Friday, November 21, 2014

Vacation 2014

We just got back from a 2 week vacation to Florida, and it was amazing! Unfortunately, we had to leave the heat and palm trees, and return back to a cold reality of snow, and freezing temperatures. My bones are still cold due to this.  We had such a great time, and I want to make sure I document our memories before I forget (Lord knows I have been forgetful lately).

We decided to drive once again, because quite frankly flying a family of five, and all of our stuff would have cost a million dollars.  We generally drive at night when we know the kids will be sleeping, but this trip we decided to drive during the day and break the trip up.  We left early Wednesday and drove 7 hours to Atlanta to visit with Nick's cousin and aunt.  Paxton was a horrible traveler.  He cried more often than not, and I was getting my work out in twisting back and forth trying to console him.  We had a nice time visiting with Nick's Atlanta family, and slept well.  The next morning we said our good byes and headed to visit Nick's grandparents in Florida.

We had a nice visit with the grandparents. This was their first time meeting Paxton, and he was cute and sweet for them.  The kids had fun listening to their bedtime stories about Gurty the Gull, and A whale whose name I can not remember.  It was so cute when grandma was telling the whale story.  Caleb was all into it, and she said that the whale dove deep into the ocean, and suddenly he felt something grab him....Caleb immediately yelled (A giant squid!).  We all started laughing because it was quite hilarious that he knows that much about a giant squid. 

While we were there we attended a fall festival at the local elementary school.  The kids had a blast playing the games, racing on the inflatables etc.  We then enjoyed a nice dinner out, where Caleb tried crab legs for the first time (after being bribed by grandma).  He ended up liking them.

It was a great visit.  Next up for us was Disney World. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September Days

September seems to be flying by this year, but we have had a great month.  We have been enjoying soccer, visiting with family, doing a bit of school, taking nature walks, and spending time with precious friends before they move away.

This little man is growing up way too fast, and even though he has been a lousy sleeper this month, I am still head over heels in love with him.

We spent some time in my hometown with family last week, and we are trying to get back to the norm of life now that we are home.  My house is a disaster, but I am trying to soak in every pretty day we have before the cold hits for good.  The kids have enjoyed a ton of park days.

We visited with my life long friend while we were in my hometown.  Our boys have grown up together (they are only a month apart).  I have been friends with Blair since I was five, and its funny because we too are a month apart in age.  The boys had a blast hanging out again.  Its sad to see how much they have changed but I am glad that they still enjoy hanging out together.

Paxton had his first real swinging experience.  Both the bigs joined in on the occasion, and he was adorable as always.
These sweet friends are leaving us soon.  I have no idea how any of us are going to manage.  We have literally been doing daily life together since Caleb and Presley were 18 months old.  My youngest kids do not know a world without them.  Our kids love each other so heart breaks to think of them leaving..... :(

Caleb has continued to be an amazing big brother.  He and "Bro" have a special connection already.

Caleb is obsessed with tick tac toe, so I used that as an activity during "school" one day this month.  We were working on the letter Ee, and the numbers 1 and 2.  We implemented those instead of x and o.  It was a huge hit.  


Soccer Days

We have finally found a sport that Caleb enjoys! He absolutely loves playing soccer, and even though I am not a sports fan, I love that he loves it. He is playing for our local YMCA, and is on the Black Panthers team.  His coach is amazing, he has made a good friend on his team, and he counts down to "soccer days".

He has surprised me with how competetive he is.  He and his friend Ryan compete against each other all throughout practice.  They see who can race the fastest, they go at each other trying to take the ball away, and they have even wrestled haha.  They play a game of sharks and minnows during practice, and Caleb always zones in on taking out Ryan's ball first.  He usually ends up winning this game.

His first game was so cute, and his second game he scored three goals.  This past week I feel as though he was a little off, but he did amazing. I am so happy he is loving is so much.  

He picked his number.

Where did my baby go?


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day, New Beginnings

As of today our family started a new adventure.  An adventure that I am cautious, emotional, worried and excited about.  We are homeschoolers (for this year).  My decision to homeschool for pre school this year stemmed from various branches.  We absolutely loved our previous preschool, but with two enrolled, our bank account did not.  We could afford it, but it left very little wiggle room in the budget for fun family activities (aka Disney would have been a no go).  I found another Christian pre school that was a lot more inexpensive, but the hours were shorter, and the more I thought about it, I realized that a lot of stress would be added to me as a mom trying to cram everything I needed to get done into those short hours.  I went back and forth and back and forth, trying to figure out what to do.  I stayed up many nights worried I would make the wrong decision.  Yes, I know it is JUST pre school, but it was an experience my children were used to, and I wanted to guarantee I made the right decision.  So as of right now, I am homeschooling.  We shall see if this lasts the entire school year, only a few months, or if I am calling up the local pre school come Friday and enrolling them.  I am taking it day by day, feeding off of my kids emotions, and seeing if it will work for our family.

One of my main concerns when deciding to homeschool this year was keeping Caleb on track educationally.  Technically he could be in Kindergarten this year, and his pre school last year prepared him for that  educationally.  It is my main goal to make sure he keeps up with what he already knows, learns some new concepts, and has fun while doing so.  I found a wonderful curriculum through  It is the perfect mix of K4 and Preschool learning.  Today was day one, and there are a few things I need to tweak with my presentation of the lessons, but her plans are solid.

My original plan was to do school 3 mornings a week, and knock them out before lunch time (preferably during Paxton's morning nap).  We implemented that plan today, but I feel that the straight 1 1/2 hours of learning was a little much for them.  I broke up the day with stories, crafts, stretches, and some hands on activities, but the kids seemed to burn out fast.  I am now thinking it might be easier to do our lessons all throughout the day on the 3 days of school.  Maybe like this....

calendar/calendar notebooks
Bible Verse review
Outside play
nap time
remaining lessons

I think I will try one week of all morning school, and one week of it being broken up, and will decide from there what worked best. 

Caleb today seemed disinterested, and kind of upset.  I am watching that closely, and if it becomes more of the norm I will put him back in preschool asap.  Kinlee, was Kinlee and did not seem to care either way.

Socially the kids are having play dates, interacting in the church/gym nursery, going to the library, and Caleb is playing soccer. 

So, that's where we are as of tonight, after our first day of "house school".  I am still processing the day, and trying to make the right decisions for the kids. We shall see where this adventure leads....


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mckinlee 3 1/2 Years

My sweet, wild, free spirited, beautiful girl,

You are 3 1/2 years old now.  That number does not seem real to me.  I still think of you as no older than two.  Partly due to the fact that you are smaller than most two year olds.  However, you inform me daily that "I'm not little, I big".  Big you are sweet girl.  You have a huge personality for such a tiny person, and it keeps me laughing, second guessing, and causes me to throw up my hands daily.  You are a fighter, an entertainer, a leader, a boss, a loving child, and you are absolutely hilarious! I never know what you are going to say next, and I love that about you.  I know that you will always hold your own throughout life.  If you have an opinion we will hear about it.  You will listen to our instructions, but you have to find a way to do it "your way".  You wear my out, but equally make my heart smile.  I am so excited about the relationship I have with you.  I love love love having a girl, and I look forward to growing that mother daughter relationship more and more as you grow older.  Right now you love to have your nails painted with me, you love to go to yard sales, you love to drink smoothies together, and you love to come in my bathroom and get ready with me.  You are all about wearing lip stick and perfume. 

Right now you love to sing and dance all the time.  You have gotten really good at riding your bike.  You ride it up and down the hills like a champ.  You love to make up stories, and play mom and dad.  You have such a beautiful maternal instinct.  You are always bouncing around, and will not sit still for long at all.  You love drinky yogurts, melon (oatmeal), and muffins for "dinner" (breakfast).  You love to come into my rooms in the morning, and request that I turn the "egg show" on my phone for you to watch.  You protest going to sleep like crazy, and will ask for a million kisses and hugs, and will kick your blankets off and request that I cover you back up. You never stop talking, and when I am reading a book you ask no less than 10 questions per page while I am reading the words.  You love your brothers, and are a daddy's girl.  You love and talk about all your grandparents/aunts and uncles all the time.  You love to swim, and play outside, and Don't Break the Ice, and "The cherry game" (Hi Ho Cheerio) are your favorite board games.  You pull all your toys out at one time when you play, and then swear you don't know how to clean them up.  You are obsessed with books, and when you wake up in the morning you have no less than ten books laying on your bed.  You are very girly, and you love gymnastics and dancing/cheering.  You request "cheerleader" hair daily. 

Funny Kinleeisms
  • "Mommy, I'm over this. You have to stop drinking coke it's bad for you.  We are not going to do this no more".
  • "Mommy look at all these sales! I die!! Well, I don't really die, but I die!"
  • "Look at my face, I'm happy"