Saturday, July 30, 2011

Soccer Game

Soccer Camp ended with a kids vs. coaches game.  This was the first time during the week that I have seen Ella play because they had a large group time first thing in the morning and small group time right before pick up where they did not play.  I was anxious to see if soccer camp had boosted Ella's confidence.  

I definitely could tell a difference as the game started.  Wherever the ball 
was, Ella was there too (Ella is in the green tank top). 
Still a little timid, but right in the action.
Then the crowd started moving towards the goal
and Ella was right there with them.
 And the she SCORED!!!  
It was awesome!
I wish I could have captured her smile on camera, but 
I was too busy celebrating to remember to take a picture.

In other news....  As I said earlier, we recently made a trip to the library.  Here is my stack of light reading that I picked up.
I have not mentioned much about what is going on with our house because not much has been going on with our house.  We have just been waiting, waiting, waiting....  Then this past week the City Inspector came and said that per our engineer reports, he wants all the finishes removed (sheet rock, floors, ceilings) to see the full extent of the damage.  We have been waiting and waiting and now it seems we are about to have to start making decisions.  I spent the last couple of days thumbing through these books tying to get ideas.  Only one book had anything that was slightly promising.  Right now it all seems a little overwhelming.  I am taking any suggestions for websites, books or magazines with good home plans and ideas.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Phases

This week has been a week of new phases:
Ella has had soccer camp all week.  This is Ella's first time to be a camper.  We decided to sign her up for camp because, as much fun as she looked like she was having in all of the pictures from the spring at her soccer games, Ella did not really get a good start with soccer.  It sounded great that the games and practice were both on the same day, but in reality it did not work great for Ella.  She never really got what was going on and just got upset because the boys were so fast and discouraged that she never got the ball.  Since the kids were not signed up for any other camps or Mother's Day Out this summer, I thought this soccer camp would be a great opportunity to give Ella another shot at soccer.  I was a little nervous about how Ella would do, one because there would be boys on her team and two because it is SO STINKING hot outside!  There was no need to worry, Ella loves it.  Ella has never been one to give me any details about what she did during the day.
So I knew it was a big deal when the first words out of her mouth the first and second day after she got in the car were, "soccer camp is so much fun!"  I could pry out no further details, but at least I know she is having fun.
Before having kids, I would see kids out in crazy outfits or hairdo's, and I always secretly thought to myself, "My kids will never leave the house looking like that, don't their parents have more control over them?"  I have learned my lesson on that one over and over again!  Now I know first hand why those parents let their kids leave their house dressed like that!  Sara Wells has turned into one opinionated little lady, especially when it comes to her clothes and hair bows.  If you had been standing outside of Sara Wells' room this morning while I was putting her bow in, you would have thought I was pulling off her arm.  Screaming and crying are an understatement.   I could do nothing to stop the screaming until I realized the reason SW was crying was because I was not allowing her to pick out her bows and, gasp, limiting her to only one.  The crying stopped immediately after I got that third bow in.  She knew exactly what she wanted and was not going to stop until she got it.  And this is how we went out today.   
SW's happy with her three bows.  Mommy happy that baby is no longer screaming, crying and throwing herself on the ground.  SW very happy to get her way.  Mommy getting very concerned about this cute little thing that seems to be able to get us to do whatever she wants either by looking at us with that sweet little grin, or by kicking and screaming and crying.

I promised Miller yesterday that today after we took Ella to soccer camp we would go to the library and read Spiderman and Batman books.  My thoughts were we would just read the books there and then leave them at the library.  But Miller had other plans, he wanted to bring the books home.  I know this is hard to believe, but this is the first time that the kids have checked books out at the library.  We go to the library every week, but it is usually all I can do to make it into the library, into the story time room and then back in the car with all three kids together and in one piece.  Taking the time to allow the kids to each pick out books has always been out of the question.  There was no way we were leaving that library today without the Super Hero books.  Watching the excitement on Miller's face as we picked out and then loaded up the books reminded me of trips to the library with my mom.  I would pick out so many books that the handle of the library bags would usually break before we reached the car.  I would be so excited to get home and start reading my books as fast as I could.  I saw all the same excitement in Miller's eyes.
 (I actually took these next two pictures so that I could remember how many books 
needed to go back to the library.  Of course about an hour after I took this picture
I found one more book.)
Is this little man ready to read or what?!
Not only was Miller excited about his library books, so was Sara Wells.  We have been getting home from soccer camp around 12:30 with very, very hungry bellies.  I somehow managed to shoo the kids out of the kitchen while I fixed lunch.  As I finished I noticed how quiet the house was (never happen here unless someone is into something they shouldn't be).  As I started to walk around the house searching for the rug rats, I walked into our room and saw this (yes, I am admitting that it is at least 12:30 and my bed is still not made.  I am going to have to find a new normal in the mornings when Ella starts Kindergarten.  It kills me not to make my bed, but sometimes it just does not happen.  I am ok with that.  Not really, but this is just our reality, some mornings it just does not happen and life goes on!)
The picture does not tell the whole story.  Miller went into our bathroom, got one of his stools and brought it to the side of the bed so that Sara Wells could climb up on the bed and they could read together.  I am guessing they were reading like this for at least 10 minutes.  Such a sweet brother, who loves his little sister.  So much so he even shared his brand new library books. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Boxes and Birds

Who knew two simple things could be so much fun?  Boxes and Birds...

Going through my camera tonight, I found a few pictures from moving.  

What is a move without sliding on boxes?  
I did a terrible job here capturing the moment, Miller is 
totally airborne screaming "yahoo"!
 
 SW even had a few turns, but they were to quick to capture.

We ate several meals like this.
Probably a few too many, but for some reason the kitchen 
table was the hardest to clear off.

Our new obsession:
Murray broke down and got an IPad early this spring.  We made it some time without the kids knowing what it was or that they could have their own games on it.  But that did not last long.  I am sure one day we were just trying to keep the peace and broke down and showed them a game.  Well, since then there has been no going back.  Miller loves Murray's IPad.  The first thing he asks to do in the morning and the first thing he asks when Murray gets home from work is to play a game on Murray's IPad.  Every few days Murray and Miller will search for a new game (always the free ones).  Two days ago Murray put Angry Birds on the IPad.  I know we are living under a rock, it is the number one game right now, but we had never played it before.  Now we know why it is the number one game.  It is awesome!  Murray and I have even had a few competitions after the kids have gone to bed.  Today Murray came home with a funny grin on his face and told Miller to check out the new Angry Birds.  He actually bought the real version!  For most people this is probably not a big deal, but I cannot remember Murray ever playing a game on the computer.  This game is FUN and very addictive!  It has definitely bought a little bit of competition into the family.
Even Sara Wells has gotten into it.  (She has no clothes on in this picture because this is exactly how she was when she got up from her nap.  Somehow she had taken all her clothes off!  At least she left her diaper on.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

When Daddy's in Charge...

You never know what is going to happen.  I took Miller to get his hair cut today and left Murray with the  girls.  Everyone loves Daddy time!  I don't know how this came about, but somehow Sara Wells ended up in the backpack.  Supposedly, Sara Wells was loving it (although it doesn't really look like it here).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why Buy It When You Can Make It?

The Lee Kids love sidewalk chalk!  We probably draw with chalk 5 out of 7 days during the week.  I cannot remember where I saw it, I am sure it was probably a magazine at a doctor's office or something random like that, but when saw instructions on how to make your own sidewalk chalk I knew the kids would get a big kick out of making their own chalk.  So I tucked the directions away in my mind to pull out on a long afternoon.  I picked up the necessary supplies that week at the store so they would be on hand, ready for use.  Sidewalk chalk is surprisingly easy to make.  All you need is:

Plaster of Paris
Tempera Paint
Water
Molds
Mix one cup of Plaster of Paris with 3/4 cup of water.  Add paint color (the directions I read said to use powder tempera paint, but I could not find it.  The regular paint worked pretty good, more on that later).  

I mixed the Plaster of Paris and water together and then divided it up into different bowls for the kids to add their own colors.  
All was going well until I suggested they might want to mix two colors together.  The mixing of two colors turned into the mixing of all the colors which ruined the liquid to plater of paris ratio needed for the chalk to dry.  I would suggest a one color limit if you are not going to use powdered tempera paints (which can be very messy).  The chalks that had more than one color never hardened.
For molds I just used flexible muffin tins.  I thought they made the perfect size and allowed the kids to make a lot of different colors.  The directions I saw suggested toilet paper rolls.
Let that chalk set for a few days to dry completely.  This is the hardest part for the kids.  Ella and Miller begged to use the chalk over and over.  I let them use some the next afternoon and it was not hard enough yet.  But after a few days it was perfect.  And they loved using their own sidewalk chalk.  Definitely worth the wait.
I know this is a lot of effort for something that you can buy for $1.50, but how boring to draw with chalk that you bought when you could be drawing with chalk that you made!!!  Plus we are always looking for fun things that we can all do together to make these long, hot afternoons a little bit more interesting.

Have fun!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

4th of July

We headed straight to the lake from the beach to celebrate 4th of July.  I know, we were really toughing it, but somebody has got to do it:)  (Don't be too jealous though, the day we got back we moved for our second time this summer.)  The kids are always ready to celebrate something, especially if there are decorations.
We had our second annual shrimp and oyster fry.  I guess it is official that we have started a new tradition of a deep fried night.  Stephen is our master Fry Daddy.  If it was on the table it got fried, shrimp, oysters, peppers, onions, lemons, the paper towels even looked like they had been fried, but that was just all the grease from everything else.  We felt terrible the next morning, but it was sooooo worth it!  
This trip to the lake for Sara Wells was a little different from her first.  She is no longer afraid of the water, at all.  The waves were so big from all the boat traffic that several waves splashed up and over her face and she loved every minute of it.
While her cousins still tolerate it, Ella takes care of them every opportunity she has.  I was actually proud of Ella, she completely changed Chloe, even the bloomers.  Chloe is a squirmer, but that did not deter Ella.
I love this picture.  Sara Wells just stood and watched the whole interaction so glad that finally it was not her!
 Happy 4th of July! 
(just a few weeks late)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Beach

I am back!  We finally have the internet!  We are almost all the way settled in to our new house.  I just have to get the play room and sewing room/guest bedroom in order and then I will be done.  I should be doing that now, but I needed a break and I have missed being here!  As promised, I have pictures from the beach...

We have not been to the beach in two years with the kids.  Murray's grandparents have a beach house which we love and you would think we would definitely go every year, but between having babies and sick kids (we have had to cancel one or two trips at the last minute), we have not been to Pop and Dewey's since before Miller was born.  It was soooo good to be back!  You can literally feel pressure drop with each step that you take up to the front porch.
(view from the Beach)
For the entire month before we left there was not a day that went by that the kids did not ask when we were going to the beach.  You could feel their anticipation building the closer we got to the beach.  So when we arrived around 8:00 that night there was no way were were not hitting the beach.  To say they loved it would be an understatement!
 (they are literally rolling in the sand)
We had lots of fun building sand castles
Looking for seashells
Playing on the beach
 Barely making it through meals we were so tired
 Eating rotel 
(look how tire SW is!)
 Watching storms roll in
 Riding the waves 
(which were huge!  I have never been at the gulf 
with such big waves for so long)
 Swimming at the pool
 Swimming at the pool
 And swimming at the pool!
If you ask Miller what his favorite thing he did at the beach he will say fishing with Daddy.  Which is very sweet, but funny since the whole event lasted about 5 minutes and was nothing like Murray had imagined his first time fishing in the gulf with his son would be.

Like I said the waves were pretty big the entire week.  The day Murray 
chose to fish seemed to be the calmest day.  So they headed out...
 First big wave, "hold my hand Miller, we can make it through these."
 "Um Daddy, those are really big waves"
 "It's ok Miller, I've got you."
 "Much better plan..."
Surprisingly, Miller did not get deterred by the big waves.  He was on a mission to go fishing with Daddy.  Once he got on Murray's back he loved it!  Unfortunately their fishing adventure was short lived  because the seaweed was so bad that Murray could not cast the line because it was so heavy from the seaweed.

Ella and Sara Wells stood just like this the entire fishing 
adventure a little nervous for their brother's safety.
 Good bye "Dew Pop Inn"
Thank you for a wonderful vacation and wonderful family memories!
 (This picture is courtesy of Ella as proof that I was actually on this vacation)
 Good bye beach, we will see you next year!

Up next, 4th of July...