Sunday, June 29, 2008

We're off to the Beach....



After what ended up being another flu invested week, Ben and Collin are finally feeling better and we are ready to head out of town again!! Earle and I have yet to get the flu this time and we are praying for the best for this next week!! Thanks to some good friends or ours, Robert and Betsy Coggin, we are off to the beach again this week! Hope everyone has a great and safe 4th of July!!

-CB

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wisdom from a 3 yr. Old




Note, the picture of the dying plants....On Sunday afternoon, Ben and I were out in the backyard and he was playing in the sprinkler. I looked over to see what he was doing, and he had picked up the sprinkler and started watering the plants in our backyard...I was sitting on our patio. He was a little close to me and to avoid getting wet I asked him to put the sprinkler back down in the yard...this is how the conversation went...


Me: Ben! No, No, please go put the sprinkler back down in the yard and play with it out there!


Ben: No, mommy.


Me: Yes, Ben!


Ben: But, mommy, the plants NEED water to live!


Me: Who told you that, Ben?


Ben: Uh, God did mommy.


I thought that was pretty funny! Earle and I have a hard time keeping things green, simply because there does not seem to be enough time in the week to always water the plants. We generally get the lawn mowed and the yard clean, but we are usually distracted with the boys by the time we get to making things pretty! Ben has just proven to me that he can handle the job of plant watering!!
This is Ben after he finished his last swimming lesson this year! He was so proud of his ribbon!!Here is Collin just hanging out and feeling much better this week!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Four-wheelers and Stomach Bugs..








This week has been pretty un-eventful so far. Ben has worn his Superman P.J.'s pretty much all week...since we have been in most of the week, I have let him. On Monday evening we all went for a walk. Our neighbors have a 4 yr. old son, and they just bought him a real 4-wheeler that he drives up and down our street. Ben watches this 4-wheeler in longing envy every time we are outside. So, one of the older siblings offered to give him a very slow ride....and yes, he did have a helmet on. This picture was just as he was getting off and had already taken off the helmet. So anyway, I think we have a few years to go before delving into the 4-wheelers! Luckily he was a little scared of it when he got on!



Collin has been sick for the past couple of days with a stomach bug. We have just been around home because of that. We even had to for go Ben's swimming lesson yesterday in lieu of the throwing up! I think he is getting over it. He was able to keep some baby goldfish and pedalyte down this morning.



Oh, and for some reason, I have been feeling compelled to share some favorite snacks...here is the winner this week....I usually get the peanut butter Quaker rice cake snacks and I thought that is what I had picked up, instead I got the caramel drizzle! These are even better...and only 90 calories per pack!! Have a good rest of the week!!



CB

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hallelujah!!!!!!!!




Earle did a wonderful thing! He traded in our Ford Escape. As an early "anniversary gift" he purchased a new(to us) mini-van for our family! Don't get the wrong idea, our anniversary gifts usually consist of a card, Starbucks gift card and a night out on a date. I have really wanted/needed a mini-van for a while, since we do so much travelling, and quite a bit of hosting people at our home. I am so excited! Now if you come to see us, we could quite possibly all ride in the same car...and you won't have to sit in Ben's booster seat! I know it was not really a necessity, but I am excited about it and I did really want it! I think secretly, he may have wanted one too! Thank you Earle... I love you and you have made my life a little easier. Errands and traveling will be a bit more enjoyable! Hallelujah!! It is a used 2005 Toyota Sienna, it is perfect for us! Now I need to focus on getting the boys "snack crumbs" found and vacuumed up more frequently! Here are a couple of pics...Have a great weekend!!!
CB

Friday, June 13, 2008

Yeah BEN!!

I just wanted to say how proud we are of Ben! He has had three weeks of swimming lessons and he is swimming all by himself without any floating devices! You can see his swimming lesson teacher still stays right by him, but he was doing it all by himself in water that is well over his head. And to think I really was skeptical about putting him in because I was not sure if he was "ready". We are so proud of you buddy! I had to post this little video for his grandparents to see.

videoHave a great weekend!! -CB

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

So Far this week....







Besides, going to the swimming pool and swimming lessons, we have gone to the Trail head, where all of the water shoots up out of holes in the concrete. We have also gone over to Landon's house(a friend of Ben's from preschool). This was a great day, it really wore Ben out before his nap and then his afternoon swimming lesson. We have been to the Library and gotten more books and movies...and Collin has decided he likes playing with Ben's baby doll named Joey(which my mom gave to Ben to prepare him before Collin was born). All of this outside activity is starting to make me tired!! Did I mention it is really hot here in Louisiana? It is getting so hot that it makes you want to strip off your clothes to the bare minimum...no matter what you feel you look like...I am embarrassed to say, today, I went to K-mart after the pool in my swimsuit, cover-up and flip flops...and it was still too hot...I could have even lost the cover-up...but I wouldn't dare! The cleanliness of my house is suffering! But I am a little too tired to care! Is it really still just the beginning of JUNE??? We did have a great snack this week....I am not completely into the organic thing, but we tried this Organic Brownie mix, and it was about the best tasting brownie mix I have ever had! I thought I would share...and it has no preservatives or red dye...if you are into that kind of thing. Hope your week has gone well!

With all of the extra summer activity...treat yourselves ladies...and I have to mention...we did eat all of it in less than 24 hours...that is a little embarrassing!
CB

Monday, June 9, 2008

Congratulations Summer!!








This weekend we went to Ft. Worth, TX to see our niece, Summer Brown, graduate from high school. While any high school graduation is a reason to celebrate, we felt extra proud of Summer. She graduated valedictorian of a 300+ class at Trimble Tech High School in Ft. Worth. She has also received a huge scholarship to LeTourneau University in East TX. She had already received an $8,000 per year, full tuition scholarship to LeTourneau because of her grades and scholarly performance early in the spring. Late in the spring after a series of interviews, Summer was awarded an additional $75,000 in scholarship to the school which will get her well on her way to a great start and career! She plans to focus on a pre-med degree. Congratulations Summer! We are so proud of you!! We also had a great time visiting other family members. We spend lots of time in the car..but it was well worth it. The best part of our car rides....the few times the boys fell asleep! The first 7 hour day, they both took only one nap...it was for 30 minutes!!
And yes, that is a pillow case clipped together with a chip clip...this was Ben's idea for an improvised Superman cape...I thought it was pretty creative. Earle and Eric(Earle's Brother)
On the way home we stopped for ice cream, and because we had to get back in the car, we decided just to get Collin a cone to gnaw on with no ice cream....When I looked back in the car seat, to my surprise, I realized that this choc. dipped waffle cone was what Earle got for him....great idea, Earle! Collin was tickled to death about it, but I think next time we will get a plain one!!


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Getting a hold of our Summer Routine!!!

Okay, summer, with two children of completely differently physical capabilities has proven to challenge me this year! First of all, what in the world am I supposed to do with them all day to keep them occupied? We go everywhere, just the three of us. When Ben was in school, I would take Collin along on my errands, while I did have to tote him around, it was generally quiet....but with Ben, there are many, many repeated questions, opinions about what we are doing, and there is always a huge need for us to be outside and physically active. Here are a couple of pics of us on some errands....we three! The first picture is at the Dr.'s office, and the second is at the grocery store.





I can't wait until Collin is old enough to play outside with


Ben and interact with him like a playmate!







Maybe next summer, we have got to get him walking first!~!







After a few days of running countless errands, to take up some time, a friend of mine, Angela Clem, suggested that I put Ben in some swimming lessons...it has been the best thing!! He loves it and it completely wears him out.

Here is our summer routine as of this week, and it seems to be working...things can vary...



  • Get up, let Ben watch Noggin while he eats his breakfast and I feed Collin.


  • Finish Breakfast, put Collin back into his crib for some crib play time while I get dressed to to the the PAC(Pelican Athletic Club) which is where I work out and we can go to the pool.


  • Get kids dressed and Go to swim, usually around 10:00am(usually I put Collin in childcare and just take Ben to the pool)


  • Leave the PAC around 12:00


  • Get home to eat lunch and then put Collin down for a nap.


  • Read some books with Ben, and let him have playroom time, or a nap if he needs it.


  • 3:00 Get Ben ready for his swimming lessons.


  • 4:00 Swimming lessons for Ben and Collin and I watch.


  • Get home just before 5:00


  • Dinner between 5:00 and 6:00


  • After 6:00 maybe a walk with Dad until 7:00


  • Bath time and Bedtime for Collin,


  • Ben might get to stay up and play bowling or baseball on the Wii with his dad,


  • Usually by 8:00 Ben is in bed and Earle and I are FREE!!!

So we may not go to the pool in the mornings everyday, but here are some other options...we have been trying to go to the Library, sometimes we can go to the park, but it is starting to get really hot here in Louisiana. There is the occasional play date, or possibly McDonald's or Chick-fil-a playland. Oh yes, and occasionally some errands have to be run.


Some things I have learned that make our swimming pool outings easier are:

  • Always have the kids pre-showered and as Ben would say, "greased up" with sunscreen before you get in your car to go to the pool, that way they can just get right in, and if you have to hold another child your hands are at least free of one. Don't come in street clothes, just swimsuit and t-shirt and flip flops or cover up.


  • the little floating ring for Collin with the mesh netting for the toys and the little awning...it is great!


  • We typically just dry off at the pool, and I put on my swimsuit cover up and just get back into the car like that, it save us the chaos of the locker room clean up and getting dressed time, we just do that at home.


  • I made the mistake of buying a huge pool bag, but it does not go over my shoulder, you have to carry it in your hands...that was a big mistake...get one that goes over your shoulder.

  • I am not one to spend money on clothes for myself...but seriously, ladies, invest in a good swimsuit that fits you so that you feel more confident on all of these pool outings! I finally got one that I could order by size and bra size with an underwire and a skirtini...it cost way more than I would have ever thought, but I don't feel like I have to hide behind a tree or large float! I got mine at a place called Bora Bora, but my friend Rochelle, told me that you can order them like that from Land's end...each piece probably will run you about $75.00,(so if you get both pieces $150.00+ OUCH!) but it is totally worth it...if you can save up for one. Dillards also has some good ones. And no, the only swimsuit picture you will see of me will be a headshot! In this one I can feel confident that my "girls" are not falling out and I am not showing my glory to the world while I chase my kids.


This is the little float for Collin that is awesome! I got it at Target. Bathing Suit Picture...Playing at the PAC...

Swimming Lessons at Northshore Swim


Last but not least, I wanted to show you this series of books that I found at the Library...those of you with older kiddos, probably have already seen these, but Ben is trying to learn his letter sounds better, before he starts to read, and these are really good. They are called the Sound Box Books...one for every letter by Jane Moncure. I thought that maybe I should buy the series so both of the boys could have them...but they are really expensive...about $15.00 per book. So we will be using our library quite a bit this summer!! Hope you are all off to a great start! Please give any summer tips you may have, I can always use some to make things easier!!
CB