Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Friends, Family and a Sandbox

301.  That's the number of photos I took on Saturday evening.  What can I say, I just love taking photos of these babies.  I narrowed the 301 down to 84 for the fam and 30 for you guys.  You're welcome.

The sandbox is where we spend our summer.  We pull up our chairs and hang out til dinner.  It's a happening place, folks.

Cam's was just a little excited to be in the sandbox.  He gets out there every chance he can get.  After church on Sunday, Cam got out of the car and started running to the backyard.  Ya know how your voice bounces when you run? That's exactly what happened when Cam yelled "I'm goin to da sanbox!"

He's very serious about sandboxing.

We spotted the neighbors up the hill, so Cam quietly requested their presence at the sandbox.

He was very excited to see them coming and he ran to meet them.  This is what he does outside.  He runs.  He runs everywhere.  This boy was made to be outside.

As soon as Lukey and Leia arrived, they got right to work.  It's impossible for these boys to play in the sand without burying somebody.  Lukey set to work right away.

Leia decided to make our favorite baby girl laugh.  All she has to do is look at Hannah and Hannah starts giggling.  Hannah loves Leia.

Emily was down visiting for a little until homework called her home.  Evenings like this make me forget it's April and that the kids are still in school.  On such a lovely evening, it seems like we'll never have to leave the sandbox.

 Hannah loves being outside.  She especially loves sitting on her daddy's lap while watching the kids work.

Princess Charlie joined us outside.  I know my baby well and I knew she wouldn't like the dirt.  I brought a blanket out just for her and that's where she spent the whole evening.

Two peas in a pod.  They were buried together.  They loved every second of it.

Cam escaped and then it was Leia's turn to be buried from head to toe.  When these kids are on a mission, don't get in their way - you might be next to get buried.

It's really fun to watch Cam carry a bucket full of water to the sandbox.  He went very slowly in an attempt not to spill any water.  As his pants show, he wasn't very successful.  Take a look at the photo on the right - see that shoe flying above Cam's head?  These kids always keep things interesting.

They just have so much fun together.  We laugh a lot when they are here and you can see why!

Cam was VERY excited to see Annie on her way down the hill.   He started with a double fist pump that ended in a double thumbs up.  Hilarious.  We'll tell him later that this was super dorky.

The maple in our backyard is perfect for climbing.  Cam wanted a turn and Char told him he needed an adult to help him.  We were in the middle of a conversation and Cam just couldn't wait any longer. He asked "Is Lukey an adult?"

There's something about feeding this little lady that is just so fun.  Not sure what it is, but it's just fun.

I just can't get enough of this little girl.  She looks exactly like her mom (minus the brown eyes).  Sometimes when I look at her, I could swear I was looking right at Charlotte.

Cam loves riding the tractor even more than he loves riding a train.  Mostly because when he rides the tractor, he also gets to steer.

 Leia did her best to keep up.

Leia was very determined. 

This was my attempt to take a picture of Hannah and myself.  Haha, I wasn't very successful, but I love that it looks like she's sticking her tongue out at somebody.

Last but not least - Hannah and her mama.
It's so amazing to see my sister being a mom.  She's amazing at it.  Frank and Charlotte are amazing parents - you can tell by the way their kids respond to them.  It's so wonderful to watch and learn from them.

It's amazing how a little good weather and a sandbox can really make you love life.  It's nights like this when I realize how much I'm going to miss living in this house.  I think I need to get a sandbox for my new house.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Zoo with Cam and a Quick House Update

Before we get to the good stuff, here's a quick house update: The living room and hallway are finally painted and it looks amazing.  ALL of the wallpaper is gone.  Mom was at the house for two hours and magically, everything was organized.  She's so quick!  The neighbors helped me move over the first trailer full of stuff and Kelly even scrubbed my floors! Also, Dad and I mowed the lawn (that was rough - more on that later) and we bought all the materials for the board and batten in the bathroom.  Hurray for progress!

Now, on to the good stuff.

We've been wanting to take Cam to the zoo and the weather has been so nice lately that we couldn't wait any longer.

Seriously, I can't stand next to this kid and not tickle him.  His laugh is just too amazing.  I have to hear it all the time.

While we were walking around the zoo, Cam spotted something that Char and I had both missed.  We followed his directions and headed to what we thought was a playground.

Turns out there was a train ride in the middle of the zoo!  Cam made sure to point out that the red one was the caboose and that was the one he wanted to ride on.  For a boy who is obsessed with Thomas, this was a dream come true.

Char had to ride with him because he's so little - she looks pretty bummed about it.

They did several laps, so I traded off between taking photos with my Canon and then my iPhone.  I knew I had to send some to the fam.  I was proven right when, as I'm texting them pictures, Esther asked "Why am I not getting any pictures from the zoo?"  We are so patient in this family.

They had a blast and I had a blast watching them have a blast.

We hit up the monkey house and Cam loved it.  The monkeys are always moving and interesting - they never let you down.  It's hard for Cam to see some of the animals when they aren't moving because they blend into their surroundings.  He can always spot the monkeys.

He also liked this gorilla statue.  Cam has a great imagination.  He looked at this guy and asked "Can he move?"

Of course I told him to give the gorilla a hug.  Why wouldn't I?  What isn't cute about a 3 year old hugging a giant statue of a gorilla?

It still boggles my mind that these guys just get to walk around.  It's incredible to see them close up.  The feathers are truly amazing.  God is so creative.

The otters are my favorites.  I mean, tigers are my most favorite animals, but the otters are just entertaining.  They are always sliding and swimming and standing up at the glass.  It was very fun to watch them play!

We all loved it so much that we stuck around for awhile.

Cam was a champ and he lasted a really long time without a stroller or taking a break, but he was ready for some cuddling with his mama when the trip was over.

We had a great time.  Can't wait to go back!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Home Update:

Exciting things are happing! 

My thermostat was replaced on Wednesday and the new one is so wonderful!  Goodbye gold and hello white! The best part is that I can set the temp for weekdays when I get up, when I leave for work, when I get home from work, when I go to bed and the same settings for the weekend.  It's great!

I found some fun accessories this week.  The two items with the chevron are from Target and the three drawer unit is from Michaels (I got it for 40% off!).  These are going to look great in my craft room.

Dad was at the house with me a few nights ago and we worked in our respective spaces on our respective projects.  There's really no room for two people to work in the same room at the same time.  While I worked on wallpaper, he worked on tearing down the tile in the bathroom.

This was my lovely wallpaper (I'm happy to report it's all gone now).  The side on the left that is darker is wet from the steamer.  Do you see the white part in the pattern?  I think it's meant to look like brush strokes.  Anyway, that was the thickest part of the paper and the toughest to get off - in short, I hated it.

Thankfully the wallpaper has been removed.  This is the view from the floor - where I was sitting - because I couldn't lift my arms - because I was tired - and hot - so tired of wallpaper - tired of steam - and I never wanted to get up.

I wish finishing this room was as easy as painting, but unfortunately there are a few steps between me and painting.

First step, cleaning up.  I've found it's easier to clean up all this trash when the paper is no longer wet.  Then I'll need to re-spackle places where the steamer peeled off the old stuff.  Next will be sanding, then cleaning the walls and then priming.  Lastly, final coats on the trim, ceiling and walls.

By the time I got home, Charlie and I were ready for some rest, relaxation and cuddling.  Yes, my Christmas stockings are still up.  I always manage to miss one Christmas decoration when packing.  This year, it was the stockings.  Once I realized I'd be moving in the near future, I just decided to leave them be.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. (Name that song, Mom)