Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Connor dutifully peeling sweet potatoes!

Connor and his pumpkin pie!
After the sweet potatoes were boiled and mashed..
Yes, this is actually a picture of ME and Connor!
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So we made it to Thanksgiving and I had planned to make a few things for our traditional dinner at Mom and Dad's. But for some reason at 3:30pm on Wednesday Connor and I decided to go back the store and get the ingredients for pumpkin pie- now I have NEVER made a pumpkin pie so we first logged onto Cooking Light's website (lots of great ideas by the way) and I found an easy recipe. And off we dashed to the store! I had to circle the parking lot twice before finding a spot and thankfully we only had a few things to buy because it was packed cart to cart in the store.
Back home, Connor peeled the sweet potatoes, I chopped and we made a sweet potato casserole for Billy. Then we started on the pie, Connor is such a good helper, he added the eggs and mix the pumpkin in and even "fluted" the edges of the pie dough! It turned out perfect! We also managed to throw together a spinach artichoke dip as well.
Thanksgiving was fun at Mom and Dad's, my whole family was there as well as my future sister-in-law Kristen- she is going to fit in perfectly with our family! Connor and his cousin, Declan played ALL over the house and had a wonderful time.
And I know some of you (Molly) will be happy to see the picture of Connor and me, since I never take pictures these days.... hopefully we'll get another one for Christmas- but don't push it!! ;-)
It is freezing here and it is actually snowing, great way to begin the holiday season!
See ya,

Monday, November 19, 2007

Connor did it!!

Some of you know the fiasco we went through last May when we took Connor (in his Spidey suit) to see Spiderman 3, if not here's the story. SM3 came out in early May and since Connor is OBSESSED with Peter Parker and all things SM, the Easter Bunny brought him a gift certificate to the movies to take Mom & Dad to see SM3. We got to the theater, Connor happily gave his giftcard to the ticket person and we bought our popcorn and headed to the theater. Just inside the theater a look of fear that I have NEVER seen on his face came over him and he screamed he could not see it! Well, never getting to the movies these days I was thrilled to be going, so I was upset that it was not to be. Connor kept saying over and over that he couldn't see it and he would not tell us why. So we tossed the popcorn, got a refund and drove home. Later that day we finally managed to get the whole story out, he was terrified of venom and mostly of the thought of SM turning "dark and bad". At that point we felt horrible, here was our son, so completely enamoured with SM and his true goodness, the very essence that makes him a superhero. Connor couldn't comprehend that his hero would do anything bad.

Later that summer he asked if he could see the movie, I said no- who wanted to go through all that again? I knew he would never change his mind about who SM really is. So he and I looked up SM3 on Netflix and added it to our queue and would wait for it's DVD release. Every week he would ask me when it would be out and we would check. Then in September we found out that it would be released on Oct 30. So we waited. Of course when it was released we had to wait to receive it. We finally got it in the mail last week. Bill and I thought we would surprise Connor on Saturday and pop it in and see if he recognized the music, he did. He slowly came out of my office into the family room and saw that it was on! He then asked if we would turn it down because he didn't want to see it! I turned it down and Bill and I decided to watch it anyway, well Connor finally crept out of the office and sat next to Bill and watched the whole thing. When it was done he declared that it was his favorite movie EVER! AMAZING!!!

He has since watched it 2 more times and now has an entire new line of stories to act out with his dozens of SM dolls, action figures and legos. He has taken an afghan my Grandmother gave us before our wedding and it has become the "goo" that drips onto Peter and later Peter has to gloriously rip off when he realizes he is not meant to have that much power. At the end of course, he wins realizes he is meant to be a superhero and he wins back the fair MJ. But the best part of the movie was watching the pure joy on my son's face when he saw his hero turn back to what he truly knows in his heart, goodness. And that is what Peter and Connor will always know.

Sorry if you actually haven't seen the movie and if I ruined it for you. But I had to share this story, heroes are heroes and I am glad my son knows that it isn't about being bad and gunning down people because you can, but because you always have a choice about who you will be or become and at least for now, my sweet-hearted boy will choose to be good.

My last thought, I have had a difficult fall, moods have been all over the place and have been through a lot of things. But as we approach Thanksgiving I would like you all to know how grateful I am for you all. Whether I show it or not- it helps having all my friends and family there and knowing you care.

Happy thanksgiving and enjoy that triptophan induced sleep we will all be getting this Thursday!


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Use to be...

I (Billy-Bob) ran into a friend from Jupiter Florida on the train coming home from work the other day. One of those rare divine appointments I call them. I had not seen him since he got married four years ago. There are a few of us here, that moved from Florida to Denver about 8 years ago, all for different reasons. Anyway, it brought back some memories of use to be and sights like this one, that I thought I would share as many of you are heading into the winter season. Close your eyes and picture it, the sights, the sounds, the smells of the warm tropical breeze, salt air, the waves crashing on the beach, sand, pelicans flying in formation, ah yes!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Little Spidey and his new friend!

Connor and Spidey perfoming for a sold-out crowd!

Apparently Abby is more loyal to Spidey than Chase...
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Guess what? We have a new addition!

Ok, so he came in a box, from England. And only Connor really wanted him. Yes, we now have a singing Spiderman thanks to Connor's (former) Aunt Tami.... Funny story actually, Thursday Connor had stayed home from school, nothing serious, just his monthly fever. He normally spends time trolling the internet for anything Spiderman and has his own folder where he has the Hasbro site bookmarked. That day he brought us into the office to show us this GREAT toy he wanted, a singing Spiderman! And of course we saw all that it did (you know how LOUD and ANNOYING it was) and did the whole "well we'll have to see what Santa says", the line every parent leans on to get out of buying anything in the 2-3 months prior to Christmas.

So Friday we get a knock at the door from the UPS man (or woman) and there was a box for Connor, a belated birthday from his (former) Aunt Tami and her clan in the UK. Connor of course was elated and I though it was quite cute the first time through the 3 songs it sings. However now, Spidey comes with and tends to sing unwantedly. The one cool thing about it is that it came with a microphone for Connor, not a real one, just the kind you sing into and the sound echoes out. Very cool for trying to relive your '80's hair band days or getting the dogs to sit.

At about 8:30 Friday night in the middle of little Spidey's rendition or "Heads, Shoulder, Knees and Webs", Bill asked what Tami's phone number was. Since it was 3am in Doncaster, I thought maybe it would be a little mean to call and wake her up, he didn't. But I managed to persuade him from calling her at that point. All we have to say to Tami and Graham, "payback is coming", oh yes it is.....

See ya on the flip side, Melinda & Billy

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Note his steely blue eyes and the perfect hair curl..

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Connor and his jack-o-lanterns!

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Halloween 2007

Well, this was supposed to be my big pictorial debut....not gonna happen. Hopefully most you saw our pictures from most of Halloween in the email I sent. But here are just a few of one of your favorite superheroes.....SUPERMAN! And yes he was superman last year, but after the whole Spiderman 3 movie fiasco back in May, we went with something safer. Although in Target this morning he asked if he could get the "dark spiderman" suit, so who knows. Oh and last night as I was explaining to him that Netflix had a short wait before "SP3" would come to us in the mail, he corrected me on what the difference between his Superman costume was and what his Spiderman "suit" is. Apparently you wear a suit when you are actually becoming that superhero and his Superman costume was just something to wear on Halloween- only his very tired and tattered Spiderman costume is the real deal. He'll even wear a jacket over it, so he can rip it off and spring into action whenever his spidey sense picks up a need.

Connor and Bill went on their longest trick or treating trek yet this year, making it all the way around our very long block. It's was actually 40 degrees- I know that may seem cold- but usually it's about 30 and snowing, so this year was a success.

And also you can post comments on the blog if you'd like, they will be emailed to me so I can respond- you just have to register yourself as a user. I think most of you are familiar with blogs (ahem, Mother...) but just in case. Right now I am in serious amateur mode, so hopefully it will improve!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In the beginning....

So here's our space on the web! I have to admit, the idea wasn't completely mine. One of my best friends, Brandy, who just received her stem cell transplant after her second go-round with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, has had a blog for some time. I have LOVED being able to access it and see from Denver what is going on in Houston. So I thought I'd give it a try. Not that we are SO exciting that you will want to check in daily, but since we live far from many family members and good friends that we care for and miss often, it's a good way to see what is happening out here in the "thin air". And since I never actually did become Diane Sawyer or Cokie Roberts, it'll give me a chance to flex my writing skills!

Currently life in the Howard household is calm. Unless your name is Connor and you are in love with life! Just to recap, I am a full-time Mom to my sweet boy and also a part-time insurance agent working with my Dad and older brother Chris. I also sell Mary Kay Cosmetics as well. Bill is a Vice-President of Bamking at Northern Trust Bank and must travel MANY miles each day from our home to downtown Denver. Connor is now 6 years old and in kindergarten, he is doing VERY well and loves his classmates very much! We also have our two pups, Chase my Aussie, is 9 and Abby is Connor's lab mix and is 3. We live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, a suburb south of Denver. Yes, I am just a few short blocks from the high school I desperately ran from when I was done- funny how life works out, huh?

We will share pictures of our life and also update you on the ever exciting details...stay tuned!