This year, Oliver wanted to learn to play basketball, so we enrolled him in a 3-week instructional basketball league. It was just two practices a week, for each of the 3 weeks, so it was fun for him, but not too straining on our schedule! He loved going each time, and it was extra fun that 2 other kids from his class were there! Joel even got to help coach! The last night, they did a little award ceremony:
Oh this boy is FUNNY!! at 14 months, he has decided he doesn't need to use words. He'll occasionally humor us by saying "ah duh" for 'done', and will say "dada". But that's it. Otherwise, he loves to point, grunt, and fuss. I guess when you have 4 older people catering to your every need, words aren't necessary! He HAS figured out how to move. This boy RUNS. EVERYWHERE. He climbs steps, chairs, onto tables, beds, etc. He wriggles out of his stroller on walks. He's mastering the art of using a spoon, and occasionally, a cup. In the bathtub, he stands where the water is pouring out. Lately, he's even started putting his head under it! When you ask him where his 'eyes are', this is the face we get:
Actually, when you ask where ANYTHING is, he does that face. It's pretty funny. He's figured out Oliver and Lily pretty well too, imitating their noises, screams, and actions. He and Oliver wrestle and throw things. They laugh out loud with each other. He and Lily play in her room together, giggle together in the van, and feed their babies together. It sure is hard to imagine life without this little guy--he's made ours so much richer!!!
So, for those of you who know Joel well, you know 2 things about him: 1. He loves to eat. (And ice cream his is FAVORITE!) 2. He is extremely hard-working and entrepreneurial.
One thing he has talked about since we were married is owning an ice cream store. (Or at the VERY least, a soft serve machine for our house!) This past summer, while in Ohio, we visited one of those yogurt and topping bars--and on the door, the sign read, "We cater". That got the wheels in his head turning. Immediately, he started thinking about how we could run a soft serve catering business in Newton. And now, 6 months later--we are!
This past week, Sweet Ride Soft Serve premiered at the Bridal Show in Wichita--and we gave away 1400 comes or bowls of soft serve ice cream! We are so excited about the possibilities with this!!! We would love to bring ice cream and toppings to any events: birthday parties, reunions, school parties, wedding receptions, Christmas or other holiday parties, etc. Spread the word, and let us know if you have any interest in hiring a full-service soft serve bar!
It was so fun celebrating Lily's birthday this year. She has matured SO much in the past few months. Honestly, I was a little bit dreading 4 because for Oliver--that was his hardest year. But Lily? She is turning into such a sweet, helpful, caring little girl. YES, she is strong-willed, but I love that about her.
It's been really neat to watch her with her brothers:
She and Oliver can be the BEST of friends. They have days where they are constantly bickering, but more and more, they play. They talk. They laugh. He is "teaching her how to read". He builds her lego sets, and she loves it. He is so caring with her, and she tolerates it....:-) It's funny--she is such an independent little thing, and really doesn't like anyone doing anything for her. But just yesterday, Oliver brought home a bracelet he'd made for her at school--and she liked it! And then this morning, when he was gone, she got this big smile on her face when she told me that Oliver made that for her. I said, "Yep! Oliver loves you a lot, huh?" And she just grinned. I love to see that softness in there.
She has actually gotten to be quite a good helper with Brahm, too. Whereas before, we were constantly trying to keep her from touching, holding, hitting, squeezing and tackling him...now, she'll notice his runny nose and wipe it. She'll take his hand and bring him places. She'll take him into her room to play with him. She'll read him books, share her snack, and talk to him just like a mommy does. I LOVE my mornings with her and Brahm!
We are so proud of the little girl she is becoming! And I think 4 will be a good year. :-)
This year Lily wanted a Tinkerbell Tea Party with ONLY girls. NO boys. (I have to say, I kinda liked it....it was so QUIET and CALM!!!) :-) Here are the pictures:
Oliver was so bummed to not be able to be a part of the actual partying, so he created a tinkerbell game that he explained and had the girls play. It was very sweet. (and they humored him by playing...)
Lily is VERY into these Friends lego sets, and all of a sudden has a bunch! Thankfully, her brother is a Lego expert and is more than willing to put them together for her!
At one point, the party turned from Tinkerbell fairies into aliens shooting each other...but that was short-lived. We had a great time with some really sweet girls--happy 4th birthday, Lily!