Saturday, November 30, 2013

Kaitlynn's Thanksgiving Feast

Kaitlynn's preschool recently hosted a Thanksgiving Feast and the parents were invited to attend. The tables were decorated with placemats and a yummy lunch for the kids. Such a cute event! It was a fun little time together with my girl.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cousins' Weekend in Katy

In an effort to get the Morgan cousins together this fall, we scheduled a gathering at MeMe's house in White Oak in early November. But then Connor's football team made the playoffs and we instead needed to stay in Katy for Connor's first playoff game. We quickly regrouped and everyone decided to make the drive to our house in Katy to have the cousins' weekend here. We were SO excited to host a fun cousins' weekend and have such a great visit with family.

First on the agenda, attending Connor's early football game. It was a nailbiter, but Connor loved having his cousins and grandparents there.

The girls doing some sideline cheers.

The cousins and Connor.

Ryah and Makenna

Aunt Alli with Madison, who wasn't feeling well but perked up later on.

Marissa and Kaitlynn -- two peas!!

Enjoying a half-time snack.

Silly girls ;-)

Grand Daddy


After the game, we just headed back home and enjoyed some down time together. Jeff took some of the kids behind our house for a walk around the lake and woods. And later, they went on a walk to the park.

Jeff and the girls going for a walk behind our house.

Headed to the park.


More fun.

Cousins, say cheese!

Love these kiddos.

Pajama time.

On the last day together, we enjoyed "home church" with a special treat of donuts and kolaches.

Breakfast in their pajamas on the backyard patio.

It was another great weekend of fun with the Morgan cousins. We're counting the days until we all see each other again at Christmas!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Regular Season Wrap-up

Connor's football team wrapped up their regular season this past weekend. What a great time it has been for all of us! And the best news of all -- they made the playoffs! They've been fighting hard the latter part of the season to earn a playoff spot, and it paid off. We have at least 2 more games in the playoff bracket starting this weekend. Go Texans!!

Here are some of my favorite pictures with captions from the end of Connor's regular season.

Individual player pic. LOVE this!

Connor's entire Texans team. What a fun group of kids and coaches!

At the last regular season game, the kids stood together for a team pic.

Connor made a great block by pushing his man way past the line of scrimmage.

Connor, right in the middle, in his 4-point stance for defensive left tackle. He is almost always the first guy to the line of scrimmage, down and ready to play.

In the game against the Broncos, Connor gets held big-time by one of their linemen, but no flag was thrown.

Connor's response to the ref for the missed holding call. Just like the Pros. LOL!!!

He had to blow off some steam; he wasn't happy about the missed holding call. Seriously. I can't make this up.

Trying to shake off the lineman, again.

Showing us some hustle!

Proud dad with his little tackler.

Great season! Go Texans!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Halloween 2013

Halloween kind of snuck up on us this year. We didn't talk about costumes until late in the month, so it was going to be tough to shop. I finally talked to the kids about what they wanted to be for Halloween. In the end, their costumes didn't require any new purchases. Connor was his favorite Houston Texans player, J.J. Watt, and Kaitlynn was the Disney princess Repunzel.

These were by far the easiest costumes yet, and anyone who knows my kids would agree that they couldn't have picked any more fitting costume!

J.J. Watt and a Disney princess
It's always difficult planning for the big night when it falls in the middle of the week. This year, we were invited to a neighborhood gathering in a nearby culdesac. All of the families gathered and enjoyed some snacks while the kids played and started to get excited about trick-or-treating. It turned out to be such a fun night and we were able to meet many of our neighbors that we hadn't met before.

Some of the kids at the neighborhood Halloween party. They played with a cauldron of dry ice.

After heavy rainstorms threatened all day, it cleared up just in time for the party. Beautiful Halloween sunset!

A pic of all the kids before heading out to trick or treat. So much fun!

Enjoying a Halloween cupcake at the neighborhood party (as if all the candy wasn't enough).

When it started to get dark, the kids quickly scattered off to begin trick-or-treating. We made it around the big circle in our neighborhood, and then we decided to come home and hand out candy to the late crowd. Connor and Kaitlynn loved this part just as much as trick-or-treating!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ridin' Solo

Back a year or two ago when we lived at our former house, we decided it was time for Connor to learn how to ride his bike without training wheels. Jeff convinced Connor to give it a try and took off the training wheels for a practice session. At the time, Connor's bike was a little big for him so he had a tough time getting the hang of balancing on the bike. I took a few videos of him doing a great job (which I can't seem to find now) and then we decided to try again another time.

That was about 1-2 years ago!!

So now that we're settling into our new neighborhood in Katy, we've been noticing more and more elementary kids riding their bikes to school and to play. Jeff and I have tried for months to convince Connor to get out his bike and give it another shot, but he kept refusing. He wouldn't say why he was unwilling to try it, but I'm sure he was feeling nervous and scared about it.

Last month, I finally decided I was going to have to force the issue. As we walked to school one morning in early October, I told Connor, "OK, buddy. We're going to have to learn to ride your bike now. It's going to happen this month. October. You pick the date, but it has to be this month." He wasn't happy about it, but he begrudgingly agreed and finally picked October 30th. I put it on my calendar: Oct. 30: Connor learns to ride his bike! A bit optimistic, but it needed to happen.

Fast forward throughout the month, Connor would surprise me by bringing up the big event. He would ask, "Mom, you know what's happening next week?"

"Of course! It's Halloween."

"No," he would reply, "the other thing."

I chuckled at his apprehension and also his apparent willingness to go along with my pick-a-date plan. We had this same conversation exchange several times before the BIG DAY arrived.

Of course, on October 30, wouldn't you know the state of Texas was experiencing the Great Rain of 2013. Storms and record rain all across the area, making for terrible bike-riding weather. Just our luck! But we persevered. After school that day, we caught a break between rainstorms and headed out on Connor's bike.

I was under no illusions that Connor would learn to ride his bike in a single afternoon. But we tried for about 30 minutes in light rain, me holding the bike and helping him balance while he zig-zagged up and down the sidewalk. I was exhausted and feeling a little frustrated, but he had a great attitude and was trying hard. Finally, I told Connor we'd take a break and let Dad help him later. After dinner, Jeff and Connor set out again. After a few minutes, they moved to the street so that Connor wouldn't keep overcorrecting to avoid the grass on the edges of the sidewalk. Soon after, I looked up, and what did I see? Connor riding his bike--without help--towards me down the street! I was so surprised and excited!!

When Connor pulled up beside me, I was squealing with excitement. "Connor! You did it!! So awesome!" and of course he had a huge smile as well. I praised how great he had done, and he said something about doing math in his head.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Dad told me to clear my head and focus," he responded, "so I just kept thinking: what is 2+2, 2+2, 2+2,...". I laughed SO hard. That kid!!

From that point on, Connor kept his chin down and eyes forward with a determined look on his face, all while ridin' solo down the street. Jeff and I were so proud of him and so excited that he had finally conquered the bike.

Jeff helps Connor keep his balance on the bike.

Looks like he's almost getting it!

Woohoo! Success!!

The next day, the sunshine was finally back and right after school Connor was back on the bike. He was still trying to figure out the best way to get started, but once he was rolling he didn't look back.

Love those smiles from his newfound freedom!

And not to be left out, Kaitlynn has been enjoying her time on her bike as well. It still has training wheels, but she can go quite fast. I have a feeling we'll be spending a lot of time on bikes from now on!

Bike ride, anyone?!