"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, June 29, 2015

26/52

"a portrait of each of my children, once each week, in 2015"

 
Jaden: He is so going to be mad at me one day for these photos. This was our night at the park a few days ago when there was a group of older boys there playing a game of basketball with the most inappropriate rap music blasting from their speakers. I just happened to catch Jaden standing up at the top of this large rock, and he was completely jamming out. He had no idea I was watching, let alone taking pictures, and they're going to look great on his graduation table one day.


Brandon: The rap music didn't bother him at all, as he is at his ultimate best when we're at the playground. I'm not sure what it is about this boy and parks but he is like a happy and carefree little bird whenever we go. Even when I'd had enough of the horrible music that was being played around us, telling the boys we needed to go home, he looked up at me with as much maturity as a five year old could muster and said, "Mommy, I'd never repeat any of those words."

Friday, June 26, 2015

happy things // summer edition #1

 

//Jaden's been taking an interest lately in watching Daddy cook. Whether it's in the kitchen or on the grill. Maybe his future wife will be lucky like me and have a husband that pretty much runs the kitchen? ;)






//outdoor art projects and game nights. We spend as much time on our deck as possible and love the nights when each kiddo picks a game and we clear the supper dishes and play games outside until bed.


//we put fresh mulch down all over the yard and the boys had a blast helping Daddy fill his new mulch blowing machine. This was a bigger project than I had anticipated, and there they stood the whole time on the back of his truck, refilling and keeping the work flow moving!


 
//this is definitely a happy time of year for Brandon. We have some flowers and plants in our yard that are later bloomers, and he is always the first to spot when a new flower is growing, and he never fails to race inside to grab me by the hand and drag me out to see it for myself.
 


//if it's not raining, I'm almost always working outside. One of my favorite perks of working from home. You don't have to worry about having an office with a window view... when your office is outside!



//ice cream bites in our pajamas after a night at the pool. I love our pool-night routines. A picnic supper somewhere near the pool, a couple of hours of swimming, home in time for warm baths and fresh pajamas and a story before bed. These nights mark our summers more than anything.



 
//we stopped for sno-cones on the way home from daycare on one of the first truly hot and sticky nights of the summer. Brandon chose cotton candy flavored, Jaden chose a mix, and this fulfilled one of Brandon's most important bucket list items. He'd been asking all winter for that sno-cone stand to open up again.
 



 
//squirt gun bike washes. Easy entertainment. All their idea.
 



//I'm working on giving the boys more responsibility around here. Jaden makes his own bed every morning. Brandon gets the mail every night. He takes his job very seriously.






 
//dipping freshly picked strawberries in chocolate and leftover sprinkles. It kept them busy while waiting for supper (always a tricky hour of the night) and tasted really good for dessert after.
 
 Other happy things...
 
//we finally got a Netflix account (not sure why we waited so long). We don't make much time for TV in the summer, but we're enjoying some new show options during the season of re-reruns!
 
//flip-flop tan lines. We all got 'em.
 
//UNI basketball camp for Jaden. He had an absolute blast and received a really nice camp-evaluation at the end from one of the players. My favorite comment, "Coaches love players like you!"
 
//grilled food all the days
 
//just the four of us and our boat out on the water whenever we get the urge. Last night Cody teased the boys that there was an alligator in the lake. He had them going for a while and even when I finally spilled the beans that Daddy was just teasing, they asked to keep the "game" going on longer. I'll share pictures sometime.
 
//the four year old neighbor boy across the street that is quickly becoming a buddy. The other night he came over to shoot hoops with the boys, and everyone ended up staying up past their bedtime on a "school" night. Watching the kids play together until dark reminded me of my sweet neighborhood growing up and how we never wanted to hear our moms call us inside...
 
//Brandon when I picked him up from daycare the other day, "My friend pushed me today and it made me bleed. At nap time, I told her I forgive her. Because God forgives me." ...proud Mommy moment.
 
//getting a job promotion. We haven't gotten everything we prayed for this year, but I believe there's a reason and that God is showing His hand in the timing of everything. We'll get there. We are getting there.
 
//plans for parades and carnivals and time off work and fireworks and sparklers and family time and celebrations. Looking forward to this next week and hoping that Sturgis Falls and 4th of July weekends coming and going doesn't speed up summer like it so often does...
 
Happy Friday!
 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

these are the days...

These are the days...

...when on a Friday night we pack up our sleeping bags and picnic blankets and Ziploc baggies full of snacks. Our UNO cards and lawn chairs and bug spray. When we gather with our community under a clear night's sky to watch an old childhood favorite, The Sandlot, on a big screen in front of the band shelter beneath the moon. When friends and their kids join us and our kids and the kids end up sharing folding chairs and root beer and popcorn. When seven year old boys giggle quietly during the movie and us moms exchange glances with the same knowing look of... "I have no idea why they're laughing but we're so glad they have so much fun together." When we bring our sleepy boys home at 11:30 at night and enjoy a Saturday morning of sleeping in, the only noise coming from the rumble of thunder outside as our kids actually sleep in until 9:00 in the morning. These are the days...








These are the days...

...when we spend an entire Saturday and Saturday night gathered with friends at a backdoor pool party. When we bake cookies and buy juice boxes and bottles of beer and five different kinds of snack mixes to share with party-goers. When we feast our appetites all day on pickle dip and corn dip and bean dip and beer bread with dip, while feasting our eyes on our kids having an absolute blast as they dip their feet even further into the deep end, testing the waters, making new friends, trying new things, creating summer memories that will last them a lifetime.






These are the days...

...when my husband celebrates Father's Day weekend with a red solo cup in one hand and his youngest babe in the other. When I marvel at all the other dads in the pool who treat my kids like their own, making them laugh with cannon balls off the diving board, water wrestling with them as they try to play basketball, and making sure that my youngest always has a floatation device around him when he starts drifting towards deeper waters...








These are the days...

...when our baby conquers his fear of not being able to touch the bottom, learning to use the pool noodle to kick himself from one end of the pool to the other. When our friends gush over how cute he is and how amazing he is at entertaining himself. When our basketball lover spends eight hours straight playing ball in the water and then shows off at the end of the night by doing turning jumps into the pool as he slams the ball through the hoop at the same time. These are the days...









These are the days...

...of sweet summertime photographs. Of action shots and water shots and a bunch of moms yelling, "1, 2, 3, JUMP!"





These are the days...

...when we watch our oldest conquer his fear of diving boards and we watch our youngest try that water slide for the first time. When older brother coaches baby brother at the top of that slide and the entire party stops to watch our five year old go down for the first time with shouts of, "You can do it Brandon! Hey Mom, you better get your camera! Look at how cute he is up there! Good job buddy!"























These are the days...

...when hands are sticky from cheese balls and tummies are full from hot dogs. When our friends turn on 90's rap music over the outdoor speakers and flip the pool lights on when it gets too dark to see in the water. When afternoon turns to evening and a blue sky turns to pinks and purples. When our kids are STILL swimming and the adults are laughing so hard, we're crying and we just can't convince ourselves to call it a night. These are the days...











These are the days...

...when we gather our entire family on a Sunday afternoon for a Father's Day celebration at the lake. When we take the boat for a spin, play with babies on blankets and fill up on Grandma's Strawberry pie. These are the days...

























These are the days. The sweetest days...