Monday, September 16, 2013

Makin' Stuff

Makin' crafts. Makin' dinner. Makin' the house look like Fall.

You name it, I've been up to my ears in it. 

And because I've gotten lots of inquiring minds through instagram & facebook, I figured I'd go ahead & compile a blog post chocked full of the details.

Come along.

Peg Dolls:

I'm in the process of making this little family of peg dolls for Lulla as a Christmas gift {as you can see, Dad still needs pants & the girls need some detailing on their dresses}. Jett received a super-cute set of super-hero peg dolls from a friend for his birthday & Lulla immediately fell in love with them & tried claiming them as her own. I knew she needed a girly set of her own to play with.  I first checked etsy, but when I found the set I loved were sixty five bucks, I nearly croaked. So instead, I bought an unfinished set from HERE & decided to give it a go, myself.  It's a tedious project. But as long as I keep my perfectionism in check, reiterating to myself that this is a project where perfectionism is NOT an option, I've done alright & actually enjoyed spending the time on them. If you are wanting to make a set for yourselves, I have two pieces of advice: 1) Use teeny, tiny paint brushes. 2) Only paint one layer at a time {for example: paint the hair on all pieces & let dry before you start on the clothing. This way the paints do not smear into one another. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a holler. I'd be glad to help in any way I can!

Fall Decorating:

I used a lot of what I already had to decorate the house this year, but because we are in a new home this Fall, the things I had took on new life-- love it when that happens! I like to have a mix of pretty things that I enjoy {twinkle lights & leaves!}, yet also some fun decor that the kids really love, too.  I purchase new items & old pieces & whip up crafts on my own & look forward to the process of weaving it all together to make it work for my own taste.

{Excuse the empty frames--I still need to order photos for them}.

You can find info about the Jett & Lulla Halloween frames & the BOO wreath HERE.

Chicken Taquitos:

I posted the above instagram photo a while back & had many requests for the recipe. This has become a favorite weeknight meal here at our house, as they are really quick & simple to make-- & oh, so yummy! Also, I think they would make a perfect appetizer for a Sunday afternoon football game.

The recipe comes from this cookbook.

This is one of my favorite cookbooks. I got it for my birthday & I use it often. It's great for picky eaters {a.k.a my family--& probably any family with little ones}.  Many of her recipes can be found online, but I have found that some cannot--like this particular taquitos recipe. So here ya go:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 c. shredded cooked chicken breast
1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
10 10-inch flour tortillas
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 & spray large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray

2. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion & bell pepper & cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic & cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken, tomatoes, cilantro, salt, cumin, & pepper & cook, stirring, until hot, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.

3.  Add 1/4 c. of the chicken filling to the center of each tortilla & top with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Roll tightly & place seam side down onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25-10 minutes, until the tortillas are crispy.

Fall/Winter Curtains:

I made curtains for my kitchen a few months ago, but as Summer was saying farewell, I found myself wanting something a little thicker, heavier & cozier than what those curtains were offering. So....I sewed up some new ruffly ones for the Fall & Winter months. I love the bit of femininity they bring to my kitchen & I love even more that they were made from a painters drop cloth I already had stashed in my craft room. Score!

Homemade {FALL} play-dough:

I found THIS recipe on Pinterest the other day & with the cool weather that dropped in, I figured it was a great day to give it a try.

The kids loved it & it only took about ten minutes to make. Ten minutes of prep + hours of fun & imagination = my kind of craft! Oh, & the fact that it makes your house smell like pumpkin pie? Added bonus.

Fall Porch:

I love a pretty porch. I love a festive porch. If you've got a ghost or skeleton or pumpkins or corn stalks on your front steps, chances are I'm going to love it. A decorated entryway gets me every time. I still have a few final touches I want to add to mine this year, but it's on it's way!

The urns are from Target. I used them for my petunias in the spring, but after seeing them put to use in this way, I believe they were made for pumpkins! :)

The stool is from Goodwill--Jared spraypainted it black for me.

The "B" on the front door I made myself. I purchased all of the supplies from Hobby Lobby--a wooden letter, spool of twine & burlap/lace flower. I'll be honest, I hated this project. I got burned by the hot glue gun fifty gazillion times & wanted to give up at least twenty.  I will never be making another twine letter for as long as I live. This one had better hold up.

The pumpkins are the fake, carve-able ones from Hobby Lobby & Michaels. I think next year I will drill holes & string lights through them for a warm holiday glow. We'll see...

I think it's pretty clear to see... I like makin' stuff.

And it's a good thing...'cause my Makin' Stuff List keeps growing...
*Halloween costumes
*Pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
*Festive Fall outfits
*A craft I've been meaning to get to for two years now

Stay tuned for a Makin' Stuff Continued post :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Itty Bitty Soccer

School last week.

Sports this week.

Who does this kid think he is, growing up on me? 

I mean, seriously.

Yo, Messi. You might want to move over. 'Cause there's a new soccer star in town.

Nah, I'm only kidding. We're not those parents--the ones grooming our three year old to be the next Pele or Cristiano Ronaldo {If you don't know who these guys are, just send your husband a text asking him who some of the big names in soccer are. Not that I did that or anything.}. We don't step out onto the field & size up the other three year old competition. Our kid isn't playing in a league & we aren't scoping out any club teams. If you're that parent & that tickles your fancy--rock on. Maybe it'll be us one day, if Jett discovers a deep down burning passion for the sport of soccer. But for the time being, we wanted his first taste of soccer to be nothing but fun

Which is why, the itty bitty soccer camp we signed Jett up for is a really great start for us. Four quick, thirty minute evening sessions of lighthearted soccer fun where Jett gets to try his fast, little feet at soccer.

He's taking in some basic fundamentals, like kicking with the inside of his foot & stopping the ball before he passes it. He's learning to listen to a coach & how to stand still in a line

Oh, & he's learning how to play a mean game of Red Light, Green Light.

We'll see where this soccer story of Jett's goes from here. For now, we are all enjoying the fun of it--Jett enjoying kicking up grass & Momma & Daddy enjoying our view from the sidelines.

 Who knows. Maybe Messi will be moving over for our soccer star, after all. ;)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

First Day Of Preschool {Nailed It!}

Well, we did it.

The first day of preschool...nailed it!

I was a ball of nerves. I had been since the week before when we'd gone to preschool open house & I'd left there feeling extremely overwhelmed.

I don't know, something about being congregated together in a classroom, seeing my boy's name tag dangling overhead on a laminated, smiley faced apple, chit chatting with parents who were all in the same boat as us--it stamped a big, fat THIS IS HAPPENING on the whole thing.

After open house, we found ourselves parked in a spot at Sonic, where Jett could fulfill his grape slush fix & Momma could be talked down from the ledge.

Jared: You okay?
Me: Nope, I'm thinking about jumping ship.
Jared: What do you mean?
Me: I mean...I'm thinking about yanking him from preschool, keeping him home another year...keeping him home forever.
Jared: can't do that. We've come too far to do that now. Look how excited he is for school. We've talked it up all summer. He's met his teacher. He's met his classmates. It's too late for that now. He is ready.
Me: Oh, it's not too late. I can turn this ship around. Yep, I sure can. I'll just tell him, "Do you want me to leave you there at that school where you'll be away from Mommy allllll day? Where you don't know anybody? I can't be there with you. You'll be there without Mommy & Daddy." You watch. I can change his mind about school, make him hate it.
Jared: HOLLY B*****!!!{Jared always uses my last name for emphasis when I'm in trouble with him}

At this point we were cracking up. Because we both knew full well that this is what I do. When the nerves are jitterin', when the tears are brewing, I resort to comedic relief. I use humor & joking & silliness in the place of melting down into a crying puddle of a mess. Of course I never had a single intention of turning my child into a preschool drop-out, but somehow joking that I just made me feel better...& gave us a good laugh.

It's hard to let your babies go...even just a little. I know I'm not the only momma who's experienced this struggle warring deep inside. How tight a grip do I hold on with? When is it it the right time to loosen the reigns?  That urge of wanting to keep my children small & young & protected & shielded in a soft, squishy bubble for the rest of their lives, it burns inside of me & sometimes, seems like a grand idea.

But it's not. I know that.

So yesterday, we watched as our first born spread open his tiny wings. He took the first of many flights he will take in this lifetime of his.

He started preschool.

Jared was right. He is ready. And "ready" for our family may look a whole lot different than "ready" looks for another family. I've had a few friends ask me if they're doing something wrong, because they aren't doing pre-school at the age of three or even at all.  My answer to them--Heavens, no. We had no intentions of placing Jett in preschool at three. I figured anything he needs to be taught, I would be able teach him at home. The plan was to wait until he turned four, send him to preschool for a year & then off to Kindergarten he would go. But after listening & taking note of a few cues Jett was giving us, we decided to at least throw the idea of preschool around. If we found a right fit, great. If not, we'd continue looking until next year. No biggie. I decided to really trust myself on this one. Jared I & talked a lot about Jett's needs, what we could give him & what we couldn't. As a parent, it is so easy to look around at what everyone else is doing & measure what I should be doing, what my children should be doing based on that standard. I continually have to remind myself that this is our child, that this is our family & that it's okay if our story looks like our very own & not identical to somebody else's.  It's okay if it doesn't go the way we had originally planned. It's okay if we put Jett in preschool at the age of three or four or not at all, if that's what we feel is best for him & for the harmony of our family of four. I tried to be as open as possible in determining this decision for Jett & his adventures in preschool.

Well it just so turns out...we didn't find a right fit. We found a perfect fit. 

Miss Marilyn's preschool. It had me at hello. I knew it had Jett's name all over it the moment I heard the energetic, passionate voice of Miss Marilyn on the other end of that phone call the very first day I called. A preschool full of adventure & hands on learning & field trips & parties & the oh, how list goes on & on & on. Instead of the pit in my stomach I had always felt when thinking about sending my little boy into the world for the first time, I was actually feeling excitement. And most importantly, Jett was too. 

So off he went. He proudly hurled that little striped backpack over his shoulders & he marched into preschool without {much} hesitation. Jared & I helped him get settled in & after a few minutes knelt down beside him, told him we loved him & that it was time for us to go, but that we'd be back right after show & tell to pick him up.  He quietly leaned into me & said, "But I don't want you to leave." I explained to him {like I had been explaining for the past week} that school is a place for kids & that mommies & daddies cannot stay but that he was in for a really fun day & to just have fun. He replied with a simple "Okay." And that was it!

Okay, so maybe there was a brief & very minor mommy meltdown once I got into the car, but other than that, the first day of preschool...

Nailed it!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Our Place At The Lake

I've been joining Jared & his family at the lake since the very first summer we started dating, some thirteen years ago {Yikes. Typing that made me feel really old}. And even though more than an entire decade has passed by & time has slipped through our lives much too swiftly, the lake has mostly remained the same as how I remember it from that very first summer as a 19 year old girl. Of course there have been a few slight changes to the scenery of our lake adventures. For instance, the two little tots that now make the trip down with us, kicking their feet & squealing from the back seat of our loaded down SUV. There are tiny little life vests that are carefully chosen & stamped with COAST GUARD APPROVED that we squish & squeeze their little bodies into. And there is the new Safety First mentality Jared & I have somehow acquired that never seemed to cross our minds back when we were busy getting black eyes from crazy tubing shenanigans & visiting the E.R. with concussions from our wake-boarding incidents. Gone are the living on the edge days.

But other than those few slight changes in things, the lake still remains as it always has.

The shotty cell phone service {which I actually quite love. Sometimes being "unplugged" can be such a sweet thing}, the convenience store where everyone seems to congregate, the slow pace/no rush necessary mindset, the way strangers pick up friendly conversation & are eager to lend a helping hand. That's all exactly the same.

There's still the orchestra of locusts & crickets that begin their crescendo at dusk & play loud into the night, a reminder that you're far away from any hustle & bustle of city life.

The simple pleasure of diving off a boat dock & swimming circles round it.

Mornings spent on the deck, waiting for everyone else in the house to wake up {& quit burnin' daylight! *wink}, a cup of coffee in hand, enjoying the last few minutes of cool before the sun pops over the tree tops dressed in full summer blaze.

Dinner at the local cafe'.

Sunkissed noses.

Returning home with trails of chigger bites.


We had our final hoo-rah of the summer this past weekend, spent at the place that has dug its way into my heart over the past thirteen years. A place I love bringing my children to. A place that is rich in childhood stories from my husband's past.  A place that holds so much history...& offers even more future...

our place at the lake.

Meet our "captain" for the weekend.

He called himself the "captain" the entire weekend & couldn't wait to get his hands on that steering wheel to drive the boat all by himself. Drive he did. In circles. Until we were all about to puke from our dizziness. But would ya look at that face? It makes up for every bit of sea sickness.

Little Lulla hated the life jacket. It squished her cheeks & made her topple over if she wasn't propped against something. So we did our best to make her happy--with cookies.

Little water bug. Once out of that pesky life jacket, this girl had a ball. Splishing, splashing, squealing. This girl is our lake girl.

He looks so long legged to me here. He is growing so fast.

Coach brought a new Lego set to work on in the evenings. Two peas in a pod, these two.

Snuggles from Gigi

I wish I would have captured his first jump off the dock. It was fearless. A big run. A big splash. A very proud Momma, Daddy, Coach & Gigi!

This picture makes me chuckle. Coach is docking the boat & Jett's just chillin', eating a box of Cheez-Its.

It's a happy place. A place of rest. A place to come for rest & relaxation. A place for sunny adventures. A place to capture memories & relive old ones. It's one of our favorite places in the whole wide world.

It's our place at the lake.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Life's Little Lessons

Life has a way of teaching us it's lessons, doesn't it? Both through hard struggle & exhilarating accomplishment, we are taught & grown & stretched in this life. I believe the lessons that stick the strongest with us are often times those ones that we worked hard for, or in some cases, had to fall down hard for.

My Jett, he's been both working hard & falling hard lately. Life is teaching. Lessons are being grasped. And as a mother, I am becoming more & more aware of the opportunities there are to teach & show grace to my children as they brave this big world of lessons. There is much to be strained from this big bowl of parenthood I am swirling around in if I open my eyes & seek it.

Last Friday I had a list of errands to run, Goodwill being the first to check off my list {it's the end of August & you know what that means--time to start thinking about piecing together Halloween costumes}. I don't know about all you mommas out there, but getting out of the house to run errands with two little ones, it always proves to be a nightmare. It's just hard. And by the end of it all, I'm a sweaty, crabby mess that just wants to get home with my bags of groceries & two kids, swearing the entire way home that I'm never leaving the house. Ever. Again. Anyone else feel the same? Oh please, tell me somebody else feels the same.

Okay, back to the story. Goodwill. An old, worn pair of denim overalls for Jett's Halloween costume. A weathered urn that I picked up, sat back down & picked up once again, this time placing it in my cart realizing there were lots of places in my house that it could be a perfect fit for. A mini candelabra. A pair of black shoes for Lulla's Halloween costume. I was happy with my findings & eager to get out while the getting was good--meaning while my children weren't falling apart & while I still had enough gas in me to get me through the next stop--grocery shopping. I was skimming one more section as we were headed to the front of the store when I caught Jett hanging on the handle of the cart--the cart that his sister was sitting in. I got after him, quite sternly, because this hanging thing he's's a problem. He hangs on our bedroom door handles at home. He hangs on the refrigerator door. He hangs on the clothing rods in our master closet. We caught him hanging on the back windshield wiper to my SUV. He's been in a heap of trouble lately for hanging on things that aren't meant for hanging on. We've explained the consequences. We've disciplined for it. We've talked through horrible scenarios that could result in his this newfound excitement for dangling from things.  So this day, I told him to stop, told him he could tip the cart over, told him he knows better. I turned away only to hear in the next few seconds, a great big bang of a CRASH!!!!!! Sure enough, he'd hung on the handle just as soon as I'd turned my head & this time ended up pulling the cart over. He was lying on the concrete floor, flat on his back, most of his body pinned underneath the cart. Lulla was laying on top of his chest, still buckled into the cart, both her legs bent underneath the handle. It was silence as my panicked self rushed to them, trying to pull the cart up, while holding onto Lulla as her top-heaviness was trying to pull her forward out of the cart. It wasn't long before the shock of what had happened was setting in & they both began wailing. I picked Lulla up out of the cart, mostly worried she had hit her head when she fell forward or broken her legs by the way they both had been lodged underneath the handle of the cart but as I looked all over her body, I didn't see any evidence that she was terribly hurt, only that she was scared. Jett was sitting up on the ground now, holding his left leg, saying it hurt around his shin. It had a pretty decent red mark appearing so I felt around on it & asked him to walk on it, which he did just fine. He was crying huge tears & began repeating, "I'm sorry, Mommy! I'm so sorry, Mommy! I'm sorry I hurt Sissy! I'm sorry! I'm sorry I broke your pot! I'm really sorry I broke your pot! {I hadn't even realized, but everything from the cart had flown out in the cart wreck & he was apologizing because the urn had broken & shattered into pieces.} " He was so remorseful. So scared. In that moment, I was flooded with emotion. I was terrified at the thought that both of my children could have been hurt terribly & I was so thankful that they fell the way they did, thankful to God for protecting them. I was angry, angry that it had to come to this for Jett to finally realize his actions are dangerous. I felt compassion, knowing by Jett's face & the reaction he was showing, that he truly was so sorry for his actions. And so I took a moment there in the middle of Goodwill while I was kneeling, Lulla propped on one knee & Jett cradled in my other arm to tell him this is why Mommy & Daddy are always after him to stop hanging on things. Not because we are mean. Not because we don't want him to have fun. Because really bad things can happen & we truly do know what is safe & what isn't. Honestly, I probably wouldn't have had to say a word in that moment & the lesson Jett gleaned that day would have stuck like crazy glue. But he was already in my arms & we needed a little breather before we got up & went on our way, anyhow, so I took the opportunity to explain through the lesson life had just tossed him.

What I really wanted to do after the Goodwill trip was call it a day & go home. But we were a twenty minute drive from home & a two minute drive from Hy-Vee. My cupboards were bare. My grocery list was long. So I sucked it up & we did our grocery shopping. And let me tell you, I have never seen Jett more quiet & well behaved in the grocery store as I did this day. He didn't make a peep. He didn't beg for junkfood. He didn't tell his sister, "I'be had enough!" when she smacked him in the head, repeatedly. Still as a little mouse, he was. And come to think of it, I haven't caught him hanging on a single closet rod, door handle or windshield wiper since last Friday.

Some of the lessons that stick the most are the ones we have to fall down hard for.

But luckily, not all lessons are learned the hard way. Some are brought to us through great opportunities--opportunities to stretch ourselves, to grow within, to nurture within ourselves the seedlings of accomplishment that are lying on the surface needing to be watered & pruned until they begin blooming on their own. And my Jett, he's been having lessons like this, as well.

About three weeks ago, we were at Target & Jett, like every other three year old, likes to spend a good amount of time in the toy aisles when we are at there. When our day isn't rushed & we have the extra time, I like to let him browse. I like that most days he learns that we walk away from those toy aisles without buying a thing, & that just because he wants something, doesn't always mean he gets it. And sometimes I love watching his face light up when I am able surprise him & say, "Throw it in the cart. You can have that toy today, buddy." On this particular day, he had set eyes on a remote control plane character from the newly released Planes movie & he was giddy with excitement. He wanted it. Baaaad. You know the drill. They get so excited, carrying on about how cool it is. Their eyes are eager, filled to the brim with pure childhood. You want to buy it for them. You want them to have it. You want to make them happy. But this plane was 40 bucks, & for me, that's just too much money to spend on an toy on a random Wednesday afternoon. So I explained that the plane was indeed very cool, but that it also cost a lot of money & perhaps for a special occasion he could get a plane like that. He accepted what I'd told him & he mentioned that maybe he could get it when he goes to see the movie & I agreed that was a good idea & that we'd talk about it. But my momma wheels began turning...

Back up a few days. Jared & I had come to the decision, after noticing that Jett's thumb sucking was increasing significantly throughout the day, that we needed to find a way to curb it. Honestly, I wasn't  all that concerned about the thumb sucking in general, & neither is Jett's pediatric dentist. But, Jared & I agreed we would like to see him doing it much less. But we knew the only way to stop the thumb sucking was to get rid of the trigger--a nasty old ratty tatty Hallmark dog that goes by the name of Belle.  Jett ditched Monkey months ago & began clinging to this dog, Belle & Belle is attached to Jett at all times. In the car. On the couch. Throughout the house. To church. Everywhere we go, Belle goes. Kicking her to the curb was the real challenge that was lying in front of us, not really the thumb sucking.

So one day, Momma came up with a plan of attack that included a chart, some star stickers, a month of work {30 days to kick a bad habit, right?} & the prize Jett has his heart set on at the end of this accomplishment.

The deal was this: The dog stays in Jett's bed. She doesn't come dowstairs. She doesn't go in the car. She doesn't watch t.v. with him. He is allowed to have her at naptime & bedtime, only.

And I'm proud to announce, that other than the first few initial weepy moments when the reality of what was happening was setting in, Jett has been on board like a champ!

We've only got a week left until the remote control plane {that is sitting in a Target bag in my front entry closet because I couldn't risk it not being at Target at the end of this} will land it's wheels into the arms of our Jett Jett. He has done so well & Jared & I & all of Jett's grandparents {who have joined in the fun of rewarding him as well for this big accomplishment}, are beyond proud of him. But the best part of all this? Seeing how proud he is of himself. Inside his heart, something is happening--self confidence, a sense of accomplishment, a speck of work ethic, it's all building. And you can tell by looking at him, by the way he announces to his loved ones that he is done sucking his thumb, that what is stirring inside his heart, it feels good to him.

Some of the lessons that stick the most, are the ones we work hard for.

Lesson learning's been happening all across the board around here & I am grateful to this life, for coming alongside this momma & giving me the nudge to grow my child, through both the tough times & exciting ones. My boy is better for it. He is carrying within him traits of character & strength that only a few short weeks ago, he hadn't yet discovered in himself.

I am paying close attention these days. Opportunity everywhere. Lessons to be gleaned. Ways to grow. For me as a momma & for my littles.

Life has a way of teaching it's lessons, that's for sure.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cannon Ball!

Oh, don't mind me. I'm just over here cannon-balling off my own little diving board.

That school bus that just passed by my house? Pretending I didn't see it. The chilly evenings that are dangling Fall in front of our faces? Ignoring them. The quietness of the neighborhood that has replaced the shrieks & shrills of children running through water sprinklers? Blocking it out.

I'm not ready for summer to be over. I'm just not. It seems as though it was the most fleeting summer I've ever experienced & I'm bummin' hard that it's going...going...gone.

It's been a good summer--a really good one. And though I know Autumn is just around the bend & offers every kind of good fun that I live for, I want to celebrate summer just a while longer. So if you're like me & feeling a tad gloomy over summer coming to an end as well, come along. We'll hold hands & make a big splash into deep water denial together.

Some of our summer celebrations as of late:

Small Town Summer Parade:

Killing time while waiting for the parade to begin. Sidenote: I overheard Jett the other day while he was playing, saying he had two girlfriends. When I chimed in & asked him who they were, he proudly announced the names of the two little blondies pictured above {who just so happen to be sisters}. Oh, boy.

Our crew.

The rumbling of a tractor makes this little boy's heart go boom boom. Farmers, hay balers, Johnny Poppers, Gators, John Deere green...he is obsessed.

Pool Days:

With the shortened pool hours, the crowds have scaled back & we've been able to have the pool nearly all to ourselves.

She is full on walking. But only in grass. And only on carpet. No hard surfaces. Wood floors, tile, concrete...& out comes this bear crawl.

His favorite thing to do at the pool.

Little fish swimming under the water. 

This photobomb makes me laugh.

She's too little for this slide. But try telling her that.
He became so brave around the water this year. 

Date Night:

 Noodles & Co. for dinner {per his request}

 His first movie at the theatre: "Planes"
 "Dusty" in one hand & popcorn in the other. All set to go!

We waited a long time for this movie to come out & though there have been some mixed reviews, we thought it was incredibly cute. Jett loved it--hasn't stopped talking about it, in fact. He has started collecting the Planes figurines.  He is already asking me when we can buy the movie. He questions me on a daily basis about some of the scenes from the movie. It was a really great first movie for him. But here's the part where I'm not sure whether or not I should stamp a big, fat COMPLETE SUCCESS or EPIC FAILURE on Jett's first movie go-er experience. Let me preface this by telling you a little something about my Jett Jett. He's not a make a scene kind of kid. He has always been very aware of his surroundings & not one to draw attention to himself. He's never let a tantrum rip in the middle of a grocery store. His face turns red when a stranger speaks to him.  He's just not that kind of kid {now his sister--a whole 'nother story}. But on this particular evening, we had ourselves a scene. A big one. The moment the credits started rolling, this kid lost it.  He wailed. And sobbed. And grieved like I've never seen him grieve. In between gasps for air, he bellowed, "Don't want it be OVERRRRRR!" & this is what he repeated & continued to repeat about a thousand times...through the theatre, out the doors, through the parking lot, in the car, all the way over to Coach & Gigi's where we picked Lulla up. The tears just streamed & streamed & streamed. He cried his little heart out until his face was a blotchy, tear stained sight to see. Some moments Jared & I found it to be kind of funny & the next moment our hearts were breaking right along with him. He finally settled down on the car ride home & then proceeded to ask me every single question he could possibly conjure about planes & propellers on planes & wings on planes & antennas on planes. Everything & anything about planes, we covered it on that car ride home. It was a very sweet night & one I think we'll all remember for a long time. But you see my dilemma, right? Success or failure? I do not know.

A Camping We Did Go:

Jett's been dying to go camping. And there's a daddy that has been dying to take his son camping. a little trial run, we set up camp in our own backyard. And for added fun, the neighbors joined in the fun & set up their own backyard campsite, too! 

 Jared camped in this tent when he was a kid & became highly offended when I said it was old & stinky. 

Building the camp fire.

Fellow campers.

I cozied up Old Stinky the tent with warm quilts & a pile of goodies to snack on for the boys & Lulla girl & I headed in to spend the night in our own beds. We'll need a bigger, fresher smelling tent if they plan to get us girls in there for an all nighter. 

Besides the sprinkler system giving the guys a wake-up call, spraying the outside of the tent at 6 a.m., the boys' first camp-out went off without a hitch. There were hotdogs & s'mores, laughter around a smoky fire & a good sleep in the great outdoors--all the things that make for a great camping trip. I do believe a real camp-out at a real campsite may be in our near future. 


Just a few more summer celebrations await us & then I promise, I'll quit my whining about summer coming to a close. 

Until then...