April 30, 2012


To finish up our weekend of family fun, we joined our friends Jason and Ginny, along with their adorable boys Trent and Tate, at a fun wildlife ranch called Sharkarosa! No, it didn't have any sharks =), but it, like our lake visit on Saturday, was only about 20 minutes from our house!  Who knew that there were so many fun things to do out here...far away from the city! 

Will thought the parrots were cool...Jack wasn't too interested!
The guys...

The baby camels thought the boys' toes were tasty!

The last half of our time there brought freedom from the stroller--which they LOVED!

We had some barrel ride fun--a very comfy barrel ride too!  It was much better than the one we did at the pumpkin patch last fall... this one had padded seats and backrests! Fancy!!

And we also got to ride on a train/tram ride through the ranch area.  We didn't really see that much variety of wildlife, but it was fun because the animals came right up next to us to get food and we could pet them and take pictures!

Wild Think... the Zebra/Horse

Not sure of this one's name, but he was a Zebra/Donkey

The boys loved wearing Mommy's sunglasses!

One of many camel friends that came for a close-up!

The cute Cherry boys enjoying a stop on the ride... check out their
camel friend listening in on their conversation! =)

Jack getting tired

Bye! Come back soon!

What a fun day with friends!

April 28, 2012

Beach time!

We live about 20 minutes from this awesome beach on one of the huge lakes in our area.  We never dreamed that we'd be able to go to the beach so easily, especially here in north Texas! With the boys getting older and loving being "dout-dide" (outside), we are planning on spending many fun times this summer at the beach!

Today was a beautiful breezy and sunny morning, so after breakfast, we loaded up the van and headed out!  Our guys haven't grown too much--still tall and skinny--so their bathing suits from last year still fit!  They weren't too happy the first couple minutes we were there, but soon warmed up and had a blast! (Will in blue, Jack in green)

When they realized that there was endless sand and grass to walk on they were thrilled, and we spent most of our time walking behind our boys as they wandered around!

LOVING the breeze and the freedom!!

Will is into waving and saying "hi" to everyone he sees lately!  It is super cute, and today was no exception... everyone he say got a hello wave! =)

Who would believe we had this kind of place in Texas!  Almost as good as the California beaches I grew up with!  But only 20 minutes from home--we love it!

Our little family!  

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend!

April 25, 2012

"Get Down!"

Those are the two words I find myself saying ALL the time lately!! (In addition to "No Sir", "No No NO", "Hot, Hot!", and "We don't bite our brother!") The boys are truly experimenting with their climbing skills and showing off how fearless they are... much to Mommy's consternation! =(

Here is the short list of what they have been figuring out how to climb lately...

-The chairs in the living room, and they love stand looking over the backs. (They know what I mean when I tell them to 'sit on their bottoms', but it is just a matter of if they feel like doing it at the moment.) =-/

-Standing up on their Thomas the Train riding toy.  Jack likes to put both feet on the seat and stand up with both his arms stretched up high (imagine a gymnast at the end of their routine), which is usually followed up a second or two later by a fall.  Will likes to use it to climb up to get to other things (TV, windows, kitchen counter, outside of the stairwell, the couch--which is blocked off by a gate, etc).

-Tables...I see some of the biggest ear-to-ear grins when they have muscled themselves up on top of our coffee table, or onto their new little IKEA table.  After MANY "get down"s, I finally decided that the coffee table isn't a battle I want to fight all the time.  They are pretty sturdy when they are sitting on it, and know how to get down feet first. They are over carpet, and if I'm right there, I'll let them sit on it (I know...bad Mommy.)  But... they have begun standing up, and that isn't going to happen. So, more "get downs" and sometimes, little spankings when they continue to disobey.  The IKEA table is in the kitchen over tile, so that one is just an absolute no-no.

-The outside of the stairwell--you know, the little lip on the living room side of the bannister. My boys are convinced that this little stairwell is made just for them.
Mommy and Daddy are determined to teach them the fact that it is NOT for them, and after DAYS of "No Sir", "Get Down", "No No No" and even spankings, our couch has a new home smack dab in front of it.  I just had to pick my battles, even if it is a strange place for a couch!

-And the latest... William has figured out how to climb out of his crib.  This one does NOT make us happy at all.  The boys' cribs were the one safe place I could put them and feel like I could have a break.  They only take a morning/midday nap now, but lately I've been putting them in their cribs for 30-45 minutes in the afternoon just to play, chat with each other, rest, and let me have a few minutes to get dinner started.  But yesterday's escape just might change that.  In five minutes that I wasn't watching the monitor, William somehow climbed out, and when I peeked at the monitor, I could tell his crib was empty.  The monitor was quiet, and Jack was just leaning on the side of his crib and looking down, and my heart stopped because I was just sure that Will on the floor hurt.  I sprinted up the stairs, into their room, and find William sitting in the corner, surrounded by the contents of an emptied out drawer, waving at me, smiling, and saying "Hi!".  He just giggled as I asked him what in the world he was doing. Geesh!  He escaped again after we put him to bed last night, this time, saying "Momma" after he climbed out.  Justin and I went up and were determined to see how he did it.  He was crying because he knew he was caught, but check out this video of him "performing" for us!  He didn't go all the way to the ground, but the time before this when we didn't have the camera, he just drops to the ground!       


We tried putting a mattress straight on the floor, but then it is below the bottom of the crib rails. So we just decided to put the cribs back flat against the wall to see if that will slow him down a bit, and today he hasn't climbed out again. Jack hasn't climbed out yet, but was sure watching brother carefully and I'm sure will be trying it any day! I also figured out how to connect my monitor to the TV in our living room, so I can keep a close eye on our climbers at all times!

Any suggestions for what to do with climbing toddlers?  They're not ready for toddler beds yet, and we're not ready for them both to have complete freedom in the room. AHH!  Help!

So that is the latest from these crazy Steiner boys!  Many more great, adorable, funny, cute things have happened in the past few weeks, and I'm going to do my best to get a few more blogs up this week!  But right now, I have to get myself ready for the next round of craziness that is sure to come when they wake up from their nap! =)

April 10, 2012

Our Oasis!

My husband has been working like a mad man on an incredible project in our backyard for the last month. I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of him, of all his hard work, and how beautiful our new 'oasis' in our backyard is!!  In the last 5 days since he finished, we have actually enjoyed spending time in our backyard more than we ever have before!!! He did each and every single part of this GIGANTIC project, from having the vision for it, designing it, digging up the yard, laying irrigation lines and drainage lines, installing a french drain, building the retaining wall, leveling the yard, laying the pavers, (which means thousands of pounds of stones and sand and many trips to the store) planning the flowerbeds, running a drip irrigation system, to choosing the new patio furniture that finishes it off!  The only help he had was a little from me putting the furniture together and my mom planted the plants once he dug the holes.  Phew!  I'm exhausted just typing all of that! =)

Take a look at our (boring!) backyard before...

Only grass...

Sloped hills that are hard to play on...

No easy route to the gate...

And now look at it!


Path to the gate...



A home for the grill...

Comfy, uncrowded patio with beautiful furniture...

Trellises, and even timers on all the irrigation!

Total relaxation!

Isn't it absolutely GORGEOUS?!?! I just love the finished product, and am so impressed and proud of my husband for working so incredibly hard for us to have a beautiful yard! In all the years we have been homeowners, we have never had a pretty backyard... only grass and a concrete patio.  So this is just amazing and a true oasis for all of us! We are enjoying it so much right now while the weather is cool, and hopefully (since we are going to put in a ceiling fan and some misters) will be able to use it throughout the summer. The boys have so much fun out there, and they go around and around, up and down the step, climb up and down on the furniture, and love to talk to the flowers! Now I say, "Let's go outside!" and they run to the back door!

Such cute boys!

Jack checked out the couch first thing!

So much to explore!!

And just a few that show the hard work that my husband put in for over a month making our yard perfect!

And again, our BEAUTIFUL oasis...
And Betsy loves it too!
Thank you so much Justin for all your hard work!!! It is one of the best gifts you could have ever given to our family! We will definitely be using it A LOT for years to come!

I love you!