Fall Fun

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Y’all.  We’ve been so busy.  I don’t want to blog.  Well, I want to get my thoughts out, but I also want to play Candy Crush, watch TV, and let my mind veg.  Usually after the kids go to bed, the last 3 things win out (well those and laundry).  Laundry, oh you are my nemesis.

So, here are a few tidbits of info.

Caden has settled in at his new school.  He’s still making all A’s.  He just turned 8, and he had 6 buddies over for his party.  They went bowling and 5 of them spent the night.  They had SO.  MUCH.  FUN.  He had the time of his life.  We have been incredibly blessed by some sweet boys who are his age.  We are so thankful!

JL has started kindergarten.  Like I said in my last post, he was the first golden apple in his class, such an honor. :)  He has also received 3 bug awards for “Being Unusually Good.”  He continues to be thoughtful, caring, and compassionate.  We are so proud of the boy he is becoming.

EK is progressing in her language by leaps and bounds.  We have changed therapists and they mesh so well.  We are so thankful for Mrs. Kelli.  She is a GOD SEND.  EK has caught up to her hearing age, and now we need to get her caught up to her actual age.  So thankful for the progress we are making.  She is still in Pre-K at CCPS.  She is loving school and she is doing really well.  She enjoys going, which makes it so much easier for me to drop her off.  She’s my other half, so it’s weird when she’s not with me.  EK was golden apple for her class a few weeks ago.  What an honor for her.  So thankful she is an example of good behavior in her classroom.

My dad got to go to “Pumpkin Carving with Dad” for JL’s class.  Jeb had to work, so I was thankful Dad was able to take time out of his day to hang out with JL.  He even came early and ate lunch with me.  :)  Love my daddy!

Jeb took 2 of his best friends to the UT vs. UA game a few weeks ago.  We all went to the quad to tailgate, and had a blast.

The next day the girls and I went to Target and the guys watched the kids.  They climbed a tree. :)

Then there was Halloween.  It was supposed to rain on Halloween (which it did. bah!), so we went out to a church trunk or treat on the day before Halloween.  EK was Rapunzel.  She is slightly obsessed with Rapunzel right now.  Caden was a soccer player.  He’s not the dressing up type.  We told him if he didn’t dress up he didn’t get candy…he decided to be a soccer player.  JL was Yoda.  He lives to dress up.

I have made it a priority to eat lunch with the boys once a week.  They don’t get a lot of one on one attention, so I choose days EK is at school and I eat with them.  I am so thankful they still enjoy seeing me at lunch.  It won’t be that way forever.

Here’s Caden with his buddies from his bday party.  Love it!

He chose Shogun for his birthday dinner.  He LOVED the bday candle.  He wasn’t a fan of the ice-cream.  I was green tea.  EK LOVED it though.

JL lost his first tooth.  I tried to pull it out at home, but he HAD to wait till school for it to come out.  He was a determined little guy because it was out that afternoon when I picked him up.  He was so excited to get his sticker at school (you only get the sticker if the tooth comes out at school) and to add to to the tooth tally.

We all were really missing Disney, and we were able to make a reservation at there over Thanksgiving.  I am so incredibly excited!  We’re going for JL’s bday and EK is just to the point where she is in LOVE with the characters and such.  So so excited to see her there.  She’s finally excited about all of those things, and seeing characters, and all things Disney.

JL and EK had their Veteran’s Day program last week.  It was great!  We are so thankful for our Veteran, Grandaddy.  He served in the Korean War.  He has come to Caden’s programs the past 2 years, and now to JL and EK’s.  He did make it to Caden’s for the last 5 minutes this year.  Hopefully they won’t conflict next year. :(

One of my best friends went with EK and I to Disney on Ice.  EK was in awe of Mickey and Minnie.  She had a blast.  So glad we got to go!

We have a lot of trees where we live.  And this time of year, that means we have a lot of leaves.  I mean, like a ridiculous amount of leaves.  I’ve semi raked the front yard, and this is what happened.  Leaves are so fun to play in, and they were so deep the kids could hide in them.  :)  We LOVE all of our neighbors.  It is so fun to have so many kids out here.  Unfortunately there are no boys, but our boys make due. ;)

And, last but not least, we had pictures yesterday.  Here’s the before and the after. It’s not as bad in this pic as it was in real life. After pictures we went to Yogurt Mountain and they had chocolate and whip cream all over their faces and shirts. It was hilarious.  These 3 keep me laughing, keep me on my toes, and show me what’s important in life.  I love them to pieces.  

Loose Ends

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I am so incredibly behind in blogging.  That’s the beginning go most of my posts.  This post will tie up loose ends from the last post, and then I’ll have to catch up from Sept, Oct. and Nov.  So, EK got new glasses.  They were precious.  I mean so incredibly adorable.  BUT they weren’t sitting on her nose the right way and her eye started turning in again.  :(  We’re in the process of getting it corrected (as of today).  Until we get the bifocal put in the correct spot, we will be wearing her old glasses.  The old ones are the correct prescription, but her ophthalmologist wanted her bifocal to go down some.  

 

We went to see Mumford and Sons.  It was an incredible concert.  I didn’t realize it was a big deal we got picked out of the lottery to go to the concert.  You have to “apply” to go to their concerts.  For the money we spent (not much, like $40 a ticket maybe), it was an INCREDIBLE concert.  The best part was we have a friend who had VIP passes, and she got us into the VIP box at the end.  The last few songs were awesome.  We had this view.

A lot of our friends were there with us.  :)

And we even ran into an old Tuscaloosa friend who I miss bunches. :)

It was such a fun night!  We didn’t get home till 2 AM, but it was totally worth it.  2013 has been the year of the concert for us.  New Kids on the Block (ha!), Taylor Swift, Mumford and Sons, and Justin Timberlake (this weekend!!!!).

 

My Mom Thinks I’m Smart

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Caden started drum lessons.  It’s loud.  He plays in the basement.  I can hear them 2 floors up.  He is quite the musician, so I try to get over it. :)

I started chalk painting a little bit.  We don’t have the extra money to go out and buy all new furniture, so we painted what we had.  It was pretty easy, and looks good.

I had to deal with some unfortunate stuff toward the end of the summer.  Life isn’t always easy, and I’m never going to please everyone…then I found this on Instagram.  It was exactly what I needed.   And then, this glorious day happened.  It was PSL time again.  I had it 3 days in a row.  It came out the day before my birthday.  It was like Starbucks little present to me.  Then, I woke up one morning and decided to see how many calories my beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte had in it…I get Nonfat and No Whip..surely it wasn’t many.  Ugh, a regular size is 210 calories. :(  I haven’t had one since.  Sad story.  It will definitely be a special treat, not an every day occurrence.  Alabama has been playing like a #1 team, and EK, the encourager, is happy to cheer them along.  ”Good job!!  Good job!!”JL was the FIRST golden apple in his class.  When Caden got upset that he wasn’t the first golden apple, JL told him, “It’s because I listen, obey, and am sweet.”  The same day he got the golden apple (which is basically an award for being polite, listening, following directions, etc.) he also got the BUG award (“Being Unusually Good”) for finding his sight words in a book.  He told me the night before he had been trying very hard and had been doing his best to get a BUG award.  So thankful he was rewarded for his efforts.
Caden had Grandparent’s Day and my Mom and Dad were able to come.  Don’t they look great?!?  I love my parents.  I am so thankful that they are so close and can be involved with our kids. :) This cracks me up.  ”My mom thinks I AM SMART.”  Well, yes I do buddy.  Apparently I tell you that a lot.  His favorite thing to do is go to Disney.  We all miss Disney.  It’s been since May.   Caden is playing soccer.  He had one rough game where he acted a little ugly to other players, but this game (when this picture was taken) I was SO incredibly proud of him.  His team was losing, he got a ball kicked in his face so hard it confused him for a few seconds, but HE PLAYED HIS LITTLE HEART OUT AND DID.  NOT.  QUIT.  So thankful and so proud of him.   He wasn’t the only one who enjoyed Yogurt Mountain (or Yo Mo as C calls it) that day.  The little 2 had a blast too.  Unfortunately Jeb was working. :(

Hey, I’m almost caught up with current life! Only glasses, a concert, and a few details in between. Yay!

First Day of School

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School started with a bang.  Our babies are growing up.  We started Pre-K4, Kindergarten, and 2nd Grade this year.  The little 2 are at school together and C is at a school by himself.

C walked into school and had to go to the lunchroom because it wasn’t 7:45 yet, we walked in and it was a bit overwhelming…until we saw some of his sweet little buddies.  The Lord is so gracious.  We walked in and there was ONE seat next to his buddy, A.  C told us he was good, and we left and took JL and EK to their school.

EK was in the same class with the same teachers as last year.  She has learned so much and progressed so far since she started.  We are thrilled and so thankful!

JL has a precious teacher, who we happen to go to church with.  She was one of the 2 we requested, and we are beyond thrilled for him to have her this year. He is loving school, but wishes he could play outside longer.  :)

Here are all three of them before school.  We managed to get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and take pictures AND leave on time.

 

 

Jeb wasn’t off work the first day, but he managed to take everyone with me and just get to work late.  I made the rounds at the end of the day and everyone had a great first day!  We headed out after school to get a treat, and then onto soccer practice…and another year begins.

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Y’all, it has been such a great year, but we have been in survival mode since…hmmm…May maybe?  I’m hoping it’s calming down.  Maybe this is the new normal?  Let’s hope not.   Well, August has come and gone.  We had a beach trip which was pre-empted by a wedding.  We ended up going to the wedding with EK and sent the boys to the beach with Mom and Dad.

I think they made it fine without us.

The wedding was in Memphis, which is where one of my favorite people had just moved.  Meet Courtney.  We have lived in the same city since 2010, however we didn’t decide to start hanging out till about a month or so before she moved to Memphis.  Sad story.

After lunch with Courtney and her husband (who is also pretty awesome), we eventually made it to the hotel, and then to the “non rehearsal rehearsal dinner.”  That would be a rehearsal dinner without the rehearsal.  Here’s a pic of all the guys who have ever lived in Jeb’s old college house. The 4 on the right are Jeb and his old roommates.

Here’s the crew from college who celebrates “Truth Day” (Thanksgiving-FRIENDS style) and Christmas together every year.  We now have a new member, Brittany. :)

We got back from Memphis and slept on mattresses on the floor in our new house.  EK watched Fresh Beat Band because it seemed like the right thing to do at 10PM after riding home from Memphis.

Then the next day Jeb went to work, and I directed movers while corralling a wild 4 year old.  Oh, it’s every bit as stressful as your imagining, except MORE.

Well, everything got moved in, and we were making progress, and that’s when it happened.  The thing you don’t ever want to happen, but it happens all the same.  The Great Stomach Virus of 2013.  It didn’t pass anyone by.  You’d think it was gone, and then another man was down.  It was a rough week my friends.

And then, once it had held each one of us captive, it went on its merry way to attack another house.  And we were all back to normal.

Here’s JL before his 5 year check up and shots.  We were only 8 months late for his appointment.  No biggie.  We’re 14 months late for EK’s 3 year appointment.

 

And just like that, summer, or the lack thereof was over, and school bags were packed and traffic signs were made for PTO.  

Cullman to Huntsville to Opp to Huntsville to Memphis with Hartselle, Birmingham, and more Cullman in-between

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So, it’s July.  I’m way behind.  We’ve had a busy summer, and it’s almost over.  It hasn’t been the relaxing summer I had hoped it would be, but it has been awesome nonetheless.

It didn’t take very long for the dog to get acclimated to our house and for the kids to love her.  She became the 6th member of our family very quickly, and has become quite the protector.  We need to work on how to tone it down for when we don’t want her to attack someone.   Right now EVERYONE but the 5 of us are intruders.  She can’t turn off the protector inside her.

Jeb had a fun Father’s Day.  We actually spent it in Huntsville with my family.  Jeb is such a great dad to our munchkins.  We are so blessed.  It was such a blessing to be with my dad this father’s day and both of my grandpa’s.  My dad cooked some stellar Filet Mignon.

Some girls from our Sunday School Class went to see New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, and Boyz 2 Men in Nashville.  It was SO much fun!!!  We didn’t get back till 2:30AM, and this grandma is getting too old for that.  I need more sleep than 3 hours…the kids didn’t care that I stayed out late.  They got up bright and early, and wanted to PLAY, PLAY, PLAY!!!

Ella Kate learned how to pedal her big wheel this summer, so we bought her a bike.  It’s still a little big for her, but she loves it anyway.  She went from not understanding pedaling at all to going full speed.  It’s hilarious to watch her focus and her little legs going around and around as fast as she can pump them.

She and “E-My-Tah” (Eliza) have become best of friends.  She loves her puppy to pieces and Eliza lets her lay all over her and get in her face.  She loves her right back.

Our appraisal and inspection went well with both houses, so we closed on our house July 1, and our house we are buying July 8.

Regardless of the amount of things that needed to be packed inside our house, we still played outside most of the day.  I have never been so behind in packing as I was this move.  It was crazy how much I didn’t have done just a few days before the move.  On the days Jeb wasn’t home or I didn’t have any help, I literally would get 2 boxes packed all day.  That’s all.  2 boxes.  It made it tough to actually accomplish anything, but we had fun riding bikes outside.

And sometimes we all played outside even when Jeb was home.  We just threw packing obligations to the wind and enjoyed time with the kids.  They’re only 3,5,and 7 once.

We had a laid back 4th of July.  It pretty much rained all day.  We grilled out and shot roman candles under the patio.  We also had wars with the little popper things.  We threw them at each other.  It made me laugh really hard.  We did get to shoot fireworks on the 3rd too…the kids talked us into doing it 2 nights in a row.  Thankfully it wasn’t raining on the 3rd. :)  

Ella Kate got a new Barbie doll.  She’s all about barbie dolls these days.  They take a bath with her, they go into Walmart with us, they sleep with her at night, their hair gets dragged on the ground….they ride bikes with her…and sometimes their hair gets tangled in the wheels…and their heads pop off.

We lived among chaos for a few weeks.  It was a little unnerving.  We FINALLY got everything out of the house at 11:50PM on moving day…we had to have it all out by midnight.  10 minutes to spare.  BOOM.  It was the least prepared I’ve EVER been for a move, and we’ve moved A LOT.  I hope to not move for a very very very long time!!

The day before we moved, this little girl had a 4th birthday.  I am so proud of her.  I’m proud of her progress.  I’m proud of her independence.  I’m proud of her determination.  She’s my girl, and I’m so thankful for her.

She makes me laugh really hard most days.  I love this kid.

The boys were in Opp for her birthday, so I took her to get some yogurt to celebrate with just us girls.  When Jeb got home we went to Logan’s to celebrate again (because it totally makes sense to do that on the night before you move).

We went down to Opp Friday and were reunited with these 2 crazy boys.

They were actually  happy to see us!  It was so nice to all be together again. 

Saturday morning, the boys, Jeb, Jacob (his brother), Kim (our sister-in-law), Gramps, and Wyatt (our nephew) went fishing.  EK felt like she needed to model a fishing hat.  Grammy and I took Colt (my other nephew) and EK to Jeb’s grandparents house in town.

Unfortunately it was raining, but fortunately for me…I wasn’t going.  I don’t like to fish in the rain…or really in the sun either. ;)

Caden on the other hand LOVED it.  He was in his happy place.  He caught some blue gill and bass.  JL did as well, but we don’t have a picture of him.

These 3 are best of friends, and I am so thankful.  They don’t see Wyatt very often, but they have a blast with him when they do!While we were in Opp EK got to use her new Aquabag from Cochlear.  Her implant stayed on so well and she LOVED hearing while she swam.  So thankful for the technology we have!

After we left Opp we headed back to Huntsville to resume our 20 days of living with my parents.  First day with all 3 kids was a fun one…we went to Ulta, Toys R Us, Panera, and hung out at the house.  The kids are getting so much better.  They have their moments where they act like wild hoodlums that have never set foot in public, but for the most part they’re taking steps in the right direction. :) They all got a pastry from Panera because they had been sooo good!   The boys requested that Grangran and Grandaddy keep them while I took EK to therapy, and GG and GD were beyond thrilled to do that…so EK and I had a fun lunch sans boys.  She thought it would be fun to wear a lei into Urban Cookhouse. Why not?

We spent some time with my meemaw and papaw too.  The kids love going to their house and swinging and picking vegetables…and EK insists on pottying in the garage.   After MM and PP’s we stopped by the mall and used $45 worth of gift cards a friend from residency had given us.  We got these 2 stuffed animals and these 2 kids were super happy.  Their names are “colorful” and “kitty cat.”  Our kids are so imaginative.  Except, not really. We had a little birthday party for EK at Mom and Dad’s on Saturday.  If you’re counting, that’s 3 parties for her.  I know.  She needs more attention.  It’s sad really.  Anywho, she picked out this precious dress to wear.  She’s big on wearing dresses these days.  

And she was so very thrilled with all the presents she got.  4 princess dolls, playdough, doll cars, princess slippers, princess sheets, and lots more. :)  So glad she’s a girly girl. :)
Her party came complete with entertainment too!  John Luke the amazing helicopter flyer show…and Caden…outside on the oasis…4:30, 5:00, 5:30.  Love them.  They put on quite the show. :)

Well, that’s an overview of what’s been going on up here.  I’ve been trying to finish this post for days, so there’s been more that’s happened since I started it…that will have to wait.  And Jeb took me on an incredible 10th anniversary trip, but that will get it’s own post.  BEST trip of my life.  We go to Memphis this weekend for one of our best friend’s weddings, and we move MONDAY!!!  So excited!

Dogs and Marriage

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Meet Eliza.  I wanted to name her Piper, but no matter how much I told the boys this house isn’t a democracy, they still tipped the scales when they sided with Jeb on Eliza.  I thought Piper was so cute.  Now we’re going to have to adopt a kid so I can name it Piper. ;).

Eliza is a full bred German Shepherd.  When she runs through the house it sounds like a horse is galloping through the house.  Her breeders said she’d get to be about 75 lbs.  She’s a little hyper right now.  She thinks when JL runs from her, he’s playing with her, so she chases him…which has led him to be terrified of her.  EK is skittish around her as well.

I’m hoping everyone will get used to her and she’ll get used to us soon.  She’s already wanting to play a lot more than when they first left her with us.       

 

And, 10 years ago today, Jeb and I got married.  Wow, things were different back then.  In 10 years we’ve moved 5 times (about to be 6), Jeb has started and completed med school and residency, we’ve had 3 kids, we’ve both had LASIK, we’ve lived in 4 cities, and we’ve been to Disney 19 times.  When we said “I do” we did it for life.  Every day isn’t easy, but we persevere.  It honestly has never been hard to be married to Jeb.  I never would have expected to have been here 10 years ago.  I am so thankful for the life we have been blessed with.  I can’t wait to see what comes in the next 10 My company. :)