Hi! My name is Priscilla. I am the wife of a Methodist minister, mom of three, a piano teacher and musician. I feel inspired to share with you stories of our family, especially our cute kids! I also want to include pedagogical thoughts, resources and theories about my piano teaching career. I hope you love the stories, enjoy the tips, and find some things useful.
Audrey has turned one!! The first year is such an amazing feat! The growth and change in babies in those twelve months is simply incredible. They go from eating every two hours, sleeping, and of course pooping, to rolling over, sitting up, standing up, and finally walking (if they are brave enough) within twelve months! That’s only the short list of things they learn! There’s the eating, the teething, the laughing, the playing, the babbling and beginning of learning words, and so much more that babies learn in their first year! It’s nothing short of a miracle really. The first birthday is also, and perhaps more so, a celebration of the survival of the parents! 😅 I don’t know about other moms, but for myself, I can barely remember the first four to six months! HA! It’s all such a blur on many levels. I remember a few of the mile stones, but the day to day is simply blacked out. LOL! It does get easier once they start sleeping longer stretches, and your sleep deprivation is appeased.
Audrey has such a sweet personality. She has the cutest smile, the biggest blue eyes, and can give the sweetest hugs. She has a mouth full of teeth, and she loves to eat! There is not much she doesn’t like food wise. She is a champion crawler, and can walk when she is brave enough or forgets about being afraid. Ha!😏 The girl has a set of lungs!! She is probably the loudest baby ever!! 😬😊HA! I thought David was loud as a baby, but I don’t know, I think Audrey might have him beat. She has learned to use that volume to get her way too!
Since her birthday was on Easter Sunday, we celebrated on Saturday. The theme was bunnies! Her cake was made with the “Flopsy” bunny theme from Peter Rabbit. It has been our tradition to have the first cake made special, (G-pa and Grand-mama’s treat). The cake was such a work of art! It was so beautiful, I almost didn’t want to slice it, but it tasted almost as good as it looked!
I was able to get a few pictures of Audrey in her special birthday outfit. It’s really hard to get her to pose right now. She loves tampering with our phones, and so anytime she sees me with it trying to take her picture she wants to grab it. LOL! I did manage to get some with the camera facing her so she could see her face. All of our kids have been funny about their first smash cake. David loved his, and I have pictures of him with cake all over him! Emma didn’t like hers, she barely touched it. Samuel liked his, and ate quite a bit, but wasn’t too messy. Audrey was a lot like Samuel. She had already eaten her lunch, and so she was not too hungry, which kept her from digging in and being super messy. She was fascinated by the giant cake in front of her, and seemed to really like the taste. We were able to get pictures with her while she was licking the frosting.🥰
David, Emma, and Samuel were helpful in the gift opening process. They loved helping her unwrap her presents, and were very helpful. All the kids were glad to spend time with grandparents and Auntie Leah and Uncle B! We had a fabulous weekend with everyone, and was so thankful to be able to get together for Audrey’s birthday and Easter!
I have started playing piano for a church here in town. So this Easter was bit busy for me. I had four services to play for! However, Andrew fortunately, did not have duties on post this year. Andrew, the kids, and Jim and Alesia were able to come to one of the services, and we were able to worship together on Easter. I always count it a blessing when we are able to sit together as a family in worship! Then Andrew was able to work on putting together Easter lunch for everyone! I have a great husband that I can say he prepared Easter lunch! HA!😄😉 He smoked some pork, made hash brown casserole, steamed green beans, and heated up rolls! Stuffed eggs, and fruit salad were prepared the night before. It was delicious, and we were so blessed to have everyone over for lunch again!
Audrey had her first egg hunt! She didn’t know what to do of course, so once again, the others loved helping Audrey find her eggs! Audrey liked the sound they made when she shook them.💗 I love that the kids had matching outfits this year. They look so adorable! I know they probably won’t always want to match, and so I’m going to take advantage of it for as long as I can!
We are loving and enjoying this beautiful spring weather as much as possible! One of the best thing about babies, toddlers, and young kids is their amazement and discovery of the world around them! A dandelion flower can bring about many minutes of entertainment! 😊 Spring time is so great, because there are so many things to see and explore!
Andrew and I celebrated our first date, April 1st, at Heavenly Ham (now Honey Baked Ham) seventeen years ago! I can’t believe we are fixing to celebrate fifteen years of marriage next month! How time does pass! Life has been good! I look forward to the next fifteen!
The day has finally come! I have used up all my media storage for this site, and I will not be upgrading! 😄 Luckily I have all my pictures also on Snapfish, so I am not losing any of those precious photos. I have tried downloading my media, but apparently my internet is not fast enough so it always times out before it can finish! UGH!!! I hate technological problems! Anyway, I thought I would throw that out there, as it is one of the many reasons for my lack of blogging lately. I did figure out how to select multiple images on here and delete in bulk, so instead of taking all day it only took me about thirty minutes to delete about four years worth of images. BOO HOO HOO! Looking back on all those pictures just made me depressed, and amazed about how much time has passed!! Since I just freed up some media space, here are some more pictures!😅
This year the kids made Valentines day boxes and cards for their school parties, and neighborhood friends. David was very excited about his. He made a Godzilla box. He still loves Godzilla! Samuel just had fun decorating his own box with hearts, stickers and stuff. Emma was not happy that her class had to decorate a bag instead of a box. She felt cheated! So she wasn’t that into it. She’s so funny! I helped her out, and I think she had fun at her class party any way. Emma recently decided to try a new hairstyle. She cut herself some bangs! haha! It took me a while to get the truth from her, but she finally owned up to it.🙄 I then took her to the salon to get her bangs evened out. I do say, she does look super cute with bangs, and she likes them. I told her next time, just tell me she wants to try a new hairstyle and I will take her to get it done. NO MORE SCISSORS ON HAIR PLEASE! 😏 It was Audrey’s first Valentines day! She is now ten months old!! She is getting so big, so adorable, and so much personality!💕
Andrew bought me a rose for Valentine’s day. This is rose number nine! It has been a tradition that he gets me one every year for Valentine’s day, and Andrew says he is going to keep going until I get a dozen. So three more years! They are all beautiful, and I need to get them all out. He bought me a stand for a dozen, this year too, so I can display them all together. We fixed a special dinner at home, and exchanged gifts as a family. I made lobster mac and cheese, Andrew cooked a couple small filets to go with it, and some steamed broccoli. I also made chocolate mousse for dessert. The kids loved the dessert part of course! Maybe some day Andrew and I will get to have a date night! HA! It’s hard to find a sitter for four!
In other news, I have started playing piano for a local church again. I am super excited about the opportunity! I love learning new music, and I am happy to have the extra motivation to practice. It has been very good for me so far, and hopefully I can share some of that with you soon.
The new year always signifies a new beginning! New beginnings mean a fresh start, a clean slate, and a chance to set new goals, visit new places and meet new people. In years past I have viewed new years resolutions as setting oneself up for failure. Mostly because it is so easy to set unrealistic goals, and no real plan to achieve them. This year I feel a little bit different though. I have a mindset that is ready for a new year, and ready to brush off some ambition! 🙂
What are some of your new year resolutions?
Here are a few of mine:
1)Practice piano more consistently. 2) Think about and make a plan for future career goals. 3) Find a sport or activity that will help with getting into better physical shape. (I’ve always wanted to try racquetball!) 4) Travel somewhere I haven’t been before. 5)Create more date nights with Andrew.
We wound up our Christmas season by celebrating with my parents and sister and brother in law. We all had a very blessed Christmas! Spending time with family, and playing games is my favorite. Also, my aunt Carol, cousin Jessica and her beautiful, sweet kids stopped by to visit us! Seeing them was such a treat! I hadn’t seen them in person in quite some time.
If this year goes by as fast as the first couple weeks, the year will be gone in a jiffy! After having about three weeks off from school, we had to get back into the routine of getting up and getting ready for school again. The kids had their awards ceremony for last semester. David received the A/B Honor Roll award, and Emma received the award for mastering all her letters and sounds. She is starting to read pretty good too! I’m a proud Mama! 🥰
There has been a few warm days this January, and whenever there are warm days in winter, one should always try to take advantage of it! We did just that by taking the kids to the zoo! They still had their zoolumination lights up. It was spectacular, even in the day time! We enjoyed spending the day together, outside, and seeing some pretty amazing sights and animals.
This past week was spent handing out Tylenol and Motrin to sick kids! UGH!!! One of the worst things about winter! David had a fever and headache and missed a couple days of school. Samuel then also had a fever, and missed school too. Audrey had a little fever too, but hers has been mostly congestion. Fortunately, the rest of us seem to have escaped the germs, at least for now.
We started last weekend with a celebration of Samuel’s 4th birthday! We had a party for him on Saturday, followed by Christmas with grandparents on Sunday, and followed by more birthday celebrations on Monday the 19th which was his actual birthday. Samuel has been playing with David’s hot wheel cars more and more, and so I decided on a hot wheel theme for his party. It was a fun theme! However, I didn’t go all out in terms of having a bunch of guests, or by planning a bunch of activities and games. We had a few neighborhood friends come over, and Grand-mama and G-pa. The kids had fun playing together, and Samuel loved his party. I can’t believe my sweet little guy is four!! Samuel has been pushing boundaries lately to see how much he can get away with. He also does things, like stomping on the floor or making loid noises to get attention. I believe this is still a result of him wanting to be the baby and trying to make sure we still pay attention to him. It tries my patience at times, but I try to remind myself it’s a phase that he will grow out of. Hopefully soon!🥴 Samuel plays with David and Emma so much that he doesn’t have a lot of his own interests yet. He wants to play with whatever toys they are playing with, so this makes it difficult in terms of buying him gifts. Maybe it’s a third child thing, or because they are so close in age? Or maybe it’s just him? I’m not sure. He does love games and music though.
Jim and Alesia stayed over the weekend with us, and we celebrated Christmas with them. The kids were so excited about celebrating Christmas early. A funny moment was when Emma wanted to teach Grandmama piano. It was so cute!! She was trying to show Alesia how to play one of her songs. Unfortunately (or fortunately for Alesia. HA! 🙂 ), we had to leave for Emma’s Christmas gymnastics program. We opened gifts Sunday after church, and the kids loved their presents from Grandmama and G-pa!
On Samuel’s birthday day. We went to the donut shop for breakfast. It has become a bit of a tradition that we take the kids to the donut shop on their birthday. They like to go and proclaim that it is their birthday, and the donut shop here gives them a free birthday donut. We then asked Samuel where he wanted to go eat for his special birthday lunch. He finally decided upon Steak and Shake. He wanted the milkshake of course! 🙂 Later that day he went to the birthday party of a neighborhood friend. Ha! It’s kind of funny because that little boy’s birthday was on Saturday. I don’t believe neither his mom or myself was aware of this when planning our parties.
The rest of the week was filled with Christmas preparations and activities. I had planned that each day we would do some activity in preparation of Christmas. It helped in keeping the kids occupied. On Tuesday we went to pick out our Christmas tree. We were going to go to a Christmas tree farm, but the highway was like a parking lot due to a traffic accident. So we turned around and went to the local Lowes store. It wasn’t quite the same experience, but we still had a fun time. We spent about fifteen minutes picking out the “perfect” tree. They had some photo spots set up, and so I took pictures of the kids while Andrew was paying for the tree. It went home with us to be decorated on Christmas eve. 💗
Wednesday we made sugar cookies. The kids love to cut out the cookies and decorate them. They are getting better with the decorating each year. We used red, green and white frosting, and sprinkles. There is always an abundance of sprinkles! 🙂
On Thursday we decorated gingerbread houses. This has also become a fun tradition of ours. I generally buy the kits because it’s easier, but one could do it a number of ways. You could use graham crackers, or frosted pastries. If I had it my way, I would make sugar cookie houses! HA! I don’t like ginger bread, but we don’t eat the houses anyway. The kids do eat their fair share of the frosting and candy decorations though. 🙂
On Friday we baked cinnamon rolls! This is my favorite. I love how it makes the house smell, and I look forward to eating them Christmas morning after we open gifts. The kids like to help me bake. I let them help by putting the ingredients in the bowl, sometimes stirring or sprinkling. Once I got the dough rolled out, David put the butter on, Emma sprinkled the sugar, and Samuel the cinnamon. Then they helped place them in the pans to bake after I rolled and cut the dough. Making cinnamon rolls is almost an all day affair. It was so cold out Friday that it took quite a while longer than usual to get the dough to rise. Even with the oven on.
We did have a Christmas miracle here in the south! It snowed and we had a white Christmas!! This hasn’t happened in about ten years. It was beautiful. 🥰 The kids played in the snow mostly with Andrew, while Audrey and I watched from the window. I did play in the snow yesterday for a little while with them. It was fun! One of my favorite Christmas movies is White Christmas. I almost always watch it while wrapping presents, which I did. 🙂
On Christmas eve we decorated our Christmas tree! We don’t have a theme or design to our tree. It is simply filled with ornaments that people have given us over the years, that the kids have made, and those we have bought traditionally for one another over the years. I love unwrapping each ornament and remembering who gave it to us, or seeing which kid made it, or remembering which ornament was bought when. This year David got to assist in putting the star on top. 🙂
I also baked baby Jesus a birthday cake! This is another thing that has become a tradition over the last few years. I love making a white coconut cake because it looks angel like, and tastes heavenly! We also attended Christmas eve service at church! I love taking that time to stop everything, and go to sing Christmas carols, and hear about the reason we celebrate this season.
Christmas Day!!! Kids were up early, actin’ like they had already eaten a ton of sugar!😂 Around 7:30 am we opened presents. After opening presents came the great Christmas mess…😵😄💕. Wrapping paper, boxes and bags, and toys that need to be opened and figured out. Andrew did really well at keeping the paper cleaned as we were going this year. Helping the kids learn how to use their toys, or play their games always takes most of the day. It is fun watching the kids figure out their new toys, and helping them learn to play new games.
With Christmas being on Sunday this year, we paused play time, and went to church. This is no easy task with four kids, but important for them to see that Jesus is the reason we celebrate anyway. Andrew was helping to lead the music at the service we attended on post. After worship we had Chinese takeout for lunch. We have done this off and on in our several years of marriage. I enjoy it because I don’t have to cook! 🙂 We then returned home to our Christmas mess, ate lunch, and resumed playing with toys.
I love all the pictures of Audrey’s first Christmas! I can’t believe how big she is getting. She loves pulling up on furniture and getting into things. She tries to follow older siblings around, loves the cat, and tries to get into the cat food a lot. UGH! I have never figured out why babies want to get into the cat food. To my relief though, neither Audrey nor the cat has bothered the Christmas tree too much. Audrey had fun opening presents and chewing on paper and boxes. She likes a couple of her toys and plays with them in passing. HAHA!😉🥰
The weather has delayed our trip to Missouri to celebrate Christmas with other family, but we are looking forward to that this weekend. After all, there are twelve days of Christmas!
Like most people who celebrate Christmas, Moms in particular, I try my absolute best to make sure that everything is perfect for the season. Decorations hung, Christmas presents bought and wrapped, class parties taken care of, donations made, Christmas play rehearsals and performances attended, Christmas cards sent, cookies and other Christmas treats baked, stockings stuffed, and… well, you get the idea! Just writing all that makes me stressed and tired! ha! Nearly every year I have to take a step back and remind myself to slow down, enjoy the season, and for goodness sakes, stop worrying about that one little gift I haven’t bought yet!
Life is busy already. Add in all the extra “to dos” and it can become overwhelming. I saw a post on Facebook by Donna Ashworth today that made me stop and think about this very thing, thus the topic of this post.
She said, “There are some things you don’t need this Christmas. You don’t need matching pajamas. You don’t need a perfect winter wonderland house. You don’t need a sofa full of gifts. You don’t need a Michelin star Christmas dinner. You don’t need to be the perfect hostess or party dress ready. You don’t need to go into debt to prove your worth, love, friendship, or parental abilities.”
She goes on to say, “You do need to give yourself a break. You do need to remember it’s a ‘holiday’- for you too. You do need to stop social-media comparing yourself. You do need to realize your time is worth more than a gift bought from a shop. You do need to breathe through the madness and repeat to yourself ‘peace, love, goodwill.’ And lastly, you do need to know that your kids, your family or your friends will not remember the perfection or the money spent. It’s a fact. …they will recall the terrible jokes from the bad crackers, the time the turkey burned and you all ate cheese sandwiches, and the feelings of warmth, happiness, love and togetherness you gave them, with your open heart and your open home. And none of that will come from you rushing around the shops with impossible lists and a very bad headache. So as the month unfurls make this list the one you stick to and let the rest flow. Spend time, be present and open up your heart to the season of goodwill. Just as you are.”
I needed to read that today! To remind myself that it’s okay if I don’t have everything perfect. I would love to make a blog about the wonderful activities we are doing for advent, the crafts I have planned, or the recipes I have picked out to try. However, I haven’t had time to plan anything this year. I am telling myself it’s okay that I don’t have magnificent plans for this years advent and Christmas season. I’m going to allow myself to not be perfect.
What I am going to make an effort to do. is enjoy spending time with my family. Sit down and play board games, bake and decorate together, watch movies, and help the kids build that Lego set or figure out that new toy they got for Christmas. I want to watch and soak in the smiles and the joy on each of their faces. Most of all, I want to remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.
We all gathered recently to watch my brother in law, Brandon, play the sax at the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting concert! He was part of the bands of a couple of different groups that performed. It’s was pretty awesome for the kids to see uncle B on tv! 🙂 He is an amazing musician, and we are all proud of him. Since Brandon has been out of town, Leah came over to hang out with us this past weekend. She helped the kids with their Christmas tree decorating. The kids each have a little tree of their own in their bedrooms. They decorate their own tree every year. It was really nice having Leah hang out with us and help.
Audrey has now been introduced to the little people nativity set. That set has survived three going on four kids! It has been THE BEST! Samuel and Emma still play with it. I love that it encourages the kids to love baby Jesus.
I just have to mention that this baby girl is eight months old today! She is now pulling up on furniture! I am not ready for her to be able to reach everything on the tables yet! I love her sweet smile and chubby cheeks! She is growing too fast! This will be Audrey’s first Christmas! I hope our tree survives it! Ha! She’s already knocked Samuel’s tree over two or three times. (We haven’t put our big tree up yet, as we usually wait either till Christmas eve or as close to it as possible.) That may turn out to be a good thing, as it means she will have less time to wreak havoc on it. 🙂
I haven’t taken the time to blog about random moments from the last couple months. Life gets busy and it’s difficult to find time. Since Thanksgiving is next week, I thought I would take the time today. I want to just sit and remember all the things I have to be thankful for. Thankfulness should be a mindset, an attitude that we capture within. An attitude to hang on to all the time. I am guilty of forgetting this. I will admit I get bogged down in the day to day, and many times I forget to have that attitude of gratitude! If only I could remember to cling to it, my outlook about so many things would probably be different.
This is Samuel playing in the rain. It was a simple, rainy day. We had just returned home from somewhere, and it was raining. It wasn’t too cold outside, but the rain was chilly. Samuel kept asking me if he could play in the rain. I hesitated, not wanting him to get all soaked and wet. After he asked me a few more times, I reluctantly agreed if he used the umbrella. He was more than happy to oblige, since it was a fun toy to him. Samuel had so much fun, and I couldn’t help myself from taking these cute pictures! Sometimes you just have to stop and play in the rain!
Not far from our house there is a cave! We finally took the time to go check it out. I was so glad we did! It was really awesome! Unfortunately, the cave tours had stopped for the fall/winter season, but we will definitely visit again in the spring when they start back. The kids loved it, and want to go back. Caves are mysteriously beautiful! This is another reminder to stop and enjoy the beauty around us.
Audrey is seven months old now! Time is flying by. She is a big, generally healthy girl. She can roll, sit up, and is just starting to crawl! She has lots of teeth, and is cutting more. ugh! She has finally taken to eating her baby cereal, and some of the baby foods, but generally is happiest when eating something off of my plate! 🙂 She tried her first plate of spaghetti, and it has become sort of a tradition to take pictures of our kids when they have their first plate of spaghetti. The before and after’s are hilarious! Audrey loves being outside, swinging is her favorite. She has also become very curious about our cat, Ethel. Ethel is such a sweet heart! She puts up with Audrey grabbing her fur.:)
Emma lost her first tooth! (Or at least it was her first without the dentist. Ha! Poor Emma has the bad tooth gene in our family.) She lost it at school. We play tooth fairy with our kids, so she was excited to put her tooth under her pillow. David is easy to play tooth fairy with because he sleeps like a rock. Emma on the other hand, she wakes up over any little noise. Andrew and I argue who is going to be the tooth fairy with her! HAHAHA! I won the argument, and Andrew was able to leave money under her pillow.:) He was not able to retrieve the tooth, however. She apparently was laying right on top of it. The next morning I told her the tooth fairy left it as a souvenir. 🙂
Veterans day weekend we went to visit Andrew’s parents. It had been several months since we had been able to go and visit. We had a great time! The kids were so happy, and it was Audrey’s first visit to her Grand-mama and G-pa’s house. 🙂 One afternoon we were playing in the living room before dinner, and Emma and I were having fun taking pictures. I was able to take some really cute ones, and so I am dumping them here. David was excited because G-pa bought a Switch for him to play at their house. David loves his video games. I don’t get the obsession really. I am THE. WORST. at playing video games. I die in like seconds. Probably because I didn’t play them as a kid.
Also, I was able to visit with my piano professor, now good friend, while in the area! Lauren is always a blessing to me, and I love getting to visit with her. So thankful that we have kept in touch over the years!
I am so thankful for family and friends. That we have been blessed with good health. I pray every day for my kids to be healthy! I am thankful for Andrew, and all the work he does to provide for our family. He is my rock. We are definitely doing this parenting thing together, and I love him.
Last weekend was filled with parties, birthday celebrations, trick or treating, costumes, and way too much sugar!! HA! 🙂 While Emma was not born on Halloween she was definitely born in the midst of it. The day we brought her home from the hospital I was handing out candy to trick or treaters while Andrew took David out to trick or treat himself. LOL! Looking back on that, I should have locked us in the bedroom and turned out the lights.😂 Here we are six years later! I can’t believe my beautiful, red headed baby girl is now six! SNIFF, SNIFF!!! She is growing into a beautiful little lady. She has a strong, fiery spirit! She knows what she likes, and there is no changing her mind. (This will hopefully be a good trait when she is older. Ha!) Emma is very artistic, and loves art, fashion and music. She loves school, and is proud to be learning to read. She is also a caring friend and sister. Emma tries to be a friend to the kids who are struggling in her class. (Her teacher told us this.) She also does not like to hear Audrey cry, and will try to entertain her until mommy can come to the rescue.
First of all, I am so happy to be able to visit the school this year and have lunch with my kiddos! My goal has been to have lunch with them at school once a month. They love for mom to bring them something special for lunch. I visited David at the beginning of the month and he requested subway. I was able to visit Emma the Thursday before her birthday and she requested Sonic. Specifically, “a grilled cheese sandwich and cherry slushie”. 🙂
Friday evening Andrew’s battalion hosted a trunk or treat, for which he was sole organizer. He did a fantastic job! I didn’t get a ton of pictures, but the kids had a blast! There was of course, the trunk or treat part, but also face painting, and a bouncy house. I believe the bouncy house was just as much of a hit with Emma and Samuel as the candy. They played for about an hour!
Emma wanted a Frozen party for her sixth birthday. She loves Elsa and for a while especially, she went through a phase where she was singing “Let It Go” all the time. So like I usually do, I went on Pinterest to get ideas for her party. Since time has not been on my side this year, I have decided to order all my kids birthday cakes. I ordered David’s back in June, and now Emma’s. The other two will be getting theirs ordered as well. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to let it go! Ha! I couldn’t resist. 🙂 I bought a few decorations to hang up, some party favors, and came up with a few games. Emma wanted to invite some school and neighbor friends over, so we had a friend/family party. The kids had a blast just playing together! We did frozen tattoos, pin the nose on Olaf, and then they had a snowball fight in the back yard! I was thankful for the beautiful weather that day so the kids could play outside. We had a great time celebrating Emma! (Some of the pictures are courtesy of my sister, Leah. Thanks sis!)
Sunday evening the kids wanted to carve their pumpkins. I always help clean out the pumpkins, but Andrew is the carver of pumpkins at our house. 😉 I believe we threaten our kids every year, that if they want their pumpkin carved they at least have to make an honest attempt at cleaning it out. HA! David is getting better, but he still hates to get his hands in it. LOL! Emma dug right in to hers, and Samuel was having no part of it.😄 He didn’t care much if his got carved or not. At least not until he saw David and Emma with theirs, then he wanted one too. Audrey had a small pumpkin, and we decided to paint a face on hers. Emma wanted to paint it, and so I let her. She did a great job!
For Halloween this year we did not do some of our usual activities. Between time and the cost of things, we decided to take the easier route this year. My parents had a bunch of pumpkins that were given to them, and so the kids picked out their pumpkins early in October when we went to visit their house. We used those pumpkins for carving instead of going to the pumpkin patch this year. We also skipped the trip to the costume store, and reused old costumes with the exception of Emma’s which I found at a local kids thrift outlet. It took a little convincing for David because he wanted to pick another scary mask or something that I probably wouldn’t have let him have anyway. HA. But it turns out the kids didn’t care, and were happy with their costumes. They really just want the candy any way. David was the Grim Reaper, Emma was Elsa, Samuel is wearing David’s old skeleton costume. He is crying in the first picture because David went trick or treating with some friends down the street and he wanted to go too. I told him he had to stay with Daddy, Mommy, Emma, and Audrey to go trick or treat. He was upset because he thinks he is as big as David! Sweet boy! 🙂 Don’t let that face fool you though! He was fine a few seconds later and had the best time trick or treating! Audrey was a pumpkin! This is the same pumpkin costume that David and Emma wore as babies. Sadly, Samuel was too big for it by the time he had his first Halloween. So he is the only one I don’t have a picture of in it. Isn’t Audrey the cutest pumpkin? I just love that smile! She was having a good day, and had just woke up from nap time when I took these pictures.🥰 One of our neighbors across the street has a little boy, Joey, he is about Emma’s age. Emma and Joey are friends, and Emma wanted to go trick or treating with him. His family was nice enough to trust us to take him trick or treating. I am so glad to live in a neighborhood where the kids have friends! All the kids had a fantastic time. After trick or treating we watched Charlie Brown’s the Great Pumpkin and had leftover birthday party pizza. Ha! Yes, the kids were putting candy on their pizza. I only allow it once a year! It is EEEWWW GROSS!
There is nothing like setting up your fall decorations, and then going to the beach for vacation! We love going to the beach in the fall. The weather is much more tolerable than in the summer. Temperatures were around eighty degrees, the water was cooler, and you could sit on the beach and not melt! In the fall, the sun is not nearly as harsh as it is in the summer months. One still needs to wear sun screen, but you don’t run the risk of getting sun burned nearly as bad. This was Audrey’s second time going to the beach. She could almost sit up by herself, and so with a little propping up, we were able to get some really cute pictures of her! She did great at the beach, and loved the water! Out of all our kids, I believe Audrey loves the water the most at her age. She gets so excited anytime she is even near the water. I hope she continues to love the water. Who knows what her reaction will be the next time we go.
Our first full day at the beach was a Sunday. We decided to start the week off right by attending church on the island! We enjoyed the worship service there. The people were very friendly, and happy to have the kids. We felt very welcome. A kind soul took this picture of us! 🥰
The rest of the week was spent sleeping in, relaxing and playing on the beach, building sand castles, swimming in the pool, and eating really great seafood! Here is a photo dump! 🙂 The pool water was really too cold for us big kids, but the littles didn’t care! They jumped right in! Emma and Samuel especially love playing in the sand. I like building sandcastles with the kids. There is something about watching the sand mold into shapes that is therapeutic I think. Ha! David wanted to be buried in the sand and pretend he was a zombie coming up out of the ground. He loves this time of year, and everything about Halloween from his nine year old perspective. He likes ghosts and goblins, spider webs, and seeing all the decorations people put up in their yards. He convinced me to put those fake spider webs on some of our bushes and hand rails, and then he put his fake toy spiders on them. I must really love that kid!!
Every time we go to the beach I take all these pictures. Then I look back at the pictures we took on our previous beach trips, and I am amazed every time at how the kids have grown and changed whether it is just a few months or a year. It’s crazy how you can see them growing up! Emma for example, in the above pictures looks so grown up to me! I can see her changing so much!! BOOHOOHOO!!! Excuse me while I dry my eyes! 🙂
We did take the time to do a few activities off the beach. One day while we were waiting for one of our favorite lunch spots to open, we took the kids to the park. They played on the swings, and the slides. Andrew tested his rope climbing skills! It was a slick rope, but he almost made it to the top board anyway. It’s been tough getting back into his physical training since his foot surgery. There are still some complications there. Keep him in your prayers. He starts physical therapy on his foot next week. He should have already been doing the physical therapy… but that’s another story for another time. We took the kids to the aquarium. They always ask to go, and while it is a small aquarium, it is a very good aquarium. They have species of fish, turtles, and sea creatures that are native to the gulf and the surrounding area. They have a sting ray and shark petting tank, and a few other hands on stations as well. We always have a great time. Emma bought her a stuffed baby sea turtle at the gift shop. She loves that thing! We took the kids mini golfing too! I mention it because not only was it a lot of fun, but I believe I was the winner! 😉 It doesn’t happen too often, so it’s definitely worth mentioning at least!😊 We also enjoyed sitting and relaxing in our condo after everyone was worn out from the beach. It had a couple of really nice eating areas outside, and so we ate most of our meals outside.
We did sleep later than we usually do at the beach this time. I’m not complaining about that at all! We did go for an early morning walk though. While the sun was already up, it was still beautiful. I love making early walks at the beach! There is something so peaceful about it. The kids like it too. It’s a great time to discover what’s new on the beach that day. After our walk, we returned to the condo for breakfast. We generally just do a quick, small breakfast. However, the island has an amazing bakery, and we treated ourselves to some delicious pastries a couple mornings.
It’s no easy task getting all the kids to look at the camera. At least three of them were happy to cooperate. Audrey was too fascinated by the sand that day. It didn’t matter what I did, she was not looking at me. All she wanted to do was feel of the sand and taste it! 🙂
We made it home from our beach vacation, and this past week has been a very busy week. I wish I could go back to the beach! However, there is too much to get done. Emma’s birthday is next weekend, and Halloween festivities are a plenty! The kids are excited and ready for everything. I feel like I need to make out a written schedule to keep it all straight, and to make sure we have time and don’t forget to do certain things. In fact, I think I will do just that! Stay tuned!
It has been difficult for me to find time… Time for most anything that does not involve taking care of a new baby, three other kids, and keeping our lives on track. I think any mom with multiple kids understands this. It’s a matter of sink or swim. Most of the time I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water. Ha!😅 I’m not complaining, it’s just a fact of this stage of life. I have to remind myself of this almost daily. I am learning each day that it’s okay, and to take a deep breath and find the joy in the little faces around me. Their sweet smiles and laughs, cries and tears. To share in the things that are important to them and the fact that they are willing to share it with me because right now as their mom, I am their world. I know as they get older this may not always be the case. It’s important to build that lasting trust and relationship with them now, while they are little, in hopes they will want to share the important things with me when they are older. I love being a mom. (yes, it has its days!) I do miss the other parts of my life that are on hold right now. Somedays I ache terribly for what I have given up. However, I keep reminding myself of the phrase “on hold”. Which means temporary, not lasting forever. Which is why it is so important to cherish the present, and enjoy the time I have with my family. To find the joy in every day! Plan for the future, but live in the present.
There! I needed that little pep talk. Maybe you did too! 😉
Audrey is five months old! (Approaching six! HA! I said I was barely keeping my head above water! No more posting pictures on the exact dates. Just now getting her new born pictures in frames and on the wall, etc. As long as I get it done before she is able to recognize it! Right?!😅) She is so beautiful! She can finally roll over both ways! I though she would never intentionally learn to roll from stomach to back! Phew!!! That girl was wearing me out! She would roll over, and get mad about it every time! Now she just gets mad because she has rolled into something. Ha! She cut her two bottom teeth at four months. Now Audrey is cutting all four top teeth simultaneously! That has not been too fun! I think at this rate she will have a mouth full by nine months! Audrey has learned how to eat her baby cereal! This also took a couple weeks of practice, but she is now a champion eater. With chubby cheeks, arms and legs to prove it. She has tried and loves carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, peas, apples, bananas, and peaches. Audrey smiles, laughs, coos and talks, and has learned to shake her head no. She is so cute and funny!
David and Emma are doing great at school. Emma especially LOVES kindergarten! She is so excited to go every day. She loves learning and making friends. She behaved really well, and got enough punches on her behavior card to have lunch with her teacher. This is an exciting thing when you’re a kindergartner! HA!😁🥰
They had spirit week at school last week. David and Emma had fun dressing up each day. Our favorite day was Wizard of Oz day! David wanted to be the Tin Man, and Emma wanted to be the Good Witch of the North. I didn’t want to go out and buy fancy costumes so we made do with what we had at home. It was actually better because we made parts of their costumes together, and they loved doing that.
Samuel is doing great at his school too! On the days he is at home with Audrey and I, we enjoy spending time together. He is like a totally different kid on those days. I think it is because he doesn’t feel the need to compete with David and Emma. He enjoys spending time with mama, and so I try to do something special with him on those days. He loves going to the playground and having picnics, and so when the weather is nice I try to take that opportunity to do something he likes.
This past weekend I took the kids to visit my parents. We had a great time, as usual, visiting them. The kids love playing outside, swinging on the swings, and looking after the animals. We also play games and eat lots of food! Samuel does not generally want to pose for his picture, which is why he looks like he does in the group pictures, and missing from the photo with my mom. Ha! Hopefully he grows out of that phase soon! I was able to catch him oh the swing, which is a genuine smile at least! 😄
I am ready for fall, and slightly cooler weather! I already have my fall decorations put up, which is way earlier than I usually do.
Audrey is getting impatient with me as I type… so happy fall!
Summer break has evaporated before our eyes, and somehow the kids are already in their third week of school! David started third grade this year! I can’t believe how big he is getting. He is a handsome boy and I’m proud of him. His teachers always comment about how he is always smiling and happy to be at school. He is a talker, and so I’m sure his teachers learn a lot from him as well! lol! I hope he has a great year of learning.
Emma started Kindergarten this year! Emma’s first day was an orientation day with her teacher and part of the class. Then she started going full time with everyone a couple days later. Driving away that first day was hard! I was happy and excited for her because she was. At the same time I cried tears because I couldn’t believe I just left my baby girl at school! I had some comfort in knowing David was with her, at least at the start and finish of their day. David has been such a good big brother! He was concerned about Emma, and made sure she made it to her class for at least the first week. In fact, I heard her tell him one morning in the back of the car that she could find her own way to class now. 🥰 It was so precious. I hope they always look out for one another! Emma has loved school so far! She comes home excited to tell me about her day. I get to hear about snack time, lunch time, their special class, recess, sometimes about what she learned, and especially about the kids who misbehaved and got in trouble. 😂 I hope Emma always loves school!
Samuel also started back to the Parents Day Out (PDO) program he went to last year. Except this year he is in the threes class! This is a big deal, and he would be sure to tell you that he is now in the three’s class.😄 He was hesitant to go his first day. I kind of had to push him through the doorway to his classroom. lol! Since then he has been doing great! I haven’t had any trouble and he seems to enjoy going. He loves playing outside, snack time, and talks about the friends he has made.
Samuel goes to PDO two days a week. On those days it’s just me and my sweet baby Audrey. I love her sweet cheeks!😍 Audrey is four months old now! She is going through a phase where she rolls from back to stomach, gets in a swimming position, then gets frustrated. She doesn’t know how to get back over. Which is funny considering I have video of her doing just that about a month ago. I guess it was either accidental rolling, or she has forgotten how. HA! I have been trying to work with her during tummy time. I hope she relearns it soon! Audrey has two bottom teeth already. She is also starting to eat some baby cereal. On the days that Samuel is home I am going to work with him on learning his letters and numbers etc. I have decided that instead of sending him to a full time pre-k program, I am going to supplement along with the PDO that he goes to the next couple years. I taught Emma pre-k, and enjoyed it! So I plan on doing the same with Samuel.
My sister, Leah, had a birthday this month! We went to celebrate and hang out again. We brought Leah a cheesecake, and later went to dinner. The video game fun never ends at Auntie Leah and Uncle B’s! 🙂 Every year my sister has a birthday I feel old! I can’t believe I have a sister that’s so young and beautiful! 😉(She would probably kill me if I told you her age on here! HAHAHA!)
I decided to try a new hairstyle. Every time one of my babies has reached the age where they have learned to grab, I decide it’s time to try a new hairstyle! 🙂 Little fists have tight grips! I am not totally in love with it, but I do like that it’s shorter and easier to style. I am trying to learn how to do beach curls. I tried it with my curling iron, but I need a wand. It worked some, but the curl didn’t last too long even with hairspray. I also probably need to find some product to put in my hair after washing to help it have more body.
With all the back to school stuff comes more germs! Three weeks in and Andrew, and David have both been sick! Andrew tested positive for Covid from one of our home tests. So he has been home since Wednesday. Thursday David started feeling bad, and came home early from school. Samuel gets a runny nose almost always at PDO. I’m starting to think there is something there he is allergic to! I haven’t felt one hundred percent the last few days either. So far Emma is the only one that has not had any symptoms. Thankfully everyone is feeling better though, and should be ready to go back to work and school on Monday!