Wednesday, December 7, 2011


In early October, Cade went on his first field trip (not counting the field trip he took to the same place last year when he was in pre-school. We'll call that a pre-field trip.) to a pumpkin patch. Dana and I both went with along. It's supposed to be educational but I'd say it's more like 2% education and 98% running wild and playing. Those are the best kind of trips. Cade jumped in the pit full of corn, bounced on a huge trampoline thing, played on the slides, pet the animals and basically didn't stop running and jumping until we left. He slept well after that.

Dana and Cade on the hayride to pick out a pumpkin

Cade and me showing off his pumpkin. Poor little pumpkin had no idea what we were going to do to it.

I scored a good deal for admission to this place on a couponing site (Hey! It's not just for women!) so a few days later, I went back with all the boys. Just like last year, Dana wasn't able to go with us because she had worked the night before. The good news is that was her last weekend! No more night shifts for her and us boys got our mom/wifey back on the weekends! Woo hoo!

They look a little bigger than the "How Tall this Fall 2007" pictures I have. Especially that one in the middle.

Take a picture quick! They're touching each other and not fighting!

Can you believe Mr. Cade turned 6 in October? We gave him his gifts on his birthday then took him out to eat. He chose Applebee's because they sing to people for their birthdays. Not very shy, that boy. His big gift from us was a new bicycle. He simply outgrew his other one and after having gone through the other two boys, it's ready to be retired anyway.

Cade's new wheels.

That weekend, we had a proper birthday party for him at the bowling alley. Kevin was too cool to be in a picture with all the little kids.

A couple of weeks later, Cade lost his first tooth. Dana noticed it was barely hanging on so I yanked it out for him. The very next day, he showed me how loose the tooth next to it was so I pulled that one out too. I told him two teeth in two days was plenty. Didn't want him to get addicted to that Tooth Fairy money.

Soccer season finally came to an end. Almost unbelievably, Kevin went non-stop from January until mid-November. As much as he enjoyed playing and we enjoyed watching, we're all glad for a break.

Yes, Cade was that much bigger than the other kids. Little dude turned into a pretty darn good defender and saved countless goals.

Cameron had a terrific season and surprised a lot of people - including us. For someone who "quit" soccer in the spring to wrestle, he not only looked like he hadn't missed a beat but like he'd actually been secretly practicing. He didn't score but he had many assists throughout the season including 2 to two kids who had never scored before (and will likely never score again). That's saying something!

Kevin on his most recent team. They played great all season, barely missed qualifying for the state cup in first place and promptly bombed in the tournament. We had a lot of fun being on this team and traveling to other cities to play and Kevin improved his skills immensely by playing with these bigger, faster kids. I can't wait to see him play for his school next spring where he'll get more play time.

I should add here that getting a good action shot in soccer is very hard. All season long, I only managed to frame one really good shot of Kevin. He was jumping up to head the ball right in front of me and for once I had the camera ready. Unfortunately, one kid behind him and one in front of him had the same idea. All I got was a picture of a Kevin sandwich. You can see one of his legs and maybe one arm. I think a lock of his hair is visible too. It's difficult, I say!

This is Carly and she chews on things.

Outtakes from our family pictures in our back yard.

Haven't taken a boyhead picture in awhile.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dumb format

I seem to be the only one having issues with the formatting on this blog. I fix the spacing but it comes back even worse when I publish it. If anyone has any tips please holler.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blame It on the Ipad

So Dana bought an iPad for me for my birthday and I am officially blaming that darned thing for neglecting this blog. It's too darn easy to surf the web and check Facebook from the comfort of the living room couch. As far as I'm concerned, our office has become obsolete because I rarely use the computer anymore. Dana still uses it but that's only because I laid down the law and threaten to bite anyone that touches the iPad.

As for the blog, I'm so far behind I don't remember what happened so I grabbed a few pictures from the last few months and I'll call it like I see it. I have more on the camera that I'll probably download some day and it includes Cade's birthday yesterday. He's the big oh-six!

First up, Kevin turned 13 in July! Big, bad teenager! Breaks my heart to think of my not-so-little-anymore buddy getting so old. He had a simple birthday party and invited some friends over for the night. At least that's all I remember happening.

Spoiled kid got his own flatscreen TV for his room. I never had a TV in MY room. I'm starting to realize just how mistreated I was. Kevin did pay for 1/2 of it but that's irrelevant to my whining.

Kevin and buddies playing soccer. Anytime big kids are around, Cade thinks he needs to be involved. Here's our 5 year old going toe-to-toe with the teenagers. Later, I noticed they were all playing Duck, Duck, Goose. I wonder whose idea that was. It made my heart smile to see the big kids not being too cool to play with Cade. Good boys, they are.

Shortly after Kevin's birthday, we packed up the Expedition and made our annual-and-a-halfy trip to NM to visit our beloved family. We spent a few days in Las Cruces first. We started the week off by holding a private memorial service for my grandparents and buried their ashes. Dad wrote a very nice and very touching memorial. The rest of us (namely, me) just blubbered when we tried to talk about them.

While we were spending time with my parents, we also went to the lake but I didn't include any pictures of that. And we went mini-fourwheeling and drove to the top of Timber Mountain by Caballo Lake.

Cade participates in the time honored tradition of throwing a rock down the side of a mountain.

I really like this shot I got of Eric.

I don't think we're in Bama anymore.

Panoramic view from the top. Definitely not in Alabama.

After saying our goodbyes, we left LC and drove up to Inlow to attend the Harmon family reunion which seemed a little like a misnomer since there were only 2 Harmons there but lots of descendants and their spouses and that's what counts. We all had a great time and I'm always amazed at how well all the cousins get along even though they rarely see each other.

Cameron and Dana modeling our tie-dyed shirts.

We played lots of four square, or rather, 9 square. Dana's in Square 1 here. If you're not familiar with the game, that's the place to be.

Cade took to the climbing wall like a fish to water. He even did it in his flip-flops!

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and it was time for us to leave NM. Fortunately, Dana is the master planner of vacations and had a trip to Frontier City amusement park in Oklahoma City all planned out. Despite being 110 degrees and having several rides closed because the seats were burning people, we had a great time there.

Kevin and Cameron on the water log ride. This was one of our favorites.

The bumper cars were probably THE favorite for the whole family. We rode these many times. Dana, Cameron and Cade ham it up for the camera when they should be watching where they're going.

Immediately after returning from our vacation, another school year began. Kevin is in 8th, Cameron in 5th and Cade in Kindergarten. This year the boys started riding the bus as well so between not having anyone home during the day and not getting to take them and pick them up from school, it's been a bit of an adjustment. Dana and I took Cade on his first day but it was more for us than it was for him. The second day he was having none of that and wanted to ride the bus. Usually, it's the kindergartener that cries but this time it was Dana and me.

In a moment of weakness, or maybe I was sick and in a drug-induced fog, I said something about Cade needing another dog because he still misses and talks about Abby (our dog in Las Cruces 3 years ago). Dana heard, "Let's get a dog!" There was no stopping her at that point and the result is Carly although I call her Dummy.

See? Dumb dog just flops down when someone tries to pet her. Useless, I say. But the boys seem to like her and Dana enjoys having her around during the day so I guess that counts for something. I'd still rather have a cat though.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mid-Summer Update

Mid-summer update, take two.

I actually created this blog last night and was quite proud of it. I laughed. I cried. It moved me. It was chock full of funny, witty comments that would have entertained you for hours but it was all wiped out when I published it despite my frequent saves. Then I yelled, threw things, pouted and finally cried again. I doubt I can create that greatness again but I'll try.

Last month, Dana and I celebrated our 16th anniversary! Sometimes it seems like time has flown by and other times it seems like a looong time - in a good way, of course. Unbeknownst to each other, we both decided to splurge a little on our anniversary gifts and as a result we now have a balance on our dang credit card again. She bought a new camera for me (that I LOVE) since our old one broke. I bought her a new TV. I thought the old one was fine but she insisted TV pictures are supposed to have colors other than green. Little did I know that with a new TV, one must also acquire a whole new set of furniture to go with it. Funny how women work like that. For me: new camera = use old camera bag. For her: new TV = new TV stand, bookcases on either side, repaint living room, new rug, new drapes, reposition wall hanging 3-7/8" to the right, new pillows for the couch, etc. Good thing I love her.

The Slugas also came to visit for a week in June. We had a great time visiting with them and were sad to see them go. I know Dana especially enjoys time with her sisters. We're still trying to convince everyone to move out here but no one is buying it.

We took the Slugas to our favorite state park. Here's Ronney & Karen checking out the waterfall. I'm still amazed at how green everything is around here.

Playing with the camera in this one. Check out the defocused background. Pretty trick, huh? I horsed around with the settings on the camera so much I failed to get a decent picture of all the kids together. I'll have to try again when we're in NM.

We've gone riding a whopping two times this summer. Poor Kevin missed both times because he was out galavanting around the country with his friends. So nevermind, not poor Kevin.

My awesome zoom allows cool close up shots without endangering myself. I like these where you can see their eyes.

The helmet hides Cade's always-present smile.

Even the most hardcore MXers need a water break. Crossed eyes and puffy cheeks are optional.

Cameron is getting the hang of his 65. He and Cade both ask to go riding quite often. Too bad it isn't free like the good ol' days in NM.

Pit tootsie. She's hubba hubba in color and hubba hubba in black and white.

We finally made our way down to Destin, FL for a weekend at the beach. I was there for a conference several years ago and really wished I could bring the family to show them how pretty it is. Never thought we'd make it. Now it's half a day's drive away. And, my personal goal of dipping the Expedition's toes in both oceans and the gulf is now complete! Time to sell it.

This was my view when not in the water. Poor me.

What's a day at the beach w/o burying someone in the sand?

I was playing with the camera (notice a theme here?) and took this panorama. What I really like about it is Kevin's head sticking out of the sand in the lower left corner.

Cameron on the run looking cool as always. I wish I had that cool, David Hasselhoff run like he does.

I just love the smiles on their faces in this picture. And they're not fighting!!!

Look how clear the water is. If you ever get the chance to visit the Emerald Coast, do it!

Cade was either playing in the sand or in the water but he was playing nonetheless.

That's one good lookin' kid!

There's another studmuffin. I didn't get a good picture of Cade on the boardwalk so don't think I don't think he's good looking. He is.

Kevin is growing fast but I still have a few inches on him. For now.

This picture reminds me, did you know you can submerse an old style Ford key fob in salt water for over 2 hours w/o harming anything? I do now. But next time I'll be sure to empty my pockets before playing in the water just in case.

Our neighborhood had a golf cart parade for the 4th of July. The local golf pro is the leader of our Sunday School class so he let us borrow a golf cart. I think we did alright considering our nearly last minute dash to the dollar store for some decorations. We didn't win any prizes but I still think we had one of the best carts. No one else had Uncle Sam on the back of their cart! But we had fun and that's what matters, right?

The boys ready to roll in their first sort of parade.

We invited our neighbors and friends over to watch us set off our fireworks then have some of Dana's awesome flag cake. I had a blast setting off roman candles and rockets and all the things that were banned years ago in NM.

Getting ready for the Reynolds festivities.
Have I ever mentioned that we LOVE our neighbors and the street we're on?

No summer would be complete without a slip-n-slide. Unfortunately, ours broke the first time we were using it but that didn't stop the kids from having a good time.

Kevin getting a face full.

Oh, look! Cade is smiling. Imagine that.

This picture speaks for itself.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Trying to Keep Up!

Geez, Louise! Can you believe summer vacation is half over? We've been having a great time here in Athens so maybe that's why it's going so fast.

Since the last update, Kevin finished 7th grade, Cameron finished 4th grade and Cade completed pre-school. Kevin & Cam both made the A honor roll and were recognized in their school's awards ceremony. Dana and I are awfully proud of our boys.

Cade looked so darn cute in his cap and gown!

Soccer season finally ended. Kevin's coach didn't want to quit and kept scheduling more games. When that did end, Kevin joined a club team here in Hunstville. He'd better really, and I mean REALLY, enjoy soccer because he'll go straight through from Jan/Feb (whenever it was that the school team started) all the way through November. And then he'll start again with school next year.

We didn't get any good action shots of either of the boys in soccer this year and Kevin skipped his year-end party so no pictures of him there either. At least we got this one of Cade.

Cameron's wrestling group had a year end party at the ice skating rink. Dana was the only one of us who has ever tried ice skating before. While we wobbled around and tried not to bruise our tailbones too badly, Dana leapt on the ice with all the gracefulness of a, um, well something that's pretty graceful. Especially when you compare her to the rest of us with backs hunched over and arms wildly flapping back and forth with a look of sheer terror on our face. Dumb ice. Cade actually had it made. He got a "walker" to help him skate so he cruised around like a little old man - except he moved a lot faster.

Here's Dana showing off by not flapping both arms, Cade with his walker, and Cameron trying to balance. Actually, Cameron picked it up very quick and looked right at home after just a few minutes. Kevin and I are the ones who really had trouble.

Jacobs had an employee event at the Botanical Gardens again this year. Dana was sleeping so I took the boys with me for some fun in the su, er, rain. And it was a bit cold.

We spent a long time in the butterfly house. Here's Cameron showing off his new hair accessory.

All 3 boys jockeying for position to get the butterfly to crawl on their hand. Each of them got a turn. I like how Cade is holding his left hand out as he concentrates on his other hand.

Honey, I shrunk the kids!

Dana and I celebrated our 16 anniversary in June! And we actually celebrated it this year, unlike last year when we did nothing and bought no gifts. Not sure what we were thinking. Anyway, Dana gave me a new camera!!! (Our old nice one broke a couple of years ago) I LOVE this one. 32X optical zoom! So if you think I had a lot of pictures before, just wait!

Here's a cool shot I took while messing around with the camera. If you squint really hard and turn your head you can sort of make out the Apollo landing sites. Ok, I made that up.