Monday, July 27, 2009

Blog Hop - Favorite Kid Photos

Okay, after watching a few videos, I think (I hope) I have the MckLinky thing down.

I have so many favorite photos of my kids, but here are a couple recent favorites.

This picture does not show their faces, but it speaks a thousand words! These two boys are so wonderful together. They are best buds! I couldn't be more proud of them! Nico has taken to big brotherhood like a true champ! They have brought such joy to my life.This is Nico. He was trying to hide from the snapping camera and a great photo was shot.

(I have to admit, I did not take these photos, my friend Nate took them- what great shots he took of two of my kids).

MckLinky Blog Hop

Preparing to Travel

We are getting ready to leave on our first big road trip in the RV. We are heading to OshKosh, WI on Tuesday morning. We will be there for 5 days. We are really looking forward to getting away and all riding in the RV together. I loved it when we were kids!

What's in OshKosh you're asking? Well, we are headed there for the GINORMOUS airplane and helicopter fly in. I have never been before, but for the whole week people fly in their airplanes and helicopters and hang out. There will be air shows, static displays, a museum, a kids tent, movies, and nightly entertainment.

We went to the library last week and Nico checked out about 10 books on helicopter and airplanes (not that we already have several at home, but you can never have too many!). He actually sat down and read a whole book (YES!). He is studying up on his identifaction of the planes and helies. He already knows quite a few. He amazes me! I am so proud of everything he does.

Luca is showing great interest in planes and helicopters too. Everytime he sees one in the sky he says, "Daddy", because Daddy flies one at work (and home). He doesn't yet say airplane or helicopter, but instead says, "brrrrmmm" (well whatever sound they make as they fly through the air). Nico and Luca sat for an hour last week lining up all of Nico's airplane/heli toys and playing. It was awesome! Luca will be in awe at the show I am sure and come back with toys of his own. Nico has his little backpack ready to carry his new things in. We are on a mission to find a wallet with a helicopter on it.

We hope to get some spectacular photos to post and scrapbook.

I'll post more after we return from our trip.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Baby's Got Words!

Luca's vocabulary is skyrocketing!

Just this week he started saying "All Done" and "Done", "doo-doo" (for poo-poo), "I want out", "I come down" and "What you doing?"

His other words include: "Sponge Bob" (which is pronounced 'pum bob' - my cousin's boys think it is hilarious the way he says it and try to get him to say everytime they see him). It is quite adorable....especially since it was one of his first words. He also says, "Dye-Dye" for bye-bye, "hello", "hi", "dink" for drink, "eeee" for eat, "Dico" for Nico, "mama, mom", "daddy, dad", "I see", "moo" for move, "uuu" for up, "thank you", "peas" for please, "go", "me", "mow" for No and many more. (He also signs for many of these)

He says a few more that I can't think of off the top of my head. I just love how their vocabulary starts to grow. Sometimes I wonder how they figure out what they are suppose to say, such as "ME". I don't go around saying, "me do it" I say "I will do it", but somehow he started in with, "mow, me" which is "No, me!" I love that he is starting to express himself with words and being able to ask for things. We really try to stress that he uses words or signs to get what he wants.

I just love being home with my boys and watching the developement and spending so much time with them. I am blessed to have a great job that allows me to be with them and not have to stick them in daycare all to homeschool them and have them home with me...I LOVE IT!

I can't believe August 5 is soon approaching. This is Luca's Gotcha Day. I am not sure what celebrations we are having, but we are headed to Tan-Tar-A for the weekend for MOGUATE. I was so excited to go last year with him in tow as I was not sure when he was coming home. So, every year Tan-Tar-A MOGUATE weekend will be a special event for us.

More later as it is time for me to sign off and get home (I am working some overtime tonight and ready to go).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Playing with Photo Program

I have been having fun over the past couple of days playing with my new photo enhancement program. I have ALOT to learn about it, but had fun playing with some of the settings on some recent photos we took.

Today we sat on our front porch and watched a thunderstorm build up. The clouds were rolling, lightening flashing, and thunder growling. We were able to catch a couple flashes of lightening as it streaked out of the sky. It was a great science lesson for Nico as he was able to see the cooler clouds being pushed up and around by the warm air moving in. We were wondering if a tornado was going to occur it was rolling so much.

Nico found this adorable little green tree frog in the yard. Nico posed the little guy on the branch so I could take some macro photos of him. I love how you can see all his little bumps and wrinkles. We printed them out to frame and decorate my 'nature' bathroom with. They turned out pretty nice.

Here is one of our kitty cats. This is Zeus. I truly believe he is a little boy reincarnated. He is such a little rascal, just like my 3 boys. Today he was hanging over the side of the swimming pool trying to get to the football floating in there. I was just waiting for him to fall in. One day he thought he would make use out of the bird bath since there was no water in it. I don't know if he thought he was going to catch himself a bird or if it was a nice comfy place to hang out. I like the pictures.

The photo of the bee was taken in Hannibal last week. I did some photo editing and just highlighted some colors. I am not printing it, but I kind of like the affect I got.
Our goal is to decorate our house with pictures of our vacations and pictures of our family. We can spend just as much money getting a picture I print professionally matted at Michael's as if we bought pictures that we don't even know where they are.

I would like to take some classes on photography. This is one of my goals for the year, if I can get someone to watch the boys for me for a few hours.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


We had a great time last week on our camping trip. This time we went just an hour north of us to Hannibal, MO. We stayed at a nice campground called Injun Joe Campground. Although we only spent two nights it was great just to get away.

We spent Thursday in the town of Hannibal doing some sightseeing. We toured Mark Twain Cave, Mark Twain's Boyhood Home, walked up the 244 steps to the lighthouse, ate some lunch, and toured Rockcliffe Mansion.

Trips like this really add to our homeschooling experience. Being able to see where Mark Twain lived and picturing what life was like in his lifetime really imprints on your mind. I have been to Hannibal many times since I was a kid and they keep expanding the museums and adding more information about Mark Twain's (Samuel Clemens) life growing up. I learn more each time and really enjoy sharing my childhood memories with my kids and Mike. I love creating our own memories. I sat Thursday night and watched the boys running around together. Luca was following Nico everywhere and imitating everything. Nico was teaching Luca the art of 'sticks as guns'. Some may say sticks as guns is a bad thing...but boys will create a gun out of anything, trust me having three boys I know. As the saying goes, "It's a boy thing." My kids know they go after the bad guys and they are also aware of the danger of guns. We don't have real guns in the house .

Me and my two babies in the Becky Thatcher Butterfly Garden.

Mike and his boys.

Luca went up and posed in this doorway. He just loves when the camera comes out.

I like this photo of the lighthouse. We walked the 244 steps up to it and then found out we couldn't go up inside the lighthouse. Oh well, it was great exercise. Mike carried Luca up in his stroller - luckily it was an umbrella stroller.

We did some fishing on our first night there. They had a couple of nibbles but no fish for dinner. Nico was glad, he just likes to catch and release, not eat them. I love both of these pictures of the boys. Nico looks so cute with his new tackle box and Transformers fishing pole. He did pretty good casting this time, although I did untangle his line several times! That is what it is all about. Luca did great just hanging out throwing rocks. Mike did come over and let him hold the pole.

Here are a couple of photos from the cave. It was a cool 54 degrees. This cave is not as spectacular as Meremac Caverns as it did not have all the formations in it as there is not a lot of water that runs through the cave. Missouri is known as the cave state because of all the caves found here. If you are ever in MO be sure to check out at least 3 of them. They are all different. Mark Twain cave is neat because they tell the story as based from the book, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", by Mark Twain. One can just picture young Samuel Clemens running around in the cave with his friends and creating this story as he got older.

With all the adventure last week I decided that for fourth grade (2010-2011) we will be studying American Literature, with Mark Twain as one of our authors.
I love these family times together away from home. It gets us out of our work mode and into relax mode. I also enjoy these times as these are some of my favorite memories from when I was a and camping with my family. I am planning on creating a "Then and Now" Scrapbook with photos of myself as a child and my children in the some of the same locations.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Boys of Summer

One Happy Boy!

I have had Brian for a few days. It is so nice to see him again. Nico loves having him here because it gives him someone to play Wii with and today they were able to go swimming without mom having to hang out right there. They are all getting along really well this time. I think Brian being away helped their bond. Although I really miss him, the house is alot calmer when he is not here. I know he is 17 and I know our bond will get stonger again too. He is a very loving boy and still gives me hugs and kisses. He is doing good and enjoying working with his dad. As always I worry about him and am always excited to see him and have him with us.
(The Three Amigos!)

We are planning on going to Tan-Tar-A with Brian in August for the MO-Guate weekend. He is really a big help to me with the boys. I really need to try to plan a night or weekend away with just Brian and myself.

Luca's personality is growing every day. He is so funny and has the cutest expressions. I try to capture them on film, but of course, he won't perform on demand. He is very empathic and tends to go up to children when they are crying and pats them on the back or arm. It is so cute. He is enjoying drawing (scribbling) on paper and then proudly shows us the beautiful work he has done. He does most of this while Nico is doing his lessons. He is also getting very interested in looking at books and 'pretending' to read. In his mind he is reading. He loves music and enjoys singing and dancing. He loves Mike's guitars and the piano.
Guitar Hero!

Luca's vocabulary is coming along. He now has two and three word sentences; although most can't understand him, we can. He tends to be lazy in forming his words completely. He is still picking up on the sign language and signing while saying the words. Nico and I are having fun learning sign language and have used it a few times amongst ourselves. We play games like Simon Says and Red light, Green Light (stop and go). Hopefully soon we can get some sentences together and carry on a mini conversation.

Writing an important note to Daddy! He holds his pencil right already.

Oh, I forgot, he is also showing signs of using the potty. He now runs and hides when he is pooping in his pants. We were in the middle of playing catch tonight when he ran off around the corner. I heard some grunting and said, "Are you pooping." He lauged and ran off....yep, a load in the diaper. So, we are working on the potty chair.

This week was not overly exciting in our activity calendar. Next week we are going camping at Mark Twain State Park and the Lincoln County Fair is going on. Nico is on the look out for a turtle and a bullfrog for the turtle and frog races. He is also practicing for the watermelon eating contest. Last year he came in 2nd place....shooting for 1st and the $3.00 jackpot. (Hopefully this year it won't pour down rain while the event is taking place, I had to put my camera away early and obtained blurry photos...but blurry is better than none!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Rainy 4th of July

My Firecrackers!

We started the 4th of July with buckets and buckets of rain. It stopped for a bit in the afternoon and then continued again in time to stop the fireworks show in our home town. We ended up doing a lot of housework today and were able to get a couple of rooms straightened out and shelves hung up. I had to work Saturday night, so Friday we spent our family time together.

We take Fridays off from schoolwork (during the summer) and plan a special activity for the day. This week we went to Grant's Farm with our friends, Melissa and Nate. We have so much fun hanging out with them.

Luca did great feeding the baby goats. He did not freak out at all when they all huddled around him trying to get that little baby bottle from his hands. We were afraid he was going to want to drink it, but he has been baby bottle free for 5 months now and did fine. He was not afraid to pet the snake or touch the nasty hissing cockroaches....ewww, gives me the shivers just thinking of them. (As a matter of fact, just this afternoon, he picked up two dead beetles and brought them to me....great, thanks!!! - at least they were point, he is not afraid to touch creepy, crawly bugs).
You can see the nasty cockroach in the picture.

Nico had a great time. He kept telling me last night how much fun he had. That is what totally makes my day. It is also great because of the special memories I have of going to Grant's Farm as a kid and then bringing each of my children there. My parent's gave me such special memories and I am blessed to have these three boys in my life to carry on the memories.
This is Luca's first merry-go-round ride! He was in awe of the lights and mirrors. Nico enjoyed making faces at us as he was going around. Melissa managed to snap a photo of it....unknown to her until she looked at the picture.
I had the boys dressed in their red, white, and blue and pose to take photos. Luca is getting into the posing thing. He stands and crosses his arms then gives me 'the look'. Luckily today 'the look' was a BIG smile!

After Grant's Farm we went to Winfield (a little town near us) for a 4th of July carnival and were then going to watch fireworks. However, it started raining so we left after Nico rode the spinning swings for the 6th time in a row!!! (Ugh, I would have been puking after the first.) I think he is gearing up for Disney. We ended up going home and setting off some of the fireworks we had bought earlier in the week.

Am I cute or what????

Mike kept the boys tonight and planned to take them to the firework show in Troy, but when they arrived they found out it was canceled. There were also a ton of people stuck in the mud of the fairgrounds!!!! Mike had his big pick-em up truck but was unable to pull anyone out for fear of getting himself stuck, so homeward bound they went. Mike and Nico finished setting off the few fireworks we had bought. All in all, still a great 4th of July.