Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Little Sweetness

We did a little baking after church this morning. Jackson was a huge help and a fun cooking partner!

His reward was getting to lick the beater and have a few chocolate chips...

While we were busy, Audrey had some fun of her own!

There are a few more pictures in the album.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Soccer - Third Time is a Charm

Today was Jackson's 3rd soccer game of the season, and I guess the third time really is the charm because Jackson decided to play today! Not only did he get on the field, but he did an incredible job!!! He ran, passed, and scored multiple goals!!!

He's been really funny about the whole experience so far. He loves going to practice and playing with his new friends, but he asks on the way, "Are we going to practice or a game?" If the answer is practice, he says, "Ok. I'll play then. If it's a game, I won't play." He always does really well at practice, but until today has chosen to sit on the sidelines at the games. We've spent a lot of time talking with him about it over the last few weeks, and something finally got him comfortable with the idea of playing today.

Ross and Audrey weren't able to join us today because Ross was helping host another event in our neighborhood. Therefore, I took LOTS of pictures to document this milestone. We arrived just as the game was about to start, and Jackson hesitated for about a second before walking to his coach and teammates on the field. After that, he was good to go...check him out!

Jackson was doing great! He was dribbling the ball down the field and chasing after it when others had the ball. Then he found an opening and zeroed in on the goal. He ran down the field, and scored the first goal of the game with an amazing kick!!!

After that success, he was on a roll! He scored several more goals and assisted his teammates in a few others as well. I was so impressed! I also loved that I got a high five and a hug after every goal scored for his team whether he made the goal or not! I also have to add some of the goals he scored weren't exactly easy. He fought for a couple of them, including the one on the top right below. Unfortunately, he ended up scoring for the red team in that case, but I don't think he knows or cares. He was just having fun!

Jackson ended up with the ball a lot during the game. Everyone was so excited he decided to play. They were all so encouraging of him and really helped build his confidence. He played hard and had a great time!

Jackson was exhausted by the end of the game, but he couldn't wait to tell everyone about how much fun he had and how many goals he scored. I didn't keep track, but he's telling everyone he scored 5 was probably close to that!

Of course, there are even more pictures in the album for those of you who are interested.

Endeavour's Final Ferry Flight

This week the Space Shuttle, Endeavour, took it's last ferry flight from NASA's Kennedy Space Center to Los Angeles where it will be put on display at the California Science Center. Along the way she stopped in Houston for a day. Endeavour gave NASA's Johnson Space Center one final show before heading to her new home. It was certainly another emotional moment filled with lots of mixed to see her again, sadness that she won't fly again, joy in remembering all she's done for us, and pain in realizing neither she nor any of the other shuttles that flew in space have a home here in Houston. I am so grateful to have been a part of her history having worked in the Mission Control Center while she helped us assemble the International Space Station.

Here is a picture my friend and fellow ODIN flight controller, Mike Misiora, took of Endeavour's final flyover here at JSC on Wednesday. The flag in this picture is the flag that flies over the Mission Control Center.

After soccer practice that evening, we attempted to take the kids to see Endeavour up close. Unfortunately, traffic wasn't going to allow us to get there before they closed the gates. Instead we drove to the other side of the fields at Ellington and took one last look at her as the sun was setting on another chapter in NASA's history.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Audrey is 2.5 Years Old!

It's hard to believe Audrey is already 2.5 years old. She is an incredibly sweet and fun-loving little girl! She is bright in so many ways. Not only are her verbal skills strong, but she can reason with the best of them. My favorite thing about Audrey, though, is the way her eyes light up when she gets excited about something, and the way her smile can truly brighten a room.

Her brother, Jackson, is a huge part of that. As you can see in the pictures below, she is always watching him. She often takes her cues from him on more things than we'd like, but most of the time that's a good thing. She is great at sharing and taking turns. They both have their moments with melt-downs and not listening like any kids do, but the moments where one of them is upset and the other reaches out to help make up for all the frustration from the former and show just how much they truly love each other.

This morning was a great example of all these things. After getting dressed for church, they were ready to have a little fun. Silly poses were up first! Audrey would watch to see what Jackson might do, and then imitate what she saw rather well. Then they headed outside for a little hand-stacking game before they began spinning in circles until they fell down. Finally, on the way to church they each had a toy ring they were happily playing with, and when Audrey dropped hers on the floor and got upset, Jackson gently reached over and gave her his ring. Audrey responded with a smile and a thank you. It was a heart-melting moment, and a reminder that they are both growing up so fast!

There are a few more pictures in the album.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Oliver the Owl

Audrey has been the student of the week in her class for the last two weeks, which has meant a lot of attention and fun for her! She got to show her friends some pictures of her family, share her favorite books and toys, as well as her favorite snack, and she got to dress up like what she wants to be when she grows up. She had a blast handing out fruit snacks to her friends and dressing up like an astronaut. She chose to take a "Roly Poly Olie" book to share since it's all about her and Jackson (great books for siblings if you've never seen them). The real highlight of the last two weeks has been Oliver the Owl though.

Oliver is the class owl and will be passed around throughout the year for the kids to take pictures with and write down their adventures in his book. Audrey has enjoyed her time with Oliver. He helped Audrey do her "homework" one evening. (Jackson is the one who actually has homework once a week, but Audrey wanted to do some too!) He also joined in a game of Wii before bed one night, and has traveled with us just about everywhere we've gone.

Jackson's soccer practice and games have been one of Audrey's favorite places to take Oliver. He gets a lot of attention from the other kids, and Audrey has been sweet enough to share most of the time. Oliver has also taken several rides in Audrey's stroller, but the most fun has been had when she and Jackson are just being silly together!

There are a few more pictures in the album.


Jackson has officially started his first after school activity and sport, soccer. It's been an interesting adventure so far. He has done really well at his first two practices. He listens and follows directions. He kicks the ball and plays with his friend, Paige, a lot, and he even scored a goal this week! You can see from the top pictures below he really enjoys it. Unfortunately, the same is not true for actual games yet. He has yet to even step onto the field, and we're not entirely sure why. We're hoping to help him build his confidence over the course of the season and see the frown in the bottom pictures turn upside down!

Audrey has made a few new friends too. She loves having a turn to run and kick the ball on the sidelines and after practices, so I'm betting she'll be ready when it's her turn to play!

There are a few more pictures in the album.

Playing Around

Last weekend we played around the house with no official plans for the kids for the first time in a long time. It was great! They had fun riding their bikes, helping around the house, and relaxing.