Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Our Christmas

We spent Christmas Eve at our friends the Candlands house along with the Turners. We all came in our PJ's and ate a huge breakfast including pancakes, gingerbread waffles, quiche, monkey bread, fruit salad and bacon and sausage- yum. The kids even made those cute little candy cane reindeer and Robyn in her usual fashion had games for us to play like Christmas Bingo, a game called Blizzard and the kiddos exchanged some little gifts as well. We were so grateful to have somewhere to go and it was such a fun time, especally since the kids were giddy with Santa excitement.
Chrsitmas morning was so much fun. I think I was looking forward to it more than anyone else, just because Cameron is finally at an age where the magic of Christmas begins and I wanted to see the look on his face when he came down the stairs to see all that Santa had left him and Gavin. Santa did not disappoint and the highlights of what he left were scooters for both boys, a play kitchen, and a tent-like jail thing to take up more room in our basement. The kids were so into it that Jeremy and I just sat back and watched until they were done and then had our own little Christmas exchange while the kids were busy playing. Fortunately, it was not a very cold morning and we took the kids out to ride their scooters even without coats! Gavin was a bit overwhelmed with all of the excitement and Cameron was just glad that he had received everything he had asked Santa for (a scooter and a train).

That afternoon, we headed over to my sister Becky's house for dinner with my dad and some of her in-laws. We pigged out Thanks for including us Beck!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Cameron's 5th year Montage

Cameron's 5th Birthday

It's hard to believe that Jeremy and I have a 5 year old! I remember thinking when Cameron was a baby that 5 was such a milestone and when they really start to grow up. That seems like it was just yesterday... Cameron has been looking forward to his birthday for weeks, months really, ever since his friends all started turning 5. We went out to breakfast at Cameron's favorite restaraunt- Cracker Barrel and he inhaled his pancakes and bacon (also his favorite), with chocolate milk, of course. We let him open our couple of gifts that morning since we knew he would be getting many from his friends after his party in the afternoon and then we headed to Total Sports to help get ready for his soccer party. Cameron has been in a Soccer Tots class there for a few months now and really enjoys it, so when I mentioned having his party there, he loved the idea. He had several friends from school, friends from church and two of his cousins at his party- in total 12 of his dearest friends and they all had a blast! His coach- Coach Dennis led the kids (and some parents) in several activities including kickball, dodgeball, and a flag football kind of game, and after an hour it looked like everyone could use a nap. We then had some pizza and cake and opened presents- something that should've waited until we got home. All the kids wanted him to open their gift first and they were all shoving them at Cameron before he could even open the one he had. It is a miracle if I get the thank-you cards right, I'm still not sure who gave him what, but he did wind up with a TON of toys that will make Christmas pale in comparison. We have decided to put some away for the coming months so that he will have some "new" toys to play with once the novelty wears off from the ones he has. Most importantly, Cameron enjoyed every second, he loves being the center of attention and he can't wait until his next birthday already. I told him he needs to slow down and stop growing up so fast, mommy isn't ready for him to be a big boy yet.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Little Drummer Boy

Tonight Cameron had his Christmas Performance at 4 R's Preschool. I was really impressed that a secular school would put so much emphasis on Christ when the rest of the world seems to be so concerned about political correctness. It was a sweet program and the teachers obviously invested a lot of time making it perfect. Cameron had three speaking parts and in my impartial opinion, delivered them better than any of the other children. He even had the gestures down to go with his parts. They sang lots of cute songs and Cameron was the little drummer boy. Us parents were even educated on how they celebrate Christmas in other countries. I never thought I would learn so much from my 4 year old. Jeremy and I couldn't be prouder of our little preschooler and I am so glad that he is in such good hands at school and is obviously learning a lot of valuable things. Oh, and don't worry, Jeremy was in charge of the video camera this time so I wouldn't screw it up again.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

All I want for Christmas is my one (soon to be two) front teeth...

So yesterday was the big day. Cameron had been wiggling and jiggling his bottom middle teeth for over a week and one of them was hanging literally by a thread. I kept asking him if he wanted me to pull on it a little bit and sometimes he would let me, but only for a second. Yesterday he came to me and asked if I would try again and sure enough, one little twist and out it popped! There wasn't even any blood- thank goodness or it might have been a much different experience. I think all of our talking it up really helped because he was extremely excited! He wanted to call grandma first (she had given him a tooth fairy kit) and then daddy. He washed off his teeny tooth and put it in the special pouch we'd gotten and put it right under his pillow. This morning sure enough the tooth fairy had visited and left him $5 and some change! Apparently the first tooth is worth a bit more than subsequent teeth. Cameron said he was going to use the money to buy Christmas gifts for Gavin, Jeremy and I, very sweet, but I explained that he might just want to get something for himself since it really wasn't that much money. To this he replied, "That's ok, you can just pull out some more of my teeth and I will get more money tonight." Smart kid. I just hope he doesn't really start to try to yank out his other teeth...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bull Run Festival of Lights

Tonight for our family night we went to the Bull Run Festival of lights. Normally, we've gone in our warm car and leisurely gazed at all of the light displays, but last year our friends the Porters introduced us to a new way of going through the drive- in the back of a pickup truck. It was so much fun last year that we stole their tradition and invited my sister Becky and her family to join us. Jeremy was not so reluctant to be the driver with Gavin snug and warm up there with him, while the rest of us were all bundled up with hats, gloves, scarves, lots of blankets and sippy cups full of hot chocolate to keep us toasty warm. Even despite our best efforts, the cold was nipping at our noses, but we hung in there and tried to sing some Christmas carols as we drove through. What a fun memory. Hopefully, this is a tradition that will stick with our family as well.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Candylane at Hershey Park

Yesterday we headed up to Hershey, Pennsylvania for yet another Christmas experience. They open up part of their theme park during the holidays and totally deck it out with lights and music and they have about 30 kiddie rides also decorated for the season. So despite the threat of a snow/ice storm we took our chances and made the 2 1/2 hour drive. It turned out to be a pretty decent day, that is if you don't take into consideration the frigid temperatures that kept us running for more hot cocoa. We got there at 12:30 and the kids were absolute troopers. We rode a ton of rides, caught a Christmas show (it was inside and heated...), took a virtual tour of the chocolate factory, did some chocolate shopping-they have crazy flavors of Hershey Kisses you can't find at the store, and once it got dark we ventured back into the park to see all the light displays and ride a few more rides until our noses and toes could take no more. Our luck held out and it only started to rain on the way home, and never turned into sleet or snow. The only casualty of the day was that Gavin came down with a little fever this morning which I'm sure is due to being out in the cold. But I think all members of our household would say it was well worth it and it is something we will definitely do again. Thanks for the idea, Robyn!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Family Party and Christmas Hayride

Yesterday we all got together at my sister Kristin's house for a pre-Christmas party. Granny and Pop Pop, my Mom and Jeff, my sister Becky and her kids, us, and Kristin's family were all there. All the cousins had so much fun playing together and it was nice to have everyone in one place. We also celebrated Cameron's and Kristin's twins Daniel and Courtney's birthday. We ate well, opened gifts, and just enjoyed each other's company. It was nice to just be able to relax and enjoy the season.Later when we got home, we quickly bundled up for what has become a family tradition- our neighborhood's holiday hayride. Luckily the rain from earlier in the day cleared up and we hopped on these huge wagons piled with hay and were led around to look at Christmas lights by two gigantic draft horses. Then we warmed up with hot apple cider and cookies in the clubhouse. We look forward to this fun event year after year and it never ceases to put a smile on our faces!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

O Christmas Tree

We had another busy Saturday planned today. I was able to score some last minute tickets on the sold out Santa Express- a ride on the local VRE train with a visit from Santa Claus himself, thanks to a woman getting rid of her tickets on craigslist- I love that site. So we got up early and made the 9 am departure. The kids were just so excited to be on the train, and when Santa came it was just icing on the cake. After the ride was over, we set out to find the perfect Christmas tree- yes, we are all for fresh trees in our family, although every year after I have untangled the lights and straightened the tree for the hundreth time, I always reconsider our decision... But even now just hours after that whole ordeal, those painful memories grow dim, perhaps because of the sweet piney scent that now fills our home, it's intoxicating, it makes it all seem worth it. We out did ourselves this year, we truly picked a tree without blemish, not a single bare spot or ugly side, and it is my favorite of all of our Christmases together. The kids were eager to start the decorating process so that we could get to the highlight of the event for them- putting our trains around the base of the tree. Every year Cameron and this year Gavin too, look forward to watching the choo choo's go round and round all lit up and they love to make the horn and whistle blow. So after the lights were on and every ornament was "just so" we got the trains going and the kids pretty much stayed put for the rest of the night, and that is probably where they will remain until Christmas is over and it's time to box them up again. Now that the tree is up, I can finally sit and revel in the feeling of the season, it really is the most wonderful time of the year!

And now with some non-Christmas related news: Cameron informed me on Friday that one of his teeth was hurting. When I took a look at it, I realized it was loose! We were both shocked, but sure enough, the tooth fairy will soon be visiting our house. I thought Cameron was way too young to be losing teeth already, but he did get his first baby tooth at 4 months which makes him lose them early too, and it is one of his bottom middle teeth which apparently are the first to go, so Jeremy and I had better make sure we have some cash on hand! Cameron isn't quite sure what to make of it all, a few weeks ago we were talking about a friend's daughter who is just losing her first tooth at age seven and Cameron told me he didn't want to grow up and lose his teeth and several times since had mentioned that he doesn't want to turn seven because that is when your teeth all come out... Well it looks like for him it's age four and we are really trying to talk it up and so far it seems to be working. I had better not tell him about when I was little and my dad used to yank my loose teeth out with a pair of pliers!

Gavin is the most outgoing little guy around. He will start a conversation with anyone walking by us at the store and he seems to have no fear whatsoever. He has become quite the little singer, all you have to do is ask him to sing and he will make up his own little song on the spot. It really is adorable. He loves to join in when Cameron sings us the songs he's learned at preschool and all of these Christmas carols have encouraged more, and louder singing. And he's also picked up some great dance moves... Sadly, it seems he has his mothers dancing abilities...

As for the little guy that is yet to come, he seems to be dancing up a storm as well. We used to call Gavin a kangaroo because he would kick me so much, but this little boy puts Gavin to shame. All day long it feels like he is doing cartwheels in my tummy and Cameron was the first to feel him move this last week which he couldn't believe. I think this whole new baby thing has really started to seem more real to Cameron in the last couple of weeks and he is getting so excited. He is constantly asking me when the baby will come out and "after Easter" is so far away for an almost five year old, but is coming all too quickly for me.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

All things Christmas

Christmas is my favorite holiday. With all of the pretty decorations and lights, Christmas music and anticipation of the big day, it is hard to supress the kid in me. At least now I actually have my own kids to use as an excuse for my giddiness. So this year I have planned out all of the places I want to go and things I want to see before Christmas day. We started on Saturday, by attending the Manassas Christmas Parade where they had floats, balloons, bands, and my kids favorite, the firetrucks from all the local departments. The parade started at 10, and by noon we were all frozen and the parade was only a third of the way through, so we decided to forgo seeing Santa at the end and went home for hot chocolate. Next year we will plan better and show up at around noon. Later, my friend Robyn took our family Christmas pictures which you will all have to wait and see when you get our Christmas card. We came home and Cameron helped me bake Christmas cookies. He asked me who we were making the cookies for and I told him they were just for us to which he replied, "I think we should give them to someone who has no cookies and really needs them." It seems all of the service projects we have recently been involved in- a food drive at school and sending items to the wounded soldiers in Germany, along with some others yet to come have rubbed off on our little philanthropist-score one for mom and dad! Later that night we set off to the DC Temple to see the thousands of gorgeous lights they have on display and to hear a piano concert by Marvin Goldstein of Christmas music. It was a lot of fun and by the end of the day the kids were so exhausted and passed out in the car on the way home. I hope they can keep up with all of the other activities I have planned for the rest of the month!

Robyn's Christmas Party

This year was the fifth annual girls Christmas party at my friend Robyn's house. She and Miranda have always hosted this amazing gathering and since Miranda moved last year (miss you!) my friend Brooke and I attempted to fill her shoes by helping Robyn out a little with this one. It is always such a fun party where we get to cozy up and catch up with dear friends, eat lots of outstanding food and have our holiday gift exchange. In the past we've exchanged children's Christmas books and ornaments, but this year we did Christmas CD's and I was excited to add to my collection! I ended up with a Jim Brickman Christmas album, which I love! Robyn, thanks so much for keeping the tradition going and having us all in your beautifully decorated home, it really put me in the Christmas spirit!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And the results are in...

It's a ...


I had my ultrasound this morning and our little peanut is doing just great. He had all his parts and it was very obvious that he was a boy. He was alos jumping all over the place and several times the ultrasound technician commented on how active he was and how he wouldn't stay still. A sign of things to come? I hope not! Cameron was there with Jeremy and I and he was just so interested in everything they were doing and thrilled with being able to peek at his baby brother. It looks like we will be an all boy family which I have finally accepted, and I think I can be happy with that. Believe it or not, this was the only ultrasound I did not cry at, because I think I really did know in my heart that is was another boy. From a woman who wanted all girls, I certainly did not expect all boys, but I really do believe that we are given each of these little ones for a reason, and I cannot wait to meet this little guy. Here are a couple of pictures from the ultrasound, they aren't the best because I actually had to photograph them (we don't have a scanner), but you get the idea.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Nibbles and Gobbles!

Jeremy woke up Saturday morning with visions of Dunkin' Donuts dancing in his head. The night before he had made a special trip to one of their stores all the way in Fairfax so that he could have their donuts for breakfast- he loves Dunkin' Donuts in particular, and it is a rare occasion that he actually gets to partake of them. Gavin and I got showered and dressed and then Jeremy and Cameron did the same. Suddenly we both realized that Gavin was not upstairs with us and Jeremy went down to find out where he was and what he was up to. It seems our little troublemaker takes after his daddy when it comes to taste in donuts, because he had taken the box of donuts off the counter and placed each of them on the tray of his high chair for his breakfast. Not only that, but he had taken a bite of every single one! Jeremy quickly called me down to see and I couldn't help but laugh and grab the camera!
On Thursday, Cameron's Preschool class went to the local nursing home to put on a little Thanksgiving performance. I had been told that Cameron would have a speaking part and a singing part, so I was prepared with my camera and video camera to capture his "moment." It was very cute, the kids had all made these turkey hats and did this adorable turkey dance all of which I did get film. They told the story about the first Thanksgiving and each child had a part to tell. Cameron did his perfectly and nice and loud like he was told to do because the people couldn't hear very well. Then they did a sing-along and one of the songs they performed was "I've Been Working on the Railroad." As anyone who knows Cameron knows he is a train fanatic, it came as no suprise that he volunteered for the only solo singing part in this song as he pretended to play the banjo and belted out "Fee Fi, Fiddly I-O, Fee Fi, Fiddly I-O O O O, Strummin' on the Old Banjo!" It was completely adorable and I couldn't wait to show the tape to Jeremy when he got home, but alas, I am a bit technologically challenged and it seems that after I got that very first part of their entrance on tape, I neglected to push the stop recording button and only pressed it once I was ready to record again, meaning that I got a whole half hour of my lap and turned the camera off when it was Cameron's turn. Not too bright... Oh well, when I shared my greivances with his teachers they were quick to console me by telling me that Cameron would probably have many opportunities like that since he has such an outgoing personality. That's my baby! Look for him in a TV commercial in the near future, this is just the beginning!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gavin's Second Year Slideshow

Monday, November 12, 2007

Gavin looks more like...

Cameron looks more like...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Gavin's Second Birthday

Today was Gavin's actual birthday. I gotta admit, I had a bit of a hard time with it. Last night after he had fallen asleep I went in to check on him even though this is something I normally don't do because he is such a light sleeper and sure enough, he woke right up when I came in. When he is half asleep is one of the very few times that he will snuggle with you and so I revelled in the moment and cuddled him like crazy. My last night with my one year old, it was pretty darn sad. He has grown up so fast, I have had a hard time keeping up. I'm not even a big "baby" person, but for some reason this one tugged at my heart strings.

It was pretty low-key day since Gavin already had his party a week and a half ago. My mom brought his present from her- a tricycle, in the morning while Cameron was at school and Gavin could enjoy it uninterrupted, which he did enthusiastically. Then it was a normal day until Jeremy came home and we opened his other gifts together- an outfit and PJ's from Grandma and Grandpa Johnson and from us a school bus and basketball hoop, which was a bug hit. We went to Chipotle for dinner with Grandma and Jeff and then came back home for cake- a school bus for my little one who LOVES the song "The Wheels on the Bus." By then it was pretty much bedtime and I tucked in my big 2 year old who was a baby a mere night before.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I've been tagged...
The rules:

A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 4 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Disclaimer: Since my blog is more of a family update, I am going to post a fact about each member. And since every time I complain about being the only girl in our family Cameron reminds me that there are in fact 3 boys and 3 girls living in the Johnson household, I will include our dog Aspen and cat Anya so I have the required 6 facts.

1. Jeremy can't handle blood. When we had our first "baby" Aspen spayed when I was in Tech school, he came to watch through the surgery window. Twice I saw him leave and come back and then he just didn't return. Later he told me he felt dizzy and nauseous. Unfortunately, because of this problem, Jeremy has also had to leave the room when I get my epidural when I've been in labor, abandoning me to fend for myself. He also can't watch shows that are about surgery or giving shots. Good thing he didn't go into medicine.

2. I almost made a world record (maybe). My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were all born on August 12, and I would have been the 4th generation female to be born on that same date. My birthday is August 6th. I've been impatient ever since.

3. Cameron loves the strangest shows on TV. When he is up late he begs to watch Dirty Jobs and Emeril's cooking show. His vocabulary now includes the phrases "Bam!" and "Oh yeah, baby." And he constantly asks when we can go and be on Emeril's show.

4. Gavin loves to take showers. When he was smaller Jeremy would take him in the shower in the morning because he had a habit of waking up with a dirty diaper every morning (still does) and I just couldn't stand to put him in clean clothes knowing he was stinky. Now every morning he willingly tries to strip down himself and will just sit in the shower until Jeremy comes in there with him. The water in his eyes has never bothered him and some days it's hard to get him to come out!

5. Our dog Aspen is the best dog ever. One of her downfalls is her bad breath and it doesn't help that that is probably partially due to the fact that she likes poopsicles- yup you guessed it- she eats her own poop in the winter if we don't make her come inside right away. So next time she tries to give you a big kiss you better think twice!

6. Our cat Anya is completely neurotic. I blame myself since I adopted her when she was only 4 weeks old and hadn't really learned how to be a cat. Since having kids she hides out a lot and only comes out to be social at night after the kids are in bed or on the rare occasions that the kids are out of the house. I think when Gavin arrived it completely pushed her over the edge and now she will sit and pull out her fur. Her tummy is almost completely bald... We've been told we could put her on kitty prozac, but getting a pill into this cat would prove to be impossible. Poor kitty.

Ok, now I choose to tag Angie Toler, Cara Jones, Sandy Garrett, and Shelese Castle. Go to it ladies!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


The day of Halloween began with Cameron getting ready for a costume party he was having at his preschool. He dressed in his cowboy garb and ran into class without even a kiss or goodbye, because of his excitement. When I picked him up, he had several goodie bags and told me all about how he had the same costume as Mrs. Winger, his favorite teacher. Here are two of the pictures that the teachers emailed to the class of the day:
At about 6:30 the kids and I went out trick-or-treating on our street. Gavin, my little elephant, did not take long to catch on to what he had to do. He was a bit shy for the first few doors, but soon he was saying "trick teet" just like Cameron and wishing everyone "Papee Ween" (Happy Halloween). I couldn't believe that just on our little block the boys both almost filled up their bags, and I even had to carry Gavin's for him due in particular to some looney neighbor that decided to give out bottles of water and weigh down his. Gavin was exhausted when we came home so Jeremy and I traded places and he took Cameron out for more loot. About an hour and a half later they returned with more candy than we can eat in a year- the picture says it all. We dumped out all the candy and inspected it like good parents, throwing aside the "questionable" stuff (like the Almond Joys that I love) and Jeremy sorted the candy into gallon sized ziplock bags according to point value. He has started this thing with Cameron that depending on different chores or good behavior he receives a certain number of points and then can have "pickin's" a term derived from his childhood when his fater did the same thing. Small candy bars are worth 3 points, bagged candy like Skittles and M&M's are 2, and small things like lolly pops and Starbursts are 1. Then he can choose how he would like to spend his points and receive his reward. It's a system that both father and son really love. Last night though, I tried to turn a blind eye to the amount of candy Cameron was eating and just let him enjoy the best part of Halloween, getting sick to your stomach from so much candy... He had such a sugar rush that he did not want to go to bed, but eventually as we all know, he crashed and finally passed out. I don't think there is any question that he thoroughly enjoyed his Halloween and this morning there was just a bit of sadness knowing that is was all over until next year.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Gavin's Birthday Party!

On Tuesday, the night before Halloween, we had an early birthday party for Gavin in order to take advantage of the Halloween spirit. He invited 4 little friends, Coleman, Ashley, Royce and Luka, and they all arrived in their costumes for a night of fun! The kids (well, mostly the parents) did some craft projects like making a Halloween picture frame, making ghost lollypops and decorating a pumpkin with face stickers. We ate pizza and cupcakes, and the kids mostly just ran around and played in the basement. Being the anal planner that I am, I didn't really take into account that these were, after all, two year olds and their attention spans are pretty dang short. All that mattered was that Gavin had a great time and as chaotic as it got, the kids didn't seem to mind at all. Happy Early Birthday, little one! See pictures below.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Birthday Party Pictures

Pumpkin Carving

What would Halloween be without carving a pumpkin? Last Saturday we took the kids to Buckland Farms, a little roadside stand with lots of pumpkins for the season, and we picked out the perfect one for us to carve. In the past we have been more ambitious and purchased several to turn into jack-o-lanterns, but leaned that less is more when it comes to doing this project with the kiddos. This year, I even bought one of those carving kits so that we didn't have to use the kitchen knives this time. Jeremy let Cameron pick which design (several came with the kit) to use for our Jack. Of course he picked out the most intricate one and I tried to convince both child and husband that we should just make a normal jack-o-lantern face. I guess we compromised by picking a slightly less complicated pattern, and Jeremy got to carving while the kids and I enjoyed some pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. Several slices of cake later, Jeremy was still hard at work and the kids were getting antsy. I pitched in where I could and voila, he was finished. Jeremy was pretty proud of his work and rightly so. I was just reminded of how grateful I was that we had only gotten one, that carving takes forever! Here is the finished product for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Our Big Announcement :)

The time has come for us to leak the news of another baby on the way for our little family! The baby is due April 20, and we should find out if it a boy or girl the beginning of December. We have a feeling it's another boy, and I will be happy just as long as it's a calm, quiet baby. When we told Cameron he would be getting a new baby brother or sister, he told us he wanted a sister. I told him that we don't get to pick, God picks for us. To this he replied, "if it's not a girl then I don't think we should have another baby." He has been really excited about my pregnancy and every week we look together in my week by week book to see how big the baby is and what is developing, he excitedly tells people that the baby is as big as a lemon, or a peach according to that week. I think Gavin will be happy to have a baby in the house, he loves babies, if anything we will have to be careful of him showing too much love. I am just a bit nervous about having three, it will be interesting to see how the dynamic changes in our house. We feel so blessed to be having another and can't wait to meet this new member of our family!

Here is a photo of our ultrasound picture at 8 weeks:

Our First Campout and Pumpkinville

This weekend we took the kids on our first family campout! It was pretty last minute and with the leaves being at peak in the mountains this weekend, there were no available campsites in Shenendoah where we would've liked to go. We decided to go to a campground much closer to us, and to civilization, at Burke Lake Park. I was pretty gung-ho about going, I grew up on campouts as did Jeremy, but it seems they did not have the same positive impact on his childhood and he came with a "grin and bear it" attitude. We purchased a new, big tent, along with more camping gear and bags full of hot dogs, smores supplies, and hot chocolate. A couple of hours before we left, we found out that there was a fire ban for all of Virginia due to the drought we have been having. We did not let it bring us down, we just brought extra snacks that did not require heating. When we arrived, we picked out the best campsite and Jeremy and I began putting up our tent. It was a good thing that we brought the DVD player for the car, because it kept the kids entertained while we figured out the tangled mess that was our tent. We all breathed a sigh of relief when it was finally up and Jeremy and I hadn't even fought over the assembly! Needless to say, thte kids were beyond excitement and we had a fun evening (even if we did drive to the nearest Taco Bell for dinner). That night it was COLD, and despite our best efforts at dressing them warm, the kids woke up a few times and Gavin ended up in my sleeping bag by morning. My dad joined us for breakfast, well, actually brought breakfast since our bananas and pop tarts were not good enough for him, and also brought some much needed hot chocolate. He was a welcome sight! After packing up, we took a short walk/hike around the beautiful lake and enjoyed the colors of the changing leaves. All in all, it was a valiant first effort at family camping and the kids and I (maybe not Jeremy) look forward to our next outing.

Today Cameron's preschool had a field trip to a local pumkin patch- Pumpkinville at Leesburg Animal Park. The kids got to feed and pet all kinds of animals, go on a spooky hayride, and play on all kinds of slides and bouncy things. Gavin was still petrified of and animal that got too close and we had a little goat that kept following us around trying to eat my camera bag. Cameron was not scared at all and even fed the big, slobery camel. It was the perfect day and the kids had a blast, and we even got to come home with two little pumpkins for Halloween.