Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas Break Part 2 and MawMaw's Visit

So Tuesday we got home from Hattiesburg around 12. We ordered a pizza and decided to have a low key rest of the day. It was fun having Mawmaw around and I think good for her to rest and be around the kids. That afternoon she and Austin went to the grocery store. I was glad for that time alone. With being such a busy week and all the entertaining we did I was glad just for a little break. I ended up falling asleep on the couch. When I got up they were back. We spent the afternoon unloading groceries and doing some things around the house. It pretty much off and on rained all afternoon so we weren't able to work on the kid's playground like we had originally hoped. 
We did get out late that afternoon though and take a walk which was nice. I think we all enjoyed that. We then came in and had grilled chicken sandwiches and sweet potato fries. Again I think it was good for his mom to be able to have some family meal times with us. 
Wednesday Austin was off and we wanted to take the kids and his mom to do something fun. We ended up deciding on the Zoo. We thought it was going to rain that day but ended up being nice out. It was nice to get the kids outside in fresh air and let them run around. It was also a warm day. Its pretty much been warm since last week sometime. It honestly felt like a day in early October. It felt nice at first...we were all in t-shirts and jeans. The kids mostly looked forward to climbing on the tree and doing monkey hill. We spent a good bit of time in those two areas. I don't feel like we saw many animals though. That's ok though. We did get to tour most of the swamp area. We mostly just enjoyed getting out in the fresh air. We left around lunch time b/c it was starting to get hot and crowded. We ended up coming back to the Westbank and eating Chinese for lunch. His mom has been wanting to eat that for awhile since Austin's dad never would go! That afternoon we mostly just rested and hung out. We had sandwiches for dinner and went for another long walk. I think she enjoyed the family time and walking at night. 
Thursday Austin had to return to work. It was forecasted to be a rainy day so we had told the kids we would bring them to the movies. I figured that would be a fun and simple thing to do with Mawmaw. We had a semi laid back morning around the house. I made blueberry muffins then we got ready for the movies. We went to see Moana. It was really cute! i think the kids had a good time. I think it was also good for Mawmaw. I think this trip will allow her to go home with a fresh perspective on things. We didn't do much other then the movie. By the time we got home we made lunch and then just hung around. She took a long nap and we mostly just rested. Austin got in that night and we had a spaghetti dinner. We did play outside some with the kids and she volunteered to clean up the kitchen. 
Friday Austin left early that morning to meet his sister in Picayune with his mom. We enjoyed her visit but I have to say I was ready to get things back to normal. This Christmas break has been great but I have missed having just time with the kids and I at home. Austin was off the entire time pretty much and then we had company. Since it was our first free day and it was a pretty day we had arranged a playdate at the park with some friends. It was so good to get the kids outside. I always feel like this time of year they get cooped up so much. I mean we did do the Zoo on Wednesday and we went to a park before Christmas but with the shorter days and yucky weather they haven't had a whole lot of outside time. Meeting friends there was also an extra bonus! It was so refreshing to just let the kids run and play with no agenda. I think they enjoyed it too b/c for 3 hours we didn't hear a peep really out of any of them. I enjoyed the mom time. I really haven't been able to schedule any "friend" time since Christmas vacay. I have truly missed it. I love family and being around them but there's something so sweet about people you choose to do life with. It was a refresher we all needed. After I took the kids to lunch at Chickfila. Again something so sweet and fun! We came home and just hung out after. Nothing special...its been nice to just chill and have them home. I think they have enjoyed a slower pace as well. I truly feel like we are being able to rest and slow down. Austin worked later that night. We had movie night with gumbo to eat. We ended up watching "Pete's Dragon" it was so good! 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Mississippi Christmas

So per tradition we headed up to Hattiesburg the day after Christmas on the 26th. This is usually when we do Christmas with Austin's family. Sometimes it falls on the Saturday before/after but with Christmas this year on a Sunday the 26th worked out perfectly. 
We were aiming to leave our house by about 9. That didn't happen though. Between Austin frying the turkey and me trying to clean up the house from Christmas we didn't get away until almost 10. The kids were great on the drive up. They watched a movie of course! 
We arrived right at lunch time. Everyone else was already there. We ate lunch soon after we arrived. I think we were all quite hungry. After lunch we cleaned up and then went straight to presents. This is always a highlight especially for the kids! We did the usual everyone open up a present one at a time then we played the game. Both were fun but pawpaw was definitely missed. After presents the kids went outside to play. They played Nerf guns and basketball. It was good to see them all outside playing together. The cousin relationship is so sweet and special. I love how well they all play. They are growing up so fast though! They are now 12, 10, 8, and 5. The rest of the afternoon we just hung out and visited while the kids played. It was a nice afternoon. Around 6 we could tell everyone was getting hungry. It was finally decided that we would all go to Zaxby's for dinner. This was a new and fun thing to do! It was nice to extend the visiting a bit longer. We got to visit with Dianne and Todd a lot during this time. After dinner we went back to the apartment to get the kids to bed. It had been a long and busy few days! It was nice to have a few quiet moments that night. 
We slept in a bit on Tuesday morning. We had a light breakfast then went over to his mom's house to pick her up and bring her home with us a few days. Again a new tradition. I will blog about that later! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas 2016

Christmas Eve fell on Saturday this year. Its always nice to have that day to sleep in. I think we all slept until almost 8. We had a leisurely morning and made sausage balls and grits that morning for breakfast. Austin had to get out late that morning to go pick up the big Santa gift so I had the job of getting the kiddos out the house for a bit. We ended up going by the post office and bakery then went to visit Aunt Lizzie for a bit. We got home in time for lunch and to just hang out. We were busy cooking that afternoon. Austin made his gumbo and I made potato salad. It was fun just being busy as a family and the kids enjoyed just being home I think.
That evening around 5 we left to go see my parent's and Randall and Lizzie for Christmas. This is tradition but this year we also had to include gifts. This is the 2nd year we have done this due to Christmas falling on a Sunday. The last time Colby was 3 and Lindsay was just a newborn. Its always fun just being together as family. My mom made us a nice homemade dinner. The company and visiting was great as always. After dinner we opened up presents and did our usual caroling and telling of Christmas stories. We concluded the night by celebrating my mom's b-day which had been earlier that week with some red velvet cake. We didn't end up leaving until after 8. Its always such a rush to get the kids home and do our traditions and get them off to bed for Santa. We enjoy it all though. The night got a little testy with Lindsay acting out and me losing my patience but all was made well by bedtime. I think we were all just tired and in need of some quiet. We got the kids to bed about 10 then we waited until time for Santa. We didn't have much to do this year since their big gift was the playground and there was no way we could build that in time. 
Christmas day was different this year. Again the last time we had a similar day was when Colby was 3 and Lindsay was a newborn. Ofcourse that was way more tiring and stressful. It was nice actually b/c we didn't have to leave for church until 10. We were actually able to have a pretty "slow" morning. The kids enjoyed time with their presents. We also had waffles for breakfast. We all got dressed and went to church though. It was a sweet time to be at church on christmas day. It was neat seeing our church family and friends. We got to sit together as a family which was wonderful as well. The kids got to go up on stage again with Pastor Michael. They just LOVE that! I love that our church does that! Church was about an hour long. Once we got home we were super busy getting lunch ready. My parents joined us for Christmas lunch. We have done this with them several years. I think my mom enjoys not having to cook and host. Its a nice gift to them! We had a good time visiting with them and of course the kids loved having them over to play. They left mid-afternoon and we cleaned up and took a break. that afternoon we were quite busy preparing for the trip to Hattiesburg. Austin had to prep the turkey. We also began working on the kids swing set. We didn't get much done but I was thankful to just get a start on it. 
That night we tried to get the kids to bed early since the fun wasn't over and we had a trip to Hattiesburg the next day! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Break Part 1

So as a I mentioned previously...Christmas break started for us Wednesday evening. I think the kids and I were too tired to really think of doing much that night. I did let them stay up and watch The Santa Clause though. That was our kick off to all things Break! 
So Thursday we got up and needed to take my van into the shop. Ofcourse the light came on the week of Christmas. It worked out ok though...my dad picked us up so we wouldn't have to wait and brought us to there house. We took this time to make Santa cookies with my mom. I enjoy this tradition. We stayed for lunch as well. Randall also came over. It was fun having a little pre-Christmas time with them and the kids. After lunch we got the call that the van was ready so my dad took us to pick it up. Once we got home we rested and hung out until Austin got home. 
That evening when he got home we decided to go out for dinner and to see Christmas lights. We ended up eating at Outback. It was nice to have a night off the kitchen and just eat out the 4 of us. It was also really yummy. After dinner we spent about an hour looking at local neighborhoods and their decorations. We came in and got the kids to bed then enjoyed some tv ourselves. 
Friday it was nice to sleep in and have a day together as a family. We had a lot to do though. We got up that morning and enjoyed a leisure breakfast before heading out. We ended up taking the kids to the park first thing. I noticed with them being cooped up all day Thursday they definitely needed some outdoor time. And since the weather allowed we decided a park trip was necessary. The kids had a great time and def burned off some much needed Christmas energy. We even ran into a friend which made it fun for Lindsay. Afterwards we split up to divide and conquer. Usually Austin likes to take both kids out on his own at separate times to shop and eat but this year with them getting out late our time just didn't allow for it. Therefore, he took Colby and I took Lindsay. She and I went to Academy to do some shopping and then to Walgreens. She was a great shopping buddy and it was much easier only having 1 to fight the crowded stores with. After we finished we met up with the boys at Chickfila for lunch. It was nice having that moment to stop as a family and be together. Next I took the kids home and Austin hit the grocery store. I wasn't envious at all ;). The kids and I got some stuff done around the house and he grocery shopped. That afternoon we all worked hard and played and rested. It was a nice time to just stay in. That night we ate in and played outside. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Parties

Today was finally our last day of school! It felt as if the whole world was already out and we were the last ones. I know that wasn't true but still. Anyway we finally made it. I had planned to stay up there basically all day and help with their parties. After getting both kids to their classes I parked and made my way to Lindsay's class first. They were pretty much having a normal "school" day at that point. She had them working on a couple of nativity activities/crafts. During that time I helped organize some of the party stuff and put treats in the kids' book bags. After they finished up all that they went on to Chapel. I love watching their little chapel services. Mr. Ryan does such a great job with them. After that they did a potty break and went on back to class. During that time her teacher's daughter dressed up as Mary and came to speak to the class about Baby Jesus. She did so good and the kids were captivated! It was adorable! After they did that the class split up into 2 groups. One group played games and the other made a craft. I helped with one of the games. During this time was when a lot of parents showed up to help. They then played a Bingo game. During that time I decided to go visit with Colby's class since it seemed as if Lindsay's class had enough adult help. I was surprised to see Colby's class just sitting in a circle working on an ornament. Its obvious that parties make his teacher nervous lol. I tried to help her pass stuff out during that time. they then cleaned up the room then the pizza was delivered. Since they were just about to eat I went on back down to Lindsay's class. 
At this point her class was getting ready to eat as well. I helped set all the food out for the kiddos. They ate and ate and ate some more. After they finished their lunch the other parents began leaving. I was wishing I could leave but I knew neither of them would want to go..especially Colby. I went outside with Lindsay's class to the playground. I enjoyed watching them play and visiting some with the teachers. They stayed out about an hour. At the same time Colby's class was also outside. I was thankful it was a nice day and they could all run off all the sugar and get out the crazy! When they went inside Lindsay's class was going to watch a movie so I went upstairs to hang out with Colby's class. They ended up watching a movie too. i was quite bored during that time but I enjoyed just soaking up that time with Colby. After they watched the movie they had ice cream sundaes. During that time I got to visit a bit with his teacher. After that Colby agreed to pack up and get ready to go! I was so glad haha! I enjoyed the day but I was beyond excited and knew I had a lot to do at home. We went to Lindsay's class and got her. That night Austin was spending the evening in Hattiesburg. The kids and I had a low key night with leftovers and playing outside. I let them stay up later and watch The Santa Clause as well. We had a nice kick off to their break! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Last Minute Christmas and sick Days

So this is the final week of school before Christmas break. I feel like most of the world is out but I was sort of thankful for 3 more days of my children to be occupied. Monday of course was really cold and rainy though which made waking up early and getting out very hard. I was wishing for vacation! We made it though and I went off to run a bunch of errands. First up was the grocery store. I got that finished and relieved to not have to go back hopefully until after Christmas. I came up and unloaded everything and set back out to go to Target. This trip was more fun since I was Christmas shopping for the kids. I finished that up in a little under an hour then set out for SAM's. I was in and out really quick b/c I went in just for a couple items. As I was on my way home excited to eat lunch and rest for a bit before heading out again to go decorate cookies with my mom: I got the dreaded phone call. The school called and said Lindsay had thrown up! UGH this is the worst! I have received this call probably 4-5 times since having kids. Your heart just sinks. You feel awful for your kid, you worry about what the rest of the week holds, and it completely changes your day. Well after I thought for a second on my way there I called back and just said to have Colby ready as well. I knew this week was basically a "fun" week for them since grades have been turned in. I knew he wasn't going to miss much. Plus with the cold weather and how busy our weekend was it would be nice to all be home and relax. We were home by about noon. I had lunch then we all rested. Colby played on his phone, Lindsay fell right to sleep and I took a short nap. I couldn't believe she slept about 4 hours that afternoon! She basically laid on the floor the rest of the day. She finally felt like eating some goldfish about 4 or 5 but then ended up losing most of them. She then wanted to eat "dinner". She only ended up eating about half a string cheese. It wasn't long though she was asking for a graham cracker. By bedtime she was seeming back to herself and boy was I thankful. I was still worried that someone else would come down with it or that she would get sick in the middle of the night. 
She woke up absolutely fine. I was thankful for that! I knew though with there 24 hour rule she still couldn't go to school. I did look forward to a day spent with her even though it meant I could no longer finish up christmas shopping and a morning at the mall alone. She and I dropped off Colby then went by my parent's house to wish my mom a happy birthday in person. I try to see them when possible on their b-day. It doesn't always happen but I think she appreciated seeing us! After that she wanted to go to chickfila. I enjoyed that time with her since we used to go there for breakfast almost weekly the last few years. We then ran a couple more errands and ended the morning up with a library trip. I really enjoyed her company. I enjoy my alone time but I do enjoy these girl days once in awhile. The rest of the day we spent around the house. I enjoyed finally having a bit of time around the house. She did some "school" on the computer. It was a fun time and now I look forward to having them both home! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Weekending In December

So far this weekend has been absolutely lovely. Its still a busy one but its been remarkably slower then the previous two. Friday my day began with attending Aurora's preschool Christmas parties. It wasn't a requirement that I go but I loved being there and seeing all the precious kids before a long break. I had a great time just visiting in the various classes and helping out when I could. I was able though to leave and be home by 11 which was lovely. Its been one of those weeks where I haven't been at home much. I few quiet hours was glorious! 
That afternoon I got the kids and we came home with no agenda. It was the first laid back Friday night we had all month! No place to go! I made spaghetti for us and we watched the Polar Express! I even made a hot chocolate bar for the kids. It was a sweet time of making memories with them! 
Saturday we had the chance to sleep in just a tad. And by sleep in I really mean we slept until 7. We got up and got ready so we could meet up with my family for our Annual Celebrate everyone breakfast at Parrot Pete's. It was fun having our get together. It was nice to visit and just relax for a bit and forget about all the crazy that is to come this upcoming week. We ran a couple errands afterwards then came home to relax and hang out. It was nice having several hours around the house as a family. That evening we went to the New Orleans Bowl. USM was playing in it. We have been to several but this year we brought Colby with us. It was nice having him. He loved it too! It was quite a long night though. The game didn't start until 8. We left at 6 though to pick up our friends Scott and Taylor who went with us. We didn't get back home until 1 am! Lindsay stayed home with my mom.
Sunday was sure hard to wake up especially since it was cold and rainy. We made it though to first service. We both had things to do. Austin had to "count" and I had to teach. I had about 10 kids this week and I felt very much off my "game". I am not sure why...the kids weren't bad or anything. I had a few newbies and late arrivals and I dunno things just didn't feel like they "flowed". Its ok though. I just pray they heard the message about Baby Jesus...that's really all that matters. I was glad this week that Lindsay had a few more friends who were her age show up. After church the kids and I came home to eat lunch and relax. I hated Austin had to stay so much longer at church but it was good to come home and chill out. He got home sometime after 1 and ate his lunch and re-couped a few min before we decided to go ahead and deliver the Christmas gifts to our adopted family. It was pouring and cold...b/c of course! It was still a Christmas memory I will cherish though. We want to teach our children that giving is so much better then receiving. We've been blessed to be able to do this as a family the last 3 years. This was the first year we all went together as a family. Even though we got soaked and were freezing it was such a sweet experience. Once we got in we lit a fire in the fireplace and chilled out. We had a lovely Louisiana night though. We had boudin, jambalaya, and king cake! It was perfect! It was a great way to round out the weekend! 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

5 Years Old

So Lindsay turned 5 years old a little over a week ago. I have been waiting until her doc visit to write an update on my little girl! Wow 5 ...a whole hand! That's just crazy to me! Where did time go? So at 5 my little girl is now in prek-4. She is still loving school. She is smart as a whip! She is a teachers dream I believe. Her teacher constantly says she wishes she had a classroom of Lindsay's. She says she does her work and finishes right away and its done correctly. She's quiet and very obedient at school. She has lots of friends and I think is well liked by all her peers. I think she is going to be our child that has LOTS of friends while Colby is content to have 2-3 BEST friends. She is going to be the city girl and socialite. Speaking of the city...she loves the city and downtown and all things NOLA! I can't tell you how happy that makes my heart. Colby is an old soul and a country boy at heart so I love my little NOLA babe! 
So far school seems to come easy for her. Her teacher says she is very math oriented. She also does well with her letters and such as well. She is starting to read blends which is really cool to see. 
She is still petite. She is 39 lbs and 43 in. She's def tall and skinny. She is becoming less picky which is nice to finally see. Her fav foods are still fish and chicken and mac n cheese though. She also loves apples. 
She has been doing dance classes once a month this fall. She loves her dance class during the summer. I haven't started her in any full time extracurriculars b/c she is still so young. Maybe by 1st grade that will be considered. We love our girl! She's the perfect blend of sugar and spice! 
I was thankful for my day with her! I miss her so now that she's in full time school! We had a great time together. After the doc we went to Barnes and Noble. She had a gift card to use. We had a good time browsing. Ofcourse she picked out 2 toys instead of a book but I told her as long as she stayed in her 15 dollar limit she could get whatever she wanted. We ran a couple more errands before coming home. We mostly relaxed and she watched tv and played the rest of the day. It was nice having her around! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Holly Jolly Christmas

So this week the Christmas fun continues! Tuesday my mom hosted a Christmas brunch for the Senior Adult ladies at our church. She hosted it to honor Mrs. Doris and Mrs. Eva who both due to old age and health problems have had to relocate to the north shore. Its tradition for Lindsay and I to attend this. She has been coming with me since she was 1. The other years it wasn't a big deal keeping her home from school. This year I figured she was still in prek so why not? Its fun having that tradition with her. So we dropped off Colby from school then went to my parent's house. Lindsay got busy playing with my dad while I helped my mom get ready. After about 30 min Mrs. Stefanie also arrived to help set up. Once she got there it got really busy as others started arriving. I had a nice time visiting. I mostly stayed in the front room though where it was quiet. That is where Lindsay stayed and our pastor's daughter Emma. I enjoyed visiting with the pastors and Melissa and a few others. It was a nice time! From what I could tell it seemed as if everyone had a great time. We were over there for quite awhile and did not get home until about 1! I couldn't believe that was my whole day pretty much. I was so tired that afternoon but also had so much to do! I was glad we didn't have anywhere to be that night. 
So ofcourse Friday night I mentioned my Christmas party! It was a blast! I really am enjoying all these little holiday gatherings! 
Tuesday of this I had a Christmas party. This was for our ladies Bible study. It was at a friends house in English Turn. It was a lovely time. At first I was sort of dreading going. I was wishing to stay home. I ended up having a great time though. I have a few good friends in the group who have children about the same age and it was just fun to sit back and visit with them. We also played some "Christmas games" and that was fun too! 
Wednesday night at church the kids had a Christmas party. I knew the kids were excited and looking forward to this. The preschoolers went upstairs this night since there aren't many of them. I think we had 6 total. It was fun to be with both the kids. Lindsay had a blast and was completely in her element which surprised me a little. I always figured she would be hesitant when we promotes up there but she was not at all. Honestly she is ready now but I hate to "break the rules" by sending her up there. I was glad both kids had fun. they had pizza and watched a movie first. Then Mr. Stephen had a short little devotional for them before they split up into boys/girls for crafts and games. It was a fun night and I love that my children beg to stay longer at church! 


Monday, December 12, 2016

Fun and Busy Times

This weekend has been extremely busy but its been very fun! i have been determined this season to keep my stress down. I have done well the last few years just not making Christmas a stressful season. Even though we are in a VERY busy season of life I have learned to just take it day by day. I have also tried to look at everything on our calendar as a blessing and enjoy it for what it is. 
Friday I had an open day so I met a friend for coffee at Barnes and Noble. I also had some shopping to do there. It was nice to have some friend time. I didn't have much time though to get much done during the day though. 
That evening I had a Christmas party with the teachers at Aurora. It feels so weird to say I have "work" things. We don't usually go out much on Friday nights. I knew I would have fun but part of me just wanted to stay in on a Friday night in my pjs. Austin stayed here with the kids...well actually brought them to dinner then they came here and watched a movie. Needless to say I had a great time at the party. I was there from 6-9. The teachers there are so fun to be around. I love the friendships I have developed through my kids going to school there and now working there. We did a lot of visiting and just nibbling on appetizers. We also had an ornament exchange. When I got home it was after 9:30 and the kids were heading to bed. I got to see them both and kiss them before bed. I was pretty tired myself so it wasn't long before Austin and I hit the hay as well! 
Saturday we woke up and got ready because we had a Santa Breakfast to attend. Its become tradition to attend this at Aurora each year. My parents met us as well since Austin was working. The kids had a good time. Its always neat to see old friends and teachers. We were there about an hour. We stopped to vote on our way home then came home to work around the house and to rest. Lindsay had a b-day party that afternoon but I was glad we had a few hours mid day to just relax. We left our house about 3 to go to the party at BooKoo Bounce. Again we rarely get out late afternoons so this was a treat for the kids. They were quite excited! Colby really didn't have anyone to play with but I think he still had fun. Lindsay had a blast running around with all the little girls in her class. I enjoyed getting to visit with some of the moms. I don't really know any mothers in her class really well so it was nice to get to know them. The party was over at 5:30 so we headed back to the Westbank and met Austin at Chickfila for dinner. It was a perfect way to round out the day! 
Sunday was another perfect but busy day! We had church first of all. Austin and I taught 1st service together. We had 8 or 9 kids. We had a few littles this particular Sunday. I don't want to sound ugly but those are the Sundays I feel like a crazy lady. I mean I love the kids but 2 year olds just really aren't my fav. Its hard to teach a lesson to such a wide spread of kids. The curriculum is also really written for 3-5 year olds. I also feel bad b/c Lindsay is the only 5 year old in the class. She had Makylee but even she is 3 and I feel she is much less mature then Lindsay. Oh well so far Lindsay doesn't complain. She enjoys being in my class and I love having her but I just wish she had more friends her age. She also has Miles who is 4 so that's good. So after church we had decided to have a fun family day. It was our Anniversary. Many thoughts had circled on what we could do this day. I kinda thought a few weeks ago about letting my parents keep the kids and Austin and I would go out to eat but then that would mean leaving them there for both services. Colby would be fine but it would be a lot for Lindsay. Then I thought about just keeping the day the same since Lindsay technically had dance class. Then it hit me we should just celebrate with the kids this year. I thought it would be fun to take them downtown to eat and see the hotel lobbies. We ended up going to lunch at the Gumbo Shop. It was yummy and I think it made the kids feel grown up. After a yummy lunch we went next door to Fleurty Girl. We ended up finding several little goodies there. Lindsay LOVED the store! She is for sure my little NOLA girl! We walked back to the hotel and toured the Ritz! It was my fav! I just love the scenery there. After we did the Roosevelt which was nice too. By the time we got back to the Ritz we were all tired and ready to go home. We got home just in time to relax and watch the SAINTS game. We had a pretty low key afternoon which was nice. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Celebrations

Christmas season is in full swing around here. We decorated over thanksgiving and once we did it felt like the season was truly here. Last week as the kids went back to school after the Thanksgiving holiday life got back to being busy and in full swing! I taught music 3 days! Wednesday I just had to review a couple songs with them so I wasn't there long, Thursday was my normal music day, and then Friday was rehearsal and our Christmas lunch out for the teachers. 
Wednesday night at church we also started our "Christmas celebrations" I did the story of Mary and the Angel with them. The kids seemed to enjoy that. We colored a angel color sheet and glued the wings on. We had a sweet group of just 3 littles so it was a pretty easy going night. 
I enjoyed being at Aurora the extra time even though it meant being super busy! I enjoyed being there with all the Christmas decorations going up and such. 
So as a I said Friday we had a Christmas lunch. After school got out we went over to Ralph's on the Park. It was a delicious lunch and fun visiting with the teachers. It was quite lengthy though. It turned out I wasn't finished in time and poor Austin had to go get the cake. I felt so bad. I had no idea I would be there from 12:30 until after 3. It was a fun time though! It also really made it feel like Christmas time. That afternoon/evening we had Nijel over for a couple hours. The boys mostly played Legos and outside. They were really good. After he left Austin went to pick up Popeyes for us and we ate then let the kids watch "The Santa Clause" while we continued getting ready for Lindsay's party. 
Sunday was more Christmas fun! i had to lead my preschool kids in singing at Aurora. I left with Lindsay around 8:45. Austin's family was still here but I had to go. I got there early though and was able to just chill and visit with Melissa and her mom. Soon the kids started arriving. We had to hang out and wait with them a little while before our turn to go sing. We were about mid-service. They did wonderful on their songs! They are such a great group of kids. I truly love working with them each week. After they sang we all went back to Children's Church. There Colby and Lindsay joined me. They love Mrs. Shelly's Children's Church. They made an ornament craft then had a Happy Birthday Jesus party. It was adorable. After church we went to eat at Chili's then go shopping for Lindsay's bike. She picked a pink Shopkins bike of all things. She loves it though! We had a restful afternoon. It was nice after all the busy to come in and rest! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Lindsay's 5th Birthday

Well the time has come my baby girl is a whole hand! she is ---almost 5! As of tomorrow morning she will be 5! Anyway this was her big party weekend. Her real b-day is on Monday. So we had her big party here this year. We invited near 40 people and nearly 40 people showed up. 
Saturday morning around 9 while we were setting up and getting ready Austin's family arrived. This year his mom, sister, her husband, and 2 girls came. They were a big help though with setting up and cooking. It was a nice quiet time for us to visit with them as well. Soon Lizzie got here and she helped decorate which was nice. My parents were the next to arrive. It was great having all the extra hands to help. Right at 11 the company started arriving:
We had Lindsay's friends Claire and Layla from her old school
Her friends Holly and older sister Erin and Eden from her class this year
her friends Ebbie and Genevieve from church
her sibling friends Makylee, Makyrin, Nijel, and Mia. 
I loved that she had a variety of kids here! They all got along so well though! The party went by so fast for me. They always do when you are busy trying to visit with everyone. The kids played on the bounce house and on our inflatable slide. We ate by about 11:30 then the kids just played between the yards and ran around. Around 12:30 we did cake and by 1 did the piƱata. I had a blast! I think Lindsay did too! Once the party was over we worked hard for about an hour cleaning up. Austin's family stayed with us so they were around here. The kids mostly enjoyed bouncing and playing the Wii. We all hung out and rested some. That night we had leftovers and pizza for dinner. I was anxious to get our kids in the bed since it had been such a busy day for us! It took them both awhile to settle down. We were def a little cramped with company. Lindsay stayed in her room with maw maw and Colby shared his room with Shelbi and Maggie. Lindsay was asleep by about 9 and Colby was still awake at 10 when we went to bed. I slept hard the first part of the night then was restless. Just knowing you have company in your house and wondering when everyone will wake up and if everyone is comfortable I find myself never sleeping as well. 
This morning was pretty busy with everyone trying to get ready and eat breakfast. I had to leave early to get to Aurora. More on that later! 
Monday was Lindsay's actual b-day. She went to school. This is only the 2nd time that she has gone to school on her b-day. I might have let her stay home but she is skipping tomorrow. Anyway I get to go celebrate with her later on so that will be fun! 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016


So this year Thanksgiving felt a little different then previous years. I guess with the fact that Austin's dad had just passed away it didn't seem quite as "joyous". Plus we didn't have much planned. We were able to sleep in that morning and enjoy a slow morning around the house. The kids got into watching the Macy's Day parade so that was fun. We went to my parent's house about 11. It was only going to be us and them this year for lunch. It was nice after everything to have a quiet lunch like that. I think God knew that is what we all needed at the time. Quiet and peace an no stress! It was lovely in that sense. We did miss our families so much though. Randall and Lizzie were having their lunch across the lake and Austin's family was at his sister's house in Sumrall. We ate lunch about 12 then took the kids to the park to play. It was fun just letting them run around and ride their bikes! They loved riding bikes down the hill. Once we got back to the house we got ready to pack up and head home. Lindsay was spending the night with them so we left her there. It was quiet and strange coming home with just 1 kid. We had a very low, key quiet afternoon/evening. Again it was sort of a weird and very quiet Thanksgiving but also beautiful in the sense that I feel its just what we needed in this season. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving Break

I'll pick up with Monday of our break since I covered last weekend. So Monday was our first day it felt to really adjust and slow down. It was nice that we didn't have any plans on the agenda. We slept in and took it easy around the house that morning. We mostly cleaned and Austin worked in the yard. I had to grocery shop and prepare for the week ahead. We did get out though to have lunch out and go to Lowe's. Something about this time of year I love eating out. Nothing fancy we just had po-boys and the kids had fried catfish. The rest of the day was very low key which was lovely! 
Tuesday we had a nice family morning and went to Lakeside. This is our yearly tradition of going to see Santa and ride the train. I wasn't sure if they would even do either b/c last year when I tried they both refused. Luckily this year they were thrilled. We started with Santa. It was the first year we got Lindsay up there without me having to go sit...well except the year she turned 1. She wouldn't sit near him but atleast she sat without us present. The picture came out so cute too! I love the glimpses of still seeing little kids in them. Even though I looked at a picture just 2 short years ago and realized just HOW MUCH they had grown up! After Santa they both rode the train and got the biggest kick out of it. Then we went to pick out ornaments for them. Lindsay found an Elena ornament in the Disney store and we took Colby to Macy's and he found a Charlie Brown one. By the time we finished all that it was time to eat lunch. Again I just tried to soak it all in. Even though it was before Christmas and it was in the 70s it still felt like Christmas. That afternoon Austin went to Hattiesburg to be with his mom. The kids and I had a low key time at home. My parents picked up Colby that afternoon so Lindsay and I had a very quiet night. I enjoyed just having her and the quiet that 1 child brings. She was also in bed before 7:30 which was bliss as well. It felt lovely to just put my feet up and relax.
Wednesday she and I tried to get going pretty early. We went to go pick Colby up at 9:15 and dropped him off at Nijel's house and we picked up Mia. We girls had a playdate scheduled with Lindsay's friends Claire and Layla. I invited Mia to go with us since she and Claire are now in school together. We got to City Park around 9:45. We spent the morning in Storyland together. It was fun to visit again with Tayna and Cindy. The girls had an absolute blast. We were able to mostly sit and visit while they played. We ended up staying about 3 hours! I was so glad Lindsay got to see her old friends. We miss those preschool days at Aurora so much! Meanwhile Colby also had a blast with Nijel. I was glad they both got to have "Friend time" during the holiday. Once we were finished we dropped Mia off and got Colby and came back home. The kids and I rested a bit. Soon austin got back home too. It was nice that night to not have anywhere to be. We ended up ordering pizza and working on our Thanksgiving pies. 
Thursday was of course Thanksgiving (see separate post)
Friday we did our Annual trip to the Children's Museum. Last year we had missed b/c Olivia had a vet appointment. I gave them the choice between there and the zoo and that's what they landed on.  We got there a little before 10 and it wasn't crowded at all. They spent a lot of time in the grocery stores both the city and country one. They also spent a lot of time on the building projects. I was proud of how independent and well they played. Its so fun taking them at these ages. I was able to mostly just sit and watch but I would get involved in a few play times with them. We even went into the art room for a bit. They were making snowflakes and they both enjoyed that for awhile. The last thing we did was play downstairs. Down there their fav things were dressing up like the police man and firemen. We only stayed about 2 hours then we went to meet Austin for lunch at Jimmy John's. This has become our holiday tradition on Black Friday. We have done it the last 4 years. Its such a fun thing to do! I hope we can continue it! That afternoon the kids and I just hung out. That evening we did our usual movie night event. We watched Because of Winn Dixie. It was really a good little movie. 
Saturday I decided that the kids and I really just needed to run errands. Colby wasn't happy with me but I felt we had done fun stuff most of the week and I needed to get stuff together so I wouldn't be as busy during the week. We first had breakfast with Lizzie at Chickfila. I figured they needed something fun. It was also nice to catch up and visit with Lizzie especially since we didn't see them on Thanksgiving this year. We stayed for about an hour. Our errands began at Party City. We needed to get things for Lindsay's party. I was glad to get that one out the way so I wouldn't have to get out later in the week. The next errand was Target. We needed several things there too. I tried to be quick though b/c I knew the kids were counting down. The last errands were quick just the bank and library. We made it home and ate lunch then hung out. Austin got home early and we worked on outdoor Christmas lights. That night we went to eat burgers at Bud's Broiler. Again just something so comforting and fun about eating out on a chilly evening during the holidays. 
Sunday we had church. We went to 1st service. Austin helped me but we only had 4 kids. It was honestly nice. I hate to wish for small crowds like that but we had 2 boys and 2 girls and they were all 4 years old. It made teaching so fun and enjoyable. We left after 1st service to eat lunch and get our tree. We ended up eating Mexican and picked up the tree. That afternoon/evening was spent finishing outdoor lights and decorating the tree! Its always our tradition to decorate the week of Thanksgiving since Lindsay's b-day comes the very next week! 
It was a lovely holiday despite the sadness that started it. I feel like we accomplished a lot but also took time to slow down and enjoy each other and the simple pleasures. I also feel like we got to have a lot of fun with the kids. I will miss them when they return to school but it will be nice to get back to "normal". This school year has been so plagued with craziness with Austin's dad being sick and him going there every week that it will be sorta nice to settle back into routines and life before the holidays. This week will be busy as we get back into all of our routines. We will also be prepping for Lindsay's party! 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Grandparents & Funerals & Feasts

Whew! What a whirlwind the weekend was! Friday we woke up early and went to school for Grandparents Day. It was the first one that I was able to attend. I had originally planned to be at Aurora but I was glad to be able to be there for my kids as well. The morning began with the adults gathering in the church while the kids had carpool. Soon they call came in and they started out with Morning Assembly just like they do every day. I totally lost it when one of Colby's classmates volunteered to pray and bless it prayed for Colby and the loss of his pawpaw. So sweet. It was another moment that I truly realized our kids are in the right place. They split the kids by ages so the 2nd-8th grade left out to go to breakfast. I stayed put in the assembly so I could see Lindsay's class sing. They had also asked my dad awhile back if he would speak at this. He did a wonderful job! The whole morning was just so great. Even though we were in the midst of mourning pawpaw it was just nice to be around people who we love and love our family and to celebrate grandparents. After Lindsay's class sang I walked over to the cafeteria to spend time with my dad and Colby. They were finishing up breakfast when I got in there. It was so cute too...he was sitting at a table with like 4 other boys. They were all so well behaved though. They played Bingo and I just enjoyed watching and hanging out. When they switched I went back into the church so I could hear Colby's group sing. His class was absolutely adorable! I loved it! I left out again so I could then hang out with my mom and Lindsay. They were already finished eating when I got in there. I sat and visited with them a few minutes before we went back into the church to round up Colby and my dad. It was such a sweet morning! I just love our school and school family! 
We left and had to come home to hustle to prepare for our trip to Hattiesburg. Since Austin was already up there---there was a lot for me to do. We packed up our stuff and ate lunch and loaded up the van. We met my parents at their house and my mom rode up with us. We got into Hattiesburg about 3:30. We unpacked at the apartment and got settled. We took just a few min to rest and get ourselves together before heading over to Austin's parents. I know Austin was super ready to see us. We got to eat and hang out with his mom and sisters and their families. The kids enjoyed being with Shelbi and Maggie. I think it was a great distraction for them. It seemed to really perk them up. Soon Mrs. Linda's sister arrived and Mr. Jim's 2 brothers and their families. It was a full house! We visited and hung out but once the extended family started leaving I felt like it was time for us to go ahead and head out as well. The kids and I had had a full day and I knew the next day would be much of the same. We said our goodbyes and got back to the apartment. Austin was able to come that night and spend the night with us after helping them clean up. We were glad to have him around. I think we were all pretty tired though. 
Saturday we were up bright and early. The funeral started at 9. This was the kid's first funeral and I wasn't sure what to expect. Since we were immediate family we got there a few min before 9 and we were able to view the body and just mourn as a family for awhile. It was hard pulling up to the church and seeing PawPaw's truck but also a hearse. It was so conflicting. Then going in and seeing his body. Again I had no idea what to expect from the kids. Colby of course took it hard but he wasn't scared or overly emotional. He and Maggie just wanted to hang around by the casket. At 9:30 was when extended family and friends started showing up. My parents and Randall and Elizabeth arrived around this time. While they were all there we went to the fellowship hall and let the kids enjoy a donut and walked around some. It was nice to get a break from the sadness. We were back in forth around the church while they visitation lasted 2 hours. The kids were starting to get restless but they really hung in there well considering. At 11:30 the services started. It was about an hour long. It was a beautiful service. I know PawPaw was watching and was proud. After the service we went to the burial. This was an emotional time for everyone. We were out there about 30 + min. After though we went back to the church for lunch. We were all starving! It felt so good to sit down and eat lunch! Colby enjoyed more time with his cousins. After we ate my parents and the kids and I went back to the apartment to pack up and head back to NOLA. I hated to not stay longer but we really needed to get back and we were all so exhausted. We got home around 6 that evening. The kids and I had a light dinner and got ready for bed. Austin got in around 9. I was glad he decided to come on home as well. He was so exhausted that night. Plus I believed we all needed the time to resume life and try to soak up the time together. 
Sunday we decided to sleep in and only go to 2nd service. I think we all needed the rest and the quiet. It was nice to take it easy. We still were ready early though so we stopped for coffee on our way. I was able to sit in church for the first 30 min then I had to go into the Fellowship Hall and help with the Scouts. They were volunteering to help out with the Senior Adult Lunch. They were so cute and so well behaved. We stayed for the lunch as well. I was so proud of Colby and his friends and how they acted the entire time! I think the senior adults got quite a hoot out of them as well. Once we helped them clean up a bit we came on home. Once again we were all ready for some rest and hanging out. There was also much to be done around the house. 
This Thanksgiving Break started out WAYY different then we imagined or hoped but there was still so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for the life PawPaw lived and all he meant to our family. I am thankful for the way things worked out that we were able to still participate in our holiday stuff but also be there for Austin's family. The weekend was different and a sad time but it also just made me realize how God is in control and He truly takes care of his children. 

Grandparents & Funerals & Feasts

Whew! What a whirlwind the weekend was! Friday we woke up early and went to school for Grandparents Day. It was the first one that I was able to attend. I had originally planned to be at Aurora but I was glad to be able to be there for my kids as well. The morning began with the adults gathering in the church while the kids had carpool. Soon they call came in and they started out with Morning Assembly just like they do every day. I totally lost it when one of Colby's classmates volunteered to pray and bless it prayed for Colby and the loss of his pawpaw. So sweet. It was another moment that I truly realized our kids are in the right place. They split the kids by ages so the 2nd-8th grade left out to go to breakfast. I stayed put in the assembly so I could see Lindsay's class sing. They had also asked my dad awhile back if he would speak at this. He did a wonderful job! The whole morning was just so great. Even though we were in the midst of mourning pawpaw it was just nice to be around people who we love and love our family and to celebrate grandparents. After Lindsay's class sang I walked over to the cafeteria to spend time with my dad and Colby. They were finishing up breakfast when I got in there. It was so cute too...he was sitting at a table with like 4 other boys. They were all so well behaved though. They played Bingo and I just enjoyed watching and hanging out. When they switched I went back into the church so I could hear Colby's group sing. His class was absolutely adorable! I loved it! I left out again so I could then hang out with my mom and Lindsay. They were already finished eating when I got in there. I sat and visited with them a few minutes before we went back into the church to round up Colby and my dad. It was such a sweet morning! I just love our school and school family! 
We left and had to come home to hustle to prepare for our trip to Hattiesburg. Since Austin was already up there---there was a lot for me to do. We packed up our stuff and ate lunch and loaded up the van. We met my parents at their house and my mom rode up with us. We got into Hattiesburg about 3:30. We unpacked at the apartment and got settled. We took just a few min to rest and get ourselves together before heading over to Austin's parents. I know Austin was super ready to see us. We got to eat and hang out with his mom and sisters and their families. The kids enjoyed being with Shelbi and Maggie. I think it was a great distraction for them. It seemed to really perk them up. Soon Mrs. Linda's sister arrived and Mr. Jim's 2 brothers and their families. It was a full house! We visited and hung out but once the extended family started leaving I felt like it was time for us to go ahead and head out as well. The kids and I had had a full day and I knew the next day would be much of the same. We said our goodbyes and got back to the apartment. Austin was able to come that night and spend the night with us after helping them clean up. We were glad to have him around. I think we were all pretty tired though. 
Saturday we were up bright and early. The funeral started at 9. This was the kid's first funeral and I wasn't sure what to expect. Since we were immediate family we got there a few min before 9 and we were able to view the body and just mourn as a family for awhile. It was hard pulling up to the church and seeing PawPaw's truck but also a hearse. It was so conflicting. Then going in and seeing his body. Again I had no idea what to expect from the kids. Colby of course took it hard but he wasn't scared or overly emotional. He and Maggie just wanted to hang around by the casket. At 9:30 was when extended family and friends started showing up. My parents and Randall and Elizabeth arrived around this time. While they were all there we went to the fellowship hall and let the kids enjoy a donut and walked around some. It was nice to get a break from the sadness. We were back in forth around the church while they visitation lasted 2 hours. The kids were starting to get restless but they really hung in there well considering. At 11:30 the services started. It was about an hour long. It was a beautiful service. I know PawPaw was watching and was proud. After the service we went to the burial. This was an emotional time for everyone. We were out there about 30 + min. After though we went back to the church for lunch. We were all starving! It felt so good to sit down and eat lunch! Colby enjoyed more time with his cousins. After we ate my parents and the kids and I went back to the apartment to pack up and head back to NOLA. I hated to not stay longer but we really needed to get back and we were all so exhausted. We got home around 6 that evening. The kids and I had a light dinner and got ready for bed. Austin got in around 9. I was glad he decided to come on home as well. He was so exhausted that night. Plus I believed we all needed the time to resume life and try to soak up the time together. 
Sunday we decided to sleep in and only go to 2nd service. I think we all needed the rest and the quiet. It was nice to take it easy. We still were ready early though so we stopped for coffee on our way. I was able to sit in church for the first 30 min then I had to go into the Fellowship Hall and help with the Scouts. They were volunteering to help out with the Senior Adult Lunch. They were so cute and so well behaved. We stayed for the lunch as well. I was so proud of Colby and his friends and how they acted the entire time! I think the senior adults got quite a hoot out of them as well. Once we helped them clean up a bit we came on home. Once again we were all ready for some rest and hanging out. There was also much to be done around the house. 
This Thanksgiving Break started out WAYY different then we imagined or hoped but there was still so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for the life PawPaw lived and all he meant to our family. I am thankful for the way things worked out that we were able to still participate in our holiday stuff but also be there for Austin's family. The weekend was different and a sad time but it also just made me realize how God is in control and He truly takes care of his children. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Life and Death

This past week was quite a blur for many reasons! Last weekend Austin got a call from his sister that his dad wasn't doing well. He ended up leaving Sunday afternoon to go be with them. He spent Sunday evening-Tuesday morning there. The kids and I were basically keeping up with our normal routines during that time. Life was extremely busy with our normal schedules plus added holiday stuff. When he got home Tuesday we were able to catch up on some much needed couple and family time. We also were able to play catch up around the house. Wednesday was also nice to have him home. That evening though shortly after the kids and I got home from church his sisters called and said they felt like the end was near. They ended up calling back about 45 min later and said their dad had passed away. Wow what a hard moment! It was a long and eventful night. We found out about 9:15. Colby was still awake so we went ahead and told him the news. He was up until about 11:30. I think knowing Austin was gone and all the news he was just wound up. That morning I chose to sleep in and allow them to sleep in. With getting less sleep and just the heaviness of the news weighing on our minds I just couldn't rush them off to school. I felt it best to allow them time to process and absorb the news. By lunch time though they were good to go and ready to get out. We made plans to eat lunch at the mall with some friends. Originally it would have just been me meeting some friends. I figured it would be good for all of us to go ahead and re-enter the world. I had started to back out  but I am thankful we went ahead with plans. I wasn't sure how the kids would feel about going into their classes. I was going to see what Colby wanted to do and I would keep him with me if he didn't want to go up to class. We got to their school though and dropped off their Operation Christmas Child boxes and they both said they wanted to go to class. Lindsay went right in...they were getting things ready for their feast and Colby went upstairs all by himself. I had such a good feeling about being there. Everyone was so kind and gracious and treated the kids with such a sweet spirit. It made me realize in that moment what we had with our school family. I went on to help unload cookie dough. It was nice at that point to visit with friends while we worked. At 2:30 though it was time for the feast with Lindsay's class. I enjoyed being with her and it made her so happy to have me there. It was a sweet time. The kids basically ate a snack and watched a Thanksgiving movie. I enjoyed also visiting with all the preschool teachers. That afternoon we were super busy. We had to drop Allie off at the Vet and then come home prepare dinner and get kids ready for bed...on top of packing for a trip/funeral. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sweet Slow Weekend

So this weekend we had no plans on our calendar! Such a relief! It feels like these weekends are always few and far between! Its also extremely uncommon for this time of year. It started with Friday the fact that I had no plans. I could have chosen to run errands but I honestly wasn't feeling it. I came home right after dropping them off...something I almost never do! It was a lovely cool and cloudy day. I decided the first item on my agenda was to go for a long walk with our dog Allie. We probably walked 2 miles. It was refreshing just getting out and doing that alone. It was so peaceful. It helped set the tone for the rest of my day. 
Once I got home I spent my time working around the house but also resting. I used to feel really guilty for this but I have learned not to. The week is SO busy that sometimes I think God calls us to rest and Be still. 
I picked the kids home and we came straight home from school that afternoon which was also bliss. I could tell they were both pretty tired too b/c they really just wanted to veg out in front of the tv which I was honestly ok with. I think we all needed that time. Austin got in around 6:15 and we ate dinner as a family. With everything going on with his dad I am learning to truly treasure those moments as a family. He's been gone so much lately between work and trips to Hattiesburg that a night with all 4 of us at the table eating truly feels like a gift. 
We settled in that night to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with the kids. It was the first day that it felt like the holiday season was approaching. 
Saturday Austin was working but it was the first day in awhile that the kids and I haven't had something on our agenda. We decided though to go to the park and invite my parents to tag along. They don't get to hang out with us a whole lot anymore now that the kids are in full time school. It was nice visiting and watching the kids play. The weather is also beautiful and so fall like. After the park the kids and I picked up lunch and came home to rest. I was so thankful to not have any plans. Austin got home at about 4:30. It was nice to spend time with him and get some much needed things done around the house. We had dinner as a family and worked on Colby's book project for school. 
Sunday it was nice to have him home although hard knowing he was about to have to leave once again to go out of town. This has been the hardest fall. I hate seeing him so upset about his dad and we also hate having him away so much. He's had to go to Hattiesburg about twice a week for the last 2 months. Needless to say its getting old for both of us. He decided though to hang out with us and go to church before leaving. I was thankful for that b/c the kids really haven't seen him much lately. It was nice to sit in church too together. Lindsay also came into big church. She doesn't like the weeks I don't teach now so she requested to sit with us. I didn't want to fight the battle. I think she's feeling "old" for our little preschool class too. She was the oldest there last Wednesday night. i think she's ok with it when I am there but she doesn't want to do that when she might be alone and not have me. Poor girl I can understand! After church we went to Petsmart b/c we were out of all the pet supplies! I was thankful Austin helped us with that. We also went out to lunch. Again just thankful for the family time. After lunch we dropped him off at home and the kids and I headed out to Target to get the Operation Christmas Child box stuff. I hated it didn't work out this year for us to go as a family. That was my dream...in this season though I am realizing we just have to do the best with what we have and be thankful. I am just glad I could do this project with them. After all that I was pretty wiped out so we came home to rest and watch the SAINTS lose! Lindsay and I both fell asleep. That afternoon we finished up Colby's book project and just hung out around the house. We missed having Austin here. I felt bad b/c the kiddos hung out in front of the tv all afternoon/evening but with it getting dark early and me having so much to do we didn't get much outdoor time. Although I know sometimes God does just call us to rest. We had leftovers for dinner. We will be ready to start a new week though and just take each day 1 day at a time! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sometimes Life Is just Hard

I feel like this fall has been marked by sadness in our family. So first Austin's dad diagnosed with cancer and its progressing very, very quickly and no one expects him to make it much longer. Then my young cousin dying from a car accident a couple of weeks ago. Its just been a crazy fall. In the midst I am trying to hold it all together and stay strong for the kids. I have worked really hard to keep their lives as normal as possible during this time. 
Sunday morning we received that call that Austin's dad had a blood clot travel to his lungs in the middle of the night. Austin was very upset and made plans to get up there on Monday. He left Monday mid-day. I know he was a big help and encourager to his mom. They hung out all Monday afternoon and evening. I think he was up most of the night with his dad. 
Tuesday he was gone all day. It was a normal day though. I had Bible study. I was actually in charge of leading this weeks. I was nervous but not nearly as nervous as I would have been a year or more ago. It went well and luckily the video is pretty lengthy so I didn't have to do much. I am again so thankful for these ladies that God has placed in my life. After Bible study I was able to go vote. I was glad to get that done. This election has been so crazy! I was thankful for some time to myself that afternoon before going to pick up the kids. I was anxious for Austin to get back home. It was great he got home shortly after the kids and I did. We were able to have a nice family dinner and walk. Colby has had a lot of home work though this week. I hate he spends over an hour after school working. I wish teachers would understand that kids need time with their families. We teach them though that they have to do their work and to try and get it over with as quickly as possible. 
Wednesday I decided to go to Target and then meet a friend for breakfast/coffee. It just lifts my spirits when I manage to do that once a week! We had a great time catching up and I was still able to get home early enough to have a good bit of time to catch up on stuff and prepare for church that night. We of course had church that evening. We had 7 preschoolers! That's a lot on Wednesdays! i had fun though. God has renewed my energy and spirit when it comes to teaching. This month I decided to do a focus on Thankfulness and Community Helpers. This week I chose not to do a Bible story and we focused on the missional work instead. I think both are important. I was thankful I had planned a lot for them to do since the time change we can't go outside. I had coloring pages for them to do when they arrived along with costumes and books. We went into the Clubhouse to do music/movement for about 20 min. I knew without outside time they needed a change of scenery and a place to get the wiggles out! After we got back to class we made our cards for the Community Helpers. I was thankful for how well they all did. They then got to eat a cookie and then we did our last craft making a trash truck which they all loved! It was a really fun night and I feel like they really got it! To close the evening I read 2 books about community helpers to them. 
Thursday was another busy day for me. It was off to school and music class. I am really enjoying my sweet little preschoolers at music. This week we once again did some Turkey and Thanksgiving songs and practiced for our singing in church. Thursdays always feel like they go by so fast though. I don't get home until 12 and then by the time I eat lunch put my feet up a bit and do some chores around the house its time to go pick up the kids. Then the madness continues with homework and dinner before Scouts. This week at Scouts we were altogether and were supposed to re-cap the camping trip but I am not sure that ever happened b/c the kids were so wild! We ended up closing up early. I was thankful though. Mid-week is so busy and hard for me! 

Girls/Boys and a little Camping and Dancing

This weekend was special and very busy! It was nice b/c I felt like each kid got their time to shine and enjoy being the center of attention. So Friday after school Austin scooped Colby up from carpool and they headed off to go camping. This was a cub scout outting. I had truly thought about going as well but I knew with being sick and having so much going on right now I didn't and couldn't be out the house for 1/2 the weekend. Instead I looked forward to a girl's night with Lindsay. I picked her up from school and we stopped at the library. We rarely get to go now with her being in full day school. We used to go a lot the last few years when she was in preschool. She picked out SEVERAL books and was excited! After we ate an early dinner at Panera. We got home around 5:15 and I could tell she was already tired and wanted to wind down. She didn't even want to play outside. I turned on a cartoon for her and let her watch that until bath time. She even got to take a Princess bath in our big tub! She loved that! She picked out a movie at the library so that is what we watched for movie night. It didn't last long though so I had her in bed by 7:30. I think she was glad though. Poor girl was so tired! From what I heard from the boys they had a great time! They didn't settle in though until after 10:30. I think several families were late arriving. I was so thankful that Austin and Colby got there while it was still daylight. 
On Saturday she and I were up bright and early! Well I got up at 6 and she got to sleep until 7. I was thankful for that hour to myself to get ready and get some things accomplished. I even had time to sit down and work on my Bible study a bit. Once she was up we were in full gear of getting ready to head out! We got ourselves together and left a few min before 8! We had to stop and pick up our sandwiches at Rouses then we were on road. The trip up was good...it went by fast. Honestly it was nice to just be able to drive and listen to the radio. L was a great travel partner. We got to the campground around 9:15. I think they had just finished up breakfast. When we got there they were preparing for their hike. I think we left on the hike around 10. It was probably a 3 mile hike both ways. I was proud of the kids! They both did great but were so tired when we got back. I think all the kids were. We didn't get to see many animals really just an alligator and some butterflies but it was still so nice and peaceful in the woods. We walked up to the lake as well just to take in the beauty and scenery for a few moments. Once we got back to camp it was about 11:30. By that time it was lunch time and everyone was hungry. Since we were providing lunch we got everything set out. The food went FAST! Everyone loved the sandwiches, chips, apples, and juice pouches. After lunch we all sat and visited for a bit before people starting taking down and packing up their tents and supplies. We left around 1. It was sad to see it all end but I think everyone had fun but was also ready to get back home. We arrived back home around 3. It was nice to all put our feet up for awhile. That night we just hung out around the house. Austin made wings and we enjoyed some good ole family time! 
Sunday was church day! Austin was back at work so it was just the kids and I. The day went really well. Some times there are just those days of teaching where I leave so encouraged and uplifted. We had 10 kids and they were all so sweet and truly seemed like they "got" the lesson and just enjoyed being there! Those are the weeks that make the hard weeks worth it! I left really encouraged! I left at 1st service with Lindsay b/c she had dance class that afternoon. Colby stayed for both services and went home with my parents. I enjoyed a little more time with just her. I love having them both around but sometimes just having one and especially girl time is so great and relaxing. We ate lunch and watched a show and then it was about time to start getting ready for dance. We had arranged to ride over with our friends Cindy and Layla. It worked out so well and the girls had a blast! I was so glad we could re-connect and hang out! I think Lindsay had more fun at this class since she had a friend. I had more fun as well. Cindy and I went to PJs while the girls were dancing! It was so much fun! I hope we can do a repeat in December. This month they did Lion King. Next Month is The Nutcracker. By the time we left and got colby and got headed home Austin was home. We decided to just swing by and pick him up and go out to Cane's. Again it was just a nice time the 4 of us. After that we were all exhausted and ready for bedtime! It was truly a great weekend and I am thankful for the time we had with each of our kids and that they both got to do something special with friends! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Halloween 2016

I can hardly believe another Halloween has come and gone!! The years just pass so quickly! So this year Halloween fell on a Monday! The last time this occurred Colby was 3 and he was still in preschool and didn't have to attend school the next day. It felt weird with it being on a Monday and it being so hot outside. The kids both had a regular day of school which felt weird too! For the first time in many years no parties or special events! I had to grocery shop. I was glad Austin was home to help me with the preparations for the evening though. After I grocery shopped and put everything away I went up to Aurora to see the kids for their Halloween parties. I wasn't up there at all last week due to being sick. I really missed the kids! It felt so weird attending the parties but not having a child there. I mostly visited in Mrs. Breaux's class room and Mrs. Susan's. I guess I feel the most connection to them since both of my kids had Susan and Mrs. Breaux's class is the age Lindsay is. It was fun to see the kids enjoying their special day! Oh how I miss those simple times for my kids. I was able to help Susan out some too which I was glad. The kids spent the last 30 min of the morning outside so I just enjoyed visiting with the teachers. Once I got home Austin and I ate lunch and rested. That afternoon was filled with party prep! The kids got home from school and believe it or not Colby had homework! It took us an hour. I really felt bad for him! If I were a teacher I would definitely not give homework on Halloween night. Like I say last time it fell on a Monday he was 3 so we didn't have these issues! Luckily it worked out though and we got it all completed just in time for our company to arrive! We invited the Welbourne's over this year in addition to my family of course. We always invite my parents and R&E over and we also always try to include a friend. I would have invited more people but with it being a school night I figured most people wanted to stay close to home. Everyone arrived around 5ish. We ate shortly after that and the kids played. They were antsy around 5:30 to get going on their trick or treating but we were still waiting on Randall and Elizabeth to arrive. They got here close to 6. Once they ate we all headed out on our Halloween adventure. My parents and Randall stayed here as usual to hand out candy. It was different going trick or treating in a new neighborhood. I feel like the kids had a lot of fun though. We missed our old neighborhood and the many familiar faces. This neighborhood was really alive though with decorations and people just sitting out in their yards. It was like a big neighborhood block party. the kids had a blast! The only downside was all the mosquitoes! I probably ended up with 20 bites! that was a bummer! Once the kids filled up their bags and we were eaten alive we came back home. They were able to watch a short Halloween cartoon and eat 1 piece of candy before heading off to baths and bed. It was a great night! I felt like we did it really well for a school night! We had them in bed by 8:45 or so which wasn't terrible! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October Weekend

This past weekend was really nice! It was nice having Austin home for most of it. He got home early Friday and we were able to have a nice night with the kids. He brought home dinner and we did movie night with the kids. They watched Spooky Buddies. He actually got home early enough to mow the yard. We had fish and chicken tenders. It was nice to have him home early. 
Saturday morning we were up early so we could head to Hattiesburg. Our plans have changed so much this month! Originally we were going to spend the weekend there for USM Homecoming. Then Austin got really busy at work and we figured it wasn't going to work out so we had just figured we would stay home and enjoy a low key weekend before Halloween. Then Austin's dad called on Monday and wanted Austin to come visit. I really didn't want him to spend another weekend away. After thinking about it I decided we could just go up as a family for the day. It was a nice compromise. It got us all up there to see him, we still got to be together as a family, and we were still home for a good part of the weekend. We left around 8. We stopped for breakfast though at Chickfila first. We were on the road shortly after and to Hattiesburg by about 10ish. We got there and visited with his family. I had also decided since we were going up during the day that I should still take the kids to the USM homecoming parade. They love going to this plus I knew it would get them out the house and allow Austin to talk more with his family. So shortly after we arrived my dad met us over there and we went to the campus. We finally found a parking spot and walked to watch the parade. I think the kids had a lot of fun. Ofcourse the parade was pretty low key but it was perfect. They caught some stuff and just enjoyed looking at all the different "floats" and bands and groups that went by. After the parade we took them to look at the decorated "floats" at the front of campus. They enjoyed this too. It was hot though and they were starting to get tired and hungry so we left to go back to the car. We dropped my dad off then went back to Austin's parent's house for lunch. By the time we got there they had lunch about ready. We had hot dogs and hamburgers. We basically spent the afternoon just visiting. It was nice to catch up with everyone. The kids played with Maggie. It was a nice afternoon with family. I think it meant a lot to his parents and sister for us to be there. We left around 4 though to head back home. We wanted to be in before it go too dark plus it had already been a busy day! We stopped in Slidell for dinner at McAlister's. We figured the kids would be hungry plus this way when we got home we could get them ready or bed. We arrived home about 7. We quickly got everyone bathed and headed towards the bed. 
Sunday was a nice day as well. I was thankful to have Austin off with us. We went to first service. I was teaching of course. We ended dup having 11 or 12 in class with us. I felt like they were really good though. I didn't have much of a voice so I had to really rely on my help. I was super thankful for them! We made little pumpkin handprints for the kids that came out super cute! After church we went out to eat and ran a couple errands. This has become our standard thing I guess. That afternoon we rested and just enjoyed being together. We also worked on getting things ready for the new week. That night we were able to take a walk which was fun. Our kids love their walks! 

Fall Fun

This week we are starting up the excitement of the Holiday season with all things fall and Halloween! i love how each year has been different but we always end up with plenty to keep us busy! This year life has changed a bit with them both at the same school. In the past I have been balancing life between 2 schools. 
So last night at church we had a Fall Family Festival. This was the first time they have done that since we have been back at Calvary. I was excited b/c it reminded me of the "good old days" of my growing up years. I was thankful Austin got home early and was able to attend with us. We got there a little after 5. They were offering free Cane's chicken for dinner. They had chairs set up outside so we just found some chairs and ate our dinner. Colby of course ended up sitting by his friend Nijel. Lindsay on the other hand hung close to us. Oh and they got to wear their costumes. Lindsay is Princess Elena of Avalor and Colby was an old man. They were both so cute. They were both super shy though at first. I think just the different set up and all the people around! There was a ton of people there. So after we ate they started doing the Dunking Booth. During that time the kids were able to do that or just run around with their friends. Lindsay's dress was really long so finally I found a way to "tie it up" and then she was good to go. Once I did that she was less clingy and hung out with Genevieve a little bit. 
Soon they started putting wrist bands on families and getting them in groups. This was the part of the evening I wasn't sure how it would work. We ended up being in the "blue" group. Everyone went upstairs though to the middle school hallway. Colby had a great time and was right in his element. I think Lindsay had a good time too but she was still kinda quiet and didn't quite "connect" like Colby did. Truly it was too overwhelming for the preschool crowd. I was glad my boy had fun but I was hot and wasn't feeling the crowds. We bolted before everyone grouped up together in the Jumpstart Room. I hated to miss the "lesson" part of the evening but were all tired. I knew the kids needed to get home and get headed to bed. Plus Colby had studying that needed to be done. All in all it was a fun night and I think the kids enjoyed the experiences. I love this time of year! 
Too bad I started feeling sick and really didn't feel well overnight. I think its allergies but I have a sore throat and scratchy voice. I am hoping I can get well soon and enjoy the rest of the festivities with my family.
Today I skipped music class. I really hated to do so! I was looking forward to letting them sing and do our Halloween songs one more week. I knew though if I went I would really be pushing myself. Tomorrow is Farm Day so I really want to feel good for that. So a quiet day alone is truly what I think my soul needed. 
Farm Day was a blast! I was thankful as always to get to spend a day with my kiddos. This was the first year I could stay for the whole event. In the past I have had to go pick up Lindsay or get to her school to see her at her halloween party. I was glad to have them both in the same place. I was assigned to helping with games. The game I was helping with was pretty low key. They were to find "treasures" in a pool of corn kernels with their feet. I also had some 8th graders helping me. Since the game itself was pretty low key I ended up going back and forth to see Lindsay and hang out with her. I enjoyed the first group of kids a lot since that was Colby's group. During that time Lindsay's class was having story time and checking out the decorated pumpkins. After that Lindsay's group went to see the animals. I wanted to spend that time with her. She truly loved all the animals. It was fun doing this with her after so many years of experiencing it with Colby. Her favorites were the ducking and the bunnies. Next her group went to the bounce houses. I went back to check on my game station at this point. The middle schoolers were out there then. there wasn't much I could do except fuss at a few who kept knocking everything out! I finally left and walked back over there to see her. they were getting out the space walks at that time and going to have a juice break. After they finished it was their turn to play games and do trunk or treat. During that time I hung out with Lindsay and her little friend Brielle. After they finished up they went back to class to take a potty break. Their last activity before lunch was candied apples. I loved how organized they had this station. After that we went to lunch. I sat with Lindsay and some of her classmates. Soon Colby's group came in but he just sat at a table with his friends. We ate and packed up all our stuff and came home! It was a great day and I was so thankful it was a 1/2 day! 

Weekending

Its hard to believe another fall weekend has come and gone. Friday as I mentioned earlier the kids spent the night with my parents. It was nice to have some quiet but also weird too without them here. We actually like having our kids home! I know some friends/family who don't mind shipping their kids off every weekend to family or friends but I really love our traditions. They of course love time with the grandparents though so it was nice they got to do that. It also helped Austin and I catch up on some much needed rest. 
I slept until 8 Saturday morning! That felt amazing! I got up and caught up on a few chores and talked to a friend on the phone. Once I was dressed and ready I headed out to go pick them up. We had plans of going to City Park. We hadn't been out there in awhile and the weather was just so gorgeous I wanted to do something fun with them outside. We invited our friends Nijel and Mia to meet us. It was definitely more fun with friends! The kids had a blast and I enjoyed another mom to chat with. We first took the kids into the Botanical Gardens. This was the first time we had done that in awhile. We brought both kids I think when Colby was 4 and Lindsay was a baby then I think we brought just Lindsay once when Colby was in school. Its such a beautiful and peaceful place. They also had a "scarecrow trail". They had different organizations decorate themed scarecrows and had them placed all around the gardens! It was so fun looking at the different ones. We also enjoyed seeing the plants and sculptures. The boys were less into it. They mostly just wanted to run around and play. I think the girls could have hung longer with the moms. We spent about an hour in there though which I thought was good considering...
We finally went over to Storyland which is really where they wanted to go. They had a blast and we were able to just sit and visit while they played. It was nice visiting with Melody while the kids played. I enjoyed watching them! They are so big now! We hung out in there about an hour until lunch time approached. Once we left it took the kids and I an hour to get back home! We stopped to pick up lunch then got home! I think we were all ready. I just enjoy my slow Saturday afternoons. Austin was in Hattiesburg so I like to try and make those times fun when its just the kids and I. Its been hard on them this fall with him being away so much. We spent a lot of time outside and I let them watch Lilo and Stitch while I cooked and cleaned up dinner. After dinner we took a walk...again tried to keep things as fun and normal as possible. They went to bed early and I found myself bored without Austin here. 
Sunday it was nice to wake up to a new day! I looked forward to Austin getting back into town. We got to Aurora about 9:20. The kids were able to see their prey 4 teacher and even help her get some things in her classroom. After that we met up with Melissa and the preschool families that were arriving. We gathered the kids up in a room and waited on time for church to start. My kids got to see old teachers and friends! They were super shy at first though. I was glad when Austin arrived before we had to go on stage. I wanted them to be able to sit with him while my kids sang. The kids did an awesome job! We had 13 out of 20 show up so that was really super! They were adorable! After they sang we took them back to Children's Church. Shelley did the story with all the kids then they split up according to age. Shelly took the big kids and Melissa and I took the littles. We made a little craft with them. I really enjoyed my Sunday there. I love our church and I love what I do there. I missed the people and my little preschoolers but I have to say it was refreshing to be somewhere else for a week and gain a different perspective. After church the 4 of us ran some errands and went to lunch. It was so nice to have Austin back home. We worked on the kids pumpkins for their contest at school. We spent a lot of the afternoon outside which was nice. As always the weekend was great and it was nice to get that refreshment before beginning a new week!