Friday, August 15, 2014

More Bits of Summer

I have snapped so many pictures of the kids this summer. Here are a few of my favorites.
Rebecca is a great big sister and knows how to make Brianna smile and giggle.
We went to a 4th of July party with friends who had a dunk tank set up. Despite the cool weather, Rebecca volunteered to be dunked over and over.
Sparklers on the 4th of July.
Brianna started crawling! (By now she is pulling herself up and cruising around!)

 Blake broke his collarbone by falling off a dining room chair head first. It really bothered him the first few days, but after that he used his arm just as much as ever. He wore the sling for 4 weeks.

A rare moment of sibbling cooperation.

 Blake, "I wanna under puppy!" (aka - under dog)

 We entered Blake in the Barnyard Babies competition at the Jasper County Fair. His age group was suppose to dress up as "Mr. Farmer." He kept saying, "Daddy farmer, me farmer." So cute! He got 3rd.

Brianna also participated in Barnyard Babies. Her age group was suppose to dress up as "Little Miss Softball." I made her outfit and bow. She was so CUTE!! I really don't know how she didn't place :) They are both first place to us!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bits of Summer

Yesterday was my "official" first day of being a stay at home mom. If I was teaching again, I would have gone back to work. The day wasn't so bad, but I had constant thoughts of, "What was I thinking leaving such a great job!?" and that thought was followed by, "I'm so glad to be home right now!" I'm sure thoughts of school will become less frequent, but right now I'm missing it a little - and missing my co-workers a lot!

We've had a great summer with lots of little outings and play dates with friends. One of our favorite new places is Union Park's splash pad in Des Moines. It's on the east side, which is close for us and they serve free lunch for the kids from Des Moines public schools.
 This is Brianna's first "pool" experience - she loved it! I took all three kids to the aquatic center in Newton and it was a disaster. Rebecca did fine, but I can't hang on to Brianna very well while trying to keep Blake from drowning himself or running away from me and going home with a stranger. So the splash pad is perfect size and depth for us.

 The picture below is a great visual of much of our summer - Rebecca tormenting Blake. They love each other, sure, but she constantly makes him squeal and scream. Maybe it's because of their age difference that they don't play well together - I still don't quite know. They do occasionally get along so I cherish the times when I hear them laughing and giggling together! 
On a side note, Blake does not like the feel of wet shorts and refuses to wear his swim trunks. Is he a little old to be wearing just a swim diaper, yes, but I pick my battles.
Being on the east side of Des Moines, there is a bit of diversity at the park. One day when we were getting ready to get our lunch, two grown women started fighting. Something about one of them looking at the other one wrong - real mature, I know. Anyway, they proceeded to get in each others' faces and fight with LOTS of profanity. I tried my best to steer the kids the other way and ignore what we were witnessing. As we settled down with our lunch, Rebecca turned to me said, "Mom, you know those women who were fighting, they were speaking Spanish." I love her innocence!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Kansas City Getaway!

It's been over a month now, but our little family vacation this summer was to Kansas City. Dan's sister Linda got married to Bill Pitts in Lee's Summit on June 28th so that was the main attraction and then we stayed a few extra days to take in some other sites in Kansas City.

We had a great time with family getting ready for and at the wedding. The girls were pampered with getting our nails and hair done at the salon. Rebecca was a flower girl with her two cousins and I was a bride's maid. Brianna even got her toes painted while she was asleep in my arms.

The girls' hair looked really cute - wish I had taken better pictures of it!
Here are some pictures of the wedding and reception. Again, I wish I had take more pictures, but with 3 kids to keep track of and bride's maid duties, there was not a lot of time for extra stuff :)

I thought I was finally going to get a family picture of all of us in our wedding clothes, but just before we took this picture I realized Brianna was asleep in her car seat. I know the professional photographer took one so maybe I have to get a copy of that! 

After a great family weekend, we took off on our own and spent 2 days doing things around Kansas City. The kids found a familiar friend at Crown Center Shopping Center.
 We went to Kaleidoscope, which is a kids craft center by Hallmark. Kids can go from station to station and make different crafts using left over Hallmark materials. It's also FREE!

 Then it was off to Lego Land! The kids really loved this place and could probably have spent a lot more time there if they weren't so tired. There were lots of different areas to play and build.

 Blake loved to Duplo play area the most!

 We also went to the Sea Life Aquarium. Rebecca had fun answering quiz questions as we walked through the exhibit and Blake enjoyed all the different sea creatures.
 We enjoyed one last supper out with Linda and Bill on our last night in the city. The girls love Aunt Linda!
 The kids had a great time swimming in the pool at the hotel. Rebecca got very brave and started jumping in without a life jacket. Blake also warmed up to the water after a while.

 Our final stop was the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. This attraction is also FREE during the week and such a fun place. Again, we could have stayed here all day - there was so much to see and do - but we were all tired and had to drive home in the early afternoon.
 We finally got a full family picture thanks to a friendly stranger! Love making memories together!
 Rebecca just had to have a pony ride. 
Kansas City is such a great place to go with the kids and only 3 short hours away. I know we'll be back to visit Linda and Bill and have some more family fun in the future. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Celebrating 10 Years!

It's hard to believe we've been married 10 years already! We thank God for bringing us together and blessing us with 3 beautiful children. Every marriage has it's struggles, but we've definitely had more laughter than tears!

We celebrated with a "kid free" night of shopping for an anniversary band - yeah for diamonds! Then we ate out at a restaurant with real linens (fancy) and then out for ice cream. It was fun and I get to pick up my ring on Tuesday!

Here are a few pictures from 10 years ago, July 24, 2004.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Little League

This year was Rebecca's first year in Little League. She really had a great time, but it was a big step up from playing Bam Bam Ball as a 5 year old last year. It was also a big step up for us getting all the equipment that goes with playing ball - glove, bat, helmet with a face guard, pants, socks, and cleats! She better continue to play :) 
Rebecca (far right) was on the Gold team. This is both the Black and Gold team (k-2).
Up to bat. They started hitting off a pitching machine, but then went to coach pitch.
She got much better throughout the season at paying attention in the outfield. After the first game I told her that she had to pay me 10 cents every time she played in the dirt while in the field :)
Here she is playing catcher, which was really just for looks because I don't think she caught a single one. The ball just bounced past her to the coach that was also behind the plate, but she had fun! 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Easter Blessings

(Here is a little more catching up.)

Easter is such a great time of the year! First, we celebrate our risen Savior and second, it's Spring time and who doesn't love Spring weather?! This year we did a little photo shoot before leaving for church on Easter morning. I'm so glad the kids were in a good mood!
 I put this collage together in Picasa. And then here are all the individual pictures just a little bit larger.
Dad and the kids.
Mom and the kids.
I was so excited to find matching dresses for Rebecca and Brianna! I didn't think I would be able to because they are so far apart in age, but I did - at The Children's Place online - great prices too!
Blake is such a goof ball! We love his silly smiles!
Rebecca took this one!
Brianna has some pretty good smiles too!
Growing up way too fast!