Monday, April 22, 2013

Easter Eggstravaganza!

Dear Ian,

Keeping with our game of catch-up, it's time to write about another adventure from March: Easter!

This year Easter kind of sneaked up on us.  It was the weekend following our cruise, which made the end of March a very busy time.  We just barely decorated the house in time!  But we did, and Easter was another fun time we all shared.

Since all of our family lives in Tallahassee, we usually get to have more than one holiday celebration for each special day.  This year, we celebrated Easter on Saturday with Grandma and Grandpa Brooks and Uncle Kurt and Aunt Stacey on Saturday, and then on Sunday, we celebrated with Grandma and Papa Davis, Uncle Gary, Aunt Megan, Payton and Taylor.  It made for an exciting weekend!

First was our Saturday fun.  We went over to Grandma and Grandpa Brooks' house for breakfast casserole
You, decked out in Grandma's sunglasses
(yummo) and an Easter egg hunt.  Grandma and Grandpa hid eggs all over the house, and you and Abigail had a blast looking for them.  You were even so helpful to your cousin and showed her a couple of eggs that were hidden in funny places.  Then we all opened Easter baskets, and boy are you a lucky kid.  Grandma and Grandpa filled a basket for you, and so did Uncle Kurt and Aunt Stacey.  You received all kinds of nice treats including books and bubbles and, of course, Easter goodies.  Then we spent some time outside blowing and chasing bubbles.  It was a really nice morning, and a great way to kick off our Easter festivities.

Here are some more pictures from our Brooks Family Easter:
 You showing off your muscles at breakfast. 
 Egg hunting with Abigail
 Mommy having fun blowing bubbles.

After all the fun at Grandma and Grandpa Brooks' house, we headed home to do our part to get ready for Easter.  It was time to dye eggs!  Funny enough, we actually had a ton of eggs in our refrigerator thanks to Grandma and Papa Davis' chickens.  But all of those eggs were brown, and they would have been difficult to color, so we went to Publix and bought yet another dozen eggs, white this time, to dye.  Mommy found this
Our eggs.  Two of them went to school for dyeing in Science.
cool trick last year where you use a wire whisk to dye the eggs (you squeeze the egg between the wires, and it holds the egg just perfectly, unlike that little wire holder in the Paas kits), so we broke those out again and we got to work.  We all got in on the dyeing action, even Daddy, and we ended up with some really pretty Easter eggs.  Daddy's eggs are the really fancy striped ones in the package.  He had to get all spiffy with his egg dyeing.

And it's a good thing that Mommy likes hard-boiled eggs.  You don't like them, so I got the pleasure of making sure that all of them were eaten.

Anyhoo.  The next morning was Easter Sunday.  You woke up early and came downstairs to find your Easter basket (bucket) on the dining room table filled with goodies.  I think you were really excited about it  There was more bubbles, candy filled eggs, Peeps, a ducky nail brush, bubble bath and a chocolate bunny.  It being a special holiday and all, you got to eat a piece before breakfast.  Lucky boy.  After a good breakfast, it was time for church.  You, Daddy, Grandma Davis and I all went to Easter Mass.  Usually we go to St. Thomas More for church, but this year we went to Good Shepherd.  You were so well behaved in church.  I took a couple of books for you, and you took turns sitting next to me, then Daddy then Grandma and then back to me.  When we went up for communion, you held my hand like a big kid, but then when we got back to our pew, you did ask for a "cookie" like the one I received.  We had to have a talk to work that one out.  Mommy was smart and brought you a few jelly beans though.

After church, the four of us had a special treat:  Donuts!  One of my memories of church was going off to Sunday School and the Grandma Davis (my Mommy) bringing us donuts or bagels which we ate in the car before Mass.  We all had a nice treat and then we went home for you to take a nap before going out to the farm for Easter dinner and an egg hunt with your cousins.

So from here on out, I'm just going to post photos of our Easter Sunday on the farm.

 You hunting for Eggs
 Payton found one!
 Cousins hunting for eggs :)
 Bear found one!
 Not sure what is going on here...
 You and Pay heading to check over by the 40
 Grandma, Papa, and Great Poppey watching the action
 My Easter Bear
 Our Family, Easter 2013

It was a great holiday weekend, and we are so lucky to have all of our family close so we can do all of these fun family things.  I love knowing that you are growing up side by side with cousins, Aunts, Uncles and grandparents.  It makes my heart smile.  

Happy belated Easter, 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Green-ish Thumb

Dear Ian,

It's the time of year for growing things, and as such, we have planted another garden this year.  You and I went to Esposito and chose our victims plants, and then we spent an afternoon hoeing, tilling, planning and planting. 

This year our garden boasts two yellow squash plants, a zucchini plant, silver queen corn, an onion, a green pepper plant saved from last year, two different kinds of tomatoes (cherry and heirloom), strawberries, potatoes, blueberries, carrots, sunflowers, and at your request, a watermelon and pumpkin plant.  You also added a lima bean plant to our little plot of green that you sprouted in a ziploc bag with a damp paper towel in your science class at school. 

We've already had a tough time with critters munching on our plants, but Mommy has invested in a spray called Deer Off that has been successful, so far, in discouraging their buffet.  So far, we have blossoms on both our tomato and zucchini plants, and you are really excited about this development.  Here's hoping we can actually have something come to fruition; it would be so cool to have a meal of our home grown veggies. 

Above is a picture of our little set up.  It's hard to believe we have all of that stuff listed growing in such a small place.  But there it is.  Please excuse our poor scarecrow.  Squirrels ripped his pants off this past fall, and so far we haven't have time to replace or redress him.  But maybe his pants-less state helps scare off the animals?

Love you much,

Sail Away

Dear Ian,

Spring has officially sprung in Tallahassee.  That means two things in our little world.  First, we put our garden in recently, and second:  Spring Break.

Now you and I both love going to school/work, but we both (Daddy too) love to have this little break to spend time playing together with family.  And like last year, this Spring Break, we went on a cruise with Grandma and Grandpa Brooks, Uncle Ryan, Aunt Andrea, Uncle Kurt, Aunt Stacey and Abigail. 

The boat we sailed on was Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, and that mama-jamma was HUGE!  It never ceases to amaze me that those ships actually float.  Something that big should not be able to stay on top of the water.  But believe me, I am sure glad it did.  Before our cruise, a bunch of cruise ships from the Carnival Cruise Line experienced electrical and mechanical failures.  We were a bit on the nervous side, but as it turned out, all was ok. 

Instead of loading this post down with a bunch of writing, I am going to let our pictures do most of the talking.  So without any further ado, I present, your third cruise.  Spring Break 2013.

 As usual, we did a paper chain count down until our trip.  Here we are with four days left to go.  The waiting was killing me.
 First things first.  We had to hit up the water park and pools the very first day we were on the ship.  You loved swimming in the hot tub, or "warm pool," as you called it.
 You in the warm pool.
 And at the splash park.
 Here's a view of Nassau from the 11th deck.  We have been here a couple of times, so we decided to stay on the ship and have the boat (a little more) to ourselves. 
 My two favorite guys.
 Mmmmm.  Ice cream on the ship.
 This was a crazy chair!
 Posing with Alex the Lion, from the movie, Madagascar
 After our first formal night, we came back to our room to discover that it had been infested by bats!
 Making a pinwheel spin in the breeze off our balcony.
 You and Daddy trying to give me a heart attack.  Leaning over our balcony.
How awesome is this!  There was a carousel on our ship!  Of course you rode on it.
 You and Daddy.  Daddy being silly.
 And here is the aforementioned carousel ride.  One of many.
 From deck six, looking up at the back of the ship.  Holy Moly.  They had a zipline that went over this opening.  No, I did not do it.
 You on the carousel again
 Us taking pictures of each other :)  I need to get your photos off your camera.  Cant wait to see what you took
 A Dreamworks character during a parade.  Yes, there were parades on this ship, too.  Lord.
 You and Daddy patiently waiting for the balloon lady to make you a purple penguin. 
 Snacks on the balcony with Cousin Abigail
 One of the neat things you got to do via "Ship School" (this year you were an Aquanaut!) They had power wheel cars on the basket ball court.  You had a total blast!
 Here's a photo you took of me.  Proof I was on this trip, too.
 You eating grapes at dinner, doing a chipmunk impression
 With King Julian from Madagascar
 Here's St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.  We stayed on the ship during this port of call, too.
 And we had the pools pretty much to ourselves.  Daddy took the time to finish the book he started last cruise.
 Pouty face. Not sure why...
 Being sweet and playing at dinner.
 Two cookies for dessert!!
 Awwww.  Cousin love :)
 Playing mini golf on deck 16.  This boat had everything.
 Good form
 My monkey and a towel monkey.
We got off the ship in St. Maarten, and here's a photo of you and Daddy with a small part of the ship.
 We went to a butterfly farm and beach while on St. Maarten.  It was really neat! 
 Look at the size of this moth!!!
 You taking pictures of butterflies.  Again, gotta get your photos off your camera!!
 So pretty.
 One even landed on you!! 
 You and I at the beach after the butterfly farm
 You and Daddy having lunch, beach side
 There you go!
 My beach baby.
 Here we are, back on the ship.  You're having a non-alcoholic strawberry daquari.  I think I got you hooked on them
 Waiting to sail away from St. Maarten.
 More evidence I was on the cruise, too.
 We even got to go to a special character breakfast one morning.  It featured different Dreamworks characters.
 You with Puss In Boots.
 Hahaha!  There was this playspace for kids, and this cut out was there. 
 Sailor Bear and a Sailor Bear.
 You with the Dreamworks penguins.
 With our towel elephant after the other formal dinner.
 You got exposed to jazz on this cruise, too.
 Our waiter Mr. Rolando, dressed you up like the Statue of Liberty!
A shot of another ship back in port in Ft. Lauderdale.  We had such a great time; it was really hard to get off the ship and head back to normal  life. 

Daddy and I sure love sharing trips and memories with you!