Sunday, June 26, 2011

Guess Who's Walking Now?

At 9 months and 26 days old, Summer took her first steps! I had a bet against Josh that she would walk before the end of this month. I win :) Now I get to choose what date I want to go on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Day of Summer

Summer (the season) is officially here! Josh and I created a summer bucket list that I'm way excited about--thanks, Lindsey! One thing that we put on the list was blowing bubbles. I bought this bubble blower for Kylie and she had a great time testing it out.
She also enjoyed testing out the new nozzle I got for the hose.
Oh, I don't see this going well at all...
Some of the other items we put on our bucket list are: camping, going to the beach, making s'mores, hosting a BBQ, and attending a baseball game. If, by chance, we ever make our way to Detroit, Kylie will be prepared to support the Tigers. She had a great teacher!

My parents got Kylie a little something for those dreaded rainy days. I love that she's hanging on the rim already. I think this will be a great summer.
Speaking of Summer (you like how I did that?), here are her stats from her 9 month appointment that I promised.

Length: 29" (90th percentile)
Weight: 21 lbs. 13 oz. (90th percentile)
Head: 43.2 cm (28th percentile)

She's still a big girl but, boy, is she on the move! Josh and I have a bet going. I think that she'll walk before the end of this month, and if I win, I get to choose a date for us to go on. I think she's on my side :)

Girls Camp!

During the week of June 13-18th I attended Girls Camp and it was such a BLAST!

Background info: Every summer, the girls in our church that are aged 12-18 attend a week-long camp. The girls are split up according to age and each level is identified by a color. There is an overall theme for the week and each level also gets assigned a smaller theme within that theme. It's a great experience. The girls make new friends, try new things, experience the outdoors, and have a wonderful opportunity to build a stronger testimony of the principles of the gospel. I LOVED Girls Camp growing up so I was absolutely thrilled when they asked me to be a leader. I was even more excited when I learned the theme of the camp: "Happiness Ever After."

I was an assistant leader over the 15-year-old girls (AKA 4th years) with my friends, Sue and Stefani. The fourth years were assigned the color orange and their theme/story was The Ugly Duckling. The leaders all showed up Sunday evening to decorate the level sites.
We created a reflection pond because the Ugly Duckling looked down in the water and realized that he was a beautiful swan. The pink sign had a quote that talked about how there is nothing more beautiful than a girl who knows who she is.
Do you see that paw print on the upper right corner of the mirror??? We totally had a visitor!
Monday morning Josh and the girls dropped me off at camp. I was a little nervous about leaving the girls anyway, but that feeling intensified when Kylie threw up in the car and I knew I would have to leave Josh to tend to her alone :( She was totally fine, but I still felt bad. Anyway, this was my home for the week!
The 4th years got to begin their week by riding horses and then canoeing over to an island to spend the night. It was so much fun! By the time I canoed over there (which took all of 5 minutes) most of the tents were set up already. A couple from our church taught the girls how to use a dutch oven and they made us an amazing dinner: steak fajitas, pineapple upside-down cake, and apple crisp. Who eats that like when they're camping??? We do!
That night the girls played a game called Chaos. Basically, everyone sits in a circle with a partner sitting behind them. When the person standing in the center of the circle points to them, the back person will do anything and everything to keep their partner from getting to the center within 10 seconds. It is an all-out BRAWL. None of the other levels are allowed to play it because it's so brutal, but the girls LOVE it and it's something they look forward to doing as experienced 4th years :)
Told you it was brutal. My camera couldn't even capture the wrestling match very well. I got roped into playing too and I ended up with leaves in my hair and dirt all over my clothes... and in my ear... but I won!
The next morning we canoed back over to camp and, by then, everyone else was showing up to begin their week. The girls played games and participated in activities that focused on how to live happily ever after. They learned that they need to have a positive outlook on life, make good choices, be on the Lord's side, keep the commandments, live worthy to enter the temple, and serve others.
Each morning there was a 30 minute devotional, and guess who got to speak Wednesday morning? Yours truly! I was totally stressed about it before camp, but it went VERY well and I received a lot of compliments from both leaders and girls. My topic was on reaping what you sow (making good choices) so I talked about how certain fairy tales would have ended very differently had the main character just made one poor choice. I made posters of each fairy tale I talked about, which I think helped hold their attention at 9am.
The girls participated in a project called Little Dresses for Africa. They made these darling little dresses out of pillowcases.
Ok, some games and activities were totally just for fun!
Not only was there horseback riding, but there was swimming, boating, crafts, and archery.
The week was absolutely wonderful. It's designed for the girls but the leaders have fun and are spiritually fed too. My favorite moment? When a group of girls were performing a beautiful song and they began signing the chorus. That was my favorite moment because there was a deaf girl at camp that needed interpreting all week long, and I knew that those girls learned sign language just for her.

While I was away....
Josh and my mom took turns watching the girls. I think they loved spending time with their dad and Grandma, and I'm so grateful to them for stepping up so that I could volunteer at camp. One day Josh took the girls to Millennium Park, a cute little beach close by. Somebody's swimsuit was a little bit too big... Whose kid is that anyway? :)
Don't worry. We'll just tie some plastic around it and call it good! (That's such a guy thing to do, but that's why I love it).
Kylie loved playing with the water with her buddy Thad.
Somebody else liked the water too!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my two favorite guys :) Here are just a few of the reasons why I love them so much.

My dad is incredibly friendly. People always comment that he always has a smile on his face and they're right. I love that he is always cracking jokes and doing impersonations. He's an excellent listener and I especially appreciate that he makes it a point to be super involved with my kids.
Josh is such a FANTASTIC dad... seriously. (Most of these pictures are of him holding Summer because Kylie is a mama's girl). He's a great sport. He gets actively involved in outings and holidays just because he knows it will make the kids happy.
He takes care of the kids during the evening so I can have a break. He also gets up in the middle of the night with them (sometimes both of them at once).
He knows how to make our kids feel special and loved. He truly knows them.
He is the best snuggler :)
He can bring out a smile in anyone, but especially the girls.
He is always willing to take the kids so I can have a break. He'll rock Summer to sleep so I'm not dealing with a cranky baby, or he'll hang out in nursery if Kylie is having a tough time.
He's not afraid to let people know that he's a family man, regardless of the setting.
He is one of the most patient people I know. (During this track meet, he took an overtired Kylie to the bathroom twice, which made him miss 2 of the 3 races we came to see. Was he mad? No. To him, it just comes with the territory).
He is game for anything! Parks, beaches, walks around the block, bike rides... you name it. The girls love that he is always willing to play, even if it's smack dab in the middle of his work day.
I am such a lucky girl. I'm so happy to be married to a man who is patient, loving, compassionate, forgiving, energetic, kind, and fun :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June (So Far)

Every year in downtown Grand Rapids there is an event called Festival of the Arts. It's just a fun opportunity to get outside and walk around downtown while sampling amazing food and listening to great music. We all loved it. The weather was perfect!
Kylie loved watching the water in the fountain go up and down
Kylie admiring the flowers. Actually, that's a lie-- she's totally checking out the dirt.

Yesterday we all headed out to the state track meet to support my cousin, Kendell. In a previous phone conversation my dad told Kendell to run like she belonged there. The family thought that was excellent advice so we showed up to the meet sporting these shirts:
The crew: Aunt Kim, Josh, Uncle Corey, me, Dad, Kramer, Kylie
It was so fun watching all of those top athletes run, but it was over 90 degrees out there. Even Summer was all sweaty.
I just thought this picture was kind of funny. People often comment that my Dad and Uncle Corey look so much alike. I would have to agree!
Kendell participated in the 400m relay, 800m relay, and 100m dash. She placed within the top 8 in every single one of her events, which is a really big deal considering that she's only a freshman. Way to go, Kendell!!!

9 Months

Someday I'll get to move around, too...
What a difference one month makes! During the month of May, Summer seemed to learn something new every single day, such as saying "Mama" and "baba," holding her own bottle, pulling herself up to a standing position, and getting her 2 bottom teeth.

In addition, she is walking herself along furniture...

and crawling!

She also puts absolutely everything in her mouth.
Summer still eats like a champ and is enjoying simple solid foods, such as cheerios, Gerber puffs, and small pieces of bread. She sure has come a long way! Her 9 month appointment is on Wednesday-- stats will follow :)