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 =)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Independence Day

Yesterday we drove an hour South to hang out with some family for the 4th of July, and to meet our newest niece! Baby Lola was 11 days old the first time Auntie Kendra got to hold her...



Such a sweet baby!!


We hung out at some extended family's house and played in their pool. The weather was perfect and we had a great time.


My strong boys...


Super Daddy =)

Our kids have always called Grandma Donna "Gaga" ever since I can remember, and they are lucky to get to see her (and Papa!) on pretty much a weekly basis. They were thrilled to get to see her on the 4th too! Here's Gaga with her tenth grandchild...


Luke and Abbey had an absolute blast swimming and playing with their cousins! It was really the first time that they just played and played and could keep up just fine =). Four is a fun year!



Uncle Dave getting some cuddle time with Lola...


The twins were in that pool most the afternoon, they just loved it...







































Finally we lured them out of the pool with the promise of fireworks...


It doesn't get dark until nearly 10pm here right now, so we had to settle for "evening light" and set them off around 8pm. Good enough =)

Luke gets a little anxious around fireworks, but the ones we set off were small enough that he was able to enjoy the fun with his cousins. Abbey loved them all.

Silly cousins...


We loaded up and got on the road after fireworks, and had the best ride home watching fireworks light up the sky all around us. It was so beautiful! Dave even pulled the car over at one viewpoint over looking the river and we got out and watched some amazing fireworks for a bit. The kids loved it (and so did I =) ).

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Twice the celebration!



Last weekend was cause for double holiday at our house. Sunday was David's birthday and Fathers Day. So, we really had no choice but to (try) and make the day all about him =)
Luckily, we think he's pretty great, so it was fairly easy.



To help spread the festivities out a bit, the kids and I baked cookies and surprised him at work on the Friday prior.
Luke and Abbey passing out cookies to Daddy's students...








Then we stuck around for a bit, and the twins got to see what Daddy is like as a teacher...





On Sunday we let Dave sleep in a bit, and the second he appeared in the living room, Abbey and Luke literally ran to go give their presents to him!
I'd taken the kids to Target earlier in the week to pick out things for Daddy, and they were so adorable when making their choices for him. They did a decent job of finding things they thought were cool but that still something Daddy would like...he ended up with an Ironman Tshirt and some sweet Captain America pants.
(this picture was taken after Church and lunch on Sunday...never fear, we don't start drinking in the wee hours around here or anything =) )


He also got a frame painted by two of the most cute and talented painters ever...






We filled out questionnaires about Daddy, complete with portraits on the back...
(Luke's)





(Abbey's)







That evening we made David his very favorite meal (German Pancakes) and brought it to him in front of the TV so he could watch the NBA Finals game while he ate...



It was a fun day. I was so proud of how the kids really worked at making the day special for their Daddy. They were so thoughtful all day...giving him extra affection, asking if there was anything they could get for him (are you thirsty Daddy?), and just being really well behaved all day.
David said he felt loved, and that's all that really matters.
(But well behaved children make for a fantastic bonus)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Spring Program

In mid-May the twins' preschool had a Spring Program.
It was short and sweet. Well, more like ridiculously adorable.
The 3's class (which Abbey and Luke are in) and the 4-5 classes were all together for the evening, singing songs and having fun.

I asked the kids before we left if they were nervous to be up on stage.
"Nope" they replied in unison.

Their confidence sometimes blows me away.

(Are ya catching Abbey's pose here?!?)

(Okay, how about here?!? BabyGirl can sure play it sweet sometimes ;) )


This was right before Memorial Day, so the kids had a little thing for that...


...and then on to songs! Complete with hand motions, naturally.







After the performance was over, we had some cookies in the foyer and hung out with fun preschool friends.

The whole thing was about 45 minutes, which is just about right for 3,4, and 5 year olds =). They were so cute up there and really had a great time. I love that they are so comfortable there, and so confident in front of people. 
Preschool ended for the summer last week, and we're a little bummed around here. Luke and Abbey just loved school...which is such a blessing. We're planning on sending them back to the same school next year for the 4-5's class. Instead of 2 mornings a week like this year, they'll go 3. Still just 2 1/2 hours though. It's been just the right amount of time. I've loved having the time to run errands and clean house sans children. I've also loved just sitting on the couch, drinking coffee and reading blogs in an otherwise empty and silent house. But it's short enough that we still have lunch and the whole afternoon together. 
They had 24 kids in their class, and the whole class would start the morning together, and then divide into groups of 3 and rotate through different areas. So they gained experience learning in a large group setting, and smaller ones. There were 3 teachers and they were all so sweet and seemed to genuinely love their jobs...which blessed my Momma Heart =).

Abbey and Luke made friends, learned new things, and had so much fun. It was a great first introduction to school!



Oh, and back to the night of the Program... I was walking out with the twins and asked them to sit on the stairs and pose for just one picture for me. They sat down a foot from each other and gave me the obligatory-cheesy-forced-smile. I called them on it and then said "can ya please just scoot together, hug each other, and give Momma one real smile?"


And then they did this...








My babies. 
That picture is just so them. It really captures the dynamic of their relationship right now. 
And how much they really, really love each other.
I love that picture.


This one too...


...which is good, because right after that a fellow parent came up and said "why don't I take one of you with them?" And my kids did this...



=)