Tuesday, September 22, 2009

All Tied Up

We have found the perfect way to keep Joshua entertained for what seems like hours on end. Step 1: Give him a rope. That's it! This kid loves to find new ways to tie things together, stringing rope across rooms, and coming up with intricate knots that would make a boy scout proud.

At least haven't found Benny hog tied to his crib or anything... yet!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weekend Getaway

This past weekend Andrew and I were given the wonderful opportunity to have a weekend away, just the two of us. For parents of two busy boys, that is an unheard of treat! My boss has a beautiful home in a forest/golf course community in Flagstaff where he usually spends his weekends. This past weekend he was going out of town and offered to give us his house for the weekend. Of course we took him up on it! We dumped the boys off with Grandma and Grandpa for the weekend and headed up on Saturday morning.

The house was beautiful and in an awesome community. Here is the view from the deck on the back of the house.

We spent most of Saturday just walking around the community and hanging out on the deck soaking up the sun and the much cooler temperatures then we've felt in months!

At about 2:00 the clouds rolled in and the thunder started to rumble. We held out on the deck as long as we could, but when we felt the temperature suddenly drop about 5 degrees and could smell rain in the air, we figured it was time to head inside.

I must say the highlight of the trip was our dinner adventure on Saturday night. We went to the Mormon Lake Lodge east of Flagstaff. It's an old west style restaurant that serves steaks and various other meats. Andrew decided to be adventurous and ordered Elk ribs in a prickly pare marmalade. They must have been really good because he took them down! The food was so good, and we had a nice time without any children to tell to sit still and behave! When we left the restaurant it was dark outside. The restaurant was back in the woods so the 7 or so mile road leading to the restaurant was pitch black. The clouds had cleared so we had a clear view of the night sky. We decided to pull off the road and do a little star gazing. Holy cow! I'd never seen anything like it. It was like we could see every star that ever existed. We could even see the Milky Way. It was incredible. After we got back on the road, we were talking about catching glimpses of wildlife out on the side of the road. I had just finished telling Andrew that I never see anything, when there is bambi on the side of the road, ready to cross the road right in front of us! We even had to stop the car to let her cross. It was so exciting!

On Sunday we had breakfast at this great little local place called Mike & Ronda's The Place. The food was incredible, and SO big! After doing some more relaxing on the deck, and taking a little ride in the Gem Car...

We decided to start making our way home. Since the house was right off of the 89A, we decided to take that way through Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona instead of just heading back down the 17. We stopped at a scenic overlook on the way. It was so beautiful. It's amazing to think thinks like this are only 2 hours away from home!

I just thought this sign was kinda funny...

We had a great weekend away, and are so grateful to my boss for opening his home to us.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Mr. Manners

Just had to record a dinner conversation tonight:

Ben (holding up a carrot on his fork): "Mommy eat carrot too"

Mommy: "Mommy's carrots are all gone, Benny"

Joshua (putting one of his carrots on my plate): "You're welcome to have one of my carrots, Mommy."

What a polite little boy. Sometimes it's hard to remember that he's only 4!

Another moment from tonight: Josh says to me "Mommy, I'm never going to stop loving you." I sure hope not, buddy. I just had to post this so I can look back at it during those teenage years!


Joshua has been working so hard learning his letter names and sounds. He knows the sounds of 18 letters (including both the long and short sounds of "a" and "e"), and one of the sounds that the rest of the vowels and "c" and "g" make. He's doing so good, especially for only being barely 4 years old. We're also working on some letter combination sounds, like "ch" and "sh". He quickly learned that when you put 2 o's together they say "oo", and tonight we took it a step further. I found a flash card that had the word "moon" on it and asked him what it said, after covering up the picture on the card. I told him to say the sound of each letter when I point to it. He nailed them all and it clicked with him that when you put all the sounds together, it says "moon". This was the first time he has legitimately sounded out a word. 't believe it, and he was so proud of himself after seeing my reaction.

He is doing even better with learning how to read than I thought he would (and I always knew he would rock the house). I am so proud of him and can't wait for HIM to read ME the bedtime story!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Fun at Home Depot

While I was having some Mommy Time with one of my favorite people this morning, Andrew took the boys to Home Depot to pick up a couple things to finish a project Andrew's been working on. While they were there, Joshua smelled popcorn and decided they needed to find out where the popcorn was (he's his mommy's boy all the way and could eat his weight in popcorn !). When the found the popcorn, they also found something else. Home Depot does kid workshops the first Saturday of each month. They are totally free, and the kids get to make a craft, their very own Home Depot apron, and a pin to put on their apron showing that they completed their project. This month's project was a bean bag toss. As is expected with him, Joshua took a little convincing to do the project, but Andrew is so good about getting him to do things he naturally shies away from, so with a little coaxing he decided he wanted to participate. They worked together as a team, and Andrew was even brave enough to hold the nails while Joshua pounded them into the wood, and he came out of that one unscathed! They did a great job! While they were working hard on their project, Ben was content to munch on popcorn, but he did get his very own apron too! Since they hadn't planned on doing this today, and since Andrew was handling both kids by himself like the super dad that he is, he wasn't able to get any pictures of the project making. But of course we took some when we got home!

We would like to make this a monthly thing, and start taking advantage of more of the freebie workshops and crafts available around town. Sure can't beat a free morning of activities!

So close!

We still haven't gotten a female pumpkin flower to bloom, but I am still holding out hope. Since the weather was so nice today I was actually able to spend some real time pruning the garden this afternoon. It really needed it since there were so many dead leaves and overgrown vines. In doing so I found this.

This little girl was probably a day or two away from blooming. The petals were fully developed and were starting to separate at the top. Unfortunately, it had grown on one of the weaker vines, which ended up snapping a couple inches above the bloom. Ooh, so close! But it does give me hope that our vines are getting mature enough to bare fruit, and I'm starting to see a lot more female blooms getting started, so I'm hoping in a couple weeks we'll actually have a female flower open so we can finally start growing a pumpkin.

I'm not holding out much hope on actually getting any butternut squash. The pumpkins seem to be overtaking everything. Just one vine (from one single seed) is about 7 feet long. Here's a photo of one from a couple weeks ago.

They're each about 2 feet longer now! My garden is only 4' x 3', so needless to say it is already bursting at the seems. We'll see what happens!