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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pictures from Sea World

Here are a few of our favorites....we have others on an underwater camera that we will have to get developed.

What? I really wanted to go to the garbage dump....
But Sea World will do....

First day there with Dad


First day with mom


Cookie Monster at the water park!

Zoe in the water park!

 and Grover too!
Riding on the horsey with Daddy!


I love how she is looking at her two favorite guys!!!

And a video showing Ribbit not too sure of how to approach the Sesame Street characters :)





Friday, July 29, 2011

Sea World Day 3

Well the kids actually slept in until 8:09 today, but not without a little persuasion. Ribbit woke up at 5, but I convinced her that Elmo wanted to go night night so she laid back down with him.
We got up, packed, applied loads of sunscreen, ate another large breakfast and left. We got to the park about 10 minutes before they opened and got a stellar parking spot. We had a plan to get there early and let Goober ride some rides before heading into Lost Lagoon water park. We went straight to the Steel Eel which is a very large roller coaster that Adam had already ridden (rode?). We didn't think Goober would be tall enough but he just made it (I think it was his curly hair :)). I was super surprised that he wanted to ride it because it looks very very intimidating. Sure enough he and dad rode in the last car and LOVED it!!!! In the pictures from the first big drop you can only see Goober's head, he apparently was ducking and holding onto Adam for dear life. When they stopped he said " is that all?". He felt like such a superstar and we kept telling him how big he was for riding that and not being scared.
Then we went into the water park for the rest of the day .....and it was soooo nice, we barely sweated and they had so much for the kids to do. We rode around the lazy river at least 4 times, just played and rode the waves in the wave pool and let Goober ride down several slides. Towards the end of the day we went to the kids pool which has lots of little water rides, a large house full of water guns, buckets and other water elements. Adam and I literally sat in the kiddie pool and watched Ribbit swim all around us ( her little lifejacket is just wonderful). She was content to jump into the water face first, play with us and splash herself. Goober ran around with several other kids, sprayed people and made sure he was underneath the big bucket of water drop every time. It was wonderful to end the trip that way. We left the waterpark at 6:20..it closes at 7 so we didn't miss much at all. We got on the road, stopped at McDonalds and got home at 11. The kids went straight to bed and mom and dad got to work on bringing in luggage, checking mail, checking on the cats and getting those nasty smelling clothes into the washer :). All in all great vacation...we are definitely planning on another Sea World visit in 2011!!!

Tips:
1.The BEST bathrooms are in Lost Lagoon (right beside Castaway Cave). They have showers, they are clean, they are air conditioned and they are large. We all took showers and changed into dry clothes before our loonggg ride home and those bathrooms were wonderful.
2. The BEST place to eat (according to me) is at Castaway Cave. They have kids meals for $5.99, we got super hungry and got two of them and it made a great snack/meal for all four of us. It comes with a drink and we got free refills. They also have shows in there with Shamu, Penguins and a shark--you know people dressed as them singing and dancing. Its also HUGE and there is lots of seating  and its in the shade!!!!! We stayed there for about one hour...Ribbit loved the show and hugged all of the sea animals!
3. If you have one of those lifejackets like the one I have posted Ribbit in (goes around the child in the front and has two arm floaties attached ) then take it!!! The security guards at the entrance told us that they wouldn't let us take it in and use it, but they did. They won't let you use regular floaties but since ours was Coastguard approved they never said a word!!

Pictures and videos to come!!!!  Time for a NAP!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sea World Day 2

Yes, I am writing these posts back to back, because I am afraid that if I fall asleep I will forget everything we did today and since its our first "official" family vacation I want to document it all!!!!!

Well, since we didn't go to bed until almost 10 last night, we woke up super late at 6:50....WAH WAH. Ribbit was up and rubbing my elbows, saying " guh morring" bright and early. We all got up and went to the continental breakfast here at the hotel. The other hotel guests probably thought we were crazy but we were soo hungry that we all ate two or three plates full and left throwing away at least 7 different cups. Then we came back to the room and let the kids watch The Cat in the Hat while mom and dad got another hour of sleep in. They rested too  as Goober laid in his bed while watching and Ribbit laid in between my legs. We got up and we were at the park 7 minutes before they opened.
I need to back up just a minute and describe our conversation with Goober as we pulled in the first day so that I can tell you about today's convo. So we had convinced him that we were going to the Worlds Largest' Garbage Dump and that you could slide down dirty diaper slides!!! We told him that we were packing our swim suits because we didn't want to ruin our good clothes and that we were staying in a hotel to regain energy at night because we were going to be sorting through trash all day looking for treasures. So on the way into Sea World (its a long windy road in) we kept pointing at different hills that we thought might be the dump, and we kept saying, "whew, mom don't you smell that, I bet we are getting close". So when we finally pull in we say " wait, Goob this doesn't look like a dump" and " woah, look at that roller coaster and water slide, this place looks neat". He was confused but never stopped smiling. Finally we told him that we were at SEA WORLD (and we said it loud and excited like) and he put his head in both hands and said " but i wanted to to go to the garbage dump....well our bubble was busted. We finally convinced him that Sea World was better and that we were surprising him.
Well today on the way in to the park he said , "whew, I smell trash, that garbage dump is probably somewhere close".....we didn't tell him that we made it up, we just smiled at each other.

So anyways, we got there today and went straight to the dolphin feeding. We bought Goober a tray of fish and he had fun feeding them to two dolphins. Afterwards we let the kids put their hands in the pool and try to touch one. They came really close and would splash us but without fish they weren't buying it.
We had mapped out our day last night and had planned for a show every hour and a half so that we could sit and at some of them be in air condition. We also planned it so that we weren't walking from one side of the park to the other but more in a big circle. So today we saw the dolphins, sharks, penguins, puffins, snakes, frogs and large aquariums. Ribbit, being the frog lover that she is, stood at the frog exhibit for several minutes, said " bye bye ribbit", walked over to the fish tank and then screamed " RIIIIBBBBBIITTT" and bee lined it for the frogs again. Have I mentioned that she sleeps with three stuffed frogs, all named ribbit?. Goober and I had a contest to see who could pick out the different sharks the fastest. He really likes the different fish and seeing sting rays. Hes such a good big brother and always says " look Ribbit" and tries to show her neat stuff. They both sat and watched a lobster walk over to their side of the tank and then screamed bloody murder when it got close ( i am laughing out loud while typing this at the mental image I have of both them realizing how close that lobster was getting!!!).
We also let Goob ride the boat ride again and then he and I rode the log ride--he won't admit it but he loves being able to ride the "adult rides". He loves both of them and Dad and I have fun taking him off by himself for some individual attention.  Dad rode the Steel Eel as the lines were literally 5 minutes long and he was stoked. Goob should be able to ride it with him the next time we come as he is only about 1 inch away from being tall enough.
We also went to several shows today--Sesame Street 4D again( both kids love that show and its air conditioned), Azul (dolphins), One Ocean (killer whales) and Sesame Street Buccaneers. The One Ocean was awesome. Ribbit took a nap during it so I stayed up top with her but Dad and Goob sat in the splash zone and they got some awesome shots. We also went to the Ski and Boat show and got drenched. At every other show we sat in the splash zone and just got a couple of drops but we left the Boat show sopping wet, but it felt goooood!!!! The kids were eating a snack during that show and after the first jet ski splashed us Ribbit looked at me soaking wet and holding up her soggy cracker and said " cracker gross" really loud. We laughed pretty hard.
We also figured out that going to watch the boat ride gets you pretty wet too so we went and got drenched to keep cool some throughout the day. Goob couldn't stop laughing every time...he thought it was hilarious.
At the end of the day we let the kids play in the Sesame Street water park again. Goober ran through the tunnels and Ribbit rode the carousel. This time though she told her horsey " I buh guh"...I'm a big girl!!! We then let each kid pick out a $5 toy since tomorrow we are going to the larger water park and won't be back at the souvenir places. We figured a small something, combined with what we already have for them back home would be plenty. Ribbit got a small "elbow" doll and Goober got this soaker thing that I am sure he will use against me and dad all day tomorrow!!!! We got home around 8, got showers, ate dinner and the kids are asleep!!!!

Tips for taking young kids to Sea World part 2
1. Take a bag that will fit all of your valuable items it, plus a dry change of clothes. Make sure this fits under your stroller. You can't take strollers into the shows so it was nice to just grab that bag and know that everything we needed was with us.
2. If your child wants to be splashed get to the shows a little early, splash zones fill up quickly!
3. Make your kids keep their shirts on. 1)obviously they won't get sunburnt but 2) for Goob he had to have a shirt on for every ride so keeping it on all the time kept things smooth--he wore one of those quick dry shirts.
4. LEAVE SEA WORLD---we left at 3 and went to the subway one exit down. We bought footlongs and drinks and didn't break the bank!!!!! We also sat down in air condition and just re-charged. When we got back we easily found parking spots and went back in ready to go!!!
5. Moms, just deal with it. Don't wear make-up. Don't try to look nice, just know that you are going to be wet all day long. Either from sweat, water, your child's drinks, etc. I am only there for my family and not getting mad everytime Goob soaks me, or when a whale splashes fishy foul poop smelling water on me has been wonderful. But seriously, I may burn my swimsuit, I have never smelled water like that!!! :)

Pictures and videos to come!!!

Sea World Day 1

* Let me just mention that while I am writing this Ribbit has told us "night night" individually about 5 times, including her new "elbow" (ELMO) doll. She has also told Daddy that he has "pooped" which is what she says when someone passes gas.....its quite hysterical but on the other hand its 9:18 and she WON"T LAY DOWN!!!!!

Soooo, first of all we are having a blast. I was hoping that the gap in there age wouldn't keep Goob from doing too much and so far it has been great. We got here around noon, loaded up the stroller and off we went. We immediately went to the waterpark inside of Sea World, "Sesame Street Bay of Play" which is pretty new. There are high high tunnels, nets and ball pits for older kids, a water area for anyone, a water area for younger kids and a water area for only 3 and under. Goober darted all over the place high above our heads. Ribbit took a little while to get used to things but pretty soon we were all drenched. They also have 5 or 6 kiddie rides inside of the waterpark and as soon as Goob saw those we were off. He rode each one of them at least twice, and the roller coaster we rode several times, taking turns riding with mom and dad. Ribbit loved the carousel and loved riding on the "horseys"....she would tell horsey "hi, love you, thank you, and then scream bye bye horsey" when the ride was over. She rode that several times alternating mom and dad. They also have a Sesame Street play every hour and fifteen minutes with the cast and afterwards you can take pictures with them. Well we went to  every show until it stopped at 5:00. Ribbit fell in love with "elbow" and "cookie" (Elmo and Cookie Monster) She would get up and dance with them and run to give them high fives. Every time a show was about to begin she would just yell " ELBOW COOKIE, YEEEAAHHHHH". During one of the shows, Goober and I snuck away and went to ride the big boat slide that splashes everyone at the bottom. He was so glad that he was tall enough and I told him that he had to keep his hands up the whole time. When we got on the slide and started going really high up he said " not gonna keep my hands up" and I left him alone--it was pretty stinkin high. When we got off we went to look at our pictures and there is our boat, full of adults and Goob and he is the only one with his arms up, eyes open and mouth really big and smiling....I laughed so hard!!!!  He took dad back to ride it a second time with him later on that day.
At night we went to the Sea Lion, Sesame Street 4D and Shamu show. Goob just thought it was all great and Ribbit had a hard time sitting through all but the Sesame Street show. Thankfully some of the shows are inside and air conditioned.
We stayed from noon until nine ( we are crazy, we know) and headed back to the hotel. Ribbit was asleep in her stroller before we ever got out of the park. We all took showers, ate and drank a bunch and went to bed. WE WERE EXHAUSTED!!!!

Tips for going to Sea World with young kids---
1. Freeze water bottles the night before, put them in insulated water bottle holders and you can add water to them all day long for really cold refreshing water.
2. Get battery operated handheld misting fans. I went to 6 stores in the area to find these, but I was DETERMINED that my kids would be as comfortable as possible and hot dog they were. We got ours for $7 and the ones they are selling at Sea World are $12..SCORE!!! When Ribbit is in the stroller we put the fan in one cup holder, turn it on and she is set.......it really keeps her cool and it allowed her to take a nap comfortably!!!! Goober uses his during every show. He douses himself and then turns the fan on to freeze himself out. He also squirts Adam and I constantly and it feels sooo good that we don't mind...in fact we tell him to drench us!!!!
3. Take lots and lots of snacks. You are only allowed to take in a small cooler (one that you could fit a 6 pack in-their words, not mine). But I stuffed it full, and I think they are more understanding with kiddos. They ate a snack almost every hour--like an apple, two starburst candies, individual boxes of cereal, stuff like that. We only treated ourselves to ice cream once and that was super expensive (but so worth it :).
4. Buy souvenirs before you leave. I went to the Dollar Store and got them both a stuffed sea lion, and stuffed dolphin. That way they will have things that they think are from Sea World but we didn't have to fork over tons of money for it!!!!

I also just want to add that a good husband and daddy make the trip ten times better....its hard work to carry and console Ribbit, to encourage Goob when he is to short for a ride, and to take care of a mom who tends to worry about her kids too much but Adam has kept us all together and going strong. I am the planner for sure, but he definitely carries the plans out smoothly and with a rational head on his shoulders!!!! I love you Adam.

Pictures and videos coming soon!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Parents can have fun too!!!!!

Can I just say that I have been having the best time planning our "surprise" trip to Sea World? We have been planning this trip for a while and its coming up this Tuesday thru Thursday. I am horrible at keeping secrets and I normally get so excited that I end up spillin the beans. But NOT this time! We have been telling Eli that we are going to the "Garbage Dump" and that we are going to search for toys and ride down slides of thrown away diapers....he keeps looking at us really weird but saying " okkkaaayyyyy".

We have our hotel booked, our passes printed out, our parking passes paid for, we know where we are going on what days, what shows we will see and our meals are about to go in the cooler. I read a lot of other mommy blogs on tips to going to Sea World with young kids and I think we are set. We are going two days at the two different water parks there and in between we will do the animals, shows and rides. I just can't even wait to see Eli's face when we pull in!!!!!!

I expect there to be some bruises, melt-downs and attitudes along the way but I think we are just going to have a blast together as a family of four!!!! We bought annual passes so hopefully we can return if all goes well.

I'm trying to catch up on videos so here ya go!!!!!

When you are stuck inside because of the 100 + degree weather then anything becomes a toy!



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Water Camp

This past week Goober participated in Water Camp at the seminary.
He was super stoked and the coaches were very very sweet to him. He was already a pretty good swimmer but now he is truly a fish! They focused on one stroke every day and then the rest was games, including water balloons, relays and on Friday they rented a huge blow up water slide! Goobnlearned the breast stroke, freestyle, the butterfly and the backstroke. We stayed at least 30 minutes after water camp every day for him to practice them and to play with his snorkel and flippers.
Its very helpful for us to know that he is a strong swimmer as we have to keep both eyes on Goob since she isn't scared of anything!
Here are some pictures from camp!

                                         Practicing with his snorkel and fins.

Playing in the kiddie pool while Goob is at swim camp.

                   
                                                   Red Light, Green Light Game


Working up the backstroke.



Goober's turn on the water slide!


Friday, July 22, 2011

A Bre Bre Update

I just have to document all of the new things Bre is doing!!
She has found a new love for MILK (yay!!), oatmeal ( eats as much as I do!!), carrots with ranch dressing and fruit cocktail. She used to only eat bananas and apples but now eats it all!!!!
She loves to wear bows in her hair, the bigger the better I say!!!!  She can put her shoes away in her drawer without any help and when I ask her to take a toy to her bedroom she runs and throws it in her crib.
She repeats anything we say!!! She jumped too close to the ladder in the pool the other day and hit her face on the stairs....which caused instant swelling and bruising on her left cheek. I retold the story to Adam saying "jumped, boo-boo, and ice" really loud since she knows those words. She has been telling everyone now" no-no jump", "boo-boo" (as she points to her cheek), then "ice" and "shirt" since we wrapped the ice in Eli's shirt before putting it on her face....hot dog, she can tell a story!!
We went to eat at a chinese place for our anniversary and she had opened her fortune cookie and was eating it without Adam or I noticing really. UNTIL, we heard her yell " EWWWWWWWW" as she began to see some of the fortune paper sticking out of the cookie. She put the cookie down and kept saying " ewww" until Adam pulled it out! We were cracking up!!!
She also loves to give kisses now..If Adam gives me a kiss she immediately sticks her lips out and says " daddy". She also kisses all boo-boos. I cut my finger on a can lid the other day and after I put a band-aid on it, she grabbed my hand, observed the band-aid, said " boo boo" and kissed it. Then Eli told me " well mom, I guess you learned your lesson, you should have used a can opener"......thanks.

                                             Such a big girl, she loves going to the Splash Pad!!

Not scared of water at all!!!


                                         Her new life jacket and a bow in her oh so curly hair!!!

Well, does anyone not know what this child is thinking? This picture cracks me up!!!


Do you see her ketchup unibrow? She is also yelling at the cat to get " DOWN" and pointing for me to look!

4 YEARS BABY!!!

Adam and I are celebrating our 4 year anniversary today!!! What are we going to do you may ask? Well we are going to chase kids, feed kids, love on kids, take kids to water camp, take kids to Vacation Bible School and then hang out at home. My oh my how our life has changed!!!!

I thought it would be fun to post some old pictures from our story.

First picture together.....We were each others constant companion but we weren't dating yet. This is on Adam's graduation night from Auburn, December 05. He left right afterwards to move to TN..but he didn't stay there long :)

He moved back to Alabama, we worked together for a while and got engaged in October 06.


We were eager to be Mr. and Mrs. and that happened on July 21, 2007 :)


Then we moved up to Johnson City, TN where I earned my Masters Degree from ETSU. This is in the backyard of our first home on our 1 year anniversary. By the way, we still own that home, just haven't lived there in 2 years :(


This is a picture taken after our 2 year anniversary but close to the date. We were both in a friend's wedding.


This is close to our 3rd anniversary while we were in Israel for our 2nd trip. We are pointing out Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

And this is at my birthday lunch on Sunday--our anniversary and my bday are only 4 days apart so I figure this picture will do for our 4th anniversary! Bre's not looking, but we are all in it and its somewhat clear so there ya go.




Thursday, July 21, 2011

Goober (isms)

Good just cracks me up.....I love the way he thinks.

Today I was telling him that I was going to eat dinner with one of my friends, so I needed to call her and tell her where to meet me. He said "well if you are looking for good Mexican food, go to that Chinese place with the good chicken"...:)

The field and drainage ditch close to our house are being worked on...not sure what the final outcome is going to be but there are 3 or 4 different tractors out there and several other trucks parked in our yard and down our street every day. Today as we were pulling in from swim camp Goob said " those guys are always here, they work too hard, just like me. I go to swim camp, I go to VBS, I have to do my math problems and then you are going to make me start tae kwon do soon!!!"
---we really made him take tae kwon do....he has been begging us for a while!!!

This may be when his love of tae kwon do really started, well this and seeing Kung Fu Panda 2!!!
Here we are at a Fourth of July festival and this guy tells Goob that he can break a board on his own!

  He shows him exactly how to hit the board and where to hit it.
 Good does exactly what he says and .........goes clean through. I think me and Adam were more amazed than Goob!!
 He showed everyone those two boards, including the friends we had over for dinner that night and Gramps, CC and Uncle Chris on skype.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Do kids come with energizer batteries?

As I type this I am daydreaming of crawling into bed in probably 20 minutes---which probably won't happen since Goob just walked out of his bedroom mid sentence and was in a foul mood over having to wear his VBS band all week.
Anyways, we have just been going non-stop the last two days and neither Ribbit or Goob seem phased by the lack of sleep. Adam and I though are about to kill over. Monday, Ribbit woke up super early (even with her blackout curtains still in place. We left for the grocery store right after dad left for work---we were out of bananas, yogurt, milk and eggs---all staples in the Harvell home. We got back and ate lunch and Ribbit went down for a short short nap because we had to leave at 12:30 for Goob's water camp. He is taking a week long camp at the seminary for 2 hours everyday where they are focusing on different swimming strokes and different water games. He loves it. He is in the barracudas, which is in between the guppies and the sharks. He is the only boy in his group but his leader is a male and they seem to get along just fine. He is such a strong swimmer and was all over the pool. We stayed and swam afterward for just a little bit, until Ribbit nastied up her little swimmie. We got home and I made dinner. Adam got home, we ate and then we took Goob to VBS. He missed our church's VBS b/c we were in Alabama so he is going to the Baptist church right down the road for their VBS. He was a little shy at first...i stayed and watched him for a while...he is in the tribe of Benjamin and his two leaders were super sweet. Eventually he signaled me to leave (oh goodness, please tell me that my 7 year old isn't already too cool for me). When Adam went to pick him up he said that he was at the front of the room, dancing to the worship music. He came home with all kinds of stuff to tell us and show us and couldn't wait to go back. Oh yeah, he also didn't fall asleep until almost 10 because he was so hyped up on the "good cookies" they gave him for snack.

Today, Ribbit and Goob were up at 6:30 once again...i mean wide awake....not drowsy children that need help getting out of bed, but LOUD, FULLY ALERT, HUNGRY children! Ribbit and I left at 8 for school- I was meeting several of my students to let them glaze some pottery and to also get my supply catalog to figure out what I need for this upcoming school year. We divided the kids up since Adam was off today so that we could give each one some individual attention. While Ribbit and I were away, dad and Goob got my oil changed and then used up 2 boxes of snap pop on each other. Then they went to the seminary early so that Goober could play basketball and use his snorkel equipment. Ribbit and I got to the seminary about 30 minutes into water camp and immediately got into the pool. She got a new lifejacket and she is even more of a daredevil. She was trying to get my attention one time while I was helping Goob and she just jumped into the deep end off of the ladder and swam to me......she loves loves loves the water. Goob learned the back stroke today and was so proud of himself. Total we swam for almost 3 hours, got a sno-cone and headed home. We ate dinner (mainly leftovers) and then Adam and the kids played Monkeyballs on the Wii while I made TIRAMISU.....YUM!!!! Then off to VBS Goober went..he was so excited. He had his offering with him and he said his memory verse probably 30 times to me on the way there. I went to Kroger while he was there ( huge  mega event sale---i got soo much for soo little) and Adam put Ribbit down for the night. He said she walked into her room for night night, you know that little girl is tired when that happens :). When I went to pick Goob up from VBS I had to cover my mouth from laughing. I hid in the back so he wouldn't see me but he was break dancing right in front of the worship stage. They have on head scarfs to associate them with the different tribes so imagine the cutest little black boy you have ever seen with a turquoise head scarf on, without any shoes on break dancing to "Come and go with me, to my father's house".......he was quite the little entertainer. I was so proud of him though, he stopped cutting a rug right when the music stopped and kept his head bowed and eyes closed through the whole prayer. His teachers told me thank you for bringing him....super sweet right?
Now its 9:00 on Tuesday night and I feel like we have been through a whole week of water camp and VBS...but nope!!!

Here are the pictures from our night at Chic Fil A dressed as cows to get free food!!

Family shot before heading out. Good helped me make our costumes and picked out each person's cow mask.

 This is Ribbit's favorite stuffed animal "Ribbit". She doesn't go anywhere without him and when we do leave him behind she says " ribbit" several times and I assure her that he is at home and is sleeping :)
Goober showing us how to moo like a cow!!

Ribbit kept saying her ice cream was " hot", she meant cold :)

Goober enjoying his ice cream....see that Cow stuffed animal lying there? That is what Ribbit charmed out of a man at another Chic Fil A about a month ago ....his name is Moo, he is also a favorite of hers :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

27 years young!!!!!



So I turned the big 27.....yeahhhhhh. I'm honestly not one of those people who fear getting older, especially not when I just started a family and have many many blessings. Adam and I have also accomplished a lot of what we said we were going to by age 27 and 28 so I feel good!!!
1. Go to the Louvre-check, spent two days in Paris on our way to Israel
2. Go to the Holy Land- check, twice for me, three times for Adam plus many more to come.
3. Get our masters-check, Adam will be done in May
4. Live in the north-check , well we considered Northeast TN pretty dagum far north :)
5. Adopt-check, nothing better than my two kiddos.
All in all God has blessed me in these 27 years and I look forward to growing older and growing closer to him.

Today was the most laid back birthday I have ever had and probably one of my favorites. Adam got up and made us breakfast and then was in charge of getting the kids ready for church. We all went to church, Adam taught sunday school and we had two new couples--YAY. THen we went to Eidelweiss German Restaurant for lunch----YUM, where my kids ate chicken fingers and fries. Bre smeared so much ketchup on herself that she had a ketchup unibrow. Adam had snitzel, red cabbage, sauerkraut and fried potatoes. I had something German sounding that was beef tips with tomatoes, carrots and mushrooms in a wine and cream sauce (delicious) with the same sides as Adam. We were stuffed!!!! Then we came home and my kids gave me my gift......A 2 HOUR NAP!!!!! Bre went down easy and Eli crawled into bed without anyone telling him to....i think it was a combo of this heat and our lunch that did it. Adam and I cuddled up on the couch and slept too....LIKE BABIES!!!!!  Then we all woke up and spent some sweet time skyping with my grandparents in Florida. I love that they are all set up to talk with us. Bre kept saying " bye nana, bye papa" when we were getting off. Then we headed back to church, went to the ice cream social after church and then came home and went to bed. And oh yeah, we forgot to eat dinner----the kids didn't even notice, thank you ice cream, french fries and chicken fingers :).
Some funny Eli sayings/doings of the day.
1. When we pulled up to the German Restaurant he looked at it and said " this looks like a reckless chinese restaurant".....hahah, we laughed so hard.
2. On the way home from lunch he said " mom, relax" and made me put my seat all the way back. He could reach my head then and scratched my head the whole way home, saying that was my birthday present. That kids knows me :).
3. He gave me a hand made card this morning that said " I love you, Happy Birthday" and he drew both of us, giving himself crazy crazy hair.
4. He said at church " mom, how can you be older, you don't look bigger". I explained that eventually we stop getting bigger on our birthday. He said " well I already grew a lot on my 7th birthday".
5. He drew all over himself before night church (like on his face). So we told him to clean it off before we got there. When we were pulling up to the church we noticed that he still had blue lines all over his face so we said " eli, clean your face off". His reply? " I will do it in the church bathroom, no worries"....as if he was a teenager.

Bre sat with us during most of night church since the 5/6th graders were leading worship. She did fine until some adults begin to give testimony. So i got up with her to walk out and she said " bye bye" as loud as she could and waved to everyone as were leaving. She also said " bye bye daddy" like 50 times. I was beat red and sweaty when we got to the nursery. Everyone came up to us after church and said how cute she was and how much they laughed as I was taking her out.......:)

Here is a video of Bre singing on our way to the splash pad. Notice that one shoe is off----her usual outfit.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Enjoying summer

Our summer is coming to an end wayyyyy to fast.
In fact, over the next three weeks we are booked, and I mean booked!!!! Our calender hasn't been this busy since the last week of school. We are busy getting the kids into see doctors, dentists, and other appointments while I still have time off to take them. Ribbit is starting a three day preschool in August so we also had to make sure that she was up to date on all of her shots since as of May she was 6 months behind. We also have to have current visits so that our adoption presentation can be made on August 8th. Goober and I start back to school on the 9th!!!! Goob is going to water camp and VBS next week as well.
Over the last two days we have had some down time and some go go go time!
Wednesday we woke up late, helped the kids build a fort, got some paperwork done and did laundry in the morning. After lunch we headed up towards my school so that we could pay Ribbit's preschool registration and get all the forms we need to fill out. They were very happy that we picked their school and can't wait to have Ribbit with them. She got a backpack and a shirt-she was pleased. Then we went to Bedford Splash Park. Its on the Boys Ranch property and its very affordable. We stayed for about 4-4.5 hours and we wore those kids out :). Ribbit is getting very brave and is going in until the water is above her belly. She loves to be dumped backwards into the water and get her hair wet. Goober is also getting better and better in the water. Adam showed him some different strokes and as Adam said " for the first time, he listened to me and did what I said :)". We even let him run around for the last 30 minutes " by himself" with a little boy he met there. We sat in the middle of the larger pool (with Ribbit in our laps-she was sooo tired) where we could always see him but he felt super grown-up with his friend.
Thursday morning we woke up and once again worked on paperwork---for Ribbit's preschool and for our upcoming adoption presentation. Then Adam and I crashed on the couch while the kids watched two episodes of cartoons....i know, i know. But, they are approved shows and it really is too hot to go outside during that time of the day. We ate an early lunch and Ribbit took a quick nap. We got her up and we all got showers to head back over to my school. On the way though we stopped at the doctors to get one more shot for Ribbit--she cried for maybe 3 minutes and then reminded us of her boo boo for the next couple of hours. Then Adam surprised me and took me to a scrapbooking boutique in North Richland Hills...it was super cute and I got some great stuff for the kids book ( now to find time to scrapbook :)). Then we went to the mall to a) eat dinner-we were starving and b) to let Goob spend his birthday money. He and Adam are into golf and Goob wanted his own left handed clubs. He only had $20 but Dick's was having a golf sale so he got a putter---his size and lefthanded!!!! He was sooo happy, he actually slept with it last night :). Then we went to our school for a uniform re-sale where we got Goober everything he needs for next year and ordered some pants that are new to the uniform. Then we went to an Ice Cream social.
We walked in and Goober spotted his most favorite person....MRS. BARNES. He ran to her and hugged her until she squatted down to the floor and he talked and talked to her, never stopped smiling. Then he saw three girls from his pre-first class and stayed with them the rest of the night. We got to talk to several parents whose kids are going into first and I also got to see alot of my students from last year. Ribbit charmed everyone and ate her some "i cream". Goob played in the gym for about an hour and didn't want to leave his friends. I think he is ready to start back to school!
Overall two pretty productive days.....our goal is to finish all of the paperwork today, make several phone calls and plan our surprise trip to Sea World for the kids during the last week before school starts :)

Here is a video of the kids singing the rain away while we were on our way to watch a firework show on the 4th. TOO CUTE!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Not Interested

I thought of this blog almost all night long as I couldn't sleep. Well not at all night, as I spent two hours reading an entire book that is required of my school's teacher reading list and about 30 minutes consoling Ribbit. But for the rest of the night I thought through this blog.

As we were standing in line at seminary yesterday, a lady and her three kids were standing rather close and I could overhear her talking to another seminary wife. She said " yeah, I mean I would love to have two more babies of my own, but adoption, psshh, I am just not interested". I found it very odd that she was saying that for two reasons.
1. Adam and I were standing right beside her in line with Ribbit and Goober....it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that our kids are probably adopted.
2. I am assuming that since she was in the seminary line that either she or her husband or probably both are believers and for her to just be "not interested" in adoption seems contradictory to what scripture teaches. Sure, you can feel as if you aren't called to adopt, thats fine. But she said she would be up for having two more kids of her own...so its not a larger family that she is opposed to, just the idea of taking in orphans.
As I thought about it some more its almost like saying you aren't interested in missions or evangelism. As a believer you have to know that God has called us all to some sort of mission, whether that be your family or a tribe far away. We can't just pick and choose what we want to be interested in, if its a scriptural mandate....and taking care of orphans is, even if you just pray for them (which I am sure this lady does, I am sure she is super nice and I am just being overly offensive, but it really struck a nerve with me).

Now for something that I am "not interested" in. Like that segway?
I am not interested in the diagnosing and labeling of children, particularly mine. As a school teacher it became rather obvious to me early on that most kids who are labeled "add" are just being kids, I know that there are legit cases though too :). Goober was diagnosed ADD when he came to us and was on meds for it. He has been off since week two in our home and neither his pre-first teacher, nor his sunday school teachers, nor Adam and I can tell a lick of difference. I am hoping that consistency and love cured his "add tendencies" but who knows if he ever had them to begin with or if someone just wanted him sedated for their own leisure. I think one of the specialist that Goob goes to said it best when she dismissed us from her care and said " I am not going to over analyze a kid who seems very well adjusted and happy to be a part of a family, He doesn't need a label".
All that to say that we have been told different strengths and weaknesses of our children. Great, bring on the strengths, in fact tell those to my children. However, when adults label a child as a "people pleaser" and as not having "self-control" then you are looking for those behaviors in that kid and maybe not giving them a chance to grow. I probably sound like a mom who doesn't want to hear anything negative about her children. However, I don't know how else to react when someone says that my soon to be two year old, who wants her parents attention and who is cute as a button is somehow labeled a "people pleaser" and we are warned to watch that and nip it in the butt. My kids have had a bit of a rough life in the past, I think they are two of the greatest kids and thats not "despite their past". I would label them as "athletic, smart, fun to be around, happy" kids. All of those other things are part of growing up, I am sure we were all a little "out of control" when we were 6 or 7. Thank goodness are parents didn't harp on that and in turn overlook all the good things we were capable of.

Soap box done. Stepping off. Getting some sleep.
Here are the end of my highlight pictures from our alabama trip this summer. Finishing up with Fourth of July and then some from our loonnng drive home.





Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Videos!!!

I have been slowly catching up on downloading, editing and sharing all of our pictures and videos from the summer.
The first is "Happy Birthday" at Eli's second party in Huntsville.

The second is part of the pinata fun at his party!
Here are some more picture higlights from our trip....now we are moving onto Huntsville.