Thursday, July 31, 2014

Splash Pad Videos

Here's a video of the kids running around at the splash pad at Stephen's Lake Park.

And here's a nearly identical video of them running around at the somewhat smaller but still very nice splash pad at Flat Branch Park. James is using his "minky" but at least that keeps him from drinking the water.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Grant's Farm

We took the kids to Grant's Farm last weekend, thus named because it is the site of the cabin of Ulysses S. Grant.

We saw an actual baby buffalo.

We rode the tram.

We went to the animal show.

We had popcorn. 

We also rode the carousel and fed the pygmy goats a bottle, but didn't have a free hand to take a photo.

We looked goofy.

And saw the elephant.

We met the camel.

Amelie fed the llama.

James pointed at the birds.

There was jumping.

"I GUMP!" James says. 

There was gesticulating.

Then the kids shared a snow-cone and we came home.

And and added bonus of what the kids thought about one of the bird exhibits (technically macaws -- or maybe parrots? -- but some peacocks had wandered in as well as a few of the chickens from the neighboring enclosure). 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Singing the ABC's (kind of)

James likes to sing along with us, and then Amelie joins in, too.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wedding Anniversary

Update: We went out tonight for fancy-pants dinner at Abigail's in Rocheport. There was another couple at the restaurant also celebrating their 10th anniversary.

July 24th was our tenth wedding anniversary. We celebrated earlier this year by going to Merida, Mexico.

Sam also made a video with pictures from throughout our relationship. Amelie asked to watch it three times last night. Sam was looking for the DVD of our actual wedding ceremony and couldn't find it, and Amelie says, "We could watch a different video."

Amelie Says / James Says

Amelie climbed the tree at Bethel Park and got to a point up over my head. An older boy (eight?) came by and climbed it, too, and he got up well above her, to which she said, "That's impressive." 

She took a more cautious approach when she recently learned how to climb the huge tires at Cosmo Park. While she was sitting on top of the tire a boy about her age climbed up and jumped off. She said, "That doesn't seem safe," and scooted back down.

On another visit to Bethel, Amelie approached two older girls (maybe 8 and 10?) and said, "What do you guys want to do? ... I have some ideas." Which is, in all honesty, not a bad way to make friends, and then they pretended to be birds with her.

Amelie asked why a house on Garth had Christmas lights on. We hypothesized several scenarios and then she said, "Maybe we should tell them it's not almost Christmas." 

She's still sometimes using the construction "No I amn't" when she means 'I'm not.'

We got an invitation to Ezra's birthday party in the mail and the card had a picture of the "Teenager Mutant Turtles" on it. I came up with two of their names (a little later a third came to me) and Amelie said we needed to find "somebody who is really, really smart" who would know the names of the rest.

Sam asked Amelie why she has such a hard time calming down and she said, "It's one of my features."

James has over 100 words now, but most of them aren't very intelligible. He was saying "Broke! Broke!" this morning because the top had come off of his sippy cup, but I couldn't see it and thought at first he was saying we had a "Bug!" 

Amelie has been going to a summer play school through Fairview Elementary (it's just 3 weeks from 9-noon). The first day she was gone, James spent all morning wandering around the house asking "Where Ahm?" and asserting "Dada urk!" just so we were all accounted for.

James said his first five-word sentence (after only a handful of three-word sentences and no four-word strings): "No, I unt DIS cracker!" After being offered a different, clearly inferior triscut.

When we have waffles for breakfast, he asks for "Mo awful."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

At the Park with Dada

I took these two weeks before Father's Day, intending to print up some pictures for Sam for the holiday, but you see how well that worked out.

Happy belated Father's Day!

Climbing is a favorite activity.

As is running. 

I wish I knew what she was saying - maybe explaining the game.

Something hilarious, probably.

Playing airplanes.

And also birds.


One of the songs the kids like to listen to (on a CD from Aunt Barb) has a lyric that goes "Lying on the ground and looking up... Lying on the ground and looking up," which pretty much sums this up.

They were playing a game where they tried to jump up and touch the basketball hoop.

Again, I wish I knew what story she was telling. Something serious, most likely.

Do you wonder where James got his curly hair?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Amelie!

Back on May 31st, we had a small party at Bonkers to celebrate Amelie's FOURTH birthday. (Can you believe it?)

There was climbing!

Ellie and Aunt Barb went all the way to the top!

The baby brothers went the wrong way up the toddler slide.

There were also some cars (that didn't do much because I didn't put any quarters in, but apparently they were still pretty fun).

Benny drives the car.

Ellie hops in. We tried out nearly all of the possible combinations of kids and cars.

Aunt Barb & Benny strike a pose. 

And then it was time for cake! I mean pizza and fruit. Mostly cake and ice cream, though.

Grandma Mary took some sweet pictures while I was videotaping. Thanks!

Checking out the selection of prizes.

James going bonkers.

Still sad about those prizes behind the counter.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the kids did not care much about the group picture.

One of these days, I'm going to remember about the burst-of-pictures setting I can use on the camera.

Here they are! James, Amelie, Hattie, Ezra, Ellie, Benny, Caitlin. Plus Grandma Mary & Papaw in the background.

And, if you are not already overloaded on birthday fun, there is also a video: