November in Pictures...

Last I left off, we were having a beautiful fall and it didn't quit being beautiful when the calendar flipped to November.  We had another burst of warm air and we took full advantage.  We had another busy full month that transitioned us from the warm fall days right into snow which has us feeling very festive and ready for Christmas around here.  Let's take a peak at what we were up to in was a busy, full and blessed month (prepare yourself -- photo overload ahead!)

We scheduled family pictures for 11/1 and got a few good ones for the Christmas card.  We bribed the kids with candy and a nature walk following.  We were the best dressed nature walkers, I do believe we got some stares but it was beautiful out so we took advantage taking in the views of the reservoir...we were reminded we need to go out there more, it's practically in our backyard.

Nuts those two can fight like cats and dogs but they do love each other -- proof is in the picture!

Lucy had her 4 month well check (11/2) and lots of shots.  Later the same week the kids had their well checks and more shots.  Everyone survived (more bribery was involved in the form of sonic shakes).

We had weather warm enough for the pool in Vera's opinion during the first week of November but we compromised with buckets of water since all of our outside toys and furniture were stored away.  We even took advantage and had a picnic on the deck (we wanted to for supper too but we were reminded at about 4:30 that the sun goes down early).
We walked to pick Solon up from school that week and took advantage of some park playtime (this already seems like ages ago now that we are in our winter coats).

We also met up with M and E for some fall fun with BIG leaves.  I started a leaf throwing fight and then we made a giant pile and the kids all jumped in over and over and over again :).

Scott got tickets to the first home exhibition game from work (2nd row off the floor - nice!) so we all went...we of course got some snacks and enjoyed our little game of "Where is Cy".  It is a much faster sport than football (which we are used to) so it was more fun for everyone...

In addition to this game, Scott and I went on a date while Nana and Papa watched the kids and then Scott and his dad also went to a game.  It's been fun to get to go so much but tickets are getting expensive now that conference play is beginning so we shall see...
My parents came back to town the first full weekend in November for Lucy's dedication and all the grandparents and great-grandparents joined us on Sunday for a luncheon at our house.  It was a special day honoring a sweet little lady :).

It was really nice up into the 2nd full weekend of November so we dug out the outside Christmas decor and put it all up, so much better than doing it in subzero conditions!  We also dug out Solon's old clothes for our new nephew Jude who came home from China this month.  Vera was excited to inherit a pair of Christmas jammies!  It's never too early for Christmas jammies especially when you look this cute :).

We attempted a few updated photos of Lucy since she was a bit solemn for our family photos, I have the best "hands on" photo assistants in the world :)

This pretty much sums up Lucy these days -- everything goes into her mouth.  I think that is why she constantly has a cold -- lots of germs around here that go directly into her mouth :)
But she's a happy girl no matter if she has a cold or not!
With the warm weather came our first tornado warning in a LONG time (and it was in November).  When it was over Vera said, let's have a tornado warning again soon -- crazy girl, but they had fun hunkering downstairs now that its finished!

I got to accompany Vera on her field trip to the library, there are definite perks to having in town grandparents!  Nana and Papa got some alone time with Lucy and I could spend some time with V, she LOVES school!

Now that Solon can read, Vera is quite interested in keeping up.  She has a captive audience with Lucy around so she gets some practice with stories she "knows"!

Vera's preschool has an annual family movie night for a fundraiser.  They pop popcorn, you bring blankets and watch a movie.  This year was "Inside Out", it was a little over their heads but their sweet friends were all there so we all had fun!

A week after Lucy was dedicated, our dear friends had their son dedicated at their church so we headed over there to support them.  So thankful to do life with them!

We mixed things up with our small group that we lead in our home for the month of November and took turns have a guys night in (playing games at our house) and Ladies Night Out going for pie and shopping!  We had to sit on Santa's lap and ask for sweet children this Christmas ;)!

My sweet neighbor across the street and I are trading kids about once a month so we can head into the classroom and help out!  Daniel Tiger seems to make kids feel quite at home and helps us get started on the right foot!

Our big news of the month was welcoming Jude Charles into our extended family.  His official gotcha day was 11/16/15 and he is doing amazing.  He is so darling and I know he will be running with the cousins at Christmas :).  What an answer to a long-awaited prayer :).

November also brought our first BIG snowstorm. It started just as we picked Solon up from school on a Friday afternoon -- awesome timing as we could enjoy it and be home without anywhere to go.  We also decorated for Christmas this weekend and had our ceremonial first cup of hot cocoa before suiting up and heading out to the snow :).

That night we put up the tree and watched Home Alone by the light of the tree with popcorn and squished the couches together (a fan favorite for the winter months).

We have had our fair share of sneaking in quiet lazy time playing games (he was home with some sort of eye infection) -- Solon's current favorite is Battleship.  Vera loves Spot It Jr. and Crazy 8's.

Our only contribution to the Thanksgiving feast was a delicious chocolate chunk pecan pie (made by the above bakers) and some chex mix.  My mom did the rest, bless her ;).

We headed up to Minneapolis on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as Jude and the Malins were arriving home from China and we wanted to greet them at the airport.  We went up early and had a fun day visiting Ikea with Nana and Papa and then going over to the Mall of America to ride rides.  Solon just loves the Orange Streak Roller Coaster and they both love all the other rides.  It was a fun family day!

Then we watched their flight on the web and headed on over when they got close to landing.  All of Josh's extended family was there as well so there was a large group of us with balloons waiting for them at the bottom of the escalators :).  I teared up, such a special moment!

After all of the hellos, all 25 of us headed over to Chick Fil-A!  We got to chat for a bit about their time in China before they all headed home to crash after their long trip.  We then headed to my parents at the lake for the remainder of the holiday weekend!

We had no shortage of fun.  We had stuffed snowball fights in the bunk room that turned into pillow fights and fits of giggles.  We had food until we were stuffed and rounds of different adult games after the kids went to bed! Two new favorite were Holiday Fluxx and Anomia!
They love their Lucy! (look at my dad, love his joy!)

Great Grandma gave my mom their old typewriter and phone and this is pretty much where Solon camped out composing all sorts of stories all weekend.

On Thursday, my Aunt Chris and cousins Casen and Alex along with Alex's girlfriend Marcie joined us.  Vera fell in love with Marcie.  They had a lot of fun playing together that day!  And Marcie was a champ wearing that crown, a holiday tradition of my family's to do those crackers at dinner!
Lucy and Aunt Chris

The crew (there has to be one in every picture that is crazy and its me ;)

That night we decided to head to Target at about 8pm for a little Black Friday Thursday shopping.  We found a few treasures and it wasn't that was our first time ever going all together.

Then on Friday, we kicked off the holiday season with lots of fun planned.  Our first stop was the local tree farm to cut down the tree Ellen and K had pre-picked out.  We took a hayride out and quickly cut, we were all not properly dressed for the occasion ;).
Then headed to get hot cocoa and coffee to warm up before heading to Ellen and K's house to put the tree in water and have lunch and watch Elf.
(Yes Lucy has no socks I forgot to pack fail)

Then after the movie and downtime, we headed down to Macy's Santaland for our annual picture with the jolly old man!  Everyone smiled - what?!?!  So funny story, Lucy pooped right as we were going in and I looked and it was starting to go up her back and then they ushered us into the room.  I was like oh crap -- literally.  Santa said I will take her so I said a quick prayer she didn't get poop on his outfit and quickly snapped some photos before whisking her off to the bathroom.  Santa's suit was spared and we were thankful for a spare set of clothes for Lucy.  She blows out about once a day lately! I wonder if Santa is thinking, something really stinks in here!

We all grouped in and yes I am thinking -- hurry we have a poop problem on our hands!

Saturday we hung out and headed home tired and happy from a fun BUSY weekend...and look who showed up that night!
Cobis our friendly Elf came back and brought matching Christmas jammies and spoiled the secret that we were going to Disney on Ice with the P Family!  Sillly elf!

The kids were so excited and enjoyed the whole show!  It was all about princesses so the girls were extra excited especially when every.single.princess.that.ever.lived came out at the end!

...and then we went home and crashed Sunday evening!
Lucy turned 5 months over the holiday weekend so we grabbed a few shots with my trusty assistant Monday morning while everybody else headed back to work and school...we also started the copious amounts of laundry ;).

And just like that November was a wrap -- I am so glad I take photos and document because even in the course of the month I can forget all we do until I go back and choose photos for these posts.  We sneak in a lot of fun in the midst of our daily routines!  Now we are in full Christmas mode around here and we adopted an idea from a friend to do one Christmas activity a day -- some big, some small.  So far we have had a Christmas music dance party, read books by the light of the Christmas tree, and tonight we are going to get hot cocoa/coffee in our jambes and driving around to see the lights :).  I love's the most wonderful time of the year!