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James and Lilli's Blog

Sunday, November 22, 2015


We had a wonderful visit with our friends Ben and Cynthia that included a trip to LegoLand today! We have been wanting to check it out, and this was the perfect day for it.

There were a couple of cool rides, two 4-D movies, lots of Lego building, and a laser obstacle course. And best of all, time with Ben!

Before Ben arrived yesterday afternoon, we participated in our school Turkey Trot, where we run laps around the high school gym to raise money for the school.

We really wanted to beat our records from last year, and we did! Lilli improved from 15 laps to 22 (and was the top runner among the 1st grade girls)

and I improved from 21 laps to 25. We were worn out, but it was fun!

After the Turkey Trot, we went to GG's to help host a baby shower for some folks from the lab. We always love hanging out with GG, and this time was no exception.

While at the shower, I bumped Lilli in the mouth (no more details about that incident have been forthcoming), and I knocked out her loose top tooth! She is very snaggle-toothed at the moment.

After a busy weekend, we are calling an early night tonight to get ready for school tomorrow. Dad is on a work trip, and we leave for our Thanksgiving travels on Wednesday. We have so much to be grateful for, and we're looking forward to celebrating it this week!


Monday, November 16, 2015


Wow - in one short week, we've celebrated the birthdays of Lilli, Audrey, Coach, and Dad! That's a lot of happy birthdays and presents and cake and presents and excitement and presents!

First on deck was Lilli. She was very excited to turn 7 years old. She had a great day at school, followed by a requested fish dinner, finished off with pound cake and ice cream. And candles and singing of course!

What is Lilli like at 7 years old? She is observant and generous and occasionally sneaky, loving and funny and always thinking. She loves soccer, and American Girl dolls (as well as their less expensive mimics), Legos and Playmobil, dressing up, and dancing with her friends. She still has Part, though she can go without her for a night if she has to. She is a pro at art projects, particularly those involving materials from our recycling bin. She loves me, and she is still my best friend.

Lilli and I had busied ourselves on Sunday with new Lego sets from GG, and then Lilli got 2 more really cool ones from Lil and Coach and Grandma and Grandpa. She kindly let me help put one of them together, which kept us busy most of the (rainy) day Veteran's Day holiday on Wednesday.

She may be as big a fan of Legos as I am these days!

Friday was Audrey's birthday, so we FaceTimed with her to return the favor of singing Happy Birthday. Hope you had a great party on Saturday, Audrey!

Saturday was the playoffs for my flag football team. We were undefeated all season, so I was very excited by the possibility of making it to the Super Bowl and maybe finally getting a trophy. Alas, we lost a heartbreaking (and cold!) game in the semi-finals, which meant no Super Bowl game and no trophy. It was a hard loss, and I still get a bit teary when asked to talk about it. But I was a good sport, which made Mom and Dad proud.

Saturday was also Coach's birthday - Happy Birthday, Coach!!

Yesterday was a particularly fun day. Lilli, Dad, and I all thought we were going to Dr. Jon's for a small birthday dinner for Dad. Little did we know that Mom and Dr. Jon (with lots of help from Torrie) had planned a very big surprise party for Dad at the lab! Mom clued me in as we drove to the lab, so I helped her set up. Lilli had the important job of being the decoy that kept Dad at home with his phone close by until she returned from a fun outing with her friend Christy. One phone call from Mom claiming to have locked her keys in the car (come on, people - have you ever known Mom to do that??), and Dad and Lilli arrived to be surprised by a big crowd of friends. What fun!

Today we celebrated Dad's actual birthday (with leftover chicken and biscuits and barbecue and pimento cheese from the party last night). It was a nice and much-needed quiet night at home. (Mom has sworn off of birthday parties, at least until next fall!)

An early Happy Birthday to Grandma on Wednesday!


Sunday, November 08, 2015


I lost my 3rd tooth!! And today we celebrated my birthday party with my friends! It was great. Even though they are not very familiar with Percy Jackson, we had a Greek mythology / Percy Jackson party, complete with Pin the Eye on the Cyclops,

Medusa Freeze Tag,

Battle the Three Eyed Monster (pinata),

And bead and necklace making.

And pizza, cupcakes, and ice cream, of course!

Since Percy loves blue food (as the son of Poseidon), I requested a blue camoflage cake. I helped Mom make the cake, but it cracked coming out of the pan, so Mom made a second batch of cupcakes today. They were very blue and very cool!

Yesterday was our last day of outdoor soccer, and it was a beautiful fall day.

I got a little chilly at James's game

Until my friends arrived and I ran around to play.

This morning we worked hard to clean up all the leaves in the yard before my party. (There were a lot!!) Scout did a great job of keeping watch over our work.

20+ bags of leaves later, the yard looks great!

My actual birthday is on Tuesday - SEVEN years old! Can't wait.


Sunday, November 01, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Trick or treat!
(In case you're wondering, James is a skeleton warrior, and I am a hooded huntress.)

We had a great Halloween. It started with our parade at school on Friday morning - Mom had to teach, but Dad and Scout got to come watch!

Friday night, James played in his first indoor soccer game. It's fast! He looked a bit like a deer in headlights for most of it, but he did have fun.

Saturday we both had our regular soccer. It was a beautiful fall day to be outside!

James also had a flag football game - all the sports kept us from having too much time to think about Halloween until it was time to get dressed up and go trick or treating!

We continued our tradition of getting together with all the neighborhood kids for pizza and then heading out together. It was a really fun night!

We even had an impromptu party at our house after we wrapped up with trick or treating.  Sofia and I took advantage of the audience to put on a show.

Today has been a lot mellower - we have been cleaning up the house and the yard. James and I have made an impressive pile of leaves in the front yard to play in! A perfect start to November.


Sunday, October 25, 2015


We are ready for Halloween - we carved our pumpkins this afternoon!

They turned out pretty great, and most importantly, we had fun with the process. (So did Scout!) Lilli's is a cat, and mine is a "traditional" jack-o-lantern. Pretty fun.

Last night was our school Halloween party, so we donned our costumes and headed out. (I'm a skeleton warrior, minus the sword, and Lilli is a huntress.) I was a bit skeptical of the whole dancing thing, but Lilli was in her element. Although she is determined to win the best costume contest next year! (Mom tried to explain that for Lilli to win, we would have to enlist someone craftier than Mom to make a costume, but she was undeterred.)

Today, we went to a Fall Festival at the town Farmer's Market. Despite the rainy weather, we enjoyed seeing our friends and trying all the activities.

Torrie and Brian gave Lilli and me these really cool "crates" that arrive in the mail for our birthdays, and Lilli spent most of today trying out the various activities in hers. She made a really cool treasure chest

Then a treasure map

And then decided to dress up in my pirate costume to really play the part!

(We have a costume for everything.)

Of course we also had sports yesterday. Lilli and I each scored a goal at our soccer games, and then I had quite a day on the football field, throwing multiple TDs at QB, and intercepting a ball while on defense to end the game. Best of all, I reminded Dad (who was standing in as the coach since neither of my usual coaches could be there) that one of my teammates had not been thrown the ball in a while, and so I threw it to him for the extra point and he caught it!