Monday, July 27, 2009

Family Fun Night

We loved Family Fun Night at Lifetime Fitness. Pizza, family games in the gym, a scavenger hunt, cotton candy, and of course, watching a movie from the outdoor pool--the kids weren't in bed until past ten o'clock, but it was great bonding time.
Gryffin strutting his stuff.

Lorelei's favorite scooters--Daddy and BPop took turns hooking the scooters together and flinging the kids around the room. It was a huge hit.

Music with Mar

Music with Mar is one of our favorite activities. We love Miss Beth, who leads all of our songs. Gryffin is rather fond of "Mr. Froggy" and the "Stick Song," and Lorelei loves "Little Bunny Foo-Foo" and "I've Got Five Fingers in my Pocket."

Gryffin doing the stick song. He's so proud of himself.

Gryffy, the little drummer boy. Some weeks Grammy comes with us.J.P., Lorelei, and Noah on "Beach Day"

A few pics from summer

Lorelei nursing her doll while Mommy nurses Gryffin.Picnic at the park with Totley Crew friends Carrie, Patty, Brenda, Tifanie, and Swati.
Luke, Ashlyn, Lorelei, and Savannah
Look at the love--they've known each other since they were babies.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Mommy, is that your angel?"

This morning, while Lorelei was helping me to make my bed, she suddenly said, and quite out of nowhere, "Mommy, is that your angel?" I didn't know what she had meant (my back had been turned, placing the pillows). I asked her if I had an angel, and she said, "Yes, Mommy, you do have an angel." And then I asked her what my angel looks like, and Lorelei said, "Your angel looks like me!" Yes, Lorelei, I think she does!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Up, Up, and Away!

We stumbled upon a hot air balloon on the field just outside our neighborhood tonight. The kids watched them inflate it in awe, and before we knew it, the thing was in the sky! Gryffy and Lorelei loved it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Connelly Family Visit

Grandma, Grandpa, Kayla, and Tyler came to visit us this week from Canada! It was their first trip to our home, and we loved having them here!

The Connellys, in front of the wardrobe into Narnia

Saturday: After lunching, Lorelei showed her cousins, Kayla and Tyler, her fishing creek along our neighborhood trail. That night, we went to Mass at Ascension, the church across the street. Then we supped on shepherd's pie and spent a relaxing evening at home.

Lorelei leads Kayla to her fishing spot.

Lorelei in her new mommy-and-me matching apron with Grandma and Grandpa.
Sunday: We went to our church, Heartland, in the morning. Then we saw the Plaza, ate at Fritz's Railroad Restaurant in Crown Center, and visited Union Station. Lorelei loved the Science Museum, and we all enjoyed seeing the Chronicles of Narnia exhibit. The kids fell asleep in the planetarium, and when Mark and I decided to linger, we didn't know they'd turn out the lights on us. Pitch blackness, a sudden panic, and a loud thud. When Mark tumbled blindly over the banister dividing the exit, naptime was over!

Throwing the beach ball in the living room was a staple of our nightly gatherings.
Gryffy in his conductor's hat at Fritz's Restaurant. Choo-choo cute.

King and Queen of Narnia. Lorelei and Tyler in a helicopter at the Science Center. Monday: We spent this morning at the gym and pool, and even tempted a few waterslides. After lunch, we explored the Legends outdoor mall and dined at Lorelei's favorite restaurant, T-Rex. We also finished our dining room wall, topped off by wall letters--Connelly Family--I got for free (in exchange for a decorating idea). Good trade off, I think. :-)

Tyler and Lorelei play in the fountain at the Legends.
Our new dining room wall--we spend A LOT of time here as a family.Tuesday: The morning brought rumbles of thunder, but cleared enough to allow a visit to Deanna Rose Farmstead.
Grandma and Grandpa brought some gifts from Canada. Lorelei loved her stickers and sock purse, and Gryffy was thrilled with his little bear and football. He kept saying "football" and pointing at it.

Giving the horse a thank you pat.

Hayride through Deanna Rose Farmstead.

Gryffy and Grandpa Ralph--there's definitely a resemblance.
Lorelei churns butter.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Shorthill Family Reunion 2009

Ah, it's that time of year again... a time rife with competition to ring in the best of the Luksa, Eakes, and Domann family rivalries. This year's games did not disappoint (though I'm happy to report that nobody swallowed a living goldfish or ate a fistful of worms vis-a-vis Family Fear Factor 2008). And so, you're wondering, who won? WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, MY FRIENDS. Ra, Ra, Sis Boom Ba; GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TEAM LUKSA! The body painting competition.

Definitely a tie... Luksa 1, Eakes 1

Lawanna painting Lorelei's arm--Lorelei loved it!
Here, Tenley and Dallas in the beer chugging competition. I'll spare you photographs of the hot-dog swallowing championship (but thanks, Uncle Todd, for the inspired idea).

Toddy in the donut eating competition. Uh oh... I think an Eakes spies him licking his lips!
Hula hoops--I took the prize! Can't you tell I'm in the zone? Full-on chicken arms!
Waiting for the train at Gage Park (the same one Mommy used to ride on as a kid).

You wouldn't know from the picture, but the kids loved the train ride. Gryffy talked the whole time, pointing at everything. Lorelei got a little frightened in the screaming tunnel, though.

Lorelei loved the teeter-totter.

Gryffy chilled in his walkabout.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Let Freedom Ring!

July 4th is such a celebration, but this year we had to celebrate without Mark :0(. His Lynyrd Skynyrd band (Edge of Forever) was playing for a concert of 12,000 fans in Iowa, while Lorelei, Gryffy, Bpop, Grammy, Meaghan, and I were watching his other band, Atlantic Express, get their motown swing on at the Corporate Woods fireworks display in Overland Park. Gryffy busted some moves with Mommy, and Lorelei and Meg teamed up with a few other girls for games of "Mother May I," "Simon Says," and various forms of "Tag." And when the fireworks did their snap crackle pop, I loved having both kids huddled on my lap (even if my oldest was screaming like a banshee).

Lorelei & Gryffin in Grammy & BPop's yard, just down the street from Overland Park's biggest fireworks display (one of Kansas City's best)!

Mommy, Gryffin, and Lorelei. We missed Daddy (and Lorelei sure let him know it tonight). When Daddy got home, Lorelei said, "You weren't there Daddy and so I was scared 'cause you were not there!"

BPop, Gryffin, Grammy, Meaghan, and Lorelei enjoying the festivities.

Meaghan and Lorelei snuggle under the blanket to keep warm. The weather was a cross between late summer and early fall, with a touch of a breeze--perfect!

Meaghan and Lorelei don hats to stave off loud bangs. Wish Mommy had one to stave off loud screams (see below)...

Lorelei screamed a dry, heaving scream at every explosion. Gryffy, on the other hand, pointed and babbled at them in awe. It's amazing how God made each of my kids so unique and different, and how I love them both so much!

Poor Lorelei. She begged to go home, so we left early. Lucky for us, we had phenomenal views of the fireworks on our way out (note the kids craning their heads in their wagon). We even got to stop near Grammy's house to watch the finale, AND we beat traffic!

At the cousin BBQ on July 3rd: Daphne, Stephanie, Wendy, Chelsey, Dalton, Lindsy

Lindsy, Lorelei, Wendy, Jennie, Todd, Stephanie, Grammy, Cindy at Chili's in Topeka