Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to Football

So, we are a little football crazy around here. We're getting our fantasy football teams ready, and gearing up for Sunday afternoon and Monday night football parties. To go with our enthusiasm for the first game of the NFL regular season tonight (featuring my favorite Packers!), I just put up our new welcome sign on our door.

Everyone's team had to be represented, so it features Beavers for all of us, Broncos for Erik, Patriots for Erik and Jaime, Jaguars for Kirk, and Packers for me.

Happy football season!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ready for Round-Up?

Last week, I looked over to find Trip watching Sesame Street like this:

His pajamas were off after a very messy breakfast, and apparently his hat seemed like a good accessory to his diaper. Priceless! 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Football Practice

Kirk and Erik are coaching middle school football again this year. Our school district is no longer offering football for the middle schoolers like they did last year and in the past, so some people got together and brought Pop Warner football to town. Erik volunteered to be the head coach and Kirk is his assistant/defensive coordinator.

Trip has figured out that they go to practice nearly every day, so if they're gone, he says that they're at football practice. We were out walking one day, and headed over to see the kids in action. Trip had a blast watching them and would have loved to get in the middle of it all. He found a football and tried out his skills on the sidelines.

You can't hear it well if at all in this clip, but he's saying, "Down, set, hike!" before he throws the ball.

If his enthusiasm is a sign of things to come, there will be many more football practices in his future.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

All Monkeys!

Recently, Trip and I were playing a game with his stuffed monkeys (read more about it here) and they all ended up in his crib with him. I said, "Wow! Look at all of these monkeys!" so now, Trip loves to say "all monkeys!" and throw all of his monkeys into his crib. He does not like it when I take them out when it's time to sleep, either, so we've had to leave a few extra monkeys in the crib.

He enjoyed being a monkey that day as well!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A New Endeavor

As Trip approached his second birthday, we were noticing him growing by leaps and bounds in his vocabulary and understanding of the world. He is curious and soaks everything in. I felt like I needed to step up the learning activities that I was doing with him in order to foster that curiosity and challenge him a bit. After some reading online, I started making him some learning placemats and little games that work on motor skills, introducing a few new books (especially alphabet books), and so forth.

At the beginning of August, I had the idea to start doing a letter of the week. After a couple of weeks of planning and preparation, we started T week. For young children, I think it's best to start with the letters in their name, so we're working our way through T-R-I-P and then we'll do other letters. It's been a great creative outlet for me and fun for Trip since we do lots of special activities each week. Most things only take/last 5-10 minutes or less, so they're easy to fit in, even on busy days.

When I showed my sister-in-law, Tammi what we were doing, she decided to do the same with our nephew Cooper. It's been so much fun to share ideas and hear how much they have enjoyed it too. A week from now, the boys will working on P at the same time, so we're eager to share some experiences over Skype.

As a way to chronicle what we're doing and to share ideas with other families, I have started a blog called Teach Love Grow. My blogging here will suffer a little, but if you'd like to see what we've been up to, just click on the link and see our adventures.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Popsicles, or "pakiss" as Trip calls them, have become a daily treat this summer. I found a great popsicle mold during our trip to my parents' house in July (oh, WinCo, how I love you!) and it has served us well. I had purchased other such molds in the past, but always found that they were too big and thus too hard to eat so we didn't use them. These are perfect for Trip and he gets very excited when he can have one. What I like about the whole thing is that I can freeze juice so it's a healthy snack for him.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Since we got back from our last trip, we've had lots of opportunities to spend time with friends. Trip was thrilled to have different playmates over three days in a row. He really loves playing with other kids and sure loves hanging out with these three!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

More Traveling

We have done a lot of traveling this summer! Last weekend, Trip and I drove up to my parents' house so that we could go to the Seattle area with them for my cousin's wedding. The two of us had never taken a long drive alone, but with the help of a DVD player, it worked out well.

After we arrived, Trip had SO much fun helping Noni water the plants (and himself). He kept wanting more and more water.

My grandparents joined us on Saturday morning and we made the drive to the wedding. It was a beautiful day and a great wedding. The only damper was that Trip had only napped for about 20 minutes, so he was unhappy during the ceremony and had to be entertained all through the reception. I missed the entire ceremony trying to keep him quiet or at least far enough away from it that he didn't disrupt it too much. Grandpa and Noni were a huge help during the reception and gave me a chance to visit with family. By the end of the night, we were doing everything we could to keep him happy. He enjoyed "dancing" with Noni to the music.

On Monday, we had lots of errands to run. One of our stops was at the mall. Trip LOVED the Arthur ride there and didn't want to leave it even though I never put coins in it to make it go.

He kept hugging Arthur.

Our drive home was a little rougher than the one there, but we made it and were happy to be back home with Daddy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Splish Splash It's Trip's 2nd Birthday Bash

We had a little party last Saturday for Trip's birthday. Only a few of the families we invited were able to make it, but we had a great time nonetheless. I decided to do a water theme since the weather is finally warm and Trip loves to play in his kiddie pool. I kept it all pretty simple despite my ideas of going crazy.

One of the highlights was this watermelon shark. I saw a great tutorial for it here a while ago and knew I had to make one. It turned out great and was lots of fun for everyone.

We had fish/fishing cupcakes and candy rock cupcakes.

To finish it off, we had fishy Chex mix, veggies, crackers, spinach dip, and frozen berry kabobs.

I also made banana slush punch, which was a great refreshing treat.

Trip enjoyed the food, and especially liked the other kids sharing their snacks with him. With a face like that, who could resist?

The nice thing about an outdoor party is that the two-year-old cake mess was minimal.

Finger-lickin' good!

The girls continued to feed Trip and pour water on him and each other all afternoon. He soaked up all the attention! His only disappointment was when all the water balloons were gone. He loved popping them!

He had a great time when Connor pushed him around on this broken-down quad we have for parts.

He liked the magnetic fishing game I made and kept saying "I got it!" when he would catch one.

By the end of the party, he was soaked from head to toe, filthy, and had lost a sandal! All signs of a good time!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shopping Fun

After our day at the water park, we spent another night at the hotel. The next day we had some shopping to do. When people who live in a tiny town that's 100 miles from anything go to "the big city," there is always a lot of shopping to be done! The highlight of the day was our visit to Scheels, a gigantic outdoor/sports store. There are huge fish tanks at each of the two entrances. Each one is made up of three columns that are connected by archways so that you can walk under them and watch the fish swim over you. One is filled with fresh water fish, such as catfish and trout, and the other with salt water fish, like puffer fish and clown fish. They are quite impressive! Trip loved watching all of the creatures swim around.

There was also a play structure for the kids. Trip was eager to explore it with his friends, but once he got up there, wasn't so pleased. The problem was that he didn't want to make his way to the slide to be able to get down. Fortunately the girls were able to get him out and a few tears later, he was fine. Once we found the baseball section, all his troubles were gone.

After a full day of shopping, we hit the road and headed home.

Here is a cute shot of Trip that Erik took on the way to Reno. He was quite excited to get out of the car after a couple of hours of driving.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Birthday Fun at the Water Park

All summer, we have been planning to take a trip to Reno to go to the water park with some of our friends. It turned out that Trip's birthday was the day that worked for most people. We packed up on Monday afternoon and made the drive. After a night at the hotel, we got breakfast then stopped at Costco to get lunch fixings. By late morning, we were in the water and having a blast. Trip and Kaiden were the two youngest and were too small for any of the big water slides, so we played in the kiddie pools while the big kids climbed the towers and raced down the big slides.

Trip wasn't too sure about the small slides, so I doubt he would have wanted to go on the big ones anyway.

Kaiden loved this slide!

We also enjoyed floating on the lazy river and the boys had lots of fun playing on the inner-tube on the grass.

Trip especially liked the bouncing.

Once Trip was done swimming and was changed back into his birthday outfit, he discovered some rocks to play with. This activity made him quite happy.

By the end of the day, everyone was exhausted! Logan was so tired that he fell fast asleep on the cement in the sun.