Saturday, September 20, 2014

First Trip to the Zoo

A friend posted on Facebook that she was heading to the zoo if anyone wanted to join her. 
Well, that was all the motivation I needed to get this little one to the zoo for the first time.
 Arabella was sad to miss her first trip but we bought a pass so we will all go again soon. 
 Getting up close to the giraffes- see its head right behind us. 
 We ate lunch by these lions. The window is actually inside one of the cafes and so we hung out with the sleepy lions (I don't think they moved much the entire time).
 I am pretty sure we have not had a trip to the Dallas Zoo without a picture on these elephant statues. 
 I am proud of this selfie sitting on the elephant. 

 The children's splash area was perfect on this hot and humid day. Lily is doing a "cannonball".

 This was Samanth'a preferred way of viewing the zoo. I think it is her preferred place to be in general lately. I am pretty sure she is teething and is in general a bit grumpy and wants to be held but this is an acceptable alternative. 
 I could not resist a picture with the ostrich statue. 
Here is to a year of trips to the Dallas Zoo!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Arrow of Light and Bridging

Joseph has been working hard and growing up and so the time came for him to receive his Arrow of Light and to "bridge" from cub scouts to boy scouts. 
He was really excited!
 Our cub scouting program shrank this summer to just a few boys (literally 5) so this fall we began to meet with another pack. This was our first pack meeting.
 They let us do our bridging and Arrow of Light ceremonies. Peter came up with them for his ticket items for Woodbadge. (If you are reading this and you don't know what I am talking about, don't worry. If you spend anytime doing scouting in the church you will hear about Woodbadge at some point.)
 I really don't know where the time went. It was not so long ago that he was my Thomas the Tank Engine loving, mud making, vacuum loving little boy. He grew up and is still an amazing person he just is not a little boy anymore. He is becoming a young man and I am proud of who he is becoming. 

He loves scouts and is looking forward to all that Boy Scouts has to offer. 
My camera died and so this was taken with my phone with Samantha on my lap, hence the blurriness. But Joey did a bunch of things and has a great looking Arrow of Light to show for it. 
It was a wonderful night. I look forward to more award ceremonies with Joseph and Jon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why I will continue to blog

The other day I was checking blogs and had left the computer open to our family blog. 
The kids found it and proceeded to read it and watch the videos. They were laughing and remembering and enjoying each other. This is why I will continue to blog. 
Their laughter over some of the videos inspired a family home evening activity of doing interview videos. Here they are, enjoy!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Time Out for Women

I had a great weekend at Time Out for Women last weekend!
Poor Beth is blurry but these two ladies and I had a delicious and line free meal at Free Bird World Burrito. Neither had been there before and I am glad they liked it. It was so yummy! 
I really enjoyed the time I had to listen to speakers and some amazing music by Hillary Weeks and Hudson Lights. I met an wonderful lady in the mother's lounge twice with Samantha. She was so much fun to visit with. She was one of those people whom you could visit with for hours even though you just met and their stories about life make you realize your life is normal. Her name was Heidi and I am so thankful I met her. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Random Fun

We have a few cookbooks that are geared towards kids and my kids think they are the best!
Arabella has really wanted to make something from one of them lately. 
I finally remembered to buy some pretzel rods (okay, they were still mini rods but not the sticks).
We dipped them in chocolate and put on some sprinkles and look how happy it made them!

 Other happy times were when Lily got to play in shaving cream while the others were at school.
She loved it so much she clapped her hands...
 yes, shaving cream went everywhere. Oh well, it is kind of like a soap. 
We have some new neighbors. They have a son Jon's age and a daughter Arabella's age- yippee! 
We have enjoyed having them over to play. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Hunger Strike

Samantha has been on what we are affectionately calling the hunger strike. 
She decided on Labor Day that she would not take a bottle anymore. I was at work and Peter tried all sorts of things and even had the kids try. She would not do it and so she cried herself to sleep and did not wake up until the next morning just before I got home and then she was more than ready to eat.  

 I decided to try her on some cereal to see if she would eat it so that Peter would have something to fall back on. She did not know what to think when I first gave it to her. 

Peter tried giving it to her a few nights later and it went much better. 
He called me at work on the 9th and asked how much cereal he was supposed to give her because she was going to town on it! I said whatever she will eat. 
I hope she decides bottles are not all bad but at least she thinks solids are okay.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Passing the Time

With the start of the school year, we started the kids back to their activities.
Joey has taekwondo 4 times a week, Jon starts swimming lessons this weekend, and Arabella and Lily started dancing. I am teaching the boys piano lessons since I have not been able to find a teacher that does not want to charge an arm and a leg. 
 When there is time to kill while Joey is in class, we head to the nearby park.
Lily had a grand time collecting horse apples. I have been told they hold some bug repelling properties.  
 Samantha had her first ride down a slide (on Arabella's lap).
These kinds of playground equipment make me happy and nostalgic. The new playgrounds may be bright and colorful but we sure had fun playing on all metal equipment like this above. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Labor Day Weekend

We had an amazingly productive Labor Day weekend.
It felt soooo good to get so many things done!
Peter was amazing and did a bunch of things on his to do list!
 He helped Joey make this shelf to pass off a requirement for scouts. The shelf is made from the boards Joey broke for his 2nd degree black belt.  The book ends are made from the boards he broke when he earned his 1st degree black belt. 
 He installed a new light fixture in the upstairs bathroom which also involved patching some holes in the wall from the previous fixture. 
 Lily and I supervised as he pruned one of the trees in our front yard. 
He also finished installing new outdoor light fixtures by the front door. You can just see one of them in the above picture. 
Joey and Peter also mowed our lawn as well as our friends' lawn -they were out of town. 
 This project started before Samantha was born.
This is the accent wall in her room. I hope to add "I am a Child of God" to the inside of the big frame and maybe a few other accents here and there. I will also be putting actual pictures of her in the 3 smallest frames. 
By Saturday night, Joey was not feeling well and was running a fever of 102.8 which then spiked to 105.6 on Sunday. Oh that kid does not seem to understand that he does not need to have raging fevers for us to believe he is sick. I called in a favor at work and they called in a prescription because he had the nastiest tonsils and all of the symptoms he usually gets when he has strep throat. He started the medicine on Sunday but was still sick on Tuesday morning and could not go to school. I took him in to the pediatrician and she put him on a new antibiotic. He made it to school on Wednesday but did not show a big difference until that afternoon. I hope he is the only one. You know Joey is sick when he does not spend some part of his day jumping. But, you also know he is doing better when he heads for the trampoline for some good jumping.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lunchtime with Dad

This would be one more perk of the older kids being back in school:
the occasional lunch date with Dad.

Peter and I started doing lunch with one another back before Lily was born. We were so crazy busy with work, church and life that we rarely went on a date or even had time to watch a show together at night. So, we started to do lunch. Even if you have one or two kids along for the date it is better than all 5 and good for your marriage. 
Oh I love that man!

The 3 of Us

Me and these 2 little ladies are getting used to it just being 
the 3 of us during the day.
 Somedays, like the ones after I have worked all night, I let Lily stay in her pjs almost all day.
 And a few times we have met dad at this splash park for lunch. He watches the girls while I go to a gym that I bought a groupon for. It is a boot camp thing and each workout is 30 minutes long and it is close to his work. It has worked out so far. 
I hope we are able to make some great memories together, just the 3 of us. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Camping At Murrell Park

We fit in one last camping trip before summer was over.

 I love how if my kids had the room they would sleep all over the place.
We invited the Barrett's, Miller's, Ostermiller's, and Thompson's.  It was a great time for all. 

That night we went to dinner with some friends to celebrate their birthdays. I love to watch a tepanyaki show! We decided as friends that we needed to do this more often- here is to hoping  it actually happens. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

School Year 2014-2015

The most exciting part of this school year is that Arabella is starting Kindergarten!
 Arabella and Ms. Taylor
 Joseph and Mrs. Brooks
Jon and Ms. Rucker
Here they are on the first day of school! I love these kids so much and I know they will make the most of this year and learn so many things. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Austin- the end

We headed home on Wednesday morning so we could be home for Arabella's first day of ballet.
 This was Lily after we had swam at the pool on Tuesday and she slipped in the shower scraping her cheek on the shampoo bottle. 
 Peter and I have recently observed that travelling with large families is tricky. There are not very many hotels that have rooms that connect or that have 2 beds and a pull out (or maybe just in Austin and Washington DC where we have been trying to find them). Large families are becoming a thing of the past. I watch a fair amount of HGTV and have noticed lately that many of the young couples that are purchasing homes talk about having room for their dogs or a bedroom to use as a dressing room. But, there are not very many that talk about the desire to have room for a family or future kids. One even said that they had been married for a few years and had not intention of having children for at least 5 years. There is nothing wrong with having pets or waiting to have children but it does make me sad that more men and women do not possess "parent hearts". They are seeking the things the world offers and are not as concerned with what our eternal destiny is and that is to have a family. 
 Anyway, we finally settled on a hotel that was closer to Peter's job site and had 2 full beds. So, the 3 middle kids slept on one bed, we put Joseph on Peter's camping cot and Lily was in her box again (you can see it in the bottom R hand corner).
And we will end on this sweet note! Oh and that we did not make a single stop on the way home- it was wonderful!