Archive for December, 2015

The Circular View

December 29, 2015

Today for Christmas break, we broke away from all of the toys. From the chaos and debris thats all over my house. From the madness of the season to enjoy a calming, head clearing spin above the city. Its been a warm and very wet Christmas, but today praise Jesus, the clouds parted and the sunshine broke through. To celebrate we drove to the city and hopped ourselves onto the Skyview Ferris Wheel, where we enjoyed a very circular view of downtown Atlanta.

The lads, city boys for a few hours.

The Skyview Ferris Wheel.

Keane takes it all in.

Just look at the nervous excitement and anticipation on these faces.

All aboard.

Keane wanted to know if we could open the window??

The only thing moving is Wyatt’s eyes. He was so nervous he literally froze.

Cullen was so happy to have a better view of all the city vehicles.

The Olympic rings of Centennial Olympic Park.

Someone’s getting very brave.

Not sure Wyatt ever got comfortable on the ferris wheel, but he found courage enough to join Keane and Cullen as they watched the city go around.

Of course we had to pay a visit to Olympic Park for a group shot.

Happiest of Christmas’s

December 25, 2015

Wishing everybody a very Merry Christmas. Here’s hoping you get to indulge in lots of family time, food and gift giving. And just in case you have yet to receive our Christmas card (lets hear it for last minute . com), this is what will be showing up in your mail box, if it hasn’t already. If you don’t get a card from us hold fire on the bitching, in this age of electronic everything, I’m embarrassed to say I don’t have mailing addresses for all the people we know. But please rest assured you are very much thought of and appreciated.

The official Christmas card of the Shinkins-Dyoles 2015. Just the boys on this years card. For some reason The Husband and I struggled to have a good hair day on the same day. Goals of 2016 ; )

And because life is more fun when its real, here are some of the outtakes and a bunch of shots that didn’t make the cut but are still cute.

Note to self, probably best to skip any kind of prop’age moving forward. #distraction

Someone’s playing peek-a-boo.

The hilarious game of holding balance.

Nailed it!

Don’t be fooled, he’s cute but he’s a handful.

So over momma and her camera.

Until momma was being funny.

Harder and harder to get a shot of them not pushing each others buttons.

Looking for ants.

Keane looking at everything but momma.

Can’t remember what made Cullen cry, but it obviously wasn’t too serious if I kept on clicking.

2 pouty little lips.

Joy again.

Then back to this.


Cullen’s revenge.

Merry Christmas Eve

December 24, 2015

Twas the night before Christmas and we are going to great lengths to ensure that even if Santa arrives to our house tired and grumpy from a long night of flying and house hopping, he’ll soon be cheered up by the sight of chocolate rice krispie treats prepared by all of us and only partially licked by Cullen, Keane, one of the dogs and the cat.

My champion treat makers.

Total family effort.

Heck yeah we lick spoons.


Not much prep work gone into the reindeer treat. Just serve as is.

Santa & Reindeer snacks are served.

Child one dressed as Santa, the other, his elf. Nobody can question our commitment.

A weekend filled with sweetness and sugar. Sweet because we got to spend our Sunday morning hanging with our SuperHero cancer fighter Gavin. And sugar because thats what decorating gingerbread houses is all about. Sugar by the fist fulls. More in the mouth than on the houses, tis the season after all.

On your marks. Get set. Decorate!

Keane straight into the roof decor.

With Cullen it was everything straight into the mouth.

Some candy did manage to find its way onto his gingerbread house, but am sure it was by complete accident.

Its was so good to finally see Gavin again. He and his family have been through so much the past 6 months, but he is still the happiest, chattiest, most social little fella around. Such an inspiring little soldier.

Gavin found a very unique and creative place to put his cone.

New play date member, the adorable Tripp.

Such intense concentration to get that candy on that house.

Cullen and Wyatt still eating.

Yes, we can see you Wyatt.

The only girl in the group filled with boys, the squeezable Dolly.

A few weeks shy of his 1st birthday, Gavin’s baby brother Swayer overlooks the sugary mess.

I saw Cullen grab hold of his gingerbread house with 2 hands, I knew something bad was about to happen.

There it is, he’s trying to find a way of getting the entire house into his mouth.

Gavin’s reaction to Cullen’s double fisting is priceless.

Look at Cullen’s face, he’s pissed Gavin called him out.

Keane is a big boy now, so he’s less messy about his candy consumption.

And he put together a pretty decent gingerbread house.

The brothers team up.

Gavin decorates while Sawyer tries to steal candy.

Well hello handsome.

With all that sugar pulsing through their veins it was time to play.

Tripp loved the firehouse.

The big boys chat about all things planes, trucks and Santa.

Cullen was excited to see that just like him, Sawyer has ears.

So this is how our attempt at a group shot went down. Basically, it didn’t.

The amazing Perkins family.


December 18, 2015

The holidays are all about traditions, and since Keane’s first Christmas 3 years ago, my friend Mike and I have established a tradition of going to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens Night of Lights. The display never disappoints and the boys reactions to it are what keeps us coming back each year. Until they become pre-teens, and they hate me, and they hate traditions and roll their eyes each time I suggest “doing something as a family”, and they won’t let me take pictures, and they won’t let me blog about them, and, and, and….. Dear God NEVER let them grow up. I just started nailing the toddler phase. I’m seriously not equipped to handle a couple of A-hole teenagers. Quick, back to happy thoughts and twinkly lights.

A shot of the moon peeking through the trees #soeffingartsy

Whats another Christmas tradition? School Christmas recitals, and last week both Keane and Cullen had recitals at their respective schools. Here’s Keane, a proud star walking in with some of his classmates.

He’s on the right. Look for the not so subtle big red circle.

Nailing it!

The little brother couldn’t care less. He’d rather watch the rain.

See, its not just the parents that get bored.

Group shot of Keane’s class.

A few days later and it was Cullen’s moment to shine in his Christmas show, as an angel. There he is, making his way to the stage.

Again, look to the right, for the not so subtle red circle. Again, nailing it!

Daddy and Keane are into it.

After his show Cullen ran to me, pulled at his wings and said “Off. No ‘ings momma.” Sorry kid, not till momma gets a picture.

Keane circles his brother, and I’m a little unsure if his face is one of envy over Cullen’s cute wings, or if  he’s thinking “Ha! Sucker.”

Either way the Christmas tunes start rocking and the boys start jumping.

Eventually I let Cullen take off his wings and to celebrate his freedom, he crawled around the floor. But in a very systematic way, by following the lines.

Keane making new friends at Cullen’s school and an instant game of tag begins.

Keane goes down.

Here I thought I was about to capture a proud momma moment of Cullen going over to help his big brother….

…but no, he was going over to sit on him instead.

This kid can’t quite figure out whats going on between my two, he must be an only child.

Keane tries to get up, but Cullen’s having none of it.

Eventually Keane breaks free.

This has become a typical scene, one minute wrestling and fighting, the next all hugs.

And now we’re chasing again.