Thursday, July 31, 2014

Morgan Creek Vineyards {Play Date Outing}

What's better than a play date with awesome friends?

A play date with awesome friends at a VINEYARD.

Morgan Creek Vineyards to be exact. And what an awesome place!! Absolutely beautiful!

A bunch of us headed over there last week to pick blueberries with the kids. Of course, we also did some wine tasting. And, yes, made quite a few purchases. Local wine is the best wine. After that, I just can't go back to these big box wines. I'm trying go more local anyway with my purchases. What better place to start?


 How I missed getting a pic of Alex and Austin...I have no idea. 
Darn! Guess we will have to go back!

 Lovely goodies!

 Amazing wines!

 This is how you cool off after a hot day of picking blueberries in the southern late-July sunshine!

Silly boys!

 Cooled off and ready to work...or sneak a few blueberries ;)

 YUMMY! A gallon worth of goodness!

Here are a few recipes I plan on trying out in the next couple weeks:

Have a great week!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mr. Mischief

Yep. Mr. Mischief. That's his name alright.

I leave the room for 5 seconds and I can't find him. When I have found him...where is he?

In the big boys' room.
Under the coffee table.
Behind his daddy's blue chair.
Under the end table.
In our room with the door shut.
Under the other end table.
In the laundry room with the door shut.
Some other room with the door shut.

Yes, it is safe to say that any door that can be shut is now ALWAYS shut.

We have entered that stage of life again where anything that can be messed with, gotten into, torn apart, or destroyed by a tiny boy who has become an explorer WILL be touched.

Wears. Me. Out.

Much more so than with the other ones. Maybe because I have the other ones.

Yes. It is because I have the other ones. He MUST do everything that they do - even if he can't just yet. Like that picture above. Alex was up before Andrew and wanted cheerios. So did Austin. I went to put him in his highchair...oh, no! Screamed bloody murder when I tried that. Back arched and all. "Don't put me here, mama!" Sheesh. Fine. So, Alex said, "He wants to sit with me and have cheerios." Ok...he doesn't know how to do that. But, we will try. Sure there were cheerios everywhere, but it silenced the small one. All was well again.

This little guy is only about to be 9 months old. And, he is certainly making himself knows around here.

He no longer wants baby food. He wants what he can see on my plate or what the boys have.

He doesn't want those stinky baby toys. He wants big boy toys.

He doesn't want to play in the living room. He wants to be in the big boys room (because that is where the big boy toys are located...)

He is SO funny! He definitely knows what he wants and how to get it!

Monday, July 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes: The Brother Edition

Another brother of mine came to visit us for a few days!

Man, how many brothers does she have??


Sean! Sean has many titles here:
          2nd brother of the summer
          4th youngest brother of mine
          5th in birth order
          10th grader in a few weeks
          One of the coolest dudes I know.

Sean and I go way back. Duh, obviously... I have one very special memory of Sean and I when he was very young. He was about 5 and I was in college. Time escapes me these days... Anyway, it was Christmas Morning - at well before dawn (ugh...) - and the wild animals that lived in the house with us at the time my brothers were very much awake and ready to tear stuff open. Well, no way. I yanked them all, except William (who was still a baby...around 1 or so), into my room with their pillows and blankets. Sean climbed into my bed and snuggled up and was drifting in and out of sleep every few minutes.

After a bit I notice he was messing with my engagement ring. See, Jason and I had just gotten engaged the day before, which was Christmas Eve morning. I asked him if he liked it and what he thought. He told me that it looked like a star and it was shiny. But, then he said very quickly (and with a face that looks like ones of Alex's, my 3 year old) that he did not like it. When I asked him why, he told me that he didn't want me to move away today. Aw, such a little guy... I explained that I wasn't leaving today or tomorrow or anything. I still had college to finish and, besides, it was Christmas! He smiled and gave me a hug then fell asleep for a little bit more before we all went downstairs to continue the festivities.

Fast forward to this past week -



It's always awesome having uncles come to the house! They always want to play with Legos!


On Tuesday, we explored the Southern Museum of Flight with Sean. Super fun! They all loved it!

The little guys especially loved being "pilots" for about a half hour!


Zoo day! Now, you know we had to throw that into the mix of things to see and do.

From the top, going clockwise:  Sean going into the "cave" to find the otters / Lunch time overlooking the elephants Sweet sleeping baby Mr. Giraffe / The sweetest brothers ever

Ok, I'm going to play the "lame big sister who is a mom now" card and say that this is my favorite picture from our day at the zoo. Sean is the sweetest. He showed them how to put their quarters in and get the fish food out. Sure, it might not look like anything. And, yes...they now how to do that already. But, it's just the whole picture of it all. They think that their uncles are, like, the coolest people ever. They talk about them for weeks and weeks until we see them again - whether it is one or all of my brother, or if it is Jason's brother. Uncles rock in their book! And moments like these that I get to capture are my favorites. It's the smallest things that turn out to be some of the best memories later on.


Getting an early start at NJROTC!

Now, I hope Sean won't kill me after posting this. But...I just had to do it. After this quick lesson in doing pushups and crunches, these little guys actually have been trying to do it randomly during the day - since he went back home. No joke. I've caught them saying things like, "No, Sean said like this. Because that's what he does with the soldiers." Haha! I don't even remember if we told them what NJROTC was, but yep. They've got it! Such cuties!


Game nights!!

We broke out Sequence and, of course, Settlers of Catan. We did play Mexican Train Dominoes, too. But that was a bust. Playing with 2 people just doesn't work. Don't do it. You are better off playing Go Fish! Haha!


Coffee mug obsession

We met up with Mom at our favorite Cracker Barrel (our halfway point) to take Sean back home. Mom told me about some coffee mugs that she thought were pretty cool. Well, when she showed me and I saw this one...I just had to have it. That golf tee game (what is that thing called anyway?) has always been super cool. I know...I'm a nerd. Whatever. It is cool. Cracker Barrel is cool. It is so cool that I insisted on having a Cracker Barrel rocking chair to rock my babies in. I have always wanted one of those. Always. And, now, I have another fond memory from childhood on a mug that holds one of my favorite beverages. Awesome. Thanks, Mom, for the great mug!!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

More Than Antique Tractors {Tannehill}

This past week, I saw a post on on of my favorite go-to blogs for family fun in our city. There was an event happening that was showcasing antique engines and tractors. Sounds fun. The boys would love it. Why not?

So on Saturday, after cleaning up and packing a picnic (and a ton of other things for a day of adventure), we headed out to Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. This place is gorgeous!! If you are close by and have never been...go!! It was just $2 per person - and kids under 6 are free. Awesome.

But, enough of the talk - on to the pictures!!

 Hello gorgeous! Isn't it amazing?! Now we had to walk to get there, of course. But it was great!!


 He had the best seat in the house (per the few grandparents out and about)!

 Going up the hill to the main trail 

Had to check out the water first :) 

Almost there - so beautiful!!

Around 1, the boys were ready to get recharged with lunch. So, we headed back to grab our picnic and find a spot. 


Once we had refueled and figured out where the tractors and things were, we headed that way.

 And, of course, there is no better way that to get there...than by train! This was $2 per person and kids under 3 are free. The engineer let Alex slide after he told him he just turned 3. We did tell him it was April, but he still let him ride for free. Sweet.

We walked over to the Blacksmith Shop in the Pioneer Farm where we all tried to figure out how to get these nails apart. Jason did it, but couldn't get them back together. The boys tried and I tried. Austin just laughed. Those things would NOT come apart! 

 And, there are the tractors! There were very cool and the boys did love them. But they told us that the hiking and the train were the best. Works for us! We loved this place!!

I wanted to share the best pictures first, of course. But once we entered the park, we did walk around the Iron and Steel Museum. Jason loved that place - he loved that he could show the boys and I the things that he sees and sometimes work with every week.
 Sitting outside of the Iron and Steel Museum


Checking out the "Hot Pot" from Ensley Works (1920)

Back home, this sweet baby was so tired he couldn't finish dinner. Love him!


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