Saturday, September 13, 2014


Yesterday fall arrived. He's pretty darn dreamy. But don't leave your windows open at night. He can be pretty cold. I would know. I fall for him every time, his cool whispers flowing through the house like a ballad that whips your hair around your ears and makes you dance, but at night, oh man, that mister fall. He's a cold blooded fool!

We awoke this morning with a day of perfection outside. My plans of apple picking went by the wayside, so I lay there, thinking what to do on this day. This glorious fall day. When we had no plans but breathing in the crisp air.

I cleaned out the gutters and in the process found a gaggle (?) of tree frogs living up there, all happy and green and brownish tan. What a life! To have a family living upstairs! Even if it is just frogs. 
I gathered them up into one of the einsteins critter cages while I swept the pine needles and leaves off the roof. After I was done, I declared It's too WONDERLOUS to be in the house all day!! The Castros are GOING OUT! (Now how many days have started off with that kind of fist bumping the air and yelling? More than I probably make known...)

Daddy was going for a run, so I told the einsteins to dress warmly Get your jeans and long sleeves and jackets and socks on! It's sooooo nice out and cold!!!, and to gather their favorite adventure buddies You can bring ONE friend along, but he needs to fit in your adventure bags! , and we hopped in the car and OFF we went!

We drove until we saw a field of corn, and an airplane flying low and an airplane flying high, and bunches of little sunflowers and dirt roads and geese crossing the path, and then we stopped.

And got out.

And adventure, we did!

Evan + Dobby (of the stuffed variety)

Is that a camera lenscap in your pocket or...

At this point, they started to, once again, pretend to be Satski + May from Totoro, skipping down the path. 
Love it.
Every time.

Our timer-ed ussie. Completely focused (just not on us).
But THAT, my friends, is real.

He picked that one just for me. ♥

The Lego Castros, also on an adventure. :)
 We all attempted to cross this log. 
It's a good darn thing there wasn't really any lava underneath it, because, well...

We left that adventure for a trip into the closest town Starbucks. 
Because when it feels fall, one must.

Pumpkin Loaf Bread

Pumpkin cookie
 Baby einstein opted out of the coffees for an organic applesauce/berry pouch.
Good for you, son. 

Daddy arrived around this point in the game.
We were more than happy to have him.

And after a little more exploring, and adventuring, we packed up and headed home.

The adventures from the morning renewed my energy, and I changed into my comfy sweats and headed out to mow the yard and get ready for this upcoming cold evening at home (and an OSU game on the tube!)

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cottonwood Classic

My baby girl has become old enough now to play a school-organized sport. I know. Slap me back into reality...actually don't. I've probably become to feeble to survive it in my aged state, having a middle schooler and all...
So, anyway, back to cross country. 
She's been practicing every morning before school - a good hour before the school bell rings, she's up and running with the team (and, I might add, in a better mood than the times that MOM or DAD wake her up to run at 7am, but, whatever). 
Her first meet was this past week in Guthrie. I had driven up about an hour early to continue the quest for the quilt at some of the resale shops there in town, but alas, one was closed during business hours (twice!) another wasn't where Siri said it would be, and one was 
So, no quilt. BUT, adorable girls awaiting the race:

Abby, Brooke, + Ems

 This group of girls is fabulous. Most of them are girls we know from school or scouts or soccer, all reunited under a big flourescent XC hug, and it's AWESOME. Love them all! Even the ones I have yet to know.
Daddy + I kept nervously reminding her to "Don't take off fast at the start!" "Save your energy!" "Remember not to let anyone pass you in the chute!" "If you get a cramp, work through it!", and we knew and she knew that she HAD this. And we stopped. 
And wished her fun.

They were ready when the whistle blew. We were all so excited and nervous. Competing against girls from all over the state! There were buses in rows that went on and on. 

The course was only a mile, but it felt like 5!

Run, baby, run!

 She had done it! She had finished her first XC race, and had done it with skill, grace, talent, and joy.

LOL! Love her. 
 On the way back home, she decided to ride the bus back instead of ride with me.
It was good.
I wouldn't have stopped her if she wanted to ride back with me, but I was hoping she wouldn't.
She is part of a team now.
A piece of the pie.
And riding on the hot, stinky, bumpy bus all the way home is part of that whole "team building" thing that fills a tween's heart with something that parents cannot.
And I watched her go.

and daddy + I were so proud.
SO proud.


You continue to amaze us in ways that we never expect. You bring life and happiness + inclusion to the strangest places, to the farthest people, and to this family.
I love seeing you unite the shy and quiet with your loud and rambunctious circle of friends. I love seeing you give 100% when you need to, not when you want to. I love seeing God's work shine all throughout your life. 
You are so special, so wonderful.

We love you, and are so very, very proud of our little runner.
Daddy + Mommy

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Labor Day + the Fair

It was labor day weekend, and we were all laying around on that Friday night watching TV, or playing games, or getting blood shot eye syndrome from too much Tsum-Tsum playing on our phones. I finally couldn't take it anymore, and with a fist pump in the air, I declared "The Castrosssssssss are goingggggggg to THE FAIR!!!"
and the girl hoorah'd, and the boy said "agaaaaaiiiinnnn??", and after explaining that it was the carnival we were going to this time, he also joined in the excitement. 
The daddy was all flabbergasted, because it was double-points-weekend! on Battlefield and he had *just* gotten comfy! and why are we in a rush?? and give me a whole 5 minutes, please! 
But the husband should be used to the whole 2-second warning thing by now, don't you think? 
Ah, but he's a good sport, and I promised him he would have fun and that I could manage the grocery budget this week and next minus a couple twenties so we could hit up the carnival and life would be good.
and it was. 

We ended up buying tickets enough that the einsteins could each ride 5 rides. 
The consensus for ride #1 was obvious - the one that we watched the whole time we awaited tickets. 

(oh, and before you start wiping your lenses, it's the pics that are blurry, not your glasses or your iphone. Totally me.)

She loves him.
<3 p="">
Best sister EVER.

Isn't there something about a carnival that seems a little bit magical?
I mean, yesterday there was an empty field there with a couple trees, and now?
Well, holy cow!

obligatory ussie!

My favorite thing is the colors.
The colors!!
It's like a rainbow just threw up all over the place! Lights and colors and people and all! 

We decided to save our last two rides for the end, and went in so Ems could see her entries. 

And then, as love would have it, we ran into the grandparents at the tractor pull!

We got to see a lot of animals.
Animals I wanted to squish into my backpack and take home with me.

What is it about cow eyes?
I remember dissecting one in 4th grade.
The kid next to me wanted to keep the lens so bad, that he hid it in his pocket.
I was disgusted, but I was a super shy kid, so I didn't even tattle.
Then, when the goo melted all over in his pocket and he cried, I almost barfed. 

Don't look at me for sympathy, eyeball lens stealer! 

But anyway, cow eyes. 

and rabbit's feet.
So soft, even when covered in poo. 

Clear your throat and say this in your best British accent:
"This place is absolutely dreadful."

Duck, duck, GOOSE!
(found out I really, really want a goose...)

This is Emma's friend's horse. I'm not a horse person, but I think it was pretty cool. Especially her nose collar thing. 

This S&M horse was not pretty cool. It was scary with its blue eyes and mask. 

Outside, the sun had settled in and the lights were shining and I was in total chaos heaven. 
How many things can you deep fry?
Apparently a LOT.
Even snickers. 

Tris? Four? Are you up there??

Evan the little daredevil.

 The fairway is always the best.
The creepy carnies hollaring out at you to play their rigged games, yet they call to you like sirens of the sea beckoning you to come, play, spend, lose, repeat. The colorful lights blinking in patterns and rhythms. The little toys, all lined up like furry wallpaper and good GRACIOUS you want those cheap 25c bears SO BADLY, even if costs you $50 to get them!!

But peanut found $6 on the ground (whuuuuh?!?) and so, the carnies called us in, and that money slipped out of his little fist like butter.
But, it's the CARNIVAL!!

He got a bear the size of a keychain.
He's STILL sleeping with it, three days later.
Well played.

That game got him nothing, but had they given out a prize to the loudest cheering section, he woulda walked out of there with one of those giant strap-it-to-the-top-of-the-car gorillas, fo sho. 

And then it was time for the last ride.

 And it ended where it started.

See you next year, county fair!
We had so much fun getting to know you better this time!
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