Thursday, April 29, 2010

At the Car Wash

I love it when the kids thank me for letting them help me do some work...

Jack doesn't seem to love getting a little shower while scrubbing the car from Ella spraying from the other side. But getting wet is part of the fun from washing a car, so all was forgotten soon enough.


Spun Out

Jack literally spun in one of these chairs for a good 20 minutes....and then for some strange reason we had to cut short our playdate with Ryan because Jack wasn't feeling too good. It was hard, but I was able to resist adding to his discomfort with the "I told you so" that was just itching to be said.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Naturalists

With a newly-found love for The Jeff Corwin Experience, Ella and Jack have declared themselves naturalists, like Jeff, and went on a hunt through our woods for "nature". They found a lot of green nature, but not really much feathery or furry nature today (that could be because Jeff's show tends to edit out how he carefully and quietly hikes through areas in search of wildlife--Ella and Jack like to reenact his more goofy moments). But even these noisy naturalists unearthed some little critters of their own--they found snails, roly-polies, spiders, fire ants, and even a butterfly chrysalis attached to our house.

"So where's all the wildlife?"

I love it when the catchlights in her eyes are reflections of me. Isn't she looking older?

Check out those ears. It's like Gizmo staring at a gremlin.



Sunday, April 25, 2010

Picture of the Weekend

It was one of those busy weekends where the breakfast dishes didn't get cleaned up until 10pm each night and not once did I pick up my camera. Luckily Brooke did (at Noah's birthday party--happy birthday, Noah!) and we got the best picture (maybe the only picture) of just Jonathan and me in a long time. Thanks, Brooke!
Jonathan--Go Gators!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Thanks to everyone (my family, the Williams clan, and so many friends) who wished me a happy birthday! It was a wonderful and busy day and I felt so special from beginning (Jack woke me up with a sweet "Happy birthday") to end (found several voicemails on my phone that never seems to ring) with all of the birthday wishes I received today. Again, thank you all!

Bluebells!


Can you tell I'm proud of myself that I actually grew some beautiful flowers in our woods??

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kids in Motion

We enjoyed a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the Junior League of Charlotte's 5th annual Kids in Motion (KIM) fundraising event. Last year I volunteered at KIM, spending the day scooping popcorn and handing out sodas, so this year I was glad to hang out with Ella and Jack and join in on the fun instead. There was so much going on at this event--we built a birdhouse, did some artwork, watched some shows, ate ice cream, and, of course, it just isn't a festival without some moon bounce fun. Ella got the chance to climb her first rock wall, too. She met the weight requirement by just a few pounds, but then the operators made the mistake of strapping her up to the cables weighted for an adult. Poor Ella got about 3/4 of the way up and decided she wanted to come down, only she didn't weigh enough to pull the cable down. She ended up dangling up above us for several minutes until an operator could climb up and pull her down. I'm so glad she kept her cool--thankfully it was no big deal to her. It was just one more thing in the long list of fun activities we got in at the Kids in Motion event.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

PW

This little guy startled me while I was watering my tomato plants. Taking a picture of a dragonfly made me think of The Pioneer Woman, granted her dragonfly was a beautiful blue color and perched on a pink flower. Brooke and I are going to a book signing to meet PW in just a few weeks--I'm so excited!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Veggie of the Week

Love to get my kids to try new fruits and vegetables--love it even more when they actually like them. Ella gave the artichokes a thumbs down, but I can always count on Jack for at least the neutral thumb (Ella and Jack bless me with their unsolicited thumb reviews quite often). We're all giving a thumbs up to the beautiful weather we've been having, perfect for dining al fresco.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Not for Naught!

We actually did get some Spring color in our woods from those bulbs we planted last Fall! We have about twenty or more of these bunches of naturalized daffodils right behind our house in the woods. Yea!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Casa de Slaton

Accommodations at Casa de Slaton are so cushy (heated pool, morning golf lessons, 52" t.v.'s, afternoon dacquiris, etc., etc.) that we just had to extend our stay one more day. We were just having too much fun to let Spring Break come to an end.

As soon as Jack sees the camera in my dad's hands he checks his escape route--wouldn't want a picture with mommy or anything...


After a little coercion we get photo success.


"WAHOO!"


Just loved the bokeh in this shot--and Ella loved the full basket of Tostitos chips (her favorite).

The super-comfy, super-relaxing anti-gravity chairs...love 'em.
And, the best part about staying at this amazing Florida resort--visiting with Nonni and Papa. Thanks for having us! We had a great few days at Casa de Slaton.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Beautiful Gulf Coast

What a beautiful day it was--and we made the most of it. After a morning of swimming (and then a fond farewell to Aunt Tracy and the cousins), we joined Nonni and Papa in a trip to an aquarium on the water in Sarasota, an outdoor dinner in Longboat Key, and a few hours of play and seashell hunting on Anna Marie Island, culminating in a beautiful sunset over the turquoise Gulf waters. At Mote Aquarium our favorite sea life to see was the manatee, dolphins, an albino sea turtle named Shelley, an octopus, and squid. Afterwards, at Mar Vista, a dockside restaurant in Longboat Key, we ate an early dinner (which included squid, oddly enough--even Ella and Jack loved the calamari here) outside under some shady trees, looking out at the intercoastal waters. One of the trees had a sign posted on it that said "PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE PEACOCKS", and, believe it or not, this island has a flock of at least 80 wild peacocks and peafowl (that apparently tend to run amuck on this small key--but, as visitors, we thought it was pretty amazing to see them wandering in large flocks through the streets). After our relaxing dinner, we headed to Coquina Beach--which definitely lived up to its name, it was covered in piles and piles of tiny shells. We found some pretty nice ones (an olive shell, lots of augers, and some of the usual suspects) to take home with us to remember this truly wonderful day spent with Nonni and Papa.




Shelley the albino sea turtle, who's "blonde like [Ella]", wouldn't survive in the wild because the sun would burn her skin. Her mommy apparently has trouble keeping sunscreen on her--Ella's glad she doesn't have that problem.

Ella and Jack had fun demonstrating how sea turtles can escape from fishing nets.


Shady trees, a slight breeze, and a stunning view of the blue intercoastal waters made for the perfect setting of a very nice early dinner.

Yummy, squid! Jack even ate the tentacle-looking ones that I tend to avoid...


Off to Coquina Beach on Anna Marie Island...







I love this picture because I remember how excited Jack was when a wave came and filled a hole he had dug with water. Ah, the simple joys...





My little cinnamon-sugar donut...covered in sand EVERYWHERE.

He may look zen-like here, but he's actually in time-out for throwing sand... Either way, he's still adorable.

Eating pistachios on the beach and telling Papa, "Did you know the sun is in outer space?"