Andrew left on Tuesday for JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center). He will be gone until October 5th or 6th, and we have limited communication too! I am not doing well with this!! 😪 I miss my man!!! Meanwhile we are carrying on here at home with as normal of a routine as possible. The kids are doing better than me, and Samuel keeps asking when can we go to the beach!?! 🙂 I keep telling him soon, as we do have a beach trip planned for when Andrew returns.
I am blessed to have Alesia here for several days to help me out!! I don’t know what I would do without her, and she is the best mom in law ever! 🙂 She helped the kids make a chain calendar so they could see how many days until Daddy returns, and then our beach trip. Samuel wanted to swing it around and play with it. It took some explaining that we needed to hang it up so that each day we could remove a link. He finally relented. 🙂
It has been raining the last several days and on Friday, Emma and Samuel decided to play in the puddles. They drew with chalk in the puddles, which turned into chalk painting, which ended up being the most fun activity ever! Messy as it was! They had chalk hand prints all in the garage, and all over their little selves! I made them go stand in the shower when they were done! David says they look like little zombies in the picture:)
They are all doing well in school. Emma says the only thing she doesn’t like about school is that she has to wear her shoes all day! 😂 She’s like her mom and her Nana! haha! Samuel goes into PDO without even hesitating, he sings the Daniel tiger “grown ups come back” song before drop off. It’s so cute! David is making good grades and doing well in school too. This makes mama feel less anxious about sending them back to school. We pray every morning on our way to school together for a good day, that we can show God’s light to the world through our behavior, and for safety.
Because of our new military lifestyle, I have had to be a little creative about how to go about teaching piano again. I needed to be able to teach piano and not have to rely on Andrew being home to take care of the kids. His schedule is not nearly as flexible, plus there could be extended periods of time where he is gone. Teaching piano is important to me because it is a part of who I am. I love piano and I love teaching piano! So no matter what our situation, I always plan to teach, even if it is only a handful of students. With Emma and Samuel returning to parents day out a couple days a week, that opened up some free time for me. Because there are a lot of homeschool students in this area, I decided to reach out to the homeschool groups and offer daytime lessons. I now have seven students! This may not seem like a number to brag about, but I am super excited! I have missed teaching over the last several months and I am so thankful to return to it! At this stage in my life teaching just a handful of students is a blessing, and plenty to take on.
I wanted to share with you some exciting resources I have been using the last few weeks! I always love planning and getting ready for lessons. Sometimes taking on new students, particularly if they are transfer, can be a bit of a challenge at first. It takes time to discern and fill in any learning gaps they have so that lessons can become more flowing.
My studio set up is in our guest bedroom! I know it doesn’t sound ideal, but it is actually working out really well. Because our house is split level, I can have students enter through the garage where I have a sitting area for the parents and other siblings (it’s actually our play room), while I am teaching students in the bedroom. The lighting downstairs is not the best (buying brighter light bulbs is still on my to do list), so I invested in this really cool music light! I wasn’t sure about it when I ordered it from amazon, but it has turned out to be awesome! It has different levels of brightness, it can clip on or stand, and it’s chargeable. I love it!
One of the ways I am helping to motivate my students this year is by giving them a practice punch card. I discovered this on a website called wunderkeys! They have a lot of great resources that are free! The idea behind the punch card is like when you go to a business and they give you a punch card. At the end of all the punches you get something free. Well, when my students get to the end of their punches, by practicing each week, they get to choose a prize from my prize bag! 🙂 It’s so fun!
I am encouraging my students to visit https://www.classicsforkids.com/. This website will help supplement student’s learning of music history, composers, and different styles and genre of music. It also has a lot of other fun games and activities!
One of the websites I use frequently in my lessons is https://www.musictheory.net/. This website has a lot of lessons, exercises, and tools that are really great for helping to drill students in certain areas. Even beginning students can use it to practice learning their white keys on the keyboard!
Emma and Samuel started their parents day out program this week! They both did really well, and only had a couple minor moments of apprehension. I love the parents day out program for many reasons. One it is more than just child care. They have a routine and a curriculum. It is a nurturing environment. It gives me a break! Ideally Emma would be going to a four or five day a week program since she is going to be five in October, but that is not how it worked out. By the time we arrived in Clarksville all the full time preschool programs were at full capacity with waiting lists. We were blessed to find the PDO program that we did. It not only had open spots for both Emma and Samuel, but it is right across the street from David’s school with drop off times where I can drop David off, and then Emma and Samuel. So it couldn’t have worked out any better really. To fill in the gaps we are doing some extra preschool work at home, and enjoying this final year together before Emma starts kindergarten! It will go all too quickly I know.
Samuel looks so cute carrying his little backpack! 🙂 He takes his favorite blanket with him to school for nap time. This is a total new experience for him, since he has only ever been at home with me really. He expressed his desire to stay home with me very plainly before school. Once he realized that wasn’t going to happen, he then started asking for me stay with him at school. He definitely knows how to tug on mama’s heart strings! 🙂 Once we arrived and he became interested in a toy I was able to leave without too much of a fuss. He did great the following school day, and I hope he continues to behave that well at drop off.
Emma did great the first day, and has been so excited to go back to school. In fact she has been praying for over a year and a half for school to start back! 🙂 She does remember going to the PDO program in Marion, at least vaguely. She is excited about learning, and making friends. She wanted to take her stuffed unicorn, “Rainbow”, to school with her. Her teacher was kind to let her bring it. 🙂 She did have some tears the second school day at drop off. I think it is because she realized after the first day, that the school day was a little longer than she anticipated. Plus just getting back into that type of routine and environment again is difficult. I checked in a little while after drop off and she was good. I like that the program uses an app where you can communicate with the teachers, get updates about their day and even get pictures! It helps put a mama’s mind at ease! 🙂
My baby girl is growing so fast! We were having a morning cup of tea together in this picture. She likes having tea. It makes her feel grown up. 🙂 Emma loves picking out her own clothes. She is definitely developing her own sense of style. Which somehow genetically she has to have gotten from my sister because heaven knows it’s not from me! Emma has finally changed her favorite color from yellow, to pink for a short time, and now it is purple.
Speaking of style, Emma picked out a birthday gift for her Auntie Leah a while back. Emma has a pare of heart sunglasses, and she wanted her auntie Leah to have a some glasses like hers. When we were at the mall in Atlanta there was a department store with a whole display of colorful retro sunglasses and Emma picked out these really cute sunglasses for her Auntie Leah. Isn’t that sweet! They are so cute!!😍
It was so nice to celebrate Leah’s birthday together this year! We haven’t had this opportunity often enough, and so I wanted to take advantage of it! We had a fun time together, and lots of food! I made a lasagna and a cheesecake! Leah’s favorite foods! We played games with Emma and Samuel while the guys went to the game store, I cooked dinner, the guys came back home, and then just like that the food disappeared! 🙂
How is this cutie pa-tootie in second grade?!?!?!?! My heart melts at this picture, and I feel like there is a big smoggy blob clouding my brain from the time David was born till now because I can’t understand how time has brought us to this point!! David is such a smart boy and I am so proud of him!
We bought school supplies, school clothes, and the boys got back to school haircuts! David was excited about going to school after we went to his open house, met his teacher and saw his classroom. He says his favorite subject is recess though! 🙂
David has had a great first week of school. He has done really good, and while it is going to take some time for us to get used to the routine, we are excited for this school year. We are lucky that school does not start until 8:55! This means we don’t have to get up any earlier than we already do. The kids wake up at 7:00am any way.
David loves to read! A few weeks ago we bought him his first Bible to read. He had a kid Bible that he would read, but one night before bed he pointed out that the story of Cain and Abel was not in his Bible. So we decided it was time for a grown up Bible. Now Andrew picks chapters for him to read, and he has been reading it before he goes to bed. This evening when I went to check on him he was reading his Bible. It was a precious moment. When David was about four or five we talked about Jesus living in our hearts, and heaven, and how we need to be sorry for our sin and ask forgiveness. He asked Jesus into his heart with me leading him in prayer. I was so proud of him! It’s not something I have been pronouncing everywhere because while my heart pours with joy over it, I am also cautious about it. I also did this at a very young age, and have felt the need to do it many times since. (If for no other reason than my own reassurance.) I think we grow and change as human beings and having that relationship with Christ is something we work on continually. I don’t mean to open up a theological debate here because I know there are many different opinions on just this topic! I sincerely want to my children to know the love of God, and His wonderful grace and companionship. I don’t want them to fear over the condemnation of their souls in eternity! Phew!!! That’s a heavy topic! I digress!!
We visit the library almost weekly, and David has learned to research books using the library online catalog. He found a book about video games he wanted to check out. It was in the YA section so it was a really thick book, but he insisted on reading it! He loves anything Super Mario right now, and loves learning about video games. I just hope he applies this same enthusiasm for his school work this year! LOL!
In between David’s first half day of school and his first full day of school, there were a couple days off! I wish they would have done this when I was a kid!! We always started full blast!😅 We went to the trampoline park!! It was so much fun, and it was the first time for me to go! I loved it as much as the kids! 🙂 We jumped for an hour, and plan on going back! It was great fun and a good way to expend some energy in this ridiculous heat! Samuel apparently watches a Blippi clip about a trampoline park because he kept saying Blippi was here! 😂 I can’t really stand Blippi… but Samuel seems to like him. I also made the mistake of taking my phone with me in my pocket, and I lost it in the foam squares!! Talk about moments of terror! I frantically went digging through the foam pit to find it! Just picture that for a second. Finally I stepped on something not soft, and reached under to find my phone! Talk about major relief! I feel like I am always losing my phone! Whether it’s leaving it on top of the car, dropping it in the pond, or just not remembering where I laid it down. It’s a serious problem!😏
I can’t believe it is the last day of July! The next couple weeks are going to be busy with back to school open houses and first days of second grade and preschool. We have already done our school shopping, and the kids were excited about their school supplies! We all have mixed emotions though. Excitement about going to school and making new friends, but also a little anxious about adjusting to the classroom setting again. The kids and I have acclimated to being around each other twenty-four/seven! I will miss being the primary influence and having them under my wings so to speak, and we will definitely miss the flexibility of just going and doing whenever. David and I have already had a talk about being careful who he chooses to be friends with. The who you hang out with can affect your behavior and your success speech. I can’t believe I’ve already had to have this conversation going into the second grade, but I felt it necessary. During his swim class there was a girl who was constantly being a problem. She wasn’t paying attention or following directions well during the class. She would try and get attention from David who was trying to pay attention, but kept being distracted by her. David is easily distracted! It was while viewing this scenario that I decided we definitely needed to have some kind of talk before school starts. I know we can’t protect our children from every scenario or situation they come in contact with, but I do hope to provide them with the common sense and tools to handle situations wisely. I pray for safety, an easy acclimation period, fun learning environments, and positive friendships this school year!
David did pass his swim class this summer! He did a good job considering we didn’t really get to practice outside of the class this year. Emma didn’t have the best time with swim class this year. She had a cold and missed a couple classes, and then there was a problem with the pool and they drained it…, anyway the water was too cold for Emma. She would get in, and in fifteen minutes would have to get out because she was so cold. After missing several classes I finally gave up, and said, “we’ll just try again next year!”
We also wanted to squeeze in one more trip to Dad and Mom’s (Papa and Nana’s) house before school! Every time we go there we make sure to squeeze in a meal at the infamous Dexter Queen! 🙂 We love it! They are known for their pulled pork sandwich, with slaw and a spicy mustard sauce! The kids like their hot dogs and ice cream though. 😉
We also went on the mile long boardwalk at Mingo National Wildlife Reserve. It was a fun walk that I remember doing as a kid. It was very hot, but most of the walk was under shaded trees, so that helped. We then visited the nature center building. The kids liked that the most! Probably because it was a lot cooler inside! 🙂 On the walk we saw these really cool looking ball flowers. I don’t know what they are called, but they were everywhere! The butterflies were also out in abundance.
Later that day, Emma and Samuel played in the sprinkler, watered Nana’s plants, and then went down the zipline numerous times! 🙂 Emma was also very happy to discover that there were blackberries ready for picking! She loves picking berries, and ate most of them!
The kids are attending Vacation Bible School this weekend! We are happy that they are able to attend, since we didn’t get to have VBS last summer! I love the ocean theme! 🙂 The kids seem to be having a lot of fun! Emma got butterflies this morning when we went for drop off, but they said she did good once I was gone. We are having to adjust to a different church routine currently. Andrew sometimes preaches at one of the chapels on post. When he does we go and listen to him. It is a traditional service, and the families that attended that service have now PCS to other places. So that worship service is a work in progress. Other weeks we have been attending the Methodist church downtown Clarksville. We like worshipping there, and feel that it is good for the kids to have a Sunday school and other children’s programs like VBS to attend.
We have enjoyed the summer reading program at the library this summer! The kids have checked out and read numerous books. We are sad for the programs to end, but will still continue going to the library and checking out books. I am even proud of myself this summer! I actually had time to read some books myself! I love to read, but I tend to read in spurts! Sometimes life gets too busy and I get out of the routine, or I can’t find the right book to get me interested again…. For quite some time now I have been into historical fiction. I love reading stories that make people and history come to life. If the storytelling and the writing is good I’m in! This summer I have read through almost all of Marie Benedict’s novels! I started with The Only Woman in the Room, and it was such a good book that I kept reading her material. If you are looking for some good books I encourage you to check out Marie Benedict’s novels! What’s some of your favorite authors? I hope to keep this reading streak going!
My son, David, picked out the Dr. Seuss Book “Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?” from the library the other week. I had never read it before, but sure glad to read it when I did! It has been one of those weeks where I have had to remind myself that things could be worse, and that this too will soon pass. It all started with a sniffle!
Samuel came down with a cold. I think because of the past year and a half we forgot what it was like to have a cold in our house! Also, the first thing that pops in anyone’s head right now when anyone has so much as coughs is “is it the virus?!” I have to remind myself that kids still get kid germs. That’s just part of it. We have been going out and about, and while I try to make sure the kids still wear their masks, they sometimes don’t wear them consistently, especially Samuel who rips his off whenever he feels like it.
After several days of runny, sneezy, snotty noses, coughing and ear aches, I gave in and took Samuel to the doctor. I was told it was probably just a viral cold, and that the inflamed ears should go away in a few days. I left with the option to give him an antibiotic. I chose to wait a few days, and it turns out he is doing better.
Then, as it usually does in a family, Emma came down with the same cold! She also has a runny, sneezy, snotty nose, and cough. However, she has not complained with her ears. Emma is tough, and so it’s hard to tell whether she is feeling bad or not, at least until she is feeling REALLY bad. I thought Emma too was on the mends, but it turns out she started feeling bad again today. I think maybe she just tried to do too much too soon. She doesn’t want to miss out on anything. I had to make her stay home from swim class this evening, and she was not happy about it!
So far David, Andrew and I are still healthy. I pray it stays that way! This week has been particularly hard on me. I hate seeing the kids sick. I always feel so terrible, and helpless when they are. I hate feeling that way. Also, I have sleep deprivation which doesn’t help the frame of mind. Samuel keeps waking me up in the night, and this generally has nothing to do with a cold, even though he did wake me up in the night a few days ago because of his ears. He just wakes up, opens the door to our room, and stands there waiting for me to come to him. If I don’t he will start to cry. I pick him up and carry him to his bed, tuck him back in, and he goes right back to sleep. No fuss at all. (for that part I am thankful) I had a friend tell me about the sleep trainer clock she uses with her girl, and I also asked the doctor about Samuel’s sleep habits. The doctor said it’s not uncommon for kids to wake up like this, and that it just takes time and training for them to learn how to roll over and go back to sleep. He also suggested the trainer clock. So I bought one for Samuel. You can set it to light up in the morning when it is okay for them to come out of their room. I made it a big deal, and talked with him about not coming out of his room in the middle of the night and only coming out in the morning when he sees the clock flash green. We’ll see if it works tonight! Please pray that it does! This mom could use a full night of uninterrupted sleep.
Samuel is our cuddle child. He loves to crawl in bed or on the couch and cuddle with you. I was taking a nap this afternoon (trying to make up for lost sleep), and Samuel came to cuddle with me. Later this evening he asked to cuddle with Andrew too. 🥰
Our garden is growing and producing pretty good. Especially the cucumbers, not so sure yet how our tomatoes are going to turn out. Emma loves checking on the garden. She asks to do it every day! She loves to pick the cucumbers.
Fred and Ethel have been enjoying the summer! They love to go outside and hunt bugs and other critters. The other evening we were eating dinner on the deck. I came inside to get something and heard them scuffling around, running up the stairs, and growling. It was unusual because the usually don’t growl at each other in this manner. I walked over to where they were by the front door. I noticed something else unusual. There was a sound coming from underneath the shoe rack. Fred and Ethel were both circling around and trying to get to whatever was under the rack. Terrible thoughts entered my head, and I yelled for Andrew to come and see! I was too terrified to try to see what might be lurking under the shoe rack! Visions of vicious snakes running through my head! Andrew carefully looked under the rack to discover a small bunny rabbit! Exactly how it made it’s way into our house is unknown. There was once, earlier in the day, where the back door was left open by David, or maybe one of the cats carried it in without us noticing…. Andrew was able to pick the small rabbit up and take it outside where it ran off across the street into another yard. I hope the poor thing is okay!
Andrew had block leave all last week, and we took advantage of the free time and went on vacation to Atlanta! We left Monday morning and arrived in Atlanta at our air B&B later that afternoon. Atlanta is partially Andrews hometown. He grew up in Decatur, GA until he was around twelve years of age, before moving to Arkansas. His grandparents home was in Decatur and we took a trip down memory lane. We toured the grounds where their house used to be (it is now a designated park area). Andrew enjoyed showing and telling the kids about where he grew up, and they loved hearing it. 🙂 We visited a few of his favorites too, like Athens pizza and the Varsity. It was Pure Nostalgia for Andrew! 🙂
Pictures from the Varsity! Andrew’s all time favorite! No Joke, he is in food heaven which is why he has that smile on his face!
If you have never been to the Varsity it is hard to explain. It’s more in need of an actual experience to understand. The best I can describe it is as a 50s style restaurant in an underground station. Everyone goes down into the station to order food where they holler something like “what ya have” at everyone ordering. You get your deliciously greasy food and frosted orange drink and take it upstairs where they have a monster seating area. Fun was had by all! 🙂
We took the kids to Legoland! The kids had a fantastic time, and loved every brick of it! They are all old enough that they could participate in all the rides and activities, so it made it extra fun. It was Emma and Samuel’s first time ever to go on a carnival type ride or see a movie in 4d. They had the biggest smiles ever, and of course we had to do it again!
David loved the virtual reality ride, that only he was big enough to ride. I wasn’t sure whether he would actually like it or not, but he surprised me!
We visited zoo Atlanta! It was a nice zoo and well laid out. You could walk and see pretty much everything in two to three hours. So it was a smaller zoo than say Memphis, but we rather enjoyed not staying out in the heat all day! Plus, they had some neat areas for the kids. The kids loved the carousel and the zoo train!
We also had some time for sleep and snuggles on our vacation. 🙂
July 1st was Andrew’s Birthday. Anyone who knows Andrew very well knows that he is an avid Braves fan. We went to the Atlanta Braves baseball game at Truist park for Andrew’s birthday! We spent a large part of the afternoon touring the grounds, exploring the nearby shops, and watching the kids play in the splash pad. We then went inside the park, found our seats, and went exploring the inside of the park. The game started and we had a great time watching the game and eating ball park food. Samuel especially was getting tired by this point, and when he gets tired he can get cantankerous! However, we made it to the eighth inning. 🙂 As part of Andrew’s birthday gift, I ordered him a special gifting from the Atlanta Braves. They brought his gift to his seat and presented it to him! It was fun!
The Atlanta Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the United States and the third largest in the world! I have to say that I was blown away by it! It was spectacular!! Pictures simply do NOT do it justice! The sea creatures were amazing, and they had everything. David’s favorite was the whale shark. His expression when he saw it was priceless! I can still hear him screaming “whale shark” in my ear! 🙂 The manta rays were pretty incredible too!
While all the things we did were fun and amazing, my favorite activity of all was visiting the Gone With The Wind museum! I didn’t even know there was one! We were going to meet some friends for lunch on our last day, and we had some extra time to kill. I was looking up something to do in the area and it popped up! I said, “That’s it! We are going to the Gone With the Wind museum!” Andrew gave me the same goofy look I give him when he says he wants to go the Varsity! 🙂 I can’t help it! I am a romantic at heart, and I love classic movies to boot!
Brumbly Hall was built in 1851. It looks similar to the house used in filming when Scarlett visited in Atlanta where Melanie had her baby. (Maybe it was? I don’t know why, but I’m confused on this point. I assumed it was while there, but now I’m not so sure.) However it is historic and was used as a hospital during the civil war. It is now housed with all kinds of Gone with the Wind memorabilia. I loved seeing all the old books, articles, and art! My favorite was the beautiful costume dresses wore by Vivien Leigh!!
As much as I loved visiting the Gone With The Wind museum, my favorite part of vacation was spending time with my family! I loved watching the kids faces light up, and their smiles. I loved that Andrew was with us and we were able to be together!
We arrived home from our vacation in time to celebrate the fourth of July! We had a relaxing, recuperative day! Which is funny that one needs to recover from vacation! Hahaha! Maybe it’s because I’m getting old! 🙂 We went to church, fixed a simple lunch, and took quiet/nap time. Andrew BBQed ribs, and we shot off and watched fireworks. It took a lot of begging from the kids and some encouragement from me to get Andrew to agree to buy any fireworks. It’s just not his thing. I think he is afraid of one of the kids getting hurt. I reassured him that he only needed to buy the small, safe fireworks, and that we would be super careful! Ha! I grew up shooting fireworks, but he didn’t. So that has a lot to do with it. The kids were excited for us to shoot some of our own fireworks this year! However our neighbors…let me just say out of all the places we have lived (and there have been amazing fireworks at all of them), this neighborhood outdid them all! We had the most amazing firework show right from the front window of our house!! Seriously, I am amazed at the amount of fireworks we watched last night! Thank you to all our neighbors!! I love not having to spend big money on fireworks! 🙂
I can’t believe Andrew and I have an eight year old son!!! David is halfway to sixteen!!! Yikes!!!:) I always try my best to make our kids birthdays fun and memorable. While we didn’t have a big party, it was still Super! I think David loved it! We celebrated for two days!
The morning of his birthday I took the kids to the doughnut shop, where David was sure to announce that it was his birthday. 🙂 They gave him two free birthday doughnuts with sprinkles. It was a great start to the day. He spent a large part of his day watching Pokémon, playing video games, and playing with his new friend just down the street. (They made Godzilla YouTube videos. The things kids do! It blows my mind! I most definitely was not making YouTube videos at 8!😄😬) Later that evening we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. They gave a big shout out to David, and he loved it. Even though he covered his ears.:)
After dinner we went to the skating rink. I used to skate pretty regularly as a kid, but it has been several years…. The skating part was a lot of fun, at least for Andrew and I. It’s almost like riding a bike, however I was a little rusty! The kids went around the rink about twice before deciding they were done. They wanted to go play on the indoor play ground. They all had a Super time playing on the playground while Andrew and I skated! 🙂 We have decided we need to go at least twice a month so they can learn how to skate. I can’t have a child of mine not knowing how to roller skate!! I am also going to demand that they skate for at least thirty minutes before heading off to other activities! 🙂
Today we celebrated David’s birthday again with Uncle B and Auntie Leah!!! We had party decorations, games, pizza, cake, and gifts! Who says you have to have a lot of people to party?!?! We had a Super time!! If you keep wondering why I am using the word “Super”, It’s because David wanted a Super Mario party! I made him a Super Mario confetti cake!! I have to say it was fun to decorate. I’m not artsy by any stretch, but I think it turned out pretty cute! We had Luigi’s pizza too! (There’s a Luigi’s pizza restaurant in town. David has loved it ever since we moved here and he caught eye of it. Simply for the fact that it is called Luigi’s!! He’s lucky the pizza is descent!:) ) David’s favorite gift was a super Mario maker video game, even though he loved all his gifts! The kids also played water balloons and we had a coin hunt! I bought gold coins and Andrew hid them in the yard for the kids to find. They had a Super time!
As I sit here blogging I can hear birds chirping in the trees, the water hose running, David, Emma and Samuel laughing and playing in the water, and the oscillating fan running on the porch to help keep me cool! I am loving this summer! I am thankful that the kids are able to resume activities too. We have been careful and cautious about entering back out into the world again after spending the last fifteen months social distancing. I am very thankful for science and modern medicine, and we are feeling more comfortable going out since both Andrew and I have been vaccinated. In an effort to help the kids feel at home and make friends here, I decided to enroll them in some activities this summer. David is taking piano lessons again! I am thankful that we live in a community where there are a lot of musical opportunities. I am enjoying listening to him practice again, and without having to be the one giving the instruction and critiques! Emma has started taking gymnastics! She loves doing flips on her bed, and so I decided she would have fun learning to do some proper flips. 🙂 Next month I hope to enroll all three in swimming lessons. David loves swimming and could benefit from further instruction. Emma likes to think she can swim, but needs lessons. Samuel will probably out swim them both once he starts. Plus, I want him to feel included since I found a place where I can schedule them all at the same time. He feels desperately left out when we go to Emma’s gym class, and the first class broke his heart because he couldn’t also jump on the trampoline! 😅
We have also become acquainted with the library here! I can’t say how happy I am to be able to take the kids to the library again! We have signed up for the summer reading program, and the kids have been watching the virtual story times. Also, once a week they have a program outside for the kids. Last week was a magic show, and David and Emma had a blast! David is reading so well, and I love listening to him read to Emma and Samuel.
There is nothing like playing in a good summer rain! I love these pictures of the kids in action. David and his buddy were in the garage playing, but Emma and Samuel were loving it!
We have been able to get together with Leah and Brandon lately! Sunday we went on an outing to Uncle B and Auntie Leah’s house! The kids were ecstatic! Emma was showing off her cool shades, David was eager to play video games with uncle B, and Samuel was his exuberant self. 🙂 We are feeling thankful to live so close to them!
I missed baking while we were on our in-between adventures. I have been wanting to try Ree Drummond’s blueberry scone recipe for a long time now. I finally mustard up the courage to give it a try, and I am so glad I did! They turned out beautiful! Almost as good as the ones from the Mercantile! (I was missing the fancy sugar they put on top.😉) The hardest part was grating the frozen butter. I put my butter and fresh blueberries in the freezer a few days before making the recipe to make sure they would be frozen. Also I used sour cream instead of the crème fraiche in the recipe. I mixed the sour cream and the heavy cream together and let it sit in the freezer while I was preparing the dry ingredients. They were light, moist, and delicious. I made the scones at night before bed, and Andrew frosted them for me the next morning for breakfast! I will definitely be making these again!
The guys have summer haircuts! Of course Andrew keeps his short, but I took David and Samuel for haircuts this week. I had intentionally avoided getting Samuel’s hair cut at a chain salon because they just can’t cut his hair the way I want it, but I finally caved because it was getting really long again and I didn’t know where else to take him. Needless to say when we left I had very mixed feelings. He is so stink’n cute, that even the short hair looks good! However, I almost cried afterwards. He still has some curl on top and I know it will grow back, but I wasn’t ready for him to look so big!
Last week we took a trip to Hot Springs, AR! It was a work-cation trip for Andrew since the general annual conference of the Arkansas United Methodist Church met in Hot Springs. Andrew was granted TDY (temporary duty travel) in order to attend. For the kids and I, it was ALL play! 🙂 Hot Springs is a fun and unique place to visit! It has historical bath houses where you can go and literally take a hot bath! It is the original home of baseball’s spring training. There is an amusement/water park, a science museum, an alligator farm, and lots of eclectic store front shops! Not to mention some really great restaurants! However, Hot Springs holds a special place in our hearts for a very different reason. It is the place Andrew and I became parents! Eight years ago we were in the middle of moving from Hot Springs village to Cabot. I was nine months pregnant during that move!! Moving in and of itself is miserable enough. Try doing it nine months pregnant! Anyway…I didn’t want to switch doctors at that point, and so we traveled back to Hot Springs for my appointments. The doctor offered to induce since we lived so far away, and so on June 25th 2013 David was born! We enjoyed telling him about his birthplace this past week. In fact, the hotel we stayed in was right next door to the hospital where he was born!
While Andrew was attending conference sessions the kids and I swam in the hotel pool! It was a heated, indoor pool and we all had a great time. The kids LOVE swimming! We could have spent our whole vacation just swimming in that pool, and they would have loved it! However, they would have missed out on some other great adventures. 🙂
When I was a kid I remember my parents taking me to Gatorland zoo in Florida. I remember always having a good time, and we enjoyed watching the gator feedings and petting the other animals. The gator zoo in Hot Springs is similar, just on a smaller scale. The kids loved petting the bunnies, chickens, goats, and sheep. They also each fed the small gators by holding a stick with a hot dog piece on the end. The gators snapped it off so quick! They also had a gator for the kids to hold and touch. Visiting the gator zoo is a fun experience if you have never done it. We all had a good time!
Andrew was able to break away from conference long enough to go to the zoo and the science museum with us! The science museum was a fun experience as it had a lot of hands on activities both indoor and outdoor. My heart loves the pictures below! I caught David and Emma holding hands…💕🥰 They don’t always fight! 😅
We had a great mini-cation, and are looking forward to the summer ahead! David and I survived a whole year of schooling at home! We are both ready for a break. I am proud to say that David did really well this year all things considered. His grades were great, ninety-five percent of the time he did his work without complaint, and he put up with me all year! 🙂 We enjoyed the flexibility of the schedule, but David missed having friends, and all the fun school activities. We are excited to try going back to school in the fall, but also a little anxious as to how that will go after being away from it for so long. At least we have a couple months before having to make that transition.