Friday, August 29, 2014

Junior Ranger's Oliver and Kellan

During our Twelve Day Road Trip, we had an opportunity to spend two days in Yellowstone.  While there, the boys worked diligently on their Junior Rangers work books.  Sadly, when we left the park there wasn't a ranger station open that would accept their books in exchange for the Junior Ranger badges.  We swore to the boys that we would send them in (per the instructions) and the Yellowstone Rangers would send back their badges.  We put their Junior Ranger work books in the mail, crossed our fingers and hoped that the Rangers didn't leave us hanging.  

At the end of August, just a few weeks after we sent in their work books, this letter came in the mail:
Ranger Amanda came through for us and fulfilled the National Park commitment to send our boys their Junior Ranger badges for fulfilling their commitment of completing their work books. (whew!)

Oliver was SO excited!  He had worked so hard for his badge.
They even sent back their work books, which Kellan was anxious to review.
He wasn't quite sure if the work was worth this badge. 
"Really, this is it?  What am I suppose to do with this?"
Eventually he was exited too and gave Mommy a smile for the camera.
Great work boys!!
(Great response Ranger Amanda)

Kellan Celebrates Four RR Style

In Ham Fam tradition, we took Kellan to a birthday dinner at Red Robin.  True, it was a tad late and not on his actual birthday, but who's going to card him?  Especially with so many fun faces and mesmerizing blue eyes?
Mozzarella Sticks are serious business.
Grilled Cheese is definitely something to smile about.
Crazy Red Robin Singers?  Now, that's something to keep a close and suspicious eye on.
Tall birthday desserts?  That's something to lose yourself in.

Tall birthday desserts are definitely something to be shared with your brother.
When the Ham Fam celebrates a birthday, both kids get ice cream.  Really, isn't it more fun that way?  We think so.

Kellan, he's lovin' it.
When he's lovin' what he's eating, he tends to tip his head to one side, wink an eye, swing his legs and think about how truly fantastic his taste buds feel.
What up, Big Mama, this boys is FOUR!

It's crazy to think that Kellan is four.
Four seems so old, so big, so ....  not a baby.
Four may be grown up, but he'll always be our baby.

Kellan loves life.  He lives by the beat of his own drum, which is often in a make believe land with puppies, kitties and creative adventures that only Kellan can come up with.  He is bright, loves school and is proving that math is his specialty, just like his brother.  He loves a good song and will ring out with the latest tune that he has learned at school or he has made up with his vast imagination.  He is a snuggle bug who is often hear saying to his Mommy and Daddy, "I want to snuggle  you."  We love this snuggle bug to pieces and we are SO glad that he made our family complete.

Happy Birthday, Kellan.
We can't wait to see what Four has in store for you!

DInner Conversation

We are big believers in having dinner as a family.  It is a great time to catch up with our kids and hear about what's on their mind.  Tonight was no exception.

During a pause in conversation, Oliver said "it is most likely that a girl will say Yes when you ask her to marry."

Pause from the family.

Hmm... I'm not sure why this was even a thought in his mind so I said, "Who told you that?"  He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Nobody, I just thought about it."


Monday, August 25, 2014

BBB - Boys Blowing Bubbles

You just never know what you'll get when you put two boys in a tub with jets and soap within reach.  I have become used to seeing them with bubbles up to their eye balls, but this was the first time that I've walked in to see them blowing the bubbles out into the wide open bathroom.

Once I calmed my inside voice down that the mess wouldn't be too bad and the photos would be so fun, I went and got my camera and encouraged them.

(Grandma and Grandpa were here and I invited them in to see the fun.  It was a full family affair, which will likely embarrass them greatly when they are teenagers.  The horror to think that there was an audience of family members watching them in the tub.  They'll get over it, or find a good therapist.)

Yes, I wish that I could get the light just right, but sometimes, you just have to roll with it.  I'm already thinking of ways to improve the lighting into their eyes, but I also like some of the photos below with the contrast between the boys and the bubbles.

Birthdays and G&G Keep on Keepin' On

The weekend that Grandma and Grandpa visited was quite a busy one with two birthdays to celebrate.  So, to break it up, on Sunday we stayed home and kept it low key.  Low key to the Ham Fam when we have guests in town still includes fun to be had.

We had promised Oliver a meal of shrimp since he and Grandpa have a mutual love for the little critters.  After considering numerous options, we opted to grill them.

Keith, the master chef, hard at work.
The steak kabobs getting their grill on.
Oliver can't wait for dinner.
Do you wonder how it is that most of our fun is documented?  Here it is, in action.
At the zoo, Oliver got a new snake.  This snake started at about 6" long.  After 48 hours in water, this is how long it was.  For days to come, it kept growing.
Do these next few goofy photos tell you that we're related?

Finally, it was time to dine.
Kellan dug right into the grilled pineapple.
Oliver's much anticipated shrimp kabob was making his mouth water.

Kellan moved from pineapple to shrimp.
Grandpa shared in Oliver's enthusiasm for the shrimp dinner.
My cousin Khryshell and her son Caison came down from Laramie, WY to see us.
Caison learned quickly that Keith was good for round two of dinner.
After that cob of corn, these two were destined to be friends.
After a wonderful dinner, we moved the party to the pool.
Oliver finally got to bring the dolphin, which he asks for often.
Caison loved the kiddie pool.

Kellan enjoys the kiddie pool as well.
Grandma and Grandpa found a shady spot and enjoyed the fun of the pool.
Aren't they so cute?
We had a great BBQ and visit with Khrysell and Caison.

The next morning, Grandma captured a birthday morning Mommy snuggle on the stairs with my boys.
I love snuggling these two.
The next day was birthday #2, Mommy's birthday.
For Mommy's birthday, we celebrated by eating at two of her favorite places.
For lunch, we went to Pasta Jay's in Boulder. LOVE IT!

Oliver snuck in a pre-lunch snuggle with Mommy.
Kellan got in some pre-lunch Grandma time, where he explored salt.
For lunch, the boys mixed things up for us.
Oliver ordered mac and cheese while Kellan ordered spaghetti.  
Completely opposite of the usual.

Finally, my long awaited favorite pasta dish arrived.
I was SO Excited!

There it is.
Tortellini Alfredo.
Sounds simple enough, but when the description is "pasta pillows of cheese", I say, "YES PLEASE!"
Kellan was loving his spaghetti too.

After lunch, we took a walk down Pearl Street.  After some time, Kellan needed to rest on the bench for a bit.
With a rest, comes Mommy snuggles.
Our destination, the splash pad.
The boys seem to be fascinated with the water that would squirt up unexpectedly.
For some reason, it was the most fun when it hit them in the bottom.

I love photographing the boys at the splash pad.  I love when I get great photos, but it's no easy task.  There is a lot of luck and patience.
Fortunately, I got some that I love of Kellan.

Grandpa got a few photos of my Mom and I enjoying a chat in the shade.
I love chats with my Mom.
What would a walk down Pearl Street be without Ice Cream?
Especially Ice Cream with gummy bears and sprinkles.

The whole family enjoyed a stop on another shady bench with our ice cream.
On the way back to the car, Grandpa captured another moment of my Mom and I.
Love it!
On the way home, Grandma captured a moment of Grandpa with his Grandsons.
The poor guy was squished between the two boys in the back seat.  Then, Oliver laid his head on Grandpa and fell asleep.  To save Oliver's head from falling forward, Grandpa held it safely.  On the other side, Kellan enjoyed a sweet slumber as well.
Even though we felt like we had just eaten lunch, we headed out to another favorite for dinner, Cherry Cricket.
I LOVE burgers at Cherry Cricket and Keith was kind enough to suggest it for dinner.
The waiter was kind enough to take a group photo for us.
Grandpa, Oliver, Grandma, Kellan, Carrie and Keith.
My birthday wish came true, another year with the man of my dreams.
Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for spending a great weekend with us.  It was so great to have you here with us.
Thanks to everyone for making Kellan and my birthday so special.  We loved it!

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