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! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

5 months

Little miss London is 5 months old.  Already!  I feel like time is going by soooo fast.

She is learning more and more everyday.  She can grab her pacifier and pop it in her mouth on her own.  She's rolling over and grasping at toys around her.  Everything goes in her mouth, but thankfully she's not mobile enough that we have to worry about small pieces yet.  She's content laying on a blanket and playing with toys but she prefers to sit with us and observe what's going on around her.  It won't be long before she's sitting on her own!

 She is such a happy baby.  I love that she smiles with her whole face!

She doesn't have any teeth yet but they will definitely be making an appearance soon.  The past few days have been a bit rough for her but infant Ibuprofen helps.

The kids can't get enough of her.  Jackson has realized that he can use his gender as an excuse to be London's special helper.  He'll say things like "Only boys can give London her pacifier" or "Only boys can keep London happy."  Little stinker.

It makes me happy to see the girls with their baby sister.  I never had any sisters so it's extra special to watch.  Kylie can't get over London's tight curly hair, and it dawned on us that someday she might be driving London to the hair salon!

And then there's Summer.  She is always willing to keep London company for me while I switch a load of laundry, rinse the dishes, or even take a shower.  But I'm never quite sure what I'll be coming back to...

I feel like my other babies would laugh and giggle a lot, but not London {at least not yet}.  She's super tickling but instead of laughing she just squirms.  In fact, it almost seems like she's trying not to laugh.  But the kids figured out a trick the other day...

This little girl is such a joy!

school's out!

School is out and summer fun has begun!

May is always such a busy month as far as school is concerned.  There are field trips, music programs, spirit days, field days, pizza parties, spring parties, teacher appreciation, etc.  

I got to attend Muffins with Mom AND Donuts with Dad at Jackson's preschool.  I love to watch his expression when he finally spots me in a crowd.  His entire face lights up and he waves excitedly.  What a sweetheart.

His end of the year program was fun to watch. Bless his heart, he didn't sing a single word!  He looked around...

...played with his wristband...

...and waved at me.  I'm still glad I got to be there.

He had such a sweet teacher who loved him, encouraged him, and was always happy to see him.  He adored her.

Kylie got to go on an all-day field trip to various parts of northern Indiana.  She had to be at school by 6:10am and returned home at 6:00pm.  She had a great time.

On the last day of school she received a presidential award for academic excellence.  She has grown in many ways over the last year and we're proud of her efforts.  Her teacher was great at encouraging the kids to be responsible and independent.  I honestly don't know much about what she worked on in 4th grade because she handled it all herself.

Summer had a really great experience in 1st grade.  She tested in high in reading and math all year long so we'll see what next year has in store for her!  Her teacher was so devoted to her students, and not just academically.  I loved that she was always open to having parents volunteer in the classroom, something that I did often.  {Can you spot London in the picture??} Summer was devastated when she learned that she wouldn't be teaching at her school next year, but I hope we can still keep in touch.  Thank goodness for Facebook, right? 

Summer's friend won a special ice cream get-together with the teacher at a school raffle and invited Summer to come along.  They had a blast!

We'll even miss the bus driver!  Every single day he let Jackson climb on and honk the horn.  It only took a moment but it sure meant to the world to a certain 4-year-old boy.

Here's to lazy pool days, evening walks, bonfires, ice cream cones, trips to the park, and all things SUMMERTIME!