Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Jake and the Firefly Peanut

While Erin went to put Jack down tonight, I went to put the big kids to bed. In typical fashion, as I led Owen and Mason to their beds, they started brainstorming ways to stall. "Can you read us a book?" asked Mason.  "No," I replied.  "It's way past your bed time already. It's a school night. You need your rest." "But Jack aaalways gets to read a book," protested Mason. Finally I gave in - but just a little bit.  "OK. Fine. Get in bed, and I will tell you two a quick story."
I occasionally do this, just to get a few laughs or whatever.  I make up a title and then build some goofy story around it. This one was called Jake and the Firefly Peanut:
One day, Jake and his dad went to a baseball game. They were having a great time, watching their home team play and spending time together. Eventually, though, Jake got hungry and asked his dad for a snack. "Sure, son," said Jake's dad. He called out to the guy walking up and down the aisle. "Two bags of peanuts, please!" The guy took Jake's dad's money and handed him the peanuts. As he did, the peanut guy gave the dad a bit of an odd smile.  Jake's dad shook it off and took the bags of peanuts. 
Jake and his dad opened their bags and dug in. When Jake cracked open the first nut, however, a firefly flew out. He hovered in the air, face-to-face with a shocked Jake.  He buzzed for a bit, and then started to speak: 
"You have freed me from the peanut!" said the firefly. "In return, I shall grant you three wishes." 
"Great!" said Jake. With his first wish, Jake wished for Skylanders Swap Force (this is #1 on Owen and Mason's Christmas list). With his second wish, Jake wished for Lego Indiana Jones for Xbox. And then, with his third and final wish, Jake wished for Owen and Mason to go to sleep.
With that, I told the kids a quick goodnight and headed for the door. "Wait!" called Owen. "I need to tell you my story." I sighed deeply. "Make it quick." Owen proceeded to tell me his version of the story:
One day, Jake and his dad went to a baseball game. They bought some peanuts. When Jake opened his peanut, a firefly flew out. He said "I will grant you two wishes." 
"Great!" said Jake. With his first wish, Jake wished for me to have Skylanders Swap Force. With his second wish, he wished for you to read us a book.
I got served.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pumpkin Patch and Halloween

A few Sundays ago we decided to try out a new pumpkin patch/farm.  This year we went to the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm (mainly because the big kids were scheduled for a field trip to Sweet Berry).  We really enjoyed this new place because it was less crowded and more relaxed.  There were several mazes, pumpkin painting, duck races, a hay ride and train ride, and lots of other little things that were perfect for the ages of our kids.

We started with some pictures before there was ever a chance for meltdowns or tired kids or messy clothes!  And since they were in such great moods, we got several great ones that I can't narrow down any further.  I promise there are more pictures of other things down below!

Below is a TOTALLY random animated gif of the above pictures.  I have never seen my photo uploader create this before, nor do I know how it happened this time!  I almost deleted it, but thought it was just too cute.  Boy can you tell who the ham in the family is!?

 The great thing about this farm was all the great backdrops for photos.  Here we are in a cool, old truck!

They may be getting big, but they are adorable as ever!  And THAT is a genuine Mason (left) smile!

Pretty sure Jack was cutting up and the big kids were laughing at him!

This isn't the best photo of the other two, but Mason's chilled-out pose cracks me up.

Jack is in HEAVEN on this old tractor!!

Haha!  Mason's face!  I don't know what he was so excited about.  We were just walking over to the hay bale maze!

Waiting for the hay ride to start!

These sweet big brothers are making sure Jack doesn't tumble backwards off the hay (again).

The prize pumpkins - some just right for carving, and the others for painting!


Mason.  The boy just can't be serious.  He's such a goof ball!

Owen.  Always photogenic!

Face in hole!

Wonder how tall we'll be when we come back next year!

I do believe this is Jack's first experience with paint.  He was pretty pumped about it!  So were the big kids!

Owen hard at work!

I was really impresesd with how Jack's pumpkin turned out!  The yellow and red were all him, and then he asked for help with the mouth.  I helped guide his hand to create a smile - and then he decided on his own to add the little black eyes.  

All of a sudden we noticed this stick had hitched a ride in Mason's pocket.  Boys!! :)

Owen, Jack, and Mason's pumpkins.

Family photo!

The next night we carved the pumpkins we brought home from the farm.  Jack was more than excited to participate until he realized how gooey it was inside.  He was content playing with some of the carving tools and pretending to carve the little pumpkin he painted.


Owen is proud of his masterpiece!

Mason loves his scary pumpkin!

We also enjoyed dressing up for Owen and Mason's school carnival.  Owen and Mason went as Skylanders characters.  Mason is Chop Chop and Owen is Tree Rex.  Jack, well...he was a bit of a challenge!  I had two costumes, each of a favorite character - Dusty from the movie Planes, and Minion Dave.  He was super excited about his costumes and even admired himself in the mirror.  But after about one whole minute, he declared he was "all done" and wanted the costume off.  We were trying to get out the door for the carnival, and I couldn't get ANY costume on Jack.  He would just run past me giggling as I tried to catch him.  Eventually it occurred to me to use one of the boys' past costumes.  He finally ended up dressed as a pirate - mainly because the costume felt like regular clothes.  I had to completely distract him with the TV in order to sneak the pants on him though.  And he happily (and unexpectedly) agreed to wear his bandana (wasn't having a pirate hat) on his head since Emma would have a bandana as well.

Emma went as Izzy from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Aren't these kiddos adorable!?!

Buddies waiting in line together.  They have a precious little bond.  She calls him "honey."

Jack getting some help from Dad.

Forget it!  Using my hand his much easier!  Now, where's that candy?!

Feeling like a big kid on the big kid playground!

Reaping the benefits of winning at the cake walk!

While the big boys were off feeling mystery yucky stuff in a dark tent, these two were perfectly content running from one bounce house to the next, and back again!

Here's that minion costume.  Yep.  Adorable.

A few nights later was Halloween night!  Look!  We got a vest on Jack this time!

Fascinated with the light up Mickey pumpkin!

Telling secrets!  Love this one!

Our trick-or-treaters!

They were all pretty impressed with these decorations!

Mr. Scott (Emma's dad) happened to have this get-up from his job so he went as a city worker.  The plus for us was him stopping traffic as we crossed the street.  He was VERY reflective!

Jack hitching a ride with Mom to catch up to the big kids!

Owen's turn to hitch a ride!

After trick-or-treating, we took the kids to see the "zombie" house.  This particular house draws tons of traffic since it has at least a dozen life-size zombies in their yard, including a freaky girl in a nightgown slowly swinging and singing a creepy song.  On Halloween only they even have actual people dressed up and walking around.  We figured the big kids would be fine since they seem to have learned a think or two about zombies from kids at school.  Not so!  They were both a bit freaked out and Mason spent his time hovering behind one of us.  Owen was a little more brave but still didn't get too close.  Jack, on the other hand, was all about it!  He even requested a picture in front of a couple of the zombies, including the one holding it's own head from a chain attached to it's eyelid!  EW!  This kid is something else!!

Checking it out!

Trying to be scary too!

Notice the LACK of pictures of my big kids!  Haha!!