I know what you all were thinking, and if you had seen my husband oogle over this precious baby the other night at a Christmas party, this post may have rang true, but for the sake of my sanity, this guy is only around for the holidays!!
We received the sweetest gift from a cute little couple in our church. It is the Elf on the Shelf book! I don't know if you have heard about it, but if you haven't run out to your local book seller and buy it now!! He came on December 1st, so that night we read the story, and then named our little man. His name is Snaps, and we thought that was fitting for an elf. Every day until Christmas he keeps an eye on all of the happenings around our home, and then at night, he flys back to the North Pole to tell Santa all the nice things the kids have done that day, and the not so nice things too! When he comes back in the morning, he is always in a new place, so the kids have fun finding him, and the little treasure he brings back and places in our advent countdown. It has been a fun little morning ritual, the kids are always so excited to see what he brought, and where he ended up. This morning he was in Adeline's little baby highchair, and she was so delighted, except for when it was time to feed her baby, and then Snaps had to find a new place to sit!!
I love this new tradition that we are adding to our ever growing list of Christmas magical moments!
Obviously it has been a LONG time since I have blogged, but it is either dinner on the table and a semi clean house, or an updated blog. If you miss my boring life updates that much, cook me dinner and clean my house, and I will blog, blog, blog! Otherwise here is a super condensed version of our life the last five months!
June-Schools out, and summer begins! We also spent two weeks in Utah, visiting my sister. However, on the first morning of our trip, my mother tripped down the stairs and broke her ankle in three places, spent four days in the hospital, and the next eight weeks in a wheelchair. Imagine how awesome that was!! For the record, I did make it home from Utah with four kids and a completely immobile mother in 10 1/2 hours with 5 stops. Someone was watching over us that day!
The kids and cousins at Hogle Zoo, which we all got in for free, since it was Military Appreciation days, thankful for that small blessing!
July-Jr. Giants, and becoming a chaffeur to my gimp mother, although my arms did get buff carting her up and down my front steps twice a day for eight weeks, and I am now a master of wheelchair maneuvers, add that to my resume!
I am not really sure which one is up to bat, but you get the idea, a bunch of kids playing t-ball, aka a great way to burn through a month with twice a week games and practices, and a super fun end of the season bbq. As a side note, it did make the Giants winning the World Series so much more exciting for the boys, because I think they secretly thought they were part of the team, wearing their jerseys and hats every night!!
August-Ryans graduation from bootcamp, and my trip to South Carolina (see above posting), and then three weeks of total depression. I seriously cried the whole way home, I think the poor flight attendants thought I was either coming from or going to a funeral, it kind of felt that way, and still does. Oh, and Adelines 3rd birthday, which I threw together at the last minute, as an attempt to pull me out of the trenches, parties are a great distraction, so I throw alot of them. A reason to be creative and clean the house!
Have you ever seen anything cuter? I think not!!
September-Back to School, a quick visit home from the hubby, a new job, and a Pirate Party! I was super excited to have the boys in 1st grade, they are doing quite well, and I love their teacher. I also am doing Joy School again with Ashden, and I love it. Daddys visit was super short, but totally worth it! I started back at work for a good friend of mine that is an Insurance Agent, super low key, and the few hours a week is just enough to pay for those outrageous airplane tickets to bring Ryan home for holiday visits! Last but not least, our little man turned five in style with a Pirate Party, aaaargh!
October-The start of my favorite time of year, fall! We had soccer times two, and Halloween parties galore. Family pictures minus Ryan, and some news. This is the first season of soccer that Ryan hasn't coached any of the kids. The twins ended up on a fabulous team, and although we don't keep score, they won 7 out of 8 games, and had 3 shut-outs. The teamed scored 76 goals, and only allowed 17. It was so much fun to see them learn positions, and to play as a team! Ashden played kindersoccer, which was a slow go at the beginning, but he really excelled at the end. The first few games were more running than actually playing, but once he kicked the ball and scored his first goal, he was hooked! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so we had to throw a Joy School party, and an after-school party, plus the school class party and carnival, the trunk or treat, and then the actual Halloween. Despite all of that fun, we found out that Ryan has an additional three months of training, and instead of coming home at the end of January, he won't be home until the end of April.
Little Kid Party, Mummy Wrap!
Big Kid Party
Trick or Treating at the Neighbors
There you go, my life in a nutshell, someday I will blog each event in detail, so my kids have proof that life still goes on, even when daddy is gone. So what will the next six months have instore for us? Only time can tell. Things I have learned: I am stronger than most, I have the most amazing kids, I can get through anything with my husband by my side, and a true friend sees the sadness behind the smile. The Lord will bless me in His time, and I have faith that He will, until then I will continue on, or as I like to tell my children, 'suck it up soldier'!
Round Trip ticket to South Carolina, $600 dollars.
Three nights in a decent hotel $346.
Economy sized rental car $129.
Twenty hours with my husband, Priceless!!
I will treasure the memories from this trip as long as I live. I have always been proud to be an American, and still and always will cry at the playing of the national anthem, or the saying of the pledge of allegience, but seeing your husband take an oath to his country, will forever be burned in my memory.
I am grateful for all the military families who everyday make sacrifices that most of us could not imagine, or comprehend. We don't know what the road ahead awaits for us, but I do know now more than ever, that with this man by my side, I can do anything.
The boys had so much fun being involved in this years District wide Track and Field Challenge. They each selected the events they wanted to do, and then they performed like champs! Aiden did the Frisbee Throw, Softball Throw, Long Jump, and the 50 yard dash. Anden did the Frisbee and Softball Throw, as well as the 50 and 200 yard dash. It was so much fun to see all of their friends out there and to cheer them all on. Aiden won third place in the Frisbee throw for his age group and Anden won 1st place for the 200 yard dash! We are so proud of both of our little athlete's. Way to go!!
Anden doing the softball throw, thanks for wearing one blue sock so I can tell who is who in all of the pics!
Anden running his little heart out to take 1st in the 200 yeard dash!
Aiden finishing his 'big' jump on the long jump!
Aiden running to the finish, during his dash. The boys decided to wear their soccer shoes because according to them they run super fast in them!!
Ashden came out of our bedroom tonight dressed like this! I just had to laugh, and then all of the kids wanted in on the fun. They raided Ryan's freshly cleaned and organized closet for a bunch of his clothes. I snapped a few pictures that I thought Ryan would enjoy. You don't realize how big he really is until the boys tried to put on his clothes, it made for a fun night!
All in all we are adjusting quite well to the absence of daddy. I say that on day two, and still being able to talk a few times a day. I will have to post again next week, once the reality of his eight months of training has sunk in. For now, he is on a bus with hundreds of others, headed to South Carolina from Atlanta. He has already made a friend who is 'old' too, and is headed to Arizona with him after his training in S.C. I think he was pleasantly surprised at how many over thirty men there were, he won't be the only old guy after all!
As you can see, Adeline preferred to just play dress up with mommy's shoes!
My boys were super excited to be involved with the science fair this year. Me, not so much. Knowing that they are in Kindergarten, and there writing skills are limited to 3 and 4 letter words, I would be doing most of the work. We googled different science project ideas suitable for their age, and decided on a classic from my childhood, celery and food coloring. The boys had a fabulous time 'doing' the experiment, and learning about hypothesis, and the process of osmosis. We charted for three days, taking pictures, and learning about plants and how they use their roots to 'suck' (their words, not mine) water up to the top, and then I spent the night putting together the display board.
The fair was for one hour on a Thursday night, and we had fun going as a family to see all of the other creative and scientific experiments on display. We were impressed with the level and sophistication of some of the projects, and very ambitious parents! Lots of volcano's, which are always a crowd pleaser, some fun fizzy drinks, electricity, gak, and the answer to the age old question, which diapers hold the most liquid. All in all, a very enjoyable evening.
Next year is the art fair, which I am sure the boys will be able to handle all on their own.
Every Mother's Day weekend they have the 'Art in Bloom' celebration in downtown Medford. We have gone every year. It is a little festival celebrating local artists of every kind, especially those that make things for your garden or yard. They close down the streets and vendors set up their goods. It only takes about an hour out of your day, but my kids really enjoy it, especially the shaved ice!
They have a great little kids area, where all of the crafts are cute little gifts you can give to your Mom for Mothers Day, and are themed around nature, flowers and plants. They always have a flower you can plant, and then an assortment of cardmaking station. This year you could make artwork with stamps, and a cute little tissue paper flower. They have a big mural that the kids love to help paint. If you have never been, put it on your calendar for next year, or better yet, send your husband with the kids, and he can have Mother's Day all taken care of!
Oh how I wish we had a big backyard with giant mature trees to hang that hammick from! I hope all of you had a fabulous Mother's Day, my husband surprised me with breakfast in bed, and a beautiful bouqet of flowers. He made my all time favorite Eggs Benedict, complete with Hollandaise with tarragon, who knew he had that in him, maybe he called my brother for advice!! He even took care of my mom too! I sure love that guy, and am going to miss him and his cooking skills for the next eight months.
I was reminded (by a friend) that I also got this awesome 6 qt kitchenaid for Mother's Day, as well as all of the above cards and flowers, my family sure is good to me!