Saturday, June 30, 2012

Impromptu Sprinkler Running

 It was completely gorgeous outside the other day. The kids were playing in the back yard with just a few minutes before bedtime, and they wanted to play in the water. I thought that sounded just fine, so I turned on the sprinkler, and they stripped down and spent twenty minutes dancing in the sunshine, sparkly water and wet grass.

 I took some pictures right before we came in, but I was in a hurry, so I didn't check my camera settings. Whoops. Bummer. Blurry and overexposed. The photos weren't the point though. Watching them enjoy that wonderful childhood moment made me smile ear to ear,and I wasn't the only one! They had so much fun. The J-bird kept trying to teach Miss V to hold her breath while she ran through the spray. His repeated demonstrations were hilarious. Meanwhile, Miss V was quite busy, sticking her whole face in the water to drink as much as her tummy would hold. Nothing says "childhood summer" to me quite like running through the sprinkler and drinking from the hose. Each kid got half an otter pop before (thoroughly brushing teeth and) heading to bed happy. Hooray for warm weather and playing outside!

Friday, June 29, 2012

She Was Very Brave

This last Sunday afternoon, James and I took the kids to see Brave in the theater. It was Miss V's first theater experience, and she did so well. We got the smallest popcorn the concession stand sells and let her hold the bag, which kept her busy, and she was very engrossed in the movie. I spent a good bit of time just watching her face, as she watched the big screen in awe. She is so sweet.

As for Brave, I really loved it (don't read on, if you get upset about spoilers). There are some parts that are a little scary, mainly loud bear sounds, and I was prepared to scoop up both children and run for the door, but it wasn't any scarier than any other Disney flick (fighting lions in Lion King, dragons in Sleeping Beauty or Aladdin, the angry beast in Beauty and the Beast), and as long as they knew James and I were there, they both did fine. Like most Disney movies, there's some magic. I don't mind that, but if it bothers you, you should steer clear. Unlike most Disney movies, the main character, Merida has a mother who loves her, not an evil step-mother or a mother who died many years ago, leaving her with a stereotypical bumbling, misguided and/or absent father. The father character is larger than life and very funny, but also very loving to both Merida and her mother. Merida is written fairly realistically, as far as that goes - she's a rebellious teenage girl who simultaneously wants what she wants AND wants to make her parents happy. She's definitely not Cinderella/Snow White/Sleeping Beauty/Jasmine/Belle perfect, and I liked that. My favorite part about the movie  is how Merida and her mother save each other in the end. I don't mind that most children's movies involve a handsome man saving the day, but this made a lovely change. I thought the storyline was very believable and engaging, and the end was really touching. It didn't hurt that the heroine has what Miss V calls, "wed curly hair" (she says this with delight, every time she looks in the mirror. I hope she always feels that happy about her beautiful hair.).

All in all, I'd watch this movie again, and I'm glad we took the kids. It was a fun afternoon and one we'll remember.

Have you seen "Brave" yet? Will you? If you've seen it, what did you think?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

We All Whine for Wine

 Like most parents with small children, it is very rare for James and I to go somewhere without our kids. We don't mind hossing them along with us everywhere, not at all. In fact, we like it. We like them. Every once in a while though, it's nice to go do something just for grown ups, and our awesome church threw a little shindig that fit the bill nicely last weekend - an afternoon winery tour!

 There are tons of wineries in our area, but James and I don't know much about wine and had never, in seven and a half years of living here, gone to any of them. Let me tell you, it was FUN. We visited three different wineries, tasting wines as we went, enjoying our fun church friends and having a blast.

 The views from the wineries weren't bad on the eyes, either!

 We are nerds. It's fun to get out there now and then and be together as grown ups ( "grown up" as we get).

 We rode on the church bus, just in case anyone had too much wine (no one did) and so no one would get lost on the winding country roads.

 The bus dropped us back at the church, where we collected our kiddos from the nursery and walked across the street with some pals to grab some supper. It was really a lovely afternoon.

Now, who wants to come visit Oregon, so I can take you to a winery or two?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


 On occasion, you just need your brother to push you around in a doll stroller.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Home Learnin'

 Here's some of what my little homesquirrels have been working on lately:

Each morning, the J-bird has a few sentences to read before (or over) breakfast. I always include the date, because that's something I'm teaching him about, and I often rhyme it, because he's fascinated with rhymes. His reading is coming along with leaps and bounds, and I'm really proud of him.

Both kids love nature lessons, and it's a good time of year to learn about bees. I taught them the basics, then we watched some videos on YouTube, then we pretended to be bees and acted out the process of making honey. It was a big hit.

We spend as much time as we can outside, and they're both learning about the flowers in the garden. Miss V is learning to identify colors, and the J-bird is learning flower and plant names.

Last week, both kids attended Vacation Bible School at our church, which was a lot of fun. It was a detective theme, and I got to play the bad guy (reformed by the end of the week, of course. Haha.). Both kids had a blast and got LOTS of play time with all the other kids.(Everyone wore a specific color each day. This photo was taken on "purple day")

The J-bird continues to love numbers and math, and Miss V can count to ten and sing the Alphabet Song, which is HYSTERICAL to listen to. She's sings it very seriously, usually with her eyes squeezed shut, and then she shakes her head at the end to make a vibrato. My funny girl :). It's all going very well, and we're still really enjoying teaching the kids at home. It's so much fun to be one part of their learning process!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


 Vital. Vivid. Valued. Sometimes Vexing. Often Victorious.

 Vigorous. Valiant. Very Vocal.

Vibrant. Vivacious. So very, very loved.

My Miss V.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


 It's Vacation Bible School time at our church this week, and I'm helping out a little this year. I painted some backdrops, and I'm assisting with music and skits. It's a lot of crazy, exhausting fun, and my kids are having a blast.

 It's a detective theme this year, so each day, the kids investigate a different Bible story. Pretty creative, I think!

It makes me happy to see them having a good time with it. Church should be a fun thing, not a drag, right? I have great memories of my own mother helping out with VBS when I was a kid, and I hope my little hooligans grow up with happy summer memories of their own.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hey Kids

Go stand in front of that pretty field, so I can take your picture!

Never. Mind.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Faddah's Day

 We had a really nice Father's Day weekend, very special, very fun, lots of togetherness. Here's how we did:

 The kids and I filled a glass bottle with Reeses's Pieces and put this little sign on it for James. Thank you, Pinterest.

We put the bottle, along with a print of this photo of the kids and an iTunes gift card into a gift bag, and then I decorated it
 Like this. Thank you, Pinterest (again).

 He liked it!

On Saturday, we hit the Farmer's Market and ran some errands, then had a nice afternoon at home and grilled some sausages on the new grill.

On Sunday, we got up and left early for beautiful Astoria, which happened to be cool and rainy that day, even though it was sunny and very warm where we live. Oh, you crazy Oregon.

Astoria has a HUGE farmer's market, so, because we happen to love farmer's markets, we walked around there first.  After that, we went to the Oregon Film Museum, which is housed in the old jailhouse, where the crooks in the movie, The Goonies break out from at the start of the movie.

 There was a lot of stuff from The Goonies, along with props and stills and trivia from the many other movies that have been filmed in Oregon over the years.

 One of my main goals as a parent is to prevent my children ending up behind bars. But if they ever do, I suppose I'll have this "before" photo. You know, for laughs.

 How did this child get so humongous?

 Mug shots.

 The tiniest jailbird.

 She had a blast (we all did)

 There were several little green screen areas where you can shoot little scenes. Too fun.

 Escaping. This is quite possibly my favorite photo ever.


We stopped for lunch, and then we headed to the Columbia River Maritime Museum .

 This is a fantastic museum, with so much to see and do, and a LOT of stuff for kids to explore and touch. We hadn't been since the J-bird was about two, so we were glad to go again.

We looked at the ships outside, then packed the kids back into the car for the hour and a half drive home, happy to have had such a nice day together, celebrating what a wonderful daddy my James is to our kids.

 I would be very, very remiss if I did not mention and thank my own dad, who is so fantastic and loving and kind. I'm a very lucky woman to have been raised by such a great man.

And to my father in law, who is daddy to my sweet husband, thank you for doing such a phenomenal job. I am so grateful for him every day, and you had a lot to do with that!

Lastly, if anyone is still reading after this very long winded and photo heavy post, I want to wish my darling mother in law a very happy birthday today! She's the other half of the parent equation that equals the awesome dude I'm married to, and man, am I thankful to her.

I hope your weekend was fun and that you were able to celebrate the father figures in your life. Have a great week!