Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Family challenge Night

Several months ago I saw an article in "Family Fun" about having a family game night challenge with a group of friends. I thought it sounded like so much fun!! So, I got with our good friends, the Dreschers and the Wilders, and together Karin, Holly and I planned a family challenge night of our own! We started by meeting at the Wilders house and setting off on a one hour and 15 minute "scavenger hunt" around the city (5ish mile radius!) to find some wild and crazy things to compete for the most points.  The list was put together by the three of us pitching in ideas and then having a non-bias friend rank the items to determine their point value.  The challenge was to see which family could accumulate the most points in the given time.  Our first stop....
You may notice that "Team Turner" had a uniform going on...Red shirts and blue bandanas around our arms!  Shawn and I pulled out the old Young Life "uni" idea on that one!!  ;) 

We picked up more points by having our family in a picture with a "man with a mustache"
and then points for taking a picture with a family we didn't know...
After the entire scavenger hunt, which also consisted of me pumping gas for a complete stranger while Shawn washed their windows, singing Happy Birthday to a Wal Mart employee, me hanging upside down from monkey bars while singing "If Youre Happy and you Know it", and plenty of other crazy things, it was determined that the Drescher family had earned the most points. 

We had pizza and an ice cream bar back at the Wilder's house and then finished up with some more games....a semi Minute to Win It challenge, which may have been better described as mass chaos ;)  All in all it was a ton of fun and then kids definitely had a blast!

Branson, Ava, Ellie, Jack and Reilly.
Braxton and Welles
one of the Minute to Win it challenges....me tossing a ping pong ball, trying to bounce it off a clip board that Shawn was holding and get it to land in a large bowl....not to easy!
another challenge....Reilly trying to see how many dice she could stack on a popsicle stick held on with her mouth. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Toothless grin.

Well, it's all started.  The losing-teeth journey, that is!  Yesterday Shawn pulled out Reilly's very first baby tooth....and she didn't even flinch.  She told us several months ago that she felt like her tooth was loose but when I felt it, it barely even wiggled.  However, that little booger had worked it's way looser and looser until this week, it literally would move sideways, forwards, and backwards.  Thursday and Friday she told me that when she bit into food, it hurt.  So, Saturday, while we were having lunch, she was complaining about it bothering her and I looked and saw that it was actually bleeding a little bit.  It was time!!  We propped her up on the counter, Shawn grabbed a paper towel, and with one good "pluck", it just came right out!  And she honestly did not even budge.  It was crazy!  I expected some drama ;), but there was NONE!  And we just stood there, staring at her tooth in Shawn's hand, and not believing the hole that was now shining in her smile.  So so sad.  Such a big girl now.  And if that's not enough, about 10 minutes later she told me that her other bottom tooth was loose.  I thought she was just kidding, but when I checked it out for myself, she was right!! It's seriously loose...like maybe a week or two away from coming out too!!!  WHAT?!!

I headed out to the store and bought a cute little wooden box and some materials to make a special holding place for her lost tooth since "they say" there's a tooth fairy that may take her tooth and leave her a treat in place of it.  She was so excited to put her tooth in the box and then she decided to put it on her dresser, "so the tooth fairy wouldn't have to walk through her room to find it on her bedside table"!!  ;)  And sure enough, this morning, she came bouncing into the bathroom to tell me that "the tooth fairy came"!!!!  And she left an awesome "first lost tooth" certificate along with 2 quarters!  She was so excited. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Celebrating our baby boy.

Yesterday was such a special day as we celebrated our baby boy turning ONE!!  Shawn and I are really having a hard time accepting the fact that sweet Layton is already 1, which means that ALL of our kids are just getting older and older!  And to make matters worse, Reilly is on the verge of loosing her first tooth any day now!  So so sad. ;(  But, we had fun with Layton's first birthday despite not really wanting to accept that it was already here.

He started the day with the Turner tradition...blueberry pancake in the shape of the age, and boy did he enjoy his #1 shaped pancake, with syrup for the first time!   After church Shawn took Reilly and Layton to the pool for a little bit while I finished up the cake, prepping the house and food for dinner.  We had a fun gathering with ALL the grandparents (DeeDee and Poppi, Grandpa and Nanny, Nana) and Aunt Kelly and cousin Shauny.  Layton was such a trooper with all that was going on!!  And when it came time for his cake, he was SO excited!  He immediately started picking at it with his fingers, but once he realized how big it was, he leaned down with his mouth wide open as if he was just going to take a big ole bite out of it sitting there on his tray!  so cute.  We all watched him go to town on his cake, kinda like we were watching a caged animal eat for the first time at a zoo!!  He opened up some fun new toys and outfits and that was it!

All Clean!!
We are so in love with this little guy.  He just brings us so much joy!  He's so happy, smiley, loves to be tickled and wrestled with.  He signs for "more", "all done", "please", and waves bye-bye while vocalizing something too!  And, I'm pretty sure that I almost have him trained to smile on command!!!  ;)  Yes, I said that.  ;)  And, I must add, I think everyone would agree that he is quite the MAMA'S BOY!!!!! And I'll take every single minute of it!!!!  :) 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

OIB - June 29.July3

After our camping adventure 2 weekends ago, we had our hands full with laundry and preparing for a beach trip this last weekend! We headed down to OIB on Friday after Reilly's VBS program and got down there about 4:30. Of course the kids wanted to go right out to the beach so we made a quick pit stop at Memama's house, got suits and screen on, and headed for a short trip out before dinner. Reilly and Braxton are at such perfect ages for entertaining themselves for HOURS on the beach!! And we are so grateful that Layton seems to be quite the beach bum himself! Luckily we got out to the beach on Saturday morning, while all the renters were packing up and leaving the island, so we had what felt like the whole beach to ourselves! There were great little tide pools all over the place and the kids just loved it! Reilly blew us away with her new found bravery in the ocean! I mean from jumping waves while holding hands and playing in the 2-3" water last year to full out boogie-boarding with the big breakers, body surfing, tumbling under the crashing waves and not.getting.out.of.the.water this year! It was crazy! She LOVES the beach! And, not to mention the difference in Braxton as well. He was all in the water and waves, getting knocked down and standing right up like a champ. He had a blast digging in the sand and playing in the tide pools, AND, finding any new friend he could...mostly the girls. He was quite a stud with his red "oakleys" on the entire time...just like daddy. Layton was right there with the big kids the whole time too. We were soooo grateful that he was so easy going with naps. Literally we would put him down for a short nap while we got on suits and sunscreen and lunches packed each morning and then he would last on the beach for up to 3.5 hours without being fussy at all! He loved playing in the sand, LOVED the tide pools and would just roll around, crawling everywhere, playing with the toys, picking up the sand, splashing the water, and then would just sit in his little chair and eat crackers while watching the scene. He was so content! It was sooo nice. The kids had fun with Memama on the beach and DeeDee too. Unfortunately, since Poppi just tore his meniscus and was on crutches, he had to stay inside with Uncle Brandon, who is still on crutches from his accident/broken leg so neither of them got to come out on the beach this time. We are also so blessed to have such awesome meals at Memama's house! Shawn and I were determined to have some Mexican food, so we did a meal for the whole gang one night that included chicken tacos and homemade guacamole. YUM! Before we left this morning, we even hit up some amazing (greasy, totally bad for you) breakfast at he pier....which might very well be a new tradition! The kids did NOT want to leave and could have literally stayed on the beach for the entire day each day we were there. Honestly, Shawn and I have never been "stay on the beach for 5 hours" kind of people, but the kids are making it so easy to do it that way! Love it. Fun times!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A camping we will go!

Wow, there is just soooo much to document about our first ever camping trip!!  To sum it up...it was awesome!!!  We have been wanting to go camping for several years but it always felt like the kids were just not the right ages, or I was pregnant, or had a newborn, or whatever!  But this summer, we decided Reilly and Braxton were at perfect ages for camping!  We made plans with our "camping expert" friends, the Dreschers, and reserved our campsite at New River State Park near Sparta, NC.  James has developed a spreadsheet for packing for camping trips over the years and he graciously shared it with me to help as we prepared for our FIRST EVER trip.  Yes, we were absolutely rookies, and proud of it!  The spreadsheet was definitely overwhelming as I began pulling things together and trying to get organized for the trip!  Dry ice?  What is this and why do we need it to survive in the woods?  So many things I learned about camping, for sure!  We finally loaded the car, or I should say packed it as tightly and full as it's ever been, and headed up to the mountains on Friday afternoon.  We arrived at the campground around 4:00 on Friday.  We were grateful to find out that the park provides wheelbarrows to help carry the millions of things we needed to get from the car to the campsite!  We didn't waste anytime getting unloaded and setting up camp at our site!!  The kids immediately hooked up with Ava, Ellie and Branson and started doing "camp stuff", ie., playing in the dirt!!  Shawn and I were smart enough to pull the tent out of it's box a few weeks ago and "practice" setting it up in our front yard so we would have half an idea how to do it once we got in the woods!!  Because of our practice session, we had that bad boy pitched in no time!  ;)  Shawn was pretty insistent that we blow up two queen sized air mattresses in the tent, although I was a bit skeptical!  But, he was right and they fit and boy was I grateful!  As soon as we got the tent set up and things semi-organized, we set off to do some exploring!  Our campsites were right on the New River and there was a field right across from us that the kids loved playing in.  My favorite part was being completely oblivious to TIME while out there!  There was no concept of what time it was, a routine, a schedule, nothing!  So so relaxing and so so nice to just "BE"!  We finally got around to cooking some dinner around 7:30 Friday night...hot dogs and hamburgers with baked beans!  Then s'mores, glow stick mania, and off to bed around 10:00ish!  Let's just say that the first night of sleeping didn't go too well in the Turner tent!  With Reilly's ear aches, rain from 2:00-3:30am and dripping from the trees throughout the entire night, potty trips in the pitch black, switching beds, being "tackled" by a restless sleeping Reilly, and birds chirping starting at 5:00am, it was a little rough, to say the least!  Morning consisted of powdered sugar donuts and coffee cake...SUGAR!  The kids played, dug in the dirt, swung in the most awesome hammocks that James brought along, went for a hike and then we were all ready for some lunch.  We decided to do some wading in the river after lunch, which was pretty adventurous for sure!  The rest of the afternoon consisted of totally relaxing...naps at random, hammock time, reading, walking around, kids playing and making up games, campfires, more hikes, etc.  It was perfect.  Dinner on Saturday was hamburgers and steak fajitas over the fire!  YUM!  And of course, some more s'mores (aka, "s'more s'mores"!!!!!)  Shawn and James created a game with the kids that consisted of throwing glow sticks WAY up in the air and watching them fall like shooting stars, so this is what filled up the time between desert and bedtime, yet again!  The 2nd night of sleep in the Turner tent was awesome.  I think we were all so stinkin' tired and all slept really well.  And surprisingly, both mornings, we didn't all wake up until right around 8:00!  Sunday morning started by building campfires and cooking pancakes for breakfast!  And then the clean-up began.  Ugh.  Definitely the not so fun part of camping.  After we got home we started cleaning clothes and blankets and the millions of other things that had to be washed.  Shawn was trying to get the tarp cleaned outside when the rain came in a downpour!  The kids went right out there in it, clothes and all, and helped him clean the tarp!  How else to end an entire weekend of being outside!!  Worked as a perfect prelude to the much needed SHOWER that we all needed to wash up.  We definitely have many "raise the bar" opportunities for our next camping trip, but we can't wait to do it again.  It really was a great experience!  And just for fun...here is our camping trip by the numbers:

Number of days it took to pack and prepare for the trip: 4
Number of times I reviewed the packing checklist: 18
Number of trips to the car to pack it all in:  8
Number of hours it took us to get there:  4 (should have only taken 2 and it seemed like it took 8)
Number of our campsite:  22
Number of trips with 2 giant wheelbarrows to unload our car:  4
Number of minutes it took to pitch our tent and set up camp:  35
Number of hambugers that were dropped into the fire:  1
Number of times Braxton fell while walking, running, jumping, hiking:  42 (at least)
Number of glow sticks played with:  37
Number of children between our two campsites:  6
Number of ears of Mr. Christenbury corn consumed:  10
Number of times the tent was unzipped and zipped back up:  192  (getting in and out and in and out!)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

and she's off...on TWO wheels!

Reilly blew us away with how quickly she hopped on a two wheel bike and just took off without the training wheels!!  She kept asking me over and over when she would be able to ride without training wheels and my response was always "maybe when you get older" or "when Daddy can spend some time teaching you".  Well, that just wasn't good enough for our little overachiever, I guess!  We were over at the Dreschers house one afternoon and Branson had his little coaster bike out.  She got on it a few times and tried to find her balance some and had a few falls, but since it was so tiny and close to the ground, it was nothing major.  Then he had a tiny two wheel bike with pedals that he was riding around and she was determined to figure it out.  Since it was so small too, she could put her feet on the ground, get the pedals ready to start pushing, and then pick her feet up and try to take off.  She practiced at it for about 15 minutes or so and was really starting to get it.  So, we went home and told Daddy it was time to take the training wheels off.  We lowered the seat on her bike all the way down so she would be able to stand up and touch and headed to a big parking lot to practice.  Shawn had visions of having this moment where he would be holding onto the back of Reilly's bike seat and be holding onto her while she was starting to pedal and then just let go and watch ride away.  Well, that never happened.  The first time she got on the bike and started pedaling, off she went without any trouble at all!! It was so crazy.  She was definitely ready!  Wow, growing up so fast.

"Lawn Mowering", and more.

When I say Braxton has an obsession with "lawn mowering", it's definitely an understatement.  I can't even begin to explain how obsessed he is.  Truly, it's dominates about 90% of conversations we have with him.  Everytime we walk outside he asks if we are going to "cut the grass today?!"  He is way OCD about the whole thing, quite frankly.  I'm not really sure when it began, but it has definitely gotten out of control!  He LOVES, and I mean, L-O-V-E-S all things yardwork related.  His face lights up when you tell him it's time to cut the grass, or when he hears the neighbor crank up their lawnmower.  It's actually pretty stinkin cute.  I actually enjoy cutting the grass, so I have done that part of the yard every single time it's needed it this season.  And everytime, without fail, Braxton follows right behind me with this lawnmower, "cutting" away.  He'll take his own path some time but typically stays right in my "lines", even if he's way far behind me.  The neighbors gave him one of their pretend "weed wackers" to add to his yard equipment, so he'll stop mowing with me and go grab his weed eater and do some "weed wackering", as he calls it.  He is very serious about it too.  He really does believe that he is CUTTING the grass.  And it's been so cute to watch how he imitates just what Shawn does when he weedwacks;  Braxton actually walks backward exactly like Daddy when he "edges" and goes around the mailbox just like Daddy does too.  Now, he not only obsesses about the act of doing the yard work, but also where he stores his equipment, including his "cutting grass shoes".  Everything is lined up right next to Daddy's...lawn equipment under the house next to each piece of Daddy's equipment, and shoes right next to Daddy's "cutting grass shoes" in the garage. 

And as if all of this wasn't enough, one day Braxton could NOT get over the fact that he did NOT have a "blower" like Daddy's.  Well, Shawn fixed that....

One Saturday, Braxton saw a yard crew over at the house across the street and he was just itching to go over there.  He just stared and stared at the guys working and kept asking if he could.  All of the sudden, a plan was developed, and he and Reilly created their own yardcrew....they loaded all the equipment up into the wagon and Reilly pulled Braxton with his stuff up to the neighbors house, unloaded so he cut "do the yard" and then loaded back up and headed to the next house!  Seriously, this guy is on his way to making some serious money one summer when he gets a little older!! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Annual Yardwork Day, April 31

I get excited about it every year.  I LOVE our annual "get the yard ready for Spring" day!  When we get to do any plantings that we may have to do, spread new mulch, pull weeds, and all together just make the yard look awesome!  I love yards.  I love landscaping.  sometimes I think that I seriously care more about the yard than I do new furniture or new clothes!  And it's always a family affair.  Reilly and Braxton have their own mini-shovels, gloves, watering cans, and always borrow the neighbor's mini wheel barrow! So cute.  We gotta get these little people trained up early so they can REALLY do some help in the years to come!