Monday, November 28, 2016

We are Thankful!

Our Thanksgiving was a fun time to get together with family and catch up on life.  This family just keeps growing and growing.  The kids had a blast playing outside with their many extended cousins in Daddy's family.  Daddy has 10 first cousins on his mom's side, and now there are 18 great-grandkids.  Baby Grayson will make number 19, and we have three more on the way next year with one set of twins.  It is hard to believe all of these kids were born in less than 10 years with Evan being the oldest.  Eddie's Grandma Mattie had so looked forward to watching her great-grandchildren grow, and it makes me sad she never got to meet any of them.  I know she enjoys watching over them all though, and we are very thankful to still have great-grandpa who just turned 87.  So we celebrated all we have to be thankful for with good food and family.

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We had to visit our precious Mattie and take her Christmas wreath.  With baby brother coming soon, we aren't sure when we will have another opportunity before Christmas.  

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All together for Thanksgiving. 

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Sitting down to a delicious feast. 

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The kids enjoyed eating outside together, and the dessert table was definitely impressive. 

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The kids all enjoyed sharing cupcakes to celebrate three of our little Thanksgiving blessings.  Happy Birthdays to Emilia, Robert, and Grady. 

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Grady is 4 now and getting so big. 

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Our country kids piled in the back of a pickup truck for some pictures. 

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They all gathered around Great-Grandpa for a picture.  Cousin April had to be included because Emilia wouldn't stay without her. 

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We used the self-timer for a whole group shot.  I wish it was the whole family, but it was still an amazing feat.  Grandma Mattie would love this.  We were missing all of Aunt Dava's family and some of Aunt Homa's.  

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Hudson clan!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Evan's Fall Webelos Adventures

This Fall has been a balancing act between school activities, sports, and Cub Scouts.  I can only imagine how difficult life can get as each of our boys gets more involved in outside activities.  Evan missed a few Cub Scout outings due to sports and other family conflicts, but he has enjoyed some good times so far as a Webelo.  He only has one more year of Cub Scouts after this year and then he can choose to transition into Boy Scouts.  This is all pretty new to us all since Daddy was never involved in Cub Scouts, but it has been a good learning experience.  Brody seems to be interested in continuing the journey next year.

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Our handsome Webelo who is also the best big brother in the world. 

Fall Camping Trip

The first camping trip of the year happened way back in September so the weather was still nice and warm.  The boys did a lot of activities, including a long hike, at Falls Lake State Recreation Area which is located on Falls Lake in the northern part of our county.  Although there was a later camping trip scheduled for this month, most of Evan's troop chose not to attend that one because of it getting very cold at night and already having completed the requirements they needed at the earlier camping trip.  Eddie and Evan spent the first night alone, but Brody really wanted to stay the second night.  We had driven with them up there on Friday night to help them get settled and take them to dinner, and Brody really wanted to stay.  Fortunately for him, Daddy left his keys to his car in my car that night so I had to bring them back to him the next day.  I think all of the boys enjoyed this camping experience.

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Evan had to put his own tent up by himself so Daddy was just there for emotional support.  

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These two just enjoyed traipsing through the woods and playing in the dirt. 

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And supervising big brother's work. 

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I took a little walk with these boys down to the lake which was not too far from the campsite. It was a lovely day in late September. 

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Some of Brody's nature photography. 

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And some of his pictures of us. 

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Evan putting the finishing touches on his tent while little brother explores. 

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Yes, these boys like big sticks. 

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We came back the next day and hung out for a while. 

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Evan helped his buddy, Jackson, with his tent, and they enjoyed playing cards and a some ball game they made up during free time.  Evan had to bring his soccer ball of course. 

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The group all dressed up on their last morning. 

Harris Lake Park

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The boys also learned a little about trees and forestry at this park close to our house. 

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Forester Eddie showed them how to take a sample of the tree to see how old it is without hurting the tree or cutting it down. 

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They pointed out lots of different tree species on a little nature walk. 

Teaching Soccer

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For another requirement, they had to teach other kids a sport.  They chose soccer so they taught a young group of Daisies to play. 

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Giving advice to the Daisy troop.

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Evan's group taught them to play a little practice game called sharks and minnows.

Raingutter Regatta

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Evan created a new masterpiece for this year's raingutter regatta. 

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He made a pirate ship we named Evan's Revenge (like Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge).  

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The kids just enjoyed racing one another for about an hour.  There were no official winners or losers. 

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There wasn't enough water in the trough which made it tough to blow their boats, but Evan won a couple of his races. 

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This little cutie just looked so adorable sitting down to watch the action. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Our Halloween 2016

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Yes, we decided to continue our new tradition of a family costume theme.  I do hope Evan will not mind joining us in this endeavor for a few more years.  These costumes were pretty simple to make although it did take some work to cut out all of the pieces and hot glue them to the shirts.  It was a pretty affordable costume arrangement since I got the shirts for less than $3 each from Michael's and also bought some inexpensive sheets of felt.  We are working on bringing the 80s back with our retro Pac-Man family.  I have to give Eddie a little credit since it was his idea, but I did implement most of it.  He didn't think the names were needed on the shirts, but I thought they were a nice touch.  Notice that I even had to use the pixelated letters from the video game.  I just love my little Inky, Blinky, and Clyde and especially love my little blue ghost that I ate.

Who knows what we will be next year?  The boys have already been a Ghostbuster duo which was pretty popular this year because of the new movie.  I am not sure where we will end up next year.  Evan wants Star Wars, of course, but I have resisted that one since it has been so trendy in recent years.  Sigh.  Last year, we started the family theme with our Harry Potter costumes.  Ideas, anyone?  Sigh.

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I thought Brody's pose was funny in this picture.  It looks like he thought his ghost needed eyebrows.  I like this costume set up because all we are missing is our little Pinky ghost which would have suited our Mattie perfectly. 

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I know it is just a big red t-shirt with eyes, but oh my goodness, I could have eaten this little Blinky up.  He is just so cute these days! 

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We got a head start on Halloween with a little festival with Evan's Cub Scout troop. The Bear troop always sets up the games for this festivity as part of their yearly goal.  Evan bobbed for a Twinkie and shot a bow and arrow. 

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Brody has learned the Cub Scout salute already, and all of the boys loved eating lots of yummy sweet treats.  My other favorite costume of the night was Evan's pal, Jasper, who was a Rubiks cube.  I thought he added to our 80s theme nicely. 

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We combined pumpkin carving and painting this year.  Brody painted his little pumpkin while Daddy and Evan took over the carving duties.  Evan gladly accepted help cleaning out his pumpkin. 

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Could anything be cuter than a baby in a diaper playing with a messy pumpkin?  I didn't think so with Brody so I had to relive those moments with Mattox. 

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Yep, this baby loved it!

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Silly boys!

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Getting to work.  Evan was very careful with his knife as he had learned to be in Cub Scouts. I helped Brody do a Jack Skellington face on the front of his, but he wanted to be more colorful on the back. 

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Evan made a scary vampire face while we let Daddy get out easy and just carve our Harry Potter eyes and lightning scar while I painted the rest of it. 

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These boys were ready to trick or treat. Mattox was just ready to drive his car.  He tries to drive it all the time and throws a fit when we take him out because we have to take the real car.  

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Brody made friends with this scary character. 

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Evan had to handle the business of getting candy before he would get in the picture.  

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We walked a different direction this year and discovered that a house just down the street does a whole Walking Dead theme around their house and yard.  It was pretty incredible.  I got startled by that zombie while taking a picture of the graveyard.  

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One zombie was still eating a victim while dead bodies lined the sidewalk.  A fence around the property kept zombies in while Neegan made his special appearance with the lovely Lucille and offered to assist visitors to the candy for a share of the profits.  Ugh, does anyone else have an intense hatred of Neegan now?  I am really getting sick of him.  Sigh. 

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Decorations were a lot more tech savvy this year with laser projected messages on houses and ghostly skeleton shadows dancing in windows.  `

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Mattox enjoyed his first trick or treat experience and did leave his beloved car a few times to participate. 
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Getting some candy and trying a piece.  Unfortunately a tootsie roll and its paper wrapper "disappeared."  Haha!

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Big brothers showed him what to do. 

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And Daddy Pac-Man helped too. 

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Brody enjoyed this giant red-eyed monster while Evan got spooked by a very tall figure of death. 

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Brody was fascinated by the real clown head on the table that turned around when he approached.  Yes, it was a real person and was pretty freaky. He also loved this little lighted pumpkin and the inflatable Mickey pumpkin. 

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Some houses preferred lots of inflatables while others created scary graveyards.  Brody loves taking pictures with cool characters like this little skeleton prisoner. 

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And we ended our tiring walk around the neighborhood. 

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It was a good night for all.  I separated all the candy into chocolate and non-chocolate piles.  There is a huge bucket of non-chocolate and a drawer full of chocolate in our refrigerator to last us a while. 


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