Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wrapping Up and Falling Out.

Thanks to the aisles of pool toys being replaced by blue capped pens and vast assortments of binders, it seems that although the heat may not leave us anytime soon, summertime is wrapping up. Brayden and I had a conversation last night about this, and we both agreed that while we were excited about first grade starting soon, the fact that summer is coming to a close is a bummer for a variety of reasons (his was that he can no longer sleep in. I feel like my work on earth is finally done now that he admitted that sleep is, in fact, a good thing).

I was able to get away with a bunch of my girlfriends this past weekend. We chose Kansas City as our destination this summer. I have to say, I think it's my favorite. It provides a wide arrange of things to do (since our group is so big, this is kind of vital), has a TON of great eating options (we ate SO SO well. Like queens, I tell you) and is relatively close to where we live, making it a good weekend getaway. I'm so grateful to have such a great group of friends.
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It's a little bit of a travesty that I brought my big girl camera and used it all of zero times on the trip. Turns out, lugging a giant piece of photographic equipment when it's 100 degrees outside tends to be quite an unwanted task. So I just didn't take any pictures at all. Though, I do have to say that having a selfie stick amongst the group allowed for group pictures ala phone camera, and came with a few laughs from innocent bystanders.

Unfortunately I missed my first big milestone of Braydens. His first loose tooth had been rather dangly lately, and it was suspect to come out soon. I had hoped that Brayden wouldn't muster up the courage to pull it before I got home. But alas, the twisting happened and we had one happy boy that evening beaming with pride at his new loss. Drew did great at covering as the tooth fairy. I'm now trying to decide if I should keep the tooth. I'm not much of a keeper... unless it's a handprint (I'm a sucker for the handprint. Thank you, teachers, for feeding my obsession) it almost assuredly goes in the trash.
Brayden decided that the weekend I was gone would he a good time to lose his first tooth. Can't believe he's big enough to be snaggle toothed. #mboys2015
Be warned: if you run into us, this boy will show off his gap with the greatest of pride.

And last but not least, I have to tell you a cute story. Yesterday morning I took my older two to get haircuts. We go to the same person every time because I am OCD and have a weird thing about hair being perfect (or as close to perfect as you can get). Anyways, our stylist was talking to Brayden about stuff and Brayden happened to mention that sometimes he likes to wake up at 6am (I realize this is contradictory to his sadness about school starting and not being able to sleep in. He is a creature of many options and habits, some of which contradict each other greatly). She kind of gasped when he said it, and then he said "yeah, but I like to do that because when I wake up at 6am, my daddy is awake reading his Bible and then I can read it with him." MELT ME. I'm so grateful to be married to a man who leads so well.

Here's to our last few weeks of summer... may we spend them well.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dog Days.

We have officially hit what we like to term the "dog days" of summer in the south.

If you are a southerner (heck, even the midwest joins this party), you know the days I am talking about. The ones where you have sweat dripping down your sternum as soon as you walk outside to check the temperature at 8:30am in the morning.

These days are really fun and involve things like your kids whining about how hot it is, the splash park being so packed that you question your own sanity for even arriving there in the first place, and your air conditioner in your car suddenly seeming like it's blowing 90 degree wind at you (which, during the dog days, 90 degree wind does cool you off just a tad. Then you get mad at the fact that everything is hot and nothing is helping). Ahh, yes. These are the days.
He requested his beloved dog socks and tennis shoes. The battle wasn't worth fighting tonight, so he won. Then he found the band aids and strategically placed them on his "broken" nose. #merica #mboys2015
(Tyler insists on the oddest pairings when it comes to fashion, as since he's my third child and I've realized that some battles aren't worth fighting (nor do I even have the energy to try), he gets away with it.
Boys in backwards hats are the cutest. #mboys2015
Can't even handle how grown up he is getting.
Land of the free, home of the brave! Happy 4th!!! #mboys2015
4th of July fun! We got together with several of our closest friends. Our kids have grown up together and it was so much fun playing and spending time together like we did before we had 25 children.

In all truthfulness I have loved this summer the most out of all of my summers parenting. I feel like I finally have freedom apart from the beloved sleep schedule, and aside from Tyler's naps, we have a lot of flexibility to do what we want. That is nice. However, the lack of schedule also leaves us feeling noodly some days, and I think that I can speak for all of us when I say that while flexibility is nice, a fluid consistency of the school year brings with a sense of stability for everyone.
There's only two things my boys look forward to more than Christmas: fireworks at 4th of July, and VBS. Today's the first day, and the excitement in our house is OOC. Connor is beside himself because he gets to go too this year! #mboys2015
Last week was one of the highlights of summer for my boys: VBS. They literally have looked forward to it all year long, so it was unfortunately that we not only came away with truths about Jesus and God, but also shared some germs along the way. Connor caught a fever virus (that luckily lasted a mere few hours), but Brayden wasn't as lucky and ended up with a nasty sinus infection turned eye infection. Both boys were devastated about missing out on some of the festivities. Sickness is never fun, but it's especially not fun in the summer as it almost always interferes with fun plans.
He learned a lot about Jesus this week at VBS... and gained some germs on the way :/ Poor guy had to miss his last day, which was heart breaking. #mboys2015
Grateful for friends who were able to give us our crafts and things so that the boys didn't feel like they missed TOO much. Brayden has only been sick enough to warrant a visit to the doctor a handful of times in his six years of life, and now that he's able to communicate about how he feels, it about broke my heart to hear him tell the doctor that he felt "just terrible."

We have another week filled with lots of fun activities (gotta check off the summer bucket list!), that will hopefully keep us cool in the heat wave. Here's to hoping we don't melt along the way and that I remember to blog about it before school starts next month! :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Road Trips and Trips on Bikes.

The boys and I were adventurous and tried our hand at two road trips within 1 month. I decided that it'd be a good idea to attempt said road trip after everyone had stayed up way past their bedtime for fireworks festivities the night before; thankfully nothing backfired on me, and everyone did really well. It helps that our trip was only a 3 hour trip as opposed to a 10 hour one ;)

Several of my friends who live in Little Rock had wanted to get together with our kids. A day trip seemed like a stretch, and I was also eager to spend more time at my good friends, Christy and Brian's, new house that they recently built (they've named it Deer Creek Acres, and it seriously is the best!). The home sits on wooded acreage, which basically means it's boy heaven. We also packed in a Chick-Fil-A play date with several friends (and LOTS of kids), lots of outdoor play, and ended the time with friends at the pool before heading back earlier today.
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(Tyler's FAVORITE thing ever is "gummies." He's a champ at shoving nearly the entire packet in his mouth at one time).

My boys absolutely LOVED Deer Creek Acres. There was dirt and rocks and lots of sticks. All 3 of them seemed completely in their element. Of course, as most of my stories go, we couldn't have stayed safe the entire time we were there. I had been a smart mom, and told the boys that they could ride down the driveway as long as they didn't go past the end of it. This wouldn't have been a big issue, but I had forgotten that while Connor is a pretty excellent bike rider, he sometimes forgets to use his brakes. This and the fact that the driveway is fairly steep was a recipe for disaster, as I realized when I heard Connor yelling "I shouldn't have done this!!!" coupled by his little 16" bike wheels rattling rather loudly as he zoomed down the dirt hill. Before I could yell out to use his brakes, he hit a large stone that jutted his handle bars quickly to the right and threw him hard to the ground. He ended up being ok, with a whole lot of scrapes and gashes to tell of his ride. I am SO thankful that he was wearing a helmet (they always do, but sometimes you just never know if they'll follow through with what you tell them to), as I think it would have been a whole lot worse. Isn't his little face just so pitiful?! (and as with most boys, he's pretty proud of all of his war wounds now)
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I was terrible at picture taking while I was down there. I have come to realize that taking pictures with three kids, one of whom is two, is just not at the top of the priority (and most of the time is unfeasible, as I am almost always attending to someone's need or very much likely to be chasing Tyler). Perhaps I will reach a point when I can carry an SLR with ease, but for now, it's just not the case. I did snap a few pictures before we left for the pool today. I love that even though we don't get to see our Little Rock friends that often, we pick up right where we left off, as if time had stood still that entire time apart.
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I think we're done with traveling for the summer. The boys and I both love seeing friends and family, but time on the road is rough for us all, and staying home will do us all good as we try to soak in these summer days. Although, when we were almost back to NWA today, Brayden said we should just keep driving to Baton Rouge since it was only another 6 hours away. We may need to start working on directions a little with him. ;)
 

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