Friday, December 19, 2014

Picture Post!

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Maddie sampling one of our mediocre attempts at a mini pumpkin pie...those premade crusts are just not the same!!

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At the park...Anna insisted on pulling the wagon!

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Giving our friends Macy and M.J. a lift to their car

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I was SO proud of Anna when she got in the car one day after school and announced that she had won the "Terrific Turkey" award. Every day in November her teachers would give away the Terrific Turkey award to the kid who was the best listener and the best helper, and Anna could barely contain her excitement the day that she got it. She still has it pinned up on her board upstairs!

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Anna on her balance bike. She's normally on her big kid bike these days but sometimes she opts for this one for our afternoon bike rides.

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Anna was so proud of her soccer MiniKickers trophy!

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Raking leaves was a huge thing this year. Steve was working so much that the girls and I took over as much rake-leafing duty as we could, and the girls got a major kick out of it. Our neighbors passed along their kid-sized rakes, and the girls would help me rake for a few minutes and then roll around in the yard and jump in the leaves. And they were quite star-struck when the boys across the street came over to help us one day!

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The girls were highly intrigued with this hot air balloon on the way home from the park one day - I took this picture from my phone through the sun roof of our car but hey, I'm still pretty impressed with it.

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At Mellow Mushroom for Mommy's birthday

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31 candles!

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Maddie helping to blow out the candles!

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Maddie's hair makes me laugh in this picture...she keeps asking for ponytails but she doesn't really have enough hair yet, so I'll scrounge up a ponytail on top, she'll yank out the band after ten minutes, and this is what's left!

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I love my pretty girl!

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I said "pretty smiles" and this is what I got! Cheeky!

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Much better :-)

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had lots of fall fun and Thanksgiving was the perfect ending to the season!

The girls had a Thanksgiving feast at school, and actually Maddie had two since we have her on a three day schedule now. They got a huge kick out of it and loved having Mommy and Daddy there to show off their costumes and to eat a yummy lunch.

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The school held a food drive for one of the local food banks, and each class had an assigned food category if the family wanted to donate. Anna brought in a box of cereal and Maddie brought in canned meat. I am glad the school held a drive like this because I don't think it would have occurred to me that the girls would understand this. I was surprised when Anna came home chattering about the food drive, and then they listened to me while I explained food banks and their importance to communities. They were very involved at the store picking out their items and Anna was so proud to carry in her box of cereal. Whenever a child brought in a food item, they got to pick out a feather for the turkey's tail.

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Maddie showing off her turkey costume. I volunteered on their Thanksgiving craft day and helped them make their shirts and their little picture frames - it's so much fun to have the chance to be involved with their days at school because they are so excited to show off their classroom and their friends!

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I love that they were so tickled that they got to sit together. These two little girls are seriously the best of friends and I adore it...the first thing they will tell me about when they get in the car after school is whether or not they got to play on the playground together.

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The girls were especially excited about their juice boxes - I never keep juice at home because that's all they would ever ask for (believe me, I know!) so whenever they get a chance to have it, they are like kids in a candy store. Maddie was so cute asking her teachers for "More juice, peez!".

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The Forbes clan traveled to Raleigh this year for Thanksgiving, but we opted to stay home. We missed getting to spend time with the whole family since we so rarely get to see everyone, but it was very nice to skip the travel and to stay home. We cooked a delicious dinner of roast turkey (I used Ina Garten's recipe this year and it was perfection!), butternut squash, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. And pumpkin pie and chocolate bourbon pecan pie for dessert, of course! We spent the rest of the weekend putting up Christmas decorations and spending time together as a family - what a perfectly cozy weekend!

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Anna was excited about her sparkling grape juice but then took one sip and proclaimed it "too bubbly!"

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Photo credit goes to Anna!

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These candy cane ornaments have been a favorite this year.

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Anna was such a fun helper this year. She has gotten so incredibly interested in anything and everything that I am doing, especially in the kitchen. She will pull her little step stool over and poke her nose into every step of the process, and nothing makes her happier than when I explain to her what's going on and why I am doing it. Her newest skill has been using a knife, so I have been teaching her how to use the various smaller knives and whenever there is a chance for her to use one relatively safely, she runs over and helps me. I also let her pour ingredients, and help me count various measurements, and stir things, and even to help set timers. I am amazed at how much she soaks in and how much she loves learning about new things....and hey, it's pretty flattering that she finds my various tasks so incredibly interesting! That picture above was of the apple turnovers she helped me make the day before Thanksgiving and she was very proud of them!

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I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too, and have been having a very merry December!