Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christ Has Risen!

What a beautiful Easter Sunday we were blessed with today! Of course we planned to attend church, but since we have a tendency to run a little late for the early service, we decided to give the new mid morning service a try. As you might expect, church is always PACKED on Easter Sunday, and you have to arrive so early to get a seat. This year our church decided to add an additional service during the Sunday school hour to help with the crowds, and what a wonderful idea it was! Since there was only 15 minutes between the services, you couldn't arrive too early (which worked out perfectly for us).

After listening to the beautiful music and meaningful message, we left happy and excited to get pictures in front of the flower cross. Steve and Bennett had cut some flowers from our backyard to add to the cross.

Then we were off to Steve's parent's house for Easter lunch. Since Myra was still slaving away in the kitchen when we arrived, we sat outside and enjoyed the weather. I even got a couple of photos with my two favorite people (I only wish I wasn't wearing that darn body bugg).

After we stuffed ourselves with a bunch of Lebanese food, Steve and I headed home to put Preston down for a nap. Bennett had already made up her mind that she was staying to play with her cousins and help Mimi decorate bunny cakes (and we didn't feel like fighting her). Steve headed back at 5pm to get Bennett and she had just passed out in BJ's lap. Evidently she played hard all afternoon: hunting eggs that Abby hid for her and decorating cakes, or should I say eating candy?

Once they got home, we played in the backyard until dark and just enjoyed the beautiful night. A perfect way to end a great day. Thank you Lord for all of our blessings, and for giving us your only son. We are all so fortunate.

Pre-Easter Celebration

Saturday afternoon Brian and Shannon and the kids came over for a little pre-Easter celebrating. We let the kids dye eggs, then had an Easter egg hunt with some plastic stuffed eggs, and lastly had dinner. The four kids have so much fun together and it is always crazy to watch them all interact and play.

Surprisingly, the egg hunt went well. There weren't any tears and the kids respected each other. We told Christian and Bennett that they had to leave the obvious ones in the grass for Pres and Hen (and they did). Then I was surprised to see Bennett and Christian trading eggs and helping each other (see for yourself in the video). Pres started off chasing after Christian, but quickly learned that he was gathering them all up and leaving none for him. Henley wasn't too assertive with the egg collection, and once she had a sufficient amount, she stopped and started eating the candy (that girl has a sweet tooth).

The colored eggs, before the kids decorated them with stickers.

Ready, set, go! And they were off......

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

This morning Steve and I headed over to watch Christian play t-ball. Steve had not been to see him yet, and wanted to before his season ended. Since Steve played baseball as a child, he loved seeing all of the little boys out there. We heard the Easter bunny is bringing Pres a glove and ball, so Steve is excited to get out in the yard with him.

My brother, Brian, is doing a great job coaching. All of the kids look to be having a good time, and I think they have actually improved a little since a few weeks ago. I saw a couple of kids actually catch balls in their glove, and they hustled out in the field to catch the ones that they missed.

Christian had a couple of good hits, and ran the bases like a champ (even though he could barely see through his huge helmet). When in the field, he had good form and certainly looked ready to jump on any ball that came his way.

In a couple of short years, this will be what our Saturday mornings look like....hanging at the ball field (and I can't wait!).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Parties 2011

This morning (after only 2 hrs of being at school), I needed to cut my day short and return to the kid's school for their Easter parties. Unfortunately the two parties began at the same time, so I elected to spend time with Pres at his party since I have been attending Bennett's for the past few years and I knew her party would last longer.

Preston's class ate lunch first, and my picky little eater elected to only drink his juice box and eat his veggie chips and a cupcake. Pathetic, huh? I know, I does this child grow!? Well, he is still consuming milk, yogurt, baby food and lots of crackers with an occasional serving of bacon and pressed chicken...yummy, right?

I am trying not to worry since he is a happy, healthy boy, but I am choosing to not focus on this for this blog post. After lunch, all of the mothers and kids waited in the hall while the teachers hid all of the Easter eggs in their classroom (since it was raining, we couldn't go outside). I gave Pres a pep talk about being assertive with the egg search, and he acted excited. However, once we entered the room, he got distracted (imagine that) with the first egg he found that happened to be in the shape of a football. He was so excited. He then decided to only "hunt" specific eggs....footballs and soccer balls. After much coaxing, he finally grabbed a few plain eggs and threw them in his bag.

After a couple of photos of Pres with his buddies, he was ready to leave, so we walked down the hall to Bennett's class party.

Once we got to Bennett's class, her party was in full swing. They had already had their Easter egg hunt and eaten lunch. She was just sitting down for her dessert, which was coincidentally the same thing that Preston's class had. Both mothers who volunteered to bring in the dessert made darling cupcakes with shaved coconut on top (made to look like a nest) with marshmallow birds and jelly bean eggs. And both of my kids quit eating once they got to the coconut (who can blame them many kids like coconut?). I felt bad because Bennett's class was much more vocal about disliking it and asked to have it removed, or the kids just tossed them in the garbage. So much hard work wasted....

Oh well, they certainly didn't have any remorse over it and happily moved onto singing. One of the moms sang a cute little Easter song that the kids repeated and acted out. Then they headed to the gym where they let out some of their pent up energy riding bikes and running around.

After much coaxing, I convinced the kids to leave so they could go home and go through their loot.

Now they are out of school until Monday, so keep a look out for more blog posts of our doings over the long weekend!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Visit to the Easter Bunny

After church we took the kids to get their picture with the Easter Bunny. Neither of them were afraid this year, and were genuinely excited to see him again (remember, they had a brief encounter with him at the Easter Egg hunt last weekend). They both hopped (ha ha!) onto his lap for the photo opportunity and I pulled out my camera to find the battery dead (wouldn't you know it). Oh well, I used my phone and got a couple of cute ones.

Afterward, they got a snack and made Easter bunny picture frames for the fridge. Well, perhaps I should clarify....Bennett made a frame and Steve made one for Preston. They turned out cute, and it burned a few minutes while they nibbled on goldfish crackers.

(Preston without his Woody doll)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Moments I Don't Want to Forget

Staying at home and being a mommy "full-time" can be so challenging sometimes. However, if I didn't stay at home and spend so much time with my kids I would miss out on sweet moments like this (that I don't want to forget):

1. One morning I went to take the garbage out and closed the door behind me so the dog and the kids would stay inside. As I was walking back up, Preston was standing at the door with his little arm around Spencer. Steve said that he told Spencer when I was outside "It's okay buddy, she'll be right back."

2. Whenever Bennett gets her nails painted or gets all dressed up, she goes to Preston and shows him, and he inevitably always says "You look beautiful" in his sweet little voice.

3. I recently received a new CD, one that my Emmaus folks recorded about a year ago that is filled with the beautiful Christian music we sang all weekend. I was so excited to receive it that I have been listening to it all week, and of course, singing the words out loud. The other night Bennett got in the car and asked if we could listen to "We're going to see the king." The actual name of the song is "Soon and Very Soon," but I knew what she meant and I happily put it in. What pleased me more was watching her in my rearview mirror singing the song out loud with me.

4. For those that know me well this won't surprise you, but I love the fact that my 2 & 3 year old children always use coasters for their sippy cups in our house.

5. I love when my children are slightly tired and say something completely silly (that may not make any sense), and they laugh. In fact, the one may laugh so hard that it makes the other laugh and then they can't stop, which causes me to laugh. It is these moments when I tell them they are delirious, which makes them laugh again.

Good times.....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Look Who's Winking!

Bennett came home from school yesterday and said "Look what I can do." She has been practicing for months, but has had difficulty with the muscle control. Though it isn't perfect, she is certainly on the right track (and quite proud of her new trick).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

This afternoon we walked the kids up to the neighborhood park for our church's annual Easter Egg Hunt. All of the little ones arrived with their baskets and were chomping at the bit to load them up with stuffed eggs (our two included).

However, when the hunt began, Bennett & Preston got a slow start. Preston was more interested in the contents of each of his eggs. In fact, he opened up each one before he proceeded to the next one.

Bennett was just not an assertive hunter. She is much more curious with her surroundings and what everyone else is doing.

She was much happier with the treats after the hunt (cookies and lemonade), then the work of hunting for the eggs.

After their snacks, we played at the park for a little while, visited with the Easter Bunny and then came home. It was a beautiful spring day and I think the kids had a fun time.

More photos coming soon with the Easter Bunny...Steve took our camera home before he arrived and a friend had to take the photos.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Derby Day

Friday morning was "Derby Day" at Bennett's school. It was one of those big days that we found out about at the beginning of the year so all of the Dads could take off work for a couple of hours to be there. It was a big production! All of the Dads had to build their child a car made out of a box to "race" the other kids. Even though we have known about this for seven months, Steve didn't start it until this past Saturday.

Since Bennett's favorite color is pink, he decided to paint the car pink and go from there. He had several ideas, so he went to Michael's Craft store, spent an hour and a half, bought WAY too much stuff and then got started. Steve had envisioned Bennett helping with the car, but she quickly became bored with the painting aspect so he did it all. He put the final touches on the car Thursday night with the help of Bennett's coloring, and I must say it was very cute.

When we arrived at her school, we noticed many of the other cars were made from much smaller boxes. Since Bennett is known to complain a little (okay, a lot), we were worried that she would think her car was too heavy. Fortunately, she did okay with that aspect.

We all walked over to the large parking lot and all of the kids paraded around in their cars so we could all ohh and ahh over the unique creations and take lots of photos. Bennett did fine and gave us a half wave when she walked past. Then they lined all of the kids up on one side of the lot, according to class, with their Dads across the way from them. Bennett's class was set to race first, so when the flag fell they all started running. Well, everyone BUT Bennett. She gingerly walked over to Steve and then back. Even with all of the excitement and yelling, she wasn't motivated.

I guess we should be happy because a couple of the kids were so excited, they lost control and fell. I don't know whose bright idea it was to have a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds running across a parking lot (in shorts or dresses) with a large awkward box strapped around them, but disaster was plastered all over this. In fact, each class had a wipeout...some worse than others. I recall watching one little boy running so fast that he tripped, his large box fell forward and he actually didn't get hurt because the box hit the ground first and he kind of bounced back up....crazy!!

Anyway, it was a fun to see all of the little kids get excited to see their Dads at a school event. Bennett was especially excited to spend time with her Daddy there. After the race, we all walked back and had a picnic lunch on their playground. We laid out a large towel, took in the nice weather and then packed it up. All and all, derby day was a success, but I think we learned our lesson about a couple of year, we'll use a smaller box and Bennett will be made to wear pants, just in case she gets the urge to actually run.