Thursday, October 30, 2014

Picture of the Week - 10/30/2014

Happy (almost) Halloween!
The end of October marks a few milestones for us every year.  (And I'm not just talking about my birthday!)
We are normally winding down at least one of our sports by the end of October.  This year lacrosse was the first to finish up* and with the end of fall lacrosse we eliminate the lacrosse/football overlapping Tuesday and Thursday practice times.  A little room to breathe. 
Sunday is the last day for flag football, so that will free up Sunday afternoons too.  Ahhhhhh......
Football is still practicing 3 nights a week and we are not starting football tournaments until 11/15, so we have a ways to go with Spencer.  But it's nice to not have to worry about so much juggling!
Here's a fun picture of Bob and Quinn getting ready for a Lacrosse game.  Bob helped coach the team this year - largely to learn how to coach lax so that he can help with the little boys when they start.  I love lacrosse - and playing for the coach Quinn has had for 3 seasons running now.  It's such a fun sport - low stress - high energy and excitement.  I can't wait to put a stick in Zane's hand this spring for "little shooters".  Quinn has already been working with the little boys on how to roll the crease.  Those other little 5 year olds won't know what hit them when the blonde bomber hits the turf!  :)
*We have signed up to participate in 2 different weekend winter lacrosse tournaments this.  So we will get to revisit lacrosse practices and weekend stuff again after Thanksgiving, but I will enjoy the "downtime" while I can.
Tomorrow night we will trick-or-treat!  Be on the lookout for pictures.  Quinn is going as Batman and the little guys are Power Rangers.  Cute cute cute!  Spencer had opted out of the whole thing until last night.  Now I think he's regretting that decision, so I may have to find something to dress him up as on the fly. 
Have a great - and safe - Halloween! 
OH - if you happen to see Zane in the next few days, ask him how his field trip was.  His class went on a field trip today and he was giddy with excitement.  He hasn't been this excited about something since, well the trip to Burt's a couple of weekends ago, or um..., the fall festival at school last weekend.  OK - so he's easily excitable right now - which is SO DARN FUN!!!  Have I mentioned lately how much I love 5 year olds???

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Picture of the Week - 10/23/2014


This weekend we made the annual trek up to Burt's pumpkin farm.  We've been doing this trip every year since Spencer was one.  I'm pretty sure we haven't missed any - including the time we went up there with 2 week old Zane when it was about 15 degrees and the time I was super pregnant with Beckett. 

This year may have been the best trip yet!

We had originally planned on going up to the mountains the weekend prior, but Mother Nature ruined those plans with some wet and nasty weather.  So we had to re-plan for October 19th.  That day also happens to be Beckett's birthday, and we had other plans we had to tackle too.  So we knew it was going to be a long busy day.

As I like to do, we got out of the house at a very early hour to beat the crowds to Burt's.  I am pretty good with Photoshop, but it's hard to erase lots of random people from the backdrops of our pictures.  We got there as they opened the gates and had our choice of backdrops.  Lovely!




Bob and me 

After I made the boys do all of their posing, I brought Berber and Pappy in for their shots!


I adore pumpkin pictures!!!

We rode the hayride and then were able to wonder all over the pumpkin patch looking for the perfect pumpkins to turn into Jack-o-lanterns.

By the time we had made our selections the crowds were already starting to get thick!  Stay tuned to find out what our pumpkins turn into this year!  Zane already has big plans!!

After we were done, we took a time out to celebrate Beckett with some cake (for breakfast) in the mountains.  Honestly, it couldn't have been any nicer.  We had the picnic area to ourselves and found a really nice place right by the creek.  The boys had a blast eating cake and then feeding fish. 

Following Burt's we headed over to Hillcrest Orchards.  Hillcrest is an apple farm that they have continued to add attractions to over the years.  Now it's a destination in itself - regardless of your desire to pick (or buy) apples.  They have a petting zoo and hay rides and a jumpy pillow and go carts and corn mazes.  It's pretty fun!

Our first stop at Hillcrest was the petting zoo.  Zane remembers holding the chicks here from our last trip (which I think was at least 2 years ago...  that child's memory is scary good!)  After the petting zoo and some time on the big slides, which are built into the side of a mountain, we found the pony rides.  Zane rode a pony at the fair last week, but Beckett chickened out.  So we were a little surprised that he wanted to ride these ponies.  Look how happy he was!!!

We found this awesome pile of old tractor tires that was clearly meant to be climbed.  The boys all had a great time on these things.  Nothing like playing on garbage!!!  I loved it though because it was a great place to take pictures!!!

I even made Berber and Pappy climb the tire tower!

After all the fun in the mountains we headed back south for some lunch and a lacrosse game.  Quinn scored a great goal while we sat on the hill in the sun and enjoyed being outside. 

(Aside...  because we started the day so early and were in the mountains we had to plan for greatly changing temperatures.  I had about 3 outfits packed for each person and by the end of the day the minivan looked like a dressing room had exploded in it!  Good times!!)

We left the field with a destination of Build-a-Bear in our sights.  We don't do birthday parties for each boy every year.  It's too stressful and expensive.  But we do like to make sure they are all celebrated.  Bob and I realized a couple of weeks ago that the little boys had never been to Build-a-Bear and thought Beck's birthday was the perfect time to go. 

It was simply adorable to watch Beckett make his Olaf.  Zane and Quinn also got in on the action.  Spencer declined a new stuffed friend.  :)

As everyone began to fade, we headed off to dinner with my sister and her family.  It was a good time - and I'm very glad they stuck us in the back of the restaurant as we may have been a little loud. 

This is the kind of day I want the boys to remember for a long time.  Crazy busy and packed with stuff, but we were together and having a great time.  And a big shout out to Mother Nature for helping to make it the perfect day with beautiful fall weather.  I love love love October in Georgia.  It's just such a beautiful time of  year with sunshine, very little rain, bright blue skies, no humidity, and gorgeous scenery everywhere.  Awesome!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Boos and Ghouls QAL - I love Halloween!

A few weeks back Bryan House Quilts announced a Quilt Along that totally caught my attention.  It was a super adorable combination of a pixelated quilt and a celebration of Halloween.  My boys love Halloween - and so do I!  It's such a perfect kick off to all the fall holidays and who doesn't love chocolate?!?

In the initial design there was a plain ghost (already super cute) and a second variation on the pattern for a girl ghost with a bow.  I don't do girls.  :)  So I decided to try to design a few more variations on the basic ghost so that each of my boys could have a ghost of their own. 

Here's what I came up with using the poor man's version of a design tool - excel

I was able to use all stash for this quilt top - which was destined to be a table runner for my dining room.  The first 2 ghosts were kind of no brainers.  Spencer's fascination with all things mustache and Quinn's distinctive glasses were perfect inspiration.

The next two ghosts took a little thinking.  I love the idea of a ghost in a bow tie, but I didn't want to just have a single plain ghost.  I settled on a ball cap.  But when I went to put ball cap ghost together, I couldn't put a black ball cap on a white ghost with a black background.  Soooo...  the hat became orange.  I had briefly contemplated making all the accessories in the boys' favorite colors, but I thought a purple mustache would have been too weird.
The final 4 ghosts turned out pretty cute - and I actually love the pop of color on that orange hat.
Next up - what to do for the back...  I went digging through my stash again and found some Ghastlies fabric I had bought a while back and never had any idea what to do with - UNTIL NOW!  How perfect!
I wanted to machine quilt this project - and actually started that direction - but, truth be told, I'm really not very good at machine quilting.  I hope that someday I can improve my machine quilting skills to the point where I don't feel like I'm going to ruin every project I attempt.  For this one, I abandoned the machine quilting and went back the old standby of hand quilting.  I kept things really, really simple and just outlined each of the ghosts and their accessories.


After a simple black binding was added, they were DONE!

I loved this project.  I know that this will have a place on my October dining room table for many years to come.  Thanks Becca for a super fun project!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Picture of the Week - 10/16/2014

It's hard to think of a place to start talking about Beckett.  When I start to write something funny, I feel like I'm not being serious enough about our baby turning 3 this coming Sunday.  Like if I don't take this seriously, I will somehow be diminishing the importance.  When I start to write something lovey, it makes me more than a little nostalgic and sounds overly mushy.  And Beck is anything but mushy.  Maybe I should just keep this super simple and sincerely send up a giant prayer of thanks for getting to spend time with this special little dude.

Beckett.  Bucket.  Bucky.  Becky (only Zane is allowed to call him Becky)

I can't imagine our family without the joy this child brings.  Utter, unadulterated J. O. Y.  If you've been around him, you know...  it's impossible not to smile around Bucky.  I can't even tell you the number of people who gush over how cute he is.  We have lots of opportunities to be around people who are (almost always) past the point in their lives where they get the chance to be around a 3 year old.  Most of the families we spend most of our time with have kids who are 10 or 12.  Very few of them have littles at home.  So maybe Beckett is just a nice reminder to them of how things were when their own kids were little.  Maybe...

Or maybe it's the fact that he is ALWAYS smiling.  Always.  From the time he figured out how to curl those sweet red lips into a grin.  From the moment he was born showing off those dimples.  Oh those dimples.  How I love those dimples!  He is a smiley kid.  Always a smile.  I get pictures from school of him laughing and smiling and having fun almost daily.  (I don't get nearly as many of Zane, so I know Beck's hogging the camera!)  And he also seems to have jumped in front of my own camera more than his fair share this year too.  When I was pulling pictures for his collage I had SOOOO many good (or funny) pictures of Beckett.  Many of which I have never even gotten a chance to show.  He's smiley.  :)

We are now done with diapers and pacis.  We packed away our crib.  (Don't talk to me about our house no longer having a crib...  I'm having a very hard time with that.)  Beck can help get himself dressed and can get his own snacks.  He climbs and throws and rides and catches.  He was the first of my boys to get stitches.  (Not surprising really...)  He thinks nothing of climbing to the top of a chain link fence or jumping down a set of stairs.  He talks with the most adorable southern twang.  He willingly goes off to play with kids he's never met before - even when Zane hangs back.  He has the eye/hand coordination of boys much older.  His sports career will benefit from growing up in a house of brothers.  No doubt.  

And boy oh boy does he love those brothers.  Remember my New Year's Resolution this year?  It was, simply, to hug more.  You know what???  I kept it!  You know what else???  It rubbed off on everyone else too - most definitely my littlest Bovy boy.  Beckett hugs all the time - everyone.  No joke, the first thing he did this morning was go in to wake up Quinn with the sweetest of hugs.  To this day it KILLS me when the boys love on each other.  It's common enough that it shouldn't have a big impact, but it does.  Every. Single. Time.  How lucky are they all - especially the littlest - to grow up with so many people to love on and play with.  How lucky are Bob and I?

Playtime.  Wow!  That's probably the biggest change in Bucky over the last year.  He really plays now.  He takes Zane's lead all the time and Zane is our little imaginative story builder.  The two of them are inseparable and have the best time together.  I love watching them play and listening to their stories.  

I can't imagine life without Beckett.  He completed our family in the most perfect way.  I've referred to him many times as the exclamation point on a story that was already pretty darn good.  I can't think of a better way to put it.  He completed us.  We are so blessed to have him in our lives.  

I wish my Beck the happiest of 3rd birthdays.  I know, from experience, that this 3rd year will have lots of ups and downs.  I know how challenging 3 year olds can be.  I can only imagine how hard this particular smart, determined, thinks-he-can-do-anything boy is going to be.  But I also know how much fun we will have.  How much we will laugh!  I know it's a phase and easier times will follow, so I will work hard to enjoy all of those precious, innocent moments.  And as anxious as I may be to get through the 3 year old drama, I will also pray for time to slow down.  These boys grow up too fast.  

And I will thank God every day for letting me enjoy this little boy! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Picture of the Week - 10/9/2014

Wow!  That was a fast week!!  Does anyone else feel like someone pushed the fast forward button???
I was too busy to take many pictures this past week.  We were doing the usual stuff - plus working a quilt show and traveling to away games and a 2 day training course for me at work to top things off. 

I thought this week I could share an outtake picture from the little boys photo session at school.  They tried a new thing this time around where we got a CD with all of the pictures on it and get to crop/print/use however we want.  I love the idea...  just wish Zane didn't look so goofy in 95% of the pictures.  Here's a funny one.  Beck is so cute in his it makes me want to drive to the school just to hug him!  (You will see more of him in his birthday collage - coming soon!)
I also had to share this sweet picture of Rooster and Ozzie.  The other night we were watching TV in bed and Oz was sound asleep.  Rooster hopped up, rubbed his head on Ozzie and then cuddled in with him for a nap.  Bob and I were like "What the heck!?!?!"
I filled out our October calendar a couple of days ago.  Quinn took one look and turned to me in horror.  I think there are only 1 or 2 days on the whole calendar without an activity.  (And I don't put the normal - school/work/grocery shop - stuff on there.)  We can do it!!!
PS - I promise to get the camera out and take more/decent pictures soon!
PPS - Also - just so I can remember some day...  Beck is now sleeping in a toddler bed without a paci.  I am very sad that we packed away the crib.  It's so weird to acknowledge that we don't have a baby in the house anymore.  But man-o-man, it's hard to stay sad for long because Beckett is about the coolest nearly-3-year-old I've ever been around.  (Don't tell his brothers!)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Picture of the Week - 10/2/2014

As we take a short break in our fall birthday celebrations, I thought I might take a minute to talk about Rooster. 

Remember Rooster? 

The first few weeks after he came home, he stayed entirely in our bedroom.  Mostly in our bathroom.  After a few weeks he started venturing out into the upstairs hallway.  Then he started poking his head through the stair rails and watching what we were doing.

During all this time the dogs were mostly tolerant during the day.  They would occasionally run upstairs (especially Ozzie) to see what he was doing.  But mostly they ignored him.

In the evenings, it was kind of another story.  Rooster loved the evenings because (I think) he got bored during the day.  So when we went up to put everyone to bed and watch a little TV, Rooster took it as an opportunity to terrorize Oz.  He would jump over the gate and cause Oz to race around like crazy.  Then they would settle down just long enough for Roo to come over an swat Oz on the face and they would race around again like crazy.  (My house is a zoo...)

One day after the little boys had left and Spencer was the only one around, Rooster wandered downstairs!  He walked right past the kitchen like he owned the place and hung out in the toy room for a bit. 

This cause the dogs to WIG OUT and off to the races.  (crazy zoo)

But Roo had gotten a taste of freedom and he would not be deterred.  He came right back down and spent the day hanging out on the kitchen counters - well outside the reach of crazy Ozzie.

The days that followed had Rooster coming downstairs quite a lot.  He got to the point that he didn't seem to mind the dogs - and in fact I think he kind of made fun of them for not having counter privileges.  LOL  He's a pretty fabulously cool cat.

The little boys got the BIGGEST kick out of Rooster being around them more.  He was starting to feel like part of the family.  And the chaos really didn't seem to phase him at all!

This week Rooster has decided that he should spend his days with Bob and the dogs in the basement.  This makes me laugh for so many reasons! 

I'm really glad that he's gotten so comfortable with our crazy family.  (loud crazy zoo might be more like it...)  Even if we do have at least one fast, crazy dog/cat chase through the living room, up the stairs, around the landing, into the bedroom and into the bathroom - claws scraping and fur flying - every single day.  The evening "romps" add to our special ambiance quite perfectly. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Celestial Star QAL - final linkup time!

A short fast post to share today as my final link up for the Celestial Star QAL.  I am not quite done with this quilt yet.  I still have the quilting to do on 11 of 12 of my stars. 

I have really enjoyed this project!  And I am super pleased with the results - imperfections and all!

Thanks Diane for hosting such a fun quilt-a-long!

Here's my top with the binding all done.  I'm calling this quilt "Buckeye Stars" since the color scheme is inspired by Ohio State football helmets.

And here's the back - which I don't think I've shared anywhere before.

Thanks for taking a peek!!  I'll share one more blog post about this when all my stars are done. 

By the way - if you are interested in seeing close-ups of all the blocks - check out this post