Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 2 at the Lake

Yesterday I had to prove to my kids that even momma has skills!!!!!!!!!

Oh yeah baby, I still got it!!!

Our host Nikki also took us out on the big tube as a family! The only way Jayla said she would go is if we went really slowwwww. :) She was so scared, but she did it!

We also got the wave runner fired up and Justice and JJ took their first ever ride (and Jake and I got to cruise around the lake on it a few times too)!

JJ and Justice have not been out of the water for more than 5 minutes since we’ve been here, except to eat! JJ also loves going on the boat while all the KH boys go tubing, wakeboarding, and skiing. Justice told us yesterday that being here is his favorite thing that we have done all summer! I believe it....that boy LOVES the water! JJ too. Other than the water sports the boys have had fun jumping off the dock, floating around on the air mattresses, and just swimming around with all the Kingdom Hoops guys.

And here is our big group….serious pose….

Crazy pose…..

Today games start up again, so it’s back to business!

Have I mentioned how much I love being at the lake?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Getaway At the Lake

To help the program save on hotel costs for our July tournament travels a family in the program offered us, and all the high school boys traveling with us, their lake house for a few days. Their house sits near where our tournament is at in Kansas City so it worked out perfectly! Jake, JJ, Justice and the players traveled to the lake from the St. Louis tournament yesterday, and Jayla and I headed down last night. Oh my, this is going to be soooooooo FUN!

We pulled in and of course JJ was already hoopin’ it up!

The first order of business was to get this big crew fed!

While everyone ate I took a look around. Now this is going to be wild.......

The view....

Within about 5 minutes Jayla and her friend Chloe were off doing girl things….like hiding out from the boys in the secret clubhouse!

After dinner it was time to make a few rounds on the tubes before the sun went down. Of course Justice was the first one who lined up for the ride, and this would be his first ever ride out on the lake! He was confident that he was NOT scared of the water, and he would be FINE since he had his life jacket. He took one look at me with the “Please mommy, can I?” eyes and I folded. Okay. Just hang on tight but don’t forget to let go if the tube flips!

Getting ready…….

JJ and I stayed on the boat. :)

And, here we go!!!!!!!!!!!

He's LOVING it!!!!!!!!

Whooooooooo hooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

And I took this one right before they flipped! :)

Justice did great after the flip and just climbed right back on!

Later on Daddy took a dip!

The dock.

Tough guys.

Our gracious hosts - Brian & Nikki.

Have I mentioned Peprah is back?!?!?!?!!? He just got in from Ghana a few days ago!!!!!!!

Justice LOVES to be thrown in!

Ohhhhhh the lake. LOVE IT! I love even more that all these kids get to experience this! I am SO blown away by the hospitality of Brian & Nikki. They are great hosts and are making this so fun and relaxing for all of us… much so that our time here feels like a direct blessing from God Himself!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fo-hawk by Mom

Before the boys left for the last 10 day tournament trip a few days ago I needed to give JJ a haircut. He surprised me when he requested a mo-hawk! Since it was going to be the last road trip of the summer, I decided to give it a try just for fun. JJ’s sweet personality certainly does not go with this hairstyle, but I knew it would give him a little extra swagger in his step and that he would have fun with it. The ‘in’ style now is actually called a fo-hawk (or faux hawk), which keeps the sides a little bit longer than a traditional mo-hawk…and instead of just leaving the strip of hair in the middle you use some gel to give it a more styled look. David Beckham probably sports the best fo-hawk. Here’s what we came up with for JJ…

All the high school Kingdom Hoops boys loved it when they saw JJ’s new ‘do. They started calling him Chris Andersen from the Nuggets!

Ahhhhhhh!! Before they left I had to show Justice how to help JJ style it with the hair gel. Can you picture that bathroom scene in the morning?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Photos By Mom

It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten my kiddos photos taken professionally….since last October! I usually like to have their individual snaps taken along with our family photo so we can get it all done in one day. I just started looking into some ‘friends of friends’ who do photography to see if I could schedule something for the fall, but they are booked up to December already! Good for them! Their businesses are taking off and I love keeping up with their blogs and seeing their work. But bummer….their full schedules put me in a bind since I don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for some pics……so…….I decided that this round would be done in mommy fashion! I don’t know how to take photos. I don’t have the skills to edit photos. I don’t have an eye for which poses look good and which ones don’t. But I can zoom in, click a button and get my kids to laugh. So, might as well see what happens! This weekend Jayla and I had some girl time all by ourselves, so it was the perfect time for a photo shoot. Here we go….

My first favorite one I cut off her foot!

Bummer! That one would have been so sweet if she had a full foot!
And here we have the half smile….

And we couldn’t quite figure out how exactly to position our hands without smushing our face all around…

Seriously, mom, can we be done with this pose yet?

We then tried to do a 3 year old pose but we couldn’t quite get that last finger in place!

Maybe if we take the hair flower out things will go better for us?

That’s more like it! And of course, there’s that tongue smile again……she’s done that since she was a baby!

Ok Jayla, I think I like your hair better with the flower in. What do you think?

Gotta love the personality! Eventually the goofiness worked in our favor and in between her letting it all out, she giggled in a perfect pose and……….

I caught it! The one good shot I was hoping to get! :) Yay! That’s a framer for the hallway for sure!!!!! But of course I wasn’t ready to stop there just yet. I had one more spot I wanted to try. C’mon Jayla onto the flowers!

Apparently the scratchy flowers. And just like that baby girl had lost her enthusiasm. Hmmm……ok, just one smile and we’ll be done….

And there it was….too bad the wind was a little crazy in this spot! This picture was also a little dark on her face. I can work my way around Picasa to do a few amateur edits with photos, but I am kind of bored with Picasa. My mom told me about Photoscape which is pretty similar to Picasa but has some filters. So, I downloaded it and tried out an edit to soften and brighten that last pic and…..

Not too shabby! And Jayla busted out of the flowers in a flash….

And now, post-mommy photo shoot, I would say we are no worse for the wear! Look out JJ and Justice – you’re next!

Friday, July 22, 2011

5 and 29!

Happy Birthday to us today!!!! Woot woot!!!!!!!!

My little red-haired, pale skinned, blue-eyed bundle of joy made his entrance on my birthday 5 years ago today! Now that JJ understands how special and uncommon it is that he was born on my birthday, I’ve found that he likes to tell people about it as much as I do! A lady came up to me at the gym the other day and said, “I was talking to your son and I asked him how old he was. He said he was going to be 5 on July 22nd and then he said, ‘I was bwon on my mommy’s bewfday. I was hew pwesent.’” It wasn’t too long ago that he didn’t understand why he had to share his birthday with me, so I would always tell him that he was my birthday present from God. Apparently he is embracing it now!

The boys are actually traveling for tournaments the rest of this week and into the next, so we had to celebrate the big #5 a few days ago.

Our cake maker, my mom, was out of business due to power outages from a wind storm that passed through so I had to order the cake from our grocery store. It will be no surprise to you I’m sure that JJ requested an NBA cake. When I ordered it I picked out the NBA logo and asked them to also put a Miami Heat logo on there somewhere. Apparently they misunderstood and we ended up with a Miami Heat cake! Definitely not custom-made with Grandma Lori love, but anything goes for a Lebron James fan!

This is our usual summer crew with my ‘extra kids’ that are around a few days a week. They also doubled as party guests on this particular day!!!! Can you tell how steamy and bright it is here?!?!

The good thing about having a full house is that good help is easy to find!

For the birthday menu JJ requested fettuccini pasta!!!!!!!! Not my specialty so Paul Newman helped and he made a delicious alfredo sauce, complete with some garlic bread and an additional round of my home-made marinara sauce for spaghetti lovers. However, JJ was so excited to open presents that he couldn’t even eat! He patiently waited on the couch until we all had finished the meal, and then he busted into his stash!

I had forgotten from Christmas last year that JJ was a speedster present unwrapper. He went from one gift to the next as fast as possible without even looking up! He was completely focused in on getting them all opened up as quickly as he could! I think it took him less than 5 minutes! Then, as soon as it was all over he carefully and quietly organized all his gifts and put them away in his room! The only thing he kept out was his Miami Heat backpack which he had to ‘pack up’ right away for the next tournament. Love this kid!

Once cake and ice cream time rolled around, we had to coerce the birthday boy to come inside from his heated one-on-one game with Yaw in the driveway. He could hardly put down his new NBA basketball long enough to blow out his candles….but he did…..

And then in a flash he disappeared back out into the driveway while the rest of us enjoyed his cake!

About an hour or so later once the party was pretty much over, the birthday boy was finally ready to enjoy his birthday food! He requested his piece of cake first…..

And then he asked for his plate of fettuccini. You may not know that the best way to eat fettuccini is to first of all ensure that your mom serves the noodles and sauce separate. Then you sort through the noodles until you find the perfect one….


And enjoy!

JJ, I love your unconventional, free-spirited, mind your own, way of living life. They don’t come any sweeter than YOU! HaPpY BiRtHdAy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!