Friday, October 31, 2014

Go for the Gourd...

There's been a great deal of pumpkin bedazzling around here.  For a house full of boys that's something... the bedazzling part.  It might be the only time I'll ever use that word in a post on our family blog -- ever -- so just to solidify it's rarity, I'll say it again...
We've done bedazzled our gourds 'round here.
It started with googley eyes.  Did you know they came in the self-adhesive variety?  Rad.

It then morphed into painting little pumpkins with glue and sprinkling dumping glitter on them.  This was an idea they gathered from Preschool.  Dag-nabit.

Then there was the birthday party where they colored and applied foam stickers to their little hearts content on mini pumpkins.

So I thought we had it all covered.
Ryan and I put on our "parental panties" and carved it up.  And I sort of vote this as THE worst holiday tradition known to mankind... for obvious reasons:
The gigantic glops of pumpkin guts and the slippery seeds that make their way to every surface of your house.  The way your forearm itches in a weird "there are pumpkin fibers sticking to my skin and slowly and itchily drying" kind of way.  And then there's the fact that your oldest goes neurotic to collect EVER.LAST.SEED since he learned you could bake and eat them at preschool... geez that place is educational.  :)
Yep, the mister and I had fully decided this tradition is all a bunch of junk.
Until we looked at this.
Which is the whole reason these traditions live on from year-to-year, you know… it's these dang  cherubs we all call "our children".
There's really no sense in fighting it.  Because seriously…
A variety of emoting jacks on the front step with shirtless kids who are sporting matching faces?
I'll take it.
Happy Halloween, Y'all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

You're a Great American...

In September the kiddos and I had to stop at Costco in another city.  We were en route to somewhere and I'd forgotten sunscreen, so we pulled into the foreign/familiar grounds and hurried in.  What greeted us inside the doors?  Costumes... of the great American hero variety.

Listen, I may not be one to decorate my house to the nines or throw a pumpkin carving party in the back yard - but when it comes to dressing my little misters?  I got this.
Or rather - they got this.  Oddly, there wasn't one argument about who should get which costume, and further, no one even contemplated the Astronaut suit for a split second.  Which says something, but what, I'm not sure --  Love you Buzz Armstrong.
Love them more...
My great American Heroes.
And the whole group of them?  Geez, Louise... I feel like maybe I should submit this picture to be printed on the cover of next year's Pottery Barn's holiday catalogue.  Raise your hand if you concur.
Then brace yourself for this...
Ace Face has been wanting to be a "fi-oh-fighto" for many months now.  I do believe Ryno started this whole phenomenon when he brought little red hats from Firehouse Subs on a random summer day?
Or maybe this all started with our first Preschool field trip to the fire house last year?
Or maybe it's just in his genes and he feels close to Great Grandpa Clement when he puts on this little get up.  But really... who cares what his reasons are?  I've never seen such a handsome rescuer.  I might just get a little pyro this afternoon so he'll have to come save me.  :)
And then there's this cool cat.
Lawd Have Mer-SAY does he ever play the part.
I personally have no knowledge of anyone being a member of a SWAT team in our family tree.  But I'm really crossing my fingers that maybe this little bad A$$ boy starts a trend?
Dax Man... There are hardly words.
But with that face of yours in these pictures... there really doesn't need to be any.
And last, but certainly not least, we have the Sarg.
If that face doesn't say, "Drop and give me ten!" I don't know what does.
He was born to play this role.
He was oddly fixated with his compass.
There was a whole lotta pointing and hand signals being given.
And when I'd burst out laughing at his looks of consternation, he would join in... like he just realized he was gettin' WAY too serious.
But then again, being a big, bad, "army guy" is serious business.
So that frantic Costco run in September?  Yeah.  I'm not regretting that one.
And come Halloween day when it's snowing and cold... I won't regret this night in the hay field, either.
Happy Haunting, Y'all. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fire Station #82...

It's the field trip that was designed with little fellers in mind... the Fire Station.
I really don't think there is any way they could love this any more than they do.
This year we got to visit a different station and I'm not gonna lie, my boys were stoked that having already been to a fire station last year, they knew all the right answers.
And they did not shy away from sharing their wealth of knowledge.  Not even for a second.
This was the point where Kael answered the question, "Where do fire trucks get their water from?"
His reply (almost verbatim): "You can just get water from rivers, or lakes, or oceans, or ditches or ca-NAILS (also known as canals) or, like, maybe even big puddles."
Atta way, Tiger.
This is the part where Dax said you should, "Call 8-9-9 if there is a fire and then get out of your window and run to the mail box and yell, 'FIRE, FIRE!'"
Almost perfection, buddy.
And good listening to yo mama's house fire story.  I'm proud of you.
This was the part where Miss Amy got to dress up in the fire gear.  It's always good for them to see that underneath all that "stuff" there are nice people who are ready to help.
The handsome Junior Fire Fighters...
The obligatory pose on the fire truck shot.
Almost.  Big K was rummaging through the cookies and juice boxes at this point.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ride Hard...

You remember a couple of holidays ago, Santa brought Kael and Dax the little blue wheelers of the Fisher Price variety?  The battery operated ones that can only go approximately two-miles-per-hour?
Yeah - we've graduated.
During the deer hunt the boys rode laps around the backyard at Grandpa's red house.  Nothing new there except for their advanced skill level.  You guys, they've mastered it.  It's a real, live, bonafide mini-four wheeler and they are amazingly good at cruisin' around on it in a largely responsible manner.
(With their helmets on - hard fast rule)
Is it just me or do the camo get ups complete with helmets make them look at least 17?
Cue the tears.
And while we're on the topic of time travel, let's talk about the glittery green helmet from the 80s. 
A.  Kaelster will literally mow people down to be the first to the garage to choose this helmet.
B.  Is there an expiration date on helmets?  Because certainly this one has expired.
C.  I'm told that "whoever gets the sparkly green one, gets to ride first"
At least we have a system.
It will be about two days and then Ace will be able to ride around solo like a pro too.
Such is the time warp of motherhood.
But seriously, hats off to these little riders.
I'm equal parts impressed and nervous.
As I should be.
Ride On, Gents.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Deer Hunt... 2014 Edition

This year both RyGar and I had deer tags.  This year, we buoyed ourselves up for the "Gardner Family Deer Hunt" -- the family part is a new addition.  But isn't there some official rule written somewhere that little boys are totally ready at the ripe old ages of 3, 4, and 5?
Ready or not - Here we come!
The pep talk...
The country...
The luckiest lady in the land.
The mighty tiny hunters.

It wasn't easy.  Seriously, I don't know how many times we asked them to be quiet.  I don't know how many juice boxes or snacks were ingested, and I don't know how many truck naps were had.
But I do know that when I saw them all like this.
It was worth it.
Long story short... we hunted, we played, we conquered.
OK, Fine.  50/50.
The real men are holding out for bigger trophies next weekend when they hunt kid-free.  But me?  I'm totally stoked about my little two-point, especially when my trio of little huntin' buddies said, 
"Great Job, Mom!"
Is there a better victory than those faces?
I don't think so, friends.
And a big XO to my patient hubs who teach these little men all about the important things in life.  And for guiding me to success.  He's my best trophy.