Archive for October, 2010

jack o’lantern night!

we always wait until the last minute to carve our pumpkins and this halloween was no different 🙂

but what was different this year?  the face jasper drew actually looked like a face!!!  of course, she wanted the big, sharp knives to carve with as well but hey, you can’t get everything you want, little pea!

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we have all drawn our faces on and now the pumpkin gutting commences!!

this is the fun and messy part 🙂

cousin linda, see your halloween card out on the counter?  when we started carving, jasper ran and got it – i guess to set the scene 🙂

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what is jon’s hand doing?  look away!  look away!!

(but you notice what jasper’s hand is doing?  diggin in the candy corn, that’s what)…
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and none to shy about it either, is she?

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sharp knives aren’t good enough for jon – he had to pull out his wood chisels and get all technical on us 🙂

in fact, his pumpkin got drill bits as well!

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but i think his fly pumpkin was worth it!

and jasper’s pirate pumpkin (she called it her “aaarrrggghhh the pirate pumpkin”) is courtesy of jon’s chisels as well…

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our pumpkins have been transformed into jack o’lanterns!!!!

we all enjoy staring at our glowing lanterns and can’t wait to light them up sunday night.

and the end…

our last day at the beach was upon us (boo!)…

we woke up early again and headed straight for the ocean!  i went off to run my 8 miles on the beach while jasper and jon decided to…

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build a sand castle!  i guess digging holes was too simple for jon the architect 🙂

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jasper collected water while jon constructed the sand…

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here she is adding water to the moat…

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and “fixing” the moat walls as well 🙂

she is a bit of a constructor, too – i wonder where she got it from?

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but i suspect that the most fun was had in destroying the sand castle!

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after watching jasper utterly decimate the sand castle (there was stomping and jumping and digging and sand flying and singing), it was time to head back to the site and start preparing for the trip home.

another boo.

when told that it was time to go pack up our tent and go home, jasper gasps and says, “but you said 4 days!  it’s only been 3 days!”

she looked at me like i had just run over a kitten and yet again, i realized that Math had it in for me…  as if i didn’t already know.

but i survived, jasper survived and jon continued to chuckle to himself…  thanks, babe 🙂

we had such a good experience that we decided to make a coastal camping trip each year – we can test out the various state parks all along the coast – so next year?  galveston!!!

and note to self:  bring  a lot more clothes for jasper so she doesn’t end up in pajamas because they are the only clean clothes she has left…  also, bring more chocolate.

the middle, part two: night time!

after spending the hottest part of the afternoon chilling out, we went back to the beach with the intention of spending the rest of the evening and a good part of the night there.

and that is exactly what we did!

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jon started a fire pit while jasper got back down to the business of beach combing and i kept jon company…

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jasper just kept running back and forth from the ocean to the fire and back again 🙂

maybe she was keeping tabs on us 🙂

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our beach fire!!!!!!!

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our beach girl!  look how into the moment she is…  i think it might be one of the neatest things about having kids – being able to watch a little person relish and exist so purely in the moment…  it’s a skill, a gift, a talent and a dying art but kids?  they do it naturally.

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look at those waves…

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arnetta, these tools might have been made (and used) for the garden but they make perfect beach tools as well!

she spent hours using these toys!  (i liked the green shovel personally!)

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just walking in the surf – splashing around…

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feeling the wind – arms spread with a private smile…  she is in her own world.

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ah, wet sand – my favorite!

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as proven in this picture 🙂

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my favorite thing to do was dig a hole, fill it back up and then stomp around on it as i feel how loose and quicksandy it feels.  yeah, i know but it feels so good on the soles of my feet!

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kiss, kiss, bite!

(it’s a jasper game…  and a long story that is really only hilarious to jon and i)

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oh, i have NO idea but look, knowing jasper?  she just said something hysterical and very un-4 year old like!

(either that or jon is teasing me about digging pointless holes again?)

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wind in her hair!

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jon and jasper head out to ride some waves!  or bulldoze through them 🙂

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it’s finally time for hot dogs and s’mores!

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jasper is fast asleep in the back of the jeep, the moon is poking out and all jon and i have to do is listen to the ocean and hang out with each other in the dark…  sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

it was.

the middle!

no point in sleeping in when you are camping so we were bright and early birds and up before the sun was!

but by the time we had our coffee and oatmeal, the sun had decided to say hi and we headed on down to the beach…  our first full day of beachiness!

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jon headed in one direction to the jetty to fish and we headed the  other direction to beach comb.

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i brought the shovel along so jasper could dig whenever she wanted (who am i kidding?  so I could dig!) and that is pretty much what we did for the next 4 or 5  hours – walked in the surf, dug holes and filled them, picked sea shells and then repeated it all over again…

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jasper got into the digging part too 🙂

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we had a good rhythm going – i meandered ankle-deep in the water while she ran ahead until that invisible parent-child leash snapped back and then she would dig until i caught up with her – it was so relaxing…  we didn’t talk much, we just enjoyed.

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after a while, we turned back and i picked up my book from the jeep…  (oh, yeah!)

jasper did some serious concentrated digging and filling and running from the ocean and back while i laid in the sun and read my book – don’t hate me.

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at the point that the sun was super high and our stomachs were growling, we headed off in search of The Jon.

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and found him – still fishing!  soaking wet from being sprayed by the waves but having the time of his life 🙂

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he wasn’t ready to go just yet so jasper and i hung back out of the way of the waves until he finished and then we headed back to the campsite.

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we cleaned up, napped in the tent and then went into port aransas for gelato and coffee – we are so spoiled 🙂

the beginning!

jon, jasper and i went on a mini-vacation down to the coast…  mustang island, to be exact…

and it.  was.  wonderful.

are you ready for all the pictures?  i had such a hard time editing all of them – i probably could have edited even more but then it just became painful!

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we decided to camp out to get the full beach experience but once we got there, it was so windy that we nixed the on-the-beach camping and opted for the behind-the-sand-dune camping instead…

it wasn’t a pretty campground – the sites were close together and there were more rv’s than tents (and those things loom) but we were only a couple of hundred yards from the ocean and it was worth it to be protected from the crazy wind (read:  sand) by the sand dunes so….  i complained at first until i saw how perfect the overall location was and that shut me up just fine 🙂

we slept at the campsite and that was about all we did there.

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jasper’s first time to see the ocean!  and oh, man, did she fall in love!

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by the time we drove and ferried over to the island, the sun was already starting to go down…  it made for beautiful light and we lucked out with a full moon as well – the ocean, the light, the moon, my hubby and my girl – god, what a heady combination!

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see the full moon??!!  after we were running around for a while, jasper run straight into me and whispered, “i sure love you and daddy!”

and what’s an 8 hour drive for a response like that?

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run, run, run!  and then run some more!  (and jon and i were running right along with her – we were all crazed from the long drive and the salt air, i think)…

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my man and my little girl.

(and the ocean)…

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after a while, it was time to head on back to the site and finish setting up before it got too dark…  we were all too pooped to cook so we just headed into port aransas for seafood (and a very good banana margarita)…  then it was back to the tent to fall asleep to the (very loud) sound of the waves crashing into the beach…

chuck e. cheese… again…

yeah, i know – kids like chuck e. cheese…  i get it; i really do.

but i don’t like chuck e. cheese.

and all these mamas out there keep having all these birthday parties at this place!

(don’t they know how much the big rat bugs me?)

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despite my feelings about this oh so cheesy place, i take her anyway…  and she loves every minute of it!

so i try to as well 🙂

“it’s pretty heavy, daddy!”

the days when jon could do anything without a jasper-helper are long gone!

(but mostly, he is ok with that)

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jon and jasper are gloved up and ready to go!

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“no, daddy, i got this one all by myself.”

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“ohhhh, this one is very, really heavy!” 

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and then she goes, “quick, i need help!”

uh, huh…

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and the fruit of their labors?  plenty of firewood to start the winter off right 🙂

ok, weather!  we are ready for the cold now!  (let’s get this winter-ball rolling already)…

a birthday cupcake (or two)…

i made jon promise me he wouldn’t bring a birthday cake home (let’s be honest here:  a cooper street bakery cake never lasts long in this house!) and he finally agreed…

i thought i was completely safe but no!   jon was convinced that a birthday girl needs a little bit of birthday cake on The Day and so he brought home a couple of cupcakes from the best cupcakery in fort worth (in my opinion)…

they looked so good, i couldn’t even attempt a no and besides, it would be sacrilegious to not eat what my hubby brought home for my birthday, right??!!

so we split each cupcake into three pieces – a bite for each of us…

the white one was a pumpkin cupcake with a spice frosting and it.  was.  divine.

yum.

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a candle for each cupcake 🙂

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a mama and her precocious daughter.

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look, jasper can’t wait to get her hands on those cupcakes!  but i am busy thinking about my wish.

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done!  wish made, candles blown out and cupcakes about to be devoured!

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what did i say?  yep, devoured 🙂

thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes, cards, phone calls, gifts and texts!

and thanks, jon and jaspy,  for adding just the right amount of pumpkin spice cupcake to my life!

the girl…

it is all kinds of beautiful weather here!  in fact, at this very moment, i have all the windows open but had to put on a fleece hoodie to be comfortable!

so nice 🙂

we have been spending our evenings at the park – it’s a routine:  jon gets home, changes clothes and we head to the lake!

jon and jasper ride their bikes and i walk behind them or i go sit on the embankment and stare at the water – any which way  you cut it, we are all having a good time 🙂

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except for maybe roan?  he looks pretty put-upon here, doesn’t he?

however, jasper was convinced that he needed a hug…  “then he won’t be so grumpy, mom.”

i don’t think it worked but it wasn’t for the lack of trying on her part!

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now who’s the grumpy one?  a patio lunch hamburgers and sweet potato fries on a gorgeous day!

hmmm, now i am hungry.

goodbye, brooke…

well, it had to happen eventually – the little filly found a new home so we had to say our goodbyes this weekend…

it all worked out pretty comfortable…  i was glad that it happened on the weekend we were down so jasper could say her goodbyes in person – that saved me a bunch of questions and her some heart ache, for sure!

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jasper loves on brooks for the last time.

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jasper still had a lot of questions but the whole process of saying goodbye, loading her in the trailor (brooke’s first time) and meeting with her new owners took quite a while so there was plenty of time to address everything…

she was sad with a lot of “why’s” but no tears and that was a good thing.

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bye, brooke – we love you!

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and now it is on to the other 4 horses!  they are still there and they still needed to be fed, petted, loved on and ridden!

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jasper has her bucket of treats and a handful of hay – she is ready to go say hi!

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or maybe she is going to use this bucket instead?

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does she look like jon or what?

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jasper and mom getting ready to be all horsey.

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while i sit under the trees in the swing with my camera and my book – that’s a pretty good combination all together, isn’t it?

it was gorgeous weather and we had one of those weekends that flew by – it was time to go and we were left wondering how that happened so quickly!

thanks for a wonderful weekend, mom!

(next time, i will take pictures of the dairy farm we went to [jersey girls dairy farm] – where we got to pet baby calves, see them make cheese and taste some great products!  mom is in love with the raw milk!)