Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Belated Father's Day, Papa Bill!

So, Hallmark carries these really cool cards that not only play music upon opening, but you can also record a voice message for the recipient. After hearing that the Father's Day card we sent to my dad (a.k.a. Papa Bill or Papa Dude) arrived without the voice message intact, I thought it would be nice to send my dad a video message instead. As you can see, all went to pot fairly quickly. It's the thought that counts, right? Regardless of the outcome, these stinkers crack me up!

And here's attempt number 2:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Hair" today . . . Gone tomorrow!

So we finally bit the bullet and took Ben to have his hair cut. Despite being in love with his sweet little wisps and curls, we were tired of people asking if he is a boy or a girl. I really wanted to wait longer, as I knew that once his hair was cut, my sweet little baby would look all grown up. Sure enough, he looks like he's ready for kindergarten now! OK, not quite maybe, but it's still a little sad. Here are before and after pictures.

I wanted to get a picture during the actual haircut, but he threw a fit. I ended up sitting in the chair myself with him on my lap. He still wasn't having any of it until the hairdresser gave him a sucker. Then he calmed down and didn't make a peep for the rest of the time . . . a bit like a lamb led to slaughter. :-)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Funny Claire

Putting Claire to bed tonight:

Claire: Daddy, I'm scared of the dark. It seems like things are moving.
Shawn: Nothing's moving. You are safe in your room. Mommy and daddy wouldn't let anything happen to you.
Claire: What if dinosaurs are still alive?
Shawn: They aren't. They've been dead for a long time.
Claire: When they were alive, what city did they live in?
Shawn: I don't know. Not around here.
Claire: Like where? . . . Texas or "Hawadi"?

The Tweetsie Railroad

Being the brave and adventurous parents that we are, Shawn and I decided to load up the kids and take the 2 hour drive to the mountains to visit The Tweetsie Railroad. Tweetsie is a kid's theme park with rides, games, shows, etc. It all centers around the steam engine that is coal fueled and runs the circuit of the park every 30 minutes. The kids had so much fun, and it was really fun to see how excited they were about it all, especially Claire. She was talking 90 miles an hour nearly the whole time we were there.

Riding the "horses."

He was so excited to "bive" the cars, and was furious with me when I had to take over the wheel after we had spent the first half of the ride scraping the side railing.
Yes, we did take Ben up in the Ferris Wheel. I know, we are insane, but he LOVED it. I thought I was going to hurl, but as soon as the ride stopped, he started yelling "more ride, more ride."

Claire loves the flying rides, but Ben's favorite was probably the boat ride, as you can see by his face below. They fought over the bell on the boat for the first half of the ride until Ben figured out he could just ring the one behind him. Then, all was good.

There's a bad glare in this picture, but Ben's face cracks me up. Can you tell he was having fun???

Panning for gold - no luck.

On the train.
Ben imitating his sister's reaction whenever the train would blow its whistle.

Where we felt our kids belonged at the end of the day. Just kidding . . . sort of!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

So I hate cleaning house...

Today, I finally made the effort to dust our very dusty house. Claire saw me and very excitedly said, "Mommy, is someone coming to visit?"

Hmmm . . . I think I'm doing something wrong here.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The End of the Season

No, Claire's not standing at an outdoor rock concert, protecting her delicate ears from the intense noise of the band. In actuality, this is Claire's most common pose while playing soccer. After a fairly disastrous attempt to play indoor soccer at the YMCA, we thought (and so did she) that outdoor soccer would be a little less stressful, less noisy and more fun. Unfortunately, this was not always the case. She was often overwhelmed by the cheering fans and definitely afraid of the ball and the shrill blast of the referee's whistle. Yet, she insisted on continuing to play on her team and actually acted like she enjoyed herself. So, she's not the most aggressive player on the team. We're ok with that.

Claire is number 4. Before each game, the coaches were in charge of discussing a particular character trait for the day . . . honesty, fair play, teamwork, etc.

Notice ball's location. Notice Claire's location.

Ben was his sister's biggest fan . . . when he wasn't busy picking flowers for mom.

oops, not sure how this photo got in there twice!

Claire with Coach Angie and team. Each member received a trophy for playing on the team and a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Hmmm... promoting athleticism and high fat content???

Claire with her hard-earned trophy and doughnut. I'm not sure about which one she is happier!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Fun Weekend

I've been waiting for Sarah Fletcher to get married for almost as long as she has. Ok, maybe not quite that long, but knowing that I would get to spend one night with my college friends, reminiscing and relaxing has really kept me going lately, even during those days a few weeks ago when I was cleaning up puke for several days! Thankfully, she got married in Asheville, only a 2 1/2 hour drive for me and a sort of "half-way point" between where she (Sarah) is working, where her husband is working, and where her friends and family are. It was just like old times - getting ready with my friends while crowded in front of one mirror, all crammed in one bed while listening to Merica hack and cough all night long, and telling stories and laughing.

I think we look pretty darn good for 32 year old women with 8 children among us . . . most of those provided by Andrea!

Edward and Rachel's youngest, Harper, was the honorary flower girl. She looked like a sweet little cupcake in her dress and tiara-adorned headband. She is teeny and petite and has beautiful, huge blue eyes. She reminds a bit of Claire at that age.

I love this picture. Teddie, Sarah's mother, walked her down the aisle. They were both so beautiful, and their nearly identical smiles really portray just how special the day was.

Rachel was the Matron of Honor and Abby, the Maid of Honor. Their cousin, Marisa was the other bridesmaid. They were all beautiful in their soft pink dresses, and the wedding location could not have been more perfect. It was probably the prettiest wedding I've ever seen. Rachel was the wedding coordinator, and she really outdid herself.

We had a blast at the reception. The food was delicious, the music was great, and we had fun dancing and laughing at everyone else dancing too.

Sarah and Alex dancing. Who would have thought that hardcore, athletic, tomboy Sarah would have had such a girly wedding, but it was. She was beautiful and watching her tear up during her first dance with her new husband made me a little misty eyed too.

Here we are, morning after, just before we leave to return to our respective homes and families. Man, I miss these girls, more than they know. It was so good to see them!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Last Day of School

I'm a little behind on my blogging . . . Claire's last day of preschool was last Thursday, and we enjoyed a family picnic with all of her classmates and their families. The above picture is of Claire with her best buddy, Alexandra (Alex) and her twin brother, Ethan. Of all the girls for Claire to befriend, Alex was the least likely. I remember telling her teacher that Claire was talking alot about Alex at home. Her teacher was quiet for a minute and then said, "Really . . . because Claire is so quiet, and, well, Alex . . . isn't." I guess opposites really do attract. I think Alex was exactly what Claire needed to help her break out of her shell, to relax and really enjoy her school year.

Ben really enjoyed playing on the playground. Here he is "biving" the car.

Claire adored her teachers, Miss Cheryl (pronounced "Shirl" in Kingspeak) and Miss Tina pictured below.

Her teachers and the playschool director wanted us to enroll Claire in the Kindergarten Readiness program for next year because she is older than most of her classmates and because she is "so smart" (their words, not mine, though I happen to agree!). We decided, however, to keep her in the M,W,F 4 year old class. I'm not ready for her to go to school every day, nor am I ready for her to have homework!!! Though, I do think she is really ready to get this schooling business out of the way. She has big plans for the future, including being a landscaper so she can work with her daddy, becoming a pilot, and then being Ben's teacher. However, she did tell me the other day that she also plans on being a dentist. This totally blew me away as she nearly passes out with fear at the dentist's office. I guess she is determined to face that fear!