Thursday, November 1, 2012

County Line Orchard

Oh County Line Orchard, how we missed you.  There was no substitute for you that we could find in Virginia and we were so happy to return to your pumpkin patch, apple orchard, Moo Choo, petting farm and most importantly cider donuts :)

This was Will and Henry's first visit and they were not disappointed.

Jack loved the kids hay maze.


Tractor driving :)


Peter the Pumpkin Eating Dinosaur was a hit! 


Uncle Matt, Aunt Meghan ,and Conor joined us at the orchard and even rode the Moo Choo!


These boys love each other, A LOT!


A family shot with all 5 of us looking at the camera is virtually impossible.


Will on a mission to find the perfect pumpkin.


Toothless Jack.


Henry and his prize.


Mommy and her boys.


Because of the early spring, followed by a frost, and then a blazing hot summer the apples were basically decimated.  So, the folks at County Line shipped in apples from all over the country, put up gutters in the trees and filled them with apples for people to "pick".  What a great idea!


Conor was so excited to find his apple!


Poor Jack. He has already lost 3 teeth and has 2 more about to go.  It makes eating apples difficult, to say the least, but provides entertainment for everyone watching his attempt :)
 
 
 


Everyone else got in on the action too!
 
 


Such a fun-filled fall day!
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Little Fishies

Jack and Will love love LOVE water.  I think in previous lives, they were fish.  I'm pretty sure this I've noticed gills growing behing Will's ears.  (Henry on the other hand is timid around water, thankfully.)  This summer Jack took swim lessons 4 times a week for 12 weeks so he is a pretty good swimmer now and can handle himself fairly well at the beach or in the pool, which is defintely good for Mommy and Daddy since we have to play  man-to-man defensive with the twins :)

Will has a love of water that I have honestly never seen in another child.  He is at home in the water.  Daddy is convinced Willie is going to get swimmer's ear from the bathtub because he spends 90% of his bath under water with just his mouth sticking out.  Will has no fear. NO FEAR!  Its terrifying for us actually because he wants to swim like Jack and attempts to escape our arms constantly, even if it means him sinking to the bottom.  To him its an adreniline rush of fun and excitement.  For us, its an adreniline rush of fear and anxiety.

When we were in Madison we went to the hotel pool 3 or 4 times.  Thank God Casey was there with us because more than once Willie dove in the deep end when we Mommy and Daddy were tending to Henry and Jack.  As you can see in this video, it was constantly a race to reach Will before jumped in again.

video

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mini Vacay!

We decided to get away for Labor Day weekend so we drove to Madison, WI.  Sounds random, I know but we had specific criteria when searching for a destination---no more than a few hours drive, someplace we have never been, somewhere we could use our Starwood points for a hotel, and something to entertain all of us.  Turns out Madison fit all of those to a tee so we packed up the swagger wagon with the 3 boys and Casey in tow and headed north.  We all had a fanastic time!

Outside of Madison is a natural phenomenon called Cave of the Mounds (similar to Luray Caverns for you Virginia folks).  What is great about this place is that it also has a fossil dig for the kiddos, which for my dino-loving sons was a dream come true.
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The caves were really amazing and the boys were truly fascinated. 
 
Madison is surrounded by beautiful lakes (like many mid-western towns and cities) so we spent one evening eating dinner on the water.  Mommy Daddy and Casey loved the scenery (and frosty beverages!) while the boys watched the boats and ducks :)
 
Downtown Madison (the capital of Wisconsin) is a charming small city and the capitol building sits right in the middle of the square.  Such a fun place to explore and run around. 

We were fortunate enough to happen upon Madison's renowned farmer's market on the square.  Seriously, it was AMAZING!  The freshest produce, warmest bread, most delicious pastries, and brightest flowers for the most ridiculously low prices.  No joke, this giant zucchini baby was $1!

The zoo in Madison is fantastic and FREE!  Our kids especially loved it because it is called the HENRY Villas Zoo so we affectionately called it the Henry Zoo and our little Henry felt so proud :)



 


Like I said, we wanted to find a place that entertained all of us.  Madison has really really great food and since Chris and I are self-described foodies, it was perfect!  We had some fantastic meals and even got to enjoy Madison's huge food festival "Taste of Madison".


All in all, it was a great mini vacation and our kids are already asking when we can go back to Wisconsin**


**Side note: Henry calls Wisconsin "Missconsin".  We thought it was just a cute mispronunciation until we realized that he thought we were going to visit someone named "Miss Consin".  He kept asking where she was.  He thought the hotel was "Miss Consin's" house and he told his brothers to be quiet because "Miss Consin" was sleeping :)  It was super cute and I didn't want to forget it :)
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Big Boy!

Jack turned 6 years old on August 26th.  Where or where has the time gone?  Jack is such a blessing in our lives and even though some days he makes us want to pull our hair out, he is truly an incredibly smart, funny, compassionate, sensitive, and AMAZING child.  What a gift. 
Jack spent his actual birthday at Legoland with his family and told us on the ride home, "I am a lucky kid.  Thank you for this special day".  No Jack, we are the lucky ones. 
 
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FIESTA!

Ok, so Jack's 6th birthday was 2 months ago.  Better late than never, right?!?!?

Jack said almost since his previous birthday that he wanted a fiesta for his 6th birthday party.  What a fun idea!  Our back patio was the perfect place and we had a blast! 
 
Everyone was ready to paaarty!
 
 
 
Turns out fiestas are the perfect party for Pin the Tail on the Donkey (or burro in this case). 
We only moved back to Chicago 2 months before Jack's birthday and were worried he wouldn't have enough friends at his party.  I think we were worried for no reason :) 
Orange and red cupcakes are always fun, especially when they dye your entire face! 
 
 
Jack was completely spoiled by his own friends and Mommy and Daddy's friends too.  Uncle Tim and Aunt Olivia don't have kids yet and thought that giving a 6 year old $60 in cash was normal ;) 
Jack recieved so many Legos and couldn't have been more excited! 
Seriously, fiestas are so easy for entertainment because so many traditional party games work.  A pinata was the highlight of this fiesta!
 
 
I think its safe to say that Jack's 6th Fiesta was a huge hit and everyone was partied out by the end. 
 
 
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