Monday, May 31, 2010

Pool Party Fun

It's Memorial Day weekend and H-O-T. With temperatures approaching 100, we knew we had to put up the pool and water slide for the boys to play in.

And, play they did! Lil' Luke and Donovin came over for a fun day in the sun. Those boys played their hearts out going from the pool, to the water slide to, to the trampoline. They had a quick break for a movie and lunch, then they were right back outside for more fun. Everyone should get a GOOD night of sleep tonight for sure!!

I have to be honest, I was NOT looking forward to winter ending and summer's sweltering heat, but watching the boys play today reminded me of just how much fun summer can be.

Now...if everyone would just go home so I could hop in!!!! With my 3mo pregnant belly, I look more fat and bloated than anything. And, without a maternity swimsuit there's no way I'm getting in while anyone else is looking! :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lucious Lemonade!!

Oh my...Luke and I juiced a bag of lemons today and made a big picture of homemade lemonade! YUM-O!

Not only did the whole kitchen smell citrus-y, but the lemonade was out-of-this world!!

Wow...Countrytime and Koolaide just don't compare! Ahhh...the simple pleasures of summer! Love it!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

More Veggies from our Garden

Today we not only had green beans from our garden, but our first zucchini too! The boys were so excited to pick the zucchini and bring it inside for dinner.

We sauteed all the veggies in garlic infused grapeseed oil, sprinkled with a little garlic wine seasoning from The Melting Pot. Boy was it good! Luke, who has never eaten zucchini gobbled it all up and kept asking for more. Noah ate it too!

We have two new zucchinis growing right now and I can't wait until they are big enough to pick. Super-yummy, healthy and so much fun!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lily of the Valley

Granny sent me the neatest gift for Mother's Day....a lily of the valley plant! It was just a beautiful turquoise pot when I opened it, but with a little water and sunlight it quickly sprouted in to an amazing, sweet smelling, flowering plant!

I didn't remember until Mom reminded me, but my grandma Gwen used to grow these around the north side of her house. So, they have a very sentimental value.

I can definitely understand why my grandma chose to grow them. Not only are they super cute little bell looking flowers, but they smell amazing! Almost like a fine perfume. I have it sitting right in the center island in my kitchen and the whole area smells good!

Our First Green Bean Harvest!

Oh how are garden is growing! It's SO very exciting and fulfilling to see it producing fruits and veggies from what started as only dirt and seeds.

Last night we picked our first green bean harvest. And, oh, were they delicious! We steamed them for dinner and ate every last bite! Even Noah liked eating them. I think because they were long and not cut up like the frozen ones we buy.

We currently have one big fat zucchini growing and dozens of little cucumbers. Our tomato and cantaloupe plants are blooming too, so I know fresh, ripe fruit isn't far away.

Everyday there is a new surprise in our garden just waiting for us. What a fun project for the boys and I!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Luke's Preschool Graduation

Tuesday evening Luke graduated from The Learning Academy Preschool at Wylie's United Methodist Church.

I was feeling so many different emotions that night...I was bursting with pride and brimming with tears all at the same time. It just doesn't seem possible that my sweet baby boy is old enough to be going to kindergarten.

Where has the past five years gone? I remember like it was yesterday the very first time he was placed in my arms. Fast forward two years and I remember the very first day he walked in to Ms. Beth's 2 year-old class at LAP. Now, here we are graduating preschool and looking forward to kindergarten.

I was thankful to be filming the music program and graduation ceremony this night. It gave me something to focus on so that I couldn't totally get caught up in the emotions on the moment. Luke has always loved being on stage and performing. From the time he was two years old and stealing the show as the only 2 year old bold enough to sing all the words and remember all the hand this night when I could hear him belting out the tunes louder than all the other kids. I treasure every performance and am very sad to think this will be the last music program we attend for him.

When it finally came time for all the graduates to walk across the stage, Luke proudly accepted the scroll and posed for a picture with his teachers. I'm so proud of my first baby boy! I pray that next year he gets a teacher who is as loving and involved as his teachers at LAP have been.

Uncle Jeremy's Birthday

On Sunday, we celebrated uncle Jeremy's birthday and a belated Mother's day.

It was so neat to see Luke and Noah with their cousin Graham. He is almost one year old and the boys are really starting to be able to play together. Noah and Graham especially looked cute sitting next to one another. What once seemed like such a big age gap is closing rapidly. In a few more years we will hardly recognize their difference in age at all.

Jeremy's cake was a big hit. We ordered it from a new bakery in Wylie called, "Say it with Sugar." The owners are incredibly talented and have been on the Food Network's, "Cake Challenge." The theme for Jeremy's cake was jazz. It had little chocolate molded violins, pianos, trumpets and trombones on it...and sheet music with musical notes on the top. The best part was that it tasted as good as it looked. One layer chocolate-chocolate chip; the other layer was white chocolate with chocolate cream filling. Delicious!

We cooked burgers and hot dogs and had a really nice afternoon. We're looking forward to our next family get-together in June to celebrate Graham's 1st birthday!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

My little Cowboy

Noah is just too stinkin' cute not to make a quick blog entry of him wearing his cowboy hat! He is fascinated with hats right now, which is ironic because for the longest time I couldn't get him to keep one on his head to save my life. Now, he loves wearing caps and hats of all kinds.

Yesterday, he found Luke's cowboy had and thought he was Mr. Cool! He ran around the house saying, "at!" and making the sign for hat by patting on his head. At one point he decided to just sit down at the coffee table and eat his apple with his hat on. He was being so silly and flirty, just laughing and wrinkling his nose, that I grabbed the camera and snapped a couple of pics.

Love my little cowboy!

Aunt Niki & the Easy Bake Oven

While Aunt Niki was here for a few days before her summer trip to Brazil, Luke talked her in to helping him bake some cookies in his Easy Bake Oven. This is his second time baking in it and he chose chocolate chip cookies with chocolate frosting drizzled on top.

They carefully measured the ingredients and stirred them in the miniature Easy Bake bowls. Then, each cookie was baked in an individual cookie pan heated by a light bulb, of all things, inside the oven. Before they were through, Noah woke up from his nap and joined in too.

At last, the moment they had been waiting for...the tasting! Judging by the chocolate smeared across Luke and Noah's face, I would say it was a success!!

In the end, I'm not sure who had more fun...Luke or Aunt Niki!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Splashing in Mud Puddles

The other day Luke and Noah were playing with our neighbor friend, Donovin, on his slip and slide. Before we knew it, there was a nice-sized mud puddle between our two yards that was simply too irresistible for the boys to avoid!

Luke and Donovin jumped in first...but it didn't take long for Noah to join in too. It was so funny to watch them jump and splash and gallop through the mud. Poor Noah's diaper was sagging down to his knees before it was all over.

Both boys were carried in to the bathtub when they were done. More splashing and playing, but this time with squeaky-clean bubbles. They were so dirty had to scrub the tub when they were done...there was so much grass and mud stuck to the side!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sand and Water Fun!

Another surprise this week from Granny and Gramps courtesy of Santa Claus in the big brown truck (UPS!) This time it was a gift for Noah - a sand and water table!

What a great gift for Noah. He is SUCH an outside boy and has been playing with it non-stop! He loves the little boats and trains...and there are three little water spouts that each distribute the water differently. So cute!!

There's just something about water that makes playing so much fun!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

An Early Mother's Day Gift from Luke

I was so touched today to when Luke came out to the car from preschool and handed me this little vase with a tissue paper flower inside and a Hershey kiss in the center. There was the sweetest poem on the outside, titled "Wonderful Mother."

God made a wonderful mother,
a mother who never grows old;
He made her smile of the sunshine,
And He molded her heart of pure gold;
Her eyes he placed bright shining stars;
In her cheeks fair roses you see,
God made a wonderful mother,
And He gave that dear mother to me.

Oh, I get a little bit scared when I think of Luke going to kindergarten next year. Will he still make sweet little projects that speak of God's love? Will he still be directed to keep his eyes focused on heaven? I know that I'm raising Luke to go out in the be the salt and the bring Jesus to those who don't know Him...but, I'm I can't help but be concerned about sending my little lamb in to the world.

I suppose all moms feel this way and I know that God will protect Luke. In the meantime, I'm treasuring every last precious day of Luke's preschool experience. So bittersweet!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Day of Remembrance and Love

I has the privilege of spending Friday with my sweet friend Amy remembering her beautiful baby boy Levi Craig. Friday would have been Levi's one year birthday, but instead of a birthday party, a group of friends held a remembrance ceremony at the graveside. His little headstone had just come in a few weeks prior. The inscription is so sweet...

An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby's birth and whispered as she closed the book, "Too beautiful for Earth."

A friend of ours is a pastor and wrote some remembrance liturgy. As we listened to her speak, and repeated the verses that were ours, we learned that in the most beautiful of gardens, there is an occasional rose that buds, but never opens. What happens in nature's garden happens once in a while also in the garden of God's human family. Life is created, a heart beats inside the womb, a baby kicks, beautiful, precious, but fails to come to its rightful unfolding. Levi Craig, like the bud that never fully opens, was gathered back into God's heavenly garden of souls.

We all wrote a letter to Levi and tied them to yellow balloons which we let float away, up into the sky. It was incredibly heart-wrenching and emotional, but beautiful at the same time.

We all got together and had a bracelet made for Amy that has a picture of Aiden, her three year old and Levi. Like any mother's charm bracelet, we wanted her to have a piece that represented both of her beautiful boys.

After the ceremony, we went to lunch at Amy favorite restaurant. Several of us went to get pedicures after that. Amy continued to have friends and loved ones surround her throughout the evening and night.

Over the past year, Amy has amazed me with her raw openness and strength. I am honored to be her friend and blessed to have shared this day with her.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Growing and Growing!

Wow. I'm so encouraged by the way our garden is growing. Every single seed we planted has sprouted! We have tomatoes, cantaloupe, green beans, strawberries, green onion, cucumbers, green pepper, squash and zucchini.

Today, Luke and I found blossoms on our squash and zucchini plants. Each blossom will grow in to a vegetable. I can't wait to taste the fruits of our labor. It's so exciting to care for and nurture something from a tiny seed and then watch it bloom in to maturity.

I even gave Luke a few of my leftover seed and he planted them in a little spot in the yard. He's been watering them and watching them everyday, but I never actually thought they would sprout. To my surprise though, they have! He's so excited to see the little green bean plants that have started to grow in "his garden!"

This has been a great project for Luke and I to work on together. We've both has lots of fun tending to our garden. And, we're both looking forward to tasting what we've grown!

Easy Bake Oven!

The Betty Crocker Easy Bake Oven...the name alone takes me back in time. I always wanted one as a little girl, so when Luke and Noah received one from Granny and Gramps this week, I was secretly bursting with excitement!

Luke didn't waste time tearing in to the 20-25 individually wrapped packages of cookies, cakes, brownies and even pretzels! I was a good mom and took pictures while he opened every last one, but inside I couldn't wait to take a closer look.

After the opening was complete, we carefully organized each package in a special bin that we put in the pantry that is especially for Luke.

Luke's first choice to bake was the yellow vanilla cake with pink frosting and sprinkles. Two perfectly proportioned little cakes were the end result. So much fun to frost and sprinkle! But, even more fun to eat!

I can honestly say that if I had to guess right now what Luke would be when he grows up, one of top choices would be a chef. He loves to help me cook, pretend to cook in his play kitchen, watch Food Network cooking shows, etc. I think this Easy Bake Oven may have taken his passion to a whole new level. I can't wait to see what he decided to bake next!