Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer 2014 - the first half ;)

 
I can't believe July is nearly over already!! We've had a crazy busy summer so far, filled with all kinds of fun that I want to be able to look back on in the years to come, so tonight is set aside to catching up the old blog =)

In early June, the kids and I went strawberry picking with a few friends from my work...
 

Luke wandered over to cool off in the path of the sprinkler...

 (never fear...we were at an organic, no-spray field, so it was truly just water)
 
Then Sis went over to join him...
 
 
...ever the protective brother...
 
 
 
And of course we stopped to feed the goats on our way out...


 
 
Also in June, we also took a day trip to Enchanted Forest with some friends. I grew up a few miles from this little amusement park and went there often. At the time, I didn't really realize that it's actually quite a strange place...bordering on creepy...anyways... I took my four year olds there...


 
 
 
This was Abbey and Luke's first run-in with a mascot...
 

...it went GREAT! They were so excited to run up and hug this chipmunk. I think it's safe to say we'll do fine when we do Disney someday ;).
 






Luke LOVED this FrogHop ride. He laughed a wild little laugh each time the ride jolted.
 


 
 
 
We've had plenty of fun at home as well. One lazy afternoon, finger painting turned into body painting...




In the end of June, we got to meet Eleanor's baby sister!

 
 
Abbey was so sweet to her...
 


Luke didn't want to hold her at first, but at one point while I was holding her and he was near me, she wrapped her teeny little hand around one of his fingers and he was positively smitten...
 
He held her the rest of our visit at the hospital that evening. And he kept leaning over and giving her the most tender kisses on her precious little forehead. And I nearly wept at the sweetness of it all.


 
 
In both June and July, we've had shenanigans with friends at our house...
 



And been creative...

(Abbey is incredibly detailed with her art. It amazes us how long she'll spend on one picture. And she is so thoughtful about where she puts each and every
mark. She'll color for a bit...then stand back and look for a minute...then continue. It's so fun to watch her become just totally lost in her projects.)
 
 
 
Earlier this month, we attended our Church's Annual Picnic...


 
 
 
We visited our friend's movie theater in their new house...so fun. (Luke and Abbey's comment when we first walked in: "this is the biggest TV we've ever seen!!")
 
 
 
 
 
 
In mid-July, we met some friends over in Seaside and stayed with them for a night. The kids had so much fun running around and staying up late together. Four is a fun age to vacation with =).

(and yes, that is our Abbey laying on the kitchen floor in the background. She was making "floor angels")  (I told you we had fun ;) )
 

We were all happy a few days at the Beach meant lots of snuggles with this little angel... ;)

 
 
We all had a blast, and I think Dory had the most fun out of all of us. She was so happy to frolic on the beach and play with the other dogs that were along for the trip.

David the Dog Whisperer...
 

It was cold and windy at the beach, but it made for nice kite flying weather!
 

And?  No one threw up. That's right people, the Hoffman's went to the beach, and no one puked. Can I get a Hallelujah?!?!
The curse is over!
 
 
 
So far this summer we've logged many, many hours at various Splash Pads around town...

 





And had fun playdates with friends as well...
 





 
 
And yesterday we drove down to Salem and met up with Amanda's family at the Gilbert House to have some more cousin fun...
 




 
 




 As you can see, it's been an awesome summer so far! I've heard other parents refer to this age as "the Charming Fours" and I totally agree. I'm really enjoying this age and all the adventures we're able to go on together and the fun we're having!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Then & Now

 
 
Watching Daddy play Softball...
 
 
 
July 2011
 
 
 
 
 
July 2014
 

 
 
Hands down, his cutest fans.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cousin fun!

My older sister Amanda and her sweet family are in town!!


This was Luke and Abbey's first time meeting their little cousin, Baby Awesome (foster baby, name and pics are protected ;) ). We met up in the Zoo parking lot, and everybody became fast buddies ;). I love that our kids have so many fun cousins on both sides of the family. I grew up in a big family (four siblings) but I only have two cousins. And although they're awesome ( ;) ), they lived in another state and so we didn't get to be around each other all that often.
Although Amanda's family lives in another state as well, we get to see them yearly!
 
 
 

All the kiddos in awe of the sea lion...
 


Keegs did his best to keep up with the Big Kids...;)
 


 
 
Our Zoo is building a new and improved area for the elephants, and it cracked me up how long our kids stood up there and watched the construction. A Zoo full of animals, and we're all watching a backhoe.


 
 
All of us!!! (we were so blessed Auntie Natalie took the day off work to join us!)


 
 
 







After a long, hot morning at the Zoo, everyone went to their respective homes/hotels for naps. Ahhhh....naps. So delightful when the twins actually sleep during quiet time, and I do too ;)
 
 

Later that evening Amanda and Noah dropped their kids at our house for a Cousin Pajama Dance Party so they could go out on a dinner date. This little cutie quickly made himself at home...



We had some dinner...


...and a dance party...
 




 
 
 
The next day the twins and I went to their hotel for some cousin swimming fun!
 




We've had so much fun with them already, and can't wait to see what kinds of adventure next week holds!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Soccer!


Since preschool is out for the summer, I knew I wanted to have a least one scheduled activity a week to keep us in some sort of a routine. We are lucky to have lots of friends with flexible schedules that allow for frequent playdates, but I also wanted a little bit of structure.
We'd been talking about sports, gymnastics, dance, or music classes, and decided to let the kids pick whatever they wanted to do, and they both agreed on soccer.
So I signed Luke and Abbey up through our city's Parks & Rec. I figured at age four, $22 a kid was about all I was willing to spend (just in case they hated it).

At this age, we can afford to introduce them to several different sports and such, and then as they get older we can see what they are really interested in and invest in that. This particular soccer program offers class once a week for six weeks, and the classes are 30 minutes long, which is just perfect.

The first week, we got to know the coach and learned some basic soccer skills.

But not before learning the importance of stretching...





Their coach is really sweet and good with this age group, which makes me so happy. I feel like having their first "team" experience with a coach be a positive one is SUCH a blessing. 

They learned all about trapping the ball...



And dribbling...


The first week was all basics and learning ball control. I was really impressed with Abbey and Luke's ability to (for the most part) stay in control while dribbling!
Couch played Red Light, Green Light with dribbling/trapping...


Then they all got to dribble all the way down the court and score a goal...




We've had three classes so far and I'm already impressed with how much they've learned! Last week they learned all about offense and defense, and the coach matched them up with a partner and had one person trying to stop the goal while the other tried to score. I was so proud of how my kids did! They didn't play dirty at all, but stayed determined and kept good attitudes if they didn't succeed.
Which really is the whole point of this =).

I've been super happy with the experience and we've already chosen what we're gonna do for the second half of the summer. Luke chose baseball classes and Ab's chose basketball. It will make for the first time they've ever been apart in a setting like this, but they seem okay with the idea, and I'll be there watching and cheering on whoever is playing, with whichever twin is not playing by my side =). I think it'll be a good experience in independence for the twin playing, and good chance to just be an encouraging observer for the one watching with me.

It's cute how much more of an interest our whole house has in soccer now that the kids know a few things about how the game is played. David has been watching a lot of the World Cup, and on multiple occasions the kids have sat and enjoyed the games with him =)