Archive for June, 2018

Cape Day 1

June 30, 2018

When you have an aunt and uncle who are amazing enough to open up their house to a Doyle Boy (and their mommas) takeover, AND they happen to live on The Cape, I’m sorry, but summer life doesn’t get much better than that. So get ready, there’s about to be a lot of beach related photo sharing.

Day 1, minutes after our arrival and we’er already on the beach.

Oldest Doyle boy, Paul and youngest, Cullen.

Keane’s new favorite sport is Lacrosse.

Work has begun on some kind of beach trench.


A sort of trench digging assembly line. With Cullen as acting project manager apparently.

The mad rush to fill buckets of water for the trench.

But the buckets became unnecessary when the tide started to roll in.

Desperate attempts to save the trench.

When all else fails, throw sand.

Back on the shore and now we’re digging holes for burial.

The first burial victim.

Its snack time for everyone else.

Keane, buried alive.

Escape artist.

Cullen & James wanted a tandem burial.

While Cullen wanted out…..

…James preferred to reamin buried, so he could enjoy his snacks.

Keane took off on a solo adventure chasing a seagull. When it looked like there was no end to his chasing, I took off in hot pursuit.

Me returning the adventurer back to base.

Cullen busy acquiring crab corpses.

Cannot take your eyes off this fella for a second. He gets an idea in his head and suddenly he’s off.

Spotted, a couple of cute lifeguards.

Paul & Dinara get busy on castle construction.

Suddenly the whole crew is involved.

Tried to get a group shot. This was the best of 8 attempts.

Always with the demolition.

After a long and fun filled day at the beach, it was off to check out the local Cape baseball game.

The Kettlers.

Paul is focused, he’s goal is to leave this game with a game ball.

Keane caging himself in the pitchers warm up pen.

This worked for me, less chance of him spontaneously taking off.

Some action shots.

Yep, still there.

Cullen made a friend under the stands playing in the rocky sand box.

Freedom walk.

These kids are on a mission to get a game ball.

Bingo, James got one.

Sharing his prized ball.

Time to get the ball signed by some of the team players.

Homeward bound.

While the grown ups work on dinner, the boys engage in a game of cards. Well, I’m not sure Cullen is playing as much as he is disrupting.

Outside Keane continues to work on his Lacrosse skills.

Uncle Jack on grill.

And Dinara, caught in the act, sipping on a heafty pour of wine.

Balloon Fight

June 28, 2018

Overpacked and overweight. How glad was I that I had packed everything the kids and I could possibly need for a week away only to realize that all I really needed to pack, was everyones swimmies. Dragging all of that excess baggage, paying the “Heavy” fees at check-in when a backpack with swimmies and the odd pair of shorts and a t-shirt was perfectly adequate. Live and learn I guess. Although I know I never will. I’ve traveled most of my life and never mastered the art of packing minimalist style. Hi my name is Karen and I’m a serial overpacker.

Summer fun is all water based fun. And nothing is more fun than a water balloon fight.

Trigger Happy

June 25, 2018

We’re back! We’re back! And if you ask my boys, they’ll tell you that being back, does not make them happy. Time with cousins is their absolute favourite thing. For the duration of our visit, they are little shadows and mirrors of their big cousins. They get a peek into the world of what being an older kid looks like and they love all of the new things they get to learn and experience. And I think Paul & James enjoy that feeling of being looked up to. They are so good giving Keane & Cullen so much of their time and attention and very patient when teaching and showing them all of their many skills and talents. This is what makes coming home so hard. But at least upon our return home, thanks to my sister-in-law and my trigger happy fingers, we have tons of photos to comb through and relive all of the adventures. Which then leads to a conversation about the next planned visit and what we might get up to then.

Day 1 of the trip was a hot one, so we spent the morning enjoying some lake time close to where Paul & James live.

Minnow catching.

This slithery guy showed up and completely terrified me. But not the kids. They were all curiosity and chat about wanting to try and capture him. I shut that idea down really quickly. I’d no intention of spending my morning sucking venom out of anybody’s leg.

A dead fish made its way to shore.

And of course curious hands want to touch.

And scoop him up.

A local fisherman pulled up with his morning’s catch.

And he was cool enough to answer all the boys fishing questions and let them check out his catch.

I believe we’re now looking for turtles.

After lunch it was off to James Lacrosse game.

Pitch side fan club.

Post game chat.

We finished off the evening at Paul’s All Star baseball game.

Strawberry Fields

June 15, 2018

Am about to get started on some packing, headed to Massachusetts for a week of cousin filled fun, but didn’t want to leave without sharing the visual imagery from our annual trip to the strawberry farm last week. Was also motivated by the fact that I’m so behind on photo sharing these days. My shooting, editing and posting workflow just can’t seem to keep up with all of our summer activities so far, and the photos just keep piling up. But on the flip side of that argument, I also genuinely can’t stand packing. Hate it. So sitting here jibbering on about strawberry’s, photos and more photos, gives me the excuse I need to keep playing the avoidance game. Avoid, avoid, believe deeply that everything we need for the next week will somehow magically walk itself into our suitcase. Bizarrely enough, that never seems to happen and as usual my procrastination will result in me staying up til midnight, packing.

But back to the strawberry’s. Warbington Farms is where we like to go for our strawberry pickin, cos there’s so much available for the kids to do, besides pick strawberries. Its a full day of country activity and this year Keane’s friend Ella was able to join us. The highlight of the visit this year were the baby goats. Usually the baby goats are all contained in fenced in fields, and the kids interact and feed them through those fences. This year however, they were loose and roaming all over the place, having the best time playing with all the kids, stealing food and trying to eat everyones shoelaces.

Food, the best way to befriend anyone.

One little fella was curious about the climbing wall and slide.

The bigger cheeker goats remained contained due to their confrontational type personalities. But we made sure to stop by and give them some attention and food too.

But the baby goats were too hard to resist. That and they were relentless in the their desire for attention.

It was only a matter of time before these baby’s were scooped up.

Baby goat hand off to Keane.

Ella keeping a close eye on Keane’s baby goat holding technique.

Cullen had his own way of holding that I’m not sure the baby goat loved, but tolerated.

Ella just can’t stop picking up baby goats.

It took a while, but eventually we left the baby goats to take flight on the bounce pillow.

A slide made of rollers. You can tell but the faces it was a bumpy ride down.

But it never seemed to bother Cullen.

Ella loving on the baby goats again.

This guy was resistant to Ella’s love, but she kept on loving him regardless.

Eventually we got to the strawberry picking.

Lots of strawberries for our efforts.

Another great trip to the farm.

Party Like A 6 Year Old

June 13, 2018

Another birthday, another waterslide. Thats what Keane wanted, so thats what he got. Am not sure at what age waterslides start to be considered not fun. Actually, evidence would suggest (the evidence being some of grown-ups participating in the waterside action), that they never stop being fun, no matter what your age. So a waterslide may in fact be showing up each year for Keane’s next 40 birthdays. Birthdays, Billy Madison style. Pokémon was also heavily present on party day. Pokémon is the current obsession. My knowledge of Pokémon (Keane’s obsession) along with my knowledge of sharks (Cullen’s obsession) has gone from absolute zero, to master level, possibly even professor level. And I’m not even kidding. Seriously, you’d be stupid not to have me as a member of your next pub quiz team. Especially if the questions have anything to do with trains, trucks, dinosaurs, reptiles, Pokémon and sharks. Basically anything my kids have been into the past 6 years, I’ve got the team covered. But enough of the small talk, lets get on with the party pics!

The boys, as usual very enthusiastic about helping set up the cake and dessert table.

Tiny Pokemon for each cupcake.

And of course, the very special birthday cake. As you can probably tell, esp if you’re a Pokémon fan, Pikachu lost an ear in transit from the bakery to the house. But no biggy, the boys just ate it.

The slide arrived a couple of hours before the party. So obviously the boys had to take it for a test drive.

Cullen only likes to play on the slide when its not congested and packed full of kids. So he made the most of the pre-party fun.

There goes Keane.

But look who’s waiting with some extra soakage at the bottom. Cullen & Mike.

Got him!

See, grown-ups love waterslides too.

Mike enjoyed that way too much.

Keane again.

The friends are here. Now the fun can really start.

Getting these landing shots wasn’t easy. These kids moved down that thing at lightening speed.

Bryson’s threatening finger point to the next kid down.

Its David.

With a thumbs up for waterslide fun.

Bryson & Keane rocking the same Pokémon swim shirt (both huge fans) and headed down for a dual slide.

Ella is taking no chances. Goggles for safety.

The squirters are out.

A little down time in the paddle pool.

A break in the action for pizza and of course, cake.

Full and energized they’re back for round 2.

Cullen takes a squirter to the head.

Mike declares war on the little kids.

The endless stamina of these children.

Cullen rescuing radom sharks from the landing pool.

Of course its only right to end with a shot of the birthday boy. Happy Birthday Keane!