Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Guts

Fall is here! This beautiful tree is across the street from our backyard. The sweetest 70 year old, Betty, lives in this yellow house. She mows her yard, uses her leaf blower and walks every day!

Mason and Braden were a captive audience as I cleaned out the pumpkins before taking them to the carving party. They finally decided to get their hands dirty and help me get the seeds out so we could toast them in the oven.

Last year Mason was sick and this year, he was napping, so Braden and I represented the Bensons at the second annual Ward Pumpkin Carving party.

Braden hammering in the bat shaped cookie cutter

Muffins after Bath

I don't think one more person or stuffed animal could fit on Blake's lap! Does this scream "I love my Daddy!" or what! The boys love to pile on Blake in the evening and watch a little Cardinal Baseball, football, or in this case Baby Einsteins. Mason, of course, would not cooperate in looking at the camera, and Braden, of course, had his perfect pose going on!

I think Braden really resembles Blake in this picture.

Immediately after this picture, Mason decides he wants one of Daddy's special muffins. Blake made chocolate chip muffins without eggs. Yes, this is AFTER BATH!

Because of the flash, he kept closing his eyes, and it tickled Blake, so then Mason started closing them on purpose!

Football Banquet

"But, both of these are mine"

The YMCA Football Banquet was held this past week. We got a sitter for Mason and made it a special night for Braden. Blake knew he would have to leave a little earlier for Candidate Forums, but he met us there promptly at 6. Unfortunately, due to mis-communication, the caterer had the date down for the following week. The agenda was that after dinner, a few PSU players (former YMCA kids) would speak to the boys and sign autographs. It was a long half hour waiting on the food to arrive, so the restless boys started making paper airplanes out of the programs. Braden stayed in his seat most of the time, but the majority of the parents caved and the kids were basically running wild! Fun times!

Homecoming Weekend

Blake kicked off Homecoming Saturday, coordinating the 2010 Gorilla Grind

I took the boys to the Homecoming Parade, which Braden was in. The Boys Hip Hop Class was actually on the float, wearing their "Tough Boys Dance" shirts. Mason and I were unfortunately on the opposite side of the street, so we didn't get to see him, but we did see Arthur, walking with the International Students, and Mason did get to grab lots of candy!

Believe it or not, this was "after nap" Mason was cuddled up as we watched Brandon play soccer. His club team came over from SBU (Bolivar, MO) to play against our PSU club team. It was very fast paced compared to the kiddie soccer that we've been accustomed to watching!

After the game, we picked up Arthur and headed to our house for dinner. The guys kicked a ball around in the back yard, while Blake finished up a delicious pot of chili!

As we got home, it occurred to me that this was going to be quite entertaining (I hoped) for a college kid! I warned him before he even got inside, I know he basically grew up in a magazine spread, but our house was nothing like that, especially during a never know what's going to happen!

Braden was so excited to have a "sleep-over" with Brandon and immediately wanted to know if he would sleep on the bottom bunk! I called Brandon and assured him we had plenty of room but Braden really wanted to know if he would sleep in his room! He agreed! He said that Braden only snored a little, but did talk in his sleep!

This was after church. Braden and I took Brandon out for lunch, while Blake and Mason got a head start on playing in the back yard. I can't count how many times he had to hear "Hey Brandon, watch this"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

An Interview with a 2 year old!

Sorry for the angle! Mason shows off his repertoire of animal sounds and demonstrates his ability to sneeze on demand!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Marathon

While the boys and I were still snuggled in bed, Blake was in Joplin running the Mother Road Half Marathon. He placed 10th out of 52 in his age division; and 38th out of 314 males and overall he was 46th out of 846 participants in the half marathon. His overall time was 1:44:33.
We are so proud of Blake! Training time for this took place mostly early in the morning, once again, while the rest of us were still snuggled in bed!

While Daddy was running....the boys were taking in a little Michael Jackson. If Braden is doing it, Mason has to be doing it, too. Notice, they are both wearing white t-shirts, and they are both holding bouncy balls. Braden did have this seat all to himself, until Mason realized he wasn't sitting the same place Braden was. Braden is such a great big brother, and usually with very little moaning and groaning he will accommodate Mason's request to do whatever he is doing!

As soon as Blake got home, he had the pleasure of hanging out with the boys + 1, our friend Stone (River's little brother) while I had a booth at the local Sip & Shop event. My good friend Tiffany, who has dubbed herself my VP of Sales, assisted me.

When I pulled up at the house, I thought maybe the kids had tied Blake up and locked him in the basement, because instead of 1 extra boy at our house, there were three! Even with two extra neighbor kids, Blake had dinner on the smoker, and everything was under control! In my mind, this on top of the half, Blake should get a medal for a full marathon!

Pumpkin Patch

Our Saturday started off with a flag football game at 8:30 a.m. Blake needed to help with a Rotary Car Seat Check, so I took the boys to ride their bikes, well Braden rode his bike, and Mason rode his Diego motorcycle (thanks Nan & Pop) around campus at PSU. Braden loves to do this because the sidewalks are great and we don't have to worry about cars, so he has a lot of freedom. My only rule…he has to always be able to see me, and don't run into the college kids!
The boys had so much fun I hated to leave, but we had enough time before Mason's nap to squeeze in a quick lunch. As soon as we got to the table, Mason started to cry that his ear hurt. I immediately asked the waitress to make our orders "to go" en route to QuickCare, Mason fell asleep so I headed home, gave him ear drops and ibuprofen, and let him get his nap in.

While Mason finished his nap, Braden and I picked Arthur up and headed to the Pumpkin Patch. Arthur really liked the tractor ride. He said that his city has rural areas that look a lot like this. In China pumpkins are "taller and softer" and only for eating, not decoration. He had the same comment about the corn, "In China, corn is only for humans to eat" so he was a little surprised to see a big box of it that kids were playing in like a sandbox.

Mason felt much better after nap, so he and Blake met us there.

There were so many different things to do, I never got a picture of the boys together. Braden had a birthday party at 4, so Blake and Mason stayed to pick out their pumpkin while I left with Braden and Arthur.

The birthday party was at the bowling alley, which Braden loves! It was a girl that was in his class last year, Lexi, and he really enjoyed picking out her gift at Claire's. I tried to get him to just get a gift card, but he wanted to make a selection. We ended up with a pink, princess purse (perfect) and he was very concerned about the paper stuffed inside. He was afraid she might think that was her gift. At the party, he took the bowling very seriously and even got the highest score on his team! It was the guys against the girls, of course! I was in awe of this cake. Lexi's mom, sister and grandma all helped make it!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Arthur goes fishing

Last Saturday I invited Arthur to participate in the All-American tradition of a yard sale. He did not make the sale, but he did come over for Will's 7th birthday party, complete with an inflatable bounce house! I am so thankful to Sabrina's father, David, who took an immediate interest in Arthur and chatted with him the entire time!

After the party, Blake was taking the boys fishing, and invited Arthur to come along! I think he had a great time and even caught a few fish. It was a lot of fun for Blake and the boys to share this experience with Arthur.

Dinner for 8: Round 2

Last Friday night we began Round 2 of the Dinner for 8 groups through Young Professionals. We were hosted by the Naccarato's, which ironically were in our previous group. Their children Jude and Nora are very close in age to Braden and Mason.

Braden was soooo proud of himself for sitting in "both" swings at the same time

Are these cute toddlers or what! Nora is a little closer to 3 than Mason, but they play very well together!

This was Nora's treasured baby doll (can't you tell) and Braden was cracking up that she left it hanging by it's legs while they ran off to play.