Friday, November 15, 2013

In the In Between

Around this time of the year I begin going through my pictures from the past 11 or so months (I've culled them down to around 1,500 - which is about 450 more than where I'd like to be).   It's amazing to see how much my monkeys have changed, like back when Catherine still had her baby "mullet":

 And Matthew was only chatting 85% of the time instead of 95% of the time:

When I do this, it's always exciting to flip through the highlights of the year, but I also love the little tidbits tucked inbetween.  Though October got consumed by bookended highlights of a trip to Grandma's and Halloween, there was lots of growth and fun in between.

There was a makeshift tent with our neighbor one afternoon while we blew out the sprinklers and raked leaves:

 And we did some house rearranging so Matthew and Catherine have been running around for weeks measuring things:
Catherine has been very interested in trains recently.  Here she was loading the coal cars very carefully:

 But once she saw me with the camera she got goofy:
 Then she counted for me:
 And hammed it up:

Matthew's been on a building kick and no materials are safe from his imagination!  Here's his take on a giraffe:
And we finally busted out the lego robotics.  Thus far we've created a robot that will back up when it runs into the wall and makes lots of noise.  It pretty much does what our Roomba does, with the exception of vacuuming and the addition of being even more annoying, but the boy sure does love it.  He's playing with the robot, asking to build more or asking to reprogram it pretty much every day.
Among all this fun we've rearranged a bit.  After moving our "formal" dining table around the country and stashing it in odd places for nearly 7 years, we moved it into the dining area.  We also finally snagged some reasonable stools off craigslist for our counter area.  The kids still find it quite the novelty when they get to eat there or read the newspaper of course.

In addition to our big rearrangement, a dear friend came over to help me clean out my office of doom and now it's much easier to get to the craft supplies, so we've been doing a lot of painting and crafting:
 Matthew also made his Christmas list and after he made the first one he made a second one, which I encouraged because it was his first real attempt at representative drawing:
Catherine made one too:
She didn't quite understand the project and when you ask her about it, she says she wants "Robin for Halloween" for Christmas.   Maybe she'll change her mind in the next few weeks :-)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Another Day in Yellowstone and more superheroes

Prior to all the Halloween chaos, we threw caution (and responsibility) to the wind and headed to Yellowstone for one last time for the "summer" season.  I LOVE Yellowstone in the fall and was very dissapointed our trip through the park got canceled.  Traveling through the park is also my favorite way to drive to grandma's but the weather and crowd conditions mean there is only about a 2 week window in the spring and 2 week window in the fall where it is worth it :(

It started with a bison jam just a few miles in.  These guys were content walking the yellow line and the bull gave James quite the glare on our first approach to pass, so we stopped and waited for the calf to move to the outside.
 And a coyote off in the distance.  I noticed some odd movement around the geyser on the left and we stayed and watched this guy for a while as he ran in and out of the steam:
 The kids kept track of our wildlife finds on their checklist:
 And enjoyed some short hikes:
We arrived at Old Faithful just after its previous eruption so we had plenty of time to picnic, explore and wait:
 And be goobers:


And of course, the main event:
 We then headed out to explore different parts of the park we've never visited:

 Then we headed to one of my favorite trails in the park.  I love Matthew's look as he was waiting for Catherine to come back from the bathrooms:
 Catherine really likes to pose for me on bridges:
 And the kids posing in front of Opal Pool.  Matthew took quite the interest in helping us "read" the signs this visit:
 Algae mats:
 The edge of Grand Prismatic:
 Kids in the steam:
And a baby bison jam:
 An elk:
 Firehole Canyon:
 Mammoth was crawling with elk.  The combination of maintained grass and lack of predators means that you'll almost always see an elk roaming around here:
 It appears I accidentally deleted the video, but there was this pitiful calf calling for its mama amidst it all.  After Mammoth we headed into Gardiner where we stopped for dinner at a great little BBQ place.  While we were waiting, Matthew decorated some of my phone photos from the day:

Speaking of Halloween, last I blogged I shared the day I finished the kids' costumes.  This push was in order for them to be ready for our Moms Club Halloween Party which was conveniently scheduled on Monday so I couldn't put off making the costumes until midnight on the 30th.   They enjoyed posing with some other superheroes:
 And decorating cookies:
We received intermittent sleet on Halloween but we still hit up trick or treating downtown again, since Matthew asks about it everytime we pass that block of main street anyway:
A silly picture beforehand: 
After last year's crazy nice weather I didn't really plan well for cold weather costumes.  However, I was able to squeeze thermals and footed pjs under their costumes and we added mittens (and hats intermittently):


 When James got home we headed out to our favorite restaurant (which was offering free kids meals for the night) and then he came along with us to the mall since temps hadn't improved.  But first he took pictures of me and the kiddos:

Sometimes when I'm getting action shots I'll ask the kids to run to me and give me a hug.  They insisted on this even though daddy had the camera and I'll never turn down running hugs!
 We saw a few friends at the mall and the kids enjoyed high-fiving the other batmans and robins.  The local hockey team was pretty impressed with their costumes and were extra generous:
At the end of the day we had two very exhausted superheroes (with too much candy)!   We are hoping to save some for our gingerbread house next month.  

Five on Friday

1.  Look at these winter white legs out enjoying the sunshine at the dino park.  Spring has FINALLY sprung! These boys went from winter di...