Christmas Portraits 2014

Another year of portraits on the old stool in front of the tree.

Can someone tell them to stop growing!

Link to the past years at the end of the post if you want to see Christmas Past!

I hope to get one of all of them this week too, just need to find a spot to take it.

Mr J {16 years old}

Mr. C {14 years old}

Ms. A {11 years old}

Ms. S {8… 9 in 5 days!}

If you’d like to see years past – 1998-2004, 2005-08, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Free Swimming Fun

I posted two pictures from this day already – the one with Mr. C and the snake and our Party of 4 shot.  It was a spur of the moment idea to go and it turned out great.

This is a spillway off a reservoir not too far from our house.  It is free to swim and I knew, as much as they love creeks, that they would enjoy trying this out.

The water was cold but that didn’t stop them from splashing each other and swimming.  I loved that most of it wasn’t so deep {Ms. S could stand up in it} so I could just enjoy watching them from my beach chair!

The spillway leads into a creek after coming off a small waterfall.  The water at that point hardly comes up to ones calves.

Once they were done swimming they started building something in the sand.

And then Mr. C heard that there was a snake at the point the creek starts so off he went searching. He is the one  under the bridge.  Good day…. great memories.  I’m sure we will go back!

Water Balloons 2014

Every summer we choose a hot Friday and fill as many balloons with water as our fingers can fill.  Then we hide them around the yard and wait for Rich to come home so we can attack him after work.  This year since his oldest son was in town we choose the day he was here.  The more the merrier!

We lured Rich out and away from his car before he grabbed his bag by showing him a bullseye Mr. J made with the arrows.  As soon as he was safely away from his car out came the screaming children throwing balloons.

He realized that there was even a child in the tree house throwing balloons!

As they ran out of balloons they filled the buckets with water…

Not to worry… Ms. S, every year, saves balloons just for her Daddy and brings them to him in the middle of the fight.  The kids all yell traitor and she becomes a target too!

It ends usually with the hose being turned on and everyone being soaked.

Plans for 2015 have already begun….

Long Board

I have been greatly enjoying having all my children home.  So much so that I haven’t shared some pictures from Mr. C’s first week back.  Two days after he got home Rich’s oldest son came into town for a quick visit.  It was great to see him and catch up with all that is going on in his life.

The Goodyear Blimp was up so we took him over to the park to see if we could see it land or go up.  We didn’t see either, but it was out getting ready to be put away.  He enjoyed seeing where it was stored.

We brought along the boy’s remote control truck to play with and the Long Board Mr. C purchased in Florida to try out on the long smooth paths there.

Each boy gave the long board a try… and I do mean each boy…

Sweet Tea Party

My youngest has had high hopes of hosting a tea party this summer.  Last week she was the only girl in the house since her sister was at camp.  Perfect weather so we invited three of her friends to our home for a tea party.

It all starts out simple.  Table in the back yard, little food, giggles… and then it gets a little bigger and you are asking your neighbor if you could use her beautiful tree to have a secret garden party.  Throw in a Grammie who adds special decorations and even treat bags and suddenly you have a tea party that you will be talking about for years to come.

On my good china, we served homemade Strawberry cupcakes and fruit

PB&J on croissants

Pink Lemonade in a mason jar with a lovely bow

And in edible tea cups with strawberry yogurt in them. {directions for these}

We hung creche paper from the tree and pink flowers from the limbs and in the nooks and crannies of the trunk.

The girls were wide-eyed with amazement as we showed them where the tea party was at under that beautiful tree.  I left them to enjoy themselves and sat on my front porch.  They giggled, ate and enjoyed the food feeling like “grownups” in a secret garden.

And look at these sweet gift bags Grammie provided for the girls.  Just a paper bag, a doily, ribbon, and a cute little butterfly that made a brown bag extra ordinary.


Picnic at the Park

We had a beautiful day, no pressing things to do so we headed to the park for a picnic and relaxing with the three children.  Do you know how hard it is to do things minus a kid?  It is just weird.  Fifteen days to go…

While the food was grilling they played Frisbee.  Always fun.

After eating the girls flew their kites.  It was the perfect windy day and this park has a huge open space great for kite flying.  Ms. S got the hang of it pretty quickly and even fell while running backwards, but got back up keeping her eye on her kite to be sure it stayed flying!

Ms. A was getting the hang of it but spend a great amount of time giggling so it was a little harder to keep her’s in the air.  Her unwinder thing kept getting snagged too…

They ended it by rolling down the bit sledding hill there a few times… maybe a few times too many for Ms. S as she had an upset stomach when done!

All Aboard!

I promised one more blog post about events while my niece was here.  The last Saturday before she left they decided to go for a long bike ride and ride the train.  It is a cool program here that you can pay $3 to ride the train and they will carry your bike.  You can get on before you bike or after – just one way – so either to your starting destination or back to your car.

It was a hot day so we choose to bike about 13 miles after riding the train.  Luckily most of the trail is shaded so we didn’t get too hot.

The girls stopped very briefly for me to take a picture of them getting on the train.

They even have a conductor!  He was so nice.

On the path I did’t take any pictures {those girls do not bike slow!}.  But afterwards we drove over to a local creek for the girls to explore before heading home.  We found this cool tree that they quickly climbed on for a picture.

The creek was perfectly cool and  a nice way to end the day.

My niece was hoping to catch a minnow with her hand or find a crayfish, but no such luck!

The girls had a great time and are already planning the next time they see each other!