Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mother's Day

It's time for your favorite guest writer to throw in his two cents. Come on, how could I let Laura write the post about Mother's Day. That would be like the year I didn't get her a card because I believed her when she said she didn't want one. Lesson learned. 

Now I'm really good at pretending like I work hard, but here's the truth. When I get to the end of my weekend, I'm not too disappointed to head back to the office. Because my office is quiet. In my office, there is no one whipping buggers on me. In my office, there is no one asking me for milk...again. 

This is not how my wife spends her week. She spends it neck deep in small child grossness, temper tantrums, irrational arguments, and constant need. Then there's the occasional, "Thank you mommy." thrown in there to make it all worth while. 

Mother's Day this year started on Saturday with a Mother/Daughter Tea Party. The tea was good, the crafts were nice, but the picture is the real winner. I'd just like to say that it is not fair that they are both so cute. How can I say no to either of them? My blessing is my curse.

Holidays that are celebrated on Sundays present a bit of challenge. This picture was taken during the 90 minute respite we had between church in the morning at Westover and in the evening at South Church. But we did get a mostly cute pic of the kids with mamma.
I'll wrap this up by simply reminding myself- and you- that Mother's Day is a token Hallmark holiday, that barely scratches the surface of the thanks the this mom deserves. Thanks for making our world go round, love.

End of the school year CAMPOUT

       Aidan wanted to do something big to celebrate all his hard work in Kindergarten.  I believe his actual words were "Mommy, when will I get paid for all my hard work this year in Kindergarten?"  After I broke the bad news, I told him that I DID think he deserved a reward.  We decided to ask his two best friends from Fortis to have a campout in our backyard. There was much anticipation involved.  The three talked about it for weeks.  

Yes, we know it is ridiculous that they are sleeping in a tent and watching TV at the same time. But how cool is it to be able to put these two awesome sleepover experiences together? 
       We had a lot of rain around this time and I wasn't sure until that night if they were actually going to be able to sleep outside.  I looked at the forecast and it called for clear skies.  I woke up at 4 in the morning to the sound of rain.  Cliff slept outside with them and said they slept through everything. He really complained about having to sleep in his hammock. Ok, that's a lie. He threw a fleece blanket over the hammock and thought it was the greatest thing he had done in weeks. He really needs a hobby.  
        The night included s'mores, multiple nerf gun battles, two movies, going to sleep at 1,  and a night full of memories!


Soccer. Enough Said

Aidan is super excited that he's getting to play soccer this Spring. The kid just loves every single second of it. His favorite part is defense. Scoring goals is a close second. I'll admit, his team isn't the best in the league, but he doesn't really care. He just loves to get out there and run a million miles and hour from the kick off to final whistle. 

This is Aidan's reaction after scoring his first goal. We don't watch a lot of soccer in our house, so he doesn't know that he's supposed to run around the field waving his shirt over his head. But there's still time for him to learn that. 

I wouldn't say that Noah is a huge fan of going to soccer games. When he wasn't throwing his chair around the side lines, he was running across the field. The upside is that he kept his clothes on. We'll celebrate the small victories.

Now please sit back and enjoy the string of action oriented photos that capture his prowess on the field.

"Mom look how sweaty I am.  I worked really hard."

We totally didn't realize that our neighbors were signing their daughter up to play soccer, as well. Thus, they ended up on different teams. Perhaps they both would have had a better game had they not spent half their time flirting with each other.

The Not So Memorable Memorial Day

This one is a little embarrassing. Cliff and I grew up in tornado alley. We know what a real storm is. But freedom is found in transparency. In the month of May it rained pretty much every single day of the month. Which was great, considering we were in the midst of a hardcore drought. 

On Memorial Day we had the largest rain storm of the month. Tornado warnings were in effect, lighting was flashing, thunder shook the house. Cliff and I were watching the radar map. We finally heard that there was a tornado spotted about 20 miles southwest of us. So, we drug the kids to the bathroom, threw a mattress in front of the window and prepared for the heart of the storm. 

The kids sat in the tub for about 5 minutes while the rain poured down before they stated getting really restless. So we pulled out the big guns and set up the laptop and let the kids binge on Netflix. 
No tornados ever came within 20 miles of the house. Nor did any even touch down. Yet, we spent the better part of Memorial Day evening hunkered down in our bathroom taking shelter from the rain.

But it did rain A LOT. We topped out at just over 4 inches of standing water in the back yard.

On a more serious note, the folks downstream from us were ravaged by some serious flooding. The town of Wimberly was hit the hardest. Many lives were lost, and many more homes destroyed. So when you go to bed tonight, say a prayer for the folks whose lives were torn up by that. And if you feel yourself moved to throw some help their way, check out

We Miss You Nap Time

Ever since we added a second kid to the family, we've fearfully anticipated the day when none of our kids would nap any more. Don't get me wrong, we love the munchkins to death, but there's something about that sweet silence of nap time in the middle of the day to give you the boost you need to be a good parent. That day has finally arrived...and our fears were warranted. 

Noah's first experiment with quiet time had a strong book theme. This manifest itself with every book being removed from the shelf. Not some books. Not most books. Every. Single. Book.
No big deal, though. Kids will be kids, right? Day two showed promise. It was a much more minimalistic adventure that really centered around puppets. It showed progress, understanding, and hope. 

Then there was day three. Legos.... Not cool, Noah. Not cool. After day three we told him he could have a donut if he didn't make a mess during quiet time. Thank the Lord he will sell out for one single donut.
In the few weeks that have passed since these pics were taken we've seen our bribery rewarded. On those special days, when Noah is in a really good mood, he'll take us by the hand and lead us into a perfectly cleaned up room and give us "Ta da!!!!" He's now very proud of his ability to clean up after himself. Maybe this parenting thing isn't completely impossible. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mt. Bonnell Adventure

My favorite day of the week is Friday. There's a special feeling of freedom to have a day off when most folks are stuck at work. Since we're still a month away from Austin area school being out for the summer, we're trying really hard to get out and do some things when no one else is around. Our first stop was Mt. Bonnell. If you live anywhere that has real mountains, you'll make fun of us for calling this a mountain. None the less, it was a still a great outing for the family. 

Most of our time was spent on the stairs. There was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 billion roley poleys on the stairs. the kids had to touch and count each of them and capture as many as possible. 

We make it to the top and enjoy a really great view of the hill country. Aidan and Ryla are fully aware that this is a great photo opp, so they take the positions and look cute. Noah doesn't care about pictures, though. He's still hunting for bugs...

We finally convinced the younger two that they wouldn't be eaten alive by monsters if we took a train through the woods. Aidan thought it was an awesome adventure into the wilderness. Noah wanted to find more bugs, and Ryla wanted to get back home so she could put her princess dress back on. Ok, that last one's not true. She may like the pink frills, but she can handle some action and adventure with the best of them.

Mom said she wanted a picture with the munchkins. Noah believes this is code for being a poop and cry a lot. The good news is that he does have a relatively cute "I'm in a bad mood face."

Ryla thought the morning was pretty awesome and decided to celebrate with some gymnastics- shocker. Lot's of fun was had by everyone, and we're pretty excited for a month of adventure.


Family Story Time

During the school year we really focused on making sure Aidan was reading the assigned readings. Now that school is done, we're pretty focused on making sure he keeps getting some practice since it would be really annoying to get to first grade and find out he forgot to read during his three month break. 

The other day we gave him a book to read that we have read together as a family many times. Aidan sat down to read it and the other two heard him start. As soon as they heard the opening line, they ran and jumped up on the couch for story time. This is the very first time Aidan has been the one to read them their book for story time, and it was a pretty awesome thing to witness. And, let's be honest, we don't mind having one less thing to do.