Saturday, December 17, 2016

Is it already Christmas?

Wow. Where did the past 2 months go? I figured once we got settled in our house, things would calm down. Apparently, that is not the case. SO this post will attempt to catch us up from the middle of October to now, just a few days before Christmas.

Sara Beth is still into doing her own baking. Since it was getting close to Heather's birthday, we went to the store to get the ingredients for her birthday cake. She had a half day of school and I had a full day of work, so she mostly made the cake entirely by herself. The only thing I did was put it in the oven and take it out. I think she may have put in a bit too much oil in it, but other than that, it was great.
Hudson saw me cleaning the driveway and he decided he needed to do it. With visions of Tom Sawyer in my head, I told him to go right ahead. He cleaned up about 3 square feet of the driveway before he got bored.
Toland came to visit for a couple days. Sara Beth said she liked the way he read much better than me since he used more exciting voices for each of the characters.
As the days got shorter, dinner outside came to an end. 
We took Hudson to the ear doctor to get his hearing checked. The Dr said his hearing was fine, but that he needed ear tubes.
For a short time, we had a puppy named
After dinner, the kids and I will scooter around the driveway. Sara Beth pretends to be a Pokemon character, and after hearing about Darth Vader, Hudson asks me to be the bad guy "Dark Beer" and he will be my sidekick "Darker Beer."
With Halloween coming around, we carved pumpkins. Everyone was excited about roasting the pumpkin seeds.
 But then, Hudson saw the power tools I was using to carve my pumpkin and he asked if he could use them too. His pumpkin turned into swiss cheese but he had a great time.
 Driving the kids home from school, Sara Beth grabbed my phone and then took a picture.
 I had to take a business trip to Texas and my coworker Ray bought Sara Beth a rubix cube. She was a little excited.
 One weekend in November, we decided to take a trip down to Florida to visit Heather's Aunt and Uncle. On the way down we stopped at a Burger King for dinner. Sara Beth ate more hamburgers than I did.
 Hudson was very interested in helping Uncle Cary work on wood for a tree stand but only once he was able to get some hearing protection.
 While down in Florida, we went to Home Depot to get some insulation. While there, Hudson wanted to check out his ideal Christmas gift, a leaf blower backpack. I asked him if it was too big, but he said "No, it is just right".
 While we were in Florida, the leaves began to fall off the trees. Hudson helped me drive the leaf vacuum around the yard.
 Hudson turned five at the end of November. Heather baked his cake instead of Sara Beth.
 We setup the tree the weekend after Hudson's birthday. Sara Beth is now tall enough that she was able to put the top on the tree all by herself.
 Hudson wanted to show me how he can write his numbers. He got all the way up to 6 before he got stuck.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Breakfasts and other foods

One Saturday I heard Hudson banging around the kitchen, but since it was Saturday, I didn't think too much about it and stayed in bed until the sun was good and up. I came out to find that Hudson decided to make breakfast for everyone. He had made toast with jelly and a peach on the side. It was surprisingly well done.
This is a picture from the final time we had to go back to Texas for Sara Beth's braces. Some things you can observe in the picture. 1. Sara Beth is showing her teeth with her smile. 2. Donuts always make a good breakfast. 3. Sara Beth was more hungry than Hudson. He has just barely taken a bite while Sara Beth is almost 1/2 way through her breakfast.
Hudson was more interested helping me take artistic pictures than in eating his breakfast.
One other morning, Hudson decided he wanted to try an experiment and put orange juice in his cereal instead of milk. He took one sip and decided that it was not a good idea and that he was done with breakfast.
Here is another picture from a Sunday popcorn cheese and fruit dinner.
Sara Beth also decided to have a picnic with her dolls.
Now that the braces are off, Sara Beth is much more likely to show her teeth when she smiles.
One Saturday, we went to Home Depot to do the kids craft. They provided skate boards that also worked as pencil boxes. Hudson painted his skate board green since his favorite color is green.
And Sara Beth choose pink as her main color.
Our neighbor is busy bringing civilization to his property. One day as we were pulling in from school, we saw an excavator busy digging on the other side of our driveway. Hudson asked to get out and watch.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Summer excursions

Well, time to sum up a full summer of fun.

Hudson still considers Catta to be his cat, and will try his hardest to ensure that she gets the proper amount of pets and snuggles.
He has also begun to appreciate legos and built up all sorts of lego tractors. He would help me build it according to the directions, but then, he will go off and build his own. Some of his lego tractors had two wheels; others had six. But he loved playing with all of them.
While clearing up our property, there was a lot of spare branches around that needed to be cleared out. And the best way to deal with branches is to build a bonfire.  Hudson knew that pouring sand on a fire will put it out, so he stood watch with his shovel ready to put the fire out if it got out of control.
Another benefit of bonfires is roasting smores on them.
Sara Beth hosted a tea party for Hudson and I one weekend. She set out several candy dishes and wanted to know our favorite tea flavors. Hudson definitely liked the candy.
Make your own pizza night is always an adventure. In this case, I mistakenly placed Hudson's and Sara Beth's pizza on the same baking tray. That led to some heated discussion when Hudson accidentally put some cheese and toppings on his sister's pizza.
We went by the farmer's market. They were handing out free strawberry short cake.
While working out in the yard, I heard a commotion from the front where Heather and the kids were weeding the flower beds. Sara Beth comes towards me with some large squirming thing. I initially thought it was a giant worm. Fortunately, it wasn't. Instead it was a large salamander.
Sara Beth still has braces on her teeth, and her orthodontist is still in Texas. So we have been going back monthly to get them worked on. While there, we stayed with my parents and went out on the boat with them.
Hudson also wanted to help my dad use the tractor to pull out a dead tree. Unfortunately, it turned out the tractor did not have enough traction; the tree refused to be pulled out.
Back in Alabama, we went back to work cleaning up the property. I took a break from pressure washing the driveway to play a game of Tic Tac Toe with Sara Beth.
In preparation for the summer weather, Heather's mom went out and got Sara Beth some summer bathing suits and clothes.
Every Monday morning, the trash truck comes to pick up our trash at the street. The bad news is that it is a long distance from our house to the street, and it takes a while to move the trash can out there. The good news is that I have helpers.
Another pile of cleared branches means another bonfire and another evening of smores.
One Sunday after church, we waiting for our orders at an Italian restaurant when Sara Beth told us that she had been working on perfecting her "puppy dog eyes" to beg for things. When she demonstrated that she could cause fake tears to form, I was so impresses that I had to take a picture. So here she is with a grin on her face and tears in her eyes. I also told her that her "puppy dog eyes" were impressive, but not persuasive.
I have no memory of this picture. Feel free to make up your own story about what was happening in it.
Here we are back in Texas for another orthodontist appointment. While there, Heather stopped by a local Texas butcher to get a genuine Texas brisket for her step dad to smoke for the 4th of July. They had a bison on the wall.
Even in the evenings in Texas it gets hot. After dinner with some former neighbors, we stopped by TC's to pick up shaved ice for dessert to cool off.
Back in Alabama, I decided it was time to introduce Sara Beth to firearms, We focused primarily on safety this first time and got her used to firing the gun, and not so much on accuracy or proper form.
In addition to garbage cans, other items can be hauled up and down our driveways.
After seeing me mow, and sitting with me several times, Sara Beth asked to mow the front yard all by herself. Heather got the edges mowed, but then got off and allowed Sara Beth to mow the middle. One less chore for me to do.
For the Fourth of July, we had a small set of fireworks to set off. The kids really enjoyed the sparklers and roman candles.
Since it is summer, we have been letting Sara Beth stay up later. Here she was sitting with Heather on the front porch swing playing a
One summer afternoon, Heather decided to play a board game with the kids. They picked the Game of Life. Hudson got very sad when he learned about how taxes work.
We went to the Space and Rocket center in Huntsville for my birthday. While there Sara Beth saw the 3G ride and asked Heather to go on it with her. That left Hudson and I to wander around and find something to do. He found a ride that he was tall enough to go on and walked right up to it without any fear at all. He was a little apprehensive as it initially was going up, By the time the ride started bouncing him around, he had a huge grin on his face, and when it was over, he got right back in line to do it again.
Hudson brought his money with him went out to Uncle Darwin's auction house in order to buy something. He found a Christmas toy and began to negotiate a price. Darwin asked for the 5 pennies. Hudson made a counter offer of his 4 silver coins so he could keep his 5 copper coins for later.
Sara Beth and Hudson found a place under one of the bushes to build a fort. They got some of the underbrush cleared out, but then went on to play somewhere else as it was getting too hot out.