Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Surprise Visit from the 3 Girls from Arkansas!

What a fun surprise to have Arkansas Aunts visit mid-week!!!!  Sarah, Cheryl, and Patsy came in on Tuesday afternoon to play, and we stayed home from work and school on Wednesday to play all day!  Sarah and Cheryl are the best Kindergarten teachers EVER, and they totally love to play with super smart Lincoln and Beau.  They know just how to play, just what games will interest them, and just what questions to ask to get them thinking.  Patsy is one of those super cool Great Aunts (to me) who always knows how to play and be the favorite.  She probably played 100 board games, and the boys loved it!  Sometimes Beau forgot her name, and he referred to her as "the one that plays games with Lincoln"!!!!  Neither child lacked for attention, and we all had so much fun.  They came in on Tuesday afternoon, and we all had a delicious grilled chicken dinner and leftover birthday cake.  We might have stayed up pretty late playing and delaying bathtime because we were having so much fun!  We played outside early on Saturday before it got hot.  Lincoln was super happy to be playing in the backyard without heat or mosquitoes!  Love that little snaggle tooth!
After more Lego building, lots of gaming, plenty of block creations, we took a lunch break.  It was too hot to play outside in the afternoon so we hit up the Richardson Library.  Our neighborhood Dallas Library location is closed for renovations, so Nana and Pops hooked us up with a Richardson library card.  We went to the main library (by our church), and the boys had so much fun!  They played with the little toys, admired the aquarium, and selected the best books to check out. And it was air conditioned and not hot . . . an important requirement for a day in July in Texas! 
We visited the fountain after our library fun.  We pass this fountain each Sunday, but we've never stopped to look at it up close.  Beau asked for a penny to toss in and make a wish.  Linc just wanted to touch the water.   
We headed home to rest a little and introduce our 3 girls to the Lego Movie.  It's really a weird movie the first time you see it, but it gets better after 20 or 30 viewings . . . sadly, Mommy has seen it that many times!  Lincoln told me after the movie that some of our visitors would like to take him to a store to buy a toy.  Patsy was happy to volunteer, as she was happy to volunteer to take me to the store to buy a toy when I was exactly their age!  Surprisingly, they buddied up and held hands on the way into Target.  Too cute!! 
Beau picked a train set and a package of Reece's Cups, and Lincoln got a Ninja Turtles vehicle and two Ninja Turtles to got with it.  So proud of their purchases, but Beau was a little less than happy to pose for a picture with Patsy! 
We had so much fun with our 3 girls, as Lincoln and Beau referred to them!  Thanks for coming to play and entertain us for a day and a half. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mommy's 35th Birthday Party

Mommy is officially 35!  The day began with sweet hugs from all of my guys, and there could be no better way to start a birthday (or any day) than that!  We all headed to work and school with big plans to celebrate later.  Daddy asked Mommy to meet up for lunch, and that was a special mid-day treat.  (We split a sandwich at Jersey Mike's - not exciting but delicious!)  The boys had a fun art-themed day at school.  Beau painted several projects, and Lincoln painted four rock pets.  Lincoln and his sweet teachers made a card for the big birthday.  He cut out a giant heart for the front and wrote Happy Birthday Mommy.  The inside of the card was signed by Linc and his teachers.  They gave him beads and an elastic band to make a custom bracelet for his gift, and he was so proud of it.  Perhaps the thing he was the most proud of was the gum.  His teacher asked if she could give Mommy a candy, and he replied that his Mommy doesn't like candy.  True!  When she asked what his Mommy like instead of candy, he replied, "My Mommy likes to chew gum when she works out at night."  His amazing teachers found a few pieces of gum and helped him tape those to the card.  Not only is Lincoln so sweet to think to make special things, his teachers love to encourage him and help him make it even more special.  Best.Card.Ever!!!!  (He made sure that one of the pieces of gum was chewed during the workout this evening!)
We had Nana and Pops over for dinner again, and Lincoln was in charge of planning all of the birthday dinner details.  He chose the menu: garlic pesto pork tenderloin, (dutch oven) roasted potatoes, and steamed broccoli.  What an awesome dinner!!!!   
After such a yummy dinner, we had cupcakes with a candle.   
The boys sang Happy Birthday again and watched Mommy blow out the candle.  The cupcakes were delicious, and they requested seconds!  After such a nutritious dinner, who could deny anyone seconds?!?! 
Lincoln was so happy to be the party planner.  He picked the menu, instructed Nana on what plates/napkins to buy, helped choose the cupcakes, decorated the whole house with tons of balloons (thanks N&P), and made sure that we were having fun at our party.  Love his amazing heart! 
So 35 . . . that sounds like a milestone, right?  On my first day of being 35, I already have so many blessings.  A husband who loves me, two amazing little boys who think I'm the best Mommy ever (most of the time!), my own family and Kevin's family who love me and help us out all of the time, a great job, lots of time off from that great job, a wonderful home for our family, and great health for all of us.  Maybe turning 35 is the best thing ever!  Lincoln decided today that you are young if you are not 80 or 81.  Well, that's good news and gives us many years before we get old!  Thanks to all who made this birthday special. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Saturday and Sunday Fun

Lincoln had a play date scheduled for Saturday morning at the elementary school playground with other incoming Kindergartners, and he was so excited!  We've been to a few of these "get to know you" play dates this summer, and it has been great playing with kids that will all be in Kindergarten together.  They all go to different pre-K programs now so it's nice to get acquainted.  Usually Beau accompanies us, but we left him home with Daddy this time.  (Lincoln and Beau area so used to playing together, it's more comfortable for Linc to play with Beau first than branch out and play with the other kids.)  Right away, Isak and Nick from our T-Ball and soccer teams ran up to Lincoln.  They had the best time on the playground and tossing the Frisbee.  Lincoln has never looked so 5 years old as he did on the school playground just playing with his friends as his Mommy wasn't needed and just looked on from the pavilion.  It's great that he feels so comfortable with the kids and the playground.  He can't wait for Kindergarten!
We did some shopping, had some lunch, played in a super intense indoor soccer game (that we won-still undefeated!), and had a delicious dinner at Mia's.  Two superheroes got all cleaned up and decked out in their Spiderman pjs, and they looked super cute.  It was a fun day! 
Cuties all ready for church on Sunday morning . . . Mommy needs to work on tucking shirts in, right?  They both look so grown up, and it's totally true that there are no babies in the Kuhlman house anymore.   
We went to brunch after church and stopped by Central Market for dinner ingredients for the week.  On the menu: beef fajitas, garlic pesto pork tenderloin, lemon rosemary chicken breasts, broccoli, Yukon gold potatoes, and green beans.  Yummy!!!  Daddy went to play golf in the afternoon, and the boys and Mommy hit up the pool with Nana and Pops.  So much fun!  Beau conquered jumping to Pops.  Lincoln floated for a while then initiated a lively game of catch.   
A few hours later we reconvened for fajitas for a pre-birthday celebration dinner for Mommy.  Turning 35 means extra celebrating, so we had a pre-party on Sunday night.  The fajitas Daddy grilled were delicious!  Lincoln had wrapped a special pre-birthday gift to open on Birthday Eve.  It was a framed picture from the dining room wrapped in notebook paper and taped up like crazy.  It was super awesome because he is the sweetest and most thoughtful little gift-giver ever!!!!  (He also gave me a wrapped and coin-filled liver pills bottle earlier in the week that he got from Poppa at our Arkansas visit.  Love that he's giving me money!  We might need to take that to the bank to get dollars!)  Such a sweetie! 
It wouldn't be a pre-birthday party with out pre-birthday cake, and the boys were most excited about that!  They sang Happy Birthday so sweetly and gave lots instructions about how to make a wish.   
These two had two slices of cake each!  With extra icing!  At 8:00 at night!  And they wanted more!  And they got chocolate everywhere!  And the chocolate will never come out of these shirts in the wash!  And it was awesome! 
Best pre-birthday party ever, if you ask this birthday girl.  Can't wait for the real deal on Monday!  Lincoln has planned the menu, and he and Nana are in charge of décor and gifts and dessert.  It will surely be a great day!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Night at the Club

The cooler weather continues to surprise us in mid-July.  We are setting record lows and loving it!!   
We had plans to meet the Brosnahans at the club to swim on Friday evening, and we pretty much had the pool to ourselves.  Private party!! 
The kiddos took a dinner break, and my guys loved their hot dogs, tater tots, and apple slices.  All-American boys! 
We headed over to the practice greens to play watch the kids run around for a while, and they had so much fun!  Seriously, we can't believe this amazing weather! 
After the sun went down, the kids watched a movie on the big screen while we hung out on the patio.  I have many vivid memories of watching The Little Rascals as a kid.  I'm thinking that the world was a lot different in the late 80s when I watched these.  It's not exactly politically correct humor . . . it's actually a little offensive in today's world.  None of the kids noticed, of course, but the girl in charge of movies might want to borrow some movies from me for the Friday night movie.  I'm sure Disney movies are a little more appropriate!  However, I totally loved Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Spanky, and Darla . . . Bubbles must remember taking me to the video store in Dumas to rent Little Rascals movies on VHS!!! 
After so much fun, we came home around 9:00 for baths.  Beau crashed out on the couch before he could read his new book from the library trip with Nana and Pops today.   
Great fun and ready for the weekend.  We have play dates planned, soccer games to go to, more pool time scheduled, and a birthday dinner for someone (Mommy!), so we are ready for the weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Playing Outside Because It's NOT HOT!!!!

Well, it's mid-July and that means crazy hot weather, right?  We usually are locked inside with the air conditioner running like crazy at this time of year.  Surprisingly, it was mild and pleasant with a cool breeze on Tuesday night, so we had some fun outside.  Beau practiced his pedaling skills on the tricycle.  Such a sweet face from such a sweet little guy!  He went straight for the bubbles after riding his trike.
Lincoln raced up and down the sidewalk on his scooter.  Of course, he had the sweetest smile ever and posed so perfectly!

We made homemade pizza for dinner before we went out to play.  It was delicious!  Thin crust with rotisserie chicken, pizza sauce, cheddar cheese, (and a few peppers and onions on Mommy's slices) made the coolest pizza. 
Who knew it could be only 86 degrees on a mid-July evening?!?!  Such a little blessing!  The rest of the week looks to be cooler and rainy, so we'll have lots of fun avoiding the rain.  Luckily, these boys can have fun anywhere! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Monday at Home

After such a busy and fun weekend away, Mommy needed a day with the boys to just hang out!  We spent Monday together doing lots of regular yet special things.  We went for a 3 mile double stroller run in the morning before it got too hot . . . except it was crazy humid and hot by 11:00.  We'll have to do that earlier next time.  As we were heading back to the house, Lincoln waved at a neighbor and her dog.  His sweet little hand sticking out of the stroller almost brought a tear to this Mommy's eye.  That sweet little hand conveys so much joy, friendliness, and compassion.  That sweet little hand will be in Kindergarten next month and develop so many new skills.  That sweet little hand still wants to hold his Mommy's hand.  That sweet little hand will grow into a man, husband, and father one day.  That sweet little hand is only mine for so long, and it needs to be cherished.
After almost flat out crying in the middle of the street, we were distracted by the recycle truck that was turning in our alley.  Beau has a major obsession with trash trucks these days, and it made his day that we followed the recycle truck down our alley to watch them at work.  I'm not sure what the recycle truck workers thought about us stalking them, but the boys were in heaven!  The loved the arm that grabbed the recycle bin and lifted it up to empty it into the back, and they loved the compactor part that smashed the recycled items to make room for the next recycle can.  Maybe they will grow up to be engineers who design the next recycle solution.   
We cooled down from our run and had a little lunch, then we made peanut butter pretzel chocolate truffles.  Uh, no one liked them but Mommy.  We delivered some to Nana at work then headed to the pool to swim in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, it started lighting when we arrived and the pool had to shut down for 30 minutes.  We had a tater tot snack while we waited, but the storm came anyway.   
The short drive home in the rain was enough to lull these two guys to sleep.  This may be the first time they have fallen asleep in the car at the same time.  Apparently, we had been playing hard! 
Even though swimming in the afternoon was a bust, we had a reading lesson with Lincoln at home.  He's getting pretty good!  The boys played while Lincoln's dinner request of beef fajita/tacos were being cooked up!  It was delicious and a great idea by Lincoln.   
We had a little more rain in the evening, and we passed the time playing at home and reading more books.  It was a super fun Monday at home with the little guys!  Back to reality on Tuesday though!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Visit to Cleveland, and Boys Fun with N&P

Life at the Kuhlman house has been super busy and super fun, and we are all enjoying the more freedom that summer time allows.  Daddy plays golf a little more, Mommy and the boys go to the pool more often, and we stay up a little later and sleep in a little later . . . these are sweet days!  Earlier in the year, Mommy and Daddy scheduled a trip to Cleveland to visit Uncle Matt and Rachel in July.  They had moved from NYC to CLE last summer, and this was our first chance to visit.  Well, it didn't quite work out as we all had planned because Matt took an awesome job with the NBA League office in New York and Rachel transferred her Pandora job, all in June just before our trip!  Since we already had our tickets booked, we just decided to make it a fun weekend in Cleveland!  All ready to go on the plane - cuties! 
Before any trip we take, we spend lots of time researching where we should eat.  Upon landing and checking in to the super nice Marriott Key Center in downtown, we knew we had to head to the Greenhouse Tavern.  One of the Food Network guys from Cleveland named the pomme frites there as the best ever . . . well, we had to have them too!  We also shared a burger, but the fries with cheese curds, tons of black pepper, and brown gravy were stupendous!  So good that no pictures were taken until after we gobbled up the food!   
After lunch, we just wandered around downtown for a bit.  The football stadium is on the lake but not far from where we were.  The basketball arena and baseball field were just a few blocks from downtown. 

LeBron James made an announcement that he would return to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers just as we were leaving the airport, and it set the whole city on fire!!!!  There were groups cheering and celebrating on every street corner.  So fun to be a part of that! 
We headed to the lake front, and it was so peaceful with a cool breeze.  Lake Erie was lovely and stretched for miles from our view.  Did anyone know that just 60 miles away is Canada?  I didn't, and it sort of blew my mind!  
After spending some time watching the lake, we hit up the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum.  It was really neat, and we actually loved checking out the exhibits from so many years past.   
After a bit more walking and sight-seeing, we went to the Tremont District for dinner.  Fahrenheit was our pick for a special dinner, and it super delivered!  We started with the special appetizer, Crab Croquettes, and they were best ever.  Mommy had the filet with mashed potatoes and broccolini, and Daddy had the Kobe beef short ribs with Asian noodles.  Awesome dinner!  (But really dark pictures that don't do the food justice!)
We enjoyed watching the Cleveland natives cheer about LeBron James a little more after dinner and had a fun time hanging out at the hotel lobby.  Brunch on Saturday was at Lucky's Café, and we might have decided that it was the best brunch ever.  Kev got the (Michael Simon recommended) biscuits covered in eggs and sausage gravy, and it was heavenly.  Mommy got the special of the day, house made pasta with a creamy pesto sauce.  It was all divine!  Seriously, best brunch ever!
We made a stop to see the house from The Christmas Story.  Remember that movie . . . "you'll shoot your eye out!"  There was even the leg lamp in the window, but the picture didn't turn out right.  Thinking of poor Ralphie getting his tongue frozen on the flag pole! 
We hit up a Cleveland Indians game, and it was awesome to attend a baseball game in July when the temperature was 83.  The ushers were concerned about us being overheated and tried to spread people out to get more of the breeze.  Ummm . . . these people are wimps!!!  We sit through 100 degree Rangers games with no breeze at all.  Still fun though.  What nice baseball weather!  They had a silly hot dog race between innings that the boys would have loved, so we bought them hot dog souvenirs.
We got cleaned up to got to dinner and picked the Tremont Tavern.  It didn't disappoint.  We had to try the perogies, and they were a Mid-Western delight!  We decided that we may have just had the best club sandwich of our lives!  Serious business!!!  Amazing that each meal was spectacular, and each meal was better than the last. 
The boys didn't lack in fun while Mommy and Daddy were away.  They had so much fun with Nana and Pops.  They started off Friday morning with donuts, they played a ton, they took a sweet brother break to read together, they all took a trip to the golf cart car wash, and they went to the farm to check out some cows being milked.  For sure the most notable moment was that a cow pooped.  Poop rules for a 5 and 3 year old!

They also worked on some Legos, they went for a swim at the club, they played a little golf, they did some cleaning chores to earn new Lego sets, and they had too much fun. 
Mommy and Daddy headed for the airport at 5:00 am on Sunday for the weirdest early flight ever.  We were happy to be home, but it was so early when we landed just after 8:00.  The boys were happy to reunite, I think.  We had Linc's soccer game in the afternoon, we had a nutricious grilled pork chop dinner, and we got back to normal.  The boys seemed to love their souveniers!  They were both caught sleeping with their ketchup hot dogs! (One of them was immediately named, Mustard - go figure!)
Surprisingly, Cleveland was awesome!  It was a nice semi-warm weekend with a cool breeze and the number one basketball player announced his return . . . in Dallas it was 100 degrees and no real basketball news.  Probably the best weekend to be in Cleveland EVER, so I'm glad we were there for that.  (No one is booking a return trip for January when the temps are zero and the wind from the lake make is minus 10!)  Thanks CLE for a fun weekend!  We're going on a diet right away . . . Midwestern food is not light!  All are happy to be home and back to normal, but we all had a super special and fun weekend.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Busy Week!

It's a good thing that we had such a fun 4th of July weekend because this week has been CRAZY!   On Tuesday, Mommy got an unexpected GIANT work project that needed to be turned around in just a few days so some extra hours were required.  Daddy had an event planned in Fort Worth that night, so he dropped off the boys at Mommy's office at 4:00.  They had their own desk with post it notes, legal pads, colored pens, and snacks, and they had a blast!!!  They were amazingly quiet and really good.  They are already asking when they can come "work" again!!   
Daddy picked the boys up at the normal time on Wednesday, and they waited patiently for Mommy to meet them for pizza (a little later than our normal time).  When we got home we celebrated with shaving cream art! 
Beau's teacher, Ms. Jackie, lets them do shaving cream on the table once each week, and he loves it.  I vividly remember that my 4th grade math class got to do math problems on our desk in shaving cream on Fridays, and it was just the best.  Happy to carry on this fun and easy tradition!   
We had swimming lessons on Thursday night after dinner, and the boys swam hard.  Beau and Pops walked around the shopping center while we waited for Linc's class to start.  There is a Mediterranean grocery shop a few doors down that they frequently check out, and Beau calls it "The Big Cheese Store."  He discovered that it has a little ice cream cooler with real ice cream novelties that he could actually eat . . . life changing!!!!  They asked if he could have a sweet treat, and the answer was yes.  He chose a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich, and it was serious business.  Sweet Beau was super happy about his sweet treat.   
It was a really big chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich that would surely melt and be too big to eat the whole thing . . . but Beau work quickly and diligently. 
Perhaps no one has ever eaten with so much happiness and gusto, and this giant ice cream sandwich was gone with barely a melted drip.   
Beau was quick to tell Lincoln about the new "after swimming" treat, and we hit up the Mediterranean market for Lincoln to get an ice cream dessert too.  He was equally as hungry, happy, and determined with his treat, but since he ate in the car on the way home there aren't as many cute pictures.  A mom's gotta drive, right? 
Real life is crazy busy but also lots of fun.  Two super sweet little boys who also love super sweet treats make it all better.