Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Catch-up Day

That is what I have declared today to be at our house. What things do we need to get caught up on? Here is a short list:
1. laundry
2. cleaning the dishes in the sink
3. charging my cell phone (it's been dead for a few days, I think)
4. "free" play for the kids - where they have to use their own imaginations
5. exercising
6. blogging

So, I folded the laundry from the dryer already. And I plugged up my cell phone. And the boys are playing/crafting with paper, markers, and scissors. (Evan is making cards for magic tricks.) And I am blogging. So far we off to a pretty good start!

I also thought it would be nice to catch you up on what we've been doing for the past few days. (Okay, it's been over a week. Sorry!)

Last week the boys finished their swim lessons! They did really well! Joel's teacher was telling me that because of his size and physical maturity he should stay in the same class if he took lessons again. I agreed and added that he's only three. He look surprised and said, "Oh! Then he's doing really well for his age!". (The other kids in his class were 5-6, maybe even a 7-year-old.) Evan's teacher said the same thing about him. And again, he was one of the smallest in his class. Steve was very impressed with their progress after swim lessons, so I am declaring the lessons a success this year on many levels!

That's Evan during his swim test. He made it all the way down and floated on his back for the required amount of time. Swimming back he was a little tired, but he has improved a lot on his strokes and his endurance.

On Saturday we went to a birthday for a sweet little girl from our community group in church who just turned 1! It was so much fun to share in her special day. Plus there were clowns there, too. Joel was scared at first, but recovered pretty quickly when the male clown made him a balloon hat. The clown also did card tricks, which is where I am assuming that Evan got his inspiration for today's craft. After that we came home and "chilled". That's what we did after church on Sunday, too.

On Monday we had some friends over. The kids had fun together and the moms actually got to talk! What a great playdate! It was raining when they were here, so we stayed indoors. Later the skies cleared so the boys went out to play. With the rain this past weekend and the beginning of the week, we have had a break in temperatures so the boys got to play outside some. I think we're going back to 100 degree days now, though.

Yesterday we attended a carnival at the local library. It was mostly outside, and the temps were making their way back up. The kids had fun though, and we ended the carnival time with a couple of trips down the inflatable water slide. Poor Joel got "stuck" at the end of the slide both times. He just stopped moving and had to get up and walk to the pool at the bottom. Evan made it in both times. I told him before his second trip that if he kept his back against the slide he would go faster. He tried it and it worked! He made a hug splash and had a great time!

The boys got their faces painted at the carnival, too. They didn't survive the water slide very well, though.

So, it seems that a quiet day at home is in order. Maybe I can take a few deep breaths today, too.
Monday, July 20, 2009

Not My Child Monday

I decided to play along with MckMama this week and share some of my boys' recent "non-happenings".

While we were at the pool with some friends today, my angelic 3-year-old did not become (and stay) King of the Raft by knocking the 6-, 7-, and almost-9-year-olds off of the raft - continually.

My 3-year-old did not ask me to eat some of his chips at lunch so that he "wouldn't get chubby." He wouldn't have heard the word "chubby" in our house.

My sweet, loving boys did not put on boxing gloves and go at it one day in the living room. And if they had, I wouldn't have photographed it. And if they had, they certainly wouldn't have continued until one of them burst into tears from an injury.

My 6-year-old has not become so addicted to video games that he has been caught hiding in a chair with them (without permission to play them). He has also not asked to exercise (many times) by playing Wii Sports.

That's all for this week. I am sure that there will be more to come.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How do you like your ice cream?

In your tummy or on your face?

You might also notice a small "boo-boo" sort of between his nose and eye. If you ask him how he got it, he'll tell you the honest truth - he flicked his brother's fork onto his face. I missed the actual injury, but I definitely noticed it right after. That was mostly thanks to the screaming that ensued. It happened while we were eating with Uncle Matt at Cheddar's in San Angelo. Daddy got the "bleeding" under control (which is in quotes because there wasn't really that much, but Joel acted like there was), and Joel finally calmed down and was able to eat. It is healing just fine, now. But hopefully he will remember that it is not a good idea to play with forks.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

First Day of Swim Lessons

Evan did really well in his class today! He got to practice floating on his back, which has been a bit of a problem for him. He also kicked off the wall and glided to the teacher. He did a good job of keeping his face in the water while doing that. Later when they would swim as part of a game he would keep his face out of the water, though. All in all, he did a great job today and said that he had fun!

I was more concerned with how Joel would do. He likes to observe in new situations and he prefers to have me or his brother with him, too. He warmed up pretty quickly to his teacher and did a god job. The teacher tried to get him to swim while blowing bubbles, doing his arms, and kicking his legs all at the same time. He could do one at a time really well, two at a time kind of okay, but three at a time was a problem. Still, this was a successful day for Joel, too, and he also said that he had fun.

Unfortunately, both boys are now tired and cranky so I declared an early rest time. Hopefully their attitudes will improve tomorrow. (They are probably still tired from all of our trips last week, too.)
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Return from West Texas

Does that sound like a good title for a movie? I was kind of thinking so.

We took a quick trip to San Angelo, TX to see Steve's brother this past weekend. He helps set up the wind turbines that generate electricity. He has been working near San Angelo for a while, but is about to move on to colder areas of the US. (We are a little jealous.) He invited us for a trip to see where he works. It was really interesting and we all learned a lot! Even Joel was asking questions - until he fell asleep.

We also got to spend some time just hanging out with Uncle Matt. We explored the San Angelo State Park and a couple of restaurants. We also hung out in his "bachelor pad" and played foosball and video games. It was nice to spend some time with him since he will be in the far northern parts of the US for the next few months.

I had never been this far west in Texas before, and I found myself getting confused by the terrain. If you are familiar with Texas, there are 5 (I believe) distinct ecological zones here. I usually know which zone I am in, but I was confused here. I took lots of pictures to try to capture the combinations. As I was reading some literature I figured out why. This is from the state parks website:
The park sits astride the junction of four ecological zones: the High Plains to the north, the Texas Hill Country to the south, the Rolling Plains to the east, and the arid Trans-Pecos to the west. Consequently, plant and animal life are highly diversified, including some 350 species of birds and about 50 species of mammals.The park is also home to Bison and the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd.
We did see lots of animals (mostly from our van) including what appeared to be a bobcat carrying a cottontail rabbit, a white-tailed deer, a prairie dog, a jackrabbit, and some bison. We did not see any of the longhorns, but that's okay since we would have had to SAW 'EM OFF if we did. (That's an Aggie reference for those non-Texans reading this.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It was fun while it lasted

We just got back late last night from a weekend trip to my hometown. It was a lot of fun to see the extended family as we celebrated my nephews' high school graduations. It was also nice to have a couple of days to just hang out at my dad's. It's always a shock to go back and see how the area has changed. For a while there were changes brought by Hurricane Katrina, but now we are back to noticing the changes wrought by "progress" and development. Some things don't change, though - like my favorite fast food establishment, Ward's. I have converted the boys to it now, as well. Evan said how much he liked it and asked when we could go back as we passed it on our way out of town.

We always like swimming at Uncle Freddy and Aunt Fuzzy's pool when we are in town, too. The boys were excited about going down the slide and off of the diving board. Joel did go down the slide by himself, but this is one of my favorite pictures. The look on his face is of pure joy!
Steve also got all of the kids at the pool to do different jumps off of the diving board. This was Evan's favorite - his "kung fu dive"
Dad had a litter of rat terrier puppies this time, too. It seems there are always different dogs when we visit, but this was the first time the boys got to see the puppies. They both loved the puppies, but were both terrified of the "big" dogs. Rat terriers aren't that big, plus these weren't the sweetest, calmest dogs that I have seen at Dad's in a while. We could not understand why they were so scared, especially Joel. He has never really acted scared of dogs before. Eventually they were able to play outside with the dogs running around. Joel had fun picking up the puppies. He would pick them up, set them down a few inches over from where they started off, and call that playing with them.
Thursday, July 2, 2009

VBS is over?!?

Already?!? And I didn't get any pictures from it?!?

Hard to believe, but it is true! I was so busy with crafts this year, that I didn't even take my camera to get pictures. But, trust me when I tell you that we had a great week! Evan really seemed to learn a lot, and had a lot of fun. He was also pretty well-behaved - as far as I could tell.

Joel got better about going into his class by the end of the week. We were getting up early, so he would complain before we left the house. He also didn't want to go into his class until his friend Emma got there. But he only hope had one whiny day, so that was pretty good for my child who doesn't really like new situations.

But, it was tiring, so I am done with this post for now. Time for rest!
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