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.
(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)

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.

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. ;)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Start of Summer: Cousin Camp and Beyond.

Apparently I took an unintentional summer break from blogging- ha!  This summer is flying by, and we are having the best time, but I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that by the time we get all 3 boys in bed, I'm about as pooped as they come and can barely keep my eyes open, much less type understandable blog posts. Regardless of the exhaustion, this may be my favorite summer yet, as the older boys are able to really enjoy all of the activities and are able to contribute opinions on what we should do. I do miss having babies, but this stage has its perks.

Last summer my sister and I decided to weather long drives and meet up in Baton Rouge at my parents so that we could see each other and so that our kids could spend an extended amount of time together. It worked out so well last year that we did it again this year. Dare I say that we might have just started a little tradition? And thankfully, this year didn't include any tragic events like holes in sheet rock.

The kids LOVE spending time together with their cousins. This year my mom decided to get Pinterest on board and had a daily craft or activity for everyone to participate in, and then had a slew of outdoor activities that included a slip and slide, one of my boys favorite things right now.
bubble night was a hit!
as were the sprinklers
about as good as you can get with 5 kids under the age of 6. ha!
see what I mean? :)
my parents had wanted to take the bigs to the movie theater, but there wasn't anything kid friendly out at the time. So they did a movie night at home, complete with a candy buffet ala Poppa D.

We also got to see my Great Uncle Mike and Aunt Rina while we were in town, as well as my Grandma (and the kids Great Grandma). Trying to get the kids all in one picture is like herding feral cats.
Uncle Mike & Aunt Rina's first selfie!
Uncle Mike and Aunt Rina's first selfie. They do it well, don't they?
Herding feral cats aka herding 5 great grands to get a picture with great grandma. #mboys2015
And my Grandma with two of her grands and all of her great-grands. Isn't she the cutest with her blinged out hat? I love that my kids have gotten to know her. The boys regularly comment about how they love their Great Grandma Laura.

In other summer news, we've started a variety of clubs and lessons (I've learned we all do better if we can get out of the house at least once a day). This was the boys at their first tennis lessons:
Summer is for fun lessons! This morning we had swim lessons, and this afternoon we have tennis lessons. Hoping they take after their daddy in tennis skills- momma is not that great with a raquet ;) #mboys2015
We've celebrated important occasions, like National Donut day and National Flip Flop day (forgot to take a pic of us eating our free smoothies on National Flip Flop day).
Summer bucket list: National donut day. #mboys2015
Such a fun day with these sweetie boys. Summer gets more fun each year! #mboys2015
We visited our local aquatic center. Last year Brayden started the season here around 42". This year he's hitting a little over 47. Crazy how fast they grow!
Happy Fathers Day to my main man... there's nobody else I'd rather raise 3 little men with than Drew. #mboys2015
Celebrated Fathers Day for the best dad in the world!
Went to go tell the boy it was time to leave for soccer... found him sacked out.  #mboys2015
And sometimes have been too worn out to make it till soccer practice ;)

I'm hoping and praying that I blog a little more regularly than once every three weeks this summer. But if you don't see me around as much, don't worry. It just means that I'm out having too much fun with my boys.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Kindergarten's Over, and Summer is HERE!

I have had a lump in my throat the past week as we have had a continued stream of school things being returned home for the inevitable close of the school year. This has been such a great year for so many reasons (some bloggable, some not) and with its close comes a set of varying emotions.
It has been mentioned before, but worth noting again, we received the best Kinder teacher EVER this year. I firmly believe that she was an answer to so many of our prayers. As the year played out, there was no doubt in my mind that she was who both Brayden and I needed during this year of such grand transitions. In many ways, I was a blind leader to my son, as I have very limited experience with traditional school settings (I was homeschool thru 9th grade, then went to a small private school to finish out high school). I went into the school year timid, not knowing what to expect (The internet is full of nasty things regarding the public school system. Let me be the first to say that most of the things that float around on the internet about public school have not been true for us. I could write an entire post about this, but for now, we'll leave it at that). The year has ended with me having very strong, positive feelings about our school, and particularly our teachers (especially our very own homeroom teacher!).
Brayden has grown so much this year. He went into school excited, and with a clean slate for learning. He is leaving with a great amount of confidence, reading on his own, surrounded by friends and recognized for leadership. I am so proud of all the ways he has grown this year.
(I can't help but giggle at this picture. He requested a "serious" picture after I was through taking the smiling ones. I agreed to it, so he casually set his bag down (out of range from the camera), went over and struck this pose, holding it until I told him I had taken enough. This age is my favorite!)

(the lady at the yogurt shop totally photobombed us... apparently that's our new trend ;) )
So here we are! At summers doorstep with weeks of sunshine and outdoor play at our finger tips. We've already drummed up a summer bucket list, which mostly involves water activities and eating cold treats, although Brayden did add "reeding" to the end of the list, so at least some of the academic loves that were instilled by Mrs. M this school year should stick ;)
(this is Brayden running out of the building for the last time as a Kindergartner. I have loved being able to pick him up every day from school and see him sprint thru the car line to our van. So blessed to be his momma!)

Hooray for SUMMER!

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