Monday, July 29, 2013

Shawnee Mission Park

One of the great things the KC area has to offer is several different parks with hiking trails, lakes, paths and playgrounds, all within a short drive.  Shawnee Mission park has become one of our favorites lately. 

The past two Sundays have been absolutely beautiful and unseasonably cool (70's and low 80's!) so we've been to that park two weekends in a row.  There are several trails for runners and bikers, and we've walked the shortest path a couple of times now.  The boys like looking for "treasures" and different bugs to check out.  

We also stumbled upon a little island with the PERFECT climbing tree.  It's Ethan's favorite thing about the park.

 Just this past weekend we headed back to the park and did it all over again.  We took the short hike, the boys rode their bikes and then Nana joined us for lunch.  

After bike riding and lunch we headed down to the lake area and thought it'd be fun to rent a couple paddle boats.  The weather couldn't have been better, nice and cool.  

Do you think Ethan had a good time or what?!

Blog signature

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mr. Lion

I mentioned in my last post that Ethan has a buddy named Mr. Lion.  He's always cuddled up close to him at bedtime and is always there when Ethan needs a little comfort.  He's like medicine, makes everything better.

I remember plucking him from the toy shelf at Target one day while shopping.  Ethan was around a year old and I was trying to keep him happy while I browsed.  Retail employees LOVE moms with kids...we will take anything off the shelf and give it to our children, then put it away no where near it's original location.  I still do it, and I only feel a tiny bit of guilt about it (many years of being on the employee side!).

Anyway, I found the picture I took of these two when they first met.  I remember thinking it was so cute that Ethan was hugging and kissing him, little did I know they'd grow to be besties. Sometimes those impulse buys are regretful but this one turned out to be one of the best buys.

Four years, hundreds of hug, a haircut!, and several washings later....
...thanks for being a good pal, Mr. Lion.

Blog signature


Dear Five Year Old Ethan,

I remember sitting in this exact spot one year ago writing a Happy Birthday letter to you, feels nothing like 12 months ago.  How is it that the hours in a day can draaaaaag on but the days of a year whip by so fast that before you know it, your kids are 3 inches taller and 5 pounds heavier?  Crazy how that works.

We took this picture on the eve of your birthday, you asked if I was sad that you were getting older.  I said yes that it was bittersweet, but that I was so excited for you!  Look at yourself, such a handsome little man.  After we took this you asked to look at it and then turned to me and told me that I was pretty.  You might have asked for yet another snack, but I pretended not to link those two statements together.

This past year has given us several firsts in your life.  First time riding your bike with no training wheels, first time playing a team sport (t-ball and soccer), first time being able to swing with NO help and much more.  If I blink I might not witness something so I try to keep an eye on you always, before I know it we'll be celebrated birthday number twenty-five.

You and Alec still have a classic brotherly relationship.  Lots of loving but lots of arguing, too.  You are bossy at times (more times than not, actually) yet you are also very tender towards him.  We were at the gym the other day and you told me Alec fell from the slide and cried out for you, so you hugged him and brought him over to where you were and read him a book.  That's what brothers are for, I hope you remain close forever.

Mr. Lion, Sargent Teddy and your white blanket are still your must-have's at bedtime.  I love the innocence in having these things to make you feel safe.  I actually just got done putting you to bed, and you fell off the step stool after brushing your teeth.  Tears were streaming down your cheeks so I said Mr. Lion could hear you and wanted to give you a hug.  Immediately you smiled and ran to get him.  I remember the day I bought him for you (you were not quite a year old, and I needed something to keep you occupied at Target while I shopped...he looked cuddly enough, the rest is history).

I love your spunk and imagination, you are so full of energy (like any other 5 year old!) and never seem to slow down.  You are FULL of questions and want to know why, how, what and when about everything.  A are most definitely a sponge.

Thank you for giving me the best job in the world, I love you with all my heart. Happy 5th Birthday!



This was the first year I let Ethan invite friends to his birthday party.  I let him ask three friends, and he chose Christopher, Keegan and Addy.  We had his Lego-themed party the weekend before the 4th at Brougham park just down the street.  The weather was perfect and the party was simple.  Cake, gifts, friends and a pinata...what more could you have wanted?! He was thrilled with it all.

My favorite picture!

Everyone took turns hitting the Lego Ninjago pinata with their masks on.

He got a lego set, creepy crawler book, Ninja turtle legos, a car rug, Spiderman Web shooter, Superman and more!  

Besides his friends, Grandma and Dakota drove up from Wichita and, of course, Nana was there to celebrate as well.  The best part was that his actual birthday was still to come!

The night before the 4th, Nick and I put 50 balloons on his bedroom floor while he was sleeping.  We thought he'd be excited to wake up to a room full of festive balloons, but instead he said, "What's with all the balloons?"  Ha! Go figure. 

We gave him the game Operation and a Power Wheel Jeep (thank you, craigslist...score!) for his big day.  He was pretty excited!

It was 6:50am and they were both riding around in the their underwear.  

After we got dressed we headed to the gym (can't miss a workout just because it's your son's and country's birthday!) then headed to a park with Ethan's choice for lunch.  McDonald's, if you must know.  After some rest time we all headed to the pool, and Nana joined us for some grilling out afterwards.  

Finally, to round out the night, we all went down the street to watch the fireworks.  This was Alec's first year and he handled it like a pro.  Didn't even fall asleep!  

I love that his birthday is July 4th, how could you NOT enjoy your special day!? Hope you had a great birthday, Ethan!!

Blog signature