Sunday, November 12, 2017

Aunt Amelia Visit

Woo, it's been awhile since I've blogged. I think I'm starting a new trend by always opening up my posts like that. 

I've been having trouble keeping up on life lately, let alone the blog. But here we are! Let's do this!

Amelia came to visit us about a month ago which was so much fun. We were all super excited to spend a week with her. We love her so much! We had lots of fun while she was here, hopefully she did too :).

Here's some pictures of all the fun things we did in no particular order.

We went to Little Tree Orchards to pick apples. This activity was a bit disappointing since it was rainy, the apple cider donuts were cold and just not that great, and they barely had any apples to pick. We didn't end up getting any because the few trees that did have apples did not look good at all. We still had fun hanging out playing ping pong and fooseball in the orchard store/hang out area.

We went to Iron Kettle Farm and went on a hay ride, tried some more apple cider donuts, as well as pumpkin donuts (the verdict being that they taste exactly the same). I really enjoyed walking around seeing all of the pumpkins that they had dressed up as tv/book characters. Very impressive.

So sad that the tree coloring in the background of this picture wasn't better! It has been a pretty disappointing fall this year in terms of fall foliage colors. 

We stopped in at the Ithaca Book Sale (it was my second time going, but I couldn't help myself from going again. Picture books!) This book sale is huge. It happens twice a year and people come from all over and leave with suitcases full of books being sold at very cheap prices. I love it so much.

The kids hanging out under the book stacks looking at seek and find books while I look through the books above them.

 Hike at Fillmore Glen. 

Trying our hand at apple picking again. Grismore Farms had much more to offer. 

After apple picking we moved on to the pumpkins. 

We ate at one of our favorite places to eat here in Ithaca, Circus Truck. We took the food up to campus and met up with Darin to eat before climbing the tower to listen to the chimes. 

Walk around Beebee Lake.
 The two things Shae said that he wanted to do with Aunt Amelia when she came to visit were:
Science Center

We made sure to do both.

Checking out the new China exhibit--tying ropes and doing Tai-chi.

 Chinese theatre. Shae only lasted about a minute before he was like, get me out of this dress.

 Exploring worms.

Trip to the Botanical Gardens for some family photos.

We had a blast visiting all of these places with Amelia, as well as hanging out at home watching shows and playing games (lots of Disney Scene-It).

We were all so sad when she had to leave, but Belén especially had a hard time. She burst into tears in the car when she saw Amelia walking towards the airport and even though it's been a month since her visit, every few days she mentions Amelia coming back to our home, or her going to Amelia's home.

Thank you for coming out so far to visit us Amelia! 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

September Small Things

Family Home Evening about Happiness.
 Shae being excited about Belén's first day of school.
Shae didn't start school until the week after Belén so we got some one on one time which was so nice! It's so rare to get one on one time with either kids, but when it happens, it is usually with Belén while Shae is playing at friend's houses or at Joy School, so it felt extra special to have some mommy/Shae time. We tried hard to make it special too by going to McDonald's for breakfast and brought along Sleeping Queens and Go Fish to play while we ate. It was so fun. I loved being able to talk to him by himself (without little sister trying to wrestle one of us). I asked him what he was most excited about in regards to starting preschool and he said, "Meeting my teachers." When I asked what he was most scared of he said, "The bullies." We then had a really sweet conversation about bullies and that sometimes we all have bully moments and how we should react and treat other people. Love this sweet, sensitive boy.
 Primary Ninja Warrior Activity. Belén wanted daddy to do it with her.

Darin did this to try and get Belen to do it, and she still didn't after he did. What a cool dad.

 Used up some of our apples in Darin's bday cake. I made this Apple Toffee Crunch Cake. My doesn't look anything like the one in the picture. This would easily be a pinterest fail if I had found the recipe on pinterest. The toffee just did not work out for me. So I tried to cover it up with some of the pecan/oatmeal/crunch on top, but those sides, haha, there was nothing to be done. It still tasted divine, but my presentation score was definitely low.
 He really wanted to wear his shorts, but it was a chilly day...

 Morning at the Ithaca Children's Garden
 Trying to get 5 toddlers to keep there heads in these at the same time felt like playing Whack-A-Mole. One came in and one went out.

 I accidently put this Disney Party Planning book on hold at the library because I thought it was something else. Shae was obsessed with it and now has his next 20 birthdays planned out, starting with the Wreck-It-Ralph party for his fifth birthday with a Pin the Wrench on the Fix-it-Felix.
 We left for Paraguay on the day of Shae's half birthday, so we "celebrated" on Belén’s.
  Darin was really in to gardening with the kids this summer. He had each of the kids pick out a flower they wanted to plant and then he planted cilantro, basil, and tomatoes. Shae chose a moon flower, which we didn't realize is a climbing plant (that's the official term right :)
 The kids LOVED checking their plants each day. These were Belén’s:
 Our cilantro did not make it. Our basil was dying when this picture was taken, but we did get to use quite a bit of it and Belén mostly just loved snacking on it.
 Our tomatoes finally turning red!! Took till mid September, but it finally happened! Growing something all on your own really is a fulfilling thing (and I didn't even do much). Life is beautiful.
 Darin's department's opening social has been at the bowling alley the past two years. Shae was a bit disappointed that it was just at a park this year.

It may not have been the bowling alley, but the department did rent out the Merry-Go-Round for the evening, so we got to ride on that over and over and over again.

 These kids have been obsessed with the aquarium ever since going to the Baltimore Aquarium while staying with my family in August. They built their own aquarium daily for just about all of September.
 We went up to Cortland one afternoon to go to Aldi since ours has been closed for so long and the prices are just SO much cheaper there than anywhere else (it was supposed to open on the 29th and didn't open! And then it was supposed to open on the 4th of October and still didn't! I'm dying over here. The new Grand Re-opening is scheduled for this Thursday and I'm praying it is for real this time).
Anyway, that was a long tangent...while up there we found this cool playground with a fun old rocket that the kids loved.
 Pizza movie night (the Lego Batman movie!) with buddies.
 Visit to the Cornell Botanical Gardens for playgroup one week. How have we never been here before!? So pretty!

 Birthday date for burgers at Ithaca Beer Co. with the birthday boy. They had such a lovely outside patio area and we got to listen to the X Ambassador concert going on in the lawn next to us. I didn't even know who they were, at least I thought I didn't, but I have totally heard their songs on the radio before! That was a cool surprise. They were there for a music festival the next day and are apparently from Ithaca. Fun facts.
 Pulled over to see the beautiful sunset before picking up the kids

 These pictures probably should have been up with the cake picture, or I should have moved the cake picture down here, but I'm too lazy to move it all now...

The cake making process was pretty intense. This is easily the most intense cake I have ever made. It was really fun trying out some new things. Here I was making the frosting with a makeshift double boiler.
 The delicious pecan/oatmeal crumble, the good toffee, and the burned failed toffee.
 Oh man, that toffee drizzle. Did I mention that the frosting was cinnamon buttercream? Mmmmm, it was so good.
 Doing our morning planks to work off all that cake. 
 Playing musical pillows for FHE. Belén was not all to happy when she got out.
 What watching GC with little kids looks like:
 And just some selfies because it's what we're good at.

 I love Belén's face in this one SO much. She is just so stinkin'cute.
 Poor girl after taking a hard fall at the playground. I guess this actually happened in October, but I'm posting it nonetheless.