Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018 Recap

Oh, Thanksgiving, you came and went too quickly. The lovely 4 day weekend celebration didn't go quite as planned (thanks to sickness and blizzard warnings) but it was still a lovely time. My parents came to stay with us for a few days and then went back home earlier than planned to beat the storm. My brother and his family were to come but were not able to make it due to illness and my in-laws originally planned to attend but changed plans.

So, it was quieter but we loved our time with one set of grandparents. Sometimes, you just need that.
The day itself was so gorgeous we got outside for part of the day. We surprised the family with a trip to play tee ball and then looked at "Christmas town," which is a corner home that has a beautiful Christmas decorated acreage that plays music. We love it and drive through it constantly while it's set up between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Grandma brought some great crafts for the kids and kept them busy making pilgrim hats, decorating a snowman Christmas present, and making turkeys. These tied in perfectly with the fall/Thanksgiving books we had read that week.
As my parents left, we decided to put up the Christmas lights at our house while we could still get outdoors.

We also set up our tree as Payton had been begging for months already. We told her after Thanksgiving. So, guess what she asked us about the day after Thanksgiving? Yep, you guessed it. She took us quite literally and was ready to set up the tree.
So, now that everything has settled down, we are just back to our daily grind. Lots of fun, lots of laughs, lots of everything in between.
We're really just counting down the days to Christmas. I hope you are, too. Because where is the fun in life if you can't approach it with a child-like love for all celebrations?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Happy Birthday to My Husband

I know that almost all of my posts reflect the lives of our children and they are definitely taking center stage in this season of life. But, sometimes we each need a moment of our own. So this is a little slice of time dedicated to my husband the day after his birthday.
 He is literally our rock and lifts us up when we need it the most. For this, we are eternally grateful and lean into him often.

Life just wouldn't feel the same without him in my life. So, I collected some of the pictures we have of him in the most recent years (the last 4 but there is over a decade of pictures for another day).
Happy Birthday! We spend your actual birthday together on a random Thursday and it was the best. Homemade cinnamon rolls breakfast, presents, lunch out, and your favorite tuna casserole supper. In between meals we squeezed in games, a family movie, and driving around together. It was just the best day.

Thank you for all you do for us my sweet husband! You are loved more than I could possibly ever explain.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Jayden is 11 Months

 Well, we made it to 11 months. I can't believe how fast it has gone but this baby boy makes life so sweet and enjoyable. I get about 10 seconds to take a good picture before he is off and going again. He is so, so busy and extremely fast. I am so blessed to have extra hands to help me with this little one.
This is the last of the monthly update pictures for Jayden and that's definitely bittersweet. Our household is so very excited to celebrated your first birthday though. I think your sister has been planning this day since before you were born.

This month went by really fast. Our household got hit with a cold and Jayden ended up with croup which was so hard to watch. Jayden, you are such a fighter though and you just keep going. Most of the time you are still so happy and play just that same, sick or not. We are currently still fighting your cough.

You are momma's baby through and through. You save almost all your kisses for me and want me to hold you 24/7. I love how much you light up at the sight of me.
Don't ever change. Please.

Your sleep is still a bit all over the place but sickness knocked us down. You are still trying to get in 2 top teeth so that doesn't help. I'd pull all nighters with you any time Jayden. It's the day time shift with your siblings that gets tricky while you snooze the day away.

Your eating habits are amazing though. You love everything and eat so much. You are definitely related to your siblings as you all love food! You have tried a ton of new foods in the last month and I'm excited to get to a point where I don't have to think about what you can and can't have.

A few things you love: dancing, singing, talking, helping fold laundry, taking a bath, climbing the stairs, watching your siblings, kissing mommy, and eating. A few things you don't love: diaper changes, being left in a room alone, and being put in anything confining (like the exersaucer, you will scream cry most of the time in this).

This month brought us some snow and that was so fun to see! I have an extra warm coat made for baby wearing and was able to take Jayden outside. I love the fresh air and found Jayden to sleep so well (like a baby) afterwards.
Who doesn't love fresh, untouched snow? This was right outside our front door!

Baby Jayden, we love you so! You will always be our little Jayders.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Finishing Out October, Halloween, and November brings...

So I have been meaning to write this post for several days now and it just doesn't happen. Finding a few minutes to get anything done is really challenging. But life over here keeps on going.

October was good to us. The kids always love jumping in the leaves and can spend a whole afternoon dedicated to raking leaves and jumping in leaves on repeat.
 Jayden watches the big kids intently.
 We had a big thing happen at our house in October! Payton got her library card!
 I have gone back and forth as to when our kids get their cards and I really just kept procrastinating making a decision. I want my children old enough to understand the responsibility (and potential fees) that come with using a library card. She may have to learn the hard way but this will be good experience for her.

Now, Riley is already begging for his card. Not quite yet, buddy. One person at a time.
 The kids really wanted to have a pumpkin decorating party with their friends. We did this last year and had so much fun (see that here). We had 15 kids, plus moms, and a whole lot of craziness over here that day. I didn't take a single picture. Of any of it.

I did snag a few pictures of the pumpkins our family decorated.
3 kids keeps me busy and apparently too busy to remember to take pictures of our fun gatherings. Maybe next year.

While the weather has still been warm(ish), we've been trying to get outside while we can. The kids have taken a huge interest in our animals and our pets love the extra love.
 Again, Jayden can't get enough of watching his big siblings.
 It won't be long before you are chasing them, too, buddy.

And then Halloween came! Our kids love this holiday. We make our rounds at our local nursing home and just go to the houses of close friends. I let the kids have a "spooky" breakfast with all their Halloween decor on the table, lights off, and Halloween music playing. For dinner, we made hot dog mummies.

Costumes were a lot of fun this year, too, as all 3 kids were monkeys! 

 I have no idea if they will be the same thing or allow a theme next year but I am loving the years they agree to it (like pirates last year). Overall, it was a great Halloween with lots of fun, lots of candy, going to bed too late, and lots of laughter!

Then, November rolled in and we all got hit hard. With Sickness. Our family has colds and poor Jayden now has croup. We are all snuggled into our house and plan to hideout until we are all well again.

Hope your November is off to a great start! Pray for our health at our house!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Leaves, Art, Pumpkins Galore, and a bit of monkeying around

Another month of giving some of the highlights. I know I should be more creative but I'm so busy that I'm seriously just doing a photo dump for my posts these days. I want to have more/better posts but I think my pictures tell so much of the story on their own that they don't really need me. So here are some recent highlights of what our little zoo has been up to:

1. Lots of art projects, science experiments, and school all together:
 E for elephant day artwork

 Shaped colored and cut and then Payton creatively put together Noah's ark
 Along with our elephant artwork above, we made elephant toothpaste. We have also done magic paint in milk, volcanoes, and raining from clouds experiments. I'm really trying to work in the science this year.
Lots of food activities as well. Here are fruit cars. Our oldest, Payton has also been making one meal a month (with our assistance but she plans the whole meal and helps with groceries and the making of the meal, all the way to serving and cleanup). Payton is also increasing her kitchen skills, like cutting food with knives, putting away dishes, etc.

2. We get outdoors whenever we can.
Snagged this cute picture at a park play date we had.
 This picture was also taken at the park when Payton and I snuck away for a bit for some 1:1 girl time. Quality time like this is so special.

3. We are working on our next big donation 

So since having baby Jayden (baby #3) and spending time in the NICU, we have found a lot of joy in coming together as a family and making donations. Back in June we had the kids purchase toys and we donated those along with several handmade blankets. I was so impressed with how willing they were and they LOVED doing this. They  have been helping us make activity packs for families to take with them to fill time as they are going to appointments and/or spending time in the hospital. My mother-in-law gave us the fabric and cut the bags and we sewed them and put drawstrings in them over this last weekend. 

I love my kids and their big hearts! I strongly encourage you to focus on finding more ways in your life you can give. It is amazing the difference it can make in this world.

4. Extra curriculars are in full swing

 While Payton is in gymnastics, this little man chooses to come along just to spend time with his mama. As you can see by the cookie in his hand (we stopped by McDonald's) he isn't spoiled in the slightest on these outings.

5. Nothing Says October like the Pumpkin Patch

 We spent a Saturday at the pumpkin patch with Grandma and had a blast. Unfortunately, I didn't come back with many photos to show for it but I did take pictures of the pumpkin decorating party we had that afternoon!

Does it feel like Jayden is missing from all photos? He is. Many of our outings are taken when his daddy is home and he is napping. AND, when he is awake, he is on my hip. He wants to be a part of it all. As long as that means permanently attached to his mom. But....

6. Preparing for Halloween
We pulled out our hand me down costumes and the boys decided to dress up for some outside play. They are set on being monkeys this year. Jayden doesn't have a choice as they other 2 wore this monkey costume when they were his age and so I want all 3 kids to be monkeys as babies. But he doesn't care either.

Payton is now thinking she needs to be a monkey as well despite my attempts at convincing her to be a zookeeper (for those monkeys) or a circus trainer (again for those monkeys) but she isn't feeling that. It will be interesting to see what they do for sure on Halloween.

Fall is just so fun! We hope you are enjoying this month as much as we are!

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