Sunday, March 30, 2014

Andrea's Visit, Gak, and a "Room Makeover" (sort of)

My dear, sweet friend, Andrea [say On-drea. Not An-drea. She'll correct you if you don't  ;)], was here for the week! What a sweet time we had. We stayed up well past my bedtime every night--talking or watching movies. We shopped and shopped, mostly without spending much money. She is such a blessing to me! (POST SCRIPT: Tim reminded me that "On-drea" doesn't work in the south. Down here we say "on" like "own". How about "ah", like "open up and say ah". "Ah-n-drea". I love the south.)

The kids chose to take Spring Break while Andrea was here, which was super nice for me. But, too bad for them, the weather was horrible! I'm not sure they played outside once all week. Andrea and I took Zack to the library one day just to entertain him for awhile. We went to the new Main Library branch, and discovered that they had a nice, new Thomas train table. That was nice for Zack.

Another day we made "gak". We used a recipe William found online. (Side note: William is one serious on-line dude. He shops, he researches toys, he finds craft ideas...he loves the www.) Here's the link for the gak. Zack helped make the gak, and enjoyed playing with it. Trevor enjoyed it the most--too bad I didn't get a picture. He could stretch that stuff so far! If you've never made it before, it's just Elmer's glue, borax, and water. We added food coloring. It is squishy and stretchy and doesn't retain its shape--it just kind of oozes around.

Yesterday the kids were making forts. Again. And they got into an argument, again. Forts and arguments are inherently linked in our home. Tim took parent-duty. I don't know what made him think to do it, but he re-routed their creative energy into rearranging the room! They were so eager and hard-working about it. They just set to work, moving furniture and rearranging pictures on the walls! Moving that fold-out couch of ours is not for wimps, and they did it in a snap. AND, we looked down there and saw that they had moved this big, heavy mirror and had it hanging up somewhere else! Good teamwork! We had to take it down and re-hang it with more heavy-duty hardware, so I was able to get a picture the second time.

They needed a little help the second time... (I just love those bare shoulders, side by side, working together. Mamma-blessings come in all sorts!)

Even Zack was busy. He loves playing with Tim's little electric screw driver, and Tim had the brilliant idea to use an old shoe box for Zack to practice on! Samuel was his coach! It was so precious!

The room has been re-"fort"-ified, but hopefully we can get it cleaned up and I'll take a picture. :)

One last tid-bit: we finally chose our birth option. We are going to use a midwife at a birth center in Tallahassee (2 hours away). Our good friend (and birth instructor) had her last baby there, and recommended her. The place we are going is called the Birth Cottage, and it is adorable. We are so glad to have that decision behind us.

I know that whether or not your birth-place has poppies in its front yard is of no consequence, but it blesses my heart anyway.

P.S. Tim: I don't know if you read this or not, but Thank You for all your little blessings lately--taking the kids to the park so I can blog in peace, keeping them while I went out with Andrea, and getting Zack up for me while I laid late in bed. You are my favorite blessing.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

William's Birthday, The Lake, and other Fun Stuff

Ah, boys. Boys are so fun. I think I am really soaking up Boy Time lately, wondering if we will be having a girl entering our family this fall. What if these are our last sister-free months?? Well, we will soak them up and welcome her with open arms. But she better come with instructions and a crash helmet!

Sadly, Mom finally went home. I had a day and a half on my own with the kids while waiting for Tim to come home from his San Fran business trip. He's Zack and me chillin out...

Tim brought home a PILE of stickers from all the venders at his event. It was so fun to have all the kids crowd around him and see what there was. They were all SO glad to have Daddy home, and each wanted to claim some time with him.

The first day back we went to Spring Days at Landmark Park. Really only got one great picture--at the top of the post. Those boys and their tractors...

The day after that was William's birthday! Birthdays have been just one after another around here, and POOR Zack...not a one for him!! He's very happy to help celebrate, though. We sang Happy Birthday and had Peanut Butter Pie (again--yum!).

If you interfere with candle-blowing you get chopped...

Special gift from Grandma and Grandpa: A wax seal set with William's initials! From Italy! SO nice!!

The loot...  Thank you, Family, for all the wonderful and generous gifts!!!  This year I'm actually making the kids do thank you cards, so you can look for one with a WT wax seal on it!!

A random cute picture that I can't think where to stick in...except chronologically.  He's playing with Samuel's Marble Track, and showing me his marble...

Friday we headed to the lake with Tim's parents. What a delightful time I had watching the boys. Pretty shortly after we arrived we headed out on a boat ride. We have access to a pontoon boat, and it was fill-my-cup-up wonderful. When I think about it, it was so nice largely because the boys enjoyed it so much. And the weather was perfect. That helped. :) Zack brought a rocking chair on the boat... He happily wore his life jacket--both on board and off--I think because Dora and Boots make it cool. You probably have to have TV-watching-toddlers to understand that.

We "docked" nearby at the camp that Larry is currently helping build and played in the dirt. BOY HEAVEN. The dirt was fluffy and just slightly moist underneath--perfect for digging in and throwing.

and jumping in...

It was so good for my heart to watch the boys all playing together. The next day we took another boat trip to "High Mountain" (Zack's name for the dirt pile)--same song, second verse. This time Sharon and I took chairs to sit in and bask in the sun while the boys played. Then we headed back to the boat and cruised all around the little lake, eating the snacks that we had brought. Zack played with fishing tackle, and hung around. He was in heaven.

Love those little feet!!!!!! If only you could reach in and feel how soft and plump they are.

Yep, eating straight out of the peanut butter jar. We've fallen a long way from clean...or civilized. It had to happen.

Just noticed that he forgot to be cool and wear his life jacket. We can't get a ticket retrospectively, can we? Thankfully our five mile an hour tour didn't end in death or disaster.

That was one of those monster marshmallows in Zack's hand, there.

And, on to fishing! If you look close, you can see all 5 of my guys out there on the dock fishing. Just beautiful.

In birth order: Trevor,



and Zack.

Worms are a fun part of fishing. Zack was asking me here, "Where. Are. Their. Faces?" He still talks staccato. It's precious.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Birthday, Lamb Day, and Ripsticks

I love birthdays! It was especially fun to have my mom here this year on my birthday. Tim graciously kept all the kids (and maybe did some last minute birthday shopping with them) while Mom and I went out for the evening. We went to Firestone Pizza and had delicious gluten free pizza.

On my birthday we went to Pizza Hut and had delicious normal pizza. It was great! It's always so delightful to go out and have FUN with the kids! Then we came home and watched the Princess Bride! It was the first time for the kids, and they laughed a lot. So fun!

Saturday we went to the Lamb Days at Gaucho Farms. Zack had been moping around the house, but when I asked if he wanted to go to a farm, he yelled YES!!! Then he pumped his fists in the air and yelled, "We will Drive and Drive and Drive and Drive!! YAAAAAY!!!!" It was so funny!

When we first got there Zack found a dog that was so gentle and patient. Zack checked him all out...and got kissed, and loved it!

We went and saw some baby lambs in the barn...

...and some chickens out in the field.

That was a delightful time. Today was also delightful. The boys finally got their long-awaited birthday gifts from Grandma and Grandpa.


I was so proud of how eagerly and patiently they worked at getting the hang of them.

They worked in the driveway for a long time, and everyone got banged up. They were so tough about it though.

After awhile we loaded everyone up and drove to the park to practice in the parking lot. Zack, Grandma, and I hung around while they practiced.

They finally got good enough to ride up and down the parking lot without falling off. Then we rode/drove the block or so the the playground where they all spent more energy! It was such a lovely day!!

When we got home Samuel made smoothies for us!! Hooray for sweet children, for the good weather, for Grandma being here, and for birthday celebrations!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Daddy's Little Helper

Zack loves to help in the kitchen.  Tonight he was helping cut up strawberries for our Sunday Night Smoothies.  They are "Hoo-mon-dus" strawberries!

Grandma is back again!

My mom is back in town and we have been having such a nice time! It feels pretty weird to write this post because she is my main audience, but she's sitting in the next room...

We started out the week battling poison ivy. Yuck. The boys got into it on Valentine's weekend at the lake with Tim's parents. IT'S STILL BOTHERING THEM!!! Ugg. William had one little spot on his arm, and Trevor had a patch on each forearm, but earlier this last week it started to spread. When it spread all over his cheeks, I got him a shot and that helped. That was Wednesday, and he looks about the same, but it quit spreading. William's has spread, too, but he's hanging in there. He really doesn't want a shot! Both boys have been troopers.

On the up side, the weather has been lovely. We took a picnic to Landmark Park on Saturday and had a wonderful time.

Love having you here, Mom!!