Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Mikey!

Our sweet Mikey has turned 4!!  We just adore little Mikey; he has such a sweet, yet spunky and silly personality.  He has been a great blessing to our family, making us laugh when we get too serious, giving cuddles and kisses without reservation, and using his super-hero skills to ward off any imaginary threat to the home-front.  I love this picture of Mikey because it captures his essence: happy, playful, rough-and-tumble, sweet little guy.

Mikey was really lucky that his cousins (Morgan and Rachael), their dog (Chief) and parents (Chris and Dee), AND Nana and Opa all got to come out for his birthday celebration.  It was a short visit, but we squeezed as much fun out of the time as we knew how.  (Thanks so much for making the trek out here guys!)  Here's some of the fun we had...opening presents...

...Eating Spiderman cupcakes and ice cream...

...Taking a ride on the "Little Hawkeye Express", and other "fair" rides at a nearby park...

...Getting spoiled by daddy, whose present to Mikey was a homemade tree-swing.  Of course, Daddy had to 'jumar' (rock climbing term--look it up!) up to the tree branch to hang the swing, and that was an adventure in and of itself.  Lots of fun for the kids (and for the people driving by--'What in the world are they doing?!!')...

(Spence 'jumared' all by himself up to the tree branch too!)

...And for the grand finale of fun-ness, the kids discovered another use for Jaron's half-pipe!  Take a look:

(It might be too small to see, but Mikey discovered that being in his "birthday suit" really gave him the advantage!)  Who needs a waterpark when all you have to do is build a skate ramp?!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fun in Texas

At the beginning of August, we took a road trip down to Texas.  We had SOOOOOO (x 100!) much fun with the Sullivan's!  We spent a few days at the beach in Port Aransas, got to visit our best friends from med school, swung by the Haley's in San Antonio, and spent some time in Stephenville at Mammy and Pappy's house.  There was way more fun than I can convey in one measly post, but here's some highlights:

Pappy, Em, Mammy, Jaron, Trev, Mikey and Spence at the beach.

Jaron taking Mikey out to catch some big waves!

Of course, there was time for dummy-ropin' too!
All the cousins at Jaimie and Aaron's in San Antonio.

Getting spoiled by the Allred's in their pool.

Pappy took us out to lunch at the hottest new restaurant in Stephenville: McDonald's.  The kids got to eat inside a giant football!  Thanks Pappy!

Helping feed the horses.

Thank you so much Sullivan's, Haley's and Allred's for a wonderful vacation!  This is what we thought of it:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bye-Bye Summer!

WOW.  Who knew summer could fly by so fast?? It's already back-to-school time in Iowa, and I'll miss having my boys around.  Spencer and Mikey are both going to school this year, Spence in 1st grade, Mikey in 5-day Preschool.  Jaron and I are blessed with extraordinary boys--loving, thoughtful, and lots of fun to play with!  I loved having my boys around all summer, and having lots of adventures with them.  Here's a sampling of some of the fun we had (and more yet to come!): 

Spence and Mikey love to invent and create, so here's a sample of some of the home-projects they did.  From top left, clockwise: plastic cup-with-string-telephone; "school" workbooks (they earned money for completing each one--BIG motivator!); "snakes" made from painted cylindrical wood pieces, string and beads; a "jet pack", made from an oatmeal container, paper towel tube, and string; in the middle is the remnant of Mikey's "binoculars", made from T.P. rolls.  Not pictured (just made today), is a rocket ship, constructed out of a box (it even has seats! Spencer's idea).  I love how innovative the boys are; they constantly challenge me to "think outside the box".

One of my FAVORITE things to do with the boys this summer was running on the beautiful trails around Iowa City.  It was gorgeous and green, and fairly mild all summer, so we got out a lot.  Spence and Mikey would ride bikes while I tried to keep up, pushing Trevor in the jogger.  Every time we'd go I'd think, "I've GOT to get a picture of this scenery!"  This is the one time I actually remembered (this trail runs along the Iowa River):

There's a few lakes really close to our home, and we made it out a few times.  Beautiful landscape, but notice Spencer's blue lips?  Our Iowa mild summer is to blame for that.

Spence and Mikey took swim lessons.  Spencer learned a lot--backstroke, diving, treading water, and swimming in the deep end, and Mikey had fun bopping about in the kiddie pool.

Fort-making is a staple at our house.

One of 3 public pools in our community--this one's a mile from the house, so sometimes the big boys would ride bikes here (me huffing to keep up).

And quicker'n you can say Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtle, our school year has begun!  Here's our big boys posing with their packs on the first day.