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! 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Father's Day Weekend

Friday of course was the start to the weekend. The kids and I were able to sleep in and take our time getting ready. We had errands to run though. We went to Lowe's to get Austin a Father's Day gift and then to Target to buy a baby gift and a b-day present. We finished up our errands right around noon. We got in and I made lunch for us while the kids played. After lunch we all rested a bit then I got up and did a little cleaning then we headed out to my parent's house to go swim. Now that the kids are older its easier to go swim in the afternoons. We had also done this on Saturday. It works out well b/c we can still accomplish stuff in the morning but it keeps our afternoons from being so long and hot. The weather the last 2 days has been up to 100+. The pool felt great and we swam for 2 hours straight. Its so fun to see them like little fish. Lindsay especially has come such a long way! After swimming we picked up Chickfila and came home to eat with Austin. we had a picnic dinner outside. After dinner we cleaned up then we had our movie night. We watched the new Beauty and the Beast movie. 
Saturday was a fun day. Well we first got to be lazy and really enjoy the slowness of the morning. It felt great to be in our pjs until almost noon and just relax. I made muffins for the kids and they just played and lazed around. We were resting and preparing though for a busy weekend. Colby was invited to a b-day party for Makyrin that began at 1. We got him to the party and enjoyed visiting with the other parents and kids for awhile. I had been invited to a shower for my good friend Brittany that was from 2-4. Originally I wasn't sure how I would do both and we got the invitation for the b-day party before the shower so I knew that had to be my priority. Well when talking to Melody she volunteered to just bring Colby to me after the party was over. That was such a lifesaver! So Lindsay and I left the party and headed to the church for the shower. The shower was really nice. I got to see lots of old friends. i mean I see them around some but not all in one place. Lindsay was such a little lady and such a pleasure to have with us. I enjoyed just soaking it all in. It had been awhile since i had been to a baby shower. I cannot believe its been 9 years since I was having showers in preparation for Colby. So Colby got dropped off to me around 3:45 and she had just finished unwrapping presents so we said our goodbyes and headed home. We had spaghetti for dinner and Austin got home in time to eat with us. We had a low key night and the kids watched CARS before bed. They are so excited about seeing CARS 3 this week! 
Sunday of course was church and Father's Day. We went to the 1st service. It felt so strange arriving and not having to teach. We were running late though so I still felt a little crazed. We dropped Lindsay off upstairs for her first ever Sunday in JumpStart. She was really shy at first but I just had to peel her off and run. From what I hear though she did great. The service was great and it was an awesome message for fathers. The day was very bittersweet though b/c it was the Welbourne's last Sunday at church. Anyway after church I went to my parent's house with the kids. Austin had to stay and count and Randall and Elizabeth also had to stay to work 2nd service. I helped my mom get ready for the lunch and the kids played with my dad. We finally all sat down to eat I believe around 1:30. We enjoyed an afternoon of visiting and laughter. We didn't end up getting back to our house until like 5:30. Its always crazy when holidays are on a Sunday! It was a nice day though and I am thankful for all the men in my life. I'm thankful that I could spend time with my dad, brother, and hubby all in 1 day. We missed Austin's dad this year even though we typically wouldn't see him on Father's Day anyway but i know Austin missed just being able to pick up the phone and call him. Once we got home we got busy with some chores and then ate a light dinner and spent time outside with the kids.
It was a wonderful weekend and now we are looking forward to WEEK 4 of summer! 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Week 3 of Summer

Well we are officially starting our Week 3 of summer. Its our 3rd full week of summer! Hard to believe! Last week was of course VBS. 
So Monday Austin was off. The day started out with him having a dentist appointment. The kids and I stayed here and got some stuff done around the house. He got back and we had breakfast together before the kids and I headed out to go by the bank and grocery. He had a funeral to attend. We all got in around 11. We had thought about getting back out and going to lunch or taking the kids somewhere but shortly after we all got back the bottom fell out and it basically rained the rest of the day. We made the decision to just stay in again. Its kinda crazy that we had almost 2 full days at home b/c that NEVER happens but I think the Lord knew we needed it. I turned on Toy Story 2 for the kids and he and I went out on the patio to read and relax. It was so lovely. We sat and watched the rain. By 12 everyone was hungry so we made lunches and then all rested. That afternoon we basically did chores inside and hung out. Since we had some spare time on our hands we ended up making bread that afternoon. I was so excited to try it. It was a lengthy process b/c you have to let it rise twice but by the time it came out the oven that night it was so yummy. In between the bread baking we had dinner. We had chicken tenders, mac n cheese, green beans, and lima beans. It was nice to have a family meal together. We didn't get outside much b/c of all the rain. It was just an overall really relaxing day though! 
Tuesday I had a luncheon for my Women's Bible study to kick off our summer session. The kids were going to my parent's house to hang out. I was excited about just a little while to be with other ladies and not have my littles around. I love having them home during the summer but some days I do get weary when I don't have any breaks from them. So the luncheon was nice. Small but nice...we didn't have a HUGE turnout. I guess with people recovering from VBS and traveling. Anyway I did enjoy visiting with those who were there. I hung out at my parent's for a bit when I went to get the kids b/c they were still eating lunch and such. The rest of the day will be pretty low key. Its actually sunny today so we will probably try to get outside a lot. 
Wednesday was a nice low key day for us. The kids had swim lessons at 10. This was a make up lesson for them. Instead of them both swimming an hour they both got a 30 min session. It was nice to start our day with that. We got home and I got busy cooking lunch. We had a nice lunch and then rested. It was nice to chill. Gosh I have found myself so tired lately. I think my body is finally slowing down and realizing how tired it truly was from this spring and early summer. That afternoon the kids played outside some and I even made them work on a little school work. Before we knew it though it was time to get ready for church. This was our first Wednesday night in awhile. I think we had missed 2-3 sessions in May and then the church took a couple weeks off so needless to say my kiddos were quite ready to return! We had dinner there and they enjoyed seeing their friends. They got to eat and visit with Ella. Since I have no stepped aside from preschool ministry for now I decided to go help out in Jumpstart. Lindsay is now officially going upstairs! Its so hard to believe but it was time. Even though true promotion isn't until August. The Wednesday night class consists of a few 4 year olds and 1 or 2 two year olds which I just don't think is fair for her. She was a little shy and at a loss but then eventually warmed up. This little girl Mariah was up there. She was in my class a year ago so Lindsay got to know her. She is also 5 but just finished kindergarten. I am not sure if all of us being up there cramped Colby's style but I think he had fun being around other kids as well. It was a good night and I think the kids were tired once we got home! 
Thursday was a fun day for us. I had promised the kids a trip to the Children's Museum. They had begun asking me when we were going somewhere fun! Somehow they failed to remember camping, VBS, swim lessons, trips to Grammy's, etc. Anyway so I also had promised our friends who are in the process of moving to California that I would pick up their little boy and bring him with us. He's 4. So we got going yesterday and got to the museum about 10. We also met our friends Ashleigh and Makylee there. At first it was hard to get all 4 kids interested in the same stuff. We had a 8 1/2 year old, 5 1/2 year old, and two 4 year olds. I felt bad that Colby didn't have any friends but he seemed to enjoy being the oldest and still seemed to have fun. We spent a lot of time upstairs...they started in the grocery then played in the boat section for quite awhile then in the cajun forest section they played for awhile. After quite awhile of free play they wanted to go to the art room. The project for them was drawing fish and adding shiny scales on it like Rainbow Fish. This seemed to be something they all liked and enjoyed. After that they all decided they wanted to go downstairs. They loved the bubble and health and fitness section. I was glad to see mine play with some different stuff then they might do when we are there alone. By the time we finished with those exhibits it was time to go. It was noon and I wanted to get Jackson back home for lunch and my parking was about to expire. We dropped Jackson off then got home and ate lunch. It was a nice relaxing afternoon. We mostly hung out around here. It was so hot but I tried to get the kids outside for brief amounts of time. I cooked tacos and Austin made it home in time for dinner. So we ate then had some time outside as a family! It was really a perfect day! 
Its been a great week and we have so enjoyed not being so busy and getting into more of a summer routine! I cannot believe we are wrapping up the first 3 weeks of summer! 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Weekend to Recover

So after a very busy and stressful week of VBS I was definitely happy to see the weekend come. The kids still had swim lessons on Friday. I know the 3 of us were so tired though by that point. I didn't feel like I even got to fully absorb what they were doing this time at Swim lessons b/c I was honestly so distracted with all the church stuff going on. 
That afternoon I was just plum worn out. Luckily Austin brought home pizza so we had that for dinner. We let the kids do movie night and they watched Paddington. I felt bad b/c I was on the phone during most of it but I was talking to a good friend from out of town. 
Saturday...oh it felt so good to sleep in! We had a nice slow start to the morning which was awesome and much needed. Colby had been invited to go spend the day with his best friend which was nice. They picked him up at 10. His friend Nijel didn't go to VBS this year...he instead went to camp at his new school. Its bittersweet knowing that I know over this next year they will probably grow apart. Colby really hasn't even seen him since school got out. It was good to get them together though. I know he had a blast. Well I had promised Lindsay a trip to the library so she and I went to do that. It felt good to just have one kid and to take our time looking around there. We got our books then went to Target. I needed to stock up on some items there. After we came home and had lunch and took a brief nap. We picked Colby up and then went to my parent's house to swim. We had promised them we would come over since we really hadn't even had a chance to swim this summer. The kids really enjoyed the pool. My parent's little neighbor girl Mia also came over. She is Colby's age. The kids had a blast and Austin even met us over there. We all swam and played hard for 2 hours. Well on the way over there Colby had said he had felt queasy at Nijel's house but I didn't think too much of it. I figured he had played hard and maybe hadn't eaten/drank enough. He was fine the entire time in the pool. Well once we got home he felt very ill and ended up projectile vomiting all in the bathroom. I still thought it might be an issue with blood sugar. This has happened a handful of times where he doesn't have enough protein, he has something sugary and he gets sick. Well he tried to eat dinner and then he ended up puking in the tub that night. I think he threw up a total of 4-5 times. I was worried that now the rest of the family would get sick too. I was starting to feel iffy but I wasn't sure if I was sick or if it was just in my head. Well we went to bed knowing that our plans for church were out the next day. 
Sunday since we weren't going to church we got to sleep in which felt so good. It also felt good to know we didn't have to be anywhere that day. It did feel so strange though not getting up and going to church. We used the day mostly to be productive around the house and catch up on life after the craziness of the weeks before. Colby was still not feeling great so he mostly laid around. He finally perked up mid-day and would get little bursts of energy. We watched church online and had leftovers for lunch. That afternoon we rested and spent some more time outside in between the rain. We had burgers and ate them outside and then all got to play outside and spend time together. Even though our plans didn't turn out I think God knew we needed this day. Since school got out I feel like we have been rushing from one event to another and yes I hated to miss VBS Sunday and Water day but I guess God knew we needed a day not to rush. Its not often we get that chance. The day really was a blessing and helped us recover. Colby by that evening seemed completely back to normal too which was wonderful to see! 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

VBS #Gadgets and Gizmos

Whew this week has been super busy! WE were right in the midst of VBS week and also swim lessons. I'll give a run down of our week! 
Monday- Thankfully Austin was off...he was able to grocery shop for us and help hold down the fort with a busy mom and tired, exhausted kids. The kids and I set off for our first day of VBS. This year has been a little different....I was asked originally to help co-direct the preschool vbs but then at the last minute it was asked if I would teach the 4 year old class. At the last minute a compromise was made and it was said that I would stay with them for the first hour then they had a back up teacher. I have to say I have been a little frustrated and hurt with this VBS. I am trying to look at it as a growing moment and maybe a lesson God has for me and also not to let it overshadow the real reason I am there. So anyway Monday was a good day. The focus is we are wonderfully made. Monday the kids focused on that we are all made unique and special. I've enjoyed still getting to interact with all 3 preschool classes. Lindsay is once again in the pre-k classroom and has Mrs. Ashleigh as her teacher. She has a few besties in there and she's having a great time. Colby is of course in the 3rd grade class. I don't get to see much of him or what he's doing but he's an old VBS pro and I know he's having a good time. His 2 best friends aren't doing VBS this year but I think he's making some new friends and hanging out with some other kids so he's doing just fine. So after VBS we came home and ate and crashed. Swim lessons went well and Austin cooked us chicken fried rice that night. I had been invited to a girl's night to see a movie but I was so tired plus I hated to leave Austin and the kids after not seeing them much during the day. 
Tuesday was a bit of a rough day. Well first off it was raining and Austin had to take my van into to be serviced which meant we drove his truck. I just felt "off" the whole day. It was also a really long morning in the preschool since we couldn't take the kids outside. Things felt chaotic. Their lesson was about Jesus healing the blind man though and I think one of their favorite activities was putting "mud" on the blind man's eyes. I was so thankful Austin was home though once again to hold down the fort. He made us lunch when we got home then took Colby for a much needed hair cut. That afternoon we of course had swim lessons. We decided not to cook and to do leftovers for dinner. It helped b/c we were able to get the kids outside and have a bit more relaxed evening. 
Wednesday Austin was back at work so it was just the kids and I. I really surprised myself by being up and ready on Wednesday and we left our house at 7. We were able to pick up Chickfila breakfast for the kids and for our children's pastor Stephen. It was a good day and I felt more on top of things. Everyone and everything seemed a bit more in sync. The lesson was about Nicodemus and Jesus. So the focus was our friends and that Jesus is our Friend. That afternoon we had swim lessons and my parents came to watch the kids. It was nice to visit with them. Austin got home and we cooked jambalaya and had a nice family dinner. I would say overall it was a really great day even though I was super tired. 
Thursday we were back at it. The whole day I felt really out of the loop though. Honestly this whole VBS was very confusing from. I didn't find out until 3 weeks prior what I would even be doing with VBS. For 3 years I co-directed the VBS. I had been asked each year to do that early in the year. This year I had heard nothing and finally I was asked about 3 weeks prior to co-direct with our preschool director. Well she had never done this at all so I basically scrambled and did all the pre-work and helped her get through a lot of the planning and paperwork. Well now this week of I have felt very awkward and overall just didn't seem to really know where I belonged. On Sunday one of our teachers had to step aside and I was told that I would teach the middle room. Well for 3 weeks I had been planning and focused on VBS from a leadership standpoint. Its not that I thought I was in any way too good to teach I just knew from a leadership perspective that each year that I have done it its been a 2 person job. I have always had back up and we have always stayed super busy. We average 60 children in the preschool the week of VBS. That's 3 classrooms of 20 kids and throw in 6+ teachers and numerous helpers. Well anyway so it was so bad on Thursday and I was so hurt that the Children's Pastor came over to talk with me. I was thankful for his listening and understanding. Well that night I really wrestled with it and many tears and prayers later I decided to resign from preschool ministry for now. 
Friday was super hard. I drove to church with tears in my eyes but really knowing that that was what was best for me for now. I told the Preschool Director right away b/c I couldn't hold it in all day. I felt very off and distracted most of the day along with I had a pretty bad headache I am sure from the stress. The last day went ok but I was so worn out physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have never dealt with this during VBS. Its always been such a fun and happy week for me. 
I feel like overall it was a good week and my kids had fun and I know learned a lot. I hate that I had so much stress that took over that I don't feel like I was fully engaged and into it like years past. I know lessons will be learned though and that God still has a plan. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Week 1 of Summer

So here we are already winding down our first full week of summer! Its hard to believe. Well things have not stopped since Colby had Awards Day last Wednesday. 
Tuesday was our first day really in a summer routine mode with Austin returning to work. The kids and I took our time getting ready and they even began the day with some school work. My goal is to get them to do 15-20 min of learning each day. We will rotate between math/language activities. Colby has just been reviewing place value, rounding, addition/subtraction and sentence structure. Lindsay is working on counting and writing letters. We had to grocery shop. It was a busy morning once we returned and put all that away then I made lunches for them. We did have time to nap though which was nice before we headed out to Day 2 of swim lessons. When we got home I made spaghetti for the family. Austin worked late though so it was a pretty busy day for me! 
Wednesday we made plans to go up to the church and work on VBS stuff. I brought the kids with me. We pretty much just went through the curriculum that was printed and put that away and came up with a good game plan for the rest of the week. We were only there about 2 hours so that was nice. We got home and had some down time before lunch and swim lessons. That afternoon the kids did great again in swim lessons. We picked up McDonald's after for dinner b/c Austin was going to be working late. The kids and I took a walk even though it was raining. That's another thing is its pretty much rained all week! Their swim lesson was also cut short due to all the rain and thunder! 
Thursday was another work day for me at the church. This day I chose to let my parents keep the kids. I always try to balance the amount of time they spend up at the church. They enjoyed hanging out with them and swimming and such. It also worked out since we were having a teachers meeting and such. There were a few kids there but not really anyone my kids play with. I felt good about the day. We prayed over the classrooms as well. It was a sweet moment to just stop in the crazy and take that moment to pray over our teachers, classrooms, and kids. I left there and got the kids home and we once again had lunch and went on to swim lessons. The kids are still doing great. We came in and had white beans for dinner. Austin got in a tad earlier but still missed hanging out with us mostly. 
Friday was another work day. Again I brought the kids with me. We worked on making instruments and putting the curriculum boxes together. We picked up Chickfila for lunch. It was another day of getting home and having lunch and resting then going to swim lessons. I was so proud this day b/c Lindsay was moved down to the deep end for the first time. I was so proud of her! That afternoon Austin got home early. He met us home and helped cook dinner for us. It was nice to finally have a night together as a family. We did movie night with the kids and watched CARS. I was pooped by that night though. All the VBS prep and swim lessons really wore me out. 
Saturday we were up pretty early again. We had more VBS work to do. We met Patti Rae at SAM's at 9. We got the shopping finished in about an hours time. The kids were super and were actually great helpers and for that I was thankful. After SAM's the kids and I had to run to Target so we did that. After we brought all the stuff up to the church and helped make some instruments for the kids. By the time we finished I knew it was time for me to get the kids home. I hated to not stick around and help the teachers with their rooms but my kids had been up there a lot so I knew it was only fair to allow them to come home and have a day of rest. I needed it as well! The afternoon was very low key and it felt so good to not have to leave the house that evening. 
Sunday was church day. It was a very very busy day for me. I had to teach 1st service and Austin helped. We had 14-15 kids again. I am so thankful we are having so many kids but it feels like you can hardly get your head above water the entire time. I also found out that one of our VBS workers was out for the week due to pregnancy complications. After church Lindsay and I had a b-day party to attend. I was so tired and wishing we could just go home but it was for a good friend so I knew we needed to be there. The party was at Chuck E Cheese out in Metairie. First of all its a long way out there and secondly I hate Chuck E Cheese. Lindsay took a bit to warm up but she ended up having fun. It was for her little friend Makylee. It was her and Mia and Lindsay and they had a ball. I felt bad b/c the brothers were there too and we didn't bring Colby. I assumed it was only for the sisters b/c his name wasn't on the invite though so I hated to bring him in case she was planning for only a certain number. It was a nice party and I was glad Lindsay had friend time but I was honestly so glad to get out of that place. After having 15 preschoolers then going straight to that b-day I was burnt out! It felt so great to get home and be able to relax ...although my afternoon was mostly filled with vbs drama. It was an early bedtime for the kids which was nice so we could all be prepared for a busy week! 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Memorial Weekend

Since we arrived home Saturday morning from our camping trip we basically hit the ground running. I got back Saturday morning around 10 and we dropped Ella off. By the time Lindsay and I got home and I got our things unloaded it was time to make us a quick lunch before I had to get ready for a funeral. Mary Ulmer who was an older lady in our church had passed away on Wednesday. I knew her pretty well due to the fact that she was someone who has basically always been in my life. Her son and my brother were best friends growing up. She's been in Bible Study with me for the last 5 years and I am pretty close to her daughter Pattie. Anyway I knew it was something I couldn't miss. Austin and Colby had stayed to pack up and clean up the camper so my dad came over to watch Lindsay while my mom and I went to the funeral.
It was a very low key low fuss funeral but there were tons of people. It was good to visit with many familiar faces. We got home and by then the boys were back. We had a really low key afternoon as we were all pretty exhausted from the last few days! It was nice to finally be together as a family and just chill.
Sunday was back to church. It was a nice Sunday b/c I didn't have to teach. Austin and I were able to go into church together. I feel like these days are so few and far between. It felt good. Lindsay went in with us too. She's just at this really awkward age of being too big for clubhouse but can't promote until the end of summer. So when I am not teaching she doesn't want to go in there. After church we had lunch at RiverShack which was really yummy. We then came home. It was our first normal Sunday in quite awhile. We enjoyed the day around the house to catch up from the trip and also have some downtime. 
Monday was ofcourse Memorial Day. It was nice having the whole family home and sleeping in. We had a low key morning. We did some stuff around the house then left around 10 to go to my parent's house. It was a quiet Memorial Day this year b/c it was just us and my parents. It was nice though. The kids and Austin got to go swimming. I had wished after we got there I brought mine. It was raining when we got up and still very overcast before we left. I don't really care to swim in that type weather. Well of course once we got over there though the sun came out and it was beautiful. Oh well I am glad the kids and Austin got to swim though. Soon after we got out and we had hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch. We visited awhile with my parents before heading home. The fun wasn't over yet! The kids had swim lessons at 3:30. This year I signed them up for hour long lessons. I was glad Austin got to come to the first one of the year too. They both did good but Colby did end up getting really frustrated. She had him learning a lot of new strokes and things and I think he just got overwhelmed. I am excited though to see what all they accomplish over the next 2 weeks. Once we got in I think we were all pretty tired. Austin ended up going to pick up fried chicken for dinner. We ate and relaxed and got everyone off to bed early.