I knew my daughters were coming home this past weekend, so I bought some flowers. They were gorgeous.
However, the roses opened too fast, and were nearly spent by the time the girls arrived...
So we replaced them with some carnations to extend the life of the bouquet. It reminds me of fluffy peppermint candies.
Every year for about two weeks, my three older kids have stair-step ages. The first year, they were 0, 1 and 2. Now, that was a challenge. This year (and in this picture) they are 19, 20 and 21. Actually, 21, 20 and 19, if you want to get technical. This was taken one day before Shannon turned 22.
While the girls were home, the boys got Lu to shave their heads. Here she is scalping DJ in the garage. It was too cold and rainy to do it outdoors. Sadly, through the whole weekend, we did not get a single picture of Jon. He, however, was the one who swept up the hair in the garage, and also the one who grilled steaks for the joint birthday dinner held on October 21.
Here is Shannon in the garage, bonding with her Schu while she watches Lu wield the electric razor.
Ahhh... the birthday cake. This is a triple-layer chocolate-mocha cake from Taste of Home. It has a chocolate-mocha cream cheese frosting, and it is delicious.
We put on 41 candles, because Lu turned 19 on October 8, and Shannon was turning 22 on the 23rd. 19 + 22 = 41. Hence, 41 candles.
It took awhile to light them all. Jonathan helped.
The sight of the cake all ablaze was quite remarkable. We took our time singing, as much as we dared, so we could enjoy the effect.
...and when they blew out the candles, there was a great cloud of smoke. We opened the slider to the deck to air it out, and averted an issue with the fire alarm.
I'm not gonna lie, that was one mouthwatering, magnificent, momentous birthday cake.
The next day, Shannon and Shawn and I went apple picking. The apples are disappearing fast. When Shawn learned that Granny Smith apples were prolific right now, and that they are only good for baking, not for eating, he was all for picking "...just a few more of these!" We enjoyed a great, big, fresh, apple crisp to eat that very evening.
That night we all bundled up and went to see Jonathan play in a marching band show. Even though we didn't take any pictures, I will try to get a generic marching band picture of Jon on here, but I'm having some trouble right now. Just imagine a very tall, dark eyed trumpet player who marches sharply and in perfect step, blowing sweet high tones through his horn into the crisp fall starlight of central New York... It was a great night, and we weren't even too cold.
AHA! I got it! Kind of a formal band uniform mugshot, but even so, you can see how handsome my boy is.
And there went another fall weekend where the pool did not get closed. Poor old pool, full of leaves and raindrops. Poor old us, that will be one cold, wet job now.