Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Time out for women & adventures

I had my first experience of going to time out for women a few weeks ago. I carpooled and shared a hotel room with some women from church and it was fun! I was worried that so many church-themed speakers would be kind of boring, but it was really entertaining and inspiring.

The first night the special guest was David Archeletta! He sang quite a few songs and talked a little bit. What a sweet guy!

While I was gone, my mom watched the boys. James found a toad Saturday morning and spent the day playing with it and putting it in different containers. My mom texted me when I was on my way home and said, "the toad is waiting for you...."

The toad is in the big drink cup in this picture.

James loves to play in the dirt patch in a corner of our backyard. The dirt instantly sticks to him and gets him so messy, even if he only plays for a few minutes. He came in one day from playing in it and when I told him to clean up before sitting on the couch, he insisted that he wasn't dirty at all. Yeah.

There was an air show in town for the weekend but we were too busy to go on Friday or Saturday. Sunday as we were leaving church we saw the planes in the air very close to us, so we drove to a parking lot to watch. It was perfect! Quick, no fighting crowds, leave as soon as it is over. I might have to do it this way from now on!

Rett and I took a walk while James was at school. Rett couldn't stop talking! He was asking me what everything he saw was called and before I could get it out, he was asking me about something else. So curious!

He got out of his car and insisted on pushing it the rest of the way home.

He spotted a caterpillar and had to get it. He also tried to pick up a beetle but it was too fast for him.

Anthony and I finally got bikes so that we could go on family bike rides. The first time we tried it out, we didn't have a seat for Rett, so Anthony but him in our hiking backpack. He doesn't look happy, but he really did enjoy it :)

After a lot of searching, we finally found a bicycle seat big enough for Rett that attaches to an adult bike. It was definitely a learning curve riding a bike with this guy in the back! I lost my balance and actually fell over at one point, but Rett wasn't phased. We were on our way to ride over the train tracks and as I pulled the bike back up, Rett was saying, "Train tracks! Train tracks!" over and over.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Snakes and Boating

A few weeks ago James and Anthony were getting something out of our shed in the backyard, when James spotted a snake! He was so excited to see it, he immediately got Anthony to catch it for him. Anthony set it up in an empty aquarium and then he and James went back outside to catch a lizard for him to eat. They have been having so much fun with our visitor!

James is loving checking on the snake every day and everything about it he is fascinated by. He loves it when the snake flicks its tongue out at him.

The snake has gotten used to us enough that it will let Anthony or James hold it. James loves it! Notice how different the snake looks in this picture compared to the other ones? I was worried that it might be getting sick since it started to look kind of gray, but Anthony knew right away that it meant it was getting ready to shed. Sure enough, after a few days we had a snake skin for James to take to school for show and tell.

Anthony built this enclosure for his blueberry plants this year so that once they are ripe, we get to eat them instead of the birds. It has been working great! We've been able to pick a few blueberries so far this season.

The internet was down at Anthony's work, so he unexpectedly had the day off! We decided to celebrate by taking the boat out for the first time with Anthony's new truck. We had so much fun!

Rett wasn't a fan of wearing his life jacket :)

We fished for awhile but none of us caught a single fish, not even a small one! Right before we left Anthony caught a sting ray, which was better than nothing.

I took James to his new school for kindergarten registration. We met the principal and I filled out a huge stack of paperwork while James went with all the other kids to the kindergarten classroom. I wasn't mentally prepared for him to just be whisked away. Usually I try to prep James and the person who will be watching him before something like that, so I was nervous the entire time about how he was doing. For an hour and a half the kids took turns playing and being evaluated by the teachers to see which class they should be placed in. When we finally got home it was way past James' bedtime and I was still unsettled by the idea of him going off to school all day in just a few months. I let him snuggle in my bed and I said to him, "I think you should just stay home forever and play with me all day". James sighed and said, "Well, that would be fun, but I have to go to school. But on the weekends and when I am sick I will stay home with you and snuggle in your bed". I couldn't bring myself to make him go back to his bed, so he stayed and slept with us that night. No more growing up!

Rett and I were playing with play-doh and I kept noticing his long, gorgeous eyelashes. I mean, look at those things!!

I was trying to get Rett to finish his lunch and he kept goofing off and putting this hand towel on his head. He would get it on there and then say, "Mommy yook!! Yook! I a doggie!"

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

James 1st Soccer Game and General Conference

James missed his first soccer game of the season because of a friend's birthday party and the next week was spring break, so it was a while before his first soccer game. He wasn't excited about being the color black this year instead of green. He has the same coach as always and his team name is the Whales.

For some reason he isn't having as much fun with soccer this season than he has in the past. He drags his feet when it is time to go to practice or games and he isn't as excited to play. We are thinking that it might be because he doesn't have as many friends to goof around with on the team as he has had in the past. When it comes to the actual playing of the game, it seems like he has a hard time focusing on the ball when all the kids are running around him. I think we are going to investigate other sports for him that might not be as chaotic and difficult for him to focus.

I usually plan ahead for General Conference with activities and ways to track topics that are discussed, but this year with spring break, Easter, and everything else I didn't even think about it until the Saturday morning of conference. So I packed the boys into the car and we went to the Dollar Tree. I let them pick out a treat or activity for each apostle and member of the first presidency, so 15 different ones times 2 (one each for James and Rett). They had so much fun picking out soooo many things that were for them. Somehow we ended up spending $50 at the dollar store, which I think is a feat in itself!

After we got home, James helped me separate the treats and activities into different bags and I added my general conference pictures to the front of the bags. Every time a new speaker came on, James would get excited and say, "Is that one of ours??".

One of the bags had paints and Rett was all about it. Man that kid loves coloring and painting! He would choose each color carefully and then carefully decide where to put it on his paper. I love watching his brain work while he creates.

We left the train set up all weekend while we watched.

One of the things they picked at the dollar store were these plastic gumball machines. I filled them up with jelly beans and James ate a few and then saved the rest for later. I think he still has them hidden in his room somewhere. He is just like Anthony he can save treats for forever! Rett is just like me, eats it all right away until its gone :) James found one of my headbands and decided to wear it on his forehead the entire weekend. When Anthony came home, he told him that he looks like Nephi, which James thought was hilarious!

Easter 2016

This year the city's egghunt fell on a Saturday morning so I wasn't sure if I was up for taking both of the kids by myself. In the end we decided to give it a try and it actually turned out really well! 

James' age group and Rett's age group were on different fields so I let James go line up and wait by himself. I checked on him a few times and was so proud of him for waiting patiently and talking with the kids next to him.

At the two and under field with Rett, there were tons of eggs ready to be picked up.

Doesn't Rett look so happy to be at a fun event?? I swear I am going to make a collage of all of his grumpy expressions when we are out having fun.

Rett was so excited for each egg, he would stop and immediately try to open each one and eat the candy before trying to get any more. So he didn't collect many eggs :)

Trying to catch up after stopping to eat candy:

Then a train went by on the tracks right next to the field, so all egg collected halted while Rett watched the train.

Back at it, hopeful for some eggs after a 5 minute break to watch a train. Ummm, not likely :)

We walked over to James' field and checked out how many eggs he was able to get.

He found some friends from his preschool class so they decided to sit down together and check out what they got in their eggs.

The city photographer tried to get a photo of them looking at their eggs. James was suuuuper into it.

The Easter Bunny didn't hold back this year! We decided to try an idea I saw online of putting everything in an opened umbrella instead of a basket. The boys loved it! What is it about umbrellas that are so much fun? They had a blast playing with them and twirling them all around.

This was Rett's. He also got an awesome wooden train set that was 85% off at Bealls Outlet. Score!

James got a lot of fun things, including extra magnatiles to add to his set from Christmas, a magnatile building idea book, and a swimsuit with a real drawstring waist so that we don't have to make belt out of a shoelace so that his other one will fit around the waist.

After church, I went outside and hid the easter eggs that the Easter Bunny left for us to have an egg hunt with. The boys had fun, but we had so many eggs that I think they were getting kind of tired of picking them up. James even left before all the eggs were gone to go inside to start opening them up.

Rett found a golden egg with a dollar coin in it!

Checking out the loot:

Because we were all just getting over being sick, we didn't have family over for Easter dinner. Instead I took a nap and we had pancakes for dinner. It was so relaxing! We missed seeing everyone but it was also nice to spend time with just our family.