Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's time for Baseball!

We as a family have put off sports for a while because we wanted to focus on family time together instead of running here and there and not having quality time as a family at meal time and such. The kids have always had swim lessons off and on. Boston played two seasons of basketball last year and Dallas did consistent swimming. They both decided they really wanted to play baseball this fall so we signed them up with the Y. Tonight was their first practice. They are on separate teams with kids their age.

Boston was first. He amazed me and the coach. When he threw the ball it was SOOOO FAST and FAR! The only baseball he's done before was with me or Sean in the backyard. What an arm this kid has! And when he was up to practice batting each kid got 5 pitches thrown to them and Boston was the only one that hit all 5 balls. Looks like my little lefty might have a future in baseball.

Dallas had practice next. I was really impressed with how focused he was and how patient he was standing at the base he was assigned. They would rotate so they could learn each position. Dallas looked like a little pro out there and explained to me, "You have to be patient while you wait for the ball mom." He did really good hitting. Funny thing is that he hits like a right handed person but he's a lefty. Sean wants them both to hit with their right so they could learn to be switch hitters. He too has a great throw.

On a side note: Sean was in Tampa at a Rays game that his clients took him too. We raced home after practice to see if we could see Daddy on tv at a REAL baseball game!

So looks like we might be spending a lot of time at ball games! (note my picture of Dallas' leftie glove)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to School Celebration

Traditionally I have always taken the boys to Twistie Treat for the first day of school but since Dallas really isn't a fan of ice cream I decided to make a cookie cake instead. I didn't have a lot of time today with all my running around but I whipped this together and threw on some icing. Not my best work, but the boys loved it anyhow! When I picked them up they each had a bag with a granola bar and Superhero silly bands in it. Then after dinner I surprised them with the new Toy Story 3 video game. That was a huge hit! (and good incentive to do good at school....because otherwise there's no gaming after school!)
After dinner we were off running to Boy Scouts....let the games of school craziness begin!

First Day of School

The first day of school went amazing today!

Here is Boston who is going into 2nd grade. He is sporting his school uniform and a star wars back pack with star wars lunchbox

Boston is such my big man now. He's so independent, doing everything on his own. It seems like just yesterday he needed me to dress him, tie his shoes, fix his food and buckle him in his seat. Everyday I am reminded to pay attention and love each and every moment because in a blink of an eye he will be heading off to college saying, "Mom do I have to take ANOTHER picture!"And here is my Dallas who is entering Kindergarten. He is sporting his school uniform with a Superman back pack and lunch box (complete with a cape!)When I looked at this picture I was awestruck by how grown up he looks. It's amazing how much he has grown in the last two years on every level. I am so proud of him for all he has accomplished and the mountains he has had to climb over. I know the Lord has big plans for him!The boys in the back of the car while we waited in line to drop them off. They had ants in their pants to get out and head to their new classrooms and begin this new adventure! I wasn't allowed to walk them in and it was a little hard for me to watch Dallas walk away from my car knowing I wasn't going to see him until after 3:00 today. What a long day! But I just focused in on the fact that Asher and Sydney and I would have some nice one on one time together and Asher was really excited to be hanging out with mommy!

First we went over to my friend Joy's house to meet a few other moms who's kids also go to the same school. It was a great time together with some new friends. I have been so impressed with how friendly everyone is at this school. They all reach out to make new friends and help each other out. It was such a blessed time together with these lovely ladies.

Then Asher and I headed to get new tires on my car, went to Toys r us to browse around with my mom while the tires were getting put on. I ran home to meet he appliance repair man to fix the washer and back a cookie cake for our Back To School celebration today.

Then it was time to get my car and head to pick up the boys. They jumped in the car with the biggest smiles on their faces so happy about this new school, their teachers and the new friends they made. It couldn't make mommy feel any better.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Night Before Kindergarten

School starts tomorrow. School starts tomorrow! School starts tomorrow!!!

Yesterday was a great day....we went to Chuck e Cheese as a family and played and played and played.

Today...well....lets just say mama was internalizing the stress of sending Dallas off for his first day of Kindergarten. Was Dallas nervous? NO! He couldn't be more excited.

I of course was checking lunchboxes, checking back packs, checking lists, checking, checking, checking. And then when it was time to go to bed I went to get the "The Night Before Kindergarten" book to read to Dallas. Of course it's missing....and we own 2 copies! Then it was my mission to find this book. I was almost in tears upset because I couldn't find this silly book, as if his first day of Kindergarten depended on it.

I know he will be just fine. I know he is in good hands. Ahhhh....take a deep breath Cricket....breath....

Friday, August 27, 2010

End of summer at the lakehouse

Today I took the boys out to my parents lakehouse for the day. We have been living up our last week of summer and today was jam packed with all kinds of fun for 3 boys!

There was some tree climbing....and of course a paparazzi photographer mama

Boston - 7 1/2 (who loved to jump down from high up in the tree...giving his mom mini heart attacks envisioning a trip to the ER days before school starts.) Dallas - 5 1/2 (who enjoyed hanging up there for a while with his big brother. They were two peas in a pod today)
Asher - 3 (he enjoyed the tree for about 2 minutes and then quickly wanted down....to find frogs, lizards and anything else that moves that might not be fast enough to get away.)
I didn't climb the tree but enjoyed watching them have fun

We went for a boat ride and everyone got to drive the boat. And the weather was just perfect!

Captain Boston
Dallas driving with Papa - he was a CRAZY driver!
We also went out on the SeaDoos. Boston, Dallas and I were out trolling for gators when we spotted one and went in to get a closer look. When Dallas started to get a little nervous I started to head away from him and this was when the SeaDoo shut off. We were out there for about 5 minutes yelling to the dock and finally my mom saw us. We were rescued by Papa in the boat.
The boys also managed to swim in the lake and play on the beach for a while and drove the tractor around.
It was a really fun day and a great way to end the summer!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Children: a blessing from the Lord

There was a very elderly man sitting in the booth backed up to ours tonight at Perkins. When we walked up I said to him, "I sure hope we aren't too loud for you." He smiled and replied, "Oh no sweetheart, you could never bother me." We ended up talking while we were waiting for our food. He found out that we have 4 kids and laughed and mentioned to me that there was a bar over there in case I needed anything. Ha Ha. I asked him if he had any kids and he said that his wife passed away in 2007 and that they didn't have a lot of money when they first got married and decided not to have any kids because they didn't want to have them without a good amount of money. Then he said that when they had the money there were too old. It made me sad. This poor old man had no one.

No wife

No kids

No grandkids

No great grandkids

He was all alone eating dinner. My heart ached. And it made me feel so blessed for my 4 blessings. We might not have a lot of money because we had 4 kids very early in our marriage, but I'll take a handful of kids over a big house and money in the bank any day!! Thank you Lord for many arrows in my quiver!

Boston and Dallas meet the teacher

Tonight I took Boston and Dallas to meet their new teachers at their new school. When we drove in Boston said to Dallas, "wouldn't it be great if we could go here all the way through high school? I then said, "This school does go all the way through high school boys!" They started jumping up and down. How funny that that was what he thought of.

Here is a picture of the boys in front of the school bell. Here is Dallas meeting his Kindergarten teacher. He played with the toys she sat out for a little while. We even found out that 2 of the girls who are in his class were in his PreK3 class 2 years ago. And we have been beyond blessed with an amazing teacher who is ready and willing to help him out to make things transition for him. Teachers truely are a gift from God! I'm so excited for this new journey for him and I know he's going to have a great time.
Boston is a big 2nd grader this year. Since we homeschooled last year for 1st grade, the last classroom he was in was Kindergarten. What a big difference a kindergarten class is from a 2nd graders class! (Especially since we had just left Dallas class). I'm so excited for him and this new adventure. He thought it was super cool that there was a ships steering wheel on the front door and a whole class theme about it. I know he's going to have a great year.Here's my grown up little 7 year old at his seat
Here's a picture of boston with his teacher (on the right) and her assistant (on the left). Not a great picture. I was holding Sydney and I obviously wasn't keeping the camera very steady with one hand (if you knew how much my camera weighed you would understand.) His teacher has 3 boys of her own and homeschooled for 4 years. Yah for teachers who understand boys! It seems to me like we have hit the jackpot with both the kids teachers this year. Daddy had to work late, and Asher spent the night with Nena and Papa, so I treated the boys to Perkins for their favorite pancakes. Boston said the blessing at the table and said, "Thank you Lord that you let us come to this awesome restaurant and have these amazing pancakes and thank you for our new school." Isn't it funny the little things in life that are such a big deal to little ones. Mommy was thankful she didn't have to prepare the food and clean up and even more thankful for God's divine hand in choicing this school for my boys!

Dallas Eye Dr

Took Dallas today to the eye doctor to get his eyes check out. He sometimes squints at things and pulls things close to look at them. I thought it would be a good idea to check them out before school started. Sure enough he is far sighted (20/40) with a stigmatism in his right eye. So he will need glasses to do school work but doesn't have to wear them all the time. He thought this was pretty cool since Harry Potter wears glasses. Of course the first pair he picked were Disney and he was pretty dead set on them. At least they were the cutest AND the cheapest.

He looks adorable in them and picture coming soon as soon as they come in......

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Autistic Girl Expresses Profound Intelligence

This video is amazing! Watch and be in awe of what is really going on in the mind of an autistic child who is not verbal.

Jess and a visit to UCF

Jess, my college best friend, came last night with her two oldest kids to spend the night. It was so much fun. The kids were giddy with excitement all day waiting for them to arrive and once they got here the loud fun began.
Sydney is seen here kissing (or chewing) on Bonnie's nose. Asher is in the background. He sure LOVED playing with Bonnie. Movie night with daddy while mommy and Jess went to UCF to pay our old stomping grounds a much needed visit. It's been 10 years since we graduated and there are so many new buildings and a stadium and more that we were turned around at many points. But it was sooooo much fun! We even snuck into the theatre and looked around letting the memory bank run over with fond memories of college fun.
Here I am in front of the box office....many hours were spent in here when I wasn't busy in rehearsal or on stage. Jess was usually on duty with me in here as well since were were both on scholarships with the theatre department. I'm not sure we considered it scholarships anymore once we realized how many hours we had to serve in box office duty. But they were great memories none the less. Jess out in front of the TheatreAnd after we walked around we headed over to Applebees. When we went to school here their were only a handful of places to eat and this was the most popular one. Jess and I could be seen frequently here before we headed over to rehearsal to get quesadillas and mudslide. So you can guess what we ordered while there! Bonnie walking around with Sydney.
The boys getting one last game in before they had to leave this morning.
If so great to have a best friend you can share old memories with and even better when you make new ones with your ever growing family (8 kids between us two.) And even our kids have a close bond.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Asher's first day of school

Asher had his very first day of school today! He is in a PreK-3 program at a church close to our house two mornings a week for 3 hours. He is over the moon excited about going and when we got there he ran in and almost forgot to say bye to mommy. I hugged his precious little body and he scampered off to play with the new found toys. I'm so proud of my brave boy. And he reported with a big smile about how much fun he had when I picked him up. He colored, played toys, sang and met new friends. He has been blessed with two great teachers and I know it's going to be a fantastic, fun filled preschool year for him.
1. Jess coming to visit with her two oldest kids

2. My sweet husband who watched all 6 kids while jess and I strolled down memory lane walking the UCF campus that has TOTALLY changed!

3. Rearranging the house....it makes me feel like I've moved!

4. Asher's awesome preschool

5. Homemade Pear, Gorgonzola, walnut and onion pizza on Naan bread topped with pear, Gorgonzola, walnut and onion salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing on top.

She is loved

This morning there was some snuggling going on in my bed that I was able to capture on film.....

Monday, August 23, 2010

1. Sydney's laugh
2. Chuck e cheese! (we spent many hours there today celebrating the last of summer.)
3. The school the boys will be going to....it's taken us 3 years of trying to get in and I can't believe they will be starting their next week!!!
4. Outside playtime with the kids and dogs in our backyard
5. Coke....I think this might be in my "5 things I'm thankful for" a little too often!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bookshelf makeover

I saw this idea for using rain gutter as a bookshelf and I thought this was going to be perfect for our family. It was so super, super, super easy to do too! I cut and hung this one while dinner was in the oven. :-) This is the bottom bunk and I plan on installing on above the head and also install on the upper bunk as well.
The biggest reason I'm doing it is to make it easier for the boys to put their books away. My boys love to read, especially at bedtime. Boston and Dallas each has a light in their bed and they can read for a little while before going to sleep. But in the morning there is a huge pile of books on the floor and they aren't allowed to go play until they are picked up. And they quickly put them on the bookshelf any way they can get them in there. Of course the perfectionist in me cringes wanting all the books to be sorted by size and standing up straight. Of course the mama in me has learned that perfectionism cannot be expected of my boys.
Problem solved. This new bookshelf makes it possible for them to put them away easily AND they look nice. Another bonus is that it makes it easier for them to find books.
Interested in making your own....check out the tutorial on this blog....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mom I just met Iron man

While out we crossed paths with a young guy with two prosthetic legs. The boys immediately took notice and our non shy Dallas marched right up to him as I was helping Asher and asked him why he had those kind of legs. The young guy wittingly replied, "Because I'm Iron man." Dallas stood in complete amazement and talked about it the whole way to the car. "MOM, he said he's IRON MAN!"

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sydney's first baby food

So my sweet, easy going, hardly crying baby girl has started waking up in the middle of the night for a feeding off and on for a couple of weeks so it's time to introduce baby food.

And here she is....my beautiful, smiling little girl ready for her first food anticipating something super yummy.....

but soon realized that she wasn't really sure it was as delicious as she thought it would be. She did eat several more bites....well....I'm not sure you can say she ate any since most of it seemed to come right back out. But it was a start!Thanks mommy.....what's next?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Asher's meet the teacher

Today my baby boy met his very first teacher, Mrs. Moran. I can't believe my little, energetic, exuberant boy will be going to PreK-3. Of course it's only 2 mornings a week and 3 hours at that, but still, it's a big step. He has known for months that he would be going to school and when we would pass by the church where his school is he would get excited and say, "There's Asher's school." (Asher always refers to himself in 3rd person...one of the super cute things I absolutely LOVE about him.) And when I was having a hard time potty training him I would remind him that he wouldn't be able to go to school until he was. The day he went on the potty he proudly said with the biggest smile, "Mama I can go to school now!" And he was ready to go get in the car and head to school...I gotta love Asher's get up and go.

Here he is in the hallway to his class. Boy oh boy do I love this boy, especially his joyful smile!
His school celebrated their 50th anniversary as a preschool recently
Asher getting acquainted with his new classroom and all the new toys he will get to play with. He wasn't very interested in getting to know his teacher or meeting any of the other kids in the class but he sure did love all the great toys.