Quick flight…

Flying to California today for work. Super nervous. This is my first time traveling anywhere by myself. Not so nervous about the actual flights mainly making the connecting flights and not getting lost in the airports. Those who know me know I’m a huge control freak and like to have everything planned out in advanced. The kids made me notes and cutout hearts and wished me luck. Here’s a picture of us saying goodbye at the airport.

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Carvers Rally In the Valley

Last weekend we were in town for a wedding and on Sunday morning instead of driving home we headed in the opposite direction to see family.  When we exited the ramp to Thornville Ben saw an “art sale” sign and we decided to check it out.  We stumbled upon “Carvers Rally In the Valley”.   The event was free to the public and the live auction started at noon.  We had plenty of time to walk through the  wood sculptures and take some photos before the auction started.  According to the website all pieces had to be carved on site and each carver picked a log on arrival.  Most of the items were not things I would purchase for myself, but I do appreciate the skill, time and amazing talent to create what these carvers created, especially in such short amount of time.  There was one carver who had wooden sinks and bowls that were absolutely beautiful and we took his business card.  (If we ever get around to remodeling our bathroom, maybe we can look him up).  Below are some of the artworks we were able to see.  I don’t know any of the carver’s names or information.  There was a group of people at each sculpture – one at a time – but we figured they were buyers and getting information before the auction started.  I did not want to take the kids and interrupt or accidentally raise a hand and bid on something, so we wandered on our own.

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My pictures do not do justice to the size of this one.  It was huge.

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If I had any extra money I would get this for my uncle.  He is a huge KISS fan…

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I liked this guy.  I think he would look cool hanging on the side of a house.

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Had to take a picture of the owl.

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To me, this was the most realistic one at the show.

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It was also Vita’s favorite.

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This one was neat, a 360 view.

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I find this one scary.

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I can’t imagine hauling one of these away, must be so heavy and solid.

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This was an unexpected surprise and I am so glad we stopped.

A birthday for our youngest…

This past Tuesday, Blackburn turned five years old.  Sunday before the comic expo Ben’s parents brought Blackburn his birthday gift and a small cake.  He opened  his gifts (books and some knee and elbow pads) then he was handed a bigger present.  He was gifted a wrapped, empty box.  They were sneaky and hid his scooter behind the chair.  To say he was thrilled was an understatement.  He has ridden it non-stop.  He was given some money from my parents which he used to pick out some new tennis shoes.  Black and neon orange Nike’s!  His sisters gave him an Incredible Hulk mask and a large Hulk action figure.  Uncle Jeff sent a robot with Superman inside and a Spiderman wallet (which we later discovered) had some extra cash inside.  He loved all of his gifts and we read every sentence in every card multiple times.  I can’t believe he is now 5 years old!

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 A little about Blackburn…things I want to remember…

He has so much energy and has a strong desire to learn anything and everything.  He is borderline bossy with his classmates and a natural leader.  Kids are drawn to him and he easily accepts everyone as his friend.  He still doesn’t like to say he is sorry when he does wrong and has quite a stubborn streak.  He is working on writing his name and almost has it perfected.  His favorite color is green and he would wear that color every day if I let him.  He won’t wear long sleeved shirts…ever.  His favorite song is You Are My Sunshine. (I sang this to him when he was a baby…I used to sing this to my little brother too)  His favorite food right now is broccoli.  He wants to be outside…all the time.  He cries whenever an animal is injured or killed.  We saw a crab killed by a seagull in Maine a couple of years ago and he still talks about this and tears up.  His best friend’s name is Aiden and he wants him to sleepover at out house soon.  He tells me he is going to play hockey and wrestle when he gets bigger.  He has taught me that a little bit of blood is nothing to worry about…we don’t waste time or money at the hospital unless we need more than three stitches.  I’m not sure if this is because he is a boy or if it is because he is my third child.  I’m much calmer about injuries.  I am not afraid when I hear him scream, stomp or even a large crash from his room.  It is silence that freaks me out. He wins every staring contest – he is like a statue.  Every night before bed he always says “Good night don’t let the bug bite”.

I can’t wait to see how his future unfolds.

They day our family of five became complete.

They day our family of five became complete.

Cincinnati Comic Expo

On Sunday we went to the Cincinnati Comic Expo. This was our second year going.  The great thing is its near Blackburn’s birthday and he loves it.  We missed the costume contest (which was a favorite of ours last year) but still saw a lot of people in character.  Everyone was very nice and stopped for pictures with him.  The best thing is that you can get comics for around $1.00 and the kids can read them without worrying about ruining a collector’s item.

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Blackburn and the Avengers.  He is partial to Iron Man.

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Very cool Star Wars display.  I believe this is a sand trooper.

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A female version of Loki walked the aisle as people kneeled around her.

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These look like they just walked off the movie set.  Awesome Predators.  Grandma photobombing!

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Blackburn’s favorite Star Wars character – Jabba the Hutt…yuck…

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Blackburn and Batman…no Ben Affleck here!

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Spiderman posing for the camera.

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There were some amazing Lego displays.  Above was based on Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.  Below are some Star Wars displays and my favorite was the Cincinnati Music Hall with horse-drawn carriages in front of it.

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This was my purchase. I am an Edgar Allen Poe fan and this is Lenore.

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Ben’s purchase…

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Family purchase…after all it has our last name.

The kids collected  tons of free bookmarks, comic books, stickers and cards.  Vita found Ms. Marvel and Rima comic books and she added to her my little pony card collection.  Blackburn got some Tarzan, Green Lantern, and Batman comics, plus a He-Man card and Isabella collected odds and ends here and there.  She was much more interested in hanging out with grandma and grandpa, not so much the expo.  She did find a bookmark she really liked and is now using it with her school library books.

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We had such a good time again this year.  Just in case anyone who posed for pictures with Blackburn happens to see this I would like to say a big THANK YOU.  These pictures made his birthday extra special.

This weekend…

On Saturday the girls had soccer games and later that night Ben and I watched the movie Oblivion.  I was not crazy about the ending.  On Sunday I turned 32!  The kids woke me up early to open gifts.  Vita made me several beautiful cards, a beaded necklace and bought me the new Christine Feehan book.  Blackburn gave me a necklace he made for me in preschool and Isabella bought me a beeswax candle from Morning Song Gardens.  It has the prettiest leaf design carved on the outside of it.  We had more soccer games later that day (90 degrees and no shade…have I mentioned how much I hate summer) then came home and relaxed.  I lit my candle and read my book, a perfect relaxing birthday.

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Ben gave me flowers, here I was trying to arrange them without laughing.

Ben gave me flowers, here I was trying to arrange them without laughing.

This weekend…

On Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to thunderstorms.  In three hours the Fairview Trial Run was set to begin.  We ate breakfast, got dressed and piled in the car with rain jackets.  By the time we arrived at French Park the storm had stopped and the sun began to shine.  This year Isabella, Vita and Ben ran the 3k Trail run while Blackburn and I cheered from the sidelines.  The girls did awesome.  Isabella decided to run with friends until the last bit of the race and came in around fifth place for the girls 12 and under group.  Vita Rose ran in pace with Ben and finished 1st place for the girls 12 and under group.  Yes, you heard right, 1st place!!  She was so proud and won a prize, not to mention bragging rights.  Here are some race day photos.

Taken before the race.

Taken before the race.

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We found the perfect climbing tree.

We found the perfect climbing tree.

Starting the race

and their offI was surprised to see them near the finish line so soon.  I threw my stuff down and switched on my camera.

I was surprised to see them near the finish line so soon. I threw my stuff down and grabbed my camera.

It took her a little over 20 minutes to run the race.

It took her a little over 20 minutes to run the race.

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Isabella decided towards the ends to leave her friends and run on her own.  I was so proud of her for stepping out and running at a new pace.

Isabella decided towards the end to leave her friends and run on her own. I was so proud of her for stepping out and running at a new pace.

Next year, she will have a title to defend.

Next year, she will have a title to defend.

On Sunday and Monday, we cleaned up the house and worked in the backyard.  Just to keep it real, here is part of what I woke up to Monday morning.

It looked like his toy box vomited

It looked like his toy box vomited

I guess I should be glad he's reading books...

I guess I should be glad he’s reading books…

This was only one side of his room, I won’t mention in front of the fireplace – art project gone bad, his dresser which I was surprised was still standing despite the drawers hanging open and shoved full of clothes and the various items dangling from his basketball hoop.  With his help, it surprisingly didn’t take too long to clean.  Here is how I would like it to look more often than not:

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After his room I moved onto the girls’ rooms.  I always thought that boys were messier but I was wrong, I couldn’t bring myself to even take a picture of their rooms…it was that bad!