Monday, July 28, 2014

Merry July!

Waiting for December is so tough when you're a kid.  The boys have already started their Christmas lists and are currently trying to wrap their minds around all the events we need to check off our list prior to December 25th.   Max likes to name them in order...Back-to-School, Halloween, Fletcher's birthday, Thanksgiving and THEN Christmas.  It seems so far away.

So, just for fun, I surprised them with Christmas in July last week.  Who wouldn't want to celebrate Christmas more than once a year?  

It was hot and humid outside, but in our house it was a winter wonderland.
 I have to admit that blaring the holiday music first thing in the morning put me in a great mood.

The night before, I told the boys to wear something either red or green and that I had a surprise for them the next morning.  They came up with some hilarious guesses as to what the surprise was, but for the life of them couldn't think of what the colors green and red had to do with anything?!
They were so excited when they saw what it was :)
Bagel snowmen and watermelon trees. And we always need green juice.
I had a couple small crafts that I bought at the end of the season last year to give them as "presents".
Then he got really artistic and started sprinkling "snow" from the table on his mask.  So creative :)
Then they made little snowman ornaments.

And "pretend winter" wouldn't be complete without a snowball fight. So we headed outside in the heat to throw snowball water balloons.
 At this point I had to put down the camera because I was about to become the target :)  All three of us ended up drenched because once the water balloons ran out they, of course, resorted to using the hose.

Christmas memories being made in the summertime.

Monday, July 21, 2014

100 Acts of Kindness

About a year ago we started a "Kindness Counter".  It hangs in our kitchen and we use it to keep track of the nice things the boys do without being asked.  Things like: sharing your snack, letting the other be/choose/go "first" (trust me, being "first" is huge right now), being positive and encouraging with each other.   

It also works in can loose "Kindness Points" for doing unkind things, too.  Things like:  riding your baby brother like a horse, chasing your sibling with the hose on full blast while he's screaming/crying, and trying to pee in the toilet while the other happens to already be using the toilet.  One step forward, two steps back :)  

But they finally broke 100 last month!  
When we began there was no prize or reward offered.  I told them that they don't get "treats" for being kind.  You should be kind for kindness sake.  The act of  flipping the cards to the next number when a point is earned proved to be all the incentive they need.  They love it.  And the shame of being the one to lose points is a good enough motivator to try to be kind.

However, once we hit 100, I felt like a little acknowledgment was due.  That's a lot of kindness.  So I surprised them with a chocolate Skyscraper from Winstead's.  They had never seen anything so grand.
We barely put a dent in it, but the boys were in sweet, brain-freeze heaven until they couldn't take another bite.  We ended up leaving with three to-go cups of chocolate shake to put in the freezer when we got home. 

And we'll continue to work on the way we interact with each kind act at a time. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fletcher | 8 Months

Dear Fletcher, 
I've got my happy baby back!  Your bottom teeth finally broke through the surface (just barely), thank goodness.  However I can see more are planning to give you trouble soon.  It looks like they're all going to come in at once, so I think this reprieve from teething pain is sadly going to be very brief.

Also, you're CRAWLING (see video below)!
Freedom.  You love it.  It's adorable to watch you explore/cruise around on your own free will.  The only downside is that I now have to constantly check the floor for half-eaten pretzels and game pieces left behind by big bros.
 You eat like a champ and it shows in those chunky thighs.  You'll have a check-up next month, so we'll see how much you've grown!

However, I don't think your smile could get any bigger...
The happiness I see in your eyes. That sweet face.  It's everything to me.

You are such a magical part of our lives, little mister.

My whole heart, 
***********Fletcher Crawling Video***********

Thursday, July 10, 2014

4th of July...Southern Style

This year we packed up the car and the kids and headed south to visit family in Tennessee for the holiday weekend.

We got to stay in their new beautiful home, see their beautiful faces and relax all weekend.

The boys are so enamored with their big cousins.  We pretty much let them roam free, eat whatever they wanted and stay up late.  And they wanted very little to do with us.  Max wouldn't even let me read to him before bed...only cousin Fiona could do that.

It was really special to sit back and watch the cousins bonding.  It was a relaxing getaway and we are so thankful to all SIX of our wonderful hosts who made us feel at home.
Checking out Aunt Kim's garden.
Checking on the chickens.
Cade and Max
Fletcher loved Dixie the dog!
Uncle Brad meeting Fletch for the first time.
Lots of pool time.
Face painting at the farmers market.
Italian ice for all.
Lunch at the Boat House.
A patriotic pic.
Found all the parachute guys....
....but Max was not happy that there weren't actual guys at the end so they drew faces on the cardboard :)
Shuckin' corn.
Admiring the fireworks collection.
Ella and Dixie {and a very frightened Sully in the background :)}
The kids had so much fun playing together.
Cade feeding Fletch while Billy and I cooked dinner.
Brother and sister.
So late.  Waaay past bedtime.
We left Tennessee with very tired, but happy hearts :)