Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt!

Today we took Natalie and Owen to an Easter Egg Hunt. I am going to get back into blogging slowly, so I don't have a big story to tell. The Readers Digest version is this:

The kids had a blast.
It was hot (almost 90).
Natalie's favorite part was the bouncy house (anyone remember her foot???).
Natalie told everyone that the Easter Bunny that was there is not the real one because she could see human skin under the costume.

Check out this link for a collection of pictures:

One of my favorite pictures of the day was when Owen opened up an egg to find some candy and proclaimed his dominance over the candy egg:

Owen's 1st Birthday!

Before we get started, I think it is only right that I clear up a few things...since I haven't made a blog entry since the fall...

We moved from PA to TX in December. I got a new job (with my same employer) and we have been extremely busy for the past few months, as you can imagine when moving across the country. We have taken some great pictures in the past week, and after a few guilt trips, I am back on the blog!

Wednesday was Owen's 1st birthday. It is hard to believe that it has been a full years since he joined our fact, it is hard to think of our lives without the little guy. He is a very happy kid, and is starting to get a personality more and more each day (meaning, he puts up with less attitude from his older sister each day). He can't quite hold his own, but I have a feeling it will not be long. I don't want you to get the wrong idea though, because Natalie is very sweet to her little brother...most of the time.

Anyways, back to this week's I said, Owen turned 1 on Wednesday. We had a small birthday for him at our house.

The festivities started with a small snack for Owen, and burgers/hot dogs for the rest of us. Owen has really started to pack in the food now that he is walking. No lie, I think he is eating over double. Notice the decorated high chair, complements of his mother:

Every party needs party hats!

After everyone was done eating, it was cake time!

Of course, Owen got his own cake to completely destroy...or at least that was the plan.

Owen started by calmly sticking his fingers into the cake. He wasn't really interested in eating it quite yet...I think he just wanted to see what was really in front of him. Come to think of it, nothing that big has ever been put in front of him on his high chair, so I can't blame the guy for taking a few test touches.

Eventually, he had done what every 1 yr old does on their first birthday...he made a mess of himself.

Next it was time to open presents, and this one was from G-Ma and G-dad. Owen needed help opening it up, but he managed to climb all over it with no help at all.

What was in the box turned out to be a basketball goal, and with a little help from his old man, he made his first dunk.

Although the loud cheering from the adoring crowd scared him a little bit.

But, Owen quickly regained his mojo and wants everyone to know that if they have a problem with the new 1 yr old on the block, "we can take it outside!"

For all the pictures in a convenient format, checkout here:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

5 States in 1 Afternoon

I have been needing to go and see several of my customers in the Northeast for awhile, so I decided that this week would be as good of time as any. I realized peak foliage in VT is right around this week every year, so I decided to bring Kristin and the kids along for the car ride. They could hang out at the hotel (play in the pool, etc.), while I go and visit customers during the day.

We left home late Monday afternoon, after Owen was given a clean bill of health at his 6 month appointment. His weight and head size are literally off the chart. His measurements have made their own parallel line to the typical chart, just above it. His height is within the expected range, but around the 80th percentile.

We drove straight north from our house for a few hours and left PA for NY:

We stayed just north of Albany in a town called Saratoga Springs, which is known for horse racing and their natural springs. After my meetings in the morning, we went is search of one of the natural springs in the town. I was told by the receptionist at the hotel that there are springs all over town, and that each has its own history, and they are all free flowing. She gave me a map to a few that she knew of, and off we were.

We stopped at the first one on her map, Old Red Spring, which started being used around 1784.

I was warned that these springs did not produce the clean tasting water that you buy in the store, but that it was not bad for you, it just might leave a bad taste in your mouth. There was no way I was convincing Kristin to try a sip, but thinking about all the streams I drank from as a Boy Scout, this shouldn't be too bad.

It actually didn't taste too bad, but definitely high in iron as the sign indicates. I should have probably taken a bath in it, as they did back in the 1700's, but I was with the kids, I needed to be a good example. :)

Natalie thought the spring was a bird bath, and was not about to drink out of it, so she just opted for a picture with mommy and Owen.

After my swig of spring water, we headed east, to drive through the mountains in southern Vermont. We made a slight detour to drive through the Revolutionary War battlefield at Saratoga. The kids were asleep, so we didn't get out to take any pictures, but it would have been nice. As I drove through the National Park, I felt more and more like my father, who would stop to read every historical marker on a is funny how things change?!

After about an hour of driving, we crossed the state line into Vermont:

Right after we crossed the border, I had to pull over to take a picture of an old covered bridge which looked amazing in the fall colors:

After we accended into the the mountains for a little bit, we found a picnic area that was perfect for a family picture. I am glad that we took the time to stop because the picture turned out well:

The whole area had these large historical markers, so this one is for you Dad:

We then weaved our way through the Green Mountains, until we reached what seemed to be the peak of the range. At the top was a gift shop called Hogback Mountain:

The view from up there was tough to beat. It is advertised as a 100 mile view, and it did not disappoint (although it was a little cold).

Poor Owen was all bundled up, and kept close to Kristin to stay warm in the picture.

And of course, I couldn't resist taking a picture of my Red Raider front license plate that was experiencing fall foliage with us as well.

In the gift shop, you could buy ANYTHING that is known to come from Vermont or has Vermont on it...cheese, wine, beer, etc...but the biggest selection is Maple Syrup, and by the gallon, literally, which will run you about $63 if you are interested.

After buying a piece of maple syrup candy for Natalie, a Christmas ornament, 3 pieces of fresh fudge (which I forgot about until just now...I need to find those...), and some cheese, we continued east towards New Hampshire:

We didn't stay in New Hampshire long, probably about 30 minutes, but it was long enough for me to figure out that people come to NH to buy liquor and cigarettes, as the taxes are much lower than the surrounding states. As much as I have been dying to buy a few cartons of menthals, I decided to just keep driving. :)

By this point, Owen was sick of his car seat, and we needed to find a place to eat dinner. The sun had just gone down, and we were focused on getting into Massachusetts. I take the ramp to south on I-91, and a MA State Trooper turns his lights on to pull me over. I know I wasn't speeding, so I thought that he was after someone else, but when I started to ease over, I knew he was wanting to talk to me. So, here we are, in my company car, Owen screaming his head off in the back seat, and Natalie wanting to know why the Policeman is walking up to our the perfect storm of road trips. It reminded me of the scene in National Lampoons Vacation where Clark was pulled over after he tied his mother-in-laws dog to the bumper and drove for 30 minutes...great movie...anyways, where was I...So, as the officer gets to my window, I have my license out, Owen magically stops crying, I ask him what the problem is, and he said that he clocked me going 68 in a 55...I KNOW I wasn't going that fast, not even close. So, I tell him, "I am sorry officer, I wasn't going that fast. I haven't gone over 60." We go back and forth a few times, and then he says, "oh, well, I guess my radar must have had an error, drive safely" and then walks away...didn't even look at my license or ask for any paperwork...weird.

So, of course, Natalie wants to fully understand what just happened, and we try to explain it to her in a way she can understand. We quickly find a restaurant to eat dinner, while I utilize my cruise control just to be on the safe side.

After dinner, Kristin and the kids fall asleep in the back seat, and I entertain myself with music from my iPod as we drive into Connecticut.

And there you have it, 5 States in 1 Afternoon.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

After we got home from Merrymead, I decided to get my hands dirty and start carving the pumpkins we just purchased. Natalie didn't like sticking her hands deep into the pump to get the seeds out, but we took turns and she helped out. She did however find it easy to wipe her hands on my shirt and pants after each scoop with her bare hand...nice.

We let Natalie pick what she wanted on her pumpkin, and she picked Tinkerbell.

After a good win last night, I decided that we needed a little tribute to Texas Tech on our porch, so I did a pirate with a Double T.

Here are a few pictures of the final creations:

Both kids wore their skeleton pajamas tonight, and Natalie really wanted to get her picture taken with the pumpkins, so we got them both out on the front porch.


Pumpkin Patch 2009

Today we went to Merrymead Farm to pick out pumpkins and have fun as a family. Merrymead is a local dairy farm where we get our milk and ice cream. Every fall they have activities for the kids and a large pumpkin selection. This is the same place we went last fall, and I wrote about it then: link

We didn't have time to do all the rides this year as we had to slip this between Church and Life Group today due to bad weather yesterday. We focused on taking pictures of the kids and picking out pumpkins to carve.

Here are the best pictures:

This one cracks me up because both are spacing off:



Fall is officially here, although, I wasn't expecting it this soon! It seems like we only had about 2 weeks of summer this year, so hopefully the fall will be extra long to make up for it.

We took a few pictures of Natalie and Owen after getting back from Church. Poor Owen doesn't know how to take pictures yet. He is usually too busy checking out his surroundings to care about someone calling his name, hoping he will smile. Natalie tried her best to coach him though:

Owen is now 6 months old (hard to believe). He is sitting up, eating select baby foods, and the best part...LOVES his big sister. Natalie tries her best to make him laugh...always calls him "buddy"...and Owen just giggles. Natalie can get him to laugh the best, although now he is starting to get into her toys, and she doesn't like that too much. Owen is almost crawling. He can get into anything that we wants, but it is by rolling his way around. He is very curious, and when he wants to get something, he focuses, and gets it. Here is a picture we took of him today:

Natalie has started this "fake smiling" phase for taking pictures. She will yell "CHEEEEEEEEESE" and squint her eyes. It is getting tough to get a good picture with her because she only wants to "fake smile." Here is the best one that we got of both together:

I know it has been awhile since I have updated the me, I have heard about it!! So, Natalie told me...

"Dad, you better update the blog tonight!!"

...actually she didn't say that, but I really like the picture. :)


Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Few New Videos

Owen learns to stick out his tongue.

Natalie and Owen talk to each other.

You will need the blog username and password to watch. Give me a call or send me an email if you need it.