Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Burrow

Connor got the Weasley's home, The Burrow, Lego set for his birthday and we FINALLY got around to putting it together for him. We've been SWAMPED, and it was one of the first mornings all summer we didn't have to be ANYWHERE all day, so we stayed in pajamas until past noon, and built up some Lego sets.
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There's a ton of LITTLE pieces that go together to build all this, and it took a lot longer than I anticipated!
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Oh look, Harry's napping!
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YIKES! Watch out for Bellatrix and Fenrir!
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Connor has played with this set pretty much every spare chance he's had.
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There's even a little fire place when you can stand the Lego people inside it, then turn a crank and it flips back, showing green flames (the "magic fire") and dumps the person out, so when you turn the crank back, the person is gone and it appears they traveled by flew-powder. He had characters heading every which direction using flew-powder in the fire place! I loved listening to him creating scenarios and making the characters talk to each other.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Squirter Fight

The kids had fun in the sun the other day using their squirters! We filled up a 5gal bucket at one end of the yard, and filled the cooler at the other end of the yard, and told the kids to have at it. The "rules" were that you had to alternate which fill-up station you used, in order to keep them running around and not hovering over one and making it difficult for anyone else to fill up with water. It worked out REALLY well!
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I have no idea what he's doing, but his facial expression is hilarious!
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Smarty-pants Connor was pretty quick to realize that turning on the hose resulted in a long-lasting water supply, with much greater soaking capabilities!
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Monday, August 29, 2011

Gardens Week 12

We have major vines everywhere!! I actually went out the other day to start trimming the ends off some vines so they'd start focusing on the pumpkins that are already growing, but in all honesty, there are so many vines growing every which direction, it was too hard to tell which vines came from which planter box, or which vines where connected to which plant (I knew pumpkin vines got long, but I did NOT know that they all branch out every few feet, and that THOSE vines will then branch out as well!). LESSON LEARNED: we don't need as many pumpkin plants next year!!
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I photographed the two biggest pumpkins
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Look how much the pumpkin you just saw grew in only one week!
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I photographed the biggest cucumber (which happens to be growing on top of a pumpkin! haha! We figure we'll leave them alone and see what comes of them. Might make for some funny shapes!)
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I photographed the start of what will hopefully continue to become a butternut squash. I was starting to worry the butternut squash were never going to grow!
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Connor's carrots are FINALLY starting to ripen (is that a word you even use for carrots???)
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He even got to pick/harvest two that were working themselves out of the ground too much to leave alone
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They're funky looking carrots, but he said they tasted really good!
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Friday, August 26, 2011

Water Fun!

Some new friends of ours invited us to spend the afternoon boating and tubing with them, along with another set of friends we've known for a long time. The kids all had a FANTASTIC time! The "tube" held four kids at a time, which really worked out well. They all just manuevered seating locations and turns without any arguments at all! (FYI, the older girl immediately to the left of Connor is who he currently wants to marry, and has asked to have over for a play-date several times now!)
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This one made me laugh with the girls' hair all flipped up the same direction!
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My friend Jami took this one, and I thought it was neat how the camera focused in on the water spray!
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And I absolutely crack up looking at this one of "Friend Emily" (when there are two Emily's in the group, you've got to come up with SOME way of making it clear who you're talking to/about!), which is cropped from a larger picture for easier viewing of her expression. The funniest part is that she was having a BLAST, but we must have snapped the picture right when she was initially startled, and not once she'd started laughing again. TOO FUNNY!
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Look at Connor's windblown hair! hahaha!
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We played on the beach for awhile after our new friends needed to head back home
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We're so thankful for the great weather we've been having, and for getting to share it with some really great friends!! It was a perfect afternoon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

BBQ salmon

Proud moment for ME, using the outdoor grill all by myself for the first time! INCLUDING starting the "coals"! I don't do well with outdoor grilling because there's less of an exact temp and cooking time-frame, and I find it difficult to predict when cook time will be over in order to plan out having side-dishes ready at the same time as the main course.

That said, my mom and dad caught a salmon and offered to let us have some of it. Dan wasn't going to be home in any reasonable time-frame to help grill it up for dinner, and I was REALLY in the mood for it to be on the BBQ, so I did it. YAY ME!

Add some grilled beans from Jared's garden, and it was quite a tasty meal!
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Connor Can Dive!!

After watching the 12 year old girl he has a crush on trying to learn to dive off the diving board at swim lessons, Connor requested a turn to try for himself. After three belly flops the first day of attempting it, and a perfect dive the second day, I captured this dive on video the third day! GO CONNOR!
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After he pulled off the dive I got on video, his instructor begged him to try a flip off the diving board. Not bad for a 1st attempt, in my opinion!!!
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A visitor

We discovered a tiny little frog shading himself on a leaf on Jared's bean plant!
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The boys thought he was the greatest thing ever! Connor tried to catch him, but the little frog was too smart and too fast for Connor... Little frogs tend to get a tad over-loved by Connor!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gardens Week 11

We have approximately 11 palm-sized pumpkins (and quite a few just-starting-out pumpkins as well). It's hard to dig through the cluster of vines to really see for sure, but it looks like we're on track to officially have a good amount of pumpkins!
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I think once the 11 good sized ones get a little bigger, we'll be trimming the vines down a bit. I want the plants focusing on growing the pumpkins to a good size, versus focusing all the energy into vining out everywhere.

There's not much point taking pictures of the garden boxes at this point. Jared's beans are producing nicely, the lettuce has been awesome. Connor's carrots look the same as they have for a few weeks, and Em's garden is so taken over with vining plants that you can't see it at all!!! But I had to at least share one of the larger pumpkins.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Connor, my little monkey

This picture was taken as we were literally heading back to the car to leave after our "date" with Bojangles, and if I'd realized then how cute this would turn out to be, I'd have taken an extra few seconds to pose my other two as well!
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Leave it to my little monkey to be up in a tree!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bojangles, the miniature horse

My Auntie's friend Valarie has a miniature horse named Bojangles, whom she claimed was getting a little overweight and needed some good exercise. My kiddos were invited to come ride in the buggy/cart behind him around the yard as something fun for the kids, and as exercise for Bojangles. The kids were THRILLED at the whole idea.

Auntie has emailed out hilarious stories about her and Valarie's adventures trying to catch Bo in the yard, etc. He sounded like quite the character, and I was definitely interested in seeing him for myself!

We arrived Monday, fresh from swim lessons, and were warmly welcomed into Valarie's home and taken out back. What a peaceful and beautiful space. You instantly felt relaxed and at home. I was treated to french vanilla coffee with creamer and whip cream, and the kids were set loose to test out the tire swing (which was in the shape of a horse!) and the hammock, to see Bojangles in his stall, and to check out the flowers in the garden (The long row of sweet peas were AMAZING!).
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Emily Grace's friend, Katie, came with us
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After we'd sipped our coffee and the kids had played a bit, it was time to let Bojangles out of his stall. He took off like a flash, and Auntie was all but rubbing her hands together and giggling in anticipation of getting to watch Valarie chase Bojangles!! Valarie quite quickly ended up with an apple in hand in order to tempt Bo over and it worked like a charm!
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Valarie got Bojangles set up near his stall so he could be brushed down, and she could start putting all his harnesses on him for the buggy/cart. I was amazed at how much there was to put on (LOTS of straps and buckles!). Connor was super enthused about the entire process
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Once he was in all the harnesses, it was time to attach him to the cart. Auntie was put in charge of making him stand still while Valarie got everything hooked up. The little stinker kept pawing at Auntie, and we all had a nice chuckle!
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Next came the real fun! Each set of kids got three turns around the yard. Auntie and I each took a turn as well (had to say I'd done it!)
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Once Bojangles was properly tired, he got to wander the yard nibbling at some grass. Connor couldn't get enough of him! He was brushing him, complimenting him ("His eyes are blue just like the ocean!" "This horse sure is patient!"), patting him, rubbing him... Love at first sight, for sure:
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Then Connor asked if he could walk the horse, so Valarie put him on a lead and let Connor have at it! I can truthfully say the mini horse would have intimidated me at Connor's age, but Connor acted like it was something he'd done his whole life. Totally fearless, loving every minute!
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The other kids more hesitantly took their turns, but enjoyed themselves!
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Group picture time!
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On our way back out to the car, we checked out the fish pond in the front yard. Valarie brought out the fish food to try and coax a few to the surface. Connor, in true Connor fashion, was excited about the whole process and wanted in on the action, begging for a chance to throw some food in as well
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Thank you, Valarie and Auntie, for a wonderful morning! What a GREAT time! XOXO

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pelicans

One of the days we were at the ocean, we were AMAZED at how many pelicans and seagulls were swarming the shallow depths of the water's edge. HUNDREDS of birds were floating around in the water, flying overhead, diving down for food, wandering the beach, etc. It was an extremely misty morning, so it was hard to get a good picture, but I did my best! It was soooo neat to see the pelicans RIGHT in front of us like that, diving for food and flying all around. They're really quite large!

Look close at how many were in the water, and that was just one small portion!
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They hover for the tiniest of time when they've spotted something in the water, then start to aim their heads downwards
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Then they DIVE!
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