Monday, August 30, 2010

Geoff's New Toy

Ok, so we are ALL getting use out of it. Geoff sold the Ranger, without tears or a temper tantrum! I think that happened only because he knew the golf cart would be in the garage taking its place. The kids (and the dog) have enjoyed taking rides around the neighborhood, to the pool and to the park.

Few More Colorado Pics

Landon took a turn on the huge trampoline.
The name of the restaurant says it all!
Our stop in Denver at Casa Bonita...the kids had a blast!

Landon dressed as a park ranger.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Second Grader

Wow, time has gone by so fast! I have a second grader. She cannot be that big already! Claire's first day of school was August 19th. She got up with a chipper attitude and was ready to go! Once we got there, it was a different story. Let me preface the rest of this story with a little info: Claire loves school. She loves to learn, experiment and socialize (not necessarily in that order!). So imagine my surprise when Claire started crying before she even sat down at her desk! Ok, so not complete surprise; this crying thing when she has to separate from Mommy has been going on for several months...but at school? Of all places! The teacher came over and consoled her and after a few minutes she was fine. What a difference a few hours can make! She came home with a huge grin and a million stories to tell me! I still think this year will be just might be a little challenging to forge into the realm of maturity (for Claire, not me...).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Say what?

We are short a computer desk right now (long story), and therefore I have no idea where the cords are to download the pictures off the camera. So I am waiting patiently to blog Claire's first day of school...which was wonderful, by the way! She loves her teacher and all her's gonna be a good year! Landon is enjoying some down time with Mommy, although he's keeping me busy! Preschool doesn't start until after Labor Day. So why am I blogging you ask? To record a conversation I had with my little man this morning:

Mommy: "What would you like for breakfast this morning?"
Landon: "Why is it called breakfast?"
Mommy: "Because in the morning you have to take a break to eat and do it fast because usually you are in a hurry in the mornings..." (I obviously have no idea what the true answer is, but with all the "whys" coming out of this boy's mouth lately, sometimes I just come up with my own clever answers. This did not work today.)
Landon: "But I'm not in a hurry in the mornings, you get me up too early for that!"
Mommy: "I know, but when you are an adult and have a job you might be."
Landon: "Say what? I have to be an adult? And have a job? For real? Say what?" (He walked away shaking his head, without breakfast.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Colorado Trip 2010

Great scenery
Rock climbing...which happened anywhere there were rocks!
"Rock fishing" at the Alluvial Fan
Sprague Lake
Wildflower hike near the Continental Divide
Snow on Trail Ridge Road
The kids became Junior Rangers at the Alpine Visitors Center. (Like their outfits? It was COLD up there on top of the mountains!)
Bear Lake
Alberta Falls...the kids and grandparents are the color you see near the top!

The kids and I enjoyed a week of vacation bible school at our church. I was a leader and the kiddos participated in a "Rock the Bible" themed week of scripture, music and fun! It was exhausting, but the kids really learned alot...including the 10 commandments! As soon as our day was completed on Friday, we headed to Pilsen and Gram and Poppy's house. Daddy met us there Saturday and we were able to play with cousin Thurston before getting up early Sunday morning to road trip to Colorado. Geoff had to work and was unable to come with us Gram, Poppy, Claire, Landon and myself hauled ourselves across western Kansas and into Colorful Colorado! We stayed in Estes Park and went into Rocky Mountain Natl Park everyday to hike, take in the scenery and learn about nature. We also road horses, played in bumper boats, and walked around town. With a stop at Casa Bonita in Denver on the way home, our trip was complete. The kids really enjoyed themselves, and were appropriately awestruck by the mountains (much to Gram's happiness!). They are still talking about the things they learned and saw. The pics kinda give a tour of the places we visited.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Playdates and "Mommy-dates"

Our dinner date.
The layer cake.

The first two weeks of July were spent how summer should be spent...playing! Mommy scheduled lots of 10 days we had 13 playdates (yes, I counted)! All of June I heard things like "I never see her anymore", and "how come he can't come over and play?". I solved that problem easily, and I had fun catching up with all the other Mommies too! We spent time at Chuck E Cheese, Jumpzone, the pool, our house, and even the mall. When we weren't playing with other kiddos, the kids and I had "Mommy-dates". The kids chose various, and often random, things to do with just me. Then we all went and had some fun! This included baking a layer cake, having dinner at P.F.Changs and playing Wii (but only games Mommy wasn't good at). I loved spending "downtime" with my kiddos...they were sweet and actually got along with each during our dates!

We also started chore charts this summer. Both Landon and Claire choose from chores that I deem appropriate and then make a chart. Each day they mark whether they completed that chore or not. As the reward for completion (or bonus, as the kids call it), they get to do something special of their own choosing. After a few weeks, the options for the bonus were running thin, so Mommy suggested game night. Although neither child knew exactly what that meant, they were excited about the unknown. At the end of the week, after the charts were completed (and every week they are completed, which is awesome!) our whole family played board games together. The kids had so much fun we've done this several times since, and have added some new favorites. CandyLand, Chutes and Ladders, Disney Monopoly, Life and Sorry are the faves!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

July 4th Weekend

Claire and Mike.

We headed to Wichita over the 4th of July. Papa had a knee replacement, so the kids had to bring their well wishes. Plus, they got to play with their cousins, see a Wingnuts game, and get together with our long time, but not often seen, friends in Wichita. We shot some fireworks and swam in the pool too!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dance Nationals

Rangers ballgame.
Landon and Deputy American Girl.
Claire and Julie...they had special seats for the dolls when we had tea.
Claire and her new best friend Julie.

The last week of June, our family loaded up and headed to Dallas, TX for Claire's national dance competition. A week-long furlough of skills, talent and lipstick! Claire's dances all did great! Her duet "Kids of the Future" received a 2nd place in their age category. The group dance "Bugs" was 1st in their age category and 3rd overall of the Junior Lines. The production number "Bathtime" was 1st in their age category and 5th overall of the Junior Productions. That's pretty amazing for kiddos who spend only a few hours a week in the studio taking lessons! While we were in Dallas, we had time to take in some sights. These included a date with a doll at American Girl, splishing and splashing at the Hawaiian Falls waterpark, and enjoying ballpark food at a Texas Rangers ballgame (not to mention amazing fireworks!). I think even the boys would agree that the "dance trip" was a good time, even for them!

As a side note, the day after we returned from Dallas, there was a parent meeting for auditions for the dance company that had just finished competing. Auditions were held a day later. Claire was really nervous this year, which was made obvious by the meltdown she had as we walked into the studio that afternoon! Nonetheless, she made company again this year, and will have 5 dances instead of 3!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Where has this summer gone?

Art on the Square...making pinch pots.
The kid's flag day creation.
Cooling off on the square after eating cupcakes.

Ok, ok...I've been slacking. Maybe more than slacking, I've just chosen to do other things than blog. It's terrible how far behind I am! And now there is so much to record here I have no idea how I'm going to do it! It will be chronological for now, starting with the end of school. I'll go from there...

Claire had such a great school year during 1st grade. A wonderful teacher and a new "bestie" made the year go fast. Her school has a field day at the end of the year that is more of a party than actual field events. Mommy and Landon helped and got to watch the kids enjoy water fights, log rolls, and an equestrian show. Two of the pictures are of the kiddo's face painting...Claire is with her "bestie" Emily. (They are not in the same class this year, both girls were devastated!) Landon's school year went well also, although he is more of a "home-body" and was ready to hang out with Mommy, as he stated on the last day of school..."Mommy, I FINALLY get to see you all the time now. Aren't you glad?".

For the next two weeks, the kids stayed busy with playdates, the neighborhood pool, Mommy-kid "dates" (these included cupcakes on the downtown square, a movie and other little outings) and going to the library for crafts and books. Landon's gymnastics class continued through the summer, and tee ball finished. We spent ALOT of time at Claire's dance studio, as she was taking summer lessons and preparing for the national competition they attended in Dallas. That's where we headed next...