Saturday, August 30, 2008

Best Summer Smiles; Noah Edition

Yesterday's smiles from Aaron were more of the goofy variety. Noah's are more in the silly category, with a flair for showing off a bit. Once again, I tried to only include ones I haven't posted before, which proved a little challenging.

So here are a few of Noah's best summer smiles.

4th Of July

Coast Guard Festival

Bringing home Pumpkin

The hole (I think I showed it already, but it was a big moment this summer)


Water park weekend

Birthday lunch at Chuck E Cheese

Tomorrow's Edition...Brotherly Love (yes, it does actually exist)

Best Summer Smiles; Aaron Edition

In the spirit of the holiday weekend, I will share some of my favorite little boy smiles from this summer. I will try to only include ones I haven't already posted this summer. (Also, it's a way to sneak pictures into a post without having a camera anymore)

Saturday Edition: Aaron's Goofy grins

4th of July

Beads with Kira

Swimming lessons

Loving VBS

Coming home from a weekend away

Water park last weekend (and Daddy's hairy chest)

He is such a naturally silly little guy who has a smile that lights up a room.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen: How To Properly Wash a Car

As a way to get the kids to stay outside for awhile, I offered to let them wash the car. This is their procedure.

1. Let's carry the buckets of soapy water to the car

2. Let's scrub in one little section of the car over and over again so it sparkles.

3. Maybe the wheels need some rinsing

4. I think my bike would be more fun...I will scrub it until it shines

5. Scrubbing is too much work...maybe I'll just dump the whole bucket on it instead

6. Look Mom, we're actually working together to fill the bucket

7. Enough brotherly I got you where I want you

8. Maybe we will get yelled at less if we just dump them on ourselves

9. Think we'll get in as much trouble if we whip the sponges at each other?

10. Oops

11. Think the hose will get it down?

12.I must get all the water off of my feet...hmm...what should I use? The hose of course.

13. Enough of that hard work for today...I think I'll just water the street instead.

Anyone want to venture a guess at how clean the car actually got?

Happy T13.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: A Big OOPS At The Water Park

Yup...they were down all the way before I caught it

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Culprit

All kids lie to get out of getting trouble. My 6 year old is no exception. It actually is human nature...avoid punishment at all cost. We work hard to establish trust early in life so that we have it during the horrible teenage years.

Both of our boys, however, are funny. About half the time, they actually admit to wrongdoing. Then I am faced with a quandary. Let me explain...

The cats are finally getting along for the most part. However, their play has gotten quite physical, to the point that I am getting kind of scared. Pumpkin's head is inside Minnie's mouth when they are "playing" and Pumpkin is taking big old bites at Minnie's stomach.
Exhibit A

So this afternoon, I noticed this:

See a bare spot?

and I mentioned it to Noah...

"Noah, I think Minnie has actually bitten a chunk out of Pumpkin's fur this time."

To which my honest little boy said,

"No Mommy, the scissors "slipped" and I cut some of his hair." And he actually brought the chunk of fur to me.

So here's the quandary...

Punish the boy for maiming the cat, or praise him for telling the truth at a moment when he could have actually gotten away scott free.

Here's what I did: First, I began with telling him how proud I was at him for telling the truth that he had hurt the cat and that if he had lied, he would have been grounded (which he has never been, but has heard about it and the idea scares him) for the rest of the week. Instead, he would be banned from using scissors (this is a big deal for him) until school starts and can't touch the cats until Friday.

I actually feel pretty good about the consequences. Last week he did something naughty (I don't remember what it was) and I couldn't think of a punishment to match it and he came right out and said, "Mommy, I thought you said that the punishment has to match the crime." It's weird what this kid actually hears and what things he doesn't.

Sometimes, however, it's hard to hide the truth...

Case in point, a few weeks ago, our little culprit must have gotten hold of a pen.

Can you see it on the lampshade?

How about the window blinds in the bathroom?

I would think a boy as intelligent as my little genius would think to write someone ELSE'S name to his artwork when writing on furniture.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend Top Five-8/23/08

What a weekend. We were originally supposed to go to Wisconsin this weekend for our annual trip to see my friend Beth and her two boys, Alex and Dylan. With gas prices what they are and a van that has questionable reliability, we figured a smaller trip would more appropriate. But I still wanted to do one more special thing with the boys before the summer was over.

So although it was difficult to pinpoint five highlights, here they are:

5. The trip itself: Not necessarily a "highlight" but definitely memorable. A normally three hour trip, extended closer to about six. Within the trip, a stop at the outlet mall in Indiana with a temp reading 92 degrees outside and not a single "bargain" to be had, Noah's first bloody nose right after Aaron finally falling asleep for a nap, who of course was no longer, thanks to Steve freaking out a little over what to do about all the blood, picking the different route to getting to the hotel and taking a side trip through the entrance to O'Hare including extra tolls of 80 cents apiece, and the final straw, getting to check in to find out that our reservation DIDN'T include the water park on site and it would be another $70. After throwing a minor temper tantrum in the lobby, I was able to finally able to get them to hand over the wristbands at no additional cost.

4. After finally getting there and eating dinner, we hit the water park in the hotel.

Even though going down the slide was fun for everyone...



Apparently it's more fun to see how many cousins can RAM into each other at the bottom before a lifeguard catches you and brings an end to the fun

Kira, Odin, Noah

Noah also loved the huge tube slide

and EVERYONE loved the lazy river

except for maybe Cousin Ronin, who had better things to do...

3. My brother and sister in law are int the VERY beginning of the process of building a new house so another highlight of the weekend was to visit the dirt. This was the most talked about activity for the rest of the day. The land has two tiers and a big crevice splitting down the middle. After throwing rocks over the "canyon" for awhile, the fun game was to run and jump over the crevice.

2. How convenient that there is an ice cream place right near where the new house will be that NEEDED to be tested. (It passed the test)

Cousins Kira, Aaron, Noah, Cousins Odin

Look...a picture of

1. Time with family: My sister in law and I got some "quality" time in the hot tub in the pool after the kids were in bed with the daddies in our rooms and the kids got along so well the entire time.

Why is it that my oldest seems to enjoy being a "big brother" to other kids more than to his own little brother?"

Noah and Cousin Ronin

And Aaron liked having the chance to act like one

Ronin and Aaron

So we were all sad when the fun had to come to an end after a brief dinner at our favorite restaurant (Noodles) but I am in great hope that this memory of the last hurrah of summer will carry into the stressful first weeks of school as we settle into routines of rushing around and figuring out a new pattern of life for awhile.

As always, I hope you will share with me your top five from the weekend.

Happy Monday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Photot Story Friday: The "Big Lake" and Mama Mia

We live less than 45 minutes from Lake Michigan, but very rarely make it to the "big lake". We have a man made beach right near our house and another up where my in laws live where we have gone a couple of times this summer. Not to mention the city pool that once discovered, has been frequented every weekend for the last couple of months.

But, there really is nothing like the "big lake". Somehow, digging a hole, jumping waves, and making sand moats just has a different feeling when you can't see the other side of a lake...probably because the "big lake" is all we ever did when I was growing up.

So yesterday morning, I realized that we hadn't had a visit with my parents in several months that didn't involve a ton of family and I wanted to get one in before school starts (sob sob). So we got up and headed up to Spring Lake for our adventure.

When the boys hit the lake, first they enjoyed just playing in the water

Grandma and Aaron then grabbed the buckets and headed back to the water again

Meanwhile, Noah saw a boy getting himself buried and wanted to try it too.

Does anybody remember that Friends episode where they buried Joey and gave him the big gazongas? That's what I was thinking the whole time I was doing this.

But the kid just wouldn't sit still. So my thought, let's make a big hole and sit him down into it.

Digging the hole was actually A LOT of work!

After getting a deep enough hole, Noah slid right in and Aaron was fascinated.

So after he broke out of his entrapment, we were ALL sandy and headed back to the water. The water, although a little brisk, was just perfect and the boys and I had a blast...thank you to Grandma for taking pictures...I never have any pictures of me playing with them.

Then after a quick snack break...

The boys were off to play at the playground with Grandpa. I was rearing for more lake time but the boys were done and ready to move on.

After getting back to Grandma and Grandpa's for a bath (of course, Grandma's specialty) and some instruction from Grandpa on the fine art of how to play War

We were headed to Aunt Shannon's to pick up my Mama Mia soundtrack and head home.

You've never seen anything until you have experienced a three year old dance in the car to ABBA songs. It's only 30 gotta look...

The "jump in the water one" that Aaron is referring to is the clip from Mama Mia that I showed him on the computer from "Dancing Queen" in the movie.

A fun day to be had by all. Have a great weekend everybody.