Friday, October 24, 2014

One Last Walk in the Gardens

Kristi, Rachelle and I took our kids to the big gardens at Thanksgiving Point on Monday when they didn't have school. It was pretty much the most beautiful day in history. The boys (all six of them) made up games and walked through every puddle while the girls (Bridget and Clara) spied on them and whispered to each other. Remember how I used to take Bridget to the gardens all the time? Yeah. The boys are getting gypped.
 Before the gardens, though, we visited Daddy at work and ate lunch with him. Notice his hunting beard.
Have you ever seen six little boys running through a magnificent rose garden? Pretty funny.
I've never seen this rose garden in full bloom like it was on Monday. It smelled so good! 
Henry, Eddie, Connor, Emil, Colin, and Weston.
They've added this glass sculpture since my last visit.
Colin got left behind on one of the million laps around the fountain stairs. Three seconds later he was up and running with a huge smile on his face. It ain't easy, people.
Isn't that beautiful? If only our kids didn't run through this kind of scenery.
Who is missing? Who else, Emil B. I took about ten of these pictures and Clara was looking down in all of them. Ah well. The boys look cool.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Colin's Farm

Brian was hunting last week during the kids' fall break. Since I wanted the kids to sleep at night, I needed to come up with something for us to do. I decided to brave whatever crowd might be at Evans' Farm. "My farm?" Colin asked. Once I answered yes to that question, Emil and Bridget started calling it Colin's Farm. Ha!
The fates smiled on me and we had the farm almost to ourselves!
Colin introduced his brother and sister to the hay bale maze and he zipped through it. I congratulated him at the exit and teased Bridget that he was already out. Hahaha! She gave me the funniest competitive look.
These next photos are a window into Colin's world. He is a highly skilled ninja in this world. 
Can you even stand it?! Bridget and I were reminiscing about his Robot Dance at the Lion House and the two of us laughed hysterically.
Lately when Bridget gets herself ready she wears short pants and long socks. Hmmm. Knickers?
Super strong on top of the haystacks. Emil's preschool teacher told me that during Talking Time last week he told her a crazy story about his dog Pedro and all the naughty stuff Pedro does. Miss Kerry turned to Gus and gave him a questioning look. Gus shook his head no and Emil started laughing. Funny Mo.
I just liked this one.
He's trying so hard not to smile. They rode the train three times. 
The boys kept acting like they wanted to go into the six acre corn maze. Uh, no. We'll just take a photo at the entrance.
They weren't doing hay rides, but I asked if we could sit on the tractor for a photo. 
Where is our pumpkin? After a while in this pumpkin patch Bridget said, "There isn't a price tag on any of these pumpkins!"
There it is!

After the farm I took the kids to Costco for lunch, then we got a few groceries at Costco. Sweaty business. While Bridget was eating her hot dog and the boys were not eating pizza and crawling around the greasy tables, she asked, "What are we doing tomorrow?" Nothing. We're doing nothing tomorrow.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Day in Pocatello

Bridget and I spent last Friday night and Saturday in Pocatello. It was our first Girls-Only Road Trip. I hope it won't be our last because traveling with only Bridget is the easiest traveling I've ever done. We went because Melissa and her kids were there visiting for their fall break. Bridget and Chloe are boy-trapped at home, see, and they need each other. Oh! And we wanted to visit Grandma Peggy and her dolls and listen to Grandpa Bob call a volleyball game at ISU and sing to Grandma Shirley and meet this beautiful new niece:
Photo by Melissa
I tried to steal other photos of her, but I was blocked. This is Macey J. - Aaron and Lori's new baby. She was only four days old when we met her. Macey has one of those wise baby faces - like she's suffering all of us fools. :) I'm freaking out inside that my baby brother has his own baby now. We went over to Aaron and Lori's place after the volleyball game Friday night and we got to hold little Macey.
It was so fun to listen to these two talk. I don't think Chloe knew about the purses full of jewels in Grandma's toy bins. Too bad Bridget introduced her to them on the second-to-the-last day of Chloe's week there.
They made up little routines with Bridget playing songs on the piano and Chloe dancing. The dolls are sitting nearby watching. (My Mom's second question when we walked in the door was, "Did Bridget bring her Mandy doll?" I tried to explain that I picked her up right from school and we didn't have time, but really, why didn't we bring the doll?!)
Every time I looked at Bridget she was wearing new earrings. Grandma has lots of clip-ons at her house. 
Melissa and I talked camera lenses and now I know what I NEED for Christmas. So jealous. She let me use one of her lenses for this shot of Bridget. Can you tell how much Bridget loves being a girl and playing with her bosom cousin, Chloe? :)
We spent a lazy morning playing, talking, eating, and practicing for our performances at Grandma Shirley's new place, Highland Hills.
Grandma Shirley with four of her great-grandchildren; Bridget, Chloe, Harrison and Miles.
After visiting Grandma Shirley, we went to Brooklyn's Playground. Bridget's obsession with the monkey bars continues. She has callouses on her palms! 
I'm usually on high alert at Brooklyn's Playground trying to keep track of the boys. It was kind of a pleasure to know Bridget wasn't going to take off or fall off something high. 
On Melissa's blog, I'm in this photo. That's a good reason to steal it, right? But I was thwarted. Here are Amy (Melissa's husband, Jeff's, sister) and Melissa having a delightful conversation. Because Amy is delightful. She and her husband, Jeff, sang folk songs together for the program we did at Highland Hills. I loved it! I could listen to them all night. (Also, I have not spent one minute in Pocatello that wasn't windy. My eyes water there constantly.) After the playground we went on a quick tour of the the school where Grandpa Bob is the vice principal. (I know, I thought he was retired too.)
Having Melissa there to take pictures (better pictures) left me wondering what my job was. Here she is creating the illusion of a Fall-ier Fall with the kids.
As always I let Bridget pack her own suitcase. She didn't bring a jacket. What?! Good thing Chloe had two. And Grandma Peggy had clip-on earrings that matched one of those jackets. Bridget and Chloe are two of the nicest little girls I know. I'm so glad they know each other and have a chance to be friends and family.
It was getting kind of late Saturday night, but Grandma Peggy wasn't about to not make these hilarious owl cupcakes with the kids. That was a full day! Bridget and I left early Sunday morning to get home in time for church. It was a quick trip, but we made every minute count. Bridget silently cried as we drove away from Grandma's house. (We didn't want to wake Chloe to say goodbye, so Chloe was sad when she woke up. Poor girls! Next time we'll wake her up.)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Team Players

Bridget had her final volleyball game last Tuesday and on Monday the boys will have their final Itty Bitty Football... game? And Colin had a field trip with his preschool class at Evan's Farm. Now he calls it "My Farm." :)

She never did get an overhand serve over the net, but there's always next year! (I almost cropped Emil out of this picture, but it was part of the Saturday Volleyball Game Experience for us, so it stays.)
Brian told Bridget he'd come to lunch with her at school if she could get the ball over the net (not a serve). I think we'll work on depth perception during the off-season as well.
I can't remember if this went over the net, but I love that Maddie's eyes are closed. :)
Notice the ball. So close! :) Bridget's teammate should take off her jacket and stay a while.
Bridget was the Navy Ninjas' secret weapon. Every one of those under-hand serves made it over the net and the other team could rarely return it. The boys and I would cheer for her and Colin would yell, "Go Bidgie!! DO IT!!" :)
The day I brought my camera we were playing Kodi's team! Or as Bridget puts it, we were "versing" Kodi's team. (?!)
They lost the game, but Bridget still loves volleyball. (Man! She looks so small next to the other girls!)
They may not have won very many games, but we loved her coach and his wife. Not too serious and they made sure everyone had fun.
After the tournament Bridget got a medal. A MEDAL!!! 

Also on Tuesday (of course - everything is on Tuesday) was Colin's first field trip. We went to Evan's Farm. We hadn't been there long when it occurred to me that I'd never been anywhere on an outing with just Colin. Weird! I've taken him to the grocery store by himself, but never somewhere fun like a farm. It was interesting to watch him with the other kids. 
Miss Jeanna convinced him to feed a goat.
Smiling and wiping his hands - pretty gross. :)
He jumped into this corn box and got out lickety-split. Yuck! Tiggers DON'T like corn boxes.
The other kids were done with this hay bale maze after one time through. Colin did it a dozen times. He loves puzzles and this was a life-size puzzle. Totally his cup of tea.
A little train ride.
The whole class. Lots of people were telling that poor kid in the back to move his hands. (Aren't those pumpkins awesome? Colin calls them popcorn.)
My sweetheart boy.
Except for the trip to the Honey Pot port-a-potty, it was a perfect afternoon.

The boys had so much fun playing soccer that I signed them up for Itty Bitty Football. You know how you sign up for another race immediately after finishing a race because you're experiencing the euphoria of accomplishment? Then you realize you have to train again and wonder if you've made a huge mistake. That's how I've felt every time I've realized at 9:05 that the boys have football at 9:30 and I need to get all of us dressed still. Once we're there it's the best, though. I listen to my book while I watch them. :) (For real - audible books are the best! I can see everything they're doing but I don't have to listen to all the other kids crying and screaming.)
Brian was concerned when I told him they practiced kicking. Only skill players in our family, I guess.
Once again, Colin seems a little happier playing than Emil. I think Emil is having fun, but I know Colin is having fun.
Go Colin!
Oh man. This is my new favorite kind of picture. Look at his face!
That kid's gotta be five years old. He's a ringer for sure.
Do they look a little like twins here? Brian smiled that the flags almost reach the floor.
Nice form. I think he's one of the few who made contact with the ball kicking this way.
The Cowboys! (I know, I know... the Cowboys.) Again, it's the perfect outing minus the trips I take to the bathroom. That is my life now, visiting every single public restroom in the history of ever. Colin only tells me he has to go when he really has to go. Emil just wants to see the bathroom. He'll get all situated and say, "I can't see it." Translation: "I don't really need to pee." I give Emil a bad rap - he always tells me he loves me and he helps me make dinner every night. He can look at a pot I have out ready to use and he'll get the correct ingredients and spoon or whisk that I need. It's kind of amazing. :)