Monday, October 28, 2013

August 2013 Trip (part 1)

August 1st we were on the road and headed north west! It has been 20 months since we last visited our western family and it was time to see them again. It is a long drive up but we decided to try and do the whole thing in one shot.
Pretending to be asleep
Little Guy is pretty fun in the van. He plays happily most of the time as long as you feed him on demand and well, the ability to watch movies in the van has definitely contributed to easy trips with toddlers.
Cheese!

Backseat boys
It turned out driving all in one trip was not the best choice for me, when we were almost there, I looked down at my right foot and noticed that I had lost my ankle. My foot was swollen! We had been stopping every three hours for me to walk around but it turned out I needed to elevate my foot more also. So we decided the drive home would have to be over two days instead. This is nice because it meant we would definitely visit my awesome Aunt & Uncle in Colorado but annoying because the trip takes so much longer!

When we arrived in Utah we stayed with my brother for a while. He has one guest bedroom and instead of having us all crammed in there or putting the boys in the living room, he suggested camping for the older boys! So they got to camp out in the back yard most nights. This brought its own adventures, including when the sprinklers were supposed to be turned off, but oops, one set went off and woke them up early in the morning! Overall I think they enjoyed the independence.
 We had lots of fun visiting my siblings who all live near each other right now. Here are some pictures having fun at the park with my baby sister.



This is my baby sister with her boyfriend who is now her fiance!
 Princess decided she had to try sleeping in the tent and it went alright one night and another night resulted in a lot of screaming apparently. I say apparently because I didn't hear it but heard about it so nicely the next day from my brothers' room mate. I felt so bad!
 Fixitman was helping my brother with a remodeling project while we were there and built a raised floor, added lots of insulation and widened a window in an old garage conversion that was not working out as a very usable space for my brother so he had a plan to make it into a media room. We were unable to finish the project before we had to head home, but did help him make significant progress.


This next picture is Little guy when we went to the movies and he wanted to sit by himself. He is getting big! We really enjoyed Despicable Me 2. I really was surprised by the strong family theme in the movie. I actually would recommend it, which is rare for me with movies.

Soon it was time to go visit more family farther north in Idaho! Luckily Grandma has great toys.


 Of course one time I came out to the living room and found them all watching their Dad play an electronic game.
Of course Princess enjoyed time with lots of girl cousins. 
Being silly with cousins

One of my nieces likes to put foam letters on people. Hence, Fixitman and the letter "Q"
Great smile from my niece




His sweet smile with the crooked glasses. How can you not love it? 
Okay that is enough for now. I will finish this up with another post later.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

July 2013 Activities

July begins with Independence day. We did go and see fireworks, but I managed not to bring my phone camera. I did bring glow bracelets for the kids which were a big hit waiting for the show to start.
Princess and Little Guy making froot loop necklaces again.
July also meant we could go in for an ultrasound! Yep, in November we are expecting a new baby to join our family! We are very excited.
J
We aren't finding out the gender until the birth!
We took the kids to Home Depot for the monthly building project. They are getting very good at it. Here is Princess nailing on the sides - she is quite good at it on her own now.
Little guy needs a little more guidance from Dad.
These two don't even sit near me anymore, they just go build it on their own now. Silly big kids growing up.
Here we are with our finished "minion" cars.
Trainboy really likes building structures out of these blocks. I often find towers built in my room.
We had some school history projects to finish up, here we are making candy stew using a Shakespeare poem. Dinoguy was really into it. He has a dramatic flair!
We had our last swim meet and shaved the boys' heads for it. Dinoguy loved it, Trainboy cried about having his head shaved until his dad shaved his head in solidarity. Fixitman pushed for me to shave Little Guy's head too, but I couldn't get myself to shave his beautiful red hair. What if it didn't come in red again?
Trainboy waiting to swim

Dinoguy waiting to swim

Shortly after pushing off.

Boys and their good friend we went to the meet with.

Princess with a shape design when she asked me to take a picture/

She also wanted a picture of this coloring page she did for her grandma.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

June 2013 Activities

June 2013 was a full month of activities for the Duff family. While Fixitman worked at teaching students estimating, Trainboy (and the other kids) had fun building with Fixitman's new block toys he got for work research.
Look mom a ship!
Dinoguy and Trainboy had morning swim practice five times a week which meant I got lots of time with just Princess and Little Guy. We often went to the library or park. One morning the library had the emergency vehicles visit. We watched the helicopter land which was really exciting to the kids, but when it came time to get close to the helicopter, Princess hid behind my back and I lifted Little Guy in for a picture which he was not pleased about.

We warmed up a little bit sitting on the front of the Fire Engine and then climbing in a digger excavator.


After a little bit they even wanted to talk to the Policemen and Firemen and ask them questions.


We worked on some science projects with magnets. Here we are looking at attraction between the paperclip and magnet and trying to get the paperclip to "float" in the air.
Success!

Princess being cute at the park


We went to a swim meet every Saturday in June. Taking pictures of kids swimming isn't easy but I keep trying for some reason. The boys improved their times in the 25 Free and 25 Back almost every meet.
Dinoguy trying out the 100 Free - he didn't like it.

Trainboy trying out 25 breast stroke

Trainboy climbing out of the pool

Different meet - Trainboy preparing to jump off the blocks

Dinoguy getting ready to step up on the blocks
Father's day is in June! We had fun making breakfast for Fixitman and waking him up.

Read my card Daddy!
Cub Scout camp also happened in June. I went as a walking leader. This was Dinoguy's last year and Trainboy's first. Princess also attended the sibling care camp and had fun. I tried to take more pictures this year. It was hot but with a lot of water we had a good time.
I walked with Trainboy's group. Here we are waiting for crafts time to start.

Trainboy showing me his carved necklace.

A posed group picture of our group.

We did see Dinoguy sometimes during the week. He had great leaders and seemed to be having a great time.

Boys find a steep hill and have to climb it!

Trainboy enjoyed learning how to shoot a bow and arrow.

Learning to fire a BB gun was also fun!

Watching the egg drop at the end of the day


Trying out shooting while standing.

Watching track practice while big boys were at swimming. Princess is getting too big for the buggy.
At the end of the month we went blueberry picking before the season ended. We got totally lost on the way to the farm and got there much later than we had planned so it was starting to get hot. But fresh picked local blueberries are delicious!




Princess found some shade when she got hot and focused on picking berries she could reach from her shady spot.

Little Guy focused on drinking lots of water

It was a great small family farm to visit with other animals for the kids to see as well. Wish we'd gone more than once or been able to get there at 8 am but we'll go again next year.

There is a quick review of the things we did in June where I took pictures!

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