Let’s Catch Up

It’s been crazy around here and we’ve been busy, busy, busy.  Instead of bombarding you with a ton of little posts about the things we’ve been up to, I’m just going to share some pictures.  I could write lots about it, but I know when posts are this picture heavy (and long) I tend to just scroll, so I’ll save us all the time and try to be brief!

There’s a new crop maze that opened this year in our area – Amazing Grace Crop Maze.  A friend of mine from high school had the idea and she and her husband are running it.  We had a blast getting lost in the maze.  We let Braden be our guide, so it took a while.  The kids also LOVED the corn crib (and I found corn EVERYWHERE when we got home, sorry for stealing corn Kelly!).

I think their favorite part was the cow train.  Thankfully they weren’t busy when we were there, so both kids got to ride over, and over, and over..

Braden spent a good chunk of time in the petting zoo too.  I didn’t get pictures, but they had two itty-bitty baby goats (I think they said they were two weeks old) and I wanted to steal them and bring them home with me.  It was cracking me up watching them with their mama, they babies just wanted to nurse and you could tell the mama had had enough – she kept running away from them and they kept coming back for more.  I feel your pain, mama goat!

The next week, Braden’s class went on a field trip to the crop maze and I chaperoned.  I was a little worried that he’d be bored since we had just gone, but he loved it and got to do a few things we skipped when we were there.  He did the duck races FOREVER.

My favorite part of chaperoning field trips is watching him interact with his friends from school.  I rarely get to see it, and it’s nice to get to see a different side of my little guy and to meet the buddies that I hear so many silly stories about.

The Friday before my birthday, we celebrated with some friends at Taverna Yamas.  It’s kind of a drive from our house, so we rarely go, but their food is SO good.  Seriously, you need to try the artichoke chicken and lemon potatoes.  Oh, and the flaming cheese.  YUM!

And FINALLY, after three years of asking, Adam finally got the birthday cake that I wanted!  It’s from a small, local restaurant, French Pantry.  They bring this cake every year to our office for our lease anniversary and it is SO good.  You have to order it in advance though and he kept forgetting in the past.  This year, he did not forget, and it was so worth the wait.

The restaurant has belly dancers, but who needs belly dancers to entertain you when you have these two crazy girls?

The day before Halloween (how’s that for last minute?!) we headed over to the Pumpkin Patch so the kiddos could pick out and carve their pumpkins.

Braden kept saying he wanted to get the BIGGEST PUMPKIN EVER!!  We told him he could get the biggest pumpkin he could carry.  You should have seen him trying to carry these pumpkins that were bigger than him over to the table where you paid.  We finally gave in and helped him with one after he kept struggling because he swore he couldn’t find one that he loved as much as this one.

We headed home and Adam and Braden got to work carving their pumpkin.  Braden picked out the mummy design because he loves mommy :) I love this kid!

Mackenzie wasn’t so sure about their carving abilities.. or about giving her big brother a carving knife..

But it all turned out okay.

And I can’t even remember what day this picture was from, but is it not the cutest thing ever?  I love how much they love each other :)

I have a few more catch-up posts that I didn’t want to squeeze into this one, then I’ll get to my Wine & Dine weekend posts! It was such a fun weekend and I can’t wait to tell y’all all about it!

Field Trip to the Space Center

I’m playing catch-up today, can you tell? :)

Last week, Braden’s class went on a field trip to the Kennedy Space Center and I tagged along.  I hadn’t been since right after we moved her 20ish years ago and I’m one of those crazy moms who doesn’t like her kids to do things without her for the first time, so of course I had to go.. right?

I love having the chance to see B interacting with his buddies from school.  I think it’s great that he has relationships with these kids that they have built on their own — they’re not friends because I’m friends with their parents, but because they choose to play together when they’re at school.  I love hearing him talk about his friends from school and the fun things they do.  I was always a shy kid and I love that he’s a lot more outgoing.

We got to the Space Center and spent a few minutes waiting for the director to get our tickets.  Once inside, the kids spotted the Angry Birds exhibit and insisted on going inside.  We spent a few minutes in there, but it was kind of chaotic and hard to keep up with the kids whose parents weren’t along for the trip, so we made our way out and over to the bus tour.

I remember being bored out of my mind on the bus tour the last time we were there (ohh so looking forward to the pre-teen years with my kids, haha!) but it was actually really interesting.  I’ll be honest and tell you that I don’t really pay much attention to the space program, so I actually learned a lot while we were there.

The bus tour takes you around the assembly building, where the rockets are assembled before being moved out to the launch pads and then drops you off at another building where the Saturn 5 rocket is assembled for you to view.  They had a really cool presentation about the shuttle program and a simulation of the control room when the first shuttle landed on the moon.  I love the attention to detail — it actually felt like you were there, with the room vibrating and debris hitting the walls.

Unfortunately, Braden’s class had to head out shortly after that.  They packed a picnic lunch and needed to eat and get back on the road so they could make it back to the school before it closed for the day.  I was kind of bummed for them, they really didn’t get to see much of the space center at all.  As they were boarding the bus back to the main area, we told them we were going to stay behind and explore some more.

B was hungry, so we grabbed lunch.  Ew.  Don’t order a cheeseburger at the Space Center.  Trust me on that one.  It was gross.

We wandered a bit, checked out the astronaut suits and moon rocks, then grabbed a bus back.  We spent a lot of time in the Atlantis exhibit, Braden loved seeing the shuttle and they had a lot of stuff set up for the kids.  This tube thing was suspended two stories above the floor and was similar to the inside of a shuttle.  B loved climbing around in it.

I think he loved the slide even more though — there were actually a ton of adults on it as well.  I swear he went down the thing at least twenty times.  I finally convinced him to go check out the shuttle simulator.  He loves rides at Disney and I wasn’t sure how well it was going to go over with him.. he’s still really sensitive to loud noises thanks to the hearing/ear issues he had when he was younger.

I warned him it would be loud and would shake a lot, but he still wanted to go, so we did.  I was so proud of him, I could tell he was a bit uneasy about it, but he was so brave and kept telling me how much fun it would be.  When it was all over, he was telling me how fun it was and how he got to blast off into outer space and see Earth from space.. I asked if he wanted to try it again and I got a very quick “Um, nope!!”

There was one area set up that shows how the astronauts do basic things like eat, sleep, and potty while in outer space.  Braden loved the potty part of it and thought it was hilarious that it was sitting out for everyone to see.

We were still hungry since we didn’t eat much of our lunch so we went off to find some ice cream.  We wandered a bit and Braden didn’t complain too much about posing for a few pictures for me..

Apparently we gave up too soon, I finally took him in one of the gift shops to get a snack and he found freeze-dried astronaut ice cream and insisted on trying it.  It sounded like cardboard when he bit into it, but he liked it.  Of course as soon as we walked out of the gift shop, there was an ice cream stand.  It always seems to happen that way, doesn’t it?

We were both tired so we decided to head home to try to make it in time to meet Adam and Mackenzie for dinner.  We made it about an hour and a half before we realized it wasn’t happening and we stopped for Chick-fil-a.  It’s always Chick-fil-a when it’s Braden’s choice.

We had such a great time — I’m so glad we were able to stay behind and spend some time exploring everything.  I’d really like to go back when Adam and Mackenzie can go with us.  Braden is still talking about the Angry Birds exhibit and climbing through the space ship tubes. I’m running the Space Coast Marathon in Cocoa in December, so we’re definitely going to have to take a day to venture over to the space center again!

Field Trip to the Zoo

I have lost my mind, clearly.

I volunteered, without being asked, to chaperone a field trip to the zoo.  With 20 4 and 5 year olds.

For some reason I had it stuck in my head that it was Braden’s last pre-school field trip and I didn’t want to miss it.  Turns out during summer camp, they go on a field trip every week.  Oops!  It worked out in the end because we had a great time.

There were several other parents along for the fun and I was amazed at how well-behaved all of the kids were.  The teachers kept them together and under control better than I can manage my own two.  I was taking notes, for sure.

I love watching Braden interact with his buddies from school, especially when he forgets that I’m there and relaxes with them.  Sometimes when I’m around, I think he feels like he needs to look out for me (such a sweet boy, huh?) and he sticks right beside me.  It’s sweet, for sure, but I really like watching him just be a little boy with his friends.  Their conversations are hilarious.  I promise I only eavesdropped a bit.

I’m so thankful that my company and my boss let me take time off to do stuff like this.  I’d really hate to miss out on it.  I’m going to be bummed if I can’t work out my schedule to tag along on all most of their weekly field trips this summer.

I’m going to miss these kids next year too.  B’s been at his school since he was 6 months old.  I’ve watched some of these kids grow up with him.  I hope that at least a few of them end up at the same elementary school that he’s going to next year.

Field Trip to the Hands On Museum

Braden’s class had their third field trip today, this time to the Jacksonville Hand’s On Museum.  I didn’t blog about the second field trip, because I didn’t go.  It was to a pumpkin patch at a church and I hear it was a lot of fun.  I decided I should probably give the other parents a chance to chaperone and skipped it.  I regretted it the entire day, I kept thinking about how much fun he was probably having without me.  Yes, I’m one of those moms.  Oh well!  Anyway, I didn’t want to miss out on another one, so I signed up to chaperone as soon as they posted the request.  I’m glad I did, we had SO much fun!

Neither of us had ever been, and it’s such a cute place.  They have a grocery store set up where the kids can shop, restock shelves, check out, etc.. They had an old school McDonald’s play area with a ball pit, puppet show, fire station, train station with train tables, veterinary hospital, wheelchair basketball court, post office, pirate ship.  Braden was all over the place and I love watching him interact with his friends and having a chance to chat with his teachers and get to know the other moms.

Cashier Braden

Post Master Braden

Doctor Braden

Firefighter Braden

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