Thursday, July 31, 2014

July according to my iPhone

As always, here are a few other fun moments from our month!

I got to meet up with Lindsay and Kelly - we ran a marathon together 9 years ago and have gotten together once a year ever since.  This year we had 2 failed attempts, but we finally got a weekend in the books and it was well worth the wait!

Meredith got to go to Summerfest at church.  This is a fun camp where the kids get to sign up for different activities and then they put on a play at the end of the week.  Meredith did a pottery class, a photography class, was in an ensemble that sang during the play, and also got to play Wii games.  One night we invited Hannah over for a sleepover and breakfast before the last day of camp!  The girls both loved their week and had so much fun putting on Spend Awhile on the Nile!

Jillian got her chance at camp, too with Princess Camp at her gymnastics studio.  They spent the week working on their gymnastics all while integrating princess themes.  She came home obsessed with curtsy-ing, they did their hair with princess glitter, a "real princess" came ("but mom, it was just our teacher dressed like a princess!"), and they got these cute shirts.  This was a perfect shirt for her camp week because she can't stay off of her head since she went!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

12 year Hanksiversary

This past weekend, Neal and I celebrated our 12th Wedding Anniversary, of as Neal decided to call it, our Hanksiversary!

We decided to get away for the weekend and decided to visit Austin, but while we were over halfway there, we wanted to visit our friends Josh and Liz in San Antonio!

Hanging out while Josh and Liz put Sam to bed.

We had an amazing dinner with these great friends.

Sam and I bonded over iPhone photos and videos of the girls.  Such a cutie!

On Sunday morning, we had brunch with the Hanson's before heading up to Austin.  We decided to do a little reminiscing around campus

Neal was super excited to hit up the Co-op for a little Longhorn Shopping spree.
A little more sightseeing on The Drag

Then we, of course, had to get a picture with The Tower!

And we finished up our tour of campus by swinging by The East Mall Fountain where we spent many evenings, especially my freshman year, just hanging out and talking.  And much unlike us, we also vandalized school property and carved our initials in the stone near where we would sit.  It was really fun to find it again!

After cleaning up a bit, we got to watch the sunset over Lake Travis while we had dinner.  

Such a fun way to celebrate our 12 years together! Looking forward to so many more.

Jillian's Going to Kindergarten Party

Well, over a year since my last post now, but now that I am about to send my baby off to Kindergarten, I am thinking I might have a little time to catch up!  But instead of trying to do that, I am first going to try to just start blogging as I go and then backfill later, so bear with me if you by any chance still follow along on this blog because it may be all out of whack in timeline for awhile!  That being said, my past updates likely won't happen until September, so let's just hope I can keep up with August!

So, as I said, Jillian is headed to Kindergarten in less than one month!  I can't even believe it!  Last week we celebrated with our annual Going to Kindergarten Party.  This started with a playgroup that I joined with Meredith was born.  It was originally a party for 1 or maybe 2 kiddos a year.  This year, we had probably 20 going to kindergartners at the party and another 6 or so that we made goody bags for!  We are so blessed by our church that is full of great families with kids for Meredith and Jillian to grow up with.  A good portion of these going to kindergartners were kids that Jillian has "known" since before she was born.  

We started the party with some fun swimming!
Jillian and her buddy, Cora.  They went to the same preschool (different classes, but they still loved seeing each other), and they have taken dance and gymnastics together for the past two years, too!  
Waiting on the diving board line
What fun!
More fun with Cora

 Check out this fun group of kindergarten kiddos filling the Hot Tub!

 FBCA Class of 2027

After swimming, we went inside for a really special time for the kiddos and their mommies!  We always read from Matthew 5:14-16.  "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." And then we prayed over the kids.  This year, our preschool minister Miss Nanette was at the party and she read the scripture and prayed for us.  

Miss Nanette showing the kids how to hold up their "light"

 Sweet prayer time

After prayer time, everyone in the room who has already been to kindergarten shares the thing they are most excited for the kids to get to do next year!  We also showered the kids with cake and they each took home a goody bag filled with school supplies from their friends.  Again, I am so thankful for this group of mommies and kiddos and can't wait to see what their futures hold!

A special thank you to Anna Cook (Cora's mom) for all the awesome pics!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Isabelle Dances into the Spotlight

I have been so excited about this fun surprise I planned for the girls.  Usually I can't keep anything from them, but when I found out that the new American Girl movie, Isabelle would be showing at the American Girl store with a special fun premier in Dallas, I jumped at the chance to buy tickets.  Then I just worked on sneaking them there.  Meredith was not so into the surprise trip - she just wants to know everything NOW! But it was well worth the wait once we got there.

Posing with Isabelle and Isabelle (and McKenna, too)

Outside the store - ready to head to the premier

The girls got to walk the red carpet with their dolls - what fun!

Then we headed in to the show - the girls each got a swag bag full of fun stuff including t-shirts for their dolls.  And we all got popcorn and adorable sugar cookies.  

We had such a great girls night - here's to hoping the next movie has something this fun, too!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cousins Camp Thurman Week

We have been counting down the days to this week for almost a year - it is Camp Thurman week!  This was the first time my girls had gone - we had tried to talk Meredith into going in the past, but she was a little too timid.  But last summer, I decided it would be good for her to go, and I thought it might help if she had reinforcements!  Of course, Jillian would want to go, but we also invited Landon.  It was such a fun week - Landon stayed with us from Sunday through Friday (all while Neil and Katie were traveling in Japan!) and I was so happy with all the good times they had together.
Sunday night sleepover!  These kids did not want to go to sleep even though Camp Thurman was starting the next morning!  They loved the week long sleepover.

Ready for camp in their camp shirts!

We made a tradition of going out for a treat every day after camp - the first day we went for Frozen Yogurt, and on Tuesday we talked Gigi into bringing Carter out for snow cones. It was so fun to hear about their days as they talked and laughed together.  I was very proud of my girls that were a little timid at first - but they both took on zip lines and tried all the other challenges put in front of them.  One of their favorites was the Tarzan Swing. Both girls were a little scared to go, but their counselors talked them into giving it a shot. And guess what? They both had a blast! 

After we would get home each day, the kids would take a bath and play while I got dinner ready.  As soon as they ate, we sent them to bed - but usually we let them take a game or just play for a bit.  Landon picked Pretty, Pretty Princess one night and they snuck out after bedtime to show me their jewels!

Sugaring them up before camp with donuts

Another night, Neal and I got in on the game time as we played Beat the Parents.  They did- and their winning move was pretending to be the dog from Up.

These sillies wore crazy shoes (Landon in Meredith's "high heels") and thought they were hilarious!

On Thursday when I was off of work, I went to Gigi's to relax by the pool and as a bonus, I got some one-on-one time with the littlest cousin!  

Gigi took us out for McDonald's one evening and Meredith loved helping Carter play in the play area - he couldn't get enough of this bouncy thing (and kept signing "more" when it would stop) And he even climbed all the way to the top of the slide - twice!  I had to keep sending Meredith up to make sure he was ok.
On the last day, Jillian's group got their faces painted and she asked her sweet counselor, Highlight, to take a picture to send to me!

Friday's treat was Mad Mike's ice cream.  And there was already lots of talk of next year!

 Each day, Jillian would empty the pockets of her backpack to show me treasures she found at camp and we collected them.  We had rocks, BBs, a penny, craft jewels, beads, and just plain trash!

But a true treasure we got to bring home were these sweet pictures of each girl with their groups and with their counselor and counselor in training!

Jillian's group with Highlight and her CIT, Constellation.  During the week, these girls memorized Psalm 139:14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." 

Meredith with her counselor, Asics and her CIT, Royal.  They learned Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding"  

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July

We definitely know how to celebrate 4th of July around here!  We always have lots of fun activities, which makes for some tired girls - but I wouldn't change it!

We made these fun cupcakes - I was just going to ice them blue (the cupcakes themselves were red and blue funfetti) but Meredith planned out writing USA! too - she is always ready to decorate!

We packed up our cupcakes and met the Geurin family out for dinner before going to Light up Arlington - the cousins went from bounce house to bounce house, checked out a train ride, and Jillian got her face painted.  Then we headed to the top of the church's garage to watch fireworks!

We were ready for the show to start!

Papa's truck was a popular place for all the kids that sat near us.

This fireworks show was way past Carter's bedtime, not to mention pretty loud (my kids wore earplugs and this was the first year one or the other didn't totally wig out!) but this kid loved every minute of it!  He couldn't take his eyes off the show, he clapped and pointed - and then he kept signing for "more" at the end.  He is a cutie!

The next morning, Jillian was zonked, so Meredith and I headed to the Arlington 4th of July parade by ourselves.  We sat with our friends at a great spot and had a lot of fun just us two!

Showing her Colt Pride.

When we got home around 11am, Jillian was STILL asleep!  But she immediately wanted a picture of what was left of her face paint.

We then headed to Gigi's for lunch and pool time!

Plus Papa had poppers!  They are always fun!

We even took a field trip down the street to the Stringer's house to let the girls swim with Sarah and Rachel.  

After dinner, we went around the block to watch more fireworks from the neighbor's deck. 

Best part of these trips to the lake is always riding in Papa's truck! 

Neal and I stayed close to the house to watch the fireworks with Grandma while the kiddos went back and forth between us and the dock.  We got to watch probably a half dozen displays from where we sat!  It is such a fun and layer back way to watch fireworks each year!