Friday, May 30, 2008

Soccer Time

Soccer season is winding down and this year we've got TWO (although one was somewhat reluctant) soccer players in our family!

Will liked playing goalie the best this year. He'd bring along his vest for the goalie to be distinguished from the other players, and hopefully ensuring he got a turn to play that position.

Many of Will's practices and games were cancelled and postponed this season, so even though the season is supposed to be over, we are still playing make-up games. Sam was a somewhat reluctant soccer participant this first year. He knew we had "signed him up" for soccer, so after the first game, he wanted us to "sign him out -" meaning he was done with all that. At least he had size to his advantage: For some reason there seemed to be alot of this...
And this...going on.

This video says it all about Sam's personality - he just goes with the flow, but if he sees someone who he thinks might be in need, his compassion takes over. It doesn't matter if he's in the middle of a soccer game or not.
Lots of windmilling arms for some reason. Not too much aggressiveness either.

He really just seems to not have a care (or a hurry) in the world. That's my happy-go-lucky boy!

(...With the too small shirt and the too big shorts!)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


It may not look that drastic, but she took off 2 inches in some places! This was as good as we could get, considering how wiggly he was while it was being cut.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Before and During

Before...Why are you taking pictures of my hair, Mom?Hmm....grass.... Yum!During...
What are you guys doing to me?!

Sorry, but you'll have to wait for the "after" pictures.

Happy Birthday, Emily!

Happy Birthday Emily! I can't believe my baby sis is getting so old! What is it now, 27?! You're creeping up on the big 3-0! In honor of your special day, here are just a few of the things I love about you:

  1. You are an awesome aunt

  2. You are a great sister-in-law to my husband and you put up with Joe.

  3. You love your mommy

  4. Your love of music, you always have good recommendations

  5. Your love of blogging - I credit you with inspiring me to start

  6. Spontaneous bursting into song and dance

  7. You are always doing something adventurous - even though it scares me sometimes, I love that about your spirit

  8. I know you are always praying for me and my family

  9. You take the time to call me on your lunch hour or on the way home from work, sometimes for no particular reason, just to say hi.

  10. Your rockin' sense of style - not everyone can pull off 6 layers, scarves, dresses over jeans, chunky jewelry, wide belts over shirts, etc. and still look incredibly cool.

  11. Your hair

  12. That you are willing to listen to God's leading even when it might not make sense to others

  13. Your intensity

  14. Your compassion

  15. Your ability to make friends wherever you go

  16. Your laugh

  17. Your inability to hold your bladder during number 16

  18. You forgave me for all of the years that I was really, really mean to you growing up. (Right?!)

  19. Your deep love for Jesus - it shines through everything you say and do

  20. Even though you experienced great loss at an early age, you didn't let it stop you from doing great things

  21. Your voice, especially when it's singing

  22. You were able to make a strange, big city your home

  23. Your independance, yet dependancy on God

  24. Your love of photography

  25. That you lead a life of worship

  26. Your silliness

  27. You are just a great sister!

Happy Birthday, Emily, I love you sweet sis!

From the boys, Take 1:

Take 2:

Take 3 (with a "Texas accent"):

Take 4:

Is it completely obvious that someone is trying to compete already? Max only seems to make noise when the other ones are!

Take 5:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Laura!

Today my sweet sister Laura turned....should I say it? 32! We are getting old, aren't we? Luckily, she's just as beautiful as ever. Here are just some of the many things that I love about her:

1. She is a great mother to her kids.
2. She is an awesome aunt.
3. She is a loving and committed wife, who puts up with Joe ;)
4. She loves her mommy.
5. I can always count on her for advice or just to listen.
6. She only recently started expanding her artistic abilities, and has already surpassed me.
7. She's a great cook and always willing to share recipes with me when I'm in a cooking rut.
8. She always has her toes and nails painted. And when I do my toes, my kids say I look like her.
9. She is not afraid of color.
10. Green is her favorite and she's got me sort of liking it too.
11. She makes her home inviting and interesting and is always changing or working on some decorating project.
12. She's not afraid to hold and care for my spit-up baby.
13. She lets me sleep with her on our overnight art show trips.
14. Sometimes we can just look at each other and know what the other one's thinking (and it usually involves mocking Mom - with love of course.)
15. She loves God.
16. She has good fashion sense.
17. She doesn't mind if I buy the same clothes as her.
18. She introduced me to chunky jewelry and layering and now I feel naked without them.
19. She has a great sense of humor.
20. She has a really weird tolerance to pain - she'll laugh rather than cry.
21. We share a love for reading and she shares her recommendations with me.
22. She's a Guitar Hero expert.
23. She's always up for a rummaging expedition or a trip to Hobby Lobby.
24. She's patient - even when her 2 year old repeatedly draws on her artwork.
25. She created Lily Margaret.
26. She was able to handle being a very young first-time mom with incredible grace by putting Jesus first in her life.
27. She shares my love for chocolate.
28. She shares my love for blogging.
29. She accepts me for who I am and is not critical.
30. She supports and encourages her kids in everything they do.
31. She forgave me for all the years growing up that I was mean and nasty to her.
32. She's just a great sister -she's always there when I need her.

Love ya lots, Laura! Happy Birthday!

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's Grrrrrrrreat to be a Lemme Leopard!

Today was the culmination of a school year worth of character building. It was Lemme's Character Counts celebration. All year long they've been "spotting" the school with Lemme Leopard spots. Whenever a child was "spotted" displaying a character trait:


They were given a black or gold paper spot with their name and the character trait written on it, to hang in the halls of the school. The goal was to fill the school with spots. Today was the day they celebrated all their hard work and caring attitudes by having a parade and picnic lunch. Even though the weather did not cooperate, the show went on! They started by gathering in the back of the school to recite the Lemme pledge:

The Heart of a Lemme Leopard
I am important
I am a winner
I am respectful to others
I know that everyone is a little different and that's okay
I will do my part to make sure that everyone has a safe and happy day
I will make the choice to do right
I will make a difference in the world
I am a Lemme Leopard!

Go Lemme Leopards!

At the time I shot this video, I didn't know where Will was in the crowd. Later I realized he was about in the middle, with a white long sleeve shirt on, next to a girl in yellow. He has his back to us in the video, so you might not be able to pick him out.

I had no idea that the parade would be as elaborate as it was. They marched around the outside of the school, up the front walk, and down the street a block, then turned around and came back the same way they came. The parade was grand marshalled by beloved teacher Mr. Williams who is retiring this year. He rode in the golf cart. Then there was the mascot - someone's dog dressed in a Lemme shirt. A teacher jazz band started them off and a small portion of the City High marching band brought up the rear. Different grades made banners, posters and signs and decorated themselves with hats, spray painted hair, spots and funny costumes.

There were noisemakers, a juggler and both the City High boys' and girls' basketball teams made appearances with their state champion trophies!

Some classes had their own chants and songs that they made it up. I heard things like "Who let the Leopards out?! Mr. Ba-con!" "We are the Leopards! The mighty, mighty Leopards!" and "We are the soggy Leopards!" Mr. Bacon made announcements on his bullhorn as each group went by. It was quite exciting! The school pride and ownership is unbelievable. I must admit the whole thing made me teary eyed and a lump in my throat. I feel so blessed and proud that our family can be a part of this school where our children are so obviously valued and loved.

Will's grade each made their own butterfly on a stick and picked a character trait to write on its body. Will's says "responsibility." I think the reason they chose butterflies is because they are doing their butterfly unit right now in Science class where they raise caterpillars to butterflies - Painted Ladies.

I started to announce Lemme's very own best secretary ever, my aunt, at the end there (don't you love the leopard reading glasses?!) But she was a woman on a mission and didn't have time for my silliness. That's what happens when you become a VILP - (Very Important Lemme Person) you don't have time for us little people any more. Just kidding, she always makes time for us. And, Oh my, but doesn't that bring back memories of my own band days!

After the parade, everyone headed inside to enjoy an indoor picnic. Families and kids were allowed to spread out in the classrooms, library, or gym. We decided not to bring a lunch, which was very confusing to Sam, but I couldn't see wrestling a baby and trying to eat, and instead sat with Will and his friends while they ate their lunch. It was so much fun!

Happy Birthday, Noah!

Last week we went to a party for our nephew Noah, who turned 7.

Max really liked the balloons:
(anyone think he's about ready for his first haircut?):
...Lily really liked the cake:
...and Noah really liked his present from his parents - an electric scooter. Here was his reaction:
This next picture cracks me up because Will was trying to be "helpful," and Joe was trying to monitor Will's "helpfulness."
Lily loves being outside. Notice the chocolate face, the double skinned knees and the beautiful hair blowing in the breeze. She was a lovely sight.
Everyone got a kick out of the 3-D sidewalk chalk - pretty cool stuff.

Here's what we got Noah:
For some odd reason, everyone thought that Noah and I were now the same height. I beg to differ.Everyone had to have a turn trying them out.

Happy Birthday, buddy! The boys are dyin' to get over there and ride that new scooter of yours.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sam's Last Day of Preschool...

...until next year!

In case you can't understand the video, here's the rundown of Sam's favorites:

favorite food: pancakes

favorite color: orange (because that's his Dad's favorite color)

Toy: "lots of cars"

Animal: elephant

Favorite center: firefighter drama center (dress-up, pretend and role-play)

bible story: "Jesus, when He died on the cross - do you remember that one?"

snack: "Cheese, strawberries, and crackers - that's it!"

song: Mr. Sun

art project: "Making a tree"

book: "Penguin on a bus book"

When I grow up, I want to be a "Dad - so I can make all of the rules."

They had a celebration where each kid was recognized and then we headed out to City Park for a picnic lunch. We got sprinkled on, so we ended up eating in the car on the way home, but at least Sam got to play with his friends a bit before the rain started. It was a fun day. Looking back over his Memory Book, we were surprised to realize that at the beginning of the year Sam was 44 inches tall and weighed 44 pounds. At the END of the school year he was 46 inches tall and weighed 59 pounds! Can that be right?! 15 pounds in 9 months?! If so, he weighs almost as much as his older brother!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Birthday (yesterday), Aunt Shelly! We miss you and we love you! Hope you had a good day and that these videos make you laugh!
You can expect a package in the mail - but not for awhile, since it probably won't get mailed out until tomorrow!

Take 1:

Take 2:

Take 3:

Take 4:

Take 5:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Well, Good Morning!

This is what I found when I went in to get Max this morning:

It's such a surprise when he does something new - and by the way did you hear all of those new sounds? Da-da-da! The reason I went in is because he was crying his 'hurt' cry. After I took the video and got him out, I discovered his top gum where his new tooth is coming in was bleeding. (That tooth has been nothing but trouble, now he grinds his teeth together!) That's the hazard of holding on to the railing: you're bound to bang your mouth.

*Since I took this video, every naptime, bedtime and wake-up time has been very interesting. It's hard to fall asleep when you've pulled yourself up to sitting or kneeling and you don't know how to get yourself back down. It's not as cute when your baby is crying at 5 in the morning because he's pulled himself up and there's no way he's going back to sleep.

Time to lower the mattress?!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Get Daddy!

This is one of the boys' favorite activities. It's called "Get Daddy." It usually involves some kind of "trash talking": "Take that!" "You want a piece of me?!" and "Alright, let's get this over with!" are favorites. Although this was the first time I'd ever heard, "Leggo my eggo!"

"Get Daddy" lasts for as long as someone doesn't get hurt and usually ends with an injury and or tears. Good times...good times.

Did you notice all of the red marks on Sam's pale body?! Will probably had them too, you just can't see them on his skin. What's it going to be like someday when it's THREE against one?!

Monday, May 12, 2008


Can you believe these daredevils?! Listen closely and you can hear both Damon and Will's yells. Hi-larious!

This slide was the big hit this year with Noah and Will and their dads. Everyone else on the other hand said "NO WAY!" Although, against my better judgement, I was talked into going down the Howlin' Tornado. I screamed the entire time and literally saw my life flash before my eyes and my legs were like jelly afterwards. NEVER AGAIN.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Spring Program

Sam had his spring preschool program this past weekend and it was so cute! He did a great job of singing and paying attention and looking adorable!

This next song I DO NOT LIKE! It's entire purpose is to see how many funny faces and ridiculous poses we can get out of the kids, so that we can all laugh at them! It just makes me feel sorry for them! I think Sam manages to do it with great dignity. Feel free to tell me to lighten up, but that's how I feel!

Creepy Crawler

Max has been making great 'strides' with his crawling. He's not an army crawler like Will was. He gets up on all fours, but occasionally still gets tangled and 'trips.' Not much is slowing him down these days. He's even started to hold onto low objects and get up on his knees a bit, but is nowhere near close to pulling himself to standing. He really, REALLY loves to stand on your lap and hold on just with his hands. It's his all time favorite thing to do right now.

It's The Rhythm of Nature!

It's time for the long awaited videos of the clock tower show in the lobby of the Great Wolf Lodge. I know you've all been very patient and I really appreciate it.

Ok, Ok, so I know that the only people who appreciate these videos are the kids. But maybe someday they'll be able to look back at this blog entry (if technology hasn't made it obsolete) and think to themselves, "THAT'S what I thought was so neat?!" Well, everyone except Jack that is. He's already painfully aware that this little show is not cool.

More water slide videos to come in a future post!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

General All Around Goofiness

Coupla quick funny things:

Will lost his other front tooth last night, so now both are gone!Don't let that little flap of skin freak you out. Or this picture....It was SO lose that he could tip it and you could see inside the tooth. It was enough to give a mom the hee-bee-jeebies. But he was determined to not lose it until Monday because if you lose it at school, you get a tooth box to put it in. But he was fooling around with his brother and they bumped heads and CRACK! out it came! He put it under his pillow where we promptly forgot about it. He woke up this morning and said, "Boy, this is the first time I've ever lost a tooth and woken up in the morning and all I had was still just a tooth." Oops. Even though we all know he's just "playing along" for the money I said maybe the tooth fairy doesn't work on the weekends or she was on vacation. So he's going to try it again tonight.

And hey! Did you notice that Will has his glasses on? Some of you know that he lost his glasses on the playground on Wednesday. On Friday someone turned them in - a little bent, but intact!

Another funny story: Sam saw my newly painted toenails and said, "You've got lipstick on your toes, just like Laura! Why did you do that?!" For some reason it seemed to bother him. I responded, "I just wanted to be pretty, don't you like it?" "He said, "You're already a pretty girl, now wipe it off!" Sweet boy, but bossy. I hope he doesn't try to take that tone with his wife.

Max: Max tried some saltine crackers and red jello at Old Country Buffet last night! He was a riot to watch. He'd use both hands and get the jello to the edge of the table and then put his mouth down to the table to try to get it in! All the rest of the evening he spit up bright red spit-up onto the carpet. :( Tonight we went out to eat again and he fussed and watched us eat every bite (although he'd already just eaten at home.) So we asked the waiter, who kindly brought us saltines which instantly kept Max satisfied. This is the start of a whole new phase!

And by the way, this is the kind of stuff we like to do to a baby who can't defend himself:

*No babies were harmed in the making of these videos.

The Moment You've All Been Waiting For....

I know you all are DYING to hear about our Great Wolf Lodge trip. So far the thought of weeding through the 91 pictures and videos that I took has seemed too daunting of a task. So I decided to break it up into more manageable chunks, and give you a little taste here and there of all the fun we had. So sorry if you get sick of vacation pictures after the 6th post, but that's just the way it's going to be.

We'll begin the vacation posts with a tour of the accomodations (courtesy of Will, Noah and Sam):

You couldn't really tell from the video, but we had a dishwasher, nice sized fridge, stove and microwave in the kitchen. They also provided dishes, bowls, cups and silverware. Off of the living area we had a small balcony.

These kids are READY TO SWIM!...

Figuring out the whole snorkeling deal:
Check out those muscles! (Max isn't bad either...) Goggles are quite intriguing...Damon had to check out the "cereal tree" in the snack shop...Doesn't this just say it all....Fun in the dry play area - tunnels, slides, and foam balls to shoot....Silly faces...

How many balls does one boy need?!....Waiting for the show ("The Rhythm of Nature") to start...They're mesmerized.....

The Rhythm of Nature videos deserve their own post, don't you agree?!