Sunday, September 11, 2016

Happy Birthday, Gabe!

Our little man turned 8 last week!  It's amazing to think that on a dark and stormy night 8 years ago, I got to play catch (literally) with my first son. :) For his party this year, he begged for a Thor-themed party to go along with the Captain America party last year. Sadly, Thor wasn't in the latest movie to come out, so there wasn't any Thor-specific party stuff and we went with the whole Avengers team instead. 

So we compensated by making Mjolnir (Thor's hammer) watermelon, 
 Mjolnir cheese and pretzels
And the crowning achievement:
 The Mjolnir Cake (complete with lightning!), which was a big hit.
Speaking of big hits...

 We got a hold of a few Nerf Mjolnirs and I stayed up all night creating a "Whack-a-Loki" game. 
and whack it, they did! 
 Then we put the hammers to a more precise use and played Lawn Hammers.
 They had to toss the three hammers and get them in a hoop on the ground.
 Then we put their swinging arms back into action with a pinata.
 It was quite a mad scramble for the candy. :)

The day really couldn't have gone off better.
  Everyone had a lot of fun, from the littles... 
 To the adults. 
Happy Birthday, big guy!
What's next year? Iron Man? :)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Treasure Mountain Youth Camp 2016

The whole family went to Treasure Mountain Youth Camp again this summer and had a blast!

 The theme for this year was "Do All For The Glory Of God." I think the kids certainly did their best to live out that theme in everything they did.

 They did team-building exercises (get your whole team across the lava!)

 had team competitions (who can dress their counselor in the best toilet paper suit?)

 Did art projects

 Got to know each other
Played crazy games

sang silly songs
did some hilarious skits

 and made their own music.
This year, we had the added blessing of Rebecca's Dad, Scott, with us. He helped manage the kitchen...
and the little ones whenever he could. :)

 One of the highlights was the water day. They played a whole bunch of games like picking up marbles from the pool with their toes and bringing them back to a bucket.

 Then they had to fill a bucket by passing a cup with holes in it over their heads to the back of the line.

 Another one was to stick as many cheese balls to the head of their partner

who was wearing a shower cap covered in shaving cream.

 Of course, it eventually devolved into an all-out shaving cream war.

 No one was safe.

 The casualty count was high.

 and some got it worse than others. :)
We had made plans for a second water day that involved a redneck waterslide, but the weather didn't cooperate. it rained a good bit this year, with one day seeing more than 6 inches of rain! Good thing we were at the top of the mountain! :)

 But fortunately, the skies cleared and we were able to have a fire on the last night.

 I mean, what's camp without marshmallows, right?


Monday, August 1, 2016

Swimming Lessons

This summer, we decided to put all the kiddos into swimming lessons at the pool across the street. Olivia's had lessons before, but the rest of them had never had formal lessons. Our goals were to have the boys out of their floats and swimming on their own and the littles to be more comfortable in the water so they would be more independent in their floats. For Olivia, we wanted her to get some more technical practice with strokes.

In the end, we were really, really happy with the results. See for yourself!
(Love the sneeze :)
 Both Gabe and Ezra were very comfortable and happy to swim without their floats. Ezra, in particular, loves to do flips in the water.

We are so impressed with how Emma did. Understandably, Irene wasn't interested in going that far with it, but she wasn't scared to be in the water and was brave enough to jump off the side if someone would catch her.

Our biggest concern was whether they would continue to be so brave when they weren't in class and they have been. We've been going to a friend's house where they have a pool and the boys are till doing great and both Emma and Irene are really excited to get in the water.

If you live in Greensboro and are considering swim lessons, we highly recommend the lessons at the Lindley Park pool. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Happy Birthday, Rebecca!

Today is Rebecca's 38th birthday! 
 We wanted to do something special, so she chose to go out to breakfast at Smith's Diner, which is one of her favorite places.
 Everyone else loves their pancakes, so it was a real treat for the whole family.
 Later, we went for a walk in the woods and stopped by My Friend Kate to let her pick out some new earrings. (I never thought I'd say those words since her prior experience with earrings has been rather unpleasant, but these are doing wonderfully!)
But to cap off the day, Olivia made her a "card" in multiple pages that she then hid around our room for Rebecca to find. It was very sweet.