Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sebby and Nara in the Black Hills

In early August, Tanya and I decided to take our littlest ones, Nara and Sebby, out to experience the magic of the Black Hills, and more specifically, the fun of Sue and Ed's house. With our husbands temporarily absent, our traveling team was simply two moms, two babies in car seats, and a Volvo. The road trip went reasonably well (all things considered), but everyone was more than happy to arrive at our destination. 

The moment we got out of the car, Sebastian was thrilled with the three dogs circling around him. He kept running up to us to show us where the dogs had "kissed" his fingers. The fun continued when he and Nara got to watch the horses eating and pet their noses. More outdoor fun included picking raspberries and beans, swinging on the rope swing, and jumping on the trampoline.

Inside, the kids found plenty more to entertain themselves, from Legos and Tinkertoys to pianos and books and stuffed animals, and even Rebecca's retired play kitchen set!

Ready for bed!

Sue is always full of lots of ideas for fun things for the kids, like this creek down the road

... and Story Book Island, where we met Rebecca for a fun afternoon of memories.

Both Sebby and Nara found a kindred spirit in little Piglet:

Life at Sue and Ed's was just like we remembered it. Making chocolate chip cookies, green bean casserole, and banana smoothies all at the same time. Finding your favorite photos on the wall collages. Saddling up a horse for a trot through the beautiful hills. Eating new foods, like buckwheat, and old favorites like raspberry jam on toast.

Sebby and Nara loved being outdoors, enjoying the sunshine, the animals, the cool breeze, and room to run.

Write your favorite caption for this photo in the comments section. I'll make the winning caption into a greeting card!

Sebby had no reservations about riding Spark with Sue. He looked so proud to be riding a real horse!

Our ride and walk took us down the road to visit Easter, who grazes peacefully in his pasture as he lives out the rest of his years. He is already 35 or 36 - older than me!

With the overflowing excitement of a two-year-old, Sebastian found equal fascination in this bug as in the horses. I love how he exclaims "WOW!" several times a day, followed by, "Look! Mom! Look! Come 'ere!"

Nara glances back at Sebby on our walk home.
Here he comes!

Back at Sue's. I love the red, green and blue.
We made it to the end of one unicycle session at the YMCA, so Sebby and Nara got to try it out!
All too soon, it was time to head back to Brookings, because Sebby and I had a flight to catch to Houston. Here are a few shots of our time on the road.

South Dakota has fabulous clouds.

Hay bales shine in the sun under a blue sky.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cousins are the Best

July was a busy month from start to finish.  It started with me flying out to New York for a four-day Sisters Road Trip as I helped Tanya cover nine states in her Volvo all the way back to Brookings, with her one-year-old in the back seat and her greyhound in the extended back. If that's not fun, I don't know what is - especially with the soundtrack options we had, not to mention the great quantity of hot fudge malts! The month ended with Misha and Josh traveling to Boston to see friends and later our whole family of four visiting Bud and Ashley in Houston. 

But this post is about the in between, which has been filled with lots and lots of fun getting the cousins together. Here are the three of them at the Kids' Museum:

Of course, what really makes summer summer in my book is heading out on the bike trail. It works perfectly with Nara and Sebby sharing the buggy ("sharing" is loosely defined) while Misha cruises along on his new bike, keeping up quite well with Tanya and me.

Let's go!

Ready to roll.

Leading the group.

Misha's favorite destination - the pond. Great for picnics, bugs, and frogs.

Homeward bound.

Grandma and Grandpa's house is also a daily destination.

Just before the 4th of July, Misha joined Grandpa and Grandpa for a trip to Murdo.

A few shots of Sebby with his big brother:

Treasures from the library.
Fun at the park.
When Misha and Josh left for Boston, Sebby barely noticed because he still had Nara as his full-time playmate. He woke up every morning saying, "I want Tanya Nara." We took advantage of the kiddie pool ...

baths at Grandma's ...

Gary's trampoline ...

and riding on toy cars indoors and outdoors.

We also welcomed another monarch to the world,

played at the Kids' Museum some more,

fixed up our big unicycles for the Brookings Tour de Gardens,

and played in the backyard wading pool.

We even whisked Grandma away to spend a relaxing afternoon in Sioux Falls, chasing after the toddlers to make sure they didn't fall into the water at Falls Park and carrying the tired and the grumpy after too much excitement on the sculpture walk. :)

Luckily, the weather was perfect. A beautiful day!