Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pax River Air Expo

When I was little my parents would drag my sister and me to the air show in Punta Gorda (seemed like every year). Well, nothing says to the kids, "I love you," like carrying on a family tradition! Ha! The only thing I really remember about those air shows was that I was hot and there was a lot of walking and I couldn't usually see whatever I was suppossed to be watching. Some of it was cool, the smoke trails, the Golden Knights and of course the Blue Angels! I guess as a kid you don't really appreciate that stuff as much as the grown ups.

Anyway, on Saturday we took the kids to the Pax River Air Expo. Edward (who doesn't like big events with crowds) was super excited after having watched the Blue Angels practicing over his office in the days before the show. The kids had a hard time walking around and watching the planes at the same time but they did better after we found a spot to sit.

The only problem with that was that Max quickly zonked out! They had been up very late the night before. He slept through most of the Blue Angels performance - noise and all!!!

My Dad, Suzanne and her daughter Jessica came up for a visit and went to the show with us. The boys had a blast with them. Max said he was showing Jess the "I love you" sign because he loves her. And Nolen cried the night before Grandpa had to leave because he didn't want him to go. (I actually suspect this is a developmental thing with him. Lately he gets upset when Grammy leaves too and he tries to lock Ed in the bedroom in the morning so he can't leave for work. I think he is just trying to control his environment or something...?)

I love this picture of all my favorite boys!!!
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Preschool Graduation

I have officially attended more preschool graduations than I have children! Nolen graduated from his 3 year old preschool class at Fort Rucker in 2007 because the Fort Rucker school had a Pre-K. Then he graduated from The Byrd Nest preschool last year - which was a huge production. I actually think it was too big. Then last Friday, Max graduated from Little Seedlings Preschool. This time it was perfect! The kids marched around and sang some sweet songs. The teachers called up each child and gave them a diploma and a little felt graduation cap. After the ceremony we had cake and punch and the teachers gave each child a small gift bag with pictures from the school year, chalk and a paperback book. It was really nice.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Watering the Boys

My biggest challenge with Nolen is getting him away from the Wii. Yesterday he whined so much on the way to school that he lost video game privileges for the day. He was a champ about not complaining about it last night which was a treat for me. Without even mentioning the video games, he came and asked me to help him find something to do that was fun. I told him that if he came outside I would let him water my plants with the hose. Well, the plants did get watered...eventually! The boys had to strip by the end of this adventure. They were completely soaked and I had a good laugh! Luckily, I was holding the camera as a water sheild!!!

I think the funniest moment was when Max put his mouth on the nozzle and sprayed it right into his mouth and it went all over his face! We all got a good kick out of that! The funny thing is that Nolne is usually really cautious about getting water in his eyes but I don't think the thought even crossed his mind yesterday! At one point, the nozzle was stuck open and they had the hose laying on the ground and were just running through the water. Hilarious!

Filling up the watering can for Max.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Star Date 20090514

Just a short update this weekend...

Thursday was Max's last Show and Tell Day at his school. (His last day of school is this coming Friday) Thursday morning he told me this is what he had chosen for show and tell! I think he was holding about 6 dogs!!! I told him he had to choose just one but he had a hard time. He told me that Eagle and Pongo love each other and don't like to be apart....etc, etc. In the end, he chose to take Valentinesy to school and I think she was ok going by herself. Ha!

On Thursday afternoon I took the dogs to the vet. Bugsy rides in his kennel because otherwise his fur gets everywhere. Jazzy is pretty good in the car and usually just lies on the floor of the van. However, Thursday when she jumped in, she jumped straight into Nolen's seat. It was so cute!

Friday was Max's field trip to the Southern Comfort Berry Farm. It was a nice day - overcast but warm enough and it never did rain. The kids got to see some cows and chickens before they went to pick berries. Here is Mrs. Richie holding a chicken upside down!

And of course, a picture of Max picking berries. The field was certainly cleaner than the Country Best Farm in Enterprise but I still prefer that farm to this one. It made me miss our farm in Enterprise! They were so nice there and I just loved feeling like I was really picking berries on a working farm. This farm seemed to cater to field trip groups. They had a playground and a straw bale maze with trikes and kids pedal tractors set up which the kids enjoyed. They didn't seem to be growing anything else besides strawberries though.
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Calvert Cliffs State Park

I had a wonderful mother's day with my boys yesterday! First thing in the morning, they brought me a doughnut, coffee and my crossword book and told me that I had to stay in bed until they could bring me my surprise. (As a side note: A few weeks ago, I told the boys that for father's day I wanted to buy Ed a waffle maker since he always makes the waffles whenever we stay at a hotel. Apparently they thought that was a great idea because they told Ed that they wanted to get me a waffle maker for mother's day! ha!) The boys helped Ed mix up the waffle batter and eventually they brought a waffle up for me. They were so proud and sweet!

We also had some old friends visiting Saturday night that we knew while we lived in Alaska. David is still in the Army and he and Wendi are on their way to Egypt for a year! They are an incredible couple and it was really fun to catch up with them. We sat around talking late on Saturday and until about noon on Sunday when they had to leave.

Sunday afternoon I decided to take the boys to Calvert Cliffs State Park where you can hike down to the beach and look for shark's teeth. We picked up McDonald's for lunch and had a picnic. Then the kids played on the playground for a bit before we started our hike. It was a 1.8 mile trail to get to the beach but I was hoping the kids could do it. As we reached the one mile mark I decided this may have been too ambitious but we were already more than halfway there so I decided to keep going. At the 1.3 mile, I was really worried but decided the boys would be more of a pain on the walk back if they didn't even get to see the beach so again we kept trucking. They were very glad to make it to the beach and we found some rocks and shells but nothing too interesting. They could have stayed there for an hour but I was already dreading the walk back so we only stayed about 30 minutes or so. The walk back was rough for the first half mile, then we started playing "tag". You should know that in Nolen's version of tag, there is no way for him to be tagged. Ever. I would give them a head start to run down the trail while I counted to 10. As soon as I started running to catch them, they would touch a tree and call it base. So, when I caught up to them I would give them another head start and they would find another "base". It was a pretty boring game of tag but they loved it and we finished the hike in record time. ha!

Some other things to note...we saw one snake, one beaver dam, I had 2 ticks crawling on me and Nolen had one on him even after we wore bug spray, I checked him twice and gave him a bath (I sent them to Edward for a final check and he found it). Also, when I started the van to leave, I still had my door open and I saw a small animal scurry away from under the van. At first I thought it was a bird but it was a MOUSE! I could see his little tail as he ran away. Yuck! Now that's nature!

Playing on the tire park before we started our hike.

Running down the trail. It was a gorgeous green day! At one point the leaf canopy was so bright green and thick that we all looked green standing on the trail!

The boys on the beach with the cliffs in the background.
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I hope all of my mom friends and especially my own mom had wonderful mother's days yesterday!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Nolen's School Play

On Thursday we went to see Nolen's school play at 2:00. Max had fallen asleep and I tried to wake him up but he wasn't having it. We got there a few minutes late and he sat in my lap for almost the entire show. The play was put on by the Kindergarteners and 2nd graders so as a result, there was a huge mass of kids all sitting in a bunch in front of the stage. With my eyesight, I was certain that I wasn't going to see Nolen but I was wrong! Halfway through the play, I stood up to see what I could see and there he was, right in FRONT! Only 3 kids from his class were pulled up to the front by the music teacher and he was one of them. If you know how perfect Nolen is, then you're not surprised by this. haha! (That's a joke. He's probably not perfect, but I think he is!) I was so proud when he told me that! He stood there and sang the words and did all the motions for the songs. The play was called, "Make Every Day Earth Day" and it was very well done...even if you couldn't really understand what the kids were saying!

If you click on the picture, you can see a bigger version. He's the one in the black shirt and yellow sunglasses!
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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Memories of Birthdays Past...

I like to try to remember all of Nolen's past birthdays....some are easy, others are not!

First Birthday - Sadly, I really don't remember this one very well. I know we had a Blues Clues party and I know Nolen had about 2 teeth and a messy cake face but I don't really remember it at all...

Second Birthday - The thing I remember most from this one is that Edward was in Iraq so I was working hard to make his birthday -- a weekday - a fun day even though it would mostly be the three of us sitting at home all day. I know I was looking forward to play group that afternoon which happened to fall on Nolen's bday. First thing in the morning, Nolen didn't seem too interested in opening the mound of presents I had stacked on the kitchen table and by 10am I found out why. He was sick. The poor kid threw up on his birthday! Needless to say we didn't get to go to playgroup and Nolen wasn't excited about any of his presents because he wasn't feeling well. Poor kid!!! What a disappointing bday!

Third Birthday - I know we had a great party for him (probably Thomas) with all of his friends! I remember that when he opened his presents, he kept saying, "!" It was very sweet.

Fourth Birthday - We had a great group of friends show up to his party at Lake Thlocco at Fort Rucker. The kids played at the beach and the playground, we had a water balloon toss or fight...I can't remember and I made a treasure map with a box full of the goody bags for the little pirates to find. The kids had a great time and the fun ended just in time because as Nolen was finishing unwrapping his presents, it started to rain and by the time we got home it was pouring! Good timing!

Fifth Birthday - Nolen's only boy friend when he turned five was Austin. He wasn't really friends with any of the boys at his new preschool and all the other kids we knew were girls. I decided not to throw a whole party for him and we would just have a little dinner. Unfortunately, Austin was going to be out of town for Nolen's bday and Edward was gone to a job interview (here in MD) that week. We managed to pull off dinner with Austin who made it back to town early and I made Nolen a killer Mario cake! I'm sure I was more disappointed with the small celebration than Nolen was!

So there is the birthday recap. I think this year rates pretty high on the scale. I love the birthdays that are spent with lots of friends and this one certainly fits the bill! Thanks so much to everyone who was able to come and help Nolen celebrate yesterday! We love our friends!

Mario Party Highlights!

I planned and crafted like crazy for this party and it turned out great! Mostly becasue the kids had a blast - I don't think I actually had that much to do with it. Two of Nolen's friends from school showed up and all the neighborhood kids were there. The kids had a great time playing toys, a few video games and I believe there was some kind of war that was played in the backyard.

Here are the pirhana plants, mystery boxes and Mario hats that I made for the party.

All of the kids ready to sing happy birthday to Nolen. I didn't get a good shot of the cupcakes, but they turned out cute. There were chocolate frosted ones with colored stars on them for Luna and there were "mushroom" cupcakes that were green or red with white polka dots.

Nolen got lots of wonderful gifts from his friends. He got a Ben 10 watch which I know he was thrilled to get, an Alien Chamber from Ben 10, Spiderman Yhatzee, a Matchbox pop up car playset (we love these!), a giftcard to GameStop, and the biggest hit of all....

Mario Super Sluggers from Grammy!!!! He can't stop playing it! This morning I called him up to open his birthday presents from Max and Dad and me and he came up, opened them and ran back downstairs to play more Sluggers. Sheesh! Looks like we'll be instituting a Wii time limit this week!

I think Nolen has already had a great birthday and the day isn't even half over. He loved having all of his friends here to play yesterday and the kids behaved pretty well. We did have a parent monitor in the basement with them (Thanks Fran!!!) which was a lifesaver! Fran said she caught one of the boys poking at the TV (yes the big expensive one) with a lightsaber and swiping the game controllers from other kids. SHEESH! Disasters were averted though and overall the party went really smoothly. We played "kill the turtle and get coins"...pop the green balloons that have butterscotch candies (Coins) in them. We also played pin the nose and moustache on Mario.

I can't believe my big boy is SIX years old! I am so proud of him. He is growing up to be a smart, kind, and caring boy!
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