Friday, August 30, 2013

The End of August!

Eric was laying the ole blog guilt trip on me pretty thick yesterday. :D Hey, when I don't have anything to blog about, I just don't! Haha. But today I DO have something to blog about, because it's the last blogging day of August. Time for another monthly wrap up - my favorite!

Reagan



Reagan is 10 months old now - whoa! He is pulling up, standing unsupported, and being an all-around big boy. Reagan is no longer a fan of just having a few baby snacks when we sit down to a meal together. Whatever we eat, he HAS to eat, or we will hear about it. :) I absolutely love this baby stage, and I will until he starts walking. Then it's a whole new ballgame!

Reagan's favorites:

Activity - Swinging. Especially when his sisters push him - he gets the biggest kick out of that!
Food -  Chicken and dumplings, as discovered on my birthday. :)
People - He still loves mommy, but boy does he adore that daddy! Reagan loves when Eric comes home from work.
Toy - Whatever one of his sisters is holding, of course. ;)
Song - The theme song to Parenthood. Any time we start an episode, he stops dead in his tracks!

I absolutely love having a son, and I thank God every day for Reagan. He continues to be such a blessing in my life and a pretty easy going little guy!

Grace


Grace is officially my buddy, and I LOVE it. It took us nearly three years to get to this point, but we're here! Now that she can communicate more with me, she has chilled out a lot from her frustrated toddler days. And now that Evie is at school for nearly three hours each day, we've been able to get a bit more one-on-one bonding time in - something I've never had with Grace.

Gracie cracks me UP, and she cracks herself up, too. Haha. She laughs after almost everything she says. She thinks I'm pretty funny, too, and tells me so many times a day. "HAHA - you funny, mom!" So overall, I think she's just a little comedian. I hope that she always keeps us laughing, and I'm sure that she will. :)

My favorite new Gracie-ism this month is how she tries to get someone's attention when we're distracted by something else. Before, she would have just hollered. But now, multiple times a day I'll hear a little, "Yoo-hoo! Yoo-hoo!" Ahaha, and it makes me smile every time. I don't know anyone in our family who says "yoo-hoo" so I have no clue where she got it from. But it sure is cute. Just like her!

Evelyn


What a big month for Evie as our first born started her very first year of school! She is loving it, as I knew she would! Though, there have been a couple of days so far that Evie has said, "I was just a little bad today." Conveniently, she never remembers what it is that she did, but she still feels the need to confess to mom and dad. :)

Other than starting school, she's just the same old Evie, so I thought I'd ask her a few questions this month!

If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Um...to the library, and go play at school with my friends.
If you could be any animal, which would you be? Zebra. (No explanation, she just likes the stripes, haha.)
What is your favorite thing about school? Playing with all of my friends and doing all of the stuff I like to do.
What are you most looking forward to about Fall? Pumpkin picking!
Who is your best friend? Her name is Tegan. And Gracie is my best friend, too!

We did quite a bit in the month of August. Here are some of our memories!

Evelyn chopped off all of her hair and ended up getting her first "big girl" haircut. I almost can't remember her with long hair anymore!


We had a yard sale that just about killed me, but was well worth it in the end!


Evie started school. :)


We celebrated babies and birthdays!




Which included officially entering my late 20's....

And we finally took the long-awaited corn pictures, haha.


Just a few things we did in August!

I feel like September is up in the air at this point. It's the month that I bust out the Fall decor...but is it going to be hot? Will it cool down? I don't know! I personally hope for a cool streak. :) My sister will be entering into her third and final phase of bootcamp, we will welcome family home from a year in China, and more! 

Thank you to those who continue to check in with us, and we hope you'll stick around! We're not going anywhere. :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Corn is as High as an Elephant's Eye

Happy 18th Birthday to my sister Shannon!! She can't celebrate, but we're sending her hugs many miles away. :) Yesterday as I was going through the mail I found a letter from my sister tucked in with the other envelopes. I usually get about a letter a week from her, so I was surprised to see this one so soon after receiving another. It was a special birthday note to ME. Even folded up into the shape of a heart, haha. I thought it was SO sweet that my sister was thinking of my birthday while she is in bootcamp. Almost made me cry. I can't wait to see Shannon and spend LOTS of time with her when she's home for 10 days in October!!! Happy Birthday, sister!

*******

Last year I had a vision. I wanted to take some pictures of my kids in front of cornstalks. You know... some late summer/early fall photos with the one icon that practically defines where we're from in a nutshell. And I kid you not, the day before I was going to take the pictures, the corn just...disappeared. Now you see it, now you don't. Like magic. :)

So this year I vowed to get some of those pictures before it was too late! And that's what we did yesterday. We found ourselves some corn (which isn't hard to do.) And we took some pictures.


It's now late August, the stalks are reaching to the heavens, and the leaves are beginning to brown. If you breathe in deeply enough you can almost smell the sweetness of those golden kernels.  That can only mean one thing...Fall and harvest are right around the corner. Woohoo, it's gonna get fun around here! We've got several birthdays and lots of festivities coming up. It's our favorite time of the year!




Sissy used her little brother to rest on and messed up his hair...


...still cute. :)




Evie thought we were there to pick the corn. Haha.







Yep, you can't be from the Midwest and not run into cornfields as far as the eye can see. Any time I've ever traveled away from this part of the country, coming back to the welcoming sight of seas of corn is a comforting reminder that this is home. And no matter where I end up in this life, this will always be home.

When I was in college, many of my friends from all over the country and around the world would joke about how our school seemed to be plopped right in the middle of a bunch of cornfields. Haha. That's probably because it WAS. :) And that's just how I liked it.




And now this song is going to be stuck in my head all.day.long.


No shame here. :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Birthdays and Babies

I had a very lovely birthday weekend, full of family, which is just how I like it. Thank you to those who wished me a happy birthday or sent a card this week. It made me smile. :) Honestly, I kept forgetting it was my birthday, haha. Since it was sandwiched between Evie's first day of school and a baby shower that I was helping to put on, there was just a lot going on!

My birthday was on Friday, and it was just perfect. I woke up to Evie and Eric making pancakes, and I became the proud recipient of J.K. Rowling's two latest novels. We had a lazy morning at home, followed by dropping Evie off at school and taking Grace and Reagan out to lunch. If there is one thing I do not want to do on my birthday, it's cook! That evening we packed up and went to Eckert's for a family dinner.


Haha. This is the best picture we were able to get of the experience. :)

Mmm...our entire family could eat our weight in apple butter and fried biscuits - which, let's be honest, are really puffed up balls of funnel cake. And I HAVE to get the chicken and dumplings every single time I eat there. We learned one very important fact about our son on this day: do NOT mess with this boy's chicken and dumplings. Even if you're just trying to give him more. If your hand is anywhere near his dumplings, you will be yelled and swatted at. :)

We also happened to be at Eckert's for their summer concert fest. (There's one more weekend - you should go!) So after a yummy dinner we went outside and joined the crowd with some frozen custard. The girls had a blast running around under the moonlight. It was a great evening!

On Saturday I was up bright and early to prepare for a baby shower for my cousin Ashley. I have NEVER been asked to help throw a baby shower before, so I was pretty excited to do something a little different. Everything came together nicely, and I think she had a really great shower!



This is probably one of my favorite party decorations EVER. Haha. I worked on this late one night, and when I woke up the next morning I thought, "Hey, that's pretty cute!" :) Foam board posters are inexpensive, easy to make, and provide a good pop of color at any party. 



Another friend made the adorable diaper cakes - there was one on EVERY table. Holy moly!

And one whole table just for diapers to go. You can never have enough!


When Ashely told me that she wanted her shower to be pink and purple with butterflies I knew that I could pull that off since Evie just had a butterfly birthday party. My biggest challenge was making this one look different with the same exact theme. I think we did it!

I came home that evening after cleaning up and CRASHED. Our family didn't do a darned thing, because we were all so tired.

On Sunday we had church, grocery shopping, and then a barbecue at my parent's house to celebrate my birthday. :) Of course my mama made a jello cake for me - my fav! 


I love watching my kids sing the Happy Birthday song. They love it. :)

So even though I kept forgetting about my birthday this weekend, it ended up being pretty great! Now it's back to the school week for us...and I have to say, we're adjusting quite well. I actually like our new schedule. Ask me in a few months when I'm juggling kids and it's freezing outside, and I might be singing a different tune, but for now, it's been awesome!

Hope you all have a great week!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Evie's First Day of School

Evelyn had a fantastic day yesterday as she went skipping off to her first day of preschool. We could tell as we walked toward the school that it was going to be a great day. Eric and I were beaming from ear to ear as all of the kiddos who were her new classmates saw each other at the bus stop and started playing as if they were just picking up where they left off from a past playdate. It was SO CUTE. But I'm getting ahead of myself....

First we had to get ready and take the obligatory "first day of school" photos at home. ;)


Evelyn was more interested in playing with the (fake) apples than she was with taking pictures, haha.





She's a cutie pie. :) 

We made our chalkboard out of an old Melissa and Doug toy crate and chalkboard vinyl. <- I'm going to be turning anything that sits still into a chalkboard now, haha. It's super convenient and works GREAT. 



Sigh...my big girl!

Soon it was time to grab her backpack and go. 



The weather was gorgeous, and just as we were walking towards the preschool drop off area, so were several other kids. It just seemed like everything aligned perfectly and everyone was happy!


We saw our friend Tegan right away, and the girls had to show each other their backpacks. :) These two also happen to be locker buddies this year, and I think they are going to make quite the pair, haha.



The girls who were there quickly formed a huddle and started playing hide and seek. Even Gracie got in on the fun!




Evelyn hid behind her dad. Haha. Speaking of that...Evie definitely busted out her one-liner for making friends on an adorable little boy who went scurrying behind his dad. She wasn't deterred. Evelyn just tried peeking around his dad to keep on trying to get his name out of him. :D

There was just so much cuteness happening. I distinctly remember Eric saying, "Now that was worth taking the day off of work for. "


Eventually it was time to leave Evie with her teachers to wait for the bus kids to show up. We had no worries whatsoever. No shed tears (unlike my own first day of preschool 25 years ago, haha) and all was right with the world. How did we pry Gracie away from the group...?

By telling her that we were going out for lunch and that she could pick the place!


She handled it pretty well. :)

Please excuse her breadstick face.

I had heard from my mom, who works at the school, that Evie was doing great when she saw her in the cafeteria at lunch. I had no doubts that Ev would have a super fun time. So when we went to pick our darling daughter up, I had visions of her running to mom and dad with a big smile on her face and telling us all about her first day. 

That did not happen. Haha.


When Evie saw us walking towards her, a look of disappointment spread across her face. Her lower lip began to quiver. I could tell she was trying very hard not to cry. 

"Hi Evie!! Did you have a great day at school today??"

No smiles. "But," she said, "I wanted to ride the bus!"

Bahaha. 

She did NOT want to see mom and dad, because the little stinker thought she was going to stowaway on the school bus. All the way home Eric and I tried to get her to talk and tell us about the things that she did, but all she could say was "I just wanted to ride the school bus...." :D Eric and I were trying so hard not to laugh.

Eventually she did perk up. She told us all about the food she ate, how she played "lots of games" in class and how they played follow the leader in Music. Evie very enthusiastically told us about the table she sits at. "It's a moon shaped table - which is like a crescent." And how her friend Tegan got to sit with her. 

So I would call the day a complete success, and now I can officially say that we have a preschooler in our family!


Evelyn acted surprised when I told her she had school again today. "I do?? Why?" 

"Because school is every day, five days a week!" Haha, just wait, sister. You've only just begun....

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