Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's starting...

Joy School today was a complete success for Noah.  He's been so ready to go for weeks, even though he hardly knew what to expect.

Noah came home with a full report of the cool trains Everett has at his house, meeting Joy Boy, playing outside, eating goldfish and grapes for snack, and remembering what just about everyone brought for their show and tell item.   He was pretty excited to pack up Pontoon Dusty, Maru and Pincone (all from the new Planes movie) in his backpack to share with everyone.  It's a good sign that he cried when I came to pick him up because he didn't want the fun to end, right?


Right now it's just Joy School, and thank goodness.

For over a year Noah has been asking, "Mom, am I five yet? Can I go to kindergarten now?"

He has no idea how happy I am that we don't have to cross that bridge for two more years.

Plain and simple, I just love being with this kid.  So while things like grocery shopping and errand running will surely be easier with only my Luke in tow, I'd really just rather experience everything possible with him around.  

But, HE needs to spread his wings a bit.  He needs to learn the simple and sweet things that Joy School offers, including becoming buddies with those five other sweet kids.

So, Joy School it is.  Two days a week is a good way for both of us to start adapting to being away.  I need more practice than he does for sure.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One more...

A trip to Tahoe wouldn't be complete without a picture in the old car at Tahoe Pizza Company!

Just Heavenly!

Saturday was our last day in Tahoe.  After breakfast we gave big hugs to the Birons and said goodbye as they began their drive back to Bakersfield.  We didn't really have a plan for the day, other than heading back home at some point.  I'm so glad we decided to ride the gondola at Heavenly.  It was fun and beautiful and just a great way to spend the last day of our vacation.
 Both Noah and Luke loved it. 

Nate and I especially loved that Becky and Terry were in that gondola with us to help get kids and the stroller on and off.  I sure do love these two, and being with them reminds me that Cleveland is WAY too far away!

We got off at the observation point and looked around at the amazing view.  I fall more and more in love with Tahoe the more we're there. 
We didn't realize how many fun summer activities there are do to at the top of the mountain: ropes courses, big slides, climbing walls -- all kinds of things.  Noah needs to grow a few inches, but next year maybe we'll let him try one or two of them.  It was just fun being up there and walking around.  Noah loved that they had a perfect mountain playground for he and Brennan to explore.

At the Cabin

Sometimes by the end of the day we're so worn out that we don't make it out to the campfire.  Other times we all find our way out there, and the s'more making ensues.  I could stay out there for hours, but two little boys' bedtime always comes too quickly, and I find myself back inside brushing teeth and putting on jammies. 

This time around Grandma Shauna also got some camp songs going, and we all joined in.
My favorite part of that was looking around and seeing how much fun the kids were having.  They loved seeing the grown ups sing silly songs and then joining right in. 

This kid was SO exhausted at this point.  He looks like such a lump in this picture.  But I love that big, messy faced lump!

We also celebrated Brennan's birthday.
Brittany had a few fun activities for the kids to do outside.
Brennan got a fun McQueen pit crew costume, and Noah tried it on for him.
I finally caught a picture of them all together. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Baldwin Beach

Our day at Baldwin beach was just about perfect: warm (but not hot), a light breeze, the water was beautiful, and we were with our favorite people!

Luke made my day when I bent down to take a picture with him, and he just wanted to give me kisses on my cheeks.
  He's started saying "love you" as he walks around the house, and I just love it!

I looked over and these little sand babies were just soaking in some sun. 

None of us had paddle boarded before, so we rented one for an hour and gave it a try. 

Nate did great.  It just took him a try or two to find his balance.

I stayed up and didn't fall.  It was actually fun and something I'd definitely do again.
Tired kids who played and played was the only reason we left.  It was a sandy, sunny beautiful day at Baldwin Beach!

Beach Time

We made it to the beach twice during the week.  The first time was at Pope in the late afternoon, and we stayed for dinner.

My boys couldn't get to the sand fast enough. 
And playing in the sand with cousins is even better!  I say it all the time, but these girls are so, SO good to my boys.  They are patient with them, super helpful and are really good little babysitters.  I just love them!

I looked out and saw that Nate and K.C. were giving their sisters a tow.  Such good brothers. :-)
Dinner ended up being kind of hurried because we got word of a severe thunderstorm warning.  

Luke fell in love with oars on this trip.  
Any time we were near the water he wanted to hold one.

That pending storm never materialized, so we enjoyed ourselves until the wind and cold forced us to pack up.  Luke didn't care.  He was cold, dirty and full of sand, but couldn't have been happier.

Boating on the Lake

Boating on the lake was a good time, but it's definitely going to be something that gets more fun as our kids get older.  I love my kids (I even love holding my kids), but a good portion of that boating time was spent holding sleeping boys, while Nate drove one of the boats.  On the way to Emerald Bay, Noah (also known as 'he who will never admit to being tired') crawled into my lap and napped.

As we left Emerald Bay, Luke decided it was his turn.

So, yeah, not quite the most adventurous boating experience for me, but still buckets of fun to be with our family in such a beautiful place. 

And Noah was all smiles being on that boat with his favorite people.

We laughed at this picture later because it looks like I'm breast feeding my almost two year old, which I definitely am not doing.  Just trying to keep that sweet sleeper out of the wind!
Nate and Tyler were the last ones to go tubing because it looked like a storm was rolling in.

Their dad gave them quite a ride that left some lingering soreness for a few days.  That's what Dads do though, right?

When they were awake, these little boys were mostly happy little sailors. 

It took Luke a little while to get used to his vest, and he got knocked over a time or two when a big wake hit the boat, but he was a champ on his first real boat ride.