Archive for August, 2015

Botanical Treasure Hunt

August 13, 2015

A little bit later than promised, but because its Friday and its been a bit of a whirlwind week, we’ll go ahead and ignore the minor details of my bad time management and instead turn our focus to the treasure hunt Keane, Cullen and their friends got to take part in at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens earlier this week.

Gathered around and listening to the rules of the hunt.

One little boy is obviously bored by the details and Cannon is looking slightly concerned.

But in the end its sawg bags in hand and we are ready to find us some treasure.

It doesn’t take Keane long to find his first golden egg.

Cannon quickly finds gold too.

After watching the big boys Cullen now knows the game and makes his first find.

Wyatt was so happy with is treasure finds.

More golden eggs.

Harvey taking a snack break and a little sneak peek into his eggs,

No stopping Cullen now.

Cullen and Wyatt surround a cluster of treasure.

I have a feeling Wyatt is not impressed by Cullen taking possession of all the eggs.

But never mind, theres plenty more.

A small stash into the pockets.

Now its time to see whats inside all these golden eggs.

Cannon excited to see Keane’s treasures.

Precious rocks.

We had no idea the Gardens had a splash pad, so we arrived sans towels and extra clothes. But instead of telling the boys they couldn’t play in the water, we just striped them down to their undies and let them off.

Everyone was in the mood to drink the water. Here’s Keane.



Wyatt still building his water confidence.


August 11, 2015

Current state: chasing ones tails. In a spin of editing the photos of 2 adorable newborn sessions photographed last week. Getting the kids their annual check-ups. Trying to prep for Cullen’s first day at baby school on Thursday (tears) as well as finding a window to rip around the store and stock up on Keane’s supplies for his return to preschool next week. On top of all that we are still trying to maintain their music classes, swim classes and play-dates. As a matter of fact, no, I will not actually be sleeping this week, but thanks for asking.

But in an effort to break up the blogging silence, here is a sneaky little peaky of a fun treasure hunt the boys and their friends took part in earlier this week at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. In this shot they are counting their treasures. I’ll share more tomorrow, hopefully.

Gone Fishing

August 7, 2015

From the moment he arrived at the house, little Paul was talking about going fishing in the lake. So one hot and sweaty morning, 4 little Huckleberry Finns took to the water to see what they could catch us for dinner.

Cullen set up camp on the dock. His fishing rod was 18 month old appropriate (smart thinking on the part of my sister-in-law), no hooks, no wiggly bait and already a small fishy attached. He couldn’t have been happier.

While Cullen and James fish from the dock, The Husband takes Paul and Keane out on the boat.

James the casting pro.

James and Cullen, cute as buttons.

Keane also had an age appropriate rod, no hooks for the littles.

The boys come into shore to switch out.

Paul takes possession of the dock.

The Husband, James and Keane.

Hello Handsome!

Fun and busy week here at chez Shinkins-Doyle. A visit from our Massachusetts cousins meant every day was a crazy day. Four boys ranging in age from 18 months up to 7 years all under one roof, well you can just imagine the excitement, the chaos, the energy, the loudness and the laughter of it all. We are officially beat, and by “we”, I’m referring to the mommas. The boys energy was endless, from sun up to sun down it was all systems go. So a little later than promised (due to the energetic beat down from our beloved boys) I’m finally getting around to sharing some photos from our evening at the  ATL track meet .

But indulge me for a minute as I take the opportunity to brag on The Husband. The ATL track meet series has been his brain child. He has worked tirelessly over the past 3 years to increase the profile of the sport of track & field here in the US with a series of track meets with a difference. A track meet that is not only entertaining, but that offers athlete accessibility to the crowd. A live band, a DJ, cheerleaders and the ability to literally stand next to the track and watch the competing athletes. With each year the meet has gotten bigger and better, but this year it surpassed all our expectations. A crowd of thousands lined up waiting for the gates to open. Kids were given access to the track prior to the start of the meet to run, jump and play like their athlete idols. Live music kept the atmosphere electric and cheerleaders kept the energy levels high. The crowd arrived excited and for most of the competing athletes, this was their final race before the World Champions which begin in 2 weeks in Beijing, China. So fast, solid performances were a must to ensure readiness. On the evening all of it came together in a way that appeared effortless. But I can guarantee you, behind the scenes, the effort was immense. So to hear the hugely positive comments from both the athletes and attendees, to read the articles, tweets and Facebook references rave about the entire meet experience, makes all of that sacrifice and effort feel worth it. So big “Well Done” to The Husband and all of his ATL work horses for putting together an amazing evening of track entertainment.

Now on to some photos.

We arrived at the stadium about an hour before the meet began so the boys could get on the track and have some fun. Our nephew Paul finds The Husband and lets him know we’ve arrived.

Before heading off to his meeting running duties, The Husband jumps in for a quick race with Keane and Paul.

Now the boys are getting serious. Its time to get in the blocks and work on our 100m starts. Here’s Paul.

James goes with the 3-point start technique.

My little professional here getting his blocks settings to race his cousins.

Paul getting his settings.

Cullen’s curiosity gets the better of him and he wanders over to have a little look. “Whats goin on lads?”

Blocks ya say eah?

James has joined the line up.

Cullen making sure everyone’s good and settled. “Thats it lads, get those feet in there”

Fingers behind the line lads, I won’t tell ya twice”

And “Go!”

Paul and James are out. Keane is out too, not the fastest, but definitely the happiest.

Love the effort on his little face.

Going for it now.

Paul and James on the way back.

And this happy fella also making his way back.

90 degrees of heat and endless running, a lollipop break was the only way we could get them to rest in some shade.

Of course it wasn’t long before they were off again, this time to the long jump pit.

Paul is airborne.

I was so impressed by Cullen, he watched and understood then made a solid run and jump effort.

Lost his balance on the landing but was on his feet, shaking it off like a professional.

Keane’s turn.

Lovely bit of height on the take-off.

Nice bit of distance on the landing. Cullen in the background laying down making snoring noises to let us know he was taking a nap.

This photo here made me laugh when I saw it on my screen. Its one of those “perfectly timed shots”, Paul is just walking past Cullen, but from the angle I captured it, it looks very much like he’s sticking his foot in Cullen back, forcing his face into the sand.

Meet about to start and The Husband is looking stressed.

But all smiles for the start of the women’s pole vault.

Cheerleaders Yay!

Cullen taking a minute to rest and hydrate.

The boys are parked close to the action, right next to the runway.

Love James face here, you can see how desperately he wants her to clear the bar.

And she does, happy days!

Irish pole vaulter Tori Pena chatting to her coach.

Dont pretend your not grateful for the butt shot.

The boys move trackside for the 400m hurdles.

Keane spots his friend Ashton Eaton and wants to run over to say “Hi” and introduce his cousins.

Women’s 100m.

Winner Veronica Campbell-Brown.

The boys back on the track.

A break from watching the races to play on the pole vault mats.

You’ll notice in the top right corner of this photo there’s a small helicopter object, thats actually a camera drone that flew above the stadium getting the aerial view of all the track action.

Lots of jumping going on.

Queen Harrison winner of the women 100m hurdles.

In the blink of an eye the smallest boys, Keane and Cullen had hit their limit. It was almost 10pm and they were now officially wore out and ready for bed. There were still a few events remaining, but these guys were done. We did however want to get a group shot with Daddy before we left, and here it is, breakdown central.

Track Studs

August 3, 2015

A busy weekend and a lot of fun at Daddy’s ATL track meet. Will definitely be sharing some photos over the next day or 2, but for now enjoy this shot of my 2 little track studs.