The series going on at our church right now is titled "Love In Motion." One of the ways our Pastor challenged us to put love in motion was to go out in the community and love on our local Fire Fighters.
So last week Ava, Parker and I baked a pie to take to one of our local stations.
We ended up going on a day that Parker had school so he wasn't able to go. But he was excited to go to school anyways because it was Rodeo week and he got to dress like a cowboy and eat "Dog Dogs" (hotdogs) at school. He was most excited about the "Dog Dog" part. I asked him if he wanted to go to school and get a hotdog and he said "Yeah!"
When we pulled up at his school and I started to unbuckle him he said "No, not school. Costco!" Poor guy. He thought we were going to Costco to get a hotdog because that's what we do on our monthly date with Daddy.
Who would have known that it would be so hard to love on some firemen? Apparently there was a city wide training in our town... we found that out after we went to three empty fire stations. But the kids patients paid off and we ended up going to the station in the next town over.
The men there were awesome! They were amazed that we were there just to love on them and bring them lost of yummy treats. They gave our group a great tour of the station and we learned a lot. They even let the kids climb all over the trucks. It was really cool.
This is the only picture I got of Ava and I had to trick her to get it. This girl, I don't know about her sometimes. She's so goofy. She will talk to any stranger on the street about her dead cat but when someone exciting wants to talk to her, she clams up.
She would not talk to the firemen, she would not climb on the trucks, she would not take pictures... But as soon as we got in the car she said. "That was really cool Mom! My favorite part was the boat with the gun on the front!" And all day after that she told everyone about what a great time she had at the fire station and everything she learned. She's so silly.
We had so much fun putting "Love In Motion." We have plans on how to put some more love in motion around us. I will try to post them as they happen.
Early that morning I drove the last of the family to the airport and dropped them off. Brian's flight was coming in later that afternoon and I was super excited. Since it would have taken me two hours to get back down to the airport (1 hour each way) then I decided that I would just stay down the hill so I would be there when his flight got in. My Mom and Grandma watched the kids for me so I enjoyed a totally kid-free relaxing day to myself.
Don't get me wrong, I love my babies but sometimes a Mama needs some peace and quiet. I spent the day leisurely finishing up some back to school shopping for my big Kindergartner. But the best part of the day was picking up my sweet husband! After 3 weeks I was missing him so much. I had butterflies in my tummy when I was waiting at the airport to pick him up.
After I picked Brian up from the airport we met Chris, Chels, Diane and the boys for some pizza dinner. They had been at the beach surfing all day and were hungry! I hear Garenn is getting to be quite the little boarder. I wish we still lived close so we could go out and cheer him on.
When we got home the kids were waiting up for Daddy. These faces were priceless!
Brian told me the night before on the phone that he couldn't wait to get there and see all of our faces and that he missed us all so much.
On this day we got to celebrate the life of someone very special. My Great Uncle Marvin.
These photos are from his bible that he got from his Dad and Mom back in 1939. How cool is that? Even more cool, I got to bring it home with me. It's a well loved. So loved in fact that the only thing holding it together is a piece of packing tape. The pages are worn, verses underlined and there's notes in a lot of the margins.
You know what they say, "A well-worn Bible is a sign of a well-fed soul." And that is certainly true of Uncle Marvin. He was the prayer warrior of the family.
When Parker was tiny and going through cranial reshaping and we weren't sure what the outcome would be, Uncle Marvin was one of his biggest supporters. He had pictures of Parker tucked in his Bible and around his home and he said he was constantly praying for him. Marvin would call my Mom to get updates and was so happy when everything turned out ok. We were so thankful for his love and prayers through it all.
Out of all of the notes in that Bible, this is by far my favorite.
After the ceremony we went out to eat with the family.
When we got home my Dad called and said to get the kids dressed and put their boots on because we were going riding. He had his friend set it up for us to go horseback riding. The kids were BEYOND excited.
Brooke's cheetah boots from Grandpa Ron and Grandma Cindy. Those boots were made for her.
Ava paitently waiting her turn.
Ava got sparkly red Jessie boots. They look just like Jessie's boots from Toy Story. She LOVES them. These boots have seen a lot of wear time since she got them.
Parker was literally so excited he was scaling the fence. Grandpa had to hold him back.
Grandpa and Grandma gave him some good old fashioned brown boots. He looks like such a stud in them. The first time he saw them he pulled them out of the box and said "Woody!" He thinks he really is Woody from Toy Story when he wears them.
Thank you Tina for setting this whole evening up for us! It was definatly a highlight in our trip. I wish I would have gotten to do Zumba with you though! Next trip I will for sure!
I've said this before but I mean it. Every time we've moved, and there have been quite a few times, we've always been blessed with amazing neighbors.
The last time we lived in California we met some pretty great people, Mike and Janelle. They lived just down the street and had the same exact house we did. Soon after we moved in they adopted their oldest daughter Jessica. She was the cutest little baby and she was just a few months older than Brooke. We had fun getting the girls together to play.
I always loved when we would go over to their house or vice versa and the girls would ask "where's the bathroom?" We had the exact same house so it would always crack us up that they didn't realize that.
Janelle and I both got pregnant and had our second born babies in our matching houses before we both moved away. We've kept in touch via facebook over the years and I was really excited when I saw the news she and Mike were expecting again!
Expecting times 3!
Look at those amazing little miracles. That is one blessed and BUSY Mama. 5 kids under the age of 5. Woowzers. I am so sad that we don't live right down the street still so I could help her out. Brooke and Jessica both started Kindergarten this year and I could have at least helped out taking the girls to school, and I wouldn't mind lovin' on some little babies in between.
We made a day to go over and visit our old friends and help out for a little while. Brooke and Jessica picked up right where they left off.
Back at Grammy Girl's house the family was learning how to make a family recipe.
Great Aunt Sharon taught the kids how to make homemade Norwegian noodle soup. It was delicious.
Sharon had just arrived the day before. At this point all of the Skellenger family had headed home and now the second wave of family, the Yocoms were on their way in for Uncle Marvin's funeral the next day.
So part of the reason why I haven't been posting as much as I use to is because I have been helping out with the remodel of our new church campus. I've actually been nicknamed "Design Diva" (thanks Wendi :o) because I've been knee deep in design ideas for the last 2 1/2 months. It's a bit overwhelming but it's a ton of fun too.
We moved in to this building in November and there have been some big changes since then. Lots of my family members and friends who live out of state have been asking for pictures of the progress so here ya go. Here's a sneak peak at a few of the changes:
There was a Dr. Seuss kind of theme everywhere before. It was playful and fun but our children's ministry is called "Adventure Camp" and the decor didn't fit in with our whole camping theme. So, we've made a few changes.
It's getting there. Nothing is completely finished yet so I just gave you a sneak peak of a few rooms/hallway.
So we had a snag in our flooring installation earlier in the week last week... I got word that the flooring had arrived so I hurried over to talk to the installers and check it out. I was very excited because I have been eating, sleeping, breathing flooring for the past month or so.
Laminate and carpet together...
And we're back. Well, when I got to the Campus the guys pulled a piece straight out of the box and I about fainted. It was not what I remembered it being. I looked over the box and it had the right name but I just didn't remember it being that light and that red. Pastor Paul's exact words to me were "Find the darkest wood with the most hand scraped texture that you can find." Well this was not the stuff. The flooring guy said that sometimes you don't realize what the whole floor will look like from the little sample piece they show you at the store. Not the most comforting words I wanted to hear at that point.
I had to go get Brooke and take the girls to dance so I told the guys to go ahead and get started on the install and I would come back later and check it out. When I got back they had laid down about 1,000 sqft. of the stuff and I had a internal panic attack when I saw it. Paul was out of town on a mission trip and wouldn't be back until the morning. I knew he was going to hate it the second he saw it. I went home and started researching local churches, just in case I could never show my face there again. (Kidding! I told him this and he laughed)
Anyways it all worked out ok. Turns out the company mixed up. They had put the wrong product in our boxes! Hal-a-lu-ur! I was so relieved. Those poor boys had to take up all that floor they had just laid and lay down the new stuff. It was all worth it though because we all LOVE the look and color of the new floor.
Because of the mix up, we ran out of glue and were unable to finish laying one of the main rooms. I am kind of glad that happened though because one of the teachers had a great idea. We got a ton of Sharpies and let the kids each right their hopes, dreams and prayers for the new building on the concrete. I love, love, love that they were able to do that.
That is Brooke's drawing in that picture. They told the kids to draw or write what their "Dream Church" would look like. Brooke said she wanted it to have a indoor pool with a water slide.
So there ya have it. It's a work in progress but it's getting there!
Parker had his first day of school yesterday. He did great, and surprisingly so did I. And by that I mean I only cried twice in the 5 hours that he was out of my sight. That's pretty good, right?
There he is with his little lunch box and his puppy which was actually my puppy when I was little. I found it in my Mom and Dad's storage when I was back there in November and brought it home. It was one of my favorites. The funny thing is that Brian had one almost exactly like it when he was little. His mom gave it to us awhile back when we started having kids. The kids have played with it off and on abut Parker has really become attached to it lately. Ever since I brought mine home he is obsessed with walking around with my puppy and Brian's puppy. One is the "Daddy" and the other is "Baby." Funny thing is he calls the bigger one "Baby."
Yesterday when he was getting ready to go to school I told him he could pick out one stuffed animal to take to school for nap time. Brian and I were a little nervous about what he would pick because lets face it, with two big sisters in the house there is no shortage of pink fluffy stuffed animals laying around. When he picked that well loved and worn out puppy I asked Brian if it was too ragged to take to school and he said probably. But he was just relieved that his son didn't pick a Hello Kitty out and we decided it was best to just let him take the puppy.
Brooke was already at school so we posed with Ava.
Before Brooke left for school she said "Can't you just wait until all the kids are in school and you get some peace and quiet around here Mom?"
I dread that day...
When we got to the school, Parker marched right in. He was excited really excited. As we headed down the hall he had to show Daddy all the animals that are painted on the wall and tell him all about it. When we got to his classroom he ran in and danced around because he was so excited. His teachers thought he was funny.
After he got his jacket off he went right to playing. He found the legos right away of course. He is his father's son.
After we met his teachers they showed us where to put his nap mat, backpack and things. Parker was ok with putting everything in there but the puppy. He cried and wanted to hold onto Baby. His teacher said "Ok you hang onto it for a little while longer and maybe you can drop it in your basket on the way to Chapel in a little while?" You could tell he was thinking while he was walking and then all of a sudden he just dropped it in the nearest basket and ran off to his classroom to play. Brian went back and take Baby out of someone else's basket and put it in Parker's for him before we left.
When we left him that morning I said "Bye Buddy" and he just yelled "Bye Mommy! Bye Daddy!" We each went over and gave him a kiss and walked out. I had a feeling he was going to do great.
When we got to the car I cried a little. Ava was really sweet all day and kept giving me kisses and saying "It's just you and me Mom!"
After we picked Parker up I asked him if he had fun and he said "I sing Frosty Snowman and I play Addagain!" His little sheet that he came home with said that they read a book called "Snowman, Snowman" and he has a little friend in his class from church, her name is Addison. He babbled and talked for about 5 minutes straight after I picked him up. I wasn't able to understand half of it but he was telling me all about it. Then for the rest of the afternoon he sang Frosty the Snowman over and over and over.
So I would say day one was a success. I really missed him during the day but it helped seeing him so happy and excited about his and Baby puppy's first day at school.
Look at this precious little man. He's so peaceful when he's sleeping. I just wanna scoop him up and cuddle him. Why can't he stay little forever? He's growing up way to fast. Waaaay to fast. So fast in fact that he is starting school tomorrow. And by school I mean a Mother's Day Out program but still, my baby is leaving the nest for 5 hours a day, 2 days a week.
It all happened so fast. I have quite a few friends who have kids that go to this school and I knew it was a good one to be at so I went ahead and put Ava and Parker on the waiting list awhile ago. A long while ago. I was really hoping to get Ava into their Pre K program but they said she was 24th on the waiting list for her age group so I wasn't holding my breath.
Then, out of nowhere I got a call saying that there was an open spot in their program for Parker. Parker?! What about Ava? Well there's still not a open spot in her age group, in fact she's still 20th on the list. But, if we put Parker in now than we can pre register as a "returning family" for the Fall of 2012 and we will have a shot at getting Ava into their Pre K program.
It seems so backwards to put my "baby" in school before my middle child but it's really our only option at this point. We just can't afford to send the kids to the school that Brooke went to. It cost literally 3 times more a month than this new school. The only reason we were able to scrape up the money for Brooke to go to the school she went to is because we absolutely had to. It was the only preschool program we could find in our area that was peanut free. It was an amazing school with amazing teachers and we are sad that we will not be able to continue there with our other two kids. But I hear great things about this new school and I'm excited about their future there.
So yeah, starting tomorrow it will be just Ava and I here on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's going to be so weird. But it will be good. I plan on working with her more one on one since I will now have her undivided attention. She has really been expressing an interest in learning to write letters lately so I think it will be a good thing that we will be able to hang out solo together and do some little learning sessions. I'm really excited about dusting off my preschool teaching skills and working with my little Avers.
I'm going to keep reminding myself that when Brian and I drop our little baby boy off for his first day of school tomorrow morning...
His little lunch box is on the counter next to Brooke's, ready to be packed...
His little nap mat is washed and ready waiting by the door...
His backpacked is packed and ready....
Ugh! I'm going to go iron now. Because that's what I do when I'm frazzled. I iron. No piece of wrinkled cloth is safe from my wrath when I'm in such a state. It's probably a good thing though, I have a whole hamper full of stuff that's been sitting in my laundry room waiting to be ironed for about a month (or two now). I'm pretty sure the kids have grown out of some of the things.
Oh well, at least they'll be nice and stiff when I put them in the give away bag right?
Earlier this Summer while on vacation back home in California, my girls dolled parker up like a little girl with one of their headbands. I snapped a picture of him on my phone and texted it to my husband Brian who was back home in Texas working. I wrote "Good morning from your 3rd daughter." And he wrote back "Pretty!"
This day was an exciting day because the girls were going to get to see what Grandpa Ron had been working so hard on.
He even got Uncle Donnie in on the action.
And of course "Grandpa Fred" was there too. Grandpa Fred is our honorary Grandpa. He and his wife Barbara are my parents neighbors and some of the most kind people on this planet. He helped my Dad build this crazy thing in his amazing workshop.
So what is this "thing" that we are talking about?
What could possibly put a smile that big on two little girls faces?
Their new Cinderella Carriage bed. Let me tell you, it's pretty amazing. I have some more pictures of it. I will post them later. They show just how cool the thing really is.
After we saw the bed we headed back to Grams for some lunch, naps and of course Words With Friends. We were all obsessed with that game this Summer. We were all laughing because at one point we were all sitting around in the same room, playing each other through the phones.
That is Parker "helping" Ginny play. Ginny, she's such a sweetie. She has more energy than anyone I know. But during this trip she got really sick. And I do mean really sick. By the time she went to the Dr. she could hardly walk because her hips were so stiff. The Dr. sent her that same day to get a ultrasound on her leg because he suspected she might have a blood clot. Turns out that she just had a really bad sinus infection that had settled in her hips. How crazy is that?! And poor Ginny is deathly allergic to about every antibiotic under the Sun so it took awhile to figure out what kind of medicine she could take because her Dr. was all the way home in Iowa. But she finally got it figured out after a few days of trying but I just felt so bad for her.
We had to tease her though. She was a good sport. She laughed and said "Us Kuhfus' are the only ones who can get a sinus infection in our hips and run ourselves over with the car!"
Yes you read that right. Ginny's husband, Al ran himself over with their car. Poor guy. Can you imagine. The only good thing that came out of it is listening to Ginny tell the story. She is a riot. I just about peed my pants when she said she was yelling at the 911 operator "I live in the tin shed across from the Co Op!" They live in a VERY small town in Iowa and when she said that, the operator knew who she was right away. Crazy huh?
After lunch it was time for naps.
And then we headed over to Grandpa Ron and Grandma Cindy's and went on a hike,
with Uncle Chris.
We made Bubble Gum collages. Have you ever made a Bubble Gum collage? It used to be one of my favorite things to do when I was a kid. I think I learned it at Girl Scout camp or something like that. Basically you just chomp on a big wad of bubble gum and go on a hike. When you find cool stuff, you break off a piece of bubble gum and use it to stick you nifty find to your paper. And there you have it. A bubble gum collage.
Ava wearing Grandpa's glasses. I found this one and had to share.
I am a stay at home Mom living with my 3 beautful kids and amazing husband in Texas. We relocated here from California and it's been an adjustment getting used to living on our own without any family in the state. We're learning though. We make it through with our faith in God, our good humor and our love for one another. Please keep in mind, this blog is a peek into the daily ramblings from a stay at home mom with three young kids, so please don't take anything too seriously.