Monday, February 3, 2014

Hello Blog, Is It me You're Looking For?

Oh, poor neglected blog. Poor, poor neglected blog. It's been far too long since I've visited, or even given thought to your existence. I'll do better. I promise.

The last post I wrote was in May of 2013. What?! To put it into perspective, the last thing I wrote about was the exciting discovery that a baby boy would be joining our family to balance out the scales. Well, said little baby boy is now four months old! Yeah, so that happened. We had a baby. Taft Jacob was born September 24, 2013 weight 8 lbs, 10 oz and 21 inches. He had quite a bit of hair and enormous hands and feet! We're talking huge. Like, Bigfoot sighting huge.

Now, Taft isn't just any baby, mind you. He's our LAST baby. And boy, is he a good one to end on. He's sweet and cuddly, smiley and giggly, a great sleeper and he deals with being manhandled by his three older siblings quite well. He's also HUGE! Right now, at four months, he's about 19 lbs. We just make 'em big. And we make them awesome. To be honest, I don't know that it's fair that all of my babies have started sleeping through the night (7-7) at somewhere around 6-9 weeks. They've all been sweet, happy babies and only cry when they want to eat or an older sibling loves them just a little too much.

1 Month

2 Months

3 Months

A month before the arrival of our newest little bundle, Ava and Jax started school. Ava is a big 2nd grader and Jax is in kindergarten. Both love school and love to read! Of course, I fully support their reading addiction, but when it's 8 am and we need to leave for school in 10 minutes and they're just sitting on the floor in front of the heater in their underwear, reading a book, it can be a little problematic. Or, when at 10:30 I go into Ava's room and she's hiding under the blanket with a flashlight reading (newsflash, the ligth isn't invisible), it can be a problem (although, even though my mouth is saying, "Put the book away and go to bed," my heart is giving a little fist pump).

Eden is, how do you say? -- a horse of a different color. That kid has her own plans, and ain't nobody gonna get in the way -- regardless of size, age or authoritative level. She is stubborn, determined and not at all limited by her size or age. When you tell her "no," she receives that as a challenge to do the opposite. She's got quite the imagination and loves to perform. Currently, we are on day 11 of calling her "Hedwig." She refuses to respond to anything else. If I make the horrid mistake of calling her by her given name, she is quick to correct me in the sassiest of ways. She refers to Andy only as "Dumbledore," actually she says "Dummely Door" and Ava as "Hermione" (are you seeing a theme, here?). For a time, Jax was Harry Potter, but he refused to play along with that, and after much arguing she gave in, instead dubbing him "Fart." Being the boy he is, Jax gladly accepted the new name. For all her sassiness, Eden is also equally sweet. She is always the first to thank me for making dinner, the first to help me with the dishes and the first to offer to wipe he baby brother's poopy bottom. She strokes her baby brother's face and calls him "sweetheart" and looooves her Grandma Cherryl. She runs to Andy and cuddles him as soon as he walks in the door from work, which is why she's his favorite. Shhh, don't tell the other kids ;)

She stuffs food in her mouth (this is an Oreo bon bon) for fear her big brother will steal it if she doesn't. 

Speaking of Andy, he is officially a full-time structural engineer. For two years, he's been working full-time as a teacher and part time as an engineer, which made for long, exhausting days. But, he left his teaching position after Christmas break and is now down to just one job, which he loves. Right now, he's certified as an "engineer in training" and is studying to take his PE (Professional Engineer) exam in the spring. He's awesome.

I am loving our complete little family. Although, I do get a little leaky at the eyes each time I have to box up outgrown clothes. I'm in the process of getting rid of/selling all the girls' baby clothes and have shed a few tears in the process. They're just clothes, but I remember my girls wearing each and every outfit. Silly, I know. They boys' clothes are next, I may as well stock up on tissues now. I'm staying involved and busy at the kids' school, serving on the PTA presidency, volunteering in classrooms, helping organize school funding meetings/town halls and teaching Character Counts!. I've also recently re-opened my vinyl business (on a small scale) and am freelance writing for small magazine.

If you want awesome family pictures and are in our neck of the woods, Cathie Frost Photography is amazing!!

So, there's a little re-cap, blog. You're in the know now. I'll do my best to keep you apprised of our family's going-ons.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Big Reveal

Something great happened during this gender reveal: I was right for the 4th time (4/4, baby!) and Andy was right for the 1st time! Way to go, love ;)

So there you have it, come September we'll be all evened out gender-wise. I don't know that four kids to two parents is very even, but we'll work it out :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013


For the last time in my life, I can say I'm pregnant. Baby #4, who we're lovingly referring to as Mac (because Jax said it looks like a macaroni noodle) will join our family in mid-late September. Thus far, as with all my pregnancies, it's been easy going. I'm a little more tired than normal, but I think having three other kids has something to do with that :) Ava and Jax are thrilled to have another sibling on the way. Ava desperately wants another sister and Jax says he'll be happy either way. Eden has no idea what's going on, she just giggles when I tell her there's a baby in Mommy's belly. Andy is hoping for a boy, about as hard as Ava is wishing for a girl, although I know he'll be happy either way. I really don't have strong opinions. On one hand, thus far, we're the only ones to produce girls and I just love and adore my girls. But, if there's any chance I could have another little boy as awesome as Jax, I'll take it. Not to mention, I'd love for him to have a brother. It's a win-win. To be honest, I'm feeling pretty strongly it's a boy, and I've never been wrong about one of my kids' gender.

Either way, our family is so excited to welcome a new little bundle of awesomeness into the world!

 15 weeks (about two weeks ago)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Birthday Number 7

Our Ava Grace is a big seven year old! She's growing like a weed and getting more beautiful each day. She's bright and excited about learning and constantly has her nose in a book. She loves gymnastics, putting on shows with her brother (she is always the star AND director), piano and sings all the live-long day. She is thoughtful of others and seeks out opportunities to serve at school and in the community. She's quite the chatterbox, a wonderful artist and can do amazing things with the simplest of tools/resources. She still tells me I'm her best friend (I'll ride that as long as I can), although she has two BFFs at school (Marah and Ava N.). She still prefers dresses to pants, although a tunic and leggings will suffice. She loves to do her own hair, wearing headbands and accessorizing. She's lost seven teeth, is 4' tall and wears a size 13 shoes (same as her little brother). Her favorite color is still pink, she still likes Barbie and her favorite song is "Call Me Maybe." Her favorite subject at school is art, she's the monkey-bar queen (forward, backward, sideways, skipping), she's hoping to get the part of the Morpho Butterfly in the 1st grade "Rainforest" play and she likes to get to school early each morning to check a new chapter book out from the library.

As always, Ava's birthday celebration lasted an entire week. Birthday morning she was up early and immediately wanted to open presents (which, for Daddy meant waking up at 6:15 on a Sunday morning). At church that day, all the Primary kids sang to Ava and later that day Grandma, Grandpa, G-Ma and G-Pa joined us for a celebration, where we enjoyed homemade tostadas (Ava's choice) and a pink/chocolate zebra-striped birthday cake (although I forgot to take a pic of the inside).

 The following weekend we were overrun with first-grade girls for Ava's mermaid-themed party. I had lots of activities and games planned, but when you turn seven, playing on the trampoline and singing on the karaoke machine is all a birthday party needs. Ava had a blast and was so happy to spend the day with some of her favorite girlies.

 The two Avas

We love our girl more and more each day and can't believe she's growing as fast as she is. I with I could bottle up moments and put them in my pocket because these days with Ava are so precious. She's an amazing girl and I feel so blessed to be her mom and watch her develop talents and figure out who she is and wants to be. But right now, I'm happy with her just being my sweet girl.

Real Farmers

I was born and raised a city girl. I didn't like camping or working or getting dirty and the idea of gardening or raising animals did not appeal to me. How in the world I ever snagged my husband with that kind of attitude is beyond me. But, over 10 years I've grown up a bit. I love my garden. I work hard in all aspects of my life. I love living out in the "boonies" with our dirt and trees and now, our critters.

We are now the proud owners of 13 chickens. We got them as chicks (the first batch was just a day old, the second batch was a week old) and have had fun taking care of them, raising them and now moving them out to their permanent home in the chicken coop. The kids have especially loved the idea of having our own hens and can't wait to collect eggs in the fall. They definitely enjoyed the chicks more when they were new and little, now that they're getting bigger and more "chicken-y" they're not as fun to play with, although Jax does enjoy chasing them around the chicken run. And, above all, he loves that now we're "real farmers."

Eden put on ear muffs because the "chickies too loud"

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Jax has a uniform. Every day he wears a monster truck shirt (he has about 30) although he'll sometimes throw in a Spiderman or snake shirt, and soft pants. Soft pants are any pants with an elastic waistband. On occasion I can convince him to wear a pair of blue jeans (not just jeans, BLUE jeans, he's sure to tell me) but not often. On Sundays, he's been known to wear his uniform until five minutes before we leave for church at which time he'll quick change into his church clothes, he then brings his uniform along in the car and changes in the church parking lot after church.

Jax has this one pair of uniform pants that I would prefer he reserved just for sleeping, but alas, there's no point in trying to convince a four-year-old that some part of his uniform isn't really "day attire" because it makes it that much more appealing. Anyway, this one pair of pants is a bit long on him, the bottom isn't hemmed. They're gray and dirty looking and just plain blah. But Jax loves them. They're comfy, which makes them the perfect outdoor play pants. However, they are NOT good bike riding pants. As I was inside making dinner one night Jax was out in the carport riding his bike, suddenly I hear him yelling, "Mom! Help me! Mom! I need you!" I quickly ran outside and found this:

Those darn too-long, unhemmed uniform pants got stuck in the bike chain and came right off my little man exposing his adorable little hind parts to the quite-cold carport concrete.

But, judging by the look on his face, he doesn't seem to mind. Other than the great photo, the great thing that emerged from the incident is a tear in the bottom of the pants... so now Jax will only wear them to bed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ava's Accomplishments

It's been quite the school year for our Ava, and we're only halfway through it. Already, she has won an essay contest, an art contest (and will next compete at the state level), she tested into the gifted program at her school (99th percentile across the board), she's testing at a sixth grade reading level, she's played soccer, had two piano recitals, a first grade performance and organized a bake sale that raised $713 for the Newtown Memorial Fund. We're so proud of our girl, her accomplishments, her kind heart, her talents and how hard she works at achieving her goals!

 Fall piano recital

 Christmas piano recital at the mall

1st grade performance of "Stone Soup"

 Showing us her classroom after the performance

 I thought this was too sweet to not share

 Family photo by Ava

 Actual family photo

 Check out that loaded table at the bake sale

It was freezing outside, but Ava and her friend Lindsay toughed it out and held signs for the bake sale