Wednesday, October 31, 2012


The kids had a blast trick-or-treating with the daddies while Kel & I stayed back at their place handing out candy (we left a bowl of candy out at ours). Vivian decided to wear both the tutu and the unicorn costume to look extra special.

Vivi got a little jealous of Kayla's crown, so Kayla found one that she could wear. Made my little girl feel like a princess. :)

Halloween school party & parade

Today was Owen's class party and school parade. The kids were so cute in their costumes and the party was fun too - they had a snack, did a craft and read a Halloween story. Grandma Marshall came too! Such a fun afternoon. My favorite part was when Owen had Vivi sit right next to him during the story. Such a good big brother. :)

Looking forward to trick-or-treating tonight!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


In preparation for the big night tomorrow, Owen has been living in his Halloween costume for the past two days. I make him take it off for meals and potty time, but otherwise, he's been rockin' the fire fighter duds round the clock. (His good buddy Lucas gave it to him for his birthday and Owen thought it was so cool!)
Vivian is going to be a unicorn, but we were getting a little stir crazy with the hurricane going on all day, so I pulled out her tutu from last Christmas and she took some twirling lessons from her big brother the spinning fire fighter.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

6 kids on the couch

It was family dinner night and Ben made an awesome jambalaya. The kiddos enjoyed running around together and they especially loved the customary couch picture.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 5 ~ Daddy gets home!

Ben was able to get an early flight this morning so that he lands at 4:15 instead of 9:30 - yay! The kids made little "cribs" out of diaper boxes this afternoon to pass the time until Daddy walked through the door. Love their creativity.

Mommy got a little break this evening when she got to meet up with her best girlfriends for a much-overdue night out.

Love having my better half home. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 4 - we're getting there

Today we relaxed after school. The kiddos watched a show together while I finished up some work, and I couldn't help but snap this shot of them sharing the beanbag:

Then we did a craft where we glued different things on paper in the shape of our name. (Thank you, Pinterest).

While finishing up our craft, I discovered that there was a lego stuck in our dryer and the drum wasn't able to turn, thus leaving me with a 3/4 dry load in the dryer and a wet load in the washer. 

Who do I call? Kelly, of course. She said to come over and finish the laundry at her place. So, not wanting to turn down another opportunity for company, we packed up the laundry and headed over. While there, Kel invited us to stay for dinner and since she was making pumpkin pancakes with bacon on the side, we couldn't turn it down. Plus, neither of us wanted to do dinner solo either. 

The kids had a blast running around and playing with toys. The dinner Kelly made was delish and my kids were exhausted by the time we got home. We did bathtime and bedtime, and after Owen read his book he realized there was a card in the book that he could write to his Daddy, so since we were missing him, we wrote it. Owen asked me to send it to him, and at first I said we couldn't, but then I realized - we could text it to him! So we did. :)

Daddy comes home tomorrow. YAY!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 3 - dinner with our besties

Kelly (who, bless her heart, does this every week since Matt is working on a project in Chicago until the end of the year) and I decided that tonight we should take the kids out to dinner. (You know, to give us a break from waiting on and cleaning up after our children.) So, I found a restaurant that had Kid's Night (Cheeburger Cheeburger) and a playground right outside for letting the kids burn off their excess energy before going home to bathtime & bedtime. Win-win, right?

We met at Kel's house and the kids played outside for a little to kill time before we drove to the restaurant. Vivi enjoyed a Dum-Dum appetizer while playing in the sandbox. Ben texted me a photo of his view:

I texted back: "my view is better :)" with this beauty:

Finally, it was 5pm and the kids were getting hungry from all that play, so we packed them up and headed off to the burger joint. We were prepared. Both ipads were in tow, and Kel had her iphone to add to the mix as well. The kids colored their placemats while we waited for the food, and then once it came, everyone ate and was happy. It was such a fun night. We're planning on doing it more often, it was that much fun. :)

Before calling it a night, we headed over to the Wegman's airplane playground so the kids could run around a little. They loved it, and Kel and I loved the fact that they were all going to go to bed easily for us tonight due to an afternoon full of fun.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 2 - Playground & Library

This afternoon we again took advantage of the gorgeous fall weather we've been having by visiting the playground and then walking (mom's trick to wear us out for the evening) to the library to pick out a few books.
Another day down, three more to go until Daddy comes home.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Our week solo - Day 1

Ben left for a business trip in San Diego this afternoon. So, I went into survival mode. After picking Owen up at preschool this afternoon, we went straight to a new frozen yogurt place for their Monday special: fill up your cup as high as you want and 2 toppings for $2! :)

Tonight, after dinner, we played with Cooties and the fruit game. Both were a hit, but I have to say that Cooties held their attention longer this time. Especially since we did a Cootie parade after we finished assembling them. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Banner boy

One of the Directors of Owen's pre-school asked him to do a special job after church this morning. He agreed, as long as he could have his bagel (from the treat table that everyone enjoys after the service each week) while he carried the banner.

Such a good little man. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Great Country Farms with our friends

We met up with Mindy, Lucas and Cole and Ashley, Ricky and William at GCF this afternoon to have some outdoor playtime since the weather was so nice. The kids had a ball and we explored areas of the farm we hadn't seen all summer since we would usually just go and do our picking and paying for our box. Already looking forward to next year's CSA. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Toca Tea Party

The Toca Boca apps are the ones my kids always go to on the ipad. We just downloaded Toca Tea Party this afternoon and the kids LOVE it. It is so incredibly cute. They set the table, complete with three little tea candles, they pass out drinks and tea cakes and cookies, and then they munch away!

We are mildly obsessed with Toca Boca here at the Marshall household. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pumpkin Patch @ Great Country Farms

This year we went to our farm to get our pumpkins and had so much fun. It was Ben's first time to the farm, even though we've been members all season, so the kids were excited to show him around.

We ate lunch at the Roosteraunt, then walked over to the line to get on the hayride to the pumpkin patch. The kids loved running through the patch, checking out all the cool pumpkins. We settled on one bumpy one and one regular one. They're really neat and I'm looking forward to carving them in another week or two.
The kids are getting excited for Halloween this year!

Fall sale

Last night I volunteered at my favorite consignment sale of the season (spring and fall!) in order to get my early entry ticket so that I could get in and shop before the general public. I feel so blessed to have received hand-me-downs for Vivian from my best friends, so I try to stay away from the girl stuff since she has more than she needs right now. My main goal when I go to these sales is to purchase Owen's entire wardrobe for that particular season.

I got to the sale at 5:45am after making a quick stop at McDonald's (boo - Starbucks by me doesn't open until 6am, so I had to do what I had to do) for coffee and oatmeal to fuel my shopping spree. Door opened at 6:15am on the dot and I rushed over to the 4T boy's rack. I scooped up lots of great bargains - mainly Gymboree, Carter's, GAP, and Children's Place stuff - and then put my laundry basket full of clothes on the gym stage to be held for sorting while I checked out the big items and shoes. (I even found two Ralph Lauren sweater vests which I think will be perfect for holiday photos and church. And a VT jersey perfect for showing off his Hokie pride.)

I was hoping to find a big kid's bike for Owen (with training wheels) but when I got there I didn't see any good ones. I did guy him a Lightning McQueen scooter, and although I can tell it's been well-loved, I doubt he'll even notice. I was able to pick up a perfect pair of Lightning McQueen snow boots for only $2 and my other big find was a Lite Brite set for only $3. I loved Lite Brite as a kid and I hope Owen & Vivian will get a kick out of it too.

Here's a picture of the stash (minus the scooter and Lite Brite) from when I got home to show Owen.

He was pretty excited about everything and so was I given that I only spent $132 on everything. That means I can go shopping for a few new fall items for myself with the savings on his wardrobe. :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Vivi's fine motor skills

It's tough not to compare your kids to each other. To us it's interesting seeing as how they are so alike in certain ways, but so completely opposite in others.

For example, when Owen was a baby, he was very vocal but Vivian was so quiet most of the time when she was tiny. Owen talked much earlier than she did, but her fine motor skills were much more sharp at an earlier age than his were.

My mom got Owen this neat set of flash cards - one for ABC's and one for numbers. It came with a dry erase marker that has an eraser on the end. It's for 3-year olds, but of course when Vivi sees her brother doing something, she immediately wants to join in. This afternoon we were playing with them, and I couldn't help but notice her card and how comfortable she is with using the marker.

Mommy's big girl

Maybe it's due to the fact that she's been exposed to the ipad and iphone and Owen wasn't at her age. Who knows. I'm just so proud of her. Wish she'd slow down a little bit, however. I feel like she's growing up too fast!

Playing "store"

Tish got Owen this little cash register a year or two ago and he didn't quite know what to think of it. But ever since we pulled it out again, it's been a fascination for both kids.

This morning, Owen and Vivian started fighting over it while I was trying to get some work done on my computer. To solve the dispute over who got to play with the register, I jumped in and suggested they play "store". I think since they both love playing Toca Boca Store on the ipad, they got the concept pretty quickly. I helped Owen to set up his own little shop with items he could sell to Vivi. I gave Vivi one of my old wristlet purses and we put the plastic coins in it so that she could use her money to shop for items in Owen's store. They both loved it!

I have a feeling that Owen's store will always be open for business. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Being scarecrows

The three of us were tidying up out front to get ready to plant some mums (yay fall!), when I turned around to see the kids like this:
Look Mommy! We're being scarecrows!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thank you Grandma & Poppy!

A huge thank you to my mom and dad for being brave enough to watch both kids for us for five days. They made it through preschool drop off and pickup, swim lessons for both kids (my mom swam with Vivi for her lesson!), driving out to the farm for our CSA box, with probably a couple of sibling spats and tantrums thrown in.With only one urgent care visit during those five days, we are pretty sure they won't agree to it again.
But they all survived. Here's the proof. :)

Bye bye Grandma & Poppy! We love you so much. Safe travels back down to Florida and we'll see you again in January!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Heading home

On the drive back to the airport this morning, we saw this beauty parked on the curb at the gas station we stopped at to fill up the Flex:

which we immediately snapped a picture of for Mr. Owen who is obsessed with fire engines.

Can't wait to get home to our babies.

In the meantime, waiting for our flight at the airport, I had one of these babies:
Wasn't quite the same. But close.

We landed at 11:20pm and my dad picked us up. The kids were snoozing away, and we couldn't wait to see them in the morning. Five days without your kiddos is a long time.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Wedding Day for Chelle & Greg!

What a gorgeous day for a wedding. Clear skies, incredible sunset and a fabulous venue made the day super special. A close friend of theirs did the honors, while friends and family watched on as they tied the knot under a beautiful arch of fall-colored blooms.

A huge congratulations to the happy couple!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Manicure treat & Katsuya

Rochelle treated us girls to manicures this afternoon. It was such a special treat for all of us to relax, be pampered and enjoy each other's company for a few hours. The boys had baby Elphie for the afternoon. We kept joking about how they were "3 men and a baby". :)

Then we all headed over to the house Chelle's parents rented for the week to have dinner. 3 men and a baby arrived about a half hour after we did.

Rochelle's dad cooked up a Cambodian feast and everything was so delicious. We all downloaded Chelle & Greg's Wedding App (everyone except me and TJ who are not part of the iphone universe yet.) Luckily, our spouses got the app, so we were set to join in on the party.

There's an app for that!

After the party, we decided to try an LA hotspot for a late sushi snack and some fun drinks. Kel's sister Lizzie suggested Katsuya and so we drove into the city to check it out. We immediately felt a little out of place - apparently toting a baby carrier isn't so chic in LA. (I had neglected to tell Liz we were traveling with a 3-mo old. Elphie was such a good baby that sometimes, like when she slept through a meal out, it felt like she wasn't even there!) But Amy put her foot down saying that we needed to go - it had been about a 20-min drive out there and it was getting late. So we swallowed our pride and got our table. 

It ended up being a really great experience! The sushi was AMAZING - best we've ever had. And the atmosphere - filled with the white noise of semi-loud music and lots of conversations around us - kept baby Elphie asleep the entire time in her carrier. We even saw a paparazzi guy sitting with his huge camera right outside the restaurant when we left. (I wanted to get a picture with him, but everyone made fun of me, so I didn't. But I did take a picture of him from afar although you can't really make him out since the photo is blurry.) We didn't see any celebs inside, but maybe he was there to snap some photos of celebs out for a late dinner?

On another note, it's my Dad's Birthday today!!! Happy Birthday from Cali Dad!!! Love you! xoxo

Driving tour of LA

We skipped breakfast this morning for this:

Ben and TJ did an excellent job navigating through the city to show us ladies all the sights we were hoping to see:

The Hollywood sign

The Chinese Theater

Beverly Hills ~ Wilshire Blvd

Louis Vuitton on Rodeo Drive

And although we never stepped foot out of the car, we swore we saw Johnny Depp, Yoko Ono, and Kevin Bacon!