Thursday, August 18, 2016

Life with Kate- Spring and Summer 2016

I've not done a great job of recording our family events and happenings, except for on Facebook. I keep thinking I'll work on the scrapbook but that hasn't happened yet... so it looks like I'd better take better care of the blog! A lot has happened since our last family update post so I thought I'd play catch up from this year with Kate's second birthday just a few weeks away! 

This year I started a new venture as I was invited to be a contributor for It's been such a blessing to have that area of ministry, especially at a time in my life when I often feel trapped because I can't always serve in the ways I'd like to. Anyways, I'm thinking that I'll start to focus this blog on our family as use it as a way to document our life and I'll save my more devotional posts for Creating a Great Day, but as always, parenthood seems to show me many lessons and this wouldn't be my blog if I didn't share from time to time how God is changing me. I might look into some different blog formats, we'll see. But for now... let's just get updated on the year! 

Because it's been so long, I'm trying to keep the pictures condensed- for each picture there is about 5 more I want to share... but don't have the time to do that!! At least I'll have a base for if I ever get to that scrapbook! 

So we'll start with Easter! Aw, my precious baby girl. :) Mimi bought this sweet smocked easter bunny dress for Kate and it's perfect! The Saturday before Easter we had a little easter egg hunt (with empty eggs) for Kate in our backyard. It was fun because Kate had never had a back yard before and the weather was just getting warm so Kate was having a blast walking around in the crunchy brown Oklahoma grass. On Easter Sunday we went through our discovery basket as a family and talked about the story of Jesus, and of course took a peek at what the bunny had left for Kate! After church Blake had to go back to Houston but Kate and I met Uncle Jake over at our cousins house for brunch and an egg hunt! It was a fun Easter! 

It's been really fun to watch Kate's play develop over the last few months! In this picture she was walking Cinderella up and down the stairs- this was the first time to really take interest in pretend play. Of course it's blossomed even more since this picture but this was the beginning! 

We found ourselves back in Houston as Blake's job in OKC still had not started. Ben and Jerry's had their free ice cream cone day so of course we had to go! I didn't think we were actually going to give Kate her's so I ordered like a chocolate chunk type flavor---I was wrong!
 Kate had her first ice cream cone and LOVED it! This experience, while fun, was I'm sure stressful on my husband. He can't stand to have sticky hands and of course a toddler having her first ice cream cone is well... a big sticky mess! Blake, you're a good sport, my dear! 

While in Houston we wanted to milk all the time we could with our friends. We had a zoo trip with Juliana and Kayla... oh I miss them so much!! Leaving our friends and family in Houston was not an easy thing to do. Can't sugar coat it, just so grateful for our time in Houston.

Of course that brings us to the day we actually had to say goodbye! It was some time in April. Of course it was hard, but we were happy to not have to be floating back and forth anymore! Those were a stressful couple of months but it gave us more time to say goodbye and that was nice. 

It didn't take us long to get settled in and the weather happened to be amazing! Blake got his first grill- a weber! We were pretty excited as we'd been looking forward to the day we'd be able to have back yard cook outs! We had fun trying different recipes! 

Couldn't leave this one out- Kate LOVES her rhyme Bible! On more than one occasion she's wanted us to read the whole book to her. She knows where her Bibles are and asks us to read from them often. I've tried to have a set bible time each day with a craft and song but I wasn't very good at sticking with it. (Sorta like how I'm not always good at keeping up at my personal studies) Anyways, I'm hoping to get a some structure set up so that Bible time will become a priority. That being said, Blake and I are doing everything we can to incorporate our love for Christ into our daily lives. We are praying with Kate often and she's learned how to fold her hands out of respect and say thank you. We try to point out all that God has made whenever we think about. Sometimes when we walk home from the park I'll just say a prayer as I push her in the stroller and we say thank you for for the fun time we had at the park. She loves going to church and bible class (even if she does cry at drop off time) and I'm so thankful for all the people in her little life who show her God's love! 

Another fun part about being back in the OKC area is being close to my brother! He's been busy this summer with Summer Singers and classes but we still have gotten to see him a few times and that's been fun for all of us. Kate knows who he is and calls him by name. She loves it when he plays with her or reads to her. Hoping he'll bring over his guitar or violin one of these days because I know she'll love that too! 

We got to take Kate to her first tea party at Inspirations Tea Room in Edmond. Perhaps my favorite place in the whole OKC area, this sweet little restaurant is tucked in an area of tall tress and full of charm. Kate LOVED her scone! I'm so looking forward to many many tea parties there with my sweet girl! I imagine we'll have all sorts of conversations in their dining room over the years. :) 

Of course, we're able to send more time with Blake's family now, which is wonderful. We've had a couple of fun visits this summer for different activities like going to see the Bartlesville High School production of "7 Brides for 7 Brothers" and watching Pam accompany the children's theater in Beauty and the Beast. They have made their way down here a couple of times too! 

Mother's Day 2016! We had a relaxed Mother's Day with church and then came home and Blake made waffles! Kate wore a little dress that was mine when I was her age- given to me by my Grandma Lehman. 

What would this lengthy post of memories be without a bath picture? A couple of things to note about this one- first is her bard animal toys! These are the toys that really started to help her speech. She began to identify them by their sounds- calling the horse "neigh" and the lamb "baa" ect.. We LOVE barn toys, books, and songs because they helped Kate learn to talk. Before she got interested in barn animals she was pretty much only saying, "Dada" "cracker" "more" and "Mama" but learning her animal sounds opened up a wide door of language for her! So exciting! 

The second thing worth noting with this picture is that our little pumpkin was sick when I took this- can you even tell? We were taking a morning bath to bring down her fever- it didn't work and we ended up at the clinic a couple hours later. Turned out she had the flu and strep throat! Poor girl! It was a tough week but we all made it through! 

We ventured to the OKC Zoo as well!! We actually got membership passes but it's been too hot this summer to want to trek out there. Looking forward to fun fall visits though! OKC has a great zoo, which is a good thing because Houston has a good zoo too and we'd be sad if we had to move somewhere with a not-so-great one! 

We also got a fish this year. Kate had learned to say "fish" and it was really cute so we got one. Sadly our fish is no longer with us, but he hung around for several months! Also any tiny desire I had to own a pet was diminished after buying the fish. Just having to change his water every week was a pain, not sure I have it in me to care for a pet that requires even more care than that- ha!! I'll still with my toddler! :) 

Memorial Day 2016

It's so much fun for Kate to be around her Aunt Jenny! 
Seriously though, Jenny is a wonderful example of a christian wife and mother and I'm grateful I get to be around her more now that we are here! I learn a lot from her! Plus, she is pretty fun! :) 

And speaking of Jenny... we love her kids too! Meredith is the best babysitter. :) It's hard to get a picture with her 4 kids AND Kate when we are together so I'll make it my goal to get one soon! 

Things have been going really well for us at South Yukon Church of Christ, and I owe a lot of that to my sweet friend Doris. Right away she got me back in the bunco group and leading the skit for the spring Ladies Day. It was almost like we'd never been gone. Doris tells me often that she knows it might sound weird because we are so far apart in age but that I really am her friend- and I feel the same way. It's so easy to limit our friendships with those in similar life phases and circumstances but I'm so grateful that my parents raised me to look beyond that stuff. Love this woman to pieces. 

Father's Day 2016-- This is how it goes when you wait until after church to take a picture! I love it though because this picture speaks the truth 100%. Can't remember exactly how we spent the day but I think we picked up Golden Chick for lunch.

We got an inflatable pool this summer and only used it a handful of times. Next year I think we'll go with something more simple! But I just love the sky in this picture. I think Oklahoma has some beautiful evenings, especially in the summer. 
So thankful we have a nice backyard where we get to see them! 

This summer Kate went to Splash and Play the community pool in Mustang. She liked it a lot the first couple of times and then she'd had enough. It was still a good experience. Swimming hasn't been her favorite thing to do this summer- which is fine by me because it's a lot of work to take a toddler swimming. I'm sure in a year or so she'll be a little fish that we can't get to come out of the water! 

She did enjoy her little backyard pool though. We really should have used it more! We had a fun playdate with our new friend Lilly and the girls had so much fun splashing around. It's been fun meeting new friends at church and entering into the world of play dates! 

At the end of June, Kate and I got to take a fun trip to Galveston with my parents. We had a beach house right by the water and enjoyed Moody Gardens as well. It was Kate's first time to see the ocean and she was pretty amazed by it, she of course loved getting dirty in the sand! We also got to see a lot of family on this trip like my Aunt Mary and many on my mom's side of the family. 
So glad we got to  do that! 

Next up... Forth of July!!! My parents came up and we all had fun at John and Janine's house. All of my cousin's kids are great with Kate but Caleb is just so sweet-- love catching moments like this one! 

Kate is loving the park! We've spent lots of time playing at the park this summer and I'm sure we'll do it even more as the weather gets better. Right now Kate's favorite things to do are swing and climb. She's enjoys the slide but doesn't always enjoy the work you do to get to the top of the slide! 

This summer we made the drive to Ponca City to celebrate Genie's 90th birthday! Her church had a really special party for her and we were so glad we got to be there. 

Kate got to meet her Great Grandma on Blake's side of the family in July. We drove up to Atwood, Kansas to stay with Blake's Uncle Ron and Colleen. We met up with Pam and Heather while we were there too. We got to see some of the farm and visit with family and of course, had great food! They loaded us up with some good beef to take home with us and we saw my Aunt Thelma in McPherson on the way home. It was a short trip but also fun! Kate loved the wide open spaces. 

There is so so much more I could post but I think I've covered the big stuff. There are pictures with friends and family I wish I could add but that would make this post way too long!! They are on Facebook at least!

I have to add just a couple of pictures of what Kate is interested in right now though! 

She loves to play! Even more, she loves to play with you... or me... or anyone who gives her attention! Blake started a new thing with her where he ties a rope to her laundry basket and calls it a boat... Kate loads up her "friends" and they go for a spin. It's now impossible for her to keep her dirty clothes in the hamper!! Thanks, daddy. ;) 

She also is growing quite fond of her dolls and stuffed animals. She enjoys making them do things ride on her pony, read a book, eat, or sleep. She is good about practicing life skills with her toys now. 

She likes to make "soup" with her pretend veggies and one of my small pots and wooden spoons. 

She likes to put momma and daddy to bed- she covers us with a blanket on the floor, pats our head, and tells us night night. We do this over and over again every day. 

She enjoys stacking blocks to make a tower and doing the little box shape puzzles, where you put the different shaped blocks in the correct hole. She has a big barn we picked up from Craigslist that she has fun with. She loves books. Loves them. 

She loves to color! She calls her coloring projects her work, and like it best when you are doing it with her-- but only with the crayon or marker she puts in your hand! She loves stickers. We especially like stickers during church. 

Her eating is hit or miss, but she loves her snacks. Her favorite snack is "teddy bears" those little teddy graham cookies... trying to limit those but she asks for them almost every day. She likes Tyson chicken nuggets- the thing I promised myself I'd never feed my child until suddenly they became the only meat she would eat. She loves applesauce, yogurt, peaches, grapes (just started eating those this week!!), cheese, raisons, cooked carrots, and bread. Oh my, the bread. Food is a challenge but I'm not stressing over it. It's just not worth it! We offer her new foods every day and sometimes she goes for and most of the time she doesn't. We just keep trying! 

Life is so much fun with this girl. She keeps us busy and helps us to grow more that she knows. 

Now that I've gotten some documentation of the year 2016 in an organized manor I feel a little better. Maybe someday I'll get to that scrapbook but if not I'm happy to have the scrapbook of my generation- my blog! :) 

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