Sunday, March 31, 2013

Painting & Baking

For Joshua's 2nd birthday his big gift from us was a Melissa & Doug easel set.  I think Caleb was almost as excited as Joshua was when he saw the present!  We finally put it together and the boys loved having a turn to paint.  I wish I could say I thought it was fun... but it mostly made me a nervous wreck that paint would end up all over the house!!  Luckily they did a great job of painting where they were supposed to and had a great time.

You can't beat painting in your underwear and a smock

Caleb and I made a batch of gluten free cookies that afternoon while Joshua napped.  Bryan started eating gluten free in February and it was our first time to try out this new recipe from friend Meredith in Temple.  They were really yummy - which is not always true of gluten free baked goods!

Spring Break 2013

We had a fun, low key spring break this year!  Bryan was off for about half of the boy's spring break.  We headed to Houston to visit both the Houston Zoo and Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.

We stayed at a hotel downtown with the boys so we could be close to the zoo and avoid driving in traffic the next morning.  Most Houston area schools were on spring break that week too, so it was very crowded!  We enjoyed the zoo train first thing and visited many of the animal exhibits.  The most talked about exhibit was definitely the elephants.  We saw them taking a bath and also saw a mother and her calf.  The fact that the mother used the restroom while we were there was sadly the most exciting, memorable part of the zoo experience.   Also, while we were there Caleb shocked us by agreeing to ride the carousel!  He has never been a big fan of things like that so we were proud of him for trying something new.

The next morning we went to the rodeo with Gran Jan, Carolyn and Will.  Bryan and I had not been in at least 15 years so it was fun to experience it all again with the boys.  We got there early before the carnival was open so we were mostly able to enjoy the petting zoo and other livestock exhibits.  Caleb also visited a train safety exhibit that had a railroad crossing on display -- one of his favorite things!  It was a lot of fun and everyone was exhausted when we were done.

After the rodeo we headed back to my parents house to spend the night.  Cousins Malikai and Isabella were there and the boys were thrilled to have playmates despite their age differences!  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Joshua's 2nd Birthday Party

Warning:  Picture Overload 

Joshua started off his 2nd birthday right:  with a Mickey Mouse balloon and donuts for breakfast!

He spent the morning going on Jeep rides with his older brother and playing with cousin Will while we waited for all his party guests to arrive.

The theme of Joshua's party was "Oh TWOdles!"/ Mickey Mouse.
Mickey Mouse sugar cookies @ the party


Joshua's cake (made by the same lady who made the cookies)

Bryan and me with our darling birthday boy.
We can hardly believe he is TWO!

The birthday table
Many thanks to my Mom for her help with the table cloth, table runners, and getting ready for the party! 

Cheesy themed food names for everything on the table

Joshua & Erin (Brynn's sister) going for a ride

The kid table 

Sporting mouse ears with sweet Joshie

Blowing out the candles

A two year old and almost two year old eating chocolate cake with black frosting:

 Opening gifts with help from Caleb...

...getting some help from Erin, Kathy & Brynn (all supervised by Caleb of course)

 Trying out his new 'froggy potty'

A new love:  All things Toy Story 

Devon, my sweet new friend here in CS, with her baby Ben

Group photo in Mickey ears!
I was thankful that everyone was so agreeable about wearing ears in a picture

Devon with her oldest son, Caleb
and me with my baby, Joshua!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cowboy Day

Thursday, March 7th was Cowboy Day at the boy's school.  Caleb & Joshua were both excited to wear their new cowboy shirts and boots.  Joshua does not normally go to school on Thursdays but I took him up there to join his class for the Cowboy Day activities, and to help his teachers wrangle 10 toddlers, which is kind of like herding cats. 

I wanted to take pictures of the boys before school.  They are normally not super thrilled to take pictures, so I bribed them by saying they could drive in the Jeep to the photo location.  They happily obliged!

En route to their photo shoot on the front porch

My two little cowboys! How cute are they??

Cowboy Day included participating in lots of fun activities in the church's gathering space that were all cowboy themed.  I only got to see Joshua's class since I helped as Room Mom and didn't have anyone to watch Joshua so I could go with Caleb's class.  Joshua loved all the activities!

Joshua and most of his class...
a few kids were not in the picture because they were crying :(

Warming his hands by the 'campfire'

Panning for Gold-- this was one of his favorite stations

"Roping" a horse with a hula hoop
Joshua attempted to raid this station's candy bowl at least 6 times in 10 minutes.

Playing horseshoes with his buddy Garner 

More time at the campfire with classmate Bradyn 

After snack time the Toddler Class had their turn at the petting zoo.  The kids were all really excited to see and pet the animals.  

The best part of the day for me was seeing Joshua in his school environment.  He is far from perfect -- but I am so proud of what a confident, social and generally compliant little boy he is.  Lots of kids really struggle when they see their parents up at the school, and while Joshua definitely notices and is excited about my presence he is still happy to go with the flow and follow the school routine.  He still went around and did all the activities and had FUN rather than clinging to me constantly.  I was really proud of how well he handles all of that at such a young age!  I'm blessed to be able to stay at home and have the opportunity to be a part of activities at the boy's school and see all the fun they have there!