Tuesday, June 29, 2010

birthday wishes

We made Marcus write out his birthday wish list. In part, because we were kind of tired of listening to him talk about what he wanted and, also, because he needed a "project". I bet you can figure out most of what he wants-a new ligthsaber, yu-ge-oh card, a kung fu hamster thing. The last thing he put on his list was an MP3 player. He saw Andy's and wanted to write one down on his list. I asked Marcus what kind of music he would listen to. He said "This is where we fight" (which is on the Heritage Christian football warm-up CD) and "the ta-ta song" (which is actually the song "Pump It" by the Black Eyed Peas-my kids love their music).
We (I) decided not to have an actually birthday party with kids over for Marcus's birthday. It's harder to do in the summer since lots of people travel and I never really got to know all the kids in Marcus's class this year. Instead, we(Andy and I) have decided that we (Andy) will take Marcus to play laser tag and then have cake and presents. Should be a fun time.
Otherwise, this last week has been pretty low-key. Plenty of sitting around the house just playing in the pool and, since the weather has cooled off, more stuff like bike riding and park playing. We went to a park last night. It was fun to watch each of the boys play. A little girl ran over to Cale and they played together the whole time we were there. Ewan played in the sandbox with a bunch of little girls, some of whom looked like his "Sally". (In the car on the way home Ewan said, "I like to help girls. I don't like to kiss girls." So glad he clarified) Marcus chased anyone who would run away from him and Liam wandered around barefoot, of course, because his parents forgot his shoes.
The weather is beautiful this morning. Andy is getting ready to go for a 62 mile bike ride in preparation for his ride across Indiana in mid-July. The boys are laying around, watching television-they are tired! Liam is taking a super-early nap. He did wake up at 6am though, so it's time to sleep for him. I'm just drinking my coffee, hoping the calm lasts a little longer. :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

at the movies

Andy took Marcus, Cale and Ewan to see Toy Story 3 yesterday afternoon. The original plan was for me to go, too, and have our babysitter watch Liam. Can you believe that our sitter, our back-up sitter and our back-up, back-up sitter were all busy? Well, I stayed home with the little man and the "big guys" enjoyed some time together. Of course, they had to see it in 3D. I don't know who insisted on that more-the boys or Andy. They had a great time. From what they are saying, the 3D was amazing. The boys thought the movie was loud and Andy said they covered their ears several times. There were also a couple parts the boys thought were a little scary. I guess Marcus took off his glasses at one point because it was too "real" (probably too intense). What a treat for them! We haven't been to the movie theater since Madagascar 2 came out. I'm glad they had a good time. Let's see what the reviewers have to says about the movie...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day 2010!

Happy Father's Day to Andy, an awesome dad! He is patient and kind with the boys (and his wife!). He likes to play with them and encourages them to be active. He takes excellent care of them when I'm at work. The boys adore their Daddy and love his attention. He is a great role model they can look up to. We are thankful for him!

Andy's gift for Father's Day was taking his bike in for a tune-up. He was excited to get it back and feel how much smoother the ride was.

Today was pretty low-key.
While Liam slept....

....I stimulated the economy by grocery shopping.

Ewan created a new super-hero named "White Boy". This super-hero comes out when we put sunscreen on Ewan. White Boy's powers include running fast, jumping high and super strength. He even has a theme song that accompanies the fast running. Look how strong he is!

I also got the boys a new pool (impulse buy). They liked the new set-up a lot!

Oh, and a camp-out update: After a brief moment inside by Ewan, all the boys and Andy slept outside until about 7 am this morning. I fell asleep in my comfy bed with the tv on-oops! They wanted to do it again tonight and were not happy when Andy took the tent down. No worries, they will have a chance to do it again another day.
Hope everyone had a great day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

a camp-out in the backyard

In this tent are 3 excited, little boys. Their daddy has been waiting "many, long years" (his words) to be able to have a campout with them. Marcus, Cale and Ewan were cracking me up. They were so excited they could not be still and they kept doing that excited chatter that some people do. I don't know how the night will go. The boys have their sleeping bags, random comfort items, warm milk, the portable DVD player (now playing Toy Story the first). Andy is going to squeeze in there with them and just have a fun boys time. I will be enjoying my airconditioned house and comfy bed (most inviting after 2 long, busy nights at work).

Some pre-tent activities-s'mores grill style and a game of go-fish

I promise they are more excited than this picture shows!

Watching some Toy Story. They are pretty tired at this point. I think they will go to sleep soon. We'll see what the night brings!

how my kids entertain themselves

For your viewing enjoyment, I have posted 2 videos of the boys being themselves. One of the is at the Children's Museum, showcasing how much energy they still had after a morning of exploring exhibits. The other video is Ewan playing with his cousin Abbie. They are having too much fun with my patio curtains! It kind of gives you a look at how life is like here. Active and loud!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

good-bye cousins!

Our guests left yesterday morning. Of course, it was the nicest day of their visit. The sky was clear, the temperature mild and there was hardly any humidity. But, they were ready to start their trip back to Godfrey...

Bye Abbie! Bye Aunt Bitsy!

Bye Maddie!

What a fun visit!

things to remember

Really, this blog is like my own little journal. It's helping me remember the stuff we do and what the boys are like when they are small. So, I have a couple things I have to record to remember for later...

The other day, Marcus asked "What do they speak in Arkansas? (as in, what language do they speak) We told him English, just like us.

A few weeks ago, Ewan told Andy that he needed a sister. She would have dark, curly hair, dark eyes and dark skin. Her name would be Sally.

Liam is cracking me up when he plays peek-a-boo with his blanket. I laugh and he laughs. He is also into having books read to him. I can tell him "go get a book to read" and he will go and pick out a book and bring it to me. He is actually selecting the same ones again and again. His "favorites" are a book of colors, a book of things regarding babies, and a little series of farm books. He also likes to try and eat these books. We won't be keeping them around once he outgrows them.

And Cale, right now he is really into building with his Trio blocks. Andy and I see "engineer" written all over this. He is always designing weapons and robots. Very creative!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

invasion of the girls! part 2

Tuesday was our second full day with our cousins. It was not as busy a travel day as Monday, but we did get out of the house. Let's see what we did...

a little bit of play-doh...

a little bit of coffee...(ok, a lot of coffee!)

And then, after a serious explosion of cabin fever, we packed up the kiddos and took them to the YMCA. We weren't sure if we would go to the splash park or just the indoor pool because it was still in the 70's even though it was super-humid. But, the kids were drawn by the spray of water, and we spent most of the time outside. And, it wasn't as cool as I thought it would be. I guess the humidity and the sun warmed it up pretty quick. When Liam wasn't wandering all over, he was chillin' in a pool chair.

Abbie found some water sprinklers that were just her size.

Cale braved the mushroom looking waterfall thing.

We played in the indoor pool too, and then went home for lunch and naps.

Time for some fun with water balloons.

Pizza for dinner, with some folks opting to eat outdoors. (Yes, that is a salad Ewan is eating. He does not like pizza, but ate that entire salad. Seems a bit un-kid-like to not like pizza, but whatever works, I guess.)

We managed to make it to the park near our house. I hate to admit it, but we drove there. The skies looked like they might start pouring any minute and we didn't want to be stuck in a pavillion. We did play through some sprinkles and the kids had fun. Marcus made his way to the top of this wavy climby thing.

Maddie was excited to be able to play on the monkey bars-no picture of that, but this one is cute.
Liam wandered around and collected mulch.

Then, home for ice cream! We love it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

invasion of the girls! part 1

Grammy Pammy, Aunt Bitsy, Maddie and Abbie have invaded our home for a few days and now the girls to guys ratio is even! Bitsy had never seen where we lived and the boys don't know these girl cousins as well as their others. Let the fun begin! It's crazy having 6 little ones under 1 roof and there's alot of playing, crying, eating going on. Let's follow the events of the first days with these pictures...

Everyone got here Sunday afternoon. We promptly set up the slip-n-slide on a fresh mown lawn that was not yet raked. Here's Abbie, just covered in grass. Yes, baths were had that night.

That evening we took some of the kids to the garden to pick some more lettuce. Cale enjoyed perching like a bird on top of the fire hydrant.

Ok-Monday morning we hit the town hard. Our first stop was the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. We go about once a year. I found some awesome coupons that let all the kids get in free with the adult tickets. Otherwise, I tend to call the museum an elitest institution because of how much it can cost a family to go there. The first exhibit we went to was the dinosaur exhibit. See my little archeologists? They are so industrious. This was the only part of the dinosuars that Ewan liked. The rest was too loud and "creepy" (his word). We stayed for a little bit, then made our way to something else.

Liam and Abbie, along for the ride.

There was the Star Wars display of some of the props from the movies. Marcus and Cale really liked that.

Then, we went to an exhibit where kids could learn about life in Egypt. Hands down, this was one of the neatest exhibits I had seen at the museum. There was a ton of hands-on stuff to do. Here, Ewan, Maddie, Cale and Abbie have "tea" in a tent.

Cale worked on fixing a dinner in a replica of a Cairo apartment. I watched some Egyptian Sesame Street with Liam.

These sphinx were begging to get sat on by the kids. Here's Maddie.



Ewan, Cale, Maddie, Abbie and Marcus on a Nile crocodile
We also went to a play area especially for little ones. We just let the kids run around and use up some more of the never-ending energy they seem to have.

Ewan with Andy on the way out of the museum. Ewan was glad we were leaving the dinosaurs.
After a stop at a McDonald's, with a play area of course, we went home to try to rest for a little bit. Then, we took the kids to the library to see a magician who was there for the kick-off of the summer reading program. It was fun and Marcus and Maddie both got to go up and help with tricks. The magician was named Marcus and was tickled that there was someone with his name in the audience. Marcus and Cale also checked out magic trick books, so I'm hoping I'll have a couple videos of tricks to post soon. The evening ended with some Wii time, baths, new tattoos and strong thunderstorms. The kids and adults were wiped out!

Maddie with her new tattoo. Andy picked it out. It's a guitar with wings. I'm sure Uncle Eric will be proud.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Marcus's last day of school/another tooth gone

I got home from work yesterday morning to the news that Marcus lost another tooth! It's one of the top, middle front ones. I guess it was just hanging there and Marcus was able to pull it out. Of course, he put the tooth under the pillow for the tooth fairy last night. The tooth fairy forgot that the tooth was waiting there and when Marcus woke up the tooth was still there. He was disappointed, to be sure, but his tired parents told him to go back to bed and maybe later something would be there. Well, the fairy got into gear and left a note and change in a box at Marcus's seat at the kitchen table. That satisfied Marcus when he saw it. Now, the note said to leave his tooth in the box tonight so the fairy could come back and get it. I hope she remembers.

We have a couple teeth missing right now.

Marcus's last day of 1st grade was Tuesday. He really liked his class this year and had an awesome teacher with Mrs. Barnum. We liked her because she was a little strict with the kids, but was still fun. You could see the difference in classroom behavior when there were a couple classes walking in the hallway at the same time. Marcus's class was usually the most well behaved. I really think he learned a lot. His reading skills have improved greatly and he is doing great with math. The challenge this summer will be to keep up on what he has learned. It is nice not having a schedule, or having to get Marcus out the door to the bus. We have enjoyed just being around the house. I can't believe that this August Marcus and Cale will both be going to school! At least we have all summer...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

we found a free community garden!

Our "forced" evening walk yesterday took us to the free community garden at the church in front of our subdivision. My neighbor had reminded me that it was there and she mentioned that there was plenty of lettuce for the taking and maybe some strawberries too. The boys liked the adventure of finding the garden and searching for strawberries-which I let them eat as soon as they found them since the berries were pretty small. I got some awesome romaine and leaf lettuce. Salads will be on the menu at the Shaffer house for a while! I had thought about doing a garden this year, or at least some tomatoes in those upside down hanging things, but it was going to be too much work. Let's be honest, I'm hoping just hoping my flowers we planted survive. So, to have a garden nearby that someone else is doing the work in is fantastic. And, the boys get the experience of being able to pick the veggies and watch the plants grow. We will be back throughout the summer!


Looking for strawberries-the boys found little, ripe ones. I think the plants had already been picked clean by others.

They liked the frames for the beans and the wire tee-pee looking things. I can't wait for the boys to see the plants growing up them.

Monday, June 7, 2010

took 'em to the splash park

We hauled the kids the the YMCA splash park for the first time this season the other day. It was the first time that Liam was able to enjoy playing with the water. Andy met us there and got to cool off after a bike ride. The kids love running around and don't even notice that the water is slightly above freezing. And, I forget the sunscreen, so their little redhead skin got a little pink! The hardest part of the fun was getting into and out of our swimwear. We just have a lot of fabric to change! I have a feeling this will be a frequent activity this summer since it's relatively close (25 mins) and "free" for us (with our Y membership).

Yes, friends, that is a tattoo on my little one's arm. This is what happens when I go to work and leave Daddy with the boys :-) (It's an anchor, by the way, in case you can't tell. The one Andy wanted to put on was too big for Liam's arm and said "crash and burn" with a skull and fire-nice. Don't worry, Ewan's wearing that one now.)
I left out pics of the adults in our swimwear. I don't know if Andy would like to be featured in his. You would probably admire his excellent farmer tan from being outside at work contrasted against his paleness. As for me, well, I put the swimsuit on, and it "fits". No pictures of me anytime soon, unless I find a cute coverup to wear over the swimsuit. Maybe.