Since my last post in which I described how my heart fell into my stomach when I heard my daughter's surprised reaction to me saying I'd play with her, I've really tried to make a sincere effort to change the way I spend time with my kids.
On Friday, after work and picking up the kids, we discovered that Emily received her results from the pre-reading skills assessment she took earlier this year. 27 out 30 right, higher than 98% of all kids in the nation! To celebrate, we let Emily pick the restaurant (Chick-Fil-A) and then made a visit to Dairy Queen. With 2 1/2 days left in her kindergarten career, it just amazes me how much she has learned in just nine months. The girl who pretty much couldn't read more than a few words when school started just read an entire chapter of "The Adventures of Bowser the Hound" to her dad last night before bed.
Saturday was a relatively lazy day, as I spent the first few hours of the day my favorite way -- lounging around on the back deck, enjoying the morning air before the heat really kicked in. I sat and watched the gray clouds rolling in the sky, trying to decide if they were going to drench us or not, the kids alternating between playing outside and watching cartoons inside. Eventually the kids and I got moving and made it to the graduation open house of the son of a good friend of mine and hung out for an hour or so, as both kids managed to drop baked ziti all over their clothes; Emily on her white dress. We returned home and the kids watched Cars as I ran errands When I returned, I made cheese quesadilla's for the kids as they played in the backyard. After dinner, I finally made homemade popcorn, using a brown paper bag and popcorn kernels we bought over a year ago, but never used. I didn't know until recently that you could actually pop regular kernels in your microwave, and it was a tasty little discovery. So much so that when Emily was going to bed she said, "Thank you for making us popcorn. You're the best mama ever!" Nothing makes me feel better than hearing her say that to me.
Sunday I ran out of the house before the rest of the family so I could get to church and help set up for the Sunday School picnic. Once set up, I joined the rest of the family for the sermon and the rest of the service, then headed down for fried chicken and fabulous side dishes. It was a small turnout, but the kids had so much fun playing in the playground with their friends, and as always we enjoyed hanging out with our friends. When we returned, I did something I don't think I've done for a long time -- took a nap! It was short, but it was just what I needed to push me through the rest of the day!
The remainder of the day was filled with fun! I finally followed through on a promise I had made Emily a few weeks ago following her school carnival and painted her face. A purple butterfly (butterfly's are Em's newest obsession thanks to school) on one cheek and a bright pink cross on the other.
Of course, Brendan wanted in on the action, and after thinking it over for a few minutes, he decided he wanted a tiger on one cheek and a sun on the other. And don't laugh. Tigers are harder than you would think.
After the face painting festivities were complete, dinner was served -- leftover spaghetti for the kids, fried chicken for me --then cotton candy snow cones and a nice walk around the neighborhood. When we returned, it was time for Emily's bath, but Brendan and I hung around outside a bit longer making chalk drawings.
Brendan had a few special requests for me, including him and Emily, complete with their face paint!
Once inside, after Brendan's bath and a little relaxing down time, I sat with Brendan on the couch for about 20 minutes before bed, talking to him about the day. He also amazes me with how far he's come in his speaking in just the last six months. I haven't really sat and just talked with him recently, but I think this might be something I do a lot more of.