Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ryleigh's 5th birthday party - horse and pony party

Today we went to our neighbor Ryleigh’s 5th birthday party.

At the party, there was a horse and pony to ride, a piƱata to smash, and of course yummy cake and snacks. We visited with the neighbors and the kids played. Connor rode the horse once and wasn’t too in to the horses today. Paige rode the little pony first and then rode the big rainbow colored horse twice. She loves horses really enjoyed getting to ride again.

Connor's Academy Soccer update - almost done with the Fall season

Connor has still been doing the Academy soccer and it’s going to be wrapping up soon. His last game is next Saturday, and Andrea and I may not be able to make it. So I took some pictures of Connor while he played today.

He’s been definitely improving and he works very hard with in his league. He’s in the more competitive soccer league, plus has been moved up an age group (U8) to play with the older and more advanced kids (7-8 year olds). He's also moved to a larger field and they are using smaller, portable goals.  These changes have made it a lot more difficult for him to compete and score.

He’s probably average when you compare him to the kids he’s playing with, but the fact that he’s in the group at all is pretty great. He’s typically the smallest kid on the field and it’s a big challenge for him. In today's videos there is one other boy that is small, but all the other kids are at least 6-12 inches taller. It's been good for him to play at a higher level and has helped him progress with his soccer skills.

Today, he scored three goals and ran his booty off. He has to work for every goal. I only got one on video, but put together a few videos where you can see how hard he has to work to have a chance to even shoot at the goal.

Ninja Warrior time with Paige, Connor and Daddy

Connor and I have been doing Ninja Warrior for a long time and Paige has never been interested. This past season of Ninja Warrior she watched it a bit on TV and we’ve recently been doing obstacles for her. They are very simple compared to some of the stuff Connor does, but they are fun for her and it’s a good way for her to work on her balance.

She wanted me to do it too, so I had her film me doing the obstacles.

Connor of course showed up after a while and had to show us how it was done.

He did fall on the first try, but then he got through pretty quickly.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Old St. Augustine Ghost Tour Trolley

On Saturday night, we went to Old St. Augustine with some of our neighborhood friends for a spooky October night out. I picked up Mark, Gina, Angel, Chris and Clara and drove everyone.

We ate at Casa Maya for dinner and then stopped in to a few of the nearby sweets shops. Dinner was OK, we were disappointed they didn't serve sweet tea or margaritas and wouldn't make chicken quesadillas for us. The sweets shops made up for it though. We stopped in to Bon Ami and were blown away by the delicious coconut macarons. I had to go to The Hyppo for a frozen popsicle. I got the chipotle peach, which was a weird combination of spicy and cold all at once.

We drove down the street to the trolley tour pickup point and got on the trolley for a ghost tour. The weather was cool and it was a perfect night for the ghost tour. Unfortunately, it was hard to hear what the lady was saying that gave the tour. We were in the back of the trolley and the volume was very low and even when the trolley was stopped and it was quiet, it was hard to hear what she was saying. It was especially hard to hear when the trolley was moving in traffic and people were talking.

After the tour, we went back to the sweets shops for some additional goodies and then went to the No Name bar for a few drinks and live music. It was a nice night out and we enjoyed the good company and the beautiful surroundings. The bar was right across the street from the fort and it was neat to experience the night life in Old St. Augustine with our friends.

Minecraft artwork video

Connor really enjoys building stuff in Minecraft lately. He enjoys doing regular kinds of artwork with crayons and markers, but recently he's really gotten back in to Minecraft due to the creative aspect of the game system.

We used to play quite a bit going on adventures in "survival" mode, but he eventually got bored with it and hadn't played Minecraft in months. After he became really interested in jails, we drew jails, play jail, and even visited a jail last weekend. He watched a few jail shows on his iPad and got the idea to build one in Minecraft. I helped him initially in "creative" mode and he's gone nuts since then. He's built a bunch of jails, a long rainbow colored bridge, a town, a road, boats, a fighting arena, a huge sword, and a bunch of other stuff I can't even remember. One of his favorite things to do is watch other kids play Minecraft while they talk about it, and he'd been asking me to video his gameplay for a while. I decided it'd be fun to see his creations, but also see him, so I took the video so you can see both.

Fun with the hose

There's not much that's more fun than a hose. We were out playing on Friday and Andrea was watering the flowers. She decided to spray them down since we had to do showers anyways. The kids had so much fun screaming and running around while Mommy blasted them. 

Mystery Reader and Challenge Folders

For Connor's classroom, they will occasionally have a "Mystery Reader". Andrea signed up for it last week and throughout the week they gave clues as to who the mystery reader would be.

A clue was given each day to the class.
Monday - I am someone's Mommy
Tuesday - I have a son and a daughter
Wednesday - I have long hair
Thursday - My son is in the class
Friday - My son's name starts with a 'C'

It had been a funny week because Connor asked Andrea a few times when she was going to be the mystery reader. It was fun to hear him talking about how they were trying to figure out which children's mommy would qualify based on the clues. On Friday, Andrea came to class and read them a couple of our favorite books. Andrea had fun as the mystery reader and I'm looking forward to doing it in December.

Andrea enjoys helping out in the class and has been volunteering 1-2 days/ week. She has been testing the children on their challenge folders and then staying for lunch with Connor. Connor loves having his mommy in the classroom and just lights up when he sees her come to his class. The kids are getting to know her well and she has been impressed with how well behaved and sweet his classmates are.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday with Abby and Grandma Genie - Pumpkin patch and Sunday fun-day

Today is the last day for Grandma Genie and Abby to visit. The kids thankfully slept pretty well last night and after we all got ready this morning we headed over to the pumpkin patch that's near our neighborhood. We got there shortly after it opened at 10am and we're glad we got there early. It was only in the mid 80's but there were no clouds in the sky and no shade at the pumpkin patch we got pretty hot pretty fast. As the day went on, more and more people showed up and it got pretty crowded too.

Grandma Genie treated us all to the admission and we also got some food to feed the goats.

Connor liked feeding the goats and Paige loved all the animals. She spent a lot of time looking at all the birds and really liked the pigs even though they were just laying in the sun sleeping.

There were all kinds of things to play with.

After the pumpkin patch, we ate at Sonny's and then went to Target to do some shopping. Abby got us lunch as well as some toys and games for the kids. Grandma Genie picked out some toys for the kids as well.

When we got home, the kids played with their new things with Abby and Grandma for a while and then we went out to swim again. It wasn't as hot in our screen, but it was still warm enough to swim for a little while.

Abby did some neat tricks with the kids!

After swimming we made a fire in the firepit, made some S'mores, and ate our dinner outside.

Now it's bedtime and the kids are getting ready for bed and talking to Abby and Grandma for the last time before they have to leave in the morning. Abby and Genie are taking an early flight in the morning and Andrea is going to take them very early, probably before the kids are even awake.

It's hard to overstate how much fun the kids had with our visitors. I'm always amazed at how much time and attention Abby and Genie have for our children. Connor and Paige seem to have enjoyed every second of the weekend and we're so thankful that we have family that is so loving and willing to come visit. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Aunt Abby and Grandma Genie visit - Old St. Augustine Jail and General Store tour

This Thursday, Grandma Genie and Aunt Abby flew down to Jacksonville to visit!

Andrea picked them up late on Thursday, so we didn't tell the kids they were coming. Friday morning, the kids went about their normal morning routine and Andrea and Paige took Connor to school. When they got back, Abby and Grandma surprised Paige and spent the day with her. Grandma Genie surprised Connor when he got of the bus and then he was surprised to find Abby at home after he walked back from the bus stop.

The kids have been having so much fun with them. They have been playing with them constantly and have been very cute together.

On Saturday morning we went to Connor's soccer game at 10.

Afterwards, we went to Old St. Augustine for lunch and ate at Cruisers.

After lunch we walked down St. George's street and Grandma bought the kids some colorful jewelry. Connor loved his rainbow colored necklace and bracelet. Paige got a pink bracelet and a mermaid princess toy.

Next, it was the moment that Connor's been waiting for! We went to the Old Jail and took the tour of the jail and general store.

Paige had trouble keeping quiet throughout the tour, so we locked her in a jail cell by herself.

Well, just for a picture or two. Grandma took her out to walk around and go potty while the rest of us finished the tour.

Connor loved looking in all the jail cells and at everything. He got kind of freaked out a few times. Once, I bumped a metal table and he got really startled and had to run out of the cell block.

After the jail tour, we wandered around and looked at some of the funny stuff in the area.

Abby got Connor a very cool Sheriff's badge.

Then, it was time for a tour of the General Store. The tour guide did a nice job of showcasing all the items and presenting it as if we were all back in the early 1900's.