Traditions

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It’s here…it’s finally here! The boys have been going on about Halloween for a couple of weeks now and counting down the days. Soon their coffers will be filled with CANDY!

This year, Adam was a S.W.A.T. officer, and Alex was the Red Power Ranger. Long gone are the days they would dress in similar costumes, as each year they become more and more diverse in their interests. But hey, they’re both crime fighters this year, right?

SWAT and Power Ranger

This year Charlie even got into the act, as a Rocker with his jean jacket and guitar…

Charlie Rocker

Meanwhile, in Alabama, grandkids Oliver and Carter John look AWESOME as Woody and Buzz…

Woody and Buzz

and Kameran was Barb from Stranger Things. I think she did a great job!

Kam and Barb

As expected, the boys cleaned-up on Candy…enough to last them into December. And Charlie absolutely loved the walk (and the attention).

Happy Halloween

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It’s the day before Halloween and Cindy has the pumpkin carving station open for the boys to make their jack-o’-lanterns. Adam is really seems to be into the carving and gutting of the soon to be jack-o’-lantern…

Adam Cleans
Adam Carves

While Alex is taking a less messy approach and covering the pumpkin in glow-in-the-dark paint for what appears to be some sort of Incredible Hulk fixtures…

Alex Paints
Alex Paints

UPDATE: The finished products…

Alex’s Incredible Hulk pumpkin…

Hulk

and Adam’s (left-side) and Cindy’s jack-o’-lanterns…

jacolantern

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I’ve said it before, you can always tell what holiday is approaching by looking at our house. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or in this case, Halloween…

Halloween House

I joke with Cindy about about all of the work she puts into these decorations (both inside the house and out), but they’re really what makes our “house” a “home”. Someday, when the boys have grown and are on their own or raising families of their own, they’ll look back on these Halloween lights (and all the others) with some nostalgia.

Halloween Door Halloween Window

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Another reason for the family trip to SW Florida was so we could present this shadowbox to my father-in-law for his birthday. He served 20-years in the US Air Force, but he didn’t have ANY reminders of his service, they being lost to the passage of time. All he had were some papers in a briefcase he kept in his closet. Fortunately, one of those papers was his DD214, which contained most of the of the information needed to construct the shadowbox, and short conversation provided the rest.

Happy Birthday, “Poppy”…and thanks for your service!

Shadowbox

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Today was the Second Annual Mom and Son Nerf War. One of Cindy’s friends first put this together last year after her son commented that his sister got to go to the Daddy-Daughter dance, but there was nothing for him to do. And the rest is history!

As the event gets underway, Alex is packed and ready to go with his Nerf vest full of ‘bullets’ and Adam is talking strategy with his crew…

Alex is ready Adam is ready

They had a great time this afternoon, although Cindy says she feels a little sore after all the running around. Adam naturally says the kids won the war, but it really doesn’t matter. After all, the great memory of this day will overshadow any perceived victory.

Mom and the Boys

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Boogity Boogity Boogity, as Darrell Waltrip would say! Today was the Cub Scout North Florida Council District Pinewood Derby Race! If you’ll remember, Alex was among the scouts that placed in the Pack 280 Race, so he moved on to the district competition with another 24 Tiger Scouts. So, after we checked-in, Alex sat down and put his game face on…

Game Face

Each car ran in 3 ‘heats’, so it had the opportunity to travel down each lane, then the finish times were averaged to determine the overall winner. Trophies were awarded for the top 3 finishers. Alex was a little disappointed he didn’t win a trophy this time around and I tried to explain that it meant something just to be racing today. After all, there were many Tiger Scouts in the district that didn’t even advance to this race (his brother included), but alas, there’s just something about that trophy. Anyway, we all had a great time watching the races and cheering on the scouts.

Here’s one of Alex’s races (his car is the one on the left)…

Alex’s car was competitive, taking 2nd in this race by a hair…

Finish

So, with the Pinewood Derby over for this year, we’ll place the “Little Green Dragon Machine” on the shelf to remember the fun we had.

Dragon Car

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Happy

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…wherein we delay the traditional Holiday meal until the day after Christmas.

Dinner Selfie

In addition to the ham and other staples, we have our traditional Christmas crackers…

Dinner plates

which despite the boys’ impatience we enjoyed AFTER dinner.

Christmas Crackers Christmas Crackers

The Christmas Cracker King…

Christmas Crackers

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Well, the boys were up at 5:00 a.m. and a few minutes later they were at the side of the bed informing me that Santa had indeed visited them while they slept. This was a great relief for Adam because he was almost certain he was on the naughty list. Anyway, everyone else was still snoozing, so I started some coffee and the boys brought their stockings to the front of the tree…

Boys with their stockings

Fortunately, Santa had left the boys enough in their stockings to keep them occupied until the coffee was done and everyone was up. Then, we passed-out the presents and they went to town…

Opening presents

Opening presents

My favorite presents every year are the one’s the boys’ buy at their school’s Christmas shop…

Opening presents Opening presents

After the gifts were opened and the wrapping paper, boxes, and other packaging were cleared-out, we retired to the kitchen for breakfast, which included Cindy’s specialty, reindeer pancakes, for the boys…

Reindeer Pancakes

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Merry Christmas

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