Sunday, May 31, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Last Monday, we had a rather inpromptu cookout with Nick's parents, my dad, and Nick's brother Eric's family (Vicki, Kathryn, and Alyssa). The weather was beautiful, the food was delicious, and it was fun to hang out with everyone.

Ben has been CRAZY about bubbles lately. He gets going, and can occupy himself forever with it.
Showing cousin Kathryn a bubble he caught:

His latest trick is blowing a bubble on a surface over a small object to make it a "bubble house". He's actually really good at it, and can make the house have one big "room", or several small "rooms". He'll blow an array of bubbles, and then pop the ones that aren't to his liking to make his "house" perfect. He's elevated it to an art form. :-)

(Look at him beaming with pride, showing off this new-found skill! -)

Xavier, of course, was delighted with the company and the food. Baked beans, burgers, and potato & fruit salads are right up his alley. Here he is, enjoying attention from Grandma, whom I think he would rather be with more often than not. Hehehe - he LOVES his Grandma and Papa!!

There was swinging, catch, basketball at the little hoop, and after all that action, Ben dragged both his Grandpas inside to watch Spiderman, a new favorite. (He's growing up. Sigh.) Even though he's been wearing his Spiderman Halloween costume nearly every day for the last 6 months (HA!), he'd never seen the movie until last week. It's decidedly too violent for him to watch...but luckily, he's only interested in the parts where Spidey is swinging from building to building, and the rest of the time, he busies himself drawing and coloring. He somehow has a built in censor. It appears I'm at least momentarily set as far as that goes, although,I'm sure it won't last long... ;-)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Now that's tired.

As I got ready for work on Sunday afternoon, I looked out the window, and thought this was hilarious.

Here's what Nick and Ben were doing:

(its a pressure washer, so its LOUD.)

And here's what Xavier was doing, 20 feet away.

Special days to remember...

Thursday, May 21, was the boys' last day of preschool! The whole week was filled with special days, and the weather was thankfully really beautiful, as a lot of the activities were outdoors.
Monday was pirate day. (please excuse the photo quality - it was taken on my phone...)

Hanging out with a buddy, waiting for the end of the day -

Tuesday was beach and bubble day, Wednesday was birthday party day, and Thursday was outdoor fun day.
Getting wet at the water table:

Xavier played catch with his friend Trey. They are great friends! He's always telling Xavier he loves him and gives him hugs and kisses. Its so sweet.

Bennett and Saige - they'll continue on for one more year of preschool together in the fall. Aren't they cute together?!

After playing outside on the last day, everyone came in to perform some songs for the parents. The kids really let loose and sang their hearts out. So cute. Here's Xavier and his friend Trent, holding hands.

Ben with friends Grace and Caleb.

The boys each got a certificate and a book to celebrate their good job at school this year.

The class:

Here's Bennett on his last day of physical therapy. They're working on hand-eye coordination, and balance (but really it just looks like fun, right?)

Here's everyone, unfortunately minus Ben (he was with the physical therapist when I took this picture).

Its truly touching how much these kids like each other. They are so kind, and the concern and love they have for each other is very evident. Most of the kids are moving on to kindergarten next fall, including Xavier!! I really hope that he'll have some familiar faces in his class :-)

Ben looks forward to another year with all his returning preschool friends, making some new ones, and seeing one of his favorite people - Ms. Dianne (teacher's assistant)!!

In addition - Nick and I want to say a big thank you to Mrs. Gloria Browning, Xavier and Ben's preschool teacher. We will miss you so much - you have been such an integral part of our boys lives for 3 years now, and its difficult to put into words what a positive impact you've had on our lives. We are forever grateful for all your compassion, understanding, patience, wisdom, knowledge, ideas, advice, and love for our boys, and all those whose lives you have touched over the years. We love you! Happy retirement!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hold my hand, please.

Xavier has become more and more interested in holding hands with us over the last year or so. He'll search out and grab your hand, and be quite content to sit like that for a long time. In this shot, Ben had actually grabbed Xavier's hand, instead of the other way around. It looks like Xavier's trying to pull away, but actually, he just likes moving around the hand he's holding. I thought this was so sweet. I love to see when my boys love on each other.

And Bennett has requested I post this display of his new cars. He carefully lined them up on my "leg hill", as he called it, and then wanted his picture taken with them. ;-)

Renovation bathing

This is what that looks like:

Nick is currently working on big indoor reno project #3, completely gutting and updating our upstairs bathroom (reno project #1 - finished basement, #2 - total kitchen re-do).

So yes, it has been confirmed by the Pandrea household, if big enough, kitchen sinks work equally well for bathing anyone ages 0-6.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Check out that wig!

Xavier's hair (along with the rest of his body) has gone through a growth spurt lately. I think he looks really grown up and handsome.

When its wet, its wavy.

He's also wearing his new glasses in these pictures. They're all one piece of bendable plastic, no hinges, and with a strap at the back to keep them in place. For those of you that know him well, you know he absolutely wreaks havoc on his other glasses on a regular basis. They slip down his nose, he tries to adjust them, they fall off, and then...they become a toy to be twisted, mangled, stretched, and yes, even broken with brute Xavier strength ;-) For now, these new glasses are out-smarting him. We'll see how long that lasts...HA!

Field trip

May 11th, the boys and I went with their class on a field trip to a local grocery store. What was really fun is that it happened to be the grocery store where we shop, so it was an extra special experience for the boys. They got to see "behind the scenes" action...and I learned just how 'green' and community friendly the store is, which made me very happy. They recycle everything possible, and do a lot of donation to local food banks and organizations.
The boys got to touch a lobster, walk into the giant refrigerators and freezers, and saw the inner workings of the deli/kitchen area connected to the restaurant. A fun time for sure!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Taking it all in

We love warm weather - so hooray for a few weekends ago when it was 85* and sunny! Walking on the trails at Silver Creek MetroPark sounded like a great idea. We started off on what we thought was a 1.5 mile trail hike, and ended up going about 3 (the home stretch with me carrying B). But it was beautiful, and despite being dehydrated, sweating, and tired (HA!) we had a lot of fun.

I also got to take pictures for my photography class assignment on that day, and heard a lot of, "COME ON, MOM!!!" (Btw, Ben's long since stopped calling me "mommy". Its now "mom". And sometimes it even comes with attitude..."mooo-oooommmm!")

I love these next 3 photos of Bennett. They are unposed (like most of the shots I take) and I think they do a good job of showing you how curious he is :-)