Saturday, May 25, 2013

our preschooler!

Austin had a big week this last week with finishing preschool and visiting kindergarten all in a few days of each other. We couldn't be more proud of this boy this year as he grew into a more confident, comfortable, and happy school going kid. He came a loooooong way from the first weeks of school while he fought back tears on the ride to preschool, to these last couple months of jumping out of the van almost before I even parked! I can not say enough about his preschool and the teachers he had... and I am also so, so, so glad I took the time last spring to visit a variety of preschools and get a feel for teachers with his personality in mind. God blessed this boy greatly through wonderful teachers and together we saw him just blossom. It is so fun to see your child grow and even sweeter when the other people helping you are cheering him on just as much. We will miss Orchard Hill Preschool and are so thankful for being a part of their program that brings up little ones to love Jesus and love learning.

 Austin had his kindergarten visit mid-week and was super excited...until it was time to say goodbye. He got a little nervous and shy, but when I picked him up he was full of details from his fun morning.  He will most likely attend public school part time and home-school part time and he's looking forward to going to big brother Jaxon's school next year.

Here he is on his last day of preschool! One cool, confidant 5 year old...!!!

His teachers had a little ceremony and party for the kids...and I saw more then one person wipe a tear or two away. It was a really great group of families, kids, and teachers!

We love Mrs. Kimball! She has the perfect amount of energy and spunk for this goofy boy of ours :)

And we love our Mrs. Knapp who never hesitated to offer an extra hug, gentle words, or some extra encouragement for our boy...will miss her!

Congrats to our Austin boy! School he comes!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


We live fairly close to a reserve and that means we get a variety of wildlife in our yard from time to time. It's not odd to wake up and see 5 deer grazing in the back open grass behind our house or see a Mama Duck and her babies waddling down the street. This particular Mama surely hatched a big batch of little feathered ones this year...I think I counted 14!!!

She was headed towards water and our yard was on the way...

 That made for one happy 5 year old boy here!!

He "helped" them get to where they were going...

 They were a good full hour of entertainment one morning!

I mean, how could they not cute are they?

Cute, right?

Austin was so busy watching out for them... helping them cross the street, get around the yard, and bringing them water from his cereal bowls :)

Spring has sprung and hopefully the Mama in this house can join Mama Duck with her own new hatched baby soon!!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

to be a boy

Having boys means many things for this household...and one of them is the dirt that is attracted to all my boys of every age. A little mud never scared these boys off and bath-time is a necessity most nights! I hope baby girl likes to get dirty, too...what fun is it to stay clean all the time? :)

From mud holes... sand-boxes... freshly rained on lawns... boys seem to find it all...
...and I wouldn't change it for the world.
Because life is too short to not jump in the puddles or get mud squished between your toes or let your legs sit in the sand...
...and these little guys keep reminding me to let down my hair, kick off my shoes, and get a little messy every once in awhile myself. The way life should be :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

final weeks!

We are down to days, my friends...I can't believe May is here and we will be bringing a baby girl home sometime very soon. The last weeks have gone by fast for the most part and I'm sure these next days will too. May is always a bit faster paced month anyways with end of school stuff, graduations, spring weddings, garden planting, yard clean-up...and this year...babies! 

The end of this pregnancy is bitter-sweet. I can't really explain it without feeling like I sound crazy to here's my best shot at my experience within my heart these last few weeks while it's me and her together still. Finding out I was carrying a child this time around had a large mix of emotions for me, but mostly deep, deep gratitude and humility. You see, baby girl came into my life at a time when I was slowly becoming much more aware to God's daily drops of grace in our lives. As I left behind a time period of feeling worn and broken, I was walking into a new place of being comfortable in my skin the way I was and finding joy in the little gifts He places in front of us each day. And then He landed this little lady into my lap, well into my womb really, even after I wasn't sure how he blessed me with 3 children to begin with when I was feeling like I was letting Him down in the mother department. But there this little life was...wonderfully and fearfully made for me to grow just under my heart and within this body that was feeling like it was just starting to function well again. This time of carrying life has been many things...from exhausting and achy and stretchy and tired and beautiful and grace filled and glowing and happy and joyful and nervousness and about anything in between. But one thing that has stayed constant each day is the huge layer of grace I feel to have her with me... My Savior believes in me, even when I don't, and this baby has reminded me for so many days as I feel her move that while we are all broken, we are still beautiful in His eyes and He does great things with broken make perfect baby girls. So I end this pregnancy with a thankful heart for this unexpected gift, so very humbled to have her with me for all these weeks and now getting ready to bring her into this world and do my best to mother her in a way that brings glory to Him. Excited and sad all at the same time... Blessed, blessed be Thy name.

33 weeks

35 weeks

36 weeks

I'm not going to lie. While I have loved carrying this little life in me, it is no secret I also feel tired, big, and old...pregnant in my 20's was a bit easier on my ole body then in my almost mid-30's. I am looking forward to taking full breaths again, sleeping on my back, and bending over without losing all ability to breath at all. Adding a fourth child is a bit intimidating to me too... 4 little people. I love it and it scares me all at the same time!!!

I am so looking forward to summer time though and being home with our new family and adjusting to life as a family of six. The older I get the more of an introvert I realize I am, and when big changes like new babies come along, I tend to scale back on things outside the home and just enjoy and experience the new things happening within my own 4 walls. It has taken me 4 kids to admit out loud that while I love people meeting our new babes...I don't love lots of visitors right away...I hate hurting people's feelings so I never say no, but after 3 kids I have the courage to be real about my need for space after a new baby arrives. So, don't be offended if you don't see me for a bit or don't get an invite to come meet her right away or I don't answer when you call :)'s not you at's me (or the craziness of 4 kids that keeps me from socializing for the next 2 years! ha!)! I just need some one on one time with my new babe, some space to help my family transition with the new addition, and some quite to rest and move forward well after a big life change. And I guess by the 4th a gal gets enough courage to be honest about those first few days and weeks!

Baby Girl...we are so very excited to meet you, a bit tired just thinking about no sleep again, and ready to bring out the pink! 38 weeks old this week... baby days are just around the corner!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

new best friend

I'm sorry, but have you ever seen a boy more happy about his new best friend? Carson is not yet 2, but he has quickly brought out his love for animals now that he can be outside some more and really find the feathered friends himself in the backyard. I'm not going to lie...sometimes I put him in the chicken run so I don't have to worry about his safety for a few minutes and give my brain a mini-break :) He is contained safely with his favorite little ones...his chickens!

 He has no fear when it comes to getting them and has gotten really good at catching them, safely even :)

 The girls walk around the run area and he just fits right in...

 It takes him about 30 seconds to get one...

 He does this incredibly cute one armed carry and...

 ...tells his chicken thank you (sign language) every time he sets it back down. As in "thank you for letting me hold you...squeeze you...catch you...being my friend"

 I love this chicken loving boy...

and his sweet chicken loving ways!

high flying

The boys always have fun flying kites each spring, but this year their kites have spent more time sitting in their closet then in the fresh spring air. I think we have had one day with decent temps and good winds to help them get their kites off the ground...guess we wait some more for spring...or maybe we just jump to summer at this point?

 Austin is content just running with his most the time!

 Jaxon does pretty well on his own...

 (As you can see, Carson is very helpful :)
Our boys chasing the wind!