Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A fun, busy summer

Well, it's been months and months since I've updated this blog (I got sidetracked by Facebook - it's just so much easier to post pictures there!) but I have some free time and want to update on our busy summer. It's been a great one. It is hard to believe that Lincoln will be 2 next month!
here are a few of our summer highlights:
An update on Lincoln's funny comments / habits:
Linc is talking up a storm now, and says some pretty funny things. Yesterday he informed me that he wanted "waffles for breakfast" not muffins, because "today muffins are yucky." (Despite the fact that all he has wanted for the past week are muffins....) When asked what he did at school, the other day he said "had fun with friends." He can name every kid in his class, and occassionally tells me who is "no nice." :) Last week he informed me that "God loves mommy, God loves Daddy, God loves Lincoln, and God loves Major"
He is also becoming quite opinionated, and will tell us exactly what songs he wants to listen to, or what cartoons he wants to watch. It's been funny watching him go from quiet and signing to jabbering all the time. He has such a precious little voice!
He is obsessed with "Clifford Big Red Dog" and "George Silly Monkey" (curious george) He has a stuffed curious george that he likes to carry about (and boss around. "Sit down George", etc.) He is also obsessed with pointing out every "big truck" that we pass on the highway. He loves to count (he's got 1-9 down, then skips to 11...not sure what happened to #10.) He also loves to sing parts of "Baa Baa Black Sheep" at the top of his lungs, and every other word to "Jesus Loves Me." (Which, is absolutely precious.) He loves to "read his Bible" before bed, which consists of him patting and holding this tiny little New Testament while we read a Bible Story out of the Toddler Baby Story Book. (His current favorite story is "Noah's big boat") He also loves to build with blocks and color (and, last week, decided to color on the walls. Not a good thing.) He is very into "helping cook" too, and loves to poor things into bowls and stir when I'm making banana bread or muffins. He loves going on bike rides with Andrew and playing with any sort of ball - basketball, football, soccer, tennis, you name it. He also loves playgrounds and trying to play fetch with Major. (Major will occassionally bring Lincoln the ball back after he throws it for him; this gets Lincoln ridiculously excited. I think the dog is beginning to see a purpose for Linc's existance. While Andrew and I get tired of fetch after a few throws, Linc could bounce and throw the ball for Major all night long.)
New baby on the way!
We are also thrilled that we are expecting "Baby Leeser #2" next March...due date is St. Patrick's Day. Lincoln's world is about to be rocked! Aside from the violent "all day sickness," as I will now call it, the pregnancy is rocking along. (We discovered I was pregnant when, during a jog w/ Shawna on vacation, I had to stop and throw up twice. Good times :)
We took a trip to Destin, FL with a bunch of friends in June (7 couples, with 14 kids 3 and under....) It was a blast! (And a bit insane, with that many kiddos. We quickly figured out that if anyone saw anyone else's kid wandering off, or headed towards the water, we were all free to "parent" them.) I think the funniest was seeing our slew of cabanas, chairs, blankets, wading pools, coolers, snacks, "nap tents" and umbrellas on the beach each morning. But, we went with the most relaxed group of friends ever, so it was all just fun.
It was especially great getting to see friends that have moved away, like Libby and Kenny from Dallas, David and Whitney from Dallas, and Heidi and Phillip from Nashville. I think we all agreed once a year might be a bit ambitious to repeat the trip, but looking forward to Destin 2011. :) We hope our kiddos will grow up to be friends. (AND, maybe by next year, Lincoln will actually have learned to share some sand toys....)

Here are a few photos...
Linc playing in the sand....(and, getting sprayed with 70 spf sunscreen every 30 minutes so his fair little skin wouldn't burn. This picture must have been a moment where he refused to wear his hat...shocker.)

Ah, a picture of him with the hat on. See, I'm a good mom!

The girls! I miss them already (well, I guess I get to see half of them in Houston...but I really miss the other half :) This was before our big "girls night out" - where the husbands offered to watch the kiddos so we could go to dinner. Although we had glorious plans of a big night, I think after a couple of margaritas, we were all home and back in bed by 10. (WOW, we have gotten old!)

Macy and Miley playing together, Linc being antisocial :) And, just one portion of our "beach gear" in the background.

The group, after dinner one night. Didn't you know the waiter loved to see us coming! As someone said "You guys took the instruction to "be fruitful and multiply" literally!"

Another group shot, on the beach

4th of July trip to Michigan
In July we headed up to Michigan for a visit with Andrew's family. We had a great time, with stops in Detroit, BattleCreek, and Trout Lake in the UP. It was busy, with 2 baby showers, a large family get-together on each side, and a trip to the UP.
Uncle Brandon got leave from the base for a few days, which was fun! (He is moving to Austin (to be based out of Ft. Hood) TODAY, so we look forward to seeing him more often.
During the trip, Lincoln loved playing with all his cousins. One of my favorite moments is when several of them were together in Cradle Roll at the Battle Creek Church of Christ. The usual class size is 2 ... but this Sunday, it was 5 cousins all sitting together for baby bible class--and cousin Morgan wasn't even there yet. (The class was expertly taught by cousin Marcie, might I add :) It was so precious! I think the adults were a bit distracting trying to get pictures, though. Then, we tried to get a picture after church will all of the rest of "that generation" of cousins (including the older 3s and 4s), but the kids were NOT cooperative. There was a lot of crying...and crawling off...the clamoring for lunch. Maybe next time.

From the left: Lincoln, 22 months, Ana (our niece, 18 months) Maeley (Josh and Marcie's little girl from Vietnam, 18 months) Mya (Amber and Logan's little girl, 18 months) and Braylon (Amanda and Drew's son, 14 months)

Ever since we came home, Linc has been asking us "where Gaines and Ana?" and "call Gaines and Ana, say hi?" He LOVES and misses them so much. Too bad North Carolina is so far away, but it was precious to see them play together. Linc thinks Gaines (4 yrs old) is about the coolest thing on the planet. Here is a photo of all of them up on the top bunk, up at the cabin at the lake.

Other trip highlights:
The weather was absolutely perfect - highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s. (Although we did not pack enough jeans or sweaters. who knew it would be so cold?)

We had a family outing to the zoo. (Linc was a fan of the elevated giraffe viewing platform, until they came close enough to eat the Lettuce leaves you can purchase and feed them. Once they stuck their heads through and stuck their tongues out, he freaked out.)
In this photo, Linc is between cousins Taylor and Forrest, with cousin Brooke. (Linc LOVED Forrest, Taylor and Brooke, and they were so sweet to play with him the whole trip. They taught him to "play " tennis, and Linc still talks about it. (last week he asked if "Forrest come play today?") Even though Taylor is about to be a senior, and the twins are all grown up, Andrew and I appreciate them loving on Linc. If only I could hire you guys to babysit for us down in TX....

At night, we loved hanging out with all of Andrew's cousins and siblings (once the kids had gone to bed) and just laughing and playing Wii or pingpong. It reminded us of hanging out together when we were all in college. (It's so fun when your family members, and their spouses, are all friends. Hard to believe most of us now have kids of our own. When we get together, we still act like kids.)
And, last but not least, was a trip to the Upper Penninsula to Trout Lake. Absolutely gorgeous. This is a special spot for Andrew and his family, with lots of great memories. I enjoyed my second trip there (first one was the summer Andrew and I started dating, 10 years ago!!) The weather was much cooler than expected the first few days, which caused lots of sitting in the cabin and playing card games or napping....not a bad way to spend a day! Then, the weather on our last day was perfect for playing on the water, taking the canoe or paddle boat out, or letting the kids catch minnows with Grandpa. We all enjoyed s'mores by the campfire, too.
Unfortunately, our camera stopped working on the last day of our trip (my photos are still trapped inside and not uploaded until I can get it's electrical issues fixed) so I only have a few snapshots from my phone to post.
Trout Lake

Linc and Gaines with Uncle Will, "looking for fish" by the dock.

Andrew helping Ana eat a s'more...not that she needed much help!

After his first s'more, Linc informed me "Chocolate is yummy, mommy." A boy after my own heart :)

Steve, Grandpa Leeser, Uncle Bob and cousin Dustin all got in on the s'more action, too.

Our family by the campfire...