Thursday, May 31, 2012

Martin Nature Park Adventure

We loaded up and took a little trip up to Martin Nature Park.  I have so many fun memories of this place from my childhood and I was excited to see if Olive would love it too! 
They have a great playground and that is where we started the adventure!

 Molly and Olive acting out a scene from Super Mario brothers! :)
 When it was time to go on the trail, Avery led the way!  I think these are the sweetest pictures!

 Poor Luke was feeling a little out numbered with all of these girls!  Grady was riding in his stroller so Luke didn't have a boy to walk with and he certainly wasn't going to walk with the girls!
 When we walked onto the porch of the Education Center, this little friend was climbing down the wall.  I don't know whether to be concerned or happy that Olive walked right up to it and started singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider! 
 She is really weird about "buggies" around her at our house or the park, but I think since this one was so gigantic, she may have thought he was an animal instead of a spider and so that made her not afraid!
 Inside they got to check out the birds...
 and the bunny...
 and several different insects and spiders.
 They had a small microscope for the kids to look through and they loved looking at all of the different rocks, nuts and feathers!

 After a picnic lunch, we headed out on one of the trails for a little hike!
 The parade marching through the woods.  Anna carried Olive most of the way! Thanks Anna!  Along the path, Olive announced that she saw a dinosaur in the woods.  Hmmm...a big foot sighting perhaps?!
 Group pic!  Luke was too busy exploring the trails up ahead to join the pic and Lorelei chose to stay in her stroller, but everyone else looks so happy to be hiking!
What a fun day!  When we got in the car Olive said "We need to bring Daddy here.  He would love the green twisty slide!" I think we will be making several more trips up there this summer!  Thanks friends for the fun outing!

Pop's Blue Pond

 We are so excited that Pop's new house has a pool in the backyard!  Olive refers to it as "Pop's blue pond".  Last summer Olive was, well let's say, PSYCHO in the swimming pool.  She didn't you to help her, wouldn't wear any life saving device and wanted to jump in like a big kid.  Needless to say swimming with her last year wasn't very fun.  We have gone to Pop's several times just to sit on the edge and to get familiar with the pool and yesterday we took the plunge and got in!  She had so much fun!  She kicked and splashed, rode on the "boats" and even put on her Dora life jacket!  We had a fun afternoon of swimming and are looking forward to many more!

Monday, May 28, 2012

First Bike Ride of Summer

Sunday night we decided to take a little bike ride to our favorite family date spot: Orange Leaf!  This was our first time to load up on the bikes this year and Olive was pumped!

 These two were both a little disappointed that they didn't have the Coffee yogurt, but they made do!

There is nothing better than spending time with these two!  Happy Summer!

Friday, May 25, 2012

School Is Out For The Summer!

We were so blessed this year to have Olive in a wonderful Mother's Day Out program 3 days a week.  The beginning was very rough and she had a hard time the first few weeks, but she ended up absolutely loving "school".  Here are some comparison pictures of the first day and the last day.  I can't believe how much she has grown up in such a short amount of time!  My favorite part of these pictures is the confidence she has gained, you can see it just by looking at her! 

I asked her a few questions about school, here is what she said:
Favorite teacher: "Mrs. Peggy, Mrs. Amanda and Ms. Tiana"
Favorite thing to do: "Play with Nuriel, he is so funny!" (side note: her teacher told me several weeks ago that she typically only plays with the boys.  In fact, they refer to them as "Olive and the boys"  Stephen and I decided that will make for less drama so we are good with it!)
Favorite friends: "Nuriel, Evan and Emma and Audrey"
Favorite thing to eat at school: "Mrs. Amanda has yummy cookies!" (it should also be noted that everyday when I pick her up the word NONE is circled by what she ate for lunch.  Apparently she only eats snacks at school)

Mother's Day

I am so thankful for this little lady who gave me my proudest title...Mommy!  She is fiesty, charming, funny, spunky, loud, girlie with a tom boy twist, sweet, sensitive and caring.  I look at her daily and wonder what I did to deserve getting to be her Mom!  And I pray daily that I will be the kind of Mom that God wants for me to be for her. 
 I am so blessed to have my Mom who has been an amazing example of what a Mom should be!
 She made this sweet little plaque at school and it is now sitting on my bedside table.  It made me cry when I read it for the first time.  I wouldn't trade those (okay, every) afternoon at the park for anything in the world!

Friday, May 11, 2012

These Are The Days

I truly feel like Olive is growing up before my eyes these days!  Every morning when she wakes up she is just a little bit bigger, smarter, more aware and more amazing.  The other night at supper, I asked her when she had gotten so big, to which she responded "On Tuesday".  And I think she was right.  I can't even describe how grateful I am for my current job which allows me the flexibility to be with her more and to be home with her 2 days EVERY week.  I feel like I have been given the opportunity to truly experience watching her grow and change.  Yesterday she wanted to go to the park, so I packed a picnic lunch, loaded the stroller and off we went.  This simple trip to the park was almost a magical experience and it really made me realize how blessed I am to have this precious time with her.  She makes me laugh and blows me away with what she comes up with.  I am so thankful for these days!

A Heritage of Love

Yesterday would have been my parents 38th wedding anniversary.  I am so thankful to have grown up with such an amazing example of faith, hard work, dedication, strength and love!  We were also fortunate to have grandparents who were great examples as well.  My Granny and Grandaddy (Dad's parents) were married for 58 years and my Mama and Papa (Mom's parents) were married for 65 years.  In a world where marriages dissolve in sometimes a matter of minutes, it is so refreshing to come from a family who values the institution of marriage and the commitment that it stands for.  Thank you for your example of putting someone else before yourself always. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Thank God for Ice Cream!

One thing is certain, Olive may not eat much, but the girl LOVES ice cream! 
She and my Mom went on a walk the other day and Mom said that Olive was in her little car and said
"Honey, God made the trees.  God made the dirt.  God made the grass.  And God made ice cream!"  Thank God for ice cream! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

A few months ago I shared that I had started running.  I was originally training to participate in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon relay, but about 6 weeks ago, several of the relay team members began experiencing health problems that were going to prevent them from being able to complete their leg of the race.  So I decided to start training a little harder and to run the half marathon.  I have to admit that running has NEVER been my thing.  I never even considered considering it as on option for "my thing".  I know a lot of people have "run a marathon or a half marathon" on their bucket list, but it was something I had never given any thought to at all.  Until January.  I got a facebook message from a girl at church encouraging people to consider running and that is where it started.  Stephen (and probably most of my friends) would tell you that I became obsessed with it.  It took me awhile to figure out what I like about running so much but then at about mile 10 on Sunday I realized it.  I like running because it lets me feel like I am in control of something.  I don't depend on anyone or anything other than my body for running, so I feel like it is dependent entirely on me.  So much of my life the last several years has been completely out of my control, that I like having this feeling! Of course, I realize that ultimately God is in control and that I depend on my wonderful support system, but it gives me a sense of control that I haven't had.  And so this long explanation brings me to the pictures of the third biggest day of my life: accomplishing running a half marathon!
Here is our church running group. (minus a few)  Most of them left me in the dust, but here we are all together waiting for the race to start!
 Tabitha, Carma, Michelle and I (I was the only girl first timer in the group)
I was honored to run in honor of Rona Chafey, one of the 168 victims of the 1995 bombing.  Her daughter Misty went to High School with me, so I wore her name on my back during the race.  The race is such an amazing tribute to the people who were effected by the bombing.  Before the race began, there was a 168 second moment of silence to remember each of the victims.  And all along the course there were banners with each of their names on them.  They call it a "Race to Remember" and it is such a neat way to remember the people who were taken so tragically that day.

 Race details are probably very boring to non-runners, but I was proud of myself for running without walking for the first 6 miles and then I walked a little on and off from there. I ended up having to stop to use the bathroom around mile 9 and I have kicked myself for it ever since.  My goal finish time was 2 hours and 30 minutes.  My official time was 2:31:43.  1 minute and 43 seconds over my goal.  AAAAHHH!!! But I am blaming it on the pit stop and am trying to convince myself that if I hadn't stopped, I would have made my goal.  When I was about 20 yards from the finish line I saw a mint green jacket suddenly start waving wildly out of the corner of my was Misty, Anna and Deanna!  I was so excited to see someone that was there to cheer for me!  Anna snapped some pictures but because of the rain (and how fast I was running hahaha!!!) they turned out a little blurry.  I like this one because you can tell how excited I am to see them!
 They met up with me on the other side of the finish line! I am so grateful that they came to support me in the pouring rain!
 Stephen, Olive, Mom, Mica and Isaac were waiting on the other side and somehow missed seeing me come across.  I called Stephen and he said "We are looking for you! Where are you?" and I had to tell him that I had been finished for at least 15 minutes!  But with 27,000 runners, I know it was really hard to spot someone!  They met up with us and I was so happy they were there too!
My 2 biggest fans

 Olive thought my medal was really awesome and couldn't keep her hands off of it!

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me on my new adventure and for the encouragement you have given me to keep going!  I wouldn't have been able to do it without your love and support!  Now, who is running the next one with me?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Olive, Olive Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

A few weeks ago, Olive received this big green box in the mail!  It was a "Kiwi Crate" from Pop! She was pretty excited about getting a box in the mail and she was even more excited when she saw what was inside!
 It was a window garden kit!  I had made window gardens with my kindergarteners for years, but this took that to a whole new level!  It came with every supply we needed including magic soil discs that grow into soil when you add water. 
 We read the directions and then got to work to plant our squash and beans. 

 Then we hung them on the back window to watch what would happen.
We checked on them every day to see if anything was happening.  She was so excited the first day she saw green!
Yesterday the beans had gotten really big, so we decided to transplant them into pots!  She was pumped!
 Check out those roots!

 Carefully putting the water in.

 We moved the pots to the window in the dining room where they will be able to live a little more comfortably without someone sticking their fingers in them constantly.

 Thanks Pop for the fun box-o-fun! We have loved watching our garden grow!