Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Birthday Party

We had Luke's birthday party the Saturday following his birthday.  This year we celebrated with a pool party.  Luke really had a great time playing with his friends.  Every child got a water gun and they were a big hit.  PawPaw making huge splashes was also a big hit.  After swimming for a while, we had lunch (more hot dogs plus goldfish crackers, fruit and veggies) and then cake and presents before swimming for a bit more.

LJ's 5th Birthday

Luke celebrated his 5th birthday on July 10th.  I can't believe that was almost two weeks ago already.  It was a really fun day.  Troy took the day off work and we celebrated all day long.  Luke and I planned the menu a few days in advance: pancakes for breakfast, Chipotle for lunch, and hot dogs and corn on the cob for dinner.  After breakfast, Troy and I surprised Luke with a trip to Toys R Us to pick out a new bike and then we went to the mall for a visit to the Lego store.  Luke picked out a new Lego set and also filled a cup with his choice of Legos.  We also found out that you get to make your own minifigure on your birthday--bonus!  We grabbed Chipotle on the way home for lunch and then it was a pretty quiet afternoon.  Troy and Luke put together his Lego set and his new bike and then had to wait for the random rain storm to pass to go for a ride.  (That's two birthdays in a row with a random rain storm in the afternoon messing with our plans.)  Grandma, Grandpa, Kristi and Wesley came over to have dinner and ice cream cake with us.  Luke also got to open some more presents.  Luke told me as he was going to bed that it was the best birthday ever :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

4th of July

For the first time this year, we all went to the Edmond parade.  We all managed to be ready and left our house at 8:10 am (that's really good for our family).  The parade was fun and the kids really enjoyed it.  After lunch, we all took naps and then enjoyed dinner with Grandma and Grandpa before having some neighborhood friends over for dessert, water fun and fireworks.


Luke had the great pleasure of going golfing with Troy for the first time on July 3.  They played 9 holes, had a cart and played best ball.  Luke did very well according to Troy--he putted well and even hit a few good "drives" plus he got to drive the cart for a bit.  Troy was beaming when they got home; he says it was a day he'll never forget.  I love that my boys will have many good memories on the course together.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

5 Year Old Questionnaire

Happy Birthday Luke!!!  I asked LJ these questions last year very close to his birthday.  I plan to ask them every year.  We went through these yesterday afternoon during Hannah's nap.  I have to say my favorite answer is at the bottom about Hannah.  I'll have a more in depth post probably next week some time.

How old are you (as of tomorrow)? 5
How tall are you? Um, quarter and an inch.  Is that right mom?
How much do you weigh? Um, I'll go check.  (runs out of the room and goes to weigh himself in our bathroom and comes back) 39.5
What is your favorite toy? playing trains
Favorite book? The one I made with Thomas on it
Favorite movie? Curious George
Favorite TV show? Sid the Science Kid (specifically the water one)
Favorite food? pancakes
Favorite fruit? cantaloupe
Favorite snack? fruit snacks
Favorite drink? chocolate milk
Favorite activity? puppet shows (this is new and involves gathering all of his stuffed animals and having them perform different tricks for us)
Favorite color? green and brown
Favorite sport? basketball
Favorite song? Frere Jacques (and having me rub his back)
Favorite animal? elephant and giraffe
Favorite game? Guess Who?
Favorite outfit? shirt from Switzerland with the cow and train
Favorite holiday? Christmas
What do you need in bed when it's time to go to sleep? pillow doggy
Best Friend? Benjamin (McBride)
When I grow up I want to be? a paleontologist which is a bone scientist
Nicknames? sweetie, munchkin, dude, brother
Thing I am really good at? running
Favorite trick? (at LJ's request I added this one) doing a flip on the monkey bar on the swing set
What else should people know about you right now?
*That tomorrow is my birthday.
*I like to do karate blocks.
*I like hugging and kissing my sister.
*I'm good at building tents.

Some other stats:
Clothing size: 4 bottoms and 5 tops
Shoe size: 10 or 11
Height: about 42 inches
Weight: 39.5 lbs

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Tomorrow is Luke's 5th birthday.  WHOA!!!  I have noticed that at each birthday I am more and more blown away by the speed of the previous year--this year is definitely no exception.  

It usually hits me about the 4th of July because I distinctly remember sitting in a hospital room in a wheelchair on the cancer floor (the best place in the hospital to view fireworks) back in 2008 thinking in a year we will have an almost one year old.  Luke's due date was actually August 18.  Little did I know how soon he would be with us.  

My very first blog post is Luke's birth story.  You can read it here.  There is so much more to that story and how we got to that night but that's a different post.  I had been in the hospital since June 22 because of complications with placenta previa.  I remember on July 9 a friend brought me lunch in the hospital; Troy's parents had just come back into town to keep me company and help Troy out around the house; they brought with them a gift for me, a stuffed golden retriever to keep me company and remind me of Maggie (this puppy is now called yellow doggy and is faithfully at Luke's side every night for bed) and also the play mat we had registered for; we all enjoyed dinner from Panera (I think) and I was in a really good mood.  The good mood part is significant because I had had a rough few days in the hospital and I remember feeling like I was past that and everything was going to work out and be okay.  

That night my life changed forever.  There is something undescribable about seeing your child for the first time and even more so I think when it's your first.  You immediately give a piece of yourself away and know you are living for a greater purpose.  God gives you a glimpse of His awesome power and love and it is humbling to be given such a gift.  

I pray that each year on Luke's birthday (and Hannah's too) that I am able to reflect on the days leading up to and just after Luke's birth and still feel that awe if even for a few moments.  It is obviously seen and felt on a day to day basis just watching them grow up but those first moments and days are a treasure that are never repeated.  Children are an incredible miracle and I am so blessed to have two to give my heart to.  

Happy, happy birthday Munchkin!!!  Mom loves you more than you can know.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Switzerland--Part 2

Day 2
*We both had a good night's sleep--hooray!
*I have to mention breakfast.  I'm a big fan of breakfast and I was not disappointed.  Our hotels all had buffets that included fresh breads and pastries; local, fresh meats (salami, ham) and cheeses (at least 3 varieties); scrambled eggs; bacon; cereals; fresh jams; juices; fruit; and usually tomatoes and cucumbers.  It was a great meal to start our day with.
*Ride cableway and train to the top of Mt. Rigi (mountain behind our hotel)
*We hiked all the way back down the mountain.  We really enjoyed the first half down.  It was an easy trail with beautiful views and some wildflowers.  We had lunch at the point between the cableway and train.  It was a big mistake to go down the last half by foot.  It was very steep and too much to tackle on our first day.  It didn't help that we followed the wrong trail and took an "expert" way down rather than an easier path.  We were very sore when we got back to the hotel.
*We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at a restaurant by the lake; we choose to sit outside even though it was a bit chilly.
*We walked along the lake and came across a local band made up of all wind instruments including the alp horn.
The ride up
The town of Weggis.  Our hotel is on the bump that's in the middle of the picture.
 Cog-wheel train (the cogs are in the center of the track and prevent the train from going too fast down or rolling back down the mountains)
 Amazing scenery
Notice the large slug (the pinecone is as long as a finger)--these slugs were everywhere
 After dinner walk (ignore the lettuce in my teeth; I haven't edited much yet)
 Alp horn
Our hotel

Day 3
*Up early to catch buses and trains to Mt. Pilatus
*We rode the steepest train in the world to the top of the mountain; it had a grade of 48%.
*We walked around on top of the mountain before riding a gondola part of the way down so we could ride on the alpine slide.
*We went back to the top in order to ride the train all the way back down.
*We walked around the city of Lucerne and saw the Chapel bridge and Mill bridge (very old wood bridges).
*I'll mention here that we skyped with the kids every day.  The time difference is 7 hours so we would call about 7-8 pm which was lunch time in Oklahoma.  I think it really helped the kids and especially Luke to see where we were and tell us about his activities.  I know it also helped Troy and I to relax a bit more to see them each day.  We missed them terribly.
At the top
A part of the very steep grade to the top.  The train cars were actually tiered to account for the grade.
He played "Amazing Grace" on the alp horn.  
Going back up to ride again--you were pulled backwards up the mountain to get back to the top.  It was awesome because the view forward was mountains and the lake.
 Going down the slide
 There were tons and tons of swans on the lake.
Chapel bridge; the tower used to be a prison
 On the bridge
Lake front in Lucerne

Day 4
*We slept in at my request. :)
*We got on a boat tour in the hopes of seeing more of the lake but the weather was bad--cold, raining and very cloudy.  It was nice to just sit for a while though and enjoy what we could see, the hot chocolate and each other.
*We rode the train from Brunnen (a small town on the lake) back to Lucerne.
*We walked to the Lion Monument (a memorial to the Swiss Guard who were killed protecting a French King--basically the king knew all the Guard would be killed but he sent them anyway).
*Next, we walked through Glacier Garden.  It had glacial potholes from 20 million years ago--in non-geologic terms, holes formed from melt water and boulders under the glacier.  We geologists found it fascinating.
*More shopping and touring of Lucerne in and out of the rain.
*We had dinner from the local grocery store in Weggis (food is very expensive in Switzerland). 
It was cold!  We were the only ones sitting outside.
The photographer :)
 The architecture was amazing.  Swiss chalets next to much more modern buildings.
 The boat we were on was a paddle-wheel.  These are the giant pistons the ran the paddles.  The boat was built in 1901 and these are the original pistons.  It was remarkable how clean they were.
 An old boat house
 Dreary weather on the lake
 The lion was actually carved right into the massive wall of rock.
 One of the potholes
 Our room is the middle room on the floor below the sign