Thursday, July 5, 2018

june wrap-up

I know that I missed documenting a million and one things that happened during the month of June, but here we go.

The kids and I discovered this lovely park not too far from our home.  Not only is the playground a close second to an American Ninja Warrior course, but the field of wildflowers directly behind it is a photographer's dream at sunset!

Speaking of photography, I reached out to a local newborn photographer that I've been following on social media for awhile.  We met up at a coffee shop and she answered my questions about the biz for over 2 hours!  This is just a sample of her work.  She's amazing and so, so kind.  I hope that someday my work looks a lot like hers :)

I happened upon this guy through a blog I read and instantly felt drawn to his mission.  I'm trying to be more aware of how I utilize my phone, especially when my kids are present.  Am I ignoring them?  Am I really doing something on my phone "real quick"?  Just something to think about.

One evening Kylie and I went to a nearby park and did a little mini photo shoot.  It was surprisingly difficult photographing my "tween" daughter.  That age group tends to be pretty awkward so I was happy to discover lots of natural-looking photos.

We had 3 baby birds in one of our crabapple trees.  I would check on them every day to see how they were growing and changing.  So fun.

The whole crew made it to the pool one evening.  I sure adore them.

We took the kids to Monsoon Madness at a local park one Saturday morning.  It was suuuper hot and the lines were long, but the kids enjoyed going down these big water slides.

We've been trying to be more diligent about having family night once a week.  The kids especially enjoyed a lesson on prayer where they had to "punch" different numbers on the clock and read a scenario about how prayer can be helpful.  For instance, for 3:00 the scenario talked about riding home on the school bus in snowy weather, and how saying a prayer for safety could help.

Jackson had a blast riding this Lightning McQueen car that our neighbors let us borrow.  If there is anything in life that makes us feel this happy, we should pursue it ASAP!

Kylie and I spent the better part of an evening visiting several home decor stores.  At Home is definitely our fave!

It has been crazy hot and humid here, with a heat index over 100 degrees.  We got creative on Wet Wednesday and put water balloons on the trampoline.  The kids had a great time throwing them, squeezing them, smashing them, etc.

This dog.... We just don't know what to do with him sometimes.  He had an ear infection for several weeks that wasn't going away so we took him to the vet.  Over $200 later, he had clean ears and a direct order to go on a diet.  Some days we wonder if we have the time, energy, and money to give him what he needs.  Other times we feel like he's meant to be ours.  We're seriously praying about what's best for him because re-homing a dog is a big, permanent deal.

Other happenings in June: weekly playgroups with friends, lots of pool visits, birthday parties, and a much needed massage for Josh :)  He also started playing softball with a group from his office and they've won every game so far.

6 months

London's 6 month stats:

Height: 24.5 inches {10th percentile}
Weight: 15 pounds, 12 ounces {50th percentile}
Head circumference: 42 cm {50th percentile}

Well... we still adore this sweet, squishy, happy girl!  She radiates pure joy.

We discovered that she LOVES water.  She'll let me wade around in the pool for an hour or more if she's in her pool float.

She also shares her sister's passion for books.  

We introduced her to baby food, which she really seems to like!  We'll give her a small bowl of rice cereal for brunch and a vegetable at dinnertime.  She really, really likes to eat so she'll grunt at us if we're feeding her too slowly.

She still loves her jumperoo.  She can really go to town in that thing!

Some more fun facts about London:

  • She wakes up at 7am and goes to sleep between 6:30 and 7:00 at night
  • She looooves her mama.  Anytime I enter a room, she gives me a HUGE smile and kicks her legs like crazy.
  • She's officially mastered the art of rolling!  She has no problem rolling back & forth to reach her favorite toys.
  • She has found her toes!
  • She has 2 bottom teeth that are beginning to show.
Happy 1/2 birthday, Miss London!


Last month {yikes, where did June go???} the kids and I took a trip to Michigan.  As always, it was wonderful spending time with family.  Since we were there during the week, we kept things pretty low-key, but that was just fine with us.

Jackson had a blast with his cousin, Julian.  I wish we lived closer so they could play together more!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

7 favorites of my #1

Each year on Father's Day I struggle to verbalize my thoughts.  How can I possibly put into words how I feel about this guy and the AMAZING dad he is to our children?  I am unbelievably grateful to his loving parents who taught him -- and showed him -- what it means to be a family man.

So.  Here are just 7 things that I adore about Josh as a father.

1.  He is there for the big things.  The kids can count on him to be there for sporting events, music programs, the first day of school, etc.

2. He is there for little things.  Dinnertime, tying shoes, church, bedtime stories, Saturday chores, etc.

3. He is fun!

4. He leads by example.  Our kids know what prayer, hard work, and sacrifice look like, as well as the benefits that can come from doing those things.

5. He disciplines lovingly.  He can be firm, but he always explains why in a way that the kids can understand.

6.  He loves their mom.  I came across this quote years ago and I believe it with my whole heart.

 One of the Greatest Things a Father Can Do

7. He knows and loves them individually.  He knows that when Kylie has gone "missing" she is most likely on her bed reading or climbing a tree.  He knows that Summer can't be trusted with a bag of Doritos and Jackson likes to have bubbles in his bath.  He knows that London likes to be cuddled before bedtime and covered with the softest blankets.

We really, really love this guy.  And we like him a lot too :) 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

may wrap up

May was such a delightful month.  The flowers bloomed, the grass turned green, and the weather was {mostly} comfortable and perfect.  Many of our days were spent like this:

For Mother's Day, I gifted my mom with updated pictures of the kids.  It's always interesting trying to get pictures of your own kids but I thought we captured a few good ones!

The dog makes picture-taking interesting too.  He's the worst photo bomber.

Summer has been breezing through chapter books like no other.  I love that look of concentration.

And Jackson rarely has a still moment so I had to capture this one :)

I had a few Mother's Day photo sessions in my backyard when the trees were super pretty.  Kylie was happy to try out my setup for me.

I've been staying busy with the Activity Day girls at church.  They really are sweet.  I hosted a Mother/Daughter garden party in my backyard and it turned out so beautiful!  I stayed super busy that night so unfortunately I didn't get any pictures {darn}.  But one of the girls' favorite things we did that night was take mother/daughter pictures.

I did, however, capture a photo of the aftermath.  Whew!

Jackson invented a new game.  It's called "Throw All of Your Hot Wheels Cars on the Trampoline, then Jump."  Best game ever.

We spent almost all of our spare time working on laying new flooring on the main level.  I LOVE it.  We just have to do the half bath and a small section in our kitchen, then we're done with the flooring part.


I've learned to keep my cell phone close at hand, otherwise these girls take crazy pictures and set them as my wallpaper.  See Thing 1 and Thing 2 below.

I'm wondering if Jackson really thought I wouldn't notice where he put his pajamas...?

I thought that was a good indication that he should be added to our chore wheel.  He was actually really excited about  that and he loves tackling a new zone everyday.  Some zones are more difficult than others {such as the kitchen} but he will happily rinse dirty dishes, stack plates, and sort silverware.

The funny thing is, he will grumble all day long that he has to water my plant, a chore that literally takes 15 seconds.

I took my friend out to lunch for her birthday.  I haven't laughed that hard in a while so it just might need to become a regular thing.

The school year wrapped up and I am still so, so grateful for the wonderful teachers the kids had.  Summer's teacher posted a few pictures from the last few days of school.  So sweet.


I want to avoid the "slide" that can happen during the summertime so we've incorporated Learning Time as part of our daily routine.  We keep it pretty simple.  Each week the kids will focus on a different topic.  Summer started out with typing. 

Jackson began by practicing coloring in the lines.  Fine motor development is a big deal for 4 and 5-year-olds.  I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture but he's holding a crayon inside a clothes pin to help with his pencil grip.


I'll have to post a video later, but Kylie spent her first week of summer vacation learning the 50 states in alphabetical order.  

Jackson has a tendency to fixate on things, particularly daily events.  One morning he asked me repeatedly if it was time to go the pool yet.  By 10:00 I told him in exasperation that we wouldn't be going until the little hand was pointing to the 11.  Well... five minutes later he shouted excitedly, "The little hand is at the 11!"  I have to give him points for critical thinking skills. 

London has done really well at the pool too.  I've taken her in the water a few times but she's also perfectly happy chillin' poolside.

I took the kids strawberry picking one day.  It wasn't our most enjoyable outing, I have to admit.  We made the mistake of going on a super hot, humid morning so the kids complained quite a bit.  But we got some really delicious fresh strawberries out of the deal that tasted amazing in a dessert I made.

We have baby birds in one of our crab apple trees.  One morning we had 1 baby bird, the next we had 3.  I had never seen such new birds before!  We're trying to keep our dog away from the nest; we've learned the hard way that he's a fowl hunter.

I love having a combination of bigs and littles.  Kylie has become quite the mother hen.

I snagged a used jumperoo for London that has been worth every penny.  I'm not sure who loves it more, London or the other kids!