Friday, May 30, 2014

Pickin' Strawberries.

Growing up in Louisiana, we had a plethera of u-pick farm options when it came time for strawberry season. One of my fondest memories as a child was visiting the strawberry plantations. We would literally fill multiple five gallon buckets full of fresh, farm grown strawberries. When were finished, we'd come back to the plantation house and there would be a home cooked Southern spread, hot and ready for us to eat.

Last year was the first year that I had even heard that we had a farm where you could pick your own berries, but since we welcomed Tyler into the world at the same time peak strawberry season happens, going to pick strawberries last year was out of the question. So this year, when time came, I knew that we would be ready. And ready we were.
The strawberry patch is actually on the same farmland that we visit to pick our own pumpkins every fall. The fields look so different without the pumpkins there, but it didn't keep the boys from romping around in the tall grass.
we pulled Ty along in the wagon, which he just wasn't quite sure about.
we met up with some of our neighbor friends, so the kids had fun taking turns pulling one another in the wagon.
the lady at the farm gave us our instructions, assigned us a row, and off we went!
one of the great things about picking your own strawberries is that this patch doesn't use pesticides, so the boys were able to pick and eat right there off the bush. That was a BIG hit with the boys, especially Connor.
Tyler didn't do much pickin', except for grabbing a few leaves. Oops!
so proud of all of their hard work!
the boys played around the farm a bit more before we headed home... bug finding was the next order of business.
(can you see all of the leftover strawberry remnants on Tyler's face? He approved!)
he's such a mess.
Connor, arranging a bouquet of flowers for mommy and her friend. Not sure what I'm going to do with this boy when he's a teenager-- I already know I'm going to be in trouble! ;)

When we got home with all of the strawberries, I was a bit overwhelmed. The minimum to pick was 3 quarts, and since these berries aren't the size of your fist like the store bought ones tend to be, that meant that we had A LOT of strawberries. I ended up making an easy Strawberry Cream Pie (the recipe was off of, but I can't find the link to it anymore!) and I must say, it was pretty good! This is definitely a tradition we'll probably try to do every year... Such fun family memories!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Last Day of Pre-K/MDO

Today marked the last day of preschool for the boys.
(true life picture right here- no one looking or taking me seriously, and Tyler with his constant runny nose.)

They have grown and learned so much this past year (to see the first day of school for this year, click HERE). We love their little MDO program so much and are so grateful for all of the teachers who love on our boys and invest in their little lives.

First day on the left, Last day on the right.

I can't believe in just a few months we'll be taking first day of school pictures... for REAL school. I don't feel old enough to have an (almost) Kindergartener. Where did the time go???


Brayden: His favorite food is peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, His favorite movie is Ninja Turtles & Darth Vader (and Yoda too-- funny, since he's never seen Star Wars), His best friends are Paige & Avery and Nicholas & Jack, His favorite color is Golden, Green & Orange, and when he grows up, he wants to be a police officer.
Connor: His favorite food is chicken, His favorite movie is Lightening McQueen, His best friends are Ava, Lucy and my teachers (from school), His favorite color is white, black and blue, and when he grows up, he wants to be an adult.

We're looking forward to all of the fun things summer has to offer... and mommy's hoping that a more lax schedule doesn't make anyone too crazy :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tyler's First Birthday Party.

Well, like I mentioned previously, I really didn't have the gusto to go all out for a big birthday party for Tyler. At first I felt kind of bad about this, but the more I thought about it, the more I reminded myself that (a) Tyler is too young to know the difference (b) he probably doesn't care (c) the only people that really NEED to celebrate with him are those who have really been around him most this year. So, we decided to just keep it to our immediate families, plus some friends of ours who are our "chosen family." It really went off so well and was so relaxing, which is kind of a miracle to say party and relaxing in the same paragraph.

He was a happy birthday boy!
I ordered a small smash cake and coordinating cupcakes from the Walmart bakery. I decided to forego any theme ideas and just do something generic. I loved how it turned out!
Drew thought it would be cool to put a live crawfish on Tyler's tray... I was a little nervous, but obviously once he saw the cake he could've cared less about any live animal in his reach ;)
such concentration
"what you lookin' at Willis?!"
he didn't break out in smile much. Just ate slowly and methodically. He did kick his legs after every 3 or so bites. And then one time, he let loose in grins.
he did, infact, start smashing it. Icing went EVERYWHERE.
and then, just like that, he was done. Back arching and everything.

After a bath and a short nap, Tyler was ready for part two of his birthday party: PRESENTS.
he had lots of helpers ;)
he kept saying "oooo" and bouncing up and down on his bottom. I think the presents were a hit!

All in all the party was a big hit, with everyone- not just Ty. And I was ultimately relieved I didn't have to deal with millions of small children running around my home. As much as I love our kids friends, it can get overwhelming having them all over at one time. I think that it really went well for Tyler, who was able to enjoy everything without getting overwhelmed by a big crowd. We're so grateful for our Tyler, and so happy we were able to celebrate his life!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a great Memorial Day weekend. I decided early on this year that I was going to cut myself some slack and not throw a huge birthday party for Tyler since his birthday fell on the week of Memorial Day this year (and I guess it will every year). Drew had expressed interest in having another crawfish boil, and since the price per pound went down significantly, we decided to go that route and just have a small family gathering for a crawfish boil/birthday party combo. I'll share more of the pictures of Tyler later on, as I feel like he deserves his own post for his birthday party pictures (especially the smash cake, which was, as the title indicates, a SMASHING success (sorry, couldn't resist)).
my cousin had fun playing with her food ;)
in addition to our blood family, we invited 1 other family who we call our "chosen" family. I was so proud of the girls for trying out the crawfish... they totally surprised me!
this picture is so funny to me. Brayden was being so goofy, and then Tyler in the background in all of his smash cake glory.
lots of backyard 4-wheelin'

Sunday after church we headed out to the lake for the first time this season. The water is still really cold, so I didn't even try to brave it. The boys though, were eager and happy to tube. Unfortunately I forgot my camera (we had to get all 5 of us out of the door and packed by 8:45am because we had church before the lake, so I was lucky I remembered everyone's bathing suit!), so this is really the only good pic we got of the boys. They were both SO happy to be back on the water. Tyler even enjoyed it and made it almost 5 hours with minimal fussing. We're so grateful to have our summer days back!
Officially summer.

Monday we laid low for the most part, but we did make it out to a local strawberry farm to pick strawberries. The boys loved it, especially Connor, who thought that it was his own strawberry buffet. I'm still working on some of the pictures I got that day, so I'll save those for a special post of it's own.

Hope everyone has a good, short week! We're wrapping up the last of our school year activities and then bustin' out the summer activities come Friday. I think I can speak for all of us here at my home when I say that summer is welcomed with open arms! 

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