Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Quiet Weekend

So now with school I am always thankful and happy for a low key and quiet weekend. 
Friday afternoon started our weekend busy but the rest of our weekend was quiet with no plans just as I prefer! 
Friday Colby was invited to go home with Ella after school. I decided since he had had a big day. First his teacher brought their class donuts. Then he got a "Friend day" I thought it would be nice to do something special with Lindsay. I picked her up and treated her to the donut shop. She loved her donut and lapped it up! From there I asked her if she would like to visit the Book Store...ofcourse she said yes! Its rare we do stuff after school like that. It was fun though..I think I may start bringing them places on Fridays more often! Once she and I got home Austin was on his way so he picked Colby up from his friend's house. They picked up chicken and we all ate. It was a much later evening then we normally have. We ate at 7 and then didn't sit down to watch our movie until 8. The kids were troopers though and atleast we knew we didn't have to wake up early the next day. We chose James and the Giant Peach since we had read that this summer. 
Saturday it was so nice to sleep in! Saturday bliss again! We had no plans so we decided to go swimming at my parent's house. Now with school in full swing there won't be much of that and I know our days are limited so I figured we better take advantage while we can. We enjoyed our pool time even though we were kinda dodging rains and storms. We still got in about a 2 hour swim then we had lunch with my parents. Again nice to hang out with them. Now with school starting they don't see the kids nearly as much so I know that time means a lot to them. After we got home we mostly relaxed. That evening we had grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Also austin got in early so that was nice. 
Sunday we had church. Austin had to work which was unfortunate but it also gave the kids and I a really relaxing day. I have so enjoyed being able to go into church. I mean I miss serving and hope to get back to that sometime later this year but for now I am enjoying going into church and working on my own relationship with the Lord. After church we picked up chicken and pretty much came home to relax. Austin got in fairly early and we just had leftovers for dinner. 

Monday, August 14, 2017


Hard to believe we are already winding up our first full week of school. School started back on Monday. The kids were anxious and ready! Colby has definitely been the most ready. He's been super excited about Mrs. G and the 4th grade class. Lindsay finally started seeming excited over the weekend but also still a bit apprehensive. They both have rocked their first week though. 
Colby has reported a great week and so far is doing wonderfully. This first week they are mostly reviewing things like multiplication and also mostly working on rules and procedures. He is loving the flexible seating! His teacher is awesome and keeps us updated nearly every day with the DOJO app. We get to see pictures/videos throughout the week of things they are up to. I know they had Chapel this week but haven't had their other extra curricular classes yet. 
Lindsay has had a great first week in kindergarten. They have begun talking about the letters I and U I believe. They are also doing simple things like counting. I feel like she is going to do great academically. She is older and also had the experience of being in prep 4 there last year. She is ahead leaps and bounds from where Colby was. Everything was pretty much new to him that year. She is quiet but I think has already opened up with her teacher and seems to love going. Its been hit or miss this week with recess between a soggy playground, rain, and the heat! I think they have gone out 1 or 2 times and played and the others had inside recess or drawn with sidewalk chalk outside of the classroom. 
I am enjoying getting back into the groove as well. The 5:45 wake ups are hard but I am adjusting. 
Austin was off Monday and Tuesday so it was nice to get some much needed adult time! Monday he went with me to the grocery store. Its always fun to shop as a couple. After the grocery he came home to do yard work. I got some stuff done inside while he worked then we ate lunch together. It was nice and peaceful to have a few hours of quiet. We both went that afternoon to pick them up! We were both so anxious to hear about their first day! That afternoon we cooked grilled chicken sandwiches. After dinner we took a walk and just enjoyed time with the kids. 
Tuesday he was home again and I didn't have Bible study or anything so once again I brought the kids to school then came home to pick him up. He and I then went to breakfast at Parrot Pete's. This is one of our favorite things to do! We love getting breakfast dates! It was nice to catch up and be able to talk and visit. We then left and ran a couple errands. We had Lindsay's money from her piggy bank so we got that counted and deposited into her account. We again just had a relaxing afternoon. He did get out and trim some bushes so I brought my book outside and sat in the shade and read while he worked out there. Again I just love the couple time. Simple but so sweet! That afternoon he went to get the kids and took Colby for a haircut. It was a busy evening for us though b/c once he got home with them: Colby had homework, I had a bunch of paperwork to fill out for their school, then we had orientation that evening. My parents came to watch the kids. They allow kids to come and someone watches them upstairs but after a full day of school I really don't want my kids up there for another hour plus. Plus my parents always enjoy an evening with them. The orientation went well. It was slightly longer this year. We all met together in the worship center first. Pastor Michael talked for a bit, then Mrs. Price. Afterwards we were instructed to go to the kid's classrooms. Austin took Lindsay's and I went to Colby's class. I was glad they did that even though it meant a longer night. I think parents want to be able to see their child's classroom and all that. After it was over Austin and I had our usual dinner out. Since orientation ran long we just went to Chick-Fil-A. Knowing the kids would still be awake when we got home. Once again though we enjoyed our time together. We got in and quickly got the kids off to bed. 
Wednesday Austin was back to work. It was my first official day alone in quite awhile. I dropped the kids off at school and my first thing to do was stop by and see our friends Brittany and Chris. They are the ones who bought our old house. She just had a baby a couple weeks ago. I was so happy to see the old house and see the new baby. I ended up staying over an hour and visiting. It was super fun to catch up. I also got some newborn baby snuggles which was also great. By the time I got home it was after 10:30. I did some cleaning around the house and enjoyed some downtime. My parents also brought the kids home from school so I had a long afternoon. It was wonderful!! They got in that evening and I made jambalaya for dinner. Austin also got in in time to eat with us which was nice then we took a walk. 
Thursday was a busy day for me. Lindsay had a doctor's appointment that day. Due to a couple weeks ago my mom spotting what she thought was a hernia our pediatrician ended up referring us to a pediatric surgeon. So her appointment was at 9:30. Austin went to work late so that he could go with us to the appointment. So first we dropped Colby off at school then we met up with Austin at PJ's for a little breakfast and coffee. The appointment went really well and we were out by a little after 10. I got her back to school by 10:30. After that I just came home and enjoyed my day at home. I picked the kids up from school and we had cheesy chicken over rice for dinner. 
Friday I had nothing going on so I pretty much just came home after dropping the kids off. I ended up taking Allie for a walk. I hope to get in this practice of walks in the mornings atleast 1-2 days a week. Its hard b/c I don't often come straight home but I was thankful for that time even though it was HOT as blazes! I had a pretty quiet day around the house! 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Last of the Summer

This weekend was officially the last part of summer. I feel we sent summer out in an amazing way! Well Friday though we did have to go to the doctor. Colby had his 9 year old checkup. Lindsay also ended up having to get checked b/c we suspect she may have a hernia. We got to the doctor about 10:30...our appointment was for 10:45. I think it was near 11 before we got in the room and about 11:30 before the doctor came in. The kids were amazing though! We played games while we waited which was cool. Its so neat that they can do stuff like that now! We laughed and honestly it was just a sweet memory. Its stuff like that that now as a "seasoned" mom I have just learned to try to enjoy every moment. I took that was undistracted time to just play and talk to them. Colby did awesome for his checkup. He weighed in at 69 lbs and had grown a few inches as well. I think he's in the average percentile pretty much for both. Maybe a little over in weight and slightly under in height. After his check the doc checked Lindsay out. She was unable to fully determine if she truly has a hernia. She recommended that we go ahead and see a surgeon. She has a colleague who always tells her when in doubt to just send them to him. So we have an appointment scheduled for this upcoming week. She weighed in at 42 lbs...and she also had grown over an inch since her appointment in December. She is below average for weight and above average for weight. 
Anyway we finally got out of the doc office about 12:15 and we decided to come on home. We had planned to run errands but it was starting to rain but the kids were tired and hungry. We had a restful afternoon. Colby spent that night with my parents so we just had a quiet night with our girl. We watched SING and Austin picked up burgers for us for dinner. 
Saturday we got up and Lindsay and ran to Target to get a b-day present for her friend Layla then we went to my parent's house to swim. It was a nice visit and I sure enjoyed the pool. I know our pool time is limited with them starting back to school so I was happy the weather cooperated and we were able to swim for some time. We also had lunch over there. That afternoon we got in and again rested. We didn't get home until about 3 I believe so it was quite a busy day! That afternoon/evening nola flooded! It was crazy. We didn't have any issues on our side of the river but it kept Austin at work until almost 9 that night. 
Sunday was our last OFFICIAL day of summer! We went to first service. After church Lindsay's little friend Layla had a b-day party scheduled. It began at noon so we just decided to bring our swim clothes and go change at my parent's house so we wouldn't have to drive all the way home and back since the party was going to be right down the street from them. We got to the party at 12. Layla had only invited Lindsay and Claire so it was a small super casual b-day party. Lindsay was so excited to be with her besties and in the pool. Colby at first was a little bored with just the little girls but he ended up (as always) having a blast. I enjoyed visiting with all the grownups. I didn't swim...I should have b/c it was super hot. When we left for the party it was starting to rain and I hate swimming in the rain plus I had showered that morning and washed my hair. The kids did great though. I was shocked at how well Lindsay handled herself in the big pool with no assistance. The party lasted until 3. Actually the other friends ended up staying until after 5. We were all tired though since we had been gone since early that morning plus knowing the kids had school the next day! We came home and all crashed on the couch for about 30 min. We spent the rest of the day getting ready for the first day of school. We did play outside and take a walk. That night we just had leftovers for dinner. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Back 2 School

So here we are in the last week of summer. We are caught between school prep and just trying to soak up and enjoy the last days of summer and what they have to offer. So Thursday was Meet the Teacher for my littles. Funny this year we actually KNOW both of them but its still fun to go check out the classroom and chat a bit with the teacher. Its also a time you can drop school supplies off which makes the first day a lot easier without lugging all that stuff in. 
We had a pretty slow morning and I was also trying to finish up organizing and labeling all the supplies. For some reason I got WAY behind on that this year! We were finally ready to leave the house about 10:30. We got to the school a little before 11 then we were there an hour! We first went to Lindsay's class since it was downstairs. We enjoyed visiting with her teacher. Lindsay is a lot less vocal about starting school than Colby is. I think she is still somewhat apprehensive and nervous. I know she will love it though once she starts. She wouldn't say a word to her teacher though. We chatted a bit and learned about some of the big kindergarten things she would be doing. I cannot believe this year she will be getting GRADES and attending awards ceremonies and also get to go to all the extra curricular classes as well. She also has 11 students in her class but possibly will have 13. I think that's a good number. In prek4 they had 16 so I think having a bit smaller class will be beneficial.
After leaving her new class we stopped in to visit with her teacher from last year. We talked to her for quite awhile. I had a really good relationship with her so it was nice to catch up and see the changes she had made in her class for the new year. By this time though the kids were super anxious to move on. We finally got Colby's supplies and headed up to his room. He has been so excited about school starting. I think he is going to love his teacher Mrs. Gottberg. This is her 3rd year at the school...I am excited that she's somewhat experienced and now knows the curriculum pretty well. She also has two children who attend the school so I feel like she's pretty invested. His classroom is amazing! She has implemented flexible seating this year so I think that will be really cool. From what I know of her she is a very hands on type of teacher which I think will be great. He has 9 kids in his class. I think the smaller class will be many of the "behavior issues" have moved on to other schools. Hopefully it will be an amazing year for him. 
After we finished up at the school I took them to eat at Chickfila. I figured it might be our last "lunch out" this summer. I was thankful to have that sweet time with them. 
I think we are all ready for school to begin but I know I will miss them a bunch. This summer has been amazing and I am so thankful for the time I have had with them but getting back to routines will be nice too! I am really excited about this upcoming year and all it holds! 
That afternoon we hung around the house. Our AC repairmen also came so it was a fairly busy day! Austin was a little later working again so we had spaghetti for dinner and just a low key night. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Last Week of Summer

I cannot believe it! this is our last official week of summer! In some ways it feels the kids have been out forever but in the same side it feels like school just ended and summer began! All that to say though we have had a wonderful summer. At 5 and 9 I feel like the kids are at amazing ages and that this has probably been one of our most low key, restful summer EVER! Part of that is we really didn't do a BIG trip this summer like the past couple of years. We chose instead to do 3 smaller ventures. We went camping at the start of summer, went to Alabama for a few days, then spent a week in Hattiesburg. Still though the kids have had an amazing summer and have been able to do a lot. There have been many playdates, park trips, swimming, grandparent time, zoo, aquarium, children's museum, and other things thrown in. This summer we also chose not to do any extracurricular things. I hated that my girl missed out on dance (she chose not to do it this summer) but it also helped us maintain a quiet and more low key summer. They ofcourse did VBS though and Colby did a week of camp at the church. We've also continued with our church activities so we have been busy but not overextended. 
Monday Austin was off so we were FINALLY able to do go to the COOL ZOO. The trip had been postponed twice. Lindsay still had her glue and strips on her forehead but we decided to just risk it. Most of it is peeling off and the wound is healing up quite nicely. We knew we just HAD to go before school starts. So we set off Monday and got there right about the time they opened. We were shocked though at how busy they were. I figured a Monday and this close to school starting that people wouldn't be out there but it was a BEAUTIFUL day and I guess everyone had the same idea. It was actually cool for NOLA. Anyway the kids had a blast. Austin got in with them and I mostly just sat and read. Honestly I think I would have considered getting in but I was on my period and I had taken a shower the morning. It was nice to just sit and people watch and relax while they played and wore themselves out. They both love the Lazy River now. Lindsay was a little more timid at first and wouldn't go off and do anything on her own but by the end she had warmed up. I wish we had time to go one more time though so she could feel comfortable. I think mostly her worrying about her bobo lowered her down a bit. We did put a Band-Aid on it though so that also helped keep it dry. So we stayed and let them play from about 10-12:30. By that point it was really getting crowded so we decided to go on and leave and go eat lunch. We stopped at our usual McAlister's. That afternoon was pretty low key. We enjoyed the family time. We made hamburgers and potato salad for dinner then took a walk. 
Tuesday the kids and I decided to have a fun morning with friends. It was a beautiful day...its been amazing that so far August has brought us cooler temps. Its dare I say felt "fallish". Anyway so we had made plans to meet up with Lindsay's friend Layla at the park. Lindsay was excited to see her and as always the girls were happy playing together and I was excited to visit with Cindy. The kids were having a blast. Soon after we got there Colby's friend Makyrin and his little sister Makylee also arrived. That ended up being a HUGE blessing b/c it gave someone for Colby to play with. He had been a bit bummed at first not having a friend. We stayed out there nearly 2 hours. It was just nice to be outside and them playing with friends. A sweet childhood moment! After we had to drop our tuition check off at the school so we caught a glimpse of the teachers and also my mom who was up there helping serve for the teacher's luncheon. After we picked up lunch and came home. We spent the rest of the day around the house. That night we had leftovers for dinner. Austin was a bit later getting in so it was pretty much heading the kids to bed once he got in. 
Wednesday we got up and got going early. I had a coffee date with a friend and the kids were going to hang out at my parent's for a couple hours. Since we had no Bible study this week I knew my parents wouldn't object to keeping them for little bit. I had coffee with Jenn from Aurora. It was nice to catch up and hang out with her for about an hour. I then went and knocked out my grocery shopping before getting the kids. We came home and mostly just rested/hung out since we had church that evening. That night church went well. I enjoyed being with the big kids again. Lindsay had some little friends back this week. She and Ebbie mostly played. Colby still hasn't really had any "best friends" there this summer but he still manages to have fun. We combined with the big girls again this week so we had a total of 6. I had kinda wished we had done 3 and 3 though b/c i think the lesson was over Lindsay's head and I think the other 2 little girls as well. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Summer Weekend

So Friday of course started the weekend. We had a fun playdate scheduled that day. My mom had graciously offered to host Colby's best friends over for a swim playdate. Since they are going to different schools this year this was going to be a great time to get them together before the craziness of fall schedules set in. So we got to my parent's house right about 10 and shortly after his buddies arrived. 
They swam basically the whole time and had a blast. I thought from a behavior standpoint they did really well for 3 nine year old boys. There was a little bit of crude humor, tattle tailing, and picking on but not much you wouldn't expect from a gathering of 3 kids their age. Since the boys are getting older the trio isn't as strong as it once was though. I think a lot of this has to due with they are getting older and their interests are truly developing and they are picking and choosing the types of friends they want to hang out with. Colby and Nijel really do have the most in common and its been apparent b/c they have been the best friends since they were 5. The other one has different interests and as I have told Colby that is ok too. I told him its ok for them not to be best friends anymore. I told him to be nice to him and include him but its ok for them not to be as close as they once were. Plus I think now the innocence is fading and kids will be kids and leaving one friend out becomes a pretty standard thing. Anyway all in all I think it went great and I think they all truly had a great time. I also really have to commend my girl b/c she was such a great sport throughout it all. She never complained and just rolled with it and was very gracious for the boys to have their time. She and I pretty much hung out together in the pool. She's also being a great sport about not getting her head wet since her little accident. Anyway we ordered pizza for them and it arrived about 12 so they were able to eat then get back in the pool. They all left about 1:30 and we got home about 2. Well by that time I was wiped out. The kids and I had a short rest time. I felt pretty much useless the rest of the day. Between being partly sick and worn out we (I) didn't do much. We had leftovers for dinner that night. We did go on with movie night though and watched "Boss Baby" which ended up really being a cute movie.
Saturday it was forecasted to rain so I really hadn't made definite with me still feeling under the weather. I would have been perfectly fine with staying in all day but I knew the kids wanted to get out the house. I told them that morning after breakfast that if it wasn't raining when we got ready to leave we would hit the park and if it was we would instead go to the library. Well of course it was raining when we got ready to leave. We decided to go to the library instead. We took our time in there and made the trip last 30 + minutes. The kids enjoyed browsing and looking at their books by the windows. After we picked up some soup for lunch and headed home. It was nice to have a low key day around the house. We were able to spend time outdoors as well though. The temps were cooler since it stayed overcast even though we didn't end up getting much rain. That night we had tacos also for dinner. 
Sunday was church day! Neither Austin or I had any responsibilities...well that we knew of. It turned out that he was supposed to count but he had no idea. Anyway so we went to 1st service. It was one of those Sundays that I felt like we got to chat with a bunch of people which was cool. Some long time friends were also in town! So after church we ran an errand then went to eat at New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood. We got home early and it was nice to have an afternoon at home. We spent it relaxing and playing outside. We set up the sprinkler for the kids and let them play in their swimsuits most of the afternoon. That night we cooked chicken alfredo which was yummy. We even took a walk after dinner. Its been so nice to let the kids stay up later and take walks after dinner when the sun is setting! Such sweet memories! Now we are preparing for the last week of summer! I am hoping to do some fun things with them and also work on routines and getting back into the groove! 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Somewhat Back to Routines

Well Tuesday once Austin went back to work the kids and I are trying to find our summer routine groove again. The last few weeks there really hasn't been much of a routine. Between the week of kid's camp, Colby's b-day, and a trip to Hattiesburg life has been a little crazy and the kids starting acting a little entitled especially Colby so I knew we needed to aim for some much as you can have during summer?
So tuesday I had my last bible study of the summer. I feel like I haven't been much...well there were only 5 sessions and I missed 2. It was good to get back though and study in the Word and be around the ladies. The kids of course went to my parents house. waking up early though and getting out the house on a Tuesday felt like somewhat normal and made us feel productive so that was good! After Bible study I picked the kids up and then we drove to Belle Chase to pick Ella up to play. After getting her I had to run an errand to the bank then we picked up Chickfila. Right upon arriving the ADT man showed up to work on our alarm. Needless to say it was a very busy afternoon. The kids played on their tablets for a little while. Usually I am not all for that but since the ADT guy was working in the office/playroom and it was so hot outside I was ok with it. After he left though I told them to go play. they did actually go outside for a little while. I felt bad though b/c it was just blazing hot. They would come in and out some. They played legos and cars. We even watched part of a movie. I also made them cookies. I think they all 3 had fun. Its been nice this week to be able to host some friends. I have always said I would rather the kids come to our house so I know what they are up to I am ok with being the "friend house". We left a little after 4 to drive Ella back home. I felt bad rushing her away but I knew traffic going towards BC would get crazy close to 5. We made it home and just had leftovers for dinner that night. Austin was a little later getting in so it was pretty much heading the kids to bed once he got in.
Wednesday it was nice knowing that we weren't "entertaining". I enjoy having their friends over but after 2 straight days I was kinda excited for a down day. Plus I woke up not really feeling well. The day before I had started with a scratchy throat and cough but I just attributed to allergies but by Wednesday morning I felt awful. Anyway we got out the house about 10. We had several errands to run. We first dropped off our library books, then went to Target to finish up school supplies and a few other household items, then Petsmart to get cat food, and lastly to Hobby Lobby to pick up some framed art. The kids were great during the errands and luckily they were all pretty quick errands so we made it back by lunch. We had lunch at the house then settled in for naps. Again I was so tired and with not feeling good I was really looking forward to the rest. That night we did go on to church. I was glad we went even though I wasn't feeling my best. There was a pretty low crowd though...none of my kid's really good friends were there but they still had fun. They started the evening outside on the playground. It was hot and I stepped in ants so that was lovely. After they had set up an Escape Room for the kids. That took about an was really fun though. I think it was a little over most of their heads though. They had said it was for ages 10-12 ...I think the 4th and 5th graders were the only ones to for sure "get it". After they had a brief time to split into small groups. Normally I help teach the kinder-2nd grade girls and we usually average 5-6 girls. Well that night Lindsay was the only one there so we combined with the 3rd-5th grade girls which there was only 2 of them. I think the lesson was a little over Lindsay's head but all in all it worked out well.
So onto Thursday...well this was my grocery day. I never really look forward to these days. Luckily it was a pretty easy trip and the kids were great. We stayed in the rest of the day. With me being half sick I was happy to just spend the day at home. We have been doing well this week with getting back to our school work and just overall sometime of normalcy. That night we had roasted chicken and veggies. It turned out to be quite yummy and healthy! 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer Days.....

Saturday we had 0 plans which was such a relief. After traveling and Colby's birthday it was so nice to have a day without much going on. We had planned to go swim at my parent's house. Ofcourse after Linday's little disaster I worried that we might not be able to do that. I talked with Lindsay though and we agreed that she could sit on the steps and play but couldn't get in past that. Since her bobo is on her head she could still wade in the pool and not get the glue wet. It ended up working out really well. We were still able to swim for almost 2 hours! It felt so good and was so nice! We also had lunch with my parents after. We did come on home after lunch b/c again I was ready to relax and have some time around the house. We relaxed and Austin got home and we cooked chicken sandwiches and had fries for dinner. 
Sunday was nice having Austin off. We were all able to sleep in too! I had been asked to serve 2nd service so we only went to the 1. It felt kinda nice to have the morning to relax and take things a little slower getting ready. We arrived at about 10:30 at church. We had both decided to work upstairs. Austin had told me to ask some of the children's interns if they needed help and they said yes! So he ended up teaching Colby's class and I taught Lindsay's. It ended up being a very fun morning! I never pictured myself working in Jumpstart b/c I so love the preschool age but its been a wonderful change of pace. My little class had 5 kiddos and it was funny b/c I had taught them all as preschoolers. We had 3 active boys in our class which were some of the same "active" ones I had a few years ago downstairs but all in all they did pretty good. After church we also ended up meeting my family for lunch at the Mexican restaurant. Again something out of the norm! We are all rarely all there for 2nd service so it was a nice treat! It was fun to get to laugh and visit with everyone! After we came home for naps! The rest of the day was mostly spent around the house just hanging out. We did go for a walk that night. We had leftovers for dinner. 
Monday Austin was off and our original plan was to take the kids to the Cool Zoo. If you remember this was actually our plan the Monday before on Colby's birthday. But we had woken up to what looked like rain and we were trying to get to Hattiesburg and we opted out thinking it would be too much. Well now with Lindsay's head injury we couldn't go bc she still can't get it wet. We were also keeping her little friend Genevieve that day as well. So we ended up going to the Aquarium. This is a place we usually visit atleast once during the summer as well. I think it had been several months since we had gone. Colby went during his kids camp but the rest of us it had been awhile. Well the kids ended up having a blast. We got up with Genevieve and I think we spent about 2 hours in the Aquarium. We even missed a section! Now that the kids are older their focus seems to last longer. They can watch one exhibit for awhile rather then just running from one thing to the next. It also didn't seem to be too crowded which made it fun too. The kids loved feeding the parakeets! My favorite was the owl and a lady even came out and told us a little about him as well which was cool. It was just a fun time. After the aquarium we decided to go on and eat lunch at the Riverwalk. That's also become a summer time tradition for us. It was a lengthy walk but the kids did great. I felt like we all got our physical activity in. We all ate Cane's in the Food Court. It was pretty busy/crowded but still enjoyable. After we made the Trek back to the car. We had to pick up my van which was getting new tires then we came on home. That afternoon the kids played. They were inside/outside, watched tv, played legos and cars. I think they both really enjoyed just having a friend to play with! Genevieve left about 5 and we got busy cooking dinner. We had a really delicious dinner of pork chops, corn, green beans, roasted potatoes, and roasted tomatoes, oh and okra. It was very colorful! After we even got out for a walk which was fun. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Settling into Life Back at Home & ER Visit

So we got back from Hattiesburg Thursday around lunchtime. It felt good to get back home. Ofcourse we were busy all day unpacking and cleaning and prepping for the weekend. It was a pretty low key afternoon. Austin picked up baked potatoes for us for dinner that night. 
Friday the kids and I had to grocery shop. Again it was another low key day. I hadn't planned anything else for the day b/c I figured it would be good to catch up around the house and on rest. We stayed in and just enjoyed being together. I had plans that afternoon to get the kids to do some school work and spend time outside. Well we still had b-day cake leftover from last Sunday so the kids had been begging for a piece of that. Well I promised them that afternoon they could have some. Well as I was getting ready to cut them a piece of cake the kids came running into the kitchen. I heard a loud bang and knew that Lindsay had fallen or hit her head. At first I didn't think much of it though b/c that girl runs into stuff all the time. I just figured one of them had pushed the other one or something. Well I looked up at her and she had a deep gash in her forehead. And it started gushing blood everywhere! I tried not to panic knowing that the head bleeds more than anywhere else. I tried to call Austin to ask him but he didn't answer. After about 5 minutes of her gushing blood everywhere I knew we needed to go somewhere. I got everything loaded up and by the the bleeding had slowed down but I had no idea if she would need stitches or not. I called our pediatrician while we were in the car but they only suggested going to the ER. So that is where we went. We ended up at the hospital both kids were born at. It was closest plus I knew she would already be in the system there. We went through Triage where they took her temp and weight. We were then told to go wait. I got worried when I saw a room full of people but we only waited about 10 min before they called us back. They ended up being able to use glue and Steri Strips to repair the bobo. I was so glad they didn't have to do stitches! The whole process took under an hour. I was so relieved! Everyone who worked on her was super. My parents and Austin got there both about the same time. My parents were able to stay in the waiting room with Colby thankfully. 
Once we got home we were able to make dinner and enjoy our evening together. Washing her hair that night was interesting though! 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Summer Hattiesburg Trip

So we just got back from our annual summer trip to Hattiesburg. We've always tried to get up there sometime between Colby's birthday in July and Maggie's birthday in August. Now with the kids being in full time school and that starting up the first week of August we mostly have been going up in July b/c of that. Our last trip to Hattiesburg if you recall was our camping trip in May. Ofcourse that was sort of different. We don't get up there nearly as much as we used to. Now with older kids and their activities and just life in general its hard to always find the time. We are always happy when we can and especially are able to stay for a few days. I know now we probably won't be returning until sometime this fall when we go for a USM football game. 
Anyway we left Monday after lunch. We had decided to stay home that morning and work on getting packed up and leaving the house in an orderly fashion. We also decided to eat lunch at home rather then have too many meals on the road. So after lunch we were ready to pull out. That put us getting into Hattiesburg about 3:00. We got to his mom's house and Wendi, Shelbi, and Maggie were all there. We just hung out around their house that evening. Austin and I tried really hard to get the kids outside and off their electronic devices b/c it was overcast and not super hot. Needless to say we really didn't succeed. We had a good dinner though of ham, mac n cheese, and veggies. We ate and then visited and then had cake to celebrate Colby's birthday. We stayed over there until around 7. At that point we knew the kids needed some type of physical activity since we stayed in that morning and they just played inside, then a 2 hour car ride, then mostly just sitting around his parents house. So needless to say we let them get in the pool for an hour upon returning to the apartment. I decided not to get in but I sat by the pool and read. Its great b/c Lindsay can stand in the majority of the pool and Colby is an excellent swimmer so Austin and I could mostly just sit and visit. After that we got them cleaned up and ready for bed. They of course were up late though due to not enough energy getting out and they keep each other awake when they sleep in the same bed. 
Tuesday we all slept in which felt wonderful! I think it was after 8 when we all got up. We got ourselves dressed and went over to his mom's house for breakfast. She had made cheese grits and bacon. After breakfast we decided to get out the house and run some errands. We first went to Target. Colby had gotten a Lego set from Randall and Elizabeth that he already had so he was anxious to exchanged it. He also had some birthday money from Austin's family. We had told him he could combine that money with the money he would get back from the exchange and buy a bigger set if he wanted. So after shopping we wanted to drive out to USM. We always enjoy doing this when we are up there for a visit. Its fun just to reminisce and walk around. We mostly drove around due to it being so hot out but we did get out for a little bit to walk around the book store. After that we went on to eat lunch at Newk's. I had heard great things about it but none of us had been. It was delicious. We loved it! After lunch we went back to his mom's house to hang out. We stayed for about an hour then Austin, myself, and Lindsay went back to the apartment for a bit to get stuff ready to head out to Wendi and Harvey's house. We then went back to pick up Colby and Austin's mom. We got out to the country about 4. The kids are always so excited to go out there. It was really hot though. The kids did a little exploring outside but it was just so dang out. We mostly hung out inside. The kids had fun playing together. That night they grilled pork chops and sausage and we had potato salad, tomatoes from the garden, and salad. It was all yummy. After dinner we did all go back outside for a little while to explore and pick some tomatoes from their garden. We ended the evening with playing some games. That was so much fun! I really did love that part. The laughing and hanging out was the best. We finally decided to head back a little after 8. We had to drop Austin's mom off then pick up milk for Lindsay. We finally got her to bed then we had a tiny bit of time to relax before going to bed ourselves. It was a very busy day. Oh and Colby spent the night out at their house that night. This was his first time to stay anywhere except my parent's house. They have been wanting him to do this for years but honestly it just never worked out plus we weren't sure he was old enough. We realize now though at 9 he's mature enough to handle it and with it being summer and us up there for a few days it just worked out. From what I hear he had a great time. They played Wii and I think he just enjoyed being out there. 
Wendi and Harvey both had work the next day so the kids had to be up and at em pretty early. Austin's mom picked the kids up from where she works and brought them back to her house. I think they got there about 8:30. We met them all over at her house by about 9. She made pancakes for the kids and bacon. We snacked on that then hung out for a bit and waited on time to leave for bowling. I had had that idea while we were home that we should go do that. With the girls being at her house all day I wasn't looking forward to dealing with another day of sitting around and watching them play on phones. So I told Austin we needed to do some stuff to get them out the house. I think they all liked bowling. Colby and Lindsay got a little bored towards the end but all did great. Lindsay actually got a STRIKE! Shelbi won the game though and Austin came in 2nd place. It was fun having some bonding time with them. After bowling we picked up lunch then headed back over to his mom's house to eat. We ate lunch and again relaxed for awhile before deciding to take the kids swimming. Again we had hoped this would get them all off their phones and doing something active...I swear I cannot just sit around like that. We went to the apartment to the pool. This time only Maggie came with us. I let Austin bring the kids into the pool and I stayed back in the apartment. It was super hot out and I had showered that morning so I really didn't want to get all gross. I read and caught up on laundry while they were all out there. Plus I really felt like I needed some downtime. I am mostly an extrovert but there are times where I just need to be alone and have "me time". This was one of those moments. So after swimming and we all got dressed we went back over to his mom's house. Again we mostly just hung out and watched tv while waiting to eat dinner. His mom was ready to eat by 3:45 but we were just not all ready to eat yet. We ended up waiting until 5. After dinner we stayed a bit longer but by that point I was really ready to go. Colby was cranky due to spending the night out and not getting much sleep, Lindsay was bored, and I was really tired of just sitting around. Austin ended up driving me and the kids back to the apartment at 6 and he went back to help his mom with some yard work. I was glad to have a early night in. I got the kids bathed and ready for bed by 8. It felt good to finally sit down and have some adult time. We relaxed and watched tv once Austin got in. 
We slept in again on Thursday. We got up and packed and got dressed and went to have breakfast at Panera Bread. We wanted something quick and didn't want his mom to have to go to a lot of trouble to make us something. We then went by her house to pick up Colby's bike and to tell her bye. We were home by lunch time. 
It was a nice visit and the first longer visit we have had in quite sometime. The kids got a lot of time with family and with their cousins which was nice b/c that's not always the case when we go. Now it will probably be fall and for a football game when we get to go back. I am looking forward to being home though and getting back into our summer routine for a couple more weeks before BACK 2 School! 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Colby's Birthday Weekend!!

So Colby's birthday falls on Monday this year. He's never had a "Monday" birthday so we celebrated this weekend and the celebration will continue through Monday. Anyway so this year for Colby's b-day he decided to have a best friend sleepover instead of a party. I was happy to oblige this b/c we had looked into a party at Sector 6 and it was so much $$$. Plus it was WAYY less stress. So we planned this to happen the Friday before his b-day. The boys both were at separate camps so Nijel's mom Melody brought Nijel over about 5:30 Friday evening. Both boys were extremely excited to see one another. They really haven't had many playdates this summer. They have only played together a couple times and seen each other at a b-day party and at church. They were so excited to catch up it was hard to even get their focus to eat pizza. Once we finally rounded them up they seemed to enjoy eating. After pizza we took them outside for an ultimate battle of water balloons and silly string. It was so much fun! We all got involved! Even mom!! We had a great time. The fun lasted about 30 minutes then it took about 30 minutes to clean up the fun. The boys enjoyed riding their bikes around during that time. They continued to play outside for awhile then we sang Happy Birthday and did cake. Again they ate their cake outside and played for awhile longer. Once they were ready to come in we let Lindsay take a bath in our bathroom and Austin hosed them off outside so no one had to come in and worry about taking baths/showers. They then got changed into pjs. We had told them they could play on the iPad and Wii after this. It was quite a treat for our kids b/c we don't let them do that stuff very often. The kids had a blast and we let them stay up playing until 10. At 10 we could tell they were all very tired and of course so we were we so we told them to brush their teeth and lights out. We told the boys they could stay up and talk as long as they didn't wake us up or Lindsay. Sure enough we went to bed at 10:45 and they were still up talking. They said they fell asleep sometime after midnight. 
The next morning we got up and fixed the boys a big breakfast. We had bacon, eggs, and grits. We made sure to fill them up on protein before heading off to the Sector 6. We had jumping tickets for 10:30-12. Everyone had a blast! I even jumped this year. It was so fun! I think we were all worn out by 12. We lastly stopped and ate at Applebees before bringing Nijel back home. I think the boys really had a great time. I am so thankful for their continued friendship. They get along so well. The entire time he was here I never heard a cross word between them and they played so well. I think its the other friend that brings drama to the group. That afternoon we were all ready to rest and just relax. 
Sunday was also a busy day. We of course had church. Austin also had to count which meant the kids and I left after first service and came on home to rest and get ready for our upcoming trip. That afternoon we relaxed and worked on our packing. That evening we met my parents and brother and sister in law at Olive Branch for a family dinner. Since the last 2 years Colby hasn't had a big party its become tradition to celebrate with my family on the Sunday. He had wanted us to cook chicken alfredo and have everyone over but with Austin having to count and us planning to leave town the next day it just seemed like a lot. We figured meeting up with everyone was better then we went back to my parent's house for cake. It was a fun and late evening. We ended up staying out until 9! We were all just having such a good time. We haven't been around Randall and Elizabeth much really since Easter I guess. With all their trips and working they missed Memorial Day and July 4th with us so this was really our first time to catch up in awhile. 
Monday was Colby's 9th birthday. We had planned and wanted to bring him to the Cool Zoo that morning to celebrate. We woke up though to ominous clouds and thunderstorms around so were concerned we would get all the way out there and get rained out. Plus he was really wanting to play with his Legos. We ended up having a stay home morning which I think worked out for the best. It gave Austin and I time to clean up around the house and get organized for our trip while Colby got to enjoy his b-day gifts. It ended up being a win win. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Camp Week

So this week Colby is attending Camp at our church. This is the first year they have done something like this. Its camp for one week 8-4 for kinder-5th grade. they have to have completed kinder though so Lindsay wasn't eligible. I am personally not a big send your kids to camp for the summer kind of parent but I am ok with 1 week out of the year. I mean counting VBS they have only had 2 structured weeks this summer. I knew it would be good for Colby and it would be nice to be around friends his age and to do some cool stuff. Most of their friends unfortunately are in camps this summer which kinda sucks. 
Anyway it was kind of a shock to our system though to wake up early! I had to wake at up 5:40 and I woke the kids up at 6:40. We did good though I had him up there a few minutes before 8. Honestly it felt kinda good to be out that early. This summer has been lovely sleeping in but I couldn't do it year round. It takes us forever to get out the house those days. Lately we have been almost 10:30 or 11 before we can even make it out the house to go somewhere. Lindsay and I had to grocery shop this am. It was so nice to be there early. I felt bad that I didn't have anything planned for her today but it was kinda nice to have a quiet day at home with her. She played really well by herself all day though. When it was time to go pick him up though it came quite the storm. I had to also drop Lindsay off at my parent's house for her time to spend the night. They both actually spent the night together a few weeks ago but now they want individual turns and my parents figured with him in camp this was a good week to do it. So by the time I got to the church it was storming! Luckily Stephen was kind enough to walk Colby out with an umbrella and I didn't even have to get out in it. Once we got home it was so quiet just he and I. We relaxed then I cooked dinner. We both ate before Austin got home. Once Austin got in the 3 of us spent some time on the patio just enjoying the rainy evening. It was nice to have my 2 boys here. It was amazing how quiet it was without little sis! He even got to stay up a little later and watch a tv show with dad. 
So onto Tuesday which was a pretty busy day. First of all I had to get Colby to camp by 8. After that I had extra time to get coffee before Book Club started. This summer I've only been able to attend one other session. I was glad to get back to my time with the ladies. It was nice to have that me time and time away from the crazy of life. We had a really good turn out too. So after that my parents brought Lindsay up to the church so she and I could rush off and meet a friend for lunch at Chickfila. Ofcourse in the midst of that another big down pour came. So she and I made it and we enjoyed our lunch with Brittany. Once we got home she just wanted to relax and watch Nick Jr. I was ok with that b/c I wanted to relax too haha! That afternoon we picked up Colby and came home to have a nice night in. The kids were both tired and cranky though and I knew an early bedtime was in order. We had an easy dinner of mac n cheese and hot dogs. We were able to get outside as a family for a little while though even though it was raining. 
Wednesday was another camp day of course. It was a free morning for Lindsay and I. We had tried to get up with several friends to meet us at a park early but everyone was busy. I hate that about life now...seems like people are just always in a rush or have their kids signed up for some much stuff that they never have time to just hang out and play. Anyway we had the park to ourselves which is also another sad thing about society. I mean I know it was early but its the coolest part of the day. Oh well she and I still enjoyed the outing. She got bored with not having any playmates but we played counting and listening games while we were out there just enjoying the outdoors. By 9 she was done and so we went on to Hobby Lobby. That was all our errands so I guess we will spend the day at home. Luckily she likes staying home so its been nice to have these quiet days with just her at home. We will stay in until church tonight. My parents are going to get Colby from camp then meet us back at church for dinner at 5. Church was good. Even though I felt we were all dragging it felt so good to be there. From the moment we were getting our plates from dinner until the end it was just an awesome night. Its such a blessing to be a part of a bigger family. Lindsay was totally in her element ...surrounded by friends. She had 3 other besties there and just had a blast. I feel bad for Colby this summer b/c he hasn't had a really close friend come on Wednesday nights. So at times he almost seems lost. He never complains though and is always in great spirits and acts like he has fun though. I really wish he would get to know some of the other boys but maybe that will come in time. A couple of them like to play soccer all night and that's just not Colby's thing. 
Anyway helping out upstairs has been such a blessing. I have already been blessed so much just in the last 3 weeks! I have loved getting to spend time with the older kids. Also I just love the workers up there. Its such a different atmosphere. Last night I laughed and smiled more then I had in a long time when it came to serving. I also love teaching the younger girls. I really hadn't planned to follow Lindsay but I love this group of girls. All but 1 of them I had taught before so I feel like I really know them and can relate to them. I look forward to spending more time with them over the next few months. So when we got home Austin was out of town so I had to do the whole evening routine alone and at 8 at night. I was so exhausted but the kids were great and very helpful. I got them to bed about 9 and I was in bed by 11. 
Thursday another busy day. I had a hair appointment scheduled so after dropping Colby off at camp I dropped Lindsay off at my parent's house. I know it seems like they have seen or been with my parents a lot lately but its summer time and I know both parties love it! Plus school will be starting oh so soon and they will go back to only seeing them a couple times a week for short periods. Anyway I had my appointment at 10:30 so I had about an hour and a half to come home to a quiet house. I must admit it was quite nice. I mean I love having my kids home but I do also miss that alone time. After my appointment I met my parents to get Lindsay and she and I came home to rest and eat lunch. We had to get back out to pick up Colby. With Austin out of town we were later eating dinner b/c he didn't get home until about 5:30 and then we had to cook. After that it was get the kids cleaned up and off to bed. They have been falling asleep so easily with these early morning wake ups! 
Friday was a camp day but it was nice to finally have Austin home for our little routine. He was able to stay home with Lindsay while I brought Colby to camp which was nice b/c it allowed her to sleep in a little later. I brought him and then came back home. We got a few things done around the house then we went to the mall to look around. Lindsay loves going out to Lakeside. I try to go every few months with her although I honestly think the last time we were there was before Christmas. We don't go to malls very often. Plus now Colby isn't really as entertained with the whole scene like she is. Plus I figured it would be a good opportunity for her to pick out a small b-day gift for him as well. She picked out a couple new cars from the CARS 3 movie for him. We got home and just rested and hung out until he got home from camp. It was fun spending time with our little girl though. I think we both realize now with her going into kinder these days will be rare! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

July Weekend

So this weekend just happens to be a pretty standard that I mean no special holidays or anything big going on. 
Friday the kids and I enjoyed a slow start to the day. I baked muffins and then we got ready and put our swimsuits on and headed over to my parents house to swim for the day. I am thankful for that option. I feel like its healthy fun for them. It gets them active and outside and it doesn't cost us any money! Its an easy thing to occupy then 2-3 times a week. Its funny b/c this week we had seen my parents every day. Its been nice though..since my dad had his surgery I have been trying to be more available to go over there and check on them and mostly just cheer him up with some company. Poor guy though still can't get in the pool with us though. So we had a good time swimming and probably swam almost 2 hours. The weather was great. It started clouding up before we got out but we had no idea how it would storm shortly. My mom made us lunch. The kids always want to stay for lunch over there. I was ok with it since we really had no other plans. So we ate and visited. Well then my mom had this idea of baking cookies with them. Again I was kinda ready to get home but we had no other plans really so I figured why not?! Well while we did that it started to STORM! Really bad lightening and flooding! It was crazy. Well once the cookies were finished and they sampled them the kids and I were ready to go. It was still storming and I don't think my dad wanted us to leave but i had been watching the radar and could tell it wasn't bad at our house so if we could just get out of that little area we would be fine. Plus I really wanted to get home before the storm came to us. So we got home. It took us about 30 min though b/c of flooded roads and traffic lights being out. We got home and all wanted to just rest for a bit. The kids played with their phones/iPads and then I made them do some school work. Colby is still working on math and subtraction mostly. Lindsay is doing phonics. I am hoping this will make the transition back to school easier. So after that we went outside for awhile. Austin got home and brought us Popeyes for dinner. We ate then all played outside for awhile longer. Afterwards we did our typical Friday night movie. We watched Marley and Me with them. I think they liked it but it did have some "adult" themes which I was hoping wouldn't open up too many lively discussions! 
Saturday ended up being a very low key quiet day. We had originally planned to meet up with some friends at a local park but everyone cancelled on us. It stinks sometimes having a hubby who works on Saturdays and then everyone else is busy. But the kids and I were going to make the best of it and go anyway. We were all packed up and ready to leave when I noticed outside that the skies looked ominous. I went ahead and told the kids it might rain that we would see how it looked when we got in the car. Well sure enough it was dark skies all around us. It wasn't raining yet but I figured the minute we stepped foot into a park the skies would open. We opted of school supply shopping at Target instead. By this point last year I had already bought their supplies so I figured that we would have no problems getting what we needed at Target. Well much to my surprise the supplies were very picked over and they didn't even seem to have everything out yet! We got about 80% of it done...guess I'll be going back though sometime over the next 2 weeks to finish up. Well by the time we got home it was lunch time. We had lunch then rested. The afternoon was very low key. We did get some school work done and played outside. Austin got off work early so he could do yard work. The kids were in/out all evening and we even took a walk. I am loving long summer days! After their baths I let them stay up and watch Despicable Me. We usually only do movies on Fridays but this was on tv and ended at 8 so I figured why not?!?
Sunday was of course our church day. We went to 1st service. Although Austin got a phone call at 4:45 am saying someone had died in the hotel. Anyways come to find out it was a suicide. Such a sad way to start our Sunday. Anyway he was back home by about 7 so we were able to still go to church as a family. We were particularly excited b/c Colby's friend Nijel was getting baptized today. Now that the kids are both going upstairs and I am on a break it feels good to just go to church and worship. I mean I love teaching and I really miss my preschoolers and I look forward to returning there one day or to start teaching upstairs but for now this time to be with my husband in church is amazing. So thankful for that. Anyway it was awesome to see Nijel baptized. These 2 boys have been best buds since they were 5 years old. Its been so neat to see them grow up and change together. Colby did have a little "friend issue". The 3 amigos we lovingly call them have not been so friendly lately. Well it really all started the last month or so of school. Colby would come home saying his friends were leaving him out basically and telling them they didn't want to play with him. We figured it was happening b/c the 2 friends are headed off to a different school in the fall together. It was like they were forming this club that Colby wasn't allowed into. We basically told him to be kind to them but also try to seek out other friends and to just hang on b/c school was almost out. So this summer they really haven't all been together much The 2 have also gone off and started going to camps all again they have pretty much been together non-stop. As sad as it was to not have them as a part of VBS I think it was good for Colby. He could start the transition of making new friends and knowing a world outside of them. I have been thankful for this little trio and their closeness at school and church for the last few years and I am thankful for our families and how its brought us all close but I think sometimes we need to expand out of our comfort zones. Anyway like I say the 3 of them really haven't been together much since school got out...maybe once at a b-day party and a couple times at church but that's been it. I know Colby has missed them but I think its been helpful to his own behavior and mood to not be around all that. Well yesterday they were all at church and they had a falling out. It all began maybe with something about Colby tattling. Which supposedly Nijel came to Colby and told him that Makyrin said that he sucks and he wasn't his friend anymore. I guess Colby told Ryan then Makyrin got confronted and he fell out crying and claiming he never said such. Nijel couldn't explain why he would make that up except that he feels like Makyrin isn't a good friend to Colby. I don't know where I stand on all this. Anyway it hurt my heart to know all that went down on a day that they should have been celebrating their friend's salvation. I think Makyrin has an ugly heart. I have witnessed his bad behavior many times and its caused many conversations with Colby about what friends he truly needs to hang out with. Anyway this upcoming week Colby will be at church came and neither will be there and honestly I am a little thankful for that. I think it will do Colby some good to be around other kids that aren't them. 
So the rest of the day was busy. we got home from church and ate lunch then the boys went off to mow my parent's yard. With my dad having that surgery a week and a half ago he still can't mow. Once they got home we all rested. That afternoon we cleaned up around the house then my parents came to stay with the kids while we went birthday shopping for colby. We don't get many "date nights" so it was nice to have an excuse to go out. We in the past have chosen to do this so it worked out well and I am glad we were able to arrange it. We first went to Academy. he has talked about getting a new scooter. His original one he got for his 5th b-day and its really too small for him now. So we got him a Razor one. I think he will enjoy it. We also got him a water bottle holder for his bike. We then went to eat at Huey P's pizza. It was good and we enjoyed the time to visit and be together as husband and wife. After that we ended the evening with a stop at Walmart. We got him a lego set. I think he's set! I cannot believe in a week he will be 9! So crazy! 

Friday, July 7, 2017

4th of July Week

Well it was nice having Austin off for 3 days around the 4th. He was off Monday. Ofcourse Monday though is my grocery shopping day. I got ready and went and did that by myself while he took the kids on a few more exciting errands. I was kinda glad to go alone and finish up more quickly. Anyway once we all got home it was about lunch time. We ate lunch and then rested a bit before getting into our swim suits and heading over to my parent's house to swim. I was so anxious to get in the pool. It had probably been over a week since the last time. Austin was also going to mow my parent's yard. Since my dad had surgery on Friday he can't do it right now. We thought it would work out perfect for him to mow and us swim then he could join us. We ended up swimming for probably over 2 hours. It felt so good and was so fun hanging out as a family. My poor dad though I know he must have wanted to get in. We came home so we could cook dinner here. After dinner the kids played outside some while we cleaned up.
Tuesday was the 4th. It was nice to once again kinda sleep in as a family and not have anywhere to rush off to. Austin made a big breakfast of waffles and sausage. We ate and got some house stuff done. I also had to make potato salad for our lunch at my parent's house. We got over to their house around 11:30 or so. We weren't in a major rush since we had swam the day before. Plus as soon as we were all ready to leave there was a major downpour at our house. We got there though in plenty of time to visit while my mom finished up the lunch preparations. It was a quiet 4th this year. Just us and my parents. We enjoyed the time with them though. After lunch we all went outside and my mom, Austin, and the kids went swimming. I stayed out this time and visited with my dad. They swam for about 30 min then we all came in and had dessert. That afternoon we got home about 3 and we mostly just hung out. austin and Colby did end up taking a long bike ride while Lindsay and I stayed here. I just sat out and read my book. It was over 100 degrees so I didn't really feel like riding my bike. After that we came in and all heated up various leftovers to have for dinner. After dinner we all decided to get out for a walk. Even though it was hot it felt good to get out like that. We didn't do any fireworks this year. Its always so late to actually go see any and then for whatever reason we didn't get around to buying any this year. We did get to see some from within our neighborhood though so that was cool.
Wednesday it was back to work for Austin. The kids and I slept in and I sorta debated on what to do with them that day. I wanted to take them to City Park for beignets and to play on the playground..that's one of our summer bucket list items but we got a late start and with church that night I just really didn't want to go that far. We ended up instead just running some errands close to home. We went to the library first...Colby is flying through books and I really hate to buy a bunch. Also Lindsay loves checking out books at the library so I am happy to oblige. After that we went on to Party City to buy some supplies for Colby's sleep over with Nijel. We decided to not have a big party this year. We had first thought of having a big party at the trampoline park but it cost so much money and I just didn't feel like the stress honestly and Colby came to me asking if he could have a friend sleep over for his birthday. I asked him if he would be willing to skip having a party and do that instead and he was all for it. Anyway I thought it would be fun to let him pick out some plates, napkins, and such for the day. He picked Hot Wheels again which was fine with me. He's not really into any characters anymore. After that we just had to run into the bank then we came home and had lunch. Our afternoon was pretty low key. I did have them work on some school stuff. Lindsay mostly just practicing her lower case letters and Colby is working on different types of sentences. I feel like he knows it but its nice to review before 4th grade. That night we had church. I think we all enjoy it more during the summer b/c they don't see their friends as often and we have pretty low key days so they aren't as tired. Anyway we ate up there. The kids are always happy to eat and visit with Ella and Eli. Again I was upstairs for Jumpstart with the kids. I was asked this week to teach the kinder-2nd grade girls. Kristen had to teach the older girls. I have to say I loved it! We had 6 girls and all but 2 I had taught before. I just absolutely adored them. They listened and were so sweet! I really didn't have plans to follow Lindsay upstairs but I feel this is where I need to be for now. We did the story of Abraham. I was excited b/c I had a kids Bible that went through the whole story so I think it helped them by seeing pictures and hearing it in the whole context. We also sang Father Abraham then made "promise books." It was a fun night. I also enjoyed the large group time though and seeing all the kids. Poor Colby really didn't have any friends there. I mean he and Ella both seemed like lost gooses. He did talk to her some and even Makyrin but a lot of the boys play soccer during free time and that's not his thing. His 2 closest buddies weren't there. I am hoping that with seeing his best friends less that he will start to expand his friendships to some of the other boys. 
Thursday was a good day. My parents had promised Colby an outing before his birthday. They picked him up around 10:30 and took him shopping, out to lunch, then to their house to play for a bit. While they had him out I knew it was only fair that Lindsay and I do something special for her. City Park playground and beignets was something on our list. It was also something that I knew she would probably enjoy more then him. We ended up meeting our friends Ashleigh and Makylee there. She and I first went and had beignets. Oh how this girl loves beignets! She truly is a NOLA girl. She asks for them about every 4-6 months. We don't get them often but she and I usually find time to sneak away and get them. Anyway after enjoying our mid-morning snack we went to play on the playground with our friends. It was really hot but we still managed to have about 45 min of fun. The girls mostly enjoyed climbing in the oak trees and following the ducks/geese around. The play area was honestly too hot to play on. Once we got home it was lunch time then she and I had some downtime before Colby got home. My parents dropped him off about 3 and they stayed awhile to visit. That afternoon was busy with keeping the kids occupied and cooking dinner. 
It's been a great week though and I cannot believe here we are winding down another week of summer! 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Summer Week 5

So here we are ending another Summer week. Its so hard to believe how fast the weeks are flying by! So we got in from our trip on Tuesday. 
Wednesday Austin went back to work and so it was a day of getting back to routines for the kids and I. We started the day with a trip to the grocery. We got home right in time for lunch. We had lunch then rested and hung around the house. I have been trying to get them to work on school work in the afternoons. Colby also had a book report to write so he and I worked on that. That evening we had church. It felt good to get back. With church being cancelled the week before, then missing Sunday with our trip and even missing my Women's Study I felt like it had been forever since we had been. The kids also enjoyed being back. We ate dinner there and they had Mo's pizza. During the Bible study time I went back upstairs to help out with Jumpstart. Seeing some of my preschoolers really made me miss them but I know right now I need to take a break from that. I enjoyed being upstairs. The big kids were out on the playground for the first 30--45 min. They had free play then played an organized game. I also enjoyed visiting with some of the other adult helpers out there and getting to see some of the kids my kids hang out with. There were about 4 other 8 year old boys there that evening. Neither of Colby's two besties came but I was glad there were some other boys for him to hang with. He is closest to JT though but I am hoping he will expand friendships to some of the others this upcoming year. Lindsay mostly hung with Ebbie. This was her first time to have Ebbie there since she promoted. Ebbie was in our class downstairs and even though she is almost a year older then Lindsay they get along really great. Lindsay had a blast this week! I ended up helping Kristen with the k-2nd grade girls class. My plan was not necessarily to teach Lindsay's class but she said the other girls class only had 2. Lindsay's class had 4 so I guess she wanted me in the bigger class. Their lesson was on what God created. She had given them some random objects in a paper bag and told them to create something. Well this was right up Lindsay's ally. She loved doing that! Anyway it was a great night! 
Thursday the kids and I had a free day. We decided to go play putt-putt out at City Park. We are slowly crossing things off of our summer bucket list. It was fun just going the 3 of us. We chose to play the New Orleans side. We were fortunate that it was overcast and even sprinkled a tiny bit that kept us mostly cool while we played. After I took them out to McAlister's for lunch. Again it was a sweet moment just mommy and the kids. We came home after and just enjoyed a nice afternoon at home. Our routine pretty much consists of me taking a nap while they play the iPad and/or watch tv, I do some cleaning, they were on school stuff for about 20 min, we hang out and play, and then go outside, then I cook dinner. I love these simple, slow days. Its been so nice to finally slow down in life.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it and I feel they have too. 
Friday my dad had surgery. He was having hernia repair surgery done. He and my mom had to be at the surgery center at 6am. Well I knew I couldn't be there that early but I woke up at 6 and had us out the door and we got there about 8:30. When we arrived Lizzie was there with them. I got to go back and see my dad. he had been out of surgery about 20 min and was in recovery. The kids and I waited about an hour in the waiting room for him to get out then we followed he and my mom home. I wanted to make sure he got in and settled. He seemed to be doing well so we left so he could rest. I promised the kids a trip to Barnes and Noble so we stopped by there before coming home. They were both excited to pick out a book. They have so many books and we have been trying to use the library more but it had been awhile and its sort of a summer tradition for us to go by there. Afterwards we had lunch and came on home. We did our usual summer afternoon routine from there. That night we had baked potatoes for dinner. 
Saturday the kids and I once again had a free day. We had contemplated going swimming at my parent's house but I was having "female" issues and I really didn't want to go over there and make my mom have to do all the work with the kids since she's taking care of my dad. Anyway it worked out we ended up meeting friends at the park. My friend Melissa (our pastor's wife) asked if we could meet at the park. She had her 3 younger kids and I had my 2. Colby and Ella are great friends and Lindsay loves hanging out with Ella as well. Eli is also 7 and he plays with them too. Then her youngest Emma who is 2. We got there and it was super hot. The kids played for about 30 min before they were dying of the heat. We found some shade and continued to visit for a bit. After about an hour we couldn't take it anymore so we decided to take the party to ChickFilA. The kids were really wanting to have a playdate that afternoon. I had originally offered to have Ella and Eli over but once I got my period I really just wanted to relax that afternoon. Colby tried to get himself invited to their house but I would have felt awful her there with 4 kids by herself on a Saturday. Anyway we promised the kids we would do all that another day. Lunch was nice and of course though it was hectic and loud but that's life with kids and I have just learned to roll with it. That afternoon we just did our usual thing and hung out at home. 
Sunday it was nice to have Austin off with us again. He got home early Saturday but the other days during the week we hardly saw him. anyway we all went to 1st service. With me no longer serving in preschool its been so nice to attend church together. I know God has plans for me and I want to start serving in Jumpstart this fall but for now its just nice to sit in church together. The kids also enjoyed their class. Lindsay was so happy b/c her closest friends were all there: Mia, Genevieve, and Ebbie. Its made such a difference with her going upstairs. After church we went to go eat lunch at Rivershack. The afternoon was spent just hanging out. Austin did get their big water slide out so they loved playing on that. We let them play for about an hour during the afternoon then it was pretty hot so we made them take a break then they went back out after dinner. It ended badly though b/c all they did was fuss and argue. They basically both ended up punished and had to go to bed early that night. 
I cannot believe another week has come and gone and now we are in JULY! It feels like we just got out of school. Its been great having the kids home and having time to slow down. I look forward to all the fun this month before we get geared back up for school to start. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Alabama Vacation

Well we planned a sorta last minute trip for us as a family. This summer since we aren't really taking any BIG vacations Austin and I kept throwing around ideas of doing something small as a family. We have a pretty busy fall coming up with a beach trip and a trip to Texas so that's the main reason we didn't plan a HUGE one over the summer. His family went to Tennessee a couple weeks ago and we were invited to join but with us having just gone there last summer and it being such a BIG trip and the timing just wasn't right with us being just finishing up VBS and swim lessons. 
Anyway so the idea came up of us going to The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama. Austin and I had been there 10 years ago but we had never taken the kids. Plus Austin could get us an associate rate which made it even better! So we made the plans and went for it. Well in talking about summer ideas Colby mentioned wanting to go back to the Battle Ship in Alabama. We had gone about a year and a half ago but it was freezing cold and we didn't get to see the whole thing. Anyway so that seemed like something we could easily add to this trip. 
So we packed up and left on Sunday morning. We stopped at McDonald's for a little breakfast though before hitting the road. After that we drove straight to Alabama and only had to stop at the Rest Stop for everyone to stretch and go to the potty. We got to the U.S.S. Alabama about 11:30. We did a different tour from last time then also explore the upper decks. We also did the Submarine. We wrapped up by about 1. I think the kids really enjoyed it...especially Colby. Lindsay really isn't into history yet. I am not sure she ever will or if its just b/c she can't really understand it yet? Anyway we all had a good time but were worn out by the time we got off the boat! Between the heat and all the walking/climbing! We drove a few miles and found a Zaxby's for lunch. After all the walking and such we had also worked up an appetite. After that we had about a 30 min drive until we got to the hotel. We were all pretty pooped by the time we got there. We arrived and our room wasn't quite ready so we decided to walk around a bit. By the time we really started walking we got a call saying the room was ready. We were all quite happy to hear that. We got a Bellman and headed up to check out the room. We were placed on the 2nd floor of the original building. There wasn't an elevator and it was definitely old/historic but we loved it. Our room was huge. We had 2 double beds and a couch that made into a bed. There were also 2 giant walk in closets. It was lovely having so much room. So we got in and rested for a few minutes and put our stuff away. The kids of course were itching to go down to the pool/beach though. So we got dressed in our swim attire and headed down. Our first stop was the beach but we were confused if the chairs were available to everyone or they had to be rented. We decided to go on to the pool until we found out for sure. The kids loved the pool. There was a giant family pool. We found some good chairs on the end by the fountains and zero entry. Also most of the pool was shallow enough that Lindsay could walk in it so that was nice. There was also a slide. She wasn't tall enough for but Colby loved it. So we just played by the pool for probably almost 2 hours. I mostly laid in the chair but I got in once or twice to cool off. Colby even met a little friend out there. After awhile Lindsay wanted to go play in the sand so we went to the beach and sat in some chairs. They had fun playing by the shore. It was really nice to just relax and watch them play. Colby had 2 little friends out there he was playing with. By about 6:30 we were all getting hungry. We had decided to just eat dinner by the pool. With arriving that afternoon we knew the kids would just want to play and so we wanted just a casual, quick dinner. It ended up being really good though. I had a shrimp wrap that was really delicious and Colby had a burger and Lindsay a grilled cheese. After we ate we took our time walking back to our room. We took in the sights along the way. They had yard games positioned all along the green back to the main building. We stopped and played most of those. Once we got back to the room we were anxious to go ahead and bathe the kids and get them wound down. We all went to bed a little before 10 I believe. 
Monday it was nice to just sleep in and take our time getting started. We all woke up around 8ish. We went ahead and dressed in our swimsuits and got ready to head down to the pool. We had packed granola bars and pop tarts to just eat in our room that morning. We figured that would save us money and time. We got to the pool right about 9. It was nice when we first got there it wasn't crowded at all. We got great seats in the shade. The kids were having a blast and were in and out the pool basically all morning. We stayed by the pool until about 11:30 before going to lunch. Since we didn't have a very big breakfast we wanted to eat an early lunch. We once again ate by the pool. It was just so much easier that way! This time I had a salad, Colby had a hotdog, and Lindsay had a pb and j. We ate then went on to the beach. We spent about an hour by the beach. Again it was nice to just relax and sip a cold drink while the kids played in the sand and by the water. I feel like we have finally arrived with our parenting. We can relax and they can play! Around 1 I was getting hot and I knew Lindsay was getting a little tired and hot too so she and I went on up to the room. I was anxious to shower while she watched some tv. I turned on the Disney Channel and she relaxed while I got cleaned up. It felt good to just have some down time. The boys got back up to the room around 2:30. They rested for a bit and we all got dressed and ready to leave for dinner. We got to the restaurant around 4. Austin thought we were crazy for going to eat so early but I told him we would be glad b/c of crowds. Sure enough we were able to walk right in but by the time we left there was a long line out the door! Dinner was good but honestly I think I could have found a better place. We ate at Lambert's...its a fun atmosphere but to me the place just seemed dirty and the food was just ok. I mean it wasn't bad but I don't think I would repeat there for awhile. So after dinner we drove around a bit before heading back to the hotel. We got back to the hotel and decided to walk dinner off. We walked around the ponds and where the boats dock. It was nice seeing some different atmosphere. We headed back up the room around 7 and it was soon time to get the kids ready for bed. It had been a very busy day! We let them stay up and watch some tv though after getting their pjs on. 
Tuesday we slept in until about 7 I think. We all started getting dressed so we could pack up and leave. I think we left the hotel around 8:30. We stopped at a Chickfila on the way out of town for breakfast. After that we were on our way home. We decided in Mississippi to take the scenic drive home. It was fun driving by the beach and seeing sights. We even stopped by Austin's grandmother's old house. We got home I guess around 1. We picked up Subway for lunch. It felt good to get back. We spent the afternoon getting things back in order around the house. 
It was a short trip but we had a blast! I think we will definitely return there! The kids loved it! I would love to check it out sometime in the fall maybe when its cooler and isn't quite as crowded. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Week 4 of Summer

Wow its amazing how quickly we are flying through summer around here. We are now starting our 4th full week off of school. 
So Monday Austin was was finally the first day since the kids have been out of school that we were able to have a Family Fun day. We had promised the kids we would go see CARS 3. They have been super excited about it ever since they knew that movie was coming out. That morning though I had to grocery shop so Austin kept the kids here and worked on some projects outside. As soon as I got home we all worked together to get everything put away so we could leave. We drove over to eat at Jimmy John's then go see the movie. The movie was super cute! We also ended up in this fancy theater. I had picked the movie based on time and knew it had said DOLBY next to it but just thought that meant better sound quality. So we paid and we realized the ticket prices were higher then usual but still had no idea why. We also had assigned seats. Well it turned out we were in the super nice theater with the leather seats that reclined. It was so nice and relaxing! I probably wouldn't do this often since the ticket prices were higher but it was still a fun experience for a day. After the movie we came home and relaxed for about an hour before my parents came to pick the kids up and take them to dinner. They were also spending the night with them. 
It felt good to have a quiet evening with just Austin and I. We spent a lot of time out on the patio reading and visiting. It was really nice. He grilled steaks and we had baked potatoes, grilled fresh corn, and home grown tomatoes for dinner. It was all so yummy! After dinner we took a walk. It really was nice to have a stay in date night like that. He had mentioned us going out but after a busy day of grocery shopping and being out with the kids at the movie I really just wanted to stay in. Hopefully we can go out soon though! We also watched the movie Sully that night. It really was a great summer day! 
Tuesday we woke up to a very rainy and nasty day as Tropical Storm Cindy approached our coast. I had Bible study though that morning while the kids were still with my parents. I am really enjoying this book study we are doing. It was nice to get to fellowship with friends and other ladies again! Afterwards I went to get the kids. My friend ashley and her son Jackson were also at my parent's house. I hated to scoop up the kids and run but we were planning to meet up at Virginia's house for a bit just as a final goodbye to them. We got over there and stayed about an hour. The kids had fun playing with all their kids. Between the 4 of us we have 10 kids! They were all staying for pizza and hang out time but I told my littles we needed to come on home. Since they had been gone the night and afternoon before and didn't get much sleep and we had a fridge full of leftovers I figured it would be good for us to come home. That afternoon we rested and hung out. We've gotten back into routine of them doing school work in the afternoons. Colby has been working on math and language and Lindsay has been doing letters, phonics, and shapes. That night I cooked a roast for us. We had that for dinner and Austin was home in time to meet us. The kids played outside that afternoon/evening in the tropical storm and had a blast! 
Wednesday the kids had swim lessons. It was their final one! I looked forward to having that finished. We woke up to sunny skies and no sign of the tropical storm. Ofcourse though as soon as swim lessons started the rain and wind picked up again. They did fine though..since there was no lightening the lessons went on as scheduled. I was glad to finally be done until next year! When we finished we picked up Chickfila for lunch. Ofcourse as we were getting home a tornado warning went off and we got drenched coming in the house. It all ended up ok though. Church though was cancelled that night. It was kinda nice though to have another low key afternoon. We had leftovers that night for dinner. The kids and I were able to take a walk and spend plenty of time outside. 
Thursday was a VERY busy day! I had been asked to sub at Aurora's summer camp. Actually they tried to get me to work both Monday and Tuesday but that ended up falling through...which looking back now I am honestly relieved. I love the school and helping out but this summer has become apparent to me that I need to focus on resting and focus a bit more on me. After many years of working in preschool ministry and recently stepping away from that it has honestly felt so good this summer to not have those stresses. Anyhow helping out occasionally isn't bad...I was asked actually if I wanted to finish out the summer teaching 2 days a week but that felt like too much to me. So I subbed in one of the 2 year classes. This summer they have a 1 year old class, two 2 year old classes, and a big kid room which is basically older 3s to 6 year olds. I also brought Colby and Lindsay with me. I figured they would have fun since they still both think very fondly of their old school. So in my class I had 7 littles. I only really knew 2 of them from the school year so I had to learn quickly who was who and personality quirks and all that. The theme was circus and thankfully the other 2 year old teacher had come up with crafts and had books for us to read. My kids basically hung out and played. There were 2 other boys there close to Colby's age but they were playing in iPads the entire time and I think were a little mean to him. It was kind of discouraging b/c one of them I had really hoped to be a friend Colby would be able to get to know this summer. So Colby and Lindsay helped and just kinda played on their own. They were very well behaved though and I was proud of them. So the schedule of the day was...when all the kids arrived by 8:45 we took them out to the playground. We stayed outside probably a little over 30 minutes. They came in and we had snack time. The other teacher also popped popcorn for them. While they had snack I tried reading to them but they weren't really listening. After snack I let them play while I cleaned up then we did a craft. Now that was exhausting. I needed like 10 sets of hands. I am not sure how they normally do crafts like maybe only have 1 or 2 kids participate at a time but they all came over and wanted to work on it so I felt like a crazy lady. We made clown faces and there were so many steps and glue involved! After that we cleaned up the room again and they played for awhile. By that point the room was a disaster so I told them all to clean up before lunch time. We ate lunch which again I felt was very tiring b/c I was helping kids open things almost the entire time and hardly had time to eat myself. After lunch they went back outside...praise the Lord. Even though it was hot...outside time was the best part of the day! After that we came in to do the other craft which was a popcorn picture. For this I recruited Colby and Lindsay's help which was huge! It seemed to go a little more smoothly and we finished that and moved on to story time and music. They really didn't listen to the story again. I am not sure if it was the age or the books. The books were honestly too long for their age level. They were not engaged at all. They enjoyed singing though. After that we had about 20 min left so I let them play on the carpet with just a few toys. I really didn't want to pick up the rest of the room again! Once all the kids were picked up and thankfully they were picked up on time we were able to leave and got home about 1:30. Austin had gotten off work early so we came in and all rested for awhile. I felt pretty worthless the rest of the day. I was so tired. I don't think I am cut out to teach toddlers every day. Not even twice a week haha! Anyway we had a nice family afternoon and evening. We made baked spinach tortellini and just hung out. 
Friday I had promised the kids a trip the Monkey Room. My goal is to now do one big fun thing with them a week. So far we have gone to the Children's Museum and Monkey Room. We invited Lindsay's friend Layla and her mom to meet us there and also offered to keep her little friend Genevieve for the day. We met both there and the girls all had a blast playing. I was thankful for some girl time for Lindsay. She really hasn't had much friend time yet this summer. She's had a couple playdates but Colby has had a couple friend days this month so I felt she was due her turn as well. I enjoyed visiting with Cindy while the kids played. We left around lunchtime and came home. Genevieve spent the afternoon with us and the kids had a good time playing. She was here until about 5. After she left Austin got home. he brought takeout home and we enjoyed that. He also did yard work. The kids played outside and I mostly stayed inside. I was just so tired after the past 2 days. Anyway that night we of course did movie night. We watched Bambi! I was so excited to have that on DVD now. 
Saturday the kids and I had a pretty busy day. We did sleep in though that morning. Our first thing we had to accomplish was getting Allie to the vet. After that we set out to buy uniforms. I felt so behind this year b/c usually I have that done by mid-June. We were able to pick out their stuff quickly. Luckily by now I know their sizes and what they need so its really easy. Colby needed new shirts and pants/shorts but Lindsay only needed skirts. Fortunately I kept all of Colby's shirts from kinder and first so she will wear those. Honestly though I think she will be able to start the year in her prek4 uniforms. After that we made a stop by my parent's house to go swim. They were wanting to see the kids and it was hot outside so I figured it was a win/win. We swam for about an hour. The kids had fun and it was nice to visit with them. By the time an hour was up a thunderstorm was blowing over so we quickly got out and dressed and went on home. The afternoon was spent packing and resting before our trip! Look for a fun post about our alabama trip coming up!