Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Punkin' Pickin'

We recently enjoyed visiting a pumpkin patch out by my cousin Suzanne's house. We'd never been there before, but the boys had tons of fun feeding barnyard animals, riding ponies, navigating a corn maze, enjoying a hayride and generally tromping around in the mud.

The four boy cousins -- Luke, Gray, Holt and Jack -- have so much fun together and it reminds me of the memories I share with my family growing up. Such a blessing!

Here are a few photos from the day:

Luke and Gray

Getting Jack in on the party pic fun

Gray feeding one of the small goats

Making introductions to one of the bulls

Smashing some cans. It's amazing how such a simple idea brings so much joy to a boy. 
Waiting their turn for the hayride. There was also a pumpkin launcher that fired nearby and shot a small pumpkin several acres across the large pond. Pretty cool!

All the boys riding over to the corn maze
Cousins of the corn

Once you get to the end of the corn maze there was an awesome slide that the boys did over and over and over. 

The pony ride pictures came out blurry, but this was Gray's first time riding a horse and he loved every minute of it. Right when he got on, the horse backed up to scratch its hindquarters and spooked Gray a bit. He was concerned for a moment, but then quickly got over it. 

Cowboy Jack

I tried snapping a few pics of Amy and Holten, but Holt refused to smile. Of course, in the one shot where they are both smiling Grayson walks over and photo bombs them. Maybe we can crop him out. 

Here's the next best one of them. Still pretty cute!

Gray and mama

Two generations of cousins/BFFs

After the pumpkin patch, we went over to Suzanne's to eat chili and carve pumpkins. Amy made the cutest mummy cookies for dessert.

Pumpkin carving started out innocently enough. The boys were a little grossed out having to clean out the guts, but managed to do it. 

Then, suddenly they all decided they needed to take off their shirts. We also tried a new trick where you drill the pumpkins instead of carving faces. You use different size bits to make large and small holes. They look really cool once the light shines through, but the boys were mainly excited to use a power tool. 

Friday, October 25, 2013


One night this week, Grayson was full of witty one-liners and I wrote a couple down because I knew I'd forget them.

We were outside playing baseball and Michael was pitching to Gray while I was on base. It was getting dark and time to go in so Michael said he could do one more good hit and that would be the last one. Gray hit it and then asked for one more. Michael asked, "How many last ones are we gonna have?" To which Gray replied, "Uh, three." Good try little man. Too funny!

Then when Gray was taking a bath a short while later, he insisted on washing everything himself without help. Michael went in to check on his progress and asked, "Did you wash your body?" To which Gray responded, "Officially, absolutely...not yet."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Afternoon fun

This week the weather has been gorgeous everyday and we've spent hours playing at the park, having play dates with friends and enjoying some baseball in the backyard.

I know cooler weather will be here soon and am soaking up every moment of outdoor time while we can.

We've discovered a great park near where Gray practices soccer. They have a mini-zipline that Gray likes to try out. Warning: you may want to turn your speakers down a bit before pressing play.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mountain Bike Festival

Today we enjoyed a fun outing with Grayson and some of our friends. Lake Thunderbird State Park was hosting a mountain bike festival with rides for all ages and fun activities for the kiddos.

Gray, Liam, Cora and Claire tested their skills on a short one-mile trail, but most of all they enjoyed the inflatable bounce house at the trailhead. It is fun to see all the kids get into riding.

Let's do this!

The boys liked getting numbers for their bikes like real racers.

Liam was suited up and ready to ride.

Ready to hit the trail.

Little Miss Cora after her trail ride.

Kicking up dirt on the trail.

And, we're done. Daddy had to carry Gray's bike the last part of the trail.

Cora doing a little "barrel racing" around the cones.

Claire and baby Braham were there too, but I didn't manage to get any good shots of them. All in all, we had a fun morning and it was great seeing so many families out enjoying the park.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Simple Pleasures

This boy loves popcorn! We had movie night recently and rented Epic. It was cute and I think Gray enjoyed it, but what he loved the most was popping popcorn and having his own bowl. I think he gets that from his Pappa. I've never seen anyone else love popcorn as much as my dad. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happiness is digging in the dirt

Holten and Grayson could spend hours digging in the dirt. I thought they might be close to outgrowing our small sandbox, but they just seem to get more creative over time. I love overhearing the games and things they make up while building ramps for their monster trucks, burying their feet and digging for pirate treasure.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Trail ride

We've been loving the gorgeous fall weather lately and took advantage of it last Sunday to spend some quality time outdoors. There's a small wilderness area a couple of miles from our house with several small lakes and trails.

Michael loaded up Gray's new halfwheeler bike so they could try out some easy mountain biking before hitting the real trails by Lake Thunderbird. Meanwhile, I hiked around the mile and a half loop.

Our little biker with his cycling gloves and all

All set up and ready to roll

Happy trails

A view of one of the lakes from the trail

There were lots of great sunflowers and wildflowers in bloom

One happy little boy

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Can you hear me now?

This week has been full of doctor's visits for Grayson. After having some borderline tests at his five-year check-up, we scheduled some additional testing for his vision and hearing. I'm relieved to share that both exams went well. 

I really thought Gray may have to get tubes in his ears, but his hearing test showed he only missed one pitch in both ears, and it was a really high frequency so the doctor isn't concerned. He told us to come back in two years just to make sure things don't progress as Gray grows and cause any other issues. In the meantime no tubes are needed! 

Gray was more interested in the cool motorized chair and the sucker he got after his hearing test. He also sat really still as the doctor pulled out several globs of earwax which always makes me nervous. 

Next up was the eye doctor. Gray has been complaining that things are blurry in the distance, but his vision checked out okay. There were a couple of things the doctor wants to watch over time, mainly because Michael needed glasses in elementary school and I wear them now too. For now, Gray doesn't need glasses and we just go back for a check-up next year. 

This has all been a big relief for us, but I think Gray secretly wanted to come home with glasses like daddy. I'm sure in good time he will and then he won't want them anymore. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Can we press pause?

We gave Grayson a new bike for his birthday and he all of a sudden seems like such a big kid. He likes to pedal fast and then slam on the brakes. Afterward he checks for skid marks on the road. When he sees them he says, "Aawwweesome!" Must be a boy thing. 

We've also been practicing reading with some early reader sight word books my mom gave us. He's doing really well and I can see it's starting to click. That gets us both excited and he wants to go get another book and continue reading. Yes!

This little boy is just growing too fast!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The little things in life

Do you ever have a day that seems like it's going to be ordinary and ends up being filled with unexpected moments of joy that make you so thankful? Well, today was one of those days for me. 

The day started like most do. Woke up and went to work, nothing really out of the ordinary. I came home to get Gray from school and Michael decided to take a break and walk with me to get him. It's not everyday you get to take a lovely walk with your husband at 2:30 in the afternoon. Such a blessing. 

Then, we had an impromptu play date with Cora, Liam, Claire and Braham. It's so much fun to see the games these kids make up and soon enough baby Braham will be tagging along behind them. 

Liam insisted that he and Cora were getting married and then they were going to eat pumpkin pie. He asked that I take their picture, but when Grayson butted in the shot, Liam wasn't thrilled. The moms had to think on their feet and managed to convince Liam that Gray could be his best man and stand next to them. Here are a few shots of the happy couple (and best man):

Batman Liam and Princess Cora with best man Grayson the knight

I really couldn't tell you what they are thinking in these pictures. Just being silly kiddos, I guess.

Meanwhile, Claire couldn't get enough of playing "mama" and taking care of baby Braham. He seemed okay going along with the whole charade. 

After our play date, we didn't really have any dinner plans and found out my mom was in town visiting my younger sister and baby Nora who just returned from Thailand. We decided to all have dinner together, and Amy and Holt joined in the fun too. 

Spontaneous family much fun and the fact that I didn't have to cook was a bonus! 

Gray wanted to hold Nora (although she prefers standing in your lap these days) and we managed to snap a quick photo of the cute pair.

So many great moments and memories packed into one day. We have a lot to be thankful for!