Halloween 2018

(October 2018)

With Jacob being in school full time now, we didn’t have much time to do all the fun pumpkin patch activities we usually do every year. So on a Saturday before Halloween we all went to the local pumpkin patch.  The boys fed the goats and we got lost in the Corn Maze before choosing a couple pumpkins to take home.

Keeping up with tradition, the boys changed into some old Halloween costumes to carve the pumpkins in.  This year we had Darth Vader and a Storm trooper.

Then we got started

Cleaning out the insides is never a favorite…

And Jacob was being very helpful with his brother

And then quickly became the supervisor

Finally getting the last of the insides out!

Time to carve!

They told daddy they wanted a scary one and a SUPER scary one.  Once they approved daddy’s drawings, they watched him sketch it out on the pumpkin.

And I got out paint so they could decorate the smaller pumpkins we had.

And of course Penny wanted in on the fun too

Then they changed into their costumes for this year.  And immediately went into action calling for backup to help keep the dog from chewing on the pumpkins.

And these may look like some simple firefighter costumes, but I assure you they are not… here is a little backstory.  My nephew is a fire fighter in the Air Force, so they’ve always called him a fire fighter soldier, and they also wanted to be an astronaut.  Thanks to Amazon, I ordered an Air Force patch and a NASA patch and sewed them onto their fire fighter jackets.  So here are my “Fire Fighter Soldier/Astronauts” with their scary and SUPER scary pumpkins.

They took their role seriously!

My cousin is also a local fire fighter, and the boys have really enjoyed visiting him at the fire house a few times.  So to complete the costumes I called him to find out where I could get some SDFD shirts.

And extra credit points to those of you who noticed that Jacob’s pants were on backwards!

A couple days later on Halloween, I went with Jacob’s class on a field trip to Bates Nut Farm. That evening, Tante Heidi and Uncle Andy came over for a pizza dinner before we met up with neighborhood friends to go trick and treating.

So thankful for all these cute, silly neighborhood friends!

This is THREE!

(May 2018)

Dylan’s birthday celebrations pretty much lasted a week!  The weekend before his birthday on Cinco De Mayo, we had a birthday party.  Dylan loves to jump and play in bounce houses, so we knew we had to get one for his party.  The best part is they deliver it early in the day, so we have it for the boys to play in for a few hours before the party even starts.

This is my kid who really has an interest in Superheros.  His favorite by far is Hulk, then Batman, then Spiderman. So Superheros was the theme of the party and we all wore our Superhero shirts.

His cake had Hulk smashing through a brick wall on top

Now when you ask him how old he is, he holds up 3 fingers and says “I’m this number.”  You have to ask him what that number is, then he will say “Three!”

We also had a Batman pinata, which is always a hit with the kids.

And Nonie supplied the Spiderman balloon

Another favorite is always the cake!

And after cake, we opened the gate out to the golf course to let the kids run free. And while the kids were playing and burning off their sugar high, the moms settled down at the edge of the sandtrap to chat.

And we stayed there until it got dark.  It was a really fun day for the kids and parents too!

That week at school, Dylan’s class had a dance party to celebrate his birthday and he got a birthday crown from his teachers.  The morning of his birthday, he put on his crown and asked for waffles for breakfast.

Later that morning we met some friends at the park to ride bikes and play.  When Dylan started telling me “my body is growling” that led to lunch at one of Dylan’s favorite places In-N-Out!

The following week, he had his 3 year old check up.  He passed his vision and hearing tests.  He is growing like a weed and is now 3 feet 4 inches tall, and weighs 34 lbs 10 oz. And here is his 3 year old picture with the giraffe and woolly mammoth.

Time needs to slow down…

This is FIVE!

(January 2018)

The night before his birthday Jacob kept reminding me all night long that we needed to decorate his door for his birthday.  I kept telling him that if he helped me do it, it wouldn’t be a surprise, which is what it is supposed to be.  But this kid doesn’t forget anything, he remembers that we decorated his door last year and wants to be sure it will happen again this year.  After we finally got the boys to sleep, we decorated his door.  And he was a happy boy when he woke up.

For breakfast that morning, he requested waffles with a scoop of ice cream ontop.

And this year Jacob decided he wanted to go to Legoland for his birthday.  So on his actual birthday we just had a small pizza and cake party with some of his close friends.

We had planned to go to Legoland the following Tuesday, and a few days prior when we were preparing to go, we looked at their website to find out some information and realized that during the “off season” they are closed on Tuesdays. So then we pushed it to a couple days later, and when that day came, it was pouring down rain…so we planed to go the following week and due to some construction commitments and sickness, we had to postpone it again. The following week, we FINALLY made it to Legoland!

He’s so excited to be 5 years old!

We had so much fun riding the rides (Dylan had his first official roller coaster experience on the Coastersaurus!)

And it doesn’t seem like Jacob is enjoying this roller coaster in the picture, but he really loved it so much he went on it 3 times in a row!

All the LEGO creations were pretty amazing too!

And before we left, we had to get one more group picture so the boys could show off their swords.

Legoland was a blast!  Especially for my 5 year old LEGO master.

And here is his yearly picture with his elephant and giraffe.

Second Stop – Las Vegas

(July 2017)

Instead of driving straight home after our adventure to Lake Mead, we went to visit our friends in Las Vegas.  We spent the next few days exploring some of the kid friendly activities they have on the strip.  First stop was the Las Vegas sign.  You can click here to see my post about a trip we took to Las Vegas when I was pregnant with Jacob, which includes a baby bump picture with the Las Vegas sign. 

We spent that day at the Shark Reef and Aquarium at Mandalay Bay.  Lots of cool things to see there!

Which included crocodiles…

And giant fish…

And of course sharks!

Another day we explored Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden at the Mirage.  They had beautiful tigers and lions

And the dolphins were really fun to watch!

One of my favorite things to do in Las Vegas is just walk around the casinos/hotels and look at all the shops and decor.  We did that for a bit and the boys were trying to find their way to the pool party 🙂

Afterwards our friends took us to one of their favorite places to eat. It was a fun restaurant with lots of games to keep the boys entertained and the food was fantastic!

We spent our late afternoons and evenings at the pool and enjoyed our time with our friends.  It was definitely a different kind of Las Vegas experience, and we learned that Vegas can be fun with kids!

This is FOUR

In January, Jacob turned FOUR!  In my opinion, this was his best birthday yet.

We started off the festivities by decorating his door with streamers and balloons the night before his birthday.  However…sometime in the middle of the night one of the balloons popped and woke him up, so he came in our room.  He woke me up saying, “Why are there decorations on my door?” Ooops!  I explained to him that they were for his birthday and got him back to sleep.   Regardless, he was still excited to see the decorations, especially since they were his favorite color, GREEN!

That day Jacob had preschool.  So we went to school with a big bag of Rice Krispy treats, Jacob’s current favorite treat.  They celebrated after their snack time with the Rice Krispy treats and sang Happy Birthday while Jacob got to wear a birthday crown.  Later in the afternoon daddy came home with a special delivery from Nonie, who we also call the “balloon grandma!”

Dylan was still napping at the time, and when he woke up and saw the Giant Batman and Spiderman balloons, he was not too sure about them and would not let me put him down.  So we gave Jacob his presents and he started opening them.

It didn’t take too long for Dylan to decide they were not so scary anymore. Or maybe he was overcoming the shock of seeing his favorite superhero in our living room.

Together they both tackled the rest of the presents.

That evening two of our neighborhood families came over for pizza and cake to celebrate with us.  Jacob loves being with these friends and we love the parents too, so it is win win for all of us!

My four year old!

The reason we didn’t do a big birthday party this year, was because a couple days later we took Jacob to the Happiest Place on Earth…Disneyland!

It truly was a fun, magical day!  It had been many, many years since Justin or I had been there, so we felt like giddy kids ourselves.

We had park hopper passes so we could go back and forth between Disneyland and California Adventures.  In Disneyland, we went to ToonTown where we saw Mickey, Goofy and Pluto, we walked around FantastyLand and rode on the flying Dumbo.  The weather was cloudy and cool, with a few sprinkles here and there.  Which was great because it kept the big crowds away. On our way to Pirates of the Caribbean, it started pouring and we stopped to find shelter for a few minutes and ended up buying some ponchos.

On Pirates of the Caribbean we scored the front row seats on the boat, which Jacob thought was fun when we “went down really fast under the waterfall!” Because of Jacob’s love of StarWars we spent a lot of time in TomorrowLand.  We rode the rocket ships, Buzz Lightyear’s ride and even Star Tours.  Jacob was scared and had a death grip on both of us during Star Tours, but afterwards he wouldn’t stop talking about it, I think this kid likes to be scared!

His reward for being so brave was a lightsaber of his choice (and also the talking Buzz Lightyear because he really wanted it and hey, it was his birthday).

And it wouldn’t be a complete trip to TomorrowLand without a visit with the one and only, Darth Vader!

Then we went to California Adventures where we spent most of our time in the CARS portion of the park.  Which by the way, I thought they did a fantastic job with!  The rides were fun for both the adults and kids, and the re-creation from the movie was perfect!  We walked down the street just when Tow Mater was leaving and Jacob got to wave at him as he drove by.  A minute later, Lightning McQueen showed up. So we took a few minutes to say Hi to him.

Then we checked out the rest of the park and rode more rides, among Jacob’s favorite was the other Buzz Lightyear one “where you use the blasters to shoot the bad guys!”

And to end the long day we walked along the boardwalk and took a ride on the giant Mickey Mouse Ferris Wheel which gave us a birds eye view of both parks lit up at night. It was a pretty magical time for all of us and we can’t wait to go back!

The following week we had his 4 year old check up.  They tested his eyesight, hearing and overall general health.  He passed all his tests and is a healthy boy.  He now weighs 34 lbs and is 3 ft 4.5 in tall.  Jacob is our smart, silly, cautious, inquisitive boy.  He has mastered the fine art of arguing with us, or completely tuning us out altogether and tests my patience every single day.  But behind his strong willed personality, there are hugs and kisses and requests to play hide and go seek and chase with him and he often stops what he is doing and looks at me with a smile and says “HI mommy!” and that makes all the frustrating times melt away.  He still asks a million questions a day, and if I ask him if he needs help with something he says “No, I can use my super Gecko muscles!” (you will only understand what that means if you’ve seen the cartoon PJ Masks) and proceeds to flex his muscles and ask you to feel how strong he is.

I saw this fun little questionnaire online and decided to ask Jacob the questions.  Hoping I can remember to do something like this every year around his birthday.  It is a fun way to engage them in conversation and see how the answers may change as they grow.

  1. What is your favorite color?  Green
  2. What is your favorite number? 100
  3. Who are you best friends? Micah, Cameron, Melia, Mackenna, Ryan and Hudson
  4. What is your favorite song? Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (doesn’t matter what time of year it is, he always wants this song)
  5. What is your favorite food? Pancakes and Nutella
  6. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Firefighter (which is funny since he has this crazy obsession with smoke alarms…)
  7. What is your favorite cartoon? Miles from Tomorrowland and Blaze and the Monster Machines
  8. What is your favorite toy? Mac truck, Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen
  9. What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Working hard with him outside
  10. What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Hugs and kisses

And here is Jake’s 4 year old picture with his giraffe, elephant and a big boy haircut!

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Star Wars Christmas

The boys have really gotten into Star Wars.  They have never seen the movies, still a little too young for them.  But they have several Star Wars books filled with short stories that explore the world of Darth Vader, Storm troopers, The Death Star, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2 and C3PO. Those stories are among Jacob’s top picks before bedtime.  And they love to play Storm troopers, where daddy and Jacob are Storm troopers with blasters made out of legos and they are looking for the rebels and chasing RD-D2 (played by Dylan) and blasting off in their rocket (the tee-pee).  Such imagination with these boys!

A few days before Christmas some friends came over with early Christmas presents for the boys.  They got a baseball tee, a drone, and some snugly blankets with Superheros and Star Wars characters on them.

But the favorite thing for both of them were the light sabers.

They immediately started playing Star Wars

Then Dylan finally let us correct the way he was holding his light saber and it was game on!

So Star Wars paraphernalia along with Superheros, Cars and Toy Story are quickly taking over our house.  I am excited for the day (or I should say weekend) when the boys are older and we can have a Star Wars marathon.  It has been years since I’ve seen the original movies and I’m not even caught up on all the new ones.  In the meantime, we will keep reading the stories and perfecting our light saber skills.

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Splash Park Fun

After getting through all our vacation photos, it dawned on me that I didn’t pick up my camera again all summer long!  I think because I’ve been so behind on pictures/posts I didn’t want to take any more pictures to put me back even more.  Also, my hands are not as “free” with two little boys to juggle so my camera has taken a backseat.  I started feeling a little bad about that, and wishing I had more pictures of all the fun things we did this summer.  Yes, I have thousands of pictures that I’ve taken with my iPhone, and those are great and I am hoping to do a post of our summer highlights with those pictures.  But the photographer in me, really prefers the quality photos that I can get with my camera.  So one morning we had a “meet the teacher” day at Jake’s new preschool, and afterwards we went to a Splash Park with some friends to let the kids run around.  At the last minute, I grabbed my camera hoping to catch some pictures of the final days of summer. And yes, I know it is mid-September and these pictures are now a month old…but better late than never has become my new matnra…

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This is a great place for the kiddos to run and play and stay cool in the summer heat.

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IMG_7515edAnd while the big kids ran all over the place, this little guy kept busy at a fountain with an assortment of buckets and cups to fill and dump out.

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Sometimes simple things like buckets, water, good friends and sunshine is all you need.

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Idaho or bust

Now that it is August (how did that happen?) and summer is almost over, I figured I better wrap up the last of our vacation we took in May!

A couple of years ago some friends of ours moved to Idaho.  So instead of going home after our fun with grandma and grandpa at “The BIG ranch up in Oregon”, we flew to Idaho for a few days to see them. Not only was it great for the adults to catch up, but their little girl is just a month older than Jake and it was fun seeing them reunite and play together.

On our first day we went to a brewery for lunch.  The property was beautiful with lots of space for the kids to run and play.  It was raining off and on, so inbetween the rain the kiddos burned energy chasing each other and Justin.

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And jumping off the raised patio, over and over and over again.

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The whole group!

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Then they drove us around and showed us their town.  We rented an Expedition so we could fit 4 adults and three kids in one car. Jake and Sammie had a great time giggling and being silly in the way backseat, and yes, Jake is picking his nose in this picture.

IMG_2871edAnd it wouldn’t be a trip with the Haigis’ without a visit to a wine tasting room!  I never knew Idaho had wine country.  We went to their favorite place, Cinder.  It was very kid friendly with toys to play with and chalk to draw on their concrete floors.

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And this was the best attempt to get a picture of all 3 kiddos.

IMG_2861ed The next day after going out for lunch, we relaxed around their house and Jaime got into her teacher mode and came up with crafts and activities for the kiddos to do for the afternoon.  First up was making slime.

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Jake has inherited his daddy’s aversion to anything sticky or messy, so he wasn’t too sure about this at first.

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But he quickly got over it and they had a great time molding, stretching and squishing slime.

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While the older kiddos were playing inside, Dylan was taking advantage of having all the outside toys to himself.

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And kept working on his walking skills

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And their dog Bear joined him to play in the sunshine.

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Then the big kids came outside for the next activity, dinosaur eggs.  Armed with a wooden pick, they dug at the eggs until finding their dinosaur prize.

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Success!

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Rawwwwwar!!

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We ended the night with a pizza date for dinner.

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It was so good to see them and visit their new hometown.  The boys did really good with all the traveling and we always have fun visiting other places, but it is also nice to come home to San Diego.

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Around the ranch

The baby calves on the ranch were just couple months old and needed their medications and ear tags, etc…and the momma cows needed a check up as well, so we had a roundup!

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Friends and neighbors came over to help.

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Everybody had a job to do

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And this little cowboy was loving all the action

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When our other little cowboy woke up from his nap, he sat in the stroller and watched all the action while having a snack.

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Towards the end, Jake thought daddy was spending way too much time with the cows and convinced daddy to pick him up and get him closer.

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We heard a lot of MOOOOOing that day!

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Later that afternoon we got the horses out, and Dylan thought it was pretty fun.

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We ended our roundup day pretty much the same way we end every day when we are at the ranch…Playing marbles!  This is a game that has been in my family forever and I grew up playing this game all the time.  It’s fun, it’s competitive and the girls always win 🙂  After the dinner dishes are cleaned, kids bathed and in bed, the 4 of us sit at the game table and play the marble game all night long.

IMG_7220edThe next day the sun came out again and we just played/worked around the ranch.  The boys were moving tractor equipment to get it ready to cut & bale the hay, re-positioning electric fences, and Jake took over for daddy when he was taking the covers off the vents around the house.  He watched daddy do a few and then declared “I can do it ALL BY MYSELF!” and he did.  This kid likes to work his tools.

We also played…pushed toy tractors around

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Played with the giant ball

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Went for rides in the wagon

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And flew a kite

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After the kite got stuck in a really tall tree…we moved on to riding horses.

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There is always plenty to do and I love the experiences that our boys have while there.  I think I have one more post left…be back soon!

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ONE

The day after the party was a special day for many reasons.  First, it was Dylan’s actual birthday, it was Mother’s Day and his baby dedication!

We spent the morning with our church family for Dylan’s dedication.

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We are so blessed with an amazing village to help guide us on this crazy parenting journey!

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” – Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Afterwards we had a quiet (at least as quiet as you can get with two boys!) afternoon at home, celebrating with just the 4 of us.

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I love his snuggles, giggles and big bear hugs…I love his determination, fierceness and stubbornness.  He is sweet, he is loud, he is growing up way too fast in an attempt to keep up with his brother!  I can’t believe he is ONE! Happy Birthday big boy!

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