Friday, December 7, 2012

December Fun

Our church Christmas party was on December 1st. Roman was the only one who really wanted to see Santa. When Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas Roman just stared at him. Luckily Santa was experienced with star-struck kids, and told Roman that Santa would bring him what he wanted.

I think I have mentioned before that Roman really loves to sing.  Quinton doesn't like to sing at all, so it has been fun to have a kid that shares with me the songs he is learning at school.  Here is a little preview of the songs he has learned for the school Christmas Concert (or should I say Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa concert!)

Doughnut "Party"

I put party in quotes because it wasn't the party in a traditional sense.  It was just a day to make lots of doughnuts; but that seemed like a party to me!

The story behind this is that I have been wanting to try and make doughnuts for some time now, but it seemed like I should have a reason for something so extravagant as eating a lot of doughnuts. Quinton happens to adore doughnuts - specifically glazed.

Quinton has been having some difficulty at school lately with his talking.  This is reflected in the steady decline of his conduct grades over the last 6 weeks or so.  We had tried many things to help him remember to control himself, and not speak out of turn.  I told him that if he managed to get an "S" the week before Thanksgiving, we would have a "doughnut party."  Well, I guess that was motivating enough because after 4 straight weeks of "N's" he brought home an "S."

I made two kinds of batter: chocolate cake and yeast-raised.  Here are the chocolate cake doughnuts cooling off.

Quinton invited over our neighbor Patrick.  Of course, Quinton used the word "party" so Patrick's older sister asked if she could come, too.  Ashlyn is one of  my piano students and very talented.

After all the excitement of waiting to eat a doughnut, Quinton determined he didn't like chocolate cake doughnuts.

A selection of the doughnuts I made: chocolate cake with chocolate icing and sprinkles, glazed, cinnamon-sugar, powdered sugar, jelly-filled, and chocolate-filled.  We ate over a dozen and I was still able to give about 2 dozen away.

Domenic couldn't get enough doughnuts.  He ate so many chocolate cake doughnuts, I don't know how he didn't get sick!

Not sure why Roman is sticking his tongue out, but here he is enjoying a cinnamon-sugar doughnut.

Thanksgiving 2012

I made some Turkey cake pops for fun.  Domenic had fun running around the house holding one, but didn't eat much of it.

I couldn't figure out what was going on with the turkey pops I had on the counter.  I would come down in the morning and they were missing their "feathers."  The lightbulb turned on when Roman asked for a cake pop and then I watched him eat it.  He just ate off the candy on the outside.  He doesn't care for chocolate that much, so once I thought about it, it wasn't that surprising.  Since he gets up in the middle of the night and goes downstairs to play, the mystery was solved!

The culprit himself.

We had Thanksgiving at my parents' house as usual.  Below is the dessert table.  I have to say all the desserts were delicious, but the pumpkin cheesecake was particularly showstopping. 

My mom spent a lot of time setting up a beautiful table / decorations.  But this year Thanksgiving felt a little lacking somehow.  On the way home Antonio commented that it didn't feel like Thanksgiving, but rather a normal Sunday dinner.  After some thought, we came to the conclusion that we didn't stay long enough.  To create that "Thanksgiving" feeling you have to linger, spend all day visiting with family, pick at the leftovers all day, etc...  We were all just too efficient this year, with everyone cleaning up and leaving by 5:30PM.  It was a good lesson for next year: we will be sure to linger a lot longer!

Roman enjoying the hors d'oeuvre table!

I think Domenic thought we wouldn't see him sneaking around if he was on the floor crawling.

All the boys in the den watching a movie.

Dad getting ready to carve the turkey.  Mom made two turkeys.  The woman in the foreground is a friend, Cecilia Redmond who my parents invited along with her son Chris.

Carter Paul playing a video game while Quinton looks on.

Carter and Jacob talking to another friend my parents invited - Brother Carmichael.

Fire Station Visit

One of the fun things about being in Tiger Cubs is it forces me to plan activities for the boys that are lots of fun.  On this trip we went to our local fire station.  It was a busy Saturday for the firemen, and the boys got to see the trucks leave and return several times as they responded to calls.

Quinton sitting in the "command center" of one of the firetrucks.  This seat has a built-in oxygen backpack so you can strap yourself into the seat, and then when you arrive at the scene you can jump out with your equipment ready.  Pretty cool!

Roman's turn.

Quinton was being shy and didn't want to pose with the fireman; however, Roman didn't have that problem!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween 2012

It's Domenic's turn to be in the Halloween Costume Parade at preschool!  Some of you might recognize this costume from Quinton's Costume Parade years ago.

I had a really hard time getting a good picture of Domenic.  The headpiece was also covering his eyes, so he was having a hard time seeing.  Despite that, he didn't want to take it off!

Getting ready to head out and go Trick or Treating.  Roman was Thomas, Domenic the dragon, and Quinton was a King.

Roman's Wish

When Roman first started chemotherapy treatment, the hospital submitted his name to Make-A-Wish.  Coincidentally, Roman got to make a wish and have it fulfilled the week after his 13 month treatment ended!  It was hard to figure out what he wanted "more than anything," but since every conversation revolves around Thomas, the Make-A-Wish volunteers thought of sending us to "A Day Out with Thomas."  Needless to say, Roman was thrilled. They took care of everything, even renting us a car so we didn't have to use our own for the 3 hour drive to Cordele, GA.  The kids were very excited, and wore their conductor hats in the car!

We met with another Make-A-Wish volunteer once we got to the ticket counter.  Her name was Sharon and she was very nice.  She took a picture of us as we arrived.

While we were waiting to board Thomas, the announcer called Quinton over and he got to call "All Aboard!" over the microphone.

Waiting in the train for Thomas to start on the trip.

This particular train ride (part of the Sam Short Line track) was through a beautiful National Park.  Here we are crossing over a bridge.

After the train ride, there were still lots of fun activities to do.  Quinton really loved the antique tractors.

An old police car - hopefully the kids will only ever be on the outside of one of these!

Everyone was so nice to Roman and our family, and we got lots of special perks.  One of them was that we were allowed to ride Thomas as many times as Roman wanted.  Here we are for our second ride.

Helping cheer Thomas on: "Push Thomas Push.  Push Thomas Push"

Attempting to get a picture with Thomas without waiting in the long line to get up close.

With our volunteer, Sharon.

In the hotel- can we say like father like son?!

We saw Thomas on Saturday.  On Sunday we went to Chehaw Parks where there is a really cool zoo.  What was especially great is that there was only one other family there, so the kids got to have the whole place practically to themselves!

The meerkat exhibit was part of a larger interactive area, which included a lookout and slide.

We went on a "safari" ride as well.  That is an eland in the background.

We learned some interesting things about Ostriches.  They create many dummy nests to fool their predators, keeping the real nest a secret.  Our guide got out and collected some feathers for the boys since the Ostriches were molting.

Quinton checking out an ostrich egg.  They had tons of eggs because so far none of the ostrich eggs every hatch.  If I understood the guide correctly, the eggs were essentially drowning in the humid air of the south.  The liquid inside the egg needs to be able to evaporate slowly as the ostrich grows.  That hasn't happened so far here in GA.  Not sure how long they've had the ostriches, and if that will change over winter. 

Antonio and Quinton with some wildebeasts behind them.

Comparing to a bald eagle wingspan.  Roman didn't exactly get the concept of what he was supposed to do with his arms!


This exhibit kind of scared me a little.  I just kept having images of the alligators lunging out of the water and biting through the wood boardwalk to eat the boys.  I was the one who really wanted to see the alligators, but I have to say, I was glad to leave quickly.