Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Let's go fly a "K"ite!

I've got to say that this alphabet summer is so good for me. It is forcing me to think out of the box and do something with my kids. They LOVE it and are constantly guessing what we will be doing for each letter. We are definitely going to be repeating this next summer. Anyways, for K day we flew kites. Target had them on clearance for $3 each and the boys picked out a Transformers one (Cameron) and a Spiderman one (Gavin). Even though it was 95 degrees out with barely any wind and I would have rather stayed inside in the air conditioning, we headed to the park and tried them out. There was a lot of running involved and I was surprised how long they lasted in the blazing hot sun, but they both got their kites to fly without much help from me as Mason and I tried to stay in the shade. Cameron especially enjoyed it and didn't want to leave when Gavin had had enough, but I promised we could take them to the beach with us in a few weeks where they might actually stay up without having to run!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"J"ust with mom or dad

"J" day fell on a weekend and we decided to let the kids pick an activity to do just with mom or dad. Cameron chose to go see Despicable Me with me and we saw it in 3-D, complete with snuck in candy. Gavin chose to go to the pool with Jeremy for some uninterrupted daddy play time. I'm told he is almost swimming the length of the pool! I love getting to spend time with the kids individually doing something they enjoy, so "J" day may have to become a habit!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"I"ce cream

We've eaten a lot of ice cream today. We made ice cream in a bag with Austin and Ashley and ate it covered in mint chocolate pieces. We went to Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery and asked for a tour. Heather, the girl working there, was super nice and loved our alphabet idea. She showed us where they make the ice cream, in this big machine where we learned they add the ice cream mix and then the flavorings. They actually add a Betty Crocker cake mix to the ice cream to make it cake batter! They also use real bananas and no artificial flavors in the banana ice cream. My friend Jen had blogged about how good it was, and boy was she right! The kids got to make their own ice cream and Heather showed them how to use the tools to mix in their toppings. They both picked mint ice cream, Cameron's with gummy bears and Gavin's with M & M's. Mason and I shared Heather's favorite, Banana with marshmallows. I've never had marshmallows in my ice cream before, but they were amazing! If you're local, go and check this new place out, it was really yummy and tell Heather we say hello!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A visit from Texas

We love having visitors. LOVE it! We love to take you around to see all the fun sights of our town and stay up late talking and playing games and we love when family comes and brings cousins we haven't met yet that my boys can oogle over and I can cuddle. That's why we were so excited when we found out Jeremy's sister Kimberly, her hubby Aaron and their sweet baby Dean were coming to see us! We went to Skyline Drive, we did the whole DC thing and went to the Dulles Air and Space Museum. We went to the pool and hung out at home where Uncle Aaron was a constant playmate to the boys (Jeremy included) and Kimberly and I could sit and visit. And their baby was almost too much to handle, all 20 some pounds of his little chubby 6 month old body! He was such a trooper everywhere we went and I quickly became his favorite Aunt (well, at least in my mind). It was all too sad that they had to leave this morning and Mason searched the whole house saying "Baby go?" I have to admit, I hoped I'd find them around the corner too. Thanks for making the visit, Ripa family and thanks for the Sweet Tarts! We miss you already!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Our boys are used to getting their hair cut at home. With three boys that need their hair cut about every 4 weeks, it just isn't very economical to go to the barber shop and fork out $42 a month when we can do it at home. But Jeremy and I aren't hair stylists and we don't serve popcorn and lollypops when we cut hair. Nor do we have a super cool salon with life sized characters lining the wall or fun chairs that move up and down. So it was a real treat to go and get haircuts today for H day. The stylists were great with the kids and they really do a great job fixing their hair nice. Mason sat this one out, I am getting used to his long locks again :) Once they were all gussied up, we took our suckers and went to turn some heads at "H"ouse of Bounce with the Tolers. What a "H"appy day!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

G is for Garbage

We had a real treat today. Since I could only come up with three things for G day- grocery store, golfing and garbage, I let "G"avin pick which we would do. No surprise he picked garbage since that kid loves garbage trucks and wants to be a garbage man (among other things) when he grows up. I looked up how to get to our county landfill and we were off. I must say, I am really amazed at how hospitable everyone has been when we just show up asking for a tour. It may have helped that I had two little boys who could not contain their excitement. Mukesh was our tour guide and he loaded us up in an SUV and gave us a real behind the scenes look at what goes on at a landfill. Our county is big on recycling, in fact, 34% of the trash that comes into the landfill is recycled. Not only do they have places for residents to drop off things like used oil, batteries, tires, electronics and appliances, they have a spot designated for "too good for trash" where people can drop off and pick up items that they just no longer need like furniture. I thought it was interesting that you are only allowed to be in that area for 20 minutes per day to scour for treasure... Mukesh drove us inside of their recycling facility where we saw how paper, cardboard and newspaper were sorted and crushed into big bricks that they send off to other recycling companies. Then we began our drive to the open face of the landfill. To get there we had to drive a ways back on the 800 acre property, past former landfills that were now covered with grass and only had pipes poking out to catch the methane that 40 years later is still escaping. Some of the methane is burned off but they also use some of it in a power plant that generates electricity. Who knew? When we finally reached the summit we were 350 feet above where we started and were literally driving over trash that had just been dumped. There were trucks everywhere doing various jobs at the active landfill. Garbage trucks would come and dump their loads and then bulldozers would push it flat so the compactor could come and run over it. Then another truck filled with dirt would cover up the compacted trash. Mukesh told us that at the end of the day all of the trash is covered in at least 8 inches of dirt. I know the question you all want to ask and it is the one reason I didn't want to go to the landfill today. Did it smell? No, not even a little. I couldn't believe it and kept waiting to catch a whiff as we got closer and closer to the top, but even right in the middle of all the action we didn't smell a thing. The kids were surprised too and maybe even a little disappointed since they had been practicing their best "PU" faces in the car. I must say this was my favorite so far. Not only did the kids learn a lot, but so did I. At the end of the tour Gavin was a bit disappointed that we couldn't get on a garbage truck, but since the trucks are owned by several different companies and none of them are parked at the landfill, we just didn't have that opportunity. Maybe next summer we will go to one of those companies headquarters for G day since today was so much fun!

Monday, July 5, 2010

"F"abulous "F"ourth with "F"ireworks and "F"riends!

It just so happened that our F day fell on the fourth of July. How perfect! We had a very laid back day with our friends the Wadleys that came over for a BBQ and our own fireworks show. We had lots of festive food and our food coloring quota for the year. When it was almost dark we took the party out front for sparklers, pop its, and a great fireworks show provided by Mike and Jeremy. The older kids had a ball, but Luke took to hiding in the car to watch the display and Mason took cover behind one of the camping chairs, peeking underneath to watch. It was such a relaxing evening and just right for us. God Bless America!

Wadley's new addition! 2 week old Ashley :)

Friday, July 2, 2010


The boys had a fancy lunch this afternoon and learned some etiquette for E day. We read a book we got from the library that taught them:

-Wash your hands before eating
-Put your napkin in your lap and use it to wipe your hands and mouth
-Cut your food into bite sized pieces
-Don't talk with your mouth full
-Don't play with your food
-Be willing to try new foods
-Ask to be excused before leaving the table

We kept to the basics since these are some of the things we struggle with, using the proper fork with each course is not exactly a priority :) Of course they thought it was fun, they used our "nice" dishes and cloth napkins and set up a little table just for them. They were full of manners today but I'm sure it won't last long...