Friday, July 31

Finley's Teeth

My kids have all been early teethers--and it seems like they are a bit ahead of the curve on losing teeth too! Especially Keaton... who lost his first two teeth at the ripe age of ONE. Finley lost his bottom two teeth awhile ago--the first one was lost while eating a hamburger. He never even noticed--Sol just saw there was a gap! So that tooth is somewhere in the Beaumont sewer system currently.

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Within the span of a week, he lost both top teeth and one of the side bottom teeth. The top two had been loose for so long. In June they had gotten knocked to the side at basketball camp--instead of being evenly spaced, they were both pushed to the right (you can see in the picture in the blue shirt!) They really needed to come out--he had a hard time eating and both were dying an possibly getting infected. We pulled out the first one but he really wanted the second to fall out on its own.

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I should have taken a picture on my nice camera of his one ganky tooth--but this iPhone one will work! It was just ridiculous. Kind of twisted sideways--and not looking good at all. Also, I think he was dressed up like a secret agent.

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Eventually we pinned him down and pulled out the other one--promising him a Lego set if he cooperated. It seriously was starting to look infected! He did NOT think that was a good idea, but as soon as Sol popped it out he realized that he had been fussing for nothing. Sol really wanted to tie it to a doorknob to pull it out... Finley was not convinced. Finley's looking forward to the big teeth coming in so he can get back to eating apples--but in the meantime, we're enjoying the fact that Keaton and Finley are both slightly eating challenged!

Thursday, July 30

Trail West Family Camp

In early July, we went with a few other local families to the Young Life Family Camp in Buena Vista, CO--Trail West. We had so much fun! We drove, like we typically do because, hey! it was only 17 hours.  We stopped for lunch in Salida, CO which I deemed the Austin of the middle of Colorado and we loved it. It's on the river and had tons of cute restaurants... and a train. It was a great stop before we arrived at camp.

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We did lots of stuff at Trail West. These pictures aren't in any certain order--so I'll just comment on each activity. The camp was great at having a mix of scheduled and unscheduled time. There was time for family activities, kids activities and adult activities--and relaxing. We really could be as busy or relaxed as we wanted. I wasn't able to participate in many of the big activities... river rafting, ropes courses and horseback riding aren't great for pregnant ladies.

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We'll start with what Keaton hated the most--a small hike to the top of the mountain! This was towards the end of the week and all the boys were a bit rundown from the lack of sleep (sharing a small room with three small kids means... no one sleeps well) and Keaton rolled with it most of the time--except the hike. He literally cried the whole time, which is very much unlike him! Some of the kids' staff carried the kids up and down when they got too tired which was awesome. The view was awesome and the boys loved that there was still snow at the top!

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There were a few cowboy themed events--which was fun because we live in Texas and needed a chance to wear all our new western duds. Keaton got to wear Finley's outfit from his first birthday--glad the pearl snap onesie and boots could be reused!

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Finley took his role as a self-appointed bandit very seriously. He pretended to shoot basically everyone. He's actually wearing his belt from his first birthday in these pictures. Yes, he's a skinny fellow. The boys participated in a little rodeo and a western dance--they all loved dancing so much!

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This is a random assortment of pictures. There was a Christmas party. We trekked over to another Young Life property--Frontier Ranch--and got to use their pool and water slide. (It was too cold to swim but we did anyways.) And there was a family challenge where you had to do lots of activities and Sol was basically the only one of us with enough spunk to participate. Mama was tired.

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One morning we took a wagon ride out to the wrangler breakfast--which was just gorgeous! The boys did their best to catch french toast that was flung at them.

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We had a solid group from Beaumont on the trip--and got to dress up in nice clothes one night for a fancy grown up dinner with no kids!

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Look at that handsome man! I sure can pick them.

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I think the highlight for Sol was getting to go on a jeep tour of the area! He wants a jeep more than just about anything--so I think this was able to scratch that itch for awhile.

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Our destination in the jeeps was a ghost town--the main attraction was a bunch of chipmunks that the kids got to feed!

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I love this picture of Emily Claire and Braden--I told them to hug each other and this is what they did. Sweet kids. Finley desperately wanted the chipmunks to eat the seeds off his belly. I don't think he was successful.

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This family picture was taken right before Sol ruined Finley's life by accidentally dumping out all the sunflower seeds that he had smuggled in his hat. Whoops.

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Another activity I couldn't do--the ropes course! Sol was a huge trooper and carried Braden most of the way across. Braden did not understand the concept of holding on to Sol and made it very difficult to keep him safe!

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Because Sol got Braden to the other side, they got to do the zip line, which Braden LOVED. I think Sol's favorite thing in the world is ziplines so I'm glad he got to share that special moment with Braden.

Finley gave the ropes course his best effort--he was really nervous about it and did a really great job! When he fell off midway through he held on for a really long time before he finally dropped the line and let his rope catch him. Sperrys might not have been the best choice in footwear. Finley did a pretty good job climbing the climbing wall--he enjoyed that a little more.

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Camp ended on the Fourth of July--which meant we had a really great drive home, watching lots and lots of fireworks through the Panhandle of Texas.

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We had such a great time--relaxing with friends, playing with our boys, and catching up on sleep when we could. And the icing on the cake--we all got to hear great messages about Jesus. It was great to know that our kids were being prayed for and were in great care of leaders who love Jesus!

Thursday, July 16

Breakfast at Willy Burger

I mentioned int he previous post about eating in Austin--that after spending two weekends eating fun food in Austin, Sol forgot we lived in Beaumont and wanted to go get fun, hip stuff for breakfast. Willy Burger was about as good as we could do.

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We've been to Willy Burger a few times for lunch and dinner and we really enjoy it--they have great burgers and fries and a cute atmosphere. We barely made in time for breakfast--and I'm so glad we did! It was delicious. The boys and I loved our pancakes and Sol's breakfast sandwich was great. And they had chocolate milk.

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For the sake of the blog, I've been making a sincere attempt to take more pictures and post them even if they aren't perfect... it's tough to find time to pick up the camera with as many boys as are whizzing past me all the time, but they love looking back at all our memories and they aren't too discerning about white balance and stuff. So imperfect pictures it is. :) We have so much fun taking them places and enjoying time together--and fielding the inevitable questions about what kind of baby is in my belly. Spoiler alert: we still don't know.

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Tuesday, July 14

Swimming in the Summer

Beaumont is hot. It's so hot, friends. And for some reason, there aren't many public pools. Actually I don't think there are any. Luckily, we have a few friends with pools that share their cool water with us.

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These pictures are rare gems--because I'm in them! Also because I'm super pregnant. Jenn came to visit and grabbed my camera and snapped some of me with the boys and I'm so grateful. We put Keaton in swimming lessons this year (see video below!) and he surprised me with how much he took to it. I'd always kind of scoffed at babies in swim lessons... but he kind of can swim! When he started jumping in he was doing more of a dive which was a bit scary... but he eventually changed it to a jump.

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Braden is a reluctant swimmer, but he can do it. He'd rather wear his floatie and paddle around independently... but he's actually a decent swimmer when you can motivate him to do it. He loves to jump in and be thrown and just play in the water.

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Unfortunately, Finley isn't in any pictures. He's gotten the hang of swimming this summer--it's so strange to have a kid that can maneuver around and not drown! The videos below are on the boys' last day of swimming lessons--and unfortunately, Finley got a pretty serious head wound the day before that required five staples, so he had to sit out of swimming. It's been an eventful few months with our emergency room visits!

Keaton just cracks me up in the pool. He's pretty good at leaving his earplugs in, but will sometimes take them out and hand them to me. He's content to wear the floatie and likes to kick around. Braden is a cute swimmer but tends to not put his head up to breathe! He really did not like lessons, but he did it! And I'm so proud of him.

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