Sunday, May 31, 2009

A first, a last, a first, and another first

Its a good thing we rested up while on vacation. Because since we got back we've been busy with several 'firsts' and one very important 'last.'

Last week we were loading up the car for the boys' last day of school, and Drew got to catch his first dragon fly. It was so pretty and much bigger than I remembered them being. Since I'm trying not to pass along my -- shall we say "dislike" -- of bugs, I got all excited (not that they needed any more excitement than their own, mind you) and grabbed the camera off the front seat of the car. They were really fascinated by him, and tried to find the perfect place to release him. Poor guys, they just don't realize that almost all living creatures are terrified of them because they get so excited.

So once we finally got everybody loaded up and were off to school to celebrate our last day of our first year at preschool After we had a fun time of showing all the mommies all our cool dance moves (demonstrated by Brody, who doesn't know he's not in their class) we headed outside for a popsicle party... A few end-of-the-year shots with Miss Jeannie and Miss Betsey...
I cannot express enough how blessed we have been by the women at OC. They are such gifted educators and women of prayer. I have seen my boys grow in their learning and just as much in their [very young] faith, and I can't say enough about how much I love this place.
During our first weekend of summer, we got to meet my cousin's first baby. David and Lindsay had baby Thayer five weeks ago, and it was so special for us to meet him. David and I have always had more of a brother/sister relationship and I love how both of our growing families love each other so much. (Can you see Ben hiding behind me and the green paper he was holding up?)
Daddy (the good photographer) coaxed him out and managed to even get a smile. So, I felt the need to document our first official day of summer when I came upstairs to find the boys playing trains. We kicked off our busy summer with a lazy morning of playing and not going anywhere...but I still managed to get some good shots of them:

After a day of playing hard with Mommy, here's how you wind down:
More to come soon.....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Destin 2009

We just got back from our trip to Destin and WOW did we have a great time! Where to begin?!? How about the very beginning? Well, for most of us traveling with three year olds, bearing through the journey to the destination is reason enough to need another vacation. But not this time!! No sir, these boys were pumped! When I picked them up from school Ben, Drew and Brax could not stop talking about how much fun they were going to have at the beach (in addition to a fake burping contest. Really.) So the Belvilles, us and two of the most wonderful babysitters on earth headed south with more stuff than any 10 people could possibly need for four days (thanks to Josh and Michael's master packing skills we even took the corn hole boards with room to spare). We stopped in Montgomery at Mimi and Pop's house to spend the night so that we could break up the trip for the kids (and also because the thought of the grandsons passing right by their house without getting to see them was just too much.) So with full tummies and lots of stored energy we got to Florida with plenty of time to hit the pool after unpacking.

We were pretty lucky in that the pool in the neighborhood we stayed was AWESOME! It - first of all - was beautiful. But also it had the zero-entry so the kids could play safely and it was just a short walk from our house. It was definitely Ben's favorite part of the whole trip...he's going to have to learn how to appreciate the sand, I think. Here's an action shot of the three amigos jumping and splashing:Someone let the daddies have a turn with the kids' water cannons, so we all took cover under the lobster float.Chillin in the floatsThe next day we were ready to hit the beach. Drew is exploring for seashells. We have a huge glass jar filled with seashells we collected from our honeymoon, and they both love to play with them while I get ready in the mornings. They were convinced that they would be able to find some to add to our collection. Luckily we were able to convince Drew that the seaweed needed to stay at the beach (since he didn't find any shells). Both of the boys were a little intimidated by the magnitude of the ocean. I'm always surprised that they respond this way, I guess because they love to sleep to the sound of ocean waves. But they were not interested at all in going near the water without the strong arms of Daddy. Ben with Laura BethDrew with Catherine
Me with my two surfer dudes. And for all you other Mommies out there whose buddies love the Backyardigans, you can appreciate the fact that they were yelling out all over the beach "Surf's up! Whoa, Daddy!!" What a special gift to be able to watch your children really enjoy something that you have done for them.On our last day at the beach Michael ran out to grab some cold treats for all of us. I love Ben's face! He had just gotten a few grains of sand mixed in with his bite of fudge pop. Rob and Kristin came down a day early for their vacation so that we could have a few hours together. Even though they were on a grown-ups only trip, they were so sweet and came along to play with us while we took the kids out to ride go-carts and play for a bit. Here we are waiting our turn in line.All ready to race...And we're off...Then on to the bumper boats. I have to just give a shout out to Bobber here because I wanted no part of being trapped on water in a big rubber boat with boys who were out to soak me. Thanks, Bobber for jumping in to play with my boys so they could both have fun. We had to dry off somewhere. Where better to do that than inside where you can play more games for tickets? Notice how soaked they all are! And then we took airplane rides...Now that the kids had sufficiently worn themselves out, we headed to the beach to attempt a family picture. Not our best ever, but not awful either. Here are our girls with three of the four buddies. Even with the suckers we bribed them with, we still couldn't get Ben to take a picture. He was DONE. And may I just take a minute to say how blessed we were by them. These are two of the sweetest, most wonderful babysitters we've ever had, and all of the boys adored them. It didn't hurt that they are also both beautiful...these boys know a pretty girl when they see one! But we enjoyed having them so much. So thank you, LB and Catherine for joining our family. You are now both stuck with us, as we already miss you and are thinking of ways to see you again soon. And, Miss Dele, we officially want to adopt your daughter.After we got everyone back home and fed we were able to meet up with our good friends Jeremy and Hailey, who also happened to be beginning their vacation. So all eight of us headed out for some grown-up fun. We laughed and laughed till our stomachs hurt. Here are all the guys hanging out on the dock after dinner. So now we're back home and all settled back in, and trying to get back to the real world. We did have so much fun. We enjoyed every minute, truly. But I just do have to take a second to say that we sure did miss you, Campbells. You were missed terribly and we thought of you often. Don't worry though...we will definitely do it again!

What a way to kick off the summer!!