Monday, November 30, 2009

More November Moments...

November, you came and went and left us with so much to be thankful for and an opportunity to give thanks! As the posts for this month draw to a close, there are a few more pictures that did not make a post that we can't close the month without sharing. Enjoy...

The boys watching Daddy mow the lawn...
I wish I had an explanation for this one but I have no clue what they were doing. I was sitting in the family room and heard laughter coming from the kitchen. I walked over to see all three of them bending over and putting their head on the tile. They would stand up and do it all over again. The looked like those flamingos that teeter back and forth to drinking water. Again, I have no idea what they were doing but they really enjoyed it...
The boys are quickly outgrowing their ability to relax in the build in shelves. It's hard to see in this picture but they have to bend in order to squeeze in there. We have had a few head bumps already. Also to note in this picture are Wesley's scraped up legs. He took a spill on the patio and received his first (of many) scrapped knee...
Andrew returning from his trip back in time...
Silly Andrew's signature scary face. He is such a clown....
Wes does his best William Wallace impression with the help of some blue sidewalk chalk. Now if he would only holler... FREEDOM...
For the future when the boys read this and say, "Who is William Wallace?" Here is William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson) from Braveheart....
This is one of my favorite pictures of Jared for so many reasons. The first reason is the sweet and peaceful look on his face. The second reason is that this look is made looking at his Daddy and resting his head on his Daddy's arm.. love that!!
The last reason I love this picture is because it is immediately followed on the camera by this picture...
That cracks me up!! Which one do you think is captures the real personality of Jared??? The truth is they both do.

We had a great month and I hope you had a wonderful November and Thanksgiving with family and friends. I think we are ready for December... is 2009 almost over already??

Take care,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jared & George

Uncle Lance and Aunt Kim gave each of the boys their very own Curious George for Christmas last year. Each night, we put the boys to bed and put their George in their crib. Typically, within minutes each of the Georges find their way onto the floor between all of the cribs. It looks like a virtual monkey massacre with them laying all over the floor.

A couple months ago, things started to change. Jared started to keep George in his crib a little longer. Then we noticed he started to throw his arm around George as he was laying down to sleep. Then, we began holding onto George when we would get him up in the morning and from nap. The other interesting observation was that more than one George would end up in Jared's crib in the morning.

A special bond has definitely developed between Jared & George....
Jared has definitely started to seek out George for comfort...
Jared and George play together. Their favorite game is peekaboo. They each take turns, first Jared hides and then George covers his eyes (with Jared's help). They have so much fun together...
Since Jared is the only one of the boys that has developed this special bond with George, he has claimed all the Georges. Check out Jared and double George...
When we say the magic words of "it's bedtime," Jared immediately begins scanning the room in search of George. He must find his George before he heads down the hallway for bed. This picture was taken at Grandma's house over Thanksgiving. Andrew and Wes were already awake and Jared was sleeping in on this morning. He was in heaven cuddled up with George...
The other boys know that George is Jared's special friend. If Jared is upset, sometimes they will grab George and bring him to Jared. They also help with the bedtime search for George and give him to Jared so everyone can continue to bed.

This post is all about Jared's special relationship with George but it would be neglectful to leave out the following picture of Murray spending some special time with George...
George has become a very good friend to Jared and a special member of our family. We all love you George, especially Jared!

Take care,

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Darnell Cleaning Service

Do you have trouble keeping your kitchen clean? Don't worry, the Darnell boys are ready to provide premium service! If you need our kind of help, please leave a comment and we will respond.

Note - We promise to all wear pants if you hire us to clean you home!


The boys were eager to clean up Grandma's kitchen after dinner tonight. Wes is missing pants because of a soda mishap before we left the zoo. They had been trying to get the brooms out of the closet and we finally let them. I never could have imagined they would actually begin cleaning the kitchen...

video

Looks like these boys need their own little brooms and some of their very own chores!!

Take care,

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lowery Park Zoo

After a great Thanksgiving, we loaded up the family and headed out to the Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa. This would be our first theme park experience with the boys so we decided to start light with the zoo. Maybe if this goes well, we can work our way up to the Mac Daddy... Disney World!

The morning started well with an on time departure (well, close enough) and Wes and Drew holding hands on the drive... Our 'little' family...
We were also joined at the zoo by Grandma and Zack. Our first major stop was the petting zoo portion. The boys ran around petting the goats. There was one little girl that was standing near one of the sitting goats and she was hesitant in petting the goat. Wes tried to help her out by putting his hand on her back and gently directing her to the goat as if to say, "it's ok, go ahead and pet him."
Andrew making friends with a goat...
Jared...
Veronica and Zack take a pony ride...
Andrew and Grandma share a moment...
Wes and Jared are patiently waiting for Sissy...
Zack entertains Jared as we wait for lunch to arrive...
After lunch, we hit a few more exhibits and then stumbled upon what may have been the highlight of our day. We walked past this Bird House a couple times but we were not real crazy about heading in there. We were waiting for Mike to get some more tokens for the kids and Veronica and Zack headed on in to check it out. After a couple minutes, Veronica runs out and asks for a couple dollars to feed the birds. We waited for them outside for a while and my curiosity got the best of me. I picked up Jared and headed in to see what was so exciting.
I immediately saw what was so exciting, the little birds were flying and walking all over. The kids were able to get sticks of bird food and the birds would come to the stick to eat. Jared was immediately in awe of the birds.
I quickly headed out and told Grandma to grab Wes and come on inside. Andrew was off with Daddy. They have a portion of the area fenced off so the birds can get away from the people if they want. Wes tried to ignore this barrier...
Daddy and Andrew finally arrive....
The boys were able to get some sticks to feed the birds....
I was surprised at how quickly they learned what to do to get the birds to come near them...
Yep, I even got into the act to attract a bird over for the boys...
Wes would hold out his stick very still until the bird arrived...
Veronica showing off her new friend....
Jared got so into it, he laid right down on the ground to get closer to the birds that were walking around...
Usually the boys are so excited and playful. However, with the birds, they were calm and still. It's like they knew they needed to be calm so they would not scare the birds...
When we first entered the bird house, there were not many people in there but eventually it got pretty crowded. There was a lady in there who saw one of the boys and then saw another one of the boys. She mentioned to us, hey there is another child in here with that same jacket. Then we mention that there were actually three of them. It was funny to see her face scan the room to find all three. I should mention that dressing the boys alike is quite valuable in these type of activities...
After spending a very long time in the bird house (long enough for me to get 'blessed' by one of the birds... ugh), we headed out to tour the remainder of the park. As mentioned earlier, it was cold on this day. While it was cold, it was not cold enough to prohibit Veronica and Zack from wanting to ride the log flume...
Weeeee......
Our crew wait patiently for the riders....
Daddy and his boys....
Next up, the Giraffes!
You might take the boys out of the schedule but you can't take the schedule out of the boy. It was nap time and there was nothing that was going to stop Jared from recharging his battery....
Veronica wanted to feed the giraffes. Daddy gave her the money and she headed off into the line. I tagged along to take pictures and I was curious. I took Wesley up the ramp with me. As we got close to the feeding area, Veronica offered to share her biscuit with Wesley. We each had an opportunity to feed the giraffe. The attendant assured me that they don't bite. This is a very good thing because they have huge heads...
Wes had the biscuit in his hand and we walked up to the giraffe. Wes held out his hand and this monstrous tongue wrapped around his entire arm and then took the biscuit right out of his hand. It was an awesome experience. When we go back, all the boys are heading up to feed Geoffrey!
Jared is finally awake again. This is a picture of the boys at the Florida Panther exhibit. When they saw the Panther walk up, they started saying "Meow, meow." They have never seen a cat before so I was impressed that they realized this was actually a big cat!
Next up the Manatee Cave! We were looking forward to this since the minute we told Zack we were going to Lowery Park. He had previously attended an overnight Boy Scout event when they stayed in the Manatee Cave. It was all he talked about until we finally arrived.
Zack showing Wes and Jared the manatees... (Note- The little girl on the right is not ours :-)
Doesn't it look like she is inside the tank? Hey look, a rare photo of Daddy and Mommy together....
Andrew says "hello" to the manatee...
Jared and the manatees...
Wes and Andrew...
We had a great time at the zoo and the boys were great the entire day!! I was worried about the boys staying at the park through nap time but the boys were troopers. Jared was the only one that actually took a few minutes between exhibits to nap. However, everyone decided to sleep a little on the ride back to the house. The boys are free at Lowery Park Zoo until they are three and we purchased annual passes. We will definitely be back!

I should also thank Grandma for going to the Zoo with us. It was nice to have an extra set of adult hands to help and an extra pair of feet to chase :-)

Take care,