Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Artsy Afternoon

We're having another cold snap and can only do so many puzzles and board games after school, so today we decided to have an outing to the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on the campus of OU.

Michael has had three extremely busy work weeks, so he took the afternoon off to join us. It was an everyday reminder of how lucky we are to have flexible work schedules. Despite both of us having work-related stress that ebbs and flows, these kinds of moments make it worth it.

The museum has undergone extensive renovations over the past few years and now also has free admission, which makes it worth checking out even if you only have an hour or two. 

Gray's class has been learning about China all year and is currently studying Chinese New Year. When we walked into the Asian gallery, he lit up with excitement. There were several small horse sculptures and he told us all about how this is the Year of the Horse. 

One of the rotating galleries had the 100th anniversary of the OU Art School's Student Exhibition. Tucked into one corner of the gallery was a 25-year history of the Visual Communications program. To our surprise, every graduate of the graphic design program was listed in the exhibit. Here's Michael pointing to his name. It was fun to stumble across daddy's name in the museum!

Aunt Amy is on there too! Such famous relatives we have!

Gray and mama by sculptures near the museum entrance

A few pieces you may recognize

We had a fun outing and it was a nice change of pace. I'm so ready for warmer weather so we can get back to playing outside!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Boomer Sooner!

The OU men's gymnastics team volunteers regularly at Gray's elementary school and he's gotten to know several of the student athletes over the past two years.

They are assigned to various classrooms and also help in the gym. To kick off their new season, the team held an assembly and performed various acrobatic feats two Fridays ago. They also selected a couple of kids from the audience to do jumps and flips over.

Gray was one of the lucky kids who was picked out of the crowd and has not stopped telling everyone he knows about the experience. He also kept telling us that "Mr. Mike" (one of the gymnasts) had chosen him because they are best friends.

We looked up the team roster to see which one was Mr. Mike and to our surprise learned that he's the national champion in rings. Pretty impressive! The entire OU men's team is amazing (men and women are currently ranked #1) and we've enjoyed going to see their meets in years past.

After seeing how excited Gray was about the team, we took him to their opening meet this past Saturday. He wanted to make Mr. Mike a sign to wish him luck. So sweet!

Watercolors were the medium of choice

This says Good Luck Mr. Mike (in case you can't quite make out the last line) 

He held his sign up proudly and cheered on all of the guys

When it was time for the rings rotation, daddy took Gray over closer to check out the action. To Gray's delight, Mr. Mike saw him before his rings routine and waved up to him in the stands. 

Here's Mr. Mike in action

He made it all look easy, and I know this is far from easy

Afterward, the team came out to the lobby to sign posters and various autographs. We waited in line so Gray could talk to Mr. Mike and he decided he wanted to give him the sign. Mr. Mike told Gray he would hang it up in his room and, I must say, he looked genuinely touched by the gesture. 

The whole experience left Gray so happy and made me also truly appreciate the OU team and the wonderful example they set for local kids. In a day where kids' role models are often made up of pop singers wearing baggy pants and gold chains (for the boys) and barely nothing (for the girls), I'm loving the fact that Gray looks up to someone with character and a strong work ethic.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Puppy Love

Aunt Emily, Uncle Levi, Nora and their dog Molly had an unexpected sleepover last week when their heater was out. Gray loved the extra time with his human and furry cousins. Molly is such a sweet-natured dog and even Roxy is getting used to having her around.

I love this picture of them despite Gray's ridiculous outfit. He's wearing a Superman pajama shirt (that's getting too small) with cargo pants he had worn to school, but didn't realize he had on backwards all day. This basically sums up our life with his wardrobe these days. 

Last week, not only were these pants on wrong the entire day, but the next night I was helping him get pajamas on and realized his boxer briefs were on backwards all day. I think daddy needs to serve as quality control after Gray gets dressed for school each morning. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jack is 3!

Baby Jack is quickly becoming a boy. The little man who refused to smile and leave his mama's side for a year, is now an adventurous, happy boy.

Grayson and I attended Jack's Spider Man-themed birthday party where they played for hours on a huge maze/playground/bounce house thingy at a local gymnastics facility. Then it was time for cupcakes and super hero punch.

My cousin Suzanne had the cutest Spidey masks for each of the kids and Gray refused to take his off for the rest of the day.

Big brother Luke and his cousin Gray refueling with some super hero electrolytes 

The birthday boy blowing out his candles

I hate that this one came out blurry. Sweet Jackie!


Fast forward several hours and Gray was still wearing his Spidey mask. He wore it driving home, playing baseball in the backyard and I had to do some serious negotiating to remove it for bath and bedtime.

We also did a little moon gazing with his new telescope. Here you can see Gray's Spidey shoes and socks which he specifically picked out for the party. So coordinated! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Family Time

We had an impromptu play date with Nora last week while Emily went to get her haircut. I knew Nora had been rolling over and trying to crawl, but I was not prepared for how mobile she'd become in a matter of days.

This tiny thing is getting up on all fours and rocking, but then army crawls by pulling with her arms. While the technique may be inefficient, it doesn't seem to slow her down or prevent her from getting anywhere she wants to go.

During her visit I also became very aware at how non-baby proof my house is now that Gray is older. I've got some prepping to do before she starts walking!

Last week, we also joined Emily, Nora, Grandmama and Grandaddy in supporting Uncle Levi and the Norman fire department. They hosted their annual chili supper fundraiser that supports the firemen, police department and ambulance service. Of course, Gray had to go fully decked out in his fireman gear so he'd fit in with the guys.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Just hanging out

Lately, we've had a lot of plain 'ol everyday moments. No major milestones, but still lots of fun. I'm trying to be better about taking more photos, otherwise a week passes before I update the blog.

Gray received a boomerang for Christmas and we took advantage of some recent warm weather to take it for a test drive. It basically turned into a game of fetch, but that worked out well since we had been cooped up in the house for a few days due to the "polar vortex" and he had lots of energy to burn.

Gray and daddy have also been building all kinds of things with his Laser Pegs. These are basically light-up legos and are pretty cool. 

Gray's kindergarten class has been recently learning about fairy tales and puppet shows. Here's a puppet show performance of the Three Little Pigs that Gray did for me one night while I was cooking dinner. I should have taken a video to capture the different pig and wolf voices. Pretty funny.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bill Nye, Jr.

These days, we have a lot of conversations with Gray about skeletons, dinosaurs and space/planets. He has a million questions and is a little sponge soaking it all up.

We gave him a small telescope for Christmas and each night he enjoys looking at Jupiter and its moons from our living room windows or talking with daddy about the cycles of the moon. Don't even get me started on the number of PBS specials they've watched about stars and planets. I walked into the room the other day and overheard Gray insisting to daddy that the thing they were watching on TV was a Super Nova. Sure enough, seconds later the voiceover confirmed it.

Last weekend, my parents also fed Gray's love of science by taking him to the local Museum of Osteology. This place is relatively new and I've never been there, but had heard lots of good things about it.

It definitely made an impression because Gray hasn't stopped talking about every detail of the exhibits.

This is an exhibit showing how beetles clean the bones in nature. It's one of the lessons Gray recalls for us in great detail on a daily basis.

An up-close shot of the skull that's getting cleaned by beetles. 

He loved the rhinoceros skeleton the most, but that picture came out blurry so I'm posting this one of the humpback whale skull instead. It's crazy big! And the best part is that the museum encourages you to touch all of the bones on display. The snake Gray is holding in the picture was his special souvenir from the museum gift shop. He now sleeps with it every night and insists on me kissing it goodnight when I tuck him in. I personally hate snakes and he loves to watch me squirm, even around a fake one.

I'd say this trip was a hit! Thank you Grandmama and Grandaddy for the memorable outing!