Friday, September 27, 2013

Cousins and Best Buds

One morning this week we had our nephew Holt over and he and Michael walked Gray to school. After crossing the street, Michael captured this sweet moment while the boys were still holding hands. So adorable! I love the expression on Holt's face and his bed head.

It's just a little slice of everyday life and why I love living close to our family.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A morning jog

Today was Jog-a-thon day at Gray's elementary school. This is their annual fundraiser where the kids run as many laps as possible in 20 minutes. I wasn't able to make it this year, but Michael captured the fun.
He started out excited and strong

 This was after one lap...not so promising

After the second lap, he was tired and ready to walk.

Luckily, daddy wore his running shoes for just such an occasion, so they finished the rest of the 20-minutes jogging together

And just to prove he does have my DNA, his favorite part of the event was spending the dollar bill I sent in his backpack to buy a snack and drink at the PTA concession stand after the run. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Soccer Saturdays

Gray is playing soccer again this fall which keeps our Saturdays busy. He's on a team with three of the same boys as the spring season, plus two new boys who are playing for the first time. We also have a new volunteer coach who is used to teaching 14 year-olds and doesn't have a kid on the team, so you can imagine the patience required to herd this group of energetic young boys.

The boys have been learning a lot and we have one goal for the season -- to learn to pass the ball to each other. They are only three games into the eight-game season and we have already seen a lot of improvement since last spring.

Above all else, these boys are having fun and learning how to be a good sport so that's what is important. Gray has scored several goals along the way and is also learning to not be a ball hog and let his teammates also have a chance to score. It's nice to see his teamwork and leadership skills grow along with his athletic ability.

He likes to wear his shin guards all the time, and puts them on hours before practice or a game just because he's excited. 

Coach Clint along with his ragamuffin gang of athletes -- Preston, Hudson, Griffin, Grayson, Lucas and Gavin. These are some silly little boys let me tell you!

Our budding soccer star in action

Sunday, September 22, 2013

State Fair time in Oklahoma

We made our annual trek to the Oklahoma state fair last week and, as usual, Gray loved checking out the animals and tractors. I enjoyed eating a corn dog bigger than my arm, so it was a win win for everybody.

On our way to the entrance

There's always an exhibit of vintage tractors that Gray has to visit. We have a photo of Gray by this same tractor from 2010. It's amazing to see how he has grown!

Another one of his favorites

We also explored the Agtropolis building where you learn about all kinds of barnyard animals. He's very into chickens since our neighbors have some, so he spent a while asking questions about the different types of chickens and we got to see a few chicks hatching out of eggs.

Next, it was time to eat fair food! Michael opted to have a beer and funnel cake for dinner. Very nutritious. 

Gray saw someone with a huge ear of corn and insisted that he could eat the entire thing himself. We bought one expecting he'd have a few bites and then share it, but to our amazement he ate the entire corn cob himself! He now also has a loose front tooth so I think the corn may have something to do with that.

Then we went through several buildings and got info about various underground tornado shelters. One of the vendors gave Gray this fan which he thought was awesome. It's the little things, I guess. We then caught a fireman show where kids learn about fire safety and get to crawl through a "burning" house to practice staying low under smoke. 

Waiting for the fireman show to start

Safely exiting the burning building. He did this about five times in a row!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Random Updates

September is a busy month in our house. We've started fall soccer, OU football is in full swing and we're keeping up with the new homework and activities of kindergarten. 

I've been keeping a list of random updates in my head, but there's no real theme to connect them so here it goes:
  • Gray is already in the Christmas spirit. He brought home "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" from the school library this week and also insisted on watching the original movie version this morning when he woke up. I didn't realize it at first, but he was also wearing a Santa-themed night shirt. I'd say this boy loves Christmas.
  • He has coined a new phrase for our household -- bottom humps. I don't know what the inspiration was, but now instead of bottom he calls it his bottom humps. Then he giggles uncontrollably.  
  • We have our first loose tooth! One of Gray's teeth in the front on top is just barely wiggling. He's very excited about the tooth fairy eventually coming. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Five year-old stats

We had Gray's five-year check-up on Friday and once again our boy is growing like a weed. Measuring 44.25 inches and 40 lbs., he's around the 75th percentile in height and 50th in weight.

They also did a few tests for hearing, vision and to see how well he could write. We've discovered his vision is borderline when seeing distance so we'll follow up with a visit to the eye doctor. On the hearing test, Gray didn't pass it on his left ear the first time around, but after further testing they determined it was because of sinus drainage causing some issues. Gray's speech development is right on track so the doctor doesn't think we need to worry about additional testing.

We are done with shots until he's 11 so that was good news for all of us!

All-in-all we have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to Gray's health and development. Even my initial worries about school have disappeared. Despite the first day excitement, Gray has settled in to kindergarten nicely and has been getting glowing reports from his teacher. He seems to enjoy P.E. and music class the most, although when I ask about P.E. he corrects me and says it's called "the gym."

We have also entered the world of homework and have a packet that gets sent home monthly with a short assignment for us to complete each evening (Mon.-Thurs.). One sheet asked Gray to write his name three times and to my surprise he could write his first and last name. We had been working on learning to spell his middle and last names over the summer, but I didn't realize he could write his full name too.

He continues to be a little sponge. From telling me the differences between the U.S. and Oklahoma flags to counting and vocabulary, we enjoy seeing his mind expand on a daily basis.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Officially Five

Since we celebrated Gray's birthday a week early with his friends, we had a pretty low-key day on Sept. 1. Each day in-between the party and his actual b-day, he would wake up and ask if he was five yet. Then when the day finally arrived, he slept in as we eagerly awaited giving him his new bike and a few other presents we had held back to make his actual birthday special.

Pappa and Susu were also visiting from Mississippi which ensured that the birthday boy was properly spoiled rotten. I didn't realize until afterward that I only got three pictures the entire day, none of which included us with Gray or any of his grandparents. I've really gotta get better about taking pictures.

Helping daddy make his favorite breakfast...pancakes!

Great Grandmama with Nora who stopped by in the afternoon for cake and ice cream

Yet another birthday cake. This one was a homemade strawberry cake courtesy of Susu and it was delicious!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Surprise Cousin Time!

The weekend of Gray's birthday party we had a great surprise visit from some of Michael's family. His grandmother, aunt, uncle, two cousins and their two kiddos made the drive from Houston for the weekend. Michael's parents are used to making the drive each month, but I know it was a long trek for the rest of the family and we had such a great time seeing them.

Michael was raised very closely with his cousins, so it was nice to see the next generation getting some time to bond. Gray also enjoyed getting to be the "big" cousin since Rhyann and Lincoln are younger and sometimes need his help to do things.

Miss Rhyann discovering the fun of a pirate hook

Lincoln explored every inch of our house now that he can walk. He also met up with a few table corners too along the way, but hopefully he wasn't too banged up to come back again soon. 

Rhyann had some of the best bed hair one morning. She is so cute and I loved having more time with her than our usual quick visits when we're in Houston.

Gray and Rhyann enjoying some breakfast at Nana and Popper's lake house. Once Michael's parents move up here for good, I think these cousins are going to have lots of fun memories at this place. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Arrg Matey

For Grayson's 5th birthday party, he wanted a pirate-themed celebration (right up until a few days before and then he wanted a lego party, but that ship had sailed). We decked out his buddies in pirate garb and sent them on a treasure hunt.

Here's the birthday boy aka Captain Hook

This one is blurry, but I love how even little Nora joined the pirate crew with her temporary tattoo

Gray all dressed up and waiting for the fun to begin. When did he turn into such a boy? 

Gray having a pirate sword fight with a few of his cousins Jack, Luke and Holten

Emma helping me corral a few of the kiddos right before the treasure hunt started. Gray is holding the treasure map that led to the first clue. There were five clues hidden around the yard, all leading to a treasure chest under our bench near the shed. I thought they would need more help going from one clue to the next, but they all worked together and solved each riddle with minimal adult help.

This is when they got the chest open. I should have taken a video because of all the shrieks and screams. They really thought they found treasure. Of course, it was about $3 worth of fake jewel rings, mardi gras bead necklaces and some fake gold doubloons. The best was when Luke started cramming gold coins in his pockets. Hilarious!

Here's Miss Bea mustering up her best pirate face to scare me off from taking her newfound treasure. So intimidating!

Next it was time for some cookie cake!

Getting all sugared up before swimming (and properly ruining their lunch since this was taken about 10:30 a.m.)

Luke and Gray playing on the slackline

We had a houseful, but are so blessed to have a great group of friends and family who could join us to celebrate Grayson's special day. I love watching how the group of kids grow each year and adding more to the brood.