Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Back to School

Maybe I'm ahead, or maybe I'm behind.  Depends on how you look at it I guess.  We started back to school with our core subjects of math, reading, spelling and language arts the first week of August.  In years past, our Summer break has been 1 month max, and this year we took a lot more considering our school year ended in May. However, the obligatory "first day" pictures didn't get taken till mid August and then with our co-op beginning this week, it seemed like a good time for more pictures and a post. 

This year we've got a 3rd grader...

And a 1st grader...

And of course our 3 year old and 1 year old along for the ride.  

I've also got another year of tutoring in our co-op ahead of me.  After a year break to sit in the back of the class and snuggle my baby, it's going to be weird to be back in front of the kids again.  This year I'll be tutoring in Leeland's class, which will also be totally different from the 4-5 year olds that I tutored previously.  

Ready and excited for our first day of Classical Conversations.

So our curriculum line-up for the year is....

-Classical Conversations
-Saxon math 
-First Language Lessons
-Writing with Ease
-All About Spelling
-And cursive writing for the biggest

I have lofty dreams of taking Fridays off again this school year, and hoping to get more fun accomplished on those days.  (Last year, I was mostly stuck under a baby exhausted.)  

Thankful for this privilege to educate our kiddos at home.  Praying for our school year, praying over what lies ahead, and that I might keep my priorities in focus.  Finding balance has always been the hardest part, but there is where I find beauty.  Thankful for God's grace and the lessons he has taught us over the last 3 years of schooling, and blessed to be on this journey.  

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Happy 3rd Birthday Joel!

I don't know where to begin talking about this boy.  

He's wild and unruly.  He's spunky and silly.  But he's oh so cute, snuggly and sweet.  He's like a mix between a wild bull and a golden retriever at the same time. HAHA!  ... In all seriousness our Joel can't be put in a box.  He's a one and only kind of guy and we love him SO much! 

We celebrated him this weekend with family at a local splash park.  The splash park wasn't our original intention, but alas when the amusement rides at the city park we planned on being at broke down, the parks and rec department went above and beyond to accommodate our family.  And honestly, it was perfect weather and the kiddos still seemed to have a blast.  

Toy Story was the theme choice of the 3 year old.

Birthday invitation from Malaria Prints on Etsy.  We also purchased a pizza planet shirt in blue from Tees 4 Parties that I of course don't have any pictures of him wearing.  Whoops!

We kept the menu simple with it being an evening of playing in the water.  Pizza seemed like the obvious choice (hello, pizza planet) and salad and chocolate cupcakes. 

Honestly it was a really simple party.  I think with age and more kids, I've begun to remove some of that 'perfect party' pressure and just enjoy my family.  We were surrounded by family who loves our kiddos so well and we were so thankful for the quality time with each of them. 

In true fashion of my family, many of Joel's gifts were full of snacks.  You might remember Evelyn's party recently and the image of her surrounded by baby food pouches.  Everyone knows that Joel loves food.... so much so that I'm not sure he even chews when he shoves his cheeks full like a squirrel.

He got goldfish,

cheese puffs,

3 bags of chocolate covered pretzels,
and even a pineapple.

Of course, there were more "normal" gifts as well of toys and clothes and bubbles too.  But his excitement as he shouted "MORE SNACKS, WOO HOO!" each time he pulled out a gift bag was pretty hilarious.

It was so exciting to celebrate our big boy and embrace this age of fun.  
Happy birthday Joel! Welcome to 3!
We love you SOOOO much!! 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Happy Birthday Evelyn!

Happy birthday to our littlest one!  One year old today.  It feels like just a blink ago that I was anxiously awaiting post due date for her to just enter the world.  What a difference a year makes!

Sweet girl had a "one in a melon" themed birthday this past Saturday over brunch with close family.  We are so incredibly thankful for so many in our life who love our little people so well. 

Our brunch menu included "Jo Jo's biscuits" (Magnolia cookbook) with jam, cheese, fried bacon, sausage, watermelon (of course), and deviled eggs (also from the Magnolia cookbook.) All followed up with some delicious chocolate cupcakes with buttercream and chocolate chips.  

Evelyn's birthday dress was made by me using the "Isobel" dress pattern by Violette Field Threads, along with the "Ruby" diaper cover pattern.  

Her invitations came from "Funny Bunny Creative" on Etsy.  

Baby girl was spoiled rotten by all of her family.  She got some adorable new clothes and toys, and the funniest were the amount of baby food pouches and baby snacks she received.  She sucks these pouches down in literally like 30 seconds, and our family has clearly taken note at how much she likes them.  

She also really enjoyed her cake!  She wasn't quite sure what to do with it, but once we cut into it so she could see what was inside she began to eat it up..... It's either that, or she's just a spoiled princess and wanted someone to cut her food for her.  Honestly, I'm fine with either of those scenarios! 

At one year old our little lady, has 2 teeth, weighs 18 pounds, 2 ounces.  She's 28.5 (ish) inches long and she's holding strong in size 12 month clothes still along with size 3 diapers for now.  She still hasn't taken independent steps, but furniture walks well, and wonders the house with a walker on occasion.  

She can wave "bye bye." and blow kisses.  And she's built a lengthy vocabulary of baby babble and gibberish.  But she also says "Momma", "Da Da" and "uh-oh." Oh, and did I mention that she's too busy for pictures?

She is such a joy!  We feel so incredibly thankful that we get to call her our daughter.  She truly is "one in a melon."  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Happy 11 Months Evelyn!

The princess of our bunch is 11 months old today.

The magnitude of her birthday falling on the 13th day of the month never struck me until today.  Today if my Mother were alive, she would be celebrating her 58th birthday.  A Grandmother that Evelyn never got to meet, but she carries on part of her name. 

Baby girl isn't so cooperative with milestone photos these days.  She's just too busy.  I don't think she even stops moving in her sleep.  No independent steps yet, but she loves getting around the house with her walker.

She likes dancing and music.  She claps and plays peek-a-boo.  

She adores her big brothers and loves to hop right in the middle of their chaos... er, play.

She currently is holding strong in a size 3 diaper and size 12 months clothes.  She weighs 17 pounds, 6 ounces and is approximately 28-ish inches long. (Hard to say on the length of a wiggle worm.)

She has sass and spunk.  But for the most part is a very happy little girl, and we adore her little grin when she shows off her 2 bottom teeth. 

Only 1 month until birthday time!  Can you believe it?  ... Because we sure can't!  Happy 11 months Evelyn!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Evelyn is 10 months!

10 months old and getting harder to photograph.  Flipping through the 30 something photos, I took today nearly all but 2 of them are a blur.  I tried.

Exciting bits from this last month...
1. We now have TWO teeth!

2. She is no longer crawling "Army" style and crawls up on her knees now.  In fact, she got bumped up to the "crawler" room from the nursery at church now.  (AND she pulls up too.)

3.  She sleeps in her own crib now!  .... And in fact, until 2 nights this week, she was also sleeping through the night too.  (Not sure what's happening this week though.)  

^^ She doesn't stop moving often.  She's got big brothers to keep up with! 

She's still rocking size 12 months clothes for now, and her stats at the pediatrician's office were mostly average.  A big change from "beast mode baby Joel" that I had gotten used to.  Evelyn weighs in at 17 pounds, 4 ounces and is 27.5 inches long.  

I would say that it's really hard to believe that it's time to start planning a first birthday party.... BUT I feel like you guys know me well enough to know that the planning for it has already begun! HAHA!  What can I say? I love a birthday party, especially when it's for one of my own!  

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.