Friday, May 30, 2008

Thank you for Claire's hair

We received a thank you note from Locks of Love for Claire's hair. They were able to utilize it and the note shared how the sick kids are happy now that they don't have to worry about not having any hair because of her donation. Claire's face was beaming as I read her the card, and I could tell she was proud of what she had done. But as I finished, she got a confused look on her face and asked "Mommy, do they just glue my hair on the sick kid's head or what?". So, with the use of the Hannah Montana wig as a visual aide, I explained to her that a wig was made of her hair for a little girl, just like the one she plays with. So of course she asked "Why can't they just wear a Hannah wig, I LOVE Hannah's hair!!!" After a discussion about how uncomfortable, and not mention uncontrollable, wearing a Hannah wig all day long would be, the response was "Well, I'm glad I can help a girl feel better about her hair, even though I think the Hannah wig is beautiful".
Claire, by the way, is loving her "short do" and enjoys all the compliments she receives. Mommy is enjoying not fighting to comb it out after baths, trying to part pig tails (although I miss that look!) and keeping it brushed out during the day!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Things that make me smile...

1. Spontaneous picnics in the park
2. Belly laughs from babies
3. Knock, knock jokes from a 5 year old
4. Grandparent smiles when looking at their grandchild
5. Unexpected naptime
6. Picked "flowers" from my kiddos
7. Uploading pictures and watching memories pop up on the screen
8. Playdates with no crying or screaming
9. Reading a whole story without stopping to get milk
10. Reading a whole article in a magazine without stopping to get milk
11. Hearing "I love you" without saying it first
12. Listening to my children playing calmly with each other
13. Watching those same children sleep
14. Warm cookies from the oven (okay, I know that doesn't fit, but come on!)
and finally...
15. Thinking how lucky I am to have what I have!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What a week...end!

We are about done with our commitments for the school year. Claire has one last day of school tomorrow, and one last day of Spanish on Thursday, and then we are free for summer fun! The kids are ready, mostly because they are exhausted after the last week and weekend. Here is a recap...

Thursday night was Claire's dance recital. Gram and Poppy came down to watch her, along with our neighbors Beth and Sara. She was a great "Tiger in a Tutu", and smiled and boogied the whole time she was on stage. She received some special gifts, but was tired by the end of the night! Friday morning we got up and played with Gram and Poppy, and then took them to one of our hiking spots: Tanyard Creek. We spent quite a while exploring, putting our feet in the water, floating nature-made boats, and looking at the waterfall. After lunch, the kiddos went home with their grandparents, which was a nice surprise for Geoff and I, who went out on a date! (Thanks Gram and Poppy!!!)

Saturday morning, Geoff and I got up and went to Wichita to visit with his parents, sister and Lucy. His parents had been in Virginia to visit family and brought home some wonderful treasures for us (which all found homes quickly after we arrived home). We enjoyed catching up, playing with Lucy and having a "Nana burger", and then were on our way to my parents for some fishing, Barney riding, and a bonfire. Sunday brought Uncle Frank's 50th birthday party, but not before a little tractor riding and dirt dumping! The kids had fun making the cake (no worries, they have no idea what it says!!) and enjoyed making new friends with the other kids who attended. Even with threatening weather, it was a good time! We left that night so we could come Monday for some relaxation before the work week began.

We had Scott, Beth, Sara and her boyfriend, Tyler over for some burgers and s'mores to end the day. (Watch out Jackson and Jason, you have some competition for Claire in Tyler!!!) The kiddos had to be awakened this morning so we could start our day and get to school on time, and have crashed this evening after two different playdates and errands.

Now that you are caught up, I'm heading to bed also! We thank everyone who hosted us, and our children, this weekend for a lovely time and hope everyone who reads this had a great Memorial Day weekend. Please remember our loved ones serving in the armed forces, and the ones who have gone before them...they keep us free to write what we feel!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"I'm ready for KG now!"

Claire graduated from preschool yesterday. The program was darling, and lots of fun! Four classes were presented diplomas...they each sang their own song, and the group sang several together. Diplomas were presented to each child and then the families all enjoyed lunch together afterward. Although I did get a little misty eyed, (okay a lot) I was very proud of my baby girl! It's hard to believe that this munchkin who was born just yesterday is going to finish her preschool years! This morning, Claire woke up and after watching American Idol (yeah david cook!!!!) she tells me "Mom, I don't need preschool anymore, I'm ready for Kindergarten now!". She was a little disappointed to have to go back to preschool for a couple more days. We will have to start a countdown to KG calendar she can mark on because this Mommy is getting tired of counting down the days for her!

We also had dress rehearsal for recital last night. Things went fairly smoothly and Claire did a fantastic job on the dance! They look darling in their outfits, I'll post more pics of this after the recital. Landon stayed home with Daddy and went to Lowes' and did "manly things" like shop for sprinkler heads. This morning after Gymboree, Landon and I did some finger painting. I wish I could have gotten a picture of his "train and cars" and his "tractor" before he destroyed them. He was telling me about each thing he painted while he did it..."this is the conductor, and this is his hat, and these are the wheels, and here is the train car, this is Poppy driving his tractor, and this is me riding it with him, and these are the big tractor wheels". The picture was nondescript, but cute nonetheless!
In between we've had three playdates, which have been fun also. And I'm planning for more and more as the school days wind down!

Monday, May 19, 2008

We're camping mom!

We ran our errands this morning, had lunch, prepped for school tomorrow and put clean sheets on the beds. So the kids were ready to play something...anything! They decided they were going camping. They got some stuffed animals, a blanket and some snacks (not visible in the pic because they ate them!), but still needed a fire. Claire's ingenious idea? The lamp. They pretended to light it and watched it "glow". Good fun when it's too darn windy outside to do much of anything!!

We have lots going on this week, so I'm giving forewarning that it may be awhile before you hear from us again: school, graduation, two playdates, recital rehearsal, Gymboree, actual recital, Gram and Poppy here, going to Kansas for birthdays, etc. Updates as soon as soon as time is available, that is!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What's up dawg...

We've been busy around here, naturally. But it has been mostly just the little things that are making it so. I thought I'd share a few stories from the past couple days.
* Landon and I go to Gymboree on Thursday mornings. This week we talked about cats and dogs. Landon has already been acting like a cat for several weeks now, so he had this one down. He refused to play with a "ball of yarn" while being a cat, and he told his teacher "cats don't play, they sleep and eat", and proceeded to lay down and sleep. We stuck with being a dog the rest of class...
* Claire had a play date Wednesday afternoon with a couple friends in the neighborhood. The girls actually went outside and played, which is unusual since they only ever want to play house or princess. The playset had a trapeze bar and the girls were doing stunts, when Claire fell off (her dress got in the way). Between the tears she looks at me: "this is why I stuck with cheerleading".
* Some baby robin chicks have hatched in their nest over our patio. Landon finally spied them yesterday while we were out planting Claire's sunflower from school. He was SO excited to watch the mommy bird feeding them, and asked several questions about how that process works. I'm glad he finally saw the birds; he's been looking but not quite seeing the babies for a week!
* We had a spontaneous get together with several of our neighbors and their kids last night. It was a late night and therefore the kids climbed into bed with me very early this morning (that sounds backward?...not in our house, late nights=early mornings). Claire and Landon were having a discussion about tickling daddy, watching TV and last night. Suddenly, Landon rolls over to me says "what up dawg"...his new one-liner.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

When I grow up...

Claire's school is preparing for graduation next week. This is an exciting time for the kiddos: they are practicing songs, rehearsing the program, and making decorations. Each child was given a cutout of a person to decorate as what they wanted to be when they grow up. This was a lengthy discussion in our house. We started out immediately as a doctor (this mommy was so proud)...but my how things change! We were soon a vet, a cheerleader, and finally a teacher (I was great with this too). However, by the time we decided to decorate it, Claire had questions about how long it would take to become a doctor or a teacher. When I told her quite awhile she responded "Then I"ll just stick with the cheerleader". So that's what we did. Do not mistake the colors for KU...for generally this house is full of hokies. But Claire picked the colors, and remembered my old cheerleading outfits were red and blue (oh, yes, she wants to be like me!) Claire was very proud of her creation, and it was hung up today next to some of her other classmates that were rock stars and hula girls (cheerleading sounds pretty good, huh?). Anyway, the picture of Landon is included because this is what he ended up doing as we were finishing Claire's project (guess he's going to be like his daddy!).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Crazy Cousins Part II - The Train Ride

Daddy to save the day and get the pictures loaded! This is our new favorite travel spot. The Eureka Springs Railroad. The kids have a blast and get to ride the train and then get off and put coins on the track and the big locomotive runs over them and smashes them flat. Not sure who enjoys it more, me or the kids! As Meg said in the previous post, it was a blast having our neice to visit for several days (I see a lot of my sister in her!.....good...and....bad!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Crazy Cousins

These three cousins stayed really busy the last few days. We have some pictures of them on the train, but we of course forgot the camera, so Geoff had to take them on his phone and I can't get them over to this blog! These pictures are of our snack time after a hard day, and Chuck E Cheese fun. The girls rode the carousel about 15 times, and Landon enjoyed whacking the mole. We were there 3 hours, and Geoff even joined us to play some games. The kids loved playing outside on the playset, and this where they played best together. When they were inside playing trains or dolls, the competitive urge came through a few times and caused some power struggles. These were short-lived, however, and peace ensued after a few tears or screams. Lucy left us this afternoon, and through tears of exhaustion (some sadness, but mostly exhaustion) Landon says "I wish Lucy could stay forever, but she'll be happier with her mommy". Claire was in agreement, as she went in to lay down and rest. I'm sure Ling agrees also!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Instant Play Date

We have been hosting our neice, Lucy, at our home since Friday. The kiddos have been having SO much fun together! We have played outside, inside, upstairs, downstairs, in bedrooms, bathrooms and, oddly enough, the hallway (raceway). We rode the train in Eureka Springs, took a trip to WalMart (hey, it's Bentonville, and that's what you do around here) and today we are going to...wait for it... Chuck E Cheese!!! Am I crazy? A little, but it's SO much fun for me too, watching these kids have fun! Anyway, we'll post some pics and details later.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sweet Dreams

This evening, after playing some Wii and watching Dora, the kiddos crawled into bed with me (our ritual when Daddy's gone) and we turned off the lights. Landon and Claire started singing Twinkle, Twinkle...and then it was a whole concert of night time songs. When we ran out of songs to sing, Claire started the trend of making up silly words to those songs. What precious moments laying in the dark with my babies listening to their sweet voices singing and giggling. It's the best send off to sleep we've had all week!

Honoring Mothers

Claire's preschool class put on a little program this morning to honor their mothers. It was very cute, from singing special songs to having a special snack together, the girls had it all planned out. The girls also took pictures of their mothers to school so they could paint a portrait. They all turned out darling! And as you can see, Claire is going to be a fashion designer since my face and hair are nondescript, but I'm wearing a fabulous dress! The whole thing was very sweet and we all got bear hugs at the end (based on a story they acted out). I'm a lucky mother to have such a sugar bear for a daughter!

PS: Because I can't leave Landon out...their parent's day out class did silhouette's of them to give the mommy's. They turned out so cute, but I still have no idea how their teacher got them to stand still long enough to complete it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sometimes they are so sweet...

Here's proof that even though we have rough days, toddlers and preschoolers have hearts of gold!

* Monday when we were hiking, Landon ran up to his sister and said "I hold your hand sissy". Claire took him by the hand, and with big grins they were off together to explore.
* Yesterday, Claire was running to tell Landon something and tripped and fell. She started crying (she got some strawberries from the hardwood) and Landon came to her aid. He very gently caressed her head and said "It be okay sissy, I kiss it", and kissed her knee.
* Claire was being a bit of a cranky-pants this morning as we were getting ready for school, and most of this attitude was directed toward Landon. Landon was playing in his room, and after I told Claire she'd been rough on her brother this morning, she walked in, and gave him a huge hug and said "Landon, you're the bestest brother in the whole world, and I'll never trade you in".

And best of all...
* Last night, I was having issues getting Claire and Landon to stay put and go to sleep (Geoff's out of town, again). In the middle of all the running around, we all met in the hallway. After a few giggles, both kiddos attacked me with hugs and kisses, telling me "We love you Mommy!". That made it all better...although no more easier to get them to bed!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Staying busy

Monday is usually a catch up day for our family: running errands, cleaning up the house, finishing laundry, prepping for the rest of the week. Yesterday was beautiful though, and I couldn't bear just doing the mundane day-to-day things as usual, so we stayed busy all day enjoying the great outdoors! We did run to Walmart first thing for milk, (if you know my son, he drinks a gallon every two days!), but on the way we stopped at a small park to play and check out the river running close by. Then we came home and played outside for quite awhile. After lunch, we decided to go on another outing to Tanyard Creek, which is a nature trail in Bella Vista. It was gorgeous and green, the kids enjoyed putting their feet in the water and reading about the plants we saw along way. They also enjoyed the waterfall we hiked up to, although the hike back to the truck was a LONG one. We still had not had enough so we went for a bike ride in our neighborhood after dinner, and then enjoyed popsicles before heading in for baths and bed. The popsicles, and I think the down-time, were enjoyed by all, as can be found in the picture. (And the helmet is still a fashion statement, even when we are not riding bikes!)

Friday, May 2, 2008

It's just one of those days...

I was awakened last night to a pretty loud thunderstorm, although it didn't last long. However, this morning, things were soaking wet, so even though it was beautiful outside, we really couldn't go out and play. So we made cookies! This is always a good past time for these kind of days, and something we haven't done in a while. The kiddos obviously enjoyed the frosting part best. Our day kinda went downhill from there. We went to a play gym at Gymboree, but had to leave because Landon was throwing a fit. Then, after we got home, Claire and Landon both just could not get along, no matter what craft, game or activity Mommy was trying to play with them. Finally we decided to plant more flowers. Once we finally got out of Lowes (they wouldn't leave the water features), they were a mess while trying to fill pots! Now, I know that usually our blog is filled with all the wonderful things and silly quirks about our children, and I do believe that those things are what generally is going on around here. But, as my daughter said after timeout was over "Mom, it just must be one of those days". Amen to that, honey!!! I love you two with all my being, and always will!