Apple Picking And More

September 29, 2016

The boys have been on Fall break all this week. Yep, feels like they just went back to school and now they have a break. But no complains here, Fall break was our opportunity to get started on some of our favorite Fall activities, and apple picking is always a crowd favorite. The place we like to go for our apples is a bit of a trek, but completely worth it. Not only do they offer acres and acres of apples, but they also have tractor rides, a hillbilly playground and a petting zoo. We literally spent the entire day there.

By next year Cullen should be peeking through at the perfect height.

Spotted, radom apple on top of a post.

We got our wagon, we got our apple pickers and we are off to get us some apples.

Wagon pullin ain’t easy, just look a little Wyatt’s red face.

The Doyle brothers team up for the pushin.

Now we pick.

Cullen is not a fan of the bright sunlight, it gives him the rage, but his cool blue shades make him happy.

Cheers to apples!

Impressive work.

Once they were done picking apples, it was time to take a tractor ride to the hillbilly playground.

Groups Shot! with our newest member, baby Piper.

So this is how the hillbillies do slides, using drain pipes.

And the boys loved it.

Cullen and Wyatt watch for Keane. Then out he pops.

Off you go Cullen.

Wyatt preferred the open slide.

And give his little sister a high-5 for a slide well done.

Piper was indifferent to all of it.

Cool horse type swing.

On to the petting zoo that was full of adorable baby animals.

Cullen gets right into this baby chicken’s personal space.

Baby chicks and my 2 couldn’t get enough of them.

Now they both want baby chicks.

There were even some kittens.

Waiting For Fall

September 27, 2016

We continue to wait patiently for any hint of some cooler Fall temperatures to arrive here in Georgia. September has been unseasonably hot. So while we wait, we press on with the last of however many days we may have to do a little lake escaping. And this past weekend we brought along some of Keane and Cullen’s little friends. Cos fun is even funnier with friends.

Keane’s first solo kayak.

He did pretty well, with the aid of a nice little breeze.

Cullen and Amaya.

Keane’s friend Julian takes a turns on the kayak.

He too did really well.

Time to take the big boat out with captain Cullen.

Drop anchor for even more swimming.

A game of lake catch. They’re all chasing that blue float.

And all get to it at the exact same time.

Group shot.

Picture Day & Other Things

September 22, 2016

I’ve been stifling what I’ll refer to as a simmering rage for a couple of days. You know when your angry, deep down inside, but somehow your managing to keep it suppressed using all your skills of excellent self control. But essentially you’re a ticking time-bomb and at some point your self control is going to fail and you will literally explode. And eventually I did, on technical assistant Blake from AT&T (our TV and Internet provider) when I called regarding a receiver box issue. In fairness I was on the phone for 1hr 24 mins. Even held it together through 4 transfers to 4 different people, each time having to go over and over the issue in my effort to get some resolution. Blake was the straw that broke the camels back. He tried to convince me I didn’t live where I said I lived, didn’t have a receiver box for the TV in question, and that by “receiver box” did I actually mean modem? For his final question in the twisted game of “bitch is crazy”, he went on to imply that we didn’t even have a TV or Internet account with AT&T, even though our account details were lighting up the computer screen in front of him. The letters AT&T are printed across the sizable bills we receive every month and are also stamped across the remote we use for the TV. Not to mention the welcome message, “Welcome to AT&T Uverse”, that lights up my TV screen EVERY time I turn it on. So of course I snapped. I don’t know what kind of messed up Jedi game he thought he was playing, but his force was weak and I was done with the game. Fast forward 10 more minutes and suddenly everything is resolved and there’s a new receiver box currently en route to the address he doesn’t believe I live at. #Result. Not long after hanging up on Blake, The Husband called. He could tell I was fired up, so I rehashed a shortened version of what I’d just been through. He asked if I felt better now that I managed to blow off my simmering rage? It was then I realized that actually no, I was just getting started. So I advised him to hang up quickly, before I find 1 or more reasons to snap at him. And because my husband is a smart man, and would like to see this marriage last at least one more year, he hung up. #Click

Ultimately I did get to the root cause of my sudden rage issues. It may or may not have had something to do with the steroid shot I received the previous day for a sinus infection. Yes, steroids can help you win all kinds of illegal Olympic medals, cure your sinus infections, but also lose you lots of friends due to constant loss of temper.

But lets wrap this rant up on a happier note, it was “Picture Day” for Keane and Cullen at school this week.

Here they both are, about to head off to school wearing their Picture Day best.

Working with kids is a risky, unpredictable business, and in the event that the school photos don’t turn out so well, I make sure to grab a couple before they head off. Insurance if you will.

Yep, risky and unpredictable.

Lets Play Ball!

September 17, 2016

Last year, as a 3 year old Keane started soccer. But it was fun soccer, basically an introduction to the ball, the idea of kicking, dribbling, shooting and passing via creative games aimed at a 3 year old level. This year however, as a 4 year old, sh*t got real. Now not only does he have his regular practice every Wednesday evening, but Saturday mornings he now has real soccer matches against other 4 year old teams, and this weekend was his very first match. What I’m about to say is silly, I know, but damn it, I was nervous. Nervous and excited. This was his first real taste of any kind of competition and I wanted more than anything for him to enjoy it. He and his team mates are still only getting to grips with what soccer is really about. All they know to date is that if you don’t have the ball, then you go get it, and when you get it your next move it to score. I just didn’t want to see him upset or frustrated if the other team got the ball or managed to scored. You know how young kids can be. But my ridiculous nerves were just that, ridiculous. He did great. Better than great. He was into it, he hustled and wait for it, he even scored, 2 goals, but best of all, he had a blast.

A little team gathering pre-match. Keane is number 42.

Daddy in his ear, not sure what he’s saying but it doesn’t appear to be giving Keane any reassurance.

Here we are, centre field waiting for the whistle.

And we’re off!

Cullen is head of Keane’s cheer squad.

Getting after it.

And we have our first Gooooooaaaaaal!

Striding, likes its no big deal

More action.

But swooped away by the other team.

Another attempt.

But again a steal by the other team.

Meanwhile, in a nearby goal Cullen is doing a little self entertaining.

Hold on a minute, somethings about to happen.

Even Cullen noticed and is in full cheer mode.

Got to get around the opposition but we’re definitely in control.

And there it is, Goooooaaaaaal! no.2

This was too cute, celebration high-5 from his team-mate.

Water break.

High-5 from Cullen.

During half-time Cullen worked on his penalty kicks.

Second half, a corner awarded to Keane.

This little girl here is not just adorable, but she’s an amazing little soccer player.

Another goal for the blue team.

Its a bit of a messy struggle. Keane trying to get that ball in the net, but the other team is blocking well.

His team-mate Andy swoops in and gets the ball where it needs to be, back of the net. Another goal for blue.

His reaction cos he was close, but didn’t score. Had to then explain that it was still a point for the blue team and that the goals of his team-mates also counted towards the teams total score.

Final whistle and the parents build an arch so that both teams can take a celebration walk through. Not sure who won to be honest. The white team scored a bunch of goals, especially in the second half, but I think both believe they won and nobody seems unhappy, so thats all that matters.

Team gathering for post-match snacks.

Headed home.

When 30 Mins Turn Into 3 Hours

September 14, 2016

Our Wednesday morning drill starts with dropping Keane off at school. From the school its onwards to the trails where Cullen, Dexter and I get our walk on. We usually take the same trail, the one that leads to the river, so Dexter can get a swim and Cullen can paddle, fish, throw rocks and drown his trucks. This week however, we decided to mix things up by taking a different trail and Cullen was so excited. Everything about this trail was unfamiliar, so his curiosity and desire to explore was on overdrive. As a result a walk that would have taken me 30-45min solo, morphed into a 3 hour journey of discovery. Luckily we had 4 hours of available time before we had to collect Keane, so no rush.

Whats this trail momma?” This question came at me over and over again.

A ravine of fallen pine cones.

Look momma, a baby pine cone. How did that get here?”

Am sure sitting amongst the pine cones was not as much fun as he expected. Ouch!

Gathering.

Loading up to bring some home.

I walk Dexter for you momma”

In your own time Cullen.

You help me push the big rock momma?”

Cullen has this thing about sitting on everything. For example, the pine cones above, this rock and later it was a tree stump.

Spontaneous set of tricep extensions.

More rocks, this time for climbing.

The trails run next to some old battle grounds showcasing a number of cannons.

Another part of the battle ground was flooded with US flags. The reason? To commemorate the 15 year anniversary of  September 11th. A flag for each life lost that day. So over 3000 flags.