Monday, August 27, 2012

Madylin & Morgan Start Kindergarten!

On August 15th the day had arrived for Madylin and Morgan to start school.  They were extremely excited, as was I, to reach this milestone.  I have to admit, though it made me feel kind of old.  I mean when did I get old enough to have school-aged children?!?!  It snuck up on me.
We got up and got ready and did hair and pictures and were ready in plenty of time to get to school for the 8:15 start time.  The girls will be in the same class this year at Sundance Elementary.

Being silly...
At school they saw their cousin Riley who is in another kindergarten class at Sundance.
There were no tears shed by me or the girls... we were all just too excited.  I think all of us are comforted by the fact that Morgan and Madylin have each other at school.  We met their teacher, Mrs. Conn who I hear great things about and I like a lot so far. The girls found their seats and started to play with their play-doh left at their spots by their teacher.

Nathan, Lydia and I left without a tear even from Nathan!  I was pleasantly surprised by that!
Now my life has changed drastically and will never go back!  Crazy, but wonderful because they really LOVE school so far!

Slip 'n Slidin' with Cousins

On August 13th we headed to Grandma and Grandpa Kinser's to hang out with Russell's side of the family.  They were all out here for Russell's little brother, Travis' wedding. For the first time in a couple of years we got to see Russell's brother Aaron and his family who live in Minnesota.  Grandpa got out a slip 'n slide and we brought ours over and all the kids had a ball.   Truth be told, my kids were really bad and the whole sliding thing.  They would just run and then jump on their knees at the end.  Russell tried to help show them how to slide a couple of times, but they just were too nervous to do it the right way by themselves.  Oh well, they still had a ton of fun.

Finally, Nathan!

I detest potty training.  I wish it was one of those things I could hire out for or send the kid to boot camp for a week. Nathan had been potty training for like EVER!!  Okay like 5 months, maybe.  He did great for about a week a couple months before he turned 3 and went potty all the time and then decided he didn't want to do it anymore and he was SO frustrating.  For about 2 months he did fine, but never stayed dry for a whole day and always did horrible things in his underwear if I ever dared to have him wear them.  Finally after he turned 3 I got the idea from my cousin, Jessica to try a potty chart.  He got a sticker on a chart every time he TRIED to go potty and a candy anytime he did go.  He also would get 2 potty treats if he was still dry when he went the next time.  Well guess what... this worked!   Nathan was told that when he filled up his whole chart with stickers, he would get this light-up sword that we had bought for him.  He talked about it all the time and the day finally came.  He was beyond excited to get his hands on this sword.

Watch out, he's pretty scary with this thing!

Playing Together

The kids have been doing really well playing lately.  They all are soooo good with Lydia, too.  It amazes me.  They all like to take turns pushing Lydia in her swing in the back yard.  Sometimes in the evenings she just sits in her exersaucer on the back porch and watches the older 3 play around her.  I love those times.
One day we got out the kids' favorite tent and Lydia had fun crawling around inside with the kids while they read books and played house.  Times like these I'm grateful to have a lot of kids close in age!

Friday, August 3, 2012


This little one is SO strong she's kinda scaring me.
2 nights ago she pulled herself up to standing on the play kitchen!!
She's 6 months old and only about 15 pounds and she is very strong for her age.  Very petite and lean.
And I don't know that she'll be chunking out any time soon because she just started crawling last week.  Oh boy.... we're in for it now!
She's a lil' freak I tell ya!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Savoring Summer

We have had the best Summer.  Russell usually works construction or custodial work during the summers, but this year he got to work Summer School for the month of June and there was no construction work for him, so he got to stay home for 4 weeks in July.  We rode bikes everyday, went to the beach, went swimming, went on family bike rides, and went on jogs together. Oh and I went shopping and did errands in the middle of the day... kidless! It was wonderful; however, all good things must come to an end.  Friday the 27th was his last weekday off.  We decided to make the most of it and went to San Diego one day earlier than we needed to for a wedding and went to the beach.  Oceanside Harbor is my favorite beach, probably because that is where I grew up going.  It was perfect weather at the beach... not too hot and the water was cool, but easy to get used to.  My mom kept Lydia for us so we just took the older kids and enjoyed the sun and water with them.
Morgan and Madylin were proud to say that they went in the ocean all by themselves this time.  
STOP growing up!
We didn't take many pictures, but I LOVE this one.
My little beach babies just appreciating the beauty and sound of the ocean while munching on licorice.  Our Summer with Daddy is
Kindergarten starts in 2 weeks!

Victoria Gardens Splash Pad

On July 26th we went to the splash pad at Victoria Gardens.  I needed to return something there and we had never done the splash pad so we made it a family outing.  I was watching Luke again that day and it was his birthday, so his mom decided to skip a bit of work and come with us.  We got there around 9:45am before the shops were open which was actually perfect because we pretty much had the pad to ourselves for a while.

I think it is safe to say the kids LOVED it!

The Boy Turns 3!

This little cutie turned 3 on July 23rd. 
 We had a pretty normal day.  It was great because Russell was still home and I was watching Luke that day, Nathan's cousin and "best buddy," in his words.  The kids rode bikes and went to story time and had a fun morning.  After naps we took Nathan and the gang to Kohl's to pick out some presents.  He chose a nerf gun, a Lightning McQueen car, and 2 shirts.
He also chose his cake from a bunch of pictures online.  
He chose a baseball glove with a baseball
 We sure are grateful for this spoiled little monster in our family!

Movies in the Park 2012

Twice a Summer, our community puts on a movie night called "Movies in the Park."  On July 21st they showed the movie "Puss in Boots" on a big inflatable screen.  The movie didn't start until sunset, but before then they had free face painting and a jump house for the kids.  The twins' favorite part is the face painting.  Madylin got a butterfly and Morgan, a fairy.

I love this picture of them...
Nathan chose to get a baseball on his arm
 Nathan getting in the jump house
We sat with cousins that live in the same area.  Here is Lisa, me and Lydia, and Jessica feeding Max waiting for the movie to start.
The screen they showed the movie on.
 Here are all the kids with their body art.  
From l-r: Madylin, Riley, Nathan, Luke, Braden, Morgan

Sibling Love

Lydia is full on crawling now.  She is 6 months old.  She loves to play with the older kids and I am amazed every day at how good they are with her.  Nathan has never once been rough with her and she just smiles and smiles when he talks to her.  Morgan and Madylin always want to hold her and are happy to play with her, get her a toy or pacifier, or watch her whenever I ask.  I am beyond grateful for this.
Lydia climbing on Nathan.
Lydia scooted over to the table where the girls were playing with dolls and was trying to see what they were doing.  I put her in Morgan's lap and she watched them play for a while.
 I thought it was really cute to see my 3 girls sitting and playing with girlie toys together.

We are a Biker Family

Okay not really... we are a bicycling family, but the other way sounded cooler.
We have been having the greatest Summer with Russell home for the whole month of July.  This month he taught the girls to ride their bikes without training wheels.  He also finally got Nathan on his bike he got for Christmas and practicing so he can now pedal and ride all by himself without being pushed!
Madylin was riding, starting and stopping by herself within the first 2 days of practicing a bit with Russell.  She did awesome!
Morgan, as always, was a little more timid. On a side note, when they were little and playing on playgrounds, Morgan used to stop 2 feet before the top of the slide and sit down and then slowly scoot to the top of the slide to go down. Madylin, on the other hand, would practically run down the slide and finally sit after a foot or so.  Morgan took a couple more days of practice, but she was pushed by the sight of Madylin riding around by herself.

 Nathan never wanted to practice riding his bike because it was too hard, but he was feeling left out so he finally gave it another try.  He used a bigger bike that was easier to pedal to learn and has since gone back to his smaller new bike.
We took our first family bike ride a few days later because the kids wanted to go somewhere and have a destination, not just ride in circles.  We rode the 1/2 mile to Ben and Lisa's house (cousins) to say hello. That's me in front with Lydia in the bike trailer, then Madylin, Morgan, Nathan and Russell is taking the picture at the rear.
The kids did amazing with only one small crash.  It was so fun and we've done it twice now.
My kids are getting so much older this Summer.  Learning to swim, and ride bikes, and starting school.... crazy!