Thursday, July 3, 2014


Cooper is in the blue shirt in the middle.

Cooper graduated from his first year of preschool in May.  Cooper loves Miss Amy and Miss Lisa and was so sad to say goodbye for the summer.  His program was darling.  They sang songs they had learned over the year and walked out with their tassled caps.  Cooper got a certificate of achievement and Dave and I got a book with Cooper's art work, class photos, and a report card.

Cooper is a very smart boy who just needs to work on his number recognition and the pronunciation of some of his letters.  He loves learning, reading books, and singing songs.  He's also a great friend and helper who was also deemed a little bit of the class clown -- silly kid!

Cooper and his teachers. 

Our handsome graduate.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Batman, Robin, & the Matter of Money

Cooper has been bitten by the lego bug.  I blame it on the Lego Movie and his lego-loving cousins.  He found a Batman lego set at Wal-Mart that he really wanted but it cost $30.  Since we try to only buy the kids toys at Christmas and on their birthdays, we decided this would be a great lesson in fiscal responsibility.

Cooper had $4 dollars that he had gotten from Grandpa Oscar for his birthday.  So we made a chart that showed how many dollars he needed to earn in order to buy his toy, pay for the tax, and give 10% to tithing.  Cooper did lots of jobs around the house to earn money.

We obviously paid him more than we typically would if he were to get an allowance, but we didn't want him to lose his motivation or interest.  That being said, it took him a month and a half to earn all the money he needed to buy his legos.  In that time he learned how to empty the trashcans, fold laundry, put away the silverware and plastic containers, dust, clean mirrors, and a multitude of other chores.

Cooper has taken such good care of his legos and I love watching him use his imagination as he creates new inventions from all the parts.  I'm also pleased to report that he still does many of the chores he learned while earning his money without asking for anything in return.  Dave and I are so proud of this little boy and his ability to work for what he wants and not be bogged down by the desire to have everything right now.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Next David Beckham?

This past Spring, Cooper participated in his first organized sport.  He played indoor soccer with all his buddies from the neighborhood.  Was it an overwhelming hit?  No.  Did we have to bribe him with the treats at the end of each game?  Yes.  Did we finish out the season with him playing in each game?  Yes.  Did he want to sign up for outdoor soccer a few weeks later?  No.

Oh well, at least he got a cool jersey, shin guards, and medal out of it!

Cooper likes to take his time and line up the shot just the way he wants it before kicking the ball.  Dave's thinking Coop might be better suited for golf. ;)

Lining up for practice.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cooper's 4th Birthday

Cooper turned 4 in February.  Dave and I decorated his door with balloons so he woke up to a fun surprise.  For breakfast we had star-shaped pancakes with special birthday sprinkles and whipped cream.  Dave took the day off of work (a present in and of itself) so after breakfast and a little play time we took the kids to Build a Bear.

Up to this point, our children had been sheltered from the wonder that is Build a Bear.  However, when we found out about Cooper's heart defect this time last year, one of Dave's amazing co-workers gave us a gift card there.  She included a note that said, "Things will work out.  Here's to brave little boys and their parents."  Needless to say, this small gesture was immensely appreciated and made me bawl like a baby.  

We had planned to use the gift card right before Cooper's surgery so he could have a special lovie with him while he was in the hospital.  But since his surgery has been postponed, we decided his birthday was a good time to give him his first Build a Bear experience.

Picking the perfect bear took forever. Cooper was very thoughtful about his decision. 

Giving his bear, named Sunshine, a good air bath. Sloan couldn't help but get in on the action too.

One happy birthday boy!

Cooper had decided months before his birthday that he wanted a superhero themed party.  I must admit that not stressing over elaborate decorations or desserts was so nice.  Cooper picked out his plates and cake (he poured over the cake book at Wal-Mart every time we went!).  I surprised him with the cityscape decorations.  He was over the moon in love with everything and all I had to do was set out a few things and pick up the cake -- celebration simplicity at its best!

Our little superhero. 

TamTam and Poppa gave Cooper an awesome present -- they took him to Wal-Mart and let him pick out whatever he wanted!!  He picked out this Monster's Inc. scare floor and a CDA van.  He loves them both and months later still plays with them almost daily.

Puttin' out the vibe with his new present.
We had family and the Selins (who are basically family) over for cake, ice cream, presents, and playtime.  It was the perfect day.  We spent lots of quality family time together and enjoyed celebrating our favorite new 4-year-old!

Five happy kiddos. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Easter Pictures

I'm obviously playing catch up here.  Long, long ago, my mom had Easter pictures taken of the cousins.  They turned out pretty cute!

Bribe this one with candy, and he'll do almost anything. 

I curled Sloan's hair for the first time when she was 18 months old.  Our favorite little chipmunk!

Fedora-loving cousins.  Oh, how my kids love Graham. 

Unfortunately, candy doesn't work as well for the little miss.  We learned real fast that no amount a bribing will result in a smile.  We just have to wait for the mood to hit her. 


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