30 May 2010

Daddy's birthday...

last year we had to wish a "happy birthday" via this here blog...It was much {MUCH} more fun to celebrate at home with our birthday guy. We got the place all ready for him while he was at work...
The boys hid and yelled "SURPRISE" when he came in the door. It was kinda cute. We watched a movie and had pizza (Saturday tradition), and then we had some cake before bed. He looks pretty good for 31, huh?
p.s. those shorts Brad is wearing are called "Ranger panties." Nice, huh?

28 May 2010

last day of school award ceremony!

Walker and I went over to the school to see Wilson get an award, unfortunately brad wasn't able to get off of work this time. Mrs. T mentioned on field day that Wilson was getting one... Here's the principal showing him his awards...Here he is with his classmates that also received awards. My zoomed-in pictures were blurry, sorry. It was packed in there, and it was hot (even though the AC was on) and Walker was on my lap. I didn't even know which awards Wilson got until he got home. (He got the class spanish award, academic excellence, and a reading award).
Wilson requested "pick-up" instead of riding the bus home. I wasn't surprised. I snapped a shot of him with Mrs. T. She promised to check in on him next year.
He also got his report card yesterday, Mrs. T always makes some certificates to go with their report cards too. So I laid them all out with his other awards and had Wilson pose with them. I think he would hang them all in his room if I let him.

26 May 2010

one more day...

I kind of forgot about getting a last-day-of-school-gift for Wilson's teacher... until about 12:30 today. Thankfully I had some birthday money in my pocket so I was planning on stopping by JoAnn's after playgroup. I wandered around the store (whilst talking to Barbie on the phone) and decided paint-your-own-birdhouses was a good idea. Walker agreed, so we picked one out. We also got her a little gift card to the bookstore so she can do some summer reading ;)

Here's Wilson - paying close attention to detail...like brother, like brother... Walker really wanted to paint Wilson's birdhouse - for Wilson's teacher, thankfully JoAnn's was kind enough to carry the same-exact-birdhouse in tiny-size for $1.
He even added a little butterfly detail to the roof...
He had to let the paint dry during dinner, before adding some details with my paint markers. Dinner was spaghetti and meatballs, so Walker had to exit immediately to the shower. A few minutes later Wilson was upstairs, I told him that he could've taken a separate shower and that he shouldn't have rushed to finish his birdhouse.

After showers were done and pj's were on, we came back down and I found the back of Wilson's birdhouse to be just about perfect...
"you are the best" and "I will miss you!"

I am so thankful that God has blessed us with wonderful teachers for Wilson thus far. I do not take for granted the gift of having a child that enjoys his time at school, and a teacher that creates an environment that makes it enjoyable. Mrs. T. is about as different from his other teachers as could be, yet Wilson has done so very well. I just can't come up with the right words to express my gratefulness. Knowing that Wil spends so much more time with his teacher than he does with me on school days, just makes my heart happy to know that he has had such a great time with her. I think I would prefer every school year to end with a bit of sadness to say good-bye, rather than relief that it is over. We have been blessed at the beginning of this educational journey... I don't know what lies ahead for the boys, but I do know The One who has planned it all out perfectly. And tonight, I savor the fact that my little guy is going to miss his first grade teacher. What a sweet, sweet blessing!

23 May 2010

hiking in the heat!

well, we decided it was time to break in our packs and our boots... we packed a lunch and headed over to Providence Canyon State Park... here are the guys (and dog) at the trail head... Brad was signing us in - you know, in case we disappeared or something.It was pretty amazing when you got to the canyon floor, you just followed the signs for the numbered canyons and then you walked along the little streams (that I imagine are not so little during a rain storm)... Walker loved "crossing the river."
Here are the guys at canyon #2. The little ones were a bit uneasy up there on that rock...
aww.. aren't they cute?
at one point Wilson was the trail guide...
... while Daddy, Walker & the beast brought up the rear.
Muskoka had the hardest time on the trail, she even complained enough that she got to take her pack off (and her boots!) I think she needs a haircut before we head out again. It was pushing 90 degrees with some crazy humidity - and Muskoka is sort of spoiled and prefers ice water.
There was a sign right near here that said this property was a homestead before it was a state park... and that there were vehicles that were too difficult to get out... and now create a unique habitat for some of the critters. (There were four or five other vehicles along the trail...) {love Wilson's glasses especially with Daddy's state hat}
Here's a view from the top.

The boys did so well with their packs, and they both drank a fair amount of their water too. Towards the end, Walker was pretty tired out and was hoping someone would carry him, or at the very least, his pack. He powered through though. Oh, and Brad mentioned that we could go to the pool (in our neighborhood) when we got back, so that put a little spring in his step (not mine).

We had a great time, it was beautiful! And so fun to explore a new place.

Also, I would be remiss if I did not add that Brad has been working 36 hours on/36 hours off (except the first shift was 48 hours, its crazy-busy and I can barely keep it straight.) To say he was tired on Saturday morning would be an understatement. I am sure he would've enjoyed a leisurely day at home in the AC to rest up for his next shift. But, as you know, my husband rocks... and continually impresses me with his awesome-daddy-skills. Man, I sure do love him!

21 May 2010

field day 2010

you can see Wilson was excited!I just adore this picture of Wilson doing the sack race - mid-jump!
Here is a collage of some of the other events... (I think if you click on it, you can see the pictures bigger.)
Brad was smack-dab in the midst of a 48 hour shift at work, but thankfully he was able to get off of work to come to Wilson's field day. Wil was so thrilled! (Brad was so tired, he only had 2 hours of sleep at work the night before.) Field day was really well organized... so Brad sent me a text and said it was fine if Walker and I came too. It was hot, and the kids were ready to go back inside after an hour, but they did really well. Thankfully most of their outdoor events were before lunch, they only had to go back out for 2 in the afternoon, then the rest were inside. It was a really fun day!

20 May 2010

walker's song..

I just overheard these lyrics (this boy can make up a song about anything)...

go to the doctor
just go to the doctor
and he will put stitches in it

or just stay home
and let the medic look at it
and he won't hurt it.

I think I know the medic he is singing about!

19 May 2010

sewing again...

I just had to snap this post-project picture of my black skirt covered in lint, thread & all manner of sewing bits. I am beginning to really enjoy sewing. Especially when I don't break a needle and I remember how to trouble-shoot thread-bunching issues. I like selecting the fabrics, making a plan, working through the steps, making a mess... all to create something special.Last week I finished a gift for my friend Jenn. She is expecting baby #3, and she happens to be girl #1. It was such a pleasure to make these little things for her. Today she let me know that she got her little package so I get to show you what I made for her!

The first thing I made is a "carseat blanket." I've made a few of these in the past, they are quick and so far everyone I've made one for has loved it. It basically consists of a really-soft-textured-fabric on one side and a cute flannel on the other. With an initial appliqued on the front... And of course, its just the right size to tuck in around baby in her carseat (hence the clever name!) This project would be ridiculously faster if I would break down and buy some more wonder-under... (I even saw a tutorial that used spray adhesive for applique.... hmm...) So I used a million pins instead of ironing on some sticky-paper.
I only took one 'after picture' with both projects. The pink thing is a "lovey-dovey monster." I got the idea from a combination of a few etsy stores. Walker helped stuff her. She has ribbon and ric-rac hair, a button eye, and some pockets, and some seriously skinny legs! I think baby girl will enjoy this thing...eventually. (p.s. Rene, I've got my poster propped on the edge of my sewing table right now, its rather motivational)
Oh, and a big heart on the back, with a bit of ACU to represent the Army. Hooah!
Someone asked me again recently if I ever considered selling some of my stuff. I enjoy the process so much right now, I would hate to lose the enjoyment of it. Not to mention the majority of the things I make are not my own original idea (and some of the tutorials I've found say "don't make money off of this" or maybe they say "for personal use only." either way, I think the point is the same.)

Also, when I am sewing a gift, I spend some time in prayer for the recipient. And God usually has a lesson in there for me too. He is so creative. He loves to select just the right pieces to work out His plans. And the end result is always beautiful...although sometimes, along the way, there might be a mess. And He is perfectly OK with that.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

17 May 2010

someone's counting down something...

I found this little note on Wilson's desk calendar yesterday... he came home Friday and told us that he has no more homework and no more tests until the end of the school year. I think he is pretty excited for the lazy days of summer!

p.s. we may (or may not) practice some spelling words this summer.

also when I mentioned the possibility of homeschooling the other day (I like to keep the option on the table...) he came up with one pro and one con...

pro - we would have healthier lunches. (ummm I pack his lunch 95% of the time).
con - it would take longer to make friends.

16 May 2010

fun in the big city...

Brad decided we needed a little family fun this weekend... and thought we should get out of town. We took big girl back to the kennel (its good for her to branch out and try new things), and headed north. We didn't stay right downtown Atlanta because the army doesn't pay that well. we stayed a little south and headed downtown in the morning, I guess we arrived around 10ish or so...

We had read online that there was a kite festival at the Olympic centennial park. Wilson has wanted to see "where the Olympics were" since the winter Olympics so we thought this would be a good opportunity.

Here is a huge fountain in the park just across the street from cnn's headquarters. (by the time we left a few hours later, there were TONS of kids in bathing suits playing in that fountain).the atlanta braves were trying to drum-up some fans, so the boys took a swing...
walker kept swinging & missing, but finally connected...
sorry, Rene, I know this might break your heart... but the boys posed rather cheerfully in front of this thing... Walker even slapped his "braves" sticker onto the front of his t-shirt... (which later led a couple to believe that he was a big fan, and they started waving their arm up & down karate-chop-style as if we knew what that meant).
they had a little station where the kids could decorate a paper kite and then add string & a tail...
...and give them a whirl. the boys loved it.
we then walked across the street to the Pemberton park, which is between The World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium. The boys & daddy posed with Dr. Pemberton (coke guy). We strolled around a bit more and then headed off to lunch...
We went to The Varsity diner, world's largest drive-in. But we walked in and ate. Brad had chili dogs...
I had to try the fried pies. Peach. (Wilson actually hated it, but he went along with the pose for me).
The boys got paper hats to remember the visit.
Walker might get into advertising some day...

Umm, the folks in Atlanta are a bit more outspoken than the people around these parts. Two women told me that they loved my husband's t-shirt, and one lady stopped Brad at the diner so she could show it to her husband. Hehehe.

11 May 2010

"where was Brad all weekend?"

he was at work.

This weekend was the Best Ranger Competition. We didn't know what to expect, but Brad heard about it as soon as he started working here... He sent me a text Saturday morning, "i am working rfr, you should come" I had no idea what "RFR" was but thought we should give it a look-see...

the first few pics here are from where Brad was working...as a medic...

Blackhawk down!!! (is that a blackhawk?)here is a random picture of Brad at work... the only picture taken of him at BRC...
they launched some-sort-of-artillery-fake-thing-with-smoke... to simulate enemy fire, etc. (I don't know any of the correct lingo). It was LOUD!

sidenote: Brad told me "when you hear a whistle, plug your ears. make the boys put their fingers inside their ears." When Brad said "whistle" I thought he meant, like-a-ref's-whistle. No, he meant, like a whistling sound as artillery flies through the air.... thankfully enough spectators around us said, "its coming, here it comes..." I honestly thought someone was going to blow on a whistle to alert us! Wow.
thankfully, they were able to get this wounded guy out of the chopper... that was their goal...
{not everyone liked the loud noises...}
the rest are pictures are of some of the other events at the field on Saturday... I don't know what any of it is called...
sliding down a rope
climbing a rock wall...
sliding down a thicker rope from a lower height
climbing up a little-tiny-rope-ladder
getting ready to get the bad guys...
beating up the bad guys...
this is what they had to do in the previous two pictures...

Seriously. I had NO idea what to expect. This was pretty awesome though. I think as long as we are here, we'll check it out each year. Maybe we'll bring some earplugs next time...

Brad worked a lot of LONG hours. He didn't even get to see much of the actual competition, just the parts that he was working.