Friday, November 21, 2014

Cold weather is here

The past couple of weeks have been typical for us: preschool for Cole, lots of playtime for Chase and Callie (and Bradey), lots of park dates and board games and books and laundry... Oh, and a nice, long kid-free weekend at the beach for Jamie and me (WOOHOO!  Happy anniversary to my handsome hubby!  And thanks to my parents for keeping the kids!!!).

1. What a silly boy you are, Chase!

2. I know some of these pics are blurry, but the boys look so cute in their AWANA vests. :)

4. My mom was generous enough to come help me with two more kids (in addition to my 3 plus Bradey) for a couple of mornings recently. They were VERY loud and busy mornings!

6. Doing a "science experiment" with Poppy...

8. This happy grin was just before she face-planted on the street and busted her lip. ;(

9. When the weather is warm enough, I try to get the kids outside a couple of times a day.

10. Although you can't really tell in the picture, Callie and Bradey (as usual) are pushing one another over a goldfish...

12. We don't pull out play dough that often (because I have a love/hate relationship with it... The mess that it makes kinda drives me crazy).  The kids LOVED it yesterday!  It was a nice afternoon activity.

13. We are so blessed to have some wonderful friends!  (L to R: Chase, Callie, Jonathan, Isaiah, Andrew, Wyatt, Faith, and Cole... My friends Sarah's and Valerie's kids)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Halloween pictures

I know as kids get older, the Halloween costumes get scarier... But right now I love the holiday because the kids love it.  They had SO much fun getting dressed up to go trick-or-treating (and for a party and for Cole's day at preschool)!  Have you ever seen a cuter Top Gun fighter pilot, ladybug, and fireman?!?! ;)

2. We were so glad to have our good friends Wyatt, Faith and Jackson come trick-or-treating with us! (Love their Batman, Robin and Riddler costumes!)

3. "Hamming" it up for the camera... And yes, Callie likes her hair in her face.  She will not leave it pulled back these days.

5. My phone doesn't take great pics at night... Callie rode in the stroller only very shortly.  She walked almost the entire loop (although she stopped going up to the houses after getting scared at one)!

6. This kid is very SILLY!

7. Our friends Lily and Harrison have a Halloween party every year.  Love it!  The kids enjoyed "pin the tail on the cat," playing with friends, and pizza and cupcakes!  
(L to R: Lily, Eliza, Callie, Cole, Harrison, Jacob, and Chase)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy Anniversary

To my handsome, sweet, wonderful husband,
Happy Anniversary!!!  Can you believe how much our lives have changed in the past 8 years?!  It's absolutely crazy to think how far we've come since our days of watching "Friends" while eating dinner most evenings!  Life seems to be very chaotic and loud and full with three little ones, but I know that we love it this way. ;)

Thank you for loving our kids like you do... unconditionally and completely!  Thank you for working so hard to provide for our family!  And thank you loving me even in my emotional (sometimes crazy) moments!

I love you now and forever.  Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Being a stay-at-home mom

1. We were munching on animal crackers and watching Cole play soccer one evening.  And yep, Chase wanted to wear his rain boots on a another pretty day. :)

2. The H.P. University girls' soccer team led the soccer practices (which Cole loved). 

4. Mimi and Poppy were kind enough to take the boys to the science center recently.  Cole and Chase LOVED the excursion!

6, She's saying, "Cheese."

7. At a friend's birthday party, we got to visit a fire station, and the kids were able to climb inside the firetruck. So cool!

8. Happy birthday, Joshua and Micah!

11. The kids enjoyed playing in the leaves this week!

12. Check out the cutest fireman and ladybug in the world!!! ;)  (I was able to get Chase to wear his fireman jacket for maybe a minute, and then he was done...Oh well.)

13. Chase actually posed for a picture at the library's fall festival. (He typically runs the other way when I try to get a picture!)

14. This silly girl LOVES shoes!  She wants to put on everyone's shoes and wear them all over the house!

And lots of randomness.....
Callie is calling Poppy "Pop."  So cute!  And she calls water "wa wa."  She still only has a few words (shoes, Chase, Bubba, Mama, Dada, slide, night night, bye, etc.), but she seems to babble constantly.  She has a lot to say; we just don't understand it yet! ;)  Oh, and she has quite the scream too!

I just love so many little things that the kids do... I love the way Callie grins and wants to point to all of the flower stickers on her wall before turning off her light at night... I love the way she puts her head on my shoulder... I love the way she grabs my finger and pulls me wherever she wants to go... I love watching the boys' imagination and the fun ways they can play together (sometimes nicely!)... I love how ticklish Cole is and how contagious his laugh is... I love the way Chase sits with his mouth hanging open while watching tv ;)... I love that Chase comes downstairs in the mornings, grinning and ready to give me a hug!

Cole somehow started this prayer months ago, and now Chase says the exact same thing when we pray before meals: "Dear God, thank You for this day, and thank You for this night.  And thank You for all the wonderful food we have and all the wonderful things we have.  Amen."  Every single time. ;)

Cole is still LOVING pre-k.  He comes home every day saying that he had a great time.  When asked what he did at school that day, his response is always, "I don't know."  But he always says it was fun!  I am SO glad that we made the decision to give him another year before kindergarten!

Did you know that NO ONE wins when a child throws a tantrum?!  I'm not sure if kids do this to try to get their way, or if they simply lose their minds and can't keep it together any longer.  This happens daily in our house... actually, it's usually several times a day.  With 3 kids now having temper tantrums, it's exhausting!  Here's an example of a lose/lose situation for me... The other day I pulled our plasma car (a riding toy) up the street and rode it down the street with Callie a couple of times.  Mid-way up, on our third trek up the street, Chase decided he wanted a turn.  The problem was that Callie was already following me up because I said we could do it again.  So I told Chase that after this turn, then he could have a turn.  Well, that wasn't good enough.  The lose/lose was that if I gave it to him, Callie would pitch a fit; and since I didn't, Chase lost his mind.  I mean, lost his mind!  He cried and screamed, and ran after us as we rode down the street.  (And most embarrassing to me was the fact that a neighbor was outside, probably witnessing this huge meltdown... And I just assume this neighbor was judging me on my "poor parenting" because that's honestly what I would have done before we had kids too!  Ha!  Oh, how ignorant I was back then!)

Speaking of judging, I think I often did that when observing parents... pre-children, of course.  Now I realize that ALL children are kinda crazy, and they ALL have meltdowns... usually when they reach 2-3 years of age does it really begin.
And I also didn't understand why a stay-at-home mom friend of mine couldn't talk to me more often... since she was "staying at home, and didn't she have more time now?"  (Now I understand that kids will follow you around... especially when you're on the phone,,, and always at very loud volumes, making it difficult to talk!)
I didn't understand SO MANY things before deciding to become a stay-at-home mom:
- why moms couldn't keep a clean house (all I can say is HA HA HA!)
- why they couldn't plan nice healthy meals all the time (one, I still don't like to cook; and two, it's very hard to concentrate on recipes when children always seem to be underfoot)
- why kids threw temper tantrums out in public (they don't seem to mind where they are when in a tantrum-throwing mood)
- how very lonely it can be... even though I'm talking to "people," reading books and scolding and playing with cars or dinosaurs doesn't really count as stimulating conversation.
- why anyone would want to continue to be a stay-at-home mom after the kids went to school... (Honestly, I struggle with this one because on the one hand, I can't imagine wanting to return to full-time work even after the kids are in school [because I still want to be with them in the afternoons], but on the other hand, trying to find part-time work seems to be really difficult.  I need to stop stressing about this one for now, trusting that God will help me do the right thing for our family when the time is right.  Also, can I just say that it's humbling for me, being a stay-at-home mom for so long?!  When I tell people what I "do," I feel like I get weird looks (whether I really do, or it's just me being insecure is up for debate), and I want to explain to them how difficult some days are.  Anyway, I feel like God is working in me not to be prideful according to what I do or don't do.  All I can say is God is SO good and gracious, despite my failings!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Big Daddy & Marmie visit

1. This may be the funniest picture I've ever seen! (That's their pants/shorts on their heads!) My dad took it when the kids spent the night last weekend. :)

2. Marmie and Big Daddy came for a visit last weekend.  We had beautiful weather and a great visit!

3. Chase, you are a stinker, and I have a hard time getting many pictures of you right now!

9. Time for some football in the backyard...

10. What a sweet smile, Chase!

 13. Mimi was kind enough to spend an afternoon and evening with me.  The kids LOVED the food... especially the ice cream... at Chick-Fil-A.  Callie wouldn't let go of the cone! ;)

15. Nana tries to tell the kids to smile, and inevitably, I capture her picture not smiling! ;)

16. Cole's pre-k school pictures... He's so handsome!

 18. Yes, that's blue chalk all over Callie!

19. Silliness with Aunt Steph!

21. Having fun playing with street friend Logan.

 22. Chase decided that this flat purple ball would make a good helmet. ;)

23. Oh, how I wish these "listening ears" Cole made at school worked! 

26. The boys had a great time playing in bounce houses this morning at a local fall festival.  This is how Chase smiles when he doesn't have his sunglasses on a sunny day! Ha!