A Decorating Tradition

As soon as Thanksgiving is over, the first available evening that all five of us can be together we reserve as “Decorating Day”. It takes a good chunk of the night, so it takes commitment, and some years the kids are more gung-ho than others. This year it fell on Monday the 26th. The success was mediocre, with Rudy Mae and Calum both falling ill right before we started, but our home still looks lovely and festive and has helped push me further into the holiday mood than ever.

Complete side note: I did a post a bit back about some vintage nativity pieces I found at a thrift store. One thing that I can say is really, really me is most things vintage-y, treasure-y, olden-days-y, etc. I don’t love things/possessions (okay, I might have a slight love-affair with my books, but I digress) but I really do feel like all of our holiday decorations, and home decorations in general, really reflect who we are. I am extremely happy with our collection of decorations and I hope my photographs have done them some justice.

My favorite decorations are those of the homemade persuasion. A tiny version of Calum.

Pasta ornament!

Ziven’s version.

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A Few Halloween Treats

We get pretty excited about holidays in our house, but for some reason this year, Halloween has seemed to have gotten swept under the rug. Oh, we have costumes picked out and a few decorations up, but usually it is all on a much grander scale. I did manage to catch a few things in photograph that had something or another to do with Halloween and I present them here for your viewing pleasure:

“You talkin’ to me?”

Just a Baby Spider-man browsing through the store, no big deal.

Hulk SMASH?

Rudy Mae thoroughly enjoyed these Spider-man glasses.

She really loves hats. She will leave them on forever.

Part of the costume we decided on. At that moment she actually did NOT love hats and refused to wear the gnome hat/beard that completes the look.

Yellow Springs holds an annual Zombie Walk every year. The boys have always enjoyed participating, but this year we took Roo up too. I’m not sure how she felt…(I promise, she thought it was fun. That zombie is my friend Natalie and Rudy knows her.)

Ziven opted to be a zombie hunter this year.

I just can’t ever be serious, and if there’s any time to be serious, it’s when you’re being attacked by a zombie.

Calum was your typical zombie and did quite a splendid job at it. Creep. (I cropped this photograph because two of Calum’s friends were in it and out of respect for them and their parents, I did not want to included them not knowing if they would be okay with it.)

They were setting off paper laterns at the Zombie Walk and in the midst of all the doom and creepiness, it was a rather lovely moment of calm.

Happy Halloween to you and yours!

Complete Again

I do not think it will ever be possible to put into words the way it felt to have the boys gone for over two months, or even more so, the way it felt when Caleab, Rudy Mae, and I saw them again for the first time.

For about two and a half weeks now the boys have been home and things have never been better. If Caleab and I were able to get anything beneficial out of the boys being gone for so long, it’s that we both had true realizations about life with the boys. We had many a good conversation while they were away. We talked about never taking them being with us for granted. We talked about no matter what, giving our all in encouragement and support. We have always been that way, but after a while sometimes, life becomes routine, and you might forget to really take a moment and truly from the bottom of your heart talk to your children about, well, anything; making sure to tell them how proud you are of them at every opportunity. We talked about our levels of patience. We talked about remembering they are children and explaining things thoroughly when needed. We talked about ways to help them grow to be more responsible, ultimately starting a chore regiment and planning on sticking to it for once, and an allowance, which they have never had in their 13 and 10 years of living.

The moment we were reunited, our enhanced way of thinking and parenting began immediately and I am certain that it has affected the boys’ behavior. They will always have their moments, but I promise you, they are both being more responsible and more respectful than Caleab and I have yet experienced.

And this is all from the parental views. You cannot even begin to imagine how having her brothers back has affected Rudy Mae. The three of them are all more in love than ever and as a parent it just really makes your heart hurt with love.

The first moment that Rudy saw Calum. (The boys were so excited, they could not even wait for us to unload from the car; they ran out of the house as soon as we pulled up. Thank goodness I had my camera ready.)

The first moment Rudy saw Ziven.

So happy to be together. (She might be feeling a little squashed though, haha.)

We have plenty of things that frustrate me: our financial situation, our job situations, our living situation. I have not thought about a single one of them since the boys have been back. I am so in love with my life right now. I know what true joy deep in your heart is.

My Cure

If you asked me with what, I could not even tell you, but I feel like I have been super busy lately. I feel bad about slacking on the blog. To rid my brain of this guilt, I am doing a ‘hold-over’ post, with a few photos of just life, or most likely, a lot of Miss Rudelle Mae. The dates of the photographs range from June 2, 2012-July 1, 2012. Enjoy.

Calum Asher, my second born. This was the first day we had the camera, testing different settings out, etc. Even with that look on his face, he’s still terribly handsome.

Penny Lane is a pretty cute, very loving cat. She is probably one of Rudy Mae’s best friends.

Fluffy Kitty is an old cranky man. His zest for life is all but gone. Our love for him may be the only thing keeping his heart beating, cause God knows he’s one old stinkin’ cat.

This kid. He makes me smile.

Caleab and Rudy Mae walking up to switch the laundry.

This is too cute.

When Rudy sees something of interest, she is always very intense in her looking and showing.

She has this one belly laugh that is so deep and funny, and this little Goblin Grin usually accompanies it.

Obsessed with any technology, my first born, ZIven Keenan, is one of my go-to’s for computer help.

Why do my boys barely smile when the camera comes out? Still handsome as ever!

(Trust me, we do clean her face!) Calum was feeding her snacks and taking her pictures. She thinks it is the funniest thing in the world when people put things on their heads and especially if afterward, they then put it on her head .

She was supposed to be taking a nap, but to no avail. She instead decided to rip the bookmark out of my book and play with it (a bookmark, I might add, from China, from my Aunt Gloria when she used to live there). Also, she is in love with that Star Wars pillow case, constantly pointing at the characters, most especially Chewbacca. In addition to the point, he also gets a loud growl.

Rudy was a dancing queen that weekend at Grandma and Grandpa Wyant’s.

Three generations of cuteness: Grandpa Dennis, Dad Caleab, and Toddler Rudy Mae.

A big smile from my baby. This girl is genuinely truly happy. It, in turn, makes me truly happy.

Excited to be playing with musician extraordinaire, Daddy.

There are plenty more where these came from. I had to eventually stop myself when I realized the post was going to be miles long. At least next time I have a lull in my blogging, I’ll know just what to do, and have the means to do it.

A Favorite Activity

Some things that Rudy Mae is really into, I hope will not stick, like the dumping out the cats’ food and water or trying to eat the loose litter bits that the cats kick out of the litter box. There is one thing, however, that I hope is an indicator of her future hygiene habits: she absolutely loves brushing her teeth. She doesn’t quite have the proper technique down yet, but as long as the drive is there, that is all I care about. The day before the boys left, I snapped a few shots of Rudy and Calum partaking in this activity.

Sitting on the toilet, Rudy enjoys her teeth brushing routine.

Calum and Rudy Mae brush their pearly whites together.

Rudy feels like it is her duty to help make sure everyone brushed the best they could.