m. that it wasn't going to be the best Anyway, I'll spare you all the details and fast forward to the worst part, where I had a small fender bender in the parking lot at the mall... yada, yada, yada, Bryan was thrilled. It was very minor - we must have both been pulling out of our parking spots at the same time, but the other car saw me before I saw her. I couldn't see any damage at all on mine, and it took her a while to find anything on hers. So, hopefully this won't cost me an arm and a leg. How do I go 33 years without doing this kind of thing and now I've done it twice in the last six months?? I was smart enough to email Bryan at work and tell him to spare myself the eye-rolling and exasperated sighs I was sure to encounter :)

The highlight of my day was when I went to pick up Mallory and Drew. They both gave me big smiles and hugs, and it made me think that my day could have been a lot worse...

School pic

A few weeks ago, they took school pictures at Mallory and Drew's school. I knew they would try to get a pic of the two of them together and asked Drew how it went. I asked if he smiled, and he said yes. "What about Mallory?" I asked. "She cried," was his response. So, imagine my surprise when the picture people show up at school, and this is the pic they show A good surprise!

Pumpkin patch layout

I spent more time on this than I would have liked... the consolation is that I'm happy with the way it turned out. A lot of times the reason I ended up spending more time is that I can't seem to get it the way I want it and I don't end up overly thrilled with the result. This particular layout was a little difficult because the right-hand page was something we started at our bookclub. I liked the idea of it, but the colors weren't right with any pics I had, so I went through a few options before finding something I thought worked. FYI - the kids on the right are Karen's girls and my nephew, Dawson.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or treat!

Again this year, the kids went trick-or-treating with their friends Kayla, Nicholas, and Zack. Both Kayla and Nicholas were care bears, and Zack was Bumblebee the Transformer. We don't go far - just around our block, which takes less than an hour but is PLENTY of candy (in my opinion!). Mallory was a good sport again about wearing her costume, and Drew was more excited to put his on today than he was at Brady's party... could it be the lure of the candy??

Me & Tink
Me, Captain Hook, & Peter Pan - I made Drew hold the hook for the pics. He wanted no part of carrying it around with him, so I stuck it in his
The whole gang
Mallory did try to pilfer some candy, but what she ended up enjoying the most was taking the candy out of the pail and then putting it back in, over and over. This is a new thing - this last week at music was the first time she didn't cry or get upset over putting the instruments away because she was willing to put them in the box herself.