Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bryce Kind Of Day

Joy 10: A clean bill of health

Tobias got just one shot today at his 18 month check up. He weighed and measured in the 90's (percentiles) and he is a big healthy boy!  He got nothing but gold stars, and of course he flashed that grin and melted a lot of nurses hearts.

Joy 11: Library fun & friends

Our library is so fun. Of course we love story times (and Mrs. Carolyn), but they are always filling summer with fun programs to help get us mamas out of the house and give the kids a little something different to do. Today was a kick off for summer reading for our elementary school and another local elementary school and they hosted and invited the kids school librarians. They had games and snacks and the kids loved a chance to see Mrs. Banton outside of school!

Joy 12: Bible School with Bryce

It's no secret that Bryce is Thomas' best-est friend. This marks the 5th summer that Thomas has attended Bible School at Bryce's church with him. Especially after the 2nd year without being in class with his best friend, this week with his buddy is just the ticket. (Grace and I are hoping we can get our boys in the same class this coming 3rd grade year!)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Thrift Shopping

Joy 8: Finding classmates at the beginning of summer vacation

Thomas was so excited to find friend Bridget at the Goodwill today. We actually had stuff to drop off and donate, but they had it roped off. No sense in wasting a trip to Goodwill.

Joy 9: A love of Goodwill being passed down

I love that my kids are understanding the joy of finding use in things that are new to them, along with understanding that thrifting is a good way to make the most out of their money and our families money.  Each of the kids actually have their own allowance cards. Now, as you know, I don't believe in paying kids to help around the house and to do chores--and we don't. The money the earn is for extra things like mowing the lawn and Gracie gets money for babysitting the little boy that used to be our neighbor.  Plus, when Grandpa insists on giving them money on a visit, that goes on there too.

Watching my kids use their own money to make their purchases made me feel no only joy, but pride. They are learning the value of a dollar and what is worth spending their hard earned money on/

In case you are curious, here's what they were so excited to buy.

Thomas got 2 games: a Simon "Swipe" (shown) and a Bop It

Gracie got a outfit that she could wear that made her look Harry Potter-ish.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day 2017

Joy 6: A Daddy who loves his kids

Poor daddy woke up sick this morning, so he had to miss church, and I took the kids solo. Instead of helping her daddy run the audio at the 11am service, Gracie helped me as I taught Sunday School, so I got the morning with 2 of my 3 kids. Tobias hung out with Mrs. Verna in the nursery.

Happy Father's Day!

Joy 7: Sharing my sewing skills with my daughter

Gracie has read the entire Harry Potter series this school year, and actually, I think she just started this calendar year. Well, she loved them and has been entranced in the tale.  So much so that she wanted to make a cape (?) for her doll. Something about houses and wizards and such. She actually found the how to instructions online and cut out her pattern herself. Mama's job was just to sew it and make it work. She seemed super happy with the end result and was thrilled that I had the perfect ribbon to make a tie to go with it. It's the small things that bring people such joy. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bye Bye Curls

Joy 4: Parenting One Child (Briefly)

Garren and I left our big kids asleep this morning and spent until past noon doing errands and enjoying being one-child parents again, even if it was briefly.  We sat down and ate breakfast at Chick Fil A, we rode in the car without being interrupted, we could actually hear the radio, we could actually talk to each other and enjoy each other's company!

Joy 5: Hair Grows Back

I finally caved.  It was either get his haircut, or daddy was going to bring out the clippers.  I don't have pictures of the first 5 minutes of screaming, but I got a few after he gave up and got cookies.  He does look like a handsome little man despite the loss of his ringlets.

Thomas said when we brought him home "He looks just like me!"  That exactly what his father said when the cutting was done.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer Vacation, Day 1

As most people who know me can attest--I get cranky when it gets hot. In fact, summer is my least favorite season. In fact, I loathe it (I won't let my kids  say h-a-t-e, so, I am trying to set a good example). And, this all makes me, as a stay at home mom, look super bad! I love my kids, and now I have all day with them. I actually do miss them during the school year.  Between the heat and the lack of scheduling and the pressure of entertaining them and the demands of family wanting us to travel, and the heat and the humidity, and sunburn and bug bites, and later bedtimes, and the heat--well, it is a long 3 months.

Now, since 2017 may go down as my "lost" year because I have struggled and failed to take and make time for blogging--I figured this summer would be a good time to regain a command over my bow 12 year project of daily or several times weekly keeping this online journal of my kids and our life.

Jo is gone all summer, and she has only been gone for 2 weeks now, and I already miss her like crazy. She is not just my friend, she is my "center." She can always add a perspective to what seems like chaos in my life, or she will listen while I rattle on about life good, bad and ugly, and sometimes she just gives me a hug and makes my day all the better.

Now, I have no choice but to survive my hot summer without her, so I figured "what would Jo Do?" Well, she would do like she always does for me: find joy.

So, welcome to my attempt at finding Joy in the Summer.

Joy 1: New Opportunities

Gracie registered and got at tour at Chickahomney Middle School--her new school starting in 8th grade this fall. She went in nervous, and came out ready for school to start! Lets just say that it appears it will be a WHOLE different experience for both her and I! 

Joy 2: Long Lasting Friendships

I sent the above picture to Grace, and I said this: 
Thank you. Thank you for enrolling your son at Kitty's Kids 5 years ago. Thank you for play dates and invites and shared celebrations. Thank you for helping to make my child smile this big.

Joy 3: Survival

This child. A gift from God....who I now know has a sense of humor.
Oh the laughs He must have at my expense from his golden throne in Heaven.
18 months of joy and tears and catching near falls and curious steps, curls and giggles, tantrums and no sleep.
Despite it all--I love him to the moon and back.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Frist Meal In Our First House

Tonight was teacher delivery night at MES. It is an annual fundraiser where teachers and staff deliver pizzas ordered by students and their families through Papa Johns.  My kids love doing this every year, and how perfect that we had a new house to show which ever teachers delivered our dinner.

Now, since I have failed blogging for 2017--I probably should mention that the new house will keep Thomas at our beloved MES, and it will move Gracie to Chickahominy Middle School (better) for the 8th grade.

We ate on a fold out table and folding chairs, but the kids loved it.

Our first official meal in our first official house!

Monday, May 01, 2017

We Bought A House

17 years in the wanting, and dreaming, and hoping, and waiting...it is finally ours.

Our own 4 walls,
our own yard,
our own space to love and nurture,
paint and work,
grow and invest in.

We waited...

He answered us in His time as He always has.

***Thank you Grace for coming over and taking some family pictures on our big day for us--and for being our first official visitors!! **

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Love For Show And Tell

It was about this time last year that Thomas chose "Show & Tell" for his reward, and insisted that I bring in his new baby brother in to show all his classmates.

I guess he decided that his friend needed to see how much he had grown and wanted a chance to show his Tobias off again.

I know I have blogged about it before, but the love between these two is amazing to watch and is more precious beyond words. Thomas couldn't be a prouder big brother, and Tobias worships the ground his brother walks on!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Curly Love

I don't care what daddy says, those curls are too too precious and I LOVE them!!!

Thin Mint Love

 I think it is safe to say he loved his first Thin Mint!

Youth Love

Look at my girl!

She is standing in front of the entire church performing!

I remember when she was 3 or 4 and thinking that she would never be brave enough to do something like this.

Her father and I are so proud of her.

We are proud she finally got brave and joined the Youth Group.

We are proud that she got really brave and decided to join the youth band.

We are over the moon that she was excited to stand and play for not one, but all three worship services this Youth Sunday!!

She has come so far in her short life, and God has big things still in store for her!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Love In Bloom

This is the tree in our backyard. I have no idea what type of tree it is, but it isn't the prettiest in the world. In fact, most of the year it is pretty sad looking.  But, the one or two weeks it blooms it is breath taking!

Usually it will bloom in time for Easter pictures of the kids in front of it, but this year's unseasonably warm weather has forced it and all the other blooms to come much earlier than they planned.

That's okay. I will enjoy the fluffy pink for as long as it lasts.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Best Friend Love

These two boys have been best buds since they were 3, and they have celebrated each other years 4-8. Thomas already had his turn, and now it is time to celebrate Bryce.

Being the athletic friend, Bryce chose Peak Experiences, an indoor climbing place.

Bryce got to choose 3 friends to take with him, and I love that Thomas was one of them.

I also love that Grace knows how much I love pictures and sent them to me this afternoon and evening.

And, I love that I stayed at home--because if I had seen this in person I would have been the crazy mama yelling "you go up there and bring my baby back down!"

Now, Thomas isn't shy, but he isn't athletic at all, and moderately adventurous, so I am floored that he even attempted to do these things. a

And, now that my heart is back to making regular beats--I have to say I am super proud of him for trying.

He is already asking him when Daddy can take him again!

Happy Birthday Bryce! Thank you for bringing Thomas back in one piece!