Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Adventures

Fall came to Riverside the other day. Then it left and we had yet another week of 90-100 degree weather. But it's coming! I can feel it!

So, regardless of what the thermometer reads, we've been celebrating the coming of autumn with fun activities with fun friends.

We joined the Heun and Ramirez families for a fun Saturday of pumpkin patching. I'm a self-diagnosed pumpkin patch snob, what with my grandparents' farm and Pumpkin Funland being a part of my childhood. So it takes a bit to impress me when it comes to pumpkin patches, but I enjoyed myself at Peltzer Farms. It was great to spend some time with my teacher friends, Heather and Jessica, whom I don't get to see much anymore. It's so fun to see our kiddos play together, because golly--it feels like just yesterday they were all babies!

Brother and Sister 
Delaney with Gillian and Anneliese Heun
In line for the pig races: Jude, Julien, Nya, Gillian, Anneliese, & Delaney
The dudes 
The dudettes 
All the kiddos. This was the best shot that I could get!
 We also had a fun farm play date at our friend Jenny's house. However, I really didn't get any good shots of the kids, moms, or animals. But here's a shot of the kids before the play date. Delaney's protective arm around her brother pulls on the ol' heartstrings!

Sibling love 
This weekend, our little family visited the Hurst Ranch Harvest Festival. This is the third year in a row that we've attended this event, and I'm really enjoying this fall tradition. My former student Tabatha's 4-H group hosts the petting zoo, and I'm pretty certain that Tabby LOVES chasing my kids around every year. 
Jude meets an alpaca.
Tabatha, Delaney, and a silky chicken 
Papa living it up with the grandkids in the craft barn.
Delaney, at the magical fairy garden. This is her favorite place every year. Check it out: 
October 2011
October 2010
Of course Jude had to join in on the magic! Boys can hang out in magical fairy gardens too!
Selecting their pumpkins
Nana and Delaney churning butter.
Dunlap men

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Delaney's First Day of Preschool

Our girl Delaney is finally a preschool kid. She's hit the big time. School is sort of a big deal around here (you know, having two teachers as parents), and Delaney's first day of preschool was long awaited by all of us. Delaney is attending First United Methodist Preschool (FUMPS), which has proven to be a wonderful environment for our girl to thrive. FUMPS has been around since 1949, so they've had a few years to figure out what works. Delaney's teachers, Miss Stalder and Mrs. Carrasco, are so loving and kind. Plus, Delaney's classroom has a pet bunny rabbit named Marshmallow. Marshmallow is a daily topic of discussion with Delaney. All in all, Delaney loves being in preschool, and we couldn't be more pleased with the learning experience that FUMPS has provided for her.

Daddy read The Night Before Preschool to Delaney the night before her first day...obviously.
Oh gosh, I can't believe she's old enough to be a school girl. 
Backpack, i.e. mochila
Brother and mama with our big kid
Finding her name tag outside of her classroom, the Pooh Bears. 
Yes, we brought cupcakes to Delaney's teachers on the first day. Steve accused me of brown-nosing from the get-go. But seriously, how great would it be as a teacher to get cupcakes on the first day?
Finding her cubby and meeting Mrs. Carrasco 
Getting ready to join Miss Stalder and the other kiddos at the craft table.
Delaney Marie Dunlap, Preschooler

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Delaney, version 3.5

On September 10th, Delaney turned exactly 3.5 years old. And true to our tradition, we visited Casey's Cupcakes once again. And, you guessed it, Delaney went for the pinkest cupcake available. Someday this phase might fade, but for now the pink is going strong.

This 3.5 year old is a pretty cool kid. I know that some folks really like the baby stage, but I prefer this big kid stuff. Delaney says funny, insightful things daily that crack me up. I know that she was a tough baby, but her larger-than-life personality and imagination almost make up for all of the crying and sleepless nights of her first year. Almost.

Delaney, I love you. You're my favorite daughter ever.

Striking a pose!
Delaney, 3.5 years old
Delaney, 2.5 years old
Delaney, 1.5 years old
Look at how long her hair is getting!
The dudes
The Monster thoroughly enjoyed the cupcake celebration.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Labor Day & Papa's Birthday

Sometimes I forget to blog about our everyday Riverside life. Nana, Papa, Uncle Monkey, and Auntie Beans are minor celebrities in our kids' eyes. We had a little family get together on Labor Day to celebrate Papa's birthday and I thought that I'd share pictures.

Papa, the King for the day, gave his boys a little lesson on table tennis.  
J. Billy is one of Papa's biggest fans. 
I don't really remember why this kid was wearing headphones in the swimming pool...
Delaney painted a little something for the Birthday Boy.
Jude's full of these mischievous looks! 
Nana couldn't resist the chance to school her boy!
Girls! Arlene, Karen, Delaney, & Marsha

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Uncle Jeffy & Aunt Evie Visit from NZ

Some of you may have forgotten that I have a little (or, more accurately younger) brother. That's because he lives in a different country and isn't overly fond of using the telephone. But at the end of August, Jeff and Evie were stateside (that's what you say, right?) and got to spend a bit of time down here in Riverside. The last time Jeffy visited, Jude was a teeny tiny baby and Delaney was just newly potty-trained, and therefore, Uncle Jeffy got peed on. It was a pretty hectic time in our lives. I'd like to think that this time around was a bit more mild for Jeff and Evie, but we'll leave that up to them.

We didn't have much time together, but we stuffed Jeff and Evie full of all the Mexican food that they could handle. Apparently there's not a lot of Mexican food happening in New Zealand. Lots of wine, sheep, and hobbits, but not a lot of Mexican food. No matter, it still sounds like a fantastic place to be and we are desperately hoping to make a visit out there someday in the foreseeable future.

Although blurry, this is a very sweet picture. When Jeff first moved to NZ, he bequeathed his Curious George book collection to Delaney. Here they are enjoying a little George together. He also bequeathed his banjo to Jude, which Daddy has been lovingly taking care of until Jude's ready to start strumming.
We took the visitors to Tio's Tacos, this very unique Mexican restaurant and outdoor art scene. There are sculptures and art all over the grounds of the restaurant, and it's all made out of recycled...junk. I don't know how to use adequate words to describe Tio's; it's 50% pure genius and 50% totally freaky. I think Jeff and Evie enjoyed themselves.
Jeff and Evie, taking in the delights of Tio's Tacos.
Yee-haw! Delaney found some weird horsey thing to ride.  
See what I mean about the delicate balance between awesomeness  and creepiness? 
Tio's Tacos have a tiny cathedral made out of Corona bottles. Delaney was being a bit sacrilegious, don't ya think?
Delaney sandwich! 
Cheese! Uncle Jeffy is so furry.
The whole fam. We love you guys!