Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Lane

Merry Christmas everyone!

We hope you are all having a very merry holiday season!

Poppa Riebow volunteered to work Christmas Lane a few nights this week, so we braved Dover to go see him in action and look at all the cool stuff!

Kaitlyn has started to make odd faces when you tell her to "Smile!" for a picture. Evidence below:

I hopped up into Santa's sleigh just long enough to get a few pics with my baby girl. Zac wanted nothing to do with sitting still or taking pictures. There was way too much to explore!

The big hit of the evening is the mini train they have running. Zachary was jumping in place while waiting to ride, he was so excited.

Zachary also loved the television screens, randomly placed, playing Rudolph. That boy can hone in on a tv no matter where we are!

Kaitlyn liked looking through the over-sized telescope and at all of the Christmas lights through her special twinkle glasses.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Seventh Anniversary in Hogsmead

Today was our 7th anniversary! Woo Hoo!

So, we escaped to Orlando this weekend. It was wonderful... and too short! We stayed at Rosen Shingle Creek near Universal Studios. We highly recommend it! It is a beautiful resort tucked away from all the madness.

We also highly recommend a trip to Islands of Adventure. We had a blast riding the rides, sans children, visiting Hogsmead, eating at the Three Broomsticks and drinking butterbeer. (We tried regular and frozen butterbeer... frozen is best!)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

23rd Annual Ruskin Seafood Festival

Hello Beautiful Fall Florida!
Today was/is an absolutely gorgeous day in the Tampa area. It also happened to be the weekend of the 23rd Annual Ruskin Seafood Festival. Jake and Grammie went last year with the kiddos. So, they were return veterans, and I was a newbie.

The Ruskin Seafood Festival takes place annually in the Ruskin/Apollo Beach area at E.G. Simmons Park. It is open from 10am to 5pm on this Saturday and Sunday. So, if you read this and would like to go, you still have some time. We spent a total of $32 for a family filled morning.

First off, we parked near the playground and the kids ran on over to get in some play before the adults dragged them to the festival. Kaitlyn is still in love with slides, while Zachary prefers the swings.

Katie also tried her hand a rock climbing. She is part spider monkey, so she enjoyed it.

Once you pay your entrance fee, (free for kids, $5 per adult) we hit an alley of craftsmen, artists, and vendors. Grammie and I signed up for a Thirty-One Party on December 1st. If you live near us, be prepared to come and have some fun! Take a peak at their catalog. It is all really cute, personable stuff. Great for Christmas!

While Grammie and Mommy were chatting with the 31 Lady, Katie and Zac led their Daddy to the kiddie area. Katie got to bounce in a bounce house for awhile. She loves jumping! I would think she would affiliate with Tigger more.

Then, after the kids explored the Home Depot "Make a Frame" area, and made their own iced cookies at the Glazer Museum tent, we finally moved onto the main event...

the food!

If you ever see Tony's truck below, do not hesitate to go and get the chowder and seafood basket. It was the most delicious clam chowder I had ever had. Not to mention, the shrimp and the hush puppies were extraordinary! (And I would know, I've had a ridiculous amount of shrimp in my life. It is one of my loves.)

You know how when you start seeing what other people ordered and are eating, and you start regretting your choice? Today, I felt bad for every person who sat next to me who hadn't gotten Tony's chowder and shrimp. Best. Seafood. Ever. Hands down. (And I know that bowl looks tiny next to those shrimp, but it is because the shrimp were huge!) I could eat that meal daily. I could keep going on and on about it, but I won't. It wouldn't be fair to you.

After we ate, (the kids had pretzels, granola bars, and carrots that I had brought from home) Grammie got Katie some homemade ice cream! Kaitlyn lives for ice cream. Recently her Nana took her to McDonalds. When Katie went to play at the "Play Place" she introduced herself to a little girl her age like this, "Hi, I'm Katie! What's your favorite ice cream?"

I assume this is what they use to make their ice cream. See that wooden barrel behind the silver wheel on the left. Is that the where the ice cream is being churned? Or is it just a John Deere generator from 1937? I couldn't decide.

After we left the festival, we hit the playground one more time, and then the beach. Zac didn't dare go in, because then he would be wet. Yucky! He just stood there watching the little waves roll in, while his big sister threw rocks and shell bits back into the "river".

We will definitely be back next year Ruskin! Won't we Zac?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hello Fall!

Sundays are changing around here. Jake has been called to the Young Men's Presidency... as the President. He's gonna do great! Anyway, it's just me and the kids before and after church these days. This past Sunday, Zac fell asleep on the way home and was awakened when I carried him into our home. When I entered, I set him down on the ground and turned to close the door, when I heard a loud thump. I turned to see what it was... and it was Zac. He apparently hadn't woken up completely and decided to lay down right where I left him.

He slept while I got his sister undressed. He slept while I changed. He didn't budge while I made them lunch.

He even slept while I changed his clothes.

Sweet little guy.

Zachary has also started laying on the couch in the mornings, demanding to be covered with his woobie and provided a pillow to lay his giant cranium upon. This is his position of choice while watching "Handy Manny".

Katie had her first "Character Dress-up Day" at Preschool this week.
She chose to dress as Sleeping Beauty. I have absolutely no idea why because she refuses to watch Sleeping Beauty or learn anything about her. (Which is very disappointing for her mother because it was my very favorite movie growing up. I wore out the VHS tape for heaven's sake.) But that girl LOVED school that day. She came home so wound up she spent the day running around driving everyone nuttier than usual! Mommy and Daddy were very excited when bed time rolled around that day.

The insanity began again this evening. It was the Seffner/Brandon Ward Joint Trunk-or-Treat! Kaitlyn is officially able to understand what trick-or-treating is all about. Zac on the other hand, couldn't believe people were just handing out candy... and to him! Not to mention, there were games in every room of the church building! And hot dogs! He ate two and wanted "more"!

Jake and I went as Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. (The elementary school I work at had a "Dress Like a Book Parade" and I chose to dress as Red. So, Jake decided on the Wolf so we would match. He's so sweet.) Katie wanted to be a fairy, and Zac was Buzz Lightyear!

Uncle Matt, Aunt Ellen, and Issac were a pack of lions! Aren't they cute?!

Nana came as a "Dessert Judge"! No, not really. She just has a really big sweet tooth and couldn't help herself at the dessert tables.

After everyone chowed down on chili, hot dogs, and pumpkin desserts (Grammie won the dessert category by the way. Go Grammie! Yay for Pumpkin Chiffon!) the games began. I got some pictures of Katie playing corn toss with Grammie, but they all turned out fuzzy.

When we went fishing I told Kaitlyn to look behind her. She and Zachary LOVE to play Mario Brothers with Daddy. She even said she wanted to be Mario for Halloween at one point. She was extremely excited to see them. After all was said and done, I asked her which costumes she liked and she replied, "Mario!" Notice her smile in the picture below. She was elated!

Here is Katie and Riley waiting for what ended up being Katie's favorite game...


Thank you Seffner Dollar Tree for the large tumblers and electrical tape. The Seffner Young Men were in charge of providing a game for the festivities and this was it. We also did a ping pong throw, but it wasn't as popular. Kids love to knock stuff down.

After the games, came the candy!

Trick or treat Nana!

It was a very fun evening!
Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

And Six Months Later...

We're still alive!

Sheesh, it's been six months since our last blog update. We stink. I blame our out-of-date computers. However, we have since replaced them with a new laptop and should no longer have any other excuse besides laziness.

We had a pretty simple summer. Stuck around the house and painted. Late August brought Preschool for our baby girl! She was pretty excited. First Baptist Learning Center has an outdoor playground that they get to use daily and that is all Kaitlyn cares about. She has actually started making friends and talking about them at home. This is unusual because Katie is an oldest child and has never felt the need to play with or be friends with anyone. As you can see, she is becoming quite the character (and these are the best of her photos from her first morning of Preschool).

Kaitlyn also managed to break her bed at the beginning of the summer. She liked to take flying leaps onto it after going to bed. Her toddler bed just couldn't take it anymore, and one night she came slowly walking up to her Mommy and Daddy while sobbing. "Katie, what is the problem? Why aren't you in bed?" "My bed broke. I can't fix it." Sure enough, the footboard had snapped off of the bed frame. She got to sleep on her mattress on the floor for a couple of months before we got her a bunk bed.

Zachary on the other hand, is still in his crib and is shaking the tar out of it! He has officially entered the terrible-two stage and I occasionally put him in his crib when he is inconsolable. He is pretty good about going to the corner (see below), but to cage him in his crib outside of nap time... no way.

Zac has also discovered tools. He is all boy and loves anything with wheels and tools. He loves to have a job, like his sister, but especially loves when that job involves tools. This of course, led us to introduce him to "Handy Manny" which he and his sister now watch as if they are in some kind of daze... every day. "Man Manny" is what Zac asks for.

More to come next week, after all of the Halloween festivities!