Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Extras

South happenings in September---the outtakes.

A good checkup at the dentist for both boys = ice cream (from the dentist not me!)

Kaden has started asking to help out more around the house, dishes is where he wanted to start. I am sure this won't last long so we are letting him do as he asks! 

Crazy hair day at school for spirit week---we used chalk and it worked brilliantly.

Rainy day fun. 

A little mini-golf with our favorite babysitter, Emily.

Playing with a birthday present from the Classens.

Freely Given Movement--- @freelygivenmoment on Instagram, #GOKITGO 

Taking a break while waiting on Kaden's bus. 

A belated birthday celebration for Kaden--his restaurant of choice was closed on his actual birthday.

A day at the zoo with our buddy Nathan. 

Logan's school pictures at John Paul II Preschool. 

Light the Night--Leukemia and Lymphoma Society 2015 walk that got rained out--torrential downpour. 

He really fly.

Date night with Mom to see Hotel Transylvania 2.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Chicago--Second Time Around

Over Memorial Day weekend our little family of 4 made the trip to Chicago with my parents to see the Royals play at Wrigley Field. We had tickets to only Saturday's game & Saturday's game was the only game that got rained out that weekend. We drove all the way there for nothing---well, not really, we still enjoyed the city and had a great time, just didn't get to see our Royals play. 

We did get a raincheck though & it worked out pretty well because the game got rescheduled the game before the Chicago White Sox series so we turned our raincheck game into back to back games in Chicago--hitting both ballparks in two days. The sad part---my mom and dad weren't able to go because they were on their way back from vacation and Kaden was in school & we couldn't take him out this early in the year for three days. So we did what most people would do, invited my BIL and his wife and asked Justin's mom to watch all three boys!

She of course said yes, even after realizing that she had to get three boys to three different schools all by 8 or 8:15! No problem, she's got this! & she certainly was off to a great start with the boys, only three hours in and they were already getting ice cream. 

Meanwhile we were making our way through Missouri and then Illinois. One of my favorite things to see along the way are the windmills. The picture of course doesn't do it justice. 

After 7 hours of driving---Adam drove the whole time, we finally saw the Chicago skyline. We were so ready to get out of the car and stretch our legs. 

We immediately checked into our hotel and headed up to our room--1514 right? WRONG. They told us 1514 and our key worked for 1514 but there was already someone in there. We didn't stick around long enough to say hi and we also weren't very happy with the front desk. 1214 was what we should have had. 

Once in our room we quickly got settled and then headed out for some shopping and then dinner at T.G.I. Fridays---I love their Sizzling Chicken and Cheese & mozzarella sticks and Becky loves their mashed potatoes--they are definitely the best mashed potatoes I have ever had. We were both pretty happy campers after checking off #1 on our to do list on our first evening---don't judge, there aren't anymore in KC any longer, the only place I get my fix is in airports and occasionally in Chicago. 

After dinner we headed out & about. The lunar eclipse that occurs every 30 years was happening that evening so we kept walking until we could find an opening in the skyline to see it. 10,000 steps later we found Millennium Park and the Bean. Another to do on my list checked off, besides seeing the Royals play at Wrigley, everything else was icing on the cake for me. 

The next day we had most of the morning to kill. We did a little shopping and then we walked back to Millennium Park and saw the Bean in the daylight. We even made it all the way to the Navy Pier. It was barely noon and we were about 15,000 steps in already---our feet were tired.

And then we hopped on the L and headed down to Wrigleyville, found our way to The Corner Bar which is where we sat while it rained the last time we were in town. We had a few hours to kill before the game which meant a few drinks and even talked Becky into taking a shot with me. 

& then it was time to head into the game. Becky and I made it down to the field as batting practice was ending & asked a fellow Royals fan to take a picture for us---it wasn't hard to spot one, we were everywhere!

We left Wrigleyville a little sad because of the loss but thankfully are hotel was right off the L and we were back to our hotel in no time. We got a good night sleep and woke up to a little bit of rain and about a 30 degree drop in temperatures. We weren't really prepared for this weather so we made another pass down Michigan Ave to a few shops. Justin's favorite was Eataly... 

We had a lot of time to kill this day so we made our way to Gino's East for lunch and on our way back we saw Omar Infante shopping so we kept walking around to see who else we could find. & while I was shopping in Zara for the boys, Justin texted me that Escobar had just walked in so Becky and I went on the hunt. We figured he was in the Men's section so we acted as though we were looking for our husbands and then started talking to him. I wasn't going to ask for a picture but luckily Becky did! 

We finished our shopping, loaded up the car and headed out to the White Sox Stadium. We had been told mixed stories on what to expect. We were told that it wasn't that great of a ballpark but that the food was way better than Wrigley and they were partly right. 

The food was WAY better than Wrigley, it was actually hot but the field was great. There were no White Sox fans to be seen, Royals' fans easily outnumber them 2-1 which allowed for our okay seats to become great seats.

This game didn't go our way either but we still stayed the entire time & had a blast. A blast all trip long. Now all we had to do was make the 8 hour drive back to KC which Adam did after the close of the White Sox game. He drove all night long, stopping every three hours or so for a Coke. Justin was his co-pilot and didn't fall asleep until almost KC and Becky and I were in and out the whole way home. He was a rockstar! 

We made it home just in time for the kiddos to get up and get ready for school and then we crashed! 

South Baseball Tour was in the books for 2015. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Family Fest 2015

Over the last few years Justin, myself and the boys have found a home at Westside Family Church. Justin and I both agreed that we wanted to find a church that had a good children's ministry and we did, thanks for my dear friend and colleague, Angela. She didn't let up on reminding me how great WFC was and finally I listened and we attended one January morning. & the rest is history, or so they say.

The children's program is wonderful. They give us sheets at the beginning of each month with their bible verse for the month, the story that follows along with the verse and the bottom line. These sheets are placed inside a clear cover sleeve & become place mats for the month & help generate conversations at the dinner table about God, Jesus and how much they both love us.

They are constantly signing the songs they have learned at Sunday class---that's what the boys call it, & Kaden walks around the house siting his memory verse. My heart swells when hearing them talk about Jesus' and God's love for them.

Outside of the regular services on Sundays, WFC has lots of fun events for the entire family. Most recently, they hosted Family Fest 2015. They invited some of the best food trucks out to the campus, they had inflatables galore, small carnival rides, face painting and so much more.

We were on a little bit of a tight schedule for the day so we didn't get to do everything the boys wanted but they still managed to have so much fun...

But my favorite part of Family Fest was watching God at work and witnessing so many of His children accept HIM into their hearts. It was truly beautiful.

If you are looking for a place to call "home" like we were, give WFC a try, I'd love to show you around. We're about Loving Jesus, Becoming Like Jesus, Sharing Jesus.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Keeping up with Kaden

So we are just about a month in a half into kindergarten and I thought it was time for the first of the progress posts. Kaden is loving school. He loves to set his clothes out each night. He has no trouble getting out of bed each morning, getting dressed and heading down for breakfast. He will quietly eat his cereal, letting the dogs in and out as needed and once he's done, he finds a comfy place on the couch to watch a little toons until we let him know its time to head to the bus stop.

At the bus stop he talks to his friends but he always, if I get to drop him off, always, comes back to give me a hug and a kiss----please don't grow out of this little one.

With every change comes some growing pains and with every new adventure comes a learning curve. We've had our fair share, and I say we, because I have needed to make some adjustments along the way too.

Kaden was on his own. I was going to have to learn that I wouldn't know how his day was until he was home from school and I asked and I would only know if he decided to actually share something. Most days he would, some days he would just say it was great and go into no additional details.

After the first full week of school we got an email from his teacher. Kaden was using the restroom a lot in class and she wanted to know if this was something that we saw at home. No, it wasn't. He doesn't use the restroom frequently so either he was drinking WAY too much water or he was getting bored/antsy, or just needed to get up and move. After speaking with the teacher we came to the conclusion that it was probably a little bit of both. We tackled the water bottle issue at home and left the classroom roaming to her. I should note, he has never lost a cube at school yet, you get three each day---its their behavior system.

This same day that we got an email from his teacher, he also came home with his lunch that wasn't touched. He told Justin that his teacher got him a hot lunch. So we had to ask if we owed her money, luckily we didn't, he just ordered himself a hot lunch and we had a balance to pay. Kaden expressed his interest in having hot lunch over taking his lunch so we decided that once a week he could have a hot lunch---we still want to make sure he is eating enough & getting a variety of food. He was happy with this and we've had no issues since. Well, that's not true, he still likes to get milk AND juice at lunch but we're letting that slide.

It seemed as though school had just started and Kaden was coming home with "camera" words, think site words. It's a list of 55 words that they should know by the end of the school year. We started working with him on his words list and thankfully he had no trouble at all. Before we knew it he had learned all 55 words and passed his review test. & it was time to celebrate with a shake, but not just any shake, a Sonic Shake.

I asked his teacher if there was another list we could start and she gave us the 1st grade list of words and we are working our way through them---although he isn't tested on them, it's still gives him something to work towards.

He comes home with tests and homework that he has done in class every day & I love looking through it all.

We have received multiple emails and certificates about Kaden's good work but the best news came when I attended his walk-a-thon. It was a rainy day so they held the walk inside, it was crowded so they asked the parents to join their children. As we were walking, I felt a tap on my shoulder and then the dreaded..."Are you Kaden's Mom?"

"Yes, yes, I am."

& then this lady proceeded to tell me how wonderful Kaden is. How he is so polite, How he is so sweet and kind with the other kids. And that if only they could clone him.

I kind of teared up and thanked her because that is exactly what every parent would want to hear and then she proceeded to tell me that she isn't even his teacher, which I knew, but that she was another kindergarten teacher and he is just full of such joy and is so helpful. I again, thanked her and told her that it takes a village to raise children these days and there are lots of wonderful people that fill his life & that I am so happy to know that he is such a good kid while his dad and I aren't around. He may give us a run for our money at home but what really counts, is how he behaves when we are not around---that's what we hang our hat on.

I am sure there will be more challenges and hiccups before the year is over but it's been such a joy to watch him spread his wings and fly. Speaking of spreading his wings, he mastered the monkey bars finally---he was so pumped to tell us when he got home & its by far his favorite thing about school right now!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Soccer--Fall is here.

Soccer is finally here and the boys couldn't be more excited. This will be the first time that Logan will get to experience soccer. He hasn't shown much interest until this last time Kaden played and by that time, it was too late to sign him up for a league so we promised him we would this fall.

Justin found a new league for the boys, Lenexa Parks and Rec was just rolling out their first program -- 3 on 3 for 3 and 4 year olds and then 3 on 3 for 5 and 6 year olds. The best part, Logan played at 9 and Kaden at 10 each Sunday for about 8 weeks & in the same location---it's tough when the boys are so little and they end up being in different locations, we both want to watch them both and I think it helps for each of the boys to see the other playing too. So when we can, we find leagues that are back to back.

The first weekend of soccer was on Kaden's birthday party day and since I had a lot of errands I couldn't really make it, but that didn't stop my from seeing all that was happening, Justin sent me lots of video & said that both boys did awesome.

The best thing about this league, we ended up running into some old college friends--a couple of Justin's fraternity brothers actually. Both Max and Jake coached teams in Logan's league---not Logan's team and then Jake coached Kaden's team. It was fun to have a few people to have friendly banter back and forth with about providing birth certificates of certain kids, cheap shots against our boys, etc…

If the first two weekends are any indication how the rest of the season should go----a lot of fun will be had.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Adios Balance Bike-Sort of

We were hoping that we could say see ya later to the balance bike on Logan's birthday when he got his bigger bike--a Spiderman bike. But like most things, things didn't go as planned.

He was comfortable on his balance bike. He could zip around and could keep up with his brother on the balance bike. Not so much on the bigger bike. & he knew that. So he wanted to go with what he knew and what he felt comfortable with & honestly, who would blame him.

However, we don't roll like that. We told him that the balance bike was going to be given to someone else so they too, could learn to ride a bike just like he did. That he would have to ride his new bike for at least a little while before getting to ride his balance bike again. He wasn't very happy with this but he went along with it--I mean he knew how to do it, he's done it before but he just wasn't confident enough.

We would get him started and we would send him from one end of the street to the other where Justin or I was standing. As he got to us we would try and get him to turn around without stopping and head back the other way but we quickly found out that he wasn't confident in his turning ability. So we worked at---first making a BIG circle around the cul-de-sac and then slowly but surely moving back a more narrow turn. As he mastered each new obstacle you could see his confidence growing.

Once he was comfortable with turns we moved to showing him how to get started on his own without us giving him a push. We started in our driveway which as a very slight incline but it was all he needed---he was off & there was no looking back.

That is until---WAM. Kaden cut him off and down Logan went. He wasn't happy. We weren't happy as we had come so far in just a few days---but luckily he got up, dusted himself off and gave it another try.

He isn't riding his bigger bike 100% of the time but if Justin and I are right there, watching and not cleaning out cars or working on the yard, he is. When we are watching and working, he's on his balance bike, he's more comfortable and frankly so am I. Some days you just gotta do what you gotta do....

But the balance bike is starting to take up too much room in our garage or so Logan thinks! It's days are number.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Chiefs Kingdom

It's hard to remember a time when the Chiefs weren't as important in KC as the Royals but over the last two years that has been the case.

Now it isn't that we love our Chiefs any less, it's just that we LOVE our Royals that much more. Our family has been the biggest fans of both teams---no fair weather fans here---but winning certainly will change the type of shirts you are buying and it's hard to remember the last time we bought a Chiefs shirt.

Nonetheless, we weren't going to skip celebrating the home opener so we threw a little impromptu get together with the Berbs. Kaden and Sophie hadn't seen each other since he started Kindergarten and this picture pretty much sums up how they spent the rest of the day.

We were wish{boning} for a Chiefs win too...

and luckily we got it---Chiefs are 1-0!