Monday, March 19, 2012

Flat Stanley and Strong Bonds

This past week we have had the privilege of having Flat Stanley come to visit. Since Jon had a retreat planned we took him to Myrtle Beach with us and he had a blast! Friday afternoon after a morning of intense cleaning (or picking up and organizing maybe a better term) and ignoring the girls I picked up Jon and headed to the beach. Jon was able to put on a marriage retreat for the soldiers of 5-73 and this time he covered the material for 7 habits of highly families - military edition. 28 families came and it was an interesting weekend to say the least. Friday night he kicked things off with the newly wed game and the winning couple received a bottle of sparkling cider and Lindt chocolates - prizes on a budget:) After that Jon had a couple who has been doing the military for 16 years as enlisted and officers and who love the Lord get up and share how they have been able to make their marriage work in the midst of an environment where 75% of couples get a divorce. It is always nice to see people who make it through hard times and don't give up and are willing to share their experience with others. To end our night Friday we took the girls to the beach at 9:30 since we weren't able to get down earlier because of checking others in and getting stuff set up for the weekend.
Saturday we got more classroom time with Jon giving everyone his vast knowledge and bringing fun to a group of soldiers with games. The material was really great and I highly recommend looking up Steven Covey he has the 7 habits of almost anything - people, families, companies, etc. The main point he really gets across is being proactive and having a goal to aim at. Saturday afternoon was beach time and Saturday night was date night! Jon has been able to work in getting childcare most Saturday nights of his retreats so couples can get a date night and either have some fun or process the material we have been learning. We went on a double date and had fun at Medieval Times (Flat Stanley did get to join us but he wasn't too loud). I think the most entertaining part of the night was Jon and Eric yelling likes maniacs at our knight and occasionally giving military advice on how to fight or ride the horse (I guess being in the Calvary has gotten to his head even though he doesn't ride a horse he has earned his spurs:) ) After that we hit the boardwalk and got ice cream and ran into some other couples from the retreat and just talked and had a good time.
Sunday morning was oh so joyous with both girls waking up in tears - too much fun but we pushed through! Jon taught a few more hours and while he loaded up the car I got lunch for us so we could give Molly a couple more hours at the pool and beach before heading home. The trip home was very quiet at both girls slept and well after about 1 hour I dozed the rest of the drive too.
I love getting to go with Jon on these retreats to meet the other families in our unit and get some family time here and there when he isn't running around. Making memories as a family is so fun!
Getting things set up - notice Molly's buzz lightyear phone she is always such a great helper. She does like to help pass out the candy to each table but I think that is because she sneaks a few pieces.
Minute to Win it games - you can get people to do most anything for a gift card!
More games!
The newly wed game - 1 team from each troop
King and Queen McP with our only son we will ever have Flat Stanley
Eating with our bare hands - yum
Flat Stanley buried in the sand
Family photo on our way back to the room after a long Saturday - Molly was screaming she was not tired but fell right to sleep after a quick bath to get the sand off. Riley barely made it through bath time awake but she did and was asleep before her diaper was put on. The ocean air, sand and water wore them out!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Riley's 1!

Riley turned 1 and we have been fun prolonging the celebration! We have opened presents from grandparents and great grandparents and have special desserts many times. The plan this year is to have a co-party for both girls and it will happen but I just don't know when. I figure by the end of April we will have had the party between my 20 doctor appointments for Kelly and it will be awesome:) One fun thing for Riley is that for a week now she has not worn one hand me down or old outfit since she got lots of new clothes and each day she is getting to wear of her new outfits which is probably the first time in her life.Her hair is finally long enough for very small pigtails but it gives me twice the amount of options in hair styles!
Molly really likes matching now days so she wants her hair to match Riley and their outfits to match in some way be it color or picture on the front. I can't wait until I have 2 girls with opinions on their outfits that should be fun.
Riley got to go for a joy ride on her birthday! Jon was in the field training overnight and Molly went with the neighbors to her dance so Riley and I got 2 whole hours of one on one time and it was a nice present (at least for me). Riley loved not having to share with her sister or watch her back for the helper to come out of nowhere.

Happy Birthday world!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Road Trip

When the Army sends soldiers to schools for weeks at a time the wives come up with fun trip ideas - but many times who wants to go on a trip without adult backup. Gloria's husband got selected to go to a short school and we had talked about taking a trip to see part of our Army family and it worked out that Jon had a crazy week and said go ahead take the girls and have a blast. While it was sad to leave him it really is nice to be the one leaving on a trip and not being stuck at home while he goes and does crazy "fun" things. So Tuesday after bible study the McP girls drove up picked up the Morken crew and we started on our 4 days of FUN! We made it to DC in time for everyone to make pizza's and the partying didn't stop until Friday at 2pm when Gloria and I both were ready to be home with a few hundred times to go:) 4 kids 5 and under with only 1 in diapers calls for lots of potty breaks and snacks but Gloria and I were prepared and made pretty good time considering the amount of times they wanted to get out. The kids all love the Lewis family and their kids are awesome entertaining the young ones!! We made pizza, had a mini party for the little ones, saw the Air and Space Museum and Caisson stables at Arlington and just hung out. The best part was the amount of adult conversation with 7 kids and 2 dogs to entertain each other - after bed time the first night we stayed up until past 1am which did not happen again because the kids did not get the sleep in memo! We even had a ladies only date one night, while Ch Lewis and kids watched the littles we went to Cheesecake Factory for dessert and just talked and hung out. I am so thankful for friends who are up for fun adventures anytime. I am also thankful for a gracious husband who let us leave him in the middle of the week and cleaned the house while we were gone - JON IS AWESOME!!

Pizza party - everyone made their own
Ch Lewis helping Spencer with his toppings
Whoppy cushions - what kid doesn't love making toots (or adults really), Riley is either being held or attempting to climb up 1 of the 6 flight of steps in the house her favorite game while we were there.
Getting a game plan for the Air and Space - or maybe playing angry birds at lunch. Molly loved raiding Olivia's room for accessories - Olivia was gracious and let Molly take her purse she sewed for our outings.
Getting ready to go to the observation tower at the new Air and Space
I think they could have all sat there for 15 minutes
Will giving Molly a tour - he knew almost every plane there. He would tell me and then ask me questions but alas my plane knowledge does not compare to a 5 year old obsessed with planes. He was in heaven and Molly was happy because he was happy so she would go off on things too but I am pretty sure we will be back to purses now that we are home.
Molly and Spencer loved the hands on screens they got to push the buttons and pretend to fly
McP Girls take their first flight in a Cessna
Who can resist the souvenir shop? Molly got to shop and the boys got to read lego plane books fun was had by all
Riley just couldn't handle all the fun so she napped through the shopping and last bit of the tour
The next day we went to the Caisson stables at Arlington were we got to meet cowboy soldiers, see the horses who pull the bodies to the graves the highlight meet the barn cat. Yep the kids loved the kitty who would have thought:)
Either Mickey or Minnie part of the white team who had the day off with our cowboy solider. Ch Lewis works at Arlington right now as part of the team of Chaplains who have the privilege of burying veterans daily and we even got to stop by his office for a potty break.

Fun times at Fair Oaks mall
Not willing to miss the action in an area designed just for her:)

The long trip home! Noddles for lunch with chopsticks - ie light sabers or drum sticks depending on the moment.
I want to get in the action too:)