Fabulous Five

Can you believe how quickly the past five months have flown by? That's right, our little Karsyn Joy is five months old! So let's see, 5 things she is doing now...

1. Karsyn loves to laugh, especially at Seth! She will throw her head back a little and give him a good cackle. He is constant entertainment for her - YEAH!

2. Karsyn can roll from back to front with relative ease. Getting from front to back is a little bit of a challenge, but she does it occasionally too. When she is on her tummy she kicks her feet together and I'm sure if she had the strength and know-how she would be crawling already - thankfully she is NOT yet!

3. Karsyn is a good little eater. She actually takes in more cereal than she spits out now and she loves squash! Okay, so that's the only veggie she has had so far, but I'm sure it will be one of her favs, as it was for Seth. I'll have to let you know how the other little orange and greens go for her later this month. "Mommy milk" is her all time favorite by far though!

4. Karsyn is learning to sit up on her own. That's right, she can hold the pose for a couple of minutes sometimes without toppling over. And then sometimes it's only seconds before she gets excited, kicks her feet and tips herself over. She gets better at this little feat every day!

5. I hate to venture into the next topic for fear that I will jinx myself, but Karsyn is sleeping better through the night. She only wakes up to eat once or twice (depending on when she goes down). She's not so good at "putting herself to sleep" yet, so we need to work on that a little more. ;)

Here are 5 "not-so fabulous" pictures to celebrate 5 Fabulous Months!

Note: I took the first two pics and when Baby K would not "agree," Seth kindly took the last 3 pics while I held Karsyn. Pretty good job Seth!


Eagle Scout

My "littlest" brother, the Eagle Scout!

Another part of our busy weekend was an elaborate ceremony in which my youngest brother, Caleb, was awarded his Eagle Scout. As he said in his speech, Eagle is not really an award, but a way of life that he has learned through many years of hard work scouting. He will take the MANY things he has learned from Tiger Cubs all the way to Eagle and use them the rest of his life. We are so proud of you Caleb for this great accomplishment!

Caleb saying the Scout Oath and Eagle pledge...

Scouting takes lots of help from family at times... Mom and Dad are involved in the pinning and neckerchief of Caleb's new rank. Dad was also Caleb's Scoutmaster for the past few years, so he has seen first hand all of the dedication and hard work Caleb has both put into it and was "pushed" into - LOL! A few tears were shed in the sharing of this proud event.

Caleb, in turn, recognizes his parents by pinning them...

Extra-proud big sister & little brother... oh, and Caleb is always a proud uncle, sporting his little niece around.


Renaissance Rocks!

"Lords, Ladies, Knights, and Nobles... We bid thee welcome!" We had a super busy weekend that started at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival south of Dallas. It was so amazing! We are already planning a trip again for next year. For those of you who don't know what this Faire is and have not been, you are missing out! For years, my brother and I have wanted to go, but never have made the time. This year, Joseph organized a trip with many of his friends and we joined them there - I'm so glad we did! This is a "period" festival in which everyone is dressed in Renaissance costumes. Not only are they fully decked out in outstanding costumes, but they even talk as if in medieval times! "Me Lord, Me Lady..." as we were greeted entering the gates, buying food, shopping. It was so much fun just to listen to those around you. This faire is set in the year 1533, and King Henry VIII, his lovely wife Anne Boelyn, and his court have come to visit. I hope that you enjoy the MANY pictures I took (be glad I didn't post all 117). I'll comment throughout the pics so I don't ramble on too much.

Sholo the Nubian, a massive muscled warrior, "greeted" everyone as they entered. Okay, he wasn't so friendly. In fact, it seems to be a challenge to make him smile... Karysn got pretty close!

Many of Joseph's friends dressed up in costume also (lots of people do actually), and although we wanted to, time didn't allow me to get it all together... so I painted tees for us to wear with our "costume" on them... "Knight, Squire, Fair Maiden, Town Cynic, Wench, Shady Character, 'Baby' in Waiting." Yeah, I know it was kind of goofy, but we got so many comments on them. They were bright and caught people's attention. Faire folks actually stopped to look at us - LOL!

Each weekend there are themes or special activities that go on. This weekend was "pirate" weekend! Sarah loved it... too bad Johnny and Orlando weren't there (sad Sarah). During the parade, a pirate handed a flag to Karsyn and she waved it around during the day.

Something else that was unexpected were all the butterflies. It was so neat how they would just land on you and were unafraid. They added an airy feeling of joy to our experience!

Queen Anne's Lace was they first featured act that we saw at the faire. We really enjoyed the A-Capella harmony and comic banter they had to offer... not to mention great costumes. Sarah and I enjoyed visiting with the "tart" in yellow after the show. She was so funny and had some great costume tips for us should we dress up next year. Also on this stage were the "Hey Nunnie Nunnies!" They had lots of humor to add.

It was my understanding before we got to Scarborough that these people do this year-round in different locations around the country. So, I imagined tents and stuff possibly, but had no idea that this little village really is a real village! Well, for two months out of the year anyway - it comes to LIFE! The buildings are built to fit the time and the many decorations were fun to take pictures next to also. Here are Caleb, Sarah, and Karsyn striking a pose next to a knight. And our sweet little "Baby" in Waiting!

Another one of the acts that we loved was "The Rogues." This kilt wearing highland spirit band of bagpipes and drums provided much entertainment for us all. Now I know that bagpipes make you think of "whine" and cheese, but these guys ROCKED! We enjoyed listening to them play & even bought CD's to take home. Oh, for those of you that may go in the future, take many small bills... you can tip the acts and people that are there... because they did a great job, because they amused you, or because they blasted one of your friends with some great banter!

The Grande Parade was one of my favorite parts of the day. It was unexpected and we weren't looking for it, but it found us. Actually, we parted off to the side of the road so we wouldn't get run over. We enjoyed our bit of shade as we stood gazing and cheering (yes, they told you to smile and cheer if you were not) at the brilliant costumes & at times were engaged by the passers by.

The guy with soft pretzels walked around the faire all day and we saw him many times... I thought it was so funny the way he would yell PRETZELS!

A lady from the Mud Show dotted us on our noses as a bit of advertisement & someone from the parade joined our picture unexpectedly. Just before this picture was taken, a "priest" walked by sprinkling people with "holy water." When he saw us enjoying the parade (clapping and cheering and getting involved) he said "I love it when they line up for me!" and proceeded to douse us with his water!

The picture below is taken of a lady in the court. She spied our shirts and turned and started pointing, slowing the procession of the king and queen... "Look at that shady character... and a wench... and town cynic... what is the baby?" Soon after the king and queen of the faire passed and the queen, having been slowed by the court knew that something was coming, and she started yelling at us, "They are naked... you need clothes on... " So maybe we will work a little harder on our costumes for next year - LOL! Note: For those of you thinking of going, you don't have to be in costume... many visitors are not. But then, many are as well :)

"Eat, Drynk, & Be Merry" they say... so as we grabbed some yummy lunch at one of the royal kitchens, I saw the guys below, obvious to me, they matched, but it seems they didn't plan it. I laughed at them as they said, "Someone take a picture of this!" So, the friends of the faire don't call each other up in the morning and plan their outfits I guess. ;)

Seth loves knights... and castles... and sword fighting... and jousting (basically "A Knight's Tale") so you can imagine that he absolutely loved every minute of the day (other than the nap he "accidentally" took - see Renaissance #2 for that cute pic).

Renaissance #2

Okay, so more pictures of Scarborough... Prepare thyself for merriment!
This Viking Barbarian stood around waiting for ladies to grab him up for yet another picture. Sarah and I took our opportunity to "show off his tan."

I honestly don't know if the people pictured below were members of the Festival or just visitors, but I thought they looked too cool not to take their picture... okay, and a little scary too, huh?

Seth would not join for this picture until the "unmasked" gentleman offered to let Seth hold his spear. The ploy worked, although you can tell Seth was still quite nervous!

I talked to this brutal warrior after taking his picture AGAIN (actually a nice guy - except that he kept calling me a wench - oh yeah, it was written on my shirt), and he's not from another dimension like Aahz, but from Houston... watch out you Houstonites for this scary beast!

I think we all enjoyed the Human Chess Match! The king and queen set up their pieces (lords, ladies, noblemen, and peasants of their land) on an over sized chess board. "Rook take Pawn" could be heard during the game, in which case all of the "players" cleared the board and a match began. The winner took the square. The conversation and choreographed fighting were great. Can you believe that this is actually when Seth "chose" to take his little snooze. (He was sad about it later, but we just couldn't wake him.) Sarah and I enjoyed a yummy snack of "Italian Ice" which we couldn't stop ourselves from buying over and over again!

This jester just wouldn't die... finally the other players and the crowd were chanting "Die, die, die..." and after about 7 swords and daggers, he finally slouched to the ground... and didn't die, but continued to grunt and groan... we just couldn't stop laughing... figures the funny guy wouldn't die huh?

More amazing costumes! Can you tell that I enjoyed myself immensely!

There were several artisan demonstrations scheduled throughout the day, games & rides you play, and even a "Dungeon of Yorkshire Tower." Here are a few pics of the boys playing games.

Seth shows off his "winner" sticker just like Daddy!

Seth also enjoys Mommy's Italian Ice! So YUMMY!

More photo opportunities for the kids! This is a real tree carved into a chair.

At the end of the day we went early to get seats for the jousting match! Prior to the joust we watched some Scottish Highland games that were loads of fun. Men throwing wooden 20 foot beams end-over-end and so forth. I didn't post pictures of them because they were so hard to explain, but if you want to see them later I can show you. Also, the jousting was so fast it was hard to get pics of, but here is our valiant knight! He road for queen and country and he won!

Twig the Fairy, with her double flute and sparkling eyes, casts a spell over all. You can see her throughout the day floating around enchanting small children... like Seth! He thought she was beautiful and she gave him one of her "magical" rocks to remember her by.

The King & Queen of the faire and their friends circle up at the exit to sing a fairwell to all. These people are passionate about "Stepping Back in Time for the Time of Your Life." So thank you to all who helped us relive a little of the renaissance experience.