We have certainly been enjoying the Autumn around here. Here we are at very spectacular Pumpkin Patch waiting for the train ride to begin. Sam was so excited to see the train and then when we rode it he pretty much had that same expression on his face. Who knows what he is thinking half the time.
These are the pre-picked Pumpkins. We also took a tractor ride out to the real Pumpkin Patch. Sam loved both the ride and wandering aimlessly talking and pointing while we were at the patch. We brought Hank's cousin Addy along and she was the master perfect Pumpkin finder. It was so fun.
Here we are at our Halloween party. We went as characters from the movie UP, can you guess who each of us are? We won third place! I was pleased since I came up with the idea that day. Sam just seemed especially old man like so I worked around that.
Last weekend was my Grandpa's funeral so Hank, Sam and I traveled back to Southern California to be there for it. My mom's birthday was coincidentally that same weekend so we had a party. My sister Anna is now a gourmet chef and prepared the meal. It was so delicious, the kind of meal you dream about! It was really nice to see my family.
Fuzzy picture but all I had of Sam's outfit. After the sweet funeral services the whole big family visited and ate at my Grandpa's. Even though it's not the happiest reason to get together it was still really fun to see all my cousins and Aunts and Uncles. Sam was so exhausted from playing with all his extended family he passed out as soon as he hit his car seat. Through it all he kept his good looks and charm.
For my mom's group we went to a nursing home and trick or treated. Sam hated his costume, probably because there is no such thing as a black ace of hearts (that's what being in a rush does). He was of course running around frantically while all the other kids nicely accepted candy from the adults. He is so intense! It's amazing I even got this picture!
Another pumpkin patch. This one a lot smaller but quite cute. Sam got attacked by one of their chickens. I respectfully expressed by concern to the workers there and so they gave us free feed for the goats. If you think that is what Sam is feeding them with, your wrong. He rejected my attempts to feed the goats with goat food and instead decided what these animals needed was rocks off the ground. In fact every time Sam picked a rock off the ground he would gabber to me as if to explain that that is what the goat wants. I didn't argue...or did I point out that the goats ate my food and not his. Moments like this make me so proud to be his mom.
Sam pretty much looks mad, tired or bored in every picture. I swear he is the happiest child I know. He is just so intense when he plays that it's hard for me to get a picture of his face let alone a picture of him smiling. He loved this tractor, you're just going to have to trust me.
We probably spent a half an hour just in the patch and that entire time Sam wandered around pointing and picking up the pumpkins while gabbering to himself. He is such a talker!!
Carving Pumpkins with the other Florences. Addy made a Pumpkin that had one side with a girl face and one side with a boy face (very cute and clever), Truman carved a TNT logo (Take Note Troupe, the theater troupe Hank has been working with) and Corbin's pumpkin went from a jack-o-lantern, to a face throwing up to a face with it's brains blown out. It was fun to watch the transformations. Hank couldn't finish his and so a half faced jack-O-lantern is lighting our doorway.I gave up on my pumpkin half way through and instead we have been enjoying the remains in our bread. Sam wandered around gabbering while getting soaked in their fountain. It was a neat night.
He's a daredevil. Now we just have to see if he can ride like this on the freeway
Sam got his fill of trains this week. There is an outdoor shopping mall near us that gives free train rides every Tuesday and so we rode a few times. Sam doesn't look very pleased in this picture but I think it's because he was too exhausted from the excitement to show any emotion.
The big event of the week was our visit to the California Railroad Museum. It was really nice to be with Hank on this outing. I think my favorite part of having my husband with me when we are out and about is being able to share the pure pleasure of parenthood with someone. We both chuckled together as Sam wondered around frantically trying to get as close to the trains as possible. I like having someone with me who is just as amazed as I am at my little guy.
This is probably the biggest hit we have had so far. Sam loved being so close to these huge machines with wheel. He couldn't stop himself from gibbering away. He talked and talked the entire time as he ran from one exhibit to the next. He was pretty overwhelmed with excitement.
Sam had trouble taking pictures. I think his little brain was on overload and he had to expend as much energy as possible...no time for pictures. He slept well that night and we are definitely getting a year membership.
I am so bummed I didn't bring my camera on this outing. A friend of mine along with her son who is Sam's age took Sam and I hiking up in Auburn. Absolutely gorgeous! I am so glad I found a hiking buddy. Anyway we went hiking to a swimming hole and had a blast! We didn't come prepared with swim trucks and extra clothes, that would have been too boring. Instead we all played and splashed and then watched as our boys rolled around in the dirt and mud. We also had the company of several dogs who joined the fun from some nearby hikers. Sam was a disgusting mess, but fortunately he wasn't alone. We stripped them down and took a long time getting back since both boys were to excited to be carried. Oh how I wish I had my camera!We all had an amazing time.
My grandpa died last night at the age of 94 and I have to post a little tribute to his life. He lived a good life and was a very good man, someone I admired. He worked hard his whole life to provide for his family and encouraged family values, hard work and education in his home. All his kids and grand kids obtained college degrees (Bethany will be there soon!) and many of them got higher degrees. I think his push towards education inspired that success.
He implemented so many heartwarming traditions, like family bowling trips, dinner at Marie Calendars, Sunday night visits, stories about his days at the telephone company and of course the all too famous chocolate milk shakes.
He lived a healthy life by exercising regularly and eating well (strangely, but well). Because of health he was able to serve and work up until the last few months. That is such an example to me. He cared so deeply for his family and did all he could do to serve them. I would often see him cry when we all got together. He was tender and kind.
One of my favorite things about my grandpa was his "one-liners". The ones that were said to me throughout my life were as follows:
"Hey, you sure are pretty"
"So do you like this guy?" (speaking about my husband)
"You seem to like that kid" (speaking about Sam)
"I wasn't expecting an argument" (he would say that when I would agree with him about Sam)
I will miss him, his stories, his one liners, his milk-shakes and all the rest but I know he is happier now that he has moved on. He is with his wife and so many members of his family. He was a good man and will be rewarded for that. I think his memory will be preserved by the example and traditions he set for his family. I look forward to the day when I will hug him again and he will tell me I am pretty.
Love you Grandpa Kerr!
We had a really special week this last week because had THREE nights off! one of which we actually had time to do something (life is busy around here), so we made the best of it and went down to Sacramento as a family for a couple hours. We thought the Automobile Museum was the best idea because of Sam's obsession with anything that has wheels. He did not disappoint us!
This is an RV from the 70's. Sam was gabbering the whole time which meant he was thoroughly excited by our visit. I wasn't expecting to be so interested myself. It ended up being a very educational and fascinating experience.
Sam skipped his nap earlier that day and was so super hyper emotional. That complimentary lollipop saved us! He also had many distractions like playing in pretend cars, he's a natural.
I hang around some really good looking guys. Behind Hank and Sam is an original model T before they were mass produced. Really quite cool.
We had a Picnic at the capital afterward. I think we live in a cool place. All of this neat stuff only a half hour away! The grounds are nice and spacious which meant Sam was in prime roaming mode. Hank and I would take a bite run after him and bring him back to safety, take a bite and bring him back. I guess that's toddler living for ya.
One of the libraries near me does this cool thing every Thursday where they bring out all sorts of toys and activities and lets anyone who wants to participate go at it. Sam was very intense as he played and genuinely didn't realize when he was knocking kids over and taking their toys. It's hard to keep up with him! I wish I got a dollar for every time I hear "is this your son?"
Here is another example of Sam's confident and rambunctious personality. A few girls from the ward meet at this park every week where there is a little water play area. Well, recently the water hasn't been on so on this particular day I didn't being any water gear with me. It happened to be a hot day and so the water was going. Sam was so determined to get in the water. I threw off his clothes and let him roam with his diaper (which got so full of water it split open spilling those jelly crystal things everywhere). There were plenty of kids his age there that day, but no one dared play in the water. So Sam played along side two ten year old boys. Everyone was laughing at how fearless he was being, especially since he kept falling, getting hurt, crying to me and then marching right back in. Nothing stops this boy!
Sam and I went to the Loomis eggplant festival this weekend and had a really good time. I swear there is a festival or carnival going on every weekend! I love where I live! He is enjoying a lollipop he won from a spinning wheel raffle. He's too cool to show how excited he is.
He did not want to leave the coach. Anything with wheels is just magical to him.
We went through a kid's corn maze. It was quite pretty and a great contained area for him to roam and roam. He kept falling and finally just decided to eat his cushions.
I blew up a bunch of balloons the other night and made a little barricade and set Sam in it. I then would hit all the balloons frantically so they swarmed around him. Sam got so overwhelmed with joy and excitement he started convulsing and then face planted on the tile floor resulting in a bloody nose. It took a little consoling and he was back. I admire his determination to get the most out of everything!