Monday, August 31, 2009

Future Jedis Helping in the Garden

Mason still eats the majority of his meals in his high chair, mainly so there's less mess for us to clean up. As soon as Braden sits down at his table to eat anything, Mason wants to be right there! We try to make sure he has a snack or toast and juice to eat with Big Brother. He's also perfected "mine" which he says in reference to EVERYTHING. Weekends have become special in that Daddy gets the boys a sausage biscuit when he runs to get his paper.

After I got a single pic of Mason, I turned the camera on Braden and he made this crazy face.

We know our garden won't last for long, but for now we still have tomatoes and bell peppers. Mason wanted to be right in the middle of Daddy & Braden getting the veggies.

I don't even know what this face was about but it cracks me up!

Mason loves to do whatever Braden does including sword fight!

Bleacher Creature

Saturday was the first PSU game! We had a sitter for Braden and Mason, but Blake had the great idea to let Braden participate in the YMCA Bleacher Creature program for kids. They run out onto the field behind the team and sit together in a special section until half time. At half time they make a lap around the field, let by the mascot, Gus, and lead cheers. They also got to do some push ups with the ROTC guys. Braden told us he did 19.

We explained it to him at home and asked if he wanted to do it. There were several of his friends who would be there, including Will. He was on board until it was time for us to leave him. Blake stood with him until they ran on the field, and there were a few tears, but not for long! He can't wait to do it again!

Tailgating before the game with his buds Jackson & Austin!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Paint the Town Red 2009

This picture was taken Friday night at the outdoor movie "Up" poor Mason had tummy troubles so Blake stayed home with him while Braden and I got to enjoy the movie with lots of our friends.

After I got a quick shot of Blake and the boys and he got a quick shot of me and the boys, Braden wanted to take a picture. This is his handy work of us!
This was his first attempt! He loved that he "chopped our heads off"

By this point, Mason was about out of smiles! His shoes were on, which means he is getting to "go" somewhere and he was ready to be gone!

Ok, if this picture didn't crack you up the first time you saw it a year ago, now it should bring the same tears for you it brought me this morning! I'm still laughing! Amazing the difference a year makes. Mason was 3 months in this picture!

Our bundles of joy, today! Braden is Mr. Big Shot Kindergartner, and our big 14 month old Mason.

Dirty Laundry

Blake snapped this pic over the weekend, while Mason helped unload the dryer. He's now discovered the little button that turns the light on/off and prefers to stand there and push that button as I load the dryer. Braden loves to load the washer and insists on throwing the clothes in as the water is running and put the detergent in if I'll let him! He's also one mean wash cloth folder!

Daddy on Duty

Blake is not only an amazing hubby but also an amazing father. This was last Tuesday, and Mom slipped out to play Bunco. I received a text from Blake that Mason loved black olives, but I had no idea about his love for markers, until I found these pictures on the camera!

Thank you Blake for taking them! There was not a trace of marker on Mason or the table, so Blake did a great job of covering Mason's tracks. Literally. Thank you Crayola for washable markers!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chef Blake

I know this picture is small but I had to share! As part of the Chamber's "We'll come do your job" initiative, Blake and one of his board members, Kim Carlson, prepared meals last night at the Wesley House. The Wesley House is our local "soup kitchen" and food bank.

Strong Will, Determination & A Hard Head Pay Off

(No Blake, this is not about me)

Upon arrival at school, the students can either eat breakfast in the cafeteria or go directly to the gym. In the gym each class has a line they are to sit on and visit with friends until their teacher comes to get them. The first kid there will basically be the last in line and the last kid to arrive will be the first one to walk out with the teacher.

When we arrived this morning, Braden sat down and the girl behind him got up and sat in front of him. It was evident she planned to be the first one to walk out with the teacher, and lead the other students to the classroom. Braden got up and moved in front of her. I observed while socializing on the sidelines, hesitant to step in, waiting to see how it was going to play out. They did this about 3 times until Braden got up and walked to the very end of the line where there was no more room for anyone to sit in front of him. So she sat behind him. Ten more kids could fit behind this little girl before the gap closed between her and Braden and the "rest" of the class.

This girl was easily and inch taller and had about 10 pounds on Braden, but he was not deterred. Until she unzipped his backpack. The tears came and he immediately came over to tell me. The teacher hadn't arrived yet, and I had no idea if her parent was one of the dozen along the wall. So I walked him back over, she HAD NOT slid over into his spot as "line leader" and I had him look at her and say "Please don't unzip my backpack" fortunately the teacher arrived, and she asked Braden why he was sad, and said the same thing to the girl. Of course her response was "I know, his mom already told me" As I walked back home I couldn't help but wonder how many other kids came in and sat next to this girl and she got up and jumped ahead of them.

As I left Braden was satisfied in leading his classmates to their classroom.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Room with a view

Today is my first day as a full time instructor in the Graphics & Imaging Technologies department at PSU. You could say I'm on an emotional roller coaster. . .nervous, excited, overwhelmed, thankful. . . .
I've had access to my office all summer and it's taken all summer to get it to this point of disarray. I'm sure it will evolve, but for now it is what it is. I love the view. I'm located in the Kansas Technology Center and have a direct view of the courtyard.

I'm teaching three classes this semester, including the Web Site design class I've been teaching adjunct for the past 3 semesters.

I also have my guys looking on while I prepare for my classes!

Most all of the faculty offices in KTC are "slices" long and narrow with one full wall of shelves, which I had no problems filling! I didn't try to sugar coat it, all of the clutter and unpacked boxes are in plain view!

This is a creation I made just for my new space. I've been on a letter collecting spree for another project at home and used some of my duplicates to make this. The 'd' and the 'g' were plain letters that I covered with scrapbook paper. I painted the 'n' and wire wrapped both it and the 'i'. The 's' and 'e' were not manipulated at all. Some of the letters hang and some prop up against the wall.

Here's that wall of shelves I mentioned. I've filled it with pretties and necessities, old goodies and new! Both Braden and Mason have made trips up here over the summer to help me get it all settled.

Picture me sitting here slaving away on my daily presentations that will hopefully enthrall and enrich the minds of my students! Whew, that's a stretch!

Our Kindergartener

Today was Braden's first day of Kindergarten! He doesn't know it but the first day was actually last Friday, as we were on our way home from Destin! Can't you see how nervous he is! Not at all!

Blake took Mason to 'school' then came back home so we could both walk him on his first day! We live a block from the school. Our good friends the Arbuckles were headed out at the same time so we all walked together.

Here they are, headed down the steps to the gym. Two peas in a pod! When we moved to Pittsburg, Braden had just turned 2 and Will was just turning 3. We couldn't be luckier to have them for our neighbors and our dear, dear friends.

No tears were shed, by Braden or Mom & Dad!

His teacher is Ms. Vacca, which we've been practicing. She's very, very nice. He has several friends in his class that he recognized as soon as we got to the gym: River Peery, Tiere, & Jeremy.

Anyone want to go see the Cardinals?

Mason had Braden's Cardinal hat on yesterday and insisted I put him in his bouncy car, which he loved at 9 months! We haven't found a home for it yet, so it still occupies the living room! How cute are these pictures!!!! This kid melts our hearts!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Where did the time go?

Just a few pictures of how we spent 6 glorious days in Destin. We ate a lot of really great food, found sea shells, built sand castles, Braden found a jelly fish, got to see a bucket of hermit crabs someone acculated from snorkeling nearby, enjoyed a ton of entertainment from the hotel and only got minimally sunburned. Not to mention Braden definitley has his dad's adventure for food. He tried alligator tail, calamari, mahi mahi, clams, crawfish and oysters.

Initially Mason was not thrilled about the sand. I'm sure it didn't feel too good in his swim diaper.
Braden on the otherhand couldn't get enough of the beach. We could barely get him to eat lunch, and several times had sandwiches on the beach "pinic style" so he didn't have to go far. Above he is karate chopping the waves.

He was fascinated by drawing in the sand until he realized how quick the ocean would wash it away.

This was our first official day on the beach and he wanted to be buried.

I love Mason's expression in this picture. Can you see the waves in the background. They didn't stay this high, but there were waves everyday.

Braden was so proud that this board says "Bad" like his current favorite song. Blake had a Michael Jackson greatest hits cd and Braden loves to hear "Bad" everytime they get in his truck. Braden knew this wouldn't make it back to Kansas, since it couldn't fit in our suitcase, so we discussed finding a nice boy we could give it to when we had to leave. Our last morning at breakfast, Blake recognized a businessman from Joplin. He and his 9 year old son had just arrived. Braden had no problems giving his board to this nice boy.

Mother and daughter dolphins showing off at the Gulfarium

I hate that his eyes were closed, but the background almost looks fake. This was lunch at Lloyd's after the Gulfarium.

Blake totally outdid himself on the planning of this vacation. From the timing, to the logistics, and above all our hotel. The fact that it was kid friendly was enough, but it was very nice, we had a balcony view, and the kiddo's were never bored! Braden did t-shirt painting, sand dollar painting, two magic shows (and he was the helper), a freaky pet show, face painting, movie night, etc. There was also a mini arcade, pool table, and always crayons and coloring books out.

Braden was an great assistant!

Same goofy guy, two different nights. One night the King of Magic and the other, Famous Davey

On the balcony outside of our room. We were on the 8th floor and had a great view! Braden wasn't scared at all, which of course made us very nervous. We were good to keep the door locked, but it was a great place to dry out swim suits and shake out some of the sand!

Playing in the rain

Mason loved the water most, like this, with dad holding him

So proud of himself in Mom's sunglasses

Mason is NOT sunburned. He's under a red umbrella!

I think this was Braden's favorite part. We went to Fudpucker's the first night, got our picture holding an alligator (Blake held it, and Braden kinda held the tail) then he got to feed the alligators this special food using this pole. He enjoyed it so much we went back and did it again.

Holding up "Filmore"