We don't just go places...we have ADVENTURES!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

7 out of 9 Cousins Agree

......that Jefferson is the place to be for Thanksgiving!!! (and only 7 because 2 were celebrating in California!)
David and his family made the 10 hour drive from Indiana to join the Zoo Crew for Turkey Day. We had a lovely long weekend, feasting, playing and visiting. Counting our blessings, too, of course.

Jacob and the boys bonded over Legos and video games.

Abbey & Laurel bonded over just about everything 5 year old and female.

On Friday, we hit the Black Friday sales for a wee bit of shopping. Later, pretty much the whole batch of us headed off the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Center at Dulles; Forrest was able to join us for that fun little road trip, too, rounding out our large number. We were quite surprised to find it so VERY crowded, but not surprised to find that it was VERY cool! Saw all kinds of crazy cool stuff, including the Space Shuttle and the Blackbird aircraft used in the most recent Transformers movie.

Check out more pictures here: Thanksgiving 2009

Great times...and the Zoo Crew is tickled pink that Dave's family is so much closer now and able to come visit more easily!!

If you are reading this, know that we are VERY thankful for you! Blessings as we enter this crazy busy Christmas season!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Patrick!!

Twelve years old today!! Can't believe it, really. We've been through some amazing times with this guy...incredible highs and heartbreaking lows. No matter where we've been, though, he continues to bless us with his perseverance, sense of humor and willingness to give just about ANYthing a try!

We celebrated his 12th year in a simple Zoo Crew way....birthday treats and presents. This year, we went with a giant birthday cookie...Patrick LOVED it!

Gramma & Gramps sent him blank DVDs and DVD case inserts on which to immortalize his movie-making efforts. (I'm thinking he's got a future in Independent Films!!)

His loopie birthday pal (Brittany from Reno, NV) sent a big box FULL of Lego kits--Bioncles, vehicles, space aliens. Patrick is in Lego heaven!

As I type this, he is working his way through building a Lego kit of about 8 vehicles, playing nicely with his brothers. I can't help but sit and stare a little, pausing to reflect that a couple of years ago, I would never have thought he'd be able to interact so peacefully for so long. Watching him read the directions and follow them so closely, I am in awe of the wonderful works God has done for this kiddo...and sending a special thanks to the many who have helped pray our family through these first 12 years of my boy's life.

Happy birthday, my first son!

Check out more pics here: Patrick's 12th Birthday (We had a couple of special guests for his big day, too!)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Boo from the Crew

After diligently completing our chores for the day, the Zoo Crew was ready to play!
With Miss Ashley's help, we had a little cookie decorating fun. Loved these kits from Target! Abbey, Ben & Miss Ashley opted for the traditional approach and frosted theirs in orange. Ben fashioned his jack-o-lantern face from black bats! Abbey figured that the sprinkle-o-rama approach was best. Patrick selected a black frosting base; the results? ummmm, TASTY (?)

A traditional Halloween dinner of corn dogs followed the cookie appetizer. (No, seriously, we actually had this conversation! "Hey, Mom! What's our family tradition for Halloween dinner?" My response? "whatever is quick & in the freezer!" Ahhh...the memories!)

Miss Abbey sported a festive purple pirate look, complete with ruffled hat.

Ben had a rough time of it this year. He said he didn't really want a costume, rather he just wanted to be Halloween-y. After rejecting my suggestion about going AS Halloween (I'm thinking black sweat suit covered in all sorts of Halloween icons, Halloween decorations glued on--cool, huh?), he told me he'd wear black sweat pants and an orange shirt. We found one that says "I don't do tricks, just give me the candy!" which made his little 7 year old heart swell.

Matthew's exhaustive search for the perfect knight helmet was unsuccessful, so he he wore the headpiece that came with his costume, despite the scratchiness.

Patrick, who is besotted with all things Verizon, dressed as his alter ego, the Verizon Man. One of our neighbors made his day by recognizing him and asking "Can you hear me now?" Patrick happy danced all the way back down the driveway!

Check out the pics here to see more--including fun with The Spider Lady!

Happy, tired and ready to devour their loot, the beasties made their way back home for a bit of a movie night with Daddy, complete with caramel apples. Sugar highs bring sugar lows, you know....so our weary crew collapsed happily in bed. We hope your Halloween was wonderful and fun, too!

PS: Our missing beastie was off visiting her friend for a scary movie fest. *sigh*