It has been a while since I posted anything on the blog. This summer has been packed with so much fun, that I have not taken the time to write because I've been so tired! :-) Anyway, here is a brief synopsis. . .
This summer we were able to travel back to Texas for a family vacation. It is always good to be surrounded by those we love in the familiarity of home. Despite being native Texans, we were able to do something we've never done. . .touring the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. This stadium is massive and the details to every inch inside and out are unbelievable! So, here is the family far enough away from the stadium to get a picture with it in the background:
Calleigh learned how to jump off the diving board. She is a great little swimmer, but she decided back in May that when we went to Texas for the summer, she wanted to learn how to jump off the diving board. With that goal in mind, she conquered her fears and jumped over and over and over. Way to go Calleigh!
Calleigh and Carson spent a lot of time with their cousins. Here are a couple of pics that my mom took of the kids with their cousin, Sydney. I didn't take my camera to Texas (I know!), so I am relying on pictures from other family members. If you have any, please send them my way!
The rest of the summer has been packed with visits to the beach, Disneyland, Six Flags (this week!), gymnastics, karate, swimming pools, and hanging with friends. It's been a great summer - short, but great. In only 9 days the summer will end and our school year will begin. Look out first grade and third grade. The Crumrine kids are on the way!
There is nothing like a day at the beach to completely relax me. Today kicked off our 2nd annual beach Wednesday playgroup at Zuma beach in Malibu. Just typing "2nd annual" seems strange!
The kids love knowing that Wednesdays are beach days and have been looking forward to spending time there with friends. Last summer we were new to the area and our dear friends Celeste and Colin invited us join them in their beach Wednesday tradition. It was a great chance for the kids and I to meet some of the other mommies and kids from church while enjoying the sand and water.
One year later, I had the chance to not only enjoy beach Wednesday, but I invited three great mommies and their kids from school to enjoy the day with us. It was great fun! As I look back upon this past year, I am so very grateful for the people that God surrounded me with in California. And I am reminded that He is faithful, He hears our prayers, and He is good.
Playing in the surf and sand (Calleigh and her friends from school)
Some of the boys and all three of the girls
Carson chillin' on the sand - Calleigh and her friend building in the sand
Isn't she beautiful?! Calleigh had a GREAT birthday weekend. She and I went to the American Girl Bistro for a "mommy and me" lunch. Of course, Ashley went with us and sipped tea from her very own tea cup. The food was good, the presentation was great, and the smile on her face throughout the lunch was priceless. Over and over she told me,
"This is the BEST birthday EVER!"
Our fun continued when we met up with Michael and Carson for a "staycation" in Anaheim. The hotel was within walking distance of Disneyland, so we took advantage of the location and walked our way to Downtown Disney for dinner and endless people watching. Calleigh proudly wore her "It's My Birthday" pin - courtesy of Disneyland - and made sure everyone knew she was celebrating. Today we spent the day at Disneyland and California Adventure enjoying the picture perfect weather and minimal crowds. Calleigh proudly wore her birthday pin again (even though it technically was not her birthday), and she thanked the many Disney cast members who wished her birthday blessings. She loved the attention! As we drove off into the distance via the Disney tram, Calleigh cried crocodile tears and said she did not want the day to end. Much like her mommy, she loves the party and would prefer for the fun to last and last.
It's been a fun birthday weekend and one I am sure she will remember for years to come.
We kicked off Calleigh's birthday weekend at the house with the Cunningham family and Granny & Pop. Today we are off to the American Girl Bistro for lunch and then to Disneyland. I will post more pictures and stories later. Until then, happy 6th birthday!
Calleigh's kindergarten class had an Oceanography unit this spring. During the unit, all of the kids were assigned an ocean animal for which to make a model and write a report. (side note - apparently California schools believe in projects. . .LOTS of projects. . .that are all very detailed and time consuming) Calleigh's assignment was to create a sea turtle model and write a research report about the sea turtle using facts she learned through books checked out from our library.
Celeste helped us come up with a way to make the sea turtle out of a paper plate, paper bowl, and little paint. Thank you Celeste! Your pre-K teacher skills come in handy for these projects. We emptied our beach bucket and came up with enough "real sand" to glue to the bottom of the box. Calleigh cut wave after blue wave out of my scrapbook paper without any complaint. It was her idea to make seaweed and glue it to the sides for a more realistic look.
The actual writing of her report took some time. She was instructed to sound out the words herself and write them without any help. I think she did an awesome job!
She worked so hard on this project and was so proud of her end product, that I thought I would share her work with you all. The final result. . . .Calleigh's Sea Turtle!!
From the mouth of Calleigh as I tucked her into bed. . .
Thank you for today and tonight. And thank you for my great great great mommy. And thank you for my great great great daddy. And thank you for my great great great brother. And thank you for a great great great great great great me.
Wilshire, Stephen Craig Steve went home to be with his Lord on Saturday morning, May 23, 2009, at his home in Plano after working his Friday night shift at Kirby's Steakhouse in Dallas. He suffered from an extreme case of gout which proved to not only be extremely painful and debilitating, but ultimately fatal. Steve was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, on August 8, 1966, the third child of Roy and Carol Wilshire. He graduated from the University of North Texas in 1990 with a degree in management. He worked his way through college at various positions at Chili's, and then spent his career in the food service industry - including management positions at Chili's, Snuffers, and Cici's, followed by his service as a professional waiter at Kirby's, where he developed a loyal following of customers and many friends. His career allowed him to be available to spend significant and quality time with his two daughters - Kirby and Shelby. He was married to his best friend, Wendy. Not a day went by that he didn't think of this, his very special girl! She brought such happiness into his life and their marriage was one that was so strong for over 17 years. Steve was a soft spoken man, but when he talked, you wanted to listen. His heart was full of compassion for others. Although prone to losing things like his keys, wallet, or cell phone, Steve never lost his sense of humor or his love of life. His courage and laughter, in spite of his illness or tragedies, brought family and friends joy and hope. He was a gentle soul, a Christian, and a member of The Heights Baptist Church in Richardson. He is survived by his loving wife, Wendy (Wolfe), his daughters, Kirby (14) and Shelby (10), his brother, Mark Wilshire of Plano, sisters, Nerissa Silva of Dallas and Andrea (Andi) Crumrine of Simi Valley, California, along with parents, Roy and Carol Wilshire of Plano, and his grandmother, Lucille (Whitten) Watson of Mansfield. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, J.N. Whitten, and Orin and Myrtle Wilshire. He will be deeply missed by a host of family and friends, who all rejoice in knowing that he is in his heavenly home, where there is no more pain and suffering. Services will be held at The Heights Baptist Church Chapel on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 10:00 am with burial at Restland Cemetery. Visitation will be at Restland Cemetery on Tuesday, May 26, 2009, between 6:00 and 8:00 pm.
Carson - for working through and completing 2 books in AWANA this year. . .
Calleigh for working through and completing one book in AWANA this year!
The kids started in an AWANA program in January, and they LOVED every minute of it! It was a time of fun, games, friends, and learning scripture. In order to complete a book, they had to memorize a ton of scripture and the books of the Bible. I've never seen my kids so motivated to learn. It is awesome to know that they are committing scripture to memory at such a young age. So tonight we celebrated their accomplishment with dinner out and an awards celebration. Congratulations, kiddos!
I had one of those "mommy moments" the other day. One of those moments when you realize you are now entering uncharted territory and your child has entered a new stage in their development. I had the privilege of navigating this milestone without any backup (aka - Michael), and overall it went really well. Before I share the details, I must warn you that this is for grown-up eyes only. Sorry kiddos, you must wait and read once you've entered this stage yourself.
Carson - Mom, you know the outside lunchroom? Someone spray painted graffiti on the wall.
Andi - That's pretty sad.
Carson - They wrote S - E - X. (head nod, little smirk on face)
Andi - That's unfortunate. (trying to hide a giggle)
Carson - I know what it means. (really big head nod, bigger smirk on face)
Andi - REALLY? Please, tell me what you think it means.
Carson - (leaning in to whisper in my ear) It's when a boy and girl make out naked. (very large head nod, very large smirk on face)
Andi - So, what is making out? (a little amazed, a little terrified of where this might lead, a lot curious)
Carson - Kissin' and stuff.
Andi - Well, actually, your definition is very close to the actual definition.
So after a little more discussion about how making' out naked is something God created and is a wonderful thing for husbands and wives, the topic was dropped until bedtime. Then Carson decided to pull out his "let's talk about this a little more" card. And this is what happened. . .
Carson - Mom, is it true that a husband and wife make out naked?
Andi - Yes, it is.
Carson - That's GROSS!!!!!!!
Andi - Well, it may sound gross, but God created it so He can make babies.
pause.................(dot's are being connected)
Carson - So, you and daddy had sex twice?!?!
Andi - (trying so hard not to burst out laughing) Yes, Carson, your daddy and I had sex twice. And now I have you and Calleigh. Isn't that wonderful?!
A little more discussion transpires about how this is something all boys and girls need to talk with their mommies and daddies about, and he needs to refrain from talking about it with his friends. There was also some significant emphasis on not talking to anyone about mommy and daddy having sex twice :-) Meanwhile, Carson is giggling throughout this discussion.
One Sunday a couple of weeks ago, we took a hike in the foothills near our house. It was a perfect, blue sky, sunny, warm day for a hike. The kids had a lot of fun. They are great little adventurers!
Andi and Calleigh walking on the path at the base of the foothills.
Carson looking out over Simi Valley. Notice the Indiana Jones hat, satchel, and walking stick. It's his exploring gear. The satchel was great for holding all of the rocks he collected along the way. And there were a lot of rocks!
Some cool rocks along the way. See those foothills in the background? We climbed those. It was really cool!
Looking back across the path we traveled. You can see the path on the left side of the picture. The scenery was beautiful. I can't help but wonder about how this area was formed. This was supposedly the bottom of the ocean, but now it is full of mountains and foothills and rocky formations. Just another reminder of God's great power in His creation.
Calleigh's class went on a field trip today to Underwood Farms. They turned a group of kindergarten kids and their parents loose in the strawberry fields to pick (and eat) fresh strawberries. It was a lot of fun and I plan to return with the family to pick more fruits and veggies. This is the sort of field trip that makes you want to have this stuff right in your back yard. The strawberries were great. The weather was great. The kids were great. It was a great day!