Monday, June 29, 2009

Josiah's 4th Birthday--Part Two

This was the year that we got him a bicycle with training wheels for his birthday. If you can't tell, it is a Lightning McQueen bike from the "Cars" movie. He also has a helmet and elbow pads to match. It is so funny because when he gets ready to go bike riding he puts on his helmet and then asks me to help him put on his "lily pads." I am not sure where he got that, but it was really cute. He is very proud that he can ride his bike and the first few days he would beg me to ride it right when he got up (around 5:30am). I explained to him that only crazy people get out that early and ride their bikes. Ha ha ha! I am sure some of you reading may be one of those crazy people, yes?

The theme of the party was a mixture between "Cars" stuff and water play/squirt gun fun. The invites I made had a picture of squirt guns on them and I asked that people not bring official gifts, but rather some squirt guns to play with and then either take home or leave with Josiah. It turned out to be a really fun idea as the kids were having fun running around squirting each other with the various types of squirt guns and water toys. In the house, I decorated with all of the various "Cars" gear that we have including a big puzzle for the centerpiece on the table.

We had this cake specially made by Michelle at Barker Bakery in Edgewood. She was a really nice gal and did a fabulous job on the cake. It was reasonably priced too and was made fresh with yummy buttercream frosting. It is hard to tell in this picture, but the Lightning McQueen was a layer above the blue sheet cake. She made Lightning McQueen fly through the air like he was on a jump, hence the blue background and the white clouds above his head. We were very pleased with how it turned out! One funny thing about the cake though. We were singing "Happy Birthday" to Josiah and while doing so, Daniel snuck up to the edge of the table and grabbed a chunk out of the cake! This was reminicent of when I did the same thing at my Aunt Debby's wedding as a child. I guess what goes around comes around, right Aunt Debby?

Josiah was sharing a cracker with Katie girl and Hannah was very sweet with the babies too, helping them with things and playing very gently with them. When the day was out, I asked Josiah what his favorite part was and he said it was playing with the squirt guns. We all had a very fun day and the weather was beautiful for the event. Thanks all for coming and making it such a fun day for Josiah! Happy Birthday my sweet little four-year-old pumpkinhead!!

Josiah's 4th Birthday--Part One

We went to the Rainforest Cafe again this year AKA "The Jungle Restaurant" for Josiah's birthday. We have made it a tradition to go there with just us and him and we have left the brothers with a babysitter, so that it is just a special time for him. This year we prepped him again that all the animals except the fish were fake, but he was still too scared to get near the alligator. Daddy told him to point at the alligator and you can see that even his pointer finger is nervously positioned on Daddy's shoulder so as not to give the alligator any reason to bite it off.

We told the waitress that it was Josiah's birthday and so later she brought a small sundae and the other waitresses came and sang a "Happy Birthday" rendition restaurant-style. As you can see he immediately became shy and hid under the table.

He got a milkshake in this special lighted cup that he really enjoyed. We have some funny pictures of his various faces while drinking the milkshake too. Josiah requested we sit by the fish again as he was "too scared" to sit next to the elephants or the gorillas. He wouldn't even let me walk him over by the gorillas for fear of them. There is also this talking tree called "Tracy the Tree" that literally scares you to death if you aren't expecting it to talk. When you walk by her in the gift shop, she will all of a sudden cue this jungle music and start chit chatting with you. Josiah was scared of Tracy too.

Here Daddy is telling Josiah about the various fish in the tank. He loved looking at them throughout the course of the meal. I think overall this year, he fared much better at the restaurant and though he said he was scared, he really wasn't as frightened as last year.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Quick Trip to the Zoo

Before my cousin Lynne and her family left for home after the big event this last weekend, they wanted to go to the Pt. Defiance Zoo. They invited us to join them and so on Sunday, Josiah and I ventured over there to experience the zoo with them for a bit. Over in the KidsZone, there is a big dome where they have goats that you can feed and other fun little activities. Some gals were there with a big chest full of this "safari gear" that kids can dress up in and go "exploring" around the dome area. When they asked Josiah if he wanted to wear the clothes, I thought he would surely refuse, but he very shyly said, "Yeah," and began putting them on. As you can see, it made for a really fun picture! He had a blast using the binoculars, magnifying glass, & compass/watch that were attached to the vest.

We were attempting to get out of the rain for a bit, and Josiah spied these snail shells that he could get in and so he ran over to hide in one of them. I just dropped the camera down a bit and didn't really try and center it and this is what came out. I thought it was a pretty neat shot considering! I was told by a photographer gal once that cutting off heads is OK sometimes for an artistic look or to emphasize certain features more than others. This was an accidental "professional" shot then I guess.

Josiah fed the goats a bit too and my cousin Lynne is in the background with her youngest daughter Renna in the pink coat. Renna just LOVED feeding the goats and kept getting upset when her mom didn't give her the goat pellets fast enough. A couple of times the goats tried to go for Josiah's hat too and I think Renna's jacket was eyed once or twice too!

When we were touring the aquarium, the sunny weather turned into a downpour, but thankfully we stayed very dry. Once the rain subsided a bit, we finished our time at the zoo over in the KidsZone and then afterward we headed back to the parking lot. As you can see, Lily (Lynne's oldest) and Josiah had plenty of energy to spare despite a long stint at the zoo. Both children crashed pretty hard afterward though. Overall, we had a fun time visiting and watching the kiddos enjoy the zoo. Thanks Lynne & Youseef for inviting us! Glad you made it home safe too!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!!

Yes, my husband mowed the lawn on Father's Day and no, I did not put him up to it. He wanted to get it done before it started raining today and he did. Josiah as you can see wanted to "help" Daddy also. I got a card for Josiah to give his Daddy that was really fun too. It was one of those recordable cards with sound and I got Josiah to say, "I love you, Daddy" on it after some prompting. It then plays "The Jungle Book" song called, "I Wanna Be Like You." Thank you honey for being such a GREAT DADDY to our three boys! I love you!

After Josiah had been "mowing" for a while, he ran in to get his hat. David's co-worker Kathryn gave us this Dallas Cowboys hat a while back and he wears it now from time to time. The tag always sticks out though, which just cracks me up. He has this proud/embarrassed look on his face here as you can see too. Such a sweet little boy!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Great Aunt Gen's 90th B-day Party

We made a fun trip today to celebrate my Great Aunt Gen's 90th birthday. It was held at Golden Gardens Park in Seattle. There was a nice place for the event and the sand was literally right out the door for the kiddos to play in. It was a catered affair with hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, green salad, pork and beans, and of course cake, cookies and ice cream. Aunt Gen has been a very loving lady to all of us and it was quite a turn out! All of my mother's cousins came and all but 3 of my cousins (on my mom's side) came to the event. It was nice to catch up with many of them and to see my Aunts and Uncles as well. Being a mom though, I didn't get to talk as much as I would have liked and we had to leave a bit early and skip out on the dinner out with the crew as our little ones had no real nap (other than the 40 minute one on the way there) all day. Needless to say, we had cranky, overtired babes afterward and had some trouble getting them settled in for the night. However, we were glad to make the trip and see all the folks!
This is Josiah with my cousin Lynne's daughter, Lily. I thought this was the cutest as they both have this very shy look on their faces! Precious!! This is the first time they have really interacted with each other. Technically they have met before, but they were just babies then and had no idea they met. :)

Caleb must always give his characteristic Caleb boy expression wherever we go! We took this soon after we got to the beach.

Daniel DID NOT like the sand at first! He fell in the sand and got it all over his hands and then was shaking his hands furiously to get it off. He had this furrowed brow look for a while and kept trying to get out of the sand and get back in the building with all the people. That's my boy!! He eventually got used to the sand though and seemed to like it better after a while.

This is a wonderful shot of Josiah enjoying the sand. He liked it immediately and kept saying how he loved going to the beach. He and Daddy went down to the waterfront and Daddy showed him how to skip rocks. Unfortunately, Josiah's aim isn't all that great and Lily walked in front when Josiah skipped a rock into the back of her head. Thankfully, he is also not all that strong yet and she wasn't hurt!! We nixed the rock throwing after that though for a bit! Later, Josiah and I collected broken shells and rocks on the beach. He proudly exclaimed, "We're cleaning up the beach, Momma!"

Here is Lily, my cousin Jonathan (far left), the twins & Josiah playing in the sand. We brought our dump truck and various other sand toys to play with. Jonathan and Josiah had a great time digging holes and filling them back up again together!

These are a few of my cousins having a good laugh! From left to right, Lauren, Erin, Lynne (and Renna her baby), Karla & Karla's boyfriend Johnny.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fancy Food!!

Today, I was able to go with David to celebrate with some of his co-workers for his 3-year anniversary lunch. They have these celebratory luncheons at David's workplace at certain intervals of time to reward their long time employees, and the guest of honor gets to choose the restaurant and who to invite. David asked if I could come too this time and it was approved! Yeah! What fun! I ordered this lovely looking dish for my entree. It was Alaskan Halibut with a Thai/Curry flavored sauce (super yum) on top of Jasmine rice and the pea pods on the bottom and sliced cucumber on the top as you see pictured here. The flavor was superb and wasn't too spicy, but had a kick to it.

And here we have something I call.....YUM!!! They call this "Chocolate Lava" and it is a flourless chocolate cake (kind of like a brownie, but better in taste) with caramel, chocolate sauce and whipped cream topping. Yeah for chocolate!!
It was really fun to get to see David interact with some of his co-workers and to get to know them better myself too. I feel a little bit like I know them well since I keep updated on the daily goings-on, but it is fun to talk with them myself too. And did I mention it was real treat to be child-free during the lunch? Thanks, Mom for watching the kiddos!

Trains, Twigs & Tons of Fun

The new fun place to play is in this pop up Thomas the Train tent. Josiah began knocking it over by laying on the sides, and the twins followed suit by knocking it over often also. My babysitters decided to try putting their little picnic table in the front end to help keep it upright and that seems to help them from trying to knock it over all the time. What is it with boys and destroying things anyway? Here you see the three boys in the train, playing with Choo'tch the Train. Josiah very reluctantly allowed the twins to share the three pieces of the train and kept switching who got what part throughout their play time with it. I have a whole series of these pictures with all the various combinations.

The other day for something fun, Josiah and I made a train sandwich. I saw the idea in a book that we have for the twins. We used peanut butter and jelly for the colors of the train, bananas for the wheels, and raisins for the cargo. Josiah eagerly devoured the whole sandwich and fruit.

The twins make a habit of tasting most every little twig, flower or sometimes even rocks when they explore in the back yard. Here you see Caleb tasting a dandelion head, and from his expression I think we can all assume it didn't taste all that good. I also think the "Me So Hungry" shirt fits in this case as apparently no food is off limits for this one. One of Caleb's new funny things is that we ask him what a cat says and utters a very cute "Rraaawwr" which sort of sounds like "wow" but with an "r" on the front.

Our little Daniel boy is so sweet. He is pictured here by the sandbox. In the last two days he has managed to fall and scrape his head twice and his nose as well. Poor little guy! He has some little boy wounds to show for it. Daniel is the one who typically tries to taste rocks. To my knowlege he has never swallowed one though thankfully. We have discovered that the twins both really enjoy listening to music. When we are in the car and I turn on the radio, they both bop their head from side to side, smile really big, and start clapping. I had the radio on a Christian popular station and then later turned on the classical station and Josiah said from the back, "I want my loud music on, I don't like soft music."

Here is Josiah with his little buddy Hannah one day when it was super hot and nice outside. She comes over once a week to play with him while her bigger sisters watch Josiah and the boys.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I Can See You Frodo...

This is a picture of the sunset from our back porch tonight. It was just GORGEOUS!! The sun was so bright I am still seeing spots! Looking at this shot though, it reminded me of the all seeing eye in Lord of the Rings, hence the blog post title. It has that "eye-shape" around it a bit. And it was so blindingly orange!

Here is a shot of it when it mellowed out a bit and it was from a different angle through our neighbor's two trees. The cold front moving in was so refreshing and the nice breeze was perfect!

New Activities

The twins are quite fond of playing the piano these days. Daniel especially will sit for long spells playing the electric piano, pushing all the buttons and such. He gets irritated when one of the demo songs plays because I think it scares him a bit. The other day he was playing two handed going from low to high and leaned a bit too far and fell right off the piano bench. He wasn't hurt and it was just too funny looking back now. It was like a comedy routine or something!

After a long day of fun in the sun, Josiah hit the hay underneath the kitchen table with squirt gun in hand. I transferred him to the chair and then later to his bed and he slept all night. He fell asleep around 5pm, which is very early for him, so he must have been really tired. The other day I was reading him a story from the Bible about widows and orphans and began to explain what a widow was. I told him that if Daddy died that I would be a widow and that I would be sad and lonely, which is why God asks us to be kind to widows. He looked at me with a big smile and said, "When I'm 4...I'll be your honey." I call David "honey" a lot, so he was essentially saying he would be my new husband. I told him with a smile, "Oh sweetie, you could never be my honey, but you will always be my special little boy!"

I introduced crayons to the twins the other day. Daniel would draw for a bit and then try to eat the crayons, so I put in his pacifier to provide an extra barrier to crayon eating. Caleb as you can see decided to taste test the crayons also. Caleb was more interested in grabbing as many crayons as he could and made a huge mess with them. That was about the time I decided that "craft time" for the day was over.