Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pinewood Derby 2012

It's derby time!!!! The kids always get so excited at this time of year. They love getting to pick whatever design they want and then seeing their dad make it happen.

The kit looks like this. Just a block of wood with four wheels.
Then, they took time at church during their Wednesday night classes to shape their cars. Whatever they don't finish at church, the kids bring home and Craig helps them complete the transformation.

Kaitlyn and Preston helped with the sanding.

He's so goofy.

Time to paint.

By the way, this was all done on a cold, rain Saturday in the garage. But Craig and the kids wanted to get it done. I stayed inside the warm house and came out every so often to take pictures.

Can you tell what Kaitlyn's car is going to be?

A potato!!! I don't know why she picked this design, but it's what she wanted. She made a carrot derby car last year so maybe she wanted to stick with the vegetable family. Craig knicked out little spots and painted some a darker brown.

Preston wanted a race car, of course. He painted it his favorite colors: orange, red, and blue. No decals were added, just the paint.

The day of the race, we got out the two cars from previous years so we all had a car to race.

The track is ready to go.

The trophies are proudly gleaming!

Preston's car came in 3rd place in this heat. His car wasn't very fast. Well, neither was Kaitlyn's.

The potato is 2nd from the right, ready to go.

The other cars are waiting.

The potato eventually made its way to the bottom.

So did the race car.

Kaitlyn's potato car won a ribbon for Most Authentic Looking. She actually had a party to attend so Craig collected the ribbon for her.

Craig raced the carrot and I raced the ladybug in the adult division. His carrot came in 1st place!

Preston and Kaitlyn also got trophies for participation.

I was an Appearance Judge and Craig helped with staging the cars to race. We all had a great time and can't wait to do it all over again next year.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Babies Are Gone

When did our babies go from this...

Kaitlyn-3 1/2 yrs old, Preston-1 1/2 yrs old this?

Kaitlyn-8 yrs old, Preston 5 1/2 yrs old

Our firstborn, Kaitlyn Lee, was born just after her dad's birthday and just before our anniversary/Christmas. She was a miracle baby, a planned pregnancy, but still surprising since I had previous uterine complications. She was born at a petite 7 lbs and 18 inches and immediately captured our hearts.

Kaitlyn-2 mos. old (dress made by my mom to match my dress at that age)

Our second child, Preston Craig, was born fittingly on Father's Day. What better present could a dad receive than a son? He, too, was a planned pregnancy, but still another miracle. He was born at nearly a whopping 9 lbs and 19 1/2 inches long. Once again, our hearts were captured by another tiny, frail human being.

Preston-2 mos. old

Recently, Craig and I have realized that our kids are growing up. It seems like we just blinked once since they were babies and now they are our mini-me's. We've dealt with struggles like homework, bullies, and staying positive. We've comforted, cuddled, and wiped tears when certain situations were just too tough for their little hearts. We've also laughed, encouraged, and enjoyed the many triumphs we celebrated along the way.

Being siblings, Kaitlyn and Preston have their share of squabbles. Some days they can't even look at each other without the other one getting upset. However, they know we are a family. They love when we are all together and know there are no more siblings in the future (I had a hysterectomy in 2009). I love the times when I catch those sweet moments and they don't realize I'm watching.

Preston has come a long way since the beginning of the school year. It was very, very rough for him and caused anxiety for him and me. However, he remained brave, just as we told him to be, and we prayed many prayers for God to give him courage. He continues to flourish in school. He loves that he can read now and excels in math. Preston continues to add to his collection of cars and we can always find them in some type of formation around the house or his room. He is an incredibly affectionate Mama's Boy, always showering me with kisses, hugs, and nose rubs (Eskimo kisses). But, he won't let me do that in front of his friends. He has to give fist bumps instead.

Kaitlyn. Our little girl is gone and she has become so independent at such a young age. She loves to help as much as she can in the kitchen (I was not at all like that as a child). She makes chocolate milk for herself and her brother every morning. She likes to pick out her own clothes and fixes her own hair. Lately, she doesn't want us to tuck her in at night either. Kaitlyn certainly has 'firstborn' qualities, especially with Preston. I call her "Little Mama". She loves to read, draw, and do crafts.

Kaitlyn drew Spongebob on her chalkboard. She says it's for the art class she

has with Preston every week in her room. She is his teacher.

This past weekend, Kaitlyn went to her first sleepover birthday party. She was so excited to go. Again, it's just another milestone on their road to growing up. Preston kept asking when his sister was going to come home.

As parents, we try the best we can. God hears our prayers of anguish, sorrow, and joy. Each day brings a new challenge, a new milestone, and you just keep hoping you are raising your children to be the best they can be. They imitate us and see it through our words, through our actions, and hear it in our prayers. We often wonder how God can give us such an awesome responsibility, to raise these little humans, to live their lives for God and love Him with their whole being.

At the end of the day, when we're exhausted and we reflect back on the day to all that was done and said, we can just peek in on one of our human angels, in a peaceful slumber, and know we are blessed to witness the constant transformation of their lives.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

We had such a fun, festive Valentine's Day. It started with the kids waking up to find their Valentine's gifts.

They also got the movie Dolphin Tale to share. We saw it in the theaters and they loved it!
Craig got his card and box of chocolates. He's also getting a watch of his choice. We just haven't had time to go to the jewelry store and buy it. Craig is very particular about his watch so I'm letting him pick what he wants.

Craig bought me a Nook Tablet. LOVE IT!!!! I take it everywhere. The kids are enjoying it too.

I made one of their favorite breakfasts-strawberry muffins. Notice the festive plates? We used them for dinner and dessert too.

I printed off labels and taped them around water bottles for Craig and the kids to take with them for the day.
I also added these notes to the kids lunches. I love that they're pre-printed and I can just fill in the blanks.

We all had a party-filled day at school and work. Preston and Kaitlyn had classroom parties with cookie decorating, games, and exchanged Valentine's cards. They also took Valentine's pencils to share with their friends. They came home with tons of cards and candy.

I received some nice treats and gifts from some of my students and coworkers. My boss even made a yummy lunch for all the teachers. Craig was super busy with his Valentine's tent at work. He said people were in and out of Kroger all day buying flowers and chocolates. Since he's the boss, he was kind enough to buy lunch for his floral department.

As tradition, we bought a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's.

For dessert, Craig requested a homemade cheesecake. It was actually my first time using a springform pan and it was so easy! The cheesecake was easy and delicious. Look for the recipe tomorrow on my craft blog.

I prefer my cheesecake plain and Craig likes cherries on his.

The kids like caramel and chocolate sauce drizzled over theirs.

And that ended our day. It was fun, festive, and full of love. It's just the way we like to do things.