Sunday, June 29, 2014

June 2014

Here is a hodge-podge of pictures from June.  I'll label them the best I can! 

This is when we were watching Chloe's horse show.  Of course A&C wouldn't nap willingly so I had to wait until they just completely gave up!  Sweet girls. 

Ditto here, I guess.

Granddad bought the kids this dome for the back yard. It was mostly for A&C's birthdays but all of the kids enjoy it so much.  They love climbing and using their imaginations with it.    

Nobody is too young for chores around here!

Chloe spent one evening doing our finger nails.  The Easter Bunny had brought her some polish pens and we hadn't broken them in yet.  The artwork was so much fun and Chloe mad me so proud.  That girl might look like her daddy but she has my creative heart 100%. 

Father's Day weekend we ended up at Cedar Bluff with Wayne & Sandy, Mom & Ron, and Galen & Debbie.  It was a beautiful first evening, windier-than-can-be Saturday, followed by a beautiful Sunday.  Typical lake schedule. 

Saturday morning was the fishing derby at the kids' pond.  Chloe and Isaac were reluctant to go but they sure had a great time!  Chloe caught a 1.4lb channel catfish right away!  She placed in the top 15 for the derby and even got her picture on a local website.  The kids ended up with great prizes as well.  Chloe got a new sleeping bag and Isaac got a great life-jacket. 

Best dad ever!

The storms were rolling in and all of the kids were pretty zapped after a day in the wind and sun.  Jack joined us in Gram & Papa's camper for a little screen time to close out the day.  They played so well together.  We are excited to have Ty, Sarah, and Jack in Oakley now
and hope to see them more often. 

Anxious about the storms....

Father's Day evening we ended up with the Wentling's and Hernandez's at Rachel's parents' house.  It was a great pool party and of course the food was fantastic. 
I can't say enough about Royce and our kiddos.  He is such a great dad, cares so much for the kids, and so much of his time is devoted to our family.  He said he had a fantastic Father's Day and I sure hope so because he deserves it.

Isaac and I love making no-bake cookies together.  They are some of his favorites and he does great while cooking.  His commentary this time involved  "boiling bubble bombs", "swirling-whirling stirring pools", drinking Cherry Sprites out of T-Rex hurricane glasses, and mechanical operating sounds while scooping the cookies.  He is all boy!
Final family picture as a
family of three!
One week later we got to meet the little baby inside the belly!
Chloe and I needed to take this picture for a craft we were working on.  While the details of the photo weren't important (we only used the silhouette) the picture turned out absolutely adorable!
I love how Stella is on her tippy-toes with her curls dangling behind her.

Horse Events

The end of May brought a fun week filled with horse events for Chloe.  On our way home from Jamie's graduation Chloe was able to attend a horse-riding camp in Colby with the Colby Community College Equestrian Team.  This was brought to her attention through our 4-H club and she knew another family in attendance.  It was a great day of horse fun for her.  Everything from basic riding to riding a horse while balancing an egg on a spoon, painting a horse, and labeling a horse with sticky notes.  Royce stayed for the camp and it sounds like it was a perfect, fun-filled day for the kids. 

Chloe also got to ride in a horse show that took place in Walker, KS.  A local saddle club hosted the show at a personal arena and Megan & Justin brought Goble for Chloe to ride.  She had such a great time with her cousins Carlee and SenaKay during the two-day show. 
SenaKay escorted Chloe during her first two events.  It was probably a good thing that she did because stakes and flags require the horse getting pretty close to the barrel. 

After the first two events Chloe did two more events on her own!  She even placed in them since she didn't have any assistance.  Chloe was so proud, and I was so grateful for all of the support she got, encouraging her to go on her own. 

Day two was D I R T Y .  Ekkkk.  Windy and dirty. 
But Chloe rode in three events on her own and again, did very well in them and placing. 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

A & C turn 3 ! ! !

This is kind of a neat scenario.  I'm writing about Amelia and Caroline turning three and I see on my blog that this is now the 300th post.  This means 300 posts since Chloe turned three because that's when I started the blog.  I guess it's time I quit making all of these connections and making a symbol out of everything -- but Amelia and Caroline turning three already had that happen for me.  As I said, Chloe was three when I started this blog which was when we moved to Hays.  ON Chloe's third birthday, Aunt Robie & Uncle Dust threw her a party, and she seemed so BIG.  So now here we are with ALL of our babies turning three in Hays.  It's been almost five years which is so hard to believe.  We were in Kansas City for five years and now that's how long we have been in Hays (see.....there I go again!!).  But it all means something to me in my heart.  I absolutely love our life in Hays.  And as sad as I was (and still am sometimes!) to have left Kansas City I know we are exactly where we are supposed to be.  Five years each place, both with such an impact in our lives. 

Okay, enough about that. 

Amelia and Caroline -- YOU ARE THREE NOW!  Where has the time gone?!?  We were in Colorado to start your birthday excitement.  We woke up in the hotel ready for Jamie's graduation and you both weren't really sure what to think of the whole birthday deal.  You were actually quite grumpy about it.  Mommy & Daddy wished you a Happy Birthday and you both said, "No!".  Even though we had talked about your birthday and practiced the number three on your fingers.  "No!" you said again when Chloe and Isaac wished you a Happy Birthday.  And the same response again when Stella wished you as well.  At that point we dropped the 'big deal' of it all and decided we'd drop the subject for a while.  It wasn't until you started seeing unfamiliar faces that you were proud to announce that it was your birthdays.  Whew!  We thought we were going to have to go all day with grumpapotamuses! 

You opened gifts from Stella, Aunt Robie, and Uncle Dust while they were still at Jamie's reception.  You LOVE your Frozen books and wear your swimsuits & cover-ups all the time!  That Aunt Robie is a pretty good gift-buyer.  You also got to open gifts from Great-Grandma Donna and Dink at the reception.  Cute shirts and fun hair clippies got your attention.  

After the reception we drove to Goodland to stay the night.  We had Aunt Wilma's house to ourselves so we had our present for you as well.  It was a fun evening in Goodland and you really enjoy your music player for your bedroom.  (I think mom & dad maybe knew it'd help keep you in your beds at night.) 
The next day we celebrated at Gram and Papa's house in WaKeeney with Grandma & Grandpa, Uncle Ed and Aunt Deb joining us.  THIS was the day you both enjoyed so much and were excellent birthday girls.  I was absolutely floored at how well you sat and opened gifts, thanked everyone, etc.  It was like you were completely different kiddos! 

Identical -- what?!? 

Amelia -- You are so funny.  You think of things on your own to do to be silly and are quite the comedian.  You love your daddy oh-so-much.  And if there are boys playing somewhere and girls playing somewhere else, you find the boys.  When we tuck you in at night you fall asleep in the same position -- on your stomach, arms under your pillow, covered up.  You insist on hugs and kisses before we leave.  You are able to be content.  You still fall, get injured, are bruised up a lot!  You are very brave.  You are very territorial and often feel threatened by others in your space. 
Caroline -- You are loud.  You are actually one of the loudest kids we know!  Your voice is constantly scratchy and I truly believe it's because you never stop talking.  But your laugh is infectious when you really start rolling.  I called you "Nosey Rosie" when you were a baby and I think it has held true.  You want a hand in everything.  When we tuck you in at night you look like you are having a garage sale on your bed and that you crashed landed in your spot.  You and all of your things are sprawled everywhere!  No covers for you.  You enjoy doing things instead of just being content.  You are a little more cautious than your sister therefore don't get hurt quite as much.  You are so stubborn.  Like, really really stubborn. 
Overall you both are very much the same, so I wanted to try to point out your differences to see how you age together.  You love each other more than anything on this planet.  You cry for each other and you celebrate for each other.  You are still very challenging together but day by day we see a little bit of progress.  We love you both and are loving the big girls you are becoming.  Happy Birthday, sweet girls.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Jamie's USAFA Graduation

May 28, 2014
This date was also Amelia and Caroline's 3rd birthday! 
Five years ago I flew by myself from Kansas City to Denver to attend Jessica's graduation.  It was such an amazing experience for me I told Royce that if we had the opportunity to go again when it was Jamie's turn then NO EXCUSES -- WE WERE GOING.  And that we did.  Not a single bit of my memory let me down in experiencing this ceremony as well.  I loved all of the same parts of it.  It was an absolutely beautiful Colorado day and while it did get hot in the stadium the setting was just perfect for a nice day outside. 
Marching on the field.  This part just gives me goose bumps because
I love how the formation just inches along. 

I believe I have Jamie either at or on the ramp on the left here.

One of the neatest parts of the ceremony (in my motherly opinion) is how they include the children.  Gotta give them something to look forward to if they have to listen to 40 squadrons being announced!!  I had prepped Chloe and Isaac about this part and it was so very cool that they could participate.  My helpful cousins Jessica and Mark assisted me in getting the kids to the correct section so they could be part of the group of kids who ran onto the field to collect the tossed cadet hats.  Isaac was a little nervous about going without me but I was so very proud of him for following through on something he REALLY knew was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Chloe, on the other hand, was a woman on a mission.  While she was happy to have her brother out there with her she was not in any way going to slow down and wait for him.  She's in the long blue skirt (with KSU hat) and he's in the red polo chasing after!

The hats are tossed!  And at that VERY instant....

...the Thunderbirds are directly on top of the stadium.
The timing is nothing short of amazing! 
Bone chilling thunder!   

Isaac has a hat!

And so does Chloe!

Chloe was playing it cool & put together while Isaac couldn't hide his excitement.  
It is tradition for the graduates to put a message/money/phone number in the hats so the kids can have a special treat when finding the hat.  While Isaac's came up empty Chloe's had $20.14 along with a name and phone number.  **Later in the day I texted a picture of Chloe wearing her hat, along with a few details, to Chloe's cadet Jeremy Butler.  He responded, was so excited to get the picture, and he said he had some classes with Jamie.  Chloe was so excited to get a response back from him.   We thanked him for his service and wished him luck in his upcoming pilot training.** 

Jessica, Mark, and I decided to stay down low to watch some of the air show since everyone else in the stadium seemed to be blocking the isles. 

Yep, they're upside-down! 
Royce had some battles with Caroline but I think Amelia really enjoyed the show. 
I wish I could have been up high with them to help but I'm soooo extremely happy that Chloe and Isaac got their hats.  They wore them the rest of the day and even on the drive home.  Royce and I looked back and saw two cadets in our back seat. 
Thank you, Jessica and Mark, for helping with Chloe and Isaac! 
Robynn & Dustin got a neat picture with the Falcons name showing in the stadium with the Thunderbirds overhead.  If watching an air-show like that doesn't make you feel All-American I'm just not quite sure what else would.  Such a huge debt of gratitude for all of our cousins and spouses who serve our country. 

We were able to catch up with Jamie while exiting the stadium!

The reception was at a nice outdoor park and the food was delicious! 

Amelia sure does love her brother. 


Robynn, Dustin, and Stella gave Amelia & Caroline their birthday gifts.  They sure do love their Frozen books.  Great-Grandma Donna & Dink gave them some gifts too. 

Hair clippies got quite the gasp from them!

I know I speak for Robynn as well when I say how proud I am of our cousins!  I feel so fortunate to get to witness the events at the Academy (both weddings and graduations) and think it's so great that our kids have had exposure to those events on base as well.  Now if we could only experience more of the locations they are stationed...upcoming trips to LA or England, anyone?