Monday, August 14, 2017

August Life Update

We have been up to so much fun stuff around here. I went through my pictures and pulled some that I wanted to make sure were put up on here. We kicked off the month with our annual fair in town:
Riley got a dog balloon animal while Payton picked a rainbow. She also had a rainbow, flower, and unicorn painted on her face. Riley is still afraid of the face painting so he skipped that part. Payton wanted to ride all the rides while Riley was a bit more selective. It was so crazy to see Payton on the ferris wheel, looking suddenly like a big kid. We were extra blessed to have Grandma accompany us to the fair as she was staying with us for the week to attend her annual quilt guild event.
Monte got to work and built a swing set for the kids in a weekend. They have been loving this swing set, called the "Minnie swing set" by Payton. We celebrated our first week with it by having several picnics next to the house on the top.
The kids (and I) love having a dad that is so handy.
Riley moved to a big boy bed and I may have shed a few tears. It is hard to see the crib get taken down, but the transition has gone very smoothly for our little Riley bug.
It's apple season again and our 3 trees had a small harvest. I've started making applesauce and putting cored apples in the freezer to enjoy this winter. The kids love having fresh applesauce around!
They will eat all that I make for snack if I don't keep an eye on them.

Our last bit of news for this month. We unfortunately had the stomach bug hit 3 of the 4 of us very hard at our house. We have taken about a week off from everything from being so sick and recovery.
We are just finally starting to feel better and having more energy, as well as having our appetite return. I expect our schedule will return to full craziness sometime this week.
As you can see, the first half of August was fairly eventful at our house. Things don't really slow down for the rest of August. We have another camping trip and our first trip to the zoo. Also, we may find out the gender of baby #3 at our first ultrasound. I don't know what's to come that I'm most excited for!

I'm already seeing pictures of kids starting school and love viewing back to school shots. I'm taking time this year to thank God for the extra time with my littles. We won't have a school shot for Payton as she will continue being home schooled for preschool. She didn't even let me take the summer off from her school work. We hadn't originally intended to do any homeschooling at all but it has been the path we felt God was leading us down. At this time, we do intend to send her to public school for kindergarten but we will see what path we believe we are to go down as time gets closer.

I hope you are enjoying your Monday! Have a great week!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bump Update: 20 Weeks

To my little one #3:

We are already at halfway and I feel like I just found out yesterday I was pregnant. Time goes by so fast and I have a feeling you will speed things up even more for me. Payton and Riley are anxiously awaiting your arrival and seem extra excited for Christmas this year.

I haven't even put together a pregnancy journal so I must apologize. I'm still hoping to get one started but it's a challenge to find the time to do it all. At least you will have this post (and hopefully a few others) to read about my pregnancy with you. That's something at least.
Here we are at 20 weeks (and a fewish days).

So an update to this pregnancy:
 
Gender: Unknown, we may find out this week though. Payton and Riley are both saying they think girl. 

Maternity clothes: I'm in a mixture of my regular clothes and maternity clothes. I'm slowly making the transition. I did buy a new maternity dress (as shown in the picture) for a bridal shower and rehearsal that I need to be dressed up for. 

Sleep: I am sleeping really well when I get to sleep. Two other kids that still sometimes get up at night can make it rough for me to sleep. We had a stomach bug this week so that made sleep a challenge.  
 
Best moment this month: It's been so much fun watching both kids show so much interest in the new baby to come. Riley will talk and pat my belly. Payton will talk about the new baby and explain to her brother how to care for the baby when he/she comes.

Worst moment this month: Getting the stomach bug was very hard for us, but we are so thankful that Monte stepped up his game and helped greatly at our house. We couldn't do this life without him!

Miss anything: There isn't really anything I'm missing but I am nervous to go back to the bubble that comes with having a newborn. It's been nice to have a good rhythm going with the 2 kids, but I know I will find another balance with 3 kids. I just have to give it time.
 
Movement: I really just started feeling movement and it's still pretty periodic. It won't be long before I'm feeling plenty of movement I'm sure. 

Cravings: I'm hungry constantly but not necessarily for anything in particular. I seem to prefer foods with gravy and anything with salt. 

Queasy or sick: Feeling good.

Looking forward to: Despite my fears about the new baby coming, I am getting really excited to meet this little one. We can't wait to see what you look like and hold you. You are so loved by your little family. 
You are already getting well acquainted with our little side road and country home!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Camping Trip #2 in the Books

Monte took a few days off work earlier this week and we decided to sneak off with our family for a quick camping trip. This was our second trip this summer and the kids had a blast.
Seriously, don't they look so happy? 4 year old girls are meant to run around in a princess dress any where they go and remind everyone that life is really about being who you truly are.

We snagged a spot right next to the camp playground and I think my husband and I both questioned how that was going to go. On the one hand, they may beg to go constantly and take off frequently for the slides. On the other hand, they may do really well and only go with permission. We were in luck as the latter happened.
 We weren't super close to swimming, which is the one thing I don't love about our local camping area, but we did make the drive over to swim once with the kids. They had so much fun.
The rest of our time was spent close to our camper. The kids loved the hammock we have, frequent walks, and playing badminton together.
Unfortunately, like the first trip, bedtime did not go over very well. We fought the kids to sleep for several hours and then Riley only slept a few hours before trying to get up again. He kick started his day at 5AM. We were so tired. I'm willing to overlook that though as the kids are seriously in their element when we camp and have spent the rest of the week pretending to camp around the house.

I'm currently on the lookout for good, easy meals to make while camping. We've done walking tacos (made the taco meat before hand and then reheated in crockpot with a liner) and hamburger meals in foil (just take raw burger, veggies of choice, butter, and a bit of water and then cook on fire). I like to take cinnamon rolls already made or cereal for easy breakfast choices. We just tried campfire dump cake and that was really good but I'd suggest adding more liquid to the cake mix (like maybe a diet soda, water, or milk). I just want to have some more variety when we camp. What are you making when you camp?

Another great camping trip in the books and we are so looking forward to another trip, possibly this weekend.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Little Bit of News

I have a tendency to feel like life moves too quickly. Several of my mom friends talk about how the days are so long, but the years are short. I don't quite know if I agree with that personally. My days are too short and my years feel even shorter. I'm trying to enjoy every second I have with my children, especially while they are little.  It's amazing to think about how life really started for me with this little girl:

She changed my world as I knew it and made me a mother. In so many ways, she has taught me more about life and myself than I have taught her. I balanced full time work and motherhood in the beginning and then switched to part-time work so I could focus more on my beautiful daughter. Then this little one arrived and my world got even busier:
 But, my heart multiplied with love. I had a hard time balancing work and motherhood and eventually, my husband and I decided it was in the best interest of our family for me to end my part-time work and focus solely on our family. This one keeps me on my toes and is the total opposite of his sister. Yet, we all blend together and my children are the best of friends. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Sometimes, we make our own plans for life but God shows you he had other ideas in mind. He likes to constantly remind me that I don't really have control over everything in my life. So, for our little bit of news, which came as a complete surprise to us:
Baby #3 will be making an appearance December 2017. After letting the initial shock and surprise wear off, we couldn't be more excited. Our children are ready for the baby to come home today and I feel like I could wait until February or March!


As of tomorrow, I will be 16 weeks. I really have no complaints about pregnancy and feel blessed to have a mostly smooth ride. I had morning sickness initially that was as bad as my first pregnancy but it ended with the first trimester. We do not know the gender and are hoping to find out at about 20 weeks. We are mostly just thankful to God for entrusting us with another life and praying for a healthy baby and smooth transition as we become a family of 5!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Celebrating our baby turning 2

It's official. I now have a two year old baby boy. As many will say, time goes by so fast when you're raising children. We feel like the time just keeps going faster and faster.
We did a party a few weeks ago with my family when we were camping with them since we didn't know when we would see them all again. So, on his birthday, Payton and I took some extra time preparing for his party (just the four of us) and making his day extra special. 
 I helped the kids color birthday hats, which never actually made it to the party. A certain female didn't want to let me cut the hat out of the paper once the decorating was done...

We also made cupcakes together and I let the kids decorate them. It's so fun to see how much they have grown with their decorating skills. I'm loving that my kids still want to play a role in getting ready for their own parties! There may come a time where that isn't the case.

Because I had procrastinated wrapping the birthday gifts (bonus points for not procrastinating buying the presents this time around), Payton helped me wrap the gifts while Riley took his daily nap. She was so excited to give him his gifts and "assist" him with opening them. Once Monte came home, we sang to Riley, opened gifts, and shared a few cupcakes!
It seems that when you have an older sister, she tends to monopolize all aspects of your life. Riley, did okay with this though, for the most part. Overall, it was a great 2nd birthday.

We kept the party going with Grandma coming for a short visit over the weekend and then we spent Sunday and Monday camping at our local lake. Tomorrow we will be home and I hope to get caught up on everything I'm behind on.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Riley turns 2!

Happy Birthday to our Riley bug. Your "cheese" face, waking up to you saying "hello, it's me, Riley," and watching you take on the world has brought so much love (and laughter) to our lives. This place became so much better when you entered it.


This morning, we went outside to play and I took a few pictures of Riley with a #2 balloon. This is the face he loves to make when he says, "Cheese."
Today has been so comical because Riley has never been our shy baby but he is playing that role as family calls him. He's having a hard time having so much attention on him when he's used to his sister stealing the spotlight (and we all seem to let her). 

Oh Riley bug, may you always know how valued you are to this family. Your love shines through you and shows in all that you do. Don't ever lose that. Happy Birthday my baby!



Monday, July 10, 2017

Our 4th of July and the rest of our week

After wrapping up dance camp last Friday, Payton brought home a cold. Unfortunately, she shared with all of us. This has made for a quiet week and a half. We cancelled our plans with friends for the 4th and spent a very low-key day at home instead. Most of the day was spent resting, but we did get outside for the evening to let the kids do a few festive activities: fireworks and s'mores.

 Riley loved the sparklers while Payton loves the pops you throw on the ground. Before ending the day, we asked the kids to name their favorite part of that 4th of July:


Dirty faces, tired babies, and nothing but love for the holidays.

The rest of our week has been spent recovering. We are on day 10 of being sick and still not feeling quite like ourselves yet. This has meant we've spent a lot of time inside so I've had to rely on several art activities I had laying around.
One of the grandmas had sent canvases for the kids to paint, so we worked on that one day. As part of our library's summer reading challenge, we got worksheet packets that the kids have been working on. Most of the worksheets involved coloring but one project was to make a house. The kids loved this! Payton asked to make a few more houses the next day. They have played with their houses since. They have used them for puppet shows, made cities, and today Payton was using them as part of her farm.

This afternoon, Payton begins her second dance camp and she is so excited. We are excited for her and hoping she doesn't bring any more germs home with her!

Have a great Monday!


Friday, June 30, 2017

Our first camping trip, dance camp, and what's been going on with us

Another busy week at our house. I feel like I kept saying we would have a quiet summer and it's been anything but that! We kicked off our weekend with a customer appreciation event at a local business in our town. The kids enjoyed bounce houses, face painting, and a BBQ dinner.

Last weekend we went on our first camping trip for the summer. Actually, it was our first camping trip in probably 3 years. Payton had been begging to go camping and my in-laws loaned us their camper for the summer so we don't really have much of an excuse not to go.

We loaded up on Saturday morning first thing and drove a few hours to meet up with my family. We decided to combine my brother's birthday (the day before) and Riley's 2nd birthday party. It is a bit early to celebrate Riley yet but we aren't sure when we will see my family next.
We all had so much fun seeing each other, soaking up the sun, and celebrating two important people in our lives. At the end of our fun day, we decided to stick to our kids normal bed time and routine but that was a total bust. It took about 2 hours to get them to sleep and we were so exhausted. I wish I could say the silver lining was that they slept in but no way did that happen. Riley was up at 5am greeting the world with his hellos.

Despite being tired, I do love early mornings with my kids. They are normally pretty happy and eager to learn and explore. We decided to take full advantage of camping and went for a long walk with grandma while most of the camp sites were still slumbering. When we reached the river, we let the kids throw some pine cones in the water and watch them float away, much like what happens in one of their Pooh story books.
It is so beautiful to watch some of the simplest moments God grants us.

The trip was too short and we soon found ourselves saying sad goodbyes and packing up to return home. Our kids almost never sleep in the vehicle and Payton has only taken a handful of naps in the past few years, but yet we were blessed with a beautiful gift on the way home. Total Silence. For most of the trip.
It's been awhile since I have had an uninterrupted conversation in the vehicle with my husband. This time was not taken for granted.

We desperately needed a quiet day at home on Monday, but that was not the case. Payton was signed up for her first summer dance camp and it required the mornings away from home Monday through Thursday. The camp was in the next town over so I had to entertain Riley while she was dancing her day away and pack lunch for our family to eat on the way home.  This was probably the most fun I have ever seen Payton have at an extracurricular activity and Riley had a blast spending quality time with just mommy.
Payton made several art projects (including some 4th of July sandals) and worked more on her somersaults, cartwheels, and backward somersaults. She has another camp in a few weeks and she is talking about it constantly. It's an amazing journey watching her continue to learn.

Riley and I used our time to run errands, take long walks together, and we also made it to a few different parks. He was a great little helper and reminded me that he's growing up fast.

Today is Friday and our first day at home for this week. I'm not used to being gone so much. We spent the morning catching up on chores and then the kids painted outside for a bit. We had an early lunch as both kids were showing signs that they desperately needed naps/quiet time.

We continue to have some amazing things happening on our little acreage. We harvested sour cherries from our tree for the first time since moving to our house. A friend came and harvested most of it as I haven't had the time to do much. Our family is excited for what I did get though! We are also starting to get strawberries again and the kids are loving looking for them daily. Fresh eggs never seem to get old around here.

The hubby works most of this weekend and the next week so I'm hoping for at least a few quiet days at home! Have a great weekend!


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