Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Since Marion was leaving in a few weeks, we managed to sneak in a trip back home before he left. Luckily, it just happened to fall over Halloween, so Michael could show off his awesome costume!!!

The first thing we did was go to the pumpkin patch with Mamaw...which was tons of fun! We always love going to pick our own pumpkins! Of course Marion insisted on having to find the biggest one there for his own....

I don't think we got you?

That night, we got to carve the pumpkins with Kenneisha, Adam, and Danielle to decorate for the plethora of trick-or-treaters the next day. Not to shabby if I may say so....

Then it was time for trick-or-treating!!!!!! Last year Michael helped Grandma pass out candy, so this was going to be his first year actually fully participating in the festivites. We started with a Trunk-or-Treat at a local church, and then made it back in time to trick-or-treat with the early shift. He actually did a pretty good job and made it around the loop (although in a stroller half the time). Don't forget to trick-or-treat at Grandma's....she's got the good stuff!

Once the crowd died down, my mom decided to enlist the help of her dear son-in-law Adam to get the crowd to pick up again. So, the good sport he is, he goes out to pass out the candy in full costume. What do you think he is?

To me, this costume seems pretty self-explanatory. He's a wizard, people. But did anyone think that? No. Are you Moses? Are you Jesus? Are you SANTA??? Yes, kids. Santa is known to wear blue in the off-season. And a headband.

Ya gotta love our Adam.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Boo At The Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo was having a special Halloween event that included trick or treating around the zoo and going on scavenger hunts....costumes encouraged. We'd been wanting to go to the zoo for awhile and were looking to get some more use out of Michael's costume, so it turned out to be the perfect combo! Michael LOVED seeing all the animals, and even got to pet some goats in the petting zoo! Luckily the rain held off and it turned out to be a really fun morning!

Oooh peacock!!! Can I chase it Daddy? Pleeeease?

Let me jump in! I wanna play!

Good goat.....

Snake!!!! Kendra would LOVE that!

Unfortunately, his face began to break out into nasty hives, so we had to wipe of the whiskers and take off the costume early. But he still enjoyed going around the rest of the zoo looking at the animals in his pj's!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Running out of Time

We knew since we had been stationed here that there was a chance of Marion getting deployed, but if it were to happen, it wouldn't be until after the holidays. Well, this week, he came home with the bad news: he will be leaving for training for 3 months in 4 weeks. So yes, that means not only will he be absent for Christmas and his birthday, he will also miss his favorite feast of the year: Thanksgiving.

After the news was processed (it took awhile), we decided not to dwell on it and get the most out of the few weeks that were left. So off we went to the Camden Aquarium! It is fun to watch Michael point at all the different fish and sea creatures, and hold a conversation about them in his own little language. Unfortunately, the light in an aquarium is never great, so the good pictures here are limited. It was a good day for the aquarium, too...what nasty weather!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Farewell North Dakota! (And winter...)

Surprise, Surprise, I'm behind again! Well, to summarize quickly, the rest of the trip went very well. Aside from my Grandpa being admitted to the hospital for a few days and the blasted cold weather, everything went smoothly. He was able to come home right in time for the big dinner we prepared on Friday night to take to the nursing home. It was great...Gary and his whole family were even able to make it down! Just like old times (only in a nursing home instead). Here's a picture of the whole gang at the table:

One neat thing about the trip was Michael's Halloween costume. When we were at my aunt Sandy's house, she remembered that she had held onto her son's old costume that Grandma made him when he was little. Wouldn't you know, it was a perfect fit!! So the costume was extra special this year because of its sentimentality. Here it is:

Grandma Schatz, you're supposed to fill it up with candy!!!

Since that many of us are not usually able to get together at one time, we made sure to take lots of pictures. A few family photos are below:
The second generation: Gary, Mom, Sandy, and Lori with Grandma and Grandpa

The Lyman Clan

Gary's Gang: Renae, Matt, Chris, Tanya, Gary, and Raeleen

The ones who keep everyone else sane: Bob and Lori :)

We love you all!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Country Boy At Heart

One day when we were visiting, making trips to the nursing home, hospital, and who knows where else, our aunt Lori was kind enough to make us a delicious dinner at her house. Luckily, we got there with a little bit of daylight left, which allowed Michael to explore the farm a little bit. Bobby has all sorts of big farm equipment, and Michael LOVED checking them all out. He would run from one to the other, pointing in excitement to each one. Luckily, we got some good pictures of the experience.

While we were out, we ventured over to there HUGE wheat pile they had recently harvested. Michael played at the bottom, but didn't get too far. Hopefully we didn't make too much of a mess of their pile!
The boys give you a good idea of the massive size of the pile.

But, as always, we had to call it quits early. Even with gloves and hats, it was just toooooooo cold. Who's surprised?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

First Snow of the Season

Yes. You heard right. It is not a typo. It is October 6th, and we are experiencing the first snow of the season! But let's also keep in mind, we were experiencing this in the frigid tundra known as North Dakota....

That said, it was still amazing to see...this is early even for up here! And the snowflakes were HUGE-MUNGOUS!!! I've never seen any snowflakes that big - they were like golf balls! See how the snowflake itself is actually casting a shadow on my cheek in this picture?? Crazy...

Luckily, our thoughtful Aunt Lori had come over to the house and turned on the heat before we got there....thank goodness!!!! I'll still be sleeping under about 5 of Grandma's quilts tonight.

We had fun with the snow for the few hours it lasted. We got Michael bundled up and took some neat pictures of him running around in it...didn't seem to phase him in the least! Of course, we had to get a grandparent picture with the infamous house in the background too.

Uncle Bobby was on babysitting duty while we unloaded the car when we got there. This is my favorite picture of the evening:

I'm Baaaack!!!!

Today we went to the nursing home to say hi to Grandma and Grandpa. They were both so happy to see Michael again...he grows so fast at this age! Grandma was so happy to see him. Once she got to visit on her own with him for a few minutes, we brought in Grandpa. This man, who seldomly smiles, took one look at Michael and lit up like the Fourth of July! It was so fun to watch. He's not a man of many words, but he spent all afternoon just watching Michael play, all while having the faintest glisten of a smile. Luckily, we caught these moments that are few and far between on camera!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Papa's Pumpkin Patch

Once we got into North Dakota, we decided to take an extra day in Bismarck before we made the drive down to my grandparent's house. Thanks to my aunt Sandy, we found a pumpkin patch in the area and thought it would be a fun way to spend the day.

The pumpkin patch turned out to be a great idea! There was tons to do there, including mazes, hayrides, a pumpkin launch, and more we didn't even get to. Of course, this pumpkin patch was a MUCH colder trip than our last one! Little guy lasted long enough to see most of the farm activities though.

CRAZY thing happened at the pumpkin patch we were sitting on the hay bales waiting for the pumpkin launch, I realized that the girl sitting next to us looked very familiar. Lo and was my friend from 5th grade that I hadn't seen or talked to since then!!!! It was nice getting to catch up with her as well...what a small world!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Another Plane Ride

The time has finally come....we are off to see Great Grandma and Grandpa in North Dakota!!! They haven't gotten to see Michael since last year at this time, so we are excited to be able to make the trip this year. This time, the guys are even coming! For all of the plane trips Michael's already been on, this will be the first time that Marion's flown with him.

I have to admit....I was pretty nervous about the plane ride. He was so small last time we flew, he just fit in my lap and would fall asleep there. But now, he's this ball of energy that has no off switch, hates to cuddle, and will not fall asleep on laps.
BUT...thank goodness we hit a stroke of luck. He did pretty well just hanging out on the first leg of the flight, and by the time we caught our connection, he was so tired his eyelids were drooping before we even hit the runway. We got lucky enough to have a pretty empty second leg as well, so he got a whole row of seats to himself to snooze the trip away! So cute...
Sweet, sweet, slumber

Waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to land at the airport and its whopping 4 gates. That's their plane!!