Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cows, Cows, Cows

These cows have become James' favorite things these days and what he looks forward to the most. There are 2 mamas and their baby calves. The big, black one off to the left is pretty much the bully so James always refers to her as the big, black, mean's funny how he has picked up on that.
These cows are across the street from us and over the weekend I asked them if they would mind if we brought James over to see the cows. They told us to come anytime, and we have probably abused the permission they gave us. I can only imagine what they are thinking. :( We have gone at least once every day and sometimes I take the kids in the morning as well which means we are there twice a day. It's a lot of fun for all of us!

James loves to be up on Luke's shoulders to get the best look at the cows.

Lauren loves standing up at the fence and looking at them too. She squeals when they walk toward her and is just mesmerized by them!

After a few trips to the cows, we have them eating out of our hands...literally...even the big, mean one. James has gotten to feed them a few times which he just loves as you can imagine.

You can't really see what James is doing, but when he wants the cows to come close to him, he bend over and pats his leg yelling, "Come cows....come." It's priceless...makes me smile every time.

He talks a mile a minute when he's out there with the cows. He can't get all of his thoughts and questions out fast enough.

Doesn't she look SO BIG in this picture??? I can't believe this is my baby Lauren...

Here they are in the wagon on the way to see the cows. If you look in Lauren's hand she's holding a dinosaur. Her new thing is holding objects over the sides of things. It's funny...she held it over the side like this almost the entire trip. When she decided to drop it over the was ballgame over! I picked that dinosaur up many times. James kept saying, "No, Lauren...don't do that!" (ha, ha)
Lauren is getting to experience so many fun things that we are doing with James. People often times say they think the second child doesn't get the attention and such as the first child, but I think the experiences and the relationship Lauren gets with James is just amazing...Now I'm thinking James got jipped! (just kidding)

The Carpenter's Crafts...Cheesy Title I Know...

A few weeks ago I mentioned in a post that I planned out an activity or craft to do with James everyday. Well, we have managed to do one just about every day and they have become something that James really looks forward to. For the most part they have gone like I had planned....with a few minor glitches :) Here are a few of his favorite crafts:
Straw Painting
it's the only way he wants to paint now...
So, this next little fact is a bit gross, but the funniest/worst part about straw painting is the amount of saliva that was coming out of the straw onto the paper. It was TERRIBLE! The paint/slobber took about 2 days to dry and I wasn't surprised! :)
the finished product...doesn't it look a "real" piece of art??? I think I may frame this one!
Sponge Painting
another good looking finished product and let me tell you, he was VERY proud of all of these!
Apple Painting
ok, this one didn't turn out like I had planned, but James had no idea. You know how you can cut an apple in half and it creates the star? Well, I thought when he painted with it, the star would show up....ummm...nope! James still thought it was cool and had no idea what it was "supposed" to do, so it was still great. He has asked to paint almost every day since we did these painting activities. I'm just glad he likes them! :) He asks almost every morning when we are doing our craft.
Edible Scarecrow Necklace
He thought he was SO cool using the hot glue gun. I made sure it didn't heat up too much and just continued to watch/warn him. He did really well. He loved making it, but was also very anxious to take it apart and eat it! Hey, that's the point right? :)

The necklace...he didn't like wearing it because the raffia was scratchy on his neck...

Up Close and Personal with Mr. Scarecrow

A Ghost Crafts with Friends...
These are 2 of James' friends...Morgan and Amelia. James is very good buddies with Morgan and was very excited about doing a craft with her. They made ghost lollipops. It was cute and didn't take them long. The best part for them... tootsie pops at 10:30 in the morning...yeah...we were MOY (Moms of the Year) that morning!

I had to take a picture of this because it cracks me up...every time I tell James to hold up his craft so I can take a picture of it...he literally holds it up. It's just funny because I simply want him to just hold it so I can see literal...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Photo Shoot

Our Fall Pictures
Lauren was about done at this point, but James was goin' strong! :)

This is my favorite one of just Lauren. I love that smile and the way she looks like she is glowing.

I love this shot of her looking up.

The grass was cool and Lauren seemed to actually enjoy sitting on it. She was quite fascinated with the pumpkin and mums.

I love this shot of her from above looking down at her pumpkin.

It looks like he is posing, but don't let him fool ya...he's taking his flip-flops off...I surprised him.

ahhh... laughter...

silly face...too cute to pass up posting

I wasn't able to get any good pictures out at the farm/pumpkin patch with the kids, so I decided to do a little photo shoot of my own last night. It was 84 degrees here yesterday, so I waited until it cooled down a bit to put this sweater on James...don't worry...he wasn't sweating to death! I just loved the way they turned out! I have about 50 that I just LOVE, but I chose some of my favorites to show you. You are all very aware of my frustrations with James since he usually refuses to smile and/or look at the camera...anytime! So, I am sure you can all see why I am so pleasantly surprised with the way these turned out. I do need to admit that we bribed him with a tootsie pop. I think it worked well. :) I felt like I got some really candid shots and I love the contrasting colors of fall...brown, maroon, orange, and green...

Knollbrook Farm...FUN!

The corn was lots of fun. James enjoyed running through it and grabbing the stalks
This was probably his favorite part about the trip...the animals. He loved feeding the goats.

He's showing us the case we wanted to know what it ate. :)

This is the face of a little guy who just got SHOCKED by the electric fence they FORGOT to turn off...seriously, are you kidding me???

It was so fun watching James and Luke race on their bikes. I got in on the action too, but all of that is on video.
James really wanted to ride these big bikes, but couldn't even reach the pedals (obviously) so he settled for riding with Luke. As you can see he wasn't exactly thrilled about it though.

The pumpkin slingshot...they tried to launch the mini pumpkins into an inner tube out in the lake. James thought it was great!!!

I thought this would be a great picture, but it was at the end and Lauren wasn't exactly thrilled to be sitting on the ground in the midst of large, orange pumpkins.

He is washing the pumpkins. Bless his heart... It kept him busy for a solid 30 minutes!

We took the kids to a place near us called Knollbrook Farm. They have all sorts of exciting things you don't usually find at your traditional pumpkin patch. It was nice because James loved everything out there and Lauren loved the new things to everyone was happy! We visited the animals first and for quite some time. James thought they were just great...that is after he got over the fact that he got shocked!!! Lauren loved watching them too and the goats came right up to the fence to check her out too. The cows mooed a few times at her and that made her cry. We had such a great time and the weather was beautiful. We spent a solid couple hours there and James didn't want to go and has asked several times to go back. Maybe we'll try and take him one more time before the season ends...I love these little family adventures!

Fall Football

We were invited to a football game with some friends of ours on Friday night and we had such a BLAST! We even tailgated before the game...yep, high school football tailgaters and we were a part of it! :) The weather was perfect and there was lots going on to keep the kids occupied. James loved the mascot, the falcon, and cried when we left. "I want to see the birdie," he wailed. He also loved the half-time fireworks show. It was a pretty perfect night...Luke and I enjoyed ourselves too.
The kids were absolutely perfect throughout the entire fun-filled evening. James is getting a bit easier to take to these kinds of things because he's understanding boundaries and Lauren was so fascinated with everything going on, she was content to just sit in her stroller or on our laps smiling and clapping.

We had her all bundled up...glad she didn't mind the hat.

James even got in on the football action. Some boys graciously passed it to him a few times...

These mittens cracked me up...our friend let us borrow them and they were huge on Lauren, but she thought they were great. It was entertainment for her as she waved them around!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Little Bit of Everything

Things have been extremely crazy, busy here in the Carpenter household the last week...actually much longer but it has been that long since I have blogged. I have the best of intentions in sitting down and updating all of you, but am having an extremely difficult time finding the time...anyone relate? So, this is one LONG post about all of the things that have happened over the course of the last week. It's all very, very random, so bear with me...
We are loving this cool, fall weather and Lauren is keeping her hats on! That helps!
Welcome Home Tim!

Check out his forehead!!!
first things first...his forehead...we had only been home from church on Sunday for 10 minutes...tops...when I heard James running out from his room. I heard him trip on his mattress (the one he sleeps on that was supposed to break his fall from his big boy bed...) and we heard the loudest moms know that thud. I thought for sure I'd see blood when I went in there, but just this immediate bruise. Bless his heart...we think his head hit his dresser when he tripped. Poor guy...
And the snake he is holding his Uncle Tim brought him back from Thailand while with the Navy...He just got home from the Navy on Saturday. You all know how much James loves his creatures so my brother scored big points with this gift!
This is the hat he brought home for Lauren...cracks me up every time I see it. She won't keep it on for anything. It's even funnier when James wears it because it actually fits!
Here we all are...together again...just for a while. My brother, the one second from the left, heads back down to Virginia on Sunday.
Craft Time...
We had decided not to send James back to the Montessori school we sent him to last year although James gets bored very easily and has difficulty entertaining himself. We are used to be outside... a lot... so with the cooler weather nearing I've been researching activities, crafts, and games to play with him inside to help make the days go by and have some fun in the meantime. I spent many hours writing down activities and planning my supply list. My goal is to do a craft, activity, game, or cooking/snack with James every day (other than MOTTTS days). This was our first craft. We made a caterpillar and spider from egg cartons. He loved it. He asked all morning when we were doing our craft. He enjoyed the cutting part...he would've been happy cutting pipe cleaner all morning. Lauren participated in snack time during this time. She wasn't real happy about it though...Wish me luck...

He's coloring the spots on the caterpillar
' This is his spider. I asked him what he wanted to name it. "Spider," he says. He's a creative one... :)

Here are his 2 masterpieces. He even told them goodnight tonight...sweet huh?

We're also doing a lot of play dough these days. I had to take a picture of this though because it shows his and critters. He always has me help him make a snake...big and small...spiders, and worms. Then we made spaghetti and meatballs, a cookie, and a bowl full of grapes. He was great at "pretend eating" but I noticed wet play dough a few times...I guess it looked that real :) Ha...

Another creature for James. Uncle Andy found a salamander in his barn and brought it for James to see. He loved it and even tried to kiss it. We put a STOP to that! HELLO SALMONELLA POISONING!!!

My 2 Kiddos Playing...So NicelyI often times find Lauren in James' room pulling out all of his books and looking at them. James
loves it too...most of the time. I hear him reading to her and trying to get her to play with him. It is so much fun and I love standing outside the door and listening to the innocence behind all of it. It's the BEST!!!

Another new favorite...James likes to take Lauren down the roller coaster with him and she loves it too. I couldn't get a good picture of them actually coming down the track.
Last but definitely NOT least...
My brother got married tonight....yes, it is Wednesday night...but who cares, right? They're married! He just got home from the Navy on Saturday and has to report again this weekend, so they didn't have many options. They got married in my parent's backyard and the man and a dear, dear family friend who did all of our weddings was able to perform theirs. Congratulations Tim and Lyndzi! We wish you all the love and happiness!!!

Hey, I warned you this was a long and random post but I hope you feel at least a little bit updated on us Carpenters.