Saturday, September 18, 2010


Despite living away from good ol' Stilly for 6 or so years, we still think oRAnge on weekends
(you're not seeing things, she does have a dirty face, orange with sweet taters)

This was the first photo that popped up when I was moving my pics to my computer. Hmmm...could he possibly have tried out my camera?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What Do You Do in the Summer Time?

Hmmm...what did we do this summer? The beginning of the summer was busy with our move and crash-course painting our house. Once my parents left and Kit started back to work, I was left at home. Alone. With 3 sons, 1 daughter and one empty summer looming ahead of me...overwhelmed? Heck yes! I will never profess to be one of the fabulous mothers who have craft time, enrichment activities lined up and everyone has a fun and educational time. Do I wish I was? Definitely. Right now I'm just striving to get a hold on my life and from there I'll work to improve. Baby steps, right?

So, after realizing staying home meant children fighting, me yelling, children crying, me yelling...I decided we all needed to try to get out and GO and DO. Expend energy. Each week we found things to do. We attended the free movie at the Regal Theater once a week and made sure to go to the library weekly. And- we went to the park. Newport News Park. {cue heavenly singing and trumpeting} Seriously, this park saved my sanity and my childrens' lives. This park has hiking trails, wildlife winking at you from behind trees, multiple playground sets and bathrooms. Yes. Sounds to good to be true, huh. It gets better-it is about a 2 minute drive from my house. It has been our second home (the preferred home to my beasties). We would pack a picnic (sometimes healthy, often happy meals) and just play or hike around. The weather is gorgeous and there is so much space energy can fly and noises don't seems quite so loud.
The park is also a nature reserve and the animals must know they're safe. They frolic around us. Birds fly around and dive for fish, bunnies nibble grass, squirrels attempt to eat our lunches right off of the picnic table and deer taunt us with their steaks waving in our face. I have never seen so many deer so unafraid of humans. They are a bit on the small size (we nicknamed them the dog-deer) and they permit us to get quite close for photo-ops.
We did spend a little time taking care of chores around the house...curses to laundry...and relaxing with books and movies from the library when it rained.
Emmeline is quite the favorite sibling of her brothers. They compete for the right to hold her, pick out her clothes and dress her up. The little diva is sure loved.
I came back into the kitchen from setting the dinner table to see this-
What cracks me up is that she is letting Gunner feed her. She just opens up wide and chows down.One of our rainy-day activities was to go to Toys 'R' Us and make a photo-Christmas List. Fun, now I will be able to (hopefully) remember what they want for their upcoming birthdays and Christmas.

Another positive aspect of the park was the harmony we found there. My boys argued less and helped each other more. Josiah was quick to push Gunner on the swings and they loved exploring things together.Not everything was fun and games, but sour moods were overcome quicker and I retained my temper easier. felt good to yell less and laugh more.
Where was Little Miss in all of this play? Generally she was simply content to just perch in her car-seat and watch her brothers' antics. If that wasn't good enough, there were many hands ready to cuddle her close.

School starts on I ready? I would have to say yes. Life is going to be simpler with just two little beasties (well, beastie and beastette) at home. But...I will miss their giggles, listening to their crazy play and silly thoughts.

So, what did I do in the summer time? I not only survived, but enjoyed it! Here's to another fabulous summer on its way out...

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's My Party and I Can Cry if I Want To!

He did...cry...and party.

Gunner turned 3 and had a wee bit of an emotional birthday. It might have been due to staying up late the previous night watching for owls at a local park program, or simply because...he was having that kind of day. Regardless, we had a fun birthday, complete with presents, chocolate cake and mint- chocolate chip ice cream (as requested).

I think his favorite part was opening gifts. That brought a smile to his face! He opened his Aunt Ashlee's gift and he smiled, then turned to Kit and asked, "Is it for me?" Kit nodded, but he had to be sure, so he asked again, "It's mine?". You should have seen the wattage of that smile...unfortunately it was short lived when his brothers decided to "help" him out by seeing if his toys worked...

Our gift to him was a year membership to our local Living Museum. We went as a family and had a lot of fun. The museum is a hands-on place where children learn about the world around us, complete with an outdoor area dedicated to the animals local to this area. My boys went gaga when they saw a "real-life" bobcat...don't ask me why, but they are really into bobcats right now. They play like they are baby bobcats hiding in dens, etc. so to see one sleeping in the shade was just, you know, amazing!

Currently, they are having a dinosaur exhibit and part of it is an outdoor show where they talk about dinosaurs and other creatures living back then. Josiah answered a question correctly, so he was chosen to come up and be the dinosaur model.

Gavin got to go up and hold a picture of a type of dinosaur and Gunner tagged along. One of the few times he was smiling at the fact, I believe this is the only picture I got with him smiling while we were there.
The cute, flattering picture I took of my husband...
The oh-so-fab picture my husband took of me...
The boys go to touch some sea creatures including a star fish and this horseshoe crab.
Josiah's depiction of a serious paleontologist as he is digging for dino bones.

We had lunch at the museum and picked up Gunner's choice of cake and ice cream on the way home. No, I don't bake the birthday cakes...

One of the fun things I've been noticing about Gunner getting older is that he is having preferences. It can be a bit of a trial when he decides to be a fashionista and chooses only certain shirts to wear or throws a tantrum about what he wants to eat, but knowing what you like is one of the things I notice my big boys doing as they get older. Gunnison is no longer my little toddler, but he is becoming a sweet, little boy. He has chosen mint chocolate chip ice cream 2 different times when we had gone out for ice cream, instead of just choosing what his brothers had. When he said he wanted it for his birthday ice cream, I asked if he was sure and he told me it was "his favorite". :) I love this stage of big, little boy.

His grin at everyone singing to him.
And, yummo. Eating his favorite ice cream.

Happy Birthday, my big 3 year old!!!

Addendum: Kit claims I did not take a flattering picture of wasn't his "good side", so he thinks we're equal...HA! is what I say to that! :p