Monday, July 28, 2008

Pass on your prayers and thoughts...

If you've ever linked over to my sister-in-laws website you'll see A Big Boy, a Baby Girl and a Precious Pub under the Snyder's blog. Heather and Lindsey went to school together, and Heather is at the stage in her life as a lot of us, kids, and loving life. I cannot imagine the fight she has ahead of her now after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma, but she should know that we are all with her as she struggles. She is in my heart, my prayers and my constant are her children and family. Please take the time to open your prayers for her also, she can never have too many!

Is summer ending?

We had a playdate yesterday afternoon, and then just took the rest of the day easy. Various chores were accomplished, some TV watched and just good 'ol relaxing done. This morning we woke up and got ready to go to dance. In the midst, Claire looks at me and asks "Mommy, is summer ending this week?" I looked at her matter-of-factly and explained that summer doesn't technically end for a while, but generally when children go to school, the summer is over. She responded with "I want it to go on forever...but I want to go to school. Whatever will I do?" With hands in the air, she turned around and walked to her pout, think it over, and then emerge with a happy face. "At least we're going to the beach before my summer ends!" was all she had to say. Yes, we are spontaneously going to the beach (Gulf Shores, AL) this weekend with our favorite neighbors and friends, the Symons'. They inspired the idea last weekend...and everybody just ran with it!! We are SO excited, we can hardly contain ourselves!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Daniel's Gone Wild!!!

More backyard fun this weekend...but this time Daddy got a little more creative (if that's possible)! Our favorite neighbors joined in the fun too, which took this ordinary day to extraordinary! The pics pretty much say it all...wish I'd been quick enough to get video!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Paint this House!

Sounds like the HGTV show right? Not exactly, but that's what was going on here this week. It started with Geoff wanting his garage doors a darker color "to match the shutters". I, therefore, threw in Landon's room because I have patiently been waiting for that to happen. Geoff suggested the bathrooms, and so it kinda became paint the house! Geoff found a guy last year that does painting pretty cheap, and is quality, so we called him to come complete our vision! We obviously have not done any decorating in Landon's room yet, and I plan on doing some stenciling in the kids bathroom...but what a difference a little color can make! Landon adores his green room, and tells us that often. Claire likes the purple bathroom (of course), and thinks it is "very beautiful".

Other stuff this week: swimming playdate, dance class, our last parent's day out for the summer, shopping and library. I took Claire to the Dr, she has a slight ear infection (what we thought might have been swimmers ear), but she's doing great. We have a birthday party this weekend, but nothing else. Hopefully just some fun in the sun!

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's too hot!

Although the temperature is not too high, the humidity IS here in Arkansas. It is sweltering outside and therefore, we have spent most of the day inside. Claire had dance class this AM, and we went to an open play gym at Gymboree, and the rest of the time we've been in the house. This is unusual for us, as we are usually on the go, out in our backyard, or at the pool most days during this summer. I did attempt filling the pool in the backyard this morning, but when we went out, Landon stated "It's too hot to be out here, even wet!" Mommy was scrambling for things to do. It has generally been fun, because I got out all the things we haven't done in so long...water paints, stringing beads, playing with unused toys, a little Wii and of course reading books. I can't help but wait for the break down...being held up in the house too long tends to make children turn on this mother! Happy Summer!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Unusual and The Unexpected

A Sunflower popped up recently in our backyard. We did not plant one (at least not in this spot!), and actually didn't realize what it was until right before it bloomed! Claire brought a started one home from school but it never materialized. The kids are amazed by both the flower and Mommy's bird seed explanation. There is a bird feeder in the same landscaped area that held sunflower seeds this spring. Quite the learning experience!
The potty is back out in our house. Much to Landon's astonishment, I did not take the potty back to WalMart when he asked a couple months ago, and it returned in glory a few days ago. He started asking to try after Sissy would go, and has found success several times! He has received a small monster truck each time (yes, it's a large bribery, but we've got to start somewhere)! Geoff taught him a trick of the trade this evening...the pic says it all!
Claire has loved her short "do" this summer, but has been anxiously awaiting the time when it would be long enough for a full-fledged ponytail again. Yesterday we realized that pig tails were possible now, with just a tiny bit hanging in the back. This is exciting stuff and Claire is very proud of her growing tresses!
Lastly, Landon loves these monster trucks...I think right now they even take precedence over the trains. Now although it may not be unusual for a young boy to love trucks, I can't believe that something has taken over the thrill of the train table. I knew it would eventually happen, it just happened unexpectedly! Hey, if it gets him to potty...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Little Man

My little man is turning into a big boy! From my sweet Mama's Boy, to, well, okay, so he's still Mama's Boy, but he's gotten much bigger! His shoe size is only 1/2 under Claire and the kid is still growing with a vengeance! But where I see him growing most is when he's playing. First of all, the kid is a non-stop talker. Whether playing by himself, or hanging out with Sissy, he talks constantly. His new one liner? "Watch this", which is repeated until you watch. He also has started bossing around people, but the twist here is usually there aren't people there. For example, while playing "worker", he tells the other workers what to do and what should be fixed. It's so funny! Another way he's growing through play is not only pretending, but exploring and experimenting. The pic shows him using an air pump to fix the tire on his jeep. How smart is that? He could tell me all about it too, which is done very matter-of-factly. How time has passed. I'm loving every minute of it, my little man!!!

Growing Girl

She used to be my baby...a good eater, generally good sleeper and a ball to play with. She is still all these things, but now in a big girl body. My sweet baby girl is growing, and although it is sometimes trying, it is so much fun! But I enjoy reminiscing about when she was tiny, especially with her. Recently, we've discussed her first dance recital, her first year of Parent's Day Out, her first home, her long lost cats, the birth of a brother, and the best of smart she has become! Claire is most proud of this, and so is her mother! As we are prepping for KG, we are going over letters and numbers and other important information she needs to know before she gets to "big kid school". She knows all this, has for several years now, but still likes to show me how well she can perform. She remembers Gram and Nana helping her with writing her name and working on her letters, and Mommy playing the "word game" with her (a word for each letter). Those were the I anticipate math and science homework and starting all sorts of new extra-curricular activities. True, it is only KG, but if you haven't noticed, I seem to be raising a social butterfly! So, here's to you jelly bean, sweet baby girl, Claire bear...your becoming a big girl!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tutu's for Spinning

My niece, Lucy, is truly a girly girl. She loves dresses and especially those that spin. "Meggy" thinks this is pretty cool, and decided to feed the fetish! I had matching tutu's made for Lucy and her sis Laney. I made shirts for them to match. Yes, Laney's will not fit for a few months, but Lucy tried her's on and likes it. I'm blogging this only because 1) I think it's so darn cute, and 2) I'm proud I thought to do this!!! Love my nieces lots!!!

Our trip to Wichita

The kids and I made a trip to Wichita to see Nana, Papa, Ling, Hoopy, Lucy and Laney this week. Although it had a soggy start and ending, the middle was super fun! We enjoyed the "jumpy thing", zoo, shopping, a ballgame and, most of all, playing in the lake! First, we visited the zoo, where, amidst the animals we also rode the train and then did lunch at McDonalds. The kids played with their cousin Lucy to finish off the day while Mommy and Ling shopped!!! That evening Claire got to watch Lucy do gymnastics at her old stomping grounds and then they joined Papa and Landon at Hoopy's ballgame. Mommy and Nana babysat Laney, which was so sweet...listening to her coo and watching her hold her head up and look out the window. The kids got in on the shopping action Thursday morning at a cool toy store and a boutique that one of the dance teachers I used to work with owns. More playing ensued until Friday, which was declared "lake day"! We were outside pretty much all day, until everyone was ready to go in and rest. Later that night, Papa gave us a boat ride, which made Landon's day! We awoke Saturday morning to rain, but Papa was persistent and we went out in the boat and Nana rode with them on an inflatable. Landon did not stop smiling and several times you could hear him yell "Go faster Papa!". Claire couldn't decide if it was her favorite thing, but overall she liked the experience. It was a good time for all, especially the kids, who are already asking when we get to go back! Thank you Nana and Papa for a wonderful week of fun! And to Ling and Lucy for keeping us playing!

PS-A note from Mommy...There are not many people that could say they went to their in-laws for a week and enjoyed it. I can truthfully say this, and think that is the greatest!!! Thank you!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer Favorites

1. Short haircuts...for both Claire and I!
2. Kool Aid bottles and Juice Boxes.
3. Getting wet and staying wet for hours at a time, either by the pool, lake or hoses in the backyard.
4. Spontaneous trips to the lake with our friends, the Symons'.
5. Endless playdates with generally no time limit.
6. Staying up late because "the sun is still awake". (Landon)
7. Going on evening walks as a family, but not getting very far because we stop and talk (play) with neighbors.
8. Taking trips to Kansas to see family for more than a couple days.
9. Working on skills for KG and watching Claire's excitement. (Okay, this is Claire's fave, but NOT mine, it makes me teary just writing about it!!)
10. Spending time with family and friends in the warm sun and thinking how blessed we are to be in this moment!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Backyard Fun

As you can see from the previous post, we have had a very busy weekend so far. Today we decided to lay low and catch-up on some much needed rest. After accomplishing many chores for the day, I decided to make a run to Wal-Mart and get the kids some backyard water fun! As always, I am a Daddy who likes to go slightly overboard. Below is a video of our backyard water park! (Remember to scrolled down and turn off the music before playing the video)

Out with a BANG!

Our family celebrated the actual 4th with just as much of a bang as the 3rd. We went over to Rachel and David's house (kid's friends) around noon for swimming and BBQ until the late afternoon. There were no fireworks going off here (we were in the backyard with a bunch of kids), but Claire and Landon love swimming and playing on the playset with their "BEST" friends. Rachel and David are pretty much the same ages as Claire and Landon and therefore make the perfect playdate for us...and we get together often! Afterwards, we headed home for a nap and then went over to a neighbor's house to celebrate some more. We ate, again, and then went out front to shoot off what fireworks were left from the night before. This was still a huge display and lots of fun to watch! Landon enjoyed the sparklers, and actually let me take a picture of him doing one. Claire enjoyed sitting in the back of the neighbor's truck to watch the fireworks. This happened the night before also, and therefore is now the "cool" thing to do with her friends. It was an earlier night, but not by much. This morning, the kids slept in until 9:45!!! Geoff and I were so glad, for we needed a little extra sleep also! What will we do today? Well, since it has been raining off and on, NOTHING!!! And that is just way this family needs it! I hope everyone had a safe and celebratory 4th!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day Eve Celebration!

Geoff and I hosted a neighborhood party last night to celebrate the Fourth of July. We had 7 families attend, and it was good times all night long! We had burgers and dogs and let the kids play while we had margaritas! Then, at the threat of rain, we headed out to the end of the street (where there are still just a few houses) and started the "show". Geoff and our neighbors Scott and Chuck have been anxiously awaiting this moment for several weeks now. They have made a name for themselves...The Backstreet Boys...because they have a bit of a reputation after last year's fourth. The fireworks were spectacular and we all enjoyed sitting back and watching the natural and man-made fireworks (the lightening continued most of the time we were out although we didn't get sprinkled on for over an hour and a half!). The kiddos did some sparklers and liked the ladybug fireworks best. The kids finally went to bed at 11:30, but the dads were still out shooting firecrackers (and starting fires!!!) long into the night. On a side note...this made Claire VERY upset. In her words "Why can't those men just stop it already so I can get some sleep. They are being rude!". Oh baby, just wait for tonight! I'm hoping to get some good pics of the kids doing sparklers...this is still a dangerous feat considering Landon is obsessed with them and is not old enough to understand being burned. One last tidbit, the kiddos made some decorations for the party and there is a pic included of them holding a couple of them. They thought they were pretty cool with all the comments they received!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Picnic Playdate

We invited some girls over to have a picnic and playdate this noon. Although one ended up sick and another had to go out of town, we still had four little girls (and a baby brother!) that had a blast together! The girls at a picnic under the tree in the backyard while the Mommy's had some lunch and visited. The Mommy's were actually allowed quite a bit of time to chat as the girls pretty much entertained themselves with painting nails, doing makeovers and playing dressup! A fashion show followed as you can see. Note: Landon also joined in the fun after much disagreement with the girls initially. He looked just as good as they did (the pic is of his toes!), until Daddy came home early and found out! Claire went to art class with Blair and Ally, and Blair also lives in our neighborhood and goes to dance class with Claire.
In other news...
We went and saw the movie Wall-E Monday afternoon. It was pretty cute, although Landon fell asleep during the last half (guess he didn't enjoy it as much as Claire). This makes the news because last year at this time I tried to take Landon to the movies. He screamed (and I mean screamed) through the whole thing. I spent it in the lobby or outside, while Claire watched it with the neighbors we met there. We tried again last week at the $1 movie I mentioned earlier and he did great, so I think he has matured! We also had a playdate yesterday at a friend's house. They have a "real pool", at least that's what Claire was telling everyone she saw before we got there. It was a warm afternoon; perfect for swimming with friends!