Friday, July 24, 2009

Ahhh...They're Back!

Tonight was a big night for Lydia...her mommy and daddy returned from their Alaskan cruise! They had been gone nine days and that's a long time to be that far away when you're little. Joshua however, is young enough that he didn't seem to have a sense of time...he was happy to see them, but didn't seem to realize they'd been gone that long.

Lydia spent the day getting ready for them...making a poster and collecting flowers from the yard. Finally after naps, I realized that it was going to be a long afternoon! We took a trip to the mall and had dinner at Culver's and when we finally got home, they were right behind us...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Birthdays and Big Steps...

This has been a wonderful birthday, mostly because I'm with my favorite people, but also because we got some good news today. After a delicious breakfast at Millies with my family, we headed home where we got a phone call from the realtor saying that the offer Stacey made on the house she liked was accepted! We're really pressed for time since we leave this Sunday, but we hope to tie up all the loose ends before we leave.

Since I've been at Shannon and Josh's this week, I've gotten LOTS of animal time taking care of their 2 dogs and it was with "Buddy", their bearded dragon. On the way to dinner we stopped at the local pet shop where Lydia showed me all her favorite animals, including a huge tortoise.

Just when I thought the day couldn't get any better, I found out Larry had planned a surprise party for me. I found out by accident, but it was still a surprise and couldn't wait to find out who would be there...EVERYONE! He and Stacey invited friends from church and school so I saw people I hadn't seen in a long time...what a fun evening!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles....

The theme for today was "Bubbles" and it was a definate hit! Lydia opened up several different bubble toys and had a great time blowing and chasing bubbles all over the yard. When Joshua woke up, he got in on the action too.

...and to end "Bubble Day" Lydia opened a bubble making machine for the for both kids!

On another note...Stacey has been looking at houses while we've been here trying to decide if she can afford to buy right now while prices are low. After looking at a lot of "junk" in her price range, she found a darling little home in Machesney Park that has been completely redone inside. This afternoon, Larry and Stacey met with our realtor to make an offer. Since I was alone with the kids most of the day, we went to the store and bought "Mary Poppins". After putting Joshua to bed early, Lydia and I had a movie was a blast!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Not a Typical Sunday...

Gettting ready for church with two little ones was a lot harder than I remembered, so we stopped at McDonalds for breakfast before church. The kids enjoyed their food, but not as much as the entertainment!

It was great being back at Hope for worship this morning, and to top it off, Larry even got his old job back as "Class Leader" for the day...seemed just like old times!

Both kids have been taking wonderful naps in the afternoon, but today Joshua decided to only sleep for an hour so I got to spend some time alone with just him for a change. Usually Lydia demands so much attention that he's just a quiet bystander, but I put him on the floor with some of his cars and he had a ball...not only with the toys, but using Grandma for a jungle gym!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"Grandpa" Arrives...

Larry was due to arrive Friday evening, and I had told Lydia she would get to see him before bed. Well, Stacey ran into traffic in Chicago when she went to pick him up and they didn't get home untill 9:30. Lydia was so excited, she couldn't go to sleep so I let her lay down on the couch to watch a movie and thought she'd fall asleep but she was wide awake when he finally arrived. Thankfully, she calmed down quickly and was asleep by shortly after 10.
After a delicious breakfast at The Illinois Machine Shed, we stopped at a local carnival in our small town of Roscoe where Lydia enjoyed the big slide, the games and "Snoopy" (aka Sasha Lindstrom).

When the kids woke up from their naps, Larry and Stacey were gone looking at houses for Stacey, so I decided to take the kids to the park. Along the way, we were joined by a "few" neighborhood was fun!

At least Toby and Todd are enjoying the cooler temps we've been having...while Larry barbequed chicken breasts for dinner, we let the dogs out in the yard. Stacey brushed them and the kids just enjoyed playing with them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Water Fun" Day ???

Today was supposed to be a "Water Fun" day, but because it was so cold out we couldn't be out in the water, so instead we went to my mom's to swim. Lydia of course got to practice what she's learned at swimming lessons, but what I was totally unprepared for was how much Joshua would like the water...he would've taken off swimming like a little fish if I had let him. He really wanted me to let him go...he kept looking so annoyed that I was holding on to him. He was actually swimming...kicking his little legs and moving his arms, in fact, he even went under the water a couple of times and it didn't seem to bother him one bit! I think Shannon better start him in a water baby class...and soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Grandkid Time...Officially!

Shannon and Josh are officially gone...heading up to Seattle where they will board a cruise ship and see Alaska. I started out the day as I usually do...vacuuming, only this time I had a little helper!
Even Joshua seemed to enjoy our day together, although I did see more tears than I usually do...I think he was missing his mommy and daddy a bit.

When the kids woke up from their naps, I had set up a traditional San Antonio "Fiesta" party where we served tacos, corn and pears. Lydia wore a crown of flowers as all Fiesta princesses do!

An "ice cream cone" pinata was an appropriate choice for a "Culvers" family...don't you think? Lydia even invited some neighborhood children to join her.

Awww...the rewards of hard work after a pinata is broken open...Aunt Stacey did have to help a bit, although Lydia was quite a hitter! We ended the day with a walk to the park and brownies and custard when we got home. It was the end to a perfect first day with the grandkids!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Joshua's Big Day!

Although Joshua turned one on Tuesday, Shannon had his party this evening so all the family could be there...and family there was! All five grandmas were there as well as three grandpas (Larry won't be here until Friday). Those kids won't be lacking for toys as every grandparent is trying their hardest to spoil the kids rotten!

The theme of the day was firetrucks...Shannon had made a firetruck cake that was fabulous...I don't think there's anything she can't do if she puts her mind to it.

Lydia and Joshua were so cute playing on the slide while they waited for the adults to finish eating so they could unwrap gifts. Fortunately, Lydia was asked to assist Joshua with that chore!

We gave Lydia a cash register so she could practice for when she grows up and takes over running Culvers!

After all the gifts had been opened and the mess partially cleaned up, both kids ended up playing with each others toys rather than their seems like that's the way it always turns out!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mary Poppins!

My mom, Stacey and I took off for Chicago early this morning and spent the whole day in the city. We started out visiting the old Marshall Fields where we found LOTS of swimsuits for Stacey to try on. Up until today, we had been shopping in Rockford for our cruise and finding only single racks of swimwear and had decided we would probably have to order something (VERY difficult), but today we hit the jackpot!

After shopping, we stopped for a bite to eat and then headed over to the theatre. The musical was wonderful, although very different from the old Disney version. We all thoroughly enjoyed our day in the city!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fun Days with People I Love....

I just can't seem to get enough of spending time with my kids and grandkids....

Thursday, Shannon and I took Joshua to the mall to get his one year old portraits taken, but before that, we hit a huge shoe sale at Stride Rite. I think Shannon now had enough shoes to get her kids through high school! Both Lydia and Joshua were in great moods and the pictures came out great...easy when the children are so adorable!

This morning we woke up to a another cool rainy morning, but Shannon had found some yard sales she wanted to hit, so off we went in our jackets and rain gear. I was amazed at Shannon's ability to recognize bargains and quickly determine what she needed. She's a very discerning shopper and Lydia is quickly learning to follow in her mommy's footsteps. Each time we got in the car, Lydia would ask "Another yard sale, Mommy?" It was so much fun watching them in action!

Re-Bonding with Friends!

Laurie, Vicki and I have always had so much fun together, so even though we were all pressed for time, we took one day out of our busy schedules to take a day trip. We took off for a little town near Chicago that is known for cute shops and restaurants, but we spent so much time in the first one we visited that we didn't have time for anything else. We were served a scrumptious lunch right there in the shop, complete with a fashion show as we ate. We even made a new friend with one of the models who turned out to be a pastor's wife from a nearby church (that's who took our picture). It was just one more memory in our long list of fun days together!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Joshua's First Birthday...

Although the party isn't until Sunday, this was a very special day...Joshua's first birthday. I know he really doesn't understand celebrations yet, but I still thought he needed some balloons...I think he agreed!

Lydia's been taking swimming lessons at the YMCA and I was so glad to get the chance to go watch her...what a little "fish" she is! She has a great teacher and was very attentive (even with her own private photographer taking pictures).

Our day ended with a fabulous dinner prepared by an expert chef...Josh! While Shannon, Stacey and I went to the movies, he stayed home to watch the kiddos and fix dinner. He makes the best barbeque north of Texas!

The Trip North...

I arrived in Chicago early Monday morning and took a bus two hours north where "home" used to be. The first thing I noticed on the ride up there was how green everything is...after the hot dry weather we've had in Texas, it was a welcome sight! The first thing on my agenda was to see the grandkids, so after meeting Stacey and my mom, we headed to Shannon and Josh's house where I was met by a very excited three year old and got some great hugs. She pretty much demanded most of my attention, but I did finally get to spend some time with Joshua too...a great start to my vacation!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hurray for the Red, White and Blue...

4th of July was another hot one for us down south...104 degrees by the middle of the afternoon! We stay inside when it gets that you can see by the picture of Larry watching TV with Emma by his side...she was in "dog" heaven having us both home. Later in the afternnoon we went to see a movie in the theatre where they serve lunch while you watch the show. We saw "My Sister's Keeper" which was really good, but a definate tear jerker...a little too realistic.

In the evening, we went to Randy and Becky's house for our annual 4th of July party. As usual, they did a fabulous job of hosting in their beautiful home...such gracious hosts. It was fun being together one last time before I head up north to the much cooler temperatures (and hopefully some rain)!