Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful our oven is working again! It's so nice to be able to cook.

I'm thankful for some really kind boys at Adventure Bay a few weeks ago.  Kase was swimming around trying to get on the floating alligator and these boys helped him up time after time.  He was so happy. Usually when we are there, kids notice it takes Kase a long time to get on it and just budge in front of him.

I'm thankful that it's August. It just feels like it's time to get back into a routine.

I'm thankful that Kylee wanted to dress alike when we went to the fair last week.  She was already dressed and I was contemplating what to wear and she was like, "Hey! You should totally wear an orange shirt like the one I have on!" It was so sweet that I couldn't say no.  I'm doubting we have many years left where she's excited about twinning with me. 

I'm so thankful for a Grandma Cindy day this week! Cindy came down to spend the night on Monday and was so helpful.  I had a couple meetings and errands and she hugely helped out hanging with the kids.  She also treated them to donuts, a movie and "back to school" gifts.  What a blessing it is having such a fun, awesome mother-in-law! 

I'm thankful that Kael got his school schedule and school pictures yesterday.  He wasn't super excited about the team he got placed on and really doesn't have a lot of close friends on his team.  I love his upbeat attitude though because he let neither of those things bother him.  Instead, he chose to look on the bright side, commenting that he had one of his least favorite classes first ("so I can get it over with") and PE very last.  I love that so very much about Kael.  He doesn't worry or stress about having friends in his classes and is confident he'll find someone to sit with at lunch. I have a feeling it's going to be a great year for him!

I'm thankful for all the little things that are helping us get ready to send Kase to kindergarten.  They had a special storytime at the library Tuesday night and Kase knew several of the kids there.  He sat (mostly) still while listening to the stories, too!

He has also taken many opportunities to peek in the window of his new classroom.  And I showed him a picture of his teacher the other day so he would know what she looked like. By all accounts, I think he's ready for school! 

Happy Thursday, all! 


Weekend Wrap-Up

We are trying to squeeze every last bit of fun into this summer that we can! 

Had an impromptu lunch pizza party last Thursday with friends.  These boys had the best time playing Nerf guns together.

Meanwhile the birthday girls opened their gifts.

And I ran across a few more hilariously awesome photos from the party night.

Kylee's friend had a sleepover, two nights in a row, I might add!

Then we went to the Ledges with her family! The kids had the best time catching minnows.

And splashing in the water.

And finding a little baby snake.  Eek!!! Kase is keeping a close eye on it.

We loved spending the day outdoors.  It was so, so nice out.

So nice, in fact, that we decided to head to the Iowa State Fair later that day!

We hit all the major things: Butter cow, big boar, big bull, Varied Industries building...and food.  Lots of food.

My city kids did not appreciate the smell near the baby pigs.

Kael is always up for a funny photo.

We were too!

The tenderloins are my kids' favorite at the fair.

Kent was a little underwhelmed with his pork leg, but happy to have tried something new.

We stopped to let the kids play at the park while Kent and I listened to The Nadas play at the free stage.  We kept our eyes on the kids but of course, Kase managed to sneak away- we found him happily playing in the fountains and completely soaked!

Kylee always finds a friend wherever she goes.  

It was a great night!

Saturday we spent most of the day just getting stuff done and hanging around the house.  Later in the afternoon we went to the pool and ran into some friends.  After coming home and making pizza, Kent and Kylee went fishing.

Sunday after church Kent's parents came down and brought lunch.  It was nice to catch up with them. Then we all visited Kyle and Julia at their new house and were so excited to see all the progress they've made! Their house looks great.  Made a few stops on the way home then the kids spent the afternoon playing with friends.  It was another great weekend! So sad that next weekend is our last official summer weekend already!!!


Thankful Thursday

I'm so thankful for the wonderful day we had celebrating Kylee yesterday.  

I'm thankful the kids are decently happy with their teachers and classes.  Both Kase and Kylee have friends they know in their classes, but neither have their best friends in their class which is ok sometimes I think!

I'm thankful that Kylee wanted to help me bake her birthday pie!

I'm thankful for us.  I love my crew so very much.

I'm thankful for my "perfect 10"!

I'm thankful for how nostalgic Kylee is. Topping her list of things she wanted to do on her birthday was watch old family videos from when she was little.  I had to figure out how to hook up an old TV with a DVD player in it to make it work, but the kids were captivated!

I'm thankful for how sweet and appreciative Kylee was with every one of her gifts.

I'm thankful for an impromptu lunch with family on her birthday!

I'm also thankful for a "so bad it's good" selfie Kael took when we were all out for lunch.  I won't post it, but it's pretty funny.

I'm thankful we tried Get Air! We have been to SkyZone many times but the kids really liked Get Air a lot!

I'm thankful for this girl and her friendship with Kylee.

I'm thankful for a really fun pool party night! The kids didn't seem to mind at all that it wasn't super hot out.  They just had fun swimming under the lights!

Hard to tell but I promise Kase is making a peace sign in this picture...
I'm thankful that Kael had so much fun too! He's such a good big brother.

I'm thankful for this mom who helped me plan the whole thing.

I'm thankful that the party turned out to be just as much fun as Kylee had hoped for!

I'm thankful for the beautiful sunsets we've had lately!

I'm thankful Kael had fun at his football eval the other night.  It was so fun to see him back on the football field.  Bring on fall!

Hope you're finding lots to be thankful for today, too.


Happy Birthday, Kylee!

How is it possible that Kylee is 10 today?

As I look back at her last year, it could seem like not that much has changed for Kylee.  When I look at her, I do notice a few small changes- I see her legs getting longer and longer, I see her hair having blonde streaks in it for the first time ever; no doubt a result of all our time spent in the sun this summer.  She's a summertime girl, my Kylee.  She loves being outdoors- at the pool, playing sports with friends, going to Adventureland, fishing with Kent- she just loves all of it.

Emotionally though, I've seen a lot of changes for Kylee over the last year.  She had a tough time with a friend during the school year last year and learned how to put a smile on her face even though her heart was breaking on the inside.  Around the 'hood there's been a little drama but Kylee has navigated the tricky waters of adolescent girl friendships with more grace than anyone twice her age could manage.  She's convicted to do the right thing, always.  And it hurts her when others don't do the same.  I'm proud of her for maintaining a wide circle of friends and doubly proud of her for letting go of those that don't make her feel happy, no matter how much she wanted to hold on.

Kylee is joy. She just shines a light wherever she goes.  She is our one who laughs hardest at Dad jokes, which makes Kent so very happy. Kylee is intuitive.  The other day she told me, "I bet you were really proud of your dad when you were growing up.  He's just so smart and strong and he's won so many awards in his life for so many things.  He's just the best.  I bet you felt really happy and special that he was yours."  Kylee seems to have a gift for knowing the right thing to say at the right time.

A middle sister between two brothers, Kylee has to give in more often than she's like, but she's never afraid to stand her ground and can most definitely hold her own with them.

Kylee is excited for another season of cross country ahead and is signed up to play on a volleyball team for the first time.  She is always willing to try something new whether it's a new food or a new sport- she'll definitely give it a shot.  She pushed herself to learn how to water ski this summer and it was harder than she wanted it to be.  Anyone who has spent anytime skiing knows it's almost unheard of to get up and stay up your first time, but I know that's what Kylee had in her head.  She hoped so badly to pop right out of the water on the first try and when it didn't, she got discouraged but I wouldn't let her give up.  She got up on the third try and by the fourth and fifth times, well- just see the photo below.  She is definitely a confident skier now!

Currently, Kylee's favorite thing is her new room.  She has just been so, so appreciative.  Even though I know she got tired of being displaced and living in the basement for a month after the lightning strike and having all her stuff in storage until her room got fixed, she truly never complained.

We love you so much, Kylee Kay! I can't wait to spend the day celebrating you!