Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Adventures with daddy

Michael has been taking an upholstery course three nights a week for the past few months and we're all excited that this is the last week of class so we can see more of him. To make up for the lack of daddy time, Michael took Grayson on a little weekend morning adventure.

They rode over to Sutton Wilderness to check out the trails and see what was happening at the small lake. When they got back (around 11:30 a.m.) it was already around 100 degrees. Yikes! Despite their red faces and sweaty hair, I think they enjoyed their mini-adventure.

Monday, July 30, 2012

My little gardener

Gray and I have enjoyed watching our small veggie garden grow this summer and I'm happy to see it (finally) start producing. We planted tomatoes, sweet potatoes and okra, all of which have been sprouting, but also giving us both a lesson in patience. Up until now, we've only had a few cherry tomatoes to enjoy, but our other two large tomato plants are starting to produce as well.

Here you can see one of the ripe tomatoes and some okra behind it. 

My little helper. The hardest part is waiting until lunchtime to eat it. That's probably why he likes the cherry tomatoes better...I let him eat those right away.  

He's so excited when we get to go pick something. I hope it's a feeling that sticks with him as he gets older. I'd love to see him have a green thumb. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012


We've been enjoying a visit from my niece Kayla over the last few weeks. She's here from Japan and we've been busy swimming, playing Uno, doing origami and lots of other fun things.

She arrived just in time for my birthday and we gathered at my cousin Suzanne's house to celebrate all the July birthdays in our extended family. It was so much fun to have all the cousins together. I must say, it's a good thing that Kayla is the oldest. As the only girl, age gives her an advantage when trying to corral all the boys.

Holten and his big sister Kayla 

Group shot of the cousins 

My birthday hug  

Once it cooled off a bit in the evening (and by that I mean 100 instead of 108), we moved the party outside to let the kids burn off some sugar. Gray and Luke were in charge of filling up the kiddie pool. 

Jack tested out the sprinkler feature on the slide. He was so happy to be in the middle of the action with the rest of the kids now that he's walking (and running).

I love Luke's expression in this shot. They were having so much fun! 

Kayla's turn to show 'em how it's done. 

This shot of Holt cracks me up. He would have kept going all night if we'd have let him. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kids say the darndest things

One morning this week, Michael and Gray were on their way to school as usual. Along the way, Gray was playing with a bungee cord, trying to hook the end of it on the passenger seat headrest.

Michael didn't think much of it since it was keeping his son entertained on the mile-long drive. When they got to school, Gray was excited to tell his teacher all about it. It went a little something like this...

Gray: "Ms. Sabre, Ms. Sabre, my dad has a hooker in his front seat!"

Ms. Sabre: "Excuse me?" Then she looked at Michael to explain himself. He hadn't heard Gray's original comment so she had to repeat it to him.

He responded, "Well, you know that's just how I roll at 8 a.m." And then quickly explained the bungee cord/hook situation.

I'm so thankful Gray's teacher has a sense of humor. There's no telling what he's told her during the day when we aren't there to defend ourselves.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


My apologies for going MIA on this blog lately. We've had a frenzy of activity and visitors over the past few weeks (and I have lots of blog posts written in my head), but nothing has made it's way online yet. I promise to sit down and update you on everything soon. Assuming I have any readers left.

Thanks for hanging in there!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cora & Liam are three!

Grayson's BFFs recently turned three and although we were out of town for Liam's Olympic-themed birthday party, we were able to attend Cora's backyard camping party last weekend.

At the risk of sounding cliche, I can't believe our kids are getting so big. Time really has flown by these last few years and I know it's only going to get faster. It seems like just yesterday our friends surprised us with the news that both couples were pregnant and due within two weeks of each other.

It has been such a blessing to watch our families grow together and add more friends to the chaos along the way. Here are a few shots from Cora's fun day:

Yeti getting in on the water play 

Little sister Claire looking precious as always 

Liam helping Cora unwrap her big present...it was a water table and became the hit of the party! 

Meanwhile, Gray couldn't get enough of the "water slide." He's also recently learned how to float on his back in our pool and tried to float in the kiddie pool even though he stretches from end to end.  

Courtney made adorable bear masks and trail mix for party favors. Gray is on the right and couldn't seem to line his eyes up with the holes. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Big Cedar Lodge

One night during our Branson trip we drove over to Tablerock Lake to check out Big Cedar Lodge. This place is beautiful beyond words and we're already plotting a return trip when we can all stay in one of their picturesque knotty pine cabins.

We had an amazing meal in one of their restaurants and met a friendly waitress who was actually a former Okie. No wonder she was so nice! We also took some time to check out the grounds, gift shop, pool and more.

Every place we visited was beautiful and inviting. It's obvious that no detail is too small for this world-class destination. Here's a small sampling of photos from our evening by the lake:

View from a lodge balcony

This is the lobby where you check in. Seriously amazing. 

From the rod iron gates to the intricate light posts, every detail was an opportunity to impress. 

Enjoying the garden where a moment later we were swarmed with butterflies. 

 Gray checking out the pool accommodations.

Some random pathway from the lodge. Why can't my backyard look like this?

A swinging bridge over a creek that runs from the lake. Gray and Susu weren't a fan of the height.

Perhaps someday Gray will come back here and we'll take his senior pics. The lodge would actually be an amazing place for a wedding, but I'm not ready to think about that yet.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Five and Dime

Branson's historic downtown has the most eclectic five and dime store, so of course we had to check it out. I've never seen so much stuff crammed into one place. Everything from paper dolls to model cars to the cheesiest souvenirs imaginable.

Pappa and Susu bought Gray a model car that looks like a police cruiser. It's now his favorite toy and a week later I still have to make sure it's out of his room when I tuck him in at night to ensure he goes to sleep at a decent hour.

Looks like Dick's Five and Dime still knows what the kiddos want!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Getaway

We took a quick road trip to Branson, Missouri over July 4th and met up with my parents and cousin Suzanne's family. It was extremely hot, but we still had a lot of fun. I have too many photos to share for one post, so I'll break it up over the next few days.

The place where we stayed had two swimming pools, a miniature golf course, playground, horseshoes, shuffleboard and more. We took the opportunity to have Gray try mini-golf. It was extremely hot so we only got through nine holes, but Michael had already scored two holes-in-one!

Grayson also enjoyed some playtime with Luke and Jack. Pappa kept the boys entertained playing putt-putt and Susu pushed them on the swings. Everyone was happy. Of course, I didn't manage to get a photo of Gray with both his grandparents and only snapped a few shots of the boys.

It was nice to have a few days off and enjoy time with our family without a set schedule. We hit the outlet mall, had some great meals, observed happy hour and I read more magazines over the course of two days than I'd read in months.