Sunday, February 23, 2014

My 3 Valentines

This year on Valentine's Day, Jeff was out of town for some much-deserved guy time. But he made sure to leave me a little surprise behind so that I had something special from him. After a few clues by text message, I found several little notes around the house to put together this puzzle message. So cute! Oh, and each message had a little $$ to go along with it, so by the end I had a nice little wad of money to buy myself something fun with. Sweet and cute idea from my #1 Valentine!

Puzzle message :-)

After the kids woke up, they were excited to open their special Valentine package from MeMe and Grand Daddy. Card games (and an extra Nerf gun bullet leftover from Christmas), right up their alley! We ended up enjoying lots of games on the cold Valentine's Day weekend.

Valentine's Day treats from MeMe and Grand Daddy.

Connor's elementary school has two classroom parties each year, and the Friendship Party is usually held on or near Valentine's Day. Since I'm the Homeroom parent for Connor's classroom, I was in charge of getting the party ready for Mrs. Sartor's class. We had a photo booth with props for the kids to get their picture taken, a wooden picture frame to decorate, and even a candy buffet for some take-home treats. The kids were so cute and all had so much fun!

Kaitlynn was my little helper for Connor's friendship party.

The candy buffet table.

Connor with his teacher, Mrs. Sartor.

These two Valentines cuties!

Connor's 2nd grade class.

Connor shows off his decorated photo frame.

Posing for a photobooth pic.

Connor and 2 of his buddies in the photobooth.

I'm so lucky to be his very first Valentine. But most definitely not his last. (sniff sniff)

Posing in front of one of Connor's art class pictures that we found hung in the hallway.

Connor was really excited to share valentines with his friends in his class this year. I found a neat idea for valentine treats on Pinterest that actually turned out really cute. Connor and Kaitlynn both were able to pass out their little Minions (twinkies) to their classmates.

Twinkies dressed up like Minions. The tags said, "You're one in a Minion."

After the Friendship Party, I took Connor and Kaitlynn out for a special Valentine's Day date. We went to Katy Mills, got some cookie treats, went to see the Lego movie, and then enjoyed dinner at Rainforest Cafe. Connor and Kaitlynn were so sweet and really enjoyed our special time together. Although we missed having Jeff around, we still had a great time together on our special date!

Kaitlynn puckers up to give Connor a Valentines kiss along with his Valentine cookie.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fun in the Forest

One of the reasons we picked our home in Katy was the nice sized backyard with wrought iron fence that overlooks a small lake. It's not exactly what we were used to at our last house, but we have a vision of creating the perfect spot that our family can enjoy for years to come. Last month as a belated Christmas present, we added a gate to our backyard fence so that we could easily get to the lake for fishing and exploring.

Connor and Kaitlynn strike a pose in front of the new gate.

Past the gate, there are lots of areas to explore!

What we didn't count on when we bought the house was discovering a bonus in the form of a "forest." There is a patch of woods right behind our house, adjacent to the lake, that the kids love to visit and explore. Such a fun surprise and unexpected treat when living in a big city! Now when Connor has friends over, he always takes them to the forest and they have quite the adventures. Sometimes they pretend to play Survivorman (like the TV show) and so they make sure to bring their camping supplies and survival snacks, ha!

Connor and his buddy Reid about to explore the forest (you can see it in the background).

One day after returning from the forest with the kids, Jeff started telling me about a treehouse and a zipline that he discovered built into the large oak trees. I was quite intrigued, so recently I joined them all for some forest adventures to check it all out. Sure enough, there is a neat treehouse with steps built into one of the trees, and from the treehouse you can ride a zipline about 50-60 yards from one big tree to the next. Oh my goodness, so cool!! Someone spent a lot of time and energy building the zipline and making sure it's secure and safe. We have no idea who did it, but we sure are enjoying it!

Jeff and the kids in front of the big oak tree, treehouse, and start of the zipline.

The kids and even Jeff LOVE riding the zipline! It takes a lot of help from Dad to make sure the kids can get up there and ride safely, but it has become such a fun adventure!

This is how Connor reaches the zipline handlebars.

On your mark, get set...

There he goes! Weeeeee!

Here he is at the end of the zipline. You can see the lake in the background.

Kaitlynn's turn!


Go! She is SO good at hanging on tight!

But Jeff runs behind her, just in case!

And of course, Jeff has to take his turn too.

He starts from the top of the treehouse.


He might be a tad heavier than the kids! ;-)

I took these videos of the kids riding the zipline yesterday. Who knew there would be so much adventure awaiting us right in our own backyard!