Friday, August 27, 2010

4th of July, Other Summer Things, Back to School (out of order, sorry)

So, here's the rest of summer. A little out of order, I know. Sorry.
We traveled to Tulsa's new ONEOK stadium to watch the Drillers play. It rained, we got there late, the kids didn't sit still, but oh well.

We had friends over for our annual 4th of July cookout on the 3rd. Unfortunately, it rained all day and our favorite fireworks in Kiefer, OK were postponed. Everyone still came over and we ate WAAYY too much. Harper G and Ellison in their matching dresses. It's hard to believe there's only 6 months between them. But even crazier that even in two years, it won't matter at all.

The kiddos outfitted for church on 7/4.

We hung out at my parents' house for fireworks. They have a neighbor that spends a small fortune on fireworks and the parking's not nearly as crazy as some of the big shows all over town.

Harper and her "mee-maw". She can say grandma and has done it for a long time but recently switched to "mee-maw" despite our best efforts.

Caleb was cautiously excited about helping Dad with fireworks. At least he's not ready for Roman Candle wars quite yet.

Self-serve frozen yogurt stores are popping up all over town and we are not immune. Our favorite is Peach Wave in West Tulsa. I won't say it's a bribe but we do use it as a reward after three good days of school, for example. It's also an easy dinner, because Caleb fills his bowl to the brim despite my best efforts to control the situation.

Caleb with his Deer Class teachers. He had a FABULOUS YEAR in the 2s and is excited to be moving with one of his teachers to the 3s-5s Wing.

Caleb and Aaron headed to Red River and Eagle Nest, NM and Boise City (Aaron's home town) to see his parents at the end of summer. They took a long weekend and had a blast. We girls stayed home because I was singing a duet at church that Sunday. I told Aaron he was welcome to take both children with him as he drove 20+ hours in a 4 day span but he declined. Wonder why??
The four Waltons (A, C, and A's parents) had a blast. And, quite frankly, they wouldn't have been able to do as much if we were there. They went hiking...



...and tubing down the bunny slope of Red River. They also got to hang out with Aaron's sister and her children, who were there for part of the time.
While the boys were away, Harper Grace spent quite a bit of time with Grandma and G-Dad but had one momentous occasion with mom: her first haircut. While it was really just a trim, Miss Tara still packed up the first lock for Harper's memory box.

The following video is something I will probably look back and laugh at next week, next year, in five years, and in twenty five years. It totally summarized the morning of getting ready for the first day of school. TYPICAL!!

They pulled it together enough to pose on the front porch.


Not sure if either of my children knows how to WALK anywhere.

Caleb and his best buddy Anthony playing in the Purple Class, which will be their home for the next two years. Riverfield begins multi-age classrooms at this age, giving children a chance to follow then lead as they become very comfortable in their environment and with their teachers and classmates. At first, Caleb wasn't sure about being Purple. His preference was green or orange, but they don't have those classes. We are excited to be with his wonderful friends and teachers!

She started out the day quite pretty. And ended up like this: Harper G is a Frog this year, which is what Caleb was for his toddler year too. She has one of the same teachers too. Ellison is also in the class as well as several of Harper's Butterfly friends from last year. The class spent a majority of the summer in the unoccupied Frog class, so this transition was no big deal for Miss Priss.

What you can't really see in this picture is that his forehead and tummy are covered in orange marker. And it was so sweaty outside that his underwear soaked up the running orange color. The heat was also the reason Caleb took off his cute button down and was sporting this undershirt that's a size to small (it hits about 2 inches above his navel). Imagine my joy (horror!) as I jog with my friends past his playground after school and see him with about 5 inches of skin hanging out (his new shorts were a bit too big), yelling "Mom, I colored myself!"

Not to be outdone by her brother, Harper came home from school two days later looking like this. But she's awfully cute with her singing.

Grandma had a coupon for the zoo and we had a free day, so off we went, despite the 100 degree temps. I am not sure what we were thinking but we did have the zoo pretty much to ourselves. Even Caleb, who is usually totally oblivious to the heat, was asking if we we could "take a break in the shade for a little minute." We definitely enjoyed the cool of the covered train.

You can't see it here, but the elephant was super close.

Which brings us to today. The weather has turned cooler (still not at all cold, but much better) and we stopped off at a park in Jenks for awhile this morning.

Hopefully the cooler temps are here to stay. It's hard to train for a run when it's miserably hot outside (our next half is in KC in mid-October, then the Tulsa Run 15k, the the Route 66 1/2 in late November). My group of friends ran a 1/4 marathon a few weeks ago. We had not been training like we should and the heat and humidity were oppressive. Needless to say, we did not set any PRs but it was fun.

So I am now officially caught up. But tonight we're headed to the first Riverfield football game of the season and tomorrow night is a practice cookout for OU tailgating (we have season tix this year!!) so I'm sure more pics will need to be shared soon. But for now - hooray, I'm caught up.

PS= Congrats to my cousin Tiffany and her family, who welcomed baby Jude a few weeks ago. Can't wait to see you all soon!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Mother's Bragging

I know, I know... two blog updates in one week. What is the world coming to?? This one's quick. Just two short videos of Caleb and Harper G's newest accomplishments. Enjoy!

Harper has evidently been catching on to the phonics work we've been doing with Caleb. Pretty funny!

We've been studying Jonah church-wide this month. Here's Caleb's first memory verse.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Beach and the end of summer!!

I will make this quick, since it is 1:45am and you all really just care about the photos anyway.

SUMMER WAS GREAT FOR THE WALTONS!! We had a blast mostly just hanging out around town. The big summer purchase was a Hasty Bake Grill. If you ask Aaron about it, be ready for a 30 minute diatribe about how it's so much more than a grill. All I know is that the food prepared on it is super tasty. We went to a prime steak house in Tulsa last night and, despite the price tag, came home agreeing that Aaron's steaks taste better! Here's Daddy's helper ready to go!

Most of the time, I take the photos around the house. So, imagine my surprise when I downloaded a set of photos and found this along with several similar ones. Yes, this is HG playing with my underwear. It was laundry day and I am hoping for everyone's sake that she found it in the clean pile.

Our dear friends Mike and Kristin came to visit recently. Mike has finished all his med school and they are now back in OK! We are glad they are just a short jaunt down the Turner Turnpike now.

The highlight of our summer was our big family trip to Destin, Florida. There were 17 of us from my dad's side of the family that occupied two great condos in a resort right across the street from the beach. We drove and the kids were great in the car. We borrowed a friend's portable DVD player and didn't have to use it at all on the way down and only watched one movie on the way back. Here's Caleb's reaction to our first walk down to the beach, which was right as we pulled into town.

We pretty much spent all day every day either at the beach or at the pool. At first Harper wasn't sure what to think about all the dirty sand and kept asking me to wipe off her hands and feet. She quickly acclimated and was all about "walking, walking" up and down the beach.

Lots of toys to keep them occupied.

Several times, Harper Grace spent at least 20 minutes just filling up the bucket, dumping it, and starting all over again.

Sandy booty!

G-Dad relaxing, probably after a long and tiresome walk with Caleb to look for shells. We were very fortunate to have NO OIL on the beach or in the water. There was lots of seaweed, but that's way better than oil.

Hanging out under the cabana. Not that she ever stayed still for very long. It was a great trip, but not near as relaxing as the ones we took before we had children!

3 of the 4 of us on the beach. Caleb was playing ladderball with the cousins. Aaron purchased this hat on the trip. I think he really thought it was cool. Hmmm.

Watching the waves.

Bathing Beauties - Aunt Deb, Mom, Me, and HG.

Harper took a nap in her pack-n-play each day, but often enjoyed extending it a bit more as she rested with her G-Dad.

We went to dinner one night and had to check out the temporary tattoo stand. Caleb chose a monster truck. SWEET! Now if only that's the only tattoo that ever graces his body.

Caleb telling some story, totally oblivious to the large heron (crane??) behind him.

Aaron takes his seafood (OK, all food) very seriously!

Photo time - looking precious and not at all ornery.

The Long/Walton/Beauchamp clan.

Silly silly.
Back home, our little mama loves to take care of her babies. We purchased this car seat and she carts it all over the place. Caleb likes to take out the baby and fill it with as many cars as possible. Guess how well that goes over with his sister?!?

Caleb has continued his swimming lessons this summer. Between lessons, a week in Florida, and time in our backyard and friend's pools, he is really improving in the water. Each week on the way to lessons, he chooses a different aquatic animal to swim like. Most times, it's common things like shark or dolphin. Last week it was a blue and yellow striped fish, to match the pajamas he wore the night before.

Earlier in the summer, a group of girlfriends went to a wine tasting class at a local restaurant called Calistoga. This particular lesson was on sparkling wines (do you know you're only supposed to call them champagne if they are from the Champagne region of France?). We had fun (as far as I can remember - ha!) and the culminating event was the sommelier "sabering" the cork off the bottle.
OK, I promise there's more to come - end of summer, first days of school, etc. - and I won't be delinquent about it. Just wanted to get this out there since I've gotten some complaints. Hope all is well with each of you!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wisp Clips

I am working on organizing photos, etc from our trip and the end of summer, but in the meantime...

Check out for some really cute clippies for little girls with fine/thin hair. Tey don't fall out!! They also have a facebook page that you can "like". Lots of giveaways too! The maker is a great stay-at-home mom friend of mine that's trying to make a little side money. Thanks!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Playing Catch Up and Catchin' Some Rays

Here's the last two months in review:

On April 25th, I completed my first 1/2 marathon. That's right - 13.1 miles of running. My goal was to finish in 2:40 (not a fast time but steady and in keeping with the pace I'd been training at). The race was AWESOME!!! Here are some photos:

The first 8 miles were absolutely a piece of cake. The most challenging was probably mile 11, but that's because my running partner and I missed the flag for it and I thought mile 1o was just lasting forever. My final time was 2:34:43, which was a pleasant surprise. Aaron and the kids, his parents, and my sister and bro-in-law were all there to cheer me on (my parents were in Kansas City).

Here we are at the finish line. Sorry the pic's so small - I took it off of Facebook. It was a pretty chilly day for late April but great for running. We enjoyed some cheeseburgers and chocolate milk at the finish line then a champagne toast back at the hotel. Also enjoyed a ice cold beer while in my ice bath, figuring I was already freezing so what was a few more degrees of cold!

The weather quickly warmed up and we've spent lots of time outside. Here's Harper G running around (does she do anything else!?!) with a mower Caleb loved to play with at her age. Apparently, he wasn't quite ready to part with it, as seen by the expression on his face.

In April, Caleb had some major dental work done - 4 fillings and 2 crowns. Before you can ask, yes, we do brush his teeth religiously, and no, we didn't fill his bottle with Dr. Pepper when he was an infant. The dentist recommended being completely under for the procedure. He did a great job and is very proud of his silver teeth. We're just excited that the crowns are on teeth that he'll eventually lose.

As the school year came to an end, both kiddo's classes had what Riverfield calls "culminating events." Caleb's class had been on a yearlong investigation to learn more about the school's mascot, Big Blue. They planted a garden outside their classroom with blue flowers and worked with the school's art teacher to construct a bird bath and other garden ornaments out of clay that they formed, glazed, and fired. Big Blue's Garden Party celebrated the end of this investigation, complete with an appearance by the mascot, autograph signing, and popsicles. Caleb's in the grey and navy striped shirt (the one that's about a half a head taller than everyone else).

Getting some love from Big Blue.

Harper and her other Butterfly friends celebrated with a Garden Party of their own. Families came to school on a Sunday afternoon to plant shrubs and flowers and create a butterfly-shaped mosaic stepping stone for the Butterfly garden. They also got to explore the Toddler classrooms, which was great because Harper's older infant class moved into a vacant Toddler class for the summer so they're getting a jump start on next fall's experiences.

Another end-of-year event at Riverfield is our Street Party, where the 5 student rock bands (we have Oklahoma's only school rock band program) perform on a stage on our back field with some original, classic, and current rock songs. Caleb and I went - here's his game face.

Caleb and his BFF Anthony rockin' out.

Alissa, April, and I ran the Full Moon 5k a few weeks after the 1/2 marathon. I cut quite a bit off my time, which was nice, and the free beer and live concert afterward were fun too.

The weekend after Mother's Day, Caleb and I ran in the Oklahoma Aquarium Fun Run. It was just a few miles from our house on a rainy morning. Caleb was awesome! With the exception of a few walking steps, he ran the whole mile!! The thing he was the most unsure of was pinning his racing number to the back of his shirt. Grandma and G-Dad came to cheer us on.

Caleb received a t-shirt and ribbon but was most excited about the chocolate milk at the finish line.

Later that day, my girlfriends and I got together with our moms for a "Moms and Mimosas" brunch. It was potluck-style with some super tasty dishes. My mom wasn't feeling all that well but did make an appearance. It was a fun way to celebrate the best moms ever (well, my mom being the best and the others coming in a close second). Also, you might notice the blonding and chopping off of my hair. I was tired of in-between, not long, not short hair. So Tara, my hairdresser, chopped it off and made it a fun summer color.

The kiddos on the last day of school. Since we go to Riverfield in the summer too, our schedule isn't too different for June, July, and August.

As a point of reference, here's the first day of school last fall.
We've been working on letters and letter sounds with Caleb. Apparently Harper's picking up some of it too :)

We've had a great summer so far. Here's photo of Harper, Ellison, and Landon at a concert at a local park. The big kids didn't come prepared for the splash park section of the park, but that didn't stop them from getting soaked!

Caleb's new favorite hobby - urinating outside. This was the first time we caught him. He asked Aaron, who was inside, "Dad, can I make the grass yellow." Aaron thought he said, "Does it make the grass yellow?" to which he responded with an affirmative "yes." And here's the result. (Wonder when he'll realize he doesn't have to pull his pants and underwear all the way down?)

We've enjoyed lots of time in the backyard with our little pool; it's just big enough for a raft for me to float in while C and HG nap. And know why I've been a blogging slacker: I spend potential update time vegging in the wading pool.

Harper's not exactly sure about the water in a bigger pool- she doesn't want to spend time in her float but isn't content with me holding her. She loves our little one though.

Owen, Aidan, and Caleb swimming at Aidan's grandma's house. Caleb has really turned into a little fish this summer and is making great progress at swimming lessons too.

Both kids are loving summer at RCDS! They come in water clothes each morning, play in the water on their playgrounds then change to regular clothes. Here's grown-up Harper Grace and a classmate playing in the home living area of their new classroom.

My friend Mary-Catherine teaches Spanish at school and is working most of the summer in Caleb's class. As a result, he's picking up lots of Spanish and is pretty proud of himself.

Last weekend was Father's Day. Aaron's big present was a Hasty Bake Oven. Google it if you've not heard about it. Trust me, you don't want to ask him about it or he might not stop talking for a few days :) I think we'll really get a lot of good use out of it; you can grill, smoke, and even cook (yep, as in bread, pizza, and cakes). Hopefully the temps will not be too unbearable this summer so we can break it in nicely. We celebrated later in the day with my parents and Morgan and Brian. Shout out to Dad and Aaron, two of the best Daddides in the world!

Our friend Charity taught a cake camp this week and saved a special Tow Mater-shaped cake for Caleb. Note the patronizing "Mom, hurry up and take the picture so I can eat this ASAP" smile. And, you'll see that Harper G destroyed her piece of cake too.

Harper is certainly coming in to her own. Her vocabulary expands daily and she's getting to be quite the drama queen.

She's also learning lots of songs. This is a little hard to get at first, but I promise it's Twinkle Twinkle.

She mastered naming and pointing to various body parts awhile ago but this is the first time she's cooperated on camera.

OK, the end of this post is a little Harper-centric. However, overall, she's gotten a lot less blog time than Caleb. So here's little Miss Thing working on her jump jump jumping.
Other items of note:
  • Congrats to our friends Ashley and Kyle, whose baby Kate arrived a few weeks ago. She's beautiful and I can't wait to get to OKC to squeeze her (and you guys)!
  • Also, way to go, Damaris, on making Top 10 at Miss OK yet again. This was the first year for me to not help with the teen pageant. It was very nice, though very odd, to not live at the Mabee Center during pageant week.
  • If you want to order some Pampered Chef or host a party, contact my sister. She is now a consultant and would love to sell you something!
  • And a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our god-daughter, Ellison! She turned one last weekend and had a fabulous party the weekend before (if you can judge fabulous by having enough candy to make a certain 3 1/2 year old puke!).
Hope you are each enjoying your summer. We're off to the beach in a few weeks. Or, should I say, we're scheduled to be off to the beach but the oil spill could alter those plans. We'll figure it out, I guess. Stay cool out there!!