Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Some days I feel like I'm raising monkeys rather than children because they climb on everything.  Every last one of them.

The little one is the worst.

He recently learned how to climb on the counter.  And not just the kitchen counter, mind you, but the bar height counter that is practically a ledge.

How appropriate that he rewarded his efforts with a handful of Smarties.

I would really like to avoid broken bones if I can help it, so for now this is what our house is going to have to look like.  Ridiculous, I know.  

Since I've taken these pictures, Jackson has learned how to tip the chairs right-side-up and drag them to his newest target.  Do I really have to keep my chairs locked behind a baby gate in the kitchen?!

This is Karma at its finest, folks.  As a kid I was a big time climber: counters, dressers, trees, the roof {when I was four}.  You name it, I've probably climbed it.  So I understand that my littlest monkey thinks climbing is just something to do to pass the time, or a new challenge to conquer.  But when you're the one on damage control all day long it gets exhausting!

I think we'll be spending a lot of time at parks this summer so he can climb to his little heart's content.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Take me out to the ball game

Kylie just started her very first season of softball!  She couldn't be more excited.

The team consists of 1st and 2nd grade girls.  As one of the youngest and least experienced kids on the team, Kylie has lots of practicing to do but I think she's up for the challenge.

She had her first game on Saturday and I showed up with very low expectations.  I envisioned girls picking dandelions in the outfield, sifting dirt in the infield, and swinging the bat at every pitch.  As it was Kylie's first time ever playing the game, that's exactly what she did, but some of the other girls have already been playing for years and they've got some serious skills.

Kylie is, by far, the smallest girl on her team.  I didn't even think to get her a special belt for her pants, so out of desperation we had to cinch one of her regular ones nice and tight.

Her coach is a friend of ours from church so I know she's in very good hands.  She's having fun and learning a lot and that's all that matters to me.  I will say, though, that what she lacks in experience she makes up for in enthusiasm.  She cheered loud and proud for her teammates and practically smiled the whole game, even when she struck out.  I'm excited to see what the season will bring for this little lefty of ours!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spring Break

We stuck around for Spring Break, and since it rained every. single. day. we had to get a little creative.  When there was even a hint of sunshine, we ventured outside.

We had no choice but to embrace the rainy days.  I think the girls' favorite activity was our spa day.  Kylie thought the clear peel-off masks were so cool.

We put marbles in the bathtub so the girls could massage their feet while they soaked.  Since a certain little brother can't help but hop in the tub when he hears running water, he joined in the fun.

Then we painted fingernails and toenails, adding glitter on top of course.


After each spa service was completed Summer checked it off her list.

Overall it was a fun week, but honestly, I felt very overwhelmed.  I didn't have time to prepare for Spring Break like I had hoped, and my lack of preparation was evident. 

The kids got bored.

They fought.

I got frustrated.  And irritated.

But we survived.

And when all was said and done, I vowed to plan the heck out of summer vacation!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A wave of visitors, part III

My friend, Jeff, came to visit us for a couple days during Spring Break.  I've known Jeff since fifth grade but we became especially good friends during high school.  Thanks to things like Facebook and outings with mutual friends, we've been able to keep in touch ever since.

The kids loved him.  In addition to his teaching job, Jeff is also a wrestling coach so he hardly batted an eye when the girls hung from his arms or jumped on his back.  I thought he handled their eagerness, energy, and freely-given affection quite well :)

At night, Kylie decided to read us bedtime stories.  Jeff and I couldn't help laughing at how different our lives are.  After a busy day teaching high school students, I seriously doubt that Jeff comes home to his quiet apartment and reads Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! before turning in.

A certain someone was especially reluctant to see him go.  We're so glad he was willing to spend part of his time off with us!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Final Four

There are three things that I look forward to every year in March:
1. The arrival of Spring
2. Josh's birthday
3. March Madness

This year the final two games of the NCAA tournament took place in Indianapolis.  The teams' practices were open to the public so we decided to venture downtown to check it out.  It was such a fun experience!
Kylie has become quite the little sports fan and she was over the moon about the fact that she got to be in the same room as Michigan State's basketball team AND their coach, Tom Izzo.

On our way home from the practice, Josh received a phone call from a co-worker.  He was less than thrilled about this phone call because a) he doesn't particularly care for this woman, and b) he had the day off because he had just returned home from his business trip to Canada.

Imagine his surprise when this co-worker offered him a ticket to the championship game.  I don't think Josh stopped smiling the entire rest of the way home!

Monday night arrived and Josh couldn't have asked for a better experience.  The place was packed, parking and dinner were free, Josh was seated comfortably in a suite, the game was intense, and he even got to meet former NBA star David "the Admiral" Robinson!

After the game, the completed bracket was displayed on the front of the JW Marriott.

Josh works really hard to support us and keep this little family of ours happy.  He deserved this once-in-a-lifetime experience more than I can express.  When we moved to Indiana a little over three years ago we never could have predicted that opportunities such as this would come our way.  We sure love it here!

Friday, April 10, 2015

A wave of visitors, part II

Josh's college buddy, Sherman, and his 3 boys stayed with us for a weekend as they passed through our little town after celebrating their spring break.  I'm amazed at how well the kids play together, despite their age gaps and varying interests.

To prepare the boys for their 8 hour drive home, we headed to my new favorite indoor play place to burn off some energy.  The kids played for hours

At one point, I followed Jackson into the play place and together we roamed the endless slides and tunnels.  Kylie enjoyed his company too :)

I'm so glad we get to see this sweet family as often as we do.  It's always a great time.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Pardon my tardiness, but Happy Easter!  Since this wonderful holiday fell on the weekend of General Conference, we dressed up in our Easter duds the week before.  Josh was in Canada at the time so he's missing from our picture but we're sure glad to have him back home.