Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lake House Fun ...

Thanks to Mauricio for driving us around the Lake all day ...

Two hot mamas, two sweet babies, and three cute booties...

We had such a good time last weekend at Lake Cypress Springs with the Dardanos and Sullivans. We went boating right when we got there, stayed up late playing games and talking, and then got up early the next morning and went boating and swimming all day! We always have a ton of fun when we get together and this was no exception.

Kate and Taylor loved spending all day on the boat and in the water- I think it was a first for them. Kate went tubing with Brian, and mom and dad both wake-boarded (and we might have walked like our great-grandparents the next two days because of it :) ). Such a good time. Brian and Kate also swam the distance of the lake between the lake house and the opposite shore...come to think of it, I don't think Kate stopped the entire day and a half- she was like a kid in a candy store the whole weekend.

Thanks to the Dardanos for the invite and we can't wait to do it again...please?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kindergarten Kate ...

Where do I even begin? I have been asking myself all day long where the time has gone and how in the world I ended up with a child in kindergarten already. It seems like yesterday we were at the hospital with Kate, begging time to pass because of her crazy medical situation. Now, we cannot understand how it passed so quickly. It didn't hit me until I got home a couple of hours later and I realized how different your life becomes once you send a child to school. I know it sounds dramatic, but its so true.

Kate was so excited to get up this morning- even though it was 1 1/2 hours earlier than normal. Brian woke her up and I made some pancakes to get her going. Then, she picked out what she wanted to wear, helped me pack up her bags, and we all loaded into the car to drop her off. I took her inside and to her classroom. I could tell that it hit her then and she looked at me and said, "Mom, I'm really going to miss you today". Melt my heart, please.

I really could not wait until she got home so Taylor and I sat and waited by the window for her bus to come and it ended up being about 15 minutes late. When the bus finally arrived, she ran off and over to me, yelled my name, and gave me a hug. So cute.

I tried to grill her about everything she did but all I could get was that her favorite part of the day was sitting by Andrew on the bus. The worst part? Waiting too long for her teacher to pick them up after P.E...

Taylor and I made some "kindergarten cupcakes" for Kate and we ate those after dinner and then Brian gave each of the girls a father's blessing for the new school year. I'm looking forward to tomorrow...maybe I'll get a few more details!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sweet Lauren Mae ...

Brian's parents had Kate and Taylor over for a spend-the-night tonight. So, we were home with little Lauren- who has become the most wiggly child ever. We took her out to dinner with us and she didn't stop moving for one second...she does not. sit. still. These pictures were taken after I fed her her last feeding- around 11 pm. She doesn't need this feeding anymore, but sometimes I just love waking her up because she's half asleep, eats great, and is so sweet and cuddly. She usually will fall asleep in my arms afterwards and there is nothing I enjoy more than holding a sleeping baby.

We had a very busy week this week. Kate is getting ready to start Kindergarten on Monday so we went school shopping. I took all three kids to the mall (brave, I know) and tried to find some non-wintery things...hello, its still 100 degrees every day in Texas. I would find something that was cute, hold it up, and ask Kate if she liked it and would wear it. Of course, she said she liked everything and would wear it all. My kids play favorites with their clothes- usually asking to wear the same 3 outfits over and over.

We had a Meet-the-Teacher night on Thursday and Kate was so excited to meet her new Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Coffey. In fact, she went right up to her and said, "Hi, my name is Kate Crofts, its nice to meet you". Fearless. She is so ready and beyond thrilled to start school. I might be more excited than she is...she's going to do great.

Taylor is starting preschool one week after Kate starts. She claims to be excited, but I'm not buying it. She is a momma's girl through-and-through and I know she's going to have a hard time in the beginning. She's become quite the mischevious one lately...I'm not quite sure how to handle that yet.

So, it will be just Lauren and I at home after school starts- at least two days a week. Wow, how nice will that be?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

to africa & back in 24 hours ...

The girls and I, with my dad, got in the motor home Friday evening and headed south of Ft. Worth (not quite Africa) to a wildlife preserve known as Fossil Rim. It ended up being a very cool place–although the main attraction (giraffes) just sniffed–no pictures eating from our hands. The Rim is recommended.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cabin Hopping 2009

16 days, @ 3500 miles, 12 times loading/unloading car, 3 kids, one mommy, no daddy.

We just got back from a 2 1/2 week trip to Utah via Albuquerque (and the Bells). First of all, my mom, two sisters, and their 5 kids came to Dallas from Georgia and stayed for about 2 days and then we all drove together to our first stop in good ole' Albuquerque, New Mexico. We stayed there for about 2 days and then completed our trip to Utah. This is where the cabin-hopping begins (we never stayed more than three nights in one place).

First Stop: Brianhead Resort for the Gary Jewkes (last-minute) reunion. There were about 40 (22 grandkids and 14 adults) of us in a huge cabin...sounds crazy, but as always, it ended up being a great time. I had to cook on one of the three nights we stayed there. You cannot imagine how much food I had to prepare, with my mom's help, to feed that many hungry mouths. The cabin was literally right down the road from Cedar Breaks, which was so incredible and is the first picture we posted- with Kate looking out at it.

Stop #2: St. George, Utah for the extended Jewkes Family Reunion in Coral Canyon. By the time we got here, I was spent. I had slept with all three of my children in my room for the entirety of the trip thus far and had therefore gotten almost no sleep. If Brian would have miraculously showed up at this point, I might have cried. No such luck. But, my family helped me out a ton and we were able to do some really fun things. The girls got a lot of swimming in, we rode 4-wheelers at Sand Hollow Resort, rode in a golf cart for the tour of their amazing golf course, and spent quality time with cousins that we hardly ever see. We even managed a stop at Cafe Rio...mmm.

Stop #3: Cabin in Heber, UT. The trip moves on and up north to Heber. Only my mom, and sisters, Claire and Emily- and our kids- came on this leg of the trip. We loved driving around Heber, Midway and Park City- its so beautiful there this time of year. We hit up the outlet malls, went out to dinner in Park City, Dairy Keen in Heber for their famous shakes, Seven Peaks, Sweet Tooth Fairy Cupcakes (yum!), and went on a hike at Cascade Springs....such a beautiful place.

Stop #4: Cabin at Sundance, UT. We stayed in my parents' cabin here and it was by far our best stop. Sundance is such a gorgeous resort and the drive over the Alpine Loop was so cool. We only stayed here for two nights but we made the most of it. We had to go to Cafe Rio again, picnic at the Provo temple, the BYU bookstore, the Creamery, and Pizza name a few. Julie stayed with us at the cabin and we met her current love interest, Seth. Claire, Emily, and I set up a panel discussion one night and grilled him for about 2 hours- he was one brave guy and won some sisters points that night for living through the 300 questions we asked.

Stop #5- Alburquerque, NM. My mom helped me drive home to Dallas and we stopped at the halfway point here and stayed with the Bells. Rebecca is always such a great host and its so fun to spend time in their home. My brother, Jacob, is living with them right now and he is the sweetest 20-something (sorry, Jake...can't remember your exact age!) guy you've ever met- he loves his little nieces and nephews and is going to make an amazing dad one day. He even admitted to having a boy-crush on Shia LeBouf after robbing my "Holes" DVD. Thanks. :)

We arrived home safe and sound and the kids were beyond excited to see the walls of our home again after driving 48 travel hours total. They were all sooo good on the way home- thanks to DVD players- a modern miracle. We loved our big much so that we don't ever want to do it again! :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cold Turkey

Weaning a baby is not fun....

5 times/day to nothing...ouch. Without going into details...momma is in some serious pain and this is only DAY ONE.

On a lighter note, Brian took Kate and Taylor on a "camping" trip. (I use the word camping lightly because they were in Poppa's not-so-shabby motor home). They are spending the day at Fossil Rim today on a safari, looking for African wildlife. In my own sick mind, I really wanted to go. But, I decided that spending any more time in a motorized vehicle for extended periods might just kill me.

Did I mention that I just got back from a 2 1/2 week trip that logged approx. 3500 miles on my car? And Brian did NOT come with me. I'll be doing a post on that later.

** PS- Sorry for the lack of pictures...can you tell Brian is out of town?