Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Nic Birthday Blog-O-Rama

Better late than never...Happy Birthday Nic! We had fun celebrating our middle guy turning four. He got to choose a special breakfast (he went with a Dutch baby), and we took a rare trip to the movies to see the new addition to the Planes franchise. Presents and cake topped off the day's excitement.

Nic has grown so much in the last year. Not only is he TALL, but he has slimmed down so much in the face and looks so "boy" now - no more chubby toddler cheeks. He has been incredibly healthy so far this calender year, and it has been nice to go such a long stretch between hospital visits. Since he feels great, he was able to take swimming lessons this summer and is really looking forward to playing soccer in the fall. He will return to preschool when the school year starts up, and considering how much he flourished there last year we expect to seeing a great deal of growth socially and verbally this year. It has been such a joy to get to know him the more he is able to express himself, and I have been so blessed by his tender, comforting heart. When I'm sad there is nothing sweeter than hearing Nic whisper in my ear that he misses his Jjaja too.

Nic is a boy who is all about Cars (as in Lighting McQueen and friends), and it has been neat to watch his play expand to story telling, and I love watching him make-up games like "tractor tipping" (he pretends to be a sleeping tractor and then tips over when Tommy honks at him). The boy loves listening to music and is constantly trying to put something on. His favorite music is our VBS CD on endless repeat, second runner up is an annoying toddler songs disc; my only sanity saver is the occasional (too brief) Slugs and Bugs interruption. He also has a passion for sports, and loves to play tennis out front or get coached at Tommy's football camp in the backyard. We are so proud of our sweet guy and what a kind, compassionate, responsible boy he is growing up to be.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


So, with Summer nearly over, it seems we've got a bit of catch up to do. Between kickball games in the cul-de-sac, tennis in the driveway, and football clinics in the back yard, we've had quite the sports-filled Summer. Among the (nominally) more organized activities, Tommy and I got to play T-ball with the Green [Teenage Mutant Ninja] Turtles. Tommy had a great time - he's a natural ball player, and as usual an even more natural showman. I enjoyed getting to coach.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Eating Brats, or Family Vacation in WI

Last week we had a big "Cox" family vacation, but this time it was in our neck of the woods. We all met up In Wisconsin, in the town where Mike (Emily's husband) has family. It was fun to be in a new place with someone who knew it well. Mike knew all the best places to go (and what we should avoid), and it was neat to be introduced to his favorite meat shop and to hear family stories about spider tunnels and fishing. Not everyone could make it for the entire week, but by the Third we were all together.

We had a blast floating, tubing, boating, water skiing (some people), kayaking, fishing, jumping on the water trampoline, doing puzzles, winning every single game night (if you were a woman - we dominated), eating brat after brat after delicious cheese-stuffed brat, playing Foosball, and hanging out on the dock. There also seemed to be some kind of soccer tournament thing on the television, but I'm not sure. It was wonderful to be together and spend some quality time just hanging out and having fun (and eating brats). We came home fifteen pounds of fine Wisconsin sausage heavier (frozen in a cooler), sun-kissed, tired, and happy. Vacations are the best...except for the unpacking!

Tommy was proud of the United States puzzle we completed.


Tommy took several turns tubing with Aunt Emily

Fishing with Uncle Mike

Cuddle time with Mike and Emily's new baby Islay

Cousin JP!

Enjoying a boat ride

Fresh, homemade strawberry pie. Mmmmm, pie...

Tubing with Daddy

Nicolas is apparently unsure about the bow

There were never such devoted sisters...


Auntie Katie and Cousin Owen

Boat ride with Mommy

Riding with Papa

Uncle Kevin and Auntie Colleen floating with JP!

The family that floats together...



Face painting with Auntie Emily for the Fourth

Take that, Terry Redlin puzzle - Emily and Jeff


U-S-A, U-S-A! (watching Uncle Kevin's firework extravaganza)

Uncle Kevin, conjuror of fire

Kenny loved tubing with Auntie Colleen

Hang on tight

Nicolas made this face the whole time

Thumbs up, ready to go!

The whole crew

A proud Papa and his grandsons

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad came for a visit this month, but we spent most of our time in Wisconsin with the rest of the family (more on that in another post), so he didn't have a lot of time to meet our friends and neighbors in our new community. He left on Tuesday morning, and Tuesday afternoon I was out gardening while the boys were playing in the front when my next door neighbor came over.

Neighbor: So was that your brother who was visiting?
Me: No, it was my dad, but I will tell him you said that because it will make him really happy.

Happy Birthday, Dad! And, you're welcome for the best age-related news you will receive all day.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Happy 4th!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Nic's Birthday Celebration

Until now, we'd never thrown a "friends" birthday party for Nic. We celebrated his first birthday with friends from Congo while at a reunion, and his last two with family in California. This year, since he started preschool, he attended many parties for his friends, so we decided it was time to bite the bullet. Things were made a little (ok, a lot) easier when we won the services of a face painter and a cotton candy/popcorn machine at a silent auction to support a mission project we are participating in later this summer.

We decided to throw the party early so that Nic could attend, as the weather later in the summer will probably be too hot for him to be able to spend much time outside. Unfortunately most of his classmates were on vacation and unable to attend, but some of my friends and many of our neighbors were able to make it. It was such a fun day. Although Nic refused to get his face painted, everyone else looked great! The cotton candy was a huge hit, and they made it to order, allowing the kids to pick from a bunch of favors. I could go on and on about how good the popcorn was (I ate way too much). The kids played on the swing set, we had cupcakes, and Nic opened his presents. We had 16 kids at this party, but it was a thousand times easier than Tommy's crazy day because many of the parents stayed...after all, who doesn't like cotton candy?

Face painting!

Nic's "Party Face"

Cotton candy!