Thursday, August 16, 2012

a fresh start, a new year!

 The pattern in life is that seasons change and with them comes a chance for a fresh start. Today marks the beginning of another school year here around our home and we're in good spirits as we welcome the next season, hope for whats ahead. Of course, with every end to a season is a little sadness sometimes and I'd be lying if I said I was overly thrilled to send my big kid back today. I love summer time with all my blessings under the roof all day and a chance to just be together with no distractions. That said, I am also happy he is stepping into another milestone and that he is excited about it. We're all looking forward to his 3rd grade year and spent the 24 hours before celebrating a little and having a last "hoo-ray" of a day to close down summer! Welcome back to school everyone!

One of my dear friends and I swapped kids this week. I had almost an entire day to myself in my house to get things organized for school, clean some closets out, and just feel a little more prepared for this new season. It was AMAZING! I don't know the last time I had my house to myself for an extended amount of time and it was such an awesome day to clear my mind and my house! It was my turn with the kids yesterday and it was a great way to spend the day before school... my kids loved the friend time and the easy day to just play. We found plenty to do...

 We baked "Back to School" cup-cakes
 My special helper :)
 Played lots of games...
 Got our swim on!
 my boys the summer of 2012 at the pool

 Enjoyed our final pool day (okay, maybe enjoyed is an exaggeration considering it was windy and sprinkling half the time...but gal darn-it!...we were going to the pool the last day of summer!) :)
 Enjoyed pizza and cup-cakes and some back-yard games before back-to-school bed routine started...

 And he was off!
 Dad always sticks around in the morning for the first day of school... these 4 guys make my heart melt a little bit :)

And he is headed to a new year... flower for his teacher and an open heart for whats to come. Happy 1st day of school to our sweet (big) boy!

Friday, August 10, 2012

water babies

While many vacation days were spent right by the edge of the lake, the babies on the trip caught on quick and fell in love with the wet fun too. The water was pretty clean and had a nice recently placed sand bottom. My babe was all over and his baby cousin was more my kind of gal as she floated away her time on the water :) What sweet visions I have of all the babes reflecting off the waters edge. Happy vacation memories to me!
 He loved it! And was on the go! Carson just crawls straight into deep waters without looking back. He is kind of an all or nothing kind of guy!

 Jazzy on the other hand just hung out in her little seat, content to watch the action or maybe in her head was thinking "geesh, relax, already cuz"!

 So Fun!
 Playing babies

 Don't worry...I stayed close the whole time. But as soon as he went to nap, I found my floatie to recover :)
 We didn't have a tub, so we improvised. Carson seemed to love the outdoors bathing option so much I've adopted it for back home. Hmmmm, not sure what to do once cold nights hit since he refuses to sit in the normal bath-tub inside!
 Even this little baby on the way was happy by the water :) Baby girl will be joining us for the next family vacation all on her own!

The last night we had the prettiest rainbow, double rainbow actually. Rainbows always make me think of our little baby friend with Jesus already. It was a sweet way to end vacation, thankful for all our babies surrounding us and for one special one who already is enjoying beautiful places like this on a daily basis. A good reminder of whats to come for us someday!

I know, he loved the water so much I got this face when I teased him by getting too close but not getting in. I kinda felt the same way heading back from a relaxing vacation, but the best thing about vacations being over... you get to start planning for the next one!

Friday, August 3, 2012

when you have 7 hrs

We have been blessed with pretty darn good traveling kids. Jaxon and Austin have been known to go 5+ hours without stopping in the van. It makes family vacations much easier when the kids can go with the tune of the trip. Carson arrived though and from day one decided he did NOT like his car-seat or riding very far. Very far, as in even the 5 minute drive to church! When we planned this vacation for 7 hours away, I was a little hesitant, but I had high hopes that our freshly turned 1 year old would be ready to fall in like his big brothers and keep our family road-tripping streak a positive one. I will give the youngest credit for the most part. He took a lot of my energy to keep entertained (or distracted, whichever you prefer) and my car-sick self doing my best to not eat while on the road or look backwards so I could sit in back and keep the boy as happy as I could. I packed new car packs for the big boys with lots of new fun activity books, movies, markers, flash cards, and treats. Between refreshing on our presidents, learning new bugs, and watching a movie or two, our big boys kept their good streak of traveling road side. We'll keep working on the newbie :)
 Busy on the way to the fun zone!
 My view from here.... double screens, workbooks, and a not so sure baby :)

 We made a really good pit stop that was slightly out of the way...
 But, as you can see... well worth it!
 Each boy ran, climbed, slid, and jumped enough to get them through the next few hours tied down.

The ride home went a little smoother...and quieter. I am not kidding, these kids were passed out before we even hit the main road! 7 minutes in to be exact :) I think they had a good vacation!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy B-Day Dad!

The boys have been having fun planning for Dad's birthday today. They are hilarious to try and get them to keep any secrets. Not that we have any amazing surprises to share, but one would think we were giving Dad a winning lottery ticket with the excitement they get to do fun things for their Dad. I love it. Even though Dave isn't super into birthday's, I'm glad his kids have a heart to do something special for him and talk about their Dad in such a sweet way as we spend our day making things nice for him. It's good for them to think about others and what better person to practice kindness on then their very own awesome Dad on his birthday!! We just returned from an extended family vacation so I thought I'd share some pictures of our birthday boy today living it up, family vacation style. Happy Birthday to the best Dad!!!!

 We had a double rainbow our last night. You can barely see it, but it was the most brightest and beautiful rainbow I have ever seen up close. A perfect ending to our relaxing vacation.

 Dad filled in to get fish off hooks...he's good like that :)

 He even took some of the boys tenting one night...he braved the bugs, the bears, and the boys all by himself! What a guy!

 He was always up for taking you out on the canoe if you asked... son or mom, he steered you the right way.

 And he made some pretty intense Scrabble games happen. I won't play with him, so this was a treat! (side note: I cry every time I play him, so I decided it was best if I just didn't play anymore :)

 Uncle Kyle and Uncle Dave...pure fun makers! Yes, there are 6 kids piled on them.

 Who knew bad-mitten could be so competitive? i hate to say it, but I think Dave and his right hand man were 0-2 against the parents.

 I have to admit, he was super-Dad and had Carson a lot... :)

Isn't he handsome a few days not showered or shaved? Dirty or not, I love this guy I call husband! Happy, happy Birthday to one great guy!!!!