Our bedtime routine is one of the coziest times of the day in our house. The kiddos and I, all snuggly in our jammies, pile into Katie’s bed, surround ourselves with our favorite blankets and stuffed animals, pull over a huge stack of books, read and cuddle, say what we were thankful for during the day, and sing our special songs. A few nights ago, Eric said he was thankful for, “My own Boppa. My friend Nana.” Katie said she was thankful for “My family. My little brother.”

This weekend, too, has been a chance to celebrate time with family and feeling thankful for each other.


On Thursday we (along with my mom) went to visit Nana and to help her with her weekly marketing. Eric is so sweet! When we got out of the car, Eric said, “Me ride in Nana’s cart.” Part way through the trip I darted into another aisle to pick something up, and when I came back to Nana’s cart, I found them holding hands and laughing together over a rhyme Nana had made up. Simple, beautiful moments like that are so special, and we are so grateful for the chance to be making these memories. We love these times with our Nana.



Back at Nana’s house, we ate our lunches, enjoyed brownies Nana had made the night before, and worked on coloring mandalas. I also brought our bag of “shadows and shapes” that our friend Susan had passed along to us. Everyone—Nana, too!—played! So fun that we got to do a little bit of “school” at Nana’s (though really, I packed these activities because they are just quite a bit of fun). When people ask me what I like about homeschooling, one of the first advantages that comes to mind is the flexibility to see our extended family members any day of the week and to learn anywhere.



After our music class on Friday morning, we spent most of the rest of the day catching up on laundry, tidying, and cleaning. (This week has been  so much fun—three days of parties, visit to Nana—but chores didn’t really get done at all)!! Thankfully, we were treated in the evening by an impromptu visit from my beautiful cousin Kd and her cutie friend Destiny. They were passing through Temecula on their way to Kd’s house, taking a break from their college campus for the weekend to participate in the SD Color Run. I love my cousin and meeting her friends! Katie and Eric created a funny game in which they tried to see how flexible Kd’s legs are (she has been a lifelong dancer). Anyway, I just love this lady! I haven’t seen many of my cousins in over a month, and I am feeling cousin-starved! I need to schedule some visits! My cousin Beth had the most adorable pictures of her daughter, our newest cousin Chelsea, in her ladybug Halloween costume. Oh my! Adorbs!



On Saturday morning we cheered for the Green Rockets during their soccer game!



Our first soccer season has been so much fun! About a week or so ago, Katie mentioned how much she doesn’t want soccer season to end this year. I asked her if she wanted to sign up for spring season, and she was so excited. Growing up and playing, I never played spring season—only fall—but I think this is a great opportunity for her to continue learning and growing in her sport. We signed up for spring season yesterday. Can’t wait until March! Katie has one more game and her team party next week.



After her game, we went to the park for awhile. Katie made some friends and they spent almost an hour playing “pirate ship.” Eric and I joined in, as well. When Eric wanted to play, one of the girls told him he couldn’t because he was a boy. Katie stuck up for her brother, totally loyal. She didn’t raise her voice or sound mad, but she did matter-of-factly tell the girl, “Don’t be mean to him. He is my brother. He can play if he wants to.” The other girl thought about it a moment and then decided Katie was right. “Okay, he can play,” she said. I love watching the kiddos work life out. I could have intervened, but they all solved it peacefully with no hurt feelings. Sometimes at home, Katie and Eric have little squabbles, but out in the world they are a united front. She protects him, like a big sister should. I love that.



Hello, Mama. (I love to gobble those cheeks)!



In the afternoon, my mom came over to make caramel apples with the kiddos. Yum!



Caramel and chocolate…



Katie wrote a long letter to her Amie (my mom).



McGaugh Family Movie Night! We have been working our way through our favorite Disney films in excitement for our little getaway there for a few days later this season. Last night we had pizza and watched Toy Story—always great!

Oh, and catching up from Halloween:




Pumpkin carving? This is how we do it, ladies. With the axe!


I love these two.



Princess Bunny, Elmo Crockett, and Panda Bear Witch came to Halloween dinner!



Dinner: penne with pumpkin cream sauce, jack-o-lantern quesadillas, and autumn salad with pepitas, dried cranberries, and shaved Brussels sprouts



Literary character Halloween: Queen Lucy of Narnia, Christopher Robin, and Peter Rabbit. It started with Katie’s choice of Queen Lucy… I didn’t know what Eric and I would be. He happened to be very heavily involved with the various Winnie the Pooh movies about a month ago, and one day I noticed that Christopher Robin’s hair is kind of the same color as Eric’s. That left me… I thought about dressing as Hermione again, but I want to save the Harry Potter theme for another year and have us all dress that way. I also considered being Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, but my kiddos wouldn’t know who that was… I started thinking about children’s lit… And then got this strange idea to be Peter. I girlied him up a bit with a brown skirt! My dark blue velvet jacket is darker than his, but it worked as a nod to the character.



With our pumpkins



Ready to trick or treat! Eric has his Hundred Acre Wood buddies!



Memories together!

Family and friends, we hope your November has started with loveliness!