Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A slower week

Our week is off to a slower start, and I am just loving it!  While activities are fun and add interest to life, it is nice to have a few open days where the possibility of what to do is completely open!  I have even found that I was able to accomplish a few small projects around the house that I have been to tackle. 

Yesterday afternoon the kids wanted to take a walk by the beach and play at the beach park.  It was a beautiful day, so we went!  The kids also wanted to see the fair rides that were being set up as the Ventura County Fair begins tomorrow!

Today we went to the zoo with our friends the Fourtunati's!  Despite the zoo being the busiest I have ever seen it, the kids had a great time, and we didn't lose any of them!!

Here is Faith with Jordan and Isabella!  It is so nice that all the kids get along so well and have so much fun together!

And of course we are enjoying watching the Olympics!  Both kids naturally think that some day they too can represent the United States in the Olympics!  And they both would like to do so in volleyball!  Since that was always my favorite sport to play, I have no problem with that!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Soccer Ends; T-Ball Ends

This was an "ending" weekend as the kids concluded their time at Soccer Camp, and Faith finished her season of t-ball.  It will be nice to have a bit of a break before the fall soccer season starts up as well as all the other fall activities!

It was fun to see the progression Faith has made over the week and compared to last year!  Her soccer skills as well as general awareness are improved.  And most importantly, she really had fun this week!

Here is Faith with her team for the week!

In this picture, Shane is receiving his participation award from his coach.  Shane too had fun this week and learned many soccer skills, but he was definitely not as into the scrimmages as Faith!  When Steve and I first arrived Friday to watch, he was kind of walking around on aimlessly on the field while the game was taking place!  At one point he even watched the ball go past him!  It was pretty funny.  He showed his age in the scrimmages. 

Shane and his teammates from the week.

Faith was a little disappointed her team of Russia did not win the world cup at soccer camp.  But that disappointment was soon changed as her coach chose her as one of the two players to win the Inspire Award for the week.  The coach described the recipients of the Inspire Award as being helpful, encouraging to others, good sports, and all around hard workers at camp.  Of course Steve and I were very proud of our little girl receiving this special award!  Way to go Faith!

After finishing the t-ball game today, all the kids were given a trophy!  The Orioles had a fun season!

This is just kind of a random picture from yesterday!  On Friday afternoons I attend a women's prayer group/Bible study and the kids come too and are able to play.  Faith loves Jasmine, our friends' very sweet, calm dog!

And a random one of Shane just being Shane!  This was taken this morning.  He came into the bathroom to scare me as I was getting ready!  What a character!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Soccer Camp

Both kids have spent their mornings this week at soccer camp!  They are loving it, and I am loving it!  While they learn the many skills of soccer and play fun games, I am running countless errands, enjoying some time to myself, and even squeezed in a pedicure!  Since we bought a mini van this past weekend (getting ready for that third baby!), it was nice to have a bit of extra time to run errands concerning the van this week!

Shane was so excited to wear his new soccer gear, and he felt pretty special to be going to what he perceived to be a "big kid" camp!  He sure looks the part!

In this picture Faith is sitting third from the right as she waits with her team.  Each day the teams compete in short scrimmages.  Each team is giving the name of a country - Faith is on team Russia and Shane is on team Spain! 

An action shot - walking to line up with his team that is!

This isn't from soccer camp, but was taken later today.  We were at a birthday party for a friend of both kids.  What nice brother-sister love!

And finally, with Faith are all her books for first grade!  Her curriculum arrived today, and we are all excited!  She asked if we could start school right away, as in this afternoon!  I was more content just looking over everything!  And we both concluded that it is going to be an exciting year! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friends Birthday Party

Another day another birthday party for Shane!  After the family party on Saturday, we celebrated on Shane's actual birthday of Sunday with Grandpa and Grandma Bruinsma, and then one last time today with a party with his friends at Chuck e Cheese!

A bunch of the kids enjoying their pizza!  Parties at Chuck e Cheese are great - fun for the kids, pizza and cupcakes, and no cleaning for the mama!!

Shane thoroughly enjoying his food!

Chuck e came around and gave out hugs to all the kids!  They thought it was just great!

Shane was thrilled to have his best buddy Miles at his party!  These two are so cute!  And quite a pair of boys who love to be boys! 

Not the best picture, but nice to have one of me and my birthday boy!

Happy Birthday Shane!

It was a full weekend of excitement celebrating Shane's 4th Birthday!  Moving on from Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story, he chose the theme of Spiderman for his party!!  He loved his cake (he actually thanked me for buying it when I picked it up from the store!), and he loved all the Spiderman gifts he received.  And we could not have asked for a better day!

Once again, all the relatives spoiled Shane with an abundance of thoughtful gifts!  Here he is in a very "Shane" pose before the gifts!

While it was a Spiderman theme, he was still excited to receive a Buzz Lightyear Nerf shooter!

Thanks Uncle Russell for the Wii game Resort Sports!  Both of the kids are having fun learning about all the new sports they can play on the Wii!

And the party was caped off with a bike of his own!  A dinosaur bike!  He looks pretty tough riding that bike and wearing that helmet!

Big sister Faith was more than willing to help where needed...or more than needed at times!  Thankfully it didn't phase the birthday boy!

Yummm!!  Cake!!  It was a fun evening for our little boy and for us too!  It is always fun to have so many family members over at our house!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July Havasu Trip

We are back from a quick lake trip!  Since we had never been to Lake Havasu in July, we thought it was time we checked out that month!  Once again, it was a fun trip filled with lots of time in the lake, pool, and on the boat. 

Upon arrival the kids wanted to head straight to the pool.  This worked out well as Steve had to pick up the boat and do a few things with it, so the kids and were there until they (well, Shane more precisely!) were too tired to stay any longer! 

On Monday we took the boat onto the Colorado River and to Pirates Cove for a late lunch.  The highlight of the trip for Steve and I was stopping in the gorge on the way back!  It is so peaceful there, and so beautiful, it makes for a relaxing and enjoyable place to spend time.  And the kids always seem to play so well and entertain themselves so well there!  Steve's Uncle John and Aunt Sue joined us for part of the trip, which was a treat!

Now that it is the summer season, the water park is set up in front of the resort where we stay!  Faith was beyond excited to go there, and it was fun for her to go in there with Uncle John!  I think he had as much fun as she did!

Now it is time to focus on Shane's birthday this weekend, and before we know it, we'll be getting ready to head back to the lake again!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dance Camp

This week Faith has spent her time and energy dancing!  For the first time, she attended Cassie's Dance Camp!  It is a local camp run by a Christian teacher who really has a passion for dancing, girls, and the Lord!  And Faith loved every moment of camp!  With a fun and positive atmosphere, dancing, Christian music, crafts, and about 100 girls, what is not to love??!!  She is already asking to go to both weeks the camp is offered next summer!!
One of the added adventures of dance camp was that Faith wanted her hair done in a different style each day!  For a girl who has been resisting any alteration from the standard side little pony tail, I was thrilled that she wanted some variety!  I thought it was cute that she noticed how other girls wore their hair and wanted to do similar styles!  The picture above shows the day she asked for two braids.  It turned out okay for a mama who has not had much practice!!

At the end of camp today, all the girls put on a performance for the parents to see.  The girls were divided into age-based groups, and each group learned a dance to a different song.  Watching all their hard work in today's show was a real treat!  Sadly, my pictures of Faith dancing in the show did not turn out at all, so here is one from before it began!

We celebrated the fun week and Faith's hard work with some ice cream at Tutti Fruitti after the performance.  As we were walking out of the show Faith said to me, "Hey mom!  I have a great idea...how about we go and get some ice cream?!"

One of the fun things about Faith being gone each day this week was spending lots of quality time with just Shane!  Today we met some of our MOPS friends at Padaro Grill for lunch! 

And here Shane is with his best buddy, Miles!  Neither Miles nor Shane is in the stage of life where they like having their pictures taken!!  On Wednesday of this week the two boys and their wonderful mothers went to see a movie together and then played at the park before picking up the girls from dance camp! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Family Weekend

One of the bright spots of this weekend has been all the family time we have shared.  There has been time to reminisce, laugh, and see family and friends that we don't regularly see.  Despite the circumstances that brought us all together, it has been a good weekend.  

Betsy and I were able to find some new hats!  

Here is a picture of my 20 week baby bump!  Earlier this past week we were able to find out that we are having a baby girl in November!  We are all excited - especially Faith!!  More than half way there!

Finally, a picture of me and my mom!  We decided since we were dressed up, we better take a picture!

Saying Goodbye to Grandma Swagman

I have spent this past weekend in Grand Rapids again celebrating the life of my dear Grandmother, Gertrude Swagman.  She died a week ago Saturday, June 30, quite unexpectedly, in spite of being 92!! I am so grateful that my family and I were able to enjoy breakfast with her the day before she passed away.  What a gift!  And while we will all miss Grandma deeply, we know that she is walking the streets of heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and experiencing pure joy!  Today we celebrated and remembered her life as well as the legacy of faith she has left on this earth.  Grandma had a good life, but also a very challenging one, and her faith remained through all her difficult circumstances.  One of the songs we sang today was "Great is Thy Faithfulness", which captures Grandmas life so well.  We will miss her kindness, thoughtful gifts, chocolate letters at Christmas, funny stories, but we also look forward with anticipation to a heavenly reunion!

4th of July

We had a wonderful 4th of July celebrating this great country in which we live.  The day began with the Ventura Push 'em Pull 'em Parade.  This has become one of our family traditions, and the kids love it as they are able to be in the parade!  

Shane, sporting the Superman shirt (he claimed it was his only red or blue shirt!), rode through the parade in the wagon.  Faith ended up walking most of the way, picking up some of the candy that other kids were throwing out!

After the parade, we went to a church BBQ.  There were many activities for the kids - a bike parade, face painting, three-legged race - along with great food!  A very fun way to spend the afternoon.

Here Faith is participating in the sack race.  She did not fair so well in the three-legged race as she and her partner were the two youngest participants!  

The day of celebration ended with friends coming over to our house to watch the local fireworks and enjoy a post-firework bonfire in the upper part of our yard.  It was a fun day filled with family and friends.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pool Party

We may be back from our trip to Michigan, but the fun has continued!  After church this morning, the kids were invited to a birthday pool party for two of their friends who are turning five next week.  Sun, pool, lots of kids, and pizza all combine for a fun-filled afternoon!

Both kids swimming with a few of their friends!

Pizza!  The perfect party food!

Here Shane is gathering his arsenol of squirt guns before the other kids get back into the pool after eating!  Shane was pretty funny with the squirt guns!  One of his favorite targets was the Pastor of our church, who also happens to be dad to one of the birthday kids!

Faith jumping into the pool and trying to land in the ring!  The parents had fun watching all the fun contests that the kids created.