Jul 30, 2012

Day 47: Special Guest

Gabe and Lily have been close friends since they met on my living room floor when Lily was about 2 months old.  Gabe saw her for the first time and said "Woof woof" because he thought she was a dog.  And then he decided to see what she tasted like.

They hang out a lot.

We got to have Lily at our house for 3 whole days last week!  She and Gabe (and Elliott) really enjoyed each other.  I enjoyed having a girl around!

Jul 18, 2012

Day 46: Bonding

Everynight, we put Ell to bed at 6:30, and we don't hear a thing from him...until 7:30 when Gabe goes to bed.  One boy starts making noise at the other, and pretty soon, they are all out laughing for about an hour before it studdenly cuts off and they pass out asleep. 

At first, I wanted to separate them, but my wise husband said "Every burst of laughter is bonding them together as closer and closer friends."  I think that's worth a later bedtime...for sure.

I can't get enough of moments like these:

Day 45: J/K

We made our J collage today with Jelly Beans.  And then I allowed Gabe to eat 5.  And Ell to eat 2.  There is evidence that would lead me to believe they may have had a few more without my notice:

Here is the collage:

And the cookies we made!  I said "Gabe, let's make cookies" and I had shortbread in mind.  But Gabe said "I'll get the chocolate chips!"  So...this is how it worked out.  (Letter K is for Kite, by the way.)

Oh, and here's the recipe:

1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
(yep, that's it!)

Cream together butter and sugar.  Gradually work in the flour.  Turn dough on a floured surface for about 3 minutes.  Roll into a rectangle, about half an inch thick.  Use a pizza cutter to cut into cookies.  Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes. 

Day 44: Family Reunion Part 2

Sleep?  But this isn't my bedroom.  And I'm teething, can't you tell?

We were zombies after the first night.  We kept taking turns hanging out the room with one or both of the boys trying to get them to sleep and to sleep ourselves.  The time we spent with family was great.  The food was great.  The boys had a great time. 

Picture time.  This is how our weekend ended.  It was craziness.  Holly's family is like the paprazzi.

So, this really isn't her fault, obviously.  She doesn't know any different.  =)

Oh how blessed I am to have married into great friendships with Jacob's sisters. 
I love love love this girl.

AND, these two are an amazing Aunt and Uncle to my boys.

Day 43: Family Reunion, Part 1

Every three years, Jacob's mom's side of the family gets together for a reunion.  This year, it was in Denver, Colorado on campus of Colorado Christian University.  We had been having 100-105 degree weather for about 2 weeks (and still are) so 72 degrees and rainy was SO amazing! 

It was about a 7 hour drive and we gained an hour on the way there.  The boys could not have done any better on the drive. 

Cute family pic:

What the boys did during most of the large group times:

We found this hard working lady on our balcony:

We stayed in a 3 bed room dorm room with a kitchen and community space.  Everything was empty...perfect:

Day 42: The Fourth of July!

Gabe and I have been learning about the flag.  We colored a flag and now whenever he sees one, he says "Look, Mommy, there's our favorite flag!"  and I say "That flag is for...."  And he says "America!"  He can tell you the colors of our flag and the shapes on it. 

Our fourth was pretty low key.  We got a few fireworks and Jacob and Gabe shot them off together.  At first, Gabe was SO afraid of the louder noises.  At one point, he ran from the backyard all the way into the house to find me, screaming and crying the whole way.  But, my innovative husband quickly found the perfect solution:

We went to the city park to check out the festivities, and were pretty underwhelmed.  It seemed that instead of sticking to the schedule that had been advertised EVERYWHERE, they did everything early because it was so hot.  So, we were too late.  Pretty much everyone was there, though.  We got a popsicle and used it to lead the boys back to the van.

Day 41: Summer Reading

The local library offers a summer reading program for the kids.  When you complete 12 1/2 hours of reading, you get to choose a prize, get a coupon for a free piece of candy at Russel Stovers, and get your name in a drawing for a cool prize! 

It is not hard at all to get Gabe to sit down to be read to.  Even better, if I give him a pile of books, he will sit and look through every one independently. 

Elliott is also just starting to enjoy books.  I will bring one over and in his baby talk version, say "I want book."  Or if I'm reading to Gabe, he'll climb until he's square in my lap.  But he lasts about a minute before he's finished and jumping on the couch.

Jul 17, 2012

Day 40: J is for Jellyfish

When preschool fits into our schedule, we work on a letter a week.  (Gabe's not even old enough for preschool yet.  He'd officially start this fall, if we were sending him.)

I am trying to get more creative with crafts and hands on stuff, because I think that's how boys learn better....or anyone, really.  Not so much the crafty stuff, but constructing.  So...here is the jellyfish we constructed.  We also watched Youtube videos and read books about jellyfish.  We use the Letter of the Week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

So, we stuffed several plastic bags into a yellow Dollar General Bag. 

Then, Gabe practiced some scissor skills cutting the ribbon.

I used a stapler to get the ribbon on the bag.  He's got a short attention span.

I was pretty happy with the results.  I thought the loose curls in the ribbon were pretty.

Jul 1, 2012

Day 39: Favorite Toys

It happens pretty often:  We give our kids trash to play with.  Ell enjoys making his own selections straight from the trashcan, which rarely yields the results he would favor.  I prefer to pre-screen the trash toys. 

Day 38: Old Abilene Town

I have lived in Abilene for 5 years now...maybe longer.  There are a lot of things in this town I haven't done.  I'm not going to name them, because you might not believe me.  But, one of them was Old Abilene Town.  I'd driven through it, eaten at the Hitching Post and walked through the parts I could when it wasn't open.  That's it. 

We recently changed all that. 

While some of it was cute, and I do enjoy the history, if you want to do anything, it is SO EXPENSIVE.  Which explains why I was merely the photographer for this Stagecoach ride. 

We did get to witness the "shootout" demonstration.  Ell cuddled in really close and trembled throughout most of it.  And Gabe's cars that he plays with have been shooting one another an awful lot every since. 

Day 37: Jake's New Hobby

Jacob's school has recently begun a technology initiative that gives each teacher and student an ipad.  Jacob is a science teacher and is looking for apps he would use in the classroom.  Our favorite so far is called Project Noah.  I highly encourage you to check it out ~ it's SO COOL! 

The possibilities educationally are endless.  What we are enjoying is taking pictures of the leaves, bugs, and critters we come across and logging them on the site.  You enter the location, pic, and description of the organism and other people identify it, or just comment on it.  Here are just a few of our pics.  (Some are better than others.  We would LOVE to get a better camera.)

Jake's name on the site is: sciencemre.  Check out his stuff!  And let us know if you use it!

Day 36: New Playground

They built a new playground in our big city park that is especially for toddlers.  It was PERFECT for Elliott...and Gabe enjoyed it, too.  =)

And then, we tried to take a pic of the two of them together.  So sweet.

And one more:

Day 35: Cupcakes!

The mere mention of cupcakes sends Gabe into songs of Joy and jumps of excitement.  As we were making the cake part, Gabe was helping me pour in ingredients and I explained how most of these cupcakes were going to Aunt Shannon's baby shower, but there would be a few left.  The plan was to make the cake part one day, then ice them the morning of the shower.   So, Gabe could have a cupcake the next day when they were all done.  I think he missed the part about tomorrow and only heard the word "frosting" because he immediately burst forth in singing "God our Father, once again, we are here to thank You, Amen."  Sweet song of a thankful heart.

So, as we're frosting them, I hear, "Can I eat a cupcake?" every 23 seconds.  So I explained again, these are for the shower, when I get them all done, you can eat one."

"Oh, Mommy, that's so sad!"

I think he got over it.