Another World

When I was a kid your Uncle Tony and I played outside a lot. 
We would imagine and create homes and worlds together. 
When we first moved to the country we would play in the front and side yards.
We'd gather "food and supplies" of all the discoveries 
we made on our adventures through the fields. 
We would sort and delegate our things. 
I would make meals and Uncle Tony would hunt and build.

When we got older we played more adventurously. 
With pretend weapons and our horse, in the fields, 
on the hill, through the water... 
We created dimensions, portals, good guys and bad guys.

When we got even older we set up the loft in our barn like a "hide out". 
We would sit up there and plan for the day when one of the 
boys would escape the boys ranch in our area. 
We were sure he would come to our house 
and we could stow him away in the loft. 
We could bring him food and whatever he needed. :)

I've been looking for new ways to play with you. 
There are things that would be the unspoken responsibilities of your sibling/s, 
if you had any, that I don't want you to miss out on. 
Like playing warriors in the woods, finding portals and escaping to new lands,
hunting and gathering and sorting all in make believe.

This week we started playing outside together 
like I did with your Uncle Tony.

(this was our new home before we "fixed it up")

I really believed it would be all for you.
I'm so amazed at how long Gra can play with you when she comes. I feel like I can only do 20-30 minutes of playing before I need to be an adult again.
But not in the woods!
I felt like a kid again.

We played for hours. I lost track of time.
We're creating an entire life and world.
We've made up all the plans and rules.

You think up different creatures and tell me which ones 
are safe and which ones you have to protect me from.

We've made weapons, started making our house, 
put up a shelf in the kitchen, gathered "healing plants" and "food".

You recently learned that if you had been a girl or ever had a sister, 
her name would have been Aeralon. 
I thought it was interesting and sweet that you chose the names 
Tony and Aeralon for our play names. 
The names of my brother and your would-be-sister. :)

Even Apple (Pixie the Shetland Unicorn) plays with us in our other world.

Each day, we check the weather and moan that it might rain.
We can't wait to get done with school so we can get
outside and play in our new world.

I love playing with you!!!


Turning you Country, One Step at a Time

Today, you asked to go riding. 
That's not super common.
Usually, you just ride when we are out by Gwin together.

After your ride, Gwen came home from work.
It was gently raining, and so beautiful out.
Gwen asked you to help her in the fields.

I worked Gwin over the poles and some small jumps,
while you and Gwen pulled and pounded posts.

It was kind of a moment for me...
what I've always wanted for you.
Country boy.


Just Up the Way

Long, fantastic story short, 
Aunt Erika and Uncle Robert now live 
just a couple of miles from our house. 

It is so awesome, and we pretty much live at their house. 

I go over in the mornings and sit out on the screen porch 
with A. Erika and our coffees. 
It's so nice to be able to see them whenever we want 
without making a big plan because of distance. 

You LOVE it. Inside and out. 
You beg when we will be leaving to go there, every single day. 

Uncle Robert gave you the awesome tree house that is on their land. 

You fish almost every time we go. 

You swim in the pond, 

run with the dogs, 

explore the land, chase frogs, and pretty much all around get spoiled 
by two people who think you are the cat's meow. :)

Last week Uncle Robert put together a treasure hunt for you. 
I got a text message saying, "we want your son". 

Aunt Erika drove all the way over to our house to get you. 
There were clues from one place to the next, 
keys that opened secret doors, missions to complete, and prizes throughout. 
In the end there was a locked treasure box with treasure for you. 
It was very sweet. 

We all ended the day with a bond-fire by the water
and some good old-school hair band music.
Something we do, pretty much constant.


Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Tonight, when your Dad got home from work 
he declared an Olive Garden night
upon entering the house. 

It's not often that we go out to eat anymore,
but you and your Dad go together to breakfast 
every Saturday morning. 

You go to the same restaurant and you eat the same thing.
All the waitstaff know you there, 
and they know just what you want
and how you like it: 
Eggs Benedict, no ham, extra runny poached eggs.

Your Daddy likes this because it was 
a very special treat he remembers having
when he was a little boy
and his Grandparents would take him there. 

So, this whole post is about your first rainbow. 

You don't think you've ever seen one. 
You actually did, when you were much younger,
but you don't remember it. 

When we got to Olive Garden
there was a HUGE rainbow in the sky.
We could see it from one end to the other. 

I took your picture. 
We learned that there was a 35 minute wait,
and we went to Chilis instead.
It was excellent!


Chuckee Cheese

I love date days.

 This one we went to Chuckee Cheese.
We ate at Moe's first, actually.
Because we wanted Tacos and not stomach aches. :)

We bought 130 of tokens!!!
And we played almost every single game they have,
unless it was a "baby" game.
Well, okay. We played some of those too.  

We played Ski Ball forever.
And we won something like 635 tickets overall.

You got about $5 worth of junk
which made you happy like we bought a puppy,
and we walked out smiling, full to the brim with fun.

It will happen again. 


C County Fair

We usually go to the county fairs in the squelching month of August,
when the sun is close enough to singe the hairs off our necks.

But this year we just happened to take to the C. County Fair
to meet my horse's first colt (not a colt anymore), Aladdin.

Even your Dad was able to join us, since it was on a weekend.

First, we saw the awesome animal show.
They showed and taught about many 
cool different animals.
You got to see a BIG CAT.
And I got to hold a BIG snake, again.

After the show, we went to the 4H buildings to find 
Aladdin, his family, and his rider.

He is beautiful. 
Sweet and quiet like his Mama, Gwin. 

 He won first place in haltering
and second in showmanship. 

His owner is wonderful,
and we watched and visited awhile.

Then we took you to get your wrist band for rides.

You were fearless, as you've been at Bay Beach this summer.

You went on pretty much all the rides. More than once. 

You rode this ride something like 15 times!!!

You also played some games. 
And you won this VERY coveted 
set of metallic gold window dice.
You HAD to have them! :)

This was the first year (time) you made a 
random friend on your own, too. 

It was so awesome and cute. 
The two of you ran around the fair together taking on rides.
Even his sister joined the two of you.

I was so proud of you.

The weather was perfect. The food was delicious. 
The park was practically empty for the five hours we played.

Your Dad and I had so much fun together.
And you will have a hard time waiting for next year
to enjoy another county fair like this one!!! 


Painting the Town with Jay

We love to hit the town and make it count 
before saying farewell to summer break 
and hello to a new school year. 

We always try to take your favorite girl, 
Jay Glynn.

We started our fun tour out at Bay Beach.

I can't do the crazy rides 
(who am I kidding? I can't do the easy rides)
So it's great that Jay loves them all as much as you do!

I made sure to get plenty of photos of the two of you,
together and apart this time.
We've spent too much time together with no photos this summer.

It's amazing to me the way you keep growing closer and closer
as you each grow bigger and bigger. 

I honestly thought that you'd drift apart, 
or at least have needed breaks in your relationship
as you moved in and out of phases growing up.

A Julie and I are so happy that you two 
stay just as sweet together as the first day,
no matter your age or stage.

You're so happy with her,
and she so content being with you, too.

Once we were done combing the water side at Bay Beach
we headed over to the Wild Life Sanctuary.

We bought tons of corn to feed the ducks and geese.

We walked the grounds making feathered friends.

And of course I took a ton of pics, again. 

You handed out bird food until you were surrounded.

I thought it would make you a a bit nervous,
but you certainly aren't the little one you used to be.

Jay too our photo for us. 

They turned out so cute.

We ate at Kavarna, and then went to 
the Aquarium, an awesome plant store we
recently discovered, and this unique little shop
where they have awesome rocks, fossils, bones,
and other cool natural odds and ends.
You and Jay chose a complete geode rock together.
Then you helped break it in half to reveal the crystals inside.
You each kept half.

We bought two more sensitive plants.
One for Jay and one for Henry. 
We also bought our first carnivorous plant:
the venus fly trap! ;)

Our last stop was Colbern Park. 
You each wanted to ride your scooters someplace 
smooth, fast, and fun!
This was the perfect place. 

It will be tough for you to go from seeing her so often
as you have over the summer, and back to
not so frequent get togethers. 

But we will not soon forget our last party day together. 
It was a GREAT finally!!!