"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."

Thursday, July 31, 2014

happy things.

Random snapshots of late...
...baseball nights.

It has been so fun watching Jaden play this year. Last year, it was t-ball. And though it was cute to watch him whack that ball off the tee and funny to watch all the outfielders abandon their positions and swarm together after one ball, it's been really neat this year watching them start to understand the concepts of the game. This year, the coaches pitch and there is no tee. The kids are given actual positions in the outfield, and Jaden is showing real improvement since we started just a few weeks ago. His most recent game, he made a heads-up play that we're still a little in awe of. He was playing shortstop and made a stop perfectly by fielding the ball on the ground after the hit. He immediately threw it to his teammate at second base to try and stop the runner from first but ended up hitting his teammate in the back, as she wasn't paying attention to where the ball was coming from. On the very next play, he made the same perfect stop when the ball was hit and instead of risking it again by throwing it to his teammate, he raced to second base himself with the ball in his glove and got the runner out. It was a pretty impressive play by our six-year old who is just in the beginning stages of learning how this whole baseball thing works! But the best part is that he's having fun. He loves baseball game days and was sad yesterday when I told him he only had four games left.

And not to be left out... Brandon loves baseball game nights, too. A family from daycare is on Jaden's team so Brandon's friend Charlie is there every night for him to play with. He and this cute little girl run around together the entire time, climbing bleachers, running up and down the hill and playing on the playground. This is perfect, as it allows us to actually watch the game instead of having to entertain our four year old!

Other happy things...

...Nana's and Papa's houses. Watching Dasher grow. Riding bikes and scooters up Barrington Dr. Playing foosball at Papa Tim's and Nana Deanne's. And birthday celebrations.  

...shirtless babes helping Daddy cut the grass. It's so simple yet it's these moments I know we'll remember forever.

...cool summer nights at home. Because life keeps getting busier, these nights at home as a family are so important. Last night, I even tried to teach Jaden how to play Clue. The game took us two hours! ;)

...little boys learning from their Daddy's.

...a kid that can't keep his eyes out of football books. Every week this summer he has brought home one or two library books and they have all been non-fiction books about sports. Last week, my parents bought him the biggest football book around, detailing the history and biographies of every big name in football. I am not exaggerating when I say that Jaden looks at it every spare moment he has. In fact, he even eats every meal with it by his side.

...water play in our own backyard.

...late summer blooms.

...some time off in August and some fun plans on the agenda for our last few days of summer
...a Fall bucket list in the works and family pictures on the calendar
...windows open in July
...anticipation of all things football season
...Brandon snagging his first phone digits from a girl. He has developed a special bond with Kari, one of the college-aged teachers at daycare. It's been a relationship that has blossomed throughout the summer, and it has been so fun hearing all about it from her. They color pictures for each other, he cuddles up to her during nap time on his mat, puts in special requests for her to sit with him at his lunch table and even stayed inside one day during playground time to be her "helper" while she cleaned the classroom. The other day Brandon gave her a kiss goodbye on the cheek before she left, and a couple of days ago when I picked him up, there was a sweet hand-written note from her to me in his cubby. She gave me her phone number and said she would love to be his babysitter outside of the daycare center. It makes me so very happy to know how loved and cared for our boys are during the day when I am working.
...end of day bike rides. One of my favorite nightcaps before bath time is to go on family walks through the neighborhood. Our boys up ahead of us and side by side on their bikes, Cody and I side by side walking behind them. Now if we could just get Jaden to take those training wheels off...
...looking forward to more happy things and a fun weekend ahead. Happy August! Where is time going?!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

this weekend, we...

It's hard to believe but summer is winding down over here, and with that comes a calendar that is increasingly filling up. Filling up with all good things, but still, we're about to say goodbye to lazy weekends. If we weren't the football family before, we are going to be even more so this year. Jaden's going to have his own football game every Saturday morning from September until almost the end of October!

So with the changing of seasons and schedules looming ahead, we enjoyed having absolutely nothing scheduled this past weekend. We let the hours flow however we wanted them to. There was time to play, to color, to rest. And time for fun and adventure and of course... swimming. It was a good weekend. I know my kids are happy when their heads hit their pillows at the end of the day and both say, "Ohhhh this feels good." Music to this mama's ears!

This weekend, we...

...practiced a lot of baseball. Jaden's definitely in baseball mode with games two nights a week now and a field trip with daycare tomorrow to see the Waterloo Bucks baseball team play in the middle of the day. And Brandon's always been a fan of t-ball. So, Jaden with the pitching machine, Brandon with the T, and Daddy playing coach and catcher. It's a pretty efficient system. ;)

...we went swimming on Saturday afternoon. It was a hot one and the perfect day for the pool. Cassi, Ella and Deanne met us there and though it was crowded, it was fun. I'm trying to maintain this slightly sun-kissed skin tone for as long as I can! ;)

...we threw an impromptu gathering on Saturday night. We had the families over, we grilled, the kids watched movies, and we drew a bull's-eye on the garage door out of chalk for the bow and arrow Nerf gun. And after everyone left, the boys and Cody stayed out past dark hitting balls and catching lightning bugs.

...we cruised the river on Sunday.

It was the most perfect day to be out on the water. Instead of sweating, we almost got a little bit chilly at times, and it gave me ideas for fall picnics on sand bars in the near future. Cody wanted to fish and the boys brought along their own sources of entertainment...

While we were anchored, we watched dogs swim off the sand and chase sticks in the river, and when he was done fishing, Cody got that boat going as fast as it can. Which is a lot faster than I thought it was capable of! The boys are finally both comfortable enough to zip around on that thing, and we went flying all the way up and down the river at full speed. It was so fun to see houses from the water we'd never seen from dry land, and Cody found a new fishing hole at one end of the river that he'd never seen before. And before we pulled the boat ashore, we beached it for a while. We had such a fun afternoon.

The boys collected tons of clam shells, and they were convinced they could hear the ocean in them. We let them go on believing that because they are kids, after all. And they only get to be kids for a little while.

We found a stream full of small fish cutting right through the sand and followed it to a secluded pond hidden from everything.

Cody even found this pool ball! He loves having mementos from days like this and swears to keep this thing in his man cave as a memory of our day.

It was so fun spending this time just the four of us, teaching the boys how to skip rocks, watching them experience new things and get excited over their little shell collections and fossil finds. We wrote our name in the sand before leaving and brought our treasures home with us.

I love living life with them.