Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Holden!

We're back from Africa!  I'm still sorting through the photos and will post all about our amazing trip soon.  We returned from Rwanda in time to help Holden celebrate his 2nd birthday.  Really?  How is he already 2?! 
His brothers picked out his favorite gifts- a super soft stuffed animal and an magnadoodle.

 He wouldn't put the doggie down.  He just kept giving it big hugs.

 Holden needed a little help getting his gift from Darren and I opened.
 Nana made sure we had cake for the celebration.  After 10 days of not eating, I was thrilled with the cookie cake!  I love how shy he got when we started to sing "Happy Birthday" to him.
 He LOVED blowing out the candles so much that he requested to do it again.
 Look at that cutie!  He seemed so grown up to me after not being with him for almost 2 weeks.

 My Papaw had heart surgery two days before we left for Africa.  He's still recovering, but we are so thankful that his heart is getting the help it needs from the pacemaker.

So what do you get a kid who is the 3rd boy in the family when it seems you already have ALL the toys you could want?  We decided he needed a Kiddie Car-Wash.  Darren put it together in the 105 heat and everyone loved it.  Well, everyone except the birthday boy.
I think he just needs a little more time to warm up to the idea that it's fun to get sprayed by water.
 The boys rode every kind of bike, scooter and car through the car-wash.  And sometimes they just ran through by themselves.  I was very pleased with how it turned out.



Here are a few of the things I'd like to remember about our sweet Holden:
- He talks A LOT.  He's definitely the most verbal of all my children.
- He thinks he is as big as his brothers.  He's no longer in a high chair for meals and really likes to try and potty on the toilet as much as I'll let him.
- He's a great sleeper.  I have no intentions of moving him to a big boy bed anytime in the next year (or more).  He loves to nap and sleeps all night and why would anyone want to mess with that?
- He loves to eat!  Most meals he out eats both his brothers.  Some of his favorite foods include beef (hamburgers, spaghetti, taco skillet dinner), all kinds of fruit, pancakes without syrup, green beans, rice, hotdogs and bacon.  String cheese is the only item he seems to really not like.
- He has a love for books.  He enjoys going in his room and "reading" which includes getting all the books down from his bookcase and scattering them all over his floor.
- My favorite Holden saying is "I hold you" when he wants you to pick him up.  I also like that when he's crying he's almost always saying "Elic did it"! 
- He has no fear when it comes to swimming.  He will jump in and go completely under over and over again.  He actually holds his breath really well, but it still scares me!
- He loves to sing, especially songs from Bible class.

We are so blessed to have Holden in our family.  We have enjoyed watching his little personality change and grow over the past year and can't wait to see what adventures he'll have this next year.  Happy 2nd birthday, little bit!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Random thoughts

I can't believe that we leave TODAY for Rwanda.  We have had a great week filled with movies, swimming, and friends.  Darren and I wanted to soak up as much quality time with the boys as we could before we go 10 days without them.  That's the hardest part for me and I have shed a few tears when I let myself think about it.  Look at these sweet kiddos:
I'm pretty proud of our packing.
  This is everything Darren and I are taking to Rwanda for all 10 days!  We're light packers and that allowed these . . .
 to be filled to 50 lbs each with medicines, toys, clothes and all sorts of other treats for the children at Noel.
 We had a great last night spent watching movies (Scooby Doo of course) and eating popcorn.

 Lately we can't get enough of our stuffed animals.
 I thought everything was great on Wednesday when Darren and I were packed and Papaw had his surgery so we knew the boys could still stay with Nana.  But then I remembered- I had to pack the boys!!  I seriously forgot.  So lots of laundry was done and then their backpacks were filled.
 I think it's funny that my kids are taking more clothes than me and I'm going to a whole different continent.
 And, not only were the backpacks filled, but so was our car.  Nana had a FEW requests for things she'd like at her house for the boys to play with. 
I made special journals for the boys to write the activities they do each day so they can tell me all about their adventures while we're gone.  I bet several of those pages will be filled with trips to McDonald's, swimming, and the movies.  

I'll end with this clip of Holden.  I heard all this noise during nap time and had to go see what he was up to.  He's singing his favorite song.  See if you can figure it out.  (Hint: it involves letters) 

Please pray for Darren and I and our whole team as we begin the journey to Africa.  We can't wait to spend a whole week giving medical care, educational instruction and most importantly, love to the children at Noel.


Friday, July 15, 2011

4th of July

I just realized that I hadn't shared anything about our 4th of July celebration.  We had a very low key day.  The boys helped to make our red, white, and blue dessert to take to Gram and Pop's new house.

We went early to their house so we could swim with the boys.  After dinner, we were able to sit in the backyard and watch the Allen fireworks.  This was Holden's first time to see fireworks and he really liked them.  We caught him laughing a few times.    
 We certainly enjoyed such a relaxing time after all the activity the past couple of weeks had for us.  Next up, Prestoncrest's Cosmic City VBS!  Happy 4th of July!

Monday, July 11, 2011

New do and a new name

Elic got his first haircut by Darren last week and I love it!  He sat so still through the whole thing and he's so proud of it.  I told him his new nickname is "peanut", since he's bald and brown.  Now when people say "I like your haircut" he just says, "My name is peanut."  Funny, funny kid!
Because one pair of goggles isn't always enough.

Special Visitors

A few weeks ago we studied bugs and I thought it would be fun to have these guys come visit us:

Yes, they're ants!  I have to say I think I was just as excited as the boys when they finally arrived.  I've never had an ant colony before and boy, are they workers.  I don't ever see them stopping or sleeping, just work, work, work!
 Everyone in the house got to see the ants in action.  Elic and Preston even tried to name all 25 of them.  But they told me that it's hard to tell them apart.
 We only had to wait a few days before the tunnels started to form.  Darren and I even caught ourselves staying up late one night just watching the ants.  They can move such large amounts of sand and work so well together, it truly is amazing.
We're about to release them because they have started to die and I can't take seeing another one eaten or being buried.  It was definitely a fun experiment and since it went so well, I think that maybe next year we'll order the butterfly eggs.