Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Papa and Grammy visit!

We were so excited to have Kim's parents come out for a visit. In fact, Ian was counting down the days! He sent Grammy an e-mail a few days before they came to see if Grammy could please bring her Curious George stuffed animal for a visit. Grammy e-mailed back that Curious George would love to come and that Curious George hoped that Ian could make a bed for him to sleep in since he'd arrive after Ian was in bed. Ian took this responsibility very seriously and created a "nest" from a basket, a pillow, and some washcloths. Curious George was sleeping outside Ian's room when he woke up, and George even brought a "suitcase" full of treasures including banana chips, a mini deck of cards, an eraser, and some magnetic balls. Ian was so excited!

We loved watching the boys interact with Papa and Grammy ... and we really appreciated their help getting ready for both boys' birthday parties!

In between party preparations, we did some other activities together ...

Ian enjoyed showing Grammy and Papa his classroom and introducing them to Mrs. Miller. The main important places to show on his "tour" included his cubby ...

... and a class solar system mural. Ian proudly told Grammy that his name was picked first, and he chose the design Earth!

Blast Ball
On Saturday morning, Ian had a blast ball game. Papa and Grammy were happy to come cheer him on.  I think they might have been a little surprised by just how slow-paced the game was. We got a late start, and due to an injury of a player from the other team, each player only went to bat twice before they called it a game. Nevertheless, they got to see Ian at bat,

hitting the ball,

running to base (and beyond ...),
playing out in the field, and even playing in the dirt, too! They saw it all!

Soccer Game
As it turned out, Ian also had a soccer game the same morning -- immediately following blast ball. This game had a lot more action. They got to see all of the players cluster around the ball,
Matt doing an excellent job coaching Ian's team,
and Ian enjoying himself (though mostly staying away from the ball). :)
He did get in a kick or two
before it was time for the team huddle ...
... and giving high-fives.

Thanks for being faithful fans, Papa and Grammy. It meant a lot to Ian that you were there!

Sunday School
Kim was excited to show her parents what Sunday school is all about. They got to see Kim and her friend Kati leading the Sunday school opening -- and even served as substitute teachers (along with Matt) since many of the regular teachers were gone that day. How many out-of-town visitors would jump in as subs? What servants!

Ryan and Ian wanted to show Papa and Grammy all sorts of favorite toys and items around the house. One morning, Grammy and Papa listened patiently while Ian showed them every page of his preschool notebook. Ian loved telling them all about what he's done and learned in preschool this year. (I was surprised at how much he remembered, even from the beginning of the year. Preschool has definitely been a good experience for him.) Ryan got a little bored at looking at Ian's schoolwork and, in current favorite fashion, dragged the stool over to the counter so he could either drive trains along the countertop or take apart and put back together the towel rack near the sink.

Play Outside
It would be hard to guess how many minutes (hours?) Papa spent pushing one or both boys on the swingset. One morning, Kim went in to shower and get ready for the day while Papa watched the boys. The boys were swinging. Thirty minutes later when Kim came back outside, they were still super excited about Papa pushing them on the swings!

Grammy took her turn pushing the boys on the swings, too!

Birthday Gifts
Grammy made finding the boys' birthday gifts an adventure. She came up with a series of clues (some of which she encouraged Ian read by himself!). Ian and Ryan ran around the house, eagerly looking for the next clue.

The clues led the boys to this suitcase ... which had a brand new, big pool for our backyard inside of it!

Papa worked hard to help Ian inflate the pool!

The boys were excited to help fill the pool and test it out as soon as possible! What a great gift, Papa and Grammy! Thanks!

Everyday "Stuff"
Grammy and Papa jumped right in to the daily "flow" of our day, and they cheerfully helped out however they could! Papa read the boys their morning devotion one day after breakfast.
Grammy, Papa, and Curious George helped Ryan to eat his snack one morning.
Ryan was quite excited to show Papa the recycling truck he's eager to see each week.

Party Preps
Of course, a lot of our time was spent getting the party decorations and activities all set.. Grammy helped Kim create a bunch of Thomas characters from diaper boxes so that each of Ryan's party guests could have one. Grammy was great at troubleshooting and brainstorming solutions when we needed that! :)

Grammy helped Kim to think through the cake decorating process ...

...and we were very happy with the finished product!
Papa and Grammy worked together to create all of the bike flag decorations for Ian's party. 
Papa taught Ian the "Two-Card War" game he and his brother had invented growing up. Ian thought it was so much fun and asked Papa to play zillions of times.

Papa was excited to teach Ian a little more about baseball (especially his Cardinals) on the computer.

Papa read our boys plenty of books ...

...and so did Grammy!

Ian enjoyed showing Grammy and Papa the "resurrection eggs" he created at preschool. 

What an amazing time our boys had with you, Grammy and Papa! Our boys love you, and so do we! Come back again soon!

(LOTS of party pictures to come ...:))

Monday, May 12, 2014


We got to celebrate our Lord's resurrection in a few different ways this year!

First of all, Ian's pre-K class had an Easter party. The class performed some Easter songs for us parents and siblings.

Then the students showed their parents their "resurrection eggs." Ian was eager to open each of the 9 eggs and tell me the story of Jesus through the items in each egg (paper fastener "nails," a rock, a cross, a flower for rising again, a "3" for three days, etc). How fun!

We moms had hidden six eggs (of different colors) for each of the children in Ian's class on the baseball field. The kids had so much fun finding the specific color of egg Mrs. Miller asked them to find before they came back to stand on the line.

The Saturday before Easter, our church hosted a community-wide egg hunt. For the first half-hour, our boys were able to play some games and jump in the bounce houses.

Then, it was time for the BIG egg hunt. Even Ryan knew JUST what to do! :)
Ian was excited to see some of his friends from his pre-K class, including Austin, at the hunt!

We played a few more games before eating our hot dog lunch with some friends.

Ian and Carson
Later that afternoon, we dyed our Easter eggs. Ian definitely remembered this from last year and wanted to be a part of every step. Ryan was occasionally interested but mainly wanted to push his trains around. :)

On Sunday, we were so excited to go to church to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord! Before we left for church, the boys opened their Easter baskets, and then we took some pics of the boys in their brand new adorable outfits from Grammy and Papa!

We enjoyed sitting with friends, including Ian's friend Christopher, at our church breakfast.
Then we took a few more pics!

When we got home, the boys enjoyed finding Easter eggs hiding around our yard. We told Ian that the "obvious eggs" were for Ryan, and that he should look for the ones that were trickier to find. Ian took this job very seriously but would often point to an egg, shouting, "Ryan, it's an obvious one!" Ryan most liked the eggs with jelly beans inside, while Ian was thrilled to find coins for his piggy bank.

Then, the boys decided that they wanted to hide eggs for Matt and me. Large groups of the eggs were often hidden in the same spot. :)
And we got lots of clues to help us find the other ones. :)

Jesus has risen. He has risen indeed! Alleluia!