Last weekend the dudes & I checked out the Hiller Aviation Museum's Haunted Hangar event, featuring a witch dropping a pumpkin from a helicopter! We enjoyed a little scavenger hunt & some craft-making before the signature event. Check out the gallery plus this video of the drop:
You know that thing where you’re enjoying an ostensibly quiet Saturday afternoon on the couch, and then one kid comes inside insisting that you close your eyes, take his hand, and follow him outside to see what he’s done to his brother? Yeah, I know that thing.
Kids these days, with their crazy long hair…!
The dudes implored me not to take them for haircuts last weekend so that they could really do up their ‘dos for this past Friday's Crazy Hair Day at school. Check out Mom-O’s fun styling job:
This year, the boys came up with the idea of throwing a costume party prior to Halloween. They even came up with games and ideas for party activities all by themselves! We invited lots of family and school friends over to party. We had a station for making "mummy hands," which were clear plastic gloves filled with popcorn and candy corn for fingernails. We played Pin the Spider to the Spider Web, where our small blindfolded contestants had to place their plastic spider the closest to the one in the middle of the web. We also played Halloween Bingo with candy corn and candy pumpkin bingo markers. The big finale was watching Hotel Transylvania while snacking on mummy hands, while all of us parents hung out and relaxed in the backyard.
Attendees included an Eskimo, some ninjas, a Pokemon, a zombie, some superheroes, the Flintstones, and even a family of pirates! A fine time was had by guests big and small, and it was a lovely, warm afternoon for a party. Here's a little gallery of the day's proceedings, complete with Admiral Henry and Private Finnegan.
Yesterday the boys were extremely excited to journey up to San Francisco at the invitation of my old Navy buddy, Commander Chris Peppel, to attend the commissioning of the brand-new USS America! They were so hyped the night before that they wanted to go straight to bed, with Henry announcing, "I'm going to get up, get dressed, and eat breakfast in the car!" We had a great time attending the ship & touring the new 45,000-ton ship (a small aircraft carrier—"small" being a strictly relative/only-in-America term!) and seeing Mr. Peppel. Here's a gallery from the visit, plus a very short video below.
Remember the bit where Tom Sawyer sweet-talked all the neighborhood kids into whitewashing his fence, making them believe the chore was really a special privilege? I'm pleased to have pulled that stunt on the guys, turning them into crazed car-washing zealots!
Among all the delights in our recent trip to Galena, a standout for all the kids (young & old alike) was when cousin Tony brought out his set of Legos & let us each build & arm our own minifigures! Even now, two months (!!) later, it's a ball to see these little parts (backpacks, katana swords, ghost bodies, and more) float by in the basement & remind the guys of Tony's generosity.
Check out a little gallery of the goings-on.
Just as we've done in the last couple of years (see pics & vids from 2011 & 2012), on Sunday we headed over to Watsonville for some quality apple picking. Highlights this year included seeing a little girl carrying her own Leo blankie; Henry "Strong like Bull" Nack supplying the power for a girl in a little John Deere vehicle with spent batteries; running into some Google amigos; and Finn very reluctantly petting Roscoe the apple-eating tortoise. Here's a little gallery from the day out.
An exchange with Henry prior to my Mom’s arrival:
“Henry, Grandma’s coming tomorrow.”
“WHAT the—? YOUR mom? She’s the BEST!! (She really plays with me!)”
As predicted, the guys are having a ball with Grandma, walking all over the neighborhood, grabbing ice cream, helping with gardening, and more. I haven’t had much chance to document the trip so far, but here are a few samples—including shots of the boys delighting in the new Lego car carrier Grandma sent!
The boys & Grandma Nack share a love of our neighborhood bakery/flower shop, Flour Flower. In anticipation of her visit this week, we visited the shop on Sunday and made sure that the crepes are as delicious as ever. Henry was so jazzed about buying Mom-O some flowers that he kinda fell apart when she tried to politely decline. Thus we’re the proud new owners of a cluster of sunflowers.
You know how a watched pot never boils? We were starting to feel that way with Finn’s front tooth: the darn thing has been shifting around and striking crazy poses for well over a month. We thought it would make its exit in Tahoe, then in Galena, then by the start of school… but it wasn’t until last night, when the car hit a bump & Finn’s knee flew into his mouth that it finally happened.
Anyway, the tooth is free at last—no bar fight required! Here you can see the Finnster trying to avoid showing me his smile during daycare drop-off. He only relented when I said I’d stick around & hug him in front of other kids unless he let me take a pic of the goods.
Braving Chestnut Mountain's Alpine Slide was a favorite part of my childhood, so we were delighted to get the Micronaxx in on the action during our trip. They enjoyed the action (and playful smack-talk between me & Margot!) so much that they begged to go back the next day. That time—unlike what you see in the vids below—I was smart enough to put my cameras away and focus on smoking the competition—finally redeeming myself in the eyes of our sons.
During our Galena trip my mom had the great idea of taking the lads to E.B. Lyons interpretive center in Dubuque's Mines of Spain wilderness area. They enjoyed checking out all manner of critters, both living (snapping turtles, snakes) and stuffed (badgers, owls, flying squirrels, and more). Here's our little gallery.
The boys have always been fascinated by anything related to Uncle Ted & his big vehicles. He's given them some great tours, from checking out his ambulance one year to riding in his 18-wheeler the next. This time around we paid a visit to the Tri-State Tours "bus barn" as the dudes call it. By the end Henry was literally jumping for joy, as you'll see. Check out the gallery!
The boys & I had a ball (and about a million kernels of corn) visiting our friend Tom Moser's farm outside Galena. We were joined by Alicia, Alejandro, and Elena, plus Uncle Ted & Jenna. Stay tuned for a gallery & more videos soon. Meanwhile, enjoy Finn the Corn Angel!
Who's got two thumbs, one spoon, and loves eating honey directly from the farm? This guuuuy.