Fun in the Sun

We had a week of great weather.  And we took full advantage of it!

Monday – the kids played in the sink, Jace ate breakfast with Optimus Prime while watching Optimus Prime on his iPad, we played at a new park, went for a bike ride/stroller walk, looked at creatures on the bridge, Luke tried out Jace’s bike, we cooled down in the car, and we made it home just before it started pouring.  Since we had to stay inside all evening, we re-purposed the lawn mower box!

My favorite pictures from Monday.  Jace is such a good big brother!

Tuesday – we had a really fun playdate with Becky, Ella, and Max.  Our car was in the shop (inspection), so we walked to their house.  It was HOT.  Luke had a great time on the roller coaster, Jace loved the cupcakes, and Luke discovered ketchup (he would dip a chicken nugget, lick it clean, and dip it again – over and over).  On our walk home, the kids convinced me to stop at the park.  And so we did.  They had a great time dropping sticks in the grate.  By this point, it was too late for Luke to nap.  So we filled up the pool and played, then had popsicles.  I sent Adam to Weis for dinner and he took Luke on the trike – and he fell asleep!  Oops.  After his 5 minute nap, he was energized and stayed up til 10pm.  Ridiculous.

Wednesday – we went to Klein Farm with Jorie, Jonathan, and Dylan.  Despite there being ice cream, friends, and a huge playground, Jace and Luke were all about the animals this time.  We spent over an hour by ourselves with the cows.  Afterwards, we watered our garden (check out our hibiscus tree!), played with water balloons, and had a snack.

Wednesday night was movie night at Steel Stacks.  We sat down with Heather, Cara, and Matt, but the movie (Kubo and the Two Strings) was fairly dark and had a lot of loud sounds.  Luke was NOT happy.  And neither was Cara.  Jace was just completely uninterested in watching a movie (as usual).  Sooooo, we spent the first half of the movie running around on the grass and the second half of the movie walking around on the trestle.  I think they’re cool pictures.  Then we headed home and looked for fireflies.  The kids did their goodnight hugs (a nightly event) and then it was off to bed.

Thursday – cherry picking!  Again!  There was a new variety of cherries available for picking – Emperor Francis – so we had to try them out.  Heather and Cara came cherry picking too, then we headed to another new park for a picnic lunch.  Luke fell asleep the second we got in the car to head home, so Jace and I got some solo playing time – and we “shared” a blue and red popsicle.  That evening we decided to walk to the pool.  Good plan.  I got the kids in suits, got our towels and snacks and toys, and loaded up the stroller.  When we got there, the pool was closed for a swim meet.  Sigh.  A lot of other people were turned away too – the website had the wrong date posted for the meet.  Oops.  Sooooo, we jumped into the car and went to Nazareth to check out their pool.  It was a 20 minute drive and Jace – the kid who never naps – fell asleep in the car at 6pm.  Crazy!  I woke him up and after about 2 minutes, he was ready to splash.  And so we splashed!  It’s a fun pool.

Friday – we needed a day to recover!  Ha!  After a low key morning with the PAW Patrol pups, Heather and Cara came over.  We played while Luke napped and Jace taught Cara all about color mixing.  Then it was an early bedtime for Luke and Jace and I got a chance to play some with Spack Rock(et).

Saturday – hot and sunny, so naturally we started the day with water….  We played with the hose, watered the garden, and filled up the pool.  That afternoon, our neighbor stopped by with a birthday present for Jace – a super awesome remote controlled dump truck!  Very fun.  He loves it.  Then we headed to Kohl’s to do some returns and buy Jace some bigger clothes (he grew since last summer – ha).  Jace was so funny at Kohl’s – in the first picture, he’s showing me the “statue of a booty!” and in the second picture he’s hiding from me.  He hid again after that, but he somehow shimmied himself underneath a clothing display.  I had the hardest time finding him and he came out sooooo dusty.  Sneaky guy.  After shopping we got Rita’s (delicious) and Luke made Jace laugh by climbing on the car.  Jace and I finished the day by playing more Space Rock(et) – in the dark with green stars!

Sunday – we started the day with the new dump truck toy, naturally.  Then we moved on to the Talking Ginger app on the iPad – both kids were laughing soooo hard!  Finally, I was worried we’d wake Adam, so we headed outside (with the kids still in jammies!).  I thought we’d play in the driveway.  Luke grabbed the lawn mower and took off.  Jace grabbed the tool kit and took off.  I asked where they were going and they looked at me, Jace said “cookie club”, and they turned and kept walking!  Luke walked all the way to Weis.  Pretty impressive.  They stopped along the way to rest under a tree, fix the road, and mow the Wungle (Weis-Jungle).  When we got to Weis, they both agreed to hang out in a shopping cart, so they ate cookies, talked to the lobsters, and made each other laugh the whole time.  Cute.  We spent the rest of the day just hanging out – spent some time on the deck, played in the sandbox, Jace stood next to his sunflower plants in the garden (planted from seeds in preschool!), Jace proved that you don’t need water in the pool to have fun, both kids played with the stomp rocket, and Adam and I finished the evening with cherry pie.  Fun!

And that picture-intensive post sums up the week.  I promise not to make a habit of posting a day-by-day with this many pictures.  We have plans for a mellow week this week, so we will see how THAT goes!  The kids really do have fun together outside in our yard.  I’m so lucky they have such a good time playing together!

Father’s Day Weekend

We had a nice weekend!  On Saturday, we went back to the orchard to pick more cherries.  We flew through the 1.33 lbs of cherries we picked on Thursday, so on Saturday we picked 4.26 lbs.  We haven’t finished them, but we did put a pretty serious dent in the bag.  So yummy.  Plus, the whole orchard experience is really fun.

The trees didn’t have many cherries left on the tips of the lower branches (which is the only part Jace can reach on his own).  Next time, we’ll take a stepstool.  But for this trip, Jace solved the problem by climbing on Adam’s shoulders.  I liked all the facial expressions.

The next morning, Adam slept in while the kids and I played.  I told Jace it was Father’s Day.  He got soooo excited about taking Adam breakfast in bed.  I had planned to make cherry pancakes for breakfast, but Jace insisted on cherry pie.  So Jace, Luke, and I made cherry pie.  From our fresh cherries!  The kids were so cute.  I had a LOT of help.  With every single step.  The rolling pin was very popular.  Eventually, we had three 6″ cherry pies in the oven.  We toasted the extra pie dough, cut it into the shape of a heart, and drowned it in the extra cherry pie filling.  Jace was super excited to carry the plate up the stairs.

We walked into the room and he said, “Good morning, Daddy.  Happy Mother’s Day!”  Oops.  Adam said, “You mean Father’s Day.”  Jace stared at him blankly for a second, then said, “It was a joke.”  Good cover.  Ha.  He followed it up with, “We brought you a sharing pie!  Even you can have some of it!”  And so we all shared Adam’s breakfast in bed.

It was a low-key day.  We played on the deck, played with trucks, and went to Taco Bell for dinner (Adam’s choice!).  We finished the night with Menchies and then cherry pie.  Happy Father’s Day, Adam!

A Week of Fun

Last week was a big week!  Here are the highlights….

Saturday!  Gorgeous weather, so we headed to the farm to pick strawberries and peas.  Then we had popsicles (notice Jace’s blue tongue) and played outside with the stomp rocket (big hit!).

Sunday!  Apparently it was a low key day.  Luke gave the kitties a treat and went on a walk with the bubble lawn mower.

Spin, Spin, Spin – video
And the kids played in the spinning chair.  As always.

Monday!  We went to the Pop Jet Fountains at the outdoor mall.  So much fun!  Both kids had a great time running around in the water.  Not many pictures because I ended up soaked and couldn’t hang on to my phone.  Then they watched ants eat the crumbs from our picnic with friends.  On the walk back to the car, we found a painted rock.  It had a facebook group on the back – apparently painting and hiding rocks is a thing!  So we took the rock and we’re going to paint some and hide our own too.  Eventually.  The kids checked out every ant and flower on the walk back to the car.  Monday evening, Adam brought his work truck home so he could pick up a new lawn mower.  The kids thought the truck was awesome.  I know Luke looks like he’s falling over in the pictures, but he was just holding his arms up in the air (in triumph?).

An Amazing Trick – video
Jace showed off his spinning/jumping moves when we were getting into swimsuits for the Pop Jets – and requested I take a video.  So here it is!

Tuesday!  What a long day.  We played a tiny bit in the morning, then spent the ENTIRE day running errands.  DMV (new license – should have been a 10 minute stop but it took over 90 minutes), Social Security Office (to fix a typo – also should have been a 10 minute stop and also took over 90 minutes), the bank, returns, and more.  Not so fun, but the kids did great (look how cute they are in the chair at the bank!), though Luke did chew through the envelope that had all my important papers!  When we fiiiiinally got home, we headed to the park!

Wednesday!  We went to the park in the morning, had a picnic lunch, and went on a bike ride with friends (Jace led the way the whole time!).  We watched some ducks cross the street in front of us, did the Freeosk at Sam’s Club, and put decorative mushrooms in the garden.

Thursday!  The kids wore their boots on their hands for a while (“to be pups!”).  They were laughing soooo hard!  Then we went to the orchard to pick some cherries.  It was great weather, there were TONS of cherries on the trees, and we were the only ones out picking!  The three orchard attendants were great – they helped the kids reach cherries and listened to all of Jace’s stories.  After picking cherries, we played at Firetruck Park (for a long time!), had our picnic lunch, and headed home.  Then we went on a walk/bike ride to get food for dinner.  And we finished the evening with a plate of cherries.  Yummy!

Friday!  On Friday we went to Imagi Nation for Dino Day!  The kids used pipettes and hot water to “free” dinosaurs from chunks of ice, made dino-themed ice cream, played with the post office and with blocks, and spent a lot of time in the manufacturing room.

And THAT was our week!


Pinto Beans to IronPigs

June has been a big month already!  The amount of activities we’ve done in the past week is a little crazy….  But first, this post will cover the week and a half before our crazy last week!

Jace had his 4 year check up (he’s doing great) and both kids had their dental check ups.  Jace got x-rays (and did great) and Luke had his first dental exam (and hated it).  But both kids are healthy and have healthy teeth.  Hurray!  Jace’s new firetruck came to both appointments with us.  As did “creatures” (a spider and a tiny flying bug) that he found in the respective parking lots.  After both appointments, I asked the kids what they wanted to do as a treat afterwards.  The response?  Play in the car!  And so we did.

We got out the pinto beans.  What a mess!  Jace got a cement mixer for his birthday and needed something heavy to use in the drum.  Pompoms weren’t cutting it, so we opted for pinto beans.  And then our playroom was covered in pinto beans for several days.  Luke had a GREAT time throwing them around the house.  Jace had a great time rescuing the Paw Patrol pups from a pinto bean volcano.

The kids played with their giant piano – soooo much energy.

Jace showed off his handwriting (and spelling!), he and Adam cuddled up on the couch, the kids chased bubbles on the deck, they hung out on the couch together, they played with bubbles in the tub, and then they showed off matching tummies in their matching jammie shirts (?! I dunno, but Jace requested a picture!).

We spent an afternoon at Imagi Nation (and we were the only ones in the whole place!).

We had to take Cuervo for a check up, so we spent an afternoon next door at Chuck E. Cheese – with a preschool friend!

We had 20 minutes to burn before picking up Cuervo, so I thought we’d stop at the bank and order new checks.  Bad plan.  Poor Jace was running up the path to the door and tripped.  He caught himself with his hands, then tipped some more.  Owwwww.  Poor Jace!  We gave up on the checks and headed straight to Petsmart where we spent our 20 minutes staring at the fish.  Luke was entranced.  He would stare in silence and then SHRIEK in excitement.  So loud!

We checked out a new park with friends.  It has a “zipper” – you drag this suspended platform to the top of a little hill, then climb on and slide all the way to the other end.  Jace loved it!  There was also a kid-friendly culvert to explore.  Fun, fun.

Random pictures – a picture I forgot to post from the fishing tournament, Luke showing off his climbing skills (seriously, you turn around and he’ll be on top of the box of pinto beans on top of the table, sigh!), Jace knocked out his birthday thank you cards, Jace gave his pups check ups – and bandaids with their own pictures on them!, and we played in the sandbox with the trucks.

We tried Hello Fresh – and it’s really fun!  Adam cooked some super fancy and delicious meals for us.

We spent a loooong afternoon at the park.  Luke’s starting to get the hang of the slides.

Luke on the Slide – video

We spent another afternoon at a different park.

We went to a movie in the park at Steel Stacks.  It was fun!  It was the first movie for Jace.  We saw The Secret Life of Pets.  It started at 7:30pm.  Jace watched a decent amount of it, then ran around off to the side with his friend Cara.  It was great weather for a movie in the park.  And aren’t the kids cute in their camp chairs?!

And lastly – Jace and I went on a baseball date!  Baby Luke stayed home with Daddy and Jace and I went to the IronPigs game.  We shared all kinds of fun snacks, played catch on the grassy hill, watched Hambone win his first Pork Race of the season (“cheer for your favorite meat!”), sang Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and watched some fireworks.  Fun!

Fish and Butterflies

For his birthday, Jace got a cup of caterpillars.  It’s cooler than it sounds….  It came with a whole butterfly hatching kit.  We watched the caterpillars grow for a week or so (and you could actually see them growing over the course of a single day), then they formed their chrysalises, then 10 days later, they emerged as butterflies!  Here are some pictures.

The kids were pretty into it.  So were the cats….  We had one near-disaster when we left the newly emerged butterflies alone in the house.  Cody discovered them, pulled their entire “house” onto the floor, and sat on top of it.  No good!  Luckily, the butterflies seemed to have survived that encounter.  They lived in the guest room after that.  With the door closed.  The butterflies didn’t move much in the guest room, but as soon as we would take them outside to the sunshine, they’d flap their wings and fly all over the place!  That caught Claire’s attention, but we were there to keep her in line….!

The butterflies were SO active today, that Jace and I decided they probably wanted to be free.  So we released them “to the wild”.  Jace was adorable.  He said goodbye to all the butterflies, told them it was nice to meet them and he liked being their friend, and told them to enjoy “the wild”.  With plenty of anticipation, we unzipped the top of the butterfly house.  And…. Nothing happened.  Those butterflies didn’t move!  It took some coaxing, but eventually we got three of them to fly off on their adventure.  The other two took a LOT of coaxing.  Jace kept telling them to “prepare for take off” and then he’d do a countdown.  And nothing would happen.  Finally he started helping the butterflies out of their home with his fingers.  He actually got a butterfly to land on him for a little bit!  And eventually all of our butterflies made their way to the wild.

Here are FOUR butterfly videos.  They’re short.  And Jace’s dialogue is my favorite part.

Active Butterflies – video

Butterfly Pep Talk – video

Countdown to Take Off – video

Flying to the Wild! – video

As for the fish….  Last weekend Adam’s company had their annual kids fishing tournament.  This is the first year that Jace actually fished!  In years past, he’s had a great time throwing rocks and playing with his 2′ Spiderman fishing rod.  But this year, he had a real fishing rod (that he won last year) and real bait (nothing was biting with Power Bait, so Luke and I went to the bait shop for worms!).  For the first half of the tournament, the kids wandered around, threw rocks, found tons of creatures (they’re so into bugs!), “fished” for sodas for Grandpa (even though he’d flown back to Alaska a few days before), and ate a bunch of snacks.

For the second half of the tournament, Jace did some serious fishing.  AND HE CAUGHT TWO FISH!!!!  His first one was a Sun Fish.  His second was a 4″ trout.  He was so excited!

The kids both won tackle boxes and a football (Luke) and a soccer ball (Jace) during the prize drawing.  It was a fun way to spend a Saturday morning.  Here’s a short video of Jace catching his first fish.

Jace Caught a Fish – video

And here are pictures of Jace with his two fish!

A Party and Some Cake!

Here are a few pictures from the days after Grandma and Grandpa left, but before Jace’s birthday party.  I was going to post about Grandma and Grandpa’s visit, but it’s 4am and there are over 3,000 pictures to sort through….  Soooooo, for now, May is on hold.  I have cute pictures from that month, but it will have to wait a while!

After Grandma and Grandpa left, we headed to Max’s 2nd birthday party.  Max and Luke are friends!  It was a fun party – lots of playing outside, chalk paint on the driveway, Jace and Luke found bugs in the grass, Jace played with an awesome firetruck toy, and, of course, we had cake.

We got our garden planted.  I have a tiny herb garden on the window sill.  I love it!  And the kids made stepping stones with their handprints.  They turned out great!

We had a fun playdate at Jack’s house.  The kids are so cute together, but it’s hard to get everyone to look and smile at the same time….!

The other day I asked Jace what he wanted to do.  He said he wanted to play in the car.  And so we did.  At one point, the kids ended up in each other’s car seats.  And they thought it was hilarious.  Who needs toys when you can just switch car seats!

Alright – sad pictures of both kids.  Poor Luke walked around with his fingers in his mouth for 4 days straight – but his 5th tooth finally made it through.  Yay!  As for Jace, he was sad that Grandma and Grandpa had left, but told me a toy to play with in the car would make him happier.  I gave him his magnadoodle.  He asked for a different toy.  I told him I didn’t have any other toys in the car right now and he should just play with the magnadoodle.  So he did.  And you can see the picture he drew – and the expression he made.  Sulky guy.

Now happy pictures – because we had CAKE!

Here are two super short videos of the kids….

Jace Speaks French – video
Jace’s Pup Pad (Paw Patrol toy) got switched into French-mode.  And it was hilarious.  Jace would repeat the phrases after he heard them – and crack himself up!

Luke Blowing Bubbles – video
He figured out how to blow bubbles!  He ends up with quite a bit of bubble soap on his mouth, but he does pretty well overall.  And he’s so proud of himself!

And lastly, cute pictures of the kids together.  They’re friends.  It’s the best.  I love them!!!!

Late April

Grandma and Grandpa came to visit for most of the month of May.  Which was awesome.  We did tons of fun stuff.  And I did not work or post.  Sooooo, I’ve been trying to catch up on everything.  So here’s catch up post #1 of about a zillion.  These pictures are from late April/super early May.

Luke was still recovering from the bump on his head, so there are a couple of pictures of Luke’s forehead….  He’s all healed up now.

The kids have been loving the sandbox.  I thought Luke’s smile was cute.  Jace is playing with “crane” – one of his favorite toys.  Yes, it’s a mop.


Luke climbs.  Everything.  It’s ridiculous.  I don’t get pictures of the really exciting climbs because I’m too busy rushing to grab him….

When we walk to Wegmans, we pass a speed sign on the way home.  It’s red when a car is driving to fast and green when a car is at/under the speed limit.  It’s always a fun thing to stop and watch.  We clap when cars make the sign turn green.  New twist – Jace now yells at the cars that make the sign turn red – “TOOO FAST!”  Makes me laugh, but probably not the best pastime for us….!

We had a really fun playdate at Jonathan and Dylan’s house.  The kids played in the bounce house, the boys tried to get Jace to play Pie Face (he refused!), and Luke thought it was hilarious when Jonathan, Dylan, and Jace dressed up in various superhero costumes – he especially liked the Ninja Turtle mask!

And a few random pictures.  Jace playing with his garbage truck, both kids “practicing” getting sodas from the fridge for Grandpa (Jace’s idea!), Jace carrying the groceries home from Weis, Luke on the deck (he loves to be outside), and Luke playing with mulch at the park.

And lastly (for now), pictures of Jace and Luke playing together.  They really are friends.  It’s pretty awesome.

So, this catches me up through May 1st.  More soon.  Ish!