Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Annual Lake Trip with the Mills

Last week we had our annual summer lake trip with our great friends, the Mills.  We've been doing this every summer since our oldest girls were just over one and now the fun has grown and the kids (and adults) just have more and more fun each year.

They arrived late Tuesday night and the kids picked up right where they left off this winter when we were visiting them in Florida.  It is like no time had passed and I love how close they all are.  They were all so excited that it took a very long time to get everyone to sleep that night.  The next morning we were off to the lake.  We got on the water by late afternoon and had a picnic for dinner so we could soak up every second of our boat time.  

The rest of the week went about the same way.  We spent long hours on the boat, kids swam and played, lots of water sports (wakeboarding, surfing, tubing) lots of snacking and lots of sun. 

We went to Lighthouse for dinner on the lake one night and on the way home the kids were begging for the dads to wakeboard in their "fancy" clothes.  Last year the guys got a bright idea to set up two ropes and board in their clothes on the way back home and the kids LOVED it.  They thought their dads were so much fun and they are still talking about it a year later.  So, being the fun dads they are, they agreed and when they were done the told the kids they could all jump in and swim in their fancy clothes, too.  This is something I would normally NEVER let my kids do, but I am so glad Corey and Robby suggested it because the kids just loved it.  They laughed and waved to boats going by and had the time of their lives.  Wonderful memories were made that night!

We were sad to see the Mills leave on Saturday evening, but glad they spent every last second with us that they could.  We are already looking forward to seeing them again soon.

On Sunday Gigi, Papa, Ryan, Heather and Rylan were at the lake so we were able to visit with them.  The kids had a blast playing together and Rylan even taught Handley how to fish and she caught one!  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Handley is SEVEN!

Our last week has been a whirlwind, but I'm going to back a few days and highlight all of the fun we have been having.  First up, Handley celebrated her seventh birthday last Tuesday.  She wanted to go to the water park we had been to before last summer so we invited a few friends last minute and had the best time.  It was a hot, sunny day and the perfect way to celebrate.

Last year Handley was just a little too short to go down the giant slides, but this year she was definitely tall enough so she pretty much went down those big slides over and over all day.  The rest of the kids had fun in the lazy river and on the water playground area.

I was wondering how I was old enough to have a seven year old and then Handley started begging for me to go down the big water slide with her so I did...and then at that moment I realized that I really was old.  My graceful landing proved it wasn't as much fun as when you are a kid, but I was happy to do it if it meant making her birthday special. :-)

We came home and got ready for our friends who were arriving from Florida that evening.   It was the perfect way to wrap up Handley's birthday.

Every year on the kids birthdays I share a few unique and special things about them just so I can remember down the road.  At age seven she:

  • likes to push the limits.  She used to be my rule follower, but now she is to the age where she likes to test limits, see what she can and can't do, and has a bit of a sneaky side to her.  
  • can be so sweet with her little brother and sister, until she has a friend over and then she wants to have "big girl time" with her friends which really hurts Harper's feelings. 
  • likes to please and usually wants to do just about anything to make me happy. 
  • is responsible and I can almost always count on her to help me out to get things done. 
  • likes having jobs and chores around the house and she even told me the other day that she "loves doing the dishes"...something I plan to take advantage of for as long as I can. 
  • picks out the same outfits over and over.  She loves clothes, but the ones she loves show it because she wears the heck out of them. 
  • just started making "to-do" lists the way I do and marks off her tasks when she is done with them. 
  • has an adventurous spirit and and loves trying new things. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day, Birthdays, and Potty Training

Yesterday we spent the day working around the house more.  Robby had an exciting day of pressure washing, but honestly, I know it was something he had wanted to get done and felt good to get it out of the way.

The kids made pictures and the girls made rainbow loom bracelets for him to go along with the other gift.  They were so proud and so happy to give them to him.  And, because he is such a great dad, he wore them to work today.  I just love him for that.  He's the best dad to our sweet three and we love and appreciate all that he does for all of us, but especially for the kids.

I loved this picture I took of Hudson following Robby around in the driveway this weekend.  He seriously wants to be just like his daddy and copies his every move, even when it means blowing off the driveway.  :-)

That evening Gigi and Papa came over for a Father's Day dinner and we all enjoyed grilling out and hanging out on the porch.  Later that night we were able to call my dad so we got all of our "Happy Father's Day" well wishes in.  We are all so blessed to have wonderful, hard working, dedicated Dads in our lives!

To go along with our Father's Day celebration last night we also celebrated Handley's almost 7th birthday and Hudson's almost 3rd birthday with Gigi and Papa.  Handley was thrilled to get Isabelle (the American Girl Doll of the year) as a combined gift from Gigi and Mimi and Hudson was over the moon about his new race car and track for the bathtub.

And, maybe the most exciting news of all is that this morning Hudson decided he was finally ready to wear his big boy undies.  I've read about kids who are older and just one day just deciding to be potty trained and that's it.  I don't want to jinx myself, but that is kind of how it went today.  All it took was me telling him that Dylan was coming over to play and that he wore big boy undies. Hudson immediately wanted to put his on and I reminded him that he needed to use the potty and keep his underwear dry.  He was accident free all day, didn't give me any push-back about using the potty and even stayed dry when we ran a few errands.  We'll see how tomorrow goes, but I think we are on our way to being done with diapers for the first time in seven years!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

First Dinner Guests

We were debating going to the lake this weekend, but with so much to be done at the house we decided to stick around here and knock out some of the things on our to-do list.  We worked hard all day and thankfully while we got things done the kids just played and played.  When we moved outdoors and started working outside I filled up the little pool for the kids and you would have thought they were in a huge swimming pool.  They played with dive sticks, had a cannon ball contest, and wore out the water guns.  I'm so thankful that they don't seem to mind too much that we haven't joined a pool yet.  :-)

After all our work was done, it was time to relax and have fun.  I was excited about having our first dinner guests at the new house who happened to be my BFF and her family.  It was low-key and laid back and it was the best night.  We grilled out, had cocktails on the porch, the kids played outside, we all caught lightening bugs and everyone stayed up way too late. I just kept thinking that it doesn't get much better.  It was the perfect summer night!

 One landed in Harper's hair and I was surprised she didn't flip out, but I guess there is something almost magical about lightening bugs.  She loved that it was making her hair "glow."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Vacation Bible School

This week the girls have been attending Vacation Bible School and they had the best time!  It was each afternoon for a few hours and today was their last day.  We saw tons of their friends there and they met a lot of new friends, too.  They also learned a lot, made cute crafts, played games and came home singing praise and worship songs.

Getting there a little early to pick them up was fun because I got to see what a production VBS is from the days when I was attending. It was a theatrical event, lots of music, dancing, lights, and fun!  I'm so happy the girls had such a great time and they are already asking if they can do it again next year.  They were selling $5 CD's with all of the music they learned this week, so Handley and Harper decided they would each pitch in half to buy one of the CD's so they could listen and sing in the car and at home, too.

Hudson wasn't quite old enough to go this year, but next year I know he will want to join in the fun, too! Instead, he got to run lots of errands with me.  I had tons of little things to get accomplished on these days while the girls were at VBS so he was my helper. Only problem is, he HATES running errands.  He whines the entire time, drags his feet, wants to be held, and is constantly asking to go back to the car.  It makes it a very unpleasant experience for both of us.  Today though, I got smart and promised him a milkshake if he was good in all of the places we needed to go and if he didn't whine at all.  And you know what, he earned it!  He was so good and it was definitely bribery at its best.

The rest of our week has been spent having lots of playdates.  I think we've had someone over almost every day this week, which has been lots of fun for the kids and for me.  It's kept us very busy and made our week fly by.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Handley's Birthday Party

Yesterday we had a little birthday celebration for Handley.  Her real birthday isn't for about a week and a half, but we knew we would be home this weekend and not traveling so we decided to go ahead and have her party.  It was held at the place the girls take tumbling and it was the PERFECT party.  It was simple for me (seeing as how we had just moved last week), fun for the kids, and relaxing for the adults.

The kids all took part in a tumbling "class" where they did gymnastics type activities and games and the parents watched from the lobby's observation window.

The party room had fun chalkboards to put all sorts of messages on, which was super cute.

Then it was time for the party room fun.  We had snack mix, popcorn and juice for snacks and then topped it all off with cookies and cupcakes for dessert.

I can hardly believe that she is almost 7!  I feel like she was just turning 6 because this year has flown by so quickly with all we have had going on and I'm ready for time to slow down a bit.  I love how sweet, responsible, and silly she can be and the special young lady she is turning into!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

We are in our house!!!

Exactly a week ago is when the big move began.  It's been a whirlwind of a week, but it feels so good to be here.  It started with me taking several car loads over with things from Gigi and Papa's house including clothes, toys, and bedding.  It was a slow and tedious project, but I crammed as much as a possibly could in my car and seeing our clothes hanging in closets and some of our things in the house made the reality that we were finally moving in feel just a little more real.  Thursday morning Robby and I made another run over first thing with things we had loaded into our cars and then the movers came to get everything from our storage units over to the house.  It was like Christmas seeing all of our things again and after close to a year of it being out of sight, I'd forgotten all about some of it.

My mom arrived Thursday afternoon to start helping me unpack and I loved showing her around.  The last time she'd seen the house it was just barely drywalled, so it was obviously a big difference.  Gigi and Papa kept the kids on Wednesday and Thursday while we did the moving and it was such a big help!  There is no way we would have gotten as much done with them in the house.  They fed them dinner on Thursday and then brought them over to the house and they were all so excited to see their rooms and their playroom.  It was like Christmas for them, too!  I had brought some of their toys, but so many of them had been in storage so they loved running from one thing to the next and rediscovering all of their things.

Later that night Hudson was getting sleepy and told me he was ready to go home. I had to tell him we were at home now and he was so upset and confused because he said he wanted to go home to Gigi's house. The move has been most hard on him because he just doesn't fully understand everything the way the girls do.

Friday Robby spent the day getting more stuff from his parents and picking up our new couch while my mom and I got to work finishing up the playroom so they kids could stay entertained and then unpacking the kitchen and trying to get some of the boxes out of the house.  We moved on to getting some of the boxes out of the kids rooms and before I knew it, it was time to get the girls ready for their dance recital.  Talk about a crazy week!  I hated to leave the house and stop the progress we were making, but I was also excited to see the girls dance.  They did great and had a blast.

Saturday morning I was able to work for a little while longer and then it was time again to go to another dance recital...this one for Handley's ballet.  Harper and I went alone so my mom could stay home with Hudson and Robby could finish doing a few key things (like getting the TV's set up) before he had to leave for a business trip that evening.

Hudson woke up sick on Sunday and still isn't quite back to 100% today.  I'm thankful that he's been happy to lay around and watch movies because it's allowed me to get a lot done.  My mom was also a HUGE help with the kids the few days she was here and there is no way I could have finished as much as I did without her here.  Yesterday Gigi offered to keep the kids for the day and take them swimming so I could get a few more loads from their house and do a few errands I needed to for the house, which was also a HUGE help.  Who knew finding baskets for the mudroom cubbies would be as tedious as it was.  After almost an hour in Michael's and getting the associate to climb up on the ladder more times than I'm sure she wanted, I did find the perfect ones.

Now, with the exception of the and my craft room, every box is unpacked and put away.  It feels so good to feel like this is home and it feels so good to be home.  I promise to share lots of pictures in the coming months, but I have a list about a mile long of things I would like to accomplish to make it feel "finished."  That and the fact that I need my handyman, AKA Robby, back to help with hanging stuff.

Today we had our first friends over to play and the kids were thrilled.  I think they are starting to go stir crazy and couldn't wait for Jake and Reece to get here.  They sat and looked out the window for 1/2 an hour watching for them.

Christy was so sweet to bring over pizza for lunch so we could all eat, the kids could play, and we could catch up.  The kids played dress-up, the girls put on shows, and they all ran around having a grand ol' time! It was great seeing them, just like old times, and was a nice break from all of our work around here.

Each evening we've gone outside to play and water the grass and yesterday the kids had fun using the water guns our new neighbors gave them to help me water and try to get our grass to grow.

And, seeing little things like this around the house really make me giddy.  Our good friends, the Mills, gave us this for Christmas and I'm just so happy to see it out front of our house.