Saturday, October 30, 2010

We love fall!!

Our fall festivities over the past few weeks have included the Free Fall Fun Fest at the Van Roekel Farm, Carroll's Pumpkin Farm, a Pumpkin Carving Party and raking leaves at Grandpa & Grandma G's. The gorgeous weather has cooperated for every event. We love it!

Fall Fun Fest!

He looked so little on top of that big horse! He liked it though!

Carroll's Pumpkin Farm
with Grandma N. and Tori

Corn Angel

My little guy, lovin' life. I love this picture!

Tori is flying! I love this one too...
Punts' Pumpkin Carving Party
with our small group
Some nice pumpkin entries again this year.
Kyle's free-hand truck appropriately won top prize!

I, on the other hand, rely on stencils for anything I carve!
Here's this year's spider, selected by Mason.

Raking leaves with Grandpa & Daddy

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Summer in Review: Part 3

And our final installment brings us to August & September...

Celebrating Hope & Beauty
I planted zinnias along our fence this year, having no clue whether or not they would grow. I don't really know how to grow things! But they did grow with gusto and with them came an amazing blessing--butterflies everywhere! I spent a lot of time watching butterflies this summer and loving how they represent hope, life and beauty.
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Swedesburg 2010
Our annual first weekend of August trip to Swedesburg brought a great time to connect with the Swenson clan and Brent's Swedish roots. Somebody even caught a shot of just Brent and me, which is rare these days!

Girls' Day!
Before Jared, Stacey, Will & Natalie returned to Haiti, we decided we needed a girls shopping day. We had fun shopping together, and I got to be Natalie's fill-in mom since Stacey ended up having to miss it. It's fun to shop for girls! These are my cute little ladies sporting some great looks at Claire's.

Iowa State Fair
Big machinery, a big slide, junk food, Clifford and fun, fun, fun! Mason really liked the Little Hands on the Farm site this year, and he LOVED the big slide. His giggles echoed all around as he and Daddy flew down the slide. Unfortunately, the giggles quickly turned to tears when he realized he only got to go down once!

A Hard Goodbye
Mid-August meant saying goodbye to Aunt Sarah as she packed up and headed to Southern California. Mason loves hanging out with Aunt Sarah & Miss Ashley, so he's ready to hop on a plane anytime to see them again. We are thankful that Sarah's move went well, and she seems to be settling in and really liking it there. But we're sad that she's far away! We did capture some really fun pictures on moving day!

Iowa Children's Museum
Brent's friend Scott offered us a free pass to the children's museum in Coralville, and it was a great gift! Mason loved shopping in the grocery store, flying the airplanes, learning to play parachute, driving the ambulance, farming and especially playing with the trains. A great place!

Blank Park Zoo with Tori
Once the "big kids" went back to school, my sister had the great idea to take our little people to the zoo in early September. Since everything is more fun with Tori, it was a great day. It was nice to be able to take our time and see whatever Mason and Tori liked. You'll see below they had differing opinions on the boa constrictor. These are not contrived expressions. Tori's hands went up to her mouth immediately upon seeing the gigantic slithering beast. Mason thought it was cool and wanted a closer look.

Horsing Around
Of course there's always time for horsing around--and Daddy makes an awfully good horsey. Yee haw!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Our Summer In Review: Part 2

It still feels like summer today, but the gathering of boxelder bugs at our back door tells me it's fall. On this Indian Summer day, here are more highlights of the Gaulke summer...

July 2010

Camping Adventure
Mason had his first outdoor camping adventure in the Punts' back yard, complete with fishing, S'mores and sleeping all night in a tent!

Potty Prizes!
Mason was a potty-training champion in June, and we had a cool chart that culminated in a trip to the zoo. Although he completed it in June, we didn't get our trip to the zoo squeezed in until mid-July. He like the animals, but he was most excited about riding the train--not surprising! His Lightning McQueen "berella" was another favorite potty prize!

4th of July
A hot day for a parade--we even got to ride in the parade this year for the bank!
Lots of candy and fun with sparklers too!

More Adventures at Adventureland
My family's annual "fun-filled day" at Adventureland was a little later this year in order to include Mason's uncle, aunt and cousins from Haiti. Mason loved it again this year. We discovered the water park, which was very fun. I would guess Mason went down this green slide approximately 47 times. I don't think I'm exaggerating! He could have ridden the trucks for several more hours too, I think! By the end of the day, he was exhausted!

We had a few fun boating excursions with the Punts this year. Mason loves riding on the boat and being with his pal Chloe. It's so nice to be past his first years of screaming whenever we put his life jacket on or attempted to put him in the water! He loves it now! He and Daddy are boating buddies--Mommy stays in the boat as much as possible!

Special Drumsticks
A special drum corps was in town to perform at Pella High in July, so one night we rode our bikes to watch them practice. It was really cool--we wish we could have seen the real performance! One of the instructors saw us in the bleachers and brought Mason these cool drumsticks, instructing him to play along. Mason thought that was pretty amazing! We thought it was extremely kind.