Thursday, July 29, 2010


My boys have been obsessed with cowboys lately. They've been "camping out" in our front yard for the past few days, with a pretend campfire and everything. It all started when I showed them one scene from Wyatt Earp a few weeks ago. It was the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. They thought that was pretty much the coolest thing ever. I've listed below, a conversation I heard them having the other day while they were playing. Enjoy!

Here they are giving me their fiercest cowboy looks.

A cowboy is only as good as his campfire...

I'm not sure what part Rhy was playing in all of this. She can't help but dress up and join in.

Asher, looking epic in his full cowboy ensemble ... duster jacket, vest, badge, bandana, canteen, chaps, hat etc.

Asher works on the campfire.

So does Gabe!

Here is the conversation they had:
G: (consulting the map) You go to Wolf Rock and I’ll camp at Forever Canyon.
A: I don’t want to. I don’t like wolves.
G: You have a gun. You can shoot ‘em and make chicken out of them.
A: I’m scared of chickens.
G: Cowboys eat a lot of chicken.
(Ash refuses to budge an inch toward Wolf Rock)
G: Fine. Come with me to Forever Canyon.
(Ash starts shooting his rifle wildly)
G: Are you shooting the wolves? They’re running away. They’re scared of me because I’m bigger than you. They’re scared of me because I’m WAY big.
A: Oh. They think you’re a giant?
G: Yeah. Pretend I’m dad’s size.
A: (Looking at Roxy) This is my horsey.
(Gabe fires a round) (Asher fires back)
A: This is the shootout. (In case anyone is wondering)
(Asher makes machine gun noises with his rifle)
A: MOM! Could you help me? I’m getting shot!
G: If you’re getting shot, you’re supposed to be dead. (Asher obliges and falls dead, Gabe walks up to him, nudges him with his boot. Asher fires into him, utilizing the classic ‘fake out’ technique to perfection)
G: Just a second, there’s something wrong with my vest.
(more firing back and forth)
A: Momma! Help me!
Me: (butting in for the first time) Why are you shooting at each other? Are you enemies?
A. Nope.
G: Well, sorta.
(more shots fired) (Asher threatens Rhylah, (possibly for making the cowboys dance with her five minutes earlier) Rhylah puts her hands in the air in surrender as Gabe jumps to the rescue)
G: (randomly) Did you know bullets, when you shoot them, if they go into outer space and come back down, they have fire and then sort of blow up in mid air.
(Asher has nothing to say to that, so he fires at Gabe, who throws his hat at him)
A: Let’s go find the bad guys. (apparently these cowboys were just passing time trying to kill each other, but were not, in fact, enemies.)
(Rhy walks into the room and hits Gabe in the head with a small gun.)
R: You dead.
(The boys ignore her, as a girl has no business in a western, unless there’s a sudden need for dancing)
A. I’m gonna be Wyatt Earp.
G: Wyatt Earp?
A: What’s you’re name?
G: I don’t know. (Ash points his gun at Gabe) You mean if I don’t tell you, I get shot?
A. (nods) uh-huh.
G: I am the world famous ... (thinking fast, but coming up blank) I’m a pro cowboy.
Asher (clearly not impressed) opens fire. Gabe falls dramatically.
A: Now I’m the only one standing. (Looking epic as he stares into the middle distance, standing over Gabe’s beaten form. He quickly gets bored of being epic, and fires another round of machine gun fire at his fallen brother.)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Fourth of July

We had such an amazing Fourth of July!
Nate had a four day weekend, which was wonderful ... and we were able to relax and just enjoy being a family.
In the afternoon, we packed a picnic lunch and headed to the beach to swim. It was in the 90s and the sand at Silver Beach was so hot, you could literally burn your feet in it! Gabe couldn't play soccer without putting his flip flops on!
After lunch, I took the kids home to nap while Nate stayed at the beach and got in a few games of sand volleyball. Once home, I started cooking dinner. I made a really yummy sandwich on a loaf of crusty bread that included zucchini, artichokes, cannellini beans, prosciutto, olives and parmesan cheese ... there were also tomatoes stuffed with goat cheese and the good American standbys ... macaroni salad (with TONS of hard-boiled eggs) and grape soda.
That night, we biked down to the beach yet again, with our dinner in backpacks, and picnicked with thousands of others on Silver Beach. It was a GORGEOUS night. Fireworks didn't go off until 10:45 p.m. so we killed time by eating, swimming, playing catch, and setting off sparklers. Rhy was so excited for the fireworks, she kept yelling "KABOOM!" at the top of her lungs. Really, I think she was just trying to stay awake, because as soon as the show ended and we put her in the seat attached to my bike, she was out like a light!

This is a picture of the crowd, but you really have to multiply it times four (at least) to get an idea of the sea of people all around us.

My boys!

We set up our dinner in the sand and wait for the fireworks.

Smooches for my sweetie girl.

The tradition at the beach, is that people dig out "chairs" in the sand, and then recline in them to watch the fireworks. When everyone leaves, it looks like a bunch of ginormous sand crabs have been hard at work on Silver Beach. Here, my boys are creating their "chairs."

Asher and his sparkler. He LOVED them!

Gabe and Ash both pretended their sparklers were magic wands, and kept shouting "Alohomora!" and "Expeliarmus!" at each other, a la Harry Potter.

Daddy helps Rhy light and hold her sparkler.

Lighting up the sparklers.

A blurry shot, but I love this hazy photo of my boys.

Gabe with his sparkler.

Another blurry shot, as it was getting quite dark, but you can see how much they're enjoying themselves!

The blurriest of all blurry shots, but I just LOVE how the beach looks late at night, with the lights of all the boats twinkling on the water as they wait for the fireworks. Just beautiful!!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Put Me In The Zoo

My Aunt Kathy had the great idea to take the kids to the South Bend zoo in Indiana two weeks ago. Nate had off work and so did she, which meant that everyone could go and enjoy the day. The zoo was fantastic! Small, but with beautiful shady gardens and walkways ... it was one of the most pleasant zoo experiences I have ever had! There were no crowds, no lines, and plenty of animals for such a small zoo -- they even had a lion. The kids were thrilled and we all had a marvelous time!

Here are the Harrmanns at the South Bend zoo, posing by this lovely turtle sculpture.

Aunt Kathy is on the far left, we owe our family day of fun to her! She even took the kids later that night and kept them overnight so that Nate and I could go out on a date that evening! What a champ!

Rhy looks at a BIG turtle.

All three cute Harrmann kiddos, sitting on the zoo train.

Lazy lions enjoying the shade. I couldn't believe how active all the animals were! At most zoos, the big cats are just sound asleep in the summer sun. (like that lion in the front with his tongue sticking out ... lovely!)

Aunt Kathy also treated the kids to pony rides. Gabe acted all shy about it, but enjoyed himself!

Cowgirl Rhylah on her first pony ride!

If she looks this small on a pony, imagine how tiny she'd look on a real horse!!

Cowboy Asher thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Making the goats look pretty.


He walked so close to her, it almost seemed like he wanted her to pet him! Rhy loved it.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Trip To Wisconsin

I've been offline for about 10 days, and there are a backlog of photos waiting to be posted! At the end of June, we took a quick trip over to Wisconsin to visit with family for our nephew, Bryce Acevedo, who was baptized in a beautiful outdoor ceremony. It was so wonderful to catch up with Nate's side of the family. His mother and grandparents even made the drive down from South Dakota! And we got to spend the morning at a fun farmer's market with Nate's sister and her family in West Bend. It was a quick trip (less than 24 hours!) but well worth it! Then it was back home for Gabriel's baseball tournament.
Here are a few quick photos.

Here is our family, all dressed up!

Here we all are! I got to hold baby Bryce. Check out the face Asher is making ... I think he was reaching the end of his rope.

A great shot of great-grandpa Erbe with his great-grandsons; Mason, Gabriel, Asher and Seth.