Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Monday, April 27, 2015

Disney on Ice Frozen style

A week ago Elena and I went to see Disney's Frozen on Ice.  This was her Christmas experience gift.  She was super excited for the past month because she would see a billboard for it on the way to school/church.  This, for me, was the experience I was least excited to attend.

Elena decided to dress in her Elsa costume from Halloween.   She makes a really cute Elsa!

To be perfectly honest, I don't ever see myself paying for another Disney on Ice show and I mean ever.  It was cute and the costumes were fun.  It was entertaining to a point.  But, it was not worth the cost.  Everything was way overpriced in my opinion.  And, the people in attendance were the rudest people I have ever encountered at a show/event/concert/game/whatever.  Thirty minutes after the show began people were still streaming into their seats and hanging out in the aisles.  RUDE people....just rude!  It was unbelievable to me and Elena burst into tears twice because she could not see.  That just made me so sad because it was supposed to be all about happiness for Elena!

Thankfully Elena recovered from her frustrations and enjoyed the show.  I just decided she could stand like everyone else when need be.  She sang along to the songs and liked all the costumes. 

When we were leaving Elena said she had the best day ever.   Little ones have the best short term memory!  She also told me she hoped Drew and I would give tickets for an outing next Christmas.  That statement dulled the annoyance I was feeling because Elena got the point of the tickets.   It was to have an experience/to make a memory that would last longer than a toy.  I think she just may get her wish!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The first lasts and many more to come

I told Drew last week that Elena's preschool graduation was May 22nd.  After I made sure it was on his calendar and our big one in the kitchen, I had to cry just a little.  

On Tuesday Elena lost her first tooth at dinner.  I was so sure that it wouldn't come out for a few weeks yet.  It fell out while she was talking.  Go figure.  I might have wanted to cry a little. 

Then on Tuesday after dinner Elena rode her bike without training wheels.  I may have wanted to curl up in a ball on the spot.  It was too much happiness and sadness filling my heart in less than an hour.  Elena....stop growing up so dang fast!  This momma is barely hanging on!

When all these events happened in Emma, Jonah, and Samuel's little lives I was so happy for them.  Don't get me wrong.  I am a crier so tears were shed for the really big things.  But, it was really just happy tears.  I was also so thankful they were growing up.  Being a momma to four little ones is tiring and I was glad some of my kiddos were entering more grown up/independent phases.  But, this isn't so much the case with Elena.  I want her to stop and just be little for a while longer, but she does not.  Elena is so so so ready for Kindergarten. She has been asking almost weekly to go to Kindergarten because she is five.  I mistakenly told her she had to be five to go to Haude and ever since her birthday she wants to go to Haude.  Totally my fault for not more thoroughly explaining I meant be five and it had to be the end of August.  Silly me!  

I love spending my days with Elena doing nothing, something, and everything.  We have fun and she is a good little side kick.

My life is going to change so drastically come August 24th.  She is ready and I have the summer to get ready....or more likely most of September and then some to get used to my new momma phase.  It will be me putting on my big girl pants as my littlest goes off to elementary school with what I know is going to be the biggest smile ever to walk through the front doors at Haude. Thankfully I have five more weeks to treasure my time with just Elena.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Our first time visitors

Last week my sister Kristin and her family came to visit us.  Kristin had been to Texas before, but it had been ages.  Her hubbie and sweet Owen were first time Texas visitors.  As has been normal for our spring, it rained for too much of their visit.  When it was not raining we made the best of our time.

Owen is almost two and just so cute.  He thought our backyard was a park.  I guess to his little eyes our playset and trampoline count as a park.  He spent most of Wednesday trying out all our yard toys and the kids inside toys.  He was fun to watch.  Joe is a diehard Cowboys fan so I offered this hat to Owen!

Thursday it was sunny in the morning so we went to one of our favorite parks.  Elena loved having someone to play with and guide here and there.  She was a little tour guide and momma all in one!

Kristin, Owen, and Joe


Friday we lucked out with the rain again during the day.  Off to the zoo we went with a quick driving tour of some of Houston.  This was Owen's first trip to a zoo and he had a blast.  His little legs never seemed to get tired.  Kristin and Joe also experienced the joy of Houston traffic and both decided small town living was for them!

It was a tiring three hours looking at animals and playing.  So at baseball that night Owen needed a little nap.  Unfortunately he did not miss much because Samuel's game was called in the 3rd inning because of lighting.    Saturday's game was cancelled because the fields were too wet to play.  Bummer!  Kristin was happy she saw Samuel get a hit at his only at-bat.

Before the rain came on Saturday night we introduced Kristin, Joe, and Owen to Texas BBQ.  So good....

Then we shared one of our family's favorite activities with them at Rice Baseball.  The kids played with Owen on the hill and kept him plenty entertained for the game. 

Everyone was super sad for Sunday morning to arrive.  Kristin, Joe, and Owen had to leave super early and the kids definitely missed their playmate.  We can't wait until August!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Making forever memories

Yesterday I took Elena to two parks to play.  When she is not at school she always wants to go to a park.  It was a perfect day so off we went.  This is my last year to have Elena home with me.  I am super sad about that and plan the make the most of these last two months of school.  She and I will be making lots of special memories together before the next stage begins.

Elena is the most imaginative of our kiddos.  She can create play scenarios in her head like it's nothing.  I so enjoy watching her play.  Yesterday she was saving the universe from the people trying to steal all the guns.  Can you tell her brother is Samuel who tends to play similarly. She was busy playing in this imaginative world for two and a half hours!! It is a good thing for me that sitting at a park watching her is something that I love to do.

She was very interested in this cross being in a park
This girl
She was filthy and exhausted so she needed a quick minute to rest.

Elena has also become quite good at the monkey bars.  For being just five I am super impressed every time I watch her go across them.  This was the longest set she has tried and she made it look way too easy.  The craziest part is she doesn't just do it once.  It is like a challenge to Elena to see how many times she can go across which yesterday was at least 10 times!

After a day of making memories with Elena, I spent the evening making memories with Samuel.  As everyone knows we are big Rice baseball fans.  And, most everyone probably knows that Samuel is not a fan of Texas A&M.  However, Samuel has the Rice schedule pretty much memorized and he checks it regularly.  There is a 2015 season poster in his room.  So, he knew A&M and Rice were playing last night in College Station.  Drew and I decided it would be a fun experience for Samuel so I took him.  I became the "best mom ever" when Samuel was told I was taking him to the game! 

Watching this game in College Station was an experience.  Blue Bell Park is a nice baseball stadium and very fan friendly.  On a Tuesday night, it was packed like 5,000+ people packed.  Because Samuel really, really, dislikes A&M Drew and I spent a bunch of time talking with him about the game.  The chance of Rice winning was pretty slim.  A&M is having an amazing year losing only 2 games so far and they are the #1 team in college baseball at the moment.  We wanted him prepared for the worst and hoped for the best.  All these games we attend are fun, but we also use the time to talk with Samuel sportsmanship.  It is just another way he is learning to be a good sport on his playing field.
Yep, that is a train right next to the field....interesting!

The game was great....lots of hits, great pitching, no errors in the field, perfect weather.  Rice played the best game they have all year in my opinion until the very end.  Rice was winning for most of it.  Unfortunately, they blew it big time in the 7th and 8th. Rice lost 4-3.

Goofing off during one of the many A&M pitching changes
Love that he loves baseball as much as I do
Samuel was crushed.  But, to his credit he did a really good job of keeping his emotions in check.  He did not verbally lash out which is generally what he does.  He just sat in my lap for a while and cried silent big tears.  I was really proud of him as my heart broke for him.  It was especially tough because he is 7 and he doesn't understand the rowdy, slightly inappropriate college crowd.  Some of those fans weren't so nice to Rice, but again another lesson for Samuel.  We talked about the game and the next ones coming up for Rice to distract him some.  It worked and it was finally time to head back home.
Yes there were tears
Samuel was back to being kind of happy by the time we left.  However, with 5,000+ fans we were stuck in traffic for about 30 minutes.  Samuel did take that opportunity to say "aren't we outta here YET!"  It was kind of funny.  He also told me that A&M was "poop" which again made me laugh.  I decided not to tell him how Rice could have prevented him from feeling that way about A&M...another time perhaps!
75 miles later we made it home.  It was a late night for sure, but so worth it.  Even though Drew watched the game, Samuel recapped it for him.  The boy missed nothing!  When I was kissing him goodnight Samuel thanked me for taking him to his very first away baseball game.  Be still my heart!  Of course he said that with his awesome happy smile.  Man, I love making these memories with Samuel!  I think he'll remember this one for a long time to come and so will I. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter....

Christ is Risen.....

Today we had a wonderful day together.  We celebrated Easter at home, at church, and at a baseball game.  The only thing that could have been better about today was the weather.  Rain....yuck!

This morning the kids made Resurrection Rolls, had an egg hunt inside, and were given their Easter baskets.  Two eggs are still missing.  I should know where they are since Drew and I hid them, but apparently we did a really good job.  Of course, it was Elena who was short two eggs.  But, having thoughtful older siblings they secretly hid two of their eggs for Elena to find.  Elena had no clue and was happy she found all her eggs.  Sometimes they are just super sweet to one another.

We had a butterfly release and Easter snacks after church.  Thankfully the drizzle/light rain held off just long enough for the children and parents to enjoy this.
I made these cute little things for the snack table
Elena and Rhiannon
Elena and Adam

Rhiannon, Lilah, and Elena....cute besties!

Our plan for after church was to take pictures on the Rice campus and have an Easter picnic on the outfield hill.  Well, we still managed to take pictures, but the rain ruined our picnic.  That was a huge bummer because we were all excited for a fancy picnic. 

I am super happy with our very quick photo shoot.  The weather was not great so we asked the kiddos to cooperate and they did.  Fifteen minutes and two locations later we had some wonderful Easter pictures.

Samuel missed the memo to put his hands on his hips....still super cute!

We did manage to enjoy the game and a Rice victory.  It was wonderful to spend the entire day together and we had our Easter picnic for dinner at home.

I am feeling very blessed today.  Happy Easter!!!!