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It was kinda spur-of-the-moment when Cindy suggested we go see Thor: Ragnarok. Considering Mom rarely wants to see these superhero movies, the boys and I jumped at the opportunity, and with popcorn in hand, we settled into our cozy theater loungers…

Movie Night

Thor: Ragnarok is the next installment (fifth film) in “Phase 3” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (this is the period of turmoil and discord that occurs for our hero’s in the aftermath of Ultron’s attack on the Earth), and sets the stage for the battle with Thanos next year in Avengers: Infinity War. The movie was, in a word, “AWESOME”! I’m was in heaven!

And so were the boys…

Movie Night

Even Cindy liked it! 🙂

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The days are getting shorter, but there are lights on the field! Tonight Adam is catching…

Adam Catches

There aren’t many balls that get past him, which says a lot given these fist-time little league pitchers. The balls are just as likely to go wild as they are to go across the plate.

Adam Catches Adam Catches

He’s a leader when he’s behind the plate…

Adam Catches

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It’s here…it’s finally here! The boys have been going on about Halloween for a couple of weeks now and counting down the days. Soon their coffers will be filled with CANDY!

This year, Adam was a S.W.A.T. officer, and Alex was the Red Power Ranger. Long gone are the days they would dress in similar costumes, as each year they become more and more diverse in their interests. But hey, they’re both crime fighters this year, right?

SWAT and Power Ranger

This year Charlie even got into the act, as a Rocker with his jean jacket and guitar…

Charlie Rocker

Meanwhile, in Alabama, grandkids Oliver and Carter John look AWESOME as Woody and Buzz…

Woody and Buzz

and Kameran was Barb from Stranger Things. I think she did a great job!

Kam and Barb

As expected, the boys cleaned-up on Candy…enough to last them into December. And Charlie absolutely loved the walk (and the attention).

Happy Halloween

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It’s the day before Halloween and Cindy has the pumpkin carving station open for the boys to make their jack-o’-lanterns. Adam is really seems to be into the carving and gutting of the soon to be jack-o’-lantern…

Adam Cleans
Adam Carves

While Alex is taking a less messy approach and covering the pumpkin in glow-in-the-dark paint for what appears to be some sort of Incredible Hulk fixtures…

Alex Paints
Alex Paints

UPDATE: The finished products…

Alex’s Incredible Hulk pumpkin…

Hulk

and Adam’s (left-side) and Cindy’s jack-o’-lanterns…

jacolantern

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The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens have an annual “Spooktacular” event on the weekend nights leading up to Halloween…

Spooktacular Nights

This was our first time going and it was a lot of fun. There was live music and the staff were dressed-up in costumes. There were countless picture-taking opportunities (to the boys chagrin 😛 )…

Spooktacular Nights
Spooktacular Nights

But what we really came for and what made the pictures worthwhile for the boys was…

Spooktacular Nights

We did get to see some of the animals, but most of them seemed to be in for the night. I guess the animals really weren’t the point of the event.

Spooktacular Nights

And although the boys weren’t too happy with the picture-taking at first, by the end of the night, they were into it and actually asking to take pictures here and there…

Spooktacular Nights

It was a spooky-fun night!

Spooktacular Nights

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Today Adam got a real treat! We were at the batting cages for some practice and he got some lessons from from Oakland A’s (minor league) third baseman A.J. Kubala. A.J. is a local boy and he gives back to his community by working with Little Leaguers on their fundamentals. Adam was grinning from ear-to-ear the whole time!

Thanks, A.J.! What a blast!

Batting with A.J. Kubala
Batting with A.J. Kubala
Batting with A.J. Kubala
Batting with A.J. Kubala

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This is the life…

Charlie Sun

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So, Alex’s school project was to make his favorite book character and in celebration of fall and halloween, he had to make it entirely out of pumpkins or other members of the gourd family. Naturally, Alex made Pete the Cat (with a lot of help from mom, who absolutely lives for stuff like this!!).

And you just gotta love Pete’s button flying off his shirt…

Pete the Pumpkin

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I’ve said it before, you can always tell what holiday is approaching by looking at our house. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or in this case, Halloween…

Halloween House

I joke with Cindy about about all of the work she puts into these decorations (both inside the house and out), but they’re really what makes our “house” a “home”. Someday, when the boys have grown and are on their own or raising families of their own, they’ll look back on these Halloween lights (and all the others) with some nostalgia.

Halloween Door Halloween Window

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We were expecting rain, but nothing was going to stop our backyard campout.

Tent

As it turns out, we didn’t even get a drizzle. Although it might’ve cooled things off a bit because the air was still a little warm as we headed into the tent. We took the windows down to get the breeze blowing and it soon got more comfortable. …

Anyway, it was still early, so we watched “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” on the iPad…

Tent

Then settled off to sleep…and quite contentedly, I might add.

Sleeping

In the morning, I slipped out of the tent while the boys snoozed and started some coffee.

Coffee

With coffee in hand, I set-up the table and the ol’ Coleman stove to cook our breakfast…

Breakfast

The boys had a good time and thought eating outside was GREAT!

Breakfast

Best buddies…

Best Buds

After breakfast, it was time to take down the campsite. Alex wanted to leave the tent up so we could camp out again tonight, but alas, tomorrow is a school day. Anyway, this was a good opportunity to teach the boys an important aspect of the Cub Scouts outdoor ethics, namely, the “leave no trace” principles, which as the name implies, whenever you’re doing activities outdoors, you leave things as you found them…

Leave No Trace

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