Monday, May 14, 2018

Evelyn is 9 months!

9 months yesterday to be exact!

And getting harder to photograph. 


With all of the sewing that I've been doing for our little lady, the thread just made sense for this month's photos.

Exciting news for this month is that she is FINALLY getting her very first tooth!  (And taking it like a champ might I add.)


Her current weight is 17 pounds, 8 ounces and she is 26.5 inches long.  We just bumped her up to size 12 months clothing and she's holding strong in a size 3 diaper.



Still mostly nursing, and eating some purees.  She pretty much has no interest in actual solid table food.  And no interest in a bottle or a sippy cup still.  She gets to be our little date night tagalong for a little while longer.


She can wave "bye bye" now.  And while she is still only crawling "Army style", she can already pull up to her feet.  (Though the balance isn't quite there yet.)

She still wakes in the night to nurse once or twice.  

And this month she got bumped up to a "big girl car seat." (Rear facing convertible.)


We are so thankful for Evelyn.  She is such a joy!  She reminds me to slow down, and see things from a child's view once in a while.  It's so hard to believe that we are 3/4 of the way to her first birthday already.  

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Leeland's 8th birthday!

The one who made us parents for the very first time turned 8 years old yesterday.  Someone kindly reminded me that we will likely be buying him a car in another 8 years.... YIKES!  How are we half way to driving already?  And where did the time go?

Last night we celebrated with family and as in all other years, the kiddo got to choose how he wanted the party.  He chose to go with an "Army" theme.  He loves anything Army and military lately including learning about war and military tactics in History and of course military toys like army men, GI Joes and tanks.  He was the primary reason that we took a field trip to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum back in February.  (Of course there was some hands on history learning too.)  .... And there are talks and plans in action to go on a field trip to the Tank Museum next.  


Here's the invitation that we sent out to our family purchased on Etsy from "nowanorris."


We used a picture from Halloween since he was an Army soldier for Halloween this past year.  

The kiddo also decorated his own cake this year and was quite proud of it!  I had plans to make a larger cake with some buttercream camouflage, but then one night as I was browsing "Pinterest" (of course), I ran across cakes with simple plastic Army men on them set up in battle.  I asked Leeland what his preference was, and he said he wanted to do the Army men and already had lots of ideas of exactly how he would set them up.  We had some cupcakes too just to make sure there was plenty for everyone. 



The decor was kept pretty simple.  I found camouflage plates and napkins at Hobby Lobby along with the flag table runner, mini flags, and pretend "dog tags."  The giant Army men came from the Dollar Tree along with the flag balloons. 




We set up a simple obstacle course in the backyard for the kids to run through and pretend like they were in bootcamp.  Of course I got absolutely no pictures of outside, because I just wasn't on the ball.... but they had to hop through "big tires" (foam rings), jump in a "minefield", (the trampoline), crawl under obstructions, do a "parachute drop" (the play set slide), and do some target practice with Nerf guns.  

The menu screamed "Merica" (haha!) with burgers, hot dogs, baked beans, and chips.  And we sent all of our guests home with some "camo cookies" as a thank you for coming to celebrate with us. 


So the biggest kid is 8!  Despite my best efforts and pleading that he just stay little, he keeps growing.  



Our Leeland makes us so proud!  He's smart, passionate, kind, and goofy.  His inquisitive spirit not only inspires me to keep growing and learning but also holds me accountable.  As the oldest of four, he is very responsible and takes his big brother role seriously.  He's such a blessing to our family, and we couldn't be more thankful for him. Thrilled to watch him grow.

HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY LEELAND!



Evelyn is 8 months!

Our sweet babe is 8 months old and I'm a couple days behind.  Girlfriend is getting less and less cooperative with these monthly photos.


Baby girl is still "army crawling" and not using her knees, but don't mistake that for not moving.  She can get to where she wants quick.  She can also go from laying on her belly to sitting up on her own now.  


Still no teeth!  Late teeth has been totally the norm for all of my kiddos though so I'm not concerned.  She's eating and enjoying baby food on occasion as long as it isn't anything green.  But still mostly nursing around the clock.  


At 8 months, Evelyn currently weighs 16 pounds 6 ounces and is 27 inches long.  She is wearing size 6-9 month clothing and size 3 diapers.  


I am especially enjoying dressing a little lady and it's quite a change.  Evelyn is the perfect little model for dresses and clothes that I can sew.  This particular dress was sewn for her biggest brother's "Army" themed birthday party this weekend.  Camouflage was a family affair and Evelyn rocks it well!


This month Evelyn celebrated her first Easter and was spoiled by both us and her Grandma.  She also got to put her toes in the sand at the beach and absolutely LOVED it.  She dug in the sand, soaked up the sun, squealed, smiled from ear to ear, and took a little nap.  


She brings us absolute joy!  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

7 Months Young!

The princess of the bunch is officially 7 months old today! 


She is currently 16 pounds, 4 ounces and approximately 26 inches in length.  Wearing size 6-9 month clothes and size 3 diapers.  


Surprisingly not crawling just yet.  But she barrel rolls and spins like a champ, so she still gets wherever she would like to go.  Only a matter of time before she takes off!


Also... NO teeth just yet!  This is not unusual for my kids.  All of them have been late bloomers in the teeth department.  And so far with the older ones, it has translated to losing their baby teeth later than many of their friends too.  But I have no doubt that they are coming soon.  Our typically happy happy baby has had some nights of frustration, and just look at her gnaw on that spoon below.  


This month she has begun to grasp the whole eating with a spoon thing.  She has tried sweet potatoes, apples, and bananas so far.


She also traveled like a champ on our trip to Williamsburg!  We sure are blessed with this easy going girl.  We have another trip in the works for Spring, so I'm definitely thankful for a baby that can keep up with us so to speak.


Also, in the above pictures, she's sporting the first outfit I sewed for her!  This particular pattern is the Kate pattern (baby top version) and ruffle shorts from Violette Field Threads.  Little girls are so much easier to sew for, and I've loved making things for her.  They aren't perfect, but it sure is fun! 


Happy 7 months little love! 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Williamsburg, Virginia

We spent the last few days on a family field trip to Williamsburg, Virginia!  We were blessed to have been given a 3 day, 2 night stay at the Williamsburg Plantation Resort and did our best to take full advantage of the sites and fun to be had.


Our trip began on Wednesday with eating breakfast, loading up the van and hitting the road just before 8am.  We packed our lunch and decided to stop at a rest area off the highway just outside of Williamsburg to eat.  Our check-in to our resort wasn't until later afternoon, so once we loaded back up, we went straight to colonial Williamsburg.


Twice a year, Colonial Williamsburg offers "homeschool days" and discounted tickets to be purchased online in advance at a special discount.  (A big part of why our trip was planned for this week even though, it's technically "off season.")  We parked at the visitor center and rode the shuttle over to the historical area.  If you ask the kiddos, they would probably tell you that riding the shuttle bus was a big highlight of the whole trip!  Haha!

Other favorites of Colonial Williamsburg was the capital building and learning about the laws of the time and how they were punished.  All felonies were punishable by death, however, only about 16% were convicted because of lack of evidence.  The kids also enjoyed checking out the jail.  Part of Blackbeard's crew actually spent time in the very jail that our kids were running around.  There was also the stocks outside of the courthouse which of course made a great photo opportunity, and some delicious cookies we grabbed in an old grocer store. 







And lastly was the horse drawn carriage ride.  An 18th century limo!  The kids kept seeing them around town and we couldn't resist.  We got a leisurely ride around the town, and learned a few things from our driver Dan.  And of course the horses, named "Tom and Jerry" were beautiful.  Joel was quite entertaining through the whole ride, waving, greeting and wishing everyone we passed a good day.  He thought he was in a pageant or a parade.  




We knew in advance of our trip that the weather forecast was calling for rain on Thursday.  Gradually through the week before we left, the chances increased until they were at 100%.  Obviously any outdoor plans were out of the question.  We went out to breakfast for local fare to a small hole in the wall called "Honey Butters".  The two concierge suggested it when we checked in.  I won't deny that when we pulled in, and saw the outside, we weren't sure we wanted to go in.... BUT, I am so glad we did!  The food was delicious.  Especially the garlic potatoes.  Mmmmmmmm....

After breakfast, we did some exploring-- we checked out the famous Yankee Candle flagship store, and also the local "Trading Post", and not quite as fun but necessary, a Food Lion for groceries! The kids dipped wax ornaments at Yankee Candle, and we goofed off at the Trading Post.  




We headed back to the resort for lunch and the two little ones took a nap while Daddy took the two big kids swimming in the indoor pool for our indoor afternoon on a rainy day.  Then we decided to head out to eat.  I'm not going to lie, vacations typically revolve around the food.  Is that the same for other families?  Even if we are packing our own food, the question of what snacks we are packing comes up before what clothes we are packing.  We also try to avoid chain restaurants and places that we could eat anywhere or at home.  For the most part, this has went well for us, and based off of online reviews or asking a local, we have found some good spots.  I can only recall one time that we've ever found a dud.  For dinner we found "Craft 31" and it did not disappoint!  Craft beers, a burger for the man, and oysters for me.  The kids even cleared their plates as well.  If we ever head back that way, we would definitely stop there again.  

Friday was check-out day so we began the morning early packing up our things, loading the van, and making sure the resort room was tidy.  We could not have been more thankful for our accommodations!  The resort was really spacious, everything we needed was provided for us, and the staff was very pleasant.  

Once we checked out we went to the Jamestown Settlement.  Now, the downside to going to such a fun place in the off season, is that you really have no idea what kind of weather you will be handed.  We knew before heading out that we would have rain Thursday and could avoid outdoor activities then, but we had no idea that Friday was going to be strong wind advisories.  The wind was BRUTAL!  Shortly after we arrived to Jamestown, they ended up announcing that they were closing the outdoor activities.  The wind was too wild and there were branches and things falling all over the place.  Thankfully they sent someone around to warn us that they were closing shortly and we were able to speed walk and do an express version of the outdoor sites including the Indian village, ships and colonial fort.  And then once we were back indoors, all of the enactors were inside giving demonstrations throughout the museum.  Honestly, I liked this set up better.  There weren't many people in attendance to the museum, (not sure if that's weather or season) and so our encounters with each person were very intimate, and the kids got to ask lots of questions and really get hands on.  We chatted with a Powhatan Indian captain, learned how to tie knots from a sailor and learned all about colonial weaponry and armory from a couple of soldiers.  








After we left the Jamestown Settlement, we went to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.  Both Jamestown and the American Revolution museum offer a homeschool discount daily by the way, along with special programming in the Fall.   Again with the high winds and being under a weather advisory, the outdoor activities were closed.  No express tour at Yorktown since they were closed before we got there, but again the enactors were indoors doing demonstrations and answering questions.  Lots of wonderful displays at the American Revolution museum, along with hands on trivia, sounds and games.  We chatted with a battlefield surgeon, played with some 18th century toys, checked out lots of weaponry, the declaration of independence, the bill of rights, and discussed what liberty means.  





Then we packed up and set our directions to head back home!  Sadly because of the wind advisory, we couldn't take the ferry on our way back like we had hoped, but considering that's the only thing we missed on such a full and packed trip, we definitely came out well.  On the way home, Daniel and I were already chatting about doing it all again in a few years when the kids are older.  Maybe then we would add in Bush Gardens too.  Definitely a great trip, rich in history and learning, but full of fun and family time.  And at the end of the day, family time is the best time!