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.

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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!

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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.

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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…

May

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

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They had a great time!

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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.

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We called this our yellow brick road.

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

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

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

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

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They really enjoyed throwing rocks and watching Dad skip stones.

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

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Jack put his homemade wrecking ball into action.

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

Ella’s 2nd Birthday

On December 20th Ella turned 2! She is growing up…saying new words, skipping, pretending, enjoying life. She is full of personality that usually has me laughing or about to cry. πŸ™‚ She loves her brothers and usually can be found playing with one of them. Some of her favorite things are phones, calculators, remotes (anything she can turn into a phone!), dolls, playing outside, shoes, running errands, kitchen play and snuggling.

IMG_4694Pancake and egg for the birthday girl

While Seth was on baby leave he built Ella an adorable play kitchen for her birthday!Β  It was such a fun project to do together and we love watching the kids play with it every day.

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IMG_4729We got the brand new faucet off of Craigslist and I found the sink at Goodwill…a 55 cent chaffing dish!

IMG_4731Her Gammy got her this funΒ pizza… fresh from the oven!

IMG_4730Her fridge and freezer are on there way to being well stocked.

IMG_4697Seth’s dad made this amazing table for the kids. Woodworking definitely runs in the family!

IMG_4702Each time she ripped off a piece of wrapping paper she would run into the kitchen to throw it away. I decided to bring her a trashcan to save some time!

IMG_4711I am pretty sure she has put these boots on every day since her birthday! Thanks Kari!

IMG_4738Yummy apple cake and ice cream

IMG_4562We love you Ella bear!

Happy Birthday!

Our Christmas

This year Seth was scheduled on Christmas so, we decided to bump our Christmas up a day. We had a nice relaxing day with good food and happy kids. Seth and I got to play some games (rare these days!) and watch the “new” Miracle on 34th Street. Family time is always special and I think we all felt that this Christmas as we celebrated our Savior’s birth.

IMG_4748I should have closed the shades, oops…I was able to sew some more big gift bags this month to add to our collection.

We also really enjoyed our Christmas book advent again this year.

IMG_4750Christmas pajamas

IMG_4787This little guy slept most of the day but was happy and cute in between.

IMG_4758A calculator and sunglasses were her favorite stocking gifts!

IMG_4769That is until she opened her handmade iPhone! Seth made one from wood and a $1 phone skin. She has been catching up on calls ever since!

(By the way, I don’t have an iPhone and am rarely even on my cell phone. This girl though, loves to “talk”!)

IMG_4766Seth also made this camera for Jack. The button on the top really pushes down and the lens turns!

IMG_4764AΒ drum for my noisemakers!

IMG_4770This pie is full of fun learning opportunities!

IMG_4777Little mama taking care of her new baby.

IMG_4775Jack has started to be able to put together 100 piece puzzles!

IMG_4785A quiet 1 & 1/2 hours in the afternoon…just enough time to eat treats, drink tea and laugh together.

It was a great Christmas. I’m so thankful for Bing and Swagbucks. It allowed us to get the kids gifts basically for free! I’m already working on saving up for next year. Give it a try if you haven’t already. πŸ™‚

In a Flash

And just like that we only have one week left in 2013. Wow. I am doing my best to savor these last days especially since December just flew by. We traveled to see my family for an early Christmas. My baby sister, Megan got engaged. We celebrated Ella’s birthday. Today was our Christmas. It was a good day with memories made and traditions continued.

Here are a few photos of our visit to NY…

IMG_4685My parents with all of their grandchildren.

IMG_4647These two enjoyed hanging out together…again!

IMG_4657Ella and my brother became fast friends.

Of course, it had nothing to do with the fact that he let her play with his iPhone! πŸ˜‰

IMG_4675Secrets were shared. Oops!

IMG_4634Ella enjoyed ALL of her meals.

One evening she came to the table while it was being set, buckled herself into the high chair and waited patiently for 45 minutes while the meatloaf cooked. She didn’t seem to mind and happily ate it once it was finally served!

IMG_4677Jones Family Christmas

IMG_4641This shirt was a gift when Lucas was born…

IMG_4686Yup!

IMG_4643I know buddy. I know. It will be okay.

Merry Christmas!

Jack’s 4th Birthday

On November 12th, Jack turned four! It has been such a joy to watch him grow. This year has been full of so many changes and he has handled them so well. He loves his family and is always looking out for his siblings. He loves vehicles (still), books, the library, blocks, instruments, the alphabet, playing and working outside and garbage trucks/workers!

We had a fun day together as a family on his birthday and then we celebrated with Seth’s parents later that week. Seth made him chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and he had mini cupcakes for his birthday treat. He wanted a “pink and plump and perfect cake” for dessert when his grandparents came. He got that from one of our favorite books The Seven Silly Eaters. Together we found a recipe for a strawberry white chocolate chip cake. It was pretty yummy and maybe even a little perfect for the birthday boy. πŸ˜‰

We got him someΒ outside yard tools, a container of rice with construction vehicles, aΒ construction vehicle puzzle and the long awaited traffic cones. Somehow he saw those cones almost a year ago in my closet and he hasn’t let me forget about them! Seth’s parents got him a wheelbarrow that he loves! My parents got him some nice (and needed) clothes, a book and game. My sister’s family got him a train set and a tent. The tent is still set up in his room and he and Ella have a blast in it!

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The birthday boy with his balloon (a birthday tradition).

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I found these vehicles at the Dollar Tree (shh, I saved 2 other ones for Christmas).

Yes, my kid was excited to get a big container of rice! He loves to dig in it. πŸ™‚

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The Cones!!!

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He really likes the magnetic crane. Good job finding a Brio train set at a garage sale Kari!

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The tent is lots of fun!

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He raked up leaves and…

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took wheelbarrow loads over to the garden.

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Happy Birthday Jack!

We love you!

We Are Still Here

Somehow a whole month got a way from me. Moving is hard. Being pregnant and having little kids that are adjusting to all the new changes is even harder. Thankfully, things are settling down a bit and we are falling into a new normal. I did take some pictures in my absence but truthfully not many. We have been doing repairs, picking strawberries, celebrating patriotic holidays, exploring our new surroundings and visiting with family. My mom came for over 2 weeks and even though I didn’t take a.single.photo the evidence of her being here is all around us. She hemmed curtains for the kid’s rooms and kitchen, made a cushion cover for the $3 highchair I found at a garage sale, made some really cute tissue paper flowers for Ella’s room and just kept me sane with all of her help. πŸ˜‰ Kari and Audree came to pick her up so we had a few days to visit and play with them as well.

The kids are growing and changing. Jack has started to call this house “home” instead of “the new house” so it seems to be sinking in. Ella is becoming more independent too. She said 3 new words just today and will climb on and in anything. She would still rather crawl than walk but has taken some steps and is becoming more confident. I’m pretty sure she will decide running is the way to go so I can wait… at least a little longer. πŸ™‚

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Jack enjoys driving his trucks on the front porch.

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Ella is banned from the front porch since all she wants to do is go up and down the cement steps out front.

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Jack drew his first person on Mother’s Day which I thought was a great gift. We called him “the muscle man”. πŸ™‚

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My talented husband built amazing shelves for the basement and took the time to let Jack help.

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Strawberry picking this year was a bit disappointing but we still got some yummy dessert and baked oatmeal from our efforts.

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Jack enjoyed the tractor ride more though.Β  He actually was a great help getting all the berries washed once we were home.

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My patriotic family!

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We have been exploring our pasture out back and enjoying the blackberries in granola and fruit salad.Β  The snakes and mosquitoes…not so much.

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We visited a new park and I’m sure we will be back. Especially since they have train rides on Saturdays and Sundays!

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Ella’s hair is getting long and curly! I think she was trying to tell me something the day she took a fork out of the dishwasher and started combing her hair with it.

We have since bought little Ariel some hair pretties!

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1 box+ dirty laundry= an excavator digging dirt and dumping it into a dump truck in Jack’s world!

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Ella decided pushing her stroller around the house was a much better use of time. πŸ™‚

So, that pretty much brings you up to date. Hopefully, I will be back before another month passes!

Christmas 2012

We had a very nice Christmas shared with family near and far. We had our traditional get together with Seth’s family on Christmas Eve and my sister, Megan came later that night on her way to my parent’s house. We traveled a couple days later up to my family’s house in NY to have a Jones Family Christmas with every sibling present!

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Seth’s parents with Jack & Ella

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Great Grampa with the kids

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Grandad & Grammy built Jack a barn. We all love it!

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Ella had a ton of fun playing in the big box wearing her beautiful new Grammy sweater!

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This garbage truck was Jack’s favorite gift from us!

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Jack & Ella in their Christmas pajamas from Gammy!

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Ella didn’t get too excited about the doll that used to be mine but she did like playing peek-a-boo with the wrapping!

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Ella also enjoyed exploring my parent’s house when she wasn’t stuck to me like glue!

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We got to meet my brother’s sweet fiance, Lindsey. Jack became rather attached to her and wanted her attention a lot!

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He was pretty impressed with Uncle Jeremy too and he “talks” to him often on his play phone!

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Jack had his first sled ride! I can’t believe my parents still have our old sled. I’m afraid I don’t fit as well as I used too. πŸ™‚

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This little event had us all laughing. Jack and his cousin Audree thought it was necessary to cover the cats with my Mom’s clean dishtowels. They must have thought the poor fur-balls were freezing!

Merry Christmas 2012

We are looking forward to what God has for us in 2013!