Happy Halloween, y'all.

From the rootinest, tootinest...um...family this side of the Susquehannie. For the one or two people who don't know who this is, it's Jessie from Toy Story 2. Find her here if you don't believe us.

Happy Halloween, friends. Photos of the boys and their entourage to come.


Photo Catch-Up

Things have been moving so quickly lately that I'm feeling a catch-up is in order. For us as well as anyone who reads this. Lots happening, little time to stop and take it in. Let's take a few moments, shall we?

First day of school. The backpack means we're no longer messing around.

Cousin John enjoying the Brett Bros.' fingerpainting experience.

Vincent showing off the preferred painting hardware.

Perhaps the greatest photo ever taken of my sons. Rosalie gets the credit. Something about Pete's expression and Vincent sort of hiding. This was in the middle of a serious driveway painting session.

Now this is interesting. Veeery interesting.

Workin' on his Scooby Doo pinata. Yep - they still make Scooby Doo stuff and yep - Vincent is into it.

Pete picking apples at Highland Orchards. He's not in mid-throw motion. Rather, I simply asked him to show me his apple. And no, he didn't throw it at me.

"Jim, I'm an adult. Why do I need to show you this apple? It's an apple."

Shades n' tongues.

I think we're gonna frame this one.

He couldn't "walk another step."

Our backyard, October. This is the image I need to keep with me when I'm picking up leaves into January. They were beautiful at one point.
Cheers, fall.


An Idea (This post is about leaves)

As you may have discerned from the 78 posts I wrote about leaves last fall and winter, our yard is no stranger to autumn's bountiful product. As much as we'd love to pay someone hundreds of dollars to magically make them all go away one day, it's not in the cards. I could always resort to nuns and college students again but that was too weird. So for this year, our second in this house, we're thinking about drinking them away. Or rather, having a leaf cleanup party. Using good food, good beer and our personal charms and cute children to lure friends and family over, put a giant brown bag in their hands and let them have at it. Sounds fun, right? You know it does. So look for future posts - and potentially a Facebook invite if I can bring myself to do it. There's nothing like helping out friends in need while getting good and drunk and throwing leaves around. That's what I always say, at least.



The big man turned five yesterday. Five. years. old. We always heard the cliche about how fast it goes but man - that's no joke. We've been parents for 5 years. There's something official about the number five. Half a decade. This is serious here, people.

I'll post photos from his birthday weekend soon, but I just had to stop from the tornado that is life for a minute and think about this. Five.

Vincent is five.

Happy birthday, big kid.


The Auntie Kate Conversations

I love it when I get unsolicited content. My sister Kate sent this my way recently. The boys were with my Mom and decided to call Auntie Kate. She then transcribed the conversations and sent them to me not knowing that doing so would get her published. You have to love it when kids get on the phone.

Call #1:
Auntie Kate: Hello?
Vincent: Hi.
Auntie Kate: Hey buddy! What are you doing?
V: Auntie Kate, I need you to call...can you call...the um, mouse...the....(pause to consult with Mom-Mom)...the Mole Protector?
AK: The Mole Protector?
V: Yeah, we have a mole mystery and we need you to call the mole protector.
AK: Ok!
V: Ok, bye.

Call #2:
AK: Hello?
V: Hi.
AK: What’s up?
V: Auntie Kate, can you call Scooby Doo and the Gang?
AK: Sure.
V: and Super Why?
AK: Sure.
V: We’ve got some more mysteries to solve.
AK: Oh. Got it.
V: Guess what I had for breakfast
AK: What?
V: Orange juice, and soup!
AK: Soup isn’t breakfast!

Call #3
AK: Hello?
Pete: Hi Auntie Kate!!!!!
AK: Hey Pete! How’s it going?
P: What are you doin’ at work?
AK: I’m typing. What are you doing at Mom Mom’s?
P: I was a bad boy.
AK: You were being a bad boy?
P: Yeah!
AK: Why?
P: I were throwing orange juice out all over the place
AK: You poured your orange juice out on purpose? Yeah, you shouldn’t do that.
P: How’s Kyle doin?
AK: He’s good, he’s at home.
P: Why?
AK: Because he doesn’t have to go to work yet
P: Kay. What are you doin’ at work?
AK: I’m typing
Crinkle crinkle beep beep Mom mom in background
Vincent again: Auntie Kate?
AK: Yeah buddy?
V: Can you also call the Incredibles?
AK: You got it
V: K



Tell me. What is it about sour citrus fruits that kids love? Is it just my kids? They love lemons and limes. Both of them. We go to a restaurant and have to order a few extra at the beginning of the meal. That's really the only time they get them or else Dr. Jeff the Dentist will give us The Enamel Lecture.

Friends with kids - do you have little sour addicts, too?


Soccer Kid

*It’s not easy to decipher which one he is in the photos. Just look for one of the smaller kids with the gray long-sleeve under the black t-shirt.
Another season, another first. The big man started a 7-week soccer intro program last week. Quite honestly, it was at the encouragement of Chief since soccer has never been something I was enthusiastic about. I played for one year when I was about 10. Our team went 1-11 for a tyrannical, Napoleonic Greek coach who's daughter kicked the ball so hard she nearly she put me out of commission with a shot to the mid-section. So yeah, I was more of a baseball kid.

When it comes to my kids though, I'll go with the flow. And after a little bit of reassurance, Vincent jumped in headfirst. The program itself is pretty great. Coached by two really young British kids (one English and properly fauxhawked, one Scottish), the group learns about soccer and the context of soccer through games and basic exercises. It wasn't the pure chaos of other youth soccer programs nor was it a competitive atmosphere. It was based on fun. At one point, the coaches were teaching the kids how to plead to a referee not to give them a red card. No joke. So yeah - a little about the real context of soccer, which I'm totally ok with.

He really seemed to enjoy it, which showed me a lot. For as apprehensive as he's been with change so far in his life (...wonder where he gets that...), he rolled right along with this. I was fully prepared to have to nudge him every Saturday morning but I doubt I'll have to. Maybe it was my nervousness that he'd have to play for an overlord with a testicle-seeking footed daughter.

Nope. All fun and games. Soccer - my new favorite sport.