Monday, August 24, 2015

The Bittersweet Back to School

So many times recently we've been asked if we are "ready for back-to-school"? Every time, I enthusiastically shake my head yes while the boys do the opposite and say no!  They claim they aren't ready for summer to be over and when they are in the midst of a loving brotherly fight, I can not wait for the day to finally get here!
Now that the day is finally here, I've been finding myself thinking.  They are excitedly getting ready, claiming to "get up early" in anticipation of the first day.  All the while, I say up late, preparing lunches, and crafting teacher gifts and thinking...
It seems as though the tables have turned a bit.  Now that I will be saying goodbye to them every morning and watch them crawl under the fence and walk to school I keep thinking of all the things we didn't do or maybe didn't do enough of this summer.  I think of all the helpful things I have found with them being home with me all summer.  I wonder WHO will help me keep their sweet sister out of all kinds of trouble and who will find her paci. shoes, hair bows when I don't have them around to enlist their help.  And then I remember that I'll be able to go to the store without complaints BUT I will have to remember my own list because I don't have any little human recorders to give it to me verbatim.  I think of the creek up in Conroe, the one we didn't go to last week because we ran out of time.  There won't be time in the afternoons to drive that far and sure, there will be weekends but everything is crowded on weekends!  I pack up the pool bag and the pool toys because the daily pool trips and picnic lunches are over for another year.  I already miss being the camp taxi and while it wrecked my workout schedule, it was fun to drop them off for merely 3 hours and have them come bounding back to the car declaring which taco stand they wanted to check out today!

As I wipe away the salty tears, I have to repeat over and over again the "don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" catch phrase.  It's true, we had a great summer, one that I hope they will always remember.  Not only for the EPIC things we did but for the everyday pool trips, VBS, and impromptu park dates we were able to indulge in without having a schedule.  I have to remind myself how incredibly fortunate we all are that Jason works tirelessly to provide for us and affords us the luxury of having me at home with them all summer to make so many memories.  Memories that will have to last us until next summer when we can do it all over again.

I know as they enter another school year it means that they are growing up.  It also means they are becoming the boys that we have raised them to be from when they were infants.  They are learning, discovering and becoming and that is what we want for them.  Seeing them thrive in their new classes and making new friends is knowing we've done our best for them and will continue to be here to shepherd them.  They rely on us not only for amazing memories that are in the past but for the promise of a future.

So as much as I want to just call this whole thing off and keep them home with me to keep up the fun (chaos!), I'll watch them leave and wave goodbye.  I'll tell them I love them and blow kisses each morning and they know I'll be there in the afternoon awaiting their return.  Because smiling proudly of my two young men as they enter the next school year, it's what I do!  (and silently crying when door lock clicks, it's ALSO what I do!)

Monday, August 3, 2015

My first Tea Party!

All my life I’ve dreamed of tea parties.  It’s another childhood fantasy of mine.  Little cookies/cakes, cups filled with pretend tea and pinkies held out to the side in royal fashion.  It’s no secret that I’d always wanted a girl and tea parties just go along with the territory.  Not that Lincoln isn’t confident enough to have a tea party as a boy, he has always enjoyed a “picnic” as we described it so as to not make it too girly.  Snacks and making a mess are Lincoln’s forte!  So Lillian got a sweet tea set for her birthday and we broke it out for a balcony tea party while Jackson was at camp.  Our neighbor Julia was invited and we had goldfish, graham crackers and yogurt raisins.  The water was extra delicious!  We then decided to set up a barista station with a pretend coffee maker.  We figured out along with the sounds it made, it also flowed “coffee” when you poured water in the top!  Lincoln and Julia had a grand time playing “Starbucks” while Lillian made out like a Mad Hatter at the tea party going around and eating off everyone’s plate while pouring out their water.  It was a beautiful mess and I enjoyed every minute!  It won’t be the last tea party I attend with my sweet Lillian!

The Pick-up Pool

The great thing about being a parent is that you can put all of your childhood fantasies to play in the cover of your children.  I’m pretty sure that’s where the weekend idea to build a pool in the back of the pick up truck came from.  I KNOW you’ve all seen the pinterest pictures of using a tarp to make a makeshift “pool”.  Well, it’s a hot Saturday in Houston when I break out the tarp and Jason goes along with my idea to turn his truck into a pool for the neighborhood kids.  

We tied it down and fill ‘er up!  The kids thought it was a riot.  It was even better when the neighbors kids show up for a “swim” as well.  It took a surprisingly long time to get it as full as we were comfortable with in the back of Jason’s truck. 

I let Lillian get in while it was filling and she seemed to like it.  Both Jason and I gave it a good try but that water was straight from the hose and it was COLD COLD!  The kids never even noticed!  They played in it all day the next day with the neighbor kids showing up in swim suits and floats well before 10am!  It was almost comical as I joked that 14 pools was obviously not enough to keep our children entertained.  

But seriously, who could resist a pick up pool in the driveway!  Just when you think it couldn’t possibly be any more fun or funnier it happens.  We need to let the water out so that Jason can drive this high class kiddie pool to work the next day.  But he couldn’t let all that water out without a quick spin around the block!  That’s right folks, Jason let 4 kids in the back of this luxury pool while he took them for a drive around the cul de sac.  No not just once, he took them around 3 times before the joyride came to an end.  

Can’t you just see it now, you look out your front door to see 4 kids sloshing around in the back of a pickup of water!  We got some looks from the neighbors for sure but it was great fun and even better video!  

That wasn’t all the fun with that tarp.  Oh no!  You know you’ve always wanted to use dish soap to make a homemade slip and slide.  Well, we did that too.  No shame in our redneckin’!  What are your childhood dreams?  Bring them over to the deFoor house and we’ll see what we can do to make them come to life!


We survived Tropical Storm Bill

In Houston, we kicked off the summer with a seriously rainy season.  It was a good thing too because I don’t think it’s rained since!  We were just getting into the routine of sleeping until after 7 and had been watching less news in the mornings when someone mentioned a tropical storm heading our way.  I got the boys involved on hurricane watch and we tracked it’s landfall and the times we could expect the most rain.  It ended up being Tropical Storm Bill and its impact was minimal where we live in The Woodlands.  It had a coastal effect and a slight flooding effect especially for people that were previously flooded with the excess rainfall.  The boys managed to make it fun even. 

Here are some of the photos for “We survived Tropical Storm Bill!”

Sister, Sister

The Moornings Finally made it to Texas!  It was a long 2 years a coming but they got here with a BANG! (long story, later)

Not many restaurants welcome the "party of 8, 3 highchairs" but we managed to make the most of every day!

We took Aunt Tracie to play at top golf when we got the littles down for the night!  

We made a huge mess at the Children's Museum.  Water, Rice and produce, Oh my!

Then there was this.  It was only 100 degrees and we were making our way to the taco stand when we were rear ended by a young guy.  He was so afraid.  Wouldn't you be if you'd hit a lady with 5 kids in the van?!  It turned out ok, the peeps walked to the splash pad while we took care of business.  Luckily we were in the woodlands, you can walk anywhere!

Tracie and I snuck away to the mall for some retail therapy.  We are still not sure what this guy was doing at the MAC counter but he def drew some attention.  Guess that was the point!

We all got to end the Football season out for the boys.  It was a HOT HOT saturday.  I'm glad they got to watch them play but we were all glad to see it come to an end for the summer!

We took the fam to our favorite neighborhood pool.  You'd think the pool with the slides, lazy river and bucket dump would be the biggest hit but no, the turtles in the pond drew a bigger crowd!

And last but not least, we tried out the magic water balloons!  It works!  You can fill 40 balloons at the same time and it's WAY better than tying those suckers!  

Everyone got in on the water balloon fun!

These sweet cousins are precious!  I love little girls and how delicate they are. 
 Reminds me of another two little girls just a few years ago!!