Thanks for Thanksgiving!

After such a successful "thankful advent" last year (see here http://minutesformama.blogspot.com/2012/12/giving-thanks.html), of course we HAD to do it again!  Here's a little glimpse into one of our new favorite family traditions, count down to Thanksgiving style!:
Day 1 - We are thankful for our TOYS!! *Organize the playroom and play together
Day 2 - We are thankful for PETS! *Welcome to the family Bella!  Isn't she adorable?!  
You want me to elaborate on that last one??  Don't mind if I do!  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words right??  I mean, who wouldn't want a second look at that sweet mug??
The biggest kid of them all was in his puppy-loving glory! :)
And rest assured, this little doll will be getting PLENTY of TLC and exercise! :)
Now THIS is what I call one fun loving crew!
Look out Bella, here comes trouble! :D
PS.. Have I mentioned that Princess P learned to ride a bike?  She now greats people with, "Yeah, I'm 3 and I ca ride a bike with no training wheels!  My brothers can't though, and they are 5 and 6!" ..such modesty! ;)
Our worry for the boys' pride was shortly lived as Handsome H wasn't about to sit back and watch his little sister claim all the glory!  Sir L on the other hand took the humble route and couldn't care less either way! ;)
Day 3 - We are thankful for Jesus!  *Read scripture stories and sing songs about him :)
Day 4 - We are thankful for the Earth! *clean up around the neighborhood
Day 5 - We are thankful for SNUGGLING!! *Snuggle up on the couch for a family movie night
Day 6 - We are thankful for our eyes! *Star gazing anyone??
Day 7 - We are thankful for our mouths!! *Make a yummy treat and share it together
Day 8 - We are thankful for nature! *Take a nature walk
Day 9 - We are thankful for ice cream!! *Go out for ice cream :)
Day 10 - We are thankful for grandparents! *Skype & Face time calls

Day 12 - We are thankful for daddy! *Make a special surprise for daddy 
Day 13 - We are thankful for the park!! *Head out for some family fun!
Day 14 - We are thankful for books! *Read thanksgiving books together
Day 15 - We are thankful for our friends!! *Play dates all around!  ..yes I know I'm missing a few kids but this is the best I could get amidst all the running and playing going on
 Day 16 - We are thankful for our neighbors! *Late-night brownies anyone??
Day 17 - We are thankful for service! *Help a family in need.. Post baby dinner is our specialty!
Day 18 - We are thankful for our teachers! *Heart shape muffins at your service!
Day 19 - We are thankful for our hands! *Do an art project using your hands
Day 20 - We are thankful for enough to share! *Help stock a local food bank :)  ..how I wish my phone hadn't died at the store when the kids were each pushing their carts of food.. It was both hilarious and adorable. Quite the spectacle!
Day 21 - We are thankful for turkeys! *Make a turkey craft :)
Day 22 - We are thankful for healthy bodies! *Go for a bike ride ..Yes I cheated and took a shot of the bikes rather than the kids on them.. Have you ever tried taking a picture of 4 crazy kids riding bikes faster than most cars drive?? Not. Easy.
Day 23 - We are thankful for the missionaries! *Have the missionaries over for dinner!
Day 24 - We are thankful for traditions! Yes, we decorated for Christmas prior to Thanksgiving.. Don't be a hater. You know you want to!
Day 25 - We are thankful for a nice warm house (particularly on this especially chilly day)! *Drink hot chocolate and tell stories by the fire :)
Day 26 - We are thankful for ambitions! *Paint the worlds largest picture (or at least the Hooley kids' largest picture)!!
Day 27 - We are thankful for our brothers and sisters! *Sibling switch up slumber parties! (Apparently Bailey is too old to snuggle too closely with a brother! lol)
Day 28 - We are thankful for food!  *Enjoy a Thanksgiving feast with family & friends!
We hope you all had as much to be thankful for this past year as we certainly did! :)


Flash Month

October is now known as flash month in our house.  "Busy" doesn't even begin to cut it!  With minimal sleep, lots of chocolate, help from my sweet husband, sister in law and mother (who we ended up flying out for a week), we managed to survive what was one of the busiest months of the year for my shop!  Chances are, if you came by for a visit, you couldn't reach our front door.. sorry about that..
We managed to make a few fun memories in between the madness, with a trip to a pumpkin patch (okay so I stayed home with the boys, but that was an end-of-the-line consequence for them, not because I didn't desperately need the day out!),
our ward trunk-or-treat and chili cook off,
(Please note my kids' terribly last minute, thrown together costumes.. I was SO busy getting everyone else in the world theirs that I didn't have time to complete the image in my head for us.. oh well, there's always this year right??  Thankfully, people give out candy to all cute kids and not just the best dressed ones!)
and of course, a fun family night of pumpkin carving! :)
But if you ask one little boy in the family which day trumps the month, it won't be Halloween.. even though in a kids' mind, the one day of the year where parents give the thumbs up to take candy from strangers is pretty awesome (if not slightly misguided..)!  Sir L turned 5 on the 29th and was looking quite grown up indeed!
Yeah.. I'm pretty sure he had a fairly decent day!  I spent the most of it in awe, trying to etch into memory all the little quirks he has, knowing that all too soon they will be faded memories :(  This boy has brought so much joy into our family!  He can be goofy, and incredibly sincere, charming & wild, helpful, sensitive & eager to please.. he has the softest ears that I swear can fold 10 ways, a smile that'll knock your socks off, and a melt your heart tender side that only the lucky ones closest to him get to see.  I am SO thankful for this sweet boy!
Happy 5th birthday bud! :)