Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Barrett!

It's crazy to think that it's been two whole years since our baby was born!  Brody seemed like such a grown up kid at the time...and now Barrett's older than Brody was when he was born.  Two doesn't seem as "old" as it did when Brody hit that milestone!  Here are a few pictures to show how he's grown over the past couple years.  Yes, he may be on the small side of the growth curve...but my has he grown!

5 days old
1 year old
2 years old
If you want to remember back with's a link to the posts about Barrett's here

I never thought that Barrett would talk as much as Brody did at this age.  How could he?  Brody doesn't even stop talking to breathe!  I was wrong!  Instead of waiting for Brody to stop talking...Barrett just talks over his brother. 

One of Barrett's favorite things right now is the Happy Birthday song. I can't tell you how many times a day I hear, "Mommy?  Sing Happy Birthday to you!"  So cute!  He was more than happy to let us sing to him this morning before he ate his birthday donuts.
Mike and I have had so much fun with our little "Bear bear" and know that there are many adventures in our future.  We love our little boy so much that our hearts overflow!  In fact, he's my favorite two year old in the ENTIRE WORLD!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Barrett's 2nd Birthday Party

The boys woke up super excited about the day today.  Brody kept asking when Collin would get here.  They were happy when everyone finally arrived and they were quick to change out of their clothes and into their swimsuits.  We were barely able to keep them out of the water long enough to eat lunch, have cake, and open presents. 

I think Brody and Collin were more excited about the present time than Barrett was.  We had to pull up some extra chairs so they could sit close enough to participate (meaning they "helped" Barrett open his presents...even though he didn't really need help...but he didn't seem to mind).
Then it was time for the guys to make the presents usable for the kids.  You know...blowing up inflatable pirate ships...
and taking a million twisty ties off a John Deere tractor.
The kids could hardly wait for the pirate ship to be ready.  They all piled on and were ready to conquer the pool.
It got a little rough for Barrett, so I helped him practice swimming.  He's doing great with his swimming.  He suddenly decided that he wanted to swim without floaties.  He can't get a breath on his own, but he sure can swim around the pool!  We're working on the whole breath thing.
Jayden preferred playing basketball on the deck.  Remember how I said Angela is OCD about having things in order...well I guess it carried on to her son...only he's tremendously OCD about basketball.  If he even sees a basketball it's all he can talk about.  He LOVES it!  My boys always loved balls...but Jayden is truly obsessed!
When Jayden went down for a nap, the adults got a turn with the basketball goal.  I haven't played water basketball in years.  It was a workout!  Considering the fact that all of us are pretty competitive, we all left with battle scars.
As I was downloading pictures from Daddy Steve's camera, I found this picture.  What where they thinking?!?  Our pool is NOT a diving pool!  It's a good thing I didn't see this in person.  (And consider this a stern warning from me to all the "grown boys" out there...Don't dive off the fountains!!!)
Thanks to all the family that joined us to make Barrett's 2nd birthday very special.  We had so much fun...and were exhausted by the end of the day. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Making of the Cake

Barrett will turn 2 years old on Sunday!  Early this morning (or late last night...depending on how you look at it) Grammy and her sister, Aunt Cherie, arrived at our house.  One of the main projects on tap for today was Barrett's birthday cake.  I've included several step by step pictures.  How many pictures will it take before you can figure out what we're making?!?

Moon pies?
Raccoon eyes?
Now for the M&M's.  Angela is a little OCD about things being in order.  She made sure that all the M&M's that she put on the cake were in the correct alternating order.  I don't think she like the fact that sometimes I put 2 red ones in a row or 2 brown ones in a row!  I think Brody was more interested in eating them.
time to add the grass....
Are you getting the picture now?

Rather than trying to make a cake look like Lightning McQueen, I opted for a racetrack cake with toy cars on top.  I think it turned out great!
Now if only we can keep everyone from eating the Oreo's and M&M's off the cake before the party tomorrow!

VBS 2010

Why have I not posted much this week?  Because I've been going to the gym, doing housework, going to  work, rushing home, and going straight to VBS (which we didn't get home from until after 9:30 pm each night)!  It's been a busy (and very fun) week!
Brody and Collin were ecstatic to get to see each other every day this week.  Brody even spent the night with Collin on Tuesday night and then Julie brought all the kids to our house to swim on Wednesday afternoon before VBS.  These two boys are wild when they get together.  They're so excited to see each other that they can't contain themselves! 
Mike and I were group leaders for a bunch of 4/5 year old kids.  It was fun going to all the different centers with them and watching them learn.
Of course, Scripture Man always gave us a good laugh!
Next on the schedule at our house?  Barrett's 2nd birthday.  Can you believe that my baby turns 2 on Sunday!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Memory Lane

Today we decided to take the scenic drive home.  We avoided the major highways all together and took the back roads home.  The neat thing about taking the back roads home is that it took us through two towns that have some important childhood memories for me.

First up was Marble Falls.  Sissie and Carroll (my great aunt and uncle) lived here when I was a child.  We loved coming to visit them because Carroll would let us drive his golf cart (their house backed up to the golf course)!  We took a picture of the town from the top of a hill...then we ventured into town for lunch! 
The next stop was Hamilton.  My great-grandparents (Granny Belle and Grandpa Walter) lived in Hamilton.  Many people don't get to know their great grandparents, however I was blessed that they lived well into my teen years! 
It's been so many years since I've visited Hamilton and just driving up the road towards their house brought back vivid memories.
Their house was not pink (or whatever color this is) when they lived there, but the outbuildings that they had are still standing (and are still the same color).
One of the most memorable aspects of their land (in the memory of everyone in our family) were the big trees out front.  The grandkids would climb in the trees for hours.  The branches hung low to the ground and were easy to climb.  They don't look the same anymore.  They are totally covered in vines.   I'm sure the branches we used to climb are long gone.  I wanted to get a picture of Brody in the tree...but there wasn't any way to get up there without cutting down some vines!

In my mind, this house is the one that Aunt Babe lived in.  Am I right, GG?
The creek down the road from their house.
When I called GG to get the house address, she asked if we had time to stop by the graveyard to check on Granny Belle and Grandpa Walter's graves.  She hasn't been able to go there for years and was curious as to the condition of the grave.  I was happy to tell her that it looked really good.  It's not a regularly maintained cemetery and all the other graves around them were full of weeds. 

After telling Mike and the boys a few stories about my great-grandparents, we got back on the road towards home.  It was so relaxing driving through the countryside rather than along the busy highway!  Here are a few pictures out the window...


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lost Lagoon

We headed to Sea World's water park, Lost Lagoon, early this morning as to beat the crowds.  We heard that sometimes it "reaches capacity" and they have to close the entrance until enough people exit the park to allow more people to come in.  When we arrived we were happy to see that we were near the front of the line of people waiting to get into the water park.
Everyone enjoyed our time at Lost Lagoon.  Again, Brody was disappointed that he wasn't tall enough to ride more rides, but he loved the slides he got to go on.  All the kids loved the wave pool.  Barrett laughed so hard each time a wave came and then he'd say, "Here it comes again!" as he saw the next one building in front of us.

The only real excitement of the day came when we first got there.  The park only allows "coast guard approved floatation devices".  Floaties are not coast guard approved.  So we deflated Barrett's floaties and he had to wear one of the life jackets provided by the park.  The bad thing is that the smallest life jacket was for 30-50 pound kids (Barrett's still in the 20's...which is the reason we have to use floaties at home...there aren't any life jackets small enough for him!)  I put the jacket on him and then followed everyone else into the lazy river.  As soon as I let go of Barrett, the life jacket was so thick and top heavy that it dumped him head first in the water (and he couldn't upright himself)!  I tried again (carefully placing him upright) and again it dunked him under.  After several attempts with the same horrifying result, I asked one of the lifeguards if I could put his floaties on him in addition to the life jacket.  She said yes and when I got the floaties on him too he floated happily down the river (looking like the kid from Christmas Story who couldn't put his arms down!)  Everything was fine until we got to the other side of the lazy river and a lifeguard blew her whistle at us and said "no floaties are allowed in the park!"  I tried to explain to her the reasoning and she said, "Well, if he can't swim, then he doesn't need to be in here!"  Excuse me?  What about all the hundreds of other toddlers that are in life jackets?  Can all of them swim?  So...she radioed in "I have a code 1019" and we waited 10 minutes for her supervisor to arrive.  I asked her supervisor if she would rather my child drown because they don't have a small enough "approved" flotation device for him....or would she rather me increase his safety by adding additional flotation devices (ie. floaties)?!  She finally said that it was ok for him to wear the floaties as long as he kept the life jacket on too.  We should have asked her to put that in writing and then hung it as a sign around Barrett's neck for all the other lifeguards that tried to correct us throughout the day!  The moral of the story?  Sometimes it's ok to break a rule (like allowing floaties) if it means saving a life!

I didn't take too many pictures at the water park (since my camera's not waterproof.  Also, notice the glow around the people in all the pictures?  I was using my little, purse-sized camera.  I'm not sure why it was taking such strange pictures?!)  I did, however, capture this picture of my boys as we were getting ready to eat lunch.  This is so typical.  Both of them have their mouths open...talking!!!  I tell ya, it's non-stop at our house!
Angela and Jayden ready to eat lunch.  Something about swimming makes everyone hungry!
By late afternoon everyone felt waterlogged and sunburned (ok...maybe not everyone.  Brody and Barrett were in no hurry to leave.  Maybe I should say "the adults felt waterlogged and sunburned".) and we decided to head back to the hotel.

Tonight was our turn to go out on a date while Mark & Angela babysit the kids.  We headed down to the Riverwalk and ate dinner a nice Italian restaurant that started with a P (I can't remember how to spell it!)  Then we spent a few hours just walking around the Riverwalk.  I showed Mike a few places I'd been with Junior & RaeAnn when we had a conference in San Antonio several years ago.  We also reminisced about our honeymoon (It was almost 11 years ago and we spent the first night in a hotel on the Riverwalk.)
As we we trying to find the lobby of the hotel we stayed at on the first night of our honeymoon (it's currently under major construction), we stumbled upon the Alamo!  Mike had never been to the Alamo, so even though it was closed, it was exciting to get to see such a great part of Texas history in person! 
We arrived back at the hotel to find both of our kids sleeping soundly in their beds.  What a nice treat!  Thanks Mark & Angela! 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sea World

*Get ready for picture overload!!!*

We arrived at Sea World this morning just as they were opening the park for the day.  We lathered everyone up with sunscreen and then joined the crowd of people excited for a day at Sea World.  Our first stop was the sea lion show.  It was really good!  It was a comedic show who's stars were the sea lions, an otter, and a HUGE walrus.  Here's our family waiting for the show to start.
MarkAngela & Jayden.  (No.  You didn't just see a typo.  That's what Barrett calls both Mark & Angela.  For some reason, they are one name in his head.  All weekend he referred to them both by the name MarkAngela.  Cracked us up!) 
"The Cannery Row Caper" - Sea Lion show

Can you believe the size of this walrus?  Are all walruses this large? 
After the show it was time for lunch.  We found a nice, cool cafe to eat lunch at.  Did I mention that it was in the upper 90's outside today?  The air conditioning felt so good.  Barrett kept trying to get Jayden to give him knucks, but Jayden wasn't wanting to show off for us.
After lunch went to a show called Cool Vibrations.  We sat in the splash zone at this show and got soaking wet!  The guys on jet skis rode right up to the stands, turned the jet skis around, and then revved the engines spraying water all over the crowd.  It felt great!!!

After the show came the highlight of Brody's day...Journey to Atlantis.  This was one of 2 roller coasters that he was tall enough to ride.  He had seen this roller coaster in the Sea World brochure and had been talking about riding it for days. 
Mike, Mark, and Brody were the first to ride.  They're sitting on the back row in the picture below (Mark is in a red shirt and Brody and Mike are beside him) and you'll notice they all have their arms up high in the air!

Angela and I watched the little boys (knowing we'd get to take Brody next).
After they got off the roller coaster they stood at the bridge at the exit and waited for the big SPLASH of the riders after them.
They were soaked but looked like they had so much fun!
Brody begged to go again, so Angela and I took him.  (We're in the third row.  I'm in a turquoise shirt and Angela's in pink.  Notice that Brody and I have our arms up in the air...but Angela is holding onto the lap bar with a death grip! lol)
Brody begged to go again, and again, and again.  We told him we might get to ride it more later, but we wanted to do something that everyone could do together.  We headed to Shamu Theater for the show Believe staring Shamu (the star of Sea World).  Barrett fell asleep in the stroller on the way to the show.  Since they don't let you take strollers in (and since we knew Barrett needed the nap), Mike and I decided to just walk around the park with Barrett while everyone else went to see Shamu.  We thought we'd get to go to a later show, but that didn't work out.  I'm kinda disappointed that we went to Sea World and didn't get to see Shamu!  At least the others did.  They sat in the splash zone and got wet.  Brody told me that Shamu was really big with black and white on him.  He said his favorite part of the show was when he got splashed.

During the Shamu show, the lines for rides were extremely short.  As soon as the show was over we hurried to do a few rides before the lines got long again.  Mike, Brody, Barrett, and I rode a ride a ride called Texas Splashdown (for those of you that have been to Six Flags, it's like the Log Ride).  The boys loved it!  Barrett was so excited to be able to say he went on a roller coaster.  (Tonight as he was going to sleep he was still telling Brody, "Bubba!  I went on roller coaster!")  Next Mike and Mark went to ride one of the big roller coasters.  The rest of us waited for them at the end. Barrett was happy and energetic (remember, he'd just had a nap)...but the other two were starting to get really tired. 
Jayden finally gave in and went to sleep.  Barrett thought it was funny that Jayden was asleep, so he climbed in his stroller and pretended to be asleep too (just for a picture).  Notice how his eyes are squinted shut and he has a smirk on his face?
When they guys were done with the roller coaster, we headed to the kiddie park (which Brody misunderstood and thought I was saying "kitty" park, therefore, he kept asking to go to the cat park! lol)  Next came the biggest mistake of the day...the egg ferris wheel.  We thought it'd be fun because all the little kids could ride.  Don't be mistaken by the smile and wave...
This is what it really felt like.  It was BRUTAL!  The sun was soooo intense and we sat there baking!  You wait for them to load each egg individually.  Then the ferris wheel goes around maybe 6 times?  Then you wait your turn to exit.  I bet it took 10 minutes...which meant we were sitting almost still in a metal bowl in 95+ degree heat with no breeze and no shade.  Did I say brutal?  Jayden was crying and we were all ready to disembark and run for the shade!  If you go to Sea World with little ones, only ride this if it's in the early morning shade.
Next we headed to see the dolphins.  You can lean over the edge of the dolphin pool and reach for them as the swim by.  They didn't come close enough for us to touch them, but it was fun to watch them swim around.
The last stop of the day was the aquarium.  We saw so many sharks, fish, and sea creatures.  Angela and I talked about how the differences and uniqueness in the sea life causes us to marvel at the creativity of God. 

By the time we left the aquarium it was after 6:30 pm.  It had been a long day.  The kids still had some smiles left in them...
But the rest of us felt like this....
We decided it was time to head back to the hotel.  We had so much fun today it wore us out! 
When we got back to the hotel Mike and I took all the kids to our room and let Mark & Angela have a date night.  We took them to the pool (it felt amazing after enduring the heat all day), feed them pizza, and then put them to bed.
Tomorrow we're headed to Sea World's water park, Lost Lagoon.  We're all excited about spending a day in the water!