Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Same Ol' Setting, New Cast of Characters

Are you confused by the title? If you've been reading this blog this summer, than you'll understand...
We went to the Gardens... again. This time we went with Jeremy's aunt and uncle that were up visiting from Pennsylvania. We also took along a friend's kids, who I was watching for the week.
Our Cast of Characters:
Aunt Susie and Uncle Ralph
We'll call her.... Little C.
... and Big J.
We made all the usual stops while we were there. We went to the climbing fort (no pictures, though) first, and then we made a stop at the sandbox.
The kids ran up the hill by the big horse. Big J. and Little C. had fun rolling down the hill. Jayce wouldn't even try.
Grayson thought he'd chase after the big kids too. He always turns to make sure someone is watching when he thinks he's doing something naughty.
Then he decided to stop and pose for pictures!
So, I took advantage of the situation and made the boys pose... Jayce did not want to sit still.
So, off he went, but only after I took about 20 pictures.
I guess these two were a little sick of the camera too.
Grayson did enjoy running down the hill with Jeremy.
I've been trying all summer long to get a good picture of the lilies and the lily pads.
The boys checking out the fish in the water. No, Jeremy wasn't trying to dunk Grayson in the water. He was actually trying to prevent Grayson from going in the water.
Grayson was in a bit of a foul mood when we were playing at the boats. Jayce wasn't so interested in the boats either. Maybe it was over exposure this summer.
Jayce was extremely interested in the fountain, however. He was especially interested in making the water spray all over... I believe a few people who had no interest in getting wet were in the line of fire. Me included.
We had a very good time introducing Aunt Susie and Uncle Ralph to the Gardens. I think it was a nice break for Grandma too, being able to get away from the hospital for a couple of hours.
To end things, a goofy picture of Grayson. He insisted on walking all the way around this bench, even through the bush behind it. What a crazy face...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Me! Monday

I'm back!! Oh boy, does it feel great to be back to Not Me! Monday. I miss those weekly confessions about what makes me human. It has been a while, so sit back and enjoy!

I would never skip many, many weeks of Not Me! Monday posts because I have been feeling lazy and uninspired. I would never have only 4 posts in a month, like I did before I got away this past weekend. I cannot imagine leaving all you peeps without a good laugh at our expense.

This past weekend, when my brother came home to visit without his wife, my first born son (nearly 3) did not look at me and say, "Nana and Papa are so sad because Uncle Kevin lost Aunti Rachel." I did not laugh hysterically, and share that conversation with anyone who would listen.

I did not ignore my nearly 3 year old son when he woke up crying hysterically the other night. I did not eventually give in because I was worried about him waking up his brother who sleeps in the same room as him. I did not walk into the room to find him sitting up on the edge of his bed, a slobbering mess. He did not tell me that he was upset because he had "lost" me. I do not know where he is coming up with all of this "lost" stuff, and I did not feel absolutely horrible that I did not go up immediately when he started his crying.

I have not signed up to drag my two kids out of the house three mornings in a row every week. I do not do this to do childcare for other moms who are trying to get out of the house. I do not find myself having more patience with the other children that I watch than I have for my own children. I do not have an immense amount of mommy guilt over that fact.

I have not forced my two beautiful children to sit through me snapping (too many) pictures many different times over the past weeks. I did not have to spend over two hours downloading all of those pictures that were just living on my memory card. I did not spend approximately 48 hours blogging this weekend. I did not spend hours (ahem...) this morning refreshing and waiting for Not Me! Monday to post. Nope, not me!!

**Woo-hoo!! Number 5 on MckLinky. Go Me!!**

i {heart} faces

I've been missing from all of these fun weekly contests/blog carnivals for the past couple of weeks, and I am so happy to be submitting an i {heart} faces entry again this week.

This week's theme is "blue". I initially thought this would be something really easy to enter, since both of my boys have bright blue eyes, but it turned out to be a little bit more difficult than I'd planned. To really think "blue" when looking at this photograph, you need to look at his eyes - they are a sparkling pool of "blue".

As always, check out i {heart} faces for more fantastic photos of "blue". And please, leave me a little bit of constructive criticism. I'm a novice photographer who would love a few tips!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

John Ball Zoo

A couple of weeks ago, the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids dropped their prices for the fall season. Since I'm pretty cheap, I thought that was the perfect time for us to go see the animals at the zoo.
One of our first stops was at the penguins. Grayson was pretty enthralled with the swimming birds.
Here's Jayce checking out the penguins.
This brown bear was so nice to pose while we took some pictures.
The one animal that Jayce wanted to see was the tiger. Boy was he excited to see him moving around. This poor tiger literally paced the entire time we were visiting him. He would walk from window to window, brushing up on the glass. We were able to get some great pictures of him because of his movement, but he seemed very lonely and almost uncomfortable being in his small cage. As it turns out, his cage is too small for him, and soon this tiger will be moving to North Dakota to live in a much nicer environment. I know you wanted to know all that...
The zoo put in a neat lion exhibit last year, and we were actually able to see them pretty well.
This guy was willing to pose for me to take a picture too!
We stopped to take a snack break in front of the chimpanzees. When we went to the Detroit Zoo a few days later, Jayce asked for crackers and cheese when we got to the chimps again. He has such a good memory for strange details, just like his father.
Jayce decided (well, after I asked him too) to act like a monkey when we were in front of the monkey exhibit.
This was the one and only active monkey at the zoo that day. By active, I mean that he got up and moved across the rock he was previously resting on, laid down, and went back to sleep.
There was a petting zoo area that was closed, but we took a look at the goats and sheep anyway. Jayce tried to feed this sheep some grass he found next to the pen.
Grayson was checking out this goat at the goat's level.
The zoo put in this neat trail that went behind some of the exhibits. There was this wooden train that the boys had a blast crawling all over.
Conductor Grayson!
Jayce crawling through one of the cars on the train.
There were some chickens walking around near the train, and Jayce decided to feed them too...
He threw the wood chips for them to eat!
The boys spotted these saddles on the barrels immediately. Hmm, maybe they've rode the horse at Meijer a few too many times. Grayson got on his and started bouncing and rocking immediately.
We had a great time at the zoo. The boys enjoyed seeing all animals, and we enjoyed the great naps they took after being out and about all morning long!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Uncle Kevin Visits

Uncle Kevin came up to Michigan for a visit last weekend. We had a really great time playing, chasing around balls, wrestling, playing cards, and visiting. While we missed Aunti Rachel (and we are looking forward to seeing her in November!), we are so thankful for her sending Uncle Kevin to visit us for his birthday!
This sneaky little boy stole my apple that I payed $2 for. I love honeycrisp apples, but they are so expensive. I actually splurged a little and bought this beautiful, large apple. I was even nice enough to share it with Jeremy. Then Grayson got a hold of my half, and the rest is history.
After watching him gnaw on it for a while, I didn't really want to finish off the piece he had. I just went without. Sigh.
Then Uncle Kevin got a hold of my camera and took a few photos.
Apparently Jayce got pretty wiped out from his busy, very active weekend.
Does he not look like Mater in this picture?? Buck teeth and all.
While Uncle Kevin was home visiting, we had a family get together and I got to meet Reagan, my cousin's baby girl. Isn't she adorable? Holding newborns just makes me want to have another...
We got to see Grandma D. while we were at my parents' house too. We hadn't seen her since she was hospitalized a month or so ago. It was good being able to catch up and visit, and play cards, of course.
We went to the Detroit Zoo while Uncle Kevin was home. Grayson had fun riding on Kev's shoulders - he used Kevin's ears as steering devices.
Can you see the zebras in the background?
Uncle Kevin, we had a great time hanging out with you last weekend. We are all really looking forward to Thanksgiving now!