Friday, September 25, 2009

Grandparent's Day

Wow! I'm on the ball...........posting the same day I these pictures were taken.
Today was Grandparent's Day at the kids' school. This may be the last time we'll have grandparents close enough to come. G&G Reynolds have packed their bags and will be heading west in two weeks. Many tears have been and have yet to be shed by our fam.
Tay was asked by the PTA to play the piano for the grandparents while they had refreshments. This, I guess, was considered quite an honor, as the school traditionally only showcases the fifth graders. Way to go Tay! Payte is hoping to be ready to play next year.

I love this one of Payte and Grandma Reynolds

Everyone thinks Tay is in Kindergarten, which I guess is a good thing. People end up getting a lot more out of her than they anticipate. She had to stand on her tiptoes to see the music.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ahhhhhh! Life on the Farm

So it was the Friday before Labor Day and I called Kat from the office. "We should go somewhere" I said. "I know, let's go to Illinois", Kat responded. Because of my crazy summer with boy scouts and youth camps we didn't get anywhere this year with the kids. It was time to get away, but I wasn't sure an 18 hour drive each way for 2 1/2 days of fun was the ideal option. That being said, I did have an itch to get out to see them as well. Truth is, there are few places on earth where our family can really relax like we can at Butch and Dee's farm. So, at 3:00 on Friday afternoon we hit the road and arrived the next day at 10:00am. We just love those guys. Their door is always open to us, and there is no end of fun to be had. We swam in the pond, played in the river, grilled out with friends, rode around the woods and cornfields on 4 wheelers, let the kids drive the truck around the field, and perhaps the highlight, played in a mud pit. As Payte, Dak, Tagg and I were cruising around on the mule we ran across an open patch of cornfield, and it had been raining all day. No sooner had I suggested that we play in the mud that Dak started peeling clothes. With a "superman" holler he dove headlong into the slop. Payte wasn't far behind. Tagg got some mud on his foot and freaked out - he decided to watch from the sidelines. I couldn't let the Tay miss out so I left them there in the pit, and Tagg and I burned back to the house to get Tay. In no time we were all neck to toes in it. We played tag for a while, painted each other brown for a bit, then found an overgrown somewhat less muddy puddle to dive into - to start the cleaning process . . . or at least get the big globs off. We hosed down back at the house in freezing water then jumped into the jacuzzi. What a day. Dak really surprised me - he was the wild man of the crew - you would have thought he grew up in a bog.

We then went to visit our dear friends in Champaign. First, we were lucky enough to spend a morning with one of my mentors and close friends, Paul and Karolyn Magelli. We had a great breakfast with them and visited the new Illinois MBA building - I did my MBA there so it was nice to get back and see all the changes. It really was nice, and was accomplished in no small part because of Paul's commitment to it.

Then we went to visit Tim and Jen Ellsworth. They are the sweetest people. Their kids are always so wonderful and happy, and their home always feels warm and inviting. Time with Ellsworths is always too short. We did make time to stop by Lil' Porgys to eat some ribs and buy a couple gallons of their magic BBQ sauce. We also went to Curtis orchard, wandered through the corn maze, ate Kettle Popcorn, Apples from the orchard, and apple donuts.

Finally, we drove back and got home at 4:00am in time for me to get to work and the kids to school. It was a whirlwind trip but totally worth it. We're lucky to have so many great friends. It was a delightful weekend, and now that we know we can do it, it will definitely not be our last Illinois road trip.

Dak loved it - would have spent the night in the mud if I'd let him.

Here's the Tagg-man picking apples in Champaign at Curtis Orchard

Payte was nice enough to take turns pulling her little brothers around the farm in the wagon. She's a great sister.

This is Butch. Everybody should know him - he's a man among men, and a treasure to all of the Gary Reynolds family.

Here are the kids with Ella Ellsworth in the corn maze at the farm.

Crazy Tay jumping off the dock at Butch and Dee's farm

Chula, our dog, living the dream of all dogs - to live and run free on a farm

Fearsome Mud Warriors

Great Old Friends!!

We spent time on our trip visiting dear friends that we haven't seen in years. I miss these good old days.
Butch and Dee
The Ellsworth's
At breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa "Jelly"

First Day Pics

I had to post these. The kids are excited to back in school, though first grade has been quite and adjustment for Payte. I love school uniforms! It makes our crazy lives a little less complicated.

6 and 4!

Dak and Payte had their birthdays last month. Reese always takes them on a special birthday date. They got hooked up this year.
He flew with Payte up to D.C. to pick up a car we bought there. They went to all the monuments, and saw the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. She got to play with her cuz Isaac too. They had a blast driving back home, visiting old friends along the way.
You can go to Disney World for free on your birthday. Our super good friends have a son that shares a birthday with Dak, so the dads took the boys for the day.
Tay has no interest in Disney World. We best be thinking of something to match Payte's and Dak's dates. Tough!

Dak and his football cake.
Payte's checkerboard cake. Checkerboard!?!
We had a big "water party" for the kids. We did tons of water games with the kids complete with shaving cream balloons.