Monday, July 26, 2010

Birthday Wrap-up

We are finally finished celebrating Shane's birthday!  He's had quite a celebration for a 2 year old!  Following the wedding hoopla, Grandma and Grandpa Bruinsma were able to spend a couple days at our house, and so we managed to highlight our favorite little man's big day once again!  One of the gifts he received was a basketball hoop.  He and Faith our absolutely loving it!  Even more than I thought they would, which is always a great thing!  For me, it brings back the memories of my first hoop (very similar to what Shane received!), and then how basketball moved from just "playing" around to actually working at the game and practicing the skills.  Could this be the start of a life-long enjoyment of a sport?  The possibilities are endless!  We enjoy introducing them to many different sports and activities, and it will be interesting to see what the kids choose to pursue!

At times Faith concentrates intently!  She already has a wide repertoire of shooting methods.

As of this posting, Shane is a one-dimensional player with his only shot being the slam dunk!  Accompanied with an exuberant "Yee-Haw!!"

What form!

To celebrate the birthday boy, we went to Wood Ranch where he enjoyed some Mac-n-Cheese and a birthday sundae!  I don't know if he has ever had hot fudge before, but I wouldn't be surprised if he starts asking for it regularly!  The look on his face when he discovered the chocolate on the bottom was priceless!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wedding Weekend

This was a big weekend for our family.  For Steve and I, we were able to celebrate our five year anniversary!  And what better way for us to reflect on our five years of marriage than going to a wedding - officiated by the same minister who married us!  So really, while we did bask for a few moments in the joy of being married, the focus of the weekend was on Steve's cousin Katie (Roeda) Halma's wedding.  Since our kids each had a role in the wedding, it was even more special!  The setting for the wedding was a beautiful vineyard in Temecula, CA.  It was a gorgeous setting (flowers, lakes, fountains, etc.) a beautiful wedding, and a wonderful party!  I have some pictures from the wedding festivities, but they are mainly of my kids!!!  I didn't take any during the ceremony as I was solely focused on Shane walking down the aisle (ring bearer style!), and then keeping the kids from being distracting during the ceremony!  As I type that, I realize how self-focused that is sounding, but unfortunately, it was reality!!

Faith checking out the scenery during the rehearsal

With cousin Haley playing Ring-around-the-Rosie at the rehearsal as we attempted to keep them entertained!

Getting a pep-talk from Aunt Sue! 

Relaxing before her job of passing out candy began.  She took the job very seriously...she was hunting guests down who arrived and did not stop by her assigned position to give them candy!!

The ring bearer with his pillow!  And yes, he actually made it down the aisle!  Thanks to my parents watching him in the staging area, and being able to walk towards me, holding some candy, he made it!!

This was an attempt to get a pic with the kids in the wedding.  It was at this point I thought there was no chance in the world Shane would co-operate for the wedding!!

Steve with Faith and cousin Amy's daughter, Natalie.  One of the highlights of the wedding was being able to see so many relatives.  Since no one lives in Temecula, we all stayed at the same hotel and it felt like one big party! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Shane!!

Shane - wearing Buzz pjs and rescuing Buzz from the drawer!

Tomorrow my little boy will celebrate a birthday!!  Yes, Shane (aka little man, Shane-man, little rascal, Shane dude, little monkey) is going to be two!  It's hard to believe that two years ago at this time, we still didn't even know whether we were having a boy or a girl, and had no idea what he or she would be like!  Many people told us that kids in the same family can be very different from each other, but it was hard for us to fully comprehend.  And then Shane was born.  Right from the start, we observed a mellow, laid-back, sweet little boy, and that is exactly what he is.  Well, he's become a little less mellow as of late; he is after all almost two! 

As I watch him become more of a toddler every day, it's exciting to see him and grow and develop, but I also like to hang on to those moments when he wants me to hold him and just sit and cuddle.  Those "baby" moments are becoming fewer and fewer in between, which is a good thing I keep telling myself, but they can still be hard to let go of for this mama!  But tonight I choose to celebrate what he is and what he is becoming...a little boy who talks all the time (and can say the cutest things!), is surprisingly very polite, insists on having a hug and kiss before going to be each night, and already appears to be thoughtful.  I am grateful each day for the blessing that Shane is to our family.  God is so good to us!  Thank you for our little boy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Swimming Pool

Once again we took advantage of the warm, beautiful day and had some fun with water in the backyard!  Today the pool made it's summer debut!  The kids loved being able to swim and just play in the water.  Shane especially enjoyed it as last year when we used the pool he was not walking yet and therefore unable to do much as crawling in a pool doesn't work too well! 
Building up courage to go down the slide!

Having a wonderful time!

Shane was hesitant at first to go down the slide as we wanted to avoid the "cold" (apparently anything that doesn't feel like the bath is cold!) water, so he would hang out on the side!

Splashing around!

By the end, Faith was jumping onto the slide and then going down!  Not a great light situation with the white slide, but a neat picture!

He loved climbing up the slide and then jumping off! 

Toy Story Party!!

Saturday we celebrated Shane's second birthday with Steve's family!  Given his love for all things Toy Story, we naturally had a Toy Story themed party!  Leading up the the party, Shane's main concern was that there would be cake and ice cream.  Anytime we ask him, "Are you going to have a birthday soon?"  He would promptly respond with "have cake and ice cream!"  And despite the constant cake-talk, the highlight of the day for him was receiving a Buzz Lightyear toy!  It has been so fun to see him so excited about a toy and play with it continually!  Here are some pictures from the party...

Faith enjoyed playing soccer with Uncle Joe

Starting to open gifts...he was excited at first just to tear off the paper and have a box to climb on!  Little did he know what would come later!

Naturally, Faith was a big help with opening the gifts

Here it is!  Buzz!

He now claims to be a Space Ranger like Buzz

"To infinity and beyond!"

Enjoying the cake and playing with the Woody figurine from the cake!

For Shane, this was just the beginning of the festivities!  His actual birthday is this coming Thursday, which he will spend at the rehearsal for a wedding in which he is the ring bearer.  And following that, the celebration with Grandpa and Grandma Bruinsma!  More good times ahead for this birthday boy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Backyard Fun!

Summer temperatures have finally reached Ventura, and we are taking advantage!  Today was brought out the water table so the kids could splash and play and enjoy the sunshine!  They had a great time, and I enjoyed being able to water the flowers (which was very relaxing!) and be a Popsicle supplier!
It wasn't long before Shane tried climbing up into the water table!

And naturally Faith had to follow!  Here they are trying to kick and splash!

Filling their tea pots for a tea party

Faith, my little helper, also helped water the flowers and picked up all the plums that had fallen on the ground.  She does this daily as she still thinks helping me around the house is fun!  I'm hoping this continues for a long time!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Afternoon at the zoo

This afternoon we traveled up to Santa Barbara to go to the zoo.  It is always lots of fun to visit the zoo, and today was no exception.  As we arrived, Shane was in the back seat saying, "So excited to go to zoo!  So excited zoo!"  All the animals were on display, including the snow leopard, and we saw a few up close!

A great view of the lions!

This was also a big visit in the sense that we were sans stroller!  Shane said he preferred to walk, and he actually did really well!  He wanted to be held at times, mostly to have a better view of the animals, but mostly walked holding my hand!  I loved it!!  Also, as we walked away from each animal, Shane would say, "Good bye _______ (insert animal name).  Sleep tight!"  It was pretty cute.  He's quite the little talker!

Here's Shane crawling into the birds nest in the play area.  He was saying to himself, "Be careful!  Don't fall and hurt yourself."  He may hear those types of things quite a bit!!

She always loves sliding down the hill!

Shane sliding

As mentioned in previous postings, I have a difficult time taking pictures of the two kids together!  So while neither is actually looking at me, they're right next to each other!!

One last slide!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Happy (late!) 4th of July!  We hope everyone had a wonderful day celebrating the independence of our nation and the freedoms we are able to enjoy!  It was a busy day for us as being Sunday, we had church in addition to our 4th of July celebrations!  Our tradition for the 4th has become that part of Steve's family comes over for a BBQ, time at the Ventura street fair, fireworks, and a fire in the backyard!  It was a great time!  We are fortunate enough to be able to see fireworks from our backyard, so that makes it so easy as we don't have to fight crowds or traffic, and also that the kids can sleep through it!  Yes, our kids are yet to see fireworks!  The kids were so worn out from a day of fun-filled events that they actually asked to go to bed last night!  Here are a few pictures to enjoy from our great day...
Faith with Aunt Renee

This little guy is always on the run!

Fun times on the swings

The kids adore Vincent!

Faith at the street fair

Another action shot

The end of the day...about the time she asked to get her pjs on!!