Monday, May 28, 2012

Oh, yes ....

And THIS is what happens now when Daddy does leave without the boys (which has only been once so far).  I'm obviously faking ... but these are real, live, LOUD tears from the boys.  Lots of explaining that he isn't going to Afghanistan ... just running an errand.  

Daddy's Shadows ...

These boys have not let Daddy out of their sight!  They are definitely his shadows ... and I've heard "Daddy daddy daddy daddy" a million times since Wednesday.  They LOVE them some Daddy ... and are so glad to have him home :-)!!  We ALL are!!!  

Yes, this is them outside the bathroom door waiting for him to get done - ha!!!


Here is a quick "sample" of pictures from Homecoming Day for the boys and me.  I'll post more later, too - and I'm not sure why these are out of order, BUT what a fantastic day it was!  
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, we decided to surprise the boys ... and surprise is an understatement.  They were both totally SHOCKED.  It was nice, b/c we were able to surprise them separately, which gave them each "their moment", too!  
Aunt Becky, Aunt Jenn, Cole, and I picked Chris up from the airport at 9am on Wednesday morning.  From a distance, Cole kept saying "Poppy" ... but when we got up close - it was like he didn't quite believe what he was seeing :-)

Here they are at the airport....

Chris and me back at his Mom and Dad's house - before we were off to surprise Jake at preschool ....

After Chris had surprised Jake during lunch, Jake and all his friends wanted Chris to read them a book.  I think they were basically all sitting in Chris's lap :-)

Still reading :-)

Outside on the playground at school, before heading home :-)

Silly faces, of course.  

Lunch at Jake's school ... right after surprising Jake :-)

At the airport that morning .... Chris with Cole and Jenn and Becky!!  

YAY!!!  HE'S BACK!!!!!  

Cole was NOT letting go ... 

Here is the video of Cole seeing Daddy for the first time.  Again, totally caught off guard - but so excited! Neither one of the boys have let Chris out of their sight since they saw him on Wednesday :-)

Here is the video of Chris surprising Jake at preschool during lunch.  Honestly, when you surprise a 4 year old, you never quite know the reaction you are going to get.  Jake is such an "organized" person, who likes to know exactly how each day is going to unfold, so to say he was surprised really is a huge understatement.  He was basically paralyzed in shock (does that even make sense)?!
You'll see on the video, but when he saw Chris, he said "Hi daddy" as if that was completely normal, but then his face just TOTALLY changed to shock ... like, "what is going on?!!!"  I think he was trying not to cry - but you can just see his mind processing everything that is going on.  Chris told me that while they were hugging, Chris said, "I'm back" and Jake said, "Do you have to go back to Afghanistan after this?"  I think Jake was trying to figure out if Chris was really home for good or not :-)  It was all pretty precious and a special moment for them!
It's beyond wonderful to have Chris back, safe and sound.  Feeling especially thankful this Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Olde Mill Park

On Sunday, we met Gram and Poppy, Aunt Jenn, Aunt Becky, and Aunt Katy at Olde Mill Park in Fredericksburg for a picnic.  You never have to ask me twice to go to a park/playground.  I will be in almost every time.  We had such a fun couple of hours, and it was so nice to get outside and relax and play.  I'm soaking up all of these moments these days as I know being back in CA is right around the corner.  That will be more bittersweet than expected ... but that's another post for another day :-)  
Here are some pictures from our fun afternoon on Sunday!!  

Playing in the Rappahannock River.

Having lots of fun with Poppy :-)  They love them some Poppy, Poppy, Poppy!

Aunt Jenn was braving the water, too.  


Just another Sunday afternoon!  Love it :-)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

CRAZY about these SMILES

Yesterday evening, we took an impromptu trip to the playground at the Marine Corps Museum (my favorite around).  We just needed some different scenery and a place to really exhaust some energy.  I think it was therapeutic for all .... and it made me really happy to see the SMILES on these handsome faces.  Since we had the place mostly to ourselves, too, the boys really played hard TOGETHER, which is so fun seeing these days ... They are interacting more and more - and even though that involves a lot of playful wrestling, it's nice when it doesn't (ha)!  I was taking lots of pictures to send to Chris, so I figured I'd post them on the blog, too .... got some good shots of them enjoying each other :-)

Not sure why Jake wanted to be in the "baby" swing next to Cole ... but he told me that when he turns 5, he probably definitely won't fit :-) 

Love these 2 :-)

Having so much fun!  They must've gone down that slide together 30 times ... we lost count!

Just a few more days ... and they will have a younger brother to add to the mix :-)

Yes, I had to document this :-)  It's amazing what grandchildren can talk grandparents into ;-)

Here are some videos.  I could be wrong (I'd have to verify with Aunt Jenn, Becky, or Katy) ... but I think this may be the first time Jake has actually held up his weight on the zip line.  He gets more confident each time we go to this playground .... and it was pretty neat to see that he was really trying hard to make it work.

The video of the boys running to the slide ... like I mentioned earlier, they probably did this at least 30 times.  I think that's about the point that my Dad lost track :-)  Needless to say, FUN night at the park - and so nice to see the smiles and hear all the laughs!  It sure was an absolutely beautiful day!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Because I Don't Want to Forget ....

The boys have been bouncing off the walls a little bit the past couple of days.  I'm not sure if they are sensing change or what is going on, but ... something is going on.  So, this morning ... we met a friend at the playground around 9am, and here is the conversation between Jake and me on the way there:

Me:  Jake, what is going on with you the past couple days?  You aren't really listening at all.  Is something bothering you?  Do you need to tell me something?

Jake:  Well, God told Cole and me to wrestle early this morning.

Me:  I'm pretty sure God didn't tell you that.  God does tell you, though, to obey Mommy and Daddy and listen to what they have to say.

Quiet.  Pause.

Jake:  Well, actually - God doesn't really tell me anything.  I don't ever hear him talking to me.

Case Closed, b/c I was kind of speechless at this point - and also trying not to laugh :-)

Preschool Farm Field Trip

This past week, Jake's preschool class went on a field trip to "Miss" Ellie's farm.  Everyone had a blast seeing, feeding, and riding the animals.  Cole, of course, thought he was a part of everything - and Jake "kind of" gave him the time of day :-)  
Here is Jake with some of his friends brushing the donkey.  

Cole got a turn, too ... and then all of the boys ended up just giving high 5s with the brushes.  Donkey hair everywhere ... yay :-)

The hats they made ... Cole thinking he was definitely "big stuff" :-)

Jake's hat :-)

Jake riding the horse ... holding on tight :-)

Big smile :-)  It was such a beautiful day outside!!  Perfect weather!

Jake and his friend Luke

Cole watching the pig ... he didn't quite want to get close enough to touch, but he was definitely interested from afar :-)

Here is the video of Jake taking his turn riding on the horse :-)

Mother's Day ....

January 28, 2008 was a day that changed my life forever.  It was the day that I officially started this journey of "motherhood."  This adventure that you can't be fully prepared for ... you just navigate through it as the days go by - praying a lot that you don't mess it up too bad.  Praying for knowledge and wisdom to make the right decisions.  It is the most amazing, exhausting, and rewarding adventure ... and I'm only 4 years in... and as I wait every day now for this 3rd baby boy to join our family, I get more and more excited about those amazing, exhausting, and rewarding adventures that lay ahead.

Mother's Day 2012  

Thankful that I was able to spend Mother's Day with my own Mother this year, too .... and thankful to her for the amazing example of a Mom she has been - and still is.  I've often said that my Mom was born to be a Mom, b/c she's so good at it.  I'm thankful for her - and all that I am able to learn from her.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Donuts with Uncle Matt ....

This week at preschool, they are celebrating Dads.  Yesterday was Donuts with Dads ... and in our case, Donuts with Uncle Matt.  Since Daddy couldn't be there, Uncle Matt bravely and willingly stepped in.  How much FUN that was for Jake.  Yesterday morning, I heard him get out of bed and immediately start saying, "Uncle Matt is coming to school today, Uncle Matt is coming to school today..."  He was pretty excited ... and from the looks and sounds of it, they had a GREAT time!!  Thanks Uncle Matt for making Jake feel so special!!

Invitation for Uncle Matt :-)    

Uncle Matt and Jake at school, eating donuts ... and with the tie that Jake made ....

They had a paper airplane contest, so here are all the boys taking a picture with their paper airplanes.  Apparently, Uncle Matt said the boys enjoyed BEING the planes more than flying the planes that were made.  Boys will be boys. 
How blessed my kids are to have such a fun, involved, attentive, amazing Uncle.  Uncle Matt sure is loved - and we couldn't imagine our family without him!!  

And here is what Jake had to say about Daddy.  We are saving these gifts for him for when he gets home.  I especially love the pink hair comments ... and that he likes to buy yogurt (don't think I've even seen Chris EAT yogurt - hardly)!!
BUT, my favorite is when he says that Daddy always tells him, "I love you Buddy", because he does - and that part melted my heart :-)

Pretty sure Daddy can't wait to get home and see this boy .... and his brother!!