Saturday, June 30, 2012

Family Vacation to Utopia

We just got back from a great week in the beautiful hill country near Utopia TX. We did a lot of relaxing, reading, swimming, fishing and eating! We saw a lot of wildlife (a tarantula, water snake, bats and giant grasshoppers in one day), as well as beautiful birds, deer and rabbits. I especially loved getting to spend time with my parents every day. We haven't gotten to do that in a long time. We ate every meal together, played games, read books, cooked meals and just talked together and it was just what I needed. Since Brian's blog tells the story so well, here's the link and I am going to wrap this up! Thanks Papa & Nana for a wonderful vacation and we look forward to the next time!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Photo Update

Tatum's class sang "Tony Chestnut" at her spring performance. I had never heard that song before, so it cracked me up to see her sing it.

She also graduated from preschool this spring. I can't believe her preschool days are over. We started her homeschool kindergarten curriculum toward the end of April, just because she was so eager to "do school" with Avery. It is so fun to teach her because she is such a quick learner and quick worker. She zooms through her work so fast, I'm pretty sure we're going to be done with her Kindergarten by Christmas. But that's just her... she loves a challenge and usually rises to it.
For Avery & Tatum's birthday present, Papa & Nana took all of us to the mall to get the girls ears pierced. We went ahead and got Laney's done too, so hopefully we are forever done with ear piercing. We learned a few lessons. Laney's age, 3, was the right age to get it done. She had no clue what to expect and it was over before she knew what was happening. Barely any tears. Avery, on the other hand, knew what to expect, and freaked out like a crazy woman. We almost left without her having it done. Tatum stepped in when Avery was freaking out and was very brave. Tatum didn't cry at all. She just smiled real big through the whole thing. After watching her two little sisters do it, Avery decided to try again. I did have to hold her in my lap and physically restrain her, but she did cooperate as best she could and we got it done! Hooray... all the girls in our family have pierced ears now and we will have fun sharing earrings. For their starter set, Avery chose her her birthstone, Tatum chose purple flowers and Laney chose pink flowers.

Bodie is 14 months and such a boy. His favorite word is "ball" and he always has either a ball or a sword in his hand. He is now really good at walking, sliding, climbing, giving high fives, bumps and kisses. Whenever  we go outside, we call him the "sweaty beast" because he is covered in sweat within 5 minutes. I can't even put into words what a joy and blessing it is to watch our little guy grow and learn new things.

I took my camera outside one day while the kids were all playing. I love all the creative ways they spend their time outside. Here's Laney making some mudpies.

Tatum on our new rock wall Brian built to add to our play fort.

The big sister

This is Laney pushing me on the glider.

All three of the girls like to be Bodie's little mamas, but I think Laney is the most naturally gifted with a mama's heart. She is always wanting to care for him and help him do things.

Tatum loves collecting chalk dust. She colors real hard to make lots of dust, then collects it in some little container.

We love having our friends, the Spenn kids, over one day a week. It is truly the highlight of our week. We are usually so busy I forget to take pictures, but I got a few while we were having a tower building contest.

On the morning of May 16, I woke Tatum up really early and invited her to come downstairs with me before any one else. I let her choose what she wanted for her birthday breakfast... cinnamon crescent rolls. Happy 5th birthday, my sweet sunshine!

Our sweet friends, the Kindles, came to visit us a couple weeks ago. We had such a fun time catching up. Even though we only see each other once a year, we feel like they are family. We always feel like our time with them is too short. Our kids had so much fun playing together and Brian & I love the time we get to spend relaxing and catching up with Brandon & Jennifer. This family is a gift from God to us!

Goofy kids!

Laney & Kate... the sweet 3 year old princesses!

Swim team has been such a good thing for Avery and our family this season. When she joined the team in April, she couldn't swim across the pool without holding on the lane rope at least 10 times. Now she is swimming the freestyle, backstroke and butterfly in swim meets and doing awesome! We are so proud of all her hard work! And we have said over and over how much fun it has been for our family to get to know our neighbors during practices and meets. Tatum is excited to be on the team next year and we are looking forward to many more seasons of cheering for the Copperfield Dolphins!

On the ready bench

Go Avery!

We took the girls to Sea World to celebrate Avery & Tatum's birthdays. My mom & dad joined us, as well as our sis-in-law, Jenn and neice, Tara. It was such a fun day! In the penguin encounter, they had a penguin out in the lobby walking around right next to us! It was so fun to see one so close! We loved feeding the dolphins and the sea lions. The shows were wonderful and everyone, even Bodie, sat still and watched them in amazement. Later, that evening, my parents took Laney & Bodie home and Jenn & Tara wanted to go back to the kids area, so Brian & I took Avery & Tatum on all the "big" rides. Since there were no lines that late, we rode Journey to Atlantis back to back several times. So fun! And Avery was tall enough this year to ride the Steel Eel so she and Brian rode that twice.... her first real roller coaster ride.

Now we're gearing up for our last week of swim team and our divisional meet next Saturday. Then we are taking a vacation with my parents to the hill country for a few days to spend some time relaxing by the river. We are so looking forward to getting away for our little vacation! Tatum just started taking gymnastics, which she is loving. And Laney is going to try ballet & tap later this summer. Between all the fun activities, we are still homeschooling a few days a week, mostly just for fun. The girls enjoy "doing school" and I do too.

Brian is not teaching summer school this summer, so he is home with us most days. We have enjoyed doing a few field trips and hanging out with him so much. We took the kids bowling a few weeks ago, which was hilarious and fun! He is such a super dad and I am glad to have these few weeks with him home with us everyday, joining in with us in our every day activities. He is right now telling the kids to get ready to go fishing so I better end this post. :)