Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to School

Pictures explain it all! The 1st day of school for the kiddos went GREAT!! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Life goes on....

I've been thinking alot about family lately. 
And each time I do, I call (or facebook) a family member just to say Hello. I can't imagine what I would do if something happened to them. I grew up in a large family (7 siblings)...and on top of that, Mom and Dad grew up in large families. So, there's family ALL over...literally. 

I love Facebook ♥  Some may not be particularly fond of it; All the social networking, people knowing too much about you, etc. But I find it's one of the BEST ways to keep in contact with family. After that, the phone. And lastly, snail mail. I ♥ snail mail. It brightens my day to see a handwritten letter in the mailbox. Bills get boring. :)

But, back to family...I'm kind of having withdrawals from not talking with my mom this week. Each time I've called she's been out of the house. And since she's not a computer person, she doesn't get to see and read all the fun things that happening in my life right now (via facebook or the glorious blog)

All this rambling to say...Take the time to tell your family that you love them. You never know when it will be that  last "I love you" ♥ My heart goes out to my family on my dad's side right now. They are learning that "life goes on..." Please continue to pray for them after the loss of my cousin, her husband, and their baby girl. Life does go on, but let's not forget those who made such an amazing impact our lives. I was thinking today...I never remember a time that my cousin wasn't smiling. In my eyes, she was always on the upside...never a negative, always a positive. I, as a distance relative, miss her pins on pinterest (she always found the cutest decorations, the best accessory pins, and the coolest things to do with kids). I miss those ♥ I miss her positive postings on Facebook. They always brought a smile to my face and inspired me to do something positive that day. I think of how much I miss her as a "distance relative" and think how her mother, father, and sisters feel. I love you all. And I'm praying for peace and comfort during this time of healing.

Fun with friends

A few evenings ago, we headed off to the park to play til the sun went down. The kiddos had a great time. They usually always have a great time when Daddy goes to the park with us. 
After we got home, our neighbor and her girls were outside playing. We ventured over to say Hello and then ended up sitting down and letting the kids play some more. We broke out some glow sticks and Sweet Tea!! Yes, perfect East Texas evening. All the kids had a blast with the glow sticks...making different patterns, circles, etc. 
Then they took to just tossing the glow sticks in the lush grass and playing "pick up sticks" :)  

My neighbor had a sprinkler system on timers...well, we talked her into turning them on early and taking the kids by surprise. Oh, yes!! it was the best surprise EVER!! 
I love these last few evenings before school starts back up. But mostly, I love time spent with family and friends ♥

The flash caught the spray of water and not the kiddos' reactions to the sprinkler surprise...Hey!! it was worth a spot, though.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Glow stick evening

 summer evening of fun
We pulled out the glow sticks the other night. I got the kids to make different patterns with them. Then they spun them around while I took pictures. They would spin and then run over to see what their picture looked like. They LOVED it!!

Lily made hers super long..different colors and then swung it like a lasso...she's a cowgirl :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer days are almost over

 Lily has been attending Dance mini camp this week. The local high school precision team is putting it on. She is having a BLAST!! absolutely loves it. Tomorrow is her "show off" day from all that she's learned at camp.
I never thought she'd be so excited about dancing :)

 Finally keeping the barrette in her hair ... I think it makes her look older. My little baby is growing up. I've already started planning her 2nd birthday (less than 2 months away). Sleeping in a big girl bed, feeding herself, and soon to be potty training...eek!! It happens all too fast.

My precious baby boy! He helps me out around the house alot these days..and I love it. I'll be sad when he's off at school all day. He will definitely be missed. But he's excited to start 2nd grade!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Moving on to Big things

 Little Chickie is getting the hang of the big girl bed. This week, we started bedtime for her on the bottom bunk. The 1st night was easy, the 2nd night was difficult. Given her sister is on the top bunk and they tend to annoy each other til one or the other falls asleep. 
I decided to use the big girl bed for nap time today. It took almost an hour and 3+ times of my telling her it was nap time. But, we did have success!!

Once the "baby" falls asleep (and if the big kids have obeyed during rest time), it's play time for the big kids. Dakota and Lily were slightly ecstatic to get to play Angry Birds on the Wii this afternoon. I'm not sure how long the sharing and playing together will last; but for now, I'll just bask in the sibling kindness happening in my living room.

Friday, August 9, 2013

19 days til school starts....

Early morning trips (well, today's was considered early morning-ish...we all slept in) to the park are making these dog days of summer coast by.

19 days til school starts for the big kids. I'm sure Leia will miss her "KoKo" and "Yilyann". I'll miss them, too. But the kids are eager to be with their friends and be at school.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer night activity

 Thanks to the Dollar Section  from the an Indiana Target, my kids had the best time last night. 
On our Colorado vacation, Aunt Cathie brought regular spinning flyers. These take a special technique to launch. Lily possesses this technique. I keep snapping my hands with the rubber bands.

Anyways, Target had some on clearance and theirs light up. Perfect for a "just before bed activity".

 Dakota's all aglow on the new spinners :) 

 He shot his high in the air.

Running to catch the flying spinner. I'm sure the flash from the camera distracted him. But he didn't care. He was having fun.

Making memories on a balmy summer night ♥

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Newness of summer wearing off

It's almost time for school to start back up. My children are reminding me of this constantly. The summer fun is beginning to wear off, the intense heat has kicked in, and sibling love is running dry.

It is odd how a fun game of tickling can turn into screaming bloody murder within seconds. 

What have I learned from the last two days???
My youngest has found her screeching voice. I mentioned this to the husband and his response was "want me to bring home some ear plugs??" Yes!! truly his response.
The middle child has almost mastered the technique of irritating both older and younger siblings at the same time. I don't know how she does this, but she's almost to a gold medal in this area of life.
The oldest....he's just ready for interaction with kids his age. I know he loves his sisters, but lately, I hear alot of  "No! get out of my room!!!" 

And something about isn't working! (WHHAAAaaaaa!!) I know, shocker of all shocks! But we are all still alive and surviving. 

So for now, til the kids start school, this momma will be on her toes to have fun with the kiddos. I'll be praying this heat lets up a little, but if not, we still have a hose and sprinkler :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Imagination makes the best memories come alive

I remember the summer days of my childhood. We had some hot humid summers. I grew up in Florida. If it wasn't hot, it was hotter...and if you didn't have hot, it was raining. 

My mom didn't let us sit inside and become couch potatoes. If we were inside (and it wasn't raining), we were doing chores, taking naps, or sick. My brothers and sister (I'm part of a group of 4 younger children...there were also 4 older children but they were teenagers/college age at the time) would build tree forts, make the coolest swings, and we were pretty awesome pool makers.
For whatever reason, we had large metal barrels in our backyard. Oh! the things we could do with those barrels. We would swim in them. You could turn them on their sides and walk all over the orchard area with them. Use them to boost yourself up a tree and sneak attack the other teams tree fort. Oh, YES!! we had fun in the summers. We would play all day, come in for lunch, and continue playing til it was time to set the table for dinner. There was nothing more refreshing than drinking that cool water from the water hose.
Awww, sweet memories of way back when. ♥

With technology so far advanced, it's hard to keep your kiddos with just the basics of summer fun. There's splash parks, water parks, ample blow up pools, slip n slides, etc. I almost bought a tarp for my children the other day...just to see what their imagination would make. Would they try to make a swimming pool like my siblings and I would do?? Would they sneak some soap from the cabinet to make it a sudsy slip n slide?? would they make a tent with it?? Could it become a magic carpet that would take them off to Neverland to fight with Captain Hook??

I'm glad I have such sweet memories of summer. I hope that I have given my children the same chances to create beautiful summer memories with their siblings as well.