Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Two Dogs

While we were enjoying New Jersey, Andrew and Homer were enjoying a guest at the house.  Some friends of ours took a trip the same time as we did, so Andrew graciously offered to let their chihuahua stay at our house.   Chloe stayed one day past our return home, so Peter was thrilled to have two dogs in the house, even if it was just temporary!!   


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Outside Fun

Being here has given us a welcome break from the 100+ degree days we've had most of the summer at home.  The kids are actually able to enjoy being outside most of the day as long as it's not raining.  Then it's too chilly!!  Highs have been in the 80s with cool mornings, warm afternoons, and pleasant evenings.  It's going to be so hard to return to the heat!!

enjoying the pool in Grandma and Grandpa's backyard

pushing her baby doll around in the stroller

playing with toys out on the back porch

getting the corn ready for dinner

playing with Daisy (Aunt Kim's dog) who is staying with friends while we're in town

lunch at the Hot Dog Caboose

playing at the park

Friday, August 12, 2011

Beach Babies!!

A trip to New Jersey in the summer wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Jersey Shore.  Grandpa, Aunt Amy, Aunt Kim, Peter, Danielle, and I spent the day on Wednesday down at Ocean Grove, a quaint little town with a wonderful beach. 

The weather was just perfect - hot enough to enjoy the water, but not too hot to make sitting in the sand uncomfortable.  Danielle's first trip to the beach last summer was a bit too early in her life for her to really enjoy it.  She showed us this year that she is definitely a beach baby!  She started digging in the sand as soon as I sat her down and she didn't stop until time to pack up. 

It took her a few minutes to warm up to the ocean, but once she did, she loved it!!  Just like Peter enjoyed jumping the waves,  Danielle kept saying "more, more" after a wave would come.  I helped her jump waves until my arms were sore.  Then she enjoyed playing in the water.

Peter's favorite thing about the beach this trip was collecting shells.  There were TONS of mussel shells all over the beach, and more would wash in with every wave.  Peter spent most of his time collecting shells and sitting in a hole in the sand with his collection of shells.

We enjoyed a picnic on the beach before calling it a day.  Danielle threw a fit when I tried to get all of the sand off her hands, so she enjoyed a crunchy mix of Pirate's Booty and sand. 

We finished the day with a walk around town and ice cream.  Danielle fell asleep just as we were headed down the boardwalk and slept until we were ready to go to the car.  The rest of us enjoyed the sites including the tent city that has been there since the late 1800's.

Once home, Peter enjoyed showing off all of his shells, including a mussel shell that still had the mussel inside! 

Here's a little video showing how much fun the kids had at the shore.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Land of Make Believe

We took a trip to the Land of Make Believe on Monday.  It's about an hour away, and we had so much fun!  It's an amusement park geared towards younger kids and a water park.  The first thing we saw was this giant bear standing near the entrance.  Peter gave him a big hug before we walked off to find the rides.

Peter was the perfect age to enjoy most of the rides, and Danielle loved riding the carousel and train multiple times.

The train ride was neat because you got a mini-tour of the entire park.  The conductor told us about all of the fun and exciting things to do which is how we discovered that Santa was there.  Now, for most children, just the mention of Santa's name brings feelings of giddy anticipation to a child.  However, for Peter, it was just exciting to see someone he doesn't see every day.  Santa resides in Santa's Barn, a large building transformed into a winter wonderland in the middle of August.

I find it pretty funny that we have a picture of all of us in shorts and t-shirts (I'm actually wearing my swimsuit) sitting with Santa in the middle of August.  The idea of Santa has been something I think about when Christmas rolls around each year.  When the kids are tiny, they don't even notice him.  However, as Peter has gotten older, more and more people ask him what he wants from Santa for Christmas.  I'm torn because I don't want to teach him that Christmas is about Santa, but I also want to respect other parents and their choice to let their children believe in Santa.  I find Santa to be a good theme for stories during the holidays, but I do not tell my children that Santa is real and will bring them gifts if they are good.  In fact, when Peter asks, I tell him that Santa is pretend just like many other characters that he watches on TV or reads about. 

So, I found it hilarious when this Santa asked Peter what he wanted for Christmas.  Peter thought for a minute, and then, in the most serious voice, said, "What do you have?"  It was just as if I'd asked him what he wanted for dessert and he was wondering what his choices were.  It was so funny!  Santa showed him a toy tractor that was part of the display, so now Peter says he wants a tractor for Christmas.  Santa then gave both kids reindeer cookie cutters (which Peter called a moose), and we went on our way.  We visited Santa one more time before we left because Peter enjoyed the exhibit so much.

Besides the rides, there was a maze, a bunch of candy canes perfect for swinging on, and a balance beam.

Peter's two favorite rides of the day were the frog ride and the ferris wheel.  I loved ferris wheels as a kid, so I was more than happy to ride with him.

After lunch, we finished out the day at the water park.  We spent most of the time in the wading pool, but Peter, Aunt Amy, and Grandpa enjoyed the lazy river as well.  Peter was even brave enough to go on one of the big waterslides with me!  We sat in an innertube made for two people - Peter in front and me in back.  The ride was pretty fast, and I was sure that I was going to have a crying boy at the end.  Peter definitely surprised me, though, when he had a big smile on his face at the bottom.  He loved it!!!

After a carnival game that produced two little fishy prizes and a final ride on the carousel, we headed home.  What a great day!!