Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Good Summer's Ending

Today is the first day that really feels "fallish" around here. Although I love summer the cool crisp air feels refreshing today and I am looking forward to autumn's festivities. Here are some pictures that capture some of our summer's end fun.

We went to the Marshfield Fair (walking distance from our house) with our neighbors, Paxton's beloved "Pey Pey" (Peyton). They decided at some point to hold hands. Luckily I was camera ready for the few moments this lasted.

Peyton turned 2 this past week. This is the first friend's birthday Pax has experienced. He spent the day saying over and over again, "Happy Day! Happy Day!"

This is a terrible picture of Preston. I assure you he did not look this bad that night. :) (However, this serves as good payback for the picture of me in my PJs soon after waking up that he posted of me on facebook today.) The point of the picture is that Preston is eating a fried snicker's bar. We had only heard of these in theory until this year. It truly was a small piece of Heaven on a stick.We fed a lot of animals at the fair. Interestingly (or embarrassingly) I did not know that fair's still had animals at them. I thought this was only in the days of Charlotte's Web. Where I grew up animals had nothing to do with fairs. Thankfully our children will know differently.

He really had no fear. I however had a firm grasp of him throughout most of his petting. I just don't trust animals that are larger than me.
We put a little table in our dining room that has become his art, snack, and friend table. This is his first attempt at watercolors. Doesn't this picture look like I have an intelligent, precocious child? This lasted about 4 minutes and then he was dumping his water on the paper.
We hosted our new worship pastor's family in our home the weekend they were candidating. Sam was trying to get ready for worship practice and Pax's was mesmerized. He just stood there (very closely) and watched. He is our first hope of musical talent for our family. Sam was kind enough to break for a rendition of Old Mac Donald.
This was a shot from the UP that I forgot to post since it was on a different camera. It is the classic bathtub shot that so many people have, and as a parent looked forward to having once we had children. But as I have come to realize this shot is hard to come by. With not having family around or cousins yet there are not many opportunities for Pax bathe with other children. It isn't an event that just comes up often. So I was eager to grab my camera when Isaac and Pax took a bath together. Isaac (at age 7) was such a good sport but was insistent the picture be from the waist up :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bye Bye

In the past 3 days my little guy has thrown away his car and nap nuk. (With a ceremonious, "Bye. Bye.") And tonight we asked him if he wanted to try to go to bed with just his teddy and blanky (really just as an experiment to see what he would say) and he said he did. (He has gotten a lot of attention for not using a nuk and throwing it away.) I could tell he was a little anxious and he held on to me a little longer than usual as we said goodnight, then he clutched his teddy and blanky tightly and fell asleep without a fight. I was expecting some drama. We'll see if he wakes before morning. I'm not ready to throw bed time nuk away quite yet.
I think this is way more emotional for me than it is for him. When he sleeps I think he looks so cute with his nuk in his mouth. I even like the sound it makes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our trip to the UP

We spent last week in Marquette, MI. The beautiful Upper Peninsula, our old home. We haven't been up there since Pax was born. I was actually pregnant the last time we visited. We were excited to show him our old stomping grounds, even if he won't remember the experience. On our drive there we told him, "We are going to Marquette Pax, the place mommy and daddy used to have a lot of fun and go on adventures and dates..." Oh the good ole days. You always remember them better than they probably were.
Here are some pics of our outings there.

This is at Black Rocks, a popular cliff jumping spot with a small stone beach. Pax was fascinated with all the different rocks.
Isaac, who is our former pastor/boss/mentor's son (that sounds so formal) was our buddy while we were there. We stayed with his family and he was so wonderful with Pax he was really a joy to take with us wherever we went. Even though Isaac is 7, Pax wanted to do everything that Isaac did.
We got to spend a few hours at the beach with some of our favorite people, Don and Dort! Much like the Taylor family they were like family to us while we were in the UP. We miss them so much and it was wonderful to watch them meet and love on Pax.
You really can't beat this beauty!

We went to a lot of our favorite restaurants/coffee shops. This is at our favorite muffin and coffee shop, Babycakes. Pax insisted he have his own muffin (they are huge). He finished most of it, which really doesn't suprise me seeing that he is a muffin fiend.
The water is a little cold...but I don't care!
Water balloon launching at the Taylors!

There were many other special moments we shared that we did not catch on the camera, mostly because I am awful about taking pictures. We had many good meals and talks with the Taylors, got to reconnect with people at Silver Creek Church, had lunch with the Vallin family, went to the Marquette Farmer's Market, Preston got to Mountain Bike on some favorite trails, and I got to hang out with Kimmy and spend some time down town.
Marquette and the people there continue to have such a treasured spot in our hearts!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

To Be or Not to Be

Today was the first of many declarations Paxton will make about himself and who he aspires to be when he is older. Today, he made two bold statements that lead me to believe he wants to be a vegetarian football player. Is this possible? Can the two exist together, in one person.

My first clue to his aspirations were found under his seat as I was cleaning up after dinner. He had managed to pick out the chicken from his pasta dish and stick it under his toddler seat which sits about 2 inches above the regular dining room chair. Admittedly, he has a love/hate relationship with chicken but he has never before separated and hid any portion of his food. Perhaps his thoughts during dinner looked something like this...

His second declaration was much more candid than the first. After dinner we were taking a walk by the football fields and he was mesmorized by watching the football players in thier uniforms. On the way home he looks up at me, pointing to his little chest with both hands and says, "Me football. Me football." I respond, "You want to be a football player when you are bigger?" He says, "Yea!"
Who knows, he may one day be a vegetarian football player. For now, I'm not too concerned for his dietary needs. He asked for cheese at least 17 times today.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Better Blog Before Our Next Adventure

We returned from the Desert safely on Saturday night. Preston left for Kid's camp this morning, where we will be picking him up from on Friday to drive up to the UP to visit friends for a few days. We commented last night that we weren't sure when we thought this back to back traveling would be a good idea- but so be it. Life was meant to be lived, right?
Thought we should share some highlight pictures from our trip before I get too behind and give up on this blogging thing again.
If we weren't at our conference or eating (I successfully got my fill of Asian food, Dunkin Doughnuts, bagel shops and good frozen yogurt.) we were in the pool, which averaged about 100 degrees. Seeing that it was around 105-110 degrees outside the pool felt at least a bit refreshing. The beautiful and relaxing scenery helped too. I love to sit out and soak in the sun but I could literally only take in a few minutes at a time. Pax became very acclimated to the water, even jumping in and going completely under water by the end of the week. As his confidence grew he discovered he could jump from the rocks around the pool.

Before our conference started we took a day to explore a bit of the Arizona desert. We went out on a hike that we started much too late in the day. We didn't make it to our summit due to the heat. But we did get a good view of the city and took in the beauty of the mountainous rock against the barren land.

That is Chandler behind us and Pheonix in the distance. Did I mention how hot it was?

This quite frankly may be the most ridiculous picture of me but it made us laugh. I totally understand why desert people wear head ensembles like this. They really help keep the sun off you. I was starting to get water blisters on my back (I had put lots of sunscreen on too.) so Preston let me use his shirt and tough mudder band to protect my skin. Did I mention how hot the desert was???
This is a picture of our second cousin Jovian. He was Paxton's playmate all week. (Paxton stayed with Grandma and Grandpa while Preston and I went to our conference.) Although they weren't the best of friends all week, learning the nuances of sharing, Paxton has asked for his "Jo Jo" every day since we have left. He really can't wrap his mind around why he can't see him now.
In this picture Jovian is saying, "Party Hat", referring to the small birthday hat that is attached to his arm. He truly loves this little hat and says party hat with a British accent. Too cute!

We had a wonderful time in Arizona thanks to our Auntie, Uncle and Cousins who hosted us, Preston's parents who watched Pax all week, catching up with friends who now live in AZ (Amy and the Johnsons) and a dynamic conference and General Council put on by the Assemblies of God. We soaked in so much, now we just have to let it be squeezed out of us.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I need to duct tape my camera to myself

My mom, Paxton, and I went to a water park (Weston Aquatic Center) this morning with friends. It would have made for some great photo ops but of course I forgot my camera. For any locals, this is a great place to spend the day with kids of any age.
Now we are home and I am blogging and eating chocolate instead of packing. We head to Pheonix, AZ early tomorrow morning. We are attending General Council of the Assemblies of God while staying with Preston's Aunt and Uncle who live there. On top of that Preston's parents are flying out with us to help watch Pax while we are in business meetings and workshops. Aren't they great?!
Preston's Aunt told us we should pack for 115 degree weather, which leaves me a little bewildered as to how to pack. Regardless, we are looking forward to dependably sunny weather, time with family and times of learning, growth and networking through the conference. Oh yes, and how could I forget, good restaurants!
I am sure to not forget our camera for this trip so will have some good pics when we get back.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tough Mudder Challenge

We spent this past weekend down at Devil's Head ski and golf resort for the 2011 Wisconsin Tough Mudder. It is a 10 mile, 25 obstacle, adventure race that was honestly one of the most fun events we have ever been to and by far the most fun race we have ever done. No one was timed because the goal was to overcome your fears and work as a team to finish the race (without getting hurt). Everyone on our team finished together which was an awesome experience. We went with friends from church, Bonnie (our photographer), Bonnie's dad (our spectating cheerer), Kevin, Tom, Diana and Ryan (a fellow pastor friend). I think the hardest part of the race was the terrain, going up and down the black diamond slopes.
We got very muddy!
They provided huge high pressure hoses to "rinse off" throughout the race. (I really enjoy the woman's face behind us. Intense!)
Here is us at the finish end, 4 hours later! The last obstacle was electro shock therapy where you run through a bunch of dangling wires, not knowing which ones are live with 10,000 volts of energy. 4 out of 6 of us were shocked (weird feeling!), sending 2 of our teammates to the muddy ground. I think we look pretty good for just being electrocuted! I wish I had a picture of each obstacle because they were that cool. It was a long and challenging course but Preston and I already want to do another one. (They have them all across the country.)
The big "to do" at the race is earning your orange sweatband at the finish line. They don't sell these anywhere, you have to earn them. We thought Pax looked pretty cute in it. We are starting his training soon to be a future Tough Mudder. :)
If you are interested in doing a Tough Mudder go to to find more info.

On a personal note this was a really positive opportunity and experience for me. I wasn't sure if I would be able to complete the race and was pretty scared of some of the obstacles. I had settled into the, 'I'm a mom now' phase of life and just wasn't sure I could do this. It was an empowering experience to face my fears do well in this race. I would highly recommend this race!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Montana 2011

In early July we took a long awaited trip to visit the Clines in Missoula, Montana. (Justin and Preston both turned 30 this year and wanted to do a family vacation together as their birthday present.) It was actually this visit that gave me the inspiration to start blogging again when Melinda said something along the lines of, "Your blog really stinks," referring to the fact that I hadn't blogged since December. So here goes another attempt at chronicling our family life.
Justin and Preston love to bike ride so they took advantage of the great weather and scenery to bike together. Madeleine also can ride without training wheels so she wanted to be highlighted in this picture as well.
We got to go on some great hikes with the kids. It made us really wish there was more wilderness near us.
We went camping for one night in a National Forest, which we quickly realized was what camping was meant to be like. First, it was free. Second, it was in the mountains with incredible views. Three, there was no where else around us. Four, it was shared by great friends!
Could you get a group of more adorable kids? They really played well together.

Here we were in downtown Missoula. There are incredible views everywhere you turn. Missoula is such a special place for us. Thanks Clines!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Old & New

After about a year or more of growing his hair, Preston cut it. I couldn't be happier. :)

This is Preston's sweater from when he was one year old. It keeps Pax really warm!

Pax's newest trick: holding his own banana.

Snow Baby

This is Pax's first snow experience. He wasn't sure what to make of all of it. He mostly just wanted to take his gloves off. But he had a few moments of joy and wonder.