Thursday, May 31, 2012

Joys of Summer

Last day of school picnic

The Tuesday before Memorial Day, Rylan had a class picnic at one of our favorite parks. The kids played games with their classmates, received a special medal and goodbye treat from their teachers, ate a  little lunch, and then just ran wild on the playground.  It was a blast for them to have so much free time with each other and bittersweet to say goodbye to a wonderful year in Rylan's life.

 Caroline looking like she wants to punch somebody, or maybe just mommy who is taking her picture.
 A little happier, playing with bubbles.

 Mrs. Shade helping Rylan get into his sack.

 All sacked up and racing as fast as he can.

 Rylan has been enamored with baseball lately.

 The kids had a turn bouncing on the parachute when the first letter of their name was called.

 Getting a medal and a hug from Mrs. Shade.

 Awww, they do like each other.  Rylan gave Caroline his Nerds and let her wear his medal from his teachers.

Rylan leading a game of chase with the boys.  His pose and expression are so typical of him!

Boys huddling up, making important plans.
 Boys chasing girls!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What the....!

We were having a nice uneventful drive home from church today, when I decided to indulge my current craving for Sonic cherry limeades.  As I turned in to the drive-thru, Rylan exclaimed, "What the hell are we doing here?"
I took a few moments to order and pay for my drink and gathered my thoughts to respond.
I asked him where he had heard that phrase and then explained that is not something we say in our family.
"Okay, can I say, 'what the heck?' 
I informed him that was not appropriate either and gave him some alternatives words to use when he felt the need to be that expressive.
"What about 'holy mother of god'?'
Did I mention we were on the way home from CHURCH?

Rylan's preschool graduation

On Thursday Rylan's preschool had their end of the year program/graduation.   It was simply adorable and so bittersweet.  Rylan had given me some sneak previews of a few songs while he rehearsed at home, so it was especially fun to hear and see the real performance.
 Singing and hand motions.  We had a great view with Rylan being on the end of the row.

 Rylan and wonderful teachers, Mrs. Shade and Mrs. Roth. Each child received a "diploma" after the program, to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance, of course.

 Rylan poses with some of his favorite girls.
 I love Rylan's expression here.  I don't think he minds being surrounded by cute girls!

 Very proud parents.

 Proud Dad.

 Tough guy pose with one of his friends, Christian.   Christian's mom asked him which kids from preschool he would like to spend time with this summer and he told her he wanted to play with Rylan.  Rylan has grown so much socially and built some great friendships with so many kids in his class. It makes me sad he has to leave them, but gives me lots of hope for making new friends in kindergarten.

There is the most beautiful waterfall cascading down the hilllside in front of the church. I could only get my girl to pose for me; Rylan was done with pictures.  We plan to send her to the same preschool in a little over a year.

Spartan Race

On the first Saturday in May, Charlton ran in the Spartan race at Ft. Carson.  He ran, crawled, climbed, and basically battled his way through 5 miles of mud, hills, and crazy obstacles on the hottest day of the year so far. He has been training for a long time and we were very proud of him. 
One of the last obstacles, jumping over a ring of fire.
Our victorious Spartan. This was actually the cleaned up version of Charlton. I didn't get a picture right after he finished. I can't even describe the sheer amounts of mud everywhere. He had to hose off himself and his clothes outside before even coming indoors.

There is a Jr. Spartan race. Rylan is already asking when he will be able to run!

Spring Flowers

We had an unusually early spring this year. I think we had only one frost and snow the whole month of March and that is typically our snowiest month. Everything bloomed about 2-3 weeks early, including my tulips. They have always been peaking right about Mother's Day, but this year I had to take our annual tulip photos early. Caroline was not in the mood to pose for me. Even bribery with M&M's could not coax a smile. She ended up with such a grown-up, sultry look on her face!
Rylan looking cool with this pose.
Caroline picked a bouquet of dandelions for me every day. She is just crazy about flowers and loved having a fresh crop of dandelions to "harvest" daily. I also let her pick a few tulips every day. We always had a pretty vase full of flowers on the table. For some reason, Caroline calls the tulips, "tulip fingers". Anytime we went outside we had to stop to kiss them and pet them and talk to the "tulip fingers"!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

April, part 3, Grammy's visit

Charlton's mom flew in for a visit on Easter Eve. Holidays with family visiting are so much more special and this was no exception. Rylan and Caroline were so excited to have some more special Grandma time and to see all the fun presents she brought. We were able to get some good pictures together all dressed up on Easter morning.
Grammy treated us with tickets to a Disney on Ice performance. We had amazing seats, neart the center of the arena, just a few rows from the front. The kids were in heaven, getting to see all their favorite characters. Caroline loved the princesses, of course. She even got to see the prince from Mulan, whom she calls "Business" and is quite obsessed with currently. They even had the obscure characters, like Monstro the whale from Pinnochio, one of Rylan's favorites. Both kids were captivated the entire show and it was priceless to see the expressions on their faces. Thanks, Grammy, for the wonderful memories.

April, part 2, Nana's visit

My mom came to visit us for her Spring Break in early April.  We had so much fun spending time with her, dyeing Easter eggs, going swimming, visiting Ikea, and hiking in the mountains.
Caroline was delighted to have Nana play princess castle with her.
Nana visited Rylan's preschool on the day they planned their Easter celebration.  She took so many great pictures of Rylan and his classmates and I am so glad she and Rylan got to make this special memory together.   
Rylan, my animal lover.  A volunteer brought this rabbit into class for a special visit.
Dyeing Easter eggs with Mrs. S.  This is such a typical Rylan pose, he is so animated and expressive when he is excited about something.
Rylan playing a catch game with Noah.
On the last day of mom's visit, we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike.  The only other time she had hiked there with us, we later found out she had the swine flu. She was such a trooper, but I wanted her to be able to enjoy it when she was feeling a bit more healthy.  We had a beautiful day, with lots of sunshine, great views, and very little wind. (Rylan decided he wanted to stay in the car for this picture.)
Picnicking at Alberta Falls with my mom, Bethany and the kids.
The kids are doing better all the time with hiking. The trail was so icy in spots it was really tough for us all, but I was proud of how well they perseveered.