Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving Thanks For My Birth

Saturday was the Hargrave family's official Thanksgiving (see blog below for details). We had it at Matt's older sister Rachelle's house this year, so me and Matt and Bennett went down a little early on Friday afternoon to spend some extra time with everybody. It was really good to get to see so many fun people and play with all our cute nieces and nephews... who, by the way, wasted me in every Wii game we played--the oldest is seven.

Saturday also just happened to be my birthday. I turned the big 2-3. It was fun to have a lot of people there to celebrate with! I made quite the haul this year, and got presents ranging from hand towels to a semi-automatic 22 rifle.

Rachelle started selling Scentsy this year, so Mary and Wayne decided to make them a standard present for birthdays. I cannot tell you how excited I was to finally get mine! Matt also got in on the action and bought me every spicy, cinnamon scent they had (my favorite!). I was obviously very excited.

The family shared in my joy.

I also got this way cool hot chocolate making kit thing, which was the envy of every child there. I am so lucky.

Here is my Scentsy. It is so cute, and my house smells devine!

I also got a ton of cards, calls, and texts from all my favorite people. Thank you to everybody! I feel so loved. :)

After my birthday it was time for turkey. This picture was kind of taken at the end of the dinner, but it was definately a full house with plenty of full tummies. I forgot to metion that I was in charge of making the rolls this year. A pretty important aspect of the meal, if you ask me. I think I did OK, although I still have some skill to develop.
Bennett's first Thanksgiving meal was throughly enjoyed. What a cute mess. Also, stay tuned for video (if he ever cooperates) of Bennett crawling. He started doing this Thursday and has become quite the speed demon. We are proud of him...and a little freaked out.

Uncle Jake pushing Bennett on the tire swing after dinner.

And what kind of a mom would I be if I didn't take naked bath pictures of my son to embarrass him with later?

This is him and his cousin Kendall, discreatly covered for nude photos.

And this is something I just had to put on here. Matt made Barrett some dogtags for his birthday last January and he thinks they are so cool. He wears them around with a wife-beater and thinks he looks just like Wolverine. I love little boys.

Pre-Thanskgiving Festivities

Since Maimie (Matt's mom) is a nurse, she is required to work at least one major holiday per year. This year it was Thanksgiving. Not wanting her to miss out on the fun family stuff, we all agreed to wait until Saturday to celebrate Thanksgiving. Therefore, Thursday came and went without too much of a fuss, except we did discover that if you try to eat out on Thanksgiving Day you will starve because nowhere is open.

Not wanting to waste a perfectly good day off, Matt and I decided to drive down to San Antonio Wednesday night and do some chores around Maimie and Pop's house Thursday. (When I say "we" here, I really mean Matt and Pop. I took a nap.)

They cleared cedar, painted the gate, got down all the Christmas decorations from the barn, and hung lights. They were busy, busy, busy, but they actually enjoyed it. Maybe I am just lazy, but I do not enjoy working like Matt does. I just do stuff because I have to. He has a gift.

This is Matt, throwing more dead cedar on one of the bonfires they had going. There were three total. Many critters lost their homes on this day.

This fire actually got a lot higher later on, but I missed getting a picture. It burned the leaves in the tree above it.

Pop, keeping the fires in line. Me and Bennett rode on this tractor too, and had a near-death experience. Matt has no idea how close he came to losing his entire family at two miles-per-hour.

Workin' men.

When Matt painted the fence I decided to try to keep him company up top. It does not look like it here, but this is high. It's pretty cool until you look down.


What I am about to say may shock and disappoint many women. My deepest apologies to any who may feel I have betrayed them.

I saw New Moon, the second movie in the Twilight series (a shocker in itself). It wasn't as bad as I expected. The awkwardness I felt for the actors while watching the first film was slightly lessened in this movie, and I was almost entertained.

I have also made my mind up as to which team I am on concerning the whole, "vampire vs. werewolf" thing. The verdict is, that as buff as werewolves are, I am committing myself to the underdog third party of, "Team Mike". He is the only one who likes Bella for who she is (despite the fact that she never smiles, never laughs, and only speaks in monotone), and he doesn't just want to date her because she's cool with going out with monsters, all of whom seem to live on the Washington coast.

So there you go. I am sorry to all those Edward and Jacob fans. In truth, it was a really fun night. I got to hang out with some of my girlfriends and watch 17-year-old boys rip their shirts off over and over again. Not a bad way to spend your evening.

P.S--Matthew Wayne Hargrave is hotter than any werewolf or vampire combined, even though he does not sparkle in the sunlight. Monsters only wish they could be as ripped as he is.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Movin' and Groovin'

This week was a very churchy one. Both Matt and I were busy, busy beavers with our callings and activities, but we figured it was a good use of our time. I did my Primary and Achievement Day thing, and Matt had a bunch of Scout stuff he did. All in all it was a pretty good week.

Wednesday night Matt's scouts had their first Court of Honor. It was so good to see so many of the boys who had never cared about scouts before (or church, for that matter) stand up and receive several hard-earned merit badges.

Excuse me for just a moment, but I am going to play the proud wife for the next few sentences. If you choose to skip down to the next paragraph, I will totally understand. Matt has literally turned the whole Scouting and Young Men's programs around. There are now more boys than ever coming, and not just to scouts, but to church too. I have had more than one grateful parent tell me how appreciative they are for Matt and his dedication and love for their kids. I have to say, I am very proud of him.

OK, enough gloating. The scouts also had their last "camp out" of the year this our backyard. It was really more of a end-of-the-year party, with pizza and movies and lots and lots of mud tracked in on my clean carpet.

They spent most of the day Saturday in our garage, where Matt taught them all about power tools and not sticking your hand in them when they are on. To prove their knowledge they each made a box with a note to their moms on the bottom. I can safely say that I know what half the mothers in our ward are getting for Christmas.

This is the oddest mixture of personalities I have ever seen, but somehow it works. Matt has more patience than I do. :)

I also got my craftiness on at the Relief Society Super Saturday. These are the cute little blocks I made. I like them because they are fall and I like fall.

And this, of course, is Bennett. I just love this little face.

These are his latest moves. He has also started babbling stuff like "babababa" and "mamamama"...although we don't think he knows that I am mama, but maybe one day soon. :) (P.S- Sorry about the gross spit-up at the end here. If you know Bennett at all though, you know that it is nearly impossible for him to remain clean for more than five minutes at a time. Aaaahhhh!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oh, The Simple Joys

I have the best job in the world. :)

Grandma Pat

Grandma Pat is Matt's, mom's, brother's, wife's, mom. (Try figuring that out!) That means there is really no relation at all to Matt, but the Hargrave family has known and loved her as their grandma for years and years. This weekend Matt and I had the opportunity to have her visit us, and it was so much fun spending time with her!

She loved Bennett, and was determined to see him crawl before she left in two days. She actually did make a little progress with him (unfortunately for us).

Of course, we took her on base. I think I am getting to the point where I could do this with my eyes shut. This time we went to the First Cav museum though, a place even I have never been before, so it was a little different.

Matt and Grandma Pat in front of the Fort Hood sign. (This is where all the interviews took place after the shooting, hence the flowers and signs everywhere.)

Can you see the family resemblance? :)

The First Cav Museum had all these wax people everywhere dressed up as soldiers and Arabs and stuff. To be honest, it creeped me out a little. Wax should never look that human.

Bennett seemed to enjoy it, though.

We also had a big BBQ with her and some of our friends later, and went to the birthday party of our cute nieces in Fredericksburg on Saturday.

Maimie and Pop hadn't seen Grandma Pat in a long time, so we surprised them at the birthday party with her. I love this picture of Maimie seeing her for the first time. If you blow it up you can see her mouth open in disbelief. Haha. We are so sneaky. :)

It was a good reunion.

All the cousins came for the birthday girls. Here they are decorating their own cupcakes. So fun.

Madi and Emma. Madi turned 5 in October, and Emma turns 4 later this month.

All in all it was a great weekend, and we can't wait to get to see Grandma Pat again!

Premature Hair Loss :(

Our little boy inherited his daddy's curly hair (yay!) along with his mom's thin, straight hair (boo!). Because of this strange mixture, Bennett's hair was never really curly or straight. It was kind of fuzzy, like a burn victim's. It looked OK as long as we kept it wet and gelled, but unless I followed him around with a spray bottle, it looked pretty disheveled most of the time. This is not the best picture, because his hair is blond so you can't really see the pure messiness of it all. You will just have to take our word for it.

So on Monday night we got the brilliant idea to give this fuzz ball a little "trim."-- right.
Bennett was fascinated. I was horrified.

As soon as we made the first cut though, we realized what a huge mistake this whole thing was. However blond Bennett's hair was on the top, it was at least ten shades blonder underneath. The result was a near resemblance of baldness.

Again, it looks a little better than this in real life, but not much. Poor little bald-boy! Matt keeps reminding me that hair grows back. (Good thing, too.)

These are the curls we chopped. I cried a lot (of course) and saved them all.

But on a happier note, one of my birthday presents came a little early! This is the gorgeous Eddie Bower highchair I have been coveting for the last several months but could never justify buying. Matt decided I had waited long enough, and now Bennett gets to eat in an upright position instead of laying in his swing during mealtimes.

We are all very happy.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Yep, He's Ours...

Both Matt and I were, how shall we say, rambunctious children. Therefore, it is no surprise that we are getting our payback now as parents.

Saturday I was dusting the house and had Bennett on the floor within eyesight...I thought. I don't know how he did this, but within a three second period he successfully ripped a door stop out of the wall, dismantled the plastic from the metal, and stuffed the whole thing into his mouth. It was rather incredible. So if there is any doubt about who this little hoodlum belongs to, let it be forever banished. Yes, he is ours.

A New Appreciation

Thursday afternoon we had little scare here with the Fort Hood shootings, where 12 people were killed, and upwards of 30 were wounded. Thankfully, Matt was down the street from the building where it all happened. And while he was close enough to hear the shots and was in lock-down for over seven hours afterwords, he was involved in no other way besides the fact that his medics were some of the first-responders to the wounded.

We would just like to send out a great big "thank you" to everybody who called, texted, and Facebooked us to make sure we were OK. It makes us feel very blessed and loved that there are so many, many people out there who care about our little family.

This incident also made Matt and I appreciate each other a little more, so on Friday we decided it was time for a little one-on-one time. We left Bennett with some friends and went to this way cool Put-Put Palace, where you can ride unlimited go-carts, bumper boats, play arcade games, and mini-golf, for only ten dollars a person. It was sweet! We spent so much time in the arcade and golfing, though, that we didn't have time for the go-carts or boats. That's OK, it gives us a reason to go back.

You can't pay nothing and expect to get everything. This was the most ghetto put-put course I have ever been too, complete with some of the biggest rats I have ever seen. (Did you know rats can climb trees?!!) I know, it sounds horrifying, but we were laughing so hard we didn't care.

Matt in "the cave." I'm almost positive this is where all the rats lived. Needless to say, we putted through this hole pretty dang fast.

Matt's hole-in-two. My hole-in-thirteen. I have no patience for this game.

The twisty pen we won with our 85 arcade tickets. Matt, always the gentleman, let me have it. What a nice guy. :)

OK, I may not be good at golf, but I dominated in the motorcycle arcade game! I got first place and won us a free game. Not to brag or anything...

It was a fun night, ending with a romantic dinner in the Whataburger parkinglot. You know, it doesn't really matter what we do, as long as we are together. :)

A Case of the Sniffles

In last week's blog we mentioned Bennett was getting a little bit of a chest cold. Well, at the beginning of this week that little cold escalated into an honest-to-goodness case of the sniffles, and it was pretty pathetic. I do have to say though, Bennett has gone a good seven months without much of any sickness, and the common cold is much better than some other illnesses floating around out there right now. We are considering ourselves lucky.

Here's what most of the first part of our week looked like.

When he wasn't sleeping all Bennett wanted to do was cuddle (which was fun for us, if not for him.) He would still try to smile and laugh, which was probably the most pathetic part of the whole thing since he had no energy or voice. Poor boy.

When we took Bennett to the doctor they loaded us up with drugs. We didn't even use half of them, but since we get them for free I don't really care. It was still kind of nice to have them though, just in case.

By about Thursday Bennett was feeling much better. So much better, in fact, he decided it was time to start moving...a lot. He has become quite the wiggly, active boy.

This is how he looks most of the time now. He insists that he be on his tummy or hands and knees at all times, and absolutely refuses to lay on his back--including during diaper changes, which makes things interesting.

I don't think I'm ready for this. I really enjoy immobility.

Obviously he is very proud of all his latest accomplishments though, and we are proud of him, too.

We have started doing other "big boy" things too, like sitting in the front of shopping carts and taking real baths. He is growing up so fast! It makes me so happy and excited, but kind of sad, too. (I cried in the parking lot of the grocery store the first time he sat in the cart the right way. Matt thinks I am insane.)

And, last of all, I guess I should introduce you to Jace. He is the little boy I am watching Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the next few months while his mom is at work. I have to say, he is definitely toughening Bennett up. Since he has been here Bennett has been kicked, poked, stepped on, hit, and flat out tackled. This is not because Jace is mean, it's just because he is courious and not very coordinated.

The good thing is that Bennett has never really complained about these attackes. He thinks Jace is super funny and actually gets excited everytime they both tumble (hard) onto the floor. I am chalking it up to life experience and letting them both get their fill of scrapes and bruses. Little boys are funny creatures.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Very Halloweenie Week

Where most people celebrate a holiday in one day, we here at the Hargrave home like to drag them out over a three or four day period. Here's the ookie-spooky week in recap.
At the beginning of the week, Matt and I (notice the proper use of English here) made some super scary chocolate covered pretzels for Family Night. It was way easy and fun, and they were reeeaaallly tasty.

Here's Matt, deep in concentration making a gnarly witch finger.

And here's me making something else, I don't know what. We watched the TV show, "Ace of Cakes" as we did this, so it made us feel like we were way cooler than we actually were.

I don't know, I think we did pretty good! They looked like the pictures on the box at least...or close...
Thursday night we were invited over to a friends' house for a huge dinner and pumpkin carving party. There were like, 50 people there, but we all found a spot and got busy with our veggies.

The creative artist at work.

Bennett's jack-o-lantern before...

...and after. We tried to make it look like him, with just two little teeth on the bottom and happy squinty eyes, but in the end it just looked more like a pumpkin with some holes cut in it. Bennett seemed to like it anyway.

The finished product. Ooooooo spooookyyyyy!
Matt's is on the right, Bennett's is the little one in the middle, and mine is on the left, with the face smashed in. I tried using a new tool to carve with this year--a hammer. It did not disappoint. A hammer did in two minutes what usually takes me about an hour to do with a knife. (For those of you who don't know, I am somewhat of a violent pumpkin carver, which is why there are no pictures of me carving...too graphic for our younger viewers. :)
Friday night was the chili cook off and trunk-or-treat held by our ward. This was the only time, I am ashamed to admit, that Matt and I dressed up the entire holiday. We are usually much more spirited. It was cute though, with prizes for the primary kids' costumes and lots and lots of chili.

I do not make very good chili, but I found I make a pretty decent pumpkin stew. It was a hit! Thanks for the recipe, Mom, and yay for keeping traditions alive!

And here is my handsome husband, straight from the 80's.
I have to say, Matt's costume was pretty dang funny (maybe because he has no hair in real life?) but I didn't get a shot of the whole thing. Anyway, just imagine him in super short shorts and tube socks. :) Apparently it surpassed even the primary kids' costumes. The primary president thought he was supposed to be Nephi (with a mullett??!) and gave him the "most spiritual" award. Matt was a little deflated after that.

After dinner we all went out to the parking lot and trunk-or-treated. This was one of the first times I have ever pass out candy instead of recieving it. And yes, I am almost 23.
Halloween day we decorated the outside of our house (the inside has been decorted since October 1st) and got ready for trick-or-treators. However, there wern't too many witches and goules for us to give candy to this year, since we live in the middle of a construction zone. I can tell you this though, the ones that did come made quite the haul.

The haunted entryway. You never know what kind of creepy and horrifying creatures may lurk here...

AAAHHHHH!! There's one now!!

Passing out candy to the few dedicated trick-or-treators who came our way.

And then it was time to do some tricking and treating of our own!
Actually, Bennett got a little bit of a chest cold from trunk-or-treating the night before, so we only went to one house, and it was the home of our good friends. Maybe this is kind of like cheating...

...but I think it still counts.

We love Halloween!

Rejoicing in our spoils! BWAHAHA!

And, or course, what is Halloween without eating at least one piece of candy? Here's Bennett enjoying his first ever tootsie roll. What a great day! Happy Halloween, everybody!