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I started this post on December 4th and hoped to have it done prior to Christmas, however, the family became ill and busy preparing for the holiday and travel etc…I had such grand expectations but I am terrible at this blogging thing.  Hopefully now that the holidays are behind us and with the impetus of the “New Year” I will stay on top of the blog in the following weeks.  Christmas and New Year posts coming soon.

We enjoyed sharing Thanksgiving with family.  Scarlet and I traveled to my mom’s in the morning and visited with my sister, brother, nieces and nephews, sister-in-law and grandmother.  Samantha stayed at home with JoJo, she was ill and having a meltdown.  Samantha was fine after a nice nap in her own bed.

I spoke to my father on the phone and wished that we could have enjoyed dinner together, understanding and knowing that I will see him soon enough.

Later that day we enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at our house with Bill (Grandpa), JoJo, Michael, GeeGee and Grandpa Jack.  My father-in-law, Bill, cooks every year and it is always delicious!  GeeGee’s apple pie was also very yummy.  I over indulged for three days straight (okay, I haven’t stopped).

Michael came to stay with us the week of Thanksgiving, it was his first time staying without his parents and it went very well.  He is Kelly’s little brother (six years old) and the girls are totally in love with him.  He is so good with them, he had so much patience and entertained them every chance he got.

There are so many things that I am thankful for everyday.  Spending quality time with loved ones is right up there at the top.

To top off the weekend I spent Sunday with my mother-in-law, Vickie,  having breakfast, going to the O’Connel Center craft festival and having ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery;  Pumpkin pie flavored ice cream, you can never have too much pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving week.

It was a wonderful holiday, despite having five people in the house sick at the same time.  Here are some photographs.   We visited the Grossology exhibit at the museum and took Michael and the girls to see Madagascar 2, it was the first movie the girls completely sat through at a theater.

The girls and I made this for cousin Karen

The girls and I made this turkey out of leaves for cousin Karen (Gee Gee helped us collect the leaves).

Sharing a meal with Michael

Sharing a meal with Michael

The girls loved "playing" video games with Michael

The girls loved "playing" video games with Michael

Grossology

Michael climbing into the mouth...

Michael climbing into the mouth...

and crawling out of the rectum...oooww, gross!

and crawling out of the rectum...oooww, gross!

Playing snot trivia.

Playing snot trivia.

Grossology snot

X-ray of Michael's intestines, he obviously has an upset stomach.

X-ray of Michael's intestines, he obviously has an upset stomach.

Giant operation game

Giant operation game

Gross, intestines, or is that the esophagus?

Gross, intestines, or is that the esophagus?

Shooting balls into a giant nose.

Shooting balls into a giant nose.

Samatha's turn

Samantha's turn

Scarlet's turn...

Scarlet's turn...

I thought my nose was big, it was cool when it sneezed inside the nose.

I thought my nose was big, it was cool when it sneezed inside the nose.

Climbing on zits!

Climbing on zits! Watch out for that puss...

Making this big guy burp really loud.

Making this big guy burp really loud.

Michael took this picture.

Michael took this picture.

Michael and Samantha

Michael and Samantha

Michael, Samantha, Kelly and Scarlet

Michael, Samantha, Kelly and Scarlet

The girls had such a great time jumping all over Michael in their bouncey house.

The girls had such a great time jumping all over Michael in their bouncey house.

Making Thanksgiving turkey cards.

Making Thanksgiving turkey cards.

I was raised by a die hard “yard saler”.  I was always embarrassed and ashamed by that fact.  Cowering down into the floor board hoping no one that I knew from school saw me while my mother gleefully rummaged through other people’s used stuff;  Cursing the fact that she had no respect for my pride and wishing that we just had the money to go to the Mall.  As an adult I have come to appreciate that yard sales provide bargains and are also eco-friendly.  There is something very elating about finding a bargain.  The girls are only two years old right now, so I have no qualms about wrapping up someone else’s forgotten riches and surprising the girls with them for Christmas (Provided the items are gently used, in good condition and in some cases brand new).  You can take the girl out of Starke….

I have friends who would not be caught dead at a yard sale and others who shop yard sales weekly or monthly and I can relate to each of them.  I feel that I do not shop yard sales often enough.  Before yesterday the last time I went to a yard sale was this past summer and I found a bouncy house for the girls that cost TEN DOLLARS!  They have played on that bouncy house oh so many hours, just about every day since I brought it home.  They have also learned how to do front flips, which has been great for their self esteem and overall enjoyment.

The twins club held its fall yard sale fundraiser yesterday and I went away with  a lot of little treasures that have kept the girls busy for hours.

So mom, thank you for teaching me that it is okay to shop outside of the box.  Please do not get any ideas that I will ever pick through dumpsters, despite the condition of the wooden chair that just needed to be reupholstered, or that I would pull over on the side of the road because I spotted something shiny that just happened to be a cigarette case with a brand new pack and $20.00 contained inside.

Very fun games!!

Very fun games!! Samantha asked to sleep with her butterfly net last night. (Elefun game $4.00 yard sale, $19.00 Target)

$8.00 at yard sale, now we can return the $20.00 one we just bought at Home Depot.

$8.00 at yard sale, now we can return the $20.00 one we just bought at Home Depot.

200 Mega Blocks that the girls LOVE

200 Mega Blocks that the girls LOVE

Scarlet's coveted treasure, she found a tiny plastic egg in the box of blocks and carried it around with her all day.

Scarlet's most coveted treasure, she found a tiny plastic egg in the box of blocks and carried it around with her all day, she kept it warm and talked to it, then pretended to cook and eat it in her kitchen (is that normal?).

The girls love books and really enjoy these new ones.

The girls love books and really enjoy these new ones.

Elefun! Catching butterflies!

Elefun! Catching butterflies!

Old McDonald, each mommy had two babies, the girls really liked that.

Old McDonald, each mommy had two babies, the girls really liked that. Nolan wondered what was going on with all the farm animal noises.

Wrapping up Halloween

As I drove through my neighborhood the Tuesday after Halloween and noticed the Jack-O-Laterns sticking out of the row of garbage cans, placed for pick up, I realized that I had gotten lost in the wake of this holiday. Our pumpkins still sat upon the front corridor, the candy dish filled with candy still sat upon the console table and the fairy wings still on the floorboard of the van. Halloween just came and went in the blink of an eye. The girls were so enthusiastic about trick-or-treating this year. We all had so much fun and on the eleventh-hour I am sharing the moments with you all…We went to Boo at the Zoo, did some trick-or-treating around the neighborhood and then went to visit Cousin Karen’s for a little while at her halloween party (next year we will have to get a babysitter and stay longer).

Carving Pumpkins

This is yucky stuff

This is yucky stuff

Finished pumpkins

Finished pumpkins

Boo at the Zoo

Boo at the Zoo

Excited to get some candy in my basket!

Excited to get some candy in my basket!

Waiting in line at Boo at the Zoo, having fun checking out all the costumes.

Waiting in line at Boo at the Zoo, having fun checking out all the costumes.

It is getting dark at the zoo, "where is my flashlight mommy?"

It is getting dark at the zoo,"where is my flashlight mommy?"

Cave man playing the drums, the girls didn't know what to think about him, but they took candy from him anyway.

Cave man playing the drums, the girls were a bit afraid of him but took candy from him anyway.

More Boo at the Zoo, scarey pumpkin patch

More Boo at the Zoo, scarey pumpkin patch

Trick-Or-Treat! (Samantha)

Trick-Or-Treat! (Samantha)

Creepy alien at the zoo.

Creepy alien at the zoo.

Daddy & Samantha at the zoo

Daddy & Samantha at the zoo

Mommy & Scarlet, She was soo intrigued by the spiders hanging EVERYWHERE.

Mommy & Scarlet, She was so intrigued by the spiders hanging EVERYWHERE.

Headed to cousin Karen's haunted house party, no fear! (Samantha)

Headed to cousin Karen's haunted house party, no fear!

Nothing is scarey as long as I have my flashlight!

Nothing is scary as long as I have my flashlight!

The girls with Cousin Karen (The "F" bomb)

The girls with Cousin Karen (The"F" bomb).

The "F" Bomb (if you heard Cousin Karen's potty mouth, you'd understand).

The"F" bomb

We rarely get the whole family in the same photo!

We rarely get the whole family in the same photo!

Dr. Feelgood

Dr. Feelgood

Dr. Feelgood's wife

Dr. Feelgood's wife.

Justin Timberlake from the SNL skit (very funny).

Justin Timberlake from the SNL skit (very funny).

The mad scientist delivered some shots in this, very cool.

The mad scientist delivered some shots in this, very cool.

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

Last stop this all hallows eve (while leaving Karen's these people still had their lights on).

Last stop this all hallows eve (while leaving Karen's house these people stil had their lights on)

Weekend Projects

Okay, I know that I am very behind on posting.  I have so many great stories and pictures to share with everyone.  Unfortunately, both girls and I have been very sick.  The good news is we are all much better now and I am ready to catch everyone up!  For time sake I am posting a quickie at the moment, but will come back with more later.  I have such a hard time sitting and typing when the girls and their father are enjoying the outdoors or anything for that matter.  I should be enjoying this time that I have to myself while he is entertaining them, but I do not want to miss anything.  In fact, I was watching them play outside while I sat at the breakfast nook table and realized they were “rescuing” another “baby animal”, which was really a dragonfly.  This comes from their love of the Wonder Pets TV show.  The pool and screened enclosure provides numerous opportunities for them to play rescue.  I will have to do a separate post with pictures of their rescues….My point is that it is hard for me to concentrate on blogging when all of this fun activity is going on outside, so as I said before this is a quickie.

This past weekend “daddy” was very busy building a surprise for the girls.  Some of you may know, with Kelly about to graduate we are in sort of “limbo” at this point in our lives, not knowing if we will be moving for work or staying here etc..it makes home projects difficult because we do not want to waste the time and money if we are moving.  Regardless, we decided the girls needed something fun to play on in the backyard so we invested in a small swing set and “Daddy” put it together this past weekend, with a lot of help from the girls.

Wait, the screw should go right there.

Wait, the screw should go right there.

Let us mark these boards for you, okay, start cutting right here, wait that's a smiley face not a line

Let us mark these boards for you, okay, start cutting right here.

It's my turn to hammer!

It's my turn to hammer.

Got to get these screws in order

Got to get these screws in order

Look Daddy it's an "A"

Look Daddy it's a big "A".

See my balancing act?

See my balancing act?

Who knew how much fun a slide could be before installation

Who knew how much fun a slide could be before installation

I am going to balance on this big "V" Mommy!

I am going to balance on this big"V".

What are you doing Daddy? What are you doing Daddy?.....

What are you doing Daddy? What are you doing Daddy?.....

How much fun to be in the yard all day long!?

How much fun to be in the yard all day long!?

Wait Daddy, let me tighten this one bolt and we'll be all done

Wait Daddy, let me tighten this one bolt and we'll be done.

Yippee the slide is finally done

Yippee the slide is finally done

I want to go "super fast!"

I want to go"super fast!"

We can fly like SUPERMAN!

We can fly like SUPERMAN!

Once the swing set was complete, the girls helped “Daddy” plant pansies and petunias in the front yard.  Their friend Claire stopped by when she saw the girls in the yard and she helped them also (unfortunately, she got her pretty dress all dirty, but her mommy didn’t seem to mind).  The girls could not resist picking the flowers off the plants, so there is a lot of green planted, but they will come back, hopefully spread and be beautiful.

Preping

Samantha and Daddy preping

more prep

more prep by Scarlet

Claire even helped prep

Claire even helped prep

Gotta rake out these roots from the last plants

Gotta rake out these roots from the last plants

Whew, this is hard work, I need a break.

Whew, this is hard work, I need a break.

Cool! We found a worm!

Cool! We found a worm!

Let me pick it up, no let me..

Let me pick it up, no let me..

Here's one Daddy

Here's one Daddy

Time for water.

Time for water.

we sure love the watering part

we sure love the watering part

I have copied the following post from someone I know whose father just passed away this week from Alzheimer’s disease.  My grandmother also passed away from this horrible disease and I am always fearful of it striking our family again.  If you are interested in donating any amount of money to this cause, please visit the link below.

“friends are amazing. this morning i learned that a team has been organized in dads honor to walk in the local 2008 statesboro memory walk next saturday at bulloch academy. the team is called: the griner gang. it is humbling. it is touching. it brings tears to my eyes. as dad rests are the ogeechee area hospice facility here, there is a team of people prepared to walk on georgia/florida saturday in his honor, in our honor really.  i don’t know what to say. thank you. my heart beats an extra thump of joy with this knowledge. as my family endures this season of our lives i must express my sincere gratitude for my community and my circle of friends. i love you all.

i am joining holly’s team as the teams goal is $500.00. if you would like to support us, please go here to our team page. i know money is tight for everyone right now so please don’t feel obliged to make large contributions, however even a dollar donation will help our team and help our cause and support dad. i can not tell you how much it means to me. thank you.”

You may also visit christyhulsey.wordpress.com to see the above post, while you are there check out post “That’s My Job”, it is very touching.  Makes you want to hug your father doesn’t it?

The girls have had a lot of fun lately enjoying Halloween festivities.  We recently attended the twins club party at the park.  The weather was great, the food was even better.  It was potluck and everyone brought such wonderful dishes to share.  Everything from pumpkin shaped PB&J sandwiches, curry chicken salad, couscous with garbanzo beans and cranberries, southwestern chicken salad, to cherry dump cake, brownies and cookies.  I made pumpkin bars, recipe from The Better Homes and Garden cookbook.  They turned out okay, but they were not what I expected.  They tasted more like pumpkin bread with frosting.  The girls wouldn’t eat anything except a lollipop.  I wonder where they get all of their energy from, it couldn’t be from food.  There were about 15 or so twin families who showed up and it was so fun to see everyone in their costumes.  Unfortunately, I could not persuade the girls to wear their Tinkerbell costumes.  I was so busy decorating, socializing and rounding up the girls that I did not get a chance to take many pictures and the ones I did take did not turn out too exciting, meaning I did not actually get any of the twins in the same photographs and I did not get even one photograph of Samantha.  Despite not having photographs the party was a big hit and the girls had such a great time jumping in the bouncy house and playing in the park.  They were exhausted and napped well when we got home.

Having fun in the bouncy house

Having fun in the bouncy house

Jumping with Spiderman

Jumping with Spiderman

Soup Talk

I took the girls to playgroup at “Miss” Stephanie’s the Thursday before last (I am really behind in posting!).  While they had a great time running around playing inside and outside (Scarlet has not stopped asking to drink out of the water hose outside ever since), my point of this post is that Stephanie made a delicious homemade creamy tomato soup for lunch.  She served it with delicious bread from The Fresh Market store_locationsDetail.aspx?StoreID=66(I love that place!).  This has inspired me to search for yummy soup recipes.  Especially since the weather is nice and cold.  So if anyone has any recipes, tips or secrets for the perfect soup that they would like to share please let me know.