Tuesday, May 2, 2017


I had hoped to do monthly updates this year, but perhaps I'll have to settle for seasonal ones instead. We'll see if I can get on track the rest of the year. (Hope no one is crossing their fingers on that one!)

Anyway, we've had a great Spring! The girls have enjoyed many days playing in the sun. We've even busted out the kiddie pool and slip n slide a couple of days. They don't quite get how to use the slip n slide, but fortunately, we live on a hill. I just set it up at the top of the hill and give them a push down! We've also spent many a day at the park. It's so fascinating watching my kids play and see what their imagination comes up with. Anything from trolls to moms to dragons to bakers goes. Eden and Lydia are good playmates (with their fair share of scuffles!) and Adeline tries so hard to keep up and play too. She thinks she's one of the big girls and before I know it, she will be!

I ran the Bentonville half marathon. It had been years since I'd done one, so it was long over due! It felt so good to get back into running. I did my long runs once a week with my friend Courtney and it was such a motivation to have someone counting on me to show up. Plus, its much more enjoyable to have someone to chat with when you're running that long. Race day went really well and I was able to run with two other friends whom I happen to run into at the starting line. Nate and the girls came and cheered me on and the girls have been begging to do a race ever since. We've signed them up for their first 400 Meter Dash next week! As much as I loved running again, since my race a month ago, I've only managed to run once. It's such a challenge to get it in with my kids. I've really got to talk myself into waking up early and doing it!

Nathan has been busy working on our backyard. He has a grand vision and is working hard at it! He rented a mini excavator and dug out an area for our patio and leveled our yard. He had so much fun, more fun that an amusement park according to him! It's still a long ways off, but eventually, it is going to look so nice! I've been working on the landscaping in the back so that's my contribution to The Vision.

Whew! Barely fit. Like a Glove

Easter we had our annual get together with our friends. The egg hunt has gotten massive! I'm pretty sure there were like 1,000 eggs for 15 kids or something ridiculous like that. The kids loved it, of course, and the adults enjoyed a beautiful day picnicking outside, visiting with friends, and celebrating Jesus Christ.

The girls and I have started a new adventure in hair styling. They like to pick a hairdo on Pinterest or YouTube and then I try to replicate. Some days have been more successful than others, but we're having fun doing it. I've found it's a good time to spend one on one time with each of them and talk to them.

We've loved having Ryan, Courtney, and Carter living just 3 hours away now. We've gone to visit them several times and they've come to see us as well. They were able to come for Spring Break and my brother Shane flew in too! 3 of the 6 kids in my family together in Arkansas. Wahoo! It was a party. Also, Nathan had a week long conference in Chicago last week, so the kids and I went for a visit for a few days. It sure is fun and convenient having them close by. 
The only photo I managed to take of our Spring Break fun

The kids love playing in the shop at Uncle Ryan's house
All in all, we've had another busy, fun, blessed spring together as a family. We have lots of fun adventures coming up this summer that we are looking forward to. And perhaps, I may even get around to blogging about said adventures!

Kitchen helpers

Happy Birthday Baby

I'm pretty irritated with myself! I wrote this birthday post over two months ago and never actually posted it! So here it is.....

One year. One year ago our lives changed in the best way possible. One year ago we met the piece of our family we didn't even know we were missing and can not imagine our life without anymore. One year ago our baby girl, Sweet Adeline, was born.

She had an interesting birthday party. We were so grateful that Gramma Lisa and Auntie Kaley could fly out for a visit. Unfortunately, most of us ended up with a stomach bug and her party was plagued with vomit and diarrhea! At least it was a party to be remembered!

Thanks for the visit!!!!

Adeline truly is a blessing to our family. I thought it would be a huge adjustment to being outnumbered and having three kids, but honestly, she just fits right in and I can't even remember what it was like to only have two. Now, don't mistake me. She wasn't/isn't an easy baby by any means. I've said this before but can't think of a better way to describe her; she is "high needs." She knows what she wants and needs and we all function better when she gets those things. She communicates those things well but I'm looking forward to when that communication includes actual words instead of high pitched squeals! She has started to say simple things like Mama and Dada and I swear I hear little phrases like thank you and all done too, but that could be my imagination.

 She is a happy, healthy little girl! At her one year check up she was 17 lbs 3 oz and 29 inches long. She has 11 teeth (including 3 molars). She has started pulling herself up on the furniture and her favorite thing to do is grab our hands and take us for a walk. It's only a matter of time before she's taking off on her own. She loves playing Peek-a-boo with her blanket. She just giggles and giggles every time. She also loves crawling around after her sisters and wants to do everything they do. She still gives daily snuggles to Mom and has recently decided to be a Daddy's girl as well. She enjoys greeting him at the door and will squawk at him until he picks her up and gives her hugs and kisses. We love her so much! Happy first birthday Baby Girl!

I'm pretty sure she didn't eat a bite of cake, but managed to eat most of the cherries off the top ! 

Friday, February 3, 2017

2017 Holiday Season

Wow, is it really 2017 already!?!? We've had another great year and especially enjoyed our holiday season. We were able to fly to Seattle for Thanksgiving to spend a week with Nathan's parents. This trip was different than most of our others in that it was just us and Stan and Lisa there. The rest of the family wasn't able to make it. While we definitely missed them all, we also really enjoyed spending uncontested, quality time with Grandma and Grandpa. The girls were so excited for our trip, but I think Gramma may have been even more excited! We had such a good time. Highlights included cutting down a Christmas tree, helping decorate for Christmas, baking cookies, riding the carousel, attending the snowflake parade, watching Christmas movies, and spending all day with Gramma and Papa! As always, the trip was over way too quickly and we already miss them. I especially miss that the girls like to wake up Grandma in the morning rather than Mama! This was Adeline's first flying experience, which feels strange since the twins were pro's by this age. The flight out there she was "that baby". You know the one on every flight who screams and cries? Yep, that was her. To be fair it wasn't her fault. We had woken up at 4:00 AM to catch our flight and she was so tired! She fell asleep right away which was great, but of course,10 minutes later the lady next me had to get up to use the restroom and jostled her awake. It was all down hill from there.  Fortunately, the way home went much better and we avoided tears on her part and mine!
The girls were very curious about this tree cutting business

Tree farm fun

Pictures with Santa in the mall

Can you tell Eden was excited?

Carousel with Gramma

Soon after we got home, my mom was able to come and visit! My brother, Ryan, moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma so she and my Dad came to help him with the move. Mom made the 3 hour drive over to Rogers while Dad stayed to help with construction. We loved having Mimi for a few days! We were able to ride a Christmas train while she was here. I've always wanted to ride the Polar Express, drink cocoa, eat cookies, see Santa, the works. Unfortunately, I started coming down with a stomach bug right about then and did not get to enjoy it very much. Luckily, the girls and Mimi had a great time! I spent the next day, lying in bed being miserable. I was so grateful my mom was here to take care of my family while I recouped. Once I was feeling better we were able to tie quilts for Eden and Lydia's beds. I made the quilt tops last summer when I was in Utah. We didn't have time to bind them, so I may put it off long enough that I have to take them with me to Utah this summer to finally finish them! The girls also had their first ballet recital. It was so stinking cute. I about started crying from amusement and pride!
Meeting Santa and the trainstation

Christmas train selfie

Our graceful ballerinas

Candyland with Mimi

Next, we were able to head to Stillwater for the weekend. Mom, Dad, and Shane were all there to help Ryan. His new house was a true fixer upper. Nate helped lay floor, paint, build fences, install appliances. The girls and I were of no help, but we didn't want to miss the party! We did talk my mom into taking a break from texturing walls to check out the Wondertorium which turned out to be a great Children's museum. The girls had a ball! We were sad to leave after only a weekend, but Shane was able to come back with us for a few days. I'm sure he was bored out of his mind just hanging out with me and girls all day, but he didn't complain. Eden and Lydia talked him into several rounds of hide and seek. He discovered that you can hide on the couch every time and never move and they still think its great! We went for a swim at the Community Center one evening and it was so nice to have an even ratio of adults to kids. Man, I miss that! We also stayed up late philosophizing, eating popcorn, and watching terrible Christmas movies. Good times!

"Dad, you're squeezing too tight!"

They loved pretending to give the babies checkups at the children's museum

The girls got to meet Mrs. Clause and decorate cupcakes at the Wondertorium

Making treats with Uncle Shane

A few day before Christmas, Shane flew home. We haven't stayed home for Christmas for probably 5 years. I was really excited to avoid the stress of travel and enjoy a quiet Christmas at home. (Who was I kidding? With our three girls, quiet is not a word used to describe our home!) Christmas Eve did not really go according to plan and was a bit of a bust with weeping and wailing maybe even nashing of teeth throughout the day. But we had a delicious lasagna dinner, told the story of Jesus Christ's birth, put on new pajamas, and spent time together so it was still a win. Christmas morning my cinnamon rolls were also a bit of a bust (my yeast was bad and they didn't raise as much as they should have.) but with all that butter and sugar and yummy cream cheese frosting, they still were gobbled up. Our plan was to open Santa gifts, eat breakfast, go to church, and then open the rest of the gifts. The morning went mostly according to plan except Lydia refused to even look at her gifts from Santa and was in tears because she was hungry. "My body hurts! I need to eat some breakfast!!!" So we rearranged and ate breakfast first and then opened Santa gifts. Eden and Lydia both got new strollers for their baby dolls and were in heaven! Adeline mostly just loved the wrapping paper. After all the gifts, we had a delicious baby back rib dinner made in my new Instant Pot I got for Christmas. This thing is magical! If you don't have one, put it on your wish list for next Christmas. My ribs were fall off the bone tender in just over 20 minutes!
New jammies for Christmas Eve

I made Nate a new pajama shirt with this quote from his favorite Christmas movie

Oh how I love making Mommy and me outfits!

New books for all to read

For New Years, we were able to go back to Ryan and Courtney's place. The kids enjoyed playing with cousin Carter, and Nate was able to help with some more construction. We had quite the feast for our New Year's Eve party with eggnog milk shakes, crepes with a variety of toppings, chips and dip, and fried mini corn dogs. But we're old and boring and didn't even make it to midnight. We tried but ended up going to bed instead. Somehow I managed to not get any pictures of our weekend. We're so excited to have more family living close by and hope to see them often! 

Other Christmas time fun included ice skating, taking the kids to see the movie Moana, and having a fondue party. We had a busy holiday season, and feel extremely blessed that we were able to spend so much of our time with our family. 
Enjoying the new tea set from Gramma

Did I mention we loved having a 65 degree Christmas?

We took the girls "ice dancing"