Sunday, March 31, 2013

Brown Easter

We wrapped up things at my parent's house and headed over to Robert's aunt Wilma's house for the Brown Easter celebration.  We arrived just in time to help finish stuffing the eggs and get them hidden. Some families were still on Spring Break vacations so we had a few less this year.  We still put out just as many eggs though, so the boys walked away with quite the loot!

I bought this adorable fedora for Camden to wear.  He wasn't feeling it today, so Uncle Dave decided to rock it instead. lol
Camden did great and got TONS of eggs!
Ryker kept asking if it was ok to keep picking up more.  There were a TON of eggs!

Going through their eggs and already enjoying some jelly beans.

Robert's cousin Taylor brought her dog.  The boys loved her.

Cam was all about the puppy cuddles. :-)

Kennedy Easter

After a short nap for Cam, we were off to my parents to celebrate Easter with my mom's family.  We had a great turnout this year and the weather was pretty nice so we were able to enjoy a nice egg hunt and a few other outdoor games.  The great-grandkids are growing in number as always and it's such fun to see another generation of kids enjoying Easter together like my cousins and I always did.  We were only missing 2 this year which is pretty good!

We released them in age groups to give the younger kids a chance to get a few. 

Clearly, Camden had a great time!

We always took a picture on the steps of my grandparents back porch after our egg hunt.  We continued the tradition this year.  (Top L to R: Camden, Chase, Ryker, Karilyn, Ashlyn, Carter. Middle L to R: Garrett, Gigi, Garyn. Bottom: Hudson) Not Pictured: Bentley & Warren

Next up was a relay game my mom organized.  The kids had to carry spoonfuls of rice from one end of the deck to the other until their container was full.  Garyn and Ashlyn won by just a hair.  

Next up was pin the tail on the bunny.  Let's just say we're pretty sure we had a defective blindfold.  Every kid except for Camden and Garrett (who are under 2) managed to get the tail in the exact right spot.  It was pretty funny!

Easter at Home

This was a magical Easter for us.  Ryker really understands what Easter is all about this year and has been so excited to celebrate.  He has been saying over and over again over the past week, "I can't wait for Easter because Easter is all about God!"  As we played outside with sidewalk chalk on Good Friday he drew pictures of the cross and Jesus in the tomb.  He even made a cross out of stones, etc. and was so excited to show me because "Jesus died on the cross at Easter time."  When I asked him why Jesus did that he replied, "To forgive us our sins."
I helped him draw the tomb with the stone rolled away so we could celebrate the resurrection too!

He was so proud of his little cross! :-)

One of our friends from church taught his class this morning and told me when I picked him up that he earned an A+ today.  She said he knew all the answers to her questions and was so excited about the Resurrection.  Above all else in my parenting journey, moments like these are my favorite.  I love that the Lord is wooing my sweet boy's heart and he his learning about the God who loved him so much he sent his only Son to die on the cross so that Ryker's sins could be forgiven and he could have eternal life in him.  It's such an awe-inspiring thing to think about and to see a child grasp it's sheer awesomeness for the first time is such a faith-bolstering event.  Oh, to have faith like a child! :-)

We don't do the Easter bunny at our house, but they do get gifts from us.  This year we forewent the baskets and went for a big gift.  Ryker really needed a new bike since his other one was way too small, so it was a good excuse to buy it. We set them up in the bonus room the night before and after church let them in to see them.

I made Ryker close his eyes.
He was SO excited!

He even rode around the room a bit. :-)

Camden got a new baseball toy (it was actually given to him at Christmas time, but we never opened it because of the move, so we pulled it out for Easter!)  sneaky, sneaky...

Last year, I got tons of great pics of the boys on Easter morning.  This year, not so much...this was as good as it got.  There was an accidental head butt that took place and it was all downhill from there. lol

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Egg Dying

We barely fit in the tradition of dyeing hard boiled eggs for Easter tonight.  It's always such a mess and Camden is so wild that I kept putting it off. (Bad mommy!)  We did it tonight and Ryker loved it!
Ryker was itching to get going!

Daddy is very patient with them.  :-)

Camden was given one egg to drop in the dye.  He promptly slammed it on the table a couple times and cracked the shell in a major way. He merely observed from that point on!

Preschool Egg Hunt

The church where Ryker's preschool is at has an annual egg hunt that we attended today.  It's nice to see some of the other preschool families and the Easter Bunny is there for pictures and the kids get juice and cookies along with a fun egg hunt.  
One of Ryker's classmates saw Ryker and came up to give him a big hug.  I think Ryker was a bit embarrassed and was not about to return the hug.  Poor kid got rejected! 

And, he's off!

Camden did well with Daddy as his helper.

Trying to get a picture afterwards....they were more interested in the candy.

They have special eggs in each area (they divide things up by age group). If you find the golden egg you win a special prize basket.  Ryker was determined to find the golden egg.  Unfortunately, due to his colorblindness he would run, pick up an egg, scrutinize it to see if it was gold, and if it wasn't, he would just lay it back down!  It was so funny!  He ended up with only 4 eggs because he just kept putting them back!  One of his preschool buddies who has a younger brother in the Primary class asked Ryker how he did.  When Luke realized Ryker only had 4 eggs he started giving him some of his eggs.  It was the sweetest thing!

Camden kept creeping up near the bunny but would run away if it acknowledged him or tried to come near him.  He got a bit braver when Daddy held him up and he finally gave him a high five.  Ryker was too cool to take a picture with him this year.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bible Study Reunion Dinner

Back in the fall of 2009, I began meeting with several women in my friend Emily's home once a week for fellowship and Bible study.  Unfortunately, I was  babysitting a bunch of kiddos back then and it just didn't work out when I took more kids on so I had to step out for the remainder of the year.  Thankfully, I was able to rejoin them the following fall.  We met together for two years before realizing with various changes in our lifestyles and schedules it was going to be impossible to continue meeting.  These women have meant so much to me over the years.  They have encouraged me and built me up and been there to make me laugh, pray with me, and cry with me.  I have missed them tremendously this past year.

I was thrilled when we decided to get together for dinner and catch up.  All but one of us (we missed you Tami!) met up at Panera Bread tonight and enjoyed catching up.  It was so nice to see the other ladies and hear what's going on in their lives.  We laughed a ton and just enjoyed each other's company.  We have already planned a date for next month and I'm really looking forward to it!

Emily, Chrsity, Laura, Julie, Raendra, and Me :-)
Love these ladies so much!  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Flower and Patio Show

Sunday after church we went to Steak n Shake for a quick lunch with the McCollister's then headed to the State Fairgrounds for the Flower and Patio Show.  It was cold, windy, and just plain miserable outside.  After our long walk in from our parking spot, I was just plain grumpy.  I'm so sick of winter I could scream!  I need some warm sunshine STAT!  Thankfully, inside, it looked like spring!  The flowers and garden and patio displays were gorgeous and had Robert and I dreaming up ideas for our backyard.  A friend of ours from our small group, Dave, owns a lawn and landscaping business that had an incredible display.  He was kind enough to provide our tickets for us, which we so appreciated!  We loved it!  For more info on his business, click here.

Ruby, Ryker and Audrey enjoying a fountain

They were also big fans of sitting on all the rocks (and making silly faces)!

They had several playgrounds set up.  Camden LOVED going down the slides.  It was quite the task keeping him only in the areas you wanted him in, but he had a great time and was none too happy when we moved on.

Checking out some fish in a small pond.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Easter Egg Hunt

Today was our first Easter egg hunt of the season.  Nonna's work (where we always go for their Fall Festival event around Halloween) had an Easter egg hunt today.  They had face painting and other activities set up inside and then the egg hunt was outside later.  We got there in time for Ryker to get his face painted.

He chose Batman (big surprise...not!).
He was in full-on Dark Knight mode and wouldn't smile.
Nonna, Michelle, Nathan, Robert, and my hammy Cam :-)

The Spangler's (minus Junior who was with him mom this weekend)

Nonno and Nonna's turn with the boys (plus Aunt Chelle)

Time for the egg hunt!  They had it divided into age groups which was really nice!

This little guy was so much fun to watch.  This was his first real egg hunt and he did such a great job!

Daddy was a big helper.

Ryker did a great job and wasn't too greedy, which I was very impressed with.  He would skip over some of the more obvious ones to find the well-hidden ones.

He seriously had a blast!

Daddy and Little Cheese Face himself

Aunt Chelle helped collect the last few with the boys.  There were SO many eggs!

Friday, March 15, 2013

SSMT: Verse 6

I memorized Ryker's life verse over the last two weeks and now it is Camden's turn. :-)

"So, then just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your life in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
- Colossians 2:6-7 NIV

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

18 Months

Camden is 18 months old today!  For some reason the half way marks always seem like such milestones to me.  Camden is still a rowdy, crazy little boy full of energy and mischief.  He is ornery, but oh so cute (and he knows it).  He is becoming more of a cuddler these days.  He has gotten really attached to blankets lately.  The silky ones are his favorite (just like Ryker) and he tends to get them out and carry at least two around the house.  Problem is he gets them out and carries them for a while,  then he will climb up on your lap with them for a bit then he abandons them to go play.  The next the thing you know he will come back to you with another two blankets he's pulled out of his drawers.  Most days I'm going around folding and refolding and putting away blankets only to have them taken back out again.  It's a battle of wills!  

He is a complete ham and is always making goofy faces and doing crazy things.  He loves a good laugh and will work hard to make others laugh, especially Ryker and Hudson.  He adores his big brother and wants to be wherever he is doing whatever he's doing.  Ryker loves to write and color these days and spends a lot of time at the kitchen table doing just that.  It's not enough for Camden to be in the chair next to him, he wants to be in the same chair as Ryker.  

He's an aggressive little guy too.  He is always the instigator in wrestling matches with Ryker and Daddy.  He will come out of nowhere and just tackle them.  He's a little rough and we're trying to work on being gentle. I have a feeling it is going to a battle for a long time.  Speaking of Daddy, this boy LOVES his Daddy.  The minute Robert walks through the door, he runs to him, demands that Robert pick him up, and stays attached to him the remainder of the evening.  He loves his Mama, but when Daddy gets here I am history!  He is still a champion eater.  He has grown to love all manner of sauces and dips. If there is anything to dip something in, he has to have it.  For example, during a recent outing at a Mexican restaurant he demanded the salsa be parked right in front of him so he could continuously dip his chips in it. 

He is still not talking much, but is getting a bit more vocal.  Frankly, he gets his point across just fine without words and I don't think he feels the need to talk much.  He does a lot of grunting, pointing, and sometimes whining to communicate.  Big Brother helps him out quite a bit too.  He is a great listener though and follows through on directions.  He is a big helper with throwing away diapers and throwing the dirty clothes down the stairs when you ask.  He has finally grown to love reading.  He has several favorites right now including Goodnight Gorilla, Goodnight Moon, and Peek a Who. I made a new reading nook in the play room and he loves sitting in his new rocking chair and looking at books.  
I can't believe a year and a half have gone by since this little miracle joined our family.  We can't imagine our family without him and are so blessed God gave him to us to love and care for.