Thursday, September 21, 2017

Aiden's Sleepover

All summer Aiden consistently requested a sleepover with Brayden, his best friend from preschool. Well, it finally happened right before school started.  While the rest of the family enjoyed Daddy-Daughter dates, Aiden had a sleepover with Brayden.  The evening was full of fun playing legos and video games and watching a movie.  The following morning, the boys constructed and painted trucks at Home Depot. They have great Saturday morning kids' workshops.  It is so wonderful that the boys are still friends after so many years, especially since they do not go to school together anymore.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Daddy-Daughter Dates!

Last year, when I found out that Neil Diamond would be touring Phoenix this August, I knew I had to take my dad to this concert.  So, as soon as they went on sale, I purchased two tickets to give Dad as a Christmas present.  It was an awesome Daddy-Daughter date!  We started our evening with dinner at Durant's, an upscale, old-school chophouse, in downtown Phoenix.  We both agreed that we wished we could have had one martini more before we headed to the concert.  The concert was amazing.  I was surprised how many Neil Diamond songs that I actually knew.  All but one, maybe.  Dad had a blast.  He sang and danced to every song.  I loved watching him.  He was in his element.  It is definitely a night I will not forget any time soon.

Dad and I at Durant's
Concert Time
Dad and I during the show

While my Dad and I were at the show, Josh and Madi had there own Daddy-Daughter Date Night. Their night started with dessert at Zoyo Yogurt.  Then, they stopped for a sub sandwich at Firehouse Subs.  But the last stop made Madi's night!  Josh took her painting at Painting with a Twist in Tempe. She loved painting while sipping Orange Crush.  Her smiles and silly faces tell it all.

Yogurt at Zoyo
After dinner at Firehouse Subs
Painting Time!
Sipping on her Orange Crush
The finished products

Let's hope there are many, many more Daddy-Daughter Dates in the near future!
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Back to School Preparations!

As the end of the summer approached, the back-to-school preparations began.

We shopped for school supplies.  Luckily, the school provides us a way to buy a school supply pack online through a company called Educational Products, Inc.  This allows our kids' school supplies to be purchased with a click of the mouse and then shipped directly to the school with no hassle.  We love it!  However, there still was a little shopping to do as the kids needed new backpacks, lunch boxes, and some clothes.

The kids received back-to-school hair cuts.  Madi wanted to cut her hair short and Aiden want a faux hawk.

We met their LET teachers for the year.  Aiden has Ms. Turner for 1st Grade.  Madilyn has Ms. Jacobson for 2nd Grade.  

After all of that, AND some adjustments to our bedtime and morning routines, our kids were ready to start the school year off right! 
Monday, September 18, 2017

Wet N Wild Day

About a week before school began, we decided to take the kids to Wet 'n' Wild for the day.  We thought it would be a fun end to their summer vacation.  They loved it!  Maelyn and Keaton had never been to Wet 'n' Wild so our kids had a blast showing the Raetz kids all around the park.  They enjoyed the slides, the water play areas, the wave pool and the lazy river.  A fun time was had by all!

The kids
Mae sliding
Madi and Mae
The boys heading up to tube down a slide
Videos of the kids tubing
Sunday, September 17, 2017

Summer Fun!

Summer is such a magical time for a child.  They have no worries or cares.  Tons of time to play and hangout with friends.  Our kids' summer was all of these things.  They enjoyed sleepovers, fun in the sun, play dates and tons of silliness!

Aiden surrounded by his stuffed animals
Madi's bed full of stuffed animals
Swimming Pool Fun
Poolside Picnic
Swimming with Friends
Snow cones while playing dress-up
Sleepover Fun
Game time!
Say "Cheese"
Painting Play date!
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

You Tube Kids

My kids are obsessed with YouTube Kids.  This is an actual childhood phenomenon.  From what I understand, most kids my children's age are obsessed with YouTube Kids.  And, we parents, do not understand.  Especially, because some of the channels my kids watch are painful to watch as an adult and yet, they love them. 

One of my kids' favorite YouTube video channels is Ryan's Toy Review.  This kid has one of the most popular YouTube channels.  The premise of the channel, as the name implies, is that Ryan reviews toys. He provides his thoughts on the selected toy.  Then, he “unboxes” the toys, sets them up, and plays. That is the concept of the entire show until he signs off with a simple wave and says, “See you next time.”  Really!?!

Here is a glimpse of Ryan's channel:

Baffling, right?  My kids love him.  They will sit for hours, if we allowed them, watching Ryan unpackage toys and review them.  It is mind numbing.

Some of the other YouTube channels that my kids enjoy include:

Barbie (that is someone plays with the Barbie and the kids watch)
Boss Baby (Snipets from the movie)
Surprise Eggs (a show all about opening eggs to get the surprise)
Princess T (Ryan's Cousin)

As a parent, I now understand the bafflement my parents must have felt when my generation was obsessed with Garbage Pail Kids cards, slap bracelets and gum wrapper chains.  I guess every generation has to have those childhood obsessions.  They are the treasures that we carry with us into adulthood that provide us a reminder of some of the simple joys of being a kid.  
Monday, July 24, 2017

Surprise! Happy Birthday, Mom!

While we were up in Munds Park, we surprised Mom with a party on Saturday night to celebrate her birthday. Mom's good friend, Sandy, had been planning the event for months.  It was one of the main reasons that Aunt Jerre and Uncle Loren decided to visit the cabin earlier.

The rousse created by Sandy was that since she hadn't seen Jerre and Loren in a long time, that we should all come over for dinner.  Mom gladly accepted the invitation and when we arrived for dinner, many of Mom's friends were gathered in her honor.  She was so surprised.  We got her!

It was a fun evening of drinks, food, conversation and celebration.  I am so glad that we were able to celebrate Mom's birthday with her this year.  With all of the kids' activities, it is getting harder and harder to get up to the cabin in the summer.  What a fun night!

Grandma and the kids
The gang!
Balloons, presents and cupcakes!
Mom and Sandy
Madi and Aiden
Crazy frosting!
Mom and Aunt Jerre
Josh and I
Aunt Jerre and Uncle Loren
Betty and Mom