November 2014

So, here we are again catching up on last year. November was Jack’s birthday. 5 seems very big!

He is full of life…

~LOVES construction vehicles (still)

~Learning how to read

~Master puzzler

~Great imagination

~Loves listening to audio stories

~He likes working. Really! He also will play that he is working a LOT!

~Loves his family and we love him!

Last year, his grandparents got him aΒ Bruder skid steer loader and he loved it. He has had a bit of an obsession with the BruderΒ  brand ever since. He just loves realistic construction vehicles that actually work and I can’t blame him. So, thanks to generous grandparents and my love of getting free Amazon gift cards he got some new Bruder vehicles this year. He is already saving up for another one…that boy.

IMG_6675My parents watched him open his gifts from them on Facetime.

IMG_6711Seth’s parents live nearby and were able to come over to share their gifts with him.

IMG_6719

IMG_6712His Grammie also knit him a sweater from a vintage pattern. πŸ™‚

IMG_6684Presents from cousins!

IMG_6691We got him a tool set.

IMG_6689Ella found something in the set to accessorize with!

IMG_6709Jack thought turning his set into a crane was another perk!

IMG_6705My cake was a big flop but he didn’t care at all. He actually thought I swirled the shape of a heart onto it…sweet boy.

We came into the room singing “Happy Birthday” a little off key and he thought it was hilarious. πŸ˜‰

Happy 5th Birthday Buddy!

IMG_6600We took our Christmas card photo.

That was “fun”…ahem. Thankfully, we managed to get at least 1 where everyone had pleasant faces.

IMG_6747Playing in a {dad built} teepee is more their speed!

Advertisements

Happy 2015!

Well, hello there! I’m still here and I do love to share snippets of our life but it is a bit hard at times. You see screen time is a rarity for my children so I try very hard not to spend big chunks of time on the computer when they are awake. Then when they are asleep I am too exhausted or have more pressing matters to attend to that the blog gets pushed aside (again). I like having these memories to look back on so, (once again) I am going to try to get more pictures on here. We shall see if I can manage a weekly post this year. New years are all about dreaming big…

Soooo, the 2 big kids are out with their dad doing errands. Going to the dump, bank and Lowes to buy a toilet seat is extra special when you get dad time! So, while Lucas tears Jack’s room apart I am going to get some pictures on here. I left you off with our beach visit last time so here is the rest of September…

IMG_6413Ella was very curious about this Praying Mantis that was hanging out on our porch. She got right in it’s face. πŸ™‚

IMG_6421We visited Monticello with Seth’s parents to attend their Heritage Festival. It rained off and on the whole time but we all really enjoyed it. The kids got to pet some animals,

IMG_6422watch and participate in all kinds of trades and crafts,

IMG_6434the music was a big hit with Jack,

IMG_6440as was playing with the hoop.

Even Thomas Jefferson (see him in the background?!) said he was really good at the game!

IMG_6450He ran full speed ahead for a good long time!

IMG_6427Checking out the beautiful gardens was more our speed. πŸ™‚

IMG_6430Ella taking a break out of the rain.

IMG_6483We celebrated Lucas turning 1!

IMG_6494He is getting so big…12 teeth, taking steps but still prefers to crawl (fast), climbs on everything and loves putting anything inside of containers.

That little popper toy he is holding is so fun but one of the guys is missing and I’m really hoping he didn’t throw it away. Seth is constantly finding toys in his work boots!

IMG_6489He is still my little love bug but has recently turned into a daddy’s boy! Which makes Seth so very happy!

Oh wow, they still aren’t back so, here is October too…

My good friend, Rachel and her husband came for a visit sans kids and we had a wonderful time together! Who knows why I didn’t take a single picture while they were here…sigh. Next time, we agreed she needs to bring her kids so, they can entertain each other and we can have even more talking time. πŸ˜‰

IMG_6530We like to take nature walks in our back field.

IMG_6501Sometimes Jack finds a feather and this time he wanted to turn it into a pen. So, we got creative with some black paint!

IMG_6559He also built this motorcycle! Seth just helped him hammer in the nails.

IMG_6526Gak was a big hit again!

IMG_6565I found some like new Adidas sneakers in Ella’s size at Goodwill. Anyone who knows Ella knows she adores shoes so, waiting for them to dry after I washed them was a bit torturous. She just pulled up a chair and waited. πŸ˜‰

IMG_6584Super happy!

IMG_6591Jack turned my kitchen into a giant geoboard while I was getting everything ready to make applesauce.

Don’t get too attached to my beautiful (ahem) kitchen. Plans are in the works to make some improvements this year…I can’t wait!

IMG_6594Lucas is pretty excited about it too!

Well, my family is back with their Lowes purchases and some kitchen catalogs!

See you back here again sometime soon!

Outer Banks 2014

How about a beach post to warm ourselves up? It’s almost like I planned it this way, lol!

Our beach vacation this year was one of the best ones yet! We had great weather and a relaxing time. Here are some highlights… Be forewarned there are quite a few pictures but we love vacation memories…

Vacation Treats

IMG_6139Jack was pretty impressed with a truck that sells ice cream! I couldn’t pass up the nostalgic experience.

IMG_6140He already knows what he is going to pick next time!

IMG_6141Watching the hot, fresh donuts come out of the machine.

IMG_6143Those were good donuts!

No picture of our giant bag of Corolla Crunch popcorn but it is greatly missed and longed for…

Swimming

The pool was a little intimidating for the kids at first but after everyone got used to it, it quickly became a daily activity that everyone looked forward to.

IMG_6347My parents LOVE the pool and had some nice downtime when we weren’t out there with our rowdy crew!

IMG_6357A little Lucas loving

IMG_6150Our little mermaid

IMG_6309Grampy and Gammy got Lucas a birthday gift and we had a little pool party with locally made cupcakes.

IMG_6313He was a little hesitant but it quickly turned into this…

IMG_6321and this was just after a few licks! I’m afraid I took it away soon after.

IMG_6330It was a fun pool/birthday party!

Wright Brothers Museum

IMG_6186We have been wanting to go here ever since our firstΒ  OBX vacation and the timing was finally perfect to make it happen. A few weeks before we left we studied the Wright Brothers while homeschooling. Jack was very excited to see everything when we arrived.

IMG_6170Jack’s shirt says, ” Two wrongs don’t make a right but two Wrights make an airplane”.

IMG_6202Jack and Ella sitting on the replica

IMG_6208Lucas was as happy as can be on my back!

IMG_6228Here is a close up of the monument.

IMG_6232

IMG_6239Lucas decided to fall asleep probably 20 minutes before we left.

IMG_6245Walking back down from the monument was beautiful with views of the sea all around us.

We headed to a family owned pancake restaurant for lunch. It was delicious and may just become a new tradition.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

IMG_6263This was the one day with some rain that affected our plans a bit. We were going to do our 2nd annual breakfast on the beach but we opted for the van instead. You don’t get very many re-dos with little ones so, we just made the best of it.

IMG_6265My little hand holders!

IMG_6285We checked out the nice little nature museum nearby after the lighthouse. Jack decided to use some of his hard earned vacation money (from helping Seth put in new windows and do garden work) to make a a flattened penny with a lighthouse engraved on it. I think he was very impressed with all the gears and would have made many pennies if allowed. πŸ˜‰

The Beach

IMG_6361We came across this deserted masterpiece one morning and the kids had a lot of fun playing with it.

IMG_6362This girl was fearless. She would just run into the waves!

Someone always had to be holding her hand or she would get knocked down. She loved it but ,my goodness it was tiring! Thankfully, my parents gave us some kid free down time and we could relax as well. You guys are the best!

IMG_6391Pure joy

Hanging Out

IMG_6292Ella would find my mom’s shoes or bags and dress up during play time. This time she also used my mom’s empty Starbucks cup for a little caffeine fix. πŸ™‚

IMG_6303Sorry Dad, it was either this or the one of you in the hot tub!

We had a Facetime conversation with Megan in Bahrain. Maybe next vacation, Megan and Logan can really be with us here!

IMG_6255Sigh…the beach.

We miss you and the kids keep talking about you. Seth needs more Corolla Crunch. I need some more feet-in-the-pool-sipping-iced coffee while reading a good book.

Until next time…

August

We had a busy August! We started the month visiting my family in NY for my sister’s wedding. I can’t believe my baby sister is married! She asked me and the 2 older kids to be in the wedding. Jack was especially excited about being a ring bearer. We read books, practiced, had many conversations about weddings and got his outfit ready. That’s why it was such a bummer that all 3 kids got sick while we were there.Β  JackΒ  actually started coming down with it the morning of the wedding. He barely made it down the aisle and wasn’t able to go to the reception. He was quite sad he missed out on all the fun. Poor guy.

I only got 1 picture of the kids dressed up and you can tell that they aren’t feeling the best. They couldn’t even stay for the pictures after the wedding so, I am really hoping that the photographer got a few. Sigh…anyway, Megan was beautiful and the wedding was wonderful. I am so happy for her and Logan! They both serve in the Coast Guard and are actually apart right now as Megan finishes her time overseas. I’m sure they both can’t wait until November!

IMG_5809I thought they looked adorable! Ella with her princess dress and necklace she got for being in the wedding. Jack wore a bow tie that I made from anchor fabric (to represent the Coast Guard). My dad even bought a tie with anchors to match him. It was a beautiful wedding but I kind of wish we could do it again just so Jack could enjoy it…

IMG_5812Megan was gorgeous and she was the calmest bride I ever saw!

IMG_5827Megan always brings some life to the party!

IMG_5824My parents with the newlyweds

IMG_5882The wedding party

IMG_5899If it hadn’t been for my husband I never would have made it through the day. That was another thing I missed…having him beside me. He selflessly took the kids back to my parent’s house after the wedding while I went to the reception. It was hard being away from them especially when everyone was so sick. Thankfully, my best friend and her kids took their place at our reception table and I was able to enjoy visiting with them.

IMG_5909Once everyone was feeling better we visited a local park and explored the pond.

A week after we got home we started our first year of Kindergarten homeschool. It has been a lot of fun!

We are keeping things pretty simple with a mix of Montessori and Charlotte Mason methods. We read a lot about the ocean, sea life and the Wright Brothers in preparation for our Outer Banks vacation (more about that next time). He seems to be absorbing a lot and having a good time. Even Ella gets in on the action sometimes. πŸ˜‰

IMG_5977Jack 4 1/2 years old

IMG_5973Ella 2 1/2 years old

IMG_5984Math

IMG_5996Sea life and colors

IMG_5997Water beads and ocean animals

IMG_6052Painting seashells

IMG_6054He really enjoyed this.

IMG_6058They were so pretty when they dried.

IMG_6105What boy wouldn’t love flying planes for school? πŸ˜‰

We also visited a local county fair…

IMG_6007 The kids sat on tractors,

IMG_6027

IMG_6010

IMG_6019pet animals,

IMG_6004watched the motorcycle show

IMG_6032and the wild animal show.

I went for the limeade which they did NOT have this time but the lemonade was pretty good too. πŸ™‚

So, those were the big August happenings!

June & July

Our summer consisted of gardening, playing inside and out, traveling and starting our first year of homeschooling! Here are some of the highlights for these months…

 

IMG_5601Our garden

It was a learning year and we will definitely be making some changes next year. We had problems with cabbage loopers and deer. Hopefully, next year our precautionary measures will keep them away.

IMG_5692Some of our first cucumbers (which we all LOVE)! Suyo Long and Edmondson varieties

IMG_5676The kids needed a break from the heat so they came inside for a bean snapping lesson. πŸ˜‰

IMG_5642Outside the kids used their imagination and came up with all kinds of games.

This one was collecting “garbage”…

IMG_5660a LOT of digging happened as well as making different things out of scrap wood.

IMG_5599We read outside.

IMG_5649When it was too hot to play outside we built forts,

IMG_5652read books for the library’s summer reading program,

IMG_5585and made lots of fun marble mazes (which I found at a garage sale for $1!).

May

IMG_5320

Seth took advantage of a perfect windy day to teach Jack how to fly a kite.

IMG_5315

They had a great time!

IMG_5358

I am still getting used to country living…

Note to self: Before plopping your baby in the swing make sure there are no snakes slithering above his little head.

IMG_5388

We called this our yellow brick road.

IMG_5464

We planted the garden and I spent maybe a little too long making signs. πŸ˜‰

IMG_5568

Seth and I really enjoyed the radishes. The kids decided the ones from our garden were too spicy.

IMG_5580

We like to play with our food too. My husband has some skills!

IMG_5454

We had a picnic at a local park for Mother’s Day.

IMG_5445

They really enjoyed throwing rocks and watching Dad skip stones.

Here are some pictures of the kid’s creative play…

IMG_5476

Jack put his homemade wrecking ball into action.

IMG_5471

Ella asked to wear her baby on her back. Playsilks can be made into so many things!

Months 10 & 11

So, there are some people who know that Lucas just turned 1 this week (ahem) which means I am a bit behind. Let’s just pick up where we left off and not discuss my blogging skills, okay?!

IMG_5916“Tell me why you thought this was a good idea again?”

IMG_5930

“You’re right. This is fun!”

IMG_5933

For some reason, all the kids think it is fun to play in an empty pool!

IMG_5945

However, this little guy learned how to escape. πŸ˜‰

IMG_5963

Success!

IMG_6040

He can be quite the master of disaster but…

IMG_5992

he is super cute so we forgive him!

IMG_6109

11 Months

IMG_6117

He is such a sweetie!

IMG_6120

After a long 11 months of trying to get at that sign, I always let my babies destroy play with it after their picture!

IMG_6124

It makes them so happy!

We love you Lucas!

I plan to do a summer recap so stay tuned. πŸ™‚

9 Months

I thought I would share just a 9 month post and group his 10 & 11 months together later on. The 9th month was a rough one. I don’t even want to tell you what day of his 9th month I took his picture. He just wasn’t happy most of the month with teething and lack of sleep. I would say his biggest change is eating. He likes it now! He also likes waving, playing peek-a-boo, following his brother and sister around, pulling library books out of the basket actually pulling everything out of baskets, squealing and babbling, riding on my back and playing in the nursery.

I got a little sentimental and dressed him in the same outfit Jack wore for his 9 month pictures. Sweet baby boys.

 

IMG_5742

IMG_5748

IMG_5752

IMG_5761

IMG_5789

DSC02439A little Jack flashback!

Here is his 9 month post.

Ha, I just read this blog post again and Jack’s 9th month sounds very similar to Lucas. I guess we all need some perspective sometimes. Also, it doesn’t seem to matter whether I have 1 or 3 kids, I have issues finding time to write blog posts. πŸ™‚

IMG_5576

IMG_5640

Oh my, how could I forget? On the day he turned 9 months, Lucas slept through the night! It has been wonderful-glorious-spectacular! I feel human again. πŸ˜‰

We love you baby Lucas! Happy 9 months!

Months 7 & 8

Sweet Lucas is getting so big! He is definitely sitting like a pro now and moves from sitting to crawling and back to sitting. He mostly army crawls but is starting to throw in some knee crawling here and there. He pulls up on things which has resulted in a few tumbles. He is brave, this one. He is adventurous too. He makes his way all around the first floor now and will come up and tickle my legs and feet when I am at the kitchen sink. He has found his voice with squeals and growls. He says mama. He is attempting to wave. Oh my, SO big. We love you little Lukey!

 

IMG_53247 Months

IMG_5336He’s a happy guy!

IMG_5263He is also pretty tolerant. πŸ˜‰

IMG_5343He really loves his brother and sister. He always lights up when he sees each of them in the morning.

IMG_5285He loves watching the kids play.

Can you just see his wheels turning?!

IMG_5374Going outside is fun but swinging is even better!

IMG_55148 Months

IMG_5560I’m very happy he isn’t disturbed by grass.

IMG_5524Such a big boy!

We love you Lucas!

The Long Winter ~ Part 2

Aren’t you impressed I am actually posting 2 days in a row?! That is a record for me lately.

IMG_5037Jack came up with a game that involves going camping and having a picnic. You may notice they have stones in their bowls. They love reading Stone Soup (we have read many versions from the library) and acting it out. One night for dinner, we made a real stone soup (or dump soup as Seth’s family calls it) and manna from a recipe in Jack’s devotional book.

Books and food are always winners with my kids!

IMG_4947Jack has an invention basket. Basically, it is full of trash treasures that can be turned into anything he wants to build at the time.

I helped him make a snow plow one day and he had a ton of fun plowing up the pom-poms. Those fuzzy balls have been so many play things!

IMG_5227Blocks are another item that get played with a LOT.

I have read articles on the benefits of block play. Children go through different stages as they play with them through the years. Ella was at the lining up stage until one day she created this out of the blue. She was pretty happy with herself! πŸ™‚

IMG_4959I wanted a moveable alphabet for Jack but I’m a bit too frugal to pay Montessori catalog prices. I bought these wooden letters instead at Michaels with a coupon. Jack had a lot of fun helping me punch them out of the sheets.

IMG_4965We had a big painting party!

IMG_5019I painted only 1 side to prevent him from facing the letters the wrong direction. He did a good job and I’m sure these will come in handy this upcoming Kindergarten year. By the way, I still can hardly believe we have reached the school years.

IMG_5157These kids are too cute!

They love books and singing so, why not combine them?! They were pretending they were in church. πŸ™‚

IMG_5031Seth has an amazing garden planned for us and he helped the kids plant some seeds. Our little plants are really growing and will be going outside soon!

IMG_5137We got outside as much as we could too. Jack has had fun with a pulley (like) system I rigged up for him.

I remember having all kinds of grand plans for my garage as a kid. I think it involved moving baskets that brought me things along a line of ropes…it never happened.

We have a vintage copy ofΒ Andrew Henry’s Meadow that belonged to my grandma. Andrew Henry has some pretty elaborate pulley inventions and amazing building skills .

I don’t know who loves it more, me or Jack? πŸ˜‰

IMG_5248Water play, inside and out, has been one of Ella’s favorite things to do. Many wardrobe changes have ensued but it has been totally worth it for the amount of time it has kept her busy!

So, there you have it. Some of the things that kept the kids busy this winter.

If nothing else, at least I will have these things documented for future ideas when I stand amongst the chaos that small kids can bring!