Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My favorite things....

 I was so so lucky to spend our last day on vacation with a few of my very favorite things.... wonderful family, 4 of the cutest boys in the world and the ocean. I was one happy woman believe you me. (I have the 200 or so pics to prove it)
 My sister in law Jana and her family, the "Wilcox crew" live north of Los Angeles on the coast. They met us at a local beach with wet suits and boogie boards (that might not be the right name) for all.
 Luke and Kolby were in HEAVEN
 Pure joy
 BEAUTIFUL landscape
 Canyon is a natural, with mad water skills.
 Auggie did his best to school his inland cousins on the ways of the water.
 Kolby simply loved running and laughing in the waves.
 Oh my cuteness
 Luke gave it a good try.... in his own way. Pretty sure your supposed to be facing the other way.
 See nothing to it, (yea right) they make it look so easy.

 We got to explore a little bit around a bend and over some rocks. In case the stunning beauty around us was not enough there were dolphins swimming and jumping in the water. DOLPHINS people.
 Wet suits make it handy for dads to help sons over rocks.
 Of course not all the time was spent in the water there was a whole lotta sand just begging to be played with. And sea life to be explored.
This area literally made me swoon, it is beyond beautiful in every direction. 

 Four hours flew by in what seemed like a matter of minutes and it was time to go.

 But not before posing for one last picture, can you even handle this amount of cousin cuteness?
 We followed the Wilcox's back to their place with me all bug eyed the whole time explaining every other minute "can you even believe how beautiful it is here?" And asking helpful questions (which I know Dew always appreciates ;) such as "hum do you think those horses like eating the green stuff on the ground". (We live in the high desert where the ground is brown)
The Wilcox's are a family that make you feel good just being around them. We are beyond blessed to have them in our lives. 
The boys had a blast playing and being boys.They got to "camp out" in doors in Marshall's tent.  Dew and I had a wonderful time talking for hours with Jana and Marshall. 
A perfect way to end our vacation. Luke and Kolby are begging to go back and I may or may not be behind them jumping up and down waving my hands saying "me too I want to go too".
Hopefully we can plan another trip in the not to distant future. Please, please, please :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Celebrating Heritage

 Through the wonders of social media we were able to meet up with some of our friends from Kazakhstan while we were at Disneyland. We met Mike and Nancy who were in Kazakhstan adopting their beautiful daughter Gabby the same time we were there adopting Luke. Luke is a couple months older then Gabby so they were in the same group at the baby house. We spent hours together during our bonding time with the kids. Which was almost exactly 6 years ago to the day we saw them here. 

As it turns out Gabby shares Luke's absolute love of Lego's. And it just so happens there is a Lego store in Downtown Disney. The perfect place for the kids to get to know each other again being kids. They each built a race car to compete in "the big race".
 How cute are their faces?
 I'm pretty sure the kids could have spent hours together playing.
We all went to lunch together and the kids each ordered cheese pizza. Which they immediately agreed was cool because they all ordered the same thing. It was very nice for us to catch up with Mike and Nancy. We are so glad they were able to meet us. Luke still talks about how happy he is that he got to see a Kazakh friend again. 

Kolby's school put together a "International heritage" night. They called and asked if we would do a table for Guatemala knowing that's where Kolby is from. We happily agreed and said we would also do a Kazakhstan table. 
We got together everything we had brought back from both countries. I printed out coloring pages and maps of both countries. For Guatemala I ordered 100 little "worry dolls" to give out. 
They gave each child a "passport" with all the countries flags that they could get stamped at each table they visited. 
Kolby and I sat at the Guatemala table. 
 Luke and Dewey sat at the Kazakhstan table.
It was so much fun! We ran out of everything we brought and know that we need to brings a lot more next year. Both boys had fun talking about the countries they were born in. It was wonderful to see the pride they both have for their heritage. And what a unique opportunity for all the kids to get to know a little bit about the world.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Jedi Training

....And back to vacation pics,
For all those that have been to Disneyland recently you know that there is a pretty heavy Star Wars influence. The same can also be said of our house. Star Wars is a HUGE deal to 3 male members of our family. So when we saw that they had a Jedi Training available we knew we had to do it. We showed up 45 minutes early. I found an attendant and kindly asked where the line started or if there was a maybe a sign up sheet. To which she answered "oh no the Jedi Master picks the kids once he is one stage" When she noticed the horrified look on my face she added "have your kids be enthusiastic and energetic and they will have a better chance". So now I'm thinking the chance this works out with TWO happy kids is going to be zilch. Do we leave now to avoid the almost certain let down or stick it out. Looking at the boys excited faces there is no way we could walk away. So I start with the "Ok we are going to have fun no matter what happens speech". I point out that there are going to be about 100 kids that all really want the training so if either Luke or Kolby gets picked we will be happy. We tell them to just stand up and be themselves and if they feel like jumping up and down go right ahead. 
The Jedi Master comes out and starts calling up a few kids from the large crowd that is now waiting. He looks our way and........points to BOTH Luke and Kolby.Dew and I look at each other in shock and I look up to see if angels are singing because surely this is a miracle (only half kidding) 
They are taken on stage and given their Jedi robes and Light sabers and taught what I can only assume is the standard Light saber moves.

 Then the stage opens up and out comes Darth Vader, Darth Maul and stormtroopers. The boys are separated, Kolby stays on stage to fight one on one against Darth Vader.
 When Darth walked up to Kolby he said "The force is strong in this one" which might just be Kolbys favorite thing that has ever been said to him.
 It was an epic battle that luckily Kolby won :)
 Luke was taken to the floor level to fight Darth Maul. (other huge stroke of luck since Luke is fearless and this dude freaked even me out)
 It was a weird angle so we didn't get great pics of Luke's battle but you can tell from his face that he is being fierce.
 He did not back down and bravely won his battle :)
 At the end they were given certificates but more important to them is the fact that they now refer to themselves as Jedi Padawans. And could not be happier.
And for me I have never doubted that Disneyland is a magical place. The smiles on the boys faces from this trip were simply priceless.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Kolby!

Kolby chose the skating rink for his birthday party. We got there right at 5 on Fri when they opened and had the place to ourselves. Which was perfect for all these "just learning" skaters.  Dad and grandpa jumped right in to offer tips.
The kids had a blast and are getting really good since they have skated all of 3 times in their lives. (When you live in the country off dirt roads not much pavement to practice on. ) So much so that once all their friends got there neither one would hold my hand anymore...sob
 Kolby wanted a "Cars" theme party and picked out this cake,  he was so excited when he saw it. ( the nice bakery in town made in exchange for money ;)
 We had pizza pop and then cake. (do we know how to feed kids healthy food or what?) The pics are a little dark because the kids wanted the lights out for the singing/blowing of candles part.

 He had a lot of help with the candle blowing but didn't mind in the least.
 It took me awhile to learn that kids are entertained by simple and easy. You don't have to go to tons of trouble for them to have fun. I bought packages of punch balloons (those balloons with a big rubber band attached) from the dollar store and it was a hit (get it a hit,bahaaa) You might not be able to tell but the photo below is of the above mentioned kids using Dewey as their target, much screaming and laughing by all.
Kolbys actual birthday was Sunday, he woke up to balloons, streamers and a big sign in his room. 
 I mentioned in an earlier post that Beyblades are big hit right now. Kolby got a few new ones from his party and us. There is a "official" Beyblade stadium that they usually battle in. But when you have a "creative/if you can think it I'll build it" type dad you end up with a deluxe two tiered battle field.

Two old circle sleds and some extra wood and you get happy boys.  
 A tradition we started a few years ago is to let the birthday person pick whatever they want for dinner and I'll make it. Along with their choice of cupcakes or a cake. For dinner Kolby chose..... Dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, french fries, tomato soup, jello, applesauce and grapes. (I hope this is not a statement on my cooking but rather that he is a 6 year old boy) So we had it all, and he could not have happier. He picked a cake with sprinkles on it. I had remembered seeing this idea on Pinterest and did what I do best copied it. Not the exact perfection I first saw but not to bad either if I do say so.
 We had him blow out candles again because this was his actual birthday and a wish is a wish take every one you can get :)

 Happy birthday Kolby, we can not believe you are 6 years old. You are amaze us every day, and give the best hugs known to man. We love you!!!