Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Cousin Jon's Wedding

Most readers out there will not give a care about my cousin Jon's wedding. But my mom and grandma read this blog, and they care a great deal. My mom wasn't able to be at the wedding, and my grandma's anxious to see the pictures, so I'm posting them here for all of humanity to see. Well, for the few of you that read this anyway.

My sister Cassie made the 3+ hour drive with me and my kids and stayed the weekend with us at Grandma T's house. I needed the help, and she needed a ride. Cassie was kind of my (voluntary) slave for the weekend. She was doling out snacks and carrying bags every time I asked her to. Thanks, Cass!

Sophie was very excited to attend a wedding. I kept explaining that it's a lot like church. You have to sit quietly. My kids ate snacks through the whole ceremony...it was during our dinner time.

Sophie was very excited to see her Great Grandma T (my mom's mom).
And this is my cousin Jon. He's a good-looking fella. He used to be quite a punk. I'm not joking. He once jumped off the first-story roof of their farmhouse into a sleeping bag that was being held outstretched by his siblings and my sister Courtney. I told Courtney not to get involved. I told them we were all going to get in trouble. I told them Jon would break his neck. But when I saw that he was going to do it anyway, I grabbed a corner of that sleeping bag too. I wanted to be sure they held it right (I was the oldest, a worry-wart and a goody-two-shoes). Jon finally jumped into the middle of the outstretched sleeping bag being held by 6 of us relatives from ages 8-14. The force of his landing wrenched the sleeping bag from our twelve fists, and he landed with a thud on the bare dirt ground (with the sleeping bag to break his fall, of course). He started yelling, "My back! My back!" and I was sure he was paralyzed and we were all dead. But he half crawled/limped into the house and swore us all to secrecy so we wouldn't get in trouble. And we never spoke of it again. And I think he turned out alright...

Jon's sister Becky.
Jon's sister Sarah.
Jon's brother Jake.
Amy, the bride, and Becky, Sarah and Jake's kids (some of them...we have a gigantic family).

All the nieces and nephews wanted a good spot to watch the action, so they plunked down in the middle of the aisle.
It was a lovely outdoor wedding on a lovely Fall day.
My kids enjoyed dancing with their (second?) cousins while waiting to have some dinner.

A toast to the bride and groom!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tiny Tumblers

Sophie started her little gymnastics class at our community center this week. Her friend Lydia is taking the class too. Here, the girls are warming up.

The kids had a whole circuit of activities to do around the room. Walking on this line of something that looks like cut-in-half rubber balls, jumping from hula-hoop to hula-hoop, crawling through a tube, jumping onto a stack of mats and somersaulting down a ramp...
walking across a low beam with a ball held over her head, and jumping on a mini trampoline!
I had Owen with me, and he was wanting to get in on the fun, so I had to take him out into the hallway and therefore didn't get any more pictures. I did get some pretty good video, though! Hilarious!! Too bad for you that I don't know how to post it here...it was good stuff.

Apple Orchard

We visited a nearby apple orchard Sunday night to have some dinner and a little outdoor Fall fun. Before we left the house, Sophie colored a special picture for this particular orchard's coloring contest. She colored the whole picture black. We're guessing she won't be winning the contest. BUT, the picture did earn her a free donut. An apple donut. She did not share one bite with any of the rest of us.

The rest of us got an apple crisp ala mode (with cinnamon ice cream!). It was terrific! And we had to share ours with Sophie. Go figure.

The kids really enjoyed visiting with the animals. Owen was particularly enamored. He's just been starting to notice animals lately, pointing, and making excited noises. We had a "RED ALERT!" (Greg actually yelled that at me) when Owen reached inside the fence and nearly grabbed the pile of poop directly in front of him.

Greg finally broke down and paid a quarter for corn to feed the animals. Here, Sophie is complaining that the animals won't eat the corn she's holding in both fists. I guess they weren't hungry after gorging themselves all day (we were there around closing time).

After visiting with the animals, we took a walk through the apple orchard/vineyard. It was a beautiful evening!

Fall Roundup

We took in our little downtown's Fall Roundup this past weekend. There were fun activities, live music, greasy food (yum!) and plenty of tats (more on that in a moment).
Sophie gave this video game a whirl. I think it's something like "Dance Revolution" or something. I'm not cool enough to really know what it was. She was too mesmerized by the screen to actually move her feet.
So her Dad showed her a thing or two.

Nice moves, Greg.

There was free face-painting, which is always a big hit. The free part, I mean.

We finally washed off the remains of this butterfly last night. It hung in there a long time!

We kept calling this the "jumpy thing." Sophie got to jump until she tired out because there were no other kids waiting in line.

Owen thought he wanted to jump too. But I know for a fact he would have cried if we actually put him in there. I had tried him in the ball-pit at the "Indoor Park" a few days ago with disastrous results.

This is some foreshadowing of a post to come.

Sophie loves her tattoos.
Trying to dunk a choir kid.

Again, Daddy had to show Sophie a thing or two. He succeeded with the third ball, thank goodness. Because some choir girl was after him and did it on the first throw!

Waiting for Daddy to bring some lunch.

Sophie likes onion rings. Who knew??

More tats. Just called her "Painted Lady." This is what she chose to spend her tickets on.
Driving the old-fashioned fire truck.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just call her Nastia

Sophie got invited to her friend Ella's gymnastics class as a (free!) guest today. She was very excited! This is Ella, Sophie and McKenna (Ella's sister) waiting on the flower mat for class to start.

Warm-ups. The girls were very attentive and followed directions well. (I took all these following photos through a window, by the way)

It's very important to stretch, you know. Even when you're 3 and a half and very bendy.

I love that Ella appears to be holding her breath through the stretches. Me too, Ella, me too.



The Beam
Hmmm...I don't really know what's going on here. Taking a break, perhaps?

Sophie had such a great time at gymnastics class with Ella! Thanks for inviting us today, Ella (and her mom, Jessica)!

Sophie will be starting a "gymnastics" class at our community center next week. It's called "Tiny Tumblers." It'll be held in a conference room. I'm afraid it may pale in comparison to today's olympic experience.