//We took the training wheels off their bikes, practiced for about 30 minutes, and haven't made it much farther than that. We have plans to be a bike-riding family but we have plans for a lot of other things, too, and there just isn't enough time in the day! We've been so excited when the weather is nice that sometimes we don't even know what to do first. And then there's Brandon - always eager with a whole bucket list of things he wants to check off. "When are we going to 4 Queens? When are we taking the boat out? When is the pool going to open? I want to go to the park! I want a sno cone! Are we grilling tonight? Can Bryce come over? I want to color a picture!" Full of life and always eager for the next adventure. I keep having to remind him... "We have all summer to do that!"
//All the meals outdoors when we can. Whether it's a quick pizza night after swimming lessons or a fancy steak and grilled vegetable night, our favorite outdoor dining experience is once again open for business. Game changer? Walmart now sells YumYum sauce.
//Looking for lovely. Bubbles from the Easter Bunny.
//We're blooming. This picture is a couple of weeks old now, but since then our Lilac tree has sprouted, and Purple Finches have laid baby bird eggs in the nest that they made in the wreath on our front door. The wreath was only five days new before they'd made it their home. My research tells me we'll see some hatching in about 12 days, and they'll be living on our door for another two weeks after that. That is, if Lucy cat doesn't completely scare Mama bird away with all her excited tail thumping against the window.
//I'm in the middle of two books right now. Nora Roberts' latest thriller, The Obsession, which I started reading in my First Class seat on American Airlines two weeks ago with my complimentary wine, steak salad and cheesecake. (I never knew from the back of the plane that this is how people lived up there. What a treat that was). And then - this book below, which I love to read during 5:00 bubble baths on rainy nights or over Saturday morning coffee on the back deck: "If you don't believe the way you are is God-made and God-loved, the good and the bad, the tight and the flabby, the old and the new, the strengths and the weaknesses, you are missing out on connecting with God on a level that only comes to those who embrace and love His creations."
//Brandon wants to play t-ball and go to UNI basketball camp this summer. I'm excited for him. These are both firsts for him. Last week in school he drew an Angry Birds' castle masterpiece on the largest piece of paper he could find, right now he's building a Lincoln Log house with a pergola attached to it (he's been working on it for two hours), and when the evenings allow, he challenges Jaden to a game of "Buzzer Beater!" with our basketball hoop in the driveway. He's well-rounded, this one.
//We put a front deck on our house and are currently in the process of re-landscaping our entire yard. This has involved playing with lumber, ripping out a sidewalk, putting down fresh dirt, SO MUCH MULCH, planting new grass seed, and we're still not done. I'm not sure Cody would agree, but the younger boys have been having a pretty good time with this project.
Taking care of flowers in a Batman cape. He can do all things.
//Brandon knows that I want to plant tulips around our mailbox, but Daddy won't let me because he doesn't like tulips, so Brandon drew it for me out of chalk instead.
//Three fires and s'mores nights in seven days. We hosted our own fire one night, went to Shane and Emily's last Friday night for a fire and wine (juice and chocolate for the kids) and trampoline jumping and Ghost in the Graveyard and then spent last Saturday evening at James and Cassi's with roasted chicken, more wine, another fire, more marshmallows and basketball after dark. It was a good weekend made better by friends.
I had a lot of fun helping this little tyke go down her now slide.
...and then Jaden got a black eye. ;)
//Baseball practice started last week for the Angels. Four of Jaden's best friends are on his team, and his friend's dad is the coach. Which means baseball practice is fun for the kids - and a great social event for the parents! It's his first season of kid-pitch, which means longer practice nights and a longer pre-season before games actually start. With Jaden's season wrapping up later in July, and Brandon's season starting in July and going through August, I expect a lot of pictures taken through the chain-link fence for months to come. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's going to be such a fun summer.
//Happy things: white curtains blowing around open windows, later sunsets and basketball games in the driveway after dark, brand new neighbor babies to love on both sides of us, fresh grapes on the deck after school, a Rally in the Valley date night this weekend with my hubby of almost eight years, eggs over easy for supper, a rainy Sunday with Netflix binging, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, a 5:00 bath request by Brandon and an eight year old that fell asleep twice before bedtime. Also, when these two pick out the same clothes at the store, and I can still take matching pictures of them. The years are numbered, I know.