Sunday, July 5, 2015

Happy Independence Day

We had a fun-filled independence day yesterday.  We went to a local parade (which the kids loved because we met friends there and they got lots of candy!), played at a fun park, enjoyed a yummy cook-out with friends... And last but not least, Jamie took the boys to their first real fireworks experience.  Fun, fun!

Oh, and I have to mention that we did VBS at a large church in Greensboro this past week (where Jamie and I met), and the kids loved it!  I was nervous about how the kids (especially Callie) would do, but they did great!  Yes, Callie did cry when I dropped her off, but she was just fine and playing within a minute.  VBS was from 9:30-12 every day, and I volunteered to help out with snacks.  Because there were SO many kids, it was kinda crazy, but it went remarkably well.  The boys have been asking when they can do it again! ;)

We're also going to our neighborhood pool a LOT these days.  I probably take the kids up there for 1-2 hours 4-5 times a week (often with friends).  Cole is swimming for short distances on his own now.  He wears goggles all the time, and he either swims in the shallow where he can touch, or he swims close to the side in the deep, so he can take breaks when he's tired.  I love that he also jumps with abandon in the water!  Chase and Callie both wear puddle jumpers, and they swim all over the pool in those.  The kids are all doing great in the water this year, which makes my life a little easier. ;)

1. Waiting on the parade to begin...

2. Our kids LOVED their friends Joshua and Micah, and they were thrilled to spend much of yesterday with them!

3. These are just some of the kids at the cook-out... Missing Chase and a few others...

4. Our big boy thought the sparklers were fun. ;)

5. Doing a water balloon and sheet game...

6. Thankfully the kids aren't too scared of the loud little train now. ;)

7. It was a nice, but still hot summer afternoon at the park last weekend.  And yes, Chase spilled water all over him. ;)

11. After some rain this week, the kids couldn't wait to put on their boots to look for some puddles to jump in!

13. They LOVE book time with Daddy!

14. Having a little bath time fun... (Cole is mostly taking showers on his own these days, but he'll still occasionally get in the bath with the other two.)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Busy June!

I realize it's been about a month since my last blog post, but jeez, this has been a busy month.  We went to visit Aunt Alison and her family the first week of June (we stayed in a fantastic Embassy Suites for almost free using credit card points - woohoo!).  We've also had lots of things going on the last 3 weeks, but what has really taken all my "free time" lately has been homework!  Ugh!  For anyone not yet aware, Jamie and I are currently taking a 6-week class (mostly 2 nights a week, 3-hr classes, with lots of homework and paperwork!) to become foster parents.  If you're reading this, please keep us in your prayers for this new journey!

1. We had such a FUN time in FL with cousins!  The kids LOVED it and really didn't want to come home!  We went to the ocean, swam in their apartment complex pool every day, and generally had a blast with the kids!  Here is Callie with 3-yr old Molly...

2. Alison's boys are beach boys, and they like to go without shirts - therefore, our boys did too. ;)  This is Cole with 5-yr old Jack...

3. Cole, Jack, Molly, Brennan, Chase, and Landon watching a video...

5. Molly, Callie and Hudson...

7. Landon had an audience as he put on a magic show.

8. Unfortunately, Callie did run a fever for 1.5 days, and then Cole did too our last day there.

10. Snacks by the pool...

14. While Alison's kids were busy one morning, our family went to St. Augustine for a couple of hours.  The park there is great, but it was a hot day (and we realized that Cole was getting sick)!

15. Visiting a pirate museum...

16. A couple of my friends and I met at the zoo recently.  We all have new zoo memberships that we want to use.  I think the kids were more excited to simply run and play with friends over actually seeing the animals. ;)
Here's Cole, Joshua, Callie, Chase, Eliza, Micah, and Jacob...

21. We always have time for silliness with Aunt Steph!

24. Chase, you make me laugh! ;)

25. Last week, the kids and I spent 2 nights with my parents in a cabin at Hungry Mother State Park (yep, that's the name of it!).  It's a wonderful place with lots of things for the kids to explore and play with.

29. The kids' favorite part of the entire trip was probably the s'mores we had both nights! Yum! ;)

31. Yep, you definitely make me laugh!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Callie Marie is 2

Happy birthday, precious Callie Marie!
Wow.  Our baby girl is 2 years old!  How did that happen so quickly?!
A little about Callie at 2: She is very independent and says "I do it," yet she is also still clingy in new/different places (she still cries for a couple of minutes when dropped off at church nursery, etc.).  She follows the boys around ALL day and thinks she can do and say whatever they do!  Because she thinks she's a big kid, she's much more fearless than the boys were at this age (She wears a puddle jumper in the pool and swims all around in it... She does big slides by herself, etc... things the boys would never have done at 2.)  She has SO many fun expressions, and she constantly makes us laugh when trying to mimic us.  (My favorites: "I love you so much, Mommy"... "No, you eat it"... Tarry you, Mommy" (which means "carry me")...

Callie shows no interest yet in using the potty.  We'll wait a few months before pushing this a little more.  She still takes one nap around 1 every day (for 1-2 hours).  She wakes in the mornings between 6:15-7, but she's good about looking at books in her bed and talking to herself for a while. ;)  8:00 is bedtime, but again, she usually looks at books in her bed for a while before settling down.  She's been pitching little tantrums for quite a while now, but they do seem to be increasing in frequency. :(  She definitely gets crankier when hungry/tired.  She sometimes hates getting buckled up in the van, so she screams and kicks and arches her back... It's NOT fun.  But she has the most contagious grin, and she makes me laugh often!  She likes to be rocked for a few minutes before naptime and bedtime (which I love!).  She loves for us to read to her, but she still only sits still for fairly short books.  She loves to roughhouse with Daddy and jump on the bed with brothers.  We love you to the moon and stars and back, Callie Marie!!!

Update as of 6/8/15... Callie's stats:
Height: 34.25 inches (67%)
Weight: 26 lbs. 4 oz. (45%)
Head Circumference: 48.25 cm

Callie's current favorites:
TV Show - whatever the boys want to watch (the latest favorites are Octonauts and Wild Kratts)
Food - all fruit and all desserts (she and Chase are pretty picky eaters right now)
Person - her Daddy (and Poppy and her brothers)!

Cole's stats as of 6/8/15 (he had a physical done for his upcoming start of school):
Height: 47.75 inches (90%)
Weight: 49 lbs. 4 oz. (73%)

1. Our birthday celebrations tend to last several days around here.  We had cupcakes for Callie at our Memorial Day cook-out last weekend.  Then our family of 5 went out for frozen yogurt on Callie's birthday.  We spent Saturday morning playing putt-putt and arcade games.  And then we had a big family birthday dinner and gifts Saturday evening.  Fun, fun!

3. Eating cake is serious business around here!

4. I don't know who likes Callie's gifts better - Callie or her brothers!

6. The kids LOVED our frozen yogurt treats!

8. Putt-putt is definitely an adventure with 3 little ones!  Cole actually played 2 games, Chase lasted only 1, and Callie bounced/ran around and tried to toss balls into the holes. ;)

10. Fun in the arcade...

11. Still love you, handsome man!!!

12. We hiked the Hanging Rock trail (1.3 miles each way) last weekend with friends Joshua and Micah (and their parents).  The kids surprised us by actually walking the entire way (excluding Callie, who rode most of the way in a backpack).  Granted, it took us over 2.5 hours to hike up and back, but the kids did AWESOME!  What a fun trip!

17. All 3 kids were asleep in about 5 minutes after our hiking fun! ;)

18. Our silly, precious boy!

21. This past week was my last week keeping Bradey.  I've been keeping him 3 full days a week for the past 13 months.  He really is a sweet kid, and Callie especially will miss having him around.  But I must admit, I've had to play referee more with the kids lately (which has been tiring)... We'll hopefully be able to get together with him for occasional playdates.

23. Cole's last day (ever!) of preschool was Wednesday.  He loved it!  With his teachers Ms. Marlena and Ms. Dana...

24. Chase had an award night at AWANA, and he received a new badge for his vest.  We are proud of you!

25. Enjoying a fun picnic at the park with friends (Lily and Harrison came into town and stayed with us for a couple of nights).  So fun!

26. LOVE Callie's expression!