Friday, July 29, 2011

"Hey now, you're an all star!"

The fun never stops when you're a kid, and this summer we got our first taste of being on our kids' schedule.

Ben at soccer camp with his new ball and shoes "just like daddy's".
He thinks the New Balance logo on the shoes is lightning, and that sounds a lot more cool to me too so we're going with it.

As a side note, I'm having a hard time explaining mascots and logos to Ben. He wanted to know why there was a giant clown on top of McDonald's..."Well, that's Ronald McDonald, and this is his restaurant." and what the white hand on this picture of a racecar driver was..."Well, that's the Hambuger Helper hand. Hamburger Helper is a meal, and the company that makes it gives the racecar driver money if he wears the Hand on his suit." I mean, it's hard to even take me seriously when I'm trailing off and losing track of what the original point was to begin with...kinda like what's happening now....

Back to soccer camp! Ben was super pumped and immediately began warming up.

And then decided he needed to do his stretches, followed by a water (juice) break.

Katie Beth was super ticked that she was too little for the field.

Ben and his teammates listening to the coach
Ben's in the middle...and if he looks way too small to be out there, that's because he was! Poor kid was supposed to be in a class with 3/4 yr-olds, but he was the youngest by a least a couple of years. I had to leave for Bible study, which was good because I was a wee-bit emotional. After an hour of playing "kick the ball away from Ben" and some tears (from Ben), we decided soccercamp would just be a one-day deal this year!

(BTW, Challenger Sports International is now my worst-customer-service-ever story, and I hope they are happy they got to keep their $30 of my partial refund to cover their field rental. So there.)

But for the most part, he had a blast and remembers it fondly. We're just happy he's not scarred for life from soccer. Tyler even took the morning off and treated him to ice cream and fun at the playground before dropping him off with me to do some Yoga!

However, I do not have pictures of this, as Ben turns out to definitely not be a yogi. Although, I'm not sure what three-year old boy would enjoy holding a pose for any length of time. Needless to say, I did not get my zen on that morning, but it was a good laugh after the soccer stress.

Another good laugh....
Ben has been in swim lessons since May. Bless his heart, he's trying (I think)...but I don't see any real progress. He loves swimming, don't get me wrong, but take off that bubble, and he'd sink like a rock. Well, the fear of getting his head wet or water up his nose might help him long enough for me to pull him out, I guess.

But he's having fun, and at three, that's what counts, right?!

talking on the phone to Grandma while we drove to their house after his first lesson...he wore those goggle more than halfway to Nashville!

Another fun thing that three-year olds get to do is go to Vacation Bible School! We'd been listening to the CD for a month, and I was so excited for him to get to go sing and dance and play with so many other kids while they learned about Jesus being a kid "just like us".
It did not disappoint. He had a blast! And not just because he got to wear his scarf like a do-rag.
But that was part of it. :)

And just because I can't do a post about one without the other, here's some shots of Miss Katie Beth:

Wild Child in her crown at church
(blurry of course)

Sweet Angel looking so big in her crib
(this was the first time I looked at her in there and thought, "where did my baby go?")

Sleepy Girl after a big morning out - as you can guess by these adventures, we've had some pretty nice afternoon naps around here this summer!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy belated birthday USA!

from our star-spangled cutie

We had a great holiday weekend over the Fourth. Started with a family jaunt along the Tennessee River - Tyler on a bike, kids in the trailer, me on foot. I'll spare you the red, sweaty-faced shots of us in exercise gear and show you the scenery instead.

Hope they enjoyed the view from in there!

Later we kicked it around the house and did the obligatory cookout while the kids played in the water and ate popsicles.

Chattanooga likes to give the USA a little pre-birthday party as the fireworks are always held on July 3rd (happy anniversary shout-out to my mom and dad!). So we met friends for a picnic in the park to watch the show. It was a balmy 90 degrees until the sun finally went down, but all the kids seemed to handle it much better than us adults!

A little chocolate ice cream helped too.

On the actual Fourth, my Canadian hubby celebrated Independence Day too and took (most of) the day off! We hit up the Creative Discovery Museum for a morning of fun...

Then Tyler and Ben walked across the street to watch Cars 2 in 3D while KB and I stayed behind for America's birthday party which included an impressive 21 Diet Coke/Mentos salute!
Earlier that morning I was explaining to Ben that it was a special day because it was our country's birthday. He replied, "yeah but, can our country blow out its candles or eat its cake or open its presents?"
The kid loves a party.

So, I was so excited to be able to bring him a piece of America's birthday cake and tell him that we did in fact have a party and sing happy birthday to our country.

He wasn't too upset about missing the party.

Because what the kid really loves about a party, is the cake!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"When I grow up..."

"I want to hold hands with Katie Beth." - Ben, at dinner tonight

I think she'd be just fine with that!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Unplugged

Well, as predicted, the summer has been busy and spent here there and everywhere...except on the blog! But in the midst of a busy few weeks, we hit the pause button more than once on technology, schedules and deadlines to just enjoy summer in the great outdoors.
It was worth it.

This is Whiggs Meadow on the TN/NC border, and the site of our first family camping trip. It is beautiful.

And we were pumped.
We had the whole meadow, and the 20-degree-cooler temps, all to ourselves for the night.
That night included sitting by a fire roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, watching the stars come out and the satellites orbit, and snuggling close in our tent. ...Because it got cold. And more than a little windy. Like sleeping on the North Face windy, and I thought we might be lifted off the ground.

To our great surprise, Katie Beth got a full night's rest. That's more than I can say for Tyler and Ben and even more than I can say for myself.
But if KB ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, so it was all good.
"The hills are aliiiiive...."

After a quick breakfast of bananas and granola bars...and possibly a couple more marshmallows, we headed back down the 5,500 ft for a little father/son fishing expedition.
We'll just say Tyler is still looking forward to Ben becoming his fishing buddy. Today, he was happier sitting on the shore and eating all the corn we brought for bait.

"Can you hear me now?"
KB trying to get cell service, but to no avail...and not just because she was talking on a rock.

Then on Father's Day, we caravanned with the Radnoti's up to the Hiawassee for a little frolic in the "refreshing" river.
Katie Beth and Andrew set sail in their pint-size vessel.

Spitting out another rock. She and Andrew had made a secret pact to ingest as many stones as possible. The Rock Patrol prevailed in the end, although they kept us busy!

Austin and Ben check out the cool crawdad that Tyler caught.

Then they got to work on an intricate canal system.
"Who's in charge here?"

Fortunately for Katie Beth, they were equal-opportunity employers.

While the mountains and hills are just a short roadtrip away, there are plenty of outdoor escapes closer to home. We've had fun at Coolidge Park:
at playgrounds (in the mornings, before the thermometer hits 90):
on bike rides (and chases):
and picnics:
Of course it can't be all fun and games...we have been keeping a busy schedule of the kids' museum, swim lessons, trips to Nashville and San Francisco, VBS...what was I saying? Oh yeah, not all fun and games...whew, sure was nice to get away from it all! ;)

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul." Psalms 23:1-3