First up was that the kids had to search around the yard to find the "geocache" with their name on it. A bunch of family members are into geocaching, including my parents, and Uncle Jeff has some experience creating and hiding them. No GPS was needed for this one, though, as everything was in the back yard, but they were very well hidden. You can see in the picture of Jacob below that it was a cylinder wrapped in camouflage tape. They were all hanging somewhere, and his was tucked into the tower of a windmill. Each one had a little flashlight, a lottery scratch-off, and some loose change. The kids had a good time looking for them and discovering their treasure!
Next up was a donut eating contest! Jacob couldn't participate in this one, but the other three kids in attendance at that moment--Carter, Max, and Kate--all got in on the action. There was a grown-up version, too, but I opted to take pictures instead!
|Carter dug right in!|
|His was first to fall, but he got to enjoy his donut anyway!|
|Kate did great! Here she is posing with her well-nibbled donut and her lottery ticket prize!|
|Carter and Max getting into the sports equipment!|
However, once we got to the guts, both kids abandoned me!
I sat and carved a couple pumpkins for them, with minimal input other than both of them wanting something scary! Luckily they were pretty easy to clean out and I was not as picky about it as I am at home. You'll see the finished versions in a minute!
As I mentioned earlier, Craig and Jacob didn't arrive until Sunday. Jacob had school on Friday and lacrosse practice on Saturday, and between wanting to keep the chaos a bit lower at my parents' full house and being unsure how participatory Jacob would be with his cousins (since we know how he is with his brother), it just seemed like all signs were pointing to Sunday. He and Kate ended up bonding over the campfire, of all things. Not my favorite, but as long as they followed some rules I was OK with it. They could burn the end of their sticks, but nothing should come out of the fire flaming. Of course Jacob broke that rule later, but that's another story.
|Yes, Jacob is trying to make fire there. Good luck.|
Speaking of Jamie, her husband Dan was on duty that day as a police officer, and happened to show up for dinner. The kids enjoyed coming out to see his vehicle, though Carter decided he didn't want to sit in the car. He still thought it was pretty cool.
After dinner we got all of our immediate family together to pose for a picture. We try to do this every time we get together, since it tends to be pretty rare and the kids change so much. The one I have on my wall at work has Carter as a six-month-old! Jacob is a head taller now!
Carter kept asking me to chase him around the shed, and he spent most of the day holding (or losing) his flashlight!
My attempt to get a smiling picture was foiled by his constant motion, but I did get this one. It's super blurry, but the smile is irresistible!
Meanwhile, my cousins Lori and Brian were playing the giant version of Jenga that my uncle created. It was quite the match, and I think it went a few rounds beyond this, but it was intense! Brian eventually won.
|Look at that middle section!|
Soon it started getting dark, and we really needed to get back on the road to Rochester. We ended up staying a little longer so Jacob could roast a couple marshmallows, but eventually it was time to say our goodbyes to the Portland crew and everyone else and get on the road. I was sad to leave after watching the kids together, but it's just more motivation to get out there someday.
I'll leave you with a picture of our jack o' lanterns...more carving to come this week!
|Jacob's is on the left, and Carter's is the littlest one...they now live on our porch!|