Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On the road again and a trip down memory lane

We recently got to travel back to Ohio, to visit family, and celebrate Great-Grandma Tobin's 90th birthday! Heading out early, we had a start and stop trip.  First in Winston-Salem for a new Salem College sweatshirt, then lunch, then the Rocky outlet and finally Lancaster!  And what a surprise...it started to snow on our way there!  

Now that's how I need coffee...dispensed from a nozzle like gas!
After visiting with Grandma and dinner at Aunt Sandy and Uncle Tim's house (yummy salmon burgers!), we headed to our hotel.  The big party was the next afternoon, so we had decided that we would try to get Brant over to Rising Park in the morning.  This not taking into account that it was approximately the temperature that  h**l freezes over!  Seriously, it was COLD!  But we were prepared, sort of, with coats.  Grandma didn't believe me when I said it was going to be cold, and only brought her liner.  Thankfully Daddy got a new coat at the Rocky outlet, and Grandma and I got some extremely bright woolies to wear when walking, so our weather gear spanned the genders and generations!

The hike up Mt. Pleasant (chosen to do first to warm up!) This is typical for the family, Daddy way out in front, Mommy bringing up the rear with Brant.  We can't help it, we like to piddle along the way!

About 2 seconds before Brant popped up because the sandstone was so cold!  Those benches were carved in 1910 and are one of great memories of visiting the park.  They were always so cool to rest on, in the heat of a summer hike.

It was so cold, I'm surprised our faces could smile!

Still going!

The view from the top, on the unauthorized, scary, give-Mommy -a-heart-attack path that Daddy took

Cuteness (I freaked out when I saw the railing hasn't changed in a hundred years!  Can we get a chain link fence please?!)

I love this view, thanks to Brant, there's a photo.  

Now Rising Park was the site of many family afternoons when we lived in Lancaster.  I have photos in my albums of my dad pushing me on the swings, me climbing up the extremely tall slide and dizzy memories of the merry-go-round.  Speaking of tall slides, Brant got to go on one during our WV vacation last year!  Scared the dickens out of me to watch him climb up.  How in the world did we survive childhood??

I have a vague memory of this big orange rocking egg that used to be there (not now, everything is safety approved!)  You would run from side to side of the egg, running halfway up the side almost, trying to get it to rock as hard as you could. Does anyone else remember that?

Well, my poor, safety approved son had never been on a merry-go-round before, so Daddy had to show him how it worked.  He loved it!  Brant and I almost turned as green as his hat though, kid stomachs are so much tougher than adults!

Hopping on for a ride

Hanging on tight to his new OSU bear

Daddy's turn for a ride

Daddy and Grandma had a swinging competition to see who could get the highest!  Grandma was wearing Daddy's coat!

In every photo someone had their eyes closed!  We took about 5 of these!
So, frozen, we headed out.  Aunt Terri was driving up from Ironton, and we had to get back to meet her.  Then it was time to get ready for the big party!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why we had to sell Brant's train table...

Almost a year ago, we were quite excited to buy Brant a train table.  And now, it's been sold.  Why you ask?  When our son is a Rail Fan, train nut, Thomas enthusiast...you name it, he loves trains.  Well, instead of tell you, I think I'll show you!  This is what we do after homework!
This part of the track is in Sodor Lake

The aerial view, from Harold (errr, Brant's bed)

The Steamworks

James making a delivery of trees

So, given the dimensions of the train table, I'd say THIS track layout wouldn't fit!  Don't you agree?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's Saturday and you know what that means!

Spring Saturdays mean one thing in the O'Day house, SOCCER!  Today was no exception.  The Deacons took the field and played wonderfully.
Go Brant Go!

Getting set up for a corner kick

It is really amazing to be able to see your child's growth.  Not physically, which is amazing in itself (especially when your son eats as much as you do during a growth spurt and you can mentally fast forward 10 years when he eats you out of house and home!).  But the growth of skills and coordination.  I mean, there are days where I can't walk and do anything else but breathe, but in 4 short years our son has grown from a babe in arms to a child who runs, plays soccer, climbs, and asks questions like, "Mommy, if an engine has 4 wheels, how many train cars would it have to haul for a total of 44 wheels?"  I kid you not, putting him to bed tonight, that's what my snuggle buddy asked.

We were blessed with another beautiful spring day.  It was shorts weather again, and after the game we got busy in the yard.  The boys mowed Grandma's yard, Big B on the mower and Little B on his gator.  It was the absolute cutest thing, with Brant's following Daddy around, turn for turn, both on John Deeres.  I couldn't get a photo, but I know I'll always remember the sight.   Boys thus occupied, I headed to Lowes to purchase bulbs.  Bulbs, bulbs, bulbs....I planted about 100...and I'm sure they'll be gorgeous in the summer, but my arm is killing me!
Bailey (and Rusty) is quite fond of sitting the landscaping cloth over the strawberries, brussel sprouts  and broccoli. 

We had our neighbors' kids over for the afternoon and had our first picnic with them.  Thanks to their Me Maw and Paw Paw, the kiddos feasted on chicken nugget Happy Meals, played in all of our yards and generally had some great old outside fun.
Cutie Amy

Brant and Austin, Brant was totally intent on his nuggets!

"Hey, Brantley!  You wanna fight?!"  

And the fight continues, while Brant checks out why his sword isn't lighting up!

This week promises to be busy, but fun, and with great weather to boot.  That's always a good start for the week!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Luck of the Irish to ye!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  This is one holiday that is fully embraced by the O'Day family, and one we quite enjoy.  There're no gifts to buy, traditions to follow, or really too much hype by companies (except for alcohol!).

And guess what?!  A leprechaun snuck in the house last night and left candy hidden everywhere!  He even snuck into our bedrooms AND left candy in Brant's shoes!  Brant had a throuroughly Irish breakfast of ...you got it! Lucky Charms! ha ha ha!   We all left for work "wearin' o' the green," with corned beef in the crock pot, barmbrack cooling on the counter, and the soda bread recipe ready and waiting.
Leprechaun candy, the same kind he used to bring when I was a child!
Irish Mickey and Lucky O'Day (really, that's what his tag says!) went to school to be snuggle buddies during rest time today. 

Yes, I wore those all day. My shirt says, "Everyone loves an Irish girl," and Brant has on a pin that says "World's Cutest Leprechaun!"

School was very exciting for Brant today, going on a leprechaun hunt, finding gold and getting the room messed up by the pesky little green thing! His class was so cute, stopping by my room to see if the leprechaun came by. They all had on special glasses, hoping to spot him!  When they came back to their room, all their chairs were turned over, and there were special goodies and a rainbow made out of cupcakes.  All in all, a very good school day!
What an appropriate graphing activity for today!  Lucky Charms!

When we came home there were more yummies.  The corned beef was cooked, cabbage in the pot, bread made, barmbrack baked.....yep, DINNERTIME!  We each had our beverage of choice, ranging from water, Red Oak, Harp and McSorleys...slainte!

My Irish boys, wearin' o' the green!
So now, I have a sleepy leprechaun whose eyes just crashed closed beside me, Daddy snoozing beside him on the couch.  All in all, a very good day.  No school for the kiddos tomorrow, I have a workday and I am so excited to get my room cleaned up and maybe rearranged.  Happy St. Patrick's Day, from our Irish family to yours!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Soccer and Rice Crunchy Treats

It seems we've fallen into a bit of a rut in the O'Day house.  That's not a bad thing, it's a warm weather rut, and a soccer rut.   We've been staying outside as long as we can, spending time at the field for games, and getting Brant ready for tee ball.

Everyone knows that I teach Brantley's class.  He's had a stubborn streak about speaking Spanish. He'll speak it to his Daddy, but not directly to me.   Last night we were snuggling, and playing with his little dog "Blackie."  Blackie started speaking Spanish to Brant, and Brant looked at him and said, "Blackie, I didn't know you spoke Spanish!"  He and Brant had a whole conversation about shapes, colors, greetings, basically everything we have covered in class!  It was great!  After it had gone on for a bit, I, I mean Blackie, asked him how to said red in Spanish (he knows it!).  He cocked his head, looked right at me and pointed his finger at me and said, "THAT, I don't know!"  I cracked up, he sounded just like an adult!

The weather has been glorious and its like our blood is flowing again!  Brant has started waking up and looking out, asking if it's jacket, coat or shorts weather.  Thankfully, it's mostly been jacket or shorts.

So, all I have are a few photos to share this time,  nothing terribly exciting going on.  Brant and I made Rice Krispy treats today, and I somehow messed them up.  We renamed them Rice Crunchy Treats, because they were so hard!  It must have been something to do with the cheap marshmallows, but we've eaten almost all of them anyway.  And we had a great time making them!


Getting set up for kickoff

Taking a kick, and his ball got used for game ball, Brant loved it!

Helping decorate for St. Paddy's day
Seriously, this face is hilarious!  
Adding a stuck together glob of marshmallows to the pot
And the Rice Krispies!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You know your little guy is feeling better when....

you come home to a movie theater in the living room with ALL his stuffed animals!

And Daddy said he did it ALL himself!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Brant's first spring soccer game 2011

It's that time again!  Yippee!  Spring is coming for sure because soccer started two weeks ago and Saturday we had our first game.  Still the Deacons, the entire team from the fall returned to play, and Shaun and I returned to coach.  It's just too fun!

It's amazing to see how these kids have grown and developed.  You've got to figure that we've coached these kids for 4 seasons now, starting when they were 3 and 4!  The development was especially evident with Brant.  In seasons past he's been content to run along with the pack, occasionally getting a kick in, but just enjoying being on the field.  

This past game, however, a little competitive spirit came out in him, and he got right into the pack, got a few great kicks in and followed the game like a pro!  The best part?  When he ran to the sidelines, grinned up at me and said, "Mommy, this is FUN!"  

Some set up help from Coach Shaun
Waiting for his turn to play

A little jog by the goal

Yes, that would be a pass.  Bunch ball no more!

Racing after ball

Knowing a big rain storm was coming through that afternoon and Sunday, we got right to tilling the garden when we got back from the game.  All of us ran out and had great fun turning the earth over, transplanting and prepping the garden.  Brant, Mom and I took a trek to the garden center to get some plants, and we've got our garden!  God took care of the watering, and we've got the pleasure of watching things grow!

The boys wrapped up the weekend with a boy day on Sunday, as Mom and I had tickets to Celtic Woman in Durham.  I told Brant, while I was leaving, "I hope you have a good Daddy day."  Looking up at me he said, "I hope you have a good Grandma day!"  

But alas, Sunday evening found us scrambling for Motrin, as Brant started running a fever.  It seems we've not quite gotten out of the sickness woods yet.  But the light is at the end of the tunnel, all the signs point towards SPRING!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Sights and Sounds of Okeechobee, Florida

It was so wonderful to head back to Okeechobee after the hustle and bustle of Disney.  Even though none of us wanted to leave.

We wrapped up our last full day in Florida with lots of family time.  Brantley and his Dad got to go golfing while Mom Mom, Brant and I headed out to the park.  They had a "digger" there that Brant loved!

This was the favorite of the playground!

Once the boys got back, Mom Mom had promised Brant a picnic on the boat.  So we packed up some sandwiches and drinks, and headed off to bask in the Florida sunshine.  I don't know how long we were out, I took off my watch and left my phone, on purpose! But it was the perfect wrap-up to our trip. 

Brant's favorite spot on the boat!

Brant taking his turn at the wheel

Ummm, this was a stop we made to "refuel."  I shall not say what type of beverages we partook of, but Brant had an orange soda!

 Making the grocery run for dinner, Pop Pop took us out to the pier on the lake.  Lake Okeechobee means "Big Water" in Seminole, and I was expecting a lake like....Lake Waccamaw, or Lake Lure.  Oh no.  I was sadly mistaken.  It's so big that when you look out, it looks like the horizon at the ocean.  It's one big lake!

Looking for gators on the walk out to the fishing pier

My boys...gosh I love them!

No, that's not shore, that's some reedy stuff growing.  You can't see the shore.  

Florida Family Fun

Do you see the gator (upper left, just his head)?  He was stalking the bird.  We waited, hoping to see some real life  Animal Planet, but nothing happened.

And so ends our trip to Florida.  We made "reservations" for next year, but without the Disney part.  Can't wait to discover what else Florida holds for the O'Day family!