November 25, 2011

Brunswick Stew for Mom's Birthday

Dad prepped his cauldron yesterday and shopped for his ingredients on Wednesday. Today was the day for making brunswick stew--almost nine gallons!
Dad and Travis kept the fire going and watched the meat cook early in the day. The afternoon was full of chopping and deboning the meat, prepping the veggies, and combining them into the stew.
We enjoyed the fruits of our labors with brunswick stew for dinner to celebrate Mom's birthday. Hamilton was excited to help Mimi open her presents.
Then he wanted Mimi to hold her "two boys." Kisses upon Collier's cheeks ensued, and our laughing only encouraged Hamilton's manhandling of Collier's poor face.

A Little Christmas

Since Uncle Billy and Aunt Linda won't be with us for Christmas, they brought the boys' presents with them this Thanksgiving. Hamilton will have plenty to open on Christmas, so he enjoyed opening their presents yesterday. Thomas the Train made an appearance--he always gets a big grin from Hamilton.
Opening wrapped gifts is a favorite of Hamilton's--even if the presents aren't for him. He loves the thrill of the unknown. So when the gifts are for him, he gets doubly excited.
He's been playing with Thomas and Percy since he opened them.

Happy Thanksgiving

The Taylor clan gathered at the farm for Thanksgiving dinner this year with more family members than some years.
The men fried the turkey, which has become our tradition for the past several years. Apparently it's a lot of hard work for them.
We women cooked inside, and I contributed a "paleo" pumpkin pie. It was so delicious!
After delicious food, we took advantage of our numbers and played a rousing game of tag football while the little boys napped.
Hamilton and Collier enjoyed the attentions of their Uncle Billy and Aunt Linda who were fabulous playmates.

November 22, 2011

Tractor Rides and Long Walks

For a little boy who loves tractors, Hamilton was reluctant actually to climb on the loud machine even with Pops's driving and holding him. But when Pops drove around the yard cutting the grass without Hamilton, the little boy decided he would indeed like to ride. Pops was "making it look like too much fun." (At least that's what Pops used to say when we were kids.) So Hamilton rode with Pops for a few turns around the yard.
Hamilton's school bus and front-end loader came along on our walk, and they took a turn in many dirty spots along the way.
 Hamilton, Fatty, and I enjoyed our long walk around the farm in the late-afternoon sunlight.

November 18, 2011

Parked Cars

Hamilton loves to play the piano especially the prerecorded songs. He giggles if he particularly likes the tune. Sometimes he'll sing while he touches the keys. Either way he's looking up at the music just like Sissy does when she practices for real. Today as he was playing, his cars took a much needed break.
Where else would you park cars when you're playing the piano?
Speaking of cars, Mr. Morgan now drives a new-to-us Audi A3. He's just as giddy and excited about his new car as Hamilton is about the Matchbox variety. Mr. Morgan may have used the word "blissful" to describe his commute to Claire's school after his first day of driving. Yay!--for his getting a better car to drive, but retiring the Explorer signals the end of an era.

After my flipped-the-car-several-times wreck back in 2004, Dad helped living-single-me pick out the Explorer. When Mr. Morgan and I married, he called it "part of his dowry." It made Mr. Morgan a fan of Explorers, but lately it's been the bane of his existence. Enter the Audi A3. Our car-life is now good again.

November 17, 2011

Happy Fall

Somehow I was able to capture Hamilton and Collier with both faces toward the camera, pleasant expressions, and still bodies. The boys wore their coordinating fall outfits on Wednesday, so I had to snap a picture.
Let's be honest: Most of the shots were a mixture of Hamilton's gripping Collier in a bear hug and erratically waving his arms around.
Notice the super-cute pocket Mimi included on the boys' pants--not that they use them yet. I'm afraid to show Hamilton what a pocket's for, as I'm sure he'd find tons of icky boyish things to carry around on his person.
At school today, Hamilton's class enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast with one class dressed as Pilgrims and Hamilton's class dressed as Indians. They made headdresses with paper feathers and "leather" vests from paper grocery bags.
What a cute Indian he was...
before he ripped off his vest.
The requisite, holiday-themed laminated artwork came home with him. Happy early Thanksgiving!

November 15, 2011

My Boys

Our cloudy day in Charleston was a good excuse for some backyard fun with my camera handy. I was able to coax Hamilton to lie on the quilt beside Collier--which meant he promptly stole the toy Collier was playing with.
Though nearly squashing his brother, Hamilton complied by sitting next to Collier on the quilt. Collier eyed the school bus--a favorite of Hamilton's--so Hamilton tried to dissuade Collier's curious eyes by body-blocking and stern warnings.
Collier is the easier boy to photograph being only slowly mobile right now.
Hamilton is difficult to photograph; if I get a shot of his face, his eyes are usually downcast.
So I asked him, "Please look at Mama," and I got a scowl. It looks like a refusal to smile.
He tromped around the yard talking to himself.
And Collier scooted himself off the quilt.
 I love Collier's happy expression as he looks at his big brother.
As I was on the ground shooting Collier, he army-crawled himself directly at the camera so quickly! Later when I tried to video his new crawling, he wouldn't budge because he'd get distracted by Hamilton. But my clicking camera had motivated his moving across the quilt to grab my lens.