Our church hosted a potluck and game night. The kids were in various stages of excitement to attend, but we all got there and I brought their favorite Chimichurri sandwiches. As luck would have it, the games were Bingo and trivia. (We haven’t played Bingo since the last time we were in KY and now we have played twice in three days.) The younger kids were very excited by the prize options – candy, toys, etc. Alex was being a teenager but didn’t put up too much fuss and willingly played the games. Kaitlyn even got to call numbers and tell some of her favorite jokes to the crowd.
The elementary school had a fundraiser tonight for the 6th grade’s trip to Nature’s Classroom. The PTG and the principals worked together to coordinate the event. Parents donated baked goods to sell for dessert and 6th graders donated their time as wait staff. I was there early for setup and to man the cashbox. Wade brought the family to the second seating. Ben was so excited for his “bingo” and Kaitlyn helped him choose a prize. The goal was $1000 and they got pretty close to their goal!
Kaitlyn is challenging Wade to a game of chess every chance she gets.
Our church used to have quite a thriving Sunday School program. Then COVID happened. It has been a slow struggle to find teachers and get kids back to church. Some Sundays my four have been the entire kids’ program. Thankfully that is not the case currently, but we are still struggling to find teachers. Wade recently offered to teach the middle/high school. His plan is to make pancakes and then throw a little learning in there too. I deliver my younger two and then teach where needed, which is often Ben’s age group.
Kaitlyn has been asking on and off for months if I can be the Mystery Reader for her class one day. Of course she had no idea that I had already signed up weeks ago for today. It turned out to be a day Wade was free so I let him go knowing that his appearance would be an even bigger surprise.
Last night I saw some friends post on Facebook about a Monster Truck show. I mentioned to Wade that it was too bad we hadn’t realized one was in town. Ben would have loved it. Wade looked it up and realized it was around all weekend. He bought tickets for the two of them and they had a special night out tonight. (Ben did wear the eye patch out of the house. Obviously he took it off at some point and it didn’t return home with him. He also took two monster trucks and they did make it home.)
Wade sent me this picture and I died laughing. Evidently he “won” a makeover from the youngest two.
As I was cooking dinner, I looked over to see that Wade was getting his hair done.
I got back into town today, but not till late afternoon. That left Wade in charge of Ben’s dropoff and pickup. When they arrived at preschool, Ben was devastated to realize it was pajama day and they had forgotten. (Wade even texted to tell me how bummed Ben was. I let him know it was actually pajama week so he’d have two more days of pajamas.) Ben isn’t the type to hold a grudge so I was shocked when Wade sent me the picture below and said Ben refused to talk to him at pickup. Wade and I assumed he was still upset about the pajamas.
Wade found out much later that Ben was upset about something completely different. Evidently he didn’t get to do a craft at school. Wade was never clear on all the details, but obviously it ruined the rest of Ben’s afternoon. Thank goodness nap is always a good way to reset the day.
I have been hoping and waiting for snow. We have enough of a tiny hill in our backyard that I wanted to do a little practice skiing with Ben. Today was the perfect day.
We woke up to the news that school was canceled for the day. (The boys didn’t believe us at first because there was nothing on the roads or coming down.) The entire family stayed home and did snow day things. By the end of the day we were finally seeing some snow and the two youngest wanted to go out and play in it.
Today Wade turns 44. We did most of our celebrating yesterday because today Kaitlyn gymnastics and both big boys (and Wade) and have handbell practice. We did manage to sit down together for dinner – chicken noodle soup and banana pudding – both at Wade’s request.
Then Ben hopped into the box he has been decorating and asked for a push. I was more than a little surprised when Alex immediately started being the motor for the boat. (It turns out Pepper was the shark.) When Alex got tired, Teague jumped in to take over. Ben was in heaven.
Due to prior commitments tomorrow, we decided to do most of our celebrating for Wade’s birthday today. Wade’s chosen birthday activity was candlepin bowling with the family. We had a great time and Ben somehow continued to amaze us with his skills. He rarely hits the side rails and tied for second place. (He quit using the wooden guide after the second frame.)
Then we picked up pizza and headed home for pizza and presents.
Tonight did not go as expected. Kaitlyn requested pancakes for dinner and Teague wanted to cook dinner. The two things meshed nicely and Teague began cooking pancakes. In the middle of mixing, the power unexpectedly went out. Wade provided additional lighting and we were thankful that our dinner was one that was completely cooked on the gas stove. As an added benefit, everyone congregated in the kitchen while the cooking was taking place.
Everyone enjoyed their last day of vacation today. The kids loved having one more day before school started. Wade was enjoying one last day off work. Granny and Pop enjoyed one last day in Grafton.
Wade took the the two youngest for a swim at Granny and Pop’s hotel this morning. The two older boys and I were lazy bums. Once we were all together, we spent the rest of the day playing dolls, monster trucks, reading books, and playing games.
We started the day with Church. Then Alex wanted to treat Granny and Pop to lunch. (It was a really sweet gesture but it also meant he got to avoid leftovers.) The rest of the day we spent playing games and cooking. Granny helped Kaitlyn make Apple Hand Pies – they were delicious!
Granny and Pop are finally better! Today we got to spend the entire today with them. We opened some presents, ate some food, and played a lot of games. It was a pretty great day.
We were supposed to be spending the day with Granny Pop. They landed yesterday, but sent us a message that they weren’t feeling well and were going to go by the hotel. It turns out they really weren’t feeling well and they have been cooped up at their hotel yesterday and today. We are hoping they will be well enough tomorrow that we can see them.
Today is a gorgeous day so we gathered the troops for a visit to the Storybook Trail. (I would have voted for a longer hike if I had gotten my ducks in a row earlier.) We were having so much fun that Ben didn’t even realize we forgot the snacks till 3/4 of the way through!
We don’t have family in town this year for Christmas and we are embracing the slower pace. The day was still full of activities – basket presents:
Christmas Eve service:
and preparing for Santa:
Wade got a head scratcher as his basket gift today and it quickly became a family favorite. The kids both love to give Wade head scratches and just walk around with it on their heads. It’s quite amusing to watch.
Today was the kids’ big day. We arrived early at church for everyone to find their costumes. Then we had one last pageant rehearsal. Thankfully the pageant is the same every year, but that doesn’t cut down on the chaos.
Then church began and the pageant went great. The kids were adorable and the congregation loved seeing everyone dressed up.
Wade and Alex topped it all off by performing with the bell choir.
Our Saturday started early today with Kaitlyn’s first indoor soccer game. Her team won and she scored a goal. Her coach treated the girls to donuts and Kaitlyn begged to go before we rushed to church for Breakfast with Santa and the pageant rehearsal.
Kaitlyn changed in the car and we met the rest of the family at the church. There was breakfast, crafts, and a long wait. Then we were informed that Santa’s sleigh got damaged in the storm last night and he sadly would not be making an appearance this morning. The event broke up pretty quickly at that point and we moved upstairs to rehearse for the pageant. The kids already had their assignments so it moved fairly quickly. Wade was asked to be Harrod in hopes of encouraging the star (Ben) to remain in place.
Our fridge has been intermittently leaking. We thought it was the seal on the freezer door failing so we would clean it up and try to be better about carefully closing the freezer door. Today the leaking didn’t stop when we cleaned it up. Thankfully Wade was home and could take a look at the leak in action. He realized we had a bigger problem. Evidently we had a clogged drain tube. It’s all fixed now.
Alex has PE this month and is not happy about it. He is grade on how many situps and pushups he can do in a set amount of time. It turns out Alex can’t do very many pushups so we have been working with him at home. Wade tried to show off a little with Ben and then remembered he wasn’t in his 20s anymore.
The entire family spent the morning at the elementary school working at the Waddles Winter Wonderland Pancake Breakfast, a community event sponsored by the PTG. Wade was a chef, I was at the entry collecting money, Alex helped out as needed, Teague was in charge of seating people, and the younger two ran wild. We had planned for 300 people and and had over 500 people attend, which is amazing. It also meant we had to make an emergency run for more pancake mix.
A local photographer, Deirdre Rakus, donated her time to take photographs of people attending the breakfast.
After getting back from KY, we had to wait a few days to get our tree. First it was raining, then the boys had bells, then it was something else. Finally we got a tree and had a free evening to decorate! We put on some Christmas music, pulled out the ornaments, and I even convinced the kids to wear matching pajamas.
I knew it would only be a few years before Ben’s birthday would fall on Thanksgiving Day. Today was that day. He woke up and requested donuts. I went in search but it turns out no donut places were open on Thanksgiving Day. The grocery store was open and chocolate muffins were a crowd favorite. Then we spent the day watching the parade, cooking, eating, visiting with family, and celebrating a birthday!
Ben started this little game and the photography was so fun we got the entire family involved.
Kaitlyn couldn’t wait to get a game of Bingo started. It has become one of her favorite activities at Gram’s house. Wade was happy to join in the fun and we were all shocked to realize he had never played with us before. Kaitlyn won a growing dinosaur, which she gave to Ben. Wade won snowcaps, which he gave to me. Then it was bedtime.
The kids were so excited to see Gram! They came in the door calling her name and begging for her attention. Before too long the cousins arrived and that made the day even better. We had our usual Chick-fil-A nuggets, Burch locks, and general chaos.
Ben always gets to celebrate a couple of times for his birthday – once at home and once on the road. Today was the day we celebrated at home.
The plan was donuts for breakfast. I had planned to get up and go to Dunkin. Alex had taken orders the night before and told me he was going to walk down to pick them up, but I didn’t quite believe him. I knew it was going to be early, cold, and dark. Imagine my surprise when I got downstairs this morning and there was Alex sitting at the table, drinking hot chocolate (our favorite is from Dunkin), with a box of donuts.
We had candles in donuts and then Ben chose a present to open. He chose the biggest and it was the Gabby Dollhouse he has been hoping and hoping to get. I put it together and he and Kaitlyn played until the bus came.
Ben and I had a sushi lunch (his favorite) and then he picked Chick-fil-a with milkshakes for dinner. His cake was paw patrol but we did presents first, at his request. He had a fabulous birthday and he can’t wait to celebrate again in KY.
Teague joined the bell choir this year, but it is a very small bell choir. They started the year with three ringers, but at some point the number dropped down to two. They kept practicing and hoping to recruit more kids. Sadly that hasn’t happened. Wade has pitched in to practice with them and today they had their first performance. Teague did a great job and it was fun to see him up front!
Halloween is always a little more tricky when it’s on a school night, but the kids were up to the challenge. We started the night at one of my friend’s houses for a little party (pizza, bouncy house, etc). The best part is she lives on South St – THE Street for trick or treating. The street is closed down and people come from all over. There is a definite party atmosphere with music, glow sticks, and candy – lots of candy. Alex joined us for dinner but headed home afterwards to watch an outdoor movie with friends. We met up with some of Kaitlyn’s friends and proceeded up and down the street.
Side note: Ben’s costume was the best! Having him in a costume with lights made it so easy to keep up with him! I’m going to try to push a light up costume of some kind next year too!
Today was the Trunk or Treat at our church. We had a whirlwind day full of activities, so Wade and Ben went first in the minitruck (our “trunk”). I arrived with the other kids and then we got to the candy portion of the afternoon. Ben loved running wild, Alex loved scaring little kids in the “Scary Hallway,” and the other two loved traditional candy acquiring.
Wade spent the weekend working on leaf pickup. That of course means that the kids spent the weekend outside playing in the leaves.
Pumpkin Carving Party time! If you are keeping track, tonight was our 16th party. I didn’t actually count the number of people attending, but we definitely had a lot of new faces and people who have been coming since we started the party here in the beginning. We were having so much fun that we were a little slow getting to the carving of the pumpkins, which means we were also late getting to the group picture. This is the first year in many years we have taken the picture in full dark.
And always the group photo:
Wade has been slowly working on the wood chips/mulch left from having our big tree cut. He took today off and had a large list of things he was trying to get done. One item on the list was to get the rest of the yard cleanup done. He was still working on it when the kids came home and they quickly jumped in to help.
Today was our yearly Back to School Picnic for the two elementary schools. I’m on the PTG board so I spent most of the day helping organize and most of the evening manning the table, but it was a lot of fun! I love seeing everyone get together and have a great time.
Wade decided to make dinner a little more interesting tonight. He was trying to teach the kids how to balance a spoon on their nose and it spiraled from there. (Kaitlyn really missed out by being at cheer practice.)
Ben was gifted a new car by one of my friends.. He was so exited when we pulled it out of my van. Then it didn’t run exactly as it should. Of course, Wade immediately began trouble shooting. He should have it fixed in no time at all and I’m so thankful he can fix almost anything.
Tonight was the perfect night for some outside fun, roasting marshmallows, and eating of s’mores.
About once a year, Wade details my car for me. This year he went above and beyond. He spent the entire day detailing both of our cars and now I’m a little afraid to let the kids anywhere near my car. I’m not sure what to do about the fact that we are leaving for Kentucky next week…
For our final day at the Cape, we decided to head back to our favorite beach.
Today we did it all – hiking, boating, and beaching.
After such a great beach day yesterday, we decided to try a new beach today. We had a major fail. The weather report said it was going to be a great day, but… It was cold, cloudy, and windy. We tried, we stayed, and then we eventually packed it in.
After showering and evaluating our options, we decided bowling and dinner out might be our best course of action. Everyone had a great night!
Wade had arranged for the kids to participate in an obstacle course on the beach this morning. The youngest three loved it. Alex had to be challenged (an option at the end of the races) to go through the race, but he was a good sport and did. Mom and Dad were challenged and ran it too.