Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Gunner!

This is for my nephew, who turns 3 years old today. Happy Birthday Gunner! (And I'm not really sure what that last line of the song is...)

Monday, November 23, 2009

November Activities

Reading other people's blogs and seeing pictures of changing leaves and evidence of real Fall, I have been quite jealous. As you can see from the picture below, it's not cold here. One afternoong the boys were playing in the backyard and I was cleaning out the toy box. I went inside to get dinner ready, noticed they were playing in the water hose, then saw Luke pulling off his clothes and diaper. I went out to see what was going on and the boys informed me that they were going swimming and needed their swimsuits. Properly attired, they then splashed about in their homemade "pool".

Calvin has always loved to read stories before bedtime. Lately I have been letting him stay up with the light on and look at books until he is ready to go to sleep. He loves this, although I'm starting to rethink it. Some nights he will stay up for an hour reading. I go into check on him and he has books spread all over his bedroom floor. Normally when he is done he will lay down and pull his blankets up over him and go to sleep. One night when I went to check on him I found this:

It's like he was going to reach for one more book and just got so tired and passed out in the process.

Another night we took the boys to "Santa's Arrival" at the mall. It was neat, but it was SO crowded. They had coloring activities, milk and cookies, a visit with Mrs. Claus, music, Curious George, Care Bears, and ballet dancers. Unfortunately, the line to see Santa was so long that we didn't even bother. Calvin was upset, but has since been back to the mall to give Santa his "list" (which only consists of 3 items, thankfully!). We did get a picture of the boys with Mrs. Claus though.

Calvin went to a great pirate themed birthday party at the CC science and history museum, complete with a scavenger hunt, and we ended up with these pirate costumes that the boys had a great time with. Could it be next year's Halloween costume?

Calvin had his last soccer game this month. It was really amazing to watch him during the last game and think of the first game he ever played and what a difference there was. He actually got better in just two short months. And although his real love was playing goalie, he did pretty good on the field. I managed to get a video of him almost scoring a goal. He actually did score one shortly after I shot this video. In case you can't tell, Cal is number ten (or the one with with his shirt tucked in and shorts pulled up to his armpits - his doing, not mine!)


Halloween was spent at our house again this year and I'm very happy to say that Dave managed to be at home for the first Halloween since Calvin was born! After dinner, both boys were ready to get into their costumes and go trick-or-treating.

Here is my niece Claire, in her first ever Halloween costume. What a cute little pea pod!

Calvin was a brave knight and Luke was a fearsome dragon. Calvin HAD to have the costume that came with a helmet, but of course, he refused to wear it to trick-or-treat. The dinosaur/dragon costume was actually a one piece outfit that Calvin wore for his first Halloween - when he was 7 months old! I was going to sell it, but Luke loved it and just wanted to be a dragon, so I (well, my mom, actually) cut off the legs and made it wearable for a two year old. Luke got into the whole dragon theme and was actually walking up to people and "roaring" instead of "trick-or-treating"... Luckily they all laughed and thought it was funny.

Mimi and the grandkids - all dressed up.

Well, I guess we all got into it this year and had to dress up a bit.

Luke was very excited about getting candy and walked right up to those doors with his bucket.
Some neighbors had this sign in their yard so we posed the boys in front for a picture. Luke stared up into the tree, then pointed and said "Look, its the bobo brothers" (from Diego). I'm really not sure what he was talking about, but it was amusing.

It was a fun night with just enough trick-or-treating for all involved. The boys had buckets full of candy and got to eat quite a few pieces. The next day they wanted more candy. I let them each pick out 5 pieces and told them they could eat them whenever they wanted, but that was it for the day. Of course, they both ate them all right away, but they didn't really ask for more after that. I put their candy up in my room and "out of sight, out of mind" seemed to pay off because they never really asked for it again. And that is what I call a successful Halloween!

Fall Fun

Okay, it's almost Thanksgiving and I figured I'd better get around to my fall activities or they might never get done. In mid-October I got to the take the boys to the fall festival at a local church. There were lots of games, inflatables, and food. There was a puppet show, a hay ride, and a pumpkin patch. We had a great time and stayed for over three hours! Here are the boys picking out some pumpkins.

They also had face painting. What does Calvin ask for? A snake, of course. Not long after she started, the face painter (a church volunteer) asked him if he knew Jesus...

A week later, while Calvin was in school, I got to take Luke to the pumpkin patch all by himself for storytime. Of course, he had to pick out another pumpkin.

He loved this scarecrow and "hung out" with him for about 10 minutes.

Can you tell he just had a haircut? Yes, we are in our shorts and t-shirts. There's really no such thing as "fall" in south Texas!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

Dave came home from Lowe's with a gigantic pumpkin last weekend and was very excited to carve it with the boys.
The boys, of course, were excited to help as well.

They were very intrigued by what was inside the pumpkin. However, neither one would reach inside to get the seeds out. I figured Calvin would be that way because he has never wanted to feel the inside of the pumpkin, but I was sure Luke would give it a try. Nope.
Okay, so really, the boys just watched as we de-pulped the pumpkin and Dave drew the face on. After that they were off to play while Dave painstakingly finished his intricate design. The finished product.

Now, had Dave asked, I would have told him it was very silly to carve a pumpkin 3 weeks before Halloween. But he was set on it and sure enough, after 6 days in the hot Texas sun (three days of a heat index in the 100's!), our pumpkin is sporting some fabulous mold. Oh well, we did enjoy some roasted pumpkin seeds. I guess we get to do this all over again!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sea World Trip

Once again, thanks to the military, we enjoyed a nice weekend in San Antonio last weekend on one of Dave's cross country's. The boys and I drove up to San Antonio on Friday evening, picked Dave up at the airport, then headed to our hotel on the Riverwalk. We were kind of late getting in, so we checked in to the hotel and headed right out to eat. We took the boys to the Rainforest Cafe (Calvin's suggestion - he actually remembered it from last year when we were here). They enjoyed it, but Luke clung to me whenever the thunder started.

Saturday morning we got up and headed to Sea World early. Here is our before the park picture. I read somewhere to take a picture of your kids before going to a place like this - that way if they get lost, you have a photo of them in the clothes they are wearing.

I felt like the boys were at a great age to really enjoy all of the things Sea World had to offer. Our first stop was feeding the dolphins. This was probably my favorite part of the day. You buy a tray of fish, and the dolphins come right up to you to eat. You can touch them as you feed them. I had never felt a dolphin before and I thought it was really neat. I probably could have stayed there an hour and not got tired of it. Calvin, on the other hand, was too scared and wouldn't try feeding them.

That's me, with the boys watching.
After feeding the dolphins and seeing the shark tanks, we headed to the water park portion of Sea World. We lucked out, as this was the last weekend the water park was open. A cold front came through the week before, but temperatures were back up in the 90's by Saturday. Some of the water was really cold, but the boys didn't seem to mind. There was a splash park with lots of squirters and dump buckets, a wave pool, a lazy river, and several water slides. Calvin got to go down two different slides, but Luke was too little for those. Dave and I took turns watching the boys so we could have a chance to go down the slides as well. I am scared of and will not go on roller coasters, but I really like water slides, so this was alot of fun.

After snacktime and getting changed, we headed to the Shamu show. Both of the boys were pretty impressed with this one.

Next we picked up some frozen lemonades, then went to see the penguins. They have an exhibit with a conveyer belt going by that you ride on as you watch the penguins (we rode several times). It was even snowing in the penguin exhibit. After the penguins we went to the Sea Lion show - a "mystery" featuring three sea lions and a gigantic walrus, then went to feed the sea lions.

Calvin actually gave this one a try, since the sea lions were far below us and he just had to drop the food down to them. Next we hit the kids area, which has games and rides just for the little ones. Calvin and I rode the Shamu Express, a kiddie roller coaster that he had been dying to go on all day. Then the boys (and Dave) went and crawled all around on this giant rope play area (I am really lacking in pictures).
Our final stop of the day was the "Viva" show. This was a really neat performance combining divers, synchronized swimmers, beluga whales, and dolphins. Its almost like a circus in the pool. We all liked this one as well, but were worn out after a long day.

We got to Sea World at 10 in the morning and left at 6:30. After grabbing some dinner at Pizza
Hut, we headed back to our room, where I expected the boys to crash out. Instead, they were up for some playtime and a late night snack. Notice their red cheeks and noses. They had on sunscreen, but I guess I didn't get that area too well.

And a video recap of the day. As you can see, Calvin liked everything and Luke, well...

First Soccer Game

Calvin has started playing on the soccer league on base. He's only had one game and three practices, but he really seems to be enjoying it. He's excited to get out there and play. I can't believe we are finally getting started with sports! I'm sure it is just the beginning of many years of shuttling to practices and games... He had his first game two weeks ago. Here's the team, getting ready to start.
Ready for the kickoff. It was really hilarious to watch this game. Every single child on that team cried at one point or another and walked off the field. All you can do is just laugh.

Here's what Luke thinks of the game.
Actually, some people on the other team had little flags that they were waving, and Luke was watching them and saying "I wish I had that flag."
Taking a turn in the goal. Calvin loves playing goalie and we have to practice it all the time at home.

After the game team shot. I just think they are all so darn cute at this age!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

September Pictures

Calvin's first day of school. He was so excited to go - got up and dressed with no complaints. He goes Tuesday and Thursday from 9-2. He has been for two weeks now and has loved it so far, even telling me that "school is way funner than home".

Finding his name in the "Frog" Class.

I found this in my Family Fun magazine - a geodesic dome. It's made from sheets of newspaper. We put it together last Saturday (luckily Dave was home to help with the construction). Calvin thought it was pretty neat.
We put a blanket on top to make a tent and the boys ate lunch in there. Unfortunately the dome didn't last too long with my rough and tumble boys. They managed to completely collapse it in three days.

Luke's first buzz cut. Dave was trimming up Calvin's hair (because Cal decided to cut it himself last week and left a few bare strips on the back of his head) and Luke came up and said "Can I get a haircut?". So we went for it. Turns out he has this funny bump on top of his head - maybe the reason his hair never looked quite right when it was cut. I think it's cute though.

A little brotherly game of Ring Around the Rosie before bedtime. I thought it was funny how their p.j.s had coordinating colors (not intentional).

They were excited to be videotaped - notice how they both keep looking at the camera.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Creative Play

Just wanted to share an activity I did with the boys today and that we have done before that they both enjoy. We call it "Mail Man".

We started off by making a mail carrier bag for each of them. I found this in a book - you just cut a strip off the top of a brown bag, fold it in half, fold down the top part of the bag, and staple the strap on. Then the boys got to decorate their bags with markers and stickers.

Next we made mail. I use junk mail that I've received, reply cards from inside magazines, and then we make our own mail by putting pictures or other "writing" in envelopes. I even gave the boys some address labels and let them stick them on. We addressed the mail with names and numbers.

We each had a mailbox. I got out some letter stamps and let the boys stamp their names and a number on them.

I brought our little bikes inside and let them ride them around as their mail trucks. I divided the mail between the two of them and spread out our "mailboxes" and the boys rode around and delivered the mail. Calvin did a little better at matching the names and numbers - Luke just wanted to put all of his mail in his own box.

Sorting the mail.

And finally, we each got our own box and opened up our mail.

This is a good one to one a half hour activity, especially if you make the bags first. We actually made our bags about a year ago, but I just folded them up in my closet and we use them over. My kids really enjoy it.
We also made "oobleck" the other day (there's a Dr. Seuss book about this). I did this project with my third graders when I was student teaching, but thought I'd try it out on the boys. You just mix corn starch with water until it's a little runny, then you can add some food coloring. It makes the neatest stuff - you can pick it up and shape it like a solid, but then it turns liquidy again and runs off of your fingers. Calvin and Luke loved it!! They probably played with it for 30 minutes or more, which is pretty good for my kids, and Luke keeps asking to play oobleck again. Just a note - it makes a pretty big mess, but is easy to clean.
Anyone else have any creative activities they would like to share??