Hair raising fun...

Sunday was spent hanging with Jesus, eating some lunch, celebrating Pops' birthday, looking at houses we can't afford and lovely long afternoon naps. 

In short. Bliss. 

We finally woke the kids up at 5:30 and commanded them to go outside (after checking for party crashers of course) for fun. 

It was Landry's first time playing with the water table and she had so much fun. This little table was some of the best $35 we have ever spent. 

AND it got her standing and walking around in circles - use those legs, sister! 

We enjoyed hot dogs on the patio and the company of our sweet little family of 5. 

Radley kept checking for birds and snakes - he was going to protect us all. 

Landry kept practicing those utensil skills. 

And keeping with my "entertained and contained" parenting philosophy she had a grand time crawling around the trampoline...literally "hair raising" fun! 

Just an easy Sunday - exactly how we like it around here. 


Party crasher...

Saturday was busy busy.
(yes, that's a double busy)

After Rad's soccer game, we headed to the kids' school picnic where I haphazardly took pictures not-worth-posting. They had a grand time eating fried chicken, playing in sand, running around, and gorging on cookies. We headed home in time for naps and to get ready for an end-of-season party with his soccer buds. 

Sweet Ashtyn couldn't play in the game this week because she had been a running a fever the day before - but she was all smiles for the party! 

Landry likes putting on a show for the big kids. 
And of course Emmy needed a picture with her baby sister. 

We have had so much fun with this team since September. I have loved watching their little personalities emerge on the field and seeing the strengths that each brings to the team.

Radley and Cameron (or Rad and Cam as they refer to each other) have really hit it off. They are going to soccer camp together this summer - and Coach Amber is the coach! :) 

We didn't hear anything but laughter and giggles throughout the evening - which is a huge win in my book! 

She seems so big these days and can keep up with all the big kids so easily - and often tries to tell them what to do! Do not let her tiny exterior fool you!

And this one - she could sit in the swing for hours, which is fine actually. 
Entertained and contained is kind of my parental philosophy.

Neil was the hero of the party because he brought POPSICLES (it was in this moment that I felt I had been depriving my children for years - I don't know if we have ever had Popsicles.  Cake? Yes. Cookies? Yes. Ice crem? OF COURSE. But never a Popsicle). 

And then the party took a turn.

I'll let you decide if it was for the better or worse.

(this is where I warn you that a story board of reptile pictures will follow .... so Mom, close your browser).

Seconds after I took the picture above we noticed that several mockingbirds had gathered in the tree and were going crazy. I knew that we had a nest up there but thought it was weird that birds would be "attacking" a nest. Then Kurt, Ashtyn's dad, nonchalantly says... "oh, its because you have a snake in your tree" in the way that one would say "the sky is blue" so naturally we didn't believe him.

Until we looked up.



A snake.

In our TREE.

Long story short.

Snake in tree trying to get baby birds.
We try to distract the snake from murder.
I am worried about my hostessing duties.
Snake eats poor baby bird. Feet clearly sticking out of snake mouth.
Ryan climbs a ladder - grabs snake - almost gets bit.
I scream.
Snake spits out baby bird.
I cry.
Snake tries to get away.
Ryan kicks it.
Snake meets its maker.

iPhone pictures ensue.
Dads google snake pictures to determine it's "just" a chicken snake.
I think about what Emily Post would do.
Ryan does a mini show-and-tell for the kids with snake head.
Kids think it's all SO AWESOME.

(A big shout out of thanks to Neil's dad who grabbed my camera to make sure we would have documentation of this blessed event).

We really do throw the best parties.


Soccer season finale...

Sadly, Radley's soccer season ended on Saturday. Before his game, Rad ran into Connor who had already received his trophy for the season. They are classmates and are pretty adorable to watch play together. This mini-shoot was unprompted  and as you can see, neither are shy in front of the camera.

We have had so much fun with his team, getting to know the players and mostly watching them learn the sport together. They went from a strategy of "every man kick the ball whenever you can" in September to actually seeing the field and passing the ball now. I am definitely an official soccer mom! :)

Their little faces are so cute in action! Radley had just passed the ball to Neil and was heading down the field to set up to score.

I really can't get over what a big kid he is on the field. His confidence and attitude are so fun to watch - couldn't be prouder of him!

He scored 5 goals this game - he was on fire!

He of course had biggest fan #1...

and biggest fan #2 to cheer him on! Gigi, Pops and Pete all made it for the final game too, but my picture taking has been off here lately - I get too distracted by the game!

One last "good game" line...

And one final run through the tunnel!

 As well as they play together, this was about as close as they would get for the picture. (We missed you, Cameron!)

We had a much easier time getting these three to snuggle though!

So proud of you Radley King! We can't wait to watch you make this sport your own and look forward to witnessing all the lessons you will learn from being an athlete!

We love you!


A view from the top (pt 2)...

Sometimes I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of all my mom duties. As soon as I get home from work my real job begins. The hours from 5:30 - 8:30pm can be hard. Like crazy hard. Like I try my best to enjoy the moments but get caught up in what "has" to be done that I forget to just stop and take it all in. 

Until I feel a little something at my feet. In 2008, this sweet faced served as a great reminder to slow down... 

Then in 2011 I was reminded by this dog-eared cutie...

And now when I am may be on the verge of tears from thinking about all the things that "have" to be done, I look down and am reminded that the only mandatory event of the day is soaking it all in and being grateful for this crazy, hectic, beautiful life!

And for your added pleasure... 

A side by side comparison to establish who looks like who(m?)? What's your vote?

New trick...

Landry likes to "insist" on using a spoon or fork. 

And she mostly does pretty well...

And when she doesn't...she likes to let you know about it!

Can't believe this sweet girl is growing up so fast!


Tiny Tales Thursday...

Emmy is our moody child. She knows it too. She actually uses it as her super power. She is only grumpy if she is tired. Or hot. Or hungry. Or cold. Or sad. Or bored. Or awake. Or if she ate too much. Or if she wants a toy that Landry has. Or Radley. Or if you ignore her. Or talk to her.

Made my point?

And she's not really grumpy all the time. She just likes to act like it.

So we use "making people happy" as an incentive for her to be un-grumpy.

She likes to make people happy.

The other night she ran to the bathroom and did her business.

MOMMY! I pooped!! Pops is sooooooo happy! I get gum?

That child. Pops have never been prouder. (or more happy)


Kyle Field Day...

Kyle Field Day is the biggest program of the year for the student organization I advise and I think the kids were as excited as I was when it finally got here! The weather was absolutely perfect for us to spend a day to serve and play!

Miss Reveille made an appearance - even Emmy loves this precious dog. 

The mission of Kyle Field Day is to provide the students of Texas A&M a chance to actively engage in service and seek continued involvement in the community. Over 1000 students and community members visit Kyle Field throughout the day and have the chance to give back to our community and just spend a day having fun!

 My students work all year to coordinate service projects, live music, free food, games, and prizes - all the pieces have to come together from delivery time, set up, supplies, etc...and they did a FANTASTIC job!

They of course loved all the booths that required paint the most. 

These trashcans were being painted to for autism awareness and being donated to local elementary schools. 

Emmy just made herself at home and plopped down in the laps of all my students - which was good since I didn't need paint on clothes.

Landry was practicing using her actual legs by walking up and down the field with Ryan.

Maybe one day she will decide that walking is fun. For now, it's still over-rated.

Class of 2030, 2034, 2032

That maroon sure does look good on those LSU Tigers!

This tortoise was the hit of the day for Radley. Kids got to help build new habitats for reptiles that were displaced by a recent fire - clearly the "coolest" according to Rad.

These were the outside of planter boxes that were being used at a local camp. Rad painted a green square and then signed his name - in fact he signed his name on just about every project that day.

We took a break mid-day for a good ol' fashioned Fightin' Texas Aggie yell practice.

Landry almost had the "hump-it" position down.

The kids ended the day painting shirts for kids at the Boys and Girls' Club. Emmy really wanted to take hers home, but we convinced her to leave it there - although who wouldn't want a shirt with a pink and blue squirrel on the front?

I am so proud of all the work that my students put into this event. They collected over 2000 canned goods, painted picnic tables for the Boys and Girls' Club, made blankets for Twin City Mission, dog beds for the Humane Society, and so much more. 

Everyone that came had a smile on their face as they walked out - a day full of service that will impact 1000s of people.