Monday, June 24, 2013

New Toys

With the combination of birthday gifts and some recent garage sale treasures we've found, Cody and Jaden have all kinds of exciting new toys! Here are some pictures of their latest playtime adventures.

Cody helped unwrap the packaging on this fun Amazon gift--

...a Little Tikes basketball hoop! Jaden is making sure the ball has enough air.

Right away, Daddy shows his budding athletes how to make a slam dunk.

Jaden already demonstrates great defensive form. Of course, it helps that Cody is way more interested in analyzing the ball than shooting it.

Daddy also shows Cody how to hit a line drive.

As you can tell, both boys still need some work with keeping their eye on the ball!

Our new sprinkler hose attachment is quite the novelty with our little guys! Jaden carefully checks out the new toy from a safe distance.

Both boys discuss whether or not to run through the water. For this particular day, they decided to stay dry. We're sure the boys will make full use of this sprinkler game someday soon!

For the record, the boys now have a more technologically advanced phone than Daddy & Mommy. Jaden shows us how to talk into his new iPhone.

The keys on this piano are easier to reach compared with our full-sized one upstairs! Plus, this keyboard plays many tunes and rhythms all on its own!

For his first experience with a swimming pool, Jaden prefers to test out the water before jumping right in.

Cody also reaches for the balls inside the pool, but isn't sure if he wants to get all the way in quite yet.

"So how are we supposed to retrieve these balls without getting wet?"

Perhaps getting just a little wet isn't so bad after all, Cody says!

Try #1 with the baby pool can still be considered a success, even if all the boys wanted to do was wade in the water. Maybe we just have to wait for a REALLY hot day to get them all the way in!

Neither boy had any problem at all getting wet with our new water table. This toy is even safari-themed... just like the boys' birthday party. What a great gift!

Not only is the water fun to splash in, the boys also enjoy playing with the safari animals, water slides, and all the colorful attachments.

All of these toys are sure to provide countless hours of entertainment for our little guys. Thank you so much to our friends and family (for the gifts pictured and those that are not) for your generous love!

A Father's Day Note

Dear Daddy,
What a wonderful father you are! We are so thankful that God gave us you as a daddy. You are patient, fun, gentle, funny, and very loving. From the very beginning, we could tell that you cared for us and were ready to  protect us no matter what!

You have always done such a great job of caring for our basic needs. Since there are two of us, you have had to be an especially active, hands-on daddy. During the past year, you have lovingly fed us,

given us baths,

swaddled us and sang to us,

and comforted us until we fell asleep.

Sometimes you would even fall asleep with us!

Since you're such a big sports fan, you've helped us learn about sports from very early on-- like showing Cody how to hike a football,

teaching Jaden about fantasy football,

and letting us know what all the very best teams are!

You're good at teaching us other things too-- like all about reading...

and how to walk.

You're such a fun playmate! You've built forts with us,

made funny voices,

played guitar for us,

and have always taken time out... giggle with us and make us laugh!

Most importantly, you have taught us about Jesus and His great love. You are a wonderful example of God's love to us! We may not always thank you through our words (babbles) or actions, but we really do think you are the BEST daddy ever! We love you very much!

Love your little boys,

Cody & Jaden

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Time with Grammy

We were SO thankful that Grammy was able to join us for the boys' birthday party this year. She was such a big help with all the last minute party preparations-- even being willing to ice & decorate a cake at 9pm after just flying in! She made a lot of our tasty party food, watched the boys so Mommy and Daddy could finish some of the party tasks, and on the big day, she served as the party photographer.

Because Grammy arrived here only the night before the party, we put her to work right away. She definitely arrived in the midst of a whirlwind! Thankfully, Grammy is always so good about jumping right in and knowing just how to help. What a blessing she is!

The best part about having her arrive so close to the party is that we had a lot of time afterwards just to relax together and play with the boys. First on the docket was some ladies' pampering time. Ahh... a relaxing pedicure was the perfect way to celebrate successfully making it through the boys first shin-dig! 

Grammy also took us to a hardware store to pick up the last component of the boys' birthday gift-- sand for their new sandbox! Jaden and Cody were initially a bit unsure of the feel of sand between their toes, although  we're thinking that uncertainty will soon pass. The boys likely have MANY hours of playtime ahead in this sandbox. Thanks for the fun gift, Grammy & Papa!

Another exciting thing that we were able to do was attend one of Daddy's church softball games. This was Cody & Jaden's first softball game (Mommy hadn't been brave enough to take them on her own yet!). At first, the boys were simply quiet spectators, taking it all in.

They got to see Daddy in action quite a bit, as he had a very busy night as shortstop. Daddy also got two great hits, including a double that required a head-first slide!

Despite the great action on the field, however, the boys were ready for some out-of-the-stroller action of their own. Jaden enjoyed time in the dugout, meeting some of the players and hanging out with Daddy between innings.

Cody hung out on the blanket for about 2 minutes with Mommy before choosing instead to walk around on the grass. (Thankfully there was a fence to keep him off the field!)

Unfortunately, there was no fence to keep Cody away from the pebbles and the dirt on the ground.... so naturally the dirty pebbles ended up in Cody's mouth. Perhaps in getting dirt all over his shirt, Cody just wanted to be more like his Daddy.

By the end of the game, Daddy's team had pulled off a 13-8 victory over a very tough team. Way to go, Trinity! And thanks, Grammy, for your help in watching the boys so that we all could attend this game.

Teammates Daddy, Mark and Jonathan with their
biggest little fans: Jaden, Cody, Micah & Noah

Grammy had only been visiting for a short time before she learned two very important lessons about living in the Schleicher household. 

Rule #1: Never leave any personal belongings lying around on the floor.

And Rule #2: Be ready for the twins to follow you wherever you go!

Cody & Jaden watching Grammy come up the stairs

Grammy easily jumped right into the routine of our household-- helping out with all the everyday things like reading before naptimes,

and feeding at mealtimes.

She even accompanied us on a trip to Costco so we could buy some whole milk for the boys to try for the first time.

Costco is our very favorite place to shop since it's the only store that has shopping carts that fit TWO in front... talk about a twin-friendly place! Grammy kept the boys well-entertained throughout the store.

And of course, Grammy was a ready playmate during all the at-home down times, too. The boys LOVED having Grammy chase after them! They would just giggle and giggle with her.

Grammy helped Jaden make some slam dunks,

and pushed both boys on the swings at our favorite neighborhood park.

Cody tried out some of the park's other play equipment (although he wasn't a big fan of this toy yet).

Grammy also watched Jaden as he simply sat on the sidewalk, enjoying the breeze and the sunshine.

Grammy was the one who noticed Jaden's little shadow profile. Isn't it cute?

Back at home, we tried out some of the new bubble wands the boys had received as birthday gifts.

Jaden and Cody also enjoyed pushing their little lawn-mowers around the yard. They're both gaining quick confidence with walking on uneven surfaces like our lawn. 

Cody, however, found it much easier simply to push the mower from the front. Whatever works, buddy!

All in all, it was such a gift to have Grammy visit our home. Jaden and Cody loved having another playmate, and Mommy was so thankful for the extra helping hand. Grammy brought so many smiles into our household. Thank you for giving of your time and coming to stay with us, Grammy. We all love you so much!