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 aย Bruder skid steer loader and he loved it. He has had a bit of an obsession with the Bruderย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!

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 firstย  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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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…

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_4764Aย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We got him someย outside yard tools, a container of rice with construction vehicles, aย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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!

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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!

Merry Making

After some long weeks of tissues, coughing, rest, home remedies and a doctor visit (after over 5 years of he and I not needing to see one) it seems the sickness has left our house. Poor Seth caught a nasty bug from work that resulted in an acute sinus infection and bronchitis. The kids both caught their own versions of this and thankfully (I’m assuming the extra garlic, herbs & the fact that I got this sort of thing a LOT as a nanny) I didn’t get it.

We are now enjoying this special time of year.ย  Last December was rather full of waiting for Ella to get here and then when she finally decided to come it was full of all that is involved with having a new baby.ย  This year, I have enjoyed watching Jack get excited about each new decoration, craft, nativity, baking and advents . Speaking of advents, I wrapped up 24 winter/Christmas themed books for him to open once a day. He LOVES it and I do too!ย  I have been collecting books for quite a few years now and it turns out that through gifts and second hand stores I had more than enough!ย  The wrapping however, took me 2 naps, a whole roll of paper and tape and I still didn’t have enough to wrap the last 3 books.ย  I think I will be breaking out the reusable bags next year. ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_3557Just a few of our books!

IMG_3580We placed them near his bedroom Christmas tree and he chooses one every night before bed.

IMG_3565Jack helped me unwrap bags of kisses for a special pretzel treat for Seth’s co-workers. Here is a prime example of the way Jack works. I tried to just toss my kiss into the bowl but Jack had to fix it and have them all lined up inside the bowl! Hmmm…

IMG_3570I bought white flour for the 1st time since I started grinding my own wheat years ago, for the sole purpose of making sugar cookies!

IMG_3579While I frosted, Jack decorated and I think he had his fair share of taste testing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

IMG_3568Ella thought all of these treats looked delicious. Maybe next year, baby girl.

IMG_3574This may be the biggest news of all! Ella is crawling!!! Do you know which day she decided to show us her new skill? The day we put up the Christmas tree! She pulled everything out of the basket and climbed in. I may be in for it with this girl…!