Friday, August 18, 2017

Little things

Harvey just wanted to be part of the action at Target one day and found a super safe way to do it.

Millie literally said "I'll never let go!" when I told her to turn around. She didn't understand why I was laughing so hard and taking her picture.

Had to document probably my best Max haircut thus far. Sometimes I want to go to hair school so it's not such a hit-or-miss thing.

Millie and Max love to talk to Alexa and add all kinds of crazy things to my shopping list. And for the record, Max told her to add "bear" to the shopping list, not beer. Max and Alexa don't always have crystal clear communication haha.

Millie got dressed one morning and then asked if I'd match her and wear "a tie-dye shirt and jiggly pants." I was a little offended by the term "jiggly pants," but then I learned that she's referring to the bottom of the pants (slightly flared instead of tight leggings) and that they move. That better be what she meant. Anyway, I will match her as long as she'll let me. 

Harvey had his mouth on the (super-clean) oven door, trying to get to the zucchini bread. It did smell amazing.

Max loves playing with the action figures at Gigi's and Poppy's house lately.

Our kids are so lucky to have close relationships with all of their grandparents. We were hanging out with Gigi and Poppy one Saturday while Tyler was working and Millie and Max just hung all over Poppy! Literally!

Some Sunday doodles from Millie. She says it's the gold plates.

Coloring with Aunt Sarah. 

Every time we see the car shopping carts at a store the kids think there must be a 3-seater somewhere. Until we find it, we improvise.

"Look Mom, I made my bed all by myself!"

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Take Your Kids to Work Day

We were so excited to go to work with Dad! He was maybe going to have to stay for a meeting so Harvey and I tagged along in case we needed to bring the big kids home. I must say, Harvey looks pretty good in business casual!

We had to park a few blocks away, but we enjoyed feeling like real city-slickers!

Tyler's building is the tallest in Houston. I'm not necessarily afraid of heights, but looking down from up there makes me dizzy every time!

The theme this year was NASA. Obligatory photo booth picture with props.

Millie was most excited for face painting. She's very into rainbows and made sure the woman painting her face put the colors in the right order.

Didn't stay at the office for too long, actually. It was super crowded and once we had done a few things and the kids were ready to go, we checked out Dad's desk and rode the escalators a couple more times.

We decided while we were there and since we had time we'd show the kids the tunnels downtown. Several of the big downtown buildings are connected by underground tunnels and there's restaurants and stores down there too. Millie said she thought we'd be going into a dirt tunnel and was pleasantly surprised. Max was very into his balloon sword.

Also had to do the revolving door thing a few times

Worn out by 11:30am on our way home!

That day also happened to be National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. If there's anything I don't miss, it's an opportunity to justify making cookies.

Friday, August 11, 2017


Sometimes I take screenshots of things that inspire me. Not really sure why I do that because I typically don't do anything with them, so I'd like to start. These are some things that have caught my attention lately.

I follow @simplyonpurpose on Instagram and have loved her parenting advice. She did a no-yell challenge recently and while I don't think I made it very far on that, I loved her focus on it and tools to help.

Above: she talked about focusing on the good things our children are doing instead of the negative. She also talked about ignoring "junk behaviors," or the things that are typical for their age and not harmful to anyone, but maybe just bothersome. Focusing on and praising the good (sometimes pointedly in front of a child doing the opposite) will fix the negative behaviors a lot of the time! Just something I wanted to remember.

And then I loved the quote in the middle of this:

Makes me want to master something seemingly impossible. Anyway, just some good thoughts I didn't want to slip away.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Andersen mini-reunion

Kim and her kids were in town (from Belgium!) and we were so excited to spend a few days with them. Steph and her kids also came to Houston so we'll call it a mini-reunion. We had 5 out of 8 of us together! Not bad!

Of course, we swam a lot. Max and "Laden" are still the cutest little buddies.

Seriously, their little friendship is adorable. It is not normal for either of them to be so cheerfully helpful, but when they're together they'll do anything. They were so happy to carry lots of pool toys back, and their moms were dying of shock a little bit.

A pretty sunset on our drive home. We were almost grateful for the random traffic jam we found ourselves in so we could enjoy it longer.

We thought it'd be fun to drive around Houston and see the houses where we used to live. I don't remember much about our first house, except that I shared a room with my 3 older sisters. We had 2 sets of bunk beds and we loved that we could touch both of them at the same time. I learned that it is an 1100 sq ft home and they had 6 kids while there! Amazing! I felt so humbled, thinking that sometimes I think we need more space, even though we have half that many kids and twice as big of a house. 

It was so fun to take our kids there and show them our old stomping grounds. Max was there but having a tantrum in the car. Be glad this is a picture and not a video.

We also stopped by the closest Shipley's we used to frequent. My mom taught preschool in that house and we'd go there when the letter of the week was D. D is for donuts!

Then we went to the house we lived in after France and then again after Australia. This one I remember much better, but it's amazing how different it is now. Both because of my perspective and because the trees are huge! That makes such a difference.

I remember laying bricks to make this pathway to the back yard.

Still have this addressed memorized. This was the house where I broke my nose roller blading. So many fun (and funny) memories.

Then of course more swimming. Tim had been out of town and got back just in time to throw all the kids around in the pool. They loved it!

That evening we grabbed pizzas and went to the waterwall park. My cousin Shirley drove down from Fort Worth with her kids and niece and it was fun to see them. 

Bubba bomb!

Saturday morning we went to my parents' church building to play games in the gym. Sarah taught us her mission game (can't remember the name of it, but it was basically ultimate frisbee with a football and the goal is a basketball hoop). It was really fun. Mom brought hot dogs to the church and we ate lunch there, then went back to their place to swim. We had two more cousins (Whitney and Charlotte) join with their families, so we were quite the crowd! Usually that would not have been a problem, but it seemed that someone else was having a family reunion that day or something. We almost never see anyone else using that pool, but of course on the day we had a big crew it was packed. So funny. We had a great time anyway.

We all loved meeting Kim and Caleb's new baby, Oliver. Millie was especially sweet with him and has since asked if she can have a baby sister for Christmas.

We went up for dinner on Sunday after church. Harvey and Zoe were "helping" Grandma make rolls.

Monday was our last day with the Bakers for a while! We had a quiet day at Grandma and Grandpa's, swimming and playing. We're so glad they came down to TX and can't wait to see them next time!