Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fun in the Middle of Nowhere

Imagine you are driving in the middle of nowhere.  There are cornfields all around you and big clouds in the sky. As you wind down the road at a leisurely 50 miles per hour you come upon it.  An amusement park.  You blink in case you were just imagining it.  Nope, it's real.  There's a small roller coaster, a ferris wheel, a little pirate ship ride, and you can see them all from the road.  It's a little neglected, but it's there...in the middle of nowhere.  Why on earth would someone build this?  It's the most quaint, wonderful thing you've seen in a long time.

We've been there.  And it was magical.

We had the most wonderful night at this little amusement park.  It had been rented out for a private party that we were invited to and there was free ice cream, free cotton candy, and free drinks and cookout food.  My kids were in heaven.  I literally would say to them when they were trying to quickly finish their ice cream so that we could get on a ride, "Just throw it away and we'll get a new one when were done riding."  It was awesome.  All of the rides are smaller and they were the perfect sizes for my two kids.  And there were no lines at all, you could just stay on and ride again and again if you wanted.  My son went on a roller coaster for the first time and he loved it!  Oh, and there was a mini golf course right in the middle of the park.  For my little golf obsessed boy it was heaven.  They had a train ride that went all the way around the property and even had a little tunnel that went under the road to the entrance of the park.  It was so fun riding the train and just being amazed at how this place was literally in the midst of corn fields.  The weather was perfect.  There were some ominous looking clouds when we first arrived, but they cleared up into a beautiful sunset.  I serious couldn't think of a more perfect time.  My daughter put it best when we got home and she was climbing into bed..."Mommy, this was the best day of my entire life."  Does it get any better than that?

This amusement park is called Stricker's Grove and you can find their website here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Photo Friday 2011 ~ 24 ~

During one of the thunderstorms we had this week I went looking for the kids to see what they were doing and I found them under my daughter's bed.  She was reading a book and her little brother was holding the flashlight for her.  So I did what any normal photographer mom would do and ordered them to stay right like that and don't move while I went downstairs and grabbed my camera.  And they did!  So, here's my favorites.

I love the sweet expression on my son's face.  And I like the light beams from the flashlight on the page.

Love this one of my girl.  She's such a bookworm this summer.

I actually have more favorites from this week, but I'm just gonna do a whole separate post because there are so many.  Let's just say that when getting in bed last night my daughter told me, "This was the best day of my entire life."  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

4 People 12 Times

This post is seriously behind schedule.  But I'm sticking with this project anyway.  I'm gonna have to go waaaay back to April to catch up though.  April was not a good month for us.  We had to attend the funeral of my husband's Aunt followed the next week by the funeral of my wonderful Grandma.  And then right after that was Easter, which we had to celebrate without her at her house.  I had to cook dinner and I had no idea what I was doing.  And she wasn't there to ask her how to do this or that, or how to work her old mixer. She wasn't there to boss us around and tell her stories that we've heard a million times.  Talk about hard.  I miss her so much.  It is so hard to see my Grandpa all alone without her by his side where she was for the past 65 years.  I can't even imagine what that is like to lose someone like that.  And I lost my dad when I was 26.  I only had a fraction of that time with him and losing him was impossibly hard.  So we go and visit with him.  And eat with him.  It's all we can do.   So we do it.  And we miss her every second we are with him.  I know it will get easier.  It will for us, but probably not for him...  This photo was taken that Easter Sunday while we were with him.  We smiled like we were happy, but we were sad.  Here's the four of us.

May was a healing month.  We went to the beach.  I swear the beach can heal all wounds.  There is just something about looking out at the vastness of it that helps.  The wind, the sounds of the waves, the salt in the air, it's all so soothing to me.  And we forgot about our sorrow and we had a wonderful time.  We just enjoyed being with one another without all the hustle and bustle of life that gets in the way.  I could really look at my husband and appreciate him and his humor and his love for our kids in a way that I don't really do at home when I'm busy and stressed out by all the little things.  I could watch my kids play together and play with them, swimming in the ocean, walking on the sand, playing mini golf and just enjoying them.  It was just what we needed with the hard month we'd had prior.  This photo is us on the beach.  I can't even believe I'm posting a photo of myself in a bathing suit, but luckily my daughter is hiding most of me!  We did get some sunset photos of us on the beach, but I always like to save those for our Christmas card.  It's sort of tradition now.  Here we are...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Photo Friday 2011 ~ 23 ~

These pictures were taken the same day as the one I posted with the blue skies.  I was lying on a quilt in my backyard just enjoying the beautifulness of summer and I really, really did not want to get up and get my camera.  I really just wanted to relax and just be.  But, when I saw what my kids were doing I knew I would kick myself later if I didn't get some pictures of it, so I dragged my butt up and went and got it.  I did however plop myself right back down on my quilt so most of these photos were taken from the perspective of me lying on my stomach or my back.  Definitely not my usual perspective, but I think that's why I like these.  They're different.  Here you go...

This is my favorite.  Love her sweet smile.  Okay, and to explain the pink puff and why I had to take pictures...they were having a pretend camp out with a campfire and they were roasting these pretend marshmallows...aka pink cottonballs that we had gotten free from our church the other day when they cleaned out some kids' Sunday school classrooms.  

They brought out their little Ikea tent and would "go to sleep" in it and then I would hear a rooster crow which was the signal for the next morning and they'd roast marshmallows all over again.  I can't even count how many times they did it.  I love how she's blowing hers before she "eats" it.

My little giants.  My daughter looks way bigger than my son, but I guess she was closer to me and of course, she actually is bigger than him.  They thought these were funny.  I was lying on my back for these.

The giant does a cartwheel.  I think it's weird how big she looks compared to the swingset in this picture.  And I wasn't using a wide angle lens.  That blanket is our crazy 70's quilt that my mom gave me and we use it for everything.

What a beautiful week.  It almost makes me want to stay in Ohio...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

From the Archives

I found this awesome video of my daughter while browsing some old pics for something to post.  I think my sister in law took this because my camera didn't take video.  Man, I wish I had more video clips like this.   I'm not usually one to take videos, but this has inspired me to do it a little more frequently.  I love her little voice.  She was exactly 2 and a half when this was taken at my brother's pool.  I am totally missing the pool right now because they are in the midst of some major pool repairs and we can't swim for a couple more weeks.  I can't wait!

Listen closely and you'll hear that she says "gently down the street".  And I'm pretty sure the last line is "gently down the dream".  I love when kids mess up lyrics.  So cute!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Photo Friday 2011 ~ 22 ~

We made it through the first whole week of summer and it was great.  We went to the driving range, met up with my sisters and one of their husbands at the museum, swam in our baby pool, had a bunch of friends over and played with practically ever toy we own.  So far, we've been getting along pretty well...knock on wood.  I could do without this 90 degree weather though.  It seriously puts a damper on all my outdoor plans when I can't even stand to be outside!  Yesterday I watched one of my friend's kids while she went to do a market research study and I got the camera out and followed them around a bit.  It's nice having other kids to photograph and mix it up a bit for Photo Friday.  Here are my favorites...

I like this.  My kids were waiting at the window for their friends to get  here and my daughter was reading books to my son.  We have an old piano bench that my mom got at a garage sale (or maybe from someone's trash?) and I recovered it with leftover material from the slipcover project.  The kids use it as a window seat. I love how they made this cozy spot even cozier by closing the curtain around them.

This picture is awesome.  He makes the funniest faces.  He looks so mean here but he is actually such a happy kid most of the time.  I can't remember why he was grumpy, probably because he wanted the other kids to play something and they didn't want to...hopefully someday that will translate into him being an awesome leader...don't you like my positive spin on that?

Whenever I think about moving away it's moments like these that make me want to stay.  I have pictures of their mom and me when we were just a little bit older than these girls are now.  I love that my kids get to be friends with the kids of my friends!  How awesome is that?  I have no idea what was so funny in these pictures.  I told them to stand together and then commented on how they looked like stair steps and they thought that was funny and I think they were tickling each other behind their backs.  So cute!

This little guy is awesome.  He's such a little cutie and he's so squishy!  He's one of those kids you just wanna cuddle.  After I took the picture of him on the swing he told me I needed to stop taking pictures of him.  He was very polite about it, so I did, but I'm glad I got these.  I'm trying a new vintagey style of editing...let me know what you think.

I love the color in this picture.  It's so creamy and soft and I like her sweet expression and the way her hair is flipping up in the back.  

Nothing says summer like a pair of beat up gym shoes kicked off in favor of going barefoot.  I love this.

I'm off to enjoy my Friday.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 6, 2011

From the Archives

Since it's summer I've decided to do a new series of posts entitled "From the Archives".  You might think that this is an attempt to be lazy and just post some old photos that were taken this same week in a prior year and save myself the effort of being original and thinking of something new and interesting to post.  And you'd be exactly right.  It's summer.  I don't have as much time for blogging, but I love you, my loyal readers, so I'm doing this in an attempt to keep things a little less boring around here.  These pics were taken June 11, 2008, three years ago this week.  My son was 21 months old and my daughter was four and a half.  It's amazing how much they've grown!

Yep, he was a drooler, and I can tell from the rash on his face that he was still using a pacifier at night.  I love how much his little ears stick out here before his hair got thick.

My girl, the same day.  I can't find the original, color version of this, but I kinda like the black and white anyway.  I loved her bobbed haircut.  I wish I could convince her to let me do it again, but since her favorite movie right now is Tangled I don't see it happening anytime soon.

Seems our lives were very much the same three years ago on a summer day, just in smaller bodies!  How about you?  What were you doing three years ago this week?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Photo Friday 2011 ~ 21 ~

Summer is officially here at our house!  My son thought that summer didn't start until my daughter was out of school even though it's been in the 90's already plenty of times.  Yesterday was her last day of first grade.  I can't believe she is going to be in second grade next year!  Oh well, I have a whole summer to enjoy before that happens.  My kids are so excited about summer and it's so cute.  We have a lot of fun things planned...going to Kings Island, the museum, the park, swimming with whoever gets the urge to invite us (hint, hint), laying around and doing nothing, reading some books, planting flowers, getting some projects done around the house, hopefully having a garage sale, exploring our yard, playing in the creek, and hopefully taking a trip somewhere fun.  Hooray for summer!  Here are some pictures I took last night of my kids climbing the tree in our front yard. Actually, my daughter climbs it, but I have to lift my son up and get him down since he's still a little too small to climb up himself.

I love his face!  This reminds me of a picture of my little sisters from when they were about 2 or 3 years old and one of them is looking at the camera and the other one is looking off to the side with a big grin.  I always loved that picture of them.

My big girl.  I can't believe how old she is starting to look.  I know as a photographer I probably shouldn't care if I get pictures of my kids in the same spot that match...I should be worried about being creative and all that...but the mom in me loves when I get two like this that go together!

Another shot of my baby.  There's just something about this that I like but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Swinging in the back yard.  This totally spells summer to me.  Love her tongue in the one on the left and her ponytail flying in the one on the right.

I had to include this one of my husband and I even though I'm pretty sure he won't like it.  We met at Taste of Cincinnati 12 years ago...whoa...I still can't believe 1. it's been that long and 2. we are that old!  We snapped this right before we left to go again this year.  It's tradition for us to go every year.

Okay, we're off to start our summer!!


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