Friday, May 31, 2013

Nature Hunt!

Today was a beautiful windy kinda day that just called for spending time outside.  We decided to go on a nature scavenger hunt at Moss Wright Park.  We got a little list of things to find off of the good ole Internet and started on our way of exploring.
 
Well, it wasn't but about 50 feet into our hunt that little clutso fell over his own feet somehow and got yet another injury!  I honestly cannot recall if I have ever mentioned his clumsiness before or not, but this boy can fall doing anything!  During our Disney trip he somehow fell and did a forward flip on the concrete path.  Today, he fell sideways and did a few hot dog rolls down the paved downhill path and then landed in the grass.   Insane! I took this picture soon after he fell.  Needless to say, it looks way worse now!  Between the bug bites and his injury, he looks like he has been in a bad fight.  
 Brooks of course enjoyed his view of the park from his usual ride on wheels.   He looks so big in this picture.  I can't believe I am beginning to plan his 1st Birthday party.  It is going to be here before you know it.
 
We found some berries...some bark...some grass...something round, something brown...something soft, a clover, etc.
 But the best find of all was the Honeysuckle!  DELICIOUS!  I remember loving Honeysuckle as a kid.  The boys refused to try it last year because they thought it would be gross.  Easton was still hesitant, but quickly decided to give it a try this time when he realized how much Parker liked it.  I helped Mr. Brooks taste test several samples as well!  And as for me, I still do love the smell of it.  Especially on a nice windy day when the smell was carried throughout the park.  Yummy!
 
Random picture of the wildflowers we found. 
We finished off the park with time at the playground.  Brooks enjoyed crawling around in the grass.  Boy am I glad that he does not seem to be allergic to the grass, because he likes to be in it!  He tasted a few pieces of dirt, but "God made dirt and dirt don't hurt", right?  Anyways...I can't believe how much the boys have grown.  Last year, this park still made me nervous.  It has 3 areas with several places that were nerve racking for Easton.  You know, the tall ladder things that require a giant step to make it from the ladder to the landing and such.  Those type of areas were easily mastered by Easton today.  And Parker, he can do the monkey bars 100x's without getting tired.  It won't be long when Brooks has mastered them all, too!  Time goes too quickly!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I kinda like this place!



I do!  I kinda like this place!  It is crazy how time can make you appreciate things more and more.  It's crazy how seeing things through the eyes of your kids makes you really understand just how blessed you are!  And it's odd how one simple "place" can hold over a million "places" is in your heart and mind.  This little place we call home has so many amazing memories, and holds the key to a million more! 
I am not quite sure if Steven and I have a more favorite past time that would exceed our love for house hunting.  We love, love, love, it!  In fact, for my last birthday, we spent the entire day going from model home to model home.  That was my one wish!  One of our favorite shows to watch together is House Hunters.  Well, that or House Hunters International.  I know we are not in this alone.  In fact, I think that this love may have even been inherited (cough, cough, Randy).  Anyways...after years of feeling like our house isn't good enough, I think we just might have decided to stay for a little while longer.  This really was decided a few months ago, but now that it is Spring, it really seems to feel like this could be our "forever home". 
What is it about life that makes us always strive for more?  Why can't we just be content?  What makes us want to keep up with the Jones'?  I know that God has blessed us beyond belief, but yet I struggle, almost daily, with a need to improve.  I am so far from perfect (although it is pretty obvious, just look at my trash and food ridden car if you need proof), but for some reason hate when I realize just how far away from perfect I really am.  I could really get on a tangent with this and talk about how I struggle with wanting to improve my looks, my weight, my parenting skills, my organization skills, my horrible nature at forgetting birthday cards, my tendency to yell at my kids, and my incredible ability to make things messy in an instant, but I am going to stay focused on how much I have struggled with wanting to improve my house status.  I have wanted to move out of our "starter" home, and move onto the next big thing filled with granite and more square feet.  Yet, I do think God is helping me to realize that I am truly blessed right where I am. 
A few weeks ago, during our Disney vacation, both of our talking kids referred to home as "our big house".  In their minds, our house IS big.  Really, our house is perfect to them.  And that right there folks, reaffirmed to me, that I kinda like this place!  It isn't a mansion, or filled with everything, but it is a place filled with people I love and memories!  Plus...time can bring improvements.  Within reason, we will continue to make improvements to our "big" house to put our little stamp on it and to make it more enjoyable along the way. 
So...that was a long way to introduce the fact that I wanted to show you some improvements we have made to our place.  I also wanted to show you some things that make me very proud of my hubby!  He has worked so hard over the last 8 yrs to make our yard beautiful and so much fun.  We planted some flowers today.   And...in honor of Memorial Day, we put up an American Flag!


 This is our screened-in-porch.  We have rearranged the furniture outside to make it of better use with a baby.  I plan on spending so much time outside with the kiddos this summer, but know how blistering hot it can get.  Being able to sit in the shade is going to be a life saver for little Brooks and me!
The true life saver is going to be this Industrial garage fan that we bought.  It would have been close to $250 for a regular ceiling fan.  Steven and I both thought that this fan would be a better option and only sold for $100.  It feels amazing!
 We filled up the sandbox again.  The boys love playing in it, but it was getting a little dirty.  Looks good now though!
 And to keep us from having to leave for the park, we have a little slide.  Not much, but the boys have the imagination to make it fun.  They climb the walls like they are being hunted by monsters, or hide behind them in effort to fight off the invading army.  It works for em. 
 This was my Christmas present from Steven.  It stunk having to wait through winter to put it to use, but I think it will be worth the wait!  It is sooo comfy, and under the perfect shade tree!  A great place for viewing the kids when I am not in the screened-in-porch!
And for my newest love!  We put this pool up for the boys.  When you have 3 kids under 5, loading up the kids to go places like the pool feels way to complicated for some days.  Steven and I thought that this would allow for us to really enjoy the summer and ease the craziness of, well, LIFE!  And...for your worriers out there, it is only 2 1/2 feet deep.  So with observation of course, should be a fun safe place for us all to enjoy.  Oh...and I bought Brooks a little splash pool, but haven't blown it up just yet.  I know he will love it though!
So...there you have it! Our not too big, but our fun and memory filled back yard.  I will continue to pray that our house and the yard is good enough because at the core of it all, it REALLY is just that.  Even when I drive past a house with a giant pool, or a huge play-set and begin to daydream.  Our yard is perfect for us! 
And because I want to also share some of our outings this week, I have posted a few random pictures below.
At the zoo.  We made it for about 1 hr before we got rained out.
 We ate at our FAVORITE restaurant, La Lomas.
 We all had our bath time fun!  Too cute for my heart to bear!

We followed bath time with fun brotherly play time.



We went to Sky Jump, and the Park to celebrate cousin Jacob's last day of school!  Such a fun place to go!
And we celebrated our lovely Mrs. Sonia's Birthday!  She really is an amazing woman that we all love dearly!  I truly cannot imagine life without her!  She makes our days better and easier for sure!  We love you Mrs. Sonia!
 
 


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Disney

So I'm at it again!  Gonna do my very very best to begin my blogging again!  There truly just aren't enough hours in the day to do all of the things I wish to accomplish, but Steven has insisted that I record our boys' lives in blog form again!  I honestly agree that it is very nice being able to #1- keep family and friends updated on our doings, and #2-have a digital scrapbook for us personally to look back on. 
And one event that we all will definitely want to look back on is our recent AMAZING trip to Disney World.  We were there for a total of 9 days.  If you have ever been to Disney, or know anyone who has, you probably know that you GO! GO! GO!  So there is probably too much to tell in one post.  This will at least be a peek of our little adventure.  Oh, and ignore any grammar/spelling mishaps, because I am TIRED!
 
 
 Little Brookster did do a lot of stroller viewing of Disney, but I don't think he minded at all!  He was the happiest little thing ever!  Always smiley as usual!  I cannot express how much I enjoyed getting to spend 2 wks off with him!  Such a sweet time, and I will remember it always!
 Here is Easton waiting to board our plane.  We decided to fly probably about 2 wks before we left.  We have driven to Orlando 3 times in 5 yrs, and have always had a pretty decent drive.  This time though, I wasn't up for it.  It didn't take much convincing for Steven to agree that it would be worth the money spent.  And believe me....It was worth every penny!  The boys loved the plane, and skipping out on the long car ride!  The kids were great too!  Not a peep out of any of them! 
 A view of the hotel.  Not the best picture, but it really was a WONDERFUL place to stay.  I was a little worried that it would be far away from the parks, or just not what we expected, but it was amazing.  We loved the pool, the location, and everything else in between!  Would definitely stay there again. Oh...we stayed at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.
 Here is Parker with Woody.  It was really cute seeing the characters interact with the kids.  Parker had a beach zombie on his shirt.  Once Woody saw that, he began to act like a zombie!  Parker loved it all!  It was worth the 45 minute wait!
 The great thing about Disney is that they make even waiting in lines fun.  This was what kept us busy while we waited for Buzz and Woody.
 Of course my boys love any kind of sword, gun, or weapon in general.  Here is a picture of them after watching the Indiana Jones stunt show.  They were happy to buy a sword from his weapon stand.
 Here, little Brooks waits to play at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. 
 This picture looks distorted, but this was waiting to ride Toy Story Mania.  We rode this 3 times.  It was our favorite ride in all the parks.  And the best thing is...we all could ride together!  Even Brooks!
 Can you see how totally in love Parker is with Belle? 
 Easton wasn't into all of the characters.  For some reason, he would be fine with one, and then randomly not ok with the next.  I took advantage of the characters he was willing to pose with!  Ariel happened to be one he'd smile for!
 And sometimes, Easton just needed Daddy to stand by him.  He is a little on the shy side.  Brooks was interested in his food more than anything else!  He became a table food lover on this trip and ate and ate and ate.  And.....ate.
 I love this little guy!  Too cute for words!
 I repeat...Too cute!
 
 This was at the Talking with Crush from Finding Nemo.  He wanted to ask Crush if he likes to eat hot dogs, but didn't get chosen.  Oh well! 
 I don't know if you can view this video or not, but Easton truly did love seeing the characters...from a distance at least.  This video kind of gets to capture his innocence and love for Disney.
 He even got a new Gaga!  Rapunzel suits him well don't ya think?
 
 We went to Blizzard Beach and loved it as much as we did 2 yrs ago.  Brooks enjoyed the water more than I expected.  I guess I should have realized that he would join his brothers in the "water baby" club, but for some reason thought he might be more finicky with the colder than bath water temperature.
 
 
 
 The boys did the Pirates League.  They got to pick a pirate to dress up like, and then got to participate in fighting Captain Jack Sparrow on stage.  Easton was beyond cute and had the whole audience laughing during his turn.  Don't they look scary!  So realistic!
 
 
 Parker about tripped us all with his random jump out of the stroller.  He then walked over and turned to us just like above.  When asked what he was doing, he said, "I need to have my picture taken in Japan".  We didn't know he like Japan so much, but we took the picture as asked.
 

 
 We rented a double stroller from Kingdom Strollers.  It was 60 bucks for the whole vacation, and again, was money well spent.  The boys loved being pushed around in comfy fashion.
So...There you have it.  A little randomness/peak into the our Disney travels.  So many memories were made.  Steven and I didn't completely get it on our first trip in 2011, but we are Disney believers now.  We are hooked!  We are all currently in mourning over the fact that we cannot stay on a permanent vacation in such a magical place!  In all honesty though, we are just thankful that we were able to have the opportunity to spend the time together and make those memories!