Thursday, September 22, 2016

The August Melting Pot!

This post is full of many "mini" posts of other adventures from August as well as the mundane moments of joy!

Every night before T closes the door she asks me a question, "Will you wear your pajamas in the morning?"  She is sometimes heartbroken when I have showered before she gets up.  Sometimes when I am still in my PJ's she is just so delighted!  To see T delighted is to become delighted yourself!
T: I love Mommy in her pajamas! 
One Tuesday in August we loaded up the van for a day of fun with "two sweet boys" I nannied for long ago.  They are still sweet, but have grown so much.  The kids are so busy while we are there.  The movement is constant.  I fail to capture most of the sweetness.  Here are some pictures of the kids at the park before T's biggest meltdown of the summer.  The calm before the storm.

M and T: They have Little Libraries at their parks too. 
T: We found a little worn friend to watch! 
T is super creative.  She loves to play school and make craft projects with/for her class.  This project included  drawing and cutting out the animal, gluing it, and decorating it.  We think it is a seal or something like it.

T: I was drawing the eyes on the seal. 
Biased parents are impressed!
The Christmas before T came home, M was given this cool microphone and stand.  We lost several of the parts for years, but recently discovered that we had the parts needed to get the stand working.  The kids enjoyed a more legit looking mic stand!

T: I sure love to sing.
M: I love to sing too!
M: Wheel barrow races are not as easy as they look. 
My wonderful friend Charissa and I are walking the streets of our hometown again this summer. I mean, we are literally walking every inch of every street only starting at one of our homes. We enjoyed some great long walks on Sunday afternoons.  Now that summer is over and other life craziness is happening we don't get to walk as much. Our walks provide a work out, therapy, and friendship all in one. I could go for a walk right now!

We are still smiling after the workout!
I think I mentioned in the MO road trip post that we had family pictures taken.  Well, here is a sneak peek of one of our favorites!  The pictures turned out great.

Our family!
We have been collecting "milk carton blocks" for over a year now.  The concept is simple.  All you have to do is stick two clean and dry cartons together and you have a block.  Since we drink a lot of almond milk we have lots of blocks.  Our buddies K and J came over to play one day and they made some pretty amazing things with the blocks!

M: I couldn't believe that they made an actual roof!
T: Playdates with J are SO MUCH fun!  
My kids may be 4.5 and 7, but I can still wear BOTH of them in carriers at once.  It doesn't feel as ergonomic as it once did, but it gets the job done.  They were both is tears when I put them in and much calmer when photographed!

Handsfree parenting my preschooler and first grader!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

One Thousand Miles!

Brandon doesn't know I am writing this post, but since this is our families scrap book I decided it needed to be part of it.  Brandon decided that he would bike 1000 miles during the month of August.  He met and exceeded his goal.  He has biked six days a week for a long time, but getting 1000 miles took extra discipline and several longer rides.  This obsession hobby/sport/past time is helpful in many ways.  Obviously, it is very healthy.  Biking is a great workout for sure.  Biking is also a time for Brandon to clear his head and be rejuvenated emotionally.  It can be a time to process books he is reading and the sermon text of the week. He has told me it is also good for his sinuses and of course all the Vitamin D is great for the body, mind and spirit.  Being outdoors allows him to appreciate God's creation as well.  Biking is time consuming and incredibly expensive, but it is very very worth it!   We are proud of you Brandon/Daddy!

The bike was standing on its own at a pit stop.
Biking can lead to helmet hair!
T: Sometimes we help clean Daddy's bike after a ride. 
M: Our little fingers can get in the tiny spots. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Another Festival!

We love our "fishy"  festival and parade very much.  We are so thankful to be in an area that has many festivals.  This year we were traveling for one of our favorites, but Brandon and the kids did make it to this unique European festival.  I needed to stay behind and weed around church.  It had rained earlier in the morning, but the sun was out by the middle of the day.  Brandon and David met up at the parade so the kids could enjoy the day together.

Ready for the parade to begin.  
CANDY!!!  This parade is known for giving out A LOT of candy.
M: OK guys let's head back to the chairs until the next round!

L: We should clap for the sheep.  M: Yay sheep. 
M: This big hairy guy was pretty soft.
T: My pockets are FULL of candy!
T: Wait, I might be able to get one more thing in there. 

After the parade there is a great festival with lots of FREE stuff for kids to enjoy.  Our kids loved it.

L: Jump, M!  M: Just a second, I have a scratch!
T: This hay bale maze is great.  I can jump and climb all over the place. 
L: OK, how do we get out of this thing? 
T: I was actually FLYING through the air!
T: Then I flew back to the other side. 
M: Hey, I can fly too!
L: Watch me soar!
I am sure you were wondering if anything could top a parade and the bale maze... well friends this post is far from over!  Next up were the tractors!

T: I am pretty sure I can drive this thing. 
T: The key is moving this thing around. 

T: Is it dangerous that the steering wheel blocks my eyes? 
M: I chose this one because I could actually drive it for real!
T: This thing looks pretty cool!
M: I want to drive it.  T: Did you see this dog.  I WANT the dog. 
T:  I can't stop petting it.  I am going to give it a kiss!

Time for more jumping of a different sort!

M: I am totally in the air!
T: Now I am totally in the air!

T: I am not sure what this guy is all about, but I figured he needed a hug. 
They ended the day with some craft projects honoring Luxembourg.  My kids are ahead of the game because I am not sure that I knew it was a country before moving to this area.

T: First I made a flag.
T: Then I made a bracelet. 
What a great day of fun for this trio and their buddies!  They got home just as I was finishing the weeding with LOTS of stories to share.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Grandparents B-day visit!

The kids had a blast at National Night Out, but they had no idea that more fun was right around the corner.  My parents arrived at our house while we were at the event.  The kids had no clue, especially since we had just seen them a week before.  Yes, we did a lot in that week, but still it was just a week!  

When we pulled up to the house the kids were so excited to see their vehicle in the driveway.  The kids came into the house screaming only to find the house empty.  My parents were in the backyard waiting.  The kids had lots of energy.  The Olympics were on, there were new gifts to show, and of course M was eager to open his gifts from Grandma and Grandpa.

Mikias' big gift from my parents was roller-skates that can convert to rollerblades.  He was very excited about the gift.

M: Wow!  I want to try them out!
M: Look everyone, I can do it.

After trying the skates for only a few minutes M declared that he was ready for roller blades. Brandon switched them out and he tried a bit that night.
T: Grandpa Daryl and I were watching the pretty gymnastics girls!
T: That hula hoop is not easy! 
M and Grandpa Daryl were up early and M was very eager to practice roller blading.  I think it was quite a workout for Grandpa.
M: You can go faster Grandpa.
After a little indoor practice we decided to put on all the pads and head outdoors.  We gave him pads for his Birthday, so he had pads without the actual roller blades.
I can stand on my own.
M: The curve was a little tricky.
M: I moved WITHOUT holding someone hand.  It was intense.
Once the kids got dressed they invented another game that gave Grandpa a workout.

M: Grandpa leg rides are great!
T: Yahoo Grandpa!
Super Grandpa!
We received a note the day before that we could not flush or drain water for much of the day.  We were not excited about this note, especially since we were having company.  The kids and I became friends with one of the workers and he told us the exact time that drainage would be bad.  We were all able to shower and get ready before the time we needed to stop draining water.  

We decided to head to the splash pad we went to the previous week.  We brought lots of snacks and planned to stay a while.  First we played on the massive playground.

We look small next to this big guy.
T: I want to be in the next Olympics!
After lots of playing on the playground and swinging on the swings we got ready for the splash pad.  I continue to be so thankful for a van that can double as a changing room!

M: I was a lot more brave with the squirter this time around!
M: Thanks for the extra help Grandma Kathy!
Catching Water. 
Running through the sprayers.
Such a summer beauty. 
T:  My favorite place to catch the water is my mouth!
After we were all played out and snacked out we were ready to head home.  Shortly after lunch the sewer workers were finished and we were in the flushing and draining business again.  The rest of the day was filled with naps, going out to eat, and Olympics.  My parents left the next morning.  It was a very short visit, but a good visit indeed!  I am so thankful that they both have flexible schedules and are able to come and share special time with our family.