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*** update… the pics are finally here. after a week+, we finally got our internet fixed so that i could upload pics…. the slideshow is at the bottom of this post.***

yes, yes, yes. I know that I didn’t not have a single blog post during the month of October. It’s not for lack of pics or stories… more the lack of ‘want to’ and lack of extra time since (sorry Mama) a lot of time is now being spent on facebook.

a not-so-quick run down….

we went apple picking at a small orchard with some of our Care Group on Chuck’s 31st b’day. it was our first time ever. after being initially disappointed at the selection of ‘good’ apples (& after a brief delay while I fed small apples from off the ground to the friendly cows in the neighboring pasture), we finally found some apples that were low enough for the boys to pick & looked extra yummy! in the barn store, we looked at a beehive behind glass, tried some homemade candy & delish apple butter (a new favorite of mine). if you typically don’t like apple butter or are not sure if you’d like it, try this: spread a thin layer of apple butter on a ritz cracker. something about the saltiness of the cracker with the apple butter makes for an oh-so-yummy treat! later that day, we ate dinner with the Shaws at Longhorn for Chuck’s b’day and then went to a park/playground where the kids played & laughed. We enjoyed Julie’s homemade apple pie that she made earlier that afternoon with the apples they picked from the orchard that morning… now that’s fresh apple pie!!

later in the month, we hosted Donnie Slade (an old family friend from Rome, GA) for a few days while he was in town to do a KidzBlitz event at our church. we had a good time with him & really enjoyed the event at church. more than our enjoyment, we had 23 kids accept Jesus as Savior at the event! AMAZING!

for Halloween, our church took a new approach this year. we didn’t have our annual Family Fall Festival. instead, the leaders decided to put our church people back into their neighborhoods. we handed out 1400 Fall Fun Packs to church peeps that were full of ideas to create opportunities to connect with neighbors on halloween night. one family served hotdogs & soft drinks to their neighbors and another family set up a fire pit & met new neighbors as they came by to trick or treat. the idea is to begin building relationships with your neighbors which may eventually lead to an opportunity to bring them to church or share Christ with them. i really like the idea, though we didn’t do anything in our neighborhood this year since this was Trip & Quinn’s first time ever going trick-or-treating. which, by the way, quinn LOVED!! he practically ran to the door of every house. he had to ring the doorbell AND knock on each door even if Trip had already rung the bell. he would also keep saying ‘trick-or-treat’ until he had his treats! it was really cute! Trip was a Police Officer this year and Quinn was Robin (batman’s sidekick). we let him pick out his own costume this year (usually Quinn just gets the costume Trip wore 2 years before). we think it is funny that he chose Robin which was a slight demotion since he was Batman last year…. seriously, who chooses to be the sidekick?

Anyway… below is a slideshow for your viewing pleasure. i’ll catch up on the first half of November in my next post & will try my darndest not to get so far behind going forward! :0)

(p.s. if you mouse over the pics in the slideshow, your pointer becomes like a magnifying glass and you can enlarge portions of the images!)

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we had a pretty good september. some of the highlights include a trip to the zoo where chuck fed a giraffe. he called himself the ‘giraffe whisperer’ right after the zookeeper fussed at us saying that we should not be feeding the animals. i’m hoping he’ll post about it on his blog soon.

we also went to the annual Balloon Race at Forest Park in St. Louie. i really wanted to go last year, but i put aside my wants to go see the Tour de Missouri bike race with chuck instead. we met the Shaws & Hoffmans there and had a blast. usually the energizer bunny balloon (probaby 3 times larger than a standard balloon) takes off first and then lands somewhere. the other balloons are trying to find it & drop a bag of birdseed. the closest drop is the winner. it’s less of a race & more of an accuracy game. the ‘race’ was delayed b/c of the windy conditions and they were never able to get the Energizer Bunny far off the ground. another balloon acted as the one to chase this year. here are a few pics:

we also were given AMAZING tickets to a Cardinals game last week. they were in the cardinals club seats which included a fancy schmancy buffet at a nice restaurant under the stadium seats (never knew it existed) and all you can eat food/drink you order at your seat. we had a server that would come by once or twice an inning & ask us if we needed anything. she would write it down & be back within minutes with our food & drink. it was super cool! here are a couple of pics from the evening…

chuck & i in the cardinals club restaurant

the view from our seats in the 7th row

our friends Beau & Ashley that went with us

we also just took a family trip to the pond at the park/rec monstrosity near our house to feed the fish. i’ll post about that later!

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Trip (who is 3 months away from turning 5 years old), made a girl cry today at school.

Kylie (last name withheld), was in his class at Mother’s Day out for the last couple of years and they became fast friends…. and I do mean “fast”. Several times at pickup the first year, the teachers reported that Trip had kissed Kylie at the playground or in the gym. This year, things have changed. First, they are not in the same class this year. This fact alone has made Kylie a little disappointed (per her mom). Second, Trip is growing up and is more shy in public than he used to be. These two things led to the above mentioned ‘crying incident’ today.

After I picked the boys up from their classes, we walked thru the gym as usual. Right as Trip reached the door, Kylie ran up out of nowhere and tried to give him a hug. He pulled away and with a mean tone, said “NO!” And the crying began. There were tears… real tears. I immediately squatted down and hugged her & apologized for Trip’s behavior. Her mom walked over and asked what happened. Kylie left my side and told her mom thru the tears that Trip wouldn’t let her hug him. Her mom’s smiling eyes & grin caught mine. We both agreed that when Trip was 18, he’d probably be singing a different song, but it’d be too late by then! I whispered a secret in Kylie’s ear that I hope she remembers for a loooong time. “boys are stinky“, i said so that no one else but her mom could hear. “just remember that.” and so it begins… my big kid is already breaking hearts…

(p.s. quinn on the other hand, gave kylie a big hug to help her stop crying… guess he picks ‘em up after trip knocks ‘em down!)

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we went on a 2 week vacation in early august. the first week was spent at Santa Rosa Beach, FL. chuck’s parents took us on vacation. the condo was amazing & even though it rained 3 days, we had a great time. thank you! thank you! thank you to charles & sharon!!
we left there & spent 2 nights in Buford with my brother Josh & family. thanks for letting us visit!! from there, we packed back up & grabbed one extra passenger (my nephew Eli) and headed to my parents’ house in N. Carolina for a week. we had a great time filled with activities, but also a much needed relaxing trip as well. while we were there, we went to an animal park called Hollywild (1/2 zoo & 1/2 open range where you can feed deer, buffalo, bulls, etc. that come right up to the open window bus). we also visited the local children’s museum. most of the “good pictures” are on chuck’s computer. i put this slideshow together with a few pics that i had on my camera. hopefully i’ll add the others before too long.

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so…. i’ve had a lot to ‘record’ on my blog over the last 2+ weeks… i was a crazy blogger today… make sure you read all the posts for some serious scoggins fun times!! there are 4 or so separate posts for today (other than this one)…. i know you can hardly wait to scroll down!!!!!!! go ahead… catch up on our lives….