Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween

We attempted to order a really cool costume for Xander. And he even really liked it when we tried it on ...



Who knew it was going to be 85 degrees on Halloween in our part of the world? Last year the boys went trick or treating with sleet. There's always next year for this sweat suit / stick man costume!

There was the pre-Halloween trip to the zoo for Sawyer and Xander with Grammy and Aunt Kelly (and other assorted family who met them there) ...







Sawyer doesn't want to talk about the nearly two-hour wait to ride the one operable train (he was much happier once he was actually on said train) ...



There was a Halloween costume party with Connor at his good friend J's house. Connor was "Connor" from Assasin's Creed (he liked that the name was spelled the same for a change). Daddy was his former West Point soldier self. And Mommy was Harley Quinn (carrying around the baseball bat and singing 21 Pilots "Heathens" was really fun) ...



And there was Halloween night in our new neighborhood. I stayed to pass out candy, while the rest of the family headed out to trick-or-treat. We made a pot of chili and grilled cheese for after (also not entirely appropriate given the 85 degree weather, but also a Halloween tradition) ...





Sawyer was all done with the costume and trick-or-treating long before the others. Just give him a few pieces of candy, and he's good, thanks ...




Sunday, October 30, 2016

Games & Awards

Another TOPSoccer season has come to an end. Xander enjoys the Halloween / End of Season Party / Awards Ceremony that happens at the end of every fall season.

There's costumes, and bowling ...





This year there were bubbles on the stage ...





And there was a trophy from Coach Jason ...

Another Sunday, Another Pumpkin Patch

Sawyer and Aunt Kelly trying out a different pumpkin patch today ...



Safe to say that he liked it!

Snapshot Sunday



Enjoying a Friday night sunset from my favorite spot, the back porch swing.

Kitchen Helper



Connor helping me make the cookies we're taking to his friend's Halloween party.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Working Hard

Daddy working hard on his OT shift tonight ...



And making the national television coverage helping a player off the field to be checked out ...





Up!



Xander climbing into bed to show me his "Up" balloons that Daddy helped him make with the helium tank.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Strike!

video


Xander LOVES to bowl. Tonight we joined his TOPSoccer team on family night at the bowling alley. And we bowled 10 games in less than an hour all by ourselves. Yes, he's a little speedy!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

After the Rain



Sawyer's chalk art is always interesting, but I loved the way it looked after the rain today.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Movie Date with Mom

Watching Middle School with the big boy ...



And taking a token photo with the Trolls cut-out movie board ...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rails to Trails



One of the things we love about our new side of town is the beautiful rails to trails walkway just down the street. It's become a new favorite walking spot for me and whichever boys I happen to have on the weekends, or me and the puppy during our daily walk. Bruno loves it when I go over to the Tahoe and open the door. He knows exactly where we're going, and he jumps right in, ready to slime on the seats and the windows, as we drive the mile or so to the trail parking (we could walk, but since we already do two miles on the trail, I think the extra two might be too much for the puppy's paws on the pavement. So it's the best of both worlds ... truck ride with the windows down, then walking on a loose leash (which we can't do in the neighborhood) at our own pace with very few people getting too close and spooking the puppy.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Music Man

Xander playing guitar with one of his CLS workers, his buddy Jack ...

video

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Soccer Sundays



Mommy volunteered to help take the team pictures this year ... so we may have made them a little fancy in PhotoShop ...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Chalk Art by Bruno



Or more accurately, Chalk Art by Sawyer, transferred to Bruno when he decided to wallow in said chalk art!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pumpkin Painting

October traditions ... we don't carve pumpkins in our family, we just paint them! Xander is always the first one ready to start ...



Sawyer is big on solid colors for his creations ...



Connor, fresh off his sixth grade art class, is "thinking outside the box" (his words, said with serious authority when asked about his plans) with his creation ...



Xander made a very happy face on his pumpkin ...



And then, once they've had a chance to dry, we move them out to the front porch (Xander very quickly rearranged from this image and put his out front and moved Connor's to the back ... sigh, sibling rivalries)!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Riding the Train

Fall Break continues. On Saturday, Aunt Kelly and I took Sawyer and Xander to ride the train. Xander had never been on the train before, though countless CLS workers had tried to get him to go in the past. He told us "No train!" and "Bad boy, train!" all the way there.

And then his face lit up like this ...



And this ...





Sawyer just wanted to be silly ...



We got to get out and stretch our legs at the end of the track, looking out over the old, abandoned railroad bridge across the river ...



The boys got to stand on the front of the engine (Xander was more excited by this than Sawyer, clearly) ...



We stopped at a pumpkin patch where they could pick a pumpkin, roast marshmallows, or get a snack ...



Sawyer is bumming Aunt Kelly for her Nutter Butter snack (while holding his small pumpkin from the patch) ...



Xander is just happy to have his big pumpkin ...



And that was our day on the train. Xander didn't think he wanted to go, but he had fun once he got there. It's the story of his life. He never really wants to step outside of his comfort zone and try anything new, he likes to stick to the same schedules and routines as much as he possibly can. But we keep pushing and pulling, broadening those horizons and showing him that sometimes there's fun things to do outside of your routines!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Smale Riverfront Park

Day two of fall break means day two of the adventure of Aunt Kelly, Mommy, Sawyer and Xander (Connor was in the mountains with Grandma and Grandpa over break). Daddy was working.

We came across a review of this really interesting waterfront park that had recently been completed in nearby Cincinnati. So we took a day drive north ...

It was a beautiful, warm day in part of the world. We had read enough to know that there were a lot of water features at the park, so we dressed the boys in swimwear and packed dry clothes for the ride back home (pro tip ... go to the indoor carousel first, if you're going to ride it, because we missed that memo and had to wait for the boys to dry in order to do that)!

Mommy's boys ... they love the water, too. Staring out over the railing at all the boats and people on the river ...



Sitting in the really amazing swing / benches overlooking the river (if I worked downtown, I'm sorry, I would be here all the time working on wi-fi) ...



Mommy and Sawyer ...



Aunt Kelly and Xander ...



Water feature number one (he's very happy, in case you can't tell) ...



Sawyer is getting skinny and graceful as he gets older ...



And Xander decides to go all in ...



Sawyer is, and always has been, more cautious and hesitant ...



Far and away one of the most beautiful parks I've ever been to ...



More water features (think water tables at children's museums, only outdoors so there is less mess) ...



The aforementioned carousel (which we dried off in order to ride) ...



Happy boys to go round and round and round ...





The mandatory stop at the flying pig movable art ...



Sawyer says no need to move, let's just take a nap in it ...



Music man Xander playing the "Big" piano along the waterfront ...



Sawyer LOVED this exercise equipment (big smiles the whole time he was on it) ...



A little climbing wall action ...



A suspension rope bridge ...



Double slide under the canopy ...



Sawyer coming down ...



Taking a break in the shade (Mommy was just a little too slow with the camera phone, because they both were doing the same thing Sawyer is doing in the photo) ...



The last water feature ...



Xander would have stayed here all day long, as the fountains sprayed to differently timed music and beats ...



Sawyer, ever my cautious child, was less sure about this changing, unpredictable water spraying thing ...



Gorgeous views from every part of this river front park.



If you're ever in the area, you should make plans to visit. I can't wait to go back!