Sunday, June 25, 2017

Family Birthday Party

Over Memorial Day weekend, we had the family over to celebrate Jaden and Cody's birthday. After a grilled hamburger & hot dog meal, the whole crew headed out to a nearby park. Since Jaden and Cody were having a bike-themed birthday party with their preschool-aged friends the following weekend, we decided to do a few bike activities at this gathering too. All the cousins looked pretty cute lined up on their wheeled vehicles!

Jaden, Ryan, Isaiah, Abby, Cody, Ian, Uncle Matt, Nathan
The two bike activities that we had the cousins do were trial runs for some of the stations at the boys' upcoming party. First, we had the kids weave their bikes around a series of cones.

We had to keep reminding our competitive almost-5-year-olds that not everything was a race!

Every time he'd pass the camera, Nathan would give me the most precious smile and start waving. Is this kid used to the camera or what? What a cutie!

For the next activity, the kids all had to bike towards this line of cones and then stop their bike as close as possible to the cones without knocking the cones over. This task was harder than it looked! Most of the kids bowled right through the cones. :)

After these two little activities, we just let the kids ride their bikes all around the pathways in this park. When they got tired of racing... er... riding, we enjoyed time on the playground. Adley was wiped out by this point! This little girl just loves being in the Bjorn.

Grammy and Papa volunteered to be the Keepers of the Bikes while all the kids were on the playground equipment. This important job turned out to be fairly relaxing, I think! :)

Back at home, we served up some mint chocolate chip ice cream cake-- a family favorite for our little clan-- and sang happy birthday to Jaden and Cody. It's hard to believe these boys are already 5!

Then, of course, it was present time. Our family was so generous with their gift-giving! After reading the kind words in their birthday cards...


...Cody and Jaden were just thrilled to open up gifts like umbrellas, a movie, a board game, a car track set, Wild Kratt costumes, sleeping bags, a puzzle, and more. What a perfect way to start out the summer-- with all kinds of new toys and gifts!

We ended the evening with hugs all around.

Jaden and Cody have never had this many family members over (14 people in addition to our family of 5) to celebrate their birthday. What a treat! Thanks for celebrating with us, family! Happy #5, Jaden and Cody!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

May Misc

A few miscellaneous May happenings...

Nephew Time
We swapped baby-sitting nights in mid-May with Matt and Kim so that we could have a couple's date night. What a treat it was to have a kid-free meal and conversation time! We realized that our last date night was in December.... it had definitely been too long! When it was our turn to watch Matt and Kim's boys, we spent part of the evening playing T-ball in our front yard. I love how in each picture, at least one boy is either sitting or rolling on the ground. Someday, all these boys will likely be much more competitive about their sporting events (like their daddies!), but for now our sports games are usually full of silliness. At least they're all having a grand old time!

Playtime Activities
Cody and Jaden are so creative about their playtime! Having twins is certainly proving to make our life a bit easier at this stage, as the boys are often interested in similar things and can entertain themselves so well for long stretches of time. One day, they called me over to the stairs to show me how they had organized all of their stuffed animals-- each step was reserved for a different kind of animal. 

During their soccer season, the boys devised this game of "animal soccer" that is the only safe way Mommy and Daddy have allowed them to play soccer indoors. Each boy has a pile of stuffed animals next to his goal. For each play, he'll use a different stuffed animal to "kick" the ball across the room, attempting to score into his brother's goal. One goal is usually made up of puzzle boxes piled atop of one another into a sort of arch, while the other goal is often the piano bench.

Mother's Day
Here are my three cuties on Mother's Day morning before church. I get the best smiles out of my boys when I allow them to say bathroom words for the camera. Whatever works, I guess! :)

Cody and Jaden were so excited to present me with these painted letter M's that they made in preschool. Their projects turned out so cute, and I loved seeing how proud the boys were. Maybe in a few months I'll have Adley decorate a letter O so that I can spell Mom!

This pic is a few weeks belated, but I love trying to get a pic with my kiddos close to Mother's Day. God has blessed me richly with these three!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

PreK End of Year

The month of May is certainly a time of wrapping things up! Jaden and Cody's school year ended with a few special events. First was their school's spring program for preK-2nd grade. The evening program started with the boys' music teacher Ms. Fisher leading the preK kids in a couple songs.

Jaden and Cody are in the back row, slightly right of the middle.

I only took small sample videos of each of their songs. The first was "Everybody Praise the Lord."

The second song was "My God is So Big." 

And after two songs, that was it for Cody and Jaden's portion of the program! It seemed like a big effort for such a short time, but it was still fun to see the boys on stage.

The boys' last day of school began with chapel (which has been once a month all through the school year). Lots of parents attended this last one since they ended the chapel with a picture slideshow of all the Early Childhood classes. During the service, they also had the kids sing a few songs for the parents (different songs from the spring program). Cody sat back in the parent section with us (Grammy, Papa, and cousin Abby came along too). Here is Cody singing "Fishers of Men."

Once she got the hang of the actions, Abby joined in as well! She's excited to start Early Childhood next year at Salem, and we'll be happy to have her there!

Here's a quick video clip of the "Fishers of Men" song.

Jaden wanted to sit with his classmates that morning, so I didn't get any great pics of him. You can see him in orange near the middle of the picture.

On the last week of school, the boys' teachers took these graduation pics of them. Cody apparently wasn't in the mood for smiling well that day! :) These boys sure grew up during the course of the year!

Here is our last-day-of-school pic. The boys are wearing their school's theme shirts (which we were encouraged to wear for every chapel day). Cody and Jaden loved their preK experience and both have said that they'll miss school over the summer. Next stop... kindergarten!! :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Soccer Party

After Cody and Jaden's final soccer game, the coach's wife organized a team party that was a kids' dream. The sugar overload included large donuts, a whole bagful (per kid!) of donut holes, juice boxes, and a bag of candy.

Not surprisingly, Cody and Jaden were thrilled about the donuts and all the sugary treats!

After snacking for a bit, the coach presented each player with a personalized trophy. I don't think Jaden and Cody have ever been more proud of anything!

Jaden with Coach Nunez

Cody and Coach Nunez
The undefeated Pirates:
Cody, Preston, Mason, Grayson, Brayden, Aiden, Riley, Bella, Conner, Jaden

Jaden and Cody proudly showed their trophies off to anyone who came to our home for the next several weeks afterwards. Some days, they even carried the trophies around the house with them.

We were thankful for a great coach, talented teammates, and a committed group of parents (our team was always the timeliest when arriving for any morning game!). It was a great first-ever soccer season. We look forward to another round of soccer next school year!