Monday, April 30, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

On Friday evening we finally made it to an NC State baseball game!  I woke up Friday morning and thought we better get to a baseball game soon because the season ends in a couple of weeks.  So we made it happen.  Sims was so excited when I picked him up from school and told him we were going to the game.  He told me he was going to pitch, then he showed how he would pitch with an invisible ball.  So maybe we have a future baseball pitcher on our hands.

NC State vs. Duke

We met Justin, Lori and their daughter there, so Sims had a friend to play with, once he got bored with the game.  Sims was very interested in the game for the first 3 innings.  He was watching it so intently in the beginning of the game that whenever Violet would try to get his attention, he would point to the game without taking his eyes off it.  In a "I'm watching the game" kind of way.

Serious Sims pointing at the game with ticket in hand

Of course, he finally had enough of the game, and they jumped and danced and yelled and had a big time together.

When Mr. Wuf came by he was so excited and started talking about the high five he got last year. I'm still amazed that he remembers that. Well, he had to get another high five and give Mr. Wuf a hug.

Sims must have been exhausted that day because he was showing obvious signs of this by 8:00.  When we got home, he conked out in no time flat.  I think that means it was a great day!

On a side note, it was the last day of classes, which was the same day we went to the baseball game last year.  A silly coincidence, but I thought it was interesting.  Maybe this will be a new tradition for us at the end of every spring semester.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Loud, Wonderful Weekend

This past weekend our best friend Jeff, who is pretty much an adopted family member to us, came to visit with his family.  Jason had seen him fairly recently, when he was in California on business, but I hadn't seen him and his family for 2 years!  So this was a big deal! 

I was excited to see how all the kids (Jeff and Alex have 3 children) would get along.  Sims is only a couple of months older than their youngest, so I figured that he would definitely enjoy the company.  I totally underestimated the amount of fun that the kids were going to have!

We spent Saturday afternoon at the park, where they had fun kicking the balls around, 

blowing bubbles,

taking pictures,

Camera lessons

Taking photos of the leaves

and observing nature.

The non-venomous snake we saw.  We also saw a copperhead.

Watching the snakes

Picking up the toad

Our friends Justin and Lori joined us for dinner at our house with their little girl.  The 5 kids ran around the house screaming and having the best time!  Our house has never been that loud, and it was fantastic!

After such a wild day on Saturday, we took it easy on Sunday and just hung out at the house, instead of going out in the rain and cold.  I just can't believe how well the kids took to each other.  They are definitely going to have a blast this Sunday, when we go to Winston-Salem to visit them at Jeff's parents' house.  We can't wait!

One of my favorite memories of this weekend was of the kids pretending that a bear was coming.  Nikolas walked in the room, and Sims pointed at him and said, "A bear!"  Nikolas immediately put up his "paws" and growled.  The younger ones loved it.  Later the young ones were coming around the corner to the kitchen, and Nikolas saw them and did his bear growl.  The ecstatic scream that was heard as the kids ran back to Sims' room was hilarious.

I hope that we get to see Jeff, Alex and the family more often.  (I promise we'll make it to SoCal soon!)  I would love for the kids to grow up with great memories of being together.  Perhaps even joint family vacations?  I'm already coming up with vacation ideas...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Kitchen - Final Reveal

Technically, the kitchen is not complete, but it is complete enough for its debut.  We haven't really done any decorating yet, so it's still pretty bare bones.  Let's be honest, it will probably look like this for a very long time because it takes me forever to make decorating decisions. 

So as a reminder of what it looked like before:

Now for what it looks like now (cue the sound of angels singing):

This is definitely my favorite room in the house, next to Sims' room.

You can also see the new chandelier in the dining room in the above picture.

The barstools are my favorite seats in the house now. 

I am still in awe and can't believe that this is MY kitchen.  I actually enjoy cooking now.  On Monday, Sims sat at the counter and watched me put together dinner, and it was such a great feeling.  This kitchen has made all the difference!  Now it's time to start working on my cooking resolutions I made back in January.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I'm a Person

Here is a conversation that Sims and I had this morning.

Sims:  You're a person.

Me:  Yes, I am.  So are you.

Sims:  I'm not a person!

Me:  You're not?  Then, what are you?

Sims: I'm Sims.

Me:  You can be Sims and a person, too.  I'm Mama, and I'm a person.

Sims:  I'm a person, too!

Here Sims is showing me where he got the boo-boo next to his eye this weekend.  Sharp corners can hurt!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Strawberry Patch

While Jason's parents were visiting this weekend, we decided to do something new and take advantage of the beautiful weather and the season.  We went to a farm to pick our own strawberries!  We drove out in the country to a beautiful farm that grew organic strawberries and were greeted by the sight of horses and free-range hens.  It definitely helped feed my idyllic view of farm life, even though I do realize that it's probably not as idyllic as it looks.

We all pitched in to pick the strawberries, but I did a bit more photo snapping than picking.

We left with seven, yes seven, pounds of strawberries!  So we've been eating a lot of strawberries around here, folks.  Strawberry salads, strawberry pie, strawberries for snacks...  I'm thinking of making some strawberry shortcake.  It's good that we all like strawberries!  They do look delicious, don't they?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


We had a wonderful and fun-filled Easter weekend!  Mom and Smith came up and were our first visitors since we started the kitchen renovation.  This made for a very busy week prior to Easter for Jason and me.  We had a deadline for getting the house back together and clean.  It has taken us a long time to unpack the kitchen and get the rest of the house back to working order!  Sometimes it's nice to have a deadline to force you to get it done.  Even though I have to admit that the kitchen is still not completely unpacked, but it is mostly done.

I spent all Saturday afternoon in the kitchen cooking, and it was my first time really cooking in the kitchen.  It was fantastic!  It was so much more enjoyable to cook in a kitchen in which you want to spend time.  It just makes me happy to be in there!

We dyed eggs on Saturday afternoon, while Isla was visiting.  Sims was mostly interested in putting the eggs in the dye. 

Isla got help from her dad to decorate some eggs before dyeing them.  Alex wrote a lot of her cute sayings on them like, "I don't know."  He was nice enough to even write, "Luv you, Aunt Aggie."  She hasn't really said that one yet, but I'm sure she's thinking it!

We got up early on Easter to go to church.  We loved having the whole family with us!


The Easter Bunny visited while we were at church, and Sims was excited to see what had been left in his basket.

He received some train track accessories, steam engines from his favorite train series, and food for his kitchen.  I couldn't help but laugh when he asked me what this was.

That's not something in our regular diet around here.  I have never been a fan.

Then we had an egg hunt in our front yard, which was a hit with Sims and Isla.

After the egg hunt was over, Isla wanted to find more eggs, so Neely kept grabbing one from her basket and quickly tossing it in the grass.  That kept her entertained for a while.  Sims, however, wanted to hide the eggs.  He threw all of his eggs in the bushes, and he refused to let me get them out.  They're still there, by the way.  He threw most of them so far in the bushes only the woodland creatures will be able to get them out.  Hopefully, they like boiled eggs.

After our large Easter lunch, we headed out to Bond Park to feed the ducks, but it was too busy for the ducks to come near shore.  Instead we took a stroll and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

It was a wonderful end to our Easter weekend!  I hope you had a happy Easter as well.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Party and Hockey

Last Saturday was a big day for Sims.  One of his best friends at school had his birthday party at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham.  We had never been there, but I had heard great things about it.  We were all excited about going, and it did not disappoint!  They have a little bit of everything there.  They have a miniature steam train that gives rides around the park.  They have barnyard animals, life size dinosaur replicas, a butterfly house, and musical instruments to play.  That's just what is outside!  We didn't even get a chance to explore inside (except we did quickly walk through the weather room, and I showed Sims a cumulonimbus cloud.  Yeah, I'm a nerd.) 

Sims had a lot of fun at the party with his school friends.  He even held hands with the birthday boy, and there is just nothing cuter than that!

We all loved the museum and can't wait to go back to spend more time.  It definitely could be a full day event.

We left the party to grab some dinner before we took Sims to his first hockey game!  We had been preparing him for the noise, so whenever we would mention we were going to watch hockey, he said, "It's gonna be loud."  I'm so glad that we prepared him though because it really was loud!  Luckily, it didn't phase him a bit.

It didn't take him long to learn that after you hear 3 horns in a row, everyone yells, "Let's go, Canes!"  He even paid attention for most of the first period, which I thought was really great.  He needed to walk around a little for the beginning of the second period, and we left at the end of that period.  It was just too late for the little guy. 

Unfortunately, the Hurricanes lost, and it was a shut out.  We hated that he never got to hear the big horn blow when the Hurricanes get a goal.  Next time, hopefully.  Too bad that won't be until next season, since this was one of the very last home games.  (Why do we always take him to a game at the very end of the season?  We did this with the NC State baseball game last year.  Now, that's next on our list.  We have got to go to another baseball game before this season ends.)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hanging Rock

The weekend of St. Patrick's Day, the three of us went up to Hanging Rock State Park for the 12K trail race up and over the mountain.  Oh, no, no, no, no, we did not run in the race.  My sister Ame and her husband Mike have started organizing trail races, so we went to help out and spend time with family.  We stayed in a cabin in the park and got to see all 5 of Ame and Mike's girls.  We were even surprised to find that my brother Johnny came to help as well!  I hadn't seen him in a LONG time.  Needless to say, we had a great time, and Sims loved hanging out with his older cousins.

This was my first race experience, and I really enjoyed working at the water station.  Sims hung out with me, and he was amazed by the runners.  Jason was stationed at the top of Moore's Wall, where the trail started to become a bit trickier for the racers.  Sims later told a family friend that his dad was a climber.  Sims and I got to go to the finish line and watch many of the runners run the home stretch.  It was fun to watch Sims hang out with his cousins and clap for the runners as they ran by.

I believe this race may have inspired Jason to sign up for his first 5K, which is in May and not on any crazy mountain trail like this one.  I will admit that the energy of the race did make me think that I would like to run one in the future.  Maybe a short, all downhill one?  Do you know of any of those?  That would be my kind of race.