Friday, June 26, 2009

Simple as apple pie

One of the things I like about summer is the removal of the schedule. While ours is not completely clear, we do get swim practice out of the way early on in the day and can just do whatever for the rest of the afternoon. One day last week, Alex just randomly said that he wanted to make an apple pie. Not my favorite pie, but I grabbed some ingredients and decided to let them at it.

I put Matthew down for a nap, but it didn't take. So, all four of them were gathered around the table excited to cook this pie. I let them do almost everything. They each used the slicer (with my help or watchful eye) to cut their apple. Rachel worked hard on the lattice crust on top while they all helped with the ingredients for the syrup to bring it all together. Alex took a short hiatus to go plant a couple seeds in our garden. He's dying for a fruit tree in our yard for some reason.

Sometimes cooking with all four is a major headache, but this went pretty smoothly, and I have to say that this is the prettiest apple pie that has ever come out of my oven. I thought they did quite a wonderful job. Now, to see how it tastes...

Friday, June 19, 2009

A New Milestone

Zack has gotten rid of his training wheels. A few of his friends have been riding without them for over a year, so I've felt the pressure to work with him. But, I've dreaded it because last time we tried (last summer), he just fell over and over. But, I just held the back of the bike and he took off. I guess he was ready. Now, he asks to ride every day. I'm so proud of him for being brave (because that's not really his strength) and amazed at how easily he figured it out.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

From one sport to another

We had two very crazy Saturdays full of tapping our feet waiting for the kids to finish swimming at least freestyle and backstroke before rushing to soccer and softball games. Whew! Glad that's over, but we get no break. Now, we are full into swimming - practice 5 days a week (7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, 9:45 and 10:15) followed by a 7:00 AM start on Saturdays. Part of me is wondering what in the heck I was thinking and Dave's really wondering why he let me do this...but, I have to say that I'm kind of getting the bug.

Both kids are on the young side of their age group, but they're doing great. Rachel has a great backstroke. She just needs to figure out how to go straight. It's fun to watch because we have no idea what her time will be because it depends so much on how straight she can stay. We're working on this, but it makes it exciting.

Alex surprised us all this weekend. He had double digit improvements in both strokes. He won both heats, and he was super excited about that. My kids only want those heat ribbons. They don't understand the actual way that swimming works, so I was glad that he got his heat ribbon. Hopefully he will be able to keep up his times or he'll never win another one.

Look at that great smile.

It's going to be a fun and busy summer for all of us!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What happened to his nose?

So, we've gotten this question everywhere we've gone for the last week. Too much sun? A fall at the pool? No, he took at nose dive at the dressing room in Target and got rug burn on his nose. I'm not sure what he was doing, but I'm pretty sure it was semi-intentional. He started screaming (because we all know how much rug burn hurts), and I had no idea what had happened. It was a little red, but it took a while for me to really understand what he had done. The next day, it was quite a "boo boo".

Here he wanted me to take a picture of him pointing to his boo boo. He's even making a sad face to get as much sympathy as possible.

The boo boo in all it's glory!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Coach Dave

My boys absolutely love soccer. Zack cries when we have a rainout because he loves it so much. I know that they are just sports kids, but I think they love it so much because Dave is their coach. I had to encourage him a little to start coaching for Alex's second season of soccer, 4 years ago. But, he has really embraced his role and is an excellent coach.

He loves to coach the 3-5 year olds. He gets to get out there and play with them and be silly. They all love that and really take to him. It is common in this age group for kids to refuse to play and want to stay with their parents on the sidelines. I don't think Dave has ever had one of these kids, and I think that is largely due to the fact that he engages the kids so much that they feel comfortable enough to get out of their comfort zone and play.

Although the older kids are a little more challenging, he does really well with them. He tends to get young, inexperienced teams that struggle to win a lot, yet all the kids have fun and find that they really enjoy soccer. Many, many parents have told him that their kid did not really like soccer until they played with him. I think that's a true judge of a good coach.

Here he is giving out patches. He found this somewhere and uses it for all his teams. He rewards the kids with soccer ball patches for goals, hustle, bravery, defense, etc. They all love it, and it sets him apart in the league.

I love watching Dave coach. He is really in his element. He gets to play with the kids in a semi-competitive environment. Although it makes game days a little more hectic for me, I am thrilled that all my boys get to have this great experience together.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Burrito

Bath time is one of my least favorite activities. I usually try to barter with Dave to get him to do it. But, Matthew and I have developed a cute little back and forth after his bath that helps to make it more enjoyable. I wrap him up tight in his towel and call him my burrito. I've done this for many months, but recently he started replying, "No, you're my burrito". We go back and forth many, many times with this. But, it's cute the way that he loves this and finds humor in it over and over again. It reminds me to enjoy the little things in life the way that a child does.
I tried to video him saying it, but he was too busy "cheese-ing" for the camera. He is very much a ham, so I never capture his true personality on video.