Monday, July 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day

I think for the first time since Jon has been a dad, I've had my act together ON Father's Day, instead of making him wait months (or years) for the completed project. This year, I decided to give him bought gifts, instead of getting the boys to make something, which inevitably requires a bit of work from me and I get behind.
ANYway, all that to say that this year I kept it simple. Leanna told me about a site called Trendy Ties, that I fell in love with. The boys wore ties at Easter, and Caleb said that he was "a daddy," which made his own daddy very proud. (Considering Caleb is usually "a fairy mermaid princess," being a daddy is a bigger step than you might think!) It's hard to find ties for little boys around here, so I was happy too find them online, and with daddy ties to match!

I also made a cake. It wasn't pretty, but it was good!

Jon has been gone the whole week before Father's Day, so we decided to celebrate with banners when he got home on Saturday night. The homecoming was sweet. Both boys insisted on being held by their Daddy, and neither would let him go for anything.

Sunday morning, all my men.

I love the bow tie!

Caleb is moving past his cheesy camera smile...for now!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Caleb's First Movie

Caleb is a very imaginative child. It took quite awhile for us to be able to watch movies with a plot. Often he would scream at the intense parts, and we'd have to pause and explain. So we've waited awhile to see a movie on the big screen. I wanted him to see Brave, but don't think he could have handled the bear fights. But, in the summers, our theater offers a different movie every week for free to anyone who wants to come. I figured that would be our best bet, so if things got out of hand, we could leave, no money lost.

However, all the movies are geared toward older kids, so finding one appropriate for Caleb was hard. Finally, they showed Mr. Popper's Penguins this week. Not only is that a fairly mild PG, it's also a movie he'd seen before, so I knew we'd be okay. We even pre-watched it at home a week ago, just to make sure there were no surprises, like a huge penguin honking in the camera. (Okay, writing this, I sound like a paranoid parent....)

On the Big Day, I asked Caleb if he wanted to go to the movies, to which he gave me a pretty solid "no." For some reason, he was convinced he wouldn't like it. I asked him if he wanted popcorn, and he said "no." I asked if he wanted Dr Pepper (something he's only ever had a sip of), and his eyes lit up.

"I like Dr Pepper!"

Well okay, then! We'll get Dr Pepper! Then he asked if they had Diet Coke, because he liked that. (Thanks, Mom, for putting that idea in his head!)

He was still a little unsure about it on the way. Jon was unsure about the Dr Pepper. I mean, seriously, we still water down his juice and lemonade! (To be fair, that's the way Jon drinks it, too, so it's kind of normal around here, but Dr Pepper would be quite a departure.)

Not a great picture of me, but I couldn't resist that cute face!

Big boy headed inside!

Immediately on arrival, Caleb disappeared into the arcade. There weren't many people there at that moment, so I just kept an eye on the doorway as I stood in line for our popcorn and drinks. More kids arrived, and things were starting to get hectic. Caleb had not come back, despite my calling his name, so I had to go find him--sitting in the driver's seat of some arcade game. That boy has NOT learned how to stick close, yet--a product of being a minister's kid in a small church, I suppose.

Once at the counter to order our snack, I pointed out the Icee, and that's what we decided upon, a Strawberry/Coke Icee and a large popcorn. We headed to the theater, where I learned my lesson to get there early! I found a couple of open seats on the second row, and the movie started!

Caleb was in awe, I think. He gazed at the huge screen, deftly grabbing bits of popcorn without looking. Very often he would say, "Drink, please," and I would hand him the Icee, which he sucked down so quickly that I had to start taking a sip before every time I handed it to him, just to make sure I got some!

At one point, Caleb looked at me and squealed, "I love the movies!"

He giggled when all the other kids giggled, he gasped and "ew"ed. He stayed in his seat until near the end, when he asked to stand. He never got fidgety, and never wandered. When the story ended happily, he clapped with delight.

Then he turned and said, "It's time to play games!"

So we headed to arcade, and I changed a dollar for quarters...and then quickly after, another dollar for quarters.

We drove the game I'd found him on before the movie. Turns out 50 cents gets you about 50 seconds of play time, and then you have to pay more in. Perhaps good driving could earn you more time, but my husband can tell you that I am no good driver when it comes to arcade games! I'm pretty sure Caleb and I took out an airplane.

Then we moved on to The Claw games. Lost our money on the first one (big surprise), but the second was full of balls, and all the kids ahead of us were having good luck scoring them. Sadly, the top layer "easy pickin's" of balls was already gone by the time we got there, but Caleb did a good job trying.

At this point, we were out of quarters again, and I realized he had just as much fun without putting in the quarters, so we zigged and swerved on the "snowmobile" game until it was time to go. As I looked around, I found out that most of the kids were doing the same thing!

As we headed out the door, we found a large tattoo that someone had spent 50 cents on. I picked it up and asked a nearby adult if any in her passel of kids happened to lose a tattoo. She paused to look at a kid taking a fistful of tattoos out of his pocket, then looked back at us and said, "It's fine. He can keep it."

It's a diamond that says, "Lucky" on it.
Well, that tattoo was the highlight of the movies. He ran out to show his Daddy (who had taken James to therapy during our adventure, and was now coming to pick us up), and told him all about the movie and the Icee and the popcorn.

I was so grateful that I could see this "first." I enjoyed every minute of it.

When it was time for nighttime prayers, I asked Caleb if he wanted to thank God for the movies. His eyes brightened as he thought of what he wanted to thank God for.

"Dear Lord, Dear Lord, (repetition is key in his prayers lately) thank you for a great day. And I have the coolest tattoo ever. It is a diamond. Amen."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Grasshopper and the Boys

My boys have really started enjoying each other lately. It's a sweet thing. James is moving from "observer" to "participant," and I think Caleb has liked having the playmate...most of the time!

This morning, I found what is locally called a "Texas grasshopper," though I never saw anything like this in Texas. They're huge black grasshoppers, with yellow, green and red markings. They're quite remarkable, and very easy to catch. They're not very jumpy like other grasshoppers. This particular grasshopper was snacking on my corn leaves. I'm starting to see the start of a little ear of corn growing, but I don't have much hope for it, so it didn't bother me to share the harvest. But I grabbed a mason jar and plopped the grasshopper in, to show the boys.

Caleb, of course, was elated. He thought it was so neat. I was very surprised at how James reacted to it...or really that he reacted any more than just gazing at it. He tapped the glass, held the jar, and was very interested in what the grasshopper did.

After the grasshopper took a few tumbles in the mason jar, I thought we might better let him outside to recover, so we headed outdoors.

I tipped the mason jar over and convinced the insect to get out, but after that he had no desire to move. We all stared at him for a minute, and then James reached out, grabbed the thing, and plunked it back in the mason jar! I dumped the grasshopper back out, and James again plopped him back in the jar. It was so funny! And he was as proud of himself as when he gets the triangle in the right hole in the shape sorter at therapy.

Caleb was a little more intimidated by the creature. It was, after all, the biggest grasshopper he'd ever seen. I think it was last summer (or the summer before?) that these bugs were out, and Caleb held one on the way to church. I actually thought there might be a scene when I tried to pull it out of his hand before entering church, but now that he's older, he seemed to have picked up on some people's aversion to bugs.

So, this morning, Caleb was having some trouble figuring out how to grab hold of the grasshopper. James watched him for a few moments, then once again grabbed the grasshopper himself. This time, instead of dropping it in the jar, he held it out to Caleb, as if to say, "See? This is how you hold it." Then he set it down in front of Caleb.

Caleb, who seemed to understand what James was telling him, said, "Thank you!" and tried again. It took another couple of tries before Caleb got it right, but he was proud of himself when he'd gotten the grasshopper back in the jar. (James, meanwhile, was having a conversation with the cat on the other side of the door.)

It finally came time to release the poor creature, but we all enjoyed our touch with nature.

Here's a video of our morning. Enjoy!