Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bad Habits

Kylie recently developed a bad habit that has been driving me absolutely nuts.  She has started to pronounce almost all "ing" words without the 'g' at the end.  Examples include: eatin', runnin', swimmin', and even borin'.
This evenin' as I was gettin' the girls ready for bed and puttin' their jammies on, I realized that Kylie may or may not have developed this terrible habit from me....

OK, I'm not that bad but I'm definitely paying closer attention to the way I speak around her now.  As I silently made a resolve to do better in the future, Kylie said yet another sentence with a series of g-less words.  In a huff, I started to get after her about how lazy it is to skip out on the g's, how words are spelled a certain way for a reason, etc.

Then Summer piped up: "Mommy, I can say 'beans.'"

...

Yeah.  Apparently this one's going to take some effort.  In the meantime, we'll start working on Bad Habit #2: sucking on those fingers...

Friday, July 26, 2013

New Rule

The girls MUST have their hair tied back when swimming at the pool, especially when using goggles.

The other day, Summer's goggles got stuck in her hair and we literally had to cut them out.
Surprisingly, it's not noticeable because that girl has a LOT of hair.  But still....

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Life Without a Plan

During the summer months, I have a tendency to chuck my to-do list out the window and replace it with a bucket list.  There will always be things that have to be done, of course: laundry, cleaning bathrooms, grocery shopping, etc.  But life will go on if those things get pushed back a day.  I love that we can drift from day to day without any rigid schedules.  Instead, we plug our "Summer Bucket List" items into our calendar wherever they fit best.

The other day we checked "see a sunrise" off of our list as we shared donuts and chocolate milk on a picnic blanket at one of our favorite parks.  What a perfect way to start the day!


 

I believe in keeping things simple-- especially in the summer-- which is why I generally only plan one fun activity each day with a few "filler ideas" on hand just in case.  But there have been many times that we've ditched our plan and ended up at the pool instead.  Can I just tell you how thankful I am for the pre-teen girls in our complex who play with my kids for hours?  It's heavenly.

The other day something amazing happened: Kylie taught herself how to swim!  Since birth that girl has been leery of the water.  She doesn't like to get splashed.  She doesn't like to get her face wet.  And don't even think about dunking her underwater!  

But one day last week she just decided to jump in and go completely underwater.  Then she got a little braver and took her floatie off.  Soon she was jumping in and dog-paddling back to the steps.  I'm so proud of her for conquering her fear of the water!  
Now, little sis is all about jumping in too {with her floatie}.
 With their new-found love of going underwater, these became necessities...
I just love summertime, especially when huge accomplishments are the result of having no plan at all :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

You've Got a Friend in Me

This morning the girls and I spent a couple of hours at a gorgeous park, my favorite.  It turned out to be the "Mary Poppins" of outings-- practically perfect in every way.  The weather was beautiful so we enjoyed a leisurely picnic by the lake.  
Afterward, we went for a walk and along the way picked flowers, threw rocks in the water, and tried to catch dragonflies.
It was so nice to just...be.  No scheduling.  No rushing around.  No other plans.  Just quality time together.
And it caused me to reflect on the sweet friendship the girls have with each other. They share everything-- a bedroom, clothes, toys, friends-- and right now they don't mind one bit.  They make each other laugh, help each other out, and cheer each other on.  And I can't take credit for any of it-- that's just how they are, and I'm realizing that that's rare.  I can't help but smile when I peek into their bedroom and catch them playing "princesses" or "school" together.  They really are the best of friends and I'm so grateful.

If only Kylie knew how much we'll both miss her when she heads off to Kindergarten...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Fourth of July

We were so excited to be able to spend the 4th of July in Michigan this year.  The highlight of our trip was seeing family, of course, but we planned a few fun activities too.

As soon as we arrived, we headed to Lake Michigan.  The water was still pretty chilly, but the girls didn't mind playing in the soft sand.
The following day was the 4th of July so we started the day with a fun parade.


 The girls mostly enjoyed it...

After the parade and a quick bite to eat, we visited Millennium Park, a beach with a smaller lake that was much warmer :)
 


 It was a busy day, but we weren't done yet!
To top off the evening, we attended a patriotic concert put on by the Army 126 band.  For me, that was the best part of the day.  There were some very talented members in the band and it was so fun to hear them perform songs like "Wagon Wheel" and "God Bless the USA."  Parades and fireworks are fun, but the concert was a great reminder of why we have cause to celebrate in the first place.
The following day, Josh and I had the privilege of having lunch with our very good friends, John and Amelia.  Seeing them is always so fun!
Then we kicked back and relaxed.  Oh wait, that was just me.
 Josh and the girls washed the car, but I'm pretty sure they enjoyed every minute of it.



 
Later, we walked/biked around the beautiful Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids, then enjoyed some ice cream afterward.

 On our last day in town, we went over to my grandparents' house for a family BBQ. 
It's always so fun just being together, but we spiced things up with a little Badminton.  My favorite part was when my cousin ripped her pants along the back seam :)  Never a dull moment, I tell you.
And this sweet little one-month-old was definitely a highlight too.  My cousin was kind enough to let me steal him several times and soak him up, but I wasn't the only one fascinated with baby Julian.
We truly enjoyed every minute of our trip.  I wish I had more pictures like this that capture the events that occurred in between our scheduled activities.
Like the dance/tea parties in Kramer's room.

Or the way the van looked with adults squished in between car seats.

Or the 2 nights in a row that my mom laid down with the girls until they fell asleep so they wouldn't be afraid of the loud booms of the neighbor's fireworks.

Or the way all of our faces lit up when my brother called from Afghanistan.

Sometimes those little moments just stick with you.

Thanks for everything, Mom and Dad.

And to everyone else, happy Independence Day!