Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Evelyn Takes the Challenge :)

I was very distracted last night as I stood at the stove with my assistant chef Gracie making some fajitas for dinner. We were too busy chopping and slicing to notice Evelyn dashing around the kitchen, putting ice in a plastic gladware container, and sneaking outside. Yes, we were just minding our own business when all of the sudden I hear Eric shouting, "Oh my gosh, Evelyn is doing the ice bucket challenge!"

Hahaha, say what?

I ran over to the patio door and there she was, video taping herself with a bowl of water hovering over her head. Oh, it was priceless. I was laughing so HARD.

"No wonder why she told me not to watch," Eric said. "I was wondering what the heck she was doing!"

Apparently the video of her cousin Austin taking the challenge inspired her. She took it upon herself to nominate herself. And the beauty of it all is, she really did get it all on video. :) This kid is a hoot. The only reason Eric was watching her was because Evie took his phone outside and he wanted to know what she was doing with it, haha.


I think she had way too much fun with that. :) 

Happy Tuesday!



Monday, August 25, 2014

Birthday Weekend!

It was my birthday weekend, and the only picture I got was of this superhero siting on Sunday night:

Haha

I had a very nice birthday weekend, made possible by our awesome family. If it weren't for parents willing to watch our kiddos I don't think we'd ever get out of the house! I definitely got lots of time away, and it was lovely. 

On Friday evening Eric and I went out for dinner with Eric's co-workers - always a good time. Eric laughed so hard I thought he was going to need CPR. :) We were there with either the owners of the restaurant or relatives of the owners (maybe both, haha, I'm still unclear on that one) but at any rate, they worked some of their magic during our meal. I had almost gotten through the entire evening without mention of my birthday the next day, but of course Eric said something right at the end, the stinker. 

I swear it wasn't more than 20 seconds after everyone finding out that I was getting dessert and being sung to. I have no idea how they did it so fast, but we were all surprised at the instantaneous party at our table. :)

On Saturday I celebrated my very last birthday. I was awoken with cards and homemade presents from my kiddos. They get just as hyped up about our birthdays as they do their own. So cute! Later that evening the boys and I went on a shopping spree for me and out to dinner. I had planned on getting some clothes and things for myself...but of course, what did I come home with? Nothing. :) The sales just weren't good enough, darn it. I did, however, pick up a few things for the kids, because duh. I'm a mom, and that's how these things usually work. Looks like I get to shop for myself next weekend!

I really appreciate all of the birthday wishes from you guys on Saturday! It made my day extra special.

Then on Sunday I finally, finally, finally got a chance to be at home by myself to get my life in order. Eric took the kids to his parent's house for the entire afternoon so I could be home alone to get things done. That was seriously the best present I could have gotten all weekend! After nearly two months of feeling sick and tired all I wanted was to mop my floors and organize things in peace.

On Sunday night we went to my parent's house for dinner and cake. My mom still spoils me by making my favorite jello cake for my birthday. Even at...cough cough...29 years old. Thank you, mom! It was here that we ran into those superheroes....


Reagan was Batman, but we couldn't get him to stay in the picture. :)

I had a really great time with my family and also just some time on own, which as any introvert like me knows, makes for a great weekend! It doesn't make for long blog posts, but it does make for great weekends. :)

And now, pray for me, friends. We also sold our beloved Rendezvous on my birthday (sniff sniff) and now I'm officially a mini-van driving mama. I seriously almost cried watching Eric drive my favorite car away. Please pray that Jesus takes the wheel, because I'm not a good backer outer anyway, haha. I have to say though, doors that open and close by themselves...no threat of door dings in parking lots when I'm putting kids in carseats...so much ROOM. Stow-and-go seats, friends, stow-and-go seats! The mini-van thing definitely has it perks. I'm already spoiled by some of the features, and we'll be thankful for it on our road trips, I suppose. Still, I'm not used to it and I feel like I'm driving a bus. Let's hope I don't hit anyone taking the kids to school. Seriously.

I am now 13 weeks pregnant which means I am so close to the second trimester I can almost taste it! I hope that means feeling lots better soon, which in turn means more blogging. I miss being able to blog regularly. Hoping the upswing happens this week sometime - we shall see! Have a great week!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

School Days!

Wow, it's crazy how quickly life changes around and you fall into a new routine! It feels like we hit the ground running this week as we sent two of our babies off to school. I think I've lamented more than once how I am NOT a morning person, but it hasn't been so bad so far. (Talk to me in a month!)

Eric took some time off this week to see the girls off on their first days - just like he did last year with Evie. On Tuesday he went into work a tiny bit later than usual so he could walk Evelyn into school on her very first day of Kindergarten.



She was super excited to go back to school this year!


Unfortunately, I ruined our chalkboard in the making of these pictures, haha. Apparently our "chalkboard marker" doesn't erase on...chalkboards. I'm still confused about that one. Works great on glass, I hear! Thank goodness I had just enough vinyl left to make a new sign for Gracie's first day the next day. :)



I waited in the car with the other kids as Eric took a rare opportunity to walk Evie to class. I think it's so cute that he cares about this stuff, haha. 

We said goodbye and sent Eric off to work while Grace and Reagan and I came home for a normal day. Evelyn really enjoyed her first day and she also likes her teacher, which is always a good thing! The only complaint she had was when I asked her about gym class. 

"We just sat there, mom, and listened to the rules. That's what we did all day. Everywhere we went people talked. Talk talk talk. Booooring!" :)

I had to explain to her that the first day is always a lot of talking, no getting around it!

The next day was Gracie's very first day of school EVER and Evie's first full day. Eric took off the entire day for this one so that he could see both girls off. 



Grace donned the same dress that Evelyn wore on her first day of preschool. Guess if the new baby is a girl we'll have to hang on to it. ;)


As expected, Gracie was super pumped to finally get her turn to go to school! It was a looong morning of waiting after dropping Evelyn off. 


Once we got to the school she was ready to line up and get the day started!




Where does the time go, I ask? She marched in with the other kids and didn't look back!

After we took Gracie to her class at noon, the rest of the family made our traditional trek to lunch at Pizza Hut. Fancy. :) (Not gonna lie, I could really go for that all-you-can-eat buffet right now. I am ALWAYS hungry!)

This is our way of bribing the children who don't get to go to school to feel better about life, haha. And it worked! Reagan was not a happy camper when we dropped Grace off, but as soon as he saw we were going somewhere to eat - happy as a clam. 


Messy!

And while the girls were busy learning and such, Eric took advantage of a day off to detail our new car - our totally awesome mini-van. With Reagan's help of course. It was HOT outside, and even hotter inside the van, but he would not budge from daddy's side. Reagan loves the men in his life...he copies every single thing they do. And if they are doing "manly" things, he has to be right there watching them. His face was so red, but every time I asked if he wanted to go inside and play he said, "Nuh uh," shook his head, pointed at Eric and started jabbering about the work that was being done. :) Don't mess with daddy time!


When we picked the girls up that afternoon we learned it was another successful day! Grace went on and on about the new friends she made. It seems like the school year got off to a great start. 

My prayer for ALL of the students and teachers going back to school is that everyone stays safe, has fun, and remains relatively healthy this year. (After two days Evelyn already has the sniffles - oh boy!) I'm thankful that our kiddos have the chance to learn and grow in a safe environment. Not all children around the world can say the same. What a privilege to be educated! 

Hope you have a great day!



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Last Days of Summer Vacation....

...sigh, why does it have to end?

Summer isn't even my favorite season, but man there are some things about it that just can't be beat. Particularly being on our own schedule. Unfortunately, this summer was so odd for me with being out of it for the last month. I think we were lucky to cross half of the things off of our bucket list, haha. Morning sickness took me unexpectedly down for the count. In some ways, I almost feel we were cheated out of a lot of our summer.

The bright side? Fall really IS my favorite, and hopefully the worst is behind me and I can really enjoy it. :)

We spent our last days of summer vacation hanging out with cousins and celebrating a very cute girl's second birthday.


Tessa is two!




The kids had a BLAST at aunt Amy's house last Friday night. It was a small get together with pizza and cake and dress up and swings...you know, just cousins doing cousin things. None of our children wanted to leave - even Reagan. And we ended the night making promises for future sleepovers, haha. Oh, I so remember those days myself! Being a kid is too much fun.

Saturday was date night - woot! Favorite night of the week.

Sunday was...not good. 

Some of it was okay...the first part - not bad at all. But the afternoon was just frustrating, and I'd rather just forget all about THAT.

What the kids were really waiting for the entire weekend was Monday. Because Monday meant that 

1.) Daniel Tiger was going to become a big brother on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. This was, in my children's estimation, THE event of the summer. They were glued to the television. Glued. They smiled, they "awed," they giggled. They are so ready to be big sisters again themselves. And Reagan just does what his sisters do. :)

2.) It was open house at school, and the girls got to meet their teachers for the very first time!

But before we could go skipping off to school yesterday evening, the drama llama had to make a stop by our house...of course! It turns out our lovely doctor's office (which we hope to be leaving soon) called with our paperwork for the girl's physicals for school...which had been done months ago...to inform us that they didn't give Evelyn the shots she needed for Kindergarten. Oh, she got shots at her last appointment, just apparently not all of them. 

So...we're obviously scrambling, at the very last minute, to get our child into the doctor so she can actually attend her own first day of school. Thank the Lord for my mother-in-law who saved the day and offered to take Evie in! It was only a couple of hours until the open house, and there was no way I would have been able to get everyone ready, take Evelyn to our doctor in Waterloo, make dinner and feed my kids in time for us to go. So thanks, Joan! (But poor Evie...unexpected shots on a day that was supposed to be fun! She took it like a champ.)

We did make it to the school though, and the girls were beaming with excitement!


There's a little bit of anxiety on my end with sending my oldest off to Kindergarten. For one thing, it's a full day. A full day, five days a week, for my kid that just turned five. It's a lot! And we've been pre-warned by the teacher herself that our child will be exhausted. So there's that. 

But then there's also the independence with Kindergarten that makes me want to throw a lasso around Evelyn and reel her back to me a bit. :) In pre-K everything is done in a herd-like fashion. The kids meet together outside at the start of the day, walk through the halls to their classroom together. They are always with a teacher, at all times, being carefully watched. But this year she will have to walk into the building all by herself and navigate those hallways alone. She'll have to find her own classroom...and boy do I hope she finds it! 

So we practiced that a few times last night, haha. Luckily, there are some very distinguishable decorations hanging outside of Evelyn's classroom, and so as I was trying to explain to her to count the doors on the left to find the one that was hers she said, "Isn't my class the one with those curly things hanging up by the door?"

Oh yeah. Those curly things! Awesome!

So Evelyn will be walking toward those curly things this morning. :) She's already smarter than me.


Now Gracie girl...she shocked me last night. And I don't know why it came as such as surprise, but it did. The moment we stepped foot on the school grounds she was little Miss Independent. And I mean...she didn't want anything to do with mom and dad helping her. She didn't want to hold our hands, even in the packed halls. In fact, she wanted to be five feet ahead of us, every step of the way. You should have seen this little side-arm thing she did, ahaha. Putting her hand out like, "No no. Back away, parents. I got this."

When it was time to go to her classroom, she left our side straight away and did her own thing. Acted like she had been there a million times before. "Yeah, this is preschool, so what? Been waiting to do this for over a year now." That was her.

My girls are as social as they come (they didn't get it from me!), and school puts them right in their element. Since our school is a pretty darn great one, I feel pretty good about them being there. Even if that does mean letting go a bit. *Sniffle.*


Gracie's first official day isn't until Wednesday, so we have two separate days to get all worked up over. Thank goodness, because I don't think my heart could have handled both of my babies leaving me at once. :)

Our last days of summer vacation have come and gone. It's back to school now! And what a crazy year it's going to be for us! Road trips and holidays and BABIES before it's done with. Fun fun fun!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Disney Updates - Getting Close!

Today let's talk about something HAPPY, cause heaven knows I need it.

It's been a while since I've dedicated a post to this topic, because if I'm not careful I could just talk your head off about it all day long. And I'm pretty sure no one else cares as much as I do about our vacation, haha. Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, its "The HAPPIEST place on Earth!" 

Or so they've been telling me.

(Gets me every time!)

The dream trip I've had in my head for years and years is fast approaching. Seriously, too fast. Like, in 23 days fast. I am so not prepared, haha. Well...I am but I'm not. I had no idea that I'd be carting along a fourth child on this trip when we booked it back in the Spring. This was NOT in the plans. We were supposed to come back from visiting the mouse, and THEN start trying for baby #4. :) In a weird way though, it brings me great pleasure to say that we will have never taken this trip without every single member of our family present - in one way or another. This child will be able to say, "I've been going to Disney since I was in the womb!" I am very jealous of this child.

Our magic bands came in earlier this week - hooray!


Magic bands are your key to the world. They are your ticket into the parks, your room key, your fast passes onto rides, a way to charge things back to your room...basically, the little computer chip inside of these things is your lifeline for your stay, if you are a Disney resort guest. I love that even though Reagan gets into everything for free and doesn't need one that they still send them for the little guys in your group. Everyone picked their favorite color!

As I mentioned in the post that I shared months ago, it was likely that some things about our trip would change along the way - and they certainly have. We are no longer staying at the picturesque Port Orleans Riverside resort. Sigh....

Instead we're staying here - 




At the Caribbean Beach Resort! Woot!

So, this is another one of Disney's moderate level resorts, and it has caught some flack over the years, mainly because it's the oldest moderate property and many of the rooms were in need of updating. Well...guess how lucky we are that they are refurbishing the entire place and we are very likely to get a brand spankin new room when we go! (At least, that is what we have requested and paid for, haha.)

The truth is, when the free dining promotion was released this was one of the two moderate resorts available for the offer, and since we are literally saving over a THOUSAND dollars on the food we'll be eating for the week, it was worth switching resorts. Here's my favorite part:



Caribbean Beach Resort is the only moderate level resort with a zero-entry pool, and it's one of the only resorts on the entire Disney property that has a special splash area just for the little ones. The bright colors and awesome water areas make this the PERFECT resort for preschoolers. I'm actually kind of glad now that we "ended up" here. 

All of our meals have been reserved, our fast passes have been booked, literally everything we can plan ahead of time has been planned ahead of time. It's the packing and gathering everything we'll need that has me scrambling. I still have to MAKE shirts...which could be really interesting. :)

The girls have been counting down the days, even more meticulously than me. They often remind me, "Mom, we have to cross off another day!" Lately, Evelyn has been beating me to it, and before I know it she's pulled up a stool with a marker in hand and is x'ing off the next number. I love it. :) It's exactly why I made that darn countdown.


The most important thing of all is that I can't wait to make some memories with my family. I can't wait to watch their faces. Seriously, I'm going to miss half the rides and entertainment, because I'm going to be too busy seeing my kids smile, and then crying, and watching them laugh, and me crying, and watching their wonder and amazement...and more crying from me. I've already warned Eric that I am going to be a complete embarrassment to him on this vacation. I'll cry when we get there, and I'll cry when we leave. Just you wait.

My biggest and only concern at this point: the weather. Because gosh darn, you can plan a lot of things, but you can't control the weather. And in September that means heat and rain. I fully expect a downpour once a day, and if we don't see that every single day, it'll be a miracle. As long as it's not ALL day, we'll be just fine. :)

I'll leave you with our lineup of our (rough) schedule and reservations for the week!

Saturday - Check into Caribbean Beach Resort! Depending on the time we'll either grab dinner, swim, or just walk around. Early to bed!

Sunday - MAGIC KINGDOM
                     8:05 Pre-park opening breakfast reservation at Crystal Palace with Pooh and friends

Monday - EPCOT
                       11:55 Lunch reservation at Akershus, with the princesses

Tuesday - HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
                       12:00 Lunch reservation at Hollywood & Vine with Sofia, Doc, and Jake

Wednesday - ANIMAL KINGDOM
                              10:45 brunch reservation at Tusker House with Donald and friends

Thursday - MAGIC KINGDOM
                        Fast pass lunch at Be Our Guest restaurant (Beast's castle)
                        5:30 Dinner reservation at Chef Mickey's with the Fab 5

Friday - Check out of our resort, then it's off to breakfast at O'hana with Lilo and Stitch at the Polynesian Resort before we leave for home.  >Insert many tears here.<

It's going to go by so fast! Thank you for letting me share, it's nice to take my mind off of things and just think about something FUN. :) Thank goodness there are places in this world where you can just go and forget it all for a while!



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Depression and Suicide



Well. I definitely didn't plan to blog about this topic today. In fact, I was going to blog about the exact opposite thing, but I can't leave this one alone. It's just too important.

Of course with the tragic passing of Robin Williams, many people are reeling with questions about depression and suicide. My Facebook feed is FULL of links to articles, quotes, and opinions.

I have a very interesting mix of people in my life. Many of them christians, some not, on all sides of the political aisle and from many different faiths. Friends from all over the world and of vastly different backgrounds. So when tragedy like this strikes, it's like a ping pong game of opinions from one extreme to the other. Some I agree with, some I don't, and usually I keep my mouth shut, but this one...I just can't.

Suicide is not an unfamiliar topic for me. I have a close relative in the hospital right now...right this very moment...because he attempted suicide last Monday night. I'm not going to say who he is out of respect for him and for my family. Some of my church family know who it is, because you have been praying for us. Thank you.

But this isn't anything new to me. My dad has always suffered from depression, for as long as I can remember. Everyone has their demons, that is his. Through prayer and medication and actually trying he has overcome it during certain points in his life. But there are other times he has given up. He has turned his back on his faith and listened to the voices inside of his head and slipped so deep into despair that he's tried to end it all.

I will never forget the day that my dad was carried out of my grandma's house on a stretcher and put into an ambulance because he decided to take too many pills. My mom and grandma shut me in a bedroom so that I wouldn't see, but I looked out of the bedroom window and saw it all.

My dad lived to see another day. And ever since I have watched him live a life of peaks and valleys. Times where he rallies and gets things together and acts like a dad and a husband, and times where he totally folds. It's an ongoing battle. It is not simple. It is one of those few situations in this life that is not black and white...and trust me, I'm a person who believes that most things are.

Is suicide selfish? Yes and no. My relative in the hospital right now, I do not believe, had selfish motives. I think he felt that he was a burden. I think he felt like things would just be better for everyone if he were gone. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth! But that is the tragedy of the disease of depression. But was he acting selfishly? Not on purpose.

My dad, however. I can't think of a more selfish act. He gave up, when I had seen him overcome it before. He would have left a wife and young children behind and struggling. He was looking for a personal "escape" with no regard for anyone else. There are a lot more complexities to his situation that I'm not explaining, but trust me: selfish.

It's not a one size fits all kind of situation. And since we can't crawl into other people's heads and see into their hearts the way that only God can, only God can truly know someone's motive. It's only after the fact, if the person is lucky enough to survive, that we can piece the puzzle together and figure out why.

Here is what I know about depression and suicide:

1. Suicide is not an "escape" from anything. Seeing people say things like, "He's better off now...he's finally in peace now..." that is a slap in the face to anyone actually dealing with depression. What message does that send? End it all, and you'll finally feel better? No. There is enough good in this world and in your life that it's worth fighting for and fighting through and seeking help and getting back to that good place again. I have seen it with my own eyes. You can get back to a good place again - you can. Don't give up!

2. Suicide is not an "unpardonable sin." If you are a christian, nowhere in the bible does it say that suicide is a one-way ticket to Hell. With that said, God makes it very clear throughout scripture that he is LIFE, and that you should choose LIFE and that life will always always be the better choice for you. Always.

3. Depression can be overcome. You are not doomed to lifelong misery if you suffer from depression. Like any other demons that can plague you...alcoholism, over-eating, drug addiction, sexual addictions, pathological lying, gossiping....whatever it is...you can beat it. And if it starts creeping back into your life again (as it will almost surely try to) you can beat it again. And again. God promises that NO temptation or demons on earth are so great that he cannot give you the power to overcome them. I've seen it overcome. You can do it.

4. I do not personally deal with depression, and I don't judge those who do. How could I? I have never been in those shoes, and I can't even imagine how lonely it must feel at times. I care because I've been surrounded by people dealing with depression my entire life, and I've dealt with suicide more than once. I've seen what happens when people give in. I see what happens when people choose to fight it. Fight it. Choose to fight it every time.

5. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39. Those aren't my words. :) There is hope for you, guaranteed.

Depression is not the end, it's not unbeatable, and it's not the worst most unpardonable sin that should make you feel ashamed. It is something that you likely need help with to overcome. But it's worth overcoming. Suicide is not an escape, it hurts people, it discourages others who are dealing with depression, it is NEVER the answer.

My heart aches for people that feel like life is so bleak and dark that it doesn't feel worth living anymore. My prayers go out to the families dealing with suicide when it's too late. It is gut-wrenching to feel like someone you love wanted to give up on their life. It's a messy subject. It's not an easy one to talk about. But it's worth talking about.

I appreciate that the conversation has been started and is out in the open. Depression takes so many forms. There is only one component to this conversation that IS black and white, and that is that suicide is never the answer. Ever. 100% of the time. You never know what tomorrow brings, what the next hour brings...someone could be on their way to help you change it all. The answer you are looking for could be on it's way right now. But you'll never know it if you take your life into your own hands. Don't cheat yourself out of LIFE. It's worth living - if not for the life you're living today, for the potential of the life you could have tomorrow.

Peace and love.



Monday, August 11, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up!

I was honestly going to be a better blogger last week and actually post a confession friday, but then my darling husband decided to SURPRISE us with a day off of work...so that post was left half done. And I'm not sorry, because I was over the moon to wake up on Friday morning and realize Eric wasn't in his normal work attire. That can only mean one thing.

What a dear. I had a rough week last week. Just family stuff and not feeling well and the kids being kids in the worst way possible. :) Friday was a much appreciated break.

We decided to spend the day taking the kids out to lunch and buying school supplies. If we give our children the choice of where to go for lunch it's inevitable that we will end up here....



Chuck E. Cheese
It's no secret that we kind of love this place. And I totally understand that some parents hate it. But I can't relate. It makes my kids happy, they have a decent salad bar, and we must always get lucky, because it never feels crowded when we go. Oh, and coupons. You can use coupons. 

This picture cracks me up.


After we stuffed our faces and played some games (the kiddos all became the proud owners of some new slinkies...two of the three made them home unharmed) we trucked it to the store to let the girls pick out their school supplies for the upcoming school year.

I still cannot believe I'm going to have two kids in school.

Gracie insisted on walking around the store with her notebook and folder in hand. No way was she putting those prized possessions in the shopping cart. :) And she picked out her first official book bag - Hello Kitty. I'm a little surprised that princesses and fairies were trumped by a cat we know nothing about, but hey...must be something about that kitty that caught her eye.

Evelyn was an old pro at this stuff and relatively unimpressed, so she decided to run away from mom and dad, which sent us on a ten minute search around the store for our kid. Longest ten minutes of my LIFE. I'm just about to go up to the front and page the child when I see her strolling up the aisle with a big grin on her face.

"Where were you??!!"

"I went to the place with the concrete floor."

"You what? You decided to just go check out the garden center all by yourself??'

"Yep." Smile smile.

Oooooh no. No no no. Her father and I were not happy campers. :) She's been getting a little big for her britches lately. Thinking she can run off places, not wanting to hold hands in parking lots and weaving around like a tiny drunk person into oncoming traffic. Heaven help me. She's still cute though, I have to give her that.

On Saturday I paid for Friday, which is often the case. I felt like crap, and so while we were supposed to go to a BBQ with some of Eric's co-workers, I had to be a party pooper. Someday I won't be pregnant anymore.  Someday....

On Sunday Eric and I were on our own to teach Sunday School. (Usually there are two more teachers with us.) So of course one of our children woke up with a crick in her neck and had a terrible upset morning. Poor Gracie. But she toughed it out and things actually went pretty smoothly, all things considered. In fact, it was one of my more favorite lessons that I've gotten to lead so far.



Here's John and Evie showing off their own designs of Joseph's coat of many colors. :)

We told stories, watched our video, became award-winning actors and actresses, tried our hands at clothing design...you know, all in a day's work at Sunday School. The hour went by fast!

We spent the rest of the day on Sunday cleaning our house (oh my goodness, did it need it!) and taking a walk. Oh, and negotiating a deal on a new vehicle that we're supposed to pick up tonight. Dun dun dun.... It's time to upgrade, once again! Ya'll are gonna hate it, but we're okay with it.  :)

I'm expecting a very exciting package in the mail this week, so if I can muster up the gumption there should actually be some things to blog about that don't have to do with my sorry state. The goal is three. If I can do three posts this week, then I'm calling myself a super star. Can she do it?? We'll find out!

Later taters.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hanging Out at Agency D3

Remember when I was so happy that I wasn't feeling so sick this pregnancy? I thought I had gotten sooo lucky this time around. Haha. Well, while I do feel a bit sick I have to say that the nauseous part continues to be pretty manageable. But. Extreme morning sickness has been replaced with a myriad of other symptoms that I've never had before that leave me happy that I am DONE after this! Lightheaded/dizzy spells, hot flashes, migraines, debilitating fatigue...what the heck? I've also got the typical pregnancy symptoms that were never typical with my other pregnancies...like running to the bathroom every thirty minutes and having extreme food cravings. This is the weirdest pregnancy ever. And by weird, I mean different. It doesn't matter how many kids you have, every experience can be so vastly different!

This weekend left me wiped out. It was our Vacation Bible School day camp and festival, and it was so much fun! I was running, running, running...feeling pretty great! And then there was Monday. I paid for it. :)

On Friday night we braved the cool temperatures and threats of rain to go to our family festival night which kicked off the VBS weekend. Evelyn, Grace, and Reagan had a BLAST.





There was all of the typical fun stuff - bounce houses, games, a dunk tank, obstacle course, face painting...and then of course we stuffed ourselves with popcorn, sno-cones, hot dogs, nachos...haha. A great Friday night by most kid's standards! And it was all FREE...a great Friday night by most parent's standards. :)

The theme of this year's VBS was Agency D3. A detective agency sort of theme, where we investigated who Jesus is. Is he real? How can we prove that? The "D3" stood for "Discover, Decide, Defend." We discovered who Jesus was, decided if we believed it, and learned to defend what we believe in. It was excellent material!

There were photo booths set up to help us get into our detective mode. :)



On Saturday we had the day camp. We have never done VBS this way before. Typically we spread VBS over the course of five nights. This year we had one action-filled day from 9:00am to 2:30 pm. I'll be honest, I had no idea if I would like that format in the end. But...I loved it! Everything ran so smoothly. And even though we were chasing kids for over five hours, the day went by SO fast. I think the kids also loved it. I wouldn't be surprised if we do more VBS day camps in the future, and I highly encourage you to bring your kids. It was great!!

Because of the new format and a lack of advertising this year, we mostly had our own church kiddos for the day. It was a much smaller group than we normally have. But it worked out great that way, as we were venturing into some uncharted territory. I can't wait to vamp it up for next time. :)

It was my job to take pictures and video all day. I have hundreds of pictures and so much video footage, haha. And I put just some of it together for a little video which we showed during church the next morning.


This five minute video is just a taste of all the kids did. 

On Sunday, the VBS fun continued. We had a special church service where the kids sang their VBS songs, we had a special message, and then we ate lots and lots and lots of food at a potluck afterwards. So fun! I really love our church family. 

Aside from Vacation Bible School stuff, there was school shopping to be done and grocery shopping and Reagan needed a hair cut....

But yes, then there was Monday. I was down for the count yesterday! Haha. This pregnancy has been a humbling experience when it comes to gauging how much I can physically do. Guess I'm not getting any younger...and my body is saying, "Enough! I get it...you love babies! But four in five years? Give me a break." :)

Thanks for sticking with me, friends! I'm over ten weeks now - that second trimester is inching closer and closer! Just a few weeks to go...we can do this. Haha. Happy Tuesday!


Friday, August 1, 2014

THE WORLD IS ENDING

Facebook is DOWN and I can't get on Facebook to tell everyone on Facebook that Facebook is down!

The world is about to implode.
Now what do I do with my life??

Oh yeah, happy August!
Happy Friday. :)

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