Saturday, October 11, 2014

Autumn 2014

We haven't been up to much lately. Dave canned 40 quarts of applesauce this week. Ben really enjoys preschool - he can recite the Pledge of Allegiance, we were very amazed the first time we heard it.

I forgot to mention in the last post that the boys had their well child visits in August. Ben weighs somewhere around 43 pounds and 43 inches tall putting him in the 90% for his age. Sam weighs just under 30 pounds and in the 60% for his age. Both boys are healthy and growing up quickly!

A couple of weeks ago the boys stopped by my office after work for a picnic and to feed the ducks before the weather got too cold. The boys had a great time seeing all the different birds.

Roar says the dinosaur.

The boys love throwing rocks into the water. My office is right by the river so we decided to take an adventure after our picnic.

Last week we went to the Shiori Garden before it closes for the winter.

Our best attempt at a family picture.

Last night the boys helped rake up the first leaves of the season. They had a great time jumping in the piles and helping us move them.

It was pretty difficult to have all 3 of them look at the same time.

Sam did a great job of letting me take his picture. Ben was too busy running around to stop. Notice Sam's new hair cut. He finally let me buzz his hair. He looks like such a big boy now.

Sam loves to run and jump, but on his own terms. Otherwise he prefers to be carried, especially on someone's shoulders.

Today we had some visitors stop by for supper. Grandma and Pop Pop Stephens, Uncle Larry, and Aunt Carol came by to visit.

We took our guests for a tour of the Shiorji Garden.

The boys with Uncle Larry and Aunt Carol.

Group photo.

Thanks again for the visit. We had a great time!

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Ben started preschool at Beiger Elementary School this month. We can't believe how much he has grown!

Of course, Sam thought that meant he was also going to school.

Ben's first day of school was on September 3rd.  Here he is in front of our house wearing one of his favorite shirts - Lego Star Wars. 

Ben's favorite's 
color = blue
food = pizza
animal = fish
sport = he says football but always talks about starting a soccer team with his cousins called the sharks (the boy LOVES to run)

When Ben grows up he wants to teach people about fish (Dave took him to the local fish hatchery which he loved seeing the fish at different stages of life)

Sam joining in on the pictures. Ben is such a great big brother and enjoys having Sam to play with.

Love how close these boys are. 

You can see the back of our new mini-van. My car was starting to have problems (alternator going out, needed new tires, etc) so Dave found a great deal on the mini-van and we traded "Goldie" in. The mini-van made a HUGE difference in our trip to Kansas. Ben likes to call it our RV.

When Ben was picked up, Sam CRIED. He didn't understand why Bubba got to go to school and he didn't. (It didn't help that Sam went to the open house the week prior and got to see how much fun Ben would be having.) So to help Sam transition to the change, we took him to the zoo (Jackie stayed home from work in the morning).

As you can see, Sam finally got over being sad. This was a random elephant at the zoo that we let Sam ride. He thought it was great.

The elephant was right in front of the red panda exhibit for some reason.

The lion made me laugh so I had to take a picture. It reminds me of Katie wanting her belly scratched.

Here is the picture of the sign at the school Ben goes to preschool at. The teachers pick up and drop off kids at their cars so I wasn't able to take a picture of Ben at the sign. The preschool is a program through the Mishawaka schools which is why it is at one of the local elementary schools.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Labor Day

We spent Labor Day weekend in Huntertown canning all the tomatoes, sauces, and relishes I mentioned in a previous post. It took us about 12 hours on Saturday (with a break for supper) to can everything. The boys were great during this time so we rewarded them with a trip to the Ft Wayne Zoo on Sunday.

The Ft Wayne Zoo is about 4 times larger than the Pottawatomi Zoo in South Bend. We haven't been there since Ben was around 1 yr old.

The zoo has a lot of hands on exhibits and fun places for kids to play, such as this jeep in the Africa exhibit.

Looking at the pelican. We also saw some native ducks, geese, and frogs in the ponds.

The lion says "roar".

We loved being so close to the giraffes!

Being hatched from an egg.

Playing bongos in Africa.

Sam loves to poke eyes.

The Indonesia exhibit also had a lot of fun things to explore and make noise with like the bells above and the gong below.

Scientist Ben looking at bugs and bones up close.

Ben sporting his favorite Star Wars shirt.

Ben took this picture of Mommy. He loves to take pictures and does a pretty good job.

Trying out the hammocks in Indonesia.

The boys were so excited about coming to the zoo. All day Saturday Sam would go around the house saying, "Zoo? Zoo!" with both hands in the air.

Ben was excited to see all the animals and because we were literally the first ones in the gate at the zoo. Of course, we made it through the zoo fairly quickly since once we found the animals at each exhibit Ben would ask, "can we go see the next one?".

The sea lions were very playful. There were 5 of them in a very large tank and two of them would come swimming toward us on their backs like the one above.

In front of the tropical penguin display. Sam says, "waddle, waddle".

There were several different rides the zoo had to offer including a carousel, sky ride (gondola), and pony rides. Of course there were train rides but we decided against that since we can do a train ride at our local zoo. The boys loved Little Poof to climb on instead of taking a ride on the actual choo-choo.

Both boys enjoyed the Nemo aquarium.

We decided to take the boys for a log boat ride since it wasn't something we could do somewhere else. This was one of the last things we did before leaving so the boys were pretty tired (it took us 3 hours to go through it all). Both boys perked up once we started going on the ride.

Had to take a picture by the bees for Pop Pop Stephens.

A dog house in the farm exhibit.

The boys loved to pet the goats especially since our goat exhibit is closed for the year.