Sunday, July 16, 2017

Summer Time: June in Review

We have been having a full and fun summer. At the end of the school year I was wondering if we might be a little bored this summer but we really haven't. We have had lots of fun things going on and also some nice, laid back days.

June was full of activities!

Cambry started swim lessons. They were Monday-Thursday for 2 weeks at the Y. There were a couple days I put Colton and Lainey in child watch during the lesson, but most days I let them swim in the baby pool. Lainey loved it, but Colton either wanted to be held, or just run all around the pool area. By the end of the 2 weeks I was singing hallelujah that lessons were over. Cambry made some good progress and really enjoyed it.

Cambry also started dance lessons. The only extra-curricular activity she has ever done has been gymnastics at her preschool. I wanted to let her try dance to see if she likes it. She is giving me mixed signals so far. But she looks adorable doing it. I love watching little kids dance!

Lainey has continued with her private gymnastics lessons. She is doing well and having fun. Her favorite is the trampoline and the pit. At first it was all I could do to keep Colton off the gym floor during her lesson. But he and Cambry have gotten pretty good at entertaining themselves. They find random items on the side lines and Cambry creates obstacle courses for herself.

Cambry did VBS at our church in June also. She had a great time there. She got super excited to give money to their collection. She has a very sweet and generous heart and is always eager to give money to church.

When we got back from our Galveston beach vacation we came home to see that a rabbit had moved into our backyard. She lives under our deck and Cambry has named her Raleigh Rachel. But let it be known that I am not allowed to call her Ray-Ray or I get fussed at. We feed her carrots and lettuce and apples. We are slightly concerned that she may eat all our nice new grass. But she is cute.

Greg and I went on a date one weekend. It was just a quick dinner but it was fun. We need to do this more often!

We also celebrated Greg's birthday and Father's day. Well, we actually didn't do much for Father's Day...poor Greg. Greg likes to eat BBQ on his birthday (he claims he only gets it once a year, which  is mostly true). Unfortunately the place was closed when we went! So we settled for a nearby Mexican food restaurant. (Side note: we did eat BBQ this weekend to make up for it!) On Father's day our church handed out strips of bacon to the dads which I thought was so awesome. Then on Sunday afternoon we went to our friends' gathering in honor of their son's "Heaven Day". We miss Roane very much and our hearts still break for his family.

Besides all those activities, we have been enjoying the Woodlands pools and parks. There are so many to discover. The heat and mosquitoes are so bad that sometimes it makes playing outside difficult, but we still try to enjoy the outdoors as much as we can.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Grosse Family Vaca 2017

The annual Grosse family vacation was to Galveston beach this year. We stayed in a nice beach house right on the water and had a blast. Cambry and Lainey loved the beach and had no fear of the water. They wore puddle jumpers most of the time because the waves were pretty rough. They enjoyed building sandcastles and Cambry loved hunting for shells.

Colton, on the other hand, did not enjoy the beach. That is, until THE VERY LAST DAY. We joked the whole time how he was not cut out for beach life. He was cut out for beach resort life. He did not want to get in the sand, he just wanted to lounge, be held, or go to sleep. He would continually run back toward the beach house. Then for some reason on the 6th day he decided to just start playing in the sand and walking along the shore!

We celebrated several birthdays at the beach. Ashley's, Cody's, and Greg's birthdays all fall within a week of each other in June. Mom made a cake and put up decorations to celebrate these 3.

Then another day we celebrated Kyler's early birthday with another cake. You can never have too many cakes on vacation.

Obviously we had to continue the tradition of jumping photos. I think the guys nailed it.

This is what happened when we attempted to take a group cousin photo. This is literally the best we could get. But kinda perfect. It pretty much summarizes the chaos of this stage.

Lauren bought these hats for the girls when we visited them in Phoenix and I just think they are the cutest things ever when they wear them. 

We always end up with a couple beach nappers. And they are usually our kids.

We were all keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Cindy which was threatening the gulf coast while we were there. Thankfully it didn't come near us and we only ended up with about a day of rain. It was pretty amazing how the tide came all the way up to the grass. With gray sky all around and absolutely no beach one day, we built an awesome sand castle on our pathway. My dad has always been a great, and serious, sandcastle builder. I have inherited that gene as well. I love building castles and making them very neat and pretty. I don't really like it when little hands try to "help" on my section of the castle, haha. "Let's everyone work on our own separate parts, mkay??"

We took all the kids to the Galveston Children's museum one day and they had so much fun. It was a great museum with lots of rooms and so many things for the kids to do. Then we stopped at restaurant for a seafood lunch. That was really our only "outing". All the other days we just enjoyed the beach...sometimes twice a day. Some afternoons we had relaxing time and introduced the kids to Moana and Trolls.

I'm so thankful for the quality family time we had together. The cousins had a blast playing together and having bunk bed slumber parties (for the 4 big kids) every night. The adults had several game nights after the kids went to bed. One of our favorite family games to play on vacation is Pictionary. My mom always brings a big easel and drawing pad and we just crack up at everyone's drawings. It's always sad to leave the beach after such good family time. Thanks Gigi and Pa for a great vacation!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend

We had such a fun Memorial Day weekend! We are getting to know friends here in the Woodlands and it is nice to get together with them and their families.

After Greg got home from work on Friday we took the kids to the splash pad. Greg and I were texting back and forth as he was getting ready to leave work and I was getting the kids ready for the splash pad. I sent him this simple list of how to get kids ready to go.

1) Administer snacks
2) Put on swimsuits
3) Apply sunscreen
4) Pack towels, swim diapers, toys, etc.
5) Check current diapers
6) Pack sippy cups
7) Put on water shoes
8) Repeat step 1 if you took too long on steps 2-7

See? So easy.

Anyway, they had a great time. While we were there our neighbors invited us to meet them for dinner. So after we headed home and did a quick change we met them for pizza. The restaurant has a nice outside area for the kids to play which makes family dinner outings possible.

Saturday we spent a lot of time outdoors and running a few errands. Sunday we went to church and then after naps we tried out another pool. This time Lainey really liked it! Colton was still scared and wanted to koala bear me the whole time.

Monday we ran an errand in the morning and then one of the families in our small group hosted a BBQ. The storms held off and it wasn't too hot outside. The kids had fun playing together outside. Cambry loved the swings and Lainey loved the sprinkler and the sandbox.

I'm thankful for the freedom we have in this country due to the sacrifices of so many brave men and women. And I'm thankful for the new friends God has brought into our lives here.

Mother's Day, Dobbin, and Kids

Mother's Day weekend we bought pool passes and tried out one of the Woodlands pools for the first time. It was enormous and amazing. I am excited to try out more of the pools this summer. The water was still a little chilly so Lainey and Colton did not really enjoy it. Cambry loved it though.

I also got to do a little solo shopping over the weekend. And one evening we went on a long family walk. Then my parents and my aunt came over Sunday and we got Lupe Tortillas to go. I am thankful that I have such a wonderful mother and I am so so thankful to be a mother. I can't imagine life without these 3.

Speaking of moms, my mom usually comes over once a week to hang out with the kids and often lets me go run a couple errands. The kids love their Gigi time. This past week my Dad came too which the kids loved. One week my mom came over wearing a clown nose and brought clown noses for all the kids. It was so cute.

We made a quick trip to Dobbin one Sunday afternoon to see Greg's parents and Aunt and Uncle. The kids always have a blast there running around outside and Greg got to do a little fishing and shooting.

A few weekends ago we did a 6K walk with World Vision to raise money for clean drinking water world wide. We were proud of Cambry for riding her bike the whole way. The littles got pushed in the stroller.

Greg has been fishing the Woodlands lakes in the evenings occasionally trying to find where the fish are. He has been catching them lately and enjoying it. One day Colton will be his little fishing buddy.

Life right now is fun. I am enjoying the little ones and I am thankful to have them all together this summer. I just realized that when Cambry is in school every day in the fall and Lainey is in school 3 days a week, Colton is going to be so sad without them. He loves his sisters and asks about them as soon as he wakes up each morning. I hope he doesn't get too bored while they are gone. I will be missing them too! Here are a bunch of photos that sum up life lately.