How Old Is Jack?

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

How Old Is Amelia?

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Second Birthday tickers

Monday, June 30, 2014

Independence Day Parade & Our Weekend

This past weekend was our neighborhoods annual Independence Day Parade.  For the last 4 years, our whole family has taken part in the parade.  Thanks to lots of planning and work from our neighbor Bob who comes up with the float idea each year, we have the joy of participating each year with them.  Pretty much....he does all the work and we show up and join in the fun for the actual parade.
 Our family for the 2014 Parade - Jack (3 years) & Amelia (19 months)
 Bob, Stefani & Zachary - our wonderful neighbors, friends, and the parade planners for our families!
 The idea for Jack was to have him wear this horse costume.  He looked cute in it but couldn't walk very well in it so ended up riding in the wagon instead.
 Barrett drove the truck that carried the float.
 Jack and Amelia weren't sure what to think about all this.  They pretty much just sat and had a glazed over look as we marched down the parade route.  Occasionally I could get them to wave at the crowd, otherwise they just sat there quietly and watched.
 Bob (inside the fort he built) shot off candy from a canon (that he also built).  Some of the other neighbor kids rode on the float and had the job of squirting people with water through those 2 other canons on the back of the trailer.
Waving to the crowd & throwing candy
 Red, White & Blue kids with awards around their necks....
 ....1st place!!!!!
 After the parade, we stayed for the celebration.  Amelia LOVED the bounce house!
 Jack loved swinging with Pepa.
 Later that evening, our friends Lorelei & Zachary came over to watch the fireworks display from out balcony.
 Amelia and Lorelei were so excited to see the fireworks!  They were glued to watching the sky and enjoying every second of it.
 The little boys on the other hand were snuggled up on their Mama's laps scared and ready for the fireworks to be over.  Jack did way better than he did last year watching them, but was still a nervous little guy.
 Sunday morning Jack sat with Pepa in big church while Barrett & I sang in the choir.  Jack LOVES getting to see the choir sing and we thought this Sunday would be an extra fun day for him to watch since it was the day they sing all the patriotic songs and have the soldiers march in during the Armed Forces song.  He loved when they brought out the big American flag during one of the songs.  At the end he told Pepa "I want more flags!" After the service he went to help Pepa get the sound set up for the big class in the chapel.
 Dessert Sunday night was smores!  Who ever said you couldn't make smores in the house at the kitchen tables?  
 No big camp fire needed. Just a couple of tea light candles and we were set!
 Amelia chowed down on some marshmallows.
 Yum! Yum!
We took a Sunday night walk to Mom-mom & Pepa's house.  Amelia is in love with this little white rocking chair they have on their front porch.  Just her size!
 This weekend we got out the water table on the back patio.  Too much fun!
 We took a walk to the swings.  It has been surprisingly cool so far this summer.  I'll enjoy this outdoor time while I can!
 Happy Independence Day!  So thankful for those who have fought for our freedom.
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
2 Corinthians 6:12

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Date Night

After coming back from our trip a few weeks ago and Tara hearing the story about our 'fun' stay at the airport for the night, she offered to watch the kids some evening so Barrett & I could go out on a date night to recover.
 We finally had our night out! We went and had dinner at Chili's then went bowling.
 Wasn't the best score I ever got while bowling, that's for sure! I even had the bumpers come up when it was my turn to bowl.  Barrett did awesome though!
 But I would like to point out that right before our hour of bowling was up, I was in the lead for our last game!
 We ended the evening out with some yummy drinks on the patio at Starbucks.  Sure is odd being out and getting to just sit without chasing 2 toddlers around.  We weren't quite sure what to do with ourselves!
It sounds like the kids did awesome at home playing with Tara, Uncle Jake & Eliana. Such a blessing having family around that offers to watch our babies so we can have a date night. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Little Artists

We had a painting adventure outdoors this morning!
 We brought the easel out on the front porch with some paint and brand new paintbrushes.
 Jack got straight to painting.  When I asked him what he was painting, he said "1's."
If that sounds like fun to you little buddy, go for it! Paint all the 1's you want!
 Amelia was going to just be a spectator, but she wasn't too happy about not getting her hands dirty too.
 Soooo, Amelia became a little artist on the porch this morning with her big brother!
 What a beautiful way to spend a Saturday morning.
 Amelia did awesome keeping the pink paint on the paper.  I was pleasantly surprised!

 Jack the Artist with his masterpiece of 1's. :-)
 The finished products!
 After all that concentrating while painting they had to get busy playing.  Here they are going for a "motorcycle" ride together. Such sweet playmates.
 Then Jack built a "fire" with the weeds we pulled. 
 Amelia just helped out by looking adorable as always.
 Once inside, they did another form of dough!
I love how Jack and Amelia have so much fun creating and being little artists. So many ways to explore and use the talents God has given them to create something beautiful.

"In the beginning God created..." Genesis 1:1

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Our Time in Washington, DC

After the wedding, we went to tour Washington, DC for a couple days.  There is so much to see in that city.  By this point in the trip Jack was becoming majorly home sick.  I'd guess about 20-30 times a day (if not more) Jack would say in a sad pitiful voice, "I want to go home."  He is just a creature of habit and being away from his routine just made him sad. When asked what he missed about home, one thing he mentioned was eating a sandwich while sitting next to daddy.  It was just the little things that he missed like sitting at our kitchen table, playing with his toys, watching shows on our TV.  All this to say, it was nice being able to see the sights of the city, but by the end, we were more than ready to be home!
 1st stop - the Air & Space Museum
 Checking out the astronaut mural
 Sitting in the pilots seat
 Amelia had to give it a try too.

 But what was Jack's favorite part of the Air & Space Museum you may ask?  Surely the airplanes, right?!?!  Nope. It was the escalators!
So up and down he went on the escalator.  Who knew he would have been happy with going on vacation at the local mall? 
 The next day Jack mentioned that he wanted to go back to the airplane place.  When we asked what he wanted to see there he said, "I want to ride on the escalators!"  At least that part of the trip was exciting for him!
 Next we walked out the doors of the museum and were greeted by the grassy mall area with a view of the Capital and Washington Monument.  The highlight for the kids at this point was playing in the dirt and gravel. Once again...its the simple things.
 At the Capital
 Amelia with the Washington Monument in the background
 Our family in Washington, DC
More fun in the dirt!
Right by our hotel was a Krispy Kreme donut shop.  We made that our yummy breakfast 2 of the mornings.
 We visited a couple of the other Smithsonian Museum's.  And when I say visited, I mean walked through a couple of the rooms quite quickly...since all we heard was a small voice next to us saying, "I want to go home."
 I loved seeing all the animals at the Natural Science Museum.
 Snack time - Popcorn!
 Jacob and Tara were in DC the same time we were and they were kind enough to arrange for us to go on a private tour of the Capital with them.
 Here Barrett is standing in the very center of the capital which is also the very center of the city.
The kids look over joyed to be on this tour. Maybe in another 10 years or so the tour will go over a little better for these two.
 Jack (3 years old) and Amelia (18 months old) in Washington, DC
After a long day of sight seeing, my Aunt Lousie & Uncle Mauro (who live in the DC area) treated our family and Tara's family to dinner out and then invited us back to their house for dessert.  This was SO much fun (my favorite part of visiting DC actually!)  The kids loved being able to roam around the backyard, play, eat desserts, and it was so nice having some time to visit with family. 
 Finally, freedom to run free.  The freedom didn't come without boo-boo's though.  Ice and band-aid's needed for both kids at one point or another throughout the evening.  Still a perfect and just FUN evening.

 Louise did up a nice table full of snacks, juice, and not pictured here is a tray full of little cartons of Ben & Jerry's ice cream for each person.  Such hospitality shown to us!

 Our evening on the porch - chatting and eating ice cream.
 We even got to catch fire flies!

 Next up...the Washington, DC Zoo
 Petting Zoo area
 Monkeys in the rain forest
 Once coming out of the rain forest it began to rain on us!  We were waiting undercover for it to hopefully pass and Jack rain out into the rain and said, "Take my picture in the rain!"
 The rain wasn't letting up anytime soon so we just had to make a run for it in the pouring down rain.  The kids likes this part cause Daddy was pushing them fast in the stroller.
Pulling over for a view of the elephant

Panda Bears

Amelia's favorite animal to see was the snapping turtle.
 This lion was putting on a show for all of us and roaring loudly!
 That evening we made a trip to the Lincoln Memorial.  Amelia was asleep so never actually saw it.  But this picture proves that she was there...even if she didn't see it with her own eyes.
 My honey and I at the memorial.
Jack and Daddy took the stairs down
We have a book called "Good Night Washington, DC" that has pictures of many of the sights in the city. We have been reading it the last couple months, so it was nice to see the sights in person and show Jack & Amelia the real deal.
 Holding the Washington Monument. Ha!
 Vietnam Memorial

 Korean War Memorial

 Dinner was at a Chinese restaurant in China Town.  A yummy meal after a busy day!

 Jack even got to see a window full of waving cats!
 The White House

 One last stop at Krispy Kreme
 Our plane home was taking off from Baltimore, Maryland.  The plan was to do a little sight seeing in the area, but once we made it there and found parking we only had 30-45 minutes to look around.  It was rushed but we got to get a glimpse of it.
 Jack and the transformer
 Amelia and the mini car
 Lunch/Dinner was at the airport.  We got a seat right next to the window so we could watch the airplanes and eat our McDonald's food all at the same time.
 This boy was happy to be on his way home!

 Unfortunately, we weren't as close to home as we thought.  Our first flight to Charlotte, NC that was suppose to take off right after 5pm on Wednesday night ended up leaving 3+ hours late due to weather issues.  We knew we were going to miss our connecting flight to Dallas so Barrett called and got us scheduled for the next connecting flight out which was going to leave Charlotte just after 10pm.   Sure enough though when we landed in Charlotte, we had to sit on the runway for over 30 minutes which made us miss our next flight (which was already delayed by about 30 minutes).  End result...there were no more flights out that night! :-(  We were now scheduled for an early morning flight home and slept on cots in the terminal of the airport (along with 100+ other people.)  Crazy thing, this was the first time we checked all of our luggage onto the plane, so we had nothing with us!  There was no point going to a hotel with no luggage, no car seats, and only spending about 4 hours there before having to head back to the airport.  Soooo, sleeping at the airport seemed like the better of the options.
The kids really did good for the situation we were in.  Jack had fallen asleep on the flight then stayed asleep even once he was in the stroller, so he slept straight through from about 10pm-5am.  Not bad for a nights sleep in a stroller at the airport.
Amelia on the other hand was wide awake and not in the mood for sleeping at the airport.
 Our cozy corner for the night
 Our address for the night - Gate D10 at the Charlotte Airport
 Finally around 2am Amelia gave in and fell asleep.
Throughout the night, Barrett and I get maybe 2 hours sleep.  I don't recommend ever sleeping on a cot.  Not comfortable at all!
 Rest at last!
 Jack was a little confused to wake up and find himself still at the airport.
At one point it felt like we would never make it home, but we did! By 12:30 the next afternoon we were home!   Home at last!  It is fun to be away, but oh so marvelous to be HOME!!!!!  No plans to travel on a plane anytime soon.  We like our home. :-)