Sunday, December 22, 2013

December Happenings

 December began with a lot of excitement around here. Travis' baseball team the Hooligans won first place in the league tournament!! Just look at the size of that trophy!  Not sure who was more excited about that win... Travis or Daryle!
The next night the 4th grade had their yearly musical performance.  The 4th grade always gets to do the Christmas show. Travis got to be an elf. He makes a pretty cute elf if I do say so myself!
 For several months Connor has been mastering his sight words.  He surpassed the entire Kindergarten list weeks ago and is now working on the First grade list of words. He brings this list every where he goes... even practicing while we were waiting for the show to begin. Silly kid!
There is our elf... I mean Travis... singing away.
This was his special part. The elves came down and were working on the toys while they were all singing. He was really enjoying himself up there!
 This will probably end up being one of Travis' most favorite teachers of all time. He had her last year and she moved up to 4th grade this year too.  She has been an awesome teacher for him! How great is it to have such a great teacher for not one year, but two??  Lucky kid!
Alas, December would not be the same without the start of soccer season. This is Connor's first time playing.  I was so proud of both boys, they each scored their teams' only goals in the first game. 
Way to go boys!
Daryle is coaching Connor's team this time around. This is tricky. The boys are playing at two different parks. I had to miss Connor's first game. Bummer. 
 When did this kid get so big.. and start acting lazy like a teenager??!
 I guess he needed that rest before his game. He was on fire the entire game!

 After the games we stopped by the annual car show.  They thought this car was cool.  However, I do think they need to watch an episode or two of the Dukes of Hazard sometime soon to fully appreciate it!
 Connor and Petey. True love.
 Our local shopping center puts out these huge ornaments at Christmas.  After several years we finally took some time to take their pictures by them. They are pretty neat!

 Connor won his first award at school this week. Student of the Month for December. Here is part of his fan club waiting for the awards ceremony to begin.
 So proud of Connor!  When they called his name he did a little fist pump as he stood up and went on the stage. The whole crowd saw him and did a little chuckle.  So cute.
 Yesterday this was Travis and Petey on the couch. I swear they sat like this for several hours.  I am still not convinced Petey needed all of those blankets though....
 Finally, time to see Santa!  After 3 attempts at more popular places over the month (no success due to very long wait times) we finally saw a sign that Santa would be coming to a little museum right next to our neighborhood.  We got to check out some local history, hear a choir sing Christmas carols, make some crafts, eat goodies, meet Mrs. Claus as well as have some one on one time with Santa himself.  Here are the boys listening to the choir while they waited for Santa.

 Finally! I think it was worth the wait!
 Love how Santa is looking at Travis here...
 I hope they stay on the nice list!
After the visit with Santa they got to hear Mrs. Claus read a story. I loved this room. The building used to be the only school in our area.  It was K-12 at one time.  This room was set up like an old classroom.  The date on the board was September 2, 1982...hey wait a minute, I was in 5th grade then!!  Is that date really museum worthy??  Guess it is...
I just can't believe it took us 9 years of living here to finally have time to check out this piece of local history. There is a lot of interesting "stuff" in there. We for sure will need to go back. I hope it doesn't take us another 9 years.  Ha!
Next stop.. Christmas! I had better go get some wrapping done...

Thursday, November 28, 2013


In the spirit of Thanksgiving I want to mention some of the people in my life that I couldn't live without.
First of all... my precious family.  I can't imagine my life without any of these people.  It still amazes me daily how each one of them came into my life.  I love them so very much.
Daryle is a great husband to me and father to our boys.  There isn't anything he wouldn't do for them (or me either!)  Not every father takes every opportunity he can to coach whatever the latest sport is.  He is also very helpful when it comes to making a school project.  He is much more creative than I am!  The adoration goes both ways.  Can't you just feel the love here as they celebrate Dad's birthday??
I am so thankful that I have one year with both boys at school with me. Although I hardly ever see Travis I know he is there.  We had so much fun going to the Mother/Son Kickball game a few weeks ago together.  I can't imagine life without these two guys!
 I am thankful for freedom of choice.  I am thankful that I am able to give this little guy the freedom to choose his own style.  Every day his outfits give me a smile. He is an individual and I am thankful I am able to let him express that! (although some days are a little harder than others... lol)
 I am thankful for sports.  Although it can be very time consuming, I am so thankful that my boys are able to engage in team sports. There are so many benefits to playing on a team. I am thankful Travis has an outlet for his energy and has opportunities to shine on and off the field.
Now on to some special people who help make our lives that much better. I am thankful for my Mom,  aka Grammy.  She does so much for us, it is effortless for her.  Not only do I adore her, but my boys adore her too. She will play endless hours of Candy Land, Monopoly, and Chutes and Ladders with them.  Not to mention how many times a week she (and grandpa too) makes the 30 minute drive from her house to ours just to see her grandson's play baseball/football/soccer games or even attend a school function!
And then we have my Dad aka Grammy-Grandpa.  I love the example he shows not just by his words but by his actions.  He is extremely faithful, giving, loving, and loyal.  He has spent countless hours swimming with my boys in the pool... even though he might rather be inside watching the baseball game... just because they love swimming so much and he loves spending time with them.  They can always count on him to jump in for a swim... in the summer of course!
You know the expression, "It takes a village to raise a child??"  Well, that is SOOOO true!  I don't know how I would manage without my father-in-law Bill aka Red Truck Grandpa aka RT.  Honestly. Having him live down the street from us has made my life that much easier.  Not to mention the bonds he has formed with his grandsons.  He takes kids to school, picks them up, helps get them to various practices. He even makes sure they do their homework.  He is one reason why Travis usually gets 100% on his weekly spelling tests!
We can't forget Grandma Hawes aka California Grandma. The boys LOVE going to visit her (and her cats) every summer.  Whenever there is a holiday they know there will be something arriving in the mail from her.  She is so thoughtful, kind and generous to all of us.  Connor loves her house because he has his own bed... and grandma has STAIRS!  Travis loves going to California because he loves being around the cats (as well as grandma.)  Even though they don't see her as much, there is still a lot of love and mutual admiration going around here!
Who wouldn't be thankful for this cute face??  He adds a lot to our family. We love you Petey!
I am thankful for many, many more things. However, one thing in particular comes to mind today. I am thankful for the oceans of the world.  For me, the ocean is a beautiful, relaxing, mysterious and majestic place.  Whenever I am there I just can't help but think how big our world is. I always wonder what lands this water has seen before it stood at our feet.  It makes me think of Russia.  Clear on the other side of this endless vast of water lies the country that gave me my children. My life.  For that I am eternally thankful.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

National Adoption Awareness Month

Yep. This one pretty much sums it up.  Our lives wouldn't be the same without the blessing of adoption.  
I hope my boys are growing up feeling this way.  Because, well, it's the truth.

Pumpkins, Candy, and Costumes... Oh My!

Now that we are mid-way into November I guess I had better write about Halloween 2013.  Before we are overcome with turkeys and Christmas anyway!  Here are the boys with the pumpkins they each so lovingly picked out... not from an actual pumpkin patch...but from the great big bins outside the local grocery store. (Oh how I miss living in Memphis when we took the first graders out to an actual pumpkin patch to get pumpkins.  Oh well.... times do change!)  That didn't matter to them, they loved their pumpkins anyway.

 Cleaning out the "guts".
 Connor and Daddy designed their face first and this is what the end result was. Connor wanted his to have "tusks".
 Travis enjoys cleaning out the pumpkin...
 Travis and Dad designed this one too. 
 I think they both turned out pretty good! (That's because I stay out of this part.  I am not very creative or skilled in this area.)
 Thank goodness for grandmas.  Since one grandma lives in CA she offered to order the kids some cool costumes for Halloween. Travis chose a SWAT costume while Connor chose to be Rafael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He is obsessed with those turtles.  They both look so cute! Here they are ready to head out.
 And just in case you were wondering, my "other" Hawes boys dressed up too.  Say hello to Uncle Si and our newest inmate from the SF jail!  lol  Boy were they a sight!
As for me, I just sit outside and hand out candy. My traditional "costume" is my orange shirt and black pants.  I know, not very creative.  Dressing up isn't really my thing. I do enjoy seeing all of the costumes though.  We had a lot of kids but not as many has we have had in the past.  This year my mom and a friend joined me. The weather was great and the company was even better.  
Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Where is the time going???

I can hardly believe that October is almost over.  As usual, we have been busy, busy, busy.  The boys and I had our two weeks off for Fall Break and had some time for cuddling up with Petey.
 One day I walked around the corner and found this. Travis thought he would be more comfortable. Petey sat here for quite a while. He must have enjoyed it!
 October 11 was my mom's birthday and Daryle's dad's birthday. We call them the Birthday Twins.  I made them each their very own birthday cake this year.
 We went out to dinner then came home for cake and ice cream and a couple of presents.  Of course the boys had to play a round of Candy Land with Grammy first since we were all still full from dinner.
 The boys picked out this very soft 49r's blanket for Grandpa. 
 We got Grammy a gift card for the movies.  (Then the boys asked her to take them with her. lol)
 Happy Birthday Grammy and Grandpa!!!
 Years ago when we lived in Memphis we used to go to the Redbird's games. They are the farm team for the Cardinals.  We happened to be at the opening game in their new stadium.  This had to have been around 1999/2000/2001 or so. We saw this hanging in the team shop one day and sure enough you can see Daryle very clearly.  So, I bought it for him but we never did get it framed because it is so large. (It's like 4 feet long) Fast forward to 2013. Daryle has a friend at work who does wood working and Daryle happened to mention this print we had.  Well, his friend custom made a beautiful frame for it and now we are able to hang it up. If you ever come over we can show you right where Daryle and I are standing.  (You can only see the back of my head!)
 "Mom, come take a picture! Petey and I look really cute!!"  Of course they did.
 There has been a lot of excitement lately.  Daryle has a good friend, Mark, whom he has known since Jr. High. Mark was the best man at our wedding. So, I have known Mark ever since I have known Daryle. That would mean since I was 18.  Well, Mark's son Cody and his fiance just had a baby boy earlier this month. Does this mean Daryle and I are old enough to be GRANDPARENTS???  Well apparently we are since our friends who are our age just did! Anyway, baby Marshall is just adorable as can be. Cody lives around here but Mark and his family live in Oregon. They drove down to meet their new grandchild. I have a feeling we will be seeing more of them over the years.  
This picture is Bill with Mark and Daryle and then their kids.
 Connor got a little jealous that his daddy was holding a baby. Then he asked if he could have a baby brother. I told him Marshall can come and visit any time.  (Connor mostly likes having somebody around who is younger than him!!)
 I love this picture. Three generations going on here.  It's great to have friends who are more like family.
 It wouldn't be Mark and Daryle without a prank going on... poor Cody! New Dad initiation!
Next stop: Halloween!!!!