Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Birthday to you...

We have had a lot of "Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear......, Happy Birthday to you," being sung by Michael.  Between Michael's birthday in September, Ella's in early November, mine on November 23 and Adam's on December 1, well there just has been a lot of celebrating going on. Michael sings Happy Birthday almost every day. 
For the first time, since I can remember, my birthday fell on the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving.  So we had a fun little game night with three other couples.  We had a wine and cheese bar with an appetizer dinner.  Mandi made a super yummy cheesecake. FUN! FUN!

Adam has always had a strong interest in the medieval era.  I think he secretly wishes he was a knight that lived in a castle. ;) He owns a battle axe and a knight costume...very serious I tell you.  But I always tell him he is MY knight in shining armor.
So for his birthday this year the kids and I took him on a surprise trip.  It was so hard for me to keep this a secret because I knew he would love it.  Luckily, he did not know about Newman's Castle, in Bellville, because up until recently it has been known by just word of mouth.  Michael of course dressed for the part.  Adam was very surprised and thoroughly enjoyed the castle visit, yay!!! I think Mr. Newman is a man after Adam's own heart...he makes yummy baked goods and built/lives in his own castle.

Before entering and walking over the moat on the drawbridge, Michael was knighted and dubbed "Sir Michael" for the day.  He was given a wooden sir and was instructed to take anyone suspicious of misbehaving straight to the dungeon. 

Michael, at times, was more interested in the resident dogs.
 Ella had fun with Michael's sword.

Michael receiving his knight instructions...

 Sir Michael fulfilling his duties to help with the trebuchet.

 Guests of the castle working hard to pull the drawbridge up.




Michael was fascinated with the function of the sinks in the castle.

Lord of the Castle's bedroom. (Mr. Newman actually lives here and this is his bed!)
Part of Michael's orders in being the Knight for the day included finding the dragon in the castle. 
We were served lunch, provided by Newman's Bakery.  Everyone gathered in the dining hall but because peanut butter cookies were included we had to eat in another area in order to keep our little knight safe. is the link



Michael's Thanksgiving treats.

My Little Indian ready for his feast at school.

This year we gathered to Give Thanks in Austin with Steve, Angela, Elizabeth, Jordan, Sophie and Olivia.  We truly had a wonderful, wonderful time!   It was a blessing to see little cousins enjoying each other's company. Thanksgiving is always the hardest holiday for me, even though it is my favorite, because it was very special to Mom and Dad.  This was the best Thanksgiving yet since Mom's passing. Angela did a wonderful job. Mom and Dad would have been so blessed by this gathering.  I wish Philip, Julie and Jessica didn't live so far.  Maybe one of these years we'll gather in South Carolina for Thanksgiving.  It is strange to suddenly not have "set" Thanksgiving plans.  All of my life it has just always been that everyone gathered in Huntsville.  But now it is time to set our own new traditions.




After nap snuggles...
 After turkey play time...

Michael and Olivia were pretty much inseparable - so sweet to see them loving each other and playing together.

I think Ella will tell you her favorite part of Thanksgiving was SUGAR...the best dog in the world!  Ella was crazy about her and would crawl around following her...Sugar liked her too, Ella received lots of "sugars" from Sugar.  I wouldn't be surprised if a 4 legged Richards is in our near future.