Our Easter Egg-Stravaganza! {2017}

We had so much fun for Easter last weekend!

I had put up our decorations around the house earlier in the month, so we had been feeling festive already 🙂

After work & school on Friday, we attended Good Friday services at our church. Brad Gray (@WalkingtheText) was back again to guest teach & his message was awesome! Liam hung out in the Kids Care area and did this cool art project while they learned about the significance of the day. It was a chalk handprint and of course, Simba walked all over it out of curiosity as I was trying to snap this pic 😛

We had a busy holiday weekend planned, and we jumped into it 1st thing Saturday morning. Orlando Mom’s Blog was hosting their 1st ever Egg Hunt out at Lake Meadows Naturals Farm in Ocoee. I loaded the boys up & we headed out to have some fun, and I was also working their craft station for the morning.

Would you believe there are 2000 chickens in this room?!?!

Well, hello little cow! Liam loved exploring the property and greeting all the animals. In addition to this cow, he saw a horse, a llama, ducks, goats, a pig and baby chicks.

This is such a neat little gem tucked away in our Orlando area. I can’t believe I never knew it was here. They raise cage free chickens and sell the hormone free eggs. They have a small general store on site, and even have fresh produce that is grown on property.

Once my work with OMB was done, we did the egg hunt together & had a great time! It was a fun morning!

When we got home, it was time to color Easter Eggs! Trust me when I tell you that this was THE FIRST TIME that we have done this with Liam, and seriously the first time Stephen & I have done this in probably 20 years. It was a learning experience for all of us to say the least, but we had a good time with it! Liam thought it was such a neat thing to be dropping the eggs in the colored water and watching them turn colors! By next year, we will be pro’s 🙂

Liam’s 1st batch of colored eggs for Easter!

It was a long day so we all were tired that evening. It was to bed early, especially so that the Easter Bunny could make his rounds. He was pretty excited with his surprises for Liam this year and they didn’t all fit in his regular basket, so he had to leave out an extra one 😉

We were up before the sun to check everything out. Not surprisingly one of wee-man’s favorite things was this stuffed poop emoji. LOL!

We had to be at church at 7:00 am, so we were out looking for the eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny with a flash light. Hilarious!!

Easter service was great! Here we are in our Sunday Best ❤  …we went for family breakfast at KeKe’s afterwards. It was so yummy!

That afternoon we were invited to our good friend’s Jenni & Delia’s for an Easter Sunday Lunch — Cuban & American style. We had an excellent time catching up with friends & hanging out. Look at these super cute cakes we enjoyed for dessert. They were courtesy of both Delia & Lisa — and let me tell you, these ladies duked it out to make sure they were on point! haha!

After lunch, it was our last egg hunt of the weekend. This one was serious business. I was trying to take pics while he was hunting and he literally told me,”No time for pictures, Mommy!”.

Afterwards, all the kiddos sat on the front lawn & were checking out their loot. It was all business talk, as they even were making swaps & trades. Too funny!

Finally — he posed for me!

Believe it or not, Liam was still not tired once we came home, so we made our very 1st trip to the pool for the year. I don’t think we’ve been in since September-ish. His swim instructor, Ms. Katie would be super proud of him because he jumped right in and swam like it was nothing. He remembered everything she taught him. I know I was very impressed! I could already tell it’s going to be a great summer!

We had a jammed packed weekend, but it sure was another Happy Easter! We are blessed!

Until next time,

Our Merry Christmas {2016}

Merry Christmas!

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With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, we had a whole weekend of fun-filled holiday goodness! Liam was out of school the week before, so he had a ball at winter camp with a few field trips & activities. Both Stephen & I had to work through the 23rd, and that evening, Liam had a very special celebration, but more on that soon! Once we wrapped all that up, it was full-on Christmas mode! I have been blasting Christmas tunes  everywhere I go since just before Thanksgiving, and this weekend was no different. I LOVE Christmas music and it really tickled me this year because we noticed that Liam now knows many of the words to the songs we play on the regular.carpenterschristmasChristmas Eve, Liam woke up to a special present from Mr. Elf. He also delivered his good-bye letter to him that included a note that he could hug & kiss him bye again this year for a few minutes without his Christmas magic leaving. Mr. Elf was set to return to the North Pole with Santa that evening. Last year, Liam was VERY sad to see his friend leave, so we were anticipating that again this year. However, it was not as bad this time around because of the gift he brought Liam. He had asked Santa for a stuffed Mr. Elf toy, and THAT is exactly what he got from Mr. Elf! He was ecstatic!!

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That afternoon, we attended the Christmas Eve service at our church. Towards the end of service, there was a candlelight activity as we shared how Jesus is our light for the world ❤

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Some of our family was unfortunately sick, so thwarted plans landed us out to eat. We chose Bahama Breeze, and it was a perfect dinner! We beat the crowds, and the weather was amazing to sit outside.

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Liam was even able to play corn-hole while we waited for our food 🙂

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Once we got home, little man helped me to make cookies for Santa! We even made them from scratch this year. If you know me, then you know that’s means LOT 😉 …I haven’t made this cookie recipe in years, and was honestly so happy to do it with Liam this year. They came out so cute!

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After cookie baking, we put on jammies and put out the reindeer food in the front yard. Liam thought he kept hearing Santa’s sleigh ❤

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Even though he knew Santa wouldn’t come until after he fell asleep, Liam was not happy about bedtime. When we put out Santa’s cookies & milk, I asked him to smile for a picture. This was as good as it got. Ha!

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….and, once he was fast asleep — Santa arrived! ❤

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Christmas morning, wee-man slept ’till about 7:00am. Stephen & I laugh because, as kids, we can remember waking up before dawn with excitement. Not our kiddo. He {like his mama now} loves his sleep, and has snoozed till early morning every Christmas so far. When he did get up, he came into our room to wake us, and said, “I got presents! There’s a big bag & that’s my drum set! Come look!

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Daddy & Mommy picture courtesy of Liam 🙂

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So, he went for the big gift bag 1st to open, as he was convinced that was the drum set he had asked Santa for on his list. It wasn’t {it was the castle in the pic below}. However, Santa did bring him that drum set, so he was stoked when he did finally open it!

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Silly boy….

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Liam’s BIG gift this year was one that we were SUPER excited for, as well — ANNUAL FAMILY PASSES TO DISNEY!!!!!

Liam had a special gold box to open with a few things inside to reveal the gift:

Santa wrote him a letter to explain that he was getting the passes & why.

A fun “ticket” that said, Liam is going to Disney! All by himself, he actually read it & that was awesome!!

A Disney autograph book to take to the parks.

Magic Bandits to put on his magic band once we get them.

His Mickey ears {fun fact: I found these in his closet from when we took him on his 2nd bday for his very 1st trip there, so this worked out perfectly. You can check out that post HERE}.

*special THANK YOU!! to everyone who helped make this happen ❤ *

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His face as he was reading his ticket ❤

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I would say that is the face of one happy, little man!

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The animals were not left out of the morning, either. Santa brought them some treats. Timber snoozed most of the morning, though, while Simba raced around stealing bows & pieces of wrapping paper. Don’t be fooled by this cute pic….the tree skirt later was dragged half way across the living room! By Wednesday, this year, the tree was down. We have always waited to take our decorations down until after the New Year, but this crazy boy kept me on my toes just a little too much 😛

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After a relaxing afternoon, we headed over to our good friends to have Christmas dinner. Plans turned into the three of us having dinner at home, but we are very thankful & blessed to have great friends who insisted we not be alone for Christmas dinner. We really had an enjoyable evening! Here’s a pic of Liam & James playing out back with James’ new boat.
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We are so grateful & have full-hearts as we wrap up another magical Christmas season! We had a lot more fun throughout the rest of Liam’s winter break this past week, & I’ll be sharing more of that soon.

For a look back on our previous Christmas celebrations —

2013

2014

2015

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Much love…

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ICE! at Gaylord Palms ~ 2016

It’s become one of our family traditions at this time of the year to head over to the Gaylord Palms Resort and check out ICE! This is literally two-million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures that we can walk through to a different holiday theme each year. There are also ice slides and the whole scene tells a cute story. Not to mention, the attraction is kept at a super cool NINE degrees!! BBRR!!

You can see our fun from last year HERE.

We were so excited to go this year, as it featured A Charlie Brown Christmas. This is one of our childhood favorites, and of course, now one of Liam’s ❤

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As we waited in line to enter the exhibit, the staff member literally reviewed this with us. Seriously, this was hilarious!! 🙂

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The details in the ice sculptures are just mind blowing. While the chilly temps will literally, at first, take your breath away, lol….walking around looking at these beauties will, too! So, so pretty!!

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While we laughed at being told not to touch the ice, little man kept asking to touch it…I mean, look at it….for a kid, even for us….you really do just want to reach out & touch it!

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They did such an awesome job of capturing all of our favorites moments from the Charlie Brown Christmas special. LOVE IT!!

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Charlie Brown & Lucy ❤

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This was the ice slide room! Super fun!!

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Schroeder!!

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Linus …and he was holding a real blanket ❤

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Both Liam & Stephen went down the slides (there were four). My hands were so cold that my phone didn’t register my fingerprints to take the video & it messed up (such a bummer). While I was waiting for them to slide down, another lady’s phone froze….THAT’s how cold it was in there! Really!! So, here’s a screen shot of when I tried to 1st start the video 🙂

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Say cheese! …It’s the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree!

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We were seriously just so in love with all of these vibrant colors & details!

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Once again, the last room was the Nativity Scene, and it was breathtaking ❤

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Such a fun-filled family day!

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Until next time, friends!

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Priceless Memories ~ Family Pictures 2016

Last month, we got together, once again, with our favorite photographer, Dawn Geraghty, for our annual family pictures session. As always, she did not disappoint with the amazing shots  & moments she captured of our little family.

We love working with the natural light & elements outdoors, and Dawn does a fantastic job of capturing that vision. We are also just absolutely blown away by how much Liam has grown since last year. That is one of the main reason’s why I ensure we do these pictures annually because our little man is definitely changing right before our eyes. I want to capture every moment that I can ❤

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You can contact Dawn at: dawngeraghtyphotography@aol.com // facebook: Dawn Geraghty Photography // http://www.dawngphoto.com/

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We were anticipating this would be a fab session, so while we had his Kindergarten pics taken with his school, we really didn’t invest in a package with them. Instead, Dawn captured this image & it really show’s Liam’s true personality…..

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Total silliness but LOVE it ❤

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And, some more gorgeous updated shots ….

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Here is a look back on the family pics from the last few year’s:

2014 \\ 2015

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Until next time!

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It’s Christmas Time!

As we wrap up this 1st full week of December, I am definitely feeling the Christmas spirit all around. Maybe part of it is because decorations have been out in the stores since August….#kiddingnotkidding

No, but really, we were completely excited to break out the holiday decor as soon as we wrapped up Thanksgiving. It was a busy weekend after coming home from my dad’s for Turkey Day, so it took us a bit longer than I had planned to get everything up, but the house is looking festive now ❤ …Of course, the kitty is keeping us VERY busy with his mischief & antics with the Christmas tree.

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Last week, we kicked off the season with our annual Gingerbread Decorating Party. This is always a great time with our friends. A few of us girls gathered together a couple nights before the party to put all the houses together & have a few laughs 🙂

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Liam was excited to get to work on his house. It was hard to even snap some of the pics this year because almost every time you asked him to stop and ‘say cheese’…he would reply with “I can’t, I’m busy.” …hilarious!

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I might have bribed him to get this pic ❤

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This was his, ‘can I eat another piece of candy?’ face 🙂

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He wanted to spread the icing himself this year and he picked out all the candies. He’s getting to be so big and he’s very creative. He also knows exactly how he wants things to be & look.

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Finished!

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And, of course, as soon as the kiddos wrapped up, the big kids jumped in. Lisa & Stephen have gotten very serious about their joint decorating adventure over the last few years. It’s quite amusing!

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We joked around this year that this party is going to turn into the kids just playing & only the adults decorating houses. Hahaha!

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I have to say that their house turned out pretty amazing! They were impressed with themselves, too, as you can see from their pic below 🙂

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The Bengel’s neighborhood has a cool Santa that comes by, and the night of our party was actually the night he came! It was SO exciting for everyone.

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We grabbed all the kids really quick and headed out front. Santa came up the driveway, greeted everyone, and gave each kiddo a little box filled with small trinkets & candy. It was so sweet ❤

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Afterwards, we headed inside & had our gift exchange for the kids with a few of our friends.

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Liam was stoked — he got his 1st NERF gun! ….P.S., Daddy was too 😉

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We’ve really enjoyed attending our new church home this past year, as I’ve mentioned in past posts. It’s such a blessing to share a deeper learning and understanding  of the Advent season with Liam.

We had a guest speaker, Brad Gray, last Sunday for the 1st of a two-part series about the meaning of Advent. Let me tell you ….it was so good!! He covered so much education & history about the Bible and what was happening in the world at the time of Jesus’ birth. I honestly had no idea. I can’t wait to hear the rest of his message this weekend!

It’s called the Fullness of Time and I highly recommend you take a listen, as it’s available online HERE

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Sunday morning, before church, Liam popped up & immediately declared he had to write his letter to Santa. So, that’s what we did ❤
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Had to grab a pic of these two putting the star on top of the tree 🙂

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It felt good to finally have the house decorated by the end of the week. This pic is kinda dark, but the living room looks so cozy with just the glow of the Christmas lights & the fireplace.

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Some of our other decorations….and Christmas cookies about to bake!

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Can’t forget the outside decor, too!

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And, this gem! If you read my last post, you know we went to see the big guy last month, so I’ve been saving this for awhile now. We LOVE our Santa at our local mall. Liam was a little nervous again this year, but he went up to him without any forcing. He asked him for Hot Wheels. Afterwards, you could see the excitement in his eyes, and he said to me, ‘that wasn’t bad at all‘.

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We have a lot to look forward to this month & much to share! This is truly a magical time. Especially when you share it through the eyes of a child. Hope that your Christmas season is off to a fantastic start, as well!

 Until next time, friends!

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Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Happy Thanksgiving! Our pastor said the following sentiment at church on the Sunday before turkey day, and I thought it so appropriate & super cute…..

We hope you & your family had a holiday weekend filled with the five F’s:

FAITH

FAMILY

FRIENDS

FOOD

FOOTBALL

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We took a road trip for the holiday & headed up to Jacksonville to my dad & stepmom’s. Keeping with tradition, we kicked off our morning with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was so cool that this year’s parade was it’s 90th anniversary!

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He drives us nuts at times, as any 5 year old does, but this boy is the most loving kid ever. Definitely take pause on this day to celebrate just how blessed and thankful our family is. There is MUCH to be thankful for each and EVERY day….all the little things that we all too often take for granted.

As I look back on year’s past pics — HERE , HERE , and HERE ….I am amazed at just how much Liam has grown. Especially since last year. What a growth spurt! His little baby face has changed so much ❤ …definitely tugs on this mama’s heart strings.

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These two silly boys 🙂 …They were permanent begging buddies in the kitchen. Hilarious!

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Cooking up some yumminess in the kitchen! Almost time to eat!

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We had a great spread for our Thanksgiving Day meal — all the traditional trimmings, and including both a turkey and a ham. Stephen helped with keeping an eye on the ham, which we cooked on the grill. So tasty! Liam even helped baste it at the end.

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The day after Thanksgiving, we took full advantage of living in the Sunshine State and went for a walk on the beach. It was a little cool but definitely refreshing. We even took the dogs with us, and Timber had a ball! It was his 1st time with his paws in the sand in years ❤

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Timber followed Stephen out to the sandbar and then swam back to me. So cute!

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Buddies! 🙂

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We headed home on Saturday. I had full intentions on putting away the Thanksgiving decor and putting up ALL the Christmas. LOL! — it was a good plan. It ended up taking me most of the week but no worries.

What was super fun was that Mr. Elf flew back to see us from the North Pole on Saturday night! Liam woke up to him hanging out here on Sunday morning ❤

He brought him some new pj’s and some candy. More about that next time!

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It was a great weekend, overall. We hope you all had a restful & fun holiday weekend, as well.

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We are THANKFUL you have taken the time to stop by our little spot on this great big cyberspace.

Until next time, friends!

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Looking Back on October

I love this time of year. It’s filled with such fun family activities. Definitely makes the days and weeks fly by. Before November gets away from us, I want to take a moment, and share some snippets of the fall memories we made last month.

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We kicked off October with Liam’s Fall Festival at his elementary school. It was still pretty warm out that evening, but we pretended otherwise 😉 ….he thoroughly enjoyed the hayride they had around the field.

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There was no shortage of bouncy houses for the kiddos. He tried out almost all of them, of course!

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This one was an obstacle course….

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Then, there was the jail. It was literally all the rage with the kids, including mine. You could pay to put a friend in jail for a few minutes as a joke {& all money went to the school as a fundraiser}. My little? Well, he just wanted to put himself in jail 😛 ….totally hilarious!

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Later on in the month, we hung out with our regular crowd for our annual Halloween get together. Liam ditched his chosen Grease costume in favor of being Darth Vader for this party.

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That night, I actually put the camera down for a bit & just enjoyed the night. That’s rare for me. This was the only photo I nabbed besides the one of Liam. I’m pretty sure I ate most of that guac….LOL!

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Halloween night was on a Monday this year. For the 1st time, this was an actual school night for us, but we still made it work and had great night of trick-or-treating. We made the rounds with the Bengels in their neck of the woods, and the weather was beautiful! Liam looked fab in his Danny Zuko costume from Grease.

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This year, he was too cute with how he went door to door. In year’s past, he was a little timid and definitely let our friends kiddos, Alli & James (who are a little older), lead the way. This year, he was a trail blazer. He RAN up to the doors and rang the doorbells himself. Many doors, he didn’t even look back to see if the others were caught up to him. Then, he turned and literally RAN away and would yell out to us, “lets go! we have to go get more candy!”. It was adorable!

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Silly kids goofing off 😛 ….Liam was pretending to be a zombie. Lisa told him to smile in the second pic and he laid himself out on the grass….HA!

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One house made their garage into a haunted house. I think the our ‘big boys’ (aka the hubbies) were more excited for this then the kids.

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Checking out his loot!

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October went by in the blink of an eye, but it was a blast!

HERE is a look back on last year’s fun.

Happy Halloween!

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