T. Rexes at the Dark Dinosaur Cave

The boys (“T. Rexes”) and I visited the All Children’s Playground (“Dark Dinosaur Cave”) at Laurel Hills Park this afternoon after church. Now that the weather is warming up, I can easily see this becoming a typical Sunday: Church, picnic lunch at a playground, and then play! We took Gavin to this playground once several years ago and I was reminded of it again recently when he was invited to a birthday party held there that he unfortunately had to miss due to our Florida trip.

We quickly ate a small lunch at one of the many picnic tables surrounding the playground and then spent the next two hours playing. The boys loved this playground! There is a large wooden structure with steps, tunnels, bridges, and hidden cubbies. The boys found one of these cubbies on the ground level with a ceiling so low that I couldn’t even enter and declared it the “Dark Dinosaur Cave.” They spent half of the time running around and roaring like T. Rexes.

Gavin ran around the play structure for a long time trying to escape Jasper who was completely oblivious to the fact that he should have been chasing his brother.

Roaring was involved at this moment, no doubt…

The mood of this photo is completely different than the rest. I love how the light is hitting Gavin’s face in the dark tire cave.

The playground has three metal slides including this wide, open slide. I must have asked the boys a half dozen times to slide down together, but this is the closest shot of a dual slide that I got.

One of the others is this open spiral slide. Jasper has always been our slide aficionado, but it was Gavin who threw himself down each slide without hesitation and Jasper was initially afraid today. Finally, by the end of our stay, Jasper summoned his courage and went down this spiral slide.

This was such an enjoyable visit because Jasper wasn’t clinging to my side the entire time. He was often out of sight, running away from me, and playing amongst other kids. I’m not sure if this was a permanent breakthrough, but it was nice for a few hours! I took several shots of him running AWAY from me in public just in case this was a fluke and this phenomenon doesn’t happen again for a while.

At one point while Gavin was hiding from us and Jasper didn’t know he should be chasing his brother, Jasper rode his first tire swing.

Sand is always a highlight of any playground visit. Jasper spent a lot of time “paving roads” and “drilling holes” with sticks.

The boys were often out of sight. This is a large structure and it’s easy to lose track of them (particularly two of them!) as they climb through it. There were lots of parents continuously circling the structure while tracking their kids just like me. At one point, I rounded the corner and found them both resting on a bench. They certainly got a lot of exercise today!

Jasper climbing far away from me again … I can’t believe this is actually my child!

I’d lose them for a while and then catch a brief glimpse…

The third slide, and second of two that caused Jasper fear at first, was this short, covered slide. I think he was just afraid of bumping his head. He finally flew down this chute near the end of the afternoon as well.


A Morning at the Museum

Several days before Christmas, the four and us spent the morning downtown taking photos around the capitol, visiting the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and eating lunch at The Pit.

I asked the boys to stand in front of the sign. Of course, their interpretation of my simple instruction was slightly different…

Inside the museum, the boys demonstrate their immense talent at taking posed photographs. I don’t like to attempt posed photos, of course, and prefer to capture the action instead, but they were so quickly moving from exhibit to exhibit that I had to stop them a few times so that they weren’t motion blurs in every shot.

The frog exhibit was among their favorites…

We’ve visited the museum several times over the years, but not since the new Nature Research Center opened across the street. The enclosed pedestrian bridge across Salisbury Street was another highlight for the boys.

Gavin was excited to see his reflection in the mirrored hubcap inside this tire.

Not sure how these guys work this way. I would be so annoyed by having strangers gawk at me while trying to work all day long!

Jasper thought this man looked sad and kept hugging his leg.

The boys always love the butterfly conservatory on the top floor. The butterflies loved Jasper on this day and kept landing on his jacket. Fortunately, we didn’t arrive back home at the end of the day with any new pets.



Santa’s Workshop

In mid-December, our elf, Zuzu (full blog entry about her to come), left a project for the boys: complete custom-stamped tote bag gifts for their aunts. Jeff made construction machine stamps and applied the paint while the boys designed the construction site scenes on the bags and placed the stamps. Thanks for the great idea, Zuzu!

We got a picture back from afar showing a happy recipient.


Lucky 7

September has finally arrived! Summer is finally over! The reasons to be joyful about this season change are too numerous to list, but the start of football season certainly ranks near the top. So, we bring to you, the fifth annual football blog entry! This year, the Seminoles started the season ranked #7 so we’re hoping that’s good luck for a great season! We’re two weeks into the season already, but I’m behind posting blog entries, as usual, and these were taken the night before the first game.

This is the fifth year for the #6 jersey. Gavin wore it three years in a row and this is Jasper’s second year wearing Antone Smith’s old number. Jasper LOVES wearing his jersey. He was upset when I told him he couldn’t wear it to church the following morning.

Gavin wears #7 for Christian Ponder, of course. Here’s his best touchdown victory pose … or there was a bird on the roof.

Jasper continues his annual habit of eating the ball. I don’t see any yellow flags, but this doesn’t seem like a strategic play.

Touchdown, Seminoles!

Gavin still needs to work on catching the ball…

Gazing into the distance, dreaming of the perfect season … or still admiring that bird.


Summer Cuts

Here’s another photoset from the Lost Month of June when I posted nearly nothing on the blog. We gave the boys their first summer buzz cuts on June 18th and they were just given their second cuts earlier this week. Jasper, in particular, gets a super sweaty little head when there is the slightest hint of heat outside, so 1/4-inch buzz cuts are a necessity in the summertime.

Here are the “before” pictures taken right before they went inside Mom’s Salon…

And after! So much cooler for their hot little heads!