Violet turned five this year while we were visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Indiana. Surrounded by grandparents, and great grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, second cousins and various other people whose relation isn’t quite known, Violet had a great turning of age. Lots of kids, lots of food, lots of gifts, and most importantly lots of cake…although I bet if you ask Violet it would be the gifts that won out, with the cake a close second.
Violet had a blast and I think we even found a genuine moment of both awe and surprise when she pulled out “Dreamlight“. She had been talking about this “thing” for a long while but there was no way daddy was shelling out $50 bucks for a glorified flashlight shoved into a stuffed animal – we did that as kids and while the stuffed animal might not have liked the extra orifice that was created, the effect was the same. Thankfully, Mommy Carol found a great deal on one and Violet’s precious “Green Kitty” was spared the agony that was certain to come otherwise (granted they make flashlights much smaller nowadays…)
On top of the normal birthday cheer it was great to be able to celebrate with the extended family. We don’t get to see them very often, let alone during birthdays or other non-holiday events, and it was refreshing to celebrate with everyone.
Jacob is now well on his way to becoming a teenager. Turning 11 in May you would believe he was rounding the corner to 13 already. I think I have even heard the first evidence of a squeak…Next comes girls right? Sigh. But I digress. Happy birthday Jacob!
Jake wanted to spend some time with his buds this year, also something new, for his big day. On top of a military theme, it was shooting time at the local Laser Tag, pirate ship, multi-level, dark, smoke filled battle arena. There were about eight of us altogether and along with the other players about twenty or so in total, it was a blast. In stead of hiding and sniping while others searched frantically for “that guy”, the laser guns along with the added smoke in the arena allowed you to see both the targeting laser and the shot. Red lines flashing everywhere during the height of battle and sometimes that solo red line tracking through the smoke looking…waiting…for another victim. Even the wall in the arena were against you should you stand still for to long, automatic lasers alarms would warn you to get a move on and only then start firing, rarely missing their mark. Several rounds later we emerged for fresh air and to collect our scores and focus our attention on the more important things like arcade games.
Jacob wrote a story recently for school about some time we spent playing in the yard. I thought instead of writing something up along with the pictures and video I would just use his story. Let him know what you think.
2010 was the year that I got my dad two katana swords for his birthday. Which I thought was really cool. The sad thing is that I didn’t get to play with them until last Saturday. Also because it was one year since I had got those swords. They’re really cool and it was worth the waiting! They are made of white oak which is a very strong type of wood. One of the swords is over half the weight of the other! I could barely lift it. Well, anyway I asked my dad, “Can I get the ninja swords out and play with them?”. “Gosh, I totally forgot about them!”, dad replied. “Well, all right.”
After a day in the car the kiddos were revved up to get out and burn some energy. I think they would have been happy doing anything but we decided that a good dip in the ocean would do them all some good. It takes a while to get us all lathered up in sunblock and out to the sand but we eventually made it right around the time the sun was a massive ball of fire directly overhead.
Today we left for our family vacation at the beach.We had plans to be in bed early and on the road by four so that we could get the kids out of bed, still sleeping, drive most of the early morning and arrive around lunch with an afternoon of swimming to look forward to.But after finally getting into bed somewhere near three-thirty four didn’t sound so appealing.We did eventually get on the road but not until after nine.Not too far down the road, right before pulling onto the expressway, Carol was curious if I shut the garage door.Of course I did…right?We had to go back into the house several times for this or that prior to leaving and neither of us could remember if we shut the door the final time.We called in a favor and the thought paid off – sure enough I had left the door wide open to the world.
We had a great time this past weekend spending some time cooling off at the Duluth Town Center Fountain. The Sun was blisteringly hot and the air might as well have been dripping water, but the water coming from the fountain was refreshing and cool. We grabbed some Chick-Fil-A along the way, ate on the curb, and headed in. Once they all got used to the water they had a great time. Isaac didn’t need any warming up and was racing in circles as fast as he could swallow his chicken and fries. Piper was on his tail but needed her hand held for the first few minutes – that was until she got wet and started play. Violet needed a bit more prodding and she wasn’t having anything to do with me taking her through. Carol grabbed them all took them on a few laps to get them all good and soaked – that’s all it took to get Violet all revved up as well.
Jacob received a remote controlled car for Christmas this past year. One that can drive over nearly anything, spin in circles, do wheelies, and glow in the dark. Piper loves this car. She has only just started learning how to drive it with any control, but half the fun is figuring that part out. Her and Violet both took the car for a turn around the house. I followed them around with the camera while they had a blast. One turn for Piper and one for Violet. About a week after this we saw the same car on Woot and decided to get one for Piper as an extra gift for her upcoming birthday.
With a high level of excitement and glee, Jacob and Isaac, got to go shopping. They each received a gift card from their Grandma Donna. We gave them the option of saving it for later, surprisingly an option they have taken in the past, or using it now. They opted for the latter so we headed out toy shopping. With a figure in their head, limiting how much they could spend, they rummaged through the toys at Walmart for thirty minutes. The decision was complex of course. The selection had to be just right. Had to feel perfect. Jacob went patiently from one item to the next, meticulously inspecting its value, Nerf Swords, to G.I. Joe, to H.A.L.O to Lego. He finally settled on a pair of Lego sets that complimented each other. Isaac on the other hand created a moderate sized collection of his choices in the middle of an isle (wish I would have taken a picture) and mulled over the ultimate choice. Back and forth went the decision with the price climbing in to the hundreds of dollars and then back down into teens. With twenty-five dollars to spend it was a hard choice: does he get one larger toy that is “cool” or get a few smaller ones that offer more opportunity for play. At the end, with the clock ticking, he panicked and left his gathered assortment of mix matched items and narrowed his focus between Lego and a selection of Star Wars characters. Opting for the Star Wars route after some counseling from his clock watching oppressors.
Thank you Grandma Donna. Jacob and Isaac had a great time getting to shop for their gifts.