Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Reed Gold Mine

Since Tim took several days off work, we decided to take a few day trips. Last Monday, we went to the NC Zoo. We practically had the zoo to ourselves! Then last Wednesday, we drove 40 minutes up the road to Reed Gold Mine. Did you know NC had a gold rush before California? In the early 1800s, a 28 pound nugget of gold was found … leading to several mines and a gold rush. At the Reed Mine, we were able to walk through part of the mine and around the ruins of the town that was built up around the mine. It was a pretty day and the boys had a blast! We followed our exploration with a trip to a park. We’re hoping for another adventure or two after Christmas … just depends if we can stay healthy!!

Ready to enter the mine!
The boys were really impressed, especially since the mine was decorated for Christmas!
Looking up one of the mine shafts.
Standing on the base of a rock crusher.
One of the crushing stones.
Saying, “cheese!”
Big boy on top of the rocks.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Alex’s Preschool Holiday Show

Alex’s Holiday Show at preschool was so much fun! The kids sang 7 songs in the rec center, then we ate cookies and played for a few minutes. It was a busy, but fun morning! Alex seemed a little nervous at first, but you can tell he was starting to get into it by the end of the show. The last song, “Twinkle, Twinkle Holiday Lights” is his favorite.


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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Alex is 4 Years Old!

Today was Alex’s 4 year well-child appointment. I had been dreading this appointment for a few months because I knew Alex would need at least one vaccination. There are no shots at the 3 year visit, and I’ve heard that 4 year shots are hard because they are old enough to be scared and big enough to fight. Why was I assuming Alex would be like everyone else? His biggest fears … he didn’t want a band-aid and he didn’t want to be “sick”. He was pumped about getting a shot! He did great! No tears … actually, I don’t think he even believes he got a shot. Then he asked for the band-aid to go on top of his clothes. Whatever works, right?

Here are the stats!

Height: 40.5 inches … 56th %ile (he’s grown 3 inches since last year)

Weight: 36.6 pounds … 56th %ile (he’s gained about 3 pounds since last year)

Alex has really come into his own. He enjoys picking out his own clothes and getting dressed. He brushes his teeth and uses the bathroom by himself. We love listening to his always expanding vocabulary and creative stories/songs. His mind is always running! School is still is favorite thing to do and he loves his teachers and Ethan. Alex is the best big brother … always looking out for Spencer, (mostly) sharing with and playing with him. We couldn’t be prouder of our amazing 4-year-old!

My how time flies:

1st Birthday
2nd Birthday Well-Check
3rd Birthday Well-Check
4th Birthday Well-Check

Defy Gravity

Alex, Spencer, and I went on quite an adventure today! After Alex’s well-visit, we jumped at Defy Gravity, a trampoline park, with our friends Liam R, Liam J, and Mason. I had been hesitant to try it out since I didn’t know how Spencer would handle it, but after hearing that Mason had been and loved it (he’s Spencer’s age), I decided to try it out. We had such a blast! We had the park to ourselves, so the boys were able to just go crazy. If you are wondering what a trampoline park is … it’s basically a large warehouse-type space filled with floor level trampolines, pits filled with foam blocks, and padding everywhere. Since they let parents jump free with their kids on weekday mornings, it’s a decent price for a ton of fun. I think both boys fell asleep the minute their heads hit their pillows tonight!

Sorry for the blurry photos! I’m using an old phone and my action shot camera/video camera bit the dust. Hopefully Santa will bring me a new phone!

Getting excited about our jump time!
Alex and Liam were having some sort of face-off.
The first room we tried out was the Dodgeball/Basketball room.
Spencer jumped right in the foam pit and crawled all over the place.
He crossed to the far side and back like this. I kept expecting him to start climbing the wall!
The baby brothers found a couch for a quick rest.


Alex and Liam building towers and crashing them down.
Alex had so much fun and asked to go back tomorrow.

If you can’t see the video, you’ll need this link: http://youtu.be/3D83aMJl65k

Monday, December 8, 2014

Raking Leaves

This house has lots of trees … so we have lots of leaves that fall!! Last year, Tim blew the leaves into piles, then we used a large trashcan and the wheel barrow to lug them all behind the shed. This year, we decided to use manual labor:


Okay, so maybe that didn’t really work as well as we had planned! Tim and I did get a bunch of leaves cleaned up before Alex’s party by using our two lawn mowers as mulchers. The kids helped in their own way …

Alex drove around in his truck.
After getting kicked out of the blue truck, Spencer pushed the dump truck around the yard.

Soccer Awards

Well, this post is a month late!

Alex really enjoyed his soccer season! By the end, he was doing pretty well with the scrimmages, and even managed to get in a few kicks! Next year, I think we’ll try a different program, but we’ll definitely still do soccer! How can we not with that soccer player hair?

Alex and Liam suited up for their last scrimmage.
Spencer had a blast watching Alex play and kept trying to run out on the field.
Getting his soccer medal.
Coach Donna telling Alex what a great job he did this season.
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It was hysterical trying to get all the kids to look in the same direction for the group shot!

Trains and a Thank You

One of Alex’s birthday gifts is a woodworking set. He picked out the train for our first project, so last weekend during Spencer’s nap, Tim, Alex, and I painted and built a train. We had lots of fun! Thanks, Grandpa Art and Grandma Karen! I’m thinking the racecar is next!


Since it was cold and wet and gross outside today, the boys and I went to the mall to ride the train and buy a new Christmas book. While we were getting our tickets, I found out they had a new frequent rider card … for exactly the amount of birthday money Alex and Spencer had just gotten from Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Strunck! So, thank you for the next 15 train rides!! The boys love this train!

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mall train
Here is a photo, borrowed from the Loco-Motives website, so you can see a full view of the train.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Alex’s 4th Birthday Party

Time has gotten away from us … how is Alex 4 years old already? What a crazy, sweet, energetic BIG boy we have on our hands now! We had a great fire truck themed party over the weekend. The weather did not cooperate, so it was good I had already planned chili and chicken nuggets and a few inside games. We invited 3 friends from preschool (1 couldn’t make it), 4 friends from our playgroup (1 couldn’t make it), and our two friends from Spartanburg. After adding in parents, we definitely had a full house! Here are some pictures of our fun

If you want to go back in time to Alex’s other birthdays, here are the links:

1st Birthday2nd Birthday3rd Birthday

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This is the invitation we sent out.
Fireman hats and stickers for decorating as our icebreaker.
Alex spent a lot of time on this end of the food table!
We made a giant cookie cake and cookie cake cupcakes with buttercream frosting. Delicious! Tim did an amazing job with the fire truck, don’t you think?
Alex is ready to party with his party hat and his new shirt from my parents.
The boys decided to serenade us.
We played “Pin the Tail on the Dalmation”. The boys were surprisingly interested and willing to play!
After a picnic dinner, we opened presents and played for a while. This was the calm before the storm … after cake, the boys were chasing each other in a circle around our house. Pandemonium!
Blowing out his candles!
Our 4 year old!
Alex and his BFF, Ethan.