Thursday, July 26, 2012

Little Guppies

Our family has grown fins and gills. Lorelei got her confidence back as summer progressed and is swimming well. And just two weeks ago, I got the water wings off of Gryffy, and before I could teach him a lesson there he went! He just started swimming on his own and hasn't stopped!
 The kids both swim well enough on their own in the shallow end, but we stick with them in the deep.  Here's G swimming in five foot depth to Daddy.  The kid has no fear, which drives fear into me!

 Both the kids fetch rings and toys from the bottom of the pool, and if it's close enough to the side, they jump in and retrieve stuff in the deep end.  Gryffy has become quite good at handstands and underwater front flips, and Lorelei is the master of underwater back flips.  She still plugs her nose, but manages to swim well nonetheless.  Gryffy doesn't want anything to do with goggles.  He just opens his eyes under water and never plugs his nose. I have to stop him all the time to rest because he just flips around like a little guppy non stop and barely comes up for breath.  He just loves that water so much he can't stop himself.

My favorite pool trick is when the two hold hands. Lorelei is very protective of her little brother. Sweet.
Yep, this pretty much says it all--Lorelei in goggles, nose plugged; Gryffy with his arms and eyes and mouth all wide open, joy smattered on his face.
This is the "I-seriously-love-my-little-brother" face that I just adore so much on Lorelei.  When she just can't contain the amount of love energy inside of her, she makes this sweet stiff face and hugs very (very!) tightly.  And he just lets her carry him around the pool.  My two little guppies.

Catching Up on July

There's so much catching up to do for the month. Gryffy knows all about being caught up (by his big sister).
 Park Place had their annual block party, and Mark's band always does the gig. We love their music--songs everybody knows from Tina Turner to Lady Gaga to Black Eyed Peas--and the kids love seeing Daddy up there.
 Before we saw the band play, the kids and I were walking along with our sack dinners and sat down on a bench. A second later, a scowling man came up to my kids and said, "Scoot!" I didn't think I'd heard right (I was a bit in shock by his behavior) and asked him if he wanted to sit there, to which he sat down and then replied, "I was going to sit here until you took the bench from me!"  I couldn't believe it but I got up with the kids and walked away, and that's when we found a better place to sit--a table with our friends, the McKenna's.  They had exactly three seats.  I couldn't help but to see the parallel in life: that sometimes we want to settle on a bench, when God's prepared a table for us: "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies." I was so grateful for that miserable man. What a reminder for me and the kids about how God can bless us when we're persecuted (and, perhaps, a lesson for that man too).
Here's a sweet shot of the kids and Daddy when the band took a break.
 These girls are my Sole Sisters.  I stole the name from a group of moms that I walk with occasionally from Lulu's grade school, and started a Sole Sisters with friends from church this summer.  Love these girls. We walk every other Tuesday night and then sneak into a restaurant for food & drinks.
 I've repainted the living room for the fourth time in six years.  Color has such an affect on me; it has to be just right for me to be satisfied.
 And I love it!  Raffia, by Valspar.  Paint makes me so happy.
 And Gryffy has begun his first official lessons: fencing.
 I knew it would be right up his alley. He says he loves sword fighting. And I catch him practicing his moves. I think it's only going to be a summer thing for now as classes will conflict with L's violin this fall and we've already signed Gryffy up for soccer, but I can see more fencing in this boy's future.  After all, that's what pirates do!
There's my little man, in the pirate costume, green crocs, and oversized hat.  He's the youngest in class.

En garde!

The boy still dresses like this several times a week.
And finally, drama camp. Yes, I signed poor Gryffy up for "princess camp." But it's because the camp was based on Tangled, and Lorelei was going to be in it, and Gryffy went through a Flynn Ryder stage.
 Only he's past that stage now, and is a fully committed pirate.
This girl, Kennedy, became Lorelei's bosom friend at drama camp. She just took L under her wing and looked for her everyday at drop off.  She was a doll.
 Gryffy had to hide his eyes. Bah, princess camp!
 This is the entirety of his performance on stage.  Everyone else had to just shuffle around him.  Bless his sweet heart, he stayed up there!
 Lorelei, on the other hand, loved it!
She did way more dancing here than she ever did in her dance recital. I really just thought she didn't like dance, but I was wrong. She was phenomenal up there!

Let's just get a look at that boy again:
Sweet princess Lulu.
 Bpop, Grammy and Meg were there too.
Wardrobe malfunction. Lulu's dress came from our dress up box, so she had to keep pulling it up.
We're proud of you kids!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sweet Land of Liberty

Something I've come to count on throughout my life, whether I lived on the west cost, in the Rockies, or on the east coast... 4th of July was ALWAYS spent in Kansas...
 ... with these crazy cousins.
(Our family tree is full of nuts)
 Gryffy loves family reunion time because his other two musketeers show up: Kai and Zachary.

 Kai took a little spill.

 My cousins asked me to do a photo shoot.  I haven't done any edits, but it was fun following the newlyweds around.  Oh they're in love.  Like, nauseating-Facebook-posts love ;o)

 The hula (my hidden talent).
 So proud of my Lulu.
 Grammy Great making a speech.
 Our neighborhood parade was fun, although we barely made it!
We saved decorating our wagon for the VERY last minute.
Notice how far ahead the rest of the parade is from us?
 But we made it, and somehow won best wagon!
(You know it's bad when your kid thinks the contest is somehow rigged because your friend was in charge of the festivities, but I assured her said friend didn't cast the vote.  It's just that I think ours might have been the ONLY wagon... the rest were bikes :o) 
 The fire department had to leave for an emergency, but they came back, also in the nick of time.
 Let's get a look at that prize-winner of a wagon here.
(To be fair, the flag banner blew off in the wind.)
 I had the super fun privilege of writing a Summer Bucket List article for KC Parent Magazine a little over a month ago, and one of our plans was to create homemade bubbles.
 We have had more fun with those things!

 On the evening of July 4, we parked near Grammy's house since they live beside Corporate Woods.  They decided to join us for the festivities.
 This Gryffy pulling Lorelei thing is pretty typical.
 Kids love these things.

 The day after we had cousins over for dinner and a Just Dance Party.
Oh. So. Fun.
Here's my cousin Chelsey from California.  Two California girls (Hey, I was born there.  It counts.)
 Just look at that intensity.  I mean really, you GO GIRLS!
 My darlings.

 Nick looks like he's rejoicing.
 Look at that boy dancing behind his Daddy.  Too cute.
We spent the rest of the night digging through all my genealogy files and charts and journals belonging to ancestors from long ago and found out some fascinating things.  I'm convinced I'm going to need to make a whole blog of it so that all our family can access these wild and fascinating stories!  We discovered two Revolutionary War soldiers in our family line, who we have to thank for this amazing holiday and our freedom.  This day truly belongs to them.  God bless America!