Saturday, August 31, 2013


Now that we're settling into a school routine, I'm loving the opportunities for one-on-one time with some of the kids. They are just so different when they're alone! Things are a lot quieter around the house and while running errands during the day now. (Except that Faye never stops talking.)

Baby Isla goes down for her afternoon nap a little later than Faye, so she gets my and Everett's undivided attention for a little bit. Everett likes to "babysit" her during this time for a few minutes. She is an expert clapper and waver these days, and we think she said "ball" just this morning. She alternates between walking and crawling around, and this platform halfway up the stairs is her current favorite place to play! When I have alone time with Isla, we usually read for a while in her room. She has a great attention span for books and will even sit and look at them by herself for a while! (Longer than big sister, actually.)
Oh my, alone time with Faye is a real treat. Isla naps in the morning during Everett's school, so it really is just me and her for an hour or two! I could ask her questions and listen to her funny answers all day long and still be entertained.
This is where we wait for Everett to come home on the bus. I would say an emotion and then take a picture of her face. I think this was surprised?
Faye spends her alone time telling me stories; asking me "why?" a million times in a row; trying on shoes, necklaces, hats, etc.; and stuffing random items into her purses.
A "yucky" face.
Faye loves to go to the Y, so I'm grateful I get to work out a couple of mornings a week with two happy girls in tow. Also, she and just one little friend will start a home pre school next week, and we're planning on only speaking Spanish during it. Faye already says a few words and understands a little more, so I'm hoping she learns a even more with the play dates.
Life would be so bland without this girl!
Everett is home before 11, so when the girls go down for their afternoon naps it is our time together. We usually bake something, and he does his little work book with me. Or we snuggle on the couch and read. (And I try so hard to keep my eyes open.) Everett is such a good snuggler!
We usually make bread or something like it. This day it was home made pretzels. They were ok, but my kids didn't even like them!
I love having time with just Everett. He is a thinker, and when he talks (still in such a cute, little-boy voice), it's probably something important. He has asked me questions about whether or not dinosaurs will be resurrected, and who created God and Jesus.
One day we did home made bagels, and those were really good! We added cinnamon, but we're planning on trying lots of different flavors. Recipe here.

Grateful for lots of good moments with my kids each day, and even more grateful that I don't take pictures of and try to forget all the bad ones! Ha! For some reason the boys come home from school really grumpy. My theory is that they are trying so hard to be so good while they're away, and then they let it all out at home. And then I think everyone's been tired from getting up early to go to school, so bed time is rough lately. I think that part will get better as we get used to the new schedule. But overall, still grateful for good, happy kids!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Virginia and OBX, 2013.

First time ever having painted toes, courtesy of Grandmama.
Trying to catch fireflies... but not being brave enough!
Playing with toys at Grandmama's house. The same toys I played with when I was little!

I am a little bit proud to be Soren's first ever babysitter (while he was awake). Ashley let me watch him while she took my older kids to Costco!
After three days in VA, we were at the beach! We got there late Saturday afternoon. While I unpacked, Mackenzie volunteered to take my older kids down to walk on the beach. A few minutes later I looked out the window to see them coming back after only getting halfway there, with most of them crying. Apparently the wind and sand were just too scary. Oh dear. The next day, Sunday, we spent the morning at church, and then attempted a walk on the beach again. Things went better this time!
Faye actually cried and said she was scared for a while, but Ashley helped her warm up to the ocean. I don't have pictures of Carson that day, but he was getting a little too brave and excited and kept running into the waves fully dressed!

Sleep schedules were wayyyyy off at the beach. (This is Carson napping.) I had decided that, since I wanted my kids to stay up and be a part of the family activities, I wouldn't worry too much about bedtimes and nap times. I don't know if that caused the trouble or what, but man that week was one of the worst of my entire life as far as hours of sleep I got! For some reason Isla reverted to practically a newborn schedule, nursing a couple of times at night! (And the very day we got home, went back to sleeping 12 straight hours reliably every night. So weird!) So, add Faye waking up at random times to that, plus the boys waking up early, and I seriously got three hours of sleep some nights. There was even one day when Carson randomly fell asleep at around 5 p.m. and then woke up for the day at 1 a.m. When I finally put him back to bed at 4 a.m., Isla was up for the day. It was really, really frustrating to be that sleep deprived and trying to have a good vacation!
I was so grateful to various Aunts/Uncles/Cousins/Sisters/Grandparents for helping my kids have fun on the beach when I was busy taking care of Isla or other kids. Faye particularly really liked Aunt Dana. (Maybe since she took all the kids out for ice cream??)

Isla and I spent a lot of time at the beach house. The first day, I took her to the beach and it was miserable with sunscreen and sand in her eyes. The last day, when my kids and I finally all got to go down and play together, I skipped the sunscreen that had irritated her eyes, and she actually was really happy crawling around in the sand and playing! I wish I would have tried to go down more.
The five beach babies! Soren, the lone boy, is Isla's cousin, and the other cute girls are my cousins' kids.
Isla doing her cute little excited face before she leans in and goes under.
Aunt Dana again, reading to Everett.
Cousin Randon showing a crab to Carson.
Cousin Gardner and the boys in the hot tub.
When Faye was in a good mood, she really had fun in the ocean.
This is my niece Dallyn, (I think?), but I wanted to show that Carson learned from his cousins and was brave enough to do the boogie board like this!
My dad plus five of his six siblings.
My boys participated in the tournaments this year. Everett played pool against my cousin Rushton.
He used the swiping method to get the balls in the pockets.
And Carson played Parcheesi, with my dad's help.
There's a yawn, I forgot you have to stay up late to get these tournament games in!
Carson's writing his name in on the bracket. For him, these tournaments were all about the brackets. He loves them!
I guess the bright side of having your kids wake up at 4:30 a.m. is that you get to take them on a walk and watch the sun rise!
A morning devotional.
Reagan brought kites for everyone!
Faye with Cousin Shawney.
This was that last day when Isla was happy on the beach!

The girl cousins! (Missing a few who weren't there.)
Each evening there is a family activity. My favorite is always the talent show. Carson told a joke about the 50 States, and then he responded with the state capitol to anyone who yelled out a state. Everett did a head stand on the couch. I wanted Faye to sing, but she just did a head stand like Everett, I think. After it was over she said ok, she would sing the song, and she did just for me and my Cousin, Sarah. So cute, wish she would have done it for everyone! This activity, by Dana, is life-size Candy Land. Very cute!!
Isla started standing up a ton at the beach. Now she takes a few steps, but still crawls to get around.
Saying good bye to the ocean. I was a little emotional that morning! I felt sad because maybe I didn't make the most of our week there with being stressed out and sleep-deprived, sad because the family beach week was different without Gram, and sad because Rick didn't get to do it with us. But still happy and grateful that we kept up the tradition of going. So neat that my kids are vacationing in the same spot that I did when I was little. The plan is to be back in two years WITH Rick!! And with kids who don't wake me up all night!!
Back in VA for a couple of days. I loved seeing my sister's new house!! It's a bit of a fixer-upper, but she and her husband can do it, and she's going to make it so cute!! We had dinner at her house; everyone in the family was there (minus Rick of course)! Here are my cute parents with ALL the grandkids!!
It was so great to be with everyone! But I must say, I was also VERY happy when we got home and slept in our own beds that night! (Like, actually SLEPT!!) The next day I was on cloud nine just going to the grocery store, making dinner, baking bread, etc. I really am a pretty boring home-body I guess! I am not ready to do another vacation anytime soon, so if anyone wants to see us, come visit!!