Thursday, May 22, 2014

"Walk On Horsie!"

Max's preschool class has been lucky enough to enjoy a horseback riding program for the past 5 weeks.  Today was the last day, and parents were invited!  Parents and cameras, of course.  I was so excited to see Max ride "Nick," the horse he has been talking about for the past 5 weeks.  It is a pretty incredible program this place has.  Riding horses is a very effective type of therapy for individuals with disability whether it be emotional, mental, or physical.  The staff was amazing, and did such a great job accommodating the crazy preschool class!  We sure lucked out with this preschool, it has been such a great experience for Max :). 
Max waiting to ride Mr. Nick, the horse :). 

Feeding the horses the "pizza treat" the kids helped make.

"Hey Mom!" 

We were so far away, getting a close up was kind of difficult.  Max was
one happy camper on that horse :). 

Most of Max's darling preschool class :). 

Each kid was awarded a ribbon for completing the training program.  My child
was pretty excited and put it on immediately. 
Horse parade!  Perfect weather for riding :).
Max trotting! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spring has finally sprung!

I really do enjoy living in Cleveland.  After this past winter though, I was at the edge of my seat, (maybe even falling off,) waiting for Spring to come.  And it has come!  Hooray!  We have enjoyed dozens of walks/runs/bike rides, park days, snow cones, ice cream, playing sports with Max, kite flying, and water gun fights this past month.  We have spent countless hours in our back yard playing, eating dinner, blowing bubbles, and just relaxing.  The blossoms on the trees are so pretty, and the air smells so fresh! The tulips and daffodils are gorgeous! There has been a lot of rain, but heck, I will take rain over snow any day :). 
Tim is in his final home stretch of year 3 in Medical School.  Man, the time has flown by so fast!  He works so hard waking up before the sun every morning so he can be with us in the evening.  I can't believe he will be a Doctor in one year. CRAZY!  I am so proud of him! 
Max is finishing up his first year of preschool which we have all loved.  He is into changing his clothes about 3 times a day.  Soccer outfit-running shorts-superman jammies-flip flops-running shoes-soccer get the point. He is memorizing the articles of faith (doughnuts of his choice being the incentive!)  Max loves soccer, baseball, and running right now.  He and I are going to run a race at the end of the month at the elementary school right by our house.  Every time we meet someone he will let them know that he is a runner and is going to win the race.  No brainwashing there at all...! He loves his brother!  Those two keep each other up laughing, growling, squealing, yelling, and singing every night after Tim and I put them to "bed."  His appetite is increasing like crazy!  He is growing up way too fast, I can't believe it.  I love hanging out with him and seeing what a big boy he is becoming :).
Jake is all smiles!  That boy is always in the best mood, even when he has an excuse to be in a bad one.  He is getting his 3rd tooth and is perfectly sitting up. He grabs everything and eats it.  He hasn't taken to crawling yet, but is a little scooter bug all around the floor.  Jake will not eat purred baby food.  I have tried probably 50 times with no success.  He refuses.  It has been very frustrating! day we finally tried giving him "grown-up food."  He devoured it.  The little monkey decided to skip the whole baby food stage and move onto the good stuff I guess.  I don't blame him.  Meal time for Jake consists of a lot of beans, cheerios, pieces of bread, rice, cut up fruit/ steamed veggies, noodles, and potatoes.  I have to get creative.  We are so glad to finally have solved the dilemma of him not eating purred food because he is now sleeping through the night!!  I am a whole new creature when I wake up after an uninterrupted 7 hours of sleep.  Happy wife, happy life baby!  Way to go Jake, we love you buddy!
I am keeping busy with my church calling, nannying 3 days a week, and training for a half marathon this summer. Not to mention my baking kick as of late...I love food way too much for my own good!
I was spoiled rotten for Mother's Day this year with a gourmet breakfast of waffles, eggs, raspberries, and bacon.  Tim had a meeting before church and masterfully whipped all that up AND enjoyed it with Max and I before 7:10am. What a guy!  Church was wonderful, especially seeing the primary kids sing.  Max was so sweet up on the stand singing, I was displaying quite the waterworks in the congregation!  After church, we came home and had a quick lunch and packed up for a day at one of Cleveland's beautiful Metro parks.  Metro parks are kind of like the "mountains" of Cleveland for me.  They are all over and we love walking/biking in them :).  This particular one had a castle built in the 1900s which we went to see.  Max was so excited being in a "real" castle he could hardly stand it!  After we toured the castle, we biked and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  The boys were so good in the trailer and the weather was perfect!  We got home and Tim grilled the most amazing hamburgers to date.  He  made homemade french fries too which are to die for!  Literally.  We had corn on the cob and enjoyed the meal outside in our back yard.  After dinner we went for a walk, then came home and put the boys down for bed.  Tim and I enjoyed ice cream with hot fudge and just talked.  It was a full day, but the best!  I told Tim many times that I could relive it again and again and again!  I am so blessed to have a husband who treats me so well and is an amazing father to our boys!  I have two adorable kids who keep me on my toes, but teach me so much at the same time.  I am so blessed and have so much to be grateful for! 
Here are some pictures from Mother's Day and just random wonderful days! 

All smiles this little chunk!  I am kind of obsessed!
Max and Tim playing with Max's new castle.  Max got this for being "very obedient" one day.  We kind of get desperate for ideas to promote good behavior around our house sometimes...!

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth...! 

Did I mention I am a little obsessed!?!

Sweet Jake :). 

Best buds :).  Love this picture! 

Max peeking through a window at Squire's Castle.  What a cute little face poking out!

The 3 joys of my life :). 

Such a cool picture!  Love my family! 

Look at all of this grass I get to put in my mouth! 

Max and I after our bike ride.  He was a champ and didn't bother Jake at all...this time!

The best husband in the world!  I couldn't have asked for a better guy!

We took pictures of the boys before bed last night:
Max at his finest...
Sweet Smiling Jake! 

Grandma Holt Visit!!

My mom came to visit us last month, and we had so much fun!  It is so good to see her and to catch up on lost time together.  We anticipated her arrival for months, then because of the wonderful time had by all, she came and was gone just like that!  I wanted to have her come when we could just "play and relax."  It seems like she visits her kids when there is a new baby or something crazy that heightens her work load 500%!  But of course, even though nothing too crazy was going on with us, she still worked, helped, and spoiled us rotten way more than she should have!  We went on tons of walks, we biked, made/ate tons of delicious food, played a lot of Ticket to Ride (mom creaming Tim and I 2 out of the 3 times we played it!), survived Amish Country with two kids..., shopped, got pedicures, watched fun movies during naptimes (I am a little out numbered boys to girls at my house, so it was nice to enjoy some "girl" entertainment with someone who appreciated it!), went to the Temple (my mom graciously made the all day trek to Columbus and back so Tim and I could do a session), storytime, and celebrated a wonderful Easter! She even watched my boys in the mornings so I could run after luxurious nights of sleep on our guest air mattress for a week. So sorry Mom! Max and Jake were in their glory with Grandma Holt around.  She is so great with them and they love being with her.  Tim came home after she had been with us for a day or two and said, "Wow, Canda!  You are in such a good mood when I get home at the end of the day now...!" Needless to say, it was a joy to have my Mom come!  We miss and love you Grandma Holt!
Out to breakfast at a yummy pancake house!  (No, that cute little girl isn't mine...I watch her 3 days a week.)

A day full of Amish Country isn't complete without "Super Hero" ice cream.  Max was out of his mind happy as you can see!  My mom spoiled all of us way too much on this outing.  Despite the all day event it was, we had a lot of fun :). 

Yes, he ate that entire bowl :). 

So glad we were able to hit up a few Amish stores for my mom.  Loved seeing the cute Amish outfits on the ladies and the awesome beards on the men.  Max loved the occasional horse and buggy trotting down the streets.  I feel bad that we didn't have time to go to the really neat places further from our house. I guess that means she'll have to come back again before we move! 
My boys faces all week thanks to their awesome Grandma Holt! 

Grandma Holt and Jake!  We went and had a picnic at a park after the Temple trip.  It was such a pretty day and a perfect activity before we drove back home. 

Could this picture get any cuter?  Easter morning right before church :). The boys look so
cute in their matching outfits thanks to Grandma Holt! 

Me and my mom at Daffodil Hill.  It is only in bloom for a few weeks in April, so we were
glad we got to see it! 

Our delicious Easter dinner and wonderful company!  Chicken cord on bleu, perfect pineapple, salad, rolls,
and homemade carrot cake.  YUMMY!  My mom gets all the credit for the cute table :).