Friday, August 31, 2012

Papaw's 80th Birthday

The advantage of being eighty years old is that one has many people to love.
- Jean Renoir
Rick & Lesia once again hosted a fabulous Hicks' Family get-together where we celebrated several special occasions, but the most notable was our sweet Papaw's 80th Birthday.  Their new cabin/home has been the best new addition to our family - Such a wonderful & beautiful, and relaxing place to gather.  And it was a perfect evening for some summer "front porch sittin."  
Thank you both for sharing it with all of us!
Like all the Hicks' get-togethers, we had an enormous food spread of burgers, Rick's hot wings, chips & dips, yummy sides, & delicious desserts . . . 
and ate until our bellies ached
There was also a friendly bow competition amongst the boys   :)
A few even made their way into the pool - brrrr
It goes without saying that we had a wonderful time - as always.  I have the best family in the world and realize how incredibly blessed we are to love & enjoy each other like we do.  

Happy 80th Birthday Papaw,

I hope you can feel the enormous amount of love that all of us feel for you.  You are a remarkable man who has helped shape this family with love and guidance.  I believe I can speak for the entire family when I say, we respect you and appreciate everything you’ve done for us, for longer than we can even remember.  You are an amazing man, one that I admire and appreciate and love. You have shown all of us how to have fun, how to enjoy life, what family means, and joy looks like. You and Granny have been the foundation for our amazing family, not by chance, but by much dedication and love.  I cannot express how profoundly grateful I am for all that you have done.

I have so many memories of the kindness, and love and fun that you have brought to my life over the years.  Many of the best are the simplest.  Waking up to a deliciously hot breakfast or watching you create perfection year after year with your Thanksgiving Ham, or the dash out the door the minute you overhear someone make a request for even the tiniest thing . . .  Don't ever think that "the little things" go unnoticed.  But the thing we will all hold dearest to out hearts: the sweetness of your spirit; your laughter & joy. Simple, perfect, ever lasting.

Thank you Papaw for all of the many, many wonderful memories, for your love, for our family and for the important role you have played in it.  I love you from the bottom of my heart.  You are a great man and I am so fortunate to be your granddaughter.  I pray we have many more years of making memories & celebrating of life & love with you. 

Even to your old age and gray hairs 
I am He, 
I am He who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you; 
 I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Isaiah 46:4

Friday, August 24, 2012

And The Summer Fun Continues . . .

Since it's been SO HOT this summer, our little man has preferred indoor activities, only wanting to venture outside, most days, after Daddy comes home from work in the evening.  Typically it might make me sad to not spend our days by the pool, but growing a baby in my belly can be hot, hard work - and so I haven't minded air conditioned play myself.  :)  Although, it has pushed me to find us some different ways to entertain ourselves.
One idea I found (on Pinterest of course) was the idea to create a Playdough Book.  I searched for & printed off several different coloring pages, many pertaining to trucks/tracktors to make it more appealing to Hunter, and then put them in a binder between plastic page protectors.  Super easy, and it's been fun for both of us to have a different way to play with Playdough.
Abby & I also bought passes for Boing Bounce off of Deal Piggy, which has been a fantastic way to burn energy indoors.
Hunter LOVES jumping, bouncing, & sliding all over these things. 
Plus it's always fun when the mommies get to visit together too!!
Oh these two . . . such sweet little messes
Something I had on my summer "list of to-dos" was to make sure we made it out to one of Gulley Park's free summer concerts.   The night we chose couldn't have been more perfect.  Out of nowhere God blessed us with a couple glorious evenings of cooler temperatures perfect for hanging out at the park with friends.
I just can't help but see the future with these two sweet boys . . . I just hope Hunter shares the same sweetness & adoration for his baby brother when he gets here, as he does for Landon.
Kickin' back in lawn chairs, spreading out on blankets, or running around throwing a frisbee and football . . . this just screams fun in the summer.
The music was great too and  Kellen was eager to show off his awesome dance moves . . . we're just trying to figure out if his mommy or daddy taught him  ;)
We've also had friends over to swim & play a few times.
We celebrated Colson's birthday poolside - with YUMMY cookies.  Hunter thought having an "H" on his, was like the coolest thing in the world.
The sprinkler/baby pool/slide combo is always a hit.
Hunter's also been having some "guy time" with his buddy Kellen.  Their play dates are filled with cars, trucks, tractors, job sites, dinosaurs, & hunting animals with their guns.  It's still so funny to me, to watch boys play . . . how their rough & tough mentality comes by them so naturally.
They have been playing so well together and I think it's been really good for Hunter to bond with another little boy.  I love watching their interaction - Hunter clearly sees himself as the older one, and tries to "help" Kellen do everything, including instructing him on how to play with all his toys.  haha  It's been a great learning experience for all of us . . . I never really realized I was going to need to teach Hunter how to play with others.  But my "ahh-hah" moment occurred when I realized that as adults we have all been catering to Hunter's every wish when it comes to playtime.  He says, "let's play with blocks" and we say "OK."  We've actually been creating him to be bossy a friend - who knew?  So now we're working on suggesting playtime activities & being accepting of any reply that is given.  :)  This parenting stuff is tough - but I can truly say that I'm learning & growing, possibly just as much as the little boy I'm guiding.  So neat.
And although time with the boys is important, girls are still fun to play with too.  :)  Especially cousins.
(I mean seriously - how sweet & cute is that)
Speaking of cousins . . . 
I was so happy when Easton joined Hunter for another play date at "the bouncy house place."  I'm not sure these two quit running, jumping, and playing during the almost 2 hours we were there.
Summer has been great - but it's going by too fast (like always).  We've done well at enjoying most all of the activities on my list for "things to do this summer."  But being that it's probably my favorite time of year, I just hate to let it go.  Luckily, I do love fall (almost as well) which helps make saying goodbye to summer somewhat less harsh.  But no tears yet - I'll be hanging on to warmth, sunshine, and longer days as long as I can!

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace,  who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation,who say to Zion,“Your God reigns!”
Isaiah 52:7