Monday, October 6, 2014

More Fun at Green Bluffs!

Last year we had so much fun out at Green Bluffs in Washington that we had to go again. This year Perry and Aunt Bobby joined Kile and I and the kids. We went straight to Siemer's this year because we knew that it was kid friendly. We just forgot how outrageously priced the extras are.... They have a really cool corn maze there that winds through the corn and into some hedges where there is a big castle. Obviously Hunter and JP wanted to go *really* bad, but we weren't about to spend $7 for each of them + $9 per adult to go... So we went ahead and picked pumpkins. 
 Hunter can be such a little moocher! As soon as Aunt Kile grabbed the cart and put Casey in it, he jumped in as well...
 Can you believe she only has about 6 weeks to go before we get to meet baby #2? She's tiny! 
 As soon as we got to the pumpkin patch, all three of my kids were off in different directions. Casey hung tight to momma's leg. :) 
Aunt Bobby and JP headed one direction and came back with this white gem...which I promptly said put it back, I'm not paying for a 30 lb pumpkin! 
 Casey did explore a bit, but he didn't get as dirty as Charli did! She was caked in dust! Actually everyone's shoes were. We should have planned to wear different shoes...next time!

 I sure hope Casey had fun with his cousins because they really enjoyed pushing him around in the cart!
I'm anxious to see how they play with him when he's a "real kid".
 After we paid for our pumpkins, and lost JP in the process (he didn't even know he was lost until we found him...), I took the boys for a ride on the "Big Toot", as opposed to the "Little Toot" that they rode on last year. I have a hard time handing off my camera to other people, but I am trying to be better about it. I don't want to end up being the ghost behind the camera years from now.
 The "Big Toot" went for a cruise around the farm and lasted about 7 minutes. When we were coming around the last turn, the train slowed down a bit and started jerking a little. Hunter announced very confidently, "There's something wrong with this train! It must be the engine..." 
 While we were cruising around the farm, Charli hung out with dad and wandered through the corn stalks that were for sale. 
 With a lot of persuading, we eventually made it to Eleven Acres again to do some apple picking. 
 JP picked a lot of small apples and then complained that his basket was too heavy. Go figure. 
 Perry was all about sampling the apples. 
 So were Casey and Charlotte...
 I'm sure even though he probably won't admit it, Perry enjoyed himself. 
 I did too... even though it doesn't look like it. As I said earlier, I have a hard time handing my camera over - mostly because I end up with pictures of myself looking like this... meh.
 But I was able to bribe Hunter to take a picture with his mommy. 
And I bat my eyes enough times for Perry to take one with me too. We hardly have any pictures of us, so I'm also trying to get more of the two of us.
Casey was being a cheeseball the whole time we attempted to get a good picture of the 4 of them together. You can't quite tell, but JP was also attempting to go cross-eyed too.
JP! One normal picture, please! Your eyes are *going* to get stuck like that! It hurts me to look at your cute face when you do that!

Overall we had a wonderful, but short trip to Spokane this past weekend. The kids and I left Saturday and came home late Sunday. Perry took his own vehicle as he had to stay for work. Before we left town on Sunday, I made good of a promise to take them to the Big Red Wagon downtown. I really didn't want to take the 3 of them by myself, but we managed. Barely.
 JP, why so scared?
I wanted to retake this one while we were there but the blocks were being used as a bike rack...
 JP and I attempted to get a picture of Charlotte by the wagon, but she can't stand still. She has Hunter's energy...
This is the best we could do for a shot of all three of them. Leaving the wagon was a disaster. It confirmed to me why I didn't want to go alone. I lost Hunter while gathering up Charlotte and JP. He wandered ran down to the river and got down on his belly to touch the water. When I was glancing around to spot him, he was no where to be seen because the river bank was a little downhill, and with him laying on his belly...I was in full blown panic mode. I was paranoid enough about losing one of them... Hunter pouted and fought with me the whole way back to the car because he didn't want to hold my hand or the stroller. But we made it. And then we swung by Perry's hotel room with some fast food before hitting the road. It was a long two days, but worth it!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

UM Homecoming Parade

Last weekend was homecoming for our university. We normally don't partake in any community festivities (because we're usually busy or working) but this year I thought it would be fun for the boys to go to the parade downtown. Initially Perry wanted to sleep in and work on my shelves (he's making me a few floating shelves for my living room!) but due to a power outage in Tennessee, a package ordered for use in the parade for one of his customers didn't make it to town on time so he was out and about early Saturday morning trying to get it to where it needed to go before the parade started. Since he was downtown anyways, I quickly gathered up the kids and raced downtown to find a good parking space and met up with him.
 On the way downtown, Hunter and JP were *ecstatic* about going to a parade. Previously the only parade they've been to was the 4th of July parade in Seeley. They've never seen a marching band up close though so I thought they'd enjoy this one more. Granted we did get there about 45 minutes early, they were not excited to sit and wait...
 Once the parade started, they were both really hesitant to step off of the curb to collect candy. A lady next to us helped Hunter a few times by showing him all he had to do was stand there with his bag open and people would just put candy in it. Even still, he was really leery about it. And then there was JP. He wouldn't even get off the side walk without me right next to him. Opening his bag was a struggle too... JP did however warm up to the parade when he saw his pre-school teacher from last year in the parade handing out candy on the other side of the street. Seriously, his face lit up and he yanked on me in excitement! The rest of the parade he was a lot more open about participating.
 Quite a few times I had to gather them and pull them back to the edge of the road as they kept creeping to the middle. 
 Remember how JP wanted a Daniel Tiger cake but mom wanted to make him a Ninja Turtle cake...and then we compromised with this one? Yeah, so just imagine his excitement when he saw Daniel Tiger on a float....
Charlotte on the other hand was delighted at her view from daddy's shoulders. I'm not so sure he was thrilled at her smacking his head in delight when the marching bands came by though...I won't even tell you his reaction when he was flipping through the channels and realized they weren't airing the Griz game, but rather the Cat game...

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's Fall! Hooray!

September has flown by this year, which is quite sad to me because it's my favorite month. It's *normally* not too hot and not yet cold. (Last week we were in the upper 80s!) An added bonus to this year's September is school. Despite the issue we had at the school with Hunter, I've been a lot less stressed the past few weeks. I love Hunter to pieces but am so thankful he's in school now. I miss his noisiness during the day. Even though he won't admit it, I think JP misses him too. He doesn't want to do much when Hunter isn't here....Anyways, here's why I really love fall: LEAVES!
 Charlotte walked away just in time for Perry to dump all the leaves off the roof.

 Do you know how hard it's getting to get a decent picture of this kid? 
If you don't watch her, she will drink *anything* off the ground, even if it is dirty leaf water...
I've learned to leave the rake out...They love to jump in the leaves, rake them back up, and do it again. Yes!! Now I can start to pay them to rake the yard...

Apple Cider Field Trip

Last week, on our anniversary actually, JP's class took a field trip to Fort Missoula to make apple cider. Both Hunter and JP's class did this last year too. I really wanted to go, but was nervous about bringing my new baby and another child along with. This year I signed up to be a driver and brought Charlotte along. 
This was the last time I made apple cider...36 weeks pregnant with Hunter. That's a good 6 years ago... From what I remember about that time, it was loud so I was curious about the press at the Fort.
 I've always been impressed with JP, and on his field trip he was no different. He's such a good listener! And I'll let you guess what color apples JP brought with him... Seriously, red was out of the question...
 (He dresses himself, can you tell?)
 Each child had the opportunity to put apples in the the top part of the cider press and then were able to watch them go down as another child turned the crank to grind them up.
 JP really enjoyed cranking the wheel!
 After his turn he and his friends sat nicely (for the most part) and waited for everyone else to complete their turns.
When all the apples made it into the press, they watched all the juice stream out into the pan below. For their drink at snack time, they each tried a cup of the cider they made. It was tasty! Before heading back to school, they took a little tour of the Fort and sat inside and old homestead.
 Here's a few shots of the press we used at my baby shower in 2008. It was operated by a motor instead of all done by hand. 
We made quite a few gallons of cider! The apple press is still at the house in Whitefish, and I think we need to bring it back to Seeley to do this again!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Monkey Shiner Babblings

After Hunter's second day of school:
M - Did you meet anybody at school today?
H - Uh. No.
M - Are there any cute girls in your class?
H - No, there's not any.
M - Well maybe they'll get cuter when they get a little older.
H - Nope...they probably won't.

M - Hunter and Jim. I do NOT want to see you jumping and rough-housing on the couch again. Is that clear?!
H - Well then you better not watch....

On our way home from preschool, an ambulance drove past us with its siren on.
J - Oh. Someone must have got hurt by a tiger or something.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hunter: A Kindergarten Update

We're now two full weeks into Kindergarten. That's it two weeks. Do I really need to say what all has happened in that two weeks? Seriously it's only been two weeks.

Let's see...Hunter thinks he's one of the big kids now. He's a big kid in our house, but he still has a lot to learn. With that said, he doesn't like when I walk him to the bus in the morning. He's already embarrassed by me I guess. As I explained to him, once you can show me that you can get yourself to the bus stop (at the end of the street) by walking on the side walk and looking both ways when you cross the road, you can walk by yourself. When you can stand by the stop sign or in front of and not on the edge of the road, you can walk by yourself. When you can stop throwing rocks and running around in the street, you can walk by yourself. In the meantime, I'll be walking (a distance behind you) to the bus stop. Am I being over-protective? No, he's a kindergartner! Plus, I'm secretly hoping that one of these days, he'll actually turn around and say good-bye to me. OR at least wave. He's breaking my heart and he doesn't even know it!

We are also working on getting off the bus. Well, the bus in general. We've picked up quite a few things from the bus. For example, after his first day riding the bus, he came home and put his hand up in front of my face and asked some bogus question like, "Do you know what this does?" And before I could come up with a bogus answer, he stuffed it in my face. With a little more force it would have seriously hurt. He bust up laughing and told me he learned it on the bus. Apparently someone did it to him and it was "hilarious." Ha. Ha. Ha. He also had a nice talking to, along with another kid, about spitting on the bus. I know this because I started having a mini-panic attack when he didn't get off the bus. Just before I my mind went else-where, the bus driver whipped her window open and let me know he was coming. Thank goodness, but grrr!

I am happy to report that he has made a few friends on the bus, though he can't remember their names. Yeah buddy! But like I said earlier, we're working on getting of the bus too. By that I mean going home after school instead of following the neighbor kids around like a puppy dog. Seriously, just about every day I have to reroute him to our house instead of someone else's.

Then there's the "incident" we had a school. On the third day of school. The third day. I didn't find out until the next afternoon when I emailed his teacher to let her know he was going to be gone on Firday. I was blindsided with her response of, in shortened form, a) call the school and update your contact info because we couldn't get a hold of you yesterday. b) He's a delight to have in class, loves sitting by me, and is very helpful, but c) he poked a kid in the face with scissors and made him bleed. Didn't you get the note I sent home yesterday?  Gah! No! I didn't get a note! It was pinned to his shirt but he "took it off on the bus and made an airplane (probably resembling a paper ball) out of it." He had been sent to the office for the remainder of the day, about 15 minutes, had to stay in for the next morning's recess, and lost his scissors for a week. I losing his scissor privileges was really hard on him. What do you do when everyone else is using scissors? *Long exhale* "I just have to tear it...."

This little incident has been tearing me up for a good week now. How could my child do something like that? Maybe the better question is why? He claims he just wanted the other kid to know how it felt. I guess he was curious, but I still feel terrible about it. I hope it's just an "adjusting to kindergarten" phase he's going through!

In other news though, he basically asked to go to bed tonight at 6pm because he was so tired. He wanted me to know that after school tomorrow, he just wants to come home and take a nap. He's finally exhausted! This never happens! Ever! I had to carry him to the bus yesterday morning because he was too tired to walk. I would have held him all day if he let me. I NEVER get snuggles like that with my kids anymore! When he got home - he actually walked half way back to the house with me - he asked, "Is it okay that I fell asleep on the bus? I was just so comfortable with my head on my backpack." So it wasn't a big surprise today when he wanted to go to bed.

Overall though, he's definitely enjoying school and is slowly but surely remember people's names. He knows the librarian's name and his music teacher's. And he apologized to the boy he poked in the face and they are friends now. Not how I would go about making friends, but that's just me...

JP's First Day of Pre-K

My baby JP is slowly but surely growing up. He was so excited for his first day of Pre-Kindergarten last week! The night before, he picked out what he wanted to wear and while I was tucking him into bed he announced to me that, "When I wake up in the morning, I'm going to take a shower and you're not going to fight with me about it. You got that?!" I got it, and that's exactly what he did!
If you didn't know beforehand, it should be very clear now that his favorite color is green. You know, since he's dressed in green from head to toe. He also insisted on bringing the Ninja Turtle bag I made him and he's wearing Ninja Turtle socks. That's my boy!
Since he went to preschool at the same place last year, he already knows 6 of his classmates. His best friend, Matthew, is one of them. They are a funny pair! They love to play together, but they don't speak (if they do, it's not a lot!) to each other. At his school orientation, JP asked over and over if Matthew was going to be there, and Matthew asked the same about JP. We stood next to their family in the lobby area and the boys hid behind their mothers the whole time, and occasionally peaked out to smile from behind. 

JP acted very similar on his first day of school, which I expected. He clung for dear life to my leg. He didn't want to go color or play legos or trains...Nothing could get him to let go...until we spotted Matthew. "Do you want to go play with Matthew?" And away he went. "I'm going to go, are you going to give me a hug good-bye?" Whispering to me "I'm a little busy Mom!" That was that. I picked him up two and a half hours later and he was all smiles!