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Category Archives: outside

Holiday lights

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One of the highlights of the season for us is walking through the Rotary Gardens holiday light display.  Even though there was no snow on the ground this year (Tea asked me today if it will ever snow again, EVER?), the lights still made it feel festive.  This year there were roaming reindeer that the boys were reluctant to stand near, and a sleigh we all piled in to attempt a group picture.

Terrified of the reindeer, my boys were of *course* beyond upset 5 minutes later when it was mobbed by other children that they hadn’t pet the stupid thing.

If you could see under Pea’s coat, he’s dressed *all* in red – his current obsession.  Santa related?  We’re not sure.

The garden paths were lined with luminaries and we walked under lighted arches.  The garden was supposedly lit with 300,000 lights, but I’m sure I didn’t see more than 259,840 – someone owes me 60 cents.   😉

As pretty as the lights were, I didn’t have a tripod, so I quickly tired of trying to get traditional shots.  If you can’t beat the blur, embrace it, right?  I started swinging my camera around randomly as I hit the shutter, claiming, “I totally meant this shot to look just like that.”  Luckily for my family, my fingers got too numb to keep at it for long.  But I still said, “Just one more” enough to earn myself a time-out if Tea’d had his way.

I’ll spare you from looking at the other 42 shots.  Kyle was not so lucky.

We never did get holiday cards out this year, so would you kindly pretend that picture of us sitting in the sleigh was delivered to you by your post-carrier?  Thank you very much, and Happy Holidays.  We wish you a very bright new year.

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Leaf hike

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I know I said we don’t really do birthday presents, but I received some money and instructions to get myself something special, so I decided on a new (well, refurbished) zoom lens for my camera.  Yesterday afternoon it arrived in the mail.  Instead of ripping open the package immediately, I made an apple pie.  I rolled the crust while the sun sank lower and lower in the sky.  I chopped apples instead of taking pictures of everything that was lit by this golden, perfect light.  Only love for my boys (and for pie) could give me the strength to leave the lens sealed up in its box until it was dark outside.

But I can only be strong for so long.  This morning we headed out to a local trail under the pretense of a leaf hike so I could play with my new toy.  It should go without saying that I’ve included way too many pictures in this post.  Kyle warned that They might take away my blogging licence.  I’m going to risk it.

We encouraged the boys to look for different shapes, colors, and textures of leaves and seeds.  They got into it right away by shoveling handfuls of brown oak leaves into their bags, but then they started to be more selective.

It was a gorgeous, warm morning, and it wasn’t long before the boys shed their jackets.

Eventually the leaf collecting was abandoned in favor of shenanigans with Kyle.

Back at home, Tea had to decide which pieces of his collection should go into the nature bowl for our centerpiece.  And I had to decide which of 313 pictures to share.

Shared obsession

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I’m not the only one  enthralled with bugs right now.   I like to photograph them and he likes to carry them around.  A hard freeze can’t be too far off so we’re probably safe from him smuggling any inside.

holding a beetle on a blade of grass

 

 

 

I fear the winter

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The kids enjoyed getting together with their friend one last time at our favorite pumpkin patch before they close for the season.

all 3 heads in one shot. 4,000 tries but without photoshop. a miracle.

Where will we play now?  So much energy, so little space in my house…  I’m in denial that the cold is coming, but posts from friends have started to frighten me.

“Thank you for this messy idea”

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We spent today playing outside with friends.  It was such a perfect morning, we postponed breaking for lunch until late.  That meant that none of us were very hungry once we finally got home and dinner time rolled around.  I knew there was one lone chocolate bar I’d hidden in the back of the freezer, so I talked Kyle into an ultra-healthy dinner of s’mores.

Tea, who has been requesting a campfire for months, was beyond thrilled.  He spent an hour carrying more wood than we could burn in a month over to the fire.   Tea knows I don’t generally choose supremely sticky activities.  Between bites of marshmallow that threatened to glue his mouth shut, he said, “Thank you for this messy idea!”

Kyle's roasting technique is a little rusty

One of the best things about an autumn campfire is that the boys thought they were getting the treat of a late bedtime because they were enjoying the fire in the dark.  I’m not in a huge hurry to teach them to tell time – they were still tucked into bed by7pm, smelling smokey, sticky smiles on their faces.

Insert “time flying” cliche here

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Courtney had the fun idea of getting a picture of our kids together in the same spot every year.  I think the idea is to marvel in their rapid growth, but, as we missed 2 full years, it actually had the effect of making my heart stop beating for a moment.  How did they get so old?

Look out, Pia

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The boys are training hard!