Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Home Group Costume Party

Our church Home Group had a costume party tonight for the kids. We grilled hotdogs, ate caramel corn and apples, and then made s'mores around the fire pit in the Massarellis' backyard. There were also games and a pinata for the kids.

It is so nice to get together with our HG every Wednesday and be a part of each others lives. It is also nice for our kids to have a good group of friends to play with. Some weeks are easier to meet together than others, but we are always glad that we get together. God has really blessed us through the friendships we have formed.

Wow...that got sentimental fast! Anyway, here are some photos from our fun evening:

The Girls' Table:
Noelle, Emma, and Ellie

The Boys' Table:
Elliot, Jacob, Caleb, Reed, Sam, and Owen

Jacob tries to toss a beanbag into the pumpkin

Ellie got lots of fun stuff from the pinata

Jacob got this loud whistle (thanks a lot Nicole!)

Emmaline still had a cough, so she spent the evening inside

Ellie loves s'mores!

What a big girl!

Emmaline met with the physical therapist yesterday and is now caught up on her gross motor skills. Everything measured at around 8 months, so we are really pleased with her progress. She is sitting well on her own, loves to feel everything within reach, and she rolls everywhere. We met with our social worker and early intervention specialist to come up with new goals for Emmy over the next 6 months. For the previous 6 months, we wanted to have her sitting up and rolling over. Now we move on to crawling. I'm not sure I'm ready to have her that mobile yet, but it is bound to happen sooner or later. Guess we need to baby-proof the house again!

Playtime with Big Sis

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Every year for trick-or-treat we have both sets of parents, our brothers, and Nathan's grandparents over to our house. This way everyone gets to see the kids in their costumes and we don't have to tote them all over town. We always enjoy a yummy soup for dinner and then the kids go trick-or-treating. They have so much fun spending the evening with their grandparents and Nathan and I get to enjoy a relatively stress-free evening. Emmaline got her first cold today, so she was running a low-grade fever and had a cough. Poor thing spent most of the time wrapped in a blanket swinging on the front porch with my dad. When Jacob and Ellie returned home, they had tons of candy (which we are taking to the dentist office on Saturday to exchange...more on that after this weekend!) and despite the sugar-overload, they both went to bed willingly. We hope you had a fun Halloween too!

Who is that masked man?

Minnie Mouse, a.k.a. Gabrielle

Somebunny wasn't feeling well. =(

Emmaline spent most of the evening napping, but did wake up long enough to take a few photos.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkin Carving

Katie helped us carve pumpkins today. Jacob wanted a spider on his and Ellie wanted a kitty cat. Thankfully, we were able to find some templates for these online. Emmaline didn't have a preference, so we made hers look like Ernie and Bert. Here are a few of the highlights:

Jacob helps clean out the pumpkin guts

Jacob with his spider pumpkin

Ellie with her kitty cat pumpkin

Emmaline with her Bert and Ernie pumpkins

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wild West Family Fest

Our church sponsored a cowboy-themed party for the kids today. They did crafts, played games, ate s'mores, and watched a puppet show. They even took a family picture which I'll post as soon as I get it. It was so much fun and the kids had a blast with all of their friends.

Ellie shows off her cat tatoo

Coloring pumpkin pictures

Happy Emmaline

Ellie enjoys her s'more

So does Jacob

Ellie's first potato sack race

Jacob wins!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fall Fun with Katie and Mom (aka the day of 100 potty breaks!)

Katie hasn't been home from Cincinnati in almost a month, so she took the day off work to come spend some time with us. The weather was gorgeous, so we decided to spend the day doing fall, outdoorsy things.

Our first stop was at Clifton Mill for lunch. The food wasn't great, but there was a nice view of the river and working waterwheel from our table. They were setting up their Christmas lights for the holiday season outside, so the kids were fascinated by the miniature scenes and the abundance of lights. (# of potty breaks: Jacob - 4, Ellie - 2)

Next, we went to the Raptor Center at Glen Helen. There were lots of birds to see (including a one-winged bald eagle named Solo). We didn't stay too long though, because Ellie needed to use the restroom (surprise, surprise!).

Watching an owl

We decided to take a hike at John Bryan Park (after the customary stop at the outhouses). The leaves were so pretty and the trails weren't too muddy, despite the recent rain. We walked for about 45 minutes and then headed back to the van. See the comment below Ellie's picture for what happened during the restroom break in the woods. After the necessary clothes changing, we headed to our final destination.

On the bridge over the Little Miami River

Jacob, Aunt Katie, and Ellie walk hand in hand

Jacob on a stump

Ellie on the same stump

Aunt Katie helps Ellie take a potty break in the woods.

What this picture doesn't show: We thought Ellie was done pottying when she decided she needed to go #2. Not having the diaper bag with us, Katie had to use a leaf to wipe her. As Katie disposed of said leaf, she got mud all over her shoes. Ellie laughed because she thought it was funny and then fell naked-behind first into the mud behind her. Again, we had no baby wipes, and she now had mud all over her backside. Katie needed several more leaves for this clean-up job. And of course, Jacob decided he need to make a pit-stop in the woods too. Thankfully, it was much easier for him to accomplish!

Last stop...Young's Dairy for dessert. You can't go anywhere close to Yellow Springs without stopping at Young's for some ice cream. We each enjoyed a yummy treat and then headed outside to see the animals before heading home. The kids fed the goats, played on the tractors, and even posed for some cute pictures by the pumpkins. It was dark and chilly, so we made our way back home (after a final stop in their facilities). Overall, it was a fun day and we made some great memories!

Emmaline pets her first cow. She liked how soft its nose was.

Jacob drives the tractor like a race car.

Emmy - all bundled up!

Flowers from Nathan

Isn't my husband sweet? I came home from a day of being out with the kiddos and found these on our dining room table. They are absolutely beautiful and smell great too. The card was nice said "Just because". It's nice to be appreciated!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Emmy had a Little Lamb

Emmaline is now 8-months old. She is doing really well at sitting up now and can even stand up while holding on to something. I think that she is going to be quite the talker because she babbles constantly. What a big girl she is getting to be. Here she is with her lamby book from her Great Aunt Janet. She loves to "read" this book because the outside is really soft and the pages crinkle. I wish my books were like that!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Emmy's New Ride

Weight-wise, Emmaline could still use her baby carrier carseat, but sadly, she is too long for it. Today was the first day she got to ride in her new girly carseat. She loves being able to sit up more and look around at everything. I always tried to buy neutral-colored carseats before so that they could be passed down to our other children, but since Emmaline is the final arrow in our quiver, I couldn't pass up this pink one by Graco that we found at Target. Enjoy the picture below of Emmy showing off her newly acquired clapping skills. She is such a happy girl!

Hidden Valley Farm

Jacob and Gabrielle went to Young's Dairy a couple weekends ago to get pumpkins with Grandma and Papaw. We still didn't have a pumpkin for Emmaline though (and it is supposed to rain most of the week), so we headed to Hidden Valley Farm today. We walked for a bit, took some pictures by the pumpkins, and then the rain started. Perfect timing to head inside to buy some fresh cider, apples to make applesauce, and of course, Emmy's pumpkins. After that, we headed home in the rain feeling good about accomplishing our pumpkin-finding goal before the weather turned yucky.

Daddy and his girls

Walking to the covered bridge

Mom and the kids

The Kiddos

I've resigned myself to the fact that it is near impossible to get a picture of all 3 kids with everyone looking in the same direction at the same time. This was the best of several pictures we took. Emmy is staring at a piece of straw she picked up off the ground.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Happy Sweetest Day!

Nathan says this holiday was made up by Hallmark so that people would have another reason to buy cards from them, but I like to take advantage of the day to tell them kids how much we love them (again and again and again!). Plus, who couldn't use another reason to give them gifts?! Jacob, Ellie, and Emmaline were well-showered with books, mostly about fall things. We spent lots of time reading and were successful in finishing them all. Hope you had a good day with your loved ones too!