Prologue: Sept. 30th, 2017

Prologue: Sept. 30th, 2017

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.20171001_104215_hdr.jpg

 

An Attitude of Gratitude! November 17, 2022

An Attitude of Gratitude! November 17, 2022

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

PK

Birthdays, Parties, and Pumpkins, Oh My! November 6, 2022

Birthdays, Parties, and Pumpkins, Oh My! November 6, 2022

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!

Love,

PK

Pumpkins and Palms! October 22,2022

Pumpkins and Palms! October 22,2022

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!

Love,

PK

Busy, Yet Joyful! Sept. 22, 2022

Busy, Yet Joyful! Sept. 22, 2022

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!😁🥰

Lunch with Teacher!

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.

CHEESE!!!

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!

Love,

PK

Back to School 2022! August 27, 2022

Back to School 2022! August 27, 2022

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.

3rd Grade!

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!

Love,

PK

Summer’s End. August 3, 2022

Summer’s End. August 3, 2022

Initially Andrew was supposed to be leaving for JRTC this month. However, he ended up having foot surgery a couple weeks ago. Several months back he dropped something on top of his foot and it caused bone spurs to grow. The surgery was to remove the bone spurs. He will be on medical leave until later this month, maybe longer. I hate that he had to have foot surgery, but I’m not at all disappointed that he gets to be at home. The doctor said the surgery went well, and Andrew seems to be recovering as expected. He is no longer having to take pain medication, he is now able to take a shower (if you know Andrew this is a huge deal!), he can wear flip flops and go places (as long as it’s not too far to walk).

In the midst of Andrew being down with his foot, the kids and I have continued to enjoy the rest of our summer vacation. I can’t believe that summer break is almost over! Emma and Samuel have been taking swim lessons the last couple weeks. This year has gone much better than last. Emma has finally learned to swim! WHOO-HOO!! Samuel is well on his way to learning. He learned important things like how to kick his legs and make ice cream scoops with his arms. 🙂 He probably would have learned as well had I been able to take them to an actual pool and practice with them. It was too difficult for me with Audrey, so we will have to try again next summer when she is bigger.

We also went to visit Auntie Leah and Uncle B this past weekend! This is always a lot of fun. The kids love to play games, and hangout. Leah has the most beautiful flowers! I couldn’t help but take some pictures. 🙂

No summer would be complete without playing in the rain. Luckily it decided to rain some last week! Not storms, but the kind of rain you could play in. The kids were soaked head to toe, and having a marvelous time!

Over the past week I have spent one on one time with each of the kids (with Audrey as our tag along. 🙂 ). I don’t get to do this very often, but I love it when I do. They are growing so fast, and they are each growing into their own little person. David wanted to have lunch at Old Chicago pizza, watch I Love Lucy episodes, and then we went school shopping. I can’t believe he is going into the 3rd grade! He is way smarter than me. He soaks up everything like a sponge! Emma wanted to eat at Steak and Shake where she ordered a Banana milk shake and grilled cheese sandwich, and then I took her school shopping too. She starts Kindergarten in a couple weeks! Boo-hooo-oooo!!!!! Even though I know she is more than ready, and has been for a long time, I’m not sure I am ready. I had to take her clothes shopping because she will only wear what she likes. I have long ago learned to just let her wear whatever she picks out (within reason of course). Sunday is the only day that I demand to pick out her dress for church. During the week she dresses herself. I have stopped buying her clothes without taking her shopping with me because it would just be wasting my time and money. (I know, she’s only five! YIKES!! I’m going to need a lot of prayer when she is older!😬 ) She ended up picking out two dresses, two pairs of leggings, a shirt, a pair of shoes and some socks. The girl knows what she likes! I can’t wait to see what she decides to wear on her first day!😄 For Samuel’s day out, I took him to a play place in town that has a slide and ball pit. He loves it. When he wore himself out, he was ready to go to Sonic. He ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and a strawberry slushy. He’s is so funny. He is the sweetest, most affectionate child. He can also be the most aggravating. I do believe it’s because he feels the need to keep up with the older siblings, plus get attention because he is no longer the baby. It’s not easy being three, let alone being three with three other siblings!

Love,

PK

Tribute to Fred. July 24, 2022

Tribute to Fred. July 24, 2022

I don’t like blogging about sad events, but nevertheless they are a part of life. Sadly, a few weeks ago, we had to say goodbye to our sweet cat and good friend Fred. He was not that old of a cat, so I think that makes it somewhat harder to understand. We don’t really know exactly what happened. One day he was fine, the next he wasn’t. We think he had a stroke of which the cause we do not know. Both cats were inside during the turn of Fred’s health. We can only surmise that perhaps Fred and Ethel were playing and Fred fell off the stairs, or perhaps was running so fast that he ran into something and hit his head. It was not uncommon for them to play during the night hours. The kids and I happened to be out of town visiting my parents. Andrew was home at the time and found him the morning after, and took him to the doctor. The left side of his body was not functioning properly. We held out hope for a couple weeks that he would recover, but instead he kept getting worse. He reached the point where he was hiding from us for long hours. One night I found him laying in the middle of a pile of stuffed animals in David’s closet after searching for him for almost thirty-six hours. It was then that I knew he was dying. David and I wept over Fred that evening because we knew our sweet cat was not going to get better. The kids were able to love on Fred the next morning before Andrew took him back to the doctor. The veterinarian told us there was nothing we could do, and that he was probably in pain. Andrew stayed by his side as they put him to rest.

Fred was such a sweet kitty. He would cuddle with us on the couch. He loved soft blankets, and would lie down anywhere where there was a plush blanket. I often cover up with a blanket in the evenings when I’m sitting on the couch, and he would always come lay down on me. He was great at catching unwanted critters. He would often come up to the door with a mouse or a mole. Fred and Ethel were very close as they were together from birth. Ethel seemed to distance herself from him though several months back when Fred had to spend the night at the vet. due to a urinary infection. So while I’m pretty sure she misses him, it’s hard to tell. In fact, Andrew and I joke that maybe she pushed him down the stairs on purpose so she could claim all the cat treats for herself. 🙂

We will always love and miss Fred!💔

PK

Summer Travels. July 12, 2022

Summer Travels. July 12, 2022

It has become a family tradition for us to rent a beach house or condo with Jim and Alesia once a year. We look forward to this time together, and love spending it on the beach! In the past we have gone either in late spring or early fall. We love this time of year to go to the beach because it is less expensive, not so hot, and a little less crowded. This year, however, we chose to go over the week of July 4th. The beach house where the kids and I stayed for a month while Andrew was at CHBOLC was available and at a great rate. Plus Andrew had block leave, so we decided to take vacation because who knows what the fall will be like. I must admit I was pretty nervous about the eight hour drive with an almost three month old. We decided to break it up into a two day bit, driving around 4 hours each day. Audrey did amazing for her age, and I was relieved that she did so well throughout the whole trip. She slept well at night too in her pack and play, which made Andrew and I both happy!

While we did have an amazing time at the beach, because well, it would be difficult for it to be any thing else! It is the beach after all! We did have a couple hiccups. Alesia and I plotted to have family pictures with cute patriotic outfits. We dressed the kids up, had them looking all cute, everyone was happy. We walked down to the beach. It was hot. Two of the kids suddenly decided they didn’t want to take pictures. I’ll let you take a guess at which two! No amount of bribing or threats was going to change their minds! We took what pictures we could, but to my disappointment none of the pictures with the kids really turned out. The one with all of us above was by far the best one!🙄 Sigh!! Why is it so difficult? It would have taken all of five minutes if they would just cooperate! So to my disappointment we returned to the beach house. I give up!

The other curveball in the week was Samuel. One day we were out on the beach and almost literally with the snap of a finger he went from playing and being excited about going down to the beach, to throwing up on the beach. I don’t know why or what, but it seems he contracted a stomach virus. After it was off his stomach it took a couple days for him to reach normal again because he would complain about his tummy hurting. Fortunately, no one else got sick while on vacation!

On the way to the beach we stopped at the U.S.S Alabama. Andrew and David especially loves this! We toured both the ship and the submarine. We were blessed to hit it right after some rain showers, so the temperature was cooler and skies cloudy. Otherwise we would have melted. The guys love the big guns, and the mechanics. I like seeing the more personal, lifestyle side of it. It’s basically a small town on a boat! Impressive to me. I sure do respect those who lived and do live that type of life to protect our freedom!

We love Dauphin Island! It is a small, quiet island. Even over the fourth of July, when it is at its busiest, it’s still not all that crowded. You can enjoy a family friendly beach environment. This was Audrey’s first beach trip, and her first fourth of July! 🥰 The fourth was our first full day at the beach. It was slightly cloudy, with a few showers around, but still a great beach day. The kids had a blast! That night we walked down to the beach to watch the fireworks!

Even though I didn’t get all the posed pictures that I wanted, I still captured a lot of great smiles! The natural ones that came from laughter over a fun time. The beach water was so warm! You could just walk right in and not twitch. We loved swimming in the ocean, and it was the best way to beat the heat! The suns rays are really intense in July. Andrew and I both burned the first couple days. 😅 That’s why we are wearing shirts in the picture below! 🙂

The kids love to visit the aquarium on Dauphin Island. It’s considered a must every time we go. Even though it is a small aquarium, it has a lot of fun things for the kids. They love seeing all the native sea life, and petting the stingrays.

The beach is our happy place! Until next year!

Love,

PK

Last Single Digit!

Last Single Digit!

David is 9!!! How is he nine?!?! I feel like a broken record on repeat! I simply cannot help but wonder how nine years have come and gone. When I look back on all the memories we have and see how he is growing up, it makes me want to treasure the years to come even more because I know they will go just as quick.

My Baby is 9!!

David wanted a birthday party with friends and family. He wanted a destination party, and he wanted Harry Potter for the theme. I had never planned a destination party before, we have always had them at home or at grandparents. I did some research on places around here to have birthday parties. I discovered that it is expensive at some places to have a party! I couldn’t believe that places like DEFY and Chuck E Cheese wanted around twenty-three dollars per child with a minimum of ten, and that was the basic packages. I’ll let you do the math, and maybe we are just cheap when it comes to spending, but that seemed really expensive to me. We don’t even spend that much on gifts per child at Christmas! I’m not judging people who choose to have parties at these places, or how much they choose to spend on their kids by any means! I totally get wanting to give your kid the birthday party they want. All I’m saying is I wish places would make it more economical for parents. I had to simply explain to David how much money these places wanted, and that it was more than we wanted to pay. I am proud to say he was very grown up about it. I continued searching for a more economical place to host his party. I am glad to say that I finally found a black light mini golf place that he was excited about and that was more in our budget. I did not want to have his birthday party at a park with the one hundred degree weather we’ve been having!

The black-light mini golf and laser maze/ Harry Potter themed birthday party was a success! 🙂 David said it was his best birthday party yet. 😊 The Harry Potter theme was fun! All the kids had goodie bags with some party favors that included a wand and HP glasses. 🙂

I did not make the cake this year. I ordered it from the commissary, and I was really pleased with how they did! It looked exactly like I requested and it tasted so good! David loved his cake! When we sang happy birthday to him he had to conduct us with his wand. He was such a hoot! He was so excited about everything I think he barely ate a slice of pizza and couldn’t eat all his cake though. He was to into playing all the games to take time to enjoy his food.

We have only been here for one school year, and I am glad to see that David has made friends both at school and in our neighbor hood. He was so thrilled to have some friends at his party! We were also happy that both sets of grandparents were able to make it too, along with Auntie Leah and Uncle B, and his cousin Robbie! David and his G-pa share the same birthday! It worked out that we were able to induced labor and David was born on Jim’s birthday. I love the picture of them standing back to back. 🥰 David was also super excited that his cousin Robbie was able to come to his party and spend the night with him. They don’t get to see each other very often since we moved and so they had fun catching up.

The summer is going by quickly! I can’t believe July is almost here. Andrew’s birthday and our beach trip is coming up this weekend! We are so excited!

The picture below is of the kids enjoying some downtime after the busy weekend. Emma and Samuel had been playing dress up.

Emma started her piano lessons last week! I am excited for her as she begins this journey. I hope she loves it too!

Love,

PK

Summer Bucket List! June 6, 2022

Summer Bucket List! June 6, 2022

Summer time, I am loving it! There are so many fun things to go and do this time of year, but what I love most is not having to go and do anything. I like being able to sleep later (or at least know that sleeping later is a possibility if I didn’t have very young children waking me up 🙂 Ha! ). I like not having to leave the house by x time to get kids to school. I enjoy spending time doing fun activities with the kids. Since Audrey is so small, our summer bucket list does not include a lot of long trips, but rather fun things to do around the house and in our local community.

We went to try a new restaurant down town last Sunday evening, and had to wait quite a while for a table. Luckily there is a park area just walking distance from the restaurant, and so we had a fun time watching the kids play. The weather was beautiful and not too hot as long as we were in the shade. Audrey had fun talking to her mama. 🙂

There have been a couple of pretty hot days, and so we made it out to the splash pad! The kids had a fun time. I’m sure we will be visiting the splash pad again. 🙂

David and Emma had a blast at Vacation Bible School this weekend! The theme was “‘HayDay; Growing in Friendship with Jesus”! They talked about how much fun the crafts, music, and stories were, but they both loved game time! The games were what they talked about the most. David also says he made a good friend. Samuel was too young, but will be able to stay and participate next summer. He got to spend some special time with Mom. 🙂

We will be doing a lot of library and story time this summer too. Our local library does a great summer program!

Emma says she wants to have a lemonade stand. So we will plan to have a lemonade stand at some point this summer.

David has a birthday coming up soon. He has been into Harry Potter lately, and so I am going to do a Harry Potter themed party. We have allowed him to read and watch through the Goblet of Fire. He will have to wait a while to finish the series. He is growing so fast! I am also thrilled to announce that David loves “I Love Lucy!” I am so happy to have someone to watch “I Love Lucy” episodes with! We are slowly working our way through the seasons together. 😊💗

Mostly the kids have been playing in their little pool in the back yard. Playing with water guns. Blowing lots of bubbles. Playing with sidewalk chalk, and riding bicycles and scooters. Emma is learning to ride her bicycle without training wheels. I predict she will be an expert by the end of the summer. 🙂

What’s on your summer bucket list? I would love to hear about your different activities and ideas!

Happy Summer!

Love,

PK