Saturday, October 31, 2009

Peter Pan says...

Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

blessings are among us

Although the H1N1 is still clinging to us & we've been quarantined to our apartment ALL week (with the exception of one outing to the grocery store on Wednesday)...

Although little man has been keeping us up constantly throughout the night wanting mama & daddy to sleep with him...

Although I couldn't stop this from happening the other night...(one guess who the little culprit was...hint: note foot in right corner that is headed in opposite direction of mama!) :)

Although we have had a dear loved one to pass away in our family this week...

Although we are wanting so badly to be with our family during this time...

Although I have come to the realization that Minnesota has decided it doesn't need more than 48 hrs of fall this year...

...I couldn't feel more blessed than I do right now.

I am blessed by the health that we do have & the fact that we are getting better.

I am blessed by the warm foods, clothes, & covering that we have each & every day.

I am blessed that we have such a rambunctious little boy that keeps us entertained 24/7 (even if he does wear us out!)

The time that our dear beloved Grandmother had on this earth with her siblings, sweet husband, children, grandchildren & even her great-grandchild is such a blessing...and the time that we all had with her. I am thankful that she is in Heaven with my daddy & all of our other loved ones who have gone on before her. I am thankful she is in this Better Place. I am thankful for Memories.

We are blessed to be able to visit family as often as we do.

It was a blessing that we had our one Sunday afternoon out at the park to enjoy the short fall in and among the leaves. could you not feel blessed?

"There Shall be Showers of Blessing"

There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need:
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

There shall be showers of blessing,
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.

There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord;
Grant to us now a refreshing,
Come, and now honor Thy Word.

There shall be showers of blessing:
Oh, that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!

There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oink Oink!

Warning: You do not want to visit the Nolen household right now; apparently, with all the great memories that we brought back from Disney, we also brought the piggy flu & pnemonia along with us. We knew we were coming down with something towards the end of the trip (Parker had been running fever since Friday morning & Clay & I started feeling a little under the weather on Saturday) but catching the ever-dreaded swine flu was not what we were expecting.

Usually, when we return from a trip, all of the bags are unpacked, goods are stored away, laundry is done...everything is in its place within the first 24 hrs of being this point, I'm averaging 1 bag a day. ha!

Parker was scheduled for his pediatrician yesterday morning where the doctor informed us that he had pnemonia (which I was told can be a symptom of the flu); Clay & I went to urgent care yesterday afternoon, took the flu test, & tested positive.

3 sets of antiobiotics later, along with a quick trip to the store to pick up some warm soups, plenty of gatorade & a few other needed items, we were headed home for the day! One fun thing about it is that for I think the first time since we've been married --ooh wait, make that the second time!--we have a yummy looking ice cream tub in our freezer. I found out tonight, that when my husband is not feeling well, many of the comfort foods that don't usually occupy our freezer are justified by sore throats & lack of energy to cook or work in the kitchen. As we strolled down the aisles of Rainbow, Clay said, "Parker, would you like Daddy to get you some ice cream?" :) We were just getting ready to check out & my dear hubby hollars out, "Pick up a frozen pizza too, baby!" wink. My husband is too funny sometimes; it just cracks me up.

Last night, I was sooo thankful that Parker had something new & fun to occupy his "busy time" (since Clay & I weren't feeling 100% to play). My dear friend Tressa had decided to give Parker her boys' cool "Shake 'n Go Race Track," which we had just received Sunday evening upon returning. Thank you so much, Tressa! It was such a lifesaver for Clay & me & I can't tell you how much Parker loves it! He wouldn't put 2 of the cars down to eat his breakfast this morning, so they just sat up in his highchair with him. :) What a perfect thing for a child to have when you're just getting off from an action-packed, fun-filled week...hmmm, this might be something to remember for future. Note to self: Be prepared. Have something new & fun planned (whether an outing, activity or a new toy) for kids when getting back from a long trip...will protect parent's sanity.

Monday, October 26, 2009

we are back!!!

We are back from Orlando! Our exciting adventure to Disneyworld was definitely magical & one that we will never forget. The best part about it was getting to see family & to also observe Parker's reactions to everything! I will be back soon for an extensive report of our vacation, but for now, here are a handful of highlights...
...waiting..waiting...waiting.....still waiting for my pics to finish downloading...and, yes! they are done! 1,263 pictures later.... :)

the Sights

Meeting the Characters...
...and becoming one!

the Food

Being with Family

Observing Parker's expressions of joy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dancing Leaves




Dancing Leaves
Swaying gently to and fro,
Weaving patterns as they go.
Now in stately step and slow,
Now like driving, wintry snow.

How they scamper on their way,
From pinky dawn 'till close of day!
How they laught and how they play!
Dancing leaves in colors gay!

poem taken from Mom's Almanac

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We're off to see the Mouse...Mickey Mouse that is...

Well, after packing (& Parker helping to unpack) & then re-packing several suitcases, taking care of all the business stuff, cleaning the house, & baking a yummy loaf of banana nut bread for the trip...we are off!! We are headed to DisneyWorld for some family fun! Be back soon! :) ..and yes, we did remember the Mickey ears!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

To pack...

"Did Mama & Daddy say we are leaving to see Mickey, Minnie & Tigger tomorrow?!"
To pack: my special Tigger, the Mickey Mouse fan to help with the 94 degree weather, my Mickey Mouse ears, lots of fun snacks...let's see, Goldfish, Cheerios, for the airplane(books, cars & trucks, & coloring books) my blue blankie...ooh! We can't forget the bathing suits! All right, I think we're good to go!

Monday, October 12, 2009

acorns + leaves + Parker = lots of favorite pictures!

I am so thankful that yesterday afternoon Clay & I took Parker to the park, because this morning we woke up to this...and it hasn't let up yet!

Sunday afternoon, we ventured out to Cleary Lake Park for a few less than 20 minutes I had taken over 100 pictures & decided the drive out there was well worth it! Parker enjoyed picking up acorns, crunching & diving into the leaves, & running around with his daddy. It was the first time he had ever worn gloves (versus mittens). He was fascinated with them at first & had a little trouble holding on to his treasures that he found on the ground, but I was pleasantly surprised at how patient he was with the new gloves & how quickly he caught on!

Clay was telling Parker all about the acorns; Parker was excited to learn about these newfound treasures.
About one quarter of the leaves had changed colors out at the park...ahem, I would love to see the park in its beautiful fall glory..."Winter, can you pretty please wait another month or so before you send us another snowfall?! I would really appreciate it!"

I am so thankful for our simple, everyday moments such as this.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

friends, musical instruments & Tigger

Friday, Parker & I spent a fun day visiting our friends, Michelle & Bella, who just recently moved to a beautiful home out in Minnetrista, MN. Though it was a little bit more than "a few miles" from Apple Valley, I really enjoyed the drive out there. The leaves have started changing their beautiful shades of yellow, orange, red & brown, & every lake we passed was sunkissed & glistening.
I love that Parker is such a great little traveler; anytime we go anywhere, he is just happy as can be pointing out & squealing at all the new & fun things we pass on the road!

Sweet Bella was overjoyed that Parker came out to play! She made sure she let him know it by giving out lots of hugs & kisses! :)
This morning, Parker & I drove over to the Apple Valley Library for Kidsfest. MacPhail Center for Music was hosting a free event for the children. Inside the conference room of the library, the company had set up different stations for the kids to explore the different types of musical instruments, to color & create shakers, & to sing songs! At the door, an instructor handed out free music cds for the first 50 people...I was excited to get one for him! Parker's favorite parts of the event were getting to sit & strum the guitar, to beat the drums, & to put stickers on his shaker, & to color with the big crayons. It was a great time to practice our sharing skills as well!

Our friends, Sharise & James, came to meet us for a few minutes too! James enjoyed getting to play the trumpet; it was so cute watching his little face as he made the instrument sound!And on a totally different note...our little man has been running around all week with his new friend Tigger! This little orange & furry friend is helping prep us for our trip to Disneyworld later this week! Parker has been running over to the mirrors in our apt & cracking up at the sight of Tigger on his back. So cute! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Candle for Fall

In between the dentist appointment, the laundry, the vaccuuming, the phone calls & helping my husband get out the door...I decided to take a 15 minute breather. I'm so glad I did. While the two yummy slice & bake cookies were baking, I stood over the kitchen taking in the atmosphere around our apt. I smiled.
One of the many reasons I love Fall so much is because of the scents...the everyday aromas that Fall will bring through your doors & windows. Right now, the candle that is burning in our living room is by Yankee Candle; it's called Autumn Wreath. It sets the perfect mood for a crisp & colorful autumn day!

I hope that your autumn day is a blessed one!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 dear Nana

Oh how I love it when my Nana comes to visit!
She adores to spoil me so...who am I to argue?!
Books to read, new clothes to wear...Nana, may I please sit in your lap some more?
"Of course you can!" says my Nana.
I do know how much she loves to rock me, so it is all right if she puts me down to sleep & I cry a bit. For I know she will pick me up & rock me some more! I will do it again for Nana's feelings! :)

It's party time when Nana arrives!
For even when it rains every day while she's here, you know we will find fun things to shopping at the Mall of America, running errands & eating out at fun places. Playing with my toys, all the activity around the house...there's never a dull moment in store!

Thank you for coming to play, Nana!
Please, let's do it again soon...but can you bring Poppie next time too, for he's so much fun & makes me laugh?!
Here's a big "Mmaaahh" from me to you...I love you so...until next time my dear Nana.

Friday, October 2, 2009

switching storage rooms

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday of this week have been filled with rooms that is. Our old storage room was on the complete opposite end of the building; after 3 years, we finally snagged the one right outside our door! Yes! Makes my life sooo much easier!

I have actually enjoyed this whole process because it has made me feel so much more organized! Clay went out & bought me as many similar bins as he could find & we loaded them up, labeled them & moved them into our new storage room. Do I feel more organized as a result of it? Yes. Did I get rid of as much as I should have? No...I never do! Did I enjoy it & am glad we did it? Yes!

After over 72 trips back & forth between the old storage room & the new one, 3 trips to Walmart & Target, & 8 extremely large storage containers later, it felt as if we had moved a tiny house! But was all worth it! :)

reminiscing on how tiny our baby used to be while organizing bins such as this...

finding fun treats such as this while going through old travel packs...

keeping the little man entertained all the while...
Parker couldn't get enough of daddy's took A LOT of coaxing & pleas to get him off...did we accomplish it with no tears? Nope, we didn't have a chance in the world! But, we made it up to him by feeding him some delicious Honeycrisp apples as a treat & letting him take a trip with daddy in "Troublemaker!" ha ha!