Wednesday, August 10, 2011

In the middle of the city...

we found a little treasure.

Hayden Run Falls

My boys were so courageous and explored every inch of the falls and pools.

It is over a 20 foot waterfall.

Daddy helped them to get in the waterfall. It was strong but both boys managed well and loved the feeling of the cool water beating on them.

Lucy even got to try it out.

You definitely did not feel like you were in Ohio. It looked a lot like some waterfalls that we hiked to in Hawaii. It was a very special afternoon and the kiddos were able to experience something new which is always a plus.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Farmers Market Fun

Who knew that a farmers market could be so much fun? So much to look at, taste, experience, and talk about. We went to a farmers market in downtown Columbus called North Market.
The cheese section looked heavenly and offered a little plate for tasting. I wondered to myself if the salsa station would be up to par with Texas salsa. By the looks of the stand...not too many Ohio natives are digging the salsa and hot sauce.
This stand was called Green Grocer and had beautiful looking produce. I sent the boys on a little scavenger hunt to find fruit and veggies of different colors. We talked about what everything was and how it might taste.

The fish counter was a huge hit! The boys asked about what all the different types of fish were and were able to tell me where some of the fish came from. I guess all that reading and Discovery Channel is paying off. When Jack saw the shrimp he called me over and told me, "This is going to knock your socks off." We love shrimp in this family.

How could we not stop at the candy stand and let them pick up an assortment of candy. The coolest candy was the Lego shaped hard candy.

Everyone here always comments on her bows. You do not see many bows on little girls so they probably think I am ridiculous for putting them on her.

His first gold coin chocolate.

The bakery line was especially long so we decided to stop and get some sourdough and a HUGE cinnamon roll for Daddy. They are supposedly the best cinnamon roll in all of Ohio.

You can kind of see int he back of the picture that most of the produce and fresh egg stands are run by the Amish. The kids loved buying produce from a "real farmer".

There was a lot of tasting going on. Lucy looks put out.

Ice cream made from a grass fed cow's raw milk.

A close up of Sammy's dirty fingernails and his Lego candy.

Couldn't pass on the peaches!

We were checking out some fresh herbs and plants and a lady gave both the boys these tiny succulents. A plant hardy enough they won't be able to kill it.

There were two street performers that were playing music. The boys were intrigued and really liked the music. I told them that if we stayed to listen we needed to put money in the guitar case. That these men were artists and it is a struggle for them to make enough money but we admire them for doing what they love. And that art makes our world a much better place so we have to support it.
Jack being Jack was too shy and unsure of strangers. He gave his dollar back to me.

Adventurous Sam went right up there and dropped it off. I think the guy was going to let him play his bongos but Sam ran off. What a great opportunity to teach them how important it is to value and support art. Some of my most vivid memories of vacations are watching street performers and seeing my parent throw some change or dollars in their buckets. I hope my kids learn to do the same.

Pretty flowers grown by the sweet Amish lady. What a great way to spend a morning.

Friday, August 5, 2011

You Scream, I Scream..

we all scream for ice cream!
Today we ventured out to a famous ice cream shop in Ohio called Graeter's. I thought it would be fun because not only is it getting ice cream but they offered a tour of the ice cream "factory" and have a large play area. Win all around!!!

Lucy tasted a little bit of ice cream and seemed to enjoy it. Look at those curls coming in...looks like we are going to have two curly heads in our house.The shop is one of the oldest ice cream producers and they still make the ice cream 2 gallons at a time. They also hand stuff the ice cream into the pints and gallons. They use these large french pots in the freezing and churning process. The tour was pretty cool! The "twins" as Toby calls them sure do share a lot of love. I hope they are always this close. She just beams when he pays attention to her.

So hard to catch a picture of them when they are playing at a play area...just a whirl.

The play area was super cute and was called "Scoops and Ladders". They all played for quite awhile. A place like this would be a hit in Texas where it is 9 million degrees.

I am really enjoying my time with the crazies. Toby works 6 - 12 hour days so we only get to see him in the evenings and on his one day off. Maybe an occasional lunch. So many people can't understand how I don't lose my mind being with my kiddos so much but I can't imagine being without them. They are all growing so quickly and I realize more than ever what the expression "babies don't keep" means. I am trying to soak up every little detail and it is a bit easier here without the daily needs that being at home demands of me. Sam's humor is perfect and his zeal for life is contagious. He finds excitement in the smallest things such as pushing the elevator button the 20 times a day he gets. Jack is trying so hard to be such a pleaser and is so contemplative now. He really is thinking before he speaks and considering things around him. He has passion for his interests and wants to succeed every time in everything. This causes him to get so frustrated but also allows for lots of character building and lessons for Mom and Dad to step in about the importance of the process. Lucy is creeping up on being one and that just amazes me. I can't cuddle her enough and I am just savoring this last month before she is technically a toddler. She is inquisitive about everything her brothers are doing and so flexible in her spirit. Her Daddy is quickly becoming just about her favorite thing in this world and I wouldn't want it any other way. I love the way she softens him in only a way a daughter could. I am learning more and more the importance of family and how having the kids close to us is the best way for us to train and mold them into the people they should be. Lessons are everywhere when you are together this much and I am now seeing more than ever the gift God gave me as a parent as well as the important way I am being called to serve Him in creating little tiny followers of Christ.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just Kidding

Wasn't the rode paved with good intentions. Here is another shot at blogging more regularly. We are in Ohio with Toby right now and I have no excuse not to blog when we are here because I don't have tons to do like when I am in my own house. So here goes another attempt at getting back into the blogging world. We have just been in Ohio a few days and are actually very settled and getting pretty used to finding our way around Columbus. I have looked up lots of inexpensive and free activities for kids. This city is jam packed with options for littles. The first few days we were here Toby showed us around and we took the kids to the park, mall play areas, Lego store, and splash park. I only had my camera with me at the splash park. They loved it.

Today was Toby's first day back at work so we are trying to figure out a daily routine here. I am making it my goal to hit the gym excuses. We plan on playing outside a lot at various parks, swimming, going to the zoo, aquarium, and COSI museum. Hopefully, we will find time to visit the Amish country in Ohio. I love the cooler weather and that we can actually go outside to play. We are also finding lots of time for reading, coloring, Lego building, and playing play dough. I think this will end up being nice break for all of us and some very important family time. We will just be busy making memories.