Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pumpkin Patch

Last weekend we decided to venture out to the local pumpkin patch. We have done this 3 years in a row now and it only gets better as the kids get older.

The kids had a blast going down the slide, picking pumpkins, walking hay mazes, bouncing on a bounce pad, and riding the children's train. Payton used to refuse to have her face or hands painted but was totally loving getting her face painted this year.

My family came up for this event as well so we decided to have a bit of a Halloween party as a group. Unfortunately, we were all so tired after the pumpkin patch that this plan didn't work out. Instead, we had a costume breakfast. I had Halloween coloring pages for the kids to decorate and put stickers on while I cooked breakfast. We had a blast eating with two Super Girls, a few pirates, Tigger, and a Mario brother.

We love this time of year. Fall has always been a favorite season for me. I hope you are enjoying this time of year as well!                                                                                                                               

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Let's slow it down a bit

The best days in life are the ones taken slowly. Fall is my favorite season but it is also known as a very busy season. I promised myself not to put my kids in many activities but I keep finding myself overscheduling. 

Here's the thing, my daughter loves all the activities but they exhaust her. I also want my children to know how to live in quiet. I struggle to sit still and just sit back. I don't want this to be a problem for my kids, too.

So, what will I be doing? After a few months of my daughter in both dance and gymnastics and both my kids participating weekly at the library's story time we have decided to drop dance. We will finish out this month since it's paid for and then decide about enrolling her again in the spring.

I may regret this decision later as I love watching the 3 year old class, tutus, and I couldn't wait to watch the winter performance. Really though, my favorite times are days spent at home doing absolutely nothing and whatever we want. That's the perspective I want to keep.

Because this season of life is about to go too quickly.

Monday, October 3, 2016

29th Birthday Weekend

Over the weekend, I turned 29. Most birthdays are typically hard for me but this one was relatively painless. I feel like it should have been my 30th. Having children has definitely made me feel old, especially when I get around those in their early 20s. 

As I reflect on my last year, I am appreciative for the good and hard times I've had. I greatly treasure my babies and watching them grow. As a parent, they are teaching me so much when I typically assume it's the other way around. God has given me so many sweet moments with my babies that I will treasure always.

Before bedtime, we almost always make it outside. It's the last chance to burn off excess energy and works so well. Payton loves to run pulling Riley in her wagon. We also get to watch the corn harvested as you can see in the background. I am in awe of all the things my children are being exposed to that I wasn't as a child.

Before I end this post I wanted to share some pictures from my brother's wedding last weekend. It was a gorgeous wedding and my children danced the night away until way past their bedtime.
So, today begins the beginning of a new year for me. I can't wait to see what's in store for my little family!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Changes and my babies are growing

I feel like so much has happened that I haven't had a second to document our time. I don't even know where to start so I will begin with updates on each child.

Payton: You did not start preschool this year although most of your peers did. At 3, we want you to enjoy being a child. I am working with you on letters and numbers. We also are given so many teaching opportunities that you are constantly learning about your world around you.

You did start gymnastics though and you will also do dance (starting later this week). You love to write the numbers 8 and 9 and make grocery lists for is constantly. At play time, you constantly want to play wedding and dance class.

Payton, you are the greatest little helper. We have had a lot going on lately (more on that later in this post) and you take it all in stride. You will do anything to help. Thank you for that. Now, don't forget to play. Work will always be there.

Riley bug: I've said it before and I'll say it again, God really knew what he was doing when he brought you into our lives. You spend most of your time with the bossiest women (mommy and sister) and you are so go with the flow. You love us so much and do what's expected of you, no question. 

You started walking this month (13 months) and I'm mourning the loss of my baby. You are looking more like a toddler now. In the mornings, you love to play with sissy's toys that she won't let you play with when she's awake. You also love stirring spoons in bowls, your trucks, and drinking out of a sippy cup. Words are being added to your vocabulary daily and you already say 2 word sentences (hi daddy, thank you, what's this). You are naturally so smart and have so much figured out. We love watching you grow and explore your world!

As siblings: You two are pretty typical for siblings. You laugh, you fight, you love each other hard. It may not seem this way always, but giving you each other was the best gift I could ever have given either of you. 

Other news: So, besides 2 kids growing too quickly, we have some other news. First, we have been sick. We may not have started school but the sickness making its rounds didn't miss us.

I've mentioned before that we have 1 rental. We decided it was time to grow this business and ended up buying 2 properties. One was planned and the other just ended up happening unplanned for us. One house needed a lot of work, which has meant a ton of juggling with our schedules. In any case, one is rented already and the other is already rented out as soon as we close on the house (it's move in ready). 

This is huge news for us as we have been focusing on growing this business since we bought the first rental over 5 years ago. And it took 5 years. Good things come to those who wait. 

Although we were mostly waiting for the right deal to come along for us, our rental purchases were timed at the perfect place financially for us. We have become personally debt free. That's HUGE! We did take on business debt to acquire our new properties, but this was always a part of our plan. As a big believer in the Dave Ramsey program, I know this isn't in line with his teachings. I do believe we each have to find our own paths though. Now, to get the business debt free.

My babies, I hope we are teaching you through our rental properties. There are many life lessons to learn when it comes to taking risks, putting hard work into something, and watching your business (or baby) grow.

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Wedding Weekend to Remember

We had a whirlwind weekend that started and ended with a 3.25 hour trip to our hometown and back. My sister was getting married and we were excited to be back on our old stomping grounds. The timing was especially sentimental for me as this was the same weekend my hometown has their fair and carnival. It was an annual end of summer tradition for us growing up and school always started the next week.

With all the wedding craziness we were unable to actually make it to the fair and carnival. Maybe next year.

My siblings, their families, and my parents all live in my hometown so we are always guaranteed a good time when we return. We had a rehearsal dinner on Friday evening followed by an outside supper. On Saturday morning my father and I took Payton to pick sweet corn in a local corn field. She is a country girl hands down and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the country before the wild ride of wedding festivities started.

Despite Payton rarely taking naps, we were blessed that she chose this day to take a nap. Riley also took 2 good naps as well. The ceremony and reception started late in the evening and would go well into the night and we wanted her to rest before that.

The ceremony and wedding were an absolute blast. The reception was held in my sister's back yard and the scene was so cozy and intimate. She had a dj and our kids danced the night away and ate their fill on cake. Payton said the dancing was her favorite part. Mine, too.

The next day we wanted to take Payton to the fair before leaving town but, after arriving, we found out it wasn't open until the afternoon. So, we went to the park instead.

After another round of cake, we all loaded on the vehicle and headed back for home. I would love to say our kids slept (because they were desperately behind on sleep at this point) but they didn't. It was a long ride home with crabby, tired babies. I did snap some gorgeous pictures in the ride though.

I love living in the Midwest! The views are awesome. We are taking a quiet day today as I try to get caught up on laundry and we all get some rest in.

I hope your weekend went well!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Life Update

Next week, August begins. Summer is flying by quickly around here. I try to keep our summer low key but somehow it ended up much busier than I initially thought. Today though, we are hanging out on our small piece of land and enjoying apples from our apple tree. This experience is new for Riley and his feelings are written all over his face.
It is fair week here and the kids are also loving this experience. We took the kids to play a few games at the carnival and see all the exhibits and animals and the fair. Payton's dance instructor happens to have pigs entered and let Payton feed a marshmallow to a pig. Guess what animal Payton wants next?
And speaking of dance teacher, Payton took dance class and gymnastics this summer. It was a good way for us to test the waters at a discounted rate. She had a blast but I'm not sure what she'll do this fall. Between the two classes and the library's reading challenge, we were really busy during the week with activities. It was a lot to take on with 2 kids and balancing out naps, meals, and moods.
Although I don't know what she'll do next, we have a month to decide and just be. That's a beautiful gift. I love having a free schedule and days of no hurrying. So, if you need us, we will be walking, eating popsicles to beat the heat, dining on the patio, and doing any silly thing that comes to mind.
And while we're at it, we'll be sure to keep checking for chicken eggs. Yes, EGGS. Our chickens (well at least one) are finally producing eggs. So far we get one egg daily. We are celebrating each and every one.
Have an eggcellent rest of your week!