Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happy, Happy Birthday (with pumpkin pickin too)

My awesome hubby had a birthday over the weekend and I wanted to give him honorable mentioned...

He spent his birthday with the family then he headed out the next day with his crazy guy friends to play some paintball.  The kids and I decided to head to my folks house for a day in the country.  Firstborn snagged a big fish with his new fishing gear...

While we were hanging out at their house I came across a pic of my parents...
Thanksgiving, 1994
As I was looking at it the thought dawned on me that my folks were almost the exact same age as Doug and I are right now!!  How can that even be possible?  It's strange because I remember that time so clearly (I would have been 20).  Odd to realize that I actually knew my parents at this age, as opposed to just having childhood memories of them, or being too young to understand or relate to them.  They make 40 look good!!

On the drive home the kids and I stopped at a local farm to pick some pumpkins.  It must have been awhile since we actually went pumpkin picking because Soccer Boy mentioned he never remembers going, and he's now 11 years old!  Failing on my mothering duties, so I had to redeem myself and here's the proof...
Toddler Boy loved riding in the wagon

Benefits of having older brothers who can
pull the wagon!

Posing with their pumpkins
Adding Toddler Boy to shot

Parting family shot
A shout out to Mary who recently did a pumpkin picking post that gave me the idea.  Her pics are much prettier, our pumpkin patch was pretty much "picked over".  I think we went too late in the season, next year we'll shoot for earlier.  In her post she mentioned how expensive this type of trip has become.  Our family lives near a few large "pick your own" type farms, and she's right, we would end up spending quite a bit for our family of 7 to all pick.  On this trip we went to a small local farm, picked six or seven small to medium size pumpkins and one really big one, three tiny gourdes for Game Boy, and two bags of kettle corn for the van ride home.  Plus the kids got to climb around on their little playground area.  All for the whopping price of $14.00!!  Love

Soccer Boy immediately got to work carving his Jack-O-Lantern when we got home...
And last but not least, I'm doing an add on for Grace over at Camp Patton.  She recently posted a pic of her son on a space ship amusement park ride that reminded me so much of this little blast from the past...
Soccer Boy (2) and Firstborn (4)
Coal Fest, 2004
Yes, I still have it on my computer so I didn't even have to scan the one hanging in a frame on the wall (although that one is a better shot because it's cropped and for whatever reason I can't figure out how to get my cropped pics from my computer to my blog).  Soccer Boy was a daredevil at 2 and still is now and he loved, loved, loved that ride.  Over the years he has convinced his older brother to ride many a ride that Firstborn was not too keen on but did it anyway for his brother's sake.  It's good for Firstborn to have a brother like that, it gets him out of his comfort zone a bit to try new things.  Bonus for mom, Firstborn is pretty responsible and usually keep Soccer Boy out of too much trouble!!

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

When the 2 year old sneaks the camera...

I downloaded some pics off the camera the other day and realized there were quite a few on there that I didn't take myself.  It appears a sneaky 2 year old was happily snapping away.  Some on there were quite good so I thought I'd share.

What the world looks like through the eyes of a toddler...

Close up of sister's face
Toddler Boy took lots of pictures of things that interested him, and he had quite a few of Princess in there.  I'm not sure if she was his "partner in crime" on the camera heist or not.  I think the above shot was my favorite of the bunch.

Also funny to see how BIG Gertie appears to a two year old.  I realized that even our small dogs are actually very large to him.  Toddler Boy adores the dogs, they usually tolerate him because he is a great source of contraband food for them.

Selfie Shot

Princess must have helped with this one

Still working on that selfie shot, 2 year olds love, love, love to take and see pictures of themselves.  Not self absorbed at all, not in the least.

"Fishy Game"
Of course, we have to have a picture of his favorite fishy game.  He's not talented enough to play himself, but he enjoys watching his older siblings play and will start shrieking when the bad guys show up.

Gonna get you!
Speaking of games, here's an upclose of a Skylander piece that I was pretty impressed with.  Again, pretty big in the eye of a two year old.

All kinds of yummy!!
Last but not least, a creative shot of a fresh batch of oatmeal cookies I whipped up the other day.  I had no idea they were that important to him.  Seen from his level, those cookies look like all kinds of great.  Too bad they're all gone now, I'll have to make some more soon!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Vacation!!

1.  We're BACK!!  Actually, we've been back for about 3 weeks now and I needed to photo dump all our vacation pics.  We took a leisurely 20 HOUR drive down to Anna Maria Island, Florida.  The drive was supposed to be 16 hours but you have to add in 4 hours for bathroom/snack breaks with kids in the car.
This is actually a pic from the drive home

Here's one from the drive down

2.  We rented a great house on the island, which had three floors, five bedrooms and a very nice pool.  It also had an elevator, which thankfully the kids didn't discover how to use until our last few days there.  I think we caught Princess (5) and Toddler Boy (2) using it by themselves at one point.  It would have been nice to have some sort of lock down feature on that thing.
The guys cooking a meal
Soccer Boy enjoying the pool!

3.  Florida was in for some wet weather.  We had rain every day we were there and the island had some flash flooding.  The street outside our rental house got pretty deep...
Game time inside during rainstorms
Soda + Risk = Fun!!
Side trip to Vienna, needing to rent a boat for the day!

4.  In between the rain the weather was awesome, the boys got in a few fishing trips.
Fishing off Anna Maria Island City Pier
Game Boy's catch , same pier

5.  Our family hit the beaches to soak in the sun...
Caspersen Beach
Enjoying the black sand @ Caspersen

The "beach look"
We took a day trip south to Caspersen Beach to look for shark teeth.  This beach is renowned for having tons of prehistoric shark teeth.  Disclaimer...you need a sifter to be able to sift through the sand to find them.  We didn't bring one along, so we didn't find any.  However, the boys had lots of fun swimming in the waves.  Toddler Boy did not care for the sand, so he was extremely careful to stay on the beach towel.  Princess and I strolled up and down the beach looking for sea shells while he watched us from the safety of his sand free perch.  I just need to figure out how to transfer this trick onto our "sandless" areas at home and I'd have it made!

6.  We also took a couple additional day trips, one to Mote Aquarium and the other to Sea World.
Family shot
Princess with her manatees

We got to see the orcas at Sea World

Toddler Boy was "turtle crazy" on this trip

Firstborn & Soccer Boy got to ride roller coasters
They're in the middle two front seats on the Kraken!

More family shots @ Mixon Fruit Farms
(Soccer Boy excluded because he's taking picture)

7.  Date Night!!  Can't forget one of the highlights of the vaca, which is roping my parents into watching all five kiddos so Doug and I can pretend we're not parents and hit the town.  Or, in this case, go out to eat and walk along the beach at sunset.
Sunset on Holmes Beach
Same location, 12 years earlier
That pier no longer exists

Taken on Anna Maria Island City Pier

I did not bring my camera along on date night.  The above pictures were all taken on a different day (but you get the idea).  We actually walked along Bradenton Beach, right in front of the beachfront vacation rental we had stayed in on our first trip together to Anna Maria Island.  We had to dodge the little white beach crabs, it was obviously mealtime for them too.  We watched the sunset and then ate at a nice beachfront restaurant.  The meal was good...we had coconut covered shrimp for an appetizer...really yummy!  Then we took a drive up and down the island.  Our night was cut short by a phone call from Mom asking for more diapers for Toddler Boy.  We had run out at the house and the diaper bag was, of course, in the van with us.   Well, at least we got our sunset walk in!

That's it for this long edition of Vacation Quick Takes...head over to Jen's at Conversion Diary for more of the same!!!