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Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Week 1 and Father's Day

The twins' school year came to a close about three weeks ago.  What a wonderful year it was for them!  They were blessed with two sweet, precious teachers that loved them and took such great care of them.  On the last day of school, they each got a special memory with a note from each of their teachers and pictures from throughout the year - what an awesome keepsake!!!

The twins will start their summer program at the Met Church this Tuesday.  It is a six week program, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9:30 - 2:30.  The theme is heroes of the Bible.  Tayden is looking forward to music class and Brooklyn is eagerly anticipating making new friends.  Tim and I are looking forward to some lunch dates and some time to work on cleaning closets (not so much Tim).

Summer is officially underway in the Russell household and we have hit the ground running.  Right before I got out for summer, Tim took the twins to the new trampoline park by our house.  He met the Simon twins and their dad there for a daddy / twin playdate.  They had a BLAST!!!!  I cannot wait to go and check it out.  Michelle, the twins' mom, showed up just in time to take a picture of Tim stuck in the huge foam pit.  Her husband had to help get him out!  HILARIOUS!!!

My first official day of summer was this past Tuesday.  We attended the Summer Spectacular / Vacation Bible School at the Hills Church on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  It has been described as VBS on steroids.  It was fantastic!!  They brought the story of Joseph to life and the music was GREAT!!!!  The first night, the twins sat pretty still and quiet, but they got a little more loud and squirmier each night.  Overall, they loved it and can tell the story of Joseph pretty well.

During the day we have kept busy with all kinds of fun activities.  We have read, sang, baked, colored, stamped, sorted, playdoughed, and puzzled.  I quickly gained a whole new respect for Tim and his patience level.  Don't get me wrong, I love being home and getting to play with the twins.  It just gets a little challenging to keep two 3 year olds entertained for hours on end.  I look forward to taking them swimming and going on field trips to get us out of the house.  We will soon be taking our annual Galveston trip and are all super excited about that!  I think they will both LOVE the beach this year.  While in Galveston, we are planning to drive to Sweeny, to show Tim and the twins where my dad grew up.  We are also planning on meeting up with our family in Houston to meet our new cousin Sydney, and love on Gracie and Rosie.  It will be a fun trip and I am so thankful to my sweet friend who makes this a possibility for us each year.

Some great news to share - Tayden is pretty close to being fully potty trained.  Tim worked with him for a few weeks and he now is a pro.  He wears big boy underwear all day and only has the occasional accident (#2), but overall he is doing great.  We put him in a pull-up at naptime and bedtime.  It has been dry every time he has woken up and he will immediately start saying, "I need to peepee!!!!!!"

The twins have started to have more sibling disagreements.  It is sometimes quite comical to watch and listen to these play out.  We were in the car going to get Sambo from the vet and they were arguing over who was going to hold his leash when he got in the car.  Brooklyn told Tayden that it had to be a person and since she was a person, she would hold it.  He replied, "But I'm a person too!!!"  She shot that down with, "No you are not Buddy!"  Other times, when they get upset and see who can scream / talk the loudest, it is not so comical.  It is in these moments that Tim is quick to remind me that I have ten weeks of summer ahead. 

In contrast to the arguing, Brooklyn is great at consoling Tayden when he is upset.  She will say in the sweetest voice, "It's okay Bud, you will be okay."  They have been playing together much more and always "pretend" to be doing something such as driving to SueSue's or to Wal-Mart.  After our trip to get Sambo, Brooklyn played like Tayden was her dog and she dropped him off at the doctor.  He sat in the same spot in the living room for about 10 minutes until she came back to get him.  Lolly and Malley came over to visit on Friday.  Malley pretended to be the dragon, Brooklyn the princess, and Tayden the knight.  Brooklyn would float through the living room, twirling her arms, saying, "I am princess Brooklyn."  They loved it so much that they would've played for hours.

Funny things heard around our home:

Brooklyn:  After being told to do something - "Aye, aye mommy!"  When saying goodbye to SueSue - "Don't be a stranger!"  She wanted so badly to go on stage at church and I told her that she could when she was grown up - "I am a grown-up Mommy, but Tayden is not, he is a little bit short."  When trying on a new dress she said - "It is beautiful!  I need some glass slippers."  She now will greet new people by asking them their name and if they have a dog.  She very frequently gets tickled about something and will laugh a deep belly laugh. 

Tayden:  He said something funny and then said, "I crack myself up!"  He loves to say, "That's random!"  After one of his stinky accidents I carefully got him out of his underwear without spilling anything.  As I was carrying the underwear to the trash, the contents splatted on the floor - his response, "That's random!"  I went to have lunch with some of my friends awhile back and when I got home he said, "Hey mommy, how was lunch?"  We are slowly transitioning away from the pacis, now only using them at naptime and bedtime.  He recently hurt himself and started asking fo his paci.  I reminded him that we only have pacis at naptime and bedtime.  He added, "And at crying time."

We still have a great deal of bathroom humor.  Brooklyn was going #2 and said, "I bet it is going to be huge."  When she was finished she peered down into the toliet and said, "It is enormal!!!"  Tayden came to check it out and said, "Yep, it is enormal!!!!"  GOOD TIMES!!!

Last night, we ate at Gogo Gumbo in Boyd.  We had heard from a few people how great it was and finally got to check it out.  The food was great and the dessert was amazing!  We had strawberry shortcake and banana cream pie (to die for).  Tim loves seafood, so it was his pre-Father's Day dinner.  This morning we all slept in and then had a huge brunch.  We hung around the house for most of the day and just relaxed.  I had the twins each complete a questionaire about Tim and their responses were great.  We made him a little keepsake and an Oreo cake and got him a bottle of his favorite cologne, 

Father's Day is always hard for me since my sweet daddy is in Heaven.  I cling to the memories of the 20 years I had with him and the knowledge that I will see him again one day.  He was the epitome of unconditional love and a Godly husband, father and friend.  He taught us to do our best and he cheered us on every step of the way.  He celebrated every success, no matter how small and was always close at hand to comfort me when things didn't go as I had planned.  He would always give me a big hug and tell me that everything was going to be okay, and I believed him fully, without doubt that everything would be okay.  He bought my first bra, baptized me, and gave me a blueprint of the type of husband and father I should look for in life.  He was a stellar athlete, a wonderful businessman, but most importantly he was a Godly man that left behind a legacy of love.  I feel like there is so much that he is missing out on, but I know that he is never far away.  I can't wait to give him a big hug, knowing that we will never have to say good-bye again!  On Wednesday, we saw Phil Martin at church.  He helped me get the twins out of the car and I introduced him as Poppy's friend, Mr. Martin.  My mom soon walked up and Brooklyn ran to her and said, "SueSue, that is Poppy's friend."  Mr. Martin loved the fact that they already talk about their Poppy. 

This day was especially hard this year because it is our first Father's Day without my PawPaw.  It is still hard to believe that he is gone.  He had been the father figure in my life for the past 15 years, always making sure I was okay, and knew how much he loved me.  He was a simple man that found joy in the simple things in life, but his character and integrity made him a giant among men.  His sense of humor was infectious and all of my memories of him make me smile and even laugh out loud.  He is greatly missed, but again, I know the reunion will be spectacular!

Having such strong, supportive, loving men in my life, led me to desire a mate with the same qualities.  The first night I met Tim, he expressed a desire for having children.  I didn't really take him seriously at the time.  When we got married four years later, he quickly proved to be a wonderful husband.  He makes me feel special and loved each and every day.  He tolerates my lists and type a personality and loves me unconditionally - shortcomings and all.  He listens to me and validates me and truly is my best friend.  After seeing him around kids for many years I knew he would be a great dad, but he has exceeded every expectation I had.  He loves Brooklyn and Tayden so much and takes such great care of them every single day.  Most women would be nervous leaving their children with their husband five days a week, but I no that they are in great hands.  He prepares their meals, dresses them, makes piggy tails for Brooklyn, takes them to the mall, Sam's, and Wal-Mart, plays with them, reads to them, dances and sings with them, cares for them and takes them to the doctor when they are sick, comforts them when they are hurt, and loves them to pieces.  It amazes me that he is able to do all of these things while working from home.  I couldn't have picked a better father for my children and we are all so very blessed to have him.  I love and appreciate you Tim!  We made him this video in honor of Father's Day (click on the link - you might have to let it buffer first):

Father's Day 2013

playing with shadows in the backyard

Chuck E Cheese

Last day of school with Mrs. Larkin

and Mrs. Faubel

Tim was the best man in his friend Michael's wedding - so handsome

farmer / rock star

first day of summer cooking project - ready in their aprons

Summer Spectacular

they had a little too much fun with the ink pad while stamping

my precious daddy on the day of my graduation from high school - we both gave speeches that day - what a special memory

Tim's little keepsake.  Notice that Tayden and Brooklyn are able to write the first few letters of their names - we have been working on this :)

Brooklyn was trying to hide the fact that she had red ink on her face from me

Tim stuck in the foam pit - can you find him???