Monday, December 30, 2013

What I *Mostly* Read in 2013


I didn't do a very good job at keeping track of what I read towards the end of this I'm pretty sure this is not an all encompassing list and although it's numbered, the second half is really in no particular order at all.........

I know, I know, you can hardly stand the suspense. Here is the list of *most* of what I read this year:
  1. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, by La Leche League International
  2. The Blue Castle, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  3. 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help, by Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D.
  4. Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, by Dr. Laura Markham
  5. Lark Rise to Candleford, by Flora Thompson
  6. From Homer to Harry Potter: A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy, by Matthew Dickerson and David O'Hara
  7. Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home, by Susan Hill
  8. The Blue Flower, by Penelope Fitzgerald
  9. All New Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew
  10. Month-By-Month Gardening in Florida, by Tom MacCubbin
  11. Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida, by Ginny Stibolt and Melissa Contreras
  12. The Flying Inn, by GK Chesterton
  13. Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
  14. The Three R's, by Ruth Beechick
  15. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise
  16. David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
  17. What's Eating Your Child?: The Hidden Connection Between Food and Childhood Ailments, by Kelly Dorfman
  18. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
  19. Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons
  20. Manalive, by G.K. Chesterton
  21. What Are People For?, by Wendell Berry
  22. Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir, by Agatha Christie
  23. The Catholic Guide to Depression, Aaron Kheriaty
  24. The Light of Faith: Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis
  25. The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry, by Wendell Berry
  26. The Seven Storey Mountain, by Thomas Merton
  27. Crooked House, by Agatha Christie
  28. Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life, by Elizabeth Scalia
  29. Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health, by Toni Weschler
  30. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, by Neil Postman
  31. Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck
  32. The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours, by Daria Sockey
  33. The Seven Dials Mystery, by Agatha Christie
  34. Postern of Fate, by Agatha Christie
  35. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
  36. Blessed by Less: Clearing Your Life of Clutter by Living Lightly, by Susan V. Vogt
  37. The Heart of Parenting: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, by John Gottman, Ph.D.

Also here are our Grown Up Read Alouds (aka what my husband read to me before/while I fell asleep):

  1. The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-earth, by Ralph C. Wood
  2. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

I would recommend all of these books--I suppose with the exception of Code Name Verity which I read for a book club and didn't care for.  I just couldn't get past the whole WWII female pilot/spy no one batting an eye part and I really disliked the fact that no one questioned the choices made in the end. 

I don't think I could pick one favorite non-fiction book this year, but at the top list would be Wendell Berry, Thomas Merton, and Neil Postman and I'm certain I'll be reading more of them all in 2014.    

If I had to pick a favorite work of fiction I think I'd go with David Copperfield although I've developed an Agatha Christie habit that is beginning to get out of control as can be seen by my favorite Christmas present.......

I feel as though I should make a public apology to Dame Christie--I never wanted to read her work because somewhere along the way I likened Agatha Christie mysteries to those of Mary Higgins Clark and completely dismissed them (I guess because they were both women and they both wrote mysteries?).  Then I watched an episode of Poirot....then I watched every episode of Poirot, and when I ran out of those I watched every Miss Marple episode and movie I could find......and then (it's actually really embarrassing how long this whole process took) I thought to myself "if I think these are all amazing surely the books must be even better?"  So finally, I went on a quest for a good mystery and grabbed a book at random at our used book store and brought it home.  It was Come, Tell Me How You Live, which--in case you are as deficient as I in Agatha Christie knowledge--is not a mystery at all but a memoir of a trip to the Middle East.  After I got over my initial confusion I loved it and I guess it should be in my top non-fiction list too :)  Also, I think I should add early twentieth century travel journals to my list of things to read more of in 2014.....does anyone have any suggestions?  I would especially like it if they involved long train rides across Europe and lots of tea drinking in the dining cars.....copious amounts of knitting optional.   

PS This post includes affiliate links :)

PPS In case you've read this far and are severely disappointed in the lack of pictures of adorable children here you go.......

The boys have been playing "book seller" with the baby's new wagon which is............precious :)

Pop over to Carrots for Michaelmas to check out more book lists!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Merry Blurry Christmas

As per usual, almost the entirety of my pictures of Christmas morning came out my defense those boys of mine are on hyper light speed when it comes time to open presents.....and they get up before the sunrise so it's super dark.  Maybe this year will be the year of mastering my camera in less than ideal light situations.  I did manage to get some pictures of things that were standing still though :)

The first thing Henry said upon seeing the stockings this morning was, "Do you think Santa brought me more chocolate coins?!?"  Why yes, Henry, I think he just may have......Really all Henry wants out of Christmas is candy and a couple of books.  David on the other hand, well David wants presents, lots and lots of presents :)

I painted a canvas car mat of our neighborhood for the boys and it turned out really well.  Currently it can't compete` with the three new boxes of legos but I'm pretty sure it's going to hold its own once the excitement of getting ALLTHETOYS wears off ;)

John Michael loves pushing around his walker wagon, and it took the big boys about ten seconds to realize that they could push John Michael in it as well for double the walker wagon fun.

Henry has restocked his arsenal and was running around all morning with a sword in one hand and a cap gun in the other fighting every invisible bad guy in sight.

While David was mostly just a blur running through the pictures on his way to the next present......

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

On Christmas Eve

Right now Chris is at midnight mass or I guess more accurately eight o'clock mass and I am home with the two children who would not have made it through.  Santa can't come yet since little Henry may arrive home awake, as unlikely as that is so I thought I'd share pictures of our Christmas Eve so far :)

Christmas cookies were made with this amazing sugar cookie recipe and this icing.  They turned out really well considering the helpfulness level of the boys and the fact that Henry felt the need to nibble off various parts of every cookie he decorated......

We had some friends over for dinner and then the plan was for us all to head over to mass together in our coordinating outfits and come back to our house afterwards to celebrate.  About halfway through dinner I realized that our plan was going to fail miserably....or rather, I was going to be miserable wrangling my minions through what promised to be a very long I made the executive decision to stay home with the boys while Chris went on ahead.  Henry insisted that he really wanted to go to mass with daddy though so...I guess we'll see how that went when he gets home :)

I did get some  lovely photos before things really got crazy here.......

Chris calls this look "business on the top, party on the bottom."  I'm pretty sure he got two weeks of convalescence leave simply because it will take two weeks to be able to wear his uniform pants again.  His incision corresponds almost exactly to the placement his waistband....Don't worry, he did put on pants to go to mass--they're unbuttoned and held up loosely with a belt and a prayer.

Well, as you can see, there's at least one person around these parts who is beside himself with excitement that Christmas is finally here, even if he couldn't join the menfolk at church :)

Merry Christmas to you all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Post Op

Well Chris' surgery went well and now he's convalescing quietly in our room.  And by convalescing I mean napping and watching movies by himself on his iphone that he isn't allowed to watch in our living room with me because they are of a disturbing and/or action/adventure nature.  

My biggest advice for taking your husband in for a hernia operation would have to be to not bring your baby along.  Trust me, he will not be amused.  

He may however really scare some ICU nurses when he plays his favorite game of try to run as fast as you can to get through the automatic doors before they close and then proceeds to scream, cry and bang on the doors when he doesn't make it......again (because he was just so sure that this time was going to be the time and he would finally make it to that unknown paradise that lay just beyond those irksome doors).  The nurses might come running to the door horrified, knowing that the only thing that would make a child screech at that particular decibel would be that his precious little hands had been completely crushed.  "No, no," they would need to be reassured through the glass, "he's just really angry........"

It was a rough morning filled with no naps and thwarted dreams of climbing into elevators and playing in biohazard containers.

Poor little dear.

Now we get to move on to Chris' recovery which includes not lifting anything over twenty pounds for the next six weeks--which happens to be the magic number that excludes him from lifting any of our current children.  And probably the trash can.

This should be fun.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Preparations

Every Advent I tell myself that this year I'm not going to go crazy with the Christmas decorations until closer to Christmas, you know, building up the anticipation and all.  I have this dream of trimming the tree on Christmas Eve while the children are sleeping so that when they wake up on Christmas morning they have that Yours, Mine and Ours moment of peeping over the banister (in my dream, along with more holiday patience we also have a second floor with a very grand staircase), seeing the tree all decked out and yelling "he's been here, he's been here, Santa Clause has been here!" while waking up the rest of the house to join in on all the merrymaking.

We'd also all sing carols around the piano but that's a whole other dream involving actually owning a piano, knowing how to play it, and to sing. 

Well, this is not the year for my holiday dreams to come true.  I mostly blame Pinterest. And the fact that I really like our tree and all of our special ornaments......

We've been adding a family picture ornament each year and it's really fun to look at them all and wonder how we were ever so young...... in old are we here--fifteen?  Just look at my husband's baby face!

We really don't have much in the way of other decorations.  I've been paring them down to things that have some actual sentimental value and are worth moving every two years and also we don't have a ton of extra space for display.  Really though, no matter where you are in our house you are only three steps away from being able to see the Christmas tree, so the other rooms don't need decorating, right?  :)

I did get a little fancy with my cardboard though, and a bunch of scrap tree branches we picked up when we bought our tree.

I think I'm most excited with the jingle bell garland I made a la Pottery Barn.  Since we don't have a mantle, I strung it across the window, as per usual.  One perk to waiting to decorate is that you find crazy deals on Christmas decorations at all the stores--my jingle bells and ribbon were already on clearance two weeks before Christmas.  At those prices, I let the boys each pick out an ornament too and I also may have grabbed a little raccoon ornament to which Chris replied, upon seeing it on the tree, "I'm never going to live it down and I?"  No, no sweetheart, you're not :)

In other Christmas news, I attempted a second photo shoot of the boys for this year's ornament (the first shoot for our Christmas cards did not yield any pictures of all three children looking pleasantly in the same general direction--so if you're on our Christmas card list be on the look out for another awkward Reintjes' family photo--you. are. welcome.)

This time this was the winner:

I'll just let you imagine what the rest must have looked least  no one was crying this year!

For some reason this one just won't sit still to have his picture taken.

And in other, even more exciting Christmas news, grandma Reintjes shamed Chris into putting up our Christmas lights even though he didn't want to because this year the base is charging us for electricity if we use more of it than four of our neighbors do (don't ask, it's complicated--and also annoying).  On the positive side, once our neighbors saw that we put up our lights, they all put theirs up too--probably because they know their energy usage will most definitely be safely below ours.  Oh well, it's almost Christmas and the house is most definitely cheerful, if not super Advent-y!

Don't the icicle lights really set off our palm tree?

Now, I really need to go work on addressing those cards....and guarding the tree from the baby......and maybe next year I'll have that staircase and piano and all my Christmas dreams will finally come true......

And on a completely different note, Chris is going in for surgery this Thursday to repair a hernia so please send your prayers our way!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chairs are for Toppling........

It appears that nothing is safe.  Now along with constant worries of surprise Christmas tree attacks, I also have to worry about every stool and low lying piece of furniture......

Aunt Kate's predictions have come true.  He's a climber.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

We almost missed it, but daddy remembered at the last minute and the children awoke to shoes filled with chocolate coins and candy canes as well as a fairly random assortment of new Christmas books that St. Nicholas may or may not have picked up at the library seconds sale........

I've been praying the St. Andrew novena this Advent and if you haven't started it you should really jump on in!  Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things perfectly sums up everything you need to know, she says:
You know, I never pray the novena perfectly. Every year I miss days. I fall asleep. I forget. I'm human, after all, and so are you.
It's easy to slip into superstitious thinking, but we are Christians- we are not superstitious people. Chanting a prayer fifteen times a day for four weeks does not unlock some secret power or cause God to change His will.
Prayer doesn't change God at all. It changes us.
I've found this to be perfectly true already.  I began the novena fervently praying for my own intentions and now already my intentions don't seem as important as they did last week.  The prayer has become a meditation preparing my heart for Christmas and heaven knows I needed that.
Steeping ourselves in the Christmas novena helps us remember to trust that He is who He says He is. When we quiet our hearts and our worries long enough to ponder the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold, we are made ready for the miracle of Christmas.
Go read the whole thing!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Candles are for Rolling

We are a little off our Advent game this year with Thanksgiving and the first day of Advent being so close together (although I probably shouldn't be complaining knowing what those of you celebrating Thanksgivukkah had to accomplish).

We did manage to get our Advent wreath up and running in time for the second day of Advent though and I pulled out the nativities and Christmas books, so even if we don't accomplish anything else this season I can still feel pretty good :)

I ended up buying this Advent candle making kit and the boys loved it.  Well, David loved it.  Henry said he wanted to make the pink candle and when it was time for him to do it he said he wanted to play with the nativity angels instead.

I asked him if he was sure.

He assured me that he was.

I asked him if David could make his candle instead.

He said that yes, David should make his candle.

After David finished rolling the candle and we assembled the wreath Henry burst into an hysterical crying fit sobbing, that he thought he might have "told a lie" and that he really did want to make a candle.  It didn't end well, but I assured him that if we needed to make another candle before Advent was over he could roll that one.  It looks like the kit has enough to get through two and a half Advents or so, factoring in the occasional need to replace that first purple candle that burns the longest so I'm sure he'll get his chance--whether he takes it or not is another story......

In other really exciting and interesting news, I went to a cookie exchange this weekend and I won the prize for "most tasty" cookies--well I suppose great grandma Haigh's easy and delicious raspberry thumbprint recipe had more to do with it than my baking skills, but the prize was a new apron and I am in love with it! I pretty much snatched it out of our lovely hostess's hands before the other winner could choose it as her prize because I am gracious like that.

These were all that was left of the cookies the next morning.  You'll notice I did not win any prizes for prettiest cookie........

And in case you are interested, but mostly because I already typed it up for the party anyway........

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

Cookies:                                                                      Glaze:

2/3 cup sugar                                                               1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup softened butter                                                  1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. vanilla                                                                2-3 tsp. water
2 cups flour
½ cup raspberry jam


Combine sugar, butter, vanilla and beat at medium speed until creamy.  Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour until mixed well. 

Cover and chill in refrigerator for one hour.

Shape into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Make an indentation with your thumb in the center of each cookie and fill with ½ tsp. of raspberry jam. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350˚ (don’t over bake!).  Cool for one minute on the pan and remove to cooling rack. 

Once cool, make the glaze by mixing powdered sugar, vanilla and water and drizzle it over the cookies.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Picture Failure

We have grandma and grandpa Reintjes in town for Thanksgiving this year and yesterday for the main event we had over a couple of friends as well and our priest who popped in before heading off to the galley to eat with the rest of the sailors--which was probably a poor choice as far as delicious food is concerned, but I guess priestly duties do require sacrifices :)

We had a lovely time and it was really nice to divvy up the cooking responsibilities and only worry about making half of the meal.  Unfortunately we had so much fun I only ended up with two pictures and I'm afraid neither of them is of any precious children so any grandparents reading this may want to just give up now.....

Ah, the entirety of my Thanksgiving decor.  When you're trying for all free decorations you just make due with what you have and in our case we have a lot of cardboard.  David helped make the garland but he kept getting mad because he thought we should write "Happy Thanksgiving" and he couldn't understand why I wouldn't agree to cut out all those extra letters.

I did make an emergency Thanksgiving day grocery store trip to buy a bouquet of flowers that I split between a couple of mason jars to make the table more festive.  I ended up putting some craft paper across the table since I don't have a long enough table runner which turned out to be fun for the kids to draw on while they waited for dinner to be ready and then again for dessert.  I also busted out the real china because I refuse to tote things around from house to house that we don't actually use and I don't want to give up my pretty china :)

Now I have big plans for the weekend that involve getting our Advent wreath together and finishing up our Christmas shopping and in the mean time I hope everyone is enjoying their day after thanksgiving leftovers as much as we are :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Walking Too Soon

We were at a birthday party this weekend and John Michael was totally showing off.  The other moms-of-just-one-baby kept looking at him and asking, "How old is he?" umm....9 months.  I tried to reassure them that baby milestones are not a competition and if it made them feel better my boys tend to be early movers and late talkers (which is a great combination if you like your children running pell-mell down the street and not answering your desperate calls to "wait for mommy!") but I'm not sure if it really sunk in.

If David were walking this early I would have been obnoxiously proud, but as it stands I'm mostly just tired :)
As exhausted as the idea of one more mobile child makes me though, it's still pretty cute to see such a little guy wobbling down the hall so we tried to capture it for all of you who I'm sure are super interested.  I'm afraid we weren't too successful but here's a blurry video of his back as he takes off down the hall for your viewing pleasure.

You are welcome.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

In Which I Tell You to Stop Texting Me

The baby has murdered my phone.

I'm not sure how exactly because I didn't actually observe the execution but when the phone was found it was definitely covered in baby drool so I'm pretty sure that rules out the older boys.......

Now my old phone, may it rest in peace, was not what you'd call fancy but it did have a keyboard on it so I could send and receive texts and pictures with limited amounts of fuss.  Well that's all over now because this is my current phone:

Oh yes, an oldie but a goody circa 2007.

Luckily for me Chris never has the catastrophic accidents that seem to plague my phones and he has a drawer full of old yet still functional phones that he can activate at a moments notice.  (This phone was actually once part of a matching pair but mine met its end in a glass of orange juice--catastrophic accidents I tell you!)

There was a brief discussion about him downgrading himself from his iphone to the old flip phone and giving me the fancy phone as a personal test of his manliness but in the end he realized that his manliness wasn't up to the challenge--I mean after all his schedule is on on there!--it's linked to his calendar for goodness sake!--how would he read the drudge report I ask you?--how would he know where his friends and family are located without having to actually speak to them?  I'm not the only one who still thinks iphones are a little creepy am I?

I still haven't gotten my contacts switched over to this phone yet because we haven't quite decided if I'm keeping it or not--so, sorry if you haven't heard from me lately--apparently I only know two phone numbers off the top of my head, Chris' and his dad's--because grandpa Reintjes' cell is the same as his old house phone number that I used to call quite a bit back in my younger days :)

I can't decide it I want to spring for the iphone or just keep this antique or upgrade to some non-internety option (if those still exist that is).  I'm not sure I can be trusted with the internet in my pocket--I mean I can barely be trusted with the internet in my laptop and also there's that tendency towards catastrophic cell phone accidents.....

All of this is to say, for heaven's sake please stop sending me text messages!

I don't have it in me to use hip texting slang, so in order to reply to you it will take me fifteen minutes to painstakingly scroll through each letter to spell out every word, with all the correct punctuation and smiley faces--you know, because I'd hate for you to think that I was unintelligent or rude or accidentally hurt your feelings with a complete lack of appropriate emoticons.  If you simply must text me let's just make a deal.  You only send me messages that require yes or no answers and I'll reply with either "Y" or "N" and we'll all agree that no one will be offended at my oh so concise replies.


Deal :)

I'm sure I'll let you know if my womanhood ends up being up to he challenge of the flip phone downgrade or if I too succumb to the allures of the internet phone, only time will tell......

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Open to Life and in the Military

**This is NOT an announcement**

John Michael is nine months old and Chris has been making fun of me for already wanting another baby.  Now, you may be on his side and agree that I am in fact a crazy lady with mostly irrational worries about my fertility, but I've been doing a lot of thinking about this and I've finally figured out the problem.

It's my countdown clock.

That's not to be confused with my biological clock--although I do already hear that one ticking loud and clear.  No, this is my "countdown to our impending move" clock and when it hit the one year mark it sent my desire to be pregnant right now into overdrive.

It's really hard to be open to life and in the military.  I mean, I know it's hard to be open to life in any number of other circumstances as well, but when you know you have to move every two years, your timing has to be just about perfect or you have me--the woman who perpetually arrives at each new town either pregnant or pregnant and alone or about to become pregnant and who has no real friends there to help and must rely mostly on the kindness of strangers or as I like to think of them, friends we just don't actually know yet.  Sometimes it feels like God is using my fertility solely as a means to give other people service opportunities.

All of that is to say, I'd really like to have a baby here where I do have friends that I've known longer than five months as opposed to there in that unknown location looming out in front of us where I most likely don't know anyone at all and could potentially be too far away for even family to come.  It doesn't help that there could be pretty much anywhere and although I'm sure it would be fine, I'd really rather not have a baby in Guam....or Japan.....or Guantanamo Bay.....not that those aren't all lovely places.....

I mean if I had a baby here I know pretty much what to expect and I may even get that much longed for baby shower (Auntie Leila says every baby should have a shower so who am I to disagree).

If I had a baby here I could be sure that I wouldn't need to worry about things like moving to our next duty location ahead of my husband--or worse having to stay behind--if I'll be too pregnant to travel when it's actually time to move.  We're about two months away from that iffy window where you don't know where or when exactly you're moving next so getting pregnant is taking a big gigantic leap of faith since you literally have no idea what the future holds except of course for the fact that it won't be happening where you currently live.

We could just wait--wait until we know exactly where we'll be going, wait until we can plan everything out, wait until everything will be perfect.  Even if we could count on the military to actually make a plan and not change it at the last possible moment, waiting for the "perfect" time to bring a new life into the world isn't really an option for us.  For one, we don't believe that that ever elusive "perfect" time really exists and, more importantly, we do know very well  that just because you want a child doesn't mean you get to have one and just because you conceive a child doesn't necessarily mean they are yours to keep.  Let's face it, if we put off having another child simply because we didn't know what the future had in store for us, John Michael would probably hold the title of  'baby of the family' indefinitely.

So my countdown clock keeps ticking and every month that passes that window of finally having a baby here and not there is shrinking and if it's making me feel a little crazy who can blame me?  I'd like to say that we've just turned our fertility over to God and that we trust in His timing--which we do in the sense that we're pretty much just winging it over here--but....well it's easier to say that than it is to actually let my own desire to control everything go and really stop worrying isn't it?

I know I should stop worrying and let the future unfold as it will, but that's not really in my nature--after all, who wouldn't want to be sure they could make more babies if they keep turning out as cute as this one?  

So, if Chris happens to mention to any of you that his lovely wife is a little bit crazier than usual, feel free to defend my honor and let him know that it's clearly not my fault--it's my countdown clock!  And also feel free to send up some prayers for me and all the other military moms out there trying to be open to life, I'm sure we could all use them :)  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Dumbo Style

After watching Dumbo....again.....David decided that we should dress up John Michael as Dumbo for Halloween......after finding a $3 slightly too large baby elephant costume at the consignment store I decided to make his dream a reality.

Well, not the whole dream.  I'm pretty sure David's dream also included flinging his littlest brother out of a window and trying to catch him in a cup of water.  I'm such a party pooper.

We borrowed our neighbor's firefighter costumes and I made a bow tie and little hat for John Michael along with Timothy Q. Mouse who obviously needed to come along for the ride as well :)

Including the bulk pack of clown noses I bought on Amazon I think I spent about $6 total.  Yay for Halloween thriftiness!

I wasn't going to do the whole burning building thing, but this morning, in a sudden fit of Halloween spirit, I told the boys we could make it after all.  They were super excited about it......and then really disappointed because I wouldn't also make them cardboard sides for their wagon to turn it into a fire engine.

Ah, gratitude.

I'll let you take a guess at how long those clown noses stayed on.

Chris told everyone at work that he was in the clear and that I didn't possibly have enough energy to make the building today.  He was super surprised to find it waiting for him when he got home from work!

Don't you just love husbands who are good sports :)

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