...Learning to drive a truck...

11:56 AM

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We just got back from our annual vacation, a trip home to Montana. We spent ten fantastic days with my parents. The kids did great traveling. We were hoooopping that a 6AM wakeup didn't mean 4AM due to the time change. Let's just say that the kids wanted to get every drop of sun and time with nanny and papa.

I decided to break our trip up into a few different highlights.

Gabe has heard countless stories about learning how to drive a truck in "granny" while feeding cows. I think my sister and I started steering while my parents fed off the back (open field......very slowly) when we were about his age? The rule was just don't hit a fence. A person could easily jump off the back of the truck and jump in before anything could go too wrong.

Gabe was really excited to drive with papa this summer. He would happily climb onto his lap and help steer to the corrals or whatever the destination. Gianna was content sitting in the truck and playing with all of the radio buttons (keys out ;)) while we helped build a tack room.

I love that they get pieces of my childhood when ever we return.


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...fly a kite...

12:28 PM

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I have many fond memories of kite flying. Montana has many a breezy day to practice. We read a book a few weeks ago (before our lovely vacation!!! More on that later) and he really wanted to fly a kite. As luck would have it, our neighbor stopped by and she happened to have two little plastic kites in the back of her vehicle. 

There was hardly a breeze. Imagine a prego darting in a baseball field in 90 degree heat, just begging for a breath of wind. Nada. I convinced Gabe to take a stab. He didn't quite understand the running into the wind aspect, so after a few attempts I kept running away from him and yelling for him to come get me. (This ended up in tears, BUT!!! he did fly his kite). I am sure we were quite the site. 

 So, once dad, got home, we tried again.
He is hooked. I need to find some kites.
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...22|52...

10:53 AM

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On Fridays, we go to Mass and then to a different park each week. This week, we had the park to ourselves. I forgot my camera, but yay cell phones.
 gianna...1.5...Not to be outdone by her brother, she saw him scale this right after we arrived. She spent the first half of an hour climbing the stairs, the bridges and the slides. I was pushing Gabe on the swing and turned around to her at the top clapping. She was so very proud. Determination should be her middle name. I love her fighter spirit. This week, she learned how to walk down stairs without using the wall or railing.

gabe...3.5...He loves to swing. This week, he started to ask for quite a bit of height on an adult swing. This park only had the bucket swings, but we were able to go crooked, which isn't as possible at home due to two other swings. He loves to yell "MAYDAYMAYDAY!" A lady gave him a triceratops at a park on Wednesday. It is such a perfect pocket size and she told him to take it with him and he will never be bored (a mom of 9, such wisdom). He has taken it to heart.
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...zoo fun...

12:43 PM

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I decided this morning to try another trip to the zoo. The weather was very cool for June and we were one of the first dozen people into the zoo. There were no crowds and the kids had a blast. They have a playground and a splash pad, which were pretty exciting today.


 Gabe was really intrigued by the hippos. Gianna kept a safe distance this time.

I just love how my kids enjoy "going on an adventure." 
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...picking strawberries...

10:56 AM

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There is a local strawberry farm that just opened up this week. I have always wanted to take them to a U-pick farm and this did not disappoint. We have actually never made it to a berry farm as I never remember until the season is over. Strawberry season is short, lasting only a few weeks. The weather has been quite warm, but was in the upper sixties this morning. 

We headed to the farm and were one of the first few cars there. Some of our favorite people work there and we were able to say hi (babysitters). The kids were excited to pick berries and they lasted for about 45 minutes. Gianna was really inquisitive about the feel of berry juice between her fingers and sucking the juice out of a berry wrapped up in her shirt. Gabe was very determined to find the perfect berries and he did a really great job. He carefully selected perfect berries to fill his quart. I managed to fill part of a box out of the few feet of our row. They were delicious.

He asked, "Mom, would Papa think I was a good farmer? Would he let me farm with him?" In a heart beat.

We have already been through a quart and hopefully the rest of them will last until strawberry shortcake tonight! I can still taste my mom's biscuits with fresh strawberries!
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...baseball...

11:51 AM

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We wanted to take the kids to a baseball game this summer. We have a close AAA team, with really affordable tickets. We picked this game out back in April as it was a double header, meaning shorter an earlier than their regular season games. 

Grandma and grandpa came down for the weekend and the weather turned sour. It started to rain around lunch time. We were hopeful that it would stop soon. We made it to the stadium and spent 45 minutes walking around, looking at people, watching the Tigers on the big screen, and getting Gabe a new hat. Gianna desperately needed a hat and she always steals Gabe's. So, we tried to convince her that she could pick on out, but she still wanted his so he picked out a new hat.

We lasted until about 615 (two hours), which was more than an hour past when it should have started. They weren't making any sort of predictions, so we decided to head home. The kids did each eat a ballpark hotdog to make it "official." We stopped at the local grocery store to pick up a gallon of ice cream as a consolation.

On Sunday, Gabe really wanted to play ball with dad and grandpa. Gianna was happy chasing birds.
Next time.
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