Happy Halloween!

I keep telling Kayden's Mommy she should blog because she has sooo much to tell :)! She's almost there but until then I get the honor of sharing some of Kayden's "firsts". So tonight she came to Trunk or Treat which was her first trick or treating experience. As you will see, she enjoyed all the faces!!

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Trunk or Treat anyone?

For those of you that are 'local', come on out tonight for the 2nd annual Trunk or Treat at Leetown United Methodist Church! Cierra started this tradition last year and it was a big hit! It's safe, fun and exciting. Maybe we'll see you there!


Witches and Goblins and Spongebob, Oh My!

Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays however when you have children, there are certain things you just 'have to do'. So year after year about a week before October 31st (or whenever Trick or Treat is being celebrated), we need to figure out what each child's costume is going to be. Sometimes they even want to go to parties that actually judge the costumes. Shew....competition?!

A few years ago I did come up with the perfect costume which was actually really popular at the time.

Thursday's Thoughts -

Signs are very popular these days. You see those that make you laugh, those that make a statement and then those that on the right day, really hit home.
Last night as I was getting ready for bed the picture hanging on our wall caught my eye. I see it every day but after spending 2 hours waiting in line to pay our respects to a wonderful, young man that lost his life to a tragic accident last weekend I realize how short life really is and the importance in living, laughing and loving, every day.

I have never quite seen anything like it although the mass number of people coming to see Hart's family isn't surprising. When I arrived around 6:00 p.m. there was traffic stopped on the main highway. The parking lot, all grassy areas and roadway was lined with cars. It took over two hours to get through the parking lot and into the building. Once inside, another long line however we were greeted by Hart's dad who was so appreciative of everyone coming out. The entrance and hallway was so personable. Hart's hats, boots, pictures, WV flag, diplomas and all kinds of personal stuff surrounded us. It was becoming more and more difficult for Cierra to hold back her tears but she kept fighting. Hart's sister greeted us and spoke of her brother and how he loved the Fair, too. Hart's Mother was holding up so well; such an amazing woman. As Cierra talked to her about how much she liked Hart and what an impact he had on her during the Fair, his Mom too became emotional and told Cierra of how they plan to do something for the Fair in memory of Hart. This is a wonderful family who has been through so much yet remains strong.

So it is now that I realize how short life can be and how grateful I am for my family and being so close to my children. I can't imagine losing a child but can only try to understand the pain. I think I do a pretty good job of making the most of every day but there's always room for improvement. No better time than now, right?

I don't typically blog about the 'raw' me but I think you will agree that the loss of such a young, wonderful person that had an impact on so many people gives us reason to want to Live, Laugh and Love.


Wednesday's Walk down memory lane...

Today we remember - Hart Bennett

The community is very saddened by the loss of such a wonderful young man. Everywhere we go and everyone we talk to is struggling with the acceptance of this tragedy. Just this past year during the fair Cierra came to know Hart better and liked to joke with him about purchasing her lamb. During "fair week", we get used to seeing each other and many become known as our "fair family". When we heard the news on Saturday, it was difficult for us to comprehend that he is gone. Cierra continues to have a tough time with this although we do our best to help her understand how short life can be sometimes. She even said to me tonight, "it's true, only the good die young". Wow.

Please keep Hart's family and the many friends he had in your prayers. He will truly be missed.


Another win!

Jeremy might not have won the pumpkin carving contest Friday night but his horse won today! "Reallyneededitback", ran in the 9th race this afternoon at the Charles Town Races. Congratulations J!

Once the formal picture arrives from the event I will post but this is as good as it gets for now :)



This week's photo challenge is Halloween Dress-up. Since my children are 'too old' for dressing up these days, Cierra and I decided to play with Kayden. Oh my....her Mommy made her a really cute orange, white and black tutu that looks really cute with her cat ears and black nose. I struggled with the paint that ended up on more places than her nose so we opted for just shooting the adorable baby that she is....

Kayden has just started pat-a-caking herself.... She loves to hear "pat-a-cake" and is figuring out we like it when she claps! She gets so excited!!

But - she can be serious, too.And there's no question, she is truly a blessing!

Game on...

We had a slight change in plans yesterday due to the rain and the need to take Cierra to the dr. - we had originally planned to all go to the Pumpkin Patch then have a pumpkin carving contest. Well, the rain changed the Pumpkin Patch plans as we didn't want get all wet and Kayden hasn't been sick once in her 9 months so we didn't want to risk that either.

Cierra has still been coughing and just doesn't really have the energy we are used to so we packed her up and headed to the dr. Luckily they confirmed she did have the 'flu' but was on the downslide now with just the remnants that would have to run their course. She's no longer contagious and should start feeling better every day. So, that's good.

Back at the ranch, LOL - trying to work around everyone's work schedules is difficult so Britt still wanted to carve pumpkins. While we were in Frederick her, Brandon and Chase picked up enough pumpkins for everyone to carve (thank goodness for Wal-Mart)! We didn't have J, Ash and Kayden but everyone else got their pumpkin and set out for some carving!

It was pretty intense and not a lot of talking.

After about an hour, the first pumpkin came in - Ronnie finished first! He had a bet with everyone that whoever was last had to buy dinner!
Then 'Queen B' finished up -
Next up....Brandon
Now comes "Queen C"
And last but certainly not least - Chase man!and no, he didn't buy dinner!!

They had a lot of fun - we have a new Halloween tradition! Next year will be fun, too since Kayden will be able to help :)

Saturday's Song

It's amazing how one blog leads to another and another....Some have playlists and others are silent. While blog hopping I stumbled across this song then realized I actually have one of their songs on my playlist. While I like the traditional Christian music, I really enjoy several of the newer groups I have found. I hope you enjoy!

REMEMBER - you must stop my ipod on the left side so you can hear this music!

Trial run....

We played around with Kayden's Halloween outfit today so I took a few pictures. She cracked up as Cierra fussed at Java. Not sure why but Cierra kept it up so Java is probably trying to figure out exactly what she did to be fussed at so much...

The RONNIE show - AM 740

If you are familiar with talkshows, there is a very popular one in our area, WRNR Talk Radio AM 740. Yesterday they had a very special guest - Ronnie!

As most of you know, he is very active in our community and typically doesn't say NO to any request. So who else should promote the Shenandoah Area Council, specifically the Mannahoac District 2009 Food Drive but Ronnie?! Last year was his first year as the Food Drive Coordinator and they were able to meet the goal of over 15,000 lbs. That had never been done before, ha!

This year is another difficult year with our local food pantry in dire need of food. We are raising the bar in hopes of bringing in 16,000 lbs and need all the help we can get. If every family gives one can, what a difference that would make. WRNR is very supportive and allowed Ronnie to talk about the Scouts and explain how important it is to support these boys. Thanks WRNR for allowing Ronnie to be a part of your show!
For those of you in our county, this year's food drive is as follows. We will be distributing door hangers on November 7th with pick up the following Saturday, November 14th. We are asking for everyone's support. If you don't receive a door hanger by November 9th and want to contribute, please contact Ronnie at 304-725-8021. We will pick-up. The best part of our drive is that all the food stays local. Our boys enjoy this annual activity and love unloading all the food at the pantry, they like making a difference!

p.s. Ronnie has already been asked to join the show again next month, promoting the Soap Box Derby so stay tuned :)


Happy Birthday Julieanne!

I hope you have the best birthday ever!


It's all about those Fall decorations!

Just once a year but, oh I love them so. This week Kelly is featuring our Fall decorations.

Some of the greatest are not those that you can purchase or even those that you can decide when you put them out and when you pack them away......

however there are those that tend to come out year after year and make our homes warm and welcoming....Last Fall at our church's 2nd Sunday Supper our craft/activity was to make a cross out of these colorful leaves with a bible versus in the middle. This hangs on our refrigerator!
This is one of my first cross stitch projects from soooo many years ago. While it's not something I would make now, it still holds a special place in my heart :)

Love this! I am even thinking this could sit on the ledge between our breakfast nook and family room all year.
I love sunflowers so fell in love with this wreath a few years ago!

Fall is the most colorful season and one that is loved by our family. It's a time when life seems to slow down a little (just before the holiday season) and because it gets dark sooner, we find ourselves indoors, doing things together. It's also the season where the weather is typically warm enough yet comfortable to enjoy the outdoors on weekends and there's nothing better than RV'ing in the Fall. I love getting home from work and lighting the candles, watching the news and getting dinner started. The night usually winds down by watching a little tv, reading or catching up on e:mails and of course there's blogging :)

Thursday's Thoughts -

My newest 'Fall' hobby is reading Paula Deen magazines. That's right, thanks to my sister I am now buying cooking magizines, ha. Who would have thought, right?! I scan the magazine and think of what I should fix next.....(keep in mind I'm just thinking right now, LOL). So in my adventure to get creative and be planful of Thanksgiving, I have been trying new stuff. Tonight I baked some really yummy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin muffins. One of my favorite food blogs to go to is Cozy Kitchen by the Sea. While reading her blog the other day, this recipe caught my eye so I decided to give it a whirl. I must say it is one that I will certainly add to my 'favorite' list! It was a big hit with my hubby so now I'll take some to work and see how that goes! If you're interested, please click on the link which will take you to the recipe.

So, what are your seasonal hobbies?


Wednesday's Walk down memory lane...

It's hard to believe Java has been a part of our family for nearly 5 years! I have never been a 'fan' of dogs so when Santa brought this little puppy to our home I was very surprised. Didn't Santa know!? Cierra was also not very fond of this happy, full of life puppy either :)
My how times have changed. Not only have I adjusted to having this furry family member but Cierra has, too!


Do you believe in ghosts?

Many years ago (before Chase and Cierra were born) Ronnie and I went on the 'ghost tour' in Harpers Ferry, WV. We loved it and were fascinated by the stories and happenings that lend themselves to ghosts. Since then we have talked about going back and taking the kids for a few years but you know how that goes, it just didn't happen.

Well folks, it finally happened. Tonight we took the Boy Scout Troop down to Harpers Ferry for the Ghost Tour! Ronnie talked with Rick the owner and got it all set up. We ate at Chick-fil-a then headed down to see Ma for a few minutes then met as a troop down by the train station.
After a few minutes, Rick appeared and asked for us to give him a few minutes. While waiting, I snapped some pictures and absorbed the beauty of this historic town just 15 minutes from us, ahhh! (we need to visit more often).

And so Rick appeared, dressed for the part! He explained how long he had been conducting these tours and what we could expect. He did ask if there was anyone with a digital camera. Yes, proudly I raised my hand. He ventured to say that some people had actually caught some really strange marks on pictures which have been thought to be ghosts. He even went on to explain how the color of these spots tells what kind of mood the ghost is in. He also said he would let me know where the spots where that were most apt to capture these unforgettable sights however in some cases ghosts truly didn't like to have their picture taken. (what does that really mean?)

Off we go down through the streets, up to the top of the cliff by the church then down behind the buildings, everyone truly amazed by the stories and what seemed to be so real! At one point he even scared the kids, ha!

We ended up back where we started, sang a John Brown song and heard what happened to Rick on October 16, 2004. Wow...let me just say that is the anniversary of John Brown's raid which wasn't a very happy time...anger was definitely in the tavern where Rick was singing.....interesting.

So, what's missing? Those of you that follow me and know me well will see that there is no group picture of the Troop or us. Odd, right. REALLY odd because this is where it gets scary. Back in the beginning when Rick was asking about digital cameras, he did mention that he had heard of situations where camera batteries went dead without reason however once the camera was out of 'ghost town', their battery appeared to be fully charged. I intentionally grabbed a new, fully charged battery before we left yet when I went to snap the group picture I had nothing. No lights, no flash, just a screen with a dead battery. Ok,just a fluke? Maybe but how does that explain this when I got home?