Monday, March 25, 2013

Swimming Lessons!

Tyler started swimming lessons at the YMCA on Wednesday, March 6.  He was so excited and asked daily if it was time for swimming lessons yet.  He has talked about it ever day since and every week he is excited to go back! 
Warning: We took a LOT of photos in week 1 (between chasing Nathan).
Getting ready to jump the deep end!

Kicking to the other end of the pool with one of his teachers.

Working hard...all on his own.
Taking a break on the side after he made it the full length of the 25 meter pool.

Asking one of the teachers a question.  His teachers are Kendall and Allison. 

Getting water dumped on his head.  Tyler had no problem with this activity.  He will do it himself in the tub over and over and over again.

Practicing their kicking.  This was Tyler's favorite part.  He told me afterwards, "I loved kicking and making BIG splashes.  I made best friend too, mom."  I asked him what were his friend's names and he said very matter of factly "I don't know."  It made me think of Kyle when he was little.  Kyle would play basketball with kids for hours and have no idea what their any of their names.

Having fun!

BIG splashes

Getting in to put the dive rings over the poll.  The staff has several fun games to get the kids involved in the water and take turns.  While there is a fair amount of sitting on the side and waiting his turn, it was a good balance.  Tyler did a great job following directions least as far as I could tell from watching upstairs. 

These photos were only from week 1.  Since then they have been working on floating on their back which Tyler HATES!  He gets very nervous on his back and does not relax enough to try to float.  They end their lessons by jumping off the side of the pool and Tyler is NOT a good jumper.  It isn't because he is scared but he just doesn't jump well...white boy. 
I love that Tyler loves to swim.  We plan on spending LOTS of hours in Kyle and Maggie's pool this summer! :)  Hopefully he turns into a little fish...just like his momma was back in the day.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Farm Trip!

This past weekend the Francis Four headed to the farm with Grandma Zick, Popo Zick and Uncle Kyle.  It was a bit of an impromptu trip for Nathan and I and I am very glad we made the trip to Paris, MO.  (You would have never caught me saying that a few years, or even months ago.)
It was Tyler and Nathan's first overnight trip to the farm and Nathan's first trip ever! 
Before we even made it inside the boys found the new Polaris. Tyler climbed right up and Uncle Kyle and Nathan were right behind him. 

These three are going to spend a LOT of time in and on this vehicle over the years.

Tyler was ready to drive.

We then went inside and Nathan was still in climbing mode.

Photo bomb!  I was attempting to get a photo of Tyler and Grandma reading books when Nathan popped up in the background.  The kid cracks me up. 
Also, check out Tyler's new boots for the farm.  Don't worry, they get VERY dirty soon.
After a great meal and a few glasses of wine, it was off to bed.
The next morning after a big breakfast of blueberry pancakes, eggs and bacon we geared up to take the Polaris for a ride in the snow.

Tyler and Popo sat up top in the "safari seat." It was a bit cold, but I am sure Tyler had a smile on his face the entire time.  Don't mind the odd face in the photo.

It was a short ride as the farm still had quite a bit of snow and we didn't want to tear up the ground too much.
We brought Tyler and Nathan's Power Wheel up with us and so we backed the Suburbans out of the garage and let them drive around.  Tyler has become a much better driver since Christmas.  
Watch out!

Here is a full photo of the Polaris.  It is HUGE!


I love how laid back Nathan is and how he just chills in the passenger seat.
While Tyler was climbing on the Polaris, Nathan crawled into the driver's seat of the Power Wheel. 
I love his quiet curiosity.  Patience is a virtue that must come easier to younger siblings...I wouldn't know.  ;)
I thought I would include some photos of the new lodge: 
The kitchen is great! 

The commercial stove is pretty fancy and this photo does not do the hood justice.  I am pretty sure it could suck up small children when the fan is on.

The bar with TV is a nice upgrade too. 
Mom and Grandma can enjoy college basketball Saturdays while the boys are napping!

The wine fridge is ready to go but the beer/soda fridge was not functioning properly and so it was brought back on the trip back home. 

We didn't spend a lot of time on the porch this trip up, (although Tyler did love peeing outside in the snow) but I am positive it will be a perfect spot later in the year.  I am telling you, I might be spending several weekends chilling on this porch while the boys run around and burn off some energy.
Dad did want to get some work done while we were at the farm this past weekend.  He wanted Kyle and Jeff to help him hue the walnut log into a mantle for the lodge's very impressive fireplace.

The walnut log before.

This is Kyle (I know he looks just like my dad) working away on the log.  Jeff is supervising.

Then it was Jeff's turn. 

Dad was sure to keep the blade sharp.

Dad did his fair share too.
Check out that really is going to be a beautiful mantle when the guys are finished!

Someday Tyler will be able to help.  Notice the trailer in the background...before the lodge that was residence when you came to the farm.  Trust was pretty rude.

I am very excited that our boys will truly learn how to work hard over the years at the farm...and in life. 

I LOVE this photo from our weekend at the farm.  Tyler thought it was so fun to be with the guys and stand on the log.  He kept telling me to take his picture!

While the big boys kept working away on the log/mantle Tyler occupied himself by playing in the mud. 
He was in heaven!  I told you his new boots were going to get dirty!
 I think this is pure boy and it makes me smile to see him so excited to play in the mud (until I think about the laundry...).  No really, there is a day care across the street from my Uncle Doug's nursery and it is called "The Elegant Child."  We have always joked about who would want to send their child to "The Elegant Child" and Dad proposed to open another day care right next to it called "The Muddy Kid" and see which one kids want to go to.  I am pretty sure there is not much that is elegant about Tyler in this photo but he sure is happy! :)

The Muddy, Happy Kid!
Thanks for a great stay at the farm, Popo!  I am sure there are many more trips to the farm/lodge in our future.  With the new accommodations, it sure will be nice!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Quiet Game...

Several nights ago Jeff wanted just a few seconds of quiet so we tried to have Tyler play the "quiet game".  Remember how much you hated when your parents wanted you to play that game?  Yea, Jeff was that guy the other night.  It turned out that it was pretty funny though so I had to video several of their attempts.

I think I know where the child gets the giggles from...guilty! 
I am pretty sure it is one of the secrets to living a long, healthy life! :)
Everyone should giggle more so I hope you got a giggle or two courtesy of Tyler.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Playing in the Utah snow

I realize that we were in Utah almost two months ago but I still have some catching up to do. 
Our last day in Utah didn't involve skiing but we had an afternoon flight so we decided to enjoy the huge amounts of snow on the ground.  It also is an opportunity for me to show everyone that Nathan really was on this family vacation with us. 
Look at my little round snow man.  He really is pretty skinny but you would never know from this outfit. 

Nathan had trouble walking in the deep snow so he just plopped himself down.

Tyler L.O.V.E.S. the snow.

Tyler working on a few snowballs.

Tyler's snow angel.

Daddy had to defend himself with a few snowballs thrown in Tyler's direction.

Nathan was not a fan of the snowballs and was ready to go inside at this point. 

We caught Tyler eating snow several times. 

I LOVE this sweet face!

Burying Dad with snow.

The temperatures were pretty cold..about 18 degrees and so we didn't want Tyler to stay outside too long.  Tyler was not in agreement so the only way out of Stu and Barb's backyard was for Dad to carry him out. 

Happy boys!

Thanks again, Stu and Barb, for an awesome stay and for letting us destroy the beautiful landscape of snow in your backyard.