Thursday, October 21, 2010

Zoo Time

Over the summer, we step aside and let the tourists enjoy the zoo (in the hot sun - no, thank you!). But once the hints of fall fill the air, I find myself craving a playdate there. Enter the Hughes family...

Veronica and her boys, friends from Austin, drove down one Monday and we met up for a beautiful, perfect morning at the zoo.

In the Africa Live 2 exhibit, there are birds all around that the kids can touch. Chandler especially loved getting to know this guinea fowl.

Zoo with the Hughes

Ben and Chandler on the elephant statue.
Zoo with the Hughes

Ben and Chance, with Chandler bringing up the rear.
Zoo with the Hughes

Ben and his big brother Caleb.
Zoo with the Hughes

Chandler, still in the rear...
Zoo with the Hughes

Then we checked out the lory birds, who were active and hungry.
Zoo with the Hughes

Veronica found a friend.
Zoo with the Hughes

Measuring each other in the kid area.
Zoo with the Hughes

Cutie Pie.
Zoo with the Hughes

There's an area near a monkey exhibit where the kids can climb. It's Chance's favorite part of the zoo.
Zoo with the Hughes

The monkeys watch my monkeys climb (and probably laugh at how inept those silly little humans are).
Zoo with the Hughes

Ben demonstrates how monkeys rest.
Zoo with the Hughes

Since we had four boys, we couldn't get out of going thru the reptile house. Snakes are really not my favorite. So I distracted myself as much as possible with the lizards. This one was especially funny. This has to be some type of yoga pose...Maybe the branch stretch?
Zoo with the Hughes

Chance was pretty excited that the alligators were so interested in him. I didn't tell him, but I'm pretty sure it's because he'd be so tasty...
Zoo with the Hughes

And for my favorite part: long suckers and a train ride. FTW! Ben and Chance...
Zoo with the Hughes

Caleb...
Zoo with the Hughes

Aaaannnd the mess-maker.
Zoo with the Hughes

He amused many with his messiness.
Zoo with the Hughes

Thanks, Veronica, for making the trek for a picture-perfect day! We miss you guys!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

William's Birthday Party

One Saturday in September we traveled up to Austin to celebrate William's third birthday.

William's 3rd Birthday party

First everyone did a little swimming.
William's 3rd Birthday party

And a little playground fun. Nana with Chandler
William's 3rd Birthday party

Then it was time for cake.
William's 3rd Birthday party

William's 3rd Birthday party

I wasn't the only mamarazzi there. My sister, Anna, Momma of William.

William's 3rd Birthday party

Then it was gift-opening time.
Charlie decorated William's birthday present.

"Happy Birthday, William. I love you. By Charlie, and Chance, and Chandler." Plus the drawing of Charlie saying Happy Birthday to William over the cake and candles.

William's 3rd Birthday party

Then Charlie shows him the gift. Legos, imagine that! ;)

William's 3rd Birthday party

Then it was back to the pool.
William's 3rd Birthday party

This is my sister Desi, the haus, playing with Charlie. I seriously envy her muscle.
William's 3rd Birthday party

Another angle.
William's 3rd Birthday party

Happy birthday, William! Thanks for a great party!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chuck's Birthday

It's hard to believe Chuck is now 35. He was only 24 when we married. I think we can no longer deny we're not kids anymore. And also, I can no longer deny that we are geeks - camera geeks. What did he want for his birthday? Camera gear, of course! It's a sickness, really... ;)

happy birthday!

You might recall that we bought this small hybrid dslr/point-n-shoot camera called the Pen. And that last November I surprised Chuck with this huge, heavy, high quality 50-200mm f/2.8 lens. So, for his birthday he got the lens adapter for the Pen which allows using our normal dslr lenses. Here's the little camera wielding the big gun...

Happy birthday, Chuck!

He also got the 20 mm f/1.7 prime lens for the Pen so now it can (almost) fit in your pocket. In addition to better low-light than the kit-lens, it's taking better quality pictures.

The day his presents were due to survive (thank you, B&H!), I was sick with a stomach bug. Chuck took the day off the help me - and to play with his new toys. Here's his test shot with the new 20mm.

Sick in bed

Ok, enough of the boring photography stuff...Here's what we did for his birthday (besides take pictures):

Friday night we had a game night with his friends. He also got a new game called Dominion, and we had a great time playing it. (I didn't take any pics).

Monday, Labor Day, his parents, cousin, and sister and their families came to visit. Chuck barbequed and we just enjoyed a day of being together. Thanks for traveling down, y'all!

Hendrix enjoyed the train.
Labor Day / Chuck's Birthday

Chuck watching Chance play x-box. Judging by Chance's pjs, this was before company arrived.
More video game bonding

Our niece Kaylie.
Labor Day / Chuck's Birthday

Elijah and Chandler worked hard in the backyard.
Labor Day / Chuck's Birthday

Meesh showed off Boston boy #3.
Labor Day / Chuck's Birthday

Ryan always blesses our house with great music.
Labor Day / Chuck's Birthday

{Mel, Mom and Dad - sorry I didn't get more pics!}

Happy Birthday to my handsome 35 year old!
Labor Day / Chuck's Birthday

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bike Rodeo Time

Charlie's school does a Bike Rodeo each year, where the students bring their bikes and they are rated on safety, skill, etc.

Hangin' with the Aue Gator
Aue Bike Rodeo

Getting ready to rodeo...
Aue Bike Rodeo

Aue Bike Rodeo

Driving the straight line.
Aue Bike Rodeo

It was so funny, when he first started riding the line, his whole class started cheering for him and he was so enjoying the support that he forgot to pay attention to how he was riding - he zigzagged the whole way!

Cornering the cones.
Aue Bike Rodeo

Quick look at the camera (such a model)...
Aue Bike Rodeo

Cycling the circle.
Aue Bike Rodeo

Getting his ribbon.
Aue Bike Rodeo

Celebrating with his wonderful teacher.
Aue Bike Rodeo

Chuck, taking the bike back to our car...tehehe.
Aue Bike Rodeo

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cub Scouts

Charlie's extra-curricular activity of choice this fall is Cub Scouts. This is one that his daddy is very excited about, and I foresee much father-son bonding in the future.

He went on a Tiger Cub Fun Day and did lots of activities:

Tiger Cub Fun Day 2010

His favorite was shooting BB guns.
Tiger Cub Fun Day 2010

Way to go, Bud!
Tiger Cub Fun Day 2010

Then we all attended his first big area meeting.

I love how Charlie and Chance will hold hands as they cross streets without being told. They also seem more affectionate during the school year because they miss each other while Charlie's in school.

Cub Scouts

Watching Charlie get his badges...Check out the resemblance between Chuck and Chandler...

Cub Scouts

Our big Tiger Cub!
Cub Scouts