May 20, 2017

Major Catch Up!

I am attempting to mostly catch up on this blog post from the past few weeks since we have been back from our R&R. One day, one of our friends from work hosted a BBQ as a going away for several of our co-workers - 4 of them leave within 1 month and 2 are already gone :(. It was a fun day for the kids to run around - 5 are missing from this picture! 
 We had another sleep over with Sean and Mary Claire. These kids are best buds and we are trying to get in as many play dates as we can before they leave this coming week :(.

 Nathan and I both took a trip to England for work, back to back weeks. We got to visit with our old boss Jonathan and their family who became good friends of ours. I spent my birthday with them for dinner, and enjoyed catching up with their almost 10 year old twins and 5 year old. It didn't take long for them to become totally British sounding again (they lived in England before Kuwait). It was such a treat to be able to visit with them!
Our pastor and his family went back to the US for a few months this summer. Our families enjoyed a nice day together the day before they left. Don't worry, we didn't stay in the trunk of the car all day :).
 It's pool season and we have been going the past couple of weeks. This was our first day back and Caleb was excited to find a ladybug and said it was his lucky day!
 Just a funny sign I saw in our neighborhood. Sad thing is they probably paid a lot of money for it!
The boys both had sports day at their school last week. Neither of them were interested in participating this year. Benjamin did do one activity with his teacher.

 Caleb stretched and then it was over for him too.
The boys slept over Sean and Mary's another night when Nathan and I went away for a night (another blog post). The next morning they went to Sean's T-ball game and enjoyed a popsicle treat.

 Benjamin and Mary running the bases.
Another day they were invited to a birthday party at the Marine house on compound and then the kiddos went swimming.

 It was so kind of the Marine's to let 17 kids run around their house. They let them do radio checks, try on their flack jackets, and told them all kinds of cool Marine stuff!

 Nathan and the boys gave me some pretty flowers and cute cards for Mother's day. Definitely a blessing to be these sweet boys' mom.
My favorite of the boys and I during our road trip to Kentucky. I'm not in the boot anymore :).
We had Sean and Mary's family over for dinner the other night. We had some delicious Indian food and a great time with our friends. Their family has become very good friends of ours these past two years, and we are thankful for the opportunity to meet them. They are moving to Vienna, Austria in a few months so we plan to visit!
 Benjamin and Mary got matching Peppa Pig stuffed animals.
 Caleb and Sean got matching dinosaur lego sets.
 Caleb made this card for Sean, and Benjamin made Mary a crown.
 Today we went to play at the park and to lunch with the crew. I think Benjamin and Mary look like siblings in this picture!
 Benjamin recently learned to pump his legs on the swings, just like Mary Claire.
 This pictures sums up their friendship perfectly!
Next blog on Nathan and my trip away for the night, then we are caught up! Happy Saturday:).

May 12, 2017

More fun, Kentucky Roadtrip, and Easter egg hunt

I am so behind in blogging, again! A few days after returning to Jordan, I got on a plane for a work trip, then Nathan left two days after me. So, here we go.

Rewind a few weeks ;). Nathan's cross country and track coach from high school usually comes by to visit when we are in town, and we had a nice long visit this trip. I love hearing stories about Nathan and his team mates, and the bond between the two of them.
Caleb loves the grass. Playing in it, laying in it, running in it. He had plenty of grass to play in because grandpa's grass was going fast and was green, green, green!

The other things the boys love is playing in grandpa's big red truck. I think they easily spent at least an hour a day playing in and around the truck.
Oh, and they love being thrown around by grandpa! In the yard, during sunset. Doesn't get much better than that, does it?

The last week, we all took a road trip for a few days. First stop was the Louisville Slugger factory.
Home of the 120 ft. tall baseball bat!
The boys were ready in their baseball pants and shirts :).

Benjamin especially loves baseball  and was so into the museum.
I think he posed with almost every player in the museum!

Nathan throwing a fastball at 59 mph!
This is made completely of legos...and you can't see it, but it's the words to 'Take me out to the ballgame' raised...amazing!
Caleb loves legos and he was admiring the lego baseball stadiums.
Caleb made a creation of his own too.
Benjamin practicing running the bases.
Next stop was Newport, Kentucky, which is right on the Ohio River, across from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Our hotel was on the river and easy to walk to many places.

One of my favorite pictures of them!
We walked along the river for a while, then got to the suspension bridge and walked across to the other side.
There were lots of barges in the water to watch.
Caleb loving on Grandpa!
And grandma.
Boys loving on daddy.
All of us :).
Then the races began. It was a long bridge and we had a lot of races...
Until we had one race go wrong and Benjamin took a little spill. But they got lots of good exercise that day!
Do you see what I see?

We had a beautiful sunset over the river every night there!

I like to play with my camera at night.
The next day we took a trip to see Noah Ark Encounter. It's a full size Noah's Ark, built according to the dimensions from the Bible. It was 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. And as you can see, it was a beautiful day!
Inside the ark was three levels. On each level they talked about different aspects of the story - what life was like on earth before the flood and why God sent it, all about the ship and how Noah, his sons and their wives cared for themselves, the animals, and the ship, and life after the flood. It was quite impressive to see and we all enjoyed it very much. This was food and water stores on the lower level.
Noah and his family during a time of prayer.
There was 1,398 animal kinds and close to 7,000 animals on board.
They said each person (of where there was only 8), took care of ~850 animals per person!
Details about the water needs on board, and where the water came from.
Don't feed these wild animals!
On the second level, they had a petting display. The boys got to pet a Nile monitor.
Nearing the end of the self-guided tour. You really could have stayed in the ark most of the day reading all of the information. We stayed about 3 hours and the boys did great.
We initially were planning a trip to the Creation museum afterwards, but were having so much fun t the ark that we decided to stay. We had a picnic lunch and then walked around the rest of the grounds.
Grandpa and the boys.
Me and my boys ;).
Next stop was the petting zoo and it was a hit.
How'd these animals get out of their cages? :).
Then we went mining for fossils. This was the boys first time and they had so much fun doing this!
They each left with a big bag of fossils and a chart to tell them what they got. We were going to go zip lining on the way out, but the last trip already left, so we'll just have to come back again. It was a really fun day and great way for people to learn about the story of Noah.

That evening, we went down by the river on the Cincinnati side and walked around. It is such a nice area and great place to walk around.
We checked out the Cincinnati Reds stadium!
And the boys ran all around and up and down.
Benjamin is starting to show a liking for the camera.
Then we walked some more and found some great swings to sit on and watch the river activity.

The boys rolled down a hill for the first time, and then they kept rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling!
The flowers were in bloom
Who can resist these fountains...certainly not two little boys!
And we left with two wet boys, but they had fun :).
We made it back to the hotel to enjoy another beautiful sunset.
Loved the view from our rooms.
The last day of the trip, we visited the Newport Aquarium. It was such a nice aquarium and enjoyed by all of us very  much. They had a very diverse range of sea animals, kids activities, a touch tanks and shark petting tank, and a shark bridge. Here's some cute seahorses.

We got to touch sting rays, starfish, sea aneneomes, and all kind of stuff in the touch tank.
We saw a gigantic alligator named Mighty Mike…I don't remember who big he was but as you can see, he was gigantic!
Don't get eaten by the giant alligator jaws!
Boys enjoying the kids area. It was really busy that day, seemed like several field trips were there.

We all petted sharks. This one was called a pyjama shark because it looks like it is wearing pajamas. The boys were a little hesitant at first, but once they got the first feel they kept going back for more.
We thought this shark keeled over and died in the tank, notice it is upside down and did not move. The person working the tank said this was some type of catatonic sleep, basically this shark was out cold in a deep sleep. They said the sharks liked to sleep in that section of the tank because it was by the pumps and lots of fresh water could flow through their gills. We all learned something new that day about sharks.
Watching the sharks swim.
This was the shark bridge that was over a huge tank of sharks. The boys had so much fun they went back I think 4 or 5 times with one of us.
It was a beautiful afternoon to sit outside. After the aquarium, we chowed down on some delicious hot dogs.
This place was famous for a grilled cheese donut. I made fun of it at first and thought it was gross looking, but I'll admit it was delicious and I took back everything I said about that donut!
Grandma and the boys took a little train ride along the water.

Benjamin made friends with the sunglass man and he insisted on giving the boys a pair!
It was a great few days away together in Kentucky!
The day before we left, we visited with Uncle Carol, Aunt Mary, cousins Hunter and Keegan, and some friends, and we had and Easter egg hunt!
Hey, I found an egg!
Counting eggs after the hunt....
Caleb and Keegan were like two peas in a pod!
Hunter enjoyed some guitar lessons from Nathan.
The boys love the tree swing in the back yard and are finally able to get on and ride on their own. We had a fun time visiting with family and friends that day.
We are so thankful for the couple of weeks we had together, the fun times, and memories made. We love you very much and look forward to our next time together, Dad and Mom, Grandpa and Grandma P.!