Watch our baby grow!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hooray - a new place to play!

We've enjoyed several walks to a park near our new home that is mostly made up of sports fields, but also has a small playground. The playground wasn't anything to write home about, very small and not super toddler-friendly, so we mostly enjoy running around on the field (check out Eli and Zoe in June). The playground did have a short tunnel that Eli enjoyed, though, until the last time we visited. We were very disappointed to find that they'd taken out the tunnel and boarded up the play structure. On our most recent walk we opted instead to visit a further away, larger playground - but on the way home we passed by the old standby. We were delighted to find that they've put in a whole brand new play structure and some toddler swings!The new play structure has a musical theme, with drums and bells for the kids to play in addition to climbing and sliding. Eli and I were both thrilled with the new additions, and even though we'd already spent time at the other playground, we opted to explore the new digs. I think we'll be make more frequent visits now that the playground has gotten a great new face lift!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fun in the Kirkland sun

Our playgroup met at the Kirkland waterfront last week, and we had a great time! The day started with a free concert from the Brian Waite Band. Trader Joe's was one of the event sponsors, and they also gave away free popsicles to the kids. Eli enjoyed his treat thoroughly! We then moved down to the water for some splashing, but Eli spent most of the time playing in the sand (no surprise there!) with his good friend Hannah. After Hannah went home Eli decided to do some splashing after all, only his venue of choice was the fountain instead of the lake. He had a great time running around in the fountain with two little girls we didn't know...that's our little ladies' man! Finally we settled onto a park bench to enjoy our picnic lunch. It was a very fun day, and some great mommy-son time!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lake love!

Our little family has a new favorite place: Pine Lake Park. We've gone several times this summer, including twice by bike. It's only about 10 miles round trip, but still a good workout with several hills along the way. It's a really great park where we've enjoyed everything from playing in the water and on the playground to watching little league games and playing on the swings. We've even made friends with the local wildlife, including the very bold ducks and a fascinating garter snake that Eli followed half way across the park! We're forming a new Sunday afternoon tradition of packing a picnic and biking to Pine Lake Park. We're really enjoying the fun family time and the wonderful summer weather! On this particular day our trip to the lake was an impromptu one, so we didn't have a change of clothes for Eli. After he played in the water we stripped him down for the ride home (he kept his diaper on, though!).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Camera shy?!

Well, it's a good thing we had no aspirations of child modeling for Eli (though we all know he sure is cute enough!) :), since his new m.o. when someone points a camera at him is to cover his face or turn around. What happened to my little ham who was more than happy to smile for the camera? Even all of Emily's tricks that usually work so well (you can just hear Emily and myself mooing in the park!) aren't fool-proof anymore. He's even gone so far as to tell me to turn off the camera! Needless to say, he's got us all concerned about the much-anticipated family photos we have scheduled in two weeks - we're talking extended family, happens once every couple of years, family photos! Please pray that Eli has a change of heart or at least decides to be exceptionally cooperative during the family vacation. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Eli's first service project

Last night was the last church service of the summer - okay, I realize that needs a little explaining for those of you who aren't familiar with our church...In addition to traditional Sunday morning services, we also have a Saturday evening service, which is the one Ryan, Eli, and I usually attend. We love this service for several reasons, the greatest of which is the fact that Eli stays with us during worship and communion, then goes to his classroom during the sermon (and has his own little Bible lesson). The Saturday service takes a hiatus during the summer, and we all go back to Sunday mornings until the Fall. Okay, now on with the story... :) The church leadership wanted to do something special for the final summer service, and boy did they succeed! We had an extended time of worship, and then the kids all stayed in the sanctuary for the sermon (which was abbreviated for the sake of both the parents' and the little ones' sanity). Then the whole congregation did a service project together - which was really awesome! We partnered with an organization called Children of the Nations to package 10,500 meals for hungry children in underpriveledged countries. It was really amazing! They did a great job of getting everyone involved by creating age-appropriate tasks; Eli's age group helped by coloring the boxes in which the food is shipped. It was so neat to engage in this act of service together, both as a congregation and as a family. As you can see, we especially enjoyed our incredibly cool ensembles: hairnets and plastic aprons! I'll talk about Eli's hand-over-the-face photo posture in a later post!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh happy day! (Part 2)

After what was supposed to be nap time on (last) Tuesday (apparently Eli was way too excited about all this summer fun we're having to sleep), we continued the day of fun with our first family bike ride. We bought a bike trailer at a garage sale a few weeks ago, but had not yet had the opportunity to use it. Ryan spent a good chunk of time tuning up our bikes and fixing a wheel on the trailer, and we were ready to go. Eli was surprisingly excited about his new Thomas bike helmet, which is great for us. It also came with Thomas knee pads, which Eli insists on wearing anytime he puts on his helmet. He was really excited about going for a ride in his new bike trailer!

We ended up going for a two-part trip. First we headed to the nearby shopping center so that Ryan could get a haircut. During the 25 minutes that it took, Eli pooped, and I realized that I neglected bring along any of the necessary "supplies." So, we headed home for a change, threw together a picnic dinner, and then headed back out for part 2 of our ride, destination: Beaver Lake. It was a great ride, and a great day to visit the lake. Despite one minor meltdown (compliments of the nonexistent nap) we had a great time. After not riding a bike for about three years (jeesh!) we'd kind of forgotten how much fun it is! We all really enjot it, and we're looking forward to many more family rides as long as the weather allows!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Oh happy day! (Part 1)

We had such a great day on Tuesday that it earned two seperate posts: pre-nap fun and post-nap fun! You'll have to check back again soon for part 2! We started the day with a super-fun playdate with our good friends Jennifer (my friend), Clara, and Hannah (Eli's friends). :) We headed to Bellevue to try out the new sprinkler park, and boy was it a hit! It took Eli a few minutes to warm up to the idea, but once he got comfortable he had a blast! The park is really well done, with random sprinkler here and there as well as squirting Orca whales (one of which I'm pretty sure is life-size), a half-sunken boat, a spitting frog, a spraying dragon and sea anemones, and a rotating globe fountain. There's so much to explore, and it's all really neat!

Eli decided to test the waters with his foot to make sure it was safe! :)

He decided it was definitely safe - and a lot of fun, too! Hannah thought it looked good enough to drink, and Clara and Eli quickly followed suit.

Fortunately this is as far up as Eli got on the whale. They did a good job of making steep enough that little ones don't make it very far.

After getting nice and wet we headed to a shady spot on the grass for our picnic lunch. The kids sat just long enough to gobble a few bites and get some dry clothes on, then headed to the playground for even more fun! It was hard to leave when we all needed to head home for naps.

Needless to say, we'll be heading back to the sprinkler park soon!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Dada!

Well, it's not the "big 3-0" for Ryan, but it's pretty darn close! Sorry honey! :) Unfortunately Ryan got kinda jipped on the b'day celebrations after all the festivities for mine; but as we all know, Ryan's a bit more low-key than I am anyway, and prefers a more low-key birthday. Ryan had basketball camp on his b'day, so I took the liberty of telling one of the other coaches who, along with all the kids, made a spectacle of Ryan all day. Thanks Erik! Eli and I brought a picnic lunch for Ry and the other coaches, complete with b'day cake, candle, and singing. That evening Ryan got to hang out on the lake on a friend's boat with his small group guys. He opened presents when he got home, including this creatively wrapped gift from my Uncle Harold - the "bow" is made of duct tape if you can't tell from the photo. Nice job Unk!
Friday night Eli and I took Ryan out to dinner, and Ryan chose Chuck E. Cheese (hmmm, wonder who influenced that decision?!). Eli and Dada both had lots of fun. Happy Birthday Ryan!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th everyone! We hope you all had a safe and fun Independence Day. We had a busy but fun-filled day. In the morning we hit the Kirkland 4th of July parade. The event starts with a kids' parade, but I don't think Eli really understood that he was in the parade - he was too busy eating his snack! :) He enjoyed watching the real parade though, especially the fire trucks and police motorcycles. After nap we headed back to Kirkland for a barbecue with some good friends. Eli, Clara, and Hannah had a good time playing together, and Eli enjoyed snacking on (and sneaking) marshmallows while we made s'mores in the backyard. We headed home just before the fireworks began, and the noise was a little much for our tired little man. Fortunately he was so tired that he went right to sleep despite over an hour of "loud banging." Though he was wary of the noise last night, he asked several times today "where's the fireworks?" Maybe next year he'll decide he wants to see them. We'll see!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Oh's the big 3-0!

You'll all have to excuse me for this post; I know this is Eli's blog, but this post is all about me! :)As my 30th birthday approached, I realized I had two options: try to sweep it under the rug, or embrace it and make the most of it. I chose the latter, and am so glad I did! My birthday festivities were spread out over several days, which was really fun. We started last Wednesday when Ryan's parents took us out to dinner at Cheesecake Factory - a real treat! After dinner Eli helped me eat my cheesecake and open my presents; I don't know which of us enjoyed it more. Afterward Ryan's parents took Eli home so that Ryan and I could continue our date night alone. Another treat!

My celebrations continued Friday with a fun girls' night out with several of my girlfriends. We had a great time enjoying good wine and great desserts! It was really fun to get out with the girls and just sit and chat and enjoy the time together. Thank you all so much for helping me celebrate! Special thanks to my small group girls for the awesome blouse to wear, and to Melissa for doing my hair and makeup! You girls are fabulous!
Sunday we had my "official" birthday party; we hosted a backyard barbecue for many of our friends. Despite the uncharacteristically hot weather we had a great time. The kids had a blast playing together, and Eli, Clara, and Grace kindly made "muffins" for all of us using lots of dirt and Eli's toy barbecue! We had a great time celebrating with a great group of friends, and we really appreciate you guys coming over!

Finally, I actually turned 30 on Monday, and it was a truly wonderful day. We started the day with Eli's cardiology appointment, and I was really worried about what the doctor would have to say. As always, God gave us the strength we needed and also blessed us with wonderful news...the hole in Eli's heart appears to be nearly closed! We'll go back in a year for another check-up, but the cardiologist was really positive and believes that Eli won't need any treatment. God definitely wins for best birthday gift!! (Emily, you're a close second with the amazing photo gift!). We are so grateful to the Lord for taking such good care of this precious little boy He has graciously entrusted to our care for the past two years! After our good news from the doctor we headed straight to the zoo, and from there we headed to the beach for a picnic lunch and some play time. It was really such a wonderful day!

Thank you all for your happy birthday wishes - it was a happy birthday indeed! I've decided turning 30 was really great! :)