Monday, December 26, 2011

Our State Fair

The Texas State Fair is during the month of October, and it's always one of my birthday requests. We couldn't make it during the weekend, so one of my friends and her boys offered to join us for a day of fun! Armed with two double strollers, we piled into the car and made the trek to Dallas. Tink hasn't been to the fair since she was seven months old and this was Bug's first trip, so I was excited to show them all that the fair had to offer. Bug decided that cowboy boots were in order, and Tink decided to follow suit. Somehow, a trip to the fair always includes lots of food, and this year was no exception! We enjoyed lemonade, corn dogs, apple strudel and tater twisters. We saw great animals, some that we'd never seen up close, and we had fun walking around. Somehow, don't ask me why, we failed to see and take pictures with Big Tex. Guess there's always next year :) We had a wonderful day, and I hope that the kids grow up with my love for the Texas State Fair.
Dressed and ready to go!
 I bought one of these lemonades to share, and ended up buying another - it was the best I've had!
Loving some taters!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Where did my baby go?

When did my baby turn into a toddler? I know, I know, his birthday was in January and he's well on his way to turning two, but I feel like every time I turn around, he's taller, and saying more, and doing things on his own ... It's fun and all, but sometimes I don't know how excited I am for him to go from being my baby to my little boy
Bug LOVES to be "side". Any time we pass by the door, he asks if we can go. Even if it's just for a minute, he loves to get a bit of fresh air. He's also becoming quite independent at the park. He loves to climb all the way to the top of the "fide" and squeels to be pushed higher on the "fing". He's even started to notice playgrounds from the car as we pass by ...
Not at all surprising in this family, but we have another music lover on our hands. He was repeating himself and bobbing his head the other day when I realized that he was "singing" the clean up song! He has started to request certain songs (Jesus Loves Me and Twinkle Twinkle are current favorites), and just today, asked to listen to "church" in the car (both kids are huge fans of Northwood's worship CD - so much more enjoyable for Mom than their #2 favorite, Veggie Tales). This was taken at a friend's house as he climbed up to play a little tune. Cute, right? Sure, until I left the room. When the music stopped and I decided to investigate, he was ON TOP of the piano! 
This boy LOVES shoes - his own, or any of ours. He often brings me a pair of shoes and asks to put them on (yes, those are princess shoes, it comes with the territory). His favorites are his cowboy boots and a pair of Cars crocs. He is also a big fan of the backpack in the first pic :)
This stroller is a big hit in a tiled living room - just imagine the speed :) He is starting to notice Sesame Street and Elmo, but is a big fan of Cookie Monster!
A big favorite at our house is "Toy Tory". We've seen it no less than a hundred times, and he loves Buzz, Woody, Bullseye, and Jessie. He said "a-bee-ya" for about a week before we realized he was saying "And Beyond!"

Can you tell I take a lot of pictures? When he plays with these blocks, he holds one up to his face and says, "cheese!"

Bug, you surprise me every day with the things you do and say. Our family just wouldn't be the same without you. You challenge me and scare me and make me laugh (sometimes all at the same time!) I love you, sweet boy, and I'm so proud and happy you're mine!

Big Girl

My sweet friend, Chantal Reed took some beautiful pictures of our girl a few weeks ago.
 My only complaint is that she looks too old :)
One of the greatest things about being a parent is watching your child's personality develop and having conversations about what's important to them. It is such a joy to watch Tink and see her grow in responsibility, care for others, and see her imagination at work. She is already a book lover, a great big sister, and does her best to obey with a happy heart. She loves to play by herself as well as with her brother and friends, and has quite the imagination! We couldn't be more proud of her, and can't wait to see what the coming days and weeks bring as she continues to grow. Here are just a few things I managed to capture about Tink
 She loves to help me in the kitchen - cooking, putting away dishes, and washing veggies are a few favorites
 This girl LOVES to learn! We have "school time" every afternoon, and she is quick to remind me if I get sidetracked. We are working on letters and sounds, calendar skills, writing, cutting, and other things that I find online. I love that she's having as much fun with it as I am. She often asks if her brother can join us, which I'm sure he'll do soon.
 In September, Tink started attending a dance class with one of her friends. They have 15 minutes of ballet, 15 minutes of tap, and 15 mintues of tumbling. She LOVES every minute, and can't wait to show us what she learned when we get home.
 Tink can literally sit for almost an hour with books. Sometimes when I go to get her out of bed, she tells me that she needs a few more minutes to finish a story. Disney Story Collections are her current favorite, I think because they last so long. She goes between looking at the pictures quietly, retelling the story using the pictures, and making up completely new stories about the characters (which can be quite interesting if you ever have the chance to lend an ear). She also has a new interest in following along to stories on CD.
 This is a picture of the first day she got dressed completely by herself. She is growing more and more independent every day, and is very proud of it! (I'll have to share a picture soon of the pajamas she picked out last night - they were a hoot!)
 Another thing Tink is COMPLETELY into - pirates! We started watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and she was "hooked". She loves to dress up and play, and even taught her brother to say, "Argh, Mateys!" (which sounds more like "Arrrr, Mameys!" when he says it)
Tink sometimes wakes up before I finish my quiet time, and I let her join me while I finish. She asked for her own journal and pencil, and has started to sit awhile "writing" each morning, even when I finish before she's up. I sometimes ask her to dictate a bit so that I can record what she's writing about. Lately, it's been dolpins and whales ...

Tink, you bring absolute joy to my heart, and I am having the best time watching you learn and grow! I love you more than coffee,

Getting settled

Just a few pictures of the fun we had getting settled into our new routine
 The perfect bookshelves for my little book worms
 picnic lunch in the back yard
 watching movies on a (thankfully) rainy day
Reading in Mommy and Daddy's closet (a favorite place to play)
Watching construction workers at the end of our street
(On our way home from the park only a few blocks away!)
Game day
Wating for Daddy's arrival at the end of the day

Boxes ...

are good for much more than packing and shipping, you know! With just a little imagination, a plain old box becomes:
  a pirate ship
 a hiding place built for two 
an airplane
a cave for you and your best buddies


8 months trying to sell and 3 months of searching were finally worth it when we found our home! Getting things in order was, of course, an adventure, but when all was said and done, things worked out just as they should have. The kids got to stay with Nana and Papa for a week so that I could get things settled, which was such a gift! I worked like crazy to take advantage of the uninterrupted time unpacking, and couldn't wait for them to join us. They were so excited to get here, see their new rooms, greet all of their things that had been in storage, and immediately began taking advantage of the room to play and run. We held a garage sale to get rid of some unwanted things and were able to buy some things to make the space feel more our own. After several weeks, it finally started feeling like home.
We are pleased to introduce you to our new home! This is just a small peek inside, we hope you'll come visit to see the rest :)
 dining room
living room
Please come visit soon!

So Long, Farewell, Alvederzane, Goodbye ...

In some ways, it seemed like a long summer in the apartment, waiting. Not knowing when we would find a house was a challenge. Looking back, it was a good experience for us, made even sweeter by the anticipation of the perfect new home. We learned a lot about waiting, about what was important to us, and were so gently reminded that apartment life was not as fun as when we were in college :)
 Helping pack her books
Goodbye, horses
 Goodbye, apartment
And it begins ...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer fun

Spending the summer in an apartment during a record heat wave would test anyone's patience. While it's been a challenge and we've had our moments (like our bongo-drum-playing neighbor and middle-of-the night parties in the breezeway), the kids have been troopers. They know how to have fun wherever they are. I really enjoyed watching them play and giggle and become friends in this tiny space we called home for the summer.

When Mommy's away ...

Ryan had the kids a few weeks ago, and sent this picture to my camera ...
Guess it's time to stock up on wipes.