Easter was very low-key around the Howard house this year. We headed to church, where Tanner & Hampton were in the nursery. Afterward, we came home in time for Hampton's naptime (which happens to be right at lunchtime) and we just lazily hung out until Paul & Jan came down late in the afternoon. It wasn't our normal holiday hustle & bustle, and we really enjoyed it!

Playing with one of Hamp's Easter goodies.
The bunny knew how much he loves Elmo & books!


Easter Egg Hunt

On Saturday, our friends Kelly & Conner called to see if we wanted to come down to the big Easter Egg hunt in Orange Beach. We were out running errands, but we knew Hampton would have fun, so we headed down. We thought they had lots of eggs at our church's hunt, but this was WILD! They had 10,000 eggs for the kiddos to find, plus bounce houses, snacks, and more. Once Hampton warmed up to it, he had lots of fun and found way more eggs than he had found last week. And since then, he's played with them non-stop at home, so he should definitely have the hang of hunting by next year!

Conner & Hampton working on egg collecting


Happy Easter

Christ the Lord is Risen Today! Hallelujah!

We hope you have a wonderful and blessed Easter!


Wagon Ride

Hampton has a toy wagon that is SUPPOSED to be for holding blocks and for him to pull around. Of course, he has other plans for it! He is determined to sit in it and ride around, and lucky for him, his Grandpa is happy to oblige. He is really too big for the wagon, though, so we have to pop open the end where you can stack blocks so he can stick his legs out. Of course, Hampton doesn't mind in the least. He loves every minute of it, and if Grandpa tried to stop, he'd say "ok, ok" until he started again!

Whoa! It's like a roller-coaster ride!

waving to his adoring fans while saying "bye-bye"


playing in the grass


Easter Egg Hunt

This weekend was the Easter Egg Hunt at church, and we were so excited for Hampton to much so that we skipped our annual HOA meeting (and we're board members)! It did not disappoint, since there was so much fun for Hampton and the other kiddies. It didn't hurt that Mrs. Ellen had rounded up over 1400 eggs for them to find! Trust us, with that many eggs, you couldn't really look anywhere without seeing lots of them! Hampton was a little interested in the eggs, but he quickly decided that he was much more interested in playing on all the playground equipment. We were perfectly fine with that, especially since the playground for the toddlers is fenced in. That way, Hamp could run, climb, and play to his heart's content. We had lots of fun, too, chatting with our friends while we pushed the kids on the swings. Too bad Easter Egg Hunts aren't every weekend.....especially when we don't have to clean up afterward!

Hamp with his hands full of eggs

nope, no eggs in here, but it's still fun to climb through a tunnel

climbing all over the playground equipment

Hampton thought he'd hit the motherload of eggs...until he was told they were for pictures!


Friday Photo


Park Fun

We've mentioned the new-to-us park that our friends introduced us to last week. Well, Monday we decided to go play since Bo hadn't been yet and we knew Hampton would love it. We had a great time playing on the slides, swings, bouncy-ride-on-thingys and playing NEOS, the computerized game that really kind of defies explanation. We're not sure we even understand it, but it's fun and that's all that matters!
Hampton loves to climb up slides.


Bo and Hampton tackling NEOS. Hilarious!


Beach Picnic

Grandpa came over on Sunday afternoon, and after a quick trip to the neighborhood pool, we headed down to the beach for a dinner picnic. Hampton LOVES the beach, but he wants to run everywhere. That can be frustrating for both Hamp and Bo, who is the one who ends up chasing him (someone has to laugh and take the pictures, right?). Anyway, Hampton finally got into the spirit of playing with the sand after the guys had the bright idea of filling our big bucket with a water/sand mixture. Here's how it went in pictures....
Fun! A bucket filled with sand and water! Grandpa is really good at scooping.

Wow! I can't scoop as good as Grandpa, so I'll just splash. I love splashing!

You know, I like this water and sand-filled bucket so much, I'll just get IN it! Woo...the water's cold, but I don't care. Only Mommy worries about that kind of stuff!



Saturday, after running around like crazy people trying to get our to-dos done, we headed to the Train Museum in Foley.

On Saturdays, they run the cute little ride-on train, as well as run the model train exhibit. The volunteers at the museum are so funny, and the train "conductor" that day took us on a special ride through the rose gardens. They were gorgeous and they smelled heavenly! We also got to see Thomas ride the rails on the model, so Hampton loved that, too. Of course, his favorite part is just running wide open through the big park that the museum is in. So we did that, too!

After heading home and a huge nap, we decided to blow up the bounce house and let Hampton go at it. We wanted to make sure he'd sleep that night, since he didn't wake up from his nap until 5:15! He bounced for awhile, but then decided he'd rather swing & slide in the backyard. We played outside until he was actually ready to go back in.....which we knew meant he was tired, since he'd live outside if we'd let him!

Taking a ride around the park. Hampton was seriously checking something out!

About half of the model train exhibit. We think it's so fun!

Hampton talking excitedly to our sweet neighbors, who were cheering him on.

Who could resist this face?


What We're Loving Right Now.....

Since we're thrilled that Bo has a 3-day weekend, and we're out enjoying it , we decided that today we'd share some of the other things we're excited about right now. They're random, but hey, they make us smile! So here's what we're loving....

....that we get to enjoy $3.99 pizzas from Domino's on Wednesday nights. They're cheap, yummy, and make our get-out-the-door schedule much smoother, especially since we have to get to church earlier now that Bo has been recruited to be the security guard.

....speaking of church, we're loving that we have such an awesome one! We're getting really involved & meeting some great friends. And since Tanner has just been drafted onto 2 different committees, it looks like we're going to be busy, busy, busy!

....that we get the Sunday paper delivered to our door. We may take awhile clipping the coupons and actually looking at it, but it's nice not to have to go buy it every week.

....that a friend introduced us to a new park that is better for little ones than the one we usually go to. Hampton loved it, and we know we'll be spending lots of time there this summer, especially since it's so easy to get to.

....that we'll be headed on vacation in just over 3 weeks! Yay! We still have to make a couple of hotel reservations, pack, finalize our itinerary, and just think about the fun we're going to have, but the planning part of vacation is a huge part of the fun!

....that we spoke too soon a few weeks ago about Hampton. We mentioned that he was counting to five, but he's quickly moved on to 10! He counts non-stop, but he won't do it on demand. We are a little concerned, though, because if these math skills continue, he may not be our child after all! Of course, Hamp is coming along nicely on his ABC's, too, so maybe he won't be all math!

....that Publix is located right down the street. Last week, we spent a good bit more than usual, but we were thrilled to get all of this (valued at over $126) for just $34.50 pretax! And since we're getting a $10 Publix rebate, it makes it even a better deal. Which leads to our last "happy" of the day....

....that we have a new deep freezer to put all our groceries in!


Friday Photo


Happy Birthdays!

Today is cousin Ben's 2nd birthday! Yippee! Also, Aunt Megan's birthday was Monday, so it's just been a busy week of birthdays. We hope you both had awesome days, and Ben, your birthday gift is on it's way.....because belated is how we roll! :)

We're sure this is what Ben will look like today after eating his birthday cake!


Flat Carter

We don't know if you've heard of Flat Stanley, but he's this little paper guy that travels all over the world and has his picture taken. Several schools do this project to see where all their characters can go.

Well, we received Flat Stanley's brother, Flat Carter, from a boy in Omaha, Nebraska. He was sent to us by Jeff Hudson, who is Bob's first cousin. When he called Bo about it, he said that the only person he thought was crazy enough to do it was Bo! We weren't sure whether that was a compliment or insult (or payback for the hilarious prank call we did to him), but we rolled with it.

Since Bo travels a good bit for work, Flat Carter got to see lots of places. He went to the beach, he went to Mississippi, he went to Florida, and he even went to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility office. We decided that was such a relevant news story, that we could consider that part "educational". Anyway, we are pretty sure Flat Carter had lots of fun, because he stayed a good while with us. Finally, though, it was time for ol' FC to make his way back home, so we sent him on his way. Hopefully, Flat Carter will make it back to the student in time for show & tell...along with the extra shells we sent, too!

Flat Carter soaking up the rays at the beach


The Toycase

Isn't it amazing that we spend so much money on toys when the simplest things amuse little ones? Case in point....the Toycase. It's supposed to hold toys, but Hampton thinks it's more fun for it to hold him! So now that we know this, does that mean that we'll stop buying him stuff? Absolutely not! We're complete suckers!


Weekend Warriors

This weekend was busy, busy, BUSY!!! Friday night, we tried a new-to-us place called Champs. It hasn't been here too long, and we'd been wanting to try it for awhile. It was really yummy and I think we were all impressed. Afterward, we decided to drive down to the beach, which then led to a park outing. The weather was awesome, and we got to play until it started getting a little too dark. It takes us awhile to get used to the time change, but it sure is nice to have more time to play in the afternoons!

Saturday was filled with errands and to-dos. We left the house before 9am and didn't get back until about 8pm! We ran, ran, ran......went to an Open House for our friend's store, ordered a swimsuit at the Kelly's Kids party, bought some goodies on sale at the outlets, hit up the craft store, made a quick Sam's trip, ate a fast picnic lunch at the park in Daphne, went to the name it, we probably did it!

Sunday we had to tackle our at home to-do list. Which meant scrubbing the shower (yuck), tending to our garden, and cleaning the garage. We did have to pick something up at Bob & Randi's, though, so Hampton got a little playtime in their yard and a treat as well. Who says you can't have your cake while playing and eat it, too?

Hampton drinking out of a big boy glass


Friday Photo

the guys