Monday, October 11, 2010

Kindergarten thoughts

I officially have a "school-aged" child now. Sure, he was in preschool before, but this is the real deal. Honestly, the build up to get ready for school was much more painful than the actual process of starting school has been. Last year Aaron and I were really struggling with what to do with Luke when this time came around. First of all, we were concerned that he would not be ready maturity wise. His social skills have always been a little behind his peers with regards to playing nicely, taking turns, ability to take turns, ability to deal with disappointment/frustration, etc. In some ways we didn't feel like we had much of a choice because his birthday is in March and we just felt that was too old to hold him back. However, he made great strides over his last year in preschool and by the end of the year we were at peace with the decision to go ahead and send him to Kindergarten. Now the real dilemma was where should he go. We have a public school literally down the street from our neighborhood, about 1/2 mile away, and we've heard good things about it. It's been at least a "recognized" school since it's been open and has several "exemplary" years. However, we had seen other schools in the district with excellent reputations go bad in a matter of 3-5 years. Plus, we had several friends from church who had chosen a private school here in Fort Worth and they could not stop raving about how wonderful Covenant Classical was.

We really struggled with the idea of private school. We didn't want to be "those people" who are snooty and all "look at how wonderful my privately educated child is". We also didn't want Luke to be surrounded by people who are all "rich, white folks". We wanted him to have some diversity. On the flip side though, we couldn't stop thinking about all the things he would be getting in a public school. We cringed at the thought of having to explain 4-letter words to our 5 or 6 year old, or having to discuss what sex is because he heard the work on the playground, or having to address issues such as why so and so has 2 moms or 2 dads. In the end we decided we should at least gather all information possible so we could make an informed decision.

In the fall, I visited our local elementary and the secretary gave me a tour. It seemed nice, but the tour was after hours so I was unable to observe anyone in action. I didn't have any bad feelings, but I felt pretty neutral about the whole thing. Then we attended a parents meeting at Covenant. We were blown away by what they had to offer. Sure, the academics were top notch and we knew our kids would be educated beyond what even Aaron and I got in school. But what really sold us was the How- how they taught and how they approached education. It's a classical education approach which I'd never heard about before. To boil it down to basics, they put emphasis on the "classics" when it comes to literature and they focus on teaching kids how to learn and not what to learn (although the what is certainly there). They do lots of oral exercises where they repeat songs, poems, chants, etc. back to the teachers. They have recitations monthly where each grade level presents memorized material in a program for the parents (I think of it like "Little House on the Prairie where they stand up and recite material). Still, that was icing on the cake. The biggest determining factor was their spiritual approach to education, and their Christian Worldview. I'd never heard of this before, but it's exactly what we say we want for ourselves and especially our children. They don't teach God in a vacuum. They teach God in everything they learn. It's not: science class, reading, chapel, bible study, math, etc. It's God in science because He created us and the world we live in. It's God in math because God is a God of order and the order in math reflects his Glory. It's God in history as they study history beginning with creation and work their way through history to present day (and study the Bible lessons in the same time period as the history they learn so they can put together the cultural context with the biblical context). It's even God in their rules and discipline: learning respect for elders and position of authority, learning how to respect others (by not talking in halls and disturbing them), etc. Their approach to education in addition to their biblical approach to all things was something unique that we've not heard or seen anywhere else-even in other local Christian private schools. Still, we were torn.

Aaron was primarily home-schooled and I went to public school. Neither of us had ever stepped foot in a private school before and it wasn't really anything we were looking for. We both turned out fine without any major emotional scars or maladjustment, and we both feel like we are well-educated. We absolutely cringed at the thought of the money we would shelling out monthly for private school, in addition to the taxes we would already be paying for a public system our kids wouldn't even be attending! We prayed and discussed and prayed some more for almost 2 months and we just couldn't shake the idea that this was something we could not pass on. I kept telling Aaron, "if we do public school it will be so much easier for us, but even if it goes really well I'll always wonder-what if. If we do private school it will be very difficult and mean changes for our whole family, but we'll never have to wonder what if- going private to public if it didn't work out would be a much easier transition financially than the opposite would be." So we finally decided to bite the bullet and we applied for private school. I actually cried when we made the decision because it had been such a difficult one and I was so relieved to finally have made up our minds (and I never cry, so this is saying something!)

We've not once regretted our decision. Every time I would step foot on the campus (to turn in applications, for kindergarten testing, for parent interviews), it felt like home. It felt comfortable and it made me feel happy to think about Luke being there. As a mom who wanted to protect her child as long as possible, I felt so safe with the people I would be sending him off to. It was overwhelming to think that someone else would be responsible for and influencing my child for 28 hours every week. But at Covenant, I didn't bat an eye because I knew that all his influences would be strong Christian leaders who did everything in their power to bring Christ into their work.

The first day of school was very strange. He didn't start until after Labor Day, and I LOVED having 3 extra weeks with him (compared to when other local schools were starting). He was supposed to start that following Tuesday. We talked about school, we got his uniform ready and laid out for the next day, we talked about what he would take for lunch, and we said a prayer before bed. I went and checked my email (this was about 8pm) and we had an email from the school saying the first day was cancelled. There was a water main break down the street that had occurred on Monday (Labor Day). Because of the holiday they could not get someone out in time to repair it so the school had no water, which meant no functional bathrooms, which meant no school. I had to go back in and tell Luke. He was so disappointed, and frankly I was too. We had both gotten mentally prepared and geared up for this (especially me, getting ready to send my firstborn off) and it was so deflating. The next morning Luke just cried because he so badly wanted to wear his uniform. I admit I enjoyed the extra day, but it was just delaying the inevitable. So Wednesday became our first real day. We all got up early, and Luke was so excited he immediately got dressed and ate breakfast (which is saying alot for my night owl who hates the mornings like I do). Ben was another story. He cried and threw fits all morning long and so all our energy and attention was getting him ready to get out the door. To top it all off, that morning was a torrential downpour. We're fighting rain so hard you can hardly see the whole way to school and everyone is racing in and crowding the halls dripping with their umbrellas in hand. It turned into a very fast and cursory "love you, have a great day, let me take one quick picture before I go" because of all the craziness with the weather. Then, I had to take Ben to preschool and I went to work. I really didn't have time to think much about it and it turned out to not be very emotional for me at all. I was VERY excited when it came time to pick him up and I picked his brain the whole way home about what they did, what they learned, etc. The second day was actually harder, because that day they wanted people to start using the drop off line and not walk the kids in. It was so strange to let him get out of the car all by himself and walk into the building all by himself. I wasn't there to make sure he knew which room to go to, I wasn't there to make sure he put his backpack in the right place, I wasn't there to make sure he made it to his seat. I just watched his back as he walked in all by himself looking so big and so small all at the same time. That was the most difficult part because I was truly having to let go and let him grow up in a way.

He has impressed us beyond belief. The environment of this school is very structured and very strict. We really wondered if he could handle it and if he would be able to contain himself or if he would go crazy having to sit still and quiet all day. We expected names on board with checks every day for several weeks (initials means warning, then name on the board results in a consequence, and checkmarks after that mean further consequences) and constant meltdowns at home for at least the first couple of months. He has had his name on the board only 2 or 3 times in the whole 6 wks he's been in school, and on those days it was because he was talking in the hall or playing at rest time or something like that (not due to punching out a classmate or being rude/disrespectful to his teacher, or having a hysterical fit which were some of the things we feared). We love hearing about what he's learning- academically and spiritually. We get tickled as he tells us he learned that internal means inside the body and external means outside the body. We love hearing him quote scripture from chapel- "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is filled with His glory" or add substance to his prayer thanking God for making the world or thanking him that Jesus died for us. This week he's been grabbing his Bible and walking around telling us how much he loves God, and he needs to study the Bible because if you love God you study the Bible. We hear other parents talk about difficult discussions they have with their 6 and 7 year olds because of what they hear at school, and we just thank God that we were given the opportunity and the means to choose something different for our children. This school is good for Luke because it helps him with discipline and respect. It will be good for Ben because he is more sensitive and much more perceptive to what's going on around him. God only know what blessings this school will hold for little Vayle, but we're excited to see how the years will unfold.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Summer 2010 Highlights

Heading into this summer, I didn't think it was going to be that busy. We didn't have that much on the calendar, and our only planned trip was to Sea World in June. Well, our summer filled up very quickly and seemed to fly by. Here are some highlights.

While I was out of town for a continuing ed course, Aaron took the boys to the children's museum in Fort Worth. I've never taken them, and it re-opened after a major remodeling less than a year ago. This particular day was "superhero day" and any child wearing a superhero costume got a discount on admission. Let me tell you, that was not a hard sell to get the boys in costume! Here are some pics Aaron took of them.

Aaron's dad, or Nonnie as we call him, had given the boys a matching Thomas the train outfit. They both loved them and liked to be "twins" and wear them on the same day. I thought they looked pretty cute and wanted a picture, so they gave me a super cute pose too! I just think this is the cutest picture of the two of them.
Visiting with the Tungate cousins in Lubbock, they all lined up on the couch before bedtime one night to watch a movie. It's rare to get these 5 in one place at one time, so I snapped a picture.
Because we're having a baby girl this time around, we had to do some rearranging of the house and get some new furniture for the boys. Ben was in a toddler bed, but it was the crib that converted to a toddler bed. Obviously he needed a new bed because I wasn't going to buy a new crib. Luke was in our extra bed, a queen sized bed, so we decided to go for bunk beds for the boys to save some space and allow for all their toys to be moved into their room. They absolutely LOVE their new beds. They've had them for about 2 months now and Luke will still randomly run and give me a big hug and say "I love my bed so much, thank you Mommy!" These 2 pics were taken the first night in their new beds and they both wanted to pose on top, of course.

Coincidentally, Aaron and I got some new furniture at the same time. We have been married almost 13 years and never had a bedroom suit-just hand me down furniture. We found a great deal on furniture we both really liked (thank you Costco!) and went for it. The boys had a couple of days of fun playing in boxes the furniture came in.
Luke also had his first sleepover this summer. We invited his best buddy Braden over and they were very excited. I snapped this picture after they finally fell asleep (which took awhile of course; no one ever falls asleep when they're supposed to at a sleepover!)
Aaron went to Haiti for a medical mission trip end of July. I'm still trying to get him to download some pictures and share his experiences, but that's another story. Anyway, before he left we took a family outing and rode the Trinity Train. It's a little train that's located just across from the FW Zoo and runs along the Trinity River and down to a park and back. It goes over several bridges and is around a 40 minute train ride. It's a great way to take the family on an outing that doesn't take too long or cost too much money, but doesn't take the whole day either. We've ridden the train 3 or 4 different times and both the boys love it.

Half way through the ride, the train stops for about 5 minutes and there is a small concession where you can buy cokes and popcorn for about $1.

Almost every summer, usually in August, we take our yearly trip to Possum Kingdom Lake. Some friends of mine from PT school invite us to stay the weekend in her parents' lake house, so 4 families (all of us that were in the same study group/research group and our families) spend the weekend relaxing on the lake. We've grown from a group of 7 (3 couples and one single guy) to a group of 15- 8 adults with 7 children ranging in ages from 8 down to newborn. We had to take turns on the boat this year, but still had a great time and our kids look forward to it as much as we do every year.

My side of the family all got together over Labor Day weekend. It's a chance for all the Bundy cousins to get together to play, and my parents love having all their kids and grandkids together in one place- no matter how crazy it gets. We went out front to snap a picture of just the grandkids (8 of them, with Luke who is 5 being the oldest) and a neighbor walking by offered to take one of all of us. We were amazed how well the impromptu family picture turned out. As my brother Nate said, it's because we didn't plan it. His wife Kristin, who Aaron and I have dubbed the fun aunt, always has great ideas for the kids. The past 2 times we've gotten together she has created a scavenger hunt where the kids follow clues all around the yard and house until they find a little prize at the end.

This is all of them rushing to grab their prizes.
Aaron is the pancake king at our house. They boys like to help sometimes. Ben in particular is very much into helping cook these days.
Enjoying some fruit salad and eating raspberries off of their fingers. Why not?

Luke's first day of Kindergarten. We decided to send him to a private school for many reasons, and although it was one of the toughest decisions we've ever made as parents, we've been nothing but pleased so far. He was so excited to wear his uniform- he loves to wear a belt and tuck in his shirt (he sees Aaron do this daily for work), and his first 2 weeks have gone really well. He was being a stinker in many of the pictures though as he refused to smile. He looks miserable, but he was actually excited. I don't know why he chose to not smile, he just said, "I don't want to smile". So here are the pictures I got. Ben had his first day of his little mother's day out preschool he goes to, so he got in on a few of the pictures. I'll do a separate post later to describe our thoughts and feeling about sending Luke off to school.

Luke and Ben have these blankets that they will pull out and play with occasionally. One day Luke had them laid out in the living room and insisted that they were his bed and he had to sleep on them that night. It was leading into a weekend, so we agreed to let them sleep on the blankets. We did, however, insist the blankets get moved to the bedroom. They fell asleep without too much trouble, but Aaron did move Ben into his bed later that night, and Luke woke up and got into his bed as well. I got a couple of pictures first though.

Finally, we participated in a Heart Walk a couple of weeks ago with Aaron's clinic that he works for. There were hundreds of people that came out, and even I survived the 2 mile walk- 7 months prego and all. They handed out water along the way and many of the local hospitals or clinics handed out little items (wristbands, flags, koozies, juice or snacks, etc.) They boys had a good time, and Luke loved all the "free stuff".

So that's just a few of the highlights of our summer. All in all it was a good summer, although EXTREMELY HOT. Now on to the new adventures of the school year, holidays, and what a new baby will bring in the coming months.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer coming to an end

So here we are, at the end of the summer, almost. I didn't think this summer would be very busy, but it seemed like we were always doing something or had something going on. June was busy with Sea World, and various trips Aaron and I made out of town for guys weekends or continuing ed stuff. Then family reunion in July and Aaron left towards the end of the month for his Haiti trip. Now we're in August and we had a weekend at my parents, a weekend at the lake with great friends, and now we're preparing to do some painting to the house and getting ready for school to start. I guess some of the busyness of the summer has been due to our planning ahead for the baby and the fall. In July we pretty much rearranged the house to make room for the baby and had to get new furniture for the boys. They have bunk beds now and they LOVE them. Luke in particular loves his bed up high, and they both think it's so cool they can touch the ceiling when on Luke's bed. Fortunately, we have 2 more weeks before school starts. Luke starts kindergarten the Tuesday after Labor Day, so I will be very thankful these next 2 weeks as I see all the other parents dropping their kids off and knowing I get at least 2 more weeks before that's me. We have gone and gotten all school supplies and his school uniforms, and that was exciting. I even had Luke put his uniform on this weekend, just to see how it all looked, and he looked so grown up! He will be quite the handsome 5 yr old, so I'll have pictures to post in a couple of weeks after his first day. Ben will not be so thrilled I don't think. All weekend as we were getting stuff for Luke, he'd say,"What about my pants?" or "What about my class?" He will miss Luke and it will take a while for him to figure out that Luke goes 4 days a week and to a different school now, not the 2 days at the Mother's Day Out program that Ben will still go to. Coming soon, I may try to add a few updated pics, and I'm still bugging Aaron to download his Haiti pics and maybe write a little about his trip. In the meantime, we'll try to not melt in this INSANE heat and try to enjoy the last 2 hectic weeks before we start the hectic normal that will be school!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

We don't "do" suprises- a frank and honest analysis

I think most people who know us know that we are having another baby. Also, if you know us very well, you were probably surprised to hear that we were expecting again. So were we. Now I've always been a bit on the side of, "how surprised can you really be, I mean we know how babies are made and if you're not careful then is it really a surprise?". I always knew it would serve me right to eat my words, and now I am. However, in my defense (without TMI I hope), we can honestly say this is not a case of "I guess we weren't careful enough" and more of a case of "we now fall in the statistics of the 10-20% failure rate". That being said, this has been a HUGE adjustment on many levels for us. When I was pregnant with Ben, I really wanted a girl. Although I was disappointed, he has been the sweetest thing ever and I can't imagine it any other way. He and Luke have so much fun together, and it will be wonderful to watch their relationship grow over the years. We were always on the fence about whether to have 2 or 3 kids; Aaron was more on the 2-side and I was more on the 3-side. However, when we made the decision to send Luke to a private school that made the decision for us. We ran numbers over and over and decided that while we could afford private tuition for 2 kids with me working only part time, there was no way we could manage more than that unless I worked full time and that was not a sacrifice we were willing to make. So decision made. 2 kids, 2 boys, Luke and Ben, we're done. I mourned the idea at first, but in the end we knew it was the best decision for our family and I was at peace with that. I had come to terms with my 2 boys, who I love dearly and are so much fun. This was our family and that was OK, we were all happy with that.

Well, apparently we were WRONG. This is a case where we just throw it to the heavens and say, "God, clearly our plans and yours didn't match this time so we're going to have to trust in you because we know we certainly can not manage this all by ourselves." To say we were in shock when we found out about our surprise is probably an understatement. I was in denial for a good 2 months, and honestly I still find myself shaking my head in disbelief as I think of the sleepless nights and dirty diapers to come. My pregnancies with the boys were very easy overall. I had heartburn (severely), but that's it. A little bit of trouble sleeping with Ben, but it was manageable with a bed full of pillows to support me. I never felt sick, just really hungry. I was really sad to think that I wouldn't be pregnant again, because I really enjoyed it. This time has been different. I felt AWFUL for the first 2-3 weeks, and just OK for the 2 months that followed. I would wake up in the morning and literally dread the idea of getting out of bed because I knew as soon as I got up I would feel terrible, and feel that way pretty much all day. More nights than not, I would end up on the bed after dinner because if I sat up or moved I knew I would throw up. I never did, but there were many close calls. After about 2 weeks of this, we had a ladies retreat at chuch. There were prayer stations set up, and signs directing your thoughts to pray for certain things. At one of these stations I just prayed for the sickness to go away. I couldn't handle 2 more months of this. I had 2 VERY energetic boys at home, a husband who was working very hard for us, and a house that was falling apart because I couldn't do anything to keep it up. Fortunately, God answered that prayer. Within the next week I started feeling better and I didn't have any more episodes that sent me to bed. I still didn't feel the greatest, but I could function in the day and at night-time, when I felt my worse, my worst now was what my best had been in the weeks prior. I still had some strange food aversions- no lunch meat, no cereal, but other aversions were improving- I could eat sweets again (and not just the good stuff that's bad for you, but I could actually eat healthy stuff like fruit again, and I could stomach vegetables better) and I was having fewer cravings for junk/fast food. Now that the first trimester is over, I feel back to myself again. I'm eating normal again (or at least normal for pregnant me) and I feel good again. Already needing extra pillows to sleep comfortably and having some very mild heartburn, but that's all.

All this time though, we're still adjusting to the idea of an expanding family. We've had extensive conversations over how we're going to re-arrange the house, how we're going to pay for everything. And "everything" is a lot. We're committed to remaining debt-free and believe strongly this is what God wants for our family and our finances. But boy has it been difficult. Aaron's insurance changed in June, and our deductibles literally tripled (actually tripled and a half). Fortunately we were able to make some changes with my insurance and I don't think we'll end up maxing our deductible, but we're paying more than double what we initially planned on paying and had set aside to cover "baby costs". And then there's the car. We've been saving for a car for a couple of years now, but our plan was to have one more year to save for our family vehicle. Now we have 6 months to save what we had planned to save in 18 months. And then there's just the costs that come with having another: Ben was sleeping in his toddler bed, which is the crib converted so the boys need new beds so the baby can have the crib; there's the typical baby equipment that we got rid of due to wear and tear from the first two that we need to replace; and to top it off- it's a girl!- so that means some clothing (although I have friends and sisters-in-law with daughters who promise to help in this arena), blankets, crib bedding, washclothes/towels, and all the other stuff that comes with having a baby of a different gender. That also means re-arranging the house to make our "extra room" be the nursery now.

So we've got most of that figured out now, for the most part, more or less. But back to the "it's a girl!". I had come to terms with only having boys. We didn't plan on having this one, so I'm still getting used to the idea of a baby at all and I honestly could care less what the sex was. Truly. Most people just look at me and say, "Aren't you so excited?!?" and I don't think they believe me or really get it when I just say, "Yeah" or "I really didn't care this time". But I didn't. On one hand, I can see a revival of the dreams I had given up on- mommy/daughter mani-pedis, teaching how to wear make-up and having make-up parties for her friends, shopping for prom dresses and wedding dresses. But on the other hand I think of how EASY another boy would have been. We have all the clothes and toys and any boy could want, much less need. And when it comes to the "tough topics" of growing up and adolescence, I could put most of it off onto Aaron because he's the man, he can handle those topics with the boys. Now I have a whole new set of parenting talks to have, and it will all be on me because I'm the mom and the female perspective. More pressure for me; yeah, that's what a mom needs is more pressure! And Aaron is really adjusting to the idea of adding a girl to the mix. He's never hidden the fact that he's wanted boys and would be happy having only boys. He has lots of reasons for not wanting a daughter, and they pretty much all revolve around the idea of a teenage daughter and dating (closely followed by the reasoning of the high cost of paying for a wedding). All of his reasons are valid. However, I suspect that a root cause of his feelings are actually more out of fear. He never had a sister, and he never had any girl cousins that he spent great deals of time around. I've never heard him talk of any close family friends that had daughters that he grew up around either. I think he's scared because he doesn't think he'll know what to do with a girl. I guess he'll find out, because that's where we're headed.

So where are we now? The biggest hurdle right now is naming this little girl. We can't agree on a name. Fortunately we have about 4 more months to think on it. The house is in the process of being arranged, so we'll still have to get the nursery done but the bulk of the moving is done now. We're getting used to the idea, and we know when all is said and done we wouldn't be able to imagine it any other way. We have 5 years to figure out how to pay for school (much less college) for this one, and right now we're hoping and praying some financial aid will come our way when we get there to make it happen. I'm starting to look at baby bedding, and we're talking about paint colors (actually not for the nursery, but some other rooms in the house), and Aaron researches family vehicles online. So even though we don't "do" surprises, we're figuring it out and dealing with it as it comes. Who knows what the next 4 months has in store for us, because the last 4 months have been a roller coaster. But when all is said and done, I know it will be a ride that we were all very happy we went on.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sea World and more

Can you believe it? Less than a week and I'm already doing another post?!? I'm going to do better now that I'm finally caught up, I swear. So, we have had a very fun, and busy past week or so. This first picture was actually taken 2 weeks ago. We decided last minute to go to a Rangers game one Friday night. We had a good time. We brought our own hot dogs and snacks and enjoyed the game, followed by some great fireworks! And to top it all off, the Rangers won! They also had a couple of home runs which was fun to see.

The rest of the pictures are from the past 5 days. We went to Sea World in San Antonio on Thursday and Friday of this week and had an absolute blast. The boys did SO GOOD, I can't brag on them enough. They got to bed extremely late every night and were troopers in the park. In fact, day one we were only 30 minutes shy of doing open to closing in the park! We had no intention of staying that long, but the boys were doing so well we just kept going. It was about as perfect a day you could ask for. Although it was extremely hot, there were no lines or waiting for anything, so we were able to do everything we wanted (some things more than once) that first day. Aaron even walked directly on a couple of the rides that the boys and I couldn't do. We did the water park on the second day, but I didn't get any pictures there. We were pretty wiped out by the time we left, but again we had no more than a 10 minute wait for any of the slides and we easily did everything we wanted to do that day.

Luke was happy to get his picture taken with Shamu. Ben liked the idea of seeing Shamu, but once it was time for a picture he chickened out.

Luke's first roller coaster! You can see me with the glasses on, Luke is hidden on the other side. He rode several rides, but this was his favorite. He rode it at least 4 times, maybe even 5.

The first place we went was to the Sea Lions. There was this tiny baby that I think someone said was only a week old. We were able to witness one of the sweetest scenes I've ever seen in person. The baby was all by itself on the rock, stumbling around a little like it didn't know where to go. It was crying this sad little cry, and this went on for several minutes. All of the sudden you heard an adult sea lion bark. Baby cried, mama barked back, baby cried, mama barked, cry, bark. Then you saw mama sea lion come running (the best way a sea lion can run) across the rocks and jump over to comfort baby. This picture is when mama first got to baby. She immediately laid down and baby began to nurse. It was just the neatest scene to watch how some things are the same across all types of mammals. This baby cried, and mama recognized the cry and came running as fast as she could get there to take care of baby.

Shamu show!
This is one of only a couple of rides Ben could do.

Dolphin in mid-air during dolphin/beluga whale show.

At the dolphin tank.
We paid to feed the dolphins, and Luke and I were able to very briefly touch one as we gave it fish.

A great memory- as Luke and Aaron were on a ride, there was a sudden flash storm where it downpoured for about 10 minutes. Aaron and Luke were actually on the ride when it hit, so they had no protection. Ben and I got under a shade tent, but it was not totally water proof, so we still got pretty wet. As you can see, the boys were TOTALLY drenched, and this is completely from the rainstorm that hit. We were all soaked to the bone, but it was so hot we were actually quite refreshed and really didn't mind how wet we were. The boys took a few minutes to splash in the puddles as the rain began to taper off.

All tuckered out at the end of the day. We had barely left the parking lot and Ben was crashed in his seat, holding Shamu of course!

Luke didn't crash until we got back to the hotel, so he's showing off his purchases from the day- a dolphin he named Dolphiny and a scuba diver man with all scuba accessories (accessories not pictured here because I didn't want to lose them in the car).

We got home LATE Friday night, and then Saturday was the big open house for our new church building. We went up to that and they had someone doing face painting for the kids. She was about as talented as I've seen in face painting, and the boys picked out their designs. Luke wanted to be a cheetah, and Ben was Spiderman. She said that under 3 can be real iffy for face painting because it's hard for some to sit still long enough (although she was VERY fast, less than 5 minutes per face). Ben sat there perfectly still and didn't move a muscle, he was so determined to be spiderman. Unfortunately, they had to wash their faces off as soon as we got home- Ben needed a nap, and Luke had a swim birthday party to go to. I made sure to get a picture first so they could look at themselves as a cheetah or spiderman whenever they wanted.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Yes, FINALLY an update (of the past 8 months)

Well because I'm so far behind, I've tried to just hit the major highlights- you know birthdays, holidays, etc. That being said there are still a ton of pictures! I started at Halloween and went down through Luke's pre-k graduation. Now that I'm finally up to date on things, I plan on doing some more general postings about life in the Tungate house. I just got so behind on pictures when the computer crashed in the fall, and then when I did get everything up to date on the computer I hit a period where I didn't feel very good for about 2 months (more on that in a later post). Then once I felt better, I had major catch-up around the house and I'm just now getting to the blog update. Whew, so here we go....

Halloween: Ben was Buzz Lightyear and Luke was Darth Vader.

Ben turned 2 in November, he was in a period where he was OBSESSED with trains, so the birthday theme was obvious. He loved his "choo-choo party" and still talks about it.

Pop and Gran gave him a train table that the boys love to play with. We had the rest of friends and family give him trains and other accessories to go with his table.
We also started potty training and he got train underwear for his birthday.

Thanksgiving was at Pop and Gran's house.

Luke was ringbearer in a wedding Thanksgiving weekend, and he was just so darn cute in his tuxedo! He LOVED wearing it, he was so proud of how handsome he looked in the tux, and he especially loved his shiny black shoes.

Dancing with the flower girl at the reception.
Luke with the bride and groom.

We took the boys down to the Gaylord Texan resort in Grapevine one night, they had a huge Christmas display. This is one of the many exhibits out, which was a lifesize, real gingerbread house.

The boys pre-school Christmas program. Ben saw me as they walked in and cried most of the time he was on stage because he wanted to sit with me. Yes, that is his finger up his nose. That's pretty much how he stood throughout the entire singing of Jingle Bells!

We had a very snowy winter, including some snow Christmas day! Here are various pictures from some of the snow days we had. I really enjoyed the winter weather this year. Luke absolutely loved the snow and would have stayed out all day if we let him. Ben liked the idea, but after about 5 or 10 minutes would say, "I cold, go in house."

Luke turned 5 in March. He had saved his money for over 6 months to help pay half for a Nintendo DSi for his birthday (handheld gaming device, but also has a camera inside to take and edit pictures, and lots of other features). He was so excited to play it the first day.
Aaron literally fed him popcorn as he played.
He wanted a shark birthday cake, so here was my creation. He and the kids at the party loved it, so I was pleased. His party was at a local gymnasium and the kids ran and played and had a blast.


Luke played baseball for the first time this year. He had a hard time focusing in the outfield, which is pretty much where he stayed all season, but he learned alot and had fun. He also got to play catcher some and really enjoyed dressing up in the gear that required.

Pre-K graduation. Although I think pre-K graduations are a bit silly, he did look awfully cute in his cap and gown. They sang a song with sign language, and answered some questions on the microphone. Luke's answers were: Favorite thing to do at school- play with legos; What do you want to be when you grow up- policeman.

Luke and the boys in his class (all but one boy). He made some good buddies this year.
That's all for now!