"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Monday, July 8, 2013

4th of July... Part II

How we spent our four day weekend...

After spending the entire 4th outside in our own little water play land, the boys and I woke up to a slow-paced Friday morning. I took the day off work, took our time with breakfast, let the boys start their day with a movie and then took all of us downstairs for a little playroom cleanup and "come to Jesus" meeting. I spend so much time and energy picking up the messes they make down there -- and I'm all about them getting into their toys and having fun -- but when pieces of toys start going missing and there's no longer any room to walk around on the floor -- I start pulling my hair out and wonder why I bother. So, we had a discussion on picking up their own toys when they are done with them, reminding them where the toys go and discussing the fact that they are getting older and should be taking better responsibility of their things. Our new motto when it comes to the basement is: "Before you come up (the stairs), pick up." So far in its first three days of implementation, Jaden is doing a very good job with this. Brandon on the other hand -- will take a little work. Friday afternoon, we went to the pool for a couple of hours, but Jaden was so tired from the day before that he didn't even want to go down the water slides, and eventually asked to go home and take a nap. Brandon was having a blast and threw a fit when we left, but when we got home -- they both slept for three hours. It was heaven! We ended the day with chicken enchilada pasta and family movie night.


We took a little road trip to Dubuque and the Mississippi River. Our dear friends Casey and Hayley got married in a private ceremony in Hawaii in April and returned to Iowa and Casey's family this past weekend for a little gathering post-wedding. They put together a potluck in Eagle Point Park -- a beautiful and large park with several different playgrounds, shelters and this awesome view overlooking the dam.

We spent three hours here eating and talking, and the kids enjoyed watching the boats, learning about how the dam works and rolling down the grassy hill right by our shelter.

Watching the pelicans in the water...

Saturday night we returned home for our town's fireworks festival. It was a beautiful night, and we got there pretty early so that we could get good parking. Last year 20,000 people attended these fireworks, and this year's show was supposed to be even bigger. We were a little concerned about how patient the kids would be while waiting, but they did great.

While waiting, Daddy and Jaden went after some strawberry smoothies and Brandon and I walked through the petting zoo nearby. This little one adores animals and his face lights up every time he gets close to one.

Spotting the turkeys!

He was most interested in petting the pony and made good friends with some baby chickens.

The fireworks show itself was awesome with the best finale we've seen yet. The kids loved it -- Jaden asking a lot of questions about how the fireworks work and Brandon getting excited every time a purple one lit up the sky. And during the finale -- Brandon just giggled the whole time. It was priceless. Lots of star gazing before the show started...

Preparing himself for the loud "booms"...

It was a good long weekend, but now that it's over, I'm looking forward to a pretty care-free July before a busy August. T-ball, Florida visitors and the start of school! Between Brandon starting preschool and Jaden starting kindergarten, we have a lot of pre-school meetings and activities to attend, and I think we will be snapping our fingers and summer will be over.

Have a good week!