Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DC Trip - Day Two - Petting Zoo

On day two of our DC trip we decided to head out to this darling little petting zoo in Virginia (a state we LOVED by the way. Maybe one day we'll explore moving there....) This was the first thing we saw when we walked in the gate. It reminded me of the old Hogle Zoo.Isn't this little guy adorable?! We sure got a kick out of watching his antics. Boy oh boy was he a busy little guy!
Kolton LOVED feeding the animals. He especially loved giving them the bottles. Is this kid ready to be a big brother again or what? (no, that is not an announcement, just an observation) He loves animals almost as much as Mommy!This is what Micah wanted to do the whole time. He just kept running back to this little merry-go-round, over and over again. What a cutie pie!
Kolton rather enjoyed it too. He waved every time he passed us.
After walking around for a bit, we decided to do the little zoo hay ride. We hopped on the trailer and they drove us through this big open area with a lot of different kind of animals, all roaming free together. It was fun!

This is a baby bison. I can't remember how much they said he weighed, but eight hundred pounds sticks out in my head for some reason. He had a long black tongue and he stuck it out way far to get any food because his mouth was so huge. This ostrich followed us the entire time. We all thought he was pretty funny following us like a puppy dog!
I forgot what they called these guys. But apparently they originated out of Egypt and were the first cows ever domesticated. They were HUGE. And the picture does not do their horns justice. They were very thick and I think he said they were six feet wide....I can't remember. But this one was a baby. There was another one that was even bigger, but my pictures of him aren't too wonderful. The camels were a favorite for all of us. They have the longest eyelashes!
Here's our little buddy again. The boys laughed until they cried when we finally gave him some food. They thought the way he ate was hilarious.
Exploring the rest of the zoo was fun too....
It was do gorgeous and green there! The water was absolutely breathtaking. The boys loved that there were ducks and turtles in the pond. It was so exciting for them to see the little turtles' heads popped up all over the pond, waiting to see of we had any snacks for them.
The boys really got into the sandbox too! It was so fun watching them play together!
We couldn't get Kolton to open his eyes; the sun was in his face, but this was too cute to pass by!
After we left the zoo, the boys crashed in the car for two hours! Wes and I drove around a few Virginia neighborhoods before heading back to our hotel. Driving around anywhere out there was such a treat with all the green. We rather enjoyed the longer drives to get from here to there. All in all, the second day of our DC adventure was a huge success!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

DC Trip - Day One

I keep putting off posting anything about this trip because it's a little overwhelming to me. And I'm not too happy about how my pictures turned out. (I couldn't figure out how to turn my flash off and it bleached out many a picture.) But it was such a fun trip and we truly fell in love with all the greenery of the East. This was one of the first trips our family has taken by ourselves, and the first time the boys ever rode on and airplane.

Boy oh boy were we rushing to get there. We got to the airport in okay time, but didn't realize that economy parking would be so darn crowded! We drove around for a half hour or so looking for a parking spot. Once we found one, we had to lug the boys, the stroller, the car seats, and 6 suitcases, a diaper bag, and more to the shuttle, which arrived right after we parked. It was crazy! Wes had to take two trips and he ran to catch the bus.

We decided on the way that it was a must to have a Skycap help us. Once we got there, our flight was so close to leaving that he couldn't check us in! We ran as fast as we could with all our stuff and all the security checks. Our big suitcase was 8 pounds overweight as well, so we had to shift a few things around.

We barely made it! We got to the gate and it was like the movies. The people at the gate knew who we were and got us right on the plane. Phew! Now we could stop and catch a breath!

Our flight left on time and went off without a hitch. I don't remember for certain, but I think we arrived in DC twenty minutes early as well.

The real lifesaver of the flight was these handy little TVs on the back of each seat. Between
cartoons and the DVDs we brought, we were set, and the boys stayed occupied the entire time. I was absolutely stunned. I wish they were this good at church.....
When I see happy faces like this of travelling families I never believe them. Now I do, because lucky for us, this is how it really was. I'm excited to travel more often now that I know we can survive it!

After our flight, and for the rest of the week, we had the blessing and wonder of driving through this:
We were in awe of the pure beauty of Maryland and Virginia. I could never get used to all the green. It was absolutely breathtaking!
Ashley's parents (my new sis-in-law) invited us over for pizza that night, so off we went to their house straight from the airport. Another plus was that the rental car place had extra vans, so they upgraded us for free. Boy oh boy did that extra space some in ever so handy! Plus, the boys slept pretty darn well in there. It was so comfy and roomy.
I wish I'd gotten some pictures of the Archibalds' house. It is beautiful. But it was hard to photograph because of all the surrounding trees. It had a big, long driveway we went down to get there. That was so nice because once we got out of the car we were far away from the street. Such a nice way to ease a tired, travelling mommy's mind.
The trees there were equally breathtaking. I think I drove Margaret (Ashley's mom) crazy with all my questions of what plants and trees were called and what they planted and what was existing and so on and so forth. The picture below was a tree she couldn't name, but I loved it. The tree behind it is a huge magnolia tree.
The boys thought they'd died and gone to heaven. The weather was perfect, they got pizza for dinner, and they had unlimited space (4+acres) to just run around in. And run they did. They ran and ran and ran. They collected sticks, ran, jumped on the trampoline, ran, played ball, ran, hunted for bugs, ran, rolled in the grass, and ran. They loved it. It was so fun to be out of town and have nothing to do but just play with and enjoy them. Man oh man did they ever sleep good that night!
I love the looks of pure joy they had on their faces. Their eyes, their whole faces just lit up and stayed lit. The whole time. It was heavenly.

We had such a fun night. It was really fun to finally meet Ashley's family. I was so happy with the way that day turned out. I was prepared for the worst and we were blessed with such a great start to our vacation. Stay tuned for the rest of our trip!

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Favorite Blog to Stalk

I am completely obsessed with the Eyres. I've talked about them before, but if you somehow missed it they are amazing! I frequent their website and read every book I can get my hands on. I also have enjoyed reading a few of their blogs (I told you....obsessed!). My favorites are Linda and Richard's blog, and their three daughter's blogs. One of their daughter, Shawni Eyre Pothier, is my kindred spirit. She speaks straight to my heart with every post.

I can't keep hogging her all to myself anymore. I have to share. She's getting too good for me to keep a secret anymore.

She's posted some pretty amazing and useful links lately. Shawni is a very talented photographer and recently posted her five best photography tips. You can see some of her pictures and read some of her tips at http://71toes.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_archive.html and a YouTube video of her talking about her photo tips (and her amazing new book she wrote with her mom) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xNQ22AsjGI

But my all-time favorite post ever so far she's written is this one: http://71toes.blogspot.com/2009/06/surrendering.html
It's all about surrendering to motherhood. It's very moving and positive. It really inspired me to get going on a couple things I've been wanting to do lately. It also gave me a much needed lift and reassurance that I'm doing the right thing when I choose to eliminate things out of my life that take me too far from my family. She's such a great writer. And I love Iris Krasnow too! (see? kindred spirits)


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Our Newest Additions - In the Fur

I haven't had a chance yet to formally introduce the newest additions to the Stewart clan.

This is Tucker. Or "Twilight's Mister Big Stuff" which may be the more fitting name for him.
He's an American Cocker Spaniel. He's a little darling who thinks Kleenexes are the greatest thing since playing fetch. But a good ol' squirt bottle seems to be doing the trick just fine. He's definitely a busier, more mischievous puppy than Chance ever was or ever will be. But he's got big, baby doll brown eyes that melt our hearts and keep us patient while he learns the ropes around here and uses my garden as his personal digging area, snack bar, and cozy bed. But all in all, he is learning, and we will be fencing in the garden anyway. He loves to play, and he "sings" along when music plays, he walks great on a leash, and offers all the love and snuggles we could ever ask for. He's going to keep me pretty busy for awhile, but he's got the "it" factor that make a great dog. And I can't wait until he's old enough to do agility. He's a fast lil' guy! He definitely gives Chance a run for his money when we are playing fetch with them!

We didn't plan on adding two right away, more like one right away, then later add the other. But due to the growing vole issues and our Chance's gentleness towards them, we decided we had to push up the "cat" thing since we'd tried everything else. I think since our fence is right on the "natural vegetation" (more like hideous landscaping) out here, it's something we will deal with the whole time we live out here. Especially since they have found the carrots and potatoes in my garden, and even some of my strawberries, to be so scrumptious. Everyone I talked to seemed to only have success with cats. We finally decided we'd had enough and gave in. When I went to pick up Chance from the vet after our trip, there were some rescued kittens there. The vet said they were found in abandoned garage. I resisted until I saw two little boys giggling and delighted over this darling black and white swirly thing. Then my heart melted. I called Wes. His heart melted. So we came home that day with not only Chance but Oliver too, the newest addition...
I've never had a cat before. But boy howdy are they ever fun! He is so cute with the boys. He gets mauled all day and just eats it all up. He's carried around and chased and teased and purrs the whole time. He comes running to the door when we get home, jumps on on our laps for snuggles and cute little kitty kisses, and even sits patiently when I clip his nails and bathe him. We love watching him jump on grocery bags and chase his favorite green, sparkly ball. He adds so much to our family. I never knew how loveable kitties could be. Now I truly can't imagine a home without one!
Kolton loves Oliver so much! Well, actually both boys do. But it's hard to photograph Micah with him because he's usually trying to pick him up by his tail, chasing him, squirting him with water, etc. I can't believe the poor kitty keeps coming back for more! It's been a huge relief to have some fun entertainment around for the boys! He sure keeps them occupied for hours.
You may think all these little guys are a lot of work. They sure are! But they are worth every minute and keep us laughing. Chance is tickled pink to have another dog around, and so are we. There really is nothing like a Cocker Spaniel, and we are so excited to finally have another cheerful, merry, cocker bouncing around our house, keeping us laughing every day. And we are so glad we decided to give a cat a chance too, because boy are they fun! (now all he needs to do is grow bigger and kill me some voles!)
Welcome to the Stewart home little furballs. We love you.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Memorial Day

Our Memorial Day weekend was a bit slower than usual this year. But it was a welcome change of pace after our trip in DC, the new puppy and kitten, the usual summer craziness to put in the yard, and more sickness. It was nice to have a pretty relaxing weekend together.

I don't remember doing anything Friday or Saturday worth mentioning. Wes was working, and everyone was recovering from a nasty sinus infection. I think we took it easy. We may have gone to the kiddie pool or something, but I don't remember.

Sunday we went to Wes' mom, Johanna's grave. She died of stomach cancer when my sweet Wes was only 6 years old. I think of her often, and I love to hear about what she was like. After all, half my husband's genes came from her. Boy oh boy is she ever missed. I am excited for the day I will finally meet her.

Some years we go there and visit and pretty much feel like we're there talking to ourselves. Some years she's there. She was definitely there this year. I think we were both overcome with emotion. The other interesting thing for me was Wes talking about going to the cemetery all the time as a young boy. I figured his dad would have, but I had just never really thought about things from his perspective. Being mostly women that talk about things, I always picture being so sick and leaving four little children to grow up without me. I can't imagine how heartbreaking and difficult that would be! But thinking about being the one who stays here on earth, expected to pick up the pieces and move on, is equally gut wrenching in my book. Where would you even begin to live again after losing your best friend? How would you take care of your children, be their pillar of strength in such a trying time? How do you move on? Man oh man I hope I never have to find out! But I was glad I got to think of it all from a new a different perspective. I can't even imagine how your faith would grow going through something like that. I feel so blessed to have such a strong testimony of the gospel and the Plan of Salvation. I'm equally glad I share those two things with my husband and best friend, and that we were married in the temple for time and all eternity. What a comforting thought. What a blessing.

I wonder how many of our kids grandma Johanna is playing with while we are growing our family?

Monday Wes decided he wanted to play in another volleyball tournament. I wasn't too happy about it, since we had decided that our new family tradition for Memorial Day was going to be going to Lagoon together, but it turned out okay. The boys are really young anyway, so one more year of all-day volleyball doesn't hurt too much, right? Anyway, Wes took off early that morning, and we moseyed on over as soon as we were fed, napped, and ready. Shortly after we got there, Wes and his partner (forgot his name) totally crushes the other team in the finals and took first place! I was so proud. And boy howdy is he sexy when he's playing volleyball! Wes played so well, and he's been jonesenin' for first for awhile, so he was delighted! He won a nice outdoor volleyball, a t-shirt, and a camping chair. Way to go, Babe! Love you!

After we left, we headed over to the Northmoor pool to meet my family there. It was so cold and windy that we sure as heck didn't feel like swimming, but Kolton did. Man oh man that kid is a diehard! After swimming we headed to my parents' house to play games. Wes and I were so tuckered out by that point that we sat down on the couch and crashed. Slept the party away. Bummer. But it was nice to relax. Off we went home after that and slept like babies. That was probably one of the best parts. I guess that officially makes us a boring married couple right? Oh well.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...