Sunday, July 31, 2011

As Much As A Moose

Tucking the boys in tonight, there was a barrage of hugs and kisses and I love yous.

It becomes a competition.  Most hugs, most kisses, and the sweetest I love yous pour out.  I soak it in.

Not to be out done, in a quite moment Walker shares his heart.

"Mommy I love you so much.  I love you a hundred.  You know what that means. It means I love you more than anyone can love a moose."

Gilroy Gardens

So there's that.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Momma Bear

When the boys at the park are mean, careless, and cruel with their words, I will talk to my boys about choosing who they play with and about being kind even when others are not.

Park Night 7.27.2011

My heart will still break at your nasty words and my son's dejected heart.

Park Night 7.27.2011

He will find some new friends and move on long before the mother's wound heals.

But be on warning kids who do not treat my kids kindly.  I will then watch you like a hawk. And the moment you put your hands on my son, I will parent you if your parent will not.

I will shock you with my teacher voice and firmly tell you to remove your hands.  When you shove another child (not mine) out of line at the water fountain, I will correct you.

What do you think about being the park police?  I was surprised at my strong reaction to these aggressive kids.

Usually park behavior is the opposite. Mothers are mortified by any bad behavior from their child, no matter how minor.

I do not expect perfect behavior from all the kids at the park.  I know my kids have made there share of mistakes, but you will not get to abuse other kids while I'm sitting on that park bench.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Grey Days

Beach Day 7.22.2011

The Lord is walking me through letting go of so much of this world.  Leading me to praise on the grey days.  To let go of the complaining, grumpiness, and my circumstances having control of me.

When we have driven an hour to the beach and find a dreary grey cold beach.

When the kids are whiney and less than cooperative.

When people say things, meant in love, that come out cold.

When bills come that are tangible reminders of that horrible night.

When I stay up too late and sleep still escapes.

I will count it all joy that the Lord is teaching me so much about finding my rest, restoration and peace in him.  That he will use the blessings of the beach, the children, the husband, to comfort me; but when they fail I will always have him to run to.  I will not find my comfort in the blessings, but in The Giver, who promises oh so much more.

Beach Day 7.22.2011

When the fog rolls in, I will know it is from the Lord.  He is no less deserving of my worship than on the sunny clear days.  I will not project my value in this world on the Lord.  I will thank him for all he has let pass through his hands for me.  For he is drawing me in, and oh how I love him.

**Today is much more a sunny yellow day, but it took me a few days to muster the courage to click publish.  It is easy for me to share the sunshine, but hard to share the sadness.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Slide, Wee!

Every park here is better than the last.

And it is amazing to be able to use them all day. No weather restrictions.

Even on Sunday nights after dinner, when there is just a bit more daylight to chase.

What? It's over?

This one, Cuesta Park, we will be back to soon.  It met all the criteria: big enough to run and play, small enough to keep an eye on everyone, lots of age appropriate equipment, clean restrooms, open space, and close.

Thank you, California, your parks are amazing.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Sunday Night

He is a big four and half year old explorer with much to do in every minute.

But tonight, he picked me a flower and asked to hold my hand.

{Capturing these moments, may the never fade}

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Crossing Bridges

Happy Hollow Bridge

Today I was woken up far too early. {Praise Jesus for precious early morning snuggles and milk in the fridge}

Today I washed 3 pair of messy pants, 2 bathroom rugs and 2 sets of wet sheets. {Praise Jesus for running water and a washer and dryer}

Today I picked up 2 jets, 4 big trucks and 400 tiny blocks. {Praise Jesus that my children have the leisure to play}

Today I covered everyone in 50 SPF. (Please tell me one day they make peace with that) {Praise Jesus for simple solutions to preventable problems}

Today I walked outside in the hot (seriously it was hot) sun for 3 hours to wait in lines, keep little ones from climbing up the slide and falling down the steps, and clip and unclip "safety" straps on fun rides. {Praise Jesus for the blessing of 'fun time' with my kids}

Today my lunch was the uneaten half of Colin's sandwich and a sip of his water. {Praise Jesus that I can make so much lunch for my kids every day that there is always some left over}

Today was everything we all needed and more. {Praise Jesus for so many blessings undeserved}

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happiness in a Cup

We contemplated the fancy yogurt shop in town.

The getting out of the car, the getting in the shop, the $20 for everyone's treat, the mess all over everyone's shirt, the getting back in the car.

So, we decided to head toward the golden arches and get everyone nice self-contained milkshakes.

Let me tell you, the McD's have upgraded their milkshakes from back in the day.  Whip cream, a cherry on top, and a generous portion, all this worked out well for the kiddos.

And mommy and daddy got 20 minutes of peaceful conversation in the car.

{Eli and Colin finished their milkshakes just fine. Walker declared that he had enough sugar and stopped halfway through. Comments like that certainly don't come from my side of the family, in fact we are still searching for the origin.}

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Saturdays in this summer-of-busy have meant adventure days. Days to go and see and experience and to recharge ourselves as a little family.

And it has worked.

Great America

Brothers, having the time of their lives together.

Great America

The bumper cars are one of the favorites.  This picture is one of my favorites. I know the focus is all wrong and you can't see their faces, but still.  My two little race car drivers loving every moment of doing big kid things.  I just wish they were in opposite cars, so they could be 1 and 2. But I suppose it is okay for Eli to be number 1 every now and again.

Linking up as part of Beth's You Capture: Summertime

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Some Things are Hereditary

I've always had an irrational fear of people puppets.  People dressed up in giant costumes do not comfort me.

Yes, I know it is irrational, but it has been going on for years.  We are talking 4 years old to umm, recently, people.

Since having kids and taking trips to Disney World, I have come a long way.

See (2008).
Disney Trip 2009

I have worked hard to make sure I don't pass this disorder to my children.

But, apparently some things are just instinctual.

Great America

Eli's reaction
Great America

No matter the pleading, he was having none of it (and it is hilarious that he is using is baby brother for protection).
Great America

Can't say I blame him.  They are creepy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sometimes You Should Just Set the $5 on Fire

So we decided to buy the boys one treat, just one treat.

Great America

$5 for some ice and $.05 worth of flavored syrup.

Great America

There was enough time for a brain freeze.

Great America

But that was about it.

And, just one treat it is. As in, everybody got one bite, but they really enjoyed that one bite.

A Cool Day at the Theme Park

I don't think I have ever been to a theme park not in the sweltering southern heat and humidity.  I've also never had a major theme park 10 minutes from the house.  Well, that was before Saturday.  I highly recommend both.

We headed out to California's Great America. It is a theme park with a water park inside.  It was too cold (in July, Ha!) to do the water park, so we stuck to the (mostly) dry areas.

How our day began, with a ride on a double decker carousel.

I don't know why Colin was so upset on the carousel.  He loved it just a few weeks ago, but this time he would not let go of me.

They have a whole kid-themed area with rides for the kids.

The only trauma was when we encountered a ride that Walker and Eli could ride, but Colin could not.  He doesn't exactly understand that he is smaller than them. But there was always something around the corner to take his mind off of the, I'm-still-a-toddler-not-a-big-boy woes.

There was riding.
Great America

Great America

And driving.
Great America

And watching.
Great America

Great America

And bravery (by one, in particular) on the "big" ride.
Great America

And almost napping (but never giving in).
Great America

And promises to come back another day, because that is the beauty of the park being only 10 minutes away.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Eli Leads

All the boys loved the day at the beach, but Eli led the crew in all things ocean, sand and surf.  It is funny that my little one that looks like a surfer boy really is a surfer boy at heart.

He was the first to approach the waves.

The first watching and contemplating the ocean
Half Moon Bay

Searching for inspiration {as mommy searches for a frame}
Half Moon Bay

Inching closer
Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

Getting caught {in the coldest water ever}
Half Moon Bay

And loving it.
Half Moon Bay

And getting soaked {because the cold really doesn't matter (to him)}
Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

Taking on the ocean
Half Moon Bay

Sand building
Half Moon Bay

Staying in the ocean so long his lips turn blue and he is shivering. {and warming up with towels and cuddles from mommy}
Half Moon Bay

Digging with daddy
Half Moon Bay

And loving the beach just a little bit more than everyone else.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Half Moon Bay

The ocean is healing.  The vastness, the beauty, the roar of the water drowning out everything else, the constant change and moving; it helps me put everything in perspective.

Half Moon Bay

For our last date night Jason and I went to Half Moon Bay (about 45 minutes away) for dinner at sunset.  The food was average, but the company and watching the sun slip behind the waves was perfect.

The next morning we knew we want to take the kids.  Not for the romantic dinner, but for the beautiful sandy beaches.

They thought this was a good idea.
Half Moon Bay

The beach for 4th of July weekend, why not?

Half Moon Bay was great, lots of family digging in the sand and dipping their toes in the ocean.  The water is still cold, but the beach was beautiful and it was the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

There was much excitement {and support of Japan}
Half Moon Bay

I love getting all three in the same shot {even if there is some other strange guy in there as well}
Half Moon Bay

Everyone got new sand buckets {since the ones mommy had so carefully packed were still sitting in the living room}
Half Moon Bay

Auburn support, and protection from the intense sun.  It is so much easier to get burned here. Although, Colin doesn't care. He unwilling to get along with his hat. Therefore, he gets sunscreen in the hair from now on. {no burns, yet. well, at least not on the kids}
Half Moon Bay

And four able bodied ditch diggers ready to go. {there are no words for how tired they were at then end of this day}
Half Moon Bay

It is hard work moving sand all around the beach, but I suppose it has to be done.
Half Moon Bay

And inside the hole is the warmest place on the beach. {they can did mommy's wind protection first next time}
Half Moon Bay

You know; getting water to build sand castles and making deals on the phone. Quite the multi-tasker.
Half Moon Bay

The beach is just fun. The boys can play and play, a world of endless possibilities.  There is always more sand to dig, more waves to crash, more footprints to leave. No high priced entertainment, no need for movies or computers, just simple fun.  The smell of sunscreen and the feeling of peace overwhelms us all.