Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mother's Day - part 2

Our wonderful day continued after brunch, as we changed clothes and headed out to explore the grounds around the lodge.  Kyle and I had done the three loops when we stayed here four years ago and thought that they would be fun (and easy) with the kids.
We couldn't have picked a more beautiful day to be outside!
We decided on the 2(ish) mile Lake Loop Trail
It's pretty much flat, but it was mostly shaded, and we got to see some of the golf course and two pretty lakes.  It was perfect!
Setting out
It felt good to get moving and work off all of that food!

This one loves to be outside

being silly
but aren't they cute?  love my boys!
this is a picture of genuine happiness

making a wish

it's amazing to me that we look nothing alike
at least with my mom,  you can tell we are related...I wonder if this will change as Kennedy grows up?

thumbs up!

we hunted for golf balls
and found 6!

found several bat boxes and this one had a bat in it - exciting stuff!

oh, how she's growing!

I had to include this one, because there is such a funny story behind it, and I didn't want to forget it.
Carter wanted to race me, so I agreed.  Kyle is always teasing me about my inability to run, so he wanted to snap a few pictures of this monumental occasion.  Once the race was over, which Carter won (and I really did try...It's pathetic!), Kyle was nearing on the ground, laughing so hard.  He couldn't actually believe that I looked so funny when I ran.  There was a series of pictures, and I will be the first to admit that they're not pretty.  There was a "Friends" episode once where Phoebe ran funny and Rachel was embarrassed to run with her - I kind of looked like that.  Good for a laugh, if nothing else!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happiest of Mother's Days

This year's Mother's Day could not have been a more perfect definitely ranks as one of the very best days!  The weather was gorgeous, we had a nice morning at church and then enjoyed a fabulous afternoon up at Skamania Lodge.  Delicious brunch, tasty champagne, great company, gorgeous scenery, a fun hike and best of all - a special day with the people who I love most.  What more could I ask for?

(I had to separate into two posts, because I took so many pictures - another gift, I assure you!)

Carter and Kennedy were so excited to present their gifts to me...they had a hard time waiting until Sunday morning.  Kennedy wanted so badly to tell me what she had made, but she knew it was supposed to be a secret.  She managed to make it the entire week (her gift came home on Tuesday!) and was very proud of herself.
Two beautiful, homemade pictures that I will truly treasure. 
(wish I would have thought to take pictures after opening them)

There's nothing I'd rather be than "mommy" to these two 

I was so proud of them for humoring me with lots of photos before church
So often this turns into a time of frustration and tears...they were very willing subjects and for that I was grateful.

Our attempt at a family picture

Carter made me a very special necklace in Sunday school and wanted so badly to surprise me at brunch with the gift.  Kennedy kind of ruined the surprised by grabbing it out of his pocket, but this way I got to wear it all day!

I am blessed

Happy Mother's Day, Grandma

The Phelan Family

Carter, Kennedy and Brady

Carter has taken to snapping pictures too, and he does a pretty good job. 
I had to include this one, because I look as happy as I felt.
Even having to wait over an hour and a half past our reservation time couldn't dampen my spirits.  
It was a perfect day.
Thank you, Kyle, for making me feel so loved!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

springtime at the park

We met Carrie and Ethan at Esther Short park one sunny, Saturday morning.  It was alive with activity and people.  We had a great time!
Ethan enjoying time on the swings

sweet face

Kennedy on the swings

He is getting so big and growing so fast, makes me happy and sad all at the same time.
Proud of the boy he is becoming but so sad to know that these years are racing by so quickly.

Crossing the rings - he's a little monkey

There is a small farmer's market at the park, so we strolled through and looked at everything.  Of course we had to try some delicious caramel corn.  Yum!

balloon animals
these led to tears, which ended our trip to the park prematurely
balloons popping is never fun

our attempt at a group photo
Kennedy is sad because her balloon animal popped and Ethan is trying desperately to get down

fun with statues

zoo trip

We Northwesters take advantage of days without even though it wasn't very warm, the kids and I made our first trip of the season to the zoo.  Carter doesn't have school every other Wednesday, so we often try to take advantage of it and plan fun things to do.  I am already getting sad thinking about Carter being in school every day, all day next year.  I've enjoyed this transitional year of kindergarten so much.
OK, back to our zoo trip...
my kids always grab a map...even though we've been to the zoo a hundred times and know where everything is, a map in hand makes it a bit more fun

Kennedy in the eagle's next

We often skip the NW trail part of the zoo, because it can get quite crowded but on a cloudy spring day we were able to move through easily and enjoy some the exhibits that we don't always see.  Our favorites were the turtles, beavers and eagles.

we always stop at the farm exhibit - great photo ops and the kids love to climb and play

The lions were sleeping but they were still one of my favorite stops - they are so beautiful and majestic

We ran into a classmate of Carter's (he is an only child, so his mom happily joined up with us).  The kids had a wonderful time playing with a new friend and it made our time at the zoo even more fun.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

catching up

Our month has been busy...between baseball, Mother's Day, school commitments and trying hard to organize life a bit, there hasn't been a lot of time dedicated to our blog.  I've been trying to snap pictures with my phone when I can think about it. 
So, here is a look at what we've been up to this month:

Playing with Brady at Grandma and Papa's house
Papa made a house out of a furniture box - the little ones had lots of fun playing outside with it in the sunshine.
Taking a ride in the wagon - it's fun to pass along special toys and clothes to Brady.
We have been having the most beautiful spring weather these past several weeks, and I'm loving it!  I think we are all a bit happier when we can get outside to play.
Our small group at church:
The Vohs', Phelans, Grices, Zeamers (thanks for the photo, Kathy!), Borreviks and Carolus'
We joined this group back in October, and it has been such a wonderful experience.  There are six couples and 18 (!) kids and it has given us a fabulous spiritual community.  We are different in many ways, but our time together is never short on laughter and fun.  I am so thankful for these amazing people and am grateful that we are a part of this group - knowing that we are there for one another gives such a great sense of peace.  I am looking forward to many more years of growing in faith together.
With these sunny, warm days comes ice cream!  While the car was getting an oil change, we walked over and enjoyed a yummy treat!
Carter and Brevin
One afternoon, we met up with the Pikes at our gymnastics center.  They have open gym a couple of times a week, and Carter is always begging to go.  It's been hard for him to sit and watch Kennedy having fun during her gymnastics class all year.  Although, I think it's providing a great lesson, as well, it's important to support our family and it's not always about him...that second part is harder for Carter to grasp, I'm afraid.

Kennedy and Emery

Carter's class just finished up a science unit where they studied farms.  They were fortunate to have chicken eggs in an incubator for the month and five hatched!  Five cute little chicks were welcomed into the kindergarten classroom by very excited boys and girls.  Each student got a chance to hold them - sitting on the floor just in case they fell.  The kids were so gentle and sweet, not squeezing too hard.  Carter's poor little chickie kind of jumped out of his hands and fell to the ground, but it didn't seem phased.
Kennedy wanted no part of them - wouldn't even pet them.

Carter and Ryan
Good buddies

Kennedy and Kaitlin
This month at Kennedy's school, the teachers are doing assessments with each child, so parent volunteers were needed to help supervise play time at the end of the day.  (Another photo from my thoughtful friend, Kathy, thank you!)  I love any opportunity to be in Kennedy's classroom.  These little ones are just so much fun.  I also like to see Kennedy's interactions with her classmates.  I will be honest here and say that we've really been having problems with her being nice to her friends lately.  She can be plain mean and it's more than a little scary.  Both Kyle and I think friendship is so important, and we definitely want her to show love to her friends, classmates, neighbors, etc.  I just don't know what to do.  I encourage her to use kind words but sometimes I'm so embarrassed that I simply don't know how to handle the situation.  As parents, we put so much pressure on ourselves to have "perfect" children.  While I realize that is completely unrealistic, I honestly pray that my children are loving and kind to the world around them.  Parenting is hard with Kennedy - she is a challenge, but she can also be so wonderful.  I wish I knew how to encourage that sweet side and stamp out the mean one.

Our sweet baby Sloane turned 1!  She is a doll and we love her to pieces.  It is so sad that we can't be with her to help celebrate her special day.  Happy Birthday, Sloane!  We love you.