Monday, October 26, 2009

Manna From Heaven!

Amazing but true, just when I was threatening to buy a new camera this week, the video camera turned on and gave me back my pumpkin patch pictures. Again, the quality isn't the best, hence still probably the need for a new photo camera soon, but I will take what I can get and am glad I get to share these with you!

One thing I LOVE about the holiday season that it's so easy to do fun family activities (and hence take cute family photos!)

Two weeks ago we headed to the pumpkin patch, one in the nearby city of Talent. They have the pumpkins, a huge giant hay pile to play in, a big and small corn maze, a kids craft, and then some things you can pay to do (pony rides, pumkin launching, etc.). We went last year and loved it and had to hit it again.

We started by hitting the pumkin patch and picking out our jack-o-laterns to be. (Last year we tried to save this for an end climax to the pumpkin patch and only met with anxious "Is it time to get our pumkins yet?" the whole time. So we learned and hit that first!). Each kid got to pick out their own, though Carter and Nathan helped Luke, as Luke was only interested in driving the wheelbarrow. Here are the boys with their selections (and Lukie with the wheelbarrow...):

Then they had fun doing the kids craft. I love how, no matter how simple, kids love a "project". This one was just a piece of paper with eyes and a mouth, white streamers and a few stickers = voila! a ghost wind sock. These ghosts are proudly hanging on our front porch now.
Next it was time to play with the hay. This is always a highlight for the kids, though we have to police them from throwing hay at each other too much (or, worse, unsuspecting unknown kids who want nothing to do with this hay fight). Luke especially got the giggles out of this hay mess, though he always seems to crack himself up. The little boy with our boys in these pictures is a friend Isaac, whom Nathan and Carter boy love to play with and whom we met up with at the pumpkin patch.

There are times in life when you realize how sadly sheltered your suburbia children are, and this Saturday was one of those when Luke would not be pulled from the chickens (they were the first live ones he had ever seen) and then the boys were just amazed by a REAL sunflower that was as big as their heads!

Finally the boys played in the little photo area where I snapped this cute shot of the two brothers (well, the two brothers that will hold still for a picture!) and then the boys got to play on the real tractor, which we had to DRAG Carter away from! But, of course, my camera had died by then...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Got a camera you would recommend?

Yup, no post lately to do several serious cases of camera swine flu. The first was a fatality - the canon camera that my parents so generously had given us when they upgraded theirs died a few months ago. So we switched to the not so great, but it got us by, video camera camera function. However, the video camera is temperamental too so the great pictures I took at the pumpkin patch yesterday cannot be downloaded and shared as it won't turn on. Argh!

I am ready to buy a new digital camera. I can't stand family moments not being captured and documented. I am mostly interested in the small point and shoot digital cameras, something I can slip into my purse easily to take pictures of the kids. Also, if there is a camera you have gotten and DIDN'T like, I would want to know that too so I can avoid those.

Thanks for the tips! Hopefully you can all benefit from great pictures to come!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Peacocks and Salamanders

I asked Carter for tips on a title for this blog, as it's just kinda a hodgepog happenings blog. He suggested, "Peacocks and salamanders." If nothing else, it made you curious, though it be potentially misleading...= ).

We love the weather where we live. For the most part, it's a mild version of all four seasons - just enough to get a taste without being fed up with the sweltering heat or feet of snow. One other great thing is we are in a valley and there is a decent amount of wind on a regular basis. Not enough that you get blown away, but just the right every now and again for flying kites! More than anything I love how kite flying captures everyone's attention, even my spirited (I am told that is the PC word...) energetic little Carter.

We were all impressed when Nathan got his new kite THIS high!

Carter was very focused and attentive to his kite flying, taking it very seriously.

What you do when your legs are pooped but you just aren't done flying your kite. New sport - seated kite flying!

Another season of soccer has started and it's been fun to watch Nathan's growing enthusiasm for it. The first season we had to force him to go to practice, even though he wouldn't participate, and he would only play in the games because there was a treat at the end. Now he just loves it and goes all out, running around, kicking "monster kicks", and getting sweaty (though, poor little guy, that's not very hard for Nathan to do! He sweats so easily...hate to see what happens when puberty hits!). It's been fun also for Matt to coach Nathan and have that time with him. Every year they pick their team name, this year they are the Turtles. Mostly because the girls wanted something pretty like the Ponies and the boys wanted something fierce...somehow turtles were a middle ground.

Coach Matt doing his kid herding, I mean coaching, job while Nathan joins the pack of kids running tightly around the ball.

Over Conference weekend we got to have my brother and his wife and three little girls down for the weekend. The boys loved having the to twin babies around, especially Luke (who is a baby fanatic, at least until he gets his own). The pictures aren't great because we are still using our video camera camera function (anyone have a point and shoot digital camera you love and recommend??), but it still captures a fun weekend. Carter still gets excited when he sees someone with two babies just like his cousins. We had fun pulling out princess plates and anything remotely girly (there isn't much).