Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Fun!

Summer is here, summer is here, summer is here!  We are having so much fun enjoying no school days and living it up in the sun!  We've been blessed with a terrific summer so far--even the horrible heat hasn't been bad (of course, it isn't July yet).  We joined the YMCA this spring so we could take advantage of their indoor and outdoor pools.  We are having so much FUN!

Using the Y has been great for me.  They offer childcare in their Kids Corner program for up to two hours per day per child.  This has been so wonderful for a mommy of three non-swimmers!  We don't have to wait for Daddy to be home from work or go only on weekends.  We can enjoy the pool any time we want.  I just leave one child in Kids Corner and take two with me to swim.  We rotate who gets to go swim and who stays in Kids Corner.  If Daddy comes, we can all swim at the same time, which is great fun!  The kids are eating it up!

Joshua and Jacob on our first trip with just Mommy to the outdoor pool.  Cheese!

I really expected Joshua to be more hesitant about the water, but he took to it right away and I was thrilled!

Look at that little fish!

Jacob has been so independent with his float on this summer.  He's taking swimming lessons at the YMCA right now and will continue to take them until the end of July.  He is definitely growing in his confidence!

Love this bug eyed guy!

We bought floats for Joshua and Grace a couple weeks ago that are like Jacob's.  Grace could not wait to model hers.  What a pose!

Do they look a little excited to you?  Waiting for Daddy to come home from work for family swim night!  Yes, they are sitting in the garage, ready to pounce the instant he pulls in.

Joshua was rockin' his new float in the indoor heated pool!

Jacob could float all night long!
This is the best shot I could get of Grace!  She loved to jump in over and over and over and over!  We'd count, "1, 2, 3, JUMP!" and when we got to three she'd get this serious face and yell, "Make a BIG spwash (splash)!"  She doesn't even care if her head goes under.  She just bobs back up and screams, "do again!"
We're having fun making memories this summer!

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day from the Burris men!  We had a great day at church and then visiting the farm!

Growing Up

Jacob is growing up.  Some bits of growing up have been easy for him...going off to school, changing classes at church, doing more "man" work with Daddy, reading harder books, having more responsibility, being a big brother, etc.  Other parts of growing up have been hard...learning to ride his bike without training wheels, writing his name with capital letters AND lower case letters, using scissors, and making his bed.  Jacob is my sweet perfectionist.  So much of what he does comes so easily and naturally to him, so when something the tiniest bit difficult comes his way, he really struggles to keep his frustration in check and not give up.  I was seeking encouragement from some fellow moms about how to respond to his frustrations and desire to only do things WELL and RIGHT (if he cannot do them well or right, he will not even try to do them) and a sweet mom offered a suggestion to me that had worked with her son.  She said when something was hard for them, she tried to track their progress in a tangible way and then allow them to go back and see how far they had come, thus encouraging the child to persevere.  I really liked this idea and so did Jacob, so here is one our first ones.  Jacob has really struggled to make his own bed.  He is old enough to do it, but he wants it to "look like it does when Mommy does it" and let's be honest...he's five.  It isn't going to look like I made the bed when he does it.  The perfectionist in me has had to step back and decide that I will not go back over his work.  As long as it is done correctly (all blankets pulled to the top, pillow at the head, and sham over pillow) and to the best of his ability, I will not touch it.  Today I told him, "Jacob, I will love you even if your bed isn't made like I do it.  As long as you try your hardest, I will think it looks just right."  So, with renewed enthusiasm (pray it lasts!) he made his bed (in his own time, of course) and requested we document his progress.  So, here it is:

Not too shabby in my opinion!  The sheet is in a lump down under the blue blanket, but all things considered, I think it is a winner! 

Sweet Jacob, I pray you will persevere in whatever you set your mind to!  We will love you no matter what!

Little Miss

It became apparent to me yesterday that miss Gracie Beth seemed to need a little one on one time with Mommy.  We've always made a point to have alone time with Jacob since the twins were born, but honestly, until now, Grace and Joshua were just too young to really know the difference.  For various reasons I could just see the glint in her eyes that she needed some of Mommy's special attention.  So I kicked the boys out of the kitchen (I think she felt really special when I shooed Joshua away on more than one occasion, saying it was special time for just Mommy and Gracie) and we decided to treat Daddy (and the neighbor) with some cookies!

Little Miss Gracie Beth, with your sweet curly piggies, I'm so glad we did this together.  We talked...

and stirred....

and scooped (I will miss it when you don't fit UNDER the cabinets anymore).
Hope you enjoy your cookies, Daddy!  Gracie and I sure had fun baking them for you!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Veggies, Flowers, and Dirt, OH MY!

If you know me even a little bit, you know I am NOT a friend to all things vegetation.  It isn't that I don't enjoy beautiful flowers and plants nor is it that I don't try...  I just can't seem to keep things alive!  I either water them too much or too little, not enough light or too much light.  I've found a few things I can keep alive and stick to the basics much of the time. 

This year, for some unknown reason, I decided I really wanted to try my hand at a garden.  I thought the learning and teaching opportunities with the kids would be endless and perhaps if they grew it, they would eat it (a Mom can hope, right?).  My thumb is really, truly quite black, but we decided to jump in and give it a whirl!  Chris gave me a small raised bed garden this year for Mother's Day and got it all set up for me.  We're starting small with just four plants this year: two types of tomatoes, a cucumber plant (which is taking over the whole garden--this may have been a poor choice on our part), and a green pepper plant (Jacob's favorite veggie).  So far we have two tomatoes growing on each of the tomato plants and one green pepper coming in with bunches more flowers blooming.  Do the flowers all turn into veggies?  If they do, we should have a great harvest off our little pepper plant.  Our cucumber plant, well, it is growing...all over the place (and we even bought the so called "compact" kind!), has flowers, but no sign of any type of veggies yet.  It also has some sort of white moldy stuff on some of the leaves.  Hmmmmm....perhaps those endless educational opportunities I was talking about for the kids will also apply to me?  Definitely need to google that one.  We also planted our flower bed out front with wave petunias.  Petunias are not my favorite, but seem to fare the best in our front bed that gets almost full sun for the whole day.  Last year our petunias did not fill in very much so this year we are hopeful that a touch of miracle grow will turn that one around.  I've recently had the itch to do a small container garden on the patio with a lettuce in it, but I haven't made it very far with that one yet.

Needless to say, we are total novices and have no clue what we're doing.  BUT, we are having fun and I guess that is really all that matters.  Jacob has taken on the chore of helping me water almost daily in our hot KY summer heat and occasionally Joshua and Grace get in on the action.  Everyone, including Mommy and Daddy enjoy an evening jaunt around the back of the house to check on the progress of our veggies.  Joshua and Grace can see it from their bedroom window and report back daily what seems to be growing or blooming.  We have no idea if our harvest will be bountiful, but we have no doubt the memories will be!

Joshua is hard at work taking care of the petunias.  I forgot how much Jacob enjoyed watering the plants at this age.  He is a helper!

Mommy is thrilled to see the fruits of our labor!  Look!  A tiny tomato (that isn't so tiny anymore...this photo was a couple weeks ago).

Joshua and Gracie are hard at work tending the veggies!

An evening jaunt around the house to check things out!  Grace is reporting to Daddy that we have TWO tomatoes on our plant now!

Jacob is such a blessing to his Mama!  He takes his chores so seriously and works at them with great dedication.  He is thrilled he is old enough to "work the hose" this year...he can turn it on and off and get the cans filled all on his own!

Not too interested in cheesing while he watered, but here he is taking care of the cucumbers (those are not so small anymore either!).

"Oshua's" Turn!

Joshua was soooooooooooooooo excited it was finally "Oshua's" turn!  He has been patiently waiting for his turn to spend the night with Grandmama and it finally arrived!  He was thrilled to pack up his suitcase and get ready to go!  He had a great time with Grandmama and Grace survived her lonely night alone in her room just fine. I can't believe they are big enough to do things like this, but it was certainly a highlight of his summer thus far!

All packed up and ready to go!  Cannot wait for Grandmama to arrive!

In the car, hugs 'n kisses given, and ready to go!  Bye-bye Mommy!  I'm going to Grandmama's!