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Thursday, January 26, 2017

November 2016

This was a rough day.  Caleb and Landon have never been the kids who have drawn on walls or other surfaces around the house, not even as toddlers, so when I found this piece of work on the boys' dresser, I was shocked.  Sharpie.  Landon's traced hand.  And a trail of extra fingers (?) all the way across the drawer.  Whoa.  I was of course super upset with him, and Landon is our sensitive one who gets upset easily if we yell at him.  I said what I felt I needed to say, and then just stopped talking to him because I was so mad.  He was upset, and just laid in his bed watching me scrub away at it for thirty minutes, trying every trick to remove Sharpie from furniture that I could find on the internet.  I It did fade quite a bit, but when I finally gave up and turned to look at Landon, he had passed out on his bed, still in his Spiderman costume from earlier.  Poor guy.  Was this a result of exhaustion and a bad decision in the moment?  Was he still in that growth spurt that shot him up an inch and a half since July??  Who knows what caused him to do something so out of character, but looking at him sleeping on his bed made it hard for me to stay mad at my little Spiderman.

Las Vegas trip!  Me and my beau, 'Pitbull' (as everyone called him with these shades on), had a great weekend.  This was my second time to Vegas, and we told the group we were determined to see the Strip this time.  Last trip was during summer so we did little more than lounge at the pool.  This time we got some walking and exploring in. 

In front of the Bellagio.  Fountain wasn't on :-(

Inside our hotel at the Venetian

Meanwhile the boys had a fun weekend in Lodi with Papa and Nonni - they bought and packed several 'shoeboxes' with small gifts, toiletries, and toys for children of various ages, which get shipped around the world.  This program, called Operation Christmas Child, is coordinated by Samaritan's Purse, and several  churches and preschools in town participate.  Hundreds of shoe boxes (or more sturdy and reuseable plastic bins) are sent off from our town alone every year.  Imagine the impact combined with cities nationwide!

Went to see Trolls at the movie theater.  Papa wasn't so excited about this choice, but even he came out saying it was a cute movie at the end.

Every year I LOVE looking at these trees every time I drive by them.  I keep trying to capture a picture to show how they look in my eyes... The Gingko Trees in the Shady Acres center divide turn bright yellow, and the trees that fill our backyard with the most amazing red leaves, I just can't get enough!

November 14 - Landon's 5th Birthday!  
This year Jimmy took on a new work territory, passing on Hong Kong business to a fellow employee in exchange for Dubai and Saudi Arabia.  His first trip out to visit those places and the well-establish business contacts there happened to overlap with the day we had Landon's birthday party, so we did a family birthday dinner night to Rick's Pizza, on Landon's actual birthday, so daddy could still be a part of some birthday celebrations.  

Um, doesn't Landon look like he is in high school here???  I feel like its one of those pictures that are a glimpse into an older Landon.

Daddy gone = hands-off birthday party.  Landon celebrated with friends at SkyZone Stockton and had a blast jumped until they were drenched in sweat.

I actually had intentions of throwing a themeless party for Landon this year, but apparently he and Candace (our baker at the shoppe) had had conversations about what kind of cake he would like, in great detail.  So here is the finished product - three planets (cakes) - Chocolate (Landon's favorite), Lemon (my fav), and Carrot cake (Caleb's favorite - Landon made sure we had carrot cake for Caleb).  Actual Star Wars finger flier toys and figures positioned all over the cake. 

And of course some silly kids with party favors at the end... Baker and Caleb

Landon and Silas

Caleb's school had a celebration to honor Vets for Veteran's Day, and he asked if we could invite Papa Jim.  Jim was so proud to be there, and Caleb just as excited to have him.  He had a chance to say what division of the military, his rank and a few other details, and the students sang several songs to honor the Vets.  I wasn't able to attend, but the videos showed it to be a really nice performance that he enjoyed greatly as well. 

Dr. Landon "listening to my brain", as he said.

Jimmy was fortunate to have three contacts to meet up with during his trip to the Middle East.  The first was Tameem's cousin, Jameel, whom Jimmy has known for many years.  Jameel lived in Lodi for a time, but he now lives outside Dubai in a suburb called Sharjah, and owns a delicious burger joint called, get this - Jimmy's Shack Burgers.  Couldn't pass up a visit there!  

Fairytale land seems to have established itself in our yard this year... Crazy amounts of mushrooms growing all over (which we have repeatedly warned the boys not to touch or eat)

Western Day at Vinewood

David, Dana and the kids were in town visiting over Thanksgiving weekend.  They had helped coordinate plans for us to take the kids on the Polar Express train in Sacramento.  Dana found these super cute gingerbread pjs, to go along with the theme of the Gingerbread Car that we would be riding in on the train.  The kids had a great time, Landon loved his hot chocolate, Caleb didn't want any, as usual, and my favorite part was the guy who played the bum riding along on the train.  

Two videos from our train ride - click here and here, or on the two images below:

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