Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Dear Family

Chelsey is so busy these days, sure she isn't taking time to write in her blog :) But I thought I would put an entry in here for her to read someday in case she forgets :)

Right now she is working every minute of every day studying for her boards. I have to trick her to get her to go garage sale shopping with me! Her test is in two weeks and I know she is stressed beyond belief. I also know she will do fine and thrives on last minute cramming! After that she will have a sigh of relief and a trip to Idaho, then smooth sailing till baby shoemaker gets here. I am sad that she really hasn't gotten a chance to enjoy any stress free pregnancy moments, but more to come and hopefully some less stressful times.

I admire where she and spencer are in their young lives, so much more put together than many their age! Happy to have such a wonderful sister and brother in law so close by! They are willing to help with kids whenever they can, and I just love that we can all get together regularly. So fortunate to have them here! Really love it, and love that my kids get to know them!

We all went to Cottonwood park for dinner the other night and to let the boys run. I was just genuinely happy, watching Spencer play with them, and playing frisbee....

Having my mom only a few miles away has been not only a lifesaver but so good for my kids as well. They just love their Gramma Rue and look forward to going to her house to play and nap. They just LOVE her three story bunk bed and think thats the coolest! Yesterday my mom watched the boys so we could attend "Meat-a-palooza" big party josh's friend throws, and after that she watched them all evening so I could paint Kenna's room. Words cannot explain how grateful I am for her help! I am so happy that she moved her life here and so grateful. I cannot imagine picking up everything you know and moving to a climate that is not what you are used to, where the only people you know are your child and her family. I knew the community she moved into would see just how fun and fabulous my mom is. She is so busy and I know she loves that! LOVE YOU MOM!

As if having my family close by wasn't amazing enough, I get to have Josh's family here too. I love that I feel like I have been related to them my whole life. I can joke and have serious conversations with Emmi about life and kids and whatever. We are more alike than different and I just love her genuiness (pretty sure that's not a word.) Watching Josh and Kade and the special bond they have is quite enamoring. He is sort of Josh's mini-me and its awesome.

And finally if all that love wasn't enough, I have the most wonderful in-laws that a girl could ask for. My kids will never doubt that there are many people who love them unconditionally and I feel the same. Always willing to help, but just the feeling that we are all so happy to see eachother when we are able. Traveling to Mexico sans children opened my eyes to what remarkable people raised my husband. I know he is so caring, funny and adventurous because of the people they are. I want to travel the world with them and do more silly things :)

This was originally a post about my sister, but turned into a ramble about just how lucky I am, and how grateful to be surrounded by phenominal examples for my children, and also just fun loving people - I am so lucky!

First Baseball Game

Kenna had a slumber party, and Chelsey had a two free tickets to the Iowa Cubs baseball game. So, took my sweet boy to a game. He definitely preferred looking for things to eat over watching the game, but after peanuts, a hot dog, and cotton candy, he was tired and ready to go home. It was fun! 

Watching Cartoons

In the morning when I take a shower the kids usually watch a show. Had to capture them looking so cute and Grayson with every blanket in his room in my bed. He hauls them all in, its 4 blankets, three animals and two pillows....a little nuts, but adorable :)


This year I really tried to put a lot of effort into gardening. I moved a ton of soil to this small tiered garden and planted watermelon, zucchini, pumpkins, peas, carrots, onions and green beans. Really proud of it, hope the bunnies stay away!

This garden is strawberries, of which we have had a great crop so far! On top is tomatoes, basil and raspberries that my mom brought from washington! They are growing like crazy!!

I also tried a version of container gardening too. In just two weeks this is about 4 times as big. I just grew the "seedlets" inside during the early spring and transplanted here late spring. I have butter and romaine lettuce, endive, parsley, dill and broccoli. They are all just thriving!

Bike Shorts!

I have said many times that there is nothing cuter than a little girl in shin guards. Well....I would like to retract that comment and say that there is nothing cuter than a girl bike shorts! Especially my cute little girl and her cute little shorts!

Last week Kathy took the boys for a day which allowed me an entire afternoon with Ms. Kenna! We went to Kyle's and picked her up her own pair of bike shorts. Luckily the kids ones have a draw string, or she may not found any that would fit her narrow waist! We loaded up the bikes and drove to the river as I didn't want her riding down (or up) the giant hill from our house to the water. 

She did so great! She said that sitting in the shorts was weird but that it felt like she was "sitting on a cloud." Too cute! We did 10 miles no problem! By the end she was a little tired and asked lots of questions about how many breaks I take on ragbrai. She is so sweet.

Later that night we packed a picnic and took daddy to Cottonwood park - my new FAVORITE ankeny park. It is like 2 miles from our house on the lake and just amazing! We played frisbee and ate dinner, then ended the night with snowcones. Then we all watched the karate kid together. Great daddy/mommy daughter date!

Park Adventures

Our park adventures continued with Wagner Park last week. This is sort of a "space" park with bouncy recycle tire floor - pretty fun! The highlight is the pond that always has about a million ducks. There were quite a few babies! We went in the morning after safety town pickup, but decided to go back that night with some bread to feed them!

We invited Sydney to spend the night and both she and Megan got stuck in the baby swings. I told them it was a bad idea! The shenanigans ended with me getting on all fours and letting them stand on my back to get out of the darn things....girls!

We went though all the bread I had in the freezer and an entire loaf I had purchased at the store. Those were some fat ducks :)

This year Grayson has become obsessed with swinging. It is fun but if a park we go to doesn't have swings he is less than thrilled. Oh well, the giggles of joy are worth the swing hunt!

Safety Town

We have another safetytown graduate! Ankeny has a unique program that teaches incoming kindergartners safety. They review fire and police safety, boat, gun and poison safety. They also teach them how to exit a school bus if there were an emergency and crossing the road. The class spends a good deal of time teaching bike safety as well. Its 2.5 hours a day for a week and Zachary loved it!

There was an incident on the bus. A large kid pinched him and I guess he got tired of it and bopped him in the nose.....hmmm...too much power rangers? We had a long talk about telling an adult before you give someone a bloody nose. I watched the kid as his parents picked him up and he looked like a punk, but of course can't tell my sweet boy that!

Union Park

In catching up with Char in a phone conversation, we decided that we hadn't seen eachother in far too long! I suggested we take the kids to Union park and ride the Heritage carousel! Kenna was being a little sassy saying it was for little kids, but at the end of the day she said "best day ever!"

We worked in the yard all morning moving 30+ wheelbarrows of dirt to the small garden over two days. Grayson is my workaholic, the other two need some coaxing. We packed a lunch and headed to the park!

The kids played in the water for about an hour before we ate.

I love this picture of Kenna, so genuine and beautiful. Such a lovely girl (even if I am biased!)

Here they are making "butt snakes" with the trails of water from their wet fannies.

I find it hilarious the things kids are afraid of. Zachary loved riding the carousel, but wanted to sit in this chair every time - NOT go on the animals that went up and down. And Grayson just shouted "I don't want to go!!" so we stood behind the gate and watched. Oh well, they all had fun!!