Compared to the summer months, I didn't take nearly as many pictures during September. I guess it's a welcome sign that our lives have slowed down a bit this month, or at least that we've settled into more of a regular routine. Here are some of our special activities from the month:
My sister Kim invited us to this great event at our nearby Lego store in the mall. Each month, the store sponsors a completely free Lego-building event. The best part of all is that we get to keep the Lego sets! Cody and Jaden were so eager to attend their first ever Lego mini-build, particularly when they found out they were building a school bus. The pieces in this set were a bit small, but these two Lego-fanatics did a fantastic job of following directions and were able to complete their buses with very little help. What a fun event! We're already signed up for next month!
Our Little Entrepreneurs
Guess this was a month of some firsts for Cody and Jaden. In addition to having their first Lego build, the boys also experienced their very first lemonade stand. Our family decided to participate in our neighborhood garage sale this month (mainly so we'd have the motivation to sort through some home items before baby's arrival). We figured that the boys would be much more engaged in our sale if they had a specific task too-- thus, the lemonade & brownie stand was born. Cody and Jaden took the preparations very seriously and counted down the days until the garage sale for several weeks. Each boy mixed up his own batch of brownies and then helped to color in our sign. (We actually lowered the price to 25 cents per brownie and cup of lemonade once we saw how small our cups and brownies were.)
On the day of our sale, we perched a table halfway in the garage in an attempt to give the boys at least a small amount of shade. (Go figure, it was a blazing hot and humid weekend here in the middle of September.) Not surprisingly, Cody and Jaden spent very little time actually sitting behind their lemonade "stand." Mostly, they'd play with their vehicles or bikes in the empty garage and wait until we had a larger group of customers. Jaden was very brave about approaching people at our sale (once we assured him that in this instance it was okay to talk with strangers!) and asking them if they'd like to buy a cup of lemonade. He was a hard little fella to turn down! Cody was content to stay in the background and help to fill up the lemonade cup when called upon.
By the end of our two-day sale, the boys had earned a grand total of $26. Not too bad when the money came in a quarter at a time! It certainly didn't hurt that the boys got several larger tips from a few generous family members. :) Also, we had a troop of three neighborhood teens who visited the stand twice on Saturday and bought nearly a dollar's worth of treats each time, remarking, "These are the best brownies ever!" Ha! That's a hungry teenage boy for you! :) Cody and Jaden were so proud of their hard-earned money. After giving a tithe to church on Sunday, the boys happily spent the rest of their money on matchbox cars and two small Lego sets. We were proud of our little salesmen!
Our annual zoo membership expires in October, so we thought we'd sneak in another visit while we still could. Grammy and Papa joined us in what was their first trip to the Houston Zoo. The day we visited was cloudy most of the day with a few light showers that cooled the weather down even a bit more. It ended up being a very comfortable day! One of the boys' biggest highlights was riding the zoo carousel.
I didn't take my camera out for very much of our visit since we already have tons of pics of this zoo, but I did get a smattering of shots...
We had never seen this monkey actually swing side to side on these ropes. At one point, the monkey even showed off by tight-rope walking along the top of the rope! He was quite the entertainer!
Probably the boys' biggest highlight of the day was something completely unrelated to animals at all-- visiting the zoo splash pad. I couldn't get over the fact that we were enjoying water play outdoors at the end of September. I'm definitely still adjusting to this Texas "fall."
Unfortunately, Mommy came only halfway prepared this day... I grabbed the towels but left the boys' swimsuits in the car! The splash pad is way at the back end of the zoo, so rather than retrieve the suits, we just let the boys play in their regular clothes and then changed them into dry swimsuits for the ride home. They, of course, didn't mind this backwards plan one bit! The refreshing water play was exactly what Jaden and Cody needed to re-energize their spirits.
Thanks, Grammy and Papa, for joining us on this zoo outing!
Lowe's Build and Grow
We hadn't attended a Build and Grow event for several months since the summer building projects were all related to Avengers characters (something Jaden and Cody know nothing about). This month, however, the project was back to something normal-- a fireboat. Matt and Kim and family joined us for this event. Right away, we noticed how the 4-year-old boys had all advanced so much in their ability to complete the project much more independently. I guess a summer full of following Lego directions has really helped! After looking at the directions, Cody knew exactly which pieces fit together and where to put the nails.
There he goes, the little builder! :)
Mommy is always thankful that Daddy accompanies us on these events. Even with their increased independence, the boys still need some guidance, so having an extra parent present makes our time much more enjoyable! Daddy and Jaden worked together to assemble Jaden's boat.
The finished products turned out to be quite nice!
As soon as we got home, Cody and Jaden spread out a blue blanket on the ground so that they could "float" their boat around on the "water." At the end of the day, they created a trailer out of MagnaTiles to carry their boats in. A pickup truck from a former Build and Grow is used to steer the trailer + boat around. Their creative little minds sure make me smile.
Time at the Park
By now, the last week of September, the weather has finally started to cool off a bit. Visiting parks during the daytime actually sounds much more enjoyable! Just this week, the boys and I loaded up their bikes into the van one morning so they could take a ride along this beautiful lake-side path.
I didn't feel comfortable riding a bike with my growing pregnant belly, so I got to power walk behind the boys. They did a great job of stopping periodically to let me catch up.
After one loop around the pond, the boys enjoyed time on the playground equipment as well as the climbing trees.
A Bedtime Pic for Daddy
This last week of September has been an out-of-town conference week for Jason. Every time that Daddy goes out of town, we try to send him at least a picture a day to give him a taste of what we are doing. On this particular evening, I was trying to get Cody and Jaden to blow kisses to Daddy for the picture, but this is what they gave me instead. Wrestling buddies forever. :)