Wednesday, August 14, 2019


The day I have been dreading for, probably since the day my first child was born, is here. School. Full time school. Overall, I have handled today much better than I thought I would but I have spent a good week mourning this day so I think I was finally pretty ready.

It is a whole change of seasons for us. We now have a schedule, will need a routine, and will be missing one child each day. It means being in a vehicle daily, an adjustment of friendships, addition of new friends, teachers, and a whole slew of new people in our life.

But, we enjoyed our last day of our "old life" to the fullest.
We played outside of our home, next to the cornfields. Eating apples from our apple tree. Feeding our chickens the cores when done. Ran through the pivot on our side road. Talked and sang and danced and just loved our time with each other. In the afternoon we took one last trip to the splash pad and met up with some family who was in the area school shopping. It was just the best day.

A few nights before school we went to Payton's open house. We got to meet her teacher, some classmates, see friends, and tour the school. It was so fun and prepared us for our new journey.
And then, today happened. Despite trying to stop it or slow down time, the time to go to school still happened. Payton was so, so excited but also very nervous. She couldn't fall asleep last night. I laid with my sweet baby until almost 10 when she finally crashed. It was bittersweet.

I have nothing but high hopes of this year. She will totally love school and just have the best year. When she grows up she wants to be so many things. Mostly, a mother (to about 20 kids), a farmer, a teacher, and live in a house she builds right by our chicken coop (so she can bring me eggs when she visits each morning). Please make all your dreams come true, sis.
We are already missing having her at home. It feels like a piece of our body is missing.

This will be a special time for me with the boys though and we will remind her that we miss her. Today, we made cookies for snack when she gets home. That was quite the ordeal in itself. Our youngest decided to turn the mixer on full blast while simultaneously knocking over the flour. It lead to a huge mess and a flour explosion. We all had to change clothes after.
We can already laugh about it now and Riley can't wait to tell Payton all about flour going all over the kitchen.

2019/2020 school year, we weren't ready for you but here we come! May our year be so blessed, so fun, and just the best.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

July Recap

So much happened in July. I wanted to do several individual posts but only got our family camping trip and Riley's birthday done. So, this post will be overflowing with pictures about our month. You've been warned.

So, let's get this going because there was just so much life stuff going on in July.

1. Just living outside

We spend so much of our time outside when the weather cooperates. We have gone to the park and splash pad so many times I've lost count. We also love our little property. The kids have been "camping" as you can see in the picture with their wagon and folding chairs. We have also had impromptu runs through the sprinkler in our clothes. Because sometimes life is too short to change into a swimsuit.

See, not all bad things come in threes!

2. A whole lot of food

'Tis s'more season and we can't resist getting outside and making s'mores when time allows. The kids also completed the reading challenge with the library again this summer and one so many free food items at restaurants in town. We are working our way through all of those and the kids love the extra trips out!

We also ventured into a special treat for Riley's birthday after Payton and I got something similar one night on a date night. We called it dinosaur dirt ice cream:
Yes, it was good!

3. Garage Sales

This is the first summer I would say the kids have really begged to go to garage sales. They are more focused now on getting to break into their piggy bank and, you know, live a little. They both love buying toys and Payton has been finding some excellent outfits. Like she needed more clothes.

Both of these outfits (including the accessories) cost us less than $3 each and Payton is so excited to wear them to school this year.

4. And lots and lots of water

 Not all things this year were good. We had some massive flooding in our area and unfortunately did not get passed over. We had flooding in our basement for the first time since living at our home. This was also the first time in my adult life to deal with flooding. It was stressful and a lot of work. My husband took care of most of it as the kids either needed helped or were overly helpful as we cleaned.

We are thankful this story is being us.

We are also happy to report all of our chickens were saved.
5. Pivot Run
About once a year, we find a window of time where the pivot next door is on, is spraying partially on our road, and we have some free time. That time aligned for us in July. We did our annual sprinkler run through the pivot and had just the best evening together as a family.

6. Taking time to fish
 The big kids have been begging to fish all summer and my husband finally took them. They were gone almost all day and caught so many fish, all of which they threw back. They came home with so many stories for Jayden and I to hear.

We weren't overly bored while they were gone. Jayden and I made cookies for their return, ran errands, and made a stop to visit them fishing before nap time. All in all, it was a great day for all of us.
7. A Day of Art
We took a morning with friends to go painting! My mom watched Jayden while I went with the kids to a mermaids and pirate camp. They had so much fun with their friends painting pictures, treasure boxes, a cup (Riley) and jewelry holder (Payton). Payton just loves her jewelry holder and it's become a part of her world:
8. The Fair and Carnival
One of my favorite times of the year! The Fair and Carnival! It's only here for 3 days so we make the most of it. The kids got balloon animals, won some toys from the duck draw, and rode so many rides (including the Ferris wheel, most important to both big kids). We also entered tons of art work, flowers, and crafts into the fair this year and the kids did so awesome. They came home with almost $20!!! They were pretty excited.

9. Loving Nature
Oh how I love that science is right outside our doors. We spent so much time this summer observing nests and seeing the process from eggs to birds. The kids are really interested in birds and identifying type of bird. It's been so fun to learn together.

So much this month. There were also so many things I didn't even touch on, like the 4th of July (we did our own family thing and completed our night with watching the town fireworks and s'mores, of course). But, this was a lot and enough for this month. Now on to August.

Oh, August. You will be a hard month for me. This is the year we send our baby girl, our first child to school. And I'm a mess. I wish I could stop time or restart this time. But, time has a funny way of continuing on and so shall we.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

3rd Annual Family Camping Trip

I have so many individual posts I need to do for July, but we'll see how far I can get. First up, our annual camping trip. For the last 3 years we have done a camping trip with my extended family. My husband's parents have also joined in. It is so much fun. So. Much. Fun. And so exhausting to manage 3 kids camping but we love it! I look forward each year to this camping trip.

When you look at my pictures, words are not even needed to explain how happy my kids are on these trips.

We took another opportunity to celebrate Riley's birthday again with grandpa. All Riley wanted was exactly what he had last year- camping, dirt cake with worms in it, and paw patrol. He is so simple and got just what he wanted.
There were 8 adults and 6 kids this year! We were missing one family due to illness but we hope that all of us will be there next year. Until then, I will continue to reminisce on s'mores, dirt cake, laughs around the campfire, and watching my children create a million memories with cousins in the great outdoors.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Our Boy Turns 4!

Another birthday at our house and we now officially have a 6 year old, 4 year old, and 20 month old. Time flies! 

Riley has been counting down to his birthday for weeks now so I was pretty prepared for this one and didn't shed a tear. It will always feel bittersweet to watch my children celebrate another year. I still feel like I just brought him home from the hospital. My baby who loved to sleep and slept a ton. He held on to the two naps a day for the longest time.  I can still see that little toddler saying, "mama, I hold you," as he reached up for me with his arms wanting to be held. If I close my eyes I can still see him sitting at the table at the age of 2 trying to tell us a knock-knock joke that ends with the punchline being "I got you." All things of the past now. 

I took Riley to several different locations during the week of his birthday, as time allowed, and he gave me soooo many good pictures. He's a real treat to be around. We also stopped at the train depot in our town and he got to play as well.
He makes life so easy and is just so go with the flow. He is so calm and collected most of the time.

On his birthday day, we stayed home and did our own family celebration. He picked the balloons and we surprised him with paw patrol decor, as he still loves this show!
We have been trying to give an experience gift for birthdays and holidays now so we got him tickets to a pottery class with his sister that was mermaids and pirates themed. We went to that the next day and I am sure I will share pictures from that on the month recap post. They had so much fun!

Grandma came to visit for the week as well and so our birthday celebration continues. We will also camp this weekend and have a party with family for Riley.


You look like mama but want to be just like daddy these days. You follow him around constantly trying to do what he's doing and want him to lay with you at night as you fall asleep. I can still convince you to go on quick dates with me and spend quality time with me at the coffee shop or park. 

When you grow up you still want to be a pilot. You also dream of being a farmer, race car driver, and father to 9 kids! You are the best of friends with your sister and want to go to school with her. I don't know what you will do without her when school begins. I don't know what I would do without you if you could go with her. You love to take care of your brother and your relationship with him continues to grow and grow as he is able to play with you more. 

You make your family so happy. You love to ask what you can do to help us and you are just the greatest little helper. When someone is upset you do whatever you can to try and help them.

We can't wait to see what year 4 brings for you my child. May your wings continue to spread!



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