Friday, November 19, 2010

Summer Flashback: The Mississippi River

On Tuesday, July 27, we left Wisconsin and drove down to Nauvoo, Illinois, crossing the Mississippi several times. (Nauvoo was the headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1839-1846, until they were forced to move West). During our drive we crossed the Mississippi River several times. I was fascinated by the landscape, and by the river itself.
The rolling hills of Wisconsin:

First river crossing:

We crossed back and forth from Iowa to Illinois for a while.

Finally, we spotted this:

It was early evening by the time we arrived. We settled into our house rental, had some dinner, and put the little people to bed. Grandmacita and Amy generously offered to stay with with the kids, so we took a walk down to the Nauvoo Temple to enjoy the beautiful (but VERY humid) evening. And take some (okay, a LOT) pictures with my new camera.

The statue depicts Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, leaving Navuoo for Carthage, Illinois, where they were killed. I know they really left in the morning, but I like this image; the symbolism of the sunset seems appropriate.

Matt got a new camera last summer too:

Sunset over the Mississippi, facing west. Just gorgeous.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Emma's 4th Birthday

Emma requested a Princess party (surprise, surprise) for her 4th birthday, and I was happy to oblige. I was not feeling as creative as last year, but she had fun and thought it was great nonetheless. We invited her friends from church over for games, lunch, and of course, cupcakes.
They made crowns:

We pinned the crown on the princess:

Played a little musical "thrones":

Opened some presents:

Had pizza for lunch:

Madeline amused herself by trying on the guests' shoes. (Perhaps her favorite princess is Cinderella???)

We also had a princess pinata:

We ended the party by storming the castle:

Emma has sweet little friends and we were glad they were able to come celebrate with us.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Summer Flashback: Wisconsin

When we visted the midwest this summer, we had the pleasure of spending several days at Dave's sister's house in Dodgeville. It was gorgeous and green and I loved the rolling hills punctuated with farm and forest. One evening we went to have dinner at a local state park. The girls loved running around together:

Playing with Grandpoppy is always fun:

Grandpoppy took us all on a little hike:

While we were out enjoying ourselves, Tyler was so kindly making us dinner:

It was a very pleasant evening in a beautiful setting!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween 2010 was a weekend-long celebraton. We started off on Friday night with the church trunk-or-treat.

On Saturday morning, we went trick-or-treating at the Arboretum:

Saturday afternoon we went to Scare on the Square in downtown Rockwall:

And, of course, on Sunday night I took Emma trick-or-treating. (Don't feel too bad that we left Maddie out. She can only say like 8 words, none of them being "trick" or "treat", and we have been sharing the loot).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween 2009, Revisted

Emma's preschool doesn't "celebrate" Halloween, but they do hold a "harvest" festival the week before Halloween. The theme was Creepy Crawlers, so Emma pulled out her costume from last year. The black dress from last year is now more of a tunic. Stay tuned for this years' costume.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Summer Flashback: Old Friends, New Friends

When we visited Dave's sister and her family in Wisconsin this summer, we were also able to visit with one of my dearest friends (and former college roommate). It was really fun to meet her son (who was born a week or so before Madeline), and get to know her husband a little better. We visited their apartment and saw the beautiful campus of the University of Wisconsin--Madison and the surrounding lakes.

I love the kids in this picture. Emma is posing, Maddie is hunting for a snack, and Owen is quenching his thirst.

It was so fun to see you, Jen! (Perhaps next year in Germany???)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Arboretum Pumpkin Festival

It's no secret that the Dallas Arboretum is one of my favorite places. This time of year they hold "The Great Pumpkin Festival." We've been several times this month to enjoy all of the festivities. Madeline's favortite by far is the petting zoo:

While Maddie preferred the goats, who were roughly her same size, Emma liked the horse:

We searched for the perfect pumpkins:

And took some fun pictures in the pumpkin patch:

We checked out the pumpkin houses, outside:

...and inside:

They have lots of great activities for kids. Emma did a craft, and got her face painted:

After exploring all of the seasonal offerings, the girls pulled up a patch of grass and settled in for a Kindermusik class in the garden: