Monday, June 24, 2013

Big Sister.

Summer of Fun, Week of June 17.

Last week was a little bit different for us.  Ben was out of town working on his Masters, so it was the crazies and me all week long.  While we missed Ben like crazy, we made the best of things and ended up having a pretty nice time together!!!

Ben's school is basically set up so that he is gone for a week (Sunday-Friday) every other month.  He started right after Emmy was born and only has three more classes left so we are super stoked!!!!  Because we spent the morning with him on Sunday before he left, the kids and me kicked off our week alone with the evening worship experience at church.

We took things easy on Monday:  a trip to the gym and lunch at Johnny's with Tyler(!) who was home for jury duty.  Tyler is actually moving back to Georgia and we are so excited.  In fact, when I told Harris, he responded with, "It's about time!"

After lunch and room time, we did a little weekly cleaning and then headed up to Kroger to pick up some canned food for the VBC mission project.

Vacation Bible Camp couldn't have come at a better time for us!  It was the perfect way to spend a solo week.  Even though we attended VBC at one of the local churches that is not our home church, I still served in the snack area so everyone (even the babies!) was able to attend.  VBC ran from Tuesday-Friday and gave us a much needed break from each other during the day, gave everyone something fun to do, and wore us out!!!

We weren't too tired to hit up Chick-fil-a's pajama night on Tuesday, though!  The kids were so excited to be having "breakfast for dinner!"

And you know the adults had to participate, too!  Everyone in their pajamas scored free hashbrowns, so you better believe we dressed the part.

We spent Wednesday and Thursday at VBC during the mornings and the gym in the evenings.  Thursday was "spirit day" at VBC...thankfully both kiddos' classes had to sport the color red...we definitely had that covered.

Thursday night also brought game night.  This week's pick:  Chutes and Ladders.  Hadley dominated.

Harris and Hadley were so sad for VBC to come to an end.  And while the volunteers in Thatcher's nursery had nothing but good things to say about him, I'm not so sure the ones in Emmy's nursery would say the same thing.  Sweet Emmy (along with Olivia) ended up with her own personal volunteer for the duration of the week.  God bless that sweet woman. :)

Ben was home in time to attend the VBC Celebration Night on Friday evening, so we went to dinner as a family and then enjoyed the short program and carnival night sponsored by the church.  We were able to pet different animals, partake in carnival games, and stuff our faces with popcorn and snow cones.

Emmy especially loved the snow cones. :)

One of the highlights of the week was getting to meet a dog named Truth.  Truth is the mascot for "Nothing but the Truth" ministries, an agency that provides breakfast and lunch through the summer to children in the community who typically receive free breakfast and lunch during the school year.  The kids brought in food all week long and each day Truth would perform tricks during the closing worship.  On Friday night, the agency was selling t-shirts with Truth's picture front and center.  Harris was DYING for one and Ben and me couldn't pass it up.  The agency is phenomenal but the shirt makes me laugh out loud every time I look at it.

After the carnival, we came home and put the babies to bed and then watched Monsters, Inc. for movie night.  Harris used to be so scared of almost every movie but seems to be growing out of that more and more which is really making movie night so much fun.  It's hard to beat sharing laughs with your kids. :)

Saturday morning was garage sale day for us.  I'm not much on garage sales but Harris was really wanting to have one so we figured it might be a good experience for him.  The kid had fun.  He was up early setting up with Ben and was a master salesman during the day.  I thought he might be shy with customers but it turns out money is a pretty good motivator...he tried to sell everything to everyone!

This little guy moved a lot of merchandise, too.

At the end of the day, Harris and Ben put out a sign that read, "Take everything.  $30."  AND SOMEBODY DID!  Seriously.  Ben and Harry loaded up every single thing we had left...we were so thankful to just be finished and not have to lug everything to Goodwill.

Harris earned some money for all of his hard work.  I'm pretty sure he's still thinking about how he wants to spend it. :)

And just like that, the week was over.

Somebody slow things down.

Celebrating Dad.

If you don't know my husband, I'm sorry.  Seriously.  He is one of the kindest, funniest, most pleasant people to be around.  He never meets a stranger, he's incredibly generous, and his heart is huge.  And he has the best laugh in the world.  Everything is more fun when he's around.

Our kids are so incredibly blessed to call him theirs.  For now, at least.  I can only imagine how embarrassing he'll be when they are all teenagers. :)

Anyway, we spent Father's Day morning celebrating the man we love so much.  Ben had to leave for school around 10:00, so the kids and I opted to attend the evening service at church in order to spend more time with our dear ol' dad.

Babe and Harry were so excited to give Ben his gift!  Ben's love language is definitely "gifts," so we always spend a lot of time picking out something thoughtful we think he'll enjoy.  This year, we got him a portable bluetooth speaker so he can hear his itunes playlist and pandora stations anywhere!  We listen to music on our phones quite a bit around here and the speaker has made it so much more enjoyable!  We're always down for a dance party!!!!

After gifts and showers and packing (for Ben), I made sure to take a few pictures before Dad hit the road.  What you see below is basically my heart walking around outside my body.

So thankful for this man and all that he brings to our family.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!


Loves:  Star Wars, Legos (Hero Factory and Ninjago), snuggling, Kraft macaroni and cheese, drawing (mostly R2D2), the DIY and History channels and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, throwing the football in the backyard, playing with babies (Emmy and Thatcher), Angry Birds, using "facetime" on Ben's phone (and anything else electronic), reading, sausage patties, stuffed animals

Eats like a bottomless pit.


Very scheduled/structured.  Not a big fan of plans changing.

Extremely responsible and trustworthy.  Never lies or tries to hide anything.

Great sense of humor.  Can be sarcastic and somewhat of a smart alec but comes by it very honestly.  Learning to purposely push Babe's buttons.  In fact, really only gets in trouble for trying to tease/frustrate/upset her at times.

Very smart.  Always wanting to "google" things.

Drink of choice:  lemonade.  Hates milk but willingly follows our "at least one glass a day" rule.

Interested in money:  making and spending it. :)

Becoming more and more confident and outgoing every day.  Still gets nervous/anxious in new situations but makes friends easily and handles social situations well.

FINALLY learning to ride a bike without training wheels.  (It's just not something we do a ton around here.)

Family-oriented.  Loves doing things with our "whole family."

Started to say things like "duh," "darn it," "I know what I'm doing," and even "shyster."

Always complimented, though, on manners.

Still can't believe he's seven...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Harry's Party.

Harris chose to have a "Laser Tag" party for his birthday this year.  He's played laser tag once:  last summer, with Tyler.  And they literally played one game.  He was pretty adamant, though, and so I googled "cheap laser tag" and found the perfect place for he and his friends to have a great time shooting each other! :)

Aside from the fact that it was a little on the stuffy side, we had such fun spending the afternoon with our friends.  I even think the adults (at least the men) enjoyed the games more than the kids!!!!

And I promise Ben wasn't the only adult to play.  Somehow, DB, Carter, and Cody managed to sneaky snake their way out of these pics. :)

If you're looking for a place to play, I highly recommend Laser Tag of Buford.  It was well priced and very laid back (all the mamas ended up walking around the course while our kiddos were playing--even Emmy walked around without a vest!) and the course itself was, according to Cody, one of the best ones around.

Our group played their first game (bonus:  our kids were the only ones on the course!) and then we headed to the "party room" for gifts and cake.

Harris chose to have Star Wars cupcakes.  Ben and I chose to pick up a double decker cookie cake.  Of course, the cookie cake was more of a spur-of-the-moment buy (they are sooooo hard to resist!) and the only one left had a huge "man cave" decoration in the middle of it!  It still tasted fantastic, though.  We devoured that thing. :)

Once we finished with cake and presents, the kids (big and little!) got to play their second game.  Babe didn't play the first time around but couldn't wait to get her gear on for the second trip in.  She LOVED it and has since declared that she'd like to have a laser tag birthday as well.

I don't think Ben would mind that one bit!  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if another laser tag outing was in our near future!

We finished off the afternoon with drink refills and popcorn (laser tag is a sweaty sport!) and then said goodbye to our friends.

For the last time this year, Happy Birthday, Harris!  We are so crazy in love with you!!!

Poppa's Presents.

Poppa always has gifts.  Always.

Harry's Birthday.

We celebrated Harry's seventh birthday the same way we celebrate every other birthday in our family:  with powdered donuts and the birthday balloons. :)

My boy was so excited to get downstairs!  He (mostly) patiently waited for Daddy to get ready for work first, though.

He went straight for the gifts:  two Lego Hero factory "men," a small pack of GI Joe squinkies, and a Lego Star Wars t-shirt.  That pretty much sums up this stage of life for him. :)

The girls went straight for the donuts. :)

This goofy kid holds my heart.  Without a doubt, his birth began the best seven years of my life!

We spent the morning at the library, had "cheesy noodles" for lunch (his choice), and headed to Menchie's (with Poppa!) for snack after room time.  Dinner was also his choice:  Luigi's.  Harry was lucky enough to have Mimi and Poppa in town, along with Aunt Sally, Little Ben, and Baby Emily, to join us for dinner.

I still can't believe he's seven.  What an honor is to be his mama. :)

Summer of Fun, Week of June 10.

While there were times this week when I thought I might just pull out my hair (everybody needs a little break every now and then!!!), the kids and me still managed to have tons of fun together!  Summer is truly flying by for us!!

Only Emmy and Thatcher were home on Monday, so the three of us spent the day finishing up my one major (and only) project for the summer:  a total house clean-out.  Ben and I worked hard over the weekend cleaning out every closet and every drawer downstairs as well as converting our guest bedroom to more of an office space and I finished with the upstairs on Monday.  It took FOR-EV-ER, but it is so nice to have it finished!  We threw away tons of junk and still have tons left over for a garage sale.  (It's happening this Saturday if you're interested!)

This sweet girl sure does look cute but don't let her fool you:  she's an awful organizer.  I'm quite certain she added at least an hour to my work time. :)  Everything got done, though, so no worries!

On Tuesday, we made our third trip to the doctor's office in less than two weeks.  Had was showing a few signs of a UTI infection, so we scheduled a mid-morning appointment to get things checked out.  Everything turned out fine (yay!) and we made sure not to let the office visit spoil our fun for the day.  Because we scheduled a mid-morning appointment, we headed over to a playground close to our pediatrician's office to get a little outdoor action in before things got too hot.

The kids had a blast swinging!  I promise Emmy was all smiles in there...

Both of my girls inherited my sweat gene.  I hope they don't hate me for it later in life.

And this sweet boy chilled in the shade.  Love him, love him, love him.

Wednesday morning brought our fourth appointment of the summer:  a dermatologist's visit for Harry.  Because this appointment had actually been planned, I didn't have to drag all four kiddos to the office with me.  Babe and Thatcher hung out with Auntie while Harris, Emmy, and me made the office visit.  Thankfully, Harris and Emmy are two peas-in-a-pod and made the most of our time there.

We made it back to Auntie's in time to catch a few of the "home movies" they were watching and then we all headed over for one last visit to our local Monkey Joe's (it's closing in about a week).  We don't go to Monkey Joe's often but always have fun whenever we're there.  Even with Auntie's help, keeping up with everybody required all of our attention...especially because Doe was a fan of the big slides, too.  I managed to snap the following two pictures.  I'm pretty sure they capture the only times during the entire morning that the girls were still.  Harris was moving the entire time. :)

Just to prove that we do, in fact, spend time at home, here's a shot of the older three enjoying their morning "screen time" while waiting for breakfast on Thursday morning.  I'm pretty certain they're watching a "Tom and Jerry" DVD in this picture.  They tend to rotate between "Tom and Jerry," "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," and the History and DIY channels.

After breakfast, Granti came over and we headed to a local park to check out their new-to-us water feature.  I'm not sure what to officially call the structure, but the water is about ankle-deep and the structure consists of two pond-like bodies of water connected by a few different creek-like sections.  We'll definitely be making a return trip. :)

Because Granti was with us, Thatchy-Buddy didn't spend the entire morning in his car seat. :)

Not that he ever minds.

Granti was also smart enough to bring a bag full of plastic army men for the kids to play with in the water.  And trust me, they played and played and played with those things!

Babe also had fun pretending to be Ariel.  At least this time I got to be Sebastian instead of Ursula.

It was a super fun morning!  The kids even spent a few minutes on the adjacent playground before we headed over to Johnny's to have lunch with Auntie.

Thursday night was Game Night at our house.  Unfortunately, Harris chose not to eat his dinner.  Not eating dinner is really not a big deal around here.  The kids know that if you don't eat, you don't get dessert and you go to straight to bed.  We don't fight or argue about it and it rarely happens.  I honestly think Harry was pretty wiped out because he ended up going to sleep pretty quickly.

Ben, Babe, and I had a fun time playing The Disney Princess Game, though.  I won again, which means my Summer Family Game Night record is 2-0.  Not bad.

Friday was Harris' birthday.  In addition to our traditional birthday celebrations (separate post to come soon), we decided to check out the Archaeobus at the library.

Our first stop was the tattoo station.  You can't go wrong with a tattoo around these parts.

We then spent some time checking out some of the exhibits that were set up.  Babe and Harry LOVED the fact that most of the artifacts on display were from the Native Americans that lived in Georgia during the 1600s (I think).  They have really been into Pocahontas this summer (we've googled her and everything!) so to see "'real" Native American stuff was cool for them.

They even got to try their hand at piecing artifacts back together (it was tough!) and "digging."

And then we climbed on the actual bus to see even more artifacts!  The whole thing ended up being a lot more fun than I had anticipated.

Of course, no trip to the library is complete without a little computer time.  Emmy had fun watching this Elmo game while Babe and Harry selected their books.  Trips to the library are a weekly outing for us during the summer...I love reading and want my kids to love it as well!

We finished off the week with a dinner for Harris and movie night:  The Aristocats. We even had popcorn AND cookies this time around.

Summer of Fun forever!