Saturday, November 29, 2014

Pumpkins & Halloween

October is one of my favorite months. The weather finally starts to turn cooler, there are pumpkin patches, carnivals, and parties a plenty, and it's our anniversary month (8 years!)! This year was as fun as ever with two active boys to enjoy it all with. Here are some pictures from our adventures!

Preston Royal Pumpkin Patch

A church near our house has a cute pumpkin patch that we visit every year.

Love these two goofballs

Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch

This has all the makings of a perfect fall family outing, but the weekend crowd was INSANE. The boys enjoyed themselves, but Sean and I were constantly losing each other in the crowds and weren't able to relax. There was a pretty legit hay maze that Mason went through and humored us when he thought nobody was watching and relieved himself in a private corner of the maze. Adults weren't allowed in the maze so we couldn't get in there to stop him! We took a hayride, snapped some pictures, and spent some time in the bounce houses and then we just couldn't take the crowds anymore and called it a day. If we go back next year it will have to be on a weekday!

I guess it really was Harrison's first pumpkin patch because we didn't take him to one last year when he was a newborn. Mason had to get a picture with Jake of course, and he enjoyed the 2-5 year old hay maze more than the 4-12 year old one he got lost in!

Mason had fun checking out the playground of large vehicles, and you can see the strained smile on Sean's face during the hayride - we'd had enough at this point!

Dallas Arboretum

The boys and I met my mom at the Dallas Arboretum Pumpkin Village for another beautiful display of pumpkins. The arboretum never disappoints! We had a quick lunch and visited the children's garden while we were there before hurrying home for afternoon naps.

My handsome big boy

All smiles despite mommy putting him in a sweater on a hot day! 
My pumpkins!

The struggle to snap a picture of them both looking at the camera is REAL.


It's pretty crazy how many Halloween parties pop up on our calendar with a busy almost 4-year old in our family. Mason has known since last November that he wanted to be Jake from the Neverland Pirates for Halloween this year and he loved wearing his costume over and over! Harrison was a pirate for most of the parties (didn't get many pictures of this), but Halloween night was a little chilly so he wore a lobster costume that night and was SO proud of himself in it. He had a grin on his face all night! We had two neighborhood parties on Halloween and had a blast trick-or-treating in our 'hood with all the neighbor kids.

Mason's class party
Snapping some pics with the pirate while waiting for Harrison to wake up from his nap!

Jake the Pirate (Sean always carves a pumpkin that coordinates with the costumes!)

The cutest little lobster I ever did see!
Mason made me laugh because he kept playing with Harrison's antennae's!

Mason with his best neighborhood bud, Harper, and Harrison with his neighborhood birthday twin, Finley

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

This & That

Before I move into our Fall adventures, there are a couple more things that needed mentioning!

Pre-K 3 

Mason started his third year of Pre-K in September! He now goes three days a week (T/Th/F), and in addition to his usual days of music, art, playground, and reading, he now also has Spanish, cooking, chapel, and library! We just love his teacher, Mrs. Nicole, and he continues to really enjoy and look forward to school.

At almost four years old, he is really becoming an independent little person. He's our buddy and is so fun to hang out with. His personality continues to develop and I love seeing who he is becoming. He actually helps around the house, in the yard, and in the garage (Sean's territory), and enjoys doing so. He likes to be productive and his wheels are constantly turning. He is full of questions and asks things or notices things that I've never thought twice about. We try to fill his mind with all the information he craves, but it can get exhausting. I've had to institute a rule during story times that he has to wait until the end of each page to ask his questions. Not the end of the book, the end of the page! He just wants to learn, learn, learn!

Here are some pictures from his first day!

His teacher, Mrs. Nicole, on the bottom right

Family drop-off!

Handmade Hideaway

Our big summer project was building an outdoor playhouse for the boys. Sean did all the planning and heavy lifting, but Mason and I helped where we could! We were also fortunate to have some assistance from both grandpas when they visited.

We've wanted a playhouse for a while, but just couldn't find one that had everything we were looking for and was within a reasonable price range. So Sean decided to take on his biggest project to date and do it himself! We used some plans Sean found online as a guide, but made tweaks to build it to our liking. While there are still a few punch list items we want to get to, it's pretty much complete and we're very satisfied with how it turned out (plus it took care of a place in the yard that we just couldn't get grass to grow!).

What's most important is that Mason loves it (Harrison does too, but Mason obviously uses it more at his age). We've had several parties/play dates over here since and it's a hit with kids of all ages. I'm so happy we took this on and proud of Sean's accomplishment. This will be used for many, many years to come!

Mason helping!

It was a family effort
End of the first weekend
Walls are up
A couple of coats of stain are on and half the roof is up

Coming together: walls painted, stairs, railing, and rock wall are built, and the slide is added. Notice the H & M in the railing? I love that touch!
So close! Sandbox and sand, mulch and rocks, and furniture added

And we're done! This is how it looks now, three months later. Curtains and binoculars have been added, and countless of hours of play have been logged.
As I mentioned, there are still some things we want to add like shutters for the windows, shelves for the walls, a flag, possibly lighting, some built in seats in the sandbox corners, and installing a telescope that we have, but haven't put on yet. But the boys don't know any different and if it stays this way forever, it would be fine! Thanks, Sean, for all of your hard work on this! It's perfect!

Orange Crush

Mason started his first season of soccer in September. His team name is Orange Crush and a lot of his friends, neighbors, and classmates are on the team. Sean and I both played growing up (and we met while playing adult co-ed soccer!), so it's super fun for us to watch him. We're both just a tad bit competitive, a trait that was definitely passed down to Mason. All he wants to do is score. He'll take it from his own teammates to do so and gets upset when anyone else scores, even if they're on his team. We're working with him on his team spirit but are proud of his determination. The games are madness with half the kids swarming the ball, some kids wandering the field, and others showing no interest at all. It's cute and comical and so entertaining to watch. We hope he continues to show interest and we're looking forward to watching in the seasons to come!

I couldn't get the videos to load but here are some pics!

Mason and his best bud, Travis
Go #4!
Top picture: warming up with the opposing team and covering his ears from the whistle! Bottom L: trying to take the ball from the other team (preferred), Bottom R: trying to take the ball from his team (not preferred)
His biggest fans! Papa and Harrison have made every game - thanks for cheering him on you two!