Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Then and Now

The last time we had been to King's Dominion was in April of 2010. It was amazing to see how much the kids have all grown since then!
April 2010
October 2012
April 2010 
October 2012
A group shot from April 2010 (Six cousins total and I think at least half of them were crying!)
A group shot from October 2012 (Now there are eights cousins total and none of them are crying!)
My how we have grown!!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

King's Dominion

Since we won't be getting together for Thanksgiving this year (Lara's family will be spending the holiday in Florida), we decided we should still try to get together sometime this fall. King's Dominion is almost exactly halfway in between all of us, so we spent last weekend in Doswell, Virginia enjoying the beautiful fall weather and low crowds (I guess most people were at home preparing for some minor weather turbulence called Hurricane Sandy!)
We all arrived on Friday evening and stayed the night at the Best Western that is right next door to the amusement park. The kids were so excited to see all of their cousins and had a great time getting reacquainted with each other that night.
We spent the whole day on Saturday at King's Dominion. Some of the adults and oldest cousin Chloe went off at times to ride the huge roller coasters. I preferred sticking around the Kiddie Areas and watched all the younger kids have a great time.
Abby and her cousin Paige get along so well and rode almost every single ride together.
They let Landon tag along at times too!
This little guy did great riding around in his stoller all day. We did get him out at times, including right here where he was attempting to throw a tantrum on the ground but was blocked by this troublesome stroller! He ended up staying in this position for several minutes. I think he was aiming for some pity points, instead all he got were some pictures!
He also enjoyed picking up all the fall leaves on the ground and giving them to anyone who would take them!
It was hard for him to watch all the other kids have such fun though...
He really wanted in on all the action!
Our little jailbird!
This was perhaps the favorite ride of the day...power cars!! 
Keep your eyes on the road bud!
They also had a little treasure hunt for the kids to go on where they collected all kinds of treasures along the way. Who knew a plastic eyepatch and telescope could be just as entertaining as any of the rides! (The kid areas are all themed around the characters from Charlie Brown, hence Linus and Sally!)
We left right around 7 p.m. when all the scary stuff started to happen around the park. They set it up for "Frightmares" at night and since we didn't want to scar our children for life, we decided it best to head on home.
We had a great weekend and it was great to be with family again. Plus it was also a nice distraction from the impending weather that was scheduled to hit on Monday. More on that to come...

Monday, October 29, 2012


Last Wedneday night, the two wards in our area held a Trunk-or-Treat activity for the kids. Abby and Landon were very excited to put on their costumes for this event. And Nolan...well he didn't really want to pose for any pictures this time...
Having Daddy hold him helped a bit...
But then Daddy decided to put him down and his fiercesome "Shark" instincts took over once again (in case you couldn't tell, that's what he is supposed to be!!)
Once the grumpy shark was out of the picture, Rainbow Brite and the scary Dragon were able to pose true to form. I love Landon's expressions in these pictures. He REALLY got into his role! Abby is wearing the same costume I wore when I was her age and got many compliments on it throughout the night, all from moms and grandmas who remember growing up or had children in the 80s!
The kids had a great time fishing for treats...
 And throwing ghosts for more prizes before heading outside for the Trunk-or-Treat.
And here's a better picture of our cute little Shark Man!
We bought this costume a few months ago before Nolan was really walking. I thought it was cute then but watching him waddle around in it takes the cuteness factor up to a whole new level.
And now the countdown to Halloween really begins!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

When Dad's Away...

Jason went up to Notre Dame last weekend for the BYU game (We won't talk about the final score. Kind of a disappointing season this year.) While he was gone, I decided to use our free passes from the summer reading program and visit the Discovery Station in town. There was hardly anyone else there and the kids had a blast exploring all of the different exhibits. I think we may get a yearly pass because there is so much to see and and now all three kids can enjoy it.
Here they are driving their very own Cessna..

Nolan even wanted in on the action...
After reading all about the Titanic this summer, it was interesting to visit this part of the museum this time. Landon was especially thrilled about holding this replica of the actual ship.
If you live in Hagerstown and have young children, they will love this place. I think it's one of the hidden jewels in this town because it's never very busy but there's so much to see and do that my children never seem to want to leave.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

Abby had the day off from school last Friday so we took advantage of the time to make our yearly pilgrammage to the pumpkin patch. No trip would be complete without the traditional "See how much I've grown" picture in front of this sign. Abby was happy to see she is almost to the "4" now but Landon was a bit perturbed to see he was just above the "3" mark. After all, in his mind he should be at the "4" too since he is 4-years-old!!
Nolan was just happy to be out and about and surrounded by pumpkins the size of his whole body! (Please excuse his crazy hair...he got a haircut the next day after seeing these pictures!)
It was fun to think about what a difference a year makes. Last year I had a sleeping Nolan strapped to me in a baby carrier. This year, there was no stopping this kid from exploring all of the different activities!
Landon loved this slide, until he realized how wet it was from the rain the night before. His pants were soaked by the end of the day.
The boys...
(Not sure what they're looking at here but obviously something more interesing than mom with her camera. Oh, and don't mind Landon's tongue up his nose either. We're working on that one...)
At least they are both looking at me in this one...
(Although Landon looks like a frusterated "gangsta" here.)
The girls 
These are two of Abby's friends from the gym, Rowan and Riley. She doesn't get to see them as much now that she's in school so I was glad that we were able to arrange a playdate together on their day off.
After spending some time in the play area, we took our hayride up to the pumpkin patch where we were able to each pick our own pumpkins for the year.
Yeah I could probably save a few dollars and buy our pumpkins each year at the grocery store, but nothing beats going to the pumpkin patch to see where pumpkins really come from. It's a tradition I hope we continue for a long time! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hair No More

So you may have noticed in the last post, but we finally took the plunge and cut Abby's hair. I have been wanting her to cut if for a LONG time (the daily battles over brushing it and trying to untangle it were taking their toll on me.) Abby was insistent on growing it out like Rapunzel (darn you "Tangled") and really couldn't figure out why her hair would get so tangly everyday when Rapunzel's yards of hair always stayed so neat (blame it on that Disney magic!)
After much convincing, we finally took the plunge. I actually cut it myself and LOVE how it turned out. She looks so sassy and cute (although admittedly much older too!) She was thrilled with how it turned out as well and was super excited to show it off to all her friends at school. And we both love how much easier it is to brush out each day. I do declare a win for us all!
Oh, and this last facial expression is one she gives her Daddy an awful lot these days. He loves to pull her chain and his jokes often get this little look in return.I was happy to catch it on film!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Welcome to Fall

We went to the park one evening so I could take a few pictures for a family in our ward. They haven't had a family portrait taken in a while and I guess my price (FREE) outweighed the fact that I am very much an amateur photographer!!
It was a gorgeous fall day and I took advantage of the setting sun to capture a few shots of my children before the family arrived. I seriously LOVE this time of year. Maybe I wouldn't appreciate it as much if it was always this pleasant and beautiful with all of the amazing colors, but I sure could get used to having fall year round!!
And I may be a tad biased, but I do believe I have the cutest darn kids in the world!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Our Little Preschooler!

Landon started preschool this week. We were able to get him in to the high school program which offers a preschool in the afternoons from 12:45-3:15 on Monday-Thursday. Since it is run by high school students, they have about six weeks at the beginning of each semester to learn how to create lessons plans, teach young children etc. which is why Landon started in the middle of October and will have another break between semesters in January.
He has been super excited about this big new step...
Especially since he now gets to wear a big backpack of his very own!
He wasn't quite as eager about taking pictures once we were in the parking lot of his school...
And even less thrilled once we were inside!
I think this will be a great step in preparing him for Kingergarten next year. We have full-day Kindergarten in Maryland and while Abby was fine without preschool, I knew that Landon's personality would need to get used to a little separation from me before we throw him into school all day next year. Here's hoping for a great start to his formal education!!