Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Last Weekend

Warren had one of his very best friends spend the night last weekend.

We loaded up and went to see Cars 2 early Friday evening, me, Bryan, four boys and at least as many Nerf guns.

Movie was good, and we discovered the winning combination of Junior Mints and popcorn in the same bite. Then we burst back out of the theater into the daylight for dinner outside at a restaurant patio. Kids were not too hungry, so they mostly sat on the sidelines "meditating" while Bryan and I ate and took turns herding Nolan back to our table.

After dinner it was getting dark, but that didn't stop them from getting completely drenched in the splash pad near the restaurant, carrying on like the wild men that they are until the shivering overcame the fun of it all.

Back home for a Daddy-assisted ghost hunt in the basement with flashlights, a real pillow fight, and finally passing out minutes before their goal of midnight. :)

We were all moving super slow the next day and enjoyed the company of Warren's buddy until late afternoon.

The next day we finally hit up a local outdoor pool we found a couple weeks ago. This is such a gem spot with a big pond and park in addition to the pool.

[the sky was unreal blue, not a cloud to be seen]

[stopped for a minute on this swing while waiting for the pool to open at 1]

[LOVE my new swim suit by Reebok.  Nolan and I kept coming back to the hot pavement at the pool to warm up like lizards after splashing in the fountains and spray features.]

[big pond with covered "island" thing you can walk out to.]

The longer we live here in Westminster, the more we love it.  So much to do!

This week has been busy as usual.  Warren had an orthodontist appointment Monday, all is going well there, his appliance will now sit for a while for the bone to grow in where his palette has been expanded.  Looking good!  He has also been going to Speed and Agility Camp all week, which he is loving and the energy release is doing him good.  We went to Jumpin' Jordy's bounce house yesterday and everyone, including Nolan, jumped their hearts out and had a blast. 

We are still working diligently each day on our Summer workbooks etc.  On Monday night Warren confessed that he hadn't actually read the material for his comprehension lesson that day, but rather had just read the questions and then went hunting for the answers.... SO, that was my clue to give that workbook a rest for a little while and switch it up with his Money workbook.  We started yesterday by first making a chart for him to know the names and values of the coins (I spilled coffee on it, oops!).  He has already done several sheets in the workbook now and is adding coins together already!  Crazy how fast kids pick stuff up, he is so smart! 

Jack learned all about Great White Sharks yesterday, and it just makes me so happy when something peaks their interest and they are excited to learn!

It's funny to me that when I started this blog in 2008 I kinda wondered what on Earth I would write about, thinking there would most likely be weeks or months when I didn't have anything to update on... and now I feel compelled to record even the mundane minutia that is my day to day life.  I love reading a few other blogs that inspire me and the kids love to see pictures from their normal everyday life on display.  It makes them feel so special.  They often ask me to "take a picture and put it on the computer" when they are doing things.  I just printed our third "blog book" where I document each year by printing the last 365 days of posts into a beautiful hard back book.  We will have a library of these for our kids and for us to pour over many years from now... love that! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

as we speak

Editing away from a session this morning...

{Cuteness squared. These babes have a special place in my heart.}
{The pigtails and the freckles slay me... this girl is not to be outdone by her little siblings. She has the looks and personality that just make her appear lit from within.}
{Maybe my new favorite baby pose for that stage where they are just sitting up and starting to crawl.}
{Tutu cute! *sigh* She was such a little model, I have nearly 300 pictures to sort through off my memory card. Gonna be hard to hit delete at all...}

Day dreaming about this camera, which I will hopefully have for my next shoot (been saving and saving and saving up)...

Listening as Bryan and the boys set up their "new" bunk beds upstairs (we LOVE Craig's List!!)...

Excited to share pictures and details from Warren's sleepover last night (included a movie, "meditation", ice cream, after dark rendezvous at the splash pad, ghost hunting, and finally passing out just shy of midnight!)...

So happy that we got this weeks' grocery shopping out of the way (we ALL went to the stores just as we always do) and will be eating delicious healthy fresh food all week and going to a local outdoor pool every day...

So. Incredibly. Happy.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Warren finally got buzzed for the Summer. He kept saying his hair hurt, which I took to mean it was too heavy and hot. Ahhh, much better! Bonus points if you can find me in this picture...
My approach to buying groceries to last exactly for the week is working perfectly. By Friday, our fridge looks like this:
...some hummus, yogurt, spinach and random beer and coke. Nice.

Every single morning, while our patio is still comfortably shaded, the boys head out and ride around,
and around, and around playing NASCAR on the various array of bikes. I have to drag them in eventually when we have stuff to do or it gets too hot. We love our patio!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

dishes and laundry

When I first started staying home, there was definitely a period of time where I got all caught up in the day to day chores. I mean, I could not believe the amount of times I would wipe down the kitchen table each day, or the volume of dishes that would pass through the sink. And don't even get me started on the laundry.

Nowadays, while those same chores are very much part of each day here, the actual execution of them is automatic and I hardly even give them the courtesy of a dedicated thought. Partly because I have mostly perfected my approaches or implemented ways to minimize them as much as possible, but also mostly because I can finally see past them to the much more important things that go on around here.

...learning how to play a leisurely game of Pokemon with the cards Warren brought back from Alaska...
...letting the big boys take a drawn out "gourmet bubble bath" in our jetted tub...
...leaving the house a little early for our walk to pick up Jack, so that Warren can climb around "hometree" without being rushed...
...quite literally hanging out at the park showing off that negative percent body fat little boy six pack that makes me both envious and bewildered at how a child that eats so much can be SO skinny...

These are the things I will remember from raising my kids. 
The rest is just dishes and laundry.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Father's Day Weekend 2011--Part II

Wow, well I did not intend to build up any suspense for what we did, just been incredibly busy this week so far walking big boys to and from Lego Engineering Camp, watching the girls and doing lots of odds and ends like getting boys bunkbeds off Craigs list, enforcing and encouraging Summer learning and healthy eating (my boys seem to think that eating three different colored otter pops represents a healthy variety of food in the Summer), finishing planning Nolan's birthday party, etc.

Per Bryan's request, we spent a big chunk of time Father's Day weekend in Dacono at the NASCAR figure 8 there, watching races and monster trucks and motorcycles doing crazy tricks.

[Nolan was so impressed it was hilarious to watch his reactions and seriously could these two look any more alike?!  I think not...]

[I couldn't get enough of Warren holding Nolan's hand everywhere we walked.]
[Melt my heart...]
[The track early in the evening.  We stayed until way past bedtime.  The lights came on, kids had snow cones and Warren exclaimed "I could stay here all night!"]
[Finally Jack is in a picture!  He managed to escape the camera most of the day.]
[There was this great "secret garden" at the restaurant.]
[Monster Trucks!!]
[Nolan rocking his ruby red lips and breezy cotton candy hairdo.]
[It was a fun family outing for everyone.  We need to do stuff like that more often!]

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Weekend 2011--Part I

We went somewhere really fun yesterday to kick off our Father's Day weekend.

We loaded up in the car with lots of provisions to stay out late.
We had dinner under this fantastic big tree... a quaint restaurant across the street from a house I couldn't help but covet and take pictures of.
Before heading to "the track" and waiting in line for tickets to...
...a place I will share in the next post just as soon as I can.

Gotta do some housework now so we can go swimming at a great outdoor pool we stumbled upon yesterday!

Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

He's Back!!!

Big Brother is back in the house!

And our family once again complete!

Or is it? It caught me off guard that one of the first things Warren said once we all got loaded back in the car at the airport was "Mommy, when we get our new baby, Nolan can move into the bedroom with me and Jack, okay?"

Well, I am not pregnant. Another unsuccessful month on that front.

But seriously Roman Lucas or Violet June... whenever you're ready for us, apparently your whole big crazy family is already ready for you!

Warren also got all teary and choked up on the way home just because of being overwhelmed and happy to be home. I on the other hand bawled like a baby when I finally saw him walking off the plane, the last one of course just to build up the suspense and make a basket case out of me. I swear he grew 4 inches in the two weeks he was gone. I already unpacked his luggage and we all are enjoying the gifts he got each one of us. And he is already talking about his next trip to Alaska! He brought back so many new legos that suddenly maybe Jack is up for a similar trip :)

Can't wait to see what the future holds for us on so many fronts!

Friday, June 17, 2011


I stopped in to my thrift store on the way to get Jack, just because I had some extra time and only one kiddo in tow. Turned out to be such a good move!

Bryan and I had just been wondering aloud what we should get Nolan for his birthday.


{My most expensive purchase ever from a thrift store. But this is a classic and in perfect shape. Looks brand new!}

Is it not the coolest thing ever?! I remember having one of these too and riding it like a wild woman. Since there was no way to keep Nolan from seeing me buy it and load it up, we already gave it to him. He has been going nuts on it and probably giving himself mild brain damage... just like I remember from my childhood.

Also picked up what I'm calling my new "fall dishes":

It wasn't all fun and games though, I did spend several hours working on the high chair project. The sanding is very difficult and exhausting.

I went and got a chemical liquid deglosser sander to take off the poly coat. Everyone tells me that I just need to get the existing poly coat off but don't need to sand past the existing stain, since I am staining it much darker. But, after getting all the shiny off of it and giving most of it one coat of stain yesterday, I'm not too happy with how uneven the stain is going on and how it is so much darker on scratches etc. No wonder I read that refinishing furniture is an art form. I am not an artist, that's for sure. You can see the original stain on the bottom portion and foot rest for comparison. I don't know...

If it was something I was doing for myself I would be fine with how it's turning out. But since it is a gift I am all crazy wanting it to be perfect. Good thing Bryan will be home today to give me a dose of sanity.

Warren comes home tomorrow! I have seriously gotten so much done these last couple of weeks and it has been an awesome start to the Summer, but I so want all my ducklings back under one roof now.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I've got a feeling...

...that our new old-school desks are gonna be with us for a looooong time.

{I just love them SO much!}

I can actually envision grandchildren sitting in them coloring years and years from now, much like Nolan did while his big brother worked away at the neighboring desk.

{I swear he was so happy until that bite of crayon didn't quite meet his expectations.}

Jack was working so intently that he wasn't the least bit bothered by my shutter capturing him from all angles.
Our sunny loft with four windows is going to be an excellent homework/reading hub once I get it organized and move some things around and maybe even repaint the walls...
Jack is just too darn cute sitting in his desk!
I just love the cubby space underneath where I'll have them store their supply boxes and notebooks.
Okay, so I gotta brag on my boy... not even in Kindergarten yet and he can write pretty good I must say. What's more important I suppose is that he has the desire to learn and tremendous focus and determination for everything he does. He is going to do so well in school this year!

{Jack's report on King Cobra Snakes. Love his overly dotted i's and funky g's.. he's got his own style already!}

I've been thinking a lot lately (or maybe just having only one kid has allowed me to actually acknowledge my thoughts??) about the type of family we are. Wondering what makes us... us. What will stand out in our kids' memories. What our family dynamic/culture is.

I know my kids won't recall my cooking (we are much more of an eat to live rather than live to eat bunch and my cooking definitely reflects that) but maybe they will recall healthy small portions and lots of vegetables?? Or maybe they won't. I hope they see how hard Bryan and I work, how hands on we are, that we are constantly doing. I hope they see how affectionate we are, how we hold on tight, but also let go sometimes (like letting them go to Alaska at age 7!). I hope the little quirky traditions and saying we have are what make us unique and that is not lost on them. I don't know where this is coming from or even where I am going with it. But I'm glad I have lots more years to make an impression on them, love on them with all I have, and mold them into great men before setting them loose out into the world.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The other day...

...we went to the airport near our house in our county to eat breakfast at the restaurant there overlooking the runway.
Nolan fell asleep on the way there and remained so in his stroller throughout our meal.

Jack sat extra close to me and we had a

silly (gosh he has the most beautiful BRIGHT blue eyes!)

deliciously soaked in syrup kind of morning.

The end.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What we've been up to:

I have been so good about bringing my camera everywhere we go... but unfortunately not so good with actually using it. Alas, they are all cell phone pictures... but here is what we have been doing the last few days...
[installing new screen door on patio door- no more flies coming in while the kids are out playing!]
[bowling with neighbor buddies]
[thrift store shopping for all the school clothes... oh yes, I DO ROCK!]
[also picked up one of my favorite thrift store finds of all times. These desks are so much more spectacular in person. Gonna set up a homework zone in the loft. It is gonna be sweet!]
[oh yes, I already have their outfits for the first day of school. Cute!]
[drove to Estes Park this morning to hang out and also check out the YMCA there for our trip later this Summer. Hoping to rent one of their little cabins for a few nights.]
[Also got this fantastic high chair at my thrift store, which I'll be refinishing and gifting to my good friend for her little daughter.]
[oh and here is what Warren has been up to most recently, in addition to hitting an indoor water park, going on bike rides, and visiting the Alaska Club with Grandma.]
Well, now I'm all caught up here! Jack is going down to Grandma Caryl's house for a few days starting tomorrow so I will only have ONE child. That almost never happens. Doing Supper Solutions this week, mailing and delivering Nolan's birthday invites, and a couple other projects before Warren comes back home on Saturday morning.


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