Saturday, December 19, 2009

The first snow...and before Christmas!

It snowed!! Snow, snow, glorious snow! Yesterday was our last day of school, and thankfully, for all involved, it was a half-day. And around 1 p.m., the forecasted winter storm hit....snow!! It snowed most of the day and into the night...with a layer of ice on top. Unfortunately, I've had the crud, and Brant is getting over an ear infection, so we've not played in it as much as normal, but Brantley did take B out last night and this morning, for a good tromp. I enjoyed watching from
the window, it was waaaaaaay too cold for my stopped up head. I hope this is a sign of a wonderful winter! If it's going to be cold, bring on the snow!
Brant and I napped this afternoon, and if you know Brant, that means he was up until just a few minutes ago! And it's midnight! So, I decided, as long as we were going to be up late, to go ahead and make sugar cookie dough. Brant, being my best kitchen assistant, pitched in. We put in all the "gredients" and got to work. Brant, however, learned a very valuable lesson. Always start the mixer on low!! He's covered in powdered sugar! We always said he was as sweet as he tastes sweet too!!

A new playset and the class Christmas party

It's Christmas come early to the O'Day house, as we decided to begin setting up Brantley's big Christmas present from Mommy and Daddy. He's graduated from simply wanting to swing and slide, to need more of a challenge! So, let the building begin! This is day 2 of the build, day 3 ended with snow and ice, so hopefully, this week, it will be completed. Tt's as complicated as it looks...notice the extra help Brantley is receiving, from Bailey,streaking by, to Brant, already playing!
Brant's class had their Christmas party on the Friday we got out for the holiday. In true Christmas style, it included presents and lots of yummy goodies. Several of Brant's classmates don't celebrate Christmas, so his class was smaller than usual. However, the fun continued! Santa's Helper brought presents, Brant got a neat tool set! I wonder how he knew!! There was also a pinata, which I missed because I had a class to teach, but it looked to be lots of fun!
We've enjoyed our first day of break today, resting, making cookies and watching t.v. Ahh, we love being on break!

All aboard the Christmas Train!

As you may have heard, we have a small son who is addicted to trains (it runs in the family, right Pop Pop?) So our ears always perk up when we hear about a new train experience. This year, for the first time, in Denton, NC, there was a Christmas train. A family owns a large farm there, and they have the Handy Dandy Railroad that runs a loop around their farm. After purchasing Christmas decorations as towns were getting new ones, they have begun what we hope will be an annual tradition.
After about an hour ride, we arrived...and entered through a candy cane lines lane. Crossing the tracks and there it was, the Christmas train! Fully decorated, piping Christmas songs, it was exciting for the adults AND Brant!
The ride was about 20 minutes long, but oh so wonderful! The decorations were extensive, even the tractors were outlined! We stopped, about half-way through, at a large screen, where we watched the true story of Christmas.
After the ride, we visited the farm buildings, which include a grist mill, general store, church, gas station and a few others. We bought corn meal that was ground there, and some great dinner, as we were starving. Despite freezing temperatures (it was spitting snow) we all had a wonderful time! There was even a Maryann (you know, Mike Mulligan's steam shovel) outlined in lights! It was a wonderful winter wonderland!
The crazy lights are actually the lights on the locomotive. Brant was looking at us, but at the last minute, the locomotive blew its horn, startling me, making me jump!

Can we PLEASE make the "Ringerbread" Village?!

As the Christmas season began, we began to see lots of Gingerbread kits out and about. Brant had begged us, for days, weeks, and what seemed like months, to get one. One day, while at Target, he got to pick it out. Faced with the choice of a Gingerbread train, house or village, he chose the village. After picking myself up from the floor, from the shock of him not choosing a train, we put the village in the cart, and off we went. Being too late to start the project, and wanting Dad to be in on the fun, we had to wait until the next day.
FINALLY, Daddy got home...and the fun began...
While the finished project was fair (count the houses...there were supposed to be bit the dust!), it was most definitely one of the more challenging projects we've attempted with Brant...for those planning to attempt the project....DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!! :-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our crazy little boy!

Life in the O'Day house has been a bit crazy, seeing as it's rained, what seems like, a month! Today was yet another rainy afternoon that Brant couldn't play outside. We occupied ourselves (Daddy was at work) by watching t.v. together, and playing. After a nutritious dinner of bagel bites, baby corn dogs and fries, Brant entered the "bewitching hour." If you have children, you know what I mean! It's the super-silly, into everything and not satisfied with anything time of the day. As I was talking to Brantley on the phone, I came in to check on Brant and found this! He said it was his drum to play with the Fresh Beat Band...I say it's the mother's solution to the runny nose!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Cowboy goes to a Carnival

Ringing the bell at the carnival

Reciting 5 Little Pumpkins

A cowboy always need to know how to build a tower

Look closely...a cowboy is leading the parade!

Too excited to even turn around for the camera!
"Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!!"
"What Brantley?"
"Mommy, is it Halloween yet??"
"Not yet, but you get to wear your cowboy costume to school today!"
"LET'S takin' too LONG!"
Friday morning started off excited and fun! The kindergarten classes get to wear their costumes to class the day before Halloween and have a parade through the school. All the other classes line the hallways to watch them. It's their claim to fame! So I drove the cutest little cowboy to school with me. Something funny that Brant has been trying to figure out is the difference between a uniform and a costume. Several times he asked me why I wore the same soccer costume he did!
It turned out that Brantley was the line leader in his class that day, and the K3 class leads the parade! So guess who got to lead the WHOLE PARADE? Our little cowboy! Later that morning was his Halloween party, and Daddy and Mommy both got to go. There were lots of yummies, popcorn and treat bags. And then...the K3 class SCARED us! They recited, with Ms. Donna, 5 Little Pumpkins, where the lights go out...and they really did! It was great fun!
Later that evening we headed to the BDS carnival. Wow, all I can say is Wow! Like everything else BDS does, it's impressive! Lots of great games, prizes, cake walk and inflatables. Brant had his run of the gym. Mom couldn't believe how many of the kids stopped and played or talked to Brant. He went from booth to booth...and boy, does he have an arm on him! He knocked down cans, trolls and duckies! It was impressive!
We rounded out the evening with dinner at Daddy's. All the staff oohed and ahhed over the cowboy and of course, he was the center of attention. It's been one fun filled weekend....tomorrow it's time to kick back and relax.

A Dinosaur, a Spiderman, and Candy...Oh My!

The party guests..Eamon(Superman), Tigue (Snakeyes), Austin (dinosaur), Brant (Spiderman) and Amy (ballerina)
Bailey wasn't scared of the wise-cracking skeleton
Brantley with the inflatables at our friends' house.
Mom and Brantley. Mom wore an Indian costume she made for ME when I was little!
Howdy pahdners! Brant was a Philly Phan..duh, I was a cowgirl.
Halloween 2009 is another one for the books! We've had the busiest one yet, with school activities mixing in with our neighborhood activities. Our family decided to host our first Halloween Spooky Supper. We had most of our neighbors and friends over for a hotdog supper with fun Halloween snacks like rice crispy ghosts and monster cupcakes. The kids all played outside in their costumes and the parents enjoyed visiting for a while. We all then headed out to trick-or-treat. We headed over our friends' home, where they set up about 20 blowups. We went to a few of their friends homes to trick-or-treat, then headed home to do the same. Mom's new co-teacher in the ESL program, Hugo, came with his wife and son. He is a visiting teacher from Colombia, where they do celebrate Halloween. It was, however, his son, Michelangel's first time trick-or-treating. He and Brant had a great time running from house to house. It really was surprising, however, how many people don't participate anymore. It seems that our area is big with the church activities, which in turn, has decreased participation. But it's just sad that Brant can't go around his neighborhood like we used to!
It's been a day of fun, cooking and decorating. Now if the Phils can pull off the ultimate treat it'd be icing on my "toptake!"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's Pumpkin Time!

The finished product, a cat, a growling face, and a goofy face!
Picking the baby pumpkin
Mommy's pumpkin, and my boys being gentlemen!
Brant had to get up close and personal with the pumpkins!
Well, I've almost gotten myself current with the blog, which is a lot to say! I promise, we will try and keep it up better. We are gearing up for Halloween around here. For weeks, Brant has told us he is going to be "piderman" for Halloween. At first, I got excited, thinking he wanted to be a fireman...but alas, it's Spiderman! Not that I'm against Spidey, I'm just not ready for the action heros yet! But thankfully, Noah also went through Spiderman around this age, because lo and behold, in the costume collection we inherited is Spiderman! Thanks Carla! You saved us 2o bucks!
We planted pumpkins this year, and have a ton of them...they are going to be huge....just in time for Christmas. We were late getting them in, so they are a lovely sunny yellow right now. So a trip to the Isley Pumpkin Patch was in order. We actually decided to get three this year, one design for each of us! Or, as Brant says, "A Mommy punkeen, Daddy punkeen and a Brantley punkeen!" Carving them was an interesting undertaking, Brant was quite intrigued by the "guts," especially when his had a sprouting seed in it! It was did it do that? It had a sprout over an inch long with leaves!
Needless to say, we had a successful carving time...and what fun it is to see the glow from the porch! Ya'll stop on by and have a look!

The end of soccer season

Hobbes, Will and Brantley showing off their trophies

Brant's reaction after someone took the ball from him! Look at the red guys in the back, soccer or basketball?!

Goooooooo Eagles! We were a little wet, but full of team spirit!

The U-4 Eagles
Soccer season is over now, and what fun we had! It seemed to be a very rainy fall which stretched the season out a bit for us. Our last two games were either very cold, or very rainy! We wrapped up our final game last Saturday. It rained almost the entire game, so we dried off, then went to our team party. After a nice lunch all together, the kids all got their trophies...with their names on them! Parks and Rec has a class act athletics program for their kids!

New York, New York!

A Central Park Family
The view from Mary and Mike's roof
"Where is 'dat subway train?"
It was windy on the ferry to Lady Liberty!
My cousin, Karen, got married October 10th, in Brooklyn, NY and we took the opportunity to "do" New York. We flew up on Thursday afternoon. Brant loved every minute of the flight....until we started to descend and his ears didn't pop...oh, the whole plane knew he wasn't happy. Maybe it wasn't that bad, but boy, it sure did seem like it! After checking into the hotel (the Duane!), we went for lunch. We had decided to take a walk, and get our bearings. Going into "tourist" mode, we walked down to the World Trade Center site. I tell you, it's still emotionally overwhelming to remember that day, much less, to remember it while looking at the huge hole where two buildings should be. Another block down, Trinity Church and Wall Street. Upon returning to our block, we found the coolest toy shop and let Brant explore...and choose.
Friday was dedicated to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It was rainy, windy and chilly, but impressive just the same. That trip needs to be mandatory for every American! Most of the rest of the weekend was filled with wedding stuff...rehearsal dinner in a 144 year old Italian restaurant, reception in spotting! We also got to see Aunt Mary and Uncle Mike's new apartment in Brooklyn! Wow!
Monday morning we headed out bright and early, heading uptown to the Museum of Natural History and Central Park. We loved seeing the dinosaurs and I loved seeing the Easter Island head, quoting, "Hey dum dum, bring me gum gum!" Catching a flight home, we finished our wonderful, but quick, trip to the Big Apple.

The O'Days spend a day with Thomas

What fun! The day had finally arrived. Brantley and I had ordered tickets for the Day Out with Thomas in Spencer, NC back in the early spring. We didn't tell him, of course, until a few days before.The morning dawned cool and cloudy, a promise of a nice fall day. It was going to be nice not to swelter! We had scheduled our ride on Thomas first, and the very first ride Thomas as giving in
Spencer. As we pulled in it was packed! The average age had to been around 3 or was nice to fit in! We booked it to the line for Thomas (we left a bit late) and boarded straight away. With a peep peep we were off! We sang "I've been working on the railway," and got certificates for
being a Jr. Engineer. Brant loved every single minute of it! And so did we, watching him!
We also had tickets for the caboose train. They hooked 5 or 6 cabooses up to a Southern Engine and we got to ride up in the cupola. Two train rides in one day! We made the rounds to see all of the Thomas things, the bouncy Thomas, the Lego Thomas, and of course, we took a ride on the turntable! It was a great day! And as Brant likes to say, "We say Thomas! He's my number 1 engine!"