Friday, July 23, 2010


I am NOT a crafty person. I never remember enjoying doing crafts except maybe when I was a Brownie. BUT... I think I may be enjoying them now, more than ever (that's not saying a lot). Introducing them to my kids and seeing how enthused they are (mostly Jaron at this age), puts a huge smile on my face and encourages me to think up more fun things for them to do. Jaron is almost 3 1/2 and I think it's time he learned how to focus his thoughts and have a project to look forward to each day. Mostly I want to make sure he (and Abbie if she wants) learns to sit and focus on something that he can create himself. I believe it's good for the mind and allows them to use their mind freely. So my goal is to have them sit at the table after breakfast each day for 15-30 minutes working on something, whether it be playdough, cutting up magazines, finger painting, coloring, drawing, dry-erase board, learning his letters and numbers, or making something creative.
Here is where it begins. He will be learning how to write his name, one letter a day, one day at a time. Today Jaron learned how to write a "J".  Then we cut out all the "j's" we could find in a magazine and glued them onto his "J page".  He did rather well. Our progress will be added to our "Craft Wall".

Then for lunch, randomly, I decided to pull out the food coloring and have them color their cheese quesadillas. It helped them to be more interested in what they were eating.

Eating their art!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ocean Grove Beach Vacation

Last week, us Riggalls packed up the car with anything that might be of use in the sun, surf and sand and headed out to the beach!  We spent the week at Ocean Grove, NJ, a quaint little Victorian town that has roots in both the Gregson and Riggall families.  We rented a little efficiency apartment in a Bed and Breakfast for the week, squeezed ourselves in there when we had to but spent as much time on the beach and boards as we could.

We all had a great time!  The kids loved the sand and the ocean, as you'll see in the photos below, and Mom and Dad actually had some time to read and soak up some sun!  Too much sun, in some cases!

The apartment we stayed in, however, did not have AC and we were there during the middle of a heat wave - one day topped off at 102!  But we all managed to sleep somehow and had enough energy for the various activities we could find in Ocean Grove: the beach, of course, walks on the boardwalk, ice cream at Days, walks through town, visiting the Auditorium, listening to bands play at the pavilion on the boardwalk, cruising up to Asbury Park to see what is new there, dinner in town, breakfast at a restuarant on the ocean, etc.

On Friday, our last day there, Dan and Geniene and their boys came to visit for the day.  We loved having the company and someone to share the beach with, and the cousins had a blast playing together.  After spending the day on the beach, we found some dinner, walked on the boards, then headed over to Days for ice cream. Then we hunkered down outside of the Auditorium to eat our ice cream while listening to a huge choir practice inside. 

And that's when Jaron decided to swing on a chain between two posts, but then lost his balance and landed on the concrete smack on his forehead! The blood was gushing quite quickly, and thank the Lord that an off-duty EMT was staying in a tent right next to the Auditorium and was able to help and call in the Medics (the Auditorium and tents are still part of a Methodist Camp Meeting that started back in 1869).  The police showed up, then the Ocean Grove volunteer medics, then the ambulance!  It was quite a crowd for one little boy!  The ambulance was sent away as soon as it was clear the bleeding was stopping and Jaron would be left with only a large bump and a scraped up face - pictures are below.  As we all said, we ended our vacation with a "Bang!"

Walking on the boardwalk gave the kids a sense of freedom. They loved it.

Abbie stopped to notice the flowers.

A ride on Daddy's shoulders
Mommy and Jaron

Abbie enjoying the front porch at the Inn where we stayed.

Our little fashion girl
Mary getting sand out of Jaron's eyes. Quite hysterical!
Abbie playing in the sand
Jaron just loved the ocean.                                                     
Abbie was chasing seagulls.
Jaron was trying to get Abbie to walk down to the water with him, so he grabbed her hand and they walked down.
"Hold on tight to my hand, Abbie."
Dan, Geniene and the boys joined us on our last day at Ocean Grove.

                              Hehe..."tuck" (truck)

Abbie collecting shells
Ooo... I like your beach robe, Gabe.

Jaron and Eli giving each other hugs.
Geniene and Mary
                                                      Walking on the boardwalk

Dan with Gabe and Jaron
Running on the boardwalk
We ended our day with DAYS icecream

Results of Jaron's accident

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lopping Trees

Awhile ago we had some long branches on our front yard tree that needed to be lopped. Perfect! What a great opportunity to try out Jeremy's new branch loppers that I got him for Christmas! The kids had a great time pretending like they were lost in a forest with all the branches in our yard.

4th of July

Our family didn't do too much for the fourth this year. We were mostly spending the day recouping from all of being sick that week and spending the day packing to go away the next day for our 5 day vacation at Ocean Grove , NJ beach. But we did have a few fire crackers that my sis and bro-in-law, Tiffany and Jarid, gave us, and some sparklers that I picked up when they were here visiting the day before. (Yes, I know....we've been busy!) Abbie was too tired to even care, so we put her to bed, but Jaron couldn't wait. This was his first "fireworks" experience. Not that it was amazing fireworks or anything, but to him, it was just awesome!

Jeremy having a little too much fun.
Jaron holding his ears from the loud noises.