Sunday, October 23, 2011

Family Day at It'z

We all had the morning off on Wednesday so we continued celebrating Rylan's birthday with a family outing to an indoor game and entertainment center. He wore one of his birthday presents and future Halloween costume.

Rylan just grew tall enough this past year to ride these flying cars with Dad.

The roller coaster simulator ride. These chairs shake and bounce pretty hard. Caroline felt more comfortable holding "bubby's" hand. Those kids both fight and love each other with great intensity.

These pictures turned out blurry, but I loved Rylan's big smile as he and Caroline drove the race cars. Can you tell if Caroline is having fun, too? She is definitely going to be our amusement park junkie as soon as she is old enough to ride.

Birthday cake

Ironman has consistently been Rylan's favorite superhero throughout the year, so we decided on a cake with that theme. I was pleased with the way it turned out, even though I am not an Ironman expert. Rylan was suspicious when I asked to borrow one of his action figures as a model.

Love this sweet smile. This is the moment he has been waiting for!

Five glowing candles...

...just before being blown out!

And that chocolate cake tasted just fine!

Rylan's birthday morning

Rylan's 5th birthday celebration started bright and early Tuesday morning. Caroline was still sleeping, so we just snuck downstairs with him to open presents. He had been counting the weeks and days to his birthday for months and was so thrilled the big day had finally arrived.

Yay for a special case to store the ever-growing Bakugan collection.

"Dragonoid Colossus" was a huge hit! Thank you to Rylan's wonderful grandparents for all his presents. I wasn't able to get pictures of all of them, but know that we missed you and wished you could have been here to celebrate with us.

A little pajama play time before breakfast. These Buzz Lightyear pajamas are some of his favorites and he is literally wearing them out as you can tell by the hole in the knee!

Birthday breakfast of waffles with Mickey Mouse sprinkles!

Tuesday was a preschool day and an extra special one because Rylan got to take the show and tell bag and a birthday snack. This time he insisted on bringing "bear-bear" which kind of surprised us. I thought some of the new and exciting birthday presents would win out, but thought it was very sweet and fitting that Rylan's best buddy since he was a baby was still loved enough to make the cut on his birthday.

Evidently cupcakes and icing are too messy for preschool birthday treats so we took red and yellow sprinkled cake pops for snack instead. I forgot to get pictures with my regular camera, but they turned out really cute and we only had one left over.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My little theologian

My kids really love to play dress-up, Caroline with her princess dresses and Rylan as Ironman or a power ranger. In their costumes, their energy hits the roof and imaginations run wild! Rylan also gets very affectionate and will chase Caroline around to give her a hug when she wears her princess dresses. I think he gets a little love-struck by her beauty!
Tonight, Rylan suprised me with this analogy after he saw his sister's dresses hanging in her closet, "Caroline, you are just like Jesus. You have three parts, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and Tinkerbell!"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rylan's 1st field trip

Rylan has been absolutely loving preschool, even more than I had hoped. He is constantly asking and looking forward to his next preschool day. He loves his teachers and is making friends in his class. He comes home singing songs he has learned and has been eager to do his "homework." We have been practicing writing his name and I am thrilled to say he has pretty much nailed it in this last month. I am so proud of him and love hearing about his morning when I pick him up.
Today, Rylan had his first field trip, to Fountain Creek Nature Center. We learned all about some of the animals who live there with a puppet show and then a nature walk. Charlton had some clients cancel this morning, so the whole family got to enjoy some lovely, but windy, fall weather and the beauty of the nature preserve.
Looking and listening for wildlife.
Pretending to be a wild animal, I can't remember which one!
Rylan making a dinosaur face. I think he looks like a dino with indigestion. Sweet Caroline posing with the pretty blooming yellow bush. She behaved well and only needed a few shoulder rides on Daddy to keep her contained. I was a little concernced since the rules "stay on the path" and "don't pick anything" are very much against her usual method of operation out in nature. These aspen branches had already fallen, so we were happy to let her tote her treasures on our walk.

Handsome guy posing by the lake. We saw Canada geese, turtles, and a great blue heron.
A partial class picture with the wonderful Mrs. S, one of Rylan's teachers. This tree is a 150-year old cottonwood and it was enormous!

Colorado Pumpkin Patch 2011

The leaves are changing colors and the days are turning cooler; it is time for our annual pumpkin patch trip. We redeemed a groupon to the Colorado Pumpkin Patch, which is not an actual farm, but a "patch" set up in a rural neighborhood each year. A homeschooling family with several really sweet children was running the patch, we had warm, sunny weather, and it was not crowded at all, so that made it especially enjoyable. We went here when I was pregnant with Caroline and I think when she was almost 1 also. It was fun to go back with two preschoolers who thoroughly enjoyed all the activities, a tractor ride, hay slide, hay maze and pyramid, petting zoo, and corn bin. I think this is truly one of my favorite seasonal activities each year and has definitely become a family tradition for us.

Rylan's choice pumpkin.
Caroline and her pumpkin pick.
I can't decide who Rylan looks like in this picture. This expression makes me think of someone, but maybe he is just a great blend of me and Charlton. This boy loved the corn bin and climbed in about three different times. He made corn angels and we buryed him in the kernels. He said it was his favorite part of the pumpkin patch. Maybe I need to replace the sand in our sand box with corn? Hmm.
Ahh, pure corn bin bliss for my boy.
Corn toes! Rylan decided it was way more fun to play in the corn with bare feet.
Caroline and her bucket of golden corn. Just when I thought we were done with the "put everything in your mouth" stage, I would catch her sneaking a corn kernel.

We got to take a bumpy hay ride behind a tractor.
My animal lover with his sheep friend.
Caroline really liked this goat.
The kids had a blast sliding with daddy.
Double decker slide. Such a blast!

Pants on the ground...

....or half-way there. Long tunic shirts defintely come in handy if you get distracted after going potty and forget an important step.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My handsome boy

Rylan, on the other hand, was very cooperative with taking pictures. He decided to show me a range of his best expressions.

Rylan also enjoyed hiding with his sister in the grass and I was happy to grab a few more candid shots of him.

He still looks like my little boy in this picture, but he is growing up so fast! I am looking forward to celebrating his 5th birthday with him later this month.

My adventurous girl

Caroline does not like to pose for pictures these days. I tricked her this picture by asking her to show me her dandelion.

Love this picture! I just decided to keep my camera ready and catch her in action since she won't pose for me. Caroline loved hiding in the tall grasses.

We were "attacked" by some very hungry birds while trying to eat our picnic. They stole half of Rylan's sandwich while it was sitting right in front of him. I know I shouldn't have encouraged them, but the kids were enthralled by trying to feed them some of our extra snacks.

Caroline was scared and kept jerking her hand away every time the bird flew near. Finally she was brave enough to hold still and let him take the cracker.

Rylan and Caroline at the Bells

The money shot! I was thrilled to get such a great picture of both of my kids.
I have no idea why they wouldn't look at me no matter how much I begged. It still turned out to be a cute picture with their heads leaning towards each other.
They weren't as interested in posing on this rock.

A bridge crossing is always fun.

Fall in Colorado

I can't believe it is already October! September just flew by. With Rylan starting preschool, stomach bugs for the whole family, a cold for me, dentist appointments, six meetings for MOPS, working my regular plus on-call shifts, and my first big craft project for MOPS at the end of the month, a new baby cousin born in Kentucky, we have had a lot going on in our family!
On Saturday, the kids and I drove up to Aspen to see the most photographed mountains in Colorado, the Maroon Bells. It really was too long of a drive (especially with multiple side-of-the-road potty stops) for just a day trip, but the beauty of Colorado mountains in the fall did not disappoint. I would love to go back to Aspen to explore someday. We just saw a small part of the charming town while driving through and it felt like a tease. We were able to park just a short hike from the lake which was perfect for the kids. After a picnic, we explored the trail along the lakeshore. The kids loved hiding in the tall grass, climbing rocks, and throwing pebbles into the lake. It was a nice open space for them to just run free and play. With such a breathtaking background, I couldn't really take a bad picture. I will probably take several posts to share the best ones.

The hillsides are turning gold.
Getting closer to the bells, with a grove of aspen in the foreground.

I think aspen are my favorite trees. Love the combination of gold leaves with the straight white trunks.

The sun finally peeked out a bit and I got this great picture of the Maroon Bells with the trees' reflection in the water.