Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Easter 2011

Our Easter this year was pretty low key. We spent the day opening Easter baskets, celebrating at church, playing in the backyard, and we did an Easter egg hunt at a church down the street. It was one of the nicest holidays we've had in awhile because the day just ran in a calm and smooth way. Some of these first pics are from Saturday night when we decided to dye our eggs...nothing like waiting until the very last minute! Anthony's friend Caleb came over to play.

some attempts at using that skinny wire egg holder stick that comes in the dye kits

notice how the clothes are now off

forget the stick! hands work just as well

the finished (perfectly imperfect) product

the brownish green eggs are the ones anthony decided to experiment with in several colors!

"These hands will look great in our Easter pictures tomorrow, Mom!"

two buddies, just chillin'

(this is caleb's "serious" face that he usually has at our house)

but we did get a few smiles out of him! i think he was having fun!

this little guy was having fun as well

special Easter treats waiting to be opened

some pre-breakfast jelly beans never hurt anyone!

enjoying the special animal chairs from Nonna and Nonno

the aftermath

(it's really not as bad as i thought it would be)

two smiling cuties

love their grins

so sweet

my babies are growing up too fast

wow! everyone is looking at the camera...that's a first!

bubble practice

lucas always wants to be a part of whatever anthony is doing

anthony was really getting the hang of it

lucas giving daddy some kisses

love this!
what a great reaction!

anthony is so proud of his bubble blowing

mario's unique way of pushing the kids in the swing

(it's a hard job, but someone's gotta do it!)

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Boys Visit Memphis

While Mario and I were in Oregon, the boys went on adventurous trip to "The Big H"...(that's what they call my parents' house in Memphis). Meme and Papa drove all the way down to McKinney, picked them up, and drove them back to Memphis. They were excellent travelers according to my parents, and were just good natured with good attitudes the majority of the time. They had a ball! I'm sure my parents were tired, but you could tell these boys loved every minute of it! Thanks, Mom and Dad--we had an amazing trip, and it was made possible because of your love for these kiddos!

all buckled in and ready for the road trip

the look on my dad's face says it all...."what have we gotten ourselves into???"

running out some energy before getting back in the car

breakfast of champions--cheerios and milk

one of anthony's favorite pastimes--riding Papa's "tractor" (aka riding lawnmower)

hanging out with cousin James was a real treat

playing hard--hot and sweaty

visiting at Aunt Mandy's house and playing with Kramer

they loved playing with "new" toys at James' house

lunch break!

scoping out the garbage truck! pretty cool!

lucas always looks up to his big brother anthony

just dancing and goofing off

the kiddos got to visit the Memphis Zoo

Aunt Michelle joined Meme and Papa in taking all three boys out for a fun day

Meme and Papa show the boys the penguins

"Look, Papa!"

Aunt Michelle and James want to see too

watching the giraffes (Lucas' favorite!)

this is the good life--being strolled around, water and snacks provided at your every whim

having fun during a break for lunch

"come on, james, hold my hand"

cutie pie lucas

majestic tiger

all tuckered out after a fun day (and a fun week!)

Thanks, Meme and Papa, for loving these boys like your own! You're the best!

Our Trip to Oregon

In April, I had the opportunity to fly to Eugene, Oregon, in order to officiate at the first ever NCATA (National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association) nationals competition held at the University of Oregon. I judged the meets on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, then Mario joined me, and we took off for a little weekend getaway. (Sorry, I was so busy I didn't take a single picture during the time of the competition! Hope to get those soon!) We rented a car and casually drove up the Oregon coast to eventually fly out of Portland to get back home. It was a wonderful time to reconnect, relax, and enjoy discovering a part of our country that neither of us had ever been to. Get ready for picture overload--the scenery was just beautiful.

just look at all that green--we see nothing like that in Texas!

this one's a little blurry, but that's moss hanging from the trees. the air is so moist here.

a beautiful drive

we stopped at tons of beaches along the way to play and to look at the scenery

our little rental car

love the rocky coastline

posing on a rock


we saw this sign for the "world's largest sea lion cave" and had to go check it out

in front of the sea lion "family" statue getting ready to go inside

we went down about 12 stories underground and were still above this MASSIVE sea lion cave! it spans about the length of a football field

what is really neat is that the sea lions are totally 100% in their natural habitat. they come and go as they please, hunt fish, breed, etc.

close up

we could see the Heceta Head Lighthouse from the cliff of the caves

we stopped here for a bite of lunch to enjoy the local seafood

our first night we stayed at the baywood shores b&b

we rented the cape cod room

it had a nautical theme, alright!

it was a wonderful place to stay--the owners were very hospitable.

view from the b&b

on the road again! another beach stop

simply beautiful

lookout point

random waterfall along the side of the road

swamp vegetation in oregon--we just don't see stuff like this in the southwest

of course we had to stop at some cheese factories along the way

first up--blue heron cheese company...

we ate a bite of lunch here and did a wine tasting

cute little farm right outside the factory

love seeing those mountains!

we couldn't miss out on tillamook

we tasted their cheese and had to give their ice cream a taste test too!

we took a self-guided tour of the facility...
yes, those are huge blocks of cheese!

back on the road--mario and i both loved these rocks off the shore


we kept seeing TONS of signs for espresso EVERYWHERE! we were wondering if people around here need a boost because of all the rain and cloud coverage! we don't have that problem is texas!

more amazing scenery

our second b&b, the Arch Cape Inn and Retreat, with a lot of European charm. the views were great; they had a bottle of wine and cheese and cracker plate waiting for us when we arrived in the afternoon. and, let me just say, breakfast was spectacular--very gourmet!

our room, the Parisian, was designed as a replica of an apartment in Paris where the owners used to live. much of the furniture is French antique, brought over by the owners themselves.

a trail from the inn leads to the beach

mar took his coffee along as we went to explore



we still weren't ready to go home!

it was our last night there, so we made dinner reservations and had some time to kill. we decided to do a 1.5 mile hike up a moutain. seems tame enough by the looks of it.

the foilage is like nothing i've ever seen

just to give some perspective, here's me standing by the roots of a tree! wow! these trees are massive!

here's mario dwarfed by the trees as well

here's a view from the top looking down--it was quite the hike! i only needed one break--mario didn't need any! guess i'm a little out of shape!

another lighthouse in the distance

the view from the top was well worth the effort...and we worked up quite a good appetite!

did i already mention how we love these rocks?

it was simply a fantastic trip! by the way, we ate at this little restaurant called "The Irish Table". Mario and I think it is the best kept secret in Cannon Beach. We would go back just to visit this restaurant again!!!

My next post will be pictures of what our kids did while we were away! Stay tuned!!!