November 17, 2012

Hamilton's perspective

The boys and I visited the mall Thursday to run an errand (and let them play in the play area). Santa was already set up and accepting lap-sitters, and all the trees and wreaths were decorated to the full. We walked into the mall and Hamilton exclaimed, "It's getting very 'Chris-me' in here!" He then said that exact phrase a dozen more times for the two hours we spent playing, eating, and shopping in the mall.

Mr. Morgan captured a cute video of Hamilton talking about a big storm we had last week. Hamilton employs his usual storytelling tactic of inserting random bits of information, repeating favorite sounds and words, and talking incessantly in one long run-on sentence.

November 15, 2012

Ultimate Digger Birthday Party

Almost two weeks ago I took the boys to a birthday party for my college roommate's two-year-old. Not only is their house beautiful and party-ready, but she was a Kindergarten teacher with TONS of ideas and skills for making fun activities for kids. The boys loved the party! The biggest hit was the giant pile of sand in the backyard.
As if this party couldn't get anymore kid-friendly, Hamilton discovered the paint and brushes ready for him to make his masterpiece on the cardboard houses.
All manner of outdoor toys were available for the boys' entertainment. Collier enjoyed this lawnmower.
Once Collier joined the painting fun, the mess increased tenfold.
But Collier loves to do exactly what his big brother is doing.
This cute kid-sized picnic table served the boys well as they ate.
After supper it was back to the sand and trucks and diggers.
Only the promise of cake could tear them away from the outside fun. The construction hats created lots of excitement and cute pictures.
 The boys shared a big slice of digger cake.
With his hat on, Hamilton looks like a real construction worker standing in front of the cardboard bulldozer.
Saying goodbye to the fun party was hard, but I managed to get a few more pictures on the cutely decorated front steps as we left.
Perhaps there will be a day when I can get both boys to cooperate at the same time for a picture.

November 5, 2012

Recovery and Monday

Mr. Morgan's recovery over the weekend from his bronchial thermoplasty (outpatient surgery) on Friday morning was even better than we'd hoped. He was back to feeling pretty normal on Saturday, which he spent working on our friend Tyler's car. (Hamilton calls him "T for Tyler.") I'm sure Mr. Morgan quickly recovered because he was nursed so well. And big-chair companions and coffee help, too.
I peeped at my phone this morning to discover a text from my friend Vanessa whose husband is running for solicitor back home. He's been campaigning almost a year, already defeating the incumbent in the primary. She passed along this picture asking for prayers to deal with the crazies who apparently come out near an election. I didn't know people actually did this sort of thing; the message is almost too over the top to be believable as a legitimate campaign sign. (Obviously, David doesn't support guns in public schools.)
I dressed the boys warmly this morning, so they could play outside while I enjoyed some quiet time inside. After a few minutes I checked on them to find Collier crying a bit. He was wet from the waist down with no shoes on and one sock off. Hamilton said he'd gotten into some water that had puddled in some toys from last night's thunderstorm. So before mid-morning arrived, Collier had his second outfit of the day on.

The boys enjoyed some inside-fun like coloring and Play-Doh this morning. Hamilton's gotten more into coloring lately, and he'll spend some time trying to draw a picture. He's drawing camels right now; they look more like an oval with 14 legs. Then he exclaims, "Look, Mom, a camel! A camel! I drawed a camel!"
With election day tomorrow, I'm anticipating a good result. I really hope it's not a repeat of 2000 though, when we didn't know who was elected for all those weeks. I'm so excited about the election that we're hosting our own last-minute, election-night watch-party. I'd love to be at a real watch-party, but I'm happy we have some friends, with no kids to put to bed, who want to watch with us.

November 2, 2012

Good News

I've been told I'm no longer a blogger...since I haven't posted anything in almost two months. Yeah, I guess you could say I've lost my motivation or my muse or whatever. But just the other day, I began thinking about blogging again, getting excited about some posts and other ideas. So I hope my back-to-blogging days are just around the corner. Well, I know some readers want the pictures of the growing boys, so I'll get to those in a second.

First, the good news! Solely through the Lord's provision, our church was able to purchase the beautiful, historic buildings we've been meeting in for the past six years. So many people donated time and money to this enormous effort that began with a grassroots campaign to influence City Council and ended with a capital campaign to raise $1.6 million in 90 days. I still can hardly believe it!

Our September and October were packed--mostly with thinking, praying, and communicating about our capital campaign to save our church buildings, so my picture-taking motivation was suffering. According to our pictures, it looks like this was all we did for two months:
  1. a beach trip with the Taylors over Labor Day
  2. start of school
  3. some backyard play
  4. a surprise visit with my California, fellow-paleo cousin
  5. a pumpkin-buying spree
  6. a carwash
  7. Seth's birthday celebration
  8. costume fun for Halloween
Beach Trip
Our oceanfront friends Bill and Sunnie graciously let us park in their driveway over Labor Day, so we could enjoy their quiet, nearly empty spot of Folly Beach. The boys loved it!
Collier's little grin is so adorably cute--his drooling, sandy face not as much.
This pose reminds me so of Hamilton, making me think maybe they do look more alike than I thought.
Our crew camped out for the day with plenty of shade and chairs. Other friends of Bill and Sunnie's (and ours too) had our same idea, so we had a big party out on the beach.
All the little boys had such fun playing in the sand with all their diggers.

Start of School
Not a great shot, but we weren't ready early enough to spend time designing the shot a la Pinterest. Getting two boys out of the house for school can be hectic--but oh so worth it for a few morning hours to myself!

Backyard Play
Most afternoons the boys play in the backyard after Collier finally wakes up. The boys play so well together for the most part. Once Mr. Morgan gets home from work, he usually joins them for "bak-setball" or other outdoor shenanigans.

California Cousin
My cousin Caitlin breezed into town for her family reunion, so we got to visit with her for just a night and morning. The boys enjoyed showing off for her in the backyard.

I took the boys to pick out some pumpkins, and they loved climbing in and around the pumpkins that were sitting on pallets. They didn't seem to mind that there was no "patch."
Collier loved picking them up and putting them into our wheelbarrow--which is how I ended up with $40 in pumpkins.
Here's our haul, including one "monster pumpkin" as Hamilton calls it.

Mr. Morgan washed both our cars a few weeks ago; as he vacuumed out the insides, Hamilton was disappointed that he'd missed the washing. I suggested that Hamilton wash his car--the Cozy Coupe. He got really into it.
I love how Hamilton's washing his car, but he's still holding on to "little Fatty" his ever-present buddy. Hamilton does not do much these days without little Fatty. Sometimes he'll exclaim, "Oh, little Fatty's crying!" Then he'll run to find her to console her. Sometimes I'm told to be quiet because little Fatty is sleeping.
I'm not sure that the Cozy Coupe was actually any cleaner after Hamilton's washing of it, but he and Collier had a fun time in the water and with various brushes and rags.
I was so inspired by their cute play that I went inside to dig out my big camera. I sat in the grass for 15 minutes snapping pictures of my twosome. I hadn't felt like doing that in months, so here's to hoping my motivation for picture-taking is making a comeback!
I was a little disturbed by this crazy face of Collier's until I realized why the maniacal grin--he's clutching little Fatty and running like mad away from Hamilton!

Birthday Celebration
For Mr. Morgan's birthday, we spent a quiet night at home with all the kids--just what Mr. Morgan loves. Hamilton and I had gotten him a birthday balloon and a special Shaun-the-Sheep-look-a-like card from Bi-lo. Claire handmade a special card, too, and several aunts and parents mailed cards. I made a gluten-free pumpkin cake with date-caramel icing, and everyone loved the special treat as we partied in our pajamas!
Here's our only shot with all of us, since I'm reflected in the door of the china cabinet.

Costume Fun
Last weekend we went to Mountville, and the boys attended a little fall festival with a cowboy theme. Since Hamilton was already wanting to be a cowboy for Halloween and Collier a little Indian, their costumes worked for both events.
Numerous games dotted the yard, and Collier loved playing with all the games that involved a ball.
A hayride was the big attraction, and all the kids loved it!
The adults even got to dress up for the fall festival, so I wore my cowboy hat, a matching bandana with Hamilton, and my cowboy boots.
Collier and Dolly loved stacking and unstacking the cones. These two cuties were born in the same month, and they played well together.
For Halloween and trick-or-treating, I put a long corduroy coat on Hamilton with a little sheriff's badge. He looked much more convincing as a cowboy/sheriff/lawman than he had at the fall festival.
Our neighborhood friends came for dinner; then we plopped the kids on the porch for pictures before the trick-or-treating began. Hamilton's friend Logan is an adorable pirate, and Kristin did an awesome job on his costume--she even made his boots.

This shot was the last time that the pirate would be holding his sword and the cowboy his six-shooter. I got the switch in pictures, and they never fought or traded back for the rest of the night.
Hamilton loved having people just give him candy! At each house he'd walk up and say, "trick-or-treater!" His greeting was an improvement over last year's "happy happy!" We hauled in so much candy that he'll be eating on it for days. Yesterday I was able to limit him to four pieces over the course of the day, so hopefully he won't ruin his teeth!
We met up with some other friends while we were out, so Jack dressed as the Hulk walked around with Hamilton, Logan, and Collier, too. I'm so thankful for our great neighborhood with lots of houses close together, friendly neighbors, and little traffic. We had a great night of trick-or-treating!
So that's our two months in pictures, and I'll try not to be a stranger in the blogosphere.