Friday, April 28, 2017

Happy 4th Birthday to Payton

Happy Birthday to you, Payton Ruth! You have grown so quickly and we have been so honored to be blessed as your parents.

You are the sweetest child with the biggest heart. You love to color and send pictures to family and friends, make calls just to say, "have a great day," and are very concerned about doing the right thing. I watched as family members and friends have called today to wish you a happy birthday and your response continues to be, "Thank you and how are you doing?" You always remind the person that you miss them and wish to see them soon. I'm sure you will continue to inspire me to become a better person as I watch your loving heart evolve.

We spent yesterday celebrating your last day as a 3 year old and today we are ringing in your 4th year. Your request for a meal includes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with an apple. That's exactly what you had for lunch today. You also wanted dirt cups instead of cake. Balloons were the decor of your choice (although balloons covering your bedroom door were not welcomed this morning).

May you always be this easy to please.

I have to share a story from the picture above. You opened this gift and saw the graham cracker box. You were so excited and happy to get graham crackers that you celebrated this gift. There was quite the moment of surprise when you realized that was not what was actually inside the box.

Today was also a big day for your brother, your biggest fan. He was so excited to celebrate your special day with you. He made a card for you and cheered you on with the festivities. He hugged you constantly and tried his hardest to say happy birthday.

Your birthday will probably always be a little sad for me as I watch you grow and grow. This year though, I am just more excited than anything. Your own excitement is maybe just that contagious. I am so happy for you and how much you love life. I am looking forward to what this next year will bring. And, in your own words, "you will always be my baby." Yes, yes, you will.

So, cheers to you, our Payton Ruth. Life is so much better with you in it!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Let's Play Farmer

Originally, Payton wanted to be a doctor so bad to both animals and humans. Recently though, she started saying she wanted to be a farmer instead. The farmland surrounding our properties is just starting to see activity again as farmers prepare for another season so I think this may be why she had a change in career goals. 

We have a friend that lives on a farm and she called saying she had a few bucket calves and wanted to know if we would like to bring the kids to feed them. I didn't hesitate a second and accepted immediately. We brought out food for a picnic in exchange for an evening of playing farmer.
Oh my goodness! We had so much fun being exposed to this way of living. The kids have been talking about it since. Riley was obsessed with the little "moos" of the baby calves. One of the calves was born that day so that was so neat to see. 

Payton was so excited to feed the horses until they actually ate out of her hand. She has always been super clean and the messiness that comes with letting horses eat out of your hand was not her cup of tea. She was a good sport though. 

Payton also loved all the gates and figured out the system quickly. She loved opening and closing gates on moving the baby calves around. They followed her closely!
 Now that we are spending today at home, the kids and I went and put together a vase of fresh blooms from our yard. Lilacs and apple blossoms! I love this part of spring and the smell of fresh lilacs. Life doesn't get any better with the help of my littles either:

We are spending today at home and, other than a visit from a friend this morning, have nothing planned on the agenda. These are the days we love!

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Birthday Party for Payton and Easter Festivities

We spent yesterday and today taking life slowly. So very SLOWLY. Our weekend was so fun and filled with so many activities that both kids needed some time to take it easy. So, we have been loving watching our neighboring farmers prepare for another crop season, enjoying fresh blooms (even if most are dandelions), picking a few flowers (again, got to love dandelions), dancing, and fully embracing the quiet life. 

This morning, I took the kids to the library. They are having a stuffed animal sleepover event and so we took in the animals the kids got for Easter.
What this picture doesn't tell you is what our time at the library looked like. It was one of the worst visits we have ever had. Both kids definitely needed another day to recuperate from the weekend and I believe 3 people shed tears on the way home. An extra long nap time/quiet time is calling our names. Also, leaving your toys, despite all the prepping I did, is not easy for a toddler and preschooler to understand.

I wanted to recap our weekend which included Payton's 4th Birthday Party and Easter. I totally failed at taking pictures during the party, so I don't have a lot of that to share. I have a lot from set up though! We went with a Minnie Mouse/Mickey Mouse theme, per the request of Payton. We were also going to have it in my hometown but Payton made it very clear she wanted it at her house so we went with that.

Normally, I take on the task of making both the cake and the cupcakes. This was my first year to order the cake. It was a little less stress for me and I may be doing that more in the future.

My family came up for the party and Payton also was able to invite 2 of her friends, after begging and begging. A few of our close family friends also came. This alone made for a full house. I love seeing the cousins together though.
I really wish I had gotten more pictures, but I did get Payton blowing out the candles at her party. This is always my favorite part of birthday parties. That and eating the cake.

Payton was so tired afterwards that she spent the rest of the day laying around.
Riley took this time to enjoy some of her new toys.
Most of my family left on Saturday. My mom was the only one to spend Easter with us. We went to church, let the kids hunt for the eggs we hid, ate a beautiful lunch, and made a few special cupcakes.

It was a very memorable weekend and the kids have been talking about it since.

How was your weekend? Are you as ready for spring as I am?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Day to Day Life and This Week

Some weeks I don't have a specific topic I want to talk about and other times I don't have the time to do something specific. This happens to be a week I didn't know if I would even do a post. I took a quick peek at my pictures from the week though and knew I wanted to get them uploaded.

This blog is for my children. My hope is that years from now when they meander down my posts, they will get a general idea of our daily life. Sure, the big stuff is great and holds special memories for a lifetime. The real fabric of life is in how you operate during the day to day. This is what weaves us together and creates who we are. I know so many of my pictures are on repeat, like swinging
Climbing trees,
and learning.

But's that's the reality of our days and how we spend our time. I am a stay at home mom and this is the type of life we believe to be right for our situation. Do I always think our life will be filled with quiet, outside, do whatever we feel like days? Absolutely not. Some day, my kids will be older and we will enter a much different stage of life. Sure, I don't know 100% what that new stage will look like for us or what we will deem best for our family. However, I am just enjoying today and the beautiful life that has been unfolding in front of me.

Each week, I take the kids to volunteer at the nursing home. I haven't shared pictures of this part of our life so that I can keep the lives of those we visit private. This is a huge part of our week though and our kids love visiting with the residents. Here is a picture I got after our visit one day:
Most mornings at our house start off slow. A few times a week, I let the kids watch a show while I do the dishes and prepare breakfast. On Monday, I came around the corner to collect the kids for breakfast and was greeted with this sight:
Popcorn for breakfast! After the kids go to bed, my husband and I tend to eat a treat together. Apparently, our popcorn didn't get put away the night before. The kids have asked for this breakfast every morning since.

We are definitely enter the stage of life where we can't leave things out in the obvious any more. For instance, Payton is already aware (and has used) the birthday gift we have made for her. It is large and hard to conceal so we knew hiding it would be quite the task. So, we let her know as we went through the process of creating:
A puppet show theater is coming to our house. We try to create special DIY projects for our big gifts for birthdays as much as possible. This hasn't always been the case every year. I blogged about the time we created a children's outdoor converting picnic table for Payton's birthday. That same table happens to be in the coloring picture above.

Our weeks are equally quiet and busy at the same time. We are not over scheduled, yet raising two young children keeps us constantly going. This weekend Payton will have her 4th birthday party and we are so excited to celebrate her. The party will be at our house so we are spending the week preparing for this. I hope to get a post on here next week about her special day and our Easter activities.

Have a great week and a Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Payton's Hunting Adventures with Her Daddy

As I mentioned earlier this week, Payton has been going turkey hunting with her father. She has loved this experience and I wanted to dedicate a post just to that. I hope one day down the road, she and my husband will both see this and reminisce about how much fun they had together.
 This was a picture of them leaving for the first time. Payton was so excited and couldn't wait to help call turkeys. I packed several "quiet" activities (reusable sticker pad , water coloring books, etc) and a lunch for them. There was a lot of food but I was sure she would eat most of the time anyways (which she did).

Since I didn't personally go on this trip (Riley and I had fun at home), I thought I would show the pictures to Payton and let her tell me about what she did:

In the words of Payton: She helps daddy hunt by putting up the little tent. She pulls it out of a bag and watches it pop up. Then, she sits in it and talks to Daddy. She starts to eat some of the food her mommy packs for her. While she eats, she uses the binoculars to try and see something. She didn't see anything. Her daddy uses the turkey call and sometimes she gets to help use this call as well. Once she had to go to the bathroom and so she learned how to go potty in the grass. Sometimes, they hear turkeys talk to them and sometimes they don't. They haven't had a turkey come close to them yet. When they are done, they clean up everything they brought and walk it back to the truck. She has a lot of fun hunting with daddy and hopes to go again soon.

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