Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Great Grandparent Visit

My grandparents live about 7 hours away (that's driving without kids), so getting to see them is rare. As a matter of fact, last November, it had been almost a year since we'd seen them last. We call often, and would get on Skype whenever possible, so the boys knew their great grandparents, but we were well overdue a visit. My mom offered to come along for the ride, which was a big help, since Jon wasn't able to come.

It was a sweet, sweet time, as it always is at either of my grandparents' houses. I have so so many memories from my childhood, and it makes my heart happy to know that my boys will have a few tucked in their pockets, too.

Great Grandpa and James have lots of fun

Already playing games!
James shows off his walking skills

Great Grandma read lots of books to the boys.

Great Grandma made sure all the leaves were still there for the boys to play in, and they loved them!

Caleb dancing around "the first tree of Christmas!"

Great Aunt Mary was just what James needed to fall asleep.

Caleb is very important as he waters Uncle George's garden.

Caleb had looked through the Toys R Us ad, and decided that THIS is what he wanted for his birthday...and that's what he got!

Caleb got to take an antique airplane out for a spin!

It was Caleb's first real success at pedaling.

You can tell how pleased he is with himself!
Aviator Caleb!

Time for Little Man to take a turn!
Uncle George starts the engine.

More reading time!

Grandma gets a chance to play ball with James

Caleb picked a flower for Great Grandma

Great Grandma takes James for a walk

The boys enjoy Great Grandpa's piano!
Great Grandpa gets ready for his recital

A sweet, sweet moment that I am so glad I captured. These two love each other dearly!

And these two are pretty fast friends, as well!

I've always loved my Grandma's hands.

Our family.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

James Man

I love this kid. He just cracks me up sometimes!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Caleb's Birthday

It's ridiculous how long it's been since I've posted, so we'll just forget about it and move on, okay?

Caleb's birthday: From not too long after last year's party (a dragon/castle party), Caleb declared that he wanted an underwater sea party. I happened to luck out when our VBS over the summer involved an underwater scene, and one of my awesome helpers took lots of time to create jellyfish and coral reef...which I promptly told her I needed for Caleb's birthday party. Score.

Fast forward to October or so, and Caleb's invitation list is a mile long, including most of the people in our church. We don't have many kids his age in our church, so he was ready to extend the circle to all his adult friends, as well. However, we have been blessed by a great group of new friends this year at Hope Landing, where James receives therapy. The kids that come (and their siblings) are all around Caleb's age, and we have become part of a playgroup that gets together every week. But mostly the kids like to play together while their siblings are in therapy, or after finishing therapy themselves. With this fun group of kids, I limited the "adult" list to only a few, and it worked out very well.

Waking up with the traditional streamers in the doorway!

Ms. Debbie stopped by early to give Caleb his present.
Don't you feel like you're underwater??

Lucas putting the treasure on the map

Caleb trying to put his treasure...right back where it had been!

The kids are on a treasure hunt, finding the fish that has the next number on it (counted 1 through 10)
The treasure chest that the kids had to find.
They found the treasure! Now to open it and grab the booty inside! It was all spread out to the kids' good boxes to take home with them.
Goody table with a box for each kid.
The cookies we made the night before: starfish and crabs

The toppings for the cookies!

It's cookie decorating time! Tyler already has his icing on!

Kelly helped out so much by coming early...and then hanging onto James for me!

Henlea, Lilah and Kinley are helped by their mamas.

Is that a smiley face I see on Henlea's cookie?

Cara Grace is ready to be a pirate!

Talk about booty! This kid had lots of gifts!

He was very considerate, remember to thank people--sometimes even before he'd opened the gift.

James is taking advantage of a busy moment to try to make off with his favorite gift of the night, Owlie. Too bad the balloons he was dragging with him gave him away.

Something interesting about the gifts he received is that he has used almost all of them consistently. Sometimes, gifts go by the wayside and never get thought of again, but he really has enjoyed them all.

It was a fun party. I loved having our new friends there, as well as the friends we've known since we moved here. For once, I had some things prepared before the night before. I played it safe with cookies this year, though Caleb was quick to note that he missed having a cake. Next year, son, I will make a cake for you.

We love our four-year-old so much. He's just like me in so many ways, which means he drives me crazy and makes me laugh all at the same time. I can't wait to find out what kind of party he comes up with next year!