Fun with Cousins

My sister and two of her girls came for a quick visit recently.  We packed in a lot of fun while they were here!  It's always so nice when they visit!  We miss living close to them!  While here, we visited a popsicle shop in Dallas called Steel City Pops.  This was our first time there and we'll be back!  Yum!

 We signed the girls up for a mini art camp at the home of Ms. Helen.  It was a great experience for them! Ms. Helen began the time with a devotional and then they began painting, took a break to eat snacks and play barbies, then back to painting.  Piper and Liv were unable to finish their paintings in the two hour allotted time so we signed them up for a one hour finishing session the day they left.  
 Above and below are their paintings at the end of the first day!
 Anna finished her dress painting on the first day!  She really enjoyed it!
 Then on the second day, Anna painted something else while the other two finished up!
 Piper's painting is of pink french doors.  Ms. Helen said Piper was a patient painter and followed her painting instructions well.  I really want her to begin some art lessons as an after school activity.  I know it would be a great creative outlet for her to enjoy and recharge!
 We also visited our church's tree fort, played outside, did some light shopping, and some swimming!  Fun was had by all and all were exhausted!
Briggs likes it when we have visitors but he always does his own thing and beats to his own drum while they are here.  Below, he is plopped down in the grass like he'd just finished mowing the entire yard and was exhausted, while the girls were swinging in the backyard!  He probably was exhausted but it was from all the estrogen surrounding him!!
 And, before they left, Sheryl and the girls helped me get all our baby/kids boxes from the attic so I could begin Operation Organize before the arrival of the baby!  Ours house is a bit of a construction zone at this time!



 Briggs, all of a sudden, is into his Lego table and his little Lego's.  Every afternoon, during room time he works on adding to his "Lego Castle."  He is very determined!  We may have another engineer or an architect in our family!  The top picture is of Briggs with hair and the second he is without hair.  He got a little summer shave and I'm not a fan!  But, it'll grow back!
 One evening, I went in to check on him around 11 pm and this is how he was sleeping!  Standing up!
 Piper attended a week of VBS at a nearby church with other friends. The VBS was a spy theme and one day they gave all the kids "spy decoys!"  Funny!
 Speaking of Piper, we've had some hard attitude issues to deal with lately but then she also has been displaying the most caring, loving heart too!  Below is a bracelet she made and specifically asked me to give to the person working at the Chick-Fil-A window one day!  She said, "please give it to them whether it's a boy or girl.  I made it for whoever is working!"  So sweet!  And one Sunday after church, we went out to eat.  While there, Michael and I realized one of the employees had to bring their child to work and the child wasn't cooperating perfectly which was frustrating the mom, who was working.  The child came by our table and talked to us for a little bit.  He told us his name and that he was four years old, etc.  Then after a little bit, Piper said, "Mommy can I please go sit with him since he's all by himself eating?"  Oh melt my heart!  We let her since we could see her from where we were sitting.  She talked to him, made him laugh, colored pictures with him...it was just sweet to watch her reaching out to this little boy that was younger than her!  I was so proud of her and thankful for the sweet heart God has given her.
Another fun thing we have done this summer, is attend an event at the Heritage Farmstead Museum.  They had volunteers on hand to teach the kids about what life was like before modern conviences were invented, such as electricity and running water!  They got to peek into a one room school house, practice carrying pails of water by the creek, use a weaving machine, see animals such as goats, pigs, and donkeys, take a hay ride, and even milk a fake cow!  They also made butter and homemade ice cream!  It was really fun for them and they did not want to leave!

 Briggs loved feeding the baby calf his bottle.  Only the baby cow was a fake, stuffed baby calf!  Stuffed bears and deer heads don't bother me but seeing this baby calf was disturbing.  Gag!  Briggs kept saying "open your mouth cow!"  Finally he understood it wasn't alive!


Independence Day 2014

 Campbell, Piper, & Nora, 6 years old!

 Kate, me, & Kim
 Michael, Ben, & Dustin

We had a nice, simple Fourth of July this year.  Our neighborhood hosts a cute, little "hometown" parade and this was our first year to attend. We went with our friends, the Wallace's and the Henke's.  Piper loved it but Briggs wasn't too into it!  After the parade the country club had bounce houses, hot dogs, and snow cones that we enjoyed!  After lunch we took the kids swimming and came home to relax a little before going out for a picnic and fireworks.  Briggs was really fussy and crying.  I took his temperature and he was running a fever.  He feel asleep in the middle of a movie crying!  Needless to say, I stayed home with him while Michael took Piper to see the fireworks.  Kind of sad, but really no big deal!  I think this is his last year to not completely understand what he missed out on! 


It's a Girl!

Little Levy #3 is a baby girl!  We found out on Monday!  Her forehead looks much like her siblings' ultrasound pictures!  This time, we were able to view her in 4D format.  We have never done that before, because our past doctors didn't offer it for free and I have never been a fan of the 4D imagery...and still am not.  It's kind of creepy-looking in my opinion!  We're happy to report she looks healthy and is growing on schedule!  They said her estimated weight is eleven ounces at this time.  I'm twenty weeks along so only twenty more to go!  Now to think of some fun names for her!  Piper is especially excited that we are having a girl so that she can sleep in her room since we planned for the baby to share with one of the kids!  I do need to work on getting Piper's and new baby's room ready, which probably means we'll be purchasing a twin bed and new bedding!  Briggs was less than thrilled at the announcement of a baby girl.  He mostly cried and said, "I need a baby boy!!!" each time he heard us discussing the news!  I was very surprised at his reaction because he has not acted too interested throughout this pregnancy.  But he definitely had an opinion! Today, I did ask him if he was okay with us having a baby girl now and he said, "ya."  So hopefully, the news has sunk in.  I do know that he and Piper are going to be great siblings to this sweet baby.  They love little ones and babies so I'm excited to see it all unfold!

Vacation Time

Michael and I joined my sister, Sheryl and her hubby, Trebor for an extended weekend vacation in Scottsdale in mid-June.  Thanks to my in-laws for keeping our kids during that time!! We stayed at the Westin Kierland.  This trip was great!  We hung out by the pool, went to the spa, read, slept, and ate!  The perfect vacation combination!  The guys did golf and Sheryl worked out like a maniac, as usual, but I thoroughly enjoyed my lazy self!  Michael and I had just celebrated our tenth year of marriage so this was sort of an anniversary getaway as well!  We did get a free anniversary dessert every single night thanks to Trebor mentioning it with every dinner reservation!  And we received a second free dessert every night since we were staying at that specific resort!  I think Scottsdale might be a pretty nice place to live...my ankles were never swollen like they are here during pregnancy and my hair fixed fabulously every night!  No humidity is good for me!

 As we were going through security at the Phoenix airport I saw this group of guys dressed in black and recognized the two below in the photo from a movie Michael and I had just recently watched called, "God's Not Dead."  Like a dork I looked at them, turned to Michael and said, "Hey those are the guys from that movie. What's their names? Oh, that's the Newsboys! (a Christian band that's been around forever.  I don't think any of them are the original band members.)" And then like a dorky person I smiled really big at them and eagerly said, "Hi guys!" Like they knew me!  And they smiled back and very calmly and quietly said, "Hey!"  In their minds probably thinking, "She's craaaazy!"  Then I think I giggled!  DUMB!  I don't even know anything about these guys other than they were in that movie and I've heard some of their music but wouldn't be able to pick their songs out! Ha!  Trebor started up a conversation with them and then we snapped a picture together!  Funny story.  Funny memory!  Fun trip!


The rest of June!

Summer is flying by!  It always does!  Yet there are days where I think "boy this is a long day!"  We kept extra busy in June.  Each week, fun activities filled our schedule!  I wish the kids could go to 9-2 everyday year round and have 3 week breaks every two months or so!  That would be ideal!
 For Father's Day, we played it low key.  Church, ate at home, then gathered at Michael's brother's house to swim and spend time together.  Piper and Briggs sure love their daddy!  He's way more playful than mom; therefore, making him pretty popular around here!
 Briggs FINALLY ate a hamburger again!  It was newsworthy!  And, he's eaten one I grilled even!  Praise the Lord!
 We agreed to let Piper sleep in her bean bag during the summer unless there were activities the next day she needed to be rested up for.  Talk about a sore back!  I would not enjoy this!
 This summer, instead of group swim lessons like we usually do, we tried out semi-private lessons with Piper's friend, Nora.  They learned the elementary back stroke, improved the regular stroke and learned back stroke.  Swim lesson week ended up being pretty cool outside.  The timing of that wasn't perfect but the girls still had fun!
Briggs and his best buddy, Asher, waiting on their sisters to finish swim lessons!  Briggs took lessons directly after Piper's lessons.  His were in a group format and this was his first year for lessons.  I'd say he improved as a swimmer and became somewhat more confident.  He is not as risky as other 3 year old boys and that's fine with me but I do want him to be safe!  The lessons were mommy and me style so I had to the pleasure of getting in the frigid waters during the summer cool spell!  Not quite my idea of fun but worth it in the end!
 Piper has been quite expressive in her fashion lately.  This ensemble was worn overnight for bed!  All I think when I see this picture is, "Hot and Wild!"  I would have smothered wearing this and I cannot believe she didn't!
And, in June we have had more rain than what seems normal, so the kids have taken advantage of it!  This is Fancy Nancy and Crazy Bob!  I don't know a really good nickname for Briggs in this picture but I do think it perfectly captures the personalities of a boy and a girl!