Friday, April 13, 2012

Lucas's 2nd Birthday!! Choo-Choo

Hunter showing off the loot bag prizes. Poor fellow started to feel lousy during the party and ended up sleeping on our bed through the last half of the party. He never did get the GI bug like David so I guess he had some viral illness and really overtired from the party and our week of guests.
Trying to open presents. With big brother Hunter feeling bad and asleep, Adam stepped up and helped open presents and pass them out. Lucas loved every minute of this!!
Blowing out his candles like a birthday professional. I wish we would have gotten this on tape. So if you can picture it....everyone was crowded around the table singing the Happy Birthday song, Lucas is wide eyed and swaying back and forth very proud that all the attention is on him. At the end of the song, I said, "go ahead, blow out your candles." He looked around like, I got this mom and blew his 2 little candles out! It was the cutest thing ever and I wish I had caught it on camera. Later that night when Hunter woke up and ambled out to the couch we sang Happy Birthday again and let him blow out candles again. It was really cute, but less in the moment than the original take.
Hello Thomas. The best cake ever!!! It was so yummy.
Pausing to check out the candy from an egg he found during our Easter egg hunt.
Waiting for the egg hunt to begin.
Coming up from the basement after a few minutes of playing and coal tossing to give David time to hide the eggs in the backyard. The 'coal mine' was the last stop on the train ride.
The General store, operated by Gaga. The kids could stop here and pick out a tattoo or sticker. They also got a glow stick to take down into the 'coal mine.'
Running around the general store.
Going through the tunnel and up and over the slide drink our first stop on the train ride. It is hard trying to think of ideas to entertain a crowd of 2 year olds and keep the older guests entertained as well. I decided to simulate a train station and have the kids all pretend they are trains. I spray painted railroad tracks on the yard and had a few stations to stop at until we reached the back porch. We started in the mountains and they crawled through a tunnel set up on bubble wrap, then they went up and over the baby slide and down to the general store. From there, they followed the tracks to the back porch and we all went down to the basement (it was dark and supposed to be like going into a coal mine). Once in the basement we had a coal toss. I made bean bags and had the kids toss them onto red boxes. This game and playing in the playroom gave the folks upstairs time to hide eggs for the egg hunt. It was fun and I hope the kids enjoyed it!

Easter 2012

Ring pops were a big hit this year in the Easter baskets.
Hunter loved the chocolate Easter bunny from Ga-Ga and Papa. I think we ended up hiding Lucas's bunny in the cabinet. They were so yummy I may just keep his for myself.
The Easter Bunny brought Chloe (aka Taylor Swift) a shiny new guitar.
Lucas was so happy to see some trains in his basket.
Hunter loves taking pictures. We recently took pictures of all different signs of spring with a disposable camera I bought at the grocery store. Hunter took pictures of blooms on the trees, green grass, the sandbox, our garden and just any ole thing that reminded of that spring is on the way. We took the pics in together to get developed then we made a picture book with all the photos of spring. It was fun. The Easter Bunny brought Hunter a camera for Easter. Who knows what our next project will be!
Lightening McQueen face painting!
Spiderman on the other side.
Gaga and the gang at the Easter carnival.
Linden and Lucas at the egg gathering. The eggs weren't hidden, just thrown in a big area of roped off grass. Kevin and I decided it was a egg gathering, not an egg hunt!

This Easter Carnival was a last minute decision. It was Saturday and we had planned on hosing Lucas's birthday party from 10-12. Sadly, we had to postpone his party due to David having the terrible GI bug. We did not want to have a house full of guests and David sick with the potential of getting everyone else sick. We changed the party date to Monday and everything worked out just fine.
When did these 2 get big enough to drive the gator?
Dying Easter Eggs.

Lucas and the haircut

Before...just ignore the whistle lips.
After. The buzz cut. He is the WORST for getting his hair cut so we thought the easiest thing would just be to buzz it off. Well, he hates that too, but at least we can go a little while longer between cuts.

How he rides at Target. This haircut highlights his facial expression and this is one expressive child!

The Aquarium in Pigeon Forge.

Beautiful jellyfish picture. These sea creatures are so strange to me.
He was looking for Nemo!
Hello Matt!
Crawled into one of the portal holes where you could look up into the aquarium of fish.
In the shark section riding on the moving floor.
I love this picture!
First stop!

Along with the water park, we also took the kids to the aquarium. They LOVED it! We did too.

Trip to Pigeon Forge. The water park=Fun!

We stayed at the best little indoor water park near to us. We had heard from friends that this was a great place to go and they were right. The Turners and the Simmons packed up for 3 days and took a break from the winter blues. We had a fabulous time and after a bit of warming up to the place the kids had a blast. Poor Hunter was so sick!!! He managed to have a good time but we kept him on antibiotics, Tylenol and Motrin the whole time we were there.
One of the wave pools.
Hunter having fun.
Larkin down the slide in the toddler area.
Let's all sleep together!!! You can see from this picture how terrible Hunter was feeling by the end of the day. Poor guy, he was a trooper.
Day 2 for Lucas. The first day he wouldn't let me sit him down!

2012 Winter Fun

I don't know how he ended up as Captain America. I am sure he didn't put this on all by himself.
Chloe lost her two front teeth.
Love playing with my scarves.
Yes, he loves to eat chocolate. We were making icing for cupcakes.
Trying to make cupcakes.
Lucas came walking around the corner and his face looked black and blue. He had gotten into my eye shadows!
Take a good look at this one!

My broken heart

On December 21, 2011 I lost my most prrcious Abbigail. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make on my drive to the vet that chilly morning. I loved that dog and she has been with me through some the worst times in my life and during the happiest times of my life. If you have ever loved a dog, it is a very powerful emotion. I miss her every day and long for her to be back in our family. She was my best friend and her absence is making me cry as I type these words about her. I knew in my heart and my mind that she wouldn't be with me forever, but I never imagined her absence would be so painful. I love you sweet Abby and I will see you again one day. Thank you for being apart of my life.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Things we do...

Well, I am finally coming to an end of blogging events for 2011. Like I have mentioned before, we had a very tough year with some devastating losses and family struggles. Despite our difficulties, we are a blessed family and a loving family that takes each day as they come and we soak up the love and comfort we have for each other. I tried to remiss on this catch up based on events that stood out in my mind. We are more than just events though. We have fun everyday...well most days, and these are only a few of the pictures that let you see some of the things we enjoy doing apart from those extra special occasions or activities. The above picture was exhaustion after a trip home to Pilot Mountain...I think.
We take lots of hikes when the weather allows. Hunter can walk about 3 miles before major whining starts! This was a trip to Sugar Hollow Park in Bristol, VA.
We dress up like super heroes and run around the house!
We spend lots of time on the Creeper Trail. This is the gorgeous tressel right below our house. The boys love walking or running across it and looking for fishing boats.
We rake huge piles of leaves in the fall and jump, roll and dance in them!
Getting ready to roll!
The boys wrestle on a daily basis. DO NOT let Lucas's smaller size fool you. He is much, much tougher than he looks.
We relax with our fluffy and furry family.
We watch for boats and throw rocks and sticks in the water by the dock.
We fish, picnic and swim at the lake.
We plant a garden and hope for the best each spring!
We cook, cook, cook. Well, I really cook. I usually cook 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. I know, just typing those words depress me too! The boys love to 'cook' too. I give them a little bit of everything and they are entertained for at least an hour, which is great, but the clean up is usually a nightmare.
Lucas putting forth his cooking skills.
We go to the pool and swim, swim, swim!
And when we get snow, we go sledding. This was a pretty mild winter so we didn't get to do much sledding. Hunter was disappointed with this, but not me!