Thursday, November 17, 2011

1/2 way

This happened today:

And it makes me so sad. Half way to one year. Sigh. Is he not the most adorable baby you have ever seen? I KNOW!!!!!!! You probably thought your own kids were cute until you saw him (oh, I kid....). And sweet too...he has conned some pretty fierce frowny faces into grins with his bashful expressions. I literally want to eat him up!

Look at far he has come.....and how much cuter he has gotten. I wrote on Facebook that if he keeps up this pace as far as developing cuteness, we are not going to be able to handle it when he turns 1.

He is such a ray of sunshine! My sweet, sweet boy. I didn't know he was missing from my life until, exactly 6 months ago, he entered it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

a frayed rope

Oh people, I am still here...are any of you still reading? I don't blame you, not at all if you have deleted my blog from your sidebar. Sigh.

I never in a million years thought that I would let this amount of time pass in between posts.

I am going to have serious regret about this fact later on in life.

My baby is the sweetest baby in the entire universe! I am not lying either. He is amazing! How is it possible that we made it this far in life without him? I am so thankful that I am able to enjoy him...God is so gracious to allow us to have 3 babies. Everyone should have a third child, you will not regret!

At times I look at Rives and think-wow, you are so easy, kid! I could very possibly have a fourth kid.

And then his sisters start talking.

Oh, they are precious, precious, precious children. I love them more than words can express. I take GREAT delight in them. I am constantly amazed at what they know, how they love God and how entertaining they are.

But good gracious....they are EXHAUSTING! I feel as if they are constantly bickering, constantly bothering one another, constantly crying, constantly testing the limits, constantly making poor choices. Sigh.

I realize it's not constant. It just feels that way to this frazzled mama.

I went to the Women of Faith conference a few weekends ago and got Lisa Welchel's book, Creative Correction. I have read a bit and am loving it...I really hope this book opens up new parenting techniques and our days/evenings are full of less drama.

Three is our limit...we are done! I cannot think of a single day, since Rives has been born, that I have felt like I have it all together.

Our laundry is either usually in various states of being done. As I am typing this, I have a load in the washer, a load in the dryer, a clean load waiting to be folded and a folded load waiting to be put away. And this is our new normal.

If our house is completely clean, it is only because we are about to have company. And the cleaning is not completely done until about 5 seconds before the guests are set to arrive. Oh, I remember the days when I would clean my house WEEKLY. That just seems excessive these days-ha! This is how I clean bits and pieces.

See what I mean, I do NOT have it together. And I am slowly becoming okay with that. Oh, I have mild anxiety attacks, pretty much weekly, about how terribly disorganized everything is and how I (said in a very loud voice) AM THE ONLY PERSON IN THIS HOUSE THAT KNOWS HOW TO PICK UP THINGS AND WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS WHERE THE DIRTY CLOTHES HAMPERS ARE AND THINGS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS GO TO THE TOP, ARE YOU ALL BLIND? All said with love, of course.

If you drop by our house, there is a VERY good chance it will look like a tornado just passed through leaving a wake of dust in its path. The beds are NOT made, there are probably dishes in the sink, toys are on the living room floor, laundry is sitting in a basket (probably folded), crayons and paper on are the kitchen table and we won't pass the white glove test. But, these three make all of that not very important:

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Happy 4th birthday, Elyn!

I cannot believe that Elyn is four years old!  Time has certainly not stood still…it has rushed by at lightening speed.

(Well, if I’m honest, some days it feels like it stops…time does not move, minutes are NOT going by on the clock…the day will NEVER end.)

My sweet Elyn…the 365 days from you turning 3 to you being 4 have had its ups and downs.  It was a big year for you!  You started preschool and loved it!  You would often cry when I would come pick you up last year.  You loved Miss Miranda (last year) and are learning to love Mrs. Ostrand (this year).

You are so outgoing at home and when you get to know someone and warm up to them, you are outgoing then also.  However, when I drop you off at school or at church, you cling to me and don’t want me (or your daddy) to leave.  It definitely takes you a few moments to warm up.  Even with family that you haven’t seen in a while…you don’t hand out hugs or kisses with ease.  I think you hurt feelings because you are not overly affectionate or friendly but they don’t know you well enough because if they did, they would wait and let you warm up to them and they would have a tremendous surprise waiting…your attention.

You became a big sister this year and gave up your role as “baby” of our family.  This was a transition that your daddy and I were nervous about.  You LOVED (and still do) being with me and snuggling with me and having me hold you and helping me.  We were worried that you would resent Rives when he arrived because he would take up so much of my time.  We were silly for worrying!  You have been amazing with Rives!  You always want to hold him and kiss/hug him.  You will drop what you are doing if he is crying and talk to him and try to make him happy.  You are so loving with him and have never shown a second of jealousy.  He is so lucky to have you (and Nora) because he is so loved!

You are very active and have a difficult time sitting for too long.  Your max television watching time is about 30 minutes.  Your sister could sit FOR HOURS and watch ANYTHING.  You, my dear, need some variety.  If asked what you would like to watch, you usually choose Dora or Strawberry Shortcake or My Little Pony but that is it.  Nothing over 25 minutes. If a second episode comes on, well, that’s too much.

You are in gymnastics again this year and are so strong!  I am amazed at what your little body can do!  You seem to really love it and move non-stop when we are there.  You tell me that you want to do dance too but you had to choose one and, this year, chose gymnastics.  It might change next year.

When we are home together you can most of the time be found directly beside me.   Directly. Beside. Me.  And I love that you think I’m the best, but I gotta be honest with you kiddo, it wears me out!  I feel bad when I hear myself saying, “Hey, Elyn, why don’t you go play with Nora OR why don’t you go to the playroom OR why don’t you head outside and play?”  Most times those requests are greeted with a “no” and a smile.  What can I do?  Hang out with you, I guess.

For the past few months I have been SO looking forward to you turning four.  I was so ready for life to get a little easier with you…you know, because it gets easier when kids turn four.  You must have not read the same books I have been reading because life has not gotten any easier now that you are four.  If anything, it has gotten much more difficult.  And I am about to pull my hair out.  Just a little over 300 days until you turn five…maybe that’s your magic number.

Getting dressed in the mornings is always a special struggle.  Every single morning (EVERY SINGLE MORNING) is a battle.  We pick out your clothes the night before and commit to an outfit.  95% of the time you wake up and have a change of heart.  Our rule is that once the outfit is chosen it is THE outfit you will wear the next day.  We do not have time in the mornings to stand in front of a mirror debating over tops and bottoms, if you want to do that, you need to get up much earlier.  I cannot count the number of times your daddy and I have almost carried you out to the car in your pajamas.  Right before we do you decide you will wear the chosen clothes.  I wonder which day it will be when we actually do have to put you in the car in your pj’s.-that should be a fun ride to school.

I am EXHAUSTED at the end of the day and I think that the main reason for my exhaustion is you.  But I know that at the end of the day I have given you my all and have enjoyed my time with you (most of my time with you-ha!).  My heart is so full of love for you!  You are so funny!  You make me laugh all the time.  You have a very quick sense of humor and enjoy when we laugh at your little jokes.  And smart…I cannot believe the things that you already know. You take in everything Nora is learning in kindergarten and already starting to retain some of the things she is learning.  Your kindergarten teacher is going to think we are awesome parents…little will she know that it is ALL you.

We love you Elyn!  Thank you for making this life so full and colorful!  You are our favorite four year old!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Back to school routines-guest post

I have, as always, so much to write about and one of my resolutions is to attempt to catch up.  Until that happens, guest blogger, Jessica, has a few ideas that might be helpful to you all.  Thank  you Jessica for these most helpful tips!


Resolutions for the New School Year: Tips for Getting Organized

If you haven’t made your back to school resolutions yet it’s not too late! As with every New Year’s Eve, the new school year brings many resolutions. They usually include being on time, getting homework done, and getting organized. Getting organized is the most important thing you can do for your child because without organization in your home the atmosphere can seem chaotic making it difficult to concentrate on homework.

Bedroom Organization

Start early and organize your child’s room, closet, and homework space. Then, sit down and organize their morning routine. Enlist their help. This creates a sense of excitement and ownership. If you follow a few simple tips, and prepare early, your child will have a great new start for the school year.

First, organizing your child’s room and closets are imperative. A fresh room equals a fresh start. Clean out all old, worn, and outgrown clothes to make room for school clothes. Move out the play clothes and hang school clothes up front. Freshening up your child’s space will give them a sense of renewal and peace as they start the new school year. It will also give them a jump on getting dressed quickly and efficiently. No more searching for a pair of matching socks through a mountain of clothes in the morning.


A great tip, especially for younger children, is to hang a sweater organizer in their closet. Place a folded shirt, pants or skirt, socks, and underwear in each compartment. Do this at the beginning of each week and your child can just reach in and grab his whole outfit and put it on. This is a great time saver for busy families.

Homework Station

clip_image004Next, make sure your child has an adequately stocked homework spot. Clean out old school papers and discard any empty pens, dried up glue sticks, or other non-working items. All kids, even big ones, love new school supplies. There is something about a stack of unused notebook paper, new pens, and pencils, which delights most of us, young and old. But remember when shopping for school supplies to buy extras for home. There is no frustration like searching for scissors and glue sticks late Sunday nights because your child left their supply box at school.

A nice paper-stacking organizer on their desk is great for organizing notebook paper, colored paper, folders, and report covers. Purchase a few inexpensive plastic pencil cases and stock them with pencils, pens, colored pencils, and markers.

Don’t forget computer supplies. Plenty of paper and extra ink cartridges are a must. Isn’t it always the way that your printer runs out of ink for that late night paper, the minute after store hours? So, don’t forget the extra ink. Keep extras on hand. Always.

Daily Schedules

Last, sit down with your child and organize their day. You can print it out on the computer or let your child write it out in colorful markers.

1. Make a list for the morning routine.

Include things like brushing their teeth, taking vitamins, and any other item that usually causes you to run back in the morning.

2. Make a list of items to remember to bring and place it by the door that you leave out of every morning.

Include the most common forgotten items such as lunchboxes, glasses, jackets, etc. Having the lists handy allows your child to remember their routine and keeps them from forgetting important items. More importantly, it keeps you; parent, from becoming the morning drill sergeant.

Morning Check List

Wake-up at 7am


Wash Face


Make Bed

Eat Breakfast


Brush Teeth


Comb Hair

Get Dressed


REMEMBER: lunch boxes, glasses, jacket, homework, and gym clothes

Helping your child get organized for the new school year can be a fun and productive pastime. Being organized will help you keep all of those new school year resolutions. Getting dressed quickly and easily saves time in the mornings. Having their rooms and desks organized will make homework a breeze. The lists to help with the morning routine will keep you from running back in helping you to get to school on time, every morning. Following a few helpful organizing tips will help your child have a peaceful and organized start to the school year.

This guest post was brought to you by PartSelect, the complete online resource for the do-it-yourself repair market and distributor of Jenn-Air parts.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years later

I have not been finding a lot of extra time to write on my blog recently but felt I could not let the day end without reflecting on what today has meant to so many.


I was teaching kindergarten in Murfreesboro, TN on September 11, 2001.  I was teaching at a brand new school, we had only been opened for a few weeks.  Because it was new, the televisions had not been hooked up yet and I think we only had INTRANET.  (How things have changed in 10 years…I think INTERNET is hooked up sometimes before plumbing is completed these days.)  My planning period was early in the day, in the 9 o’clock hour.  I went to the office after dropping my kids off at music or pe or art.  I went in to collect my mail and heard the secretary say that the Pentagon had just had a plane fly into it.   It didn’t really mean much to me at the time.  I didn’t understand the significance.

The people in the office were talking about how crazy it was that a plane had flown into the Pentagon when we heard reports about the World Trade Centers.  Again, I didn’t fully grasp what was happening.

I saw no coverage of the events of the day while I was working that day.  I believe someone emailed a picture around of the planes flying into the WTC’s and I saw something similar to the picture at the top of this post.  All day long parents were coming to the school to pick up their kids, wanting them to be close to home…everyone was terrified about what would happen next. Yet, I had no real idea what was going on.

I left school pretty immediately that day and headed to my apartment.  I don’t remember if my roommate, Clair, was home or she was at her boyfriends house.  I do remember talking to my mom and sister.  I remember talking to the guy I was dating at the time and asking him to please come over.  I remember sitting in front of the television that night and watching the coverage in disbelief.  It was so heartbreaking!  I finally realized what had happened and how it impacted us all.  I listened to the President say that our nation had been attacked and we would not falter or crumble.  I, like most everyone else, wondered…would my town be next?  I realized that nothing would ever be the same.  I grieved as I watched the coverage.


Today was similar in many ways to that day 10 years ago.  I was away from my television for most of the day.  We had gone to Little Rock this weekend for a wedding and were driving home today.  Through Facebook and Twitter I knew that several stations were televising tributes today.  Many friends wrote that they could not stop crying from all of the coverage.  I, again, felt strangely out of the loop.

But, this is 2011 where everyone has some sort of access to the internet.  I pulled my phone out and watched coverage from 10 years ago.  As I sat in the car, tears pouring out of my eyes, I realized, this is the first time I had seen this!  I had never seen the morning coverage of the attacks, just the replays that evening when I got home from school.  To hear the newscasters and their shock when they saw the plane fly into the second tower was amazing.  They were professional and stunned/speechless.

The above is a picture of a father touching his son’s name at the memorial in NYC.  How much pain has that man endured in the past 10 years?  How long did he hold out hope that his son would be found?  How has his life changed from 9/11/01?  He will never forget!

And I hope that I will never forget!  I wish I could remember clearer details from that day, could recall my shock as I saw the events, could remember the general feeling as I watched the television.  Although I can’t, I do remember how proud I felt that evening to be an American and how proud I was of other Americans.  It seemed to me that everyone truly came together after that Tuesday morning.

September 11, 2001.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Look at him grow!

One month, two months, three months

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Getting used to new

We have had a lot of "new" around here recently. Actually, for the past year we have had a lot of new. For someone (Matthew) who does not like change, we have done a TON of it.

Let's see, what are some of the changes that have happened in the past three months:

  • added a new member to our family (the BEST change to date!)
  • although it may not seem like a big change to you-going from school year to summer and from summer to school year. This is a big change for our family because we are together the whole summer and then all of a sudden, we're not.
  • Matthew changing jobs
  • Nora starting kindergarten
  • Elyn starting a new pre-school
  • a new schedule of getting up and going to bed

I realize that these changes might seem minor to some (except the addition of a child...that's a biggie) but to us, they mean a lot of readjusting and changing our view of things.

One of the biggest changes, that I did not put in the list, affects me. This is the first semester since Nora has been alive that I have not taught for Harding. It makes me so sad.

I knew it was coming, enrollment has really gone down the past few semesters. I think it is mostly due to the declining economy. I had been watching the numbers for my classes and, when they didn't go up, I figured I would get a call that they were taking those classes off of the fall schedule.

The call came earlier this week and, while I was expecting it, it still hit me hard.

I was at home alone (well, actually, nursing Rives) and took the call. I was all, "Oh, I understand completely...yes, yes, hopefully the numbers will pick up by next semester...again, I understand...thank you for calling!"

Then, I hung up and started crying.

There is nothing worse than sitting on the couch, nursing your baby and crying-wait...that was the first month of Nora's life.

I kid.

Seriously though, I was crying...hard.

This job was important to me in so many ways.

I LOVED going to class each week and talking with ADULTS. When Nora was a baby, and then again when Elyn was a baby, I sometimes felt that the only times I had adult conversations was when I went to class. I know I wasn't the best teacher or the most creative, but I enjoyed it and think my students learned one or two things.

It was also important to me financially. You know the whole "pulling my weight" thing. (Not really, but kind of.) This income was important to our family and our budget. We KNOW that God will help us meet our needs and that we will be FINE. This is probably good for will force us to re-prioritize and spend our money wisely and not frivolously. There is something God is going to teach us through this dip in our income...and I am looking forward to sharing and glorifying His name.

Honestly, it was also important for my pride. Typical conversation: Random person-"So, what do you do? Do you stay at home with your kids?" Me-"Yes, I do stay at home with them BUT I also am an INSTRUCTOR AT A LOCAL UNIVERSITY (pause for effect), I teach GRADUATE LEVEL CLASSES." Random person-"Oh, WOW, you must be the smartest person EVER!" Me-"Yes, I am."

Okay, so it might not have gone exactly like that, but similar. I enjoyed being able to share that I worked at Harding, that I had a "thinking" job outside of my main "job" of watching my children grow.

Again, God might be taking this opportunity for me to slow down and get used to the "new" that this school year has to offer. I am so thankful that my time with my children and my husband will be completely theirs and my mind will not be preoccupied with planning lessons or grading papers.

Listen, I am THE PERSON to find the bright side of things...if you are looking for a "glass half full" kind of person, I'm your gal. I am not looking for you (all two of you) to offer up positive and cheery comments (although, I am not discouraging them either)...I've already thought of all the positive and cheery things that might come out of my unemployment. This was just a writing session for me to get my thoughts down.

This new change has been on my heart quite a bit lately and I need LET IT GO and enjoy my new "freedom". I have told some friends that I am going to be a pro at clipping coupons and my house is going to be super clean...

I just need to get started on both.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

3 months old


This sweet boy turned 3 months old yesterday!  I cannot imagine our lives without him!

Do you see that smile that he is showing off in his picture?  Well, we are lucky enough to see that smile multiple times a day, sometimes followed by a precious giggle.  We love him so much!

He is such a good baby.  I tell every single person that comments on his pleasant personality that he is THE BEST BABY EVER!  I think I might be giving him a big head already.  But he deserves it!  He is the best! 

His sisters were sweet babies as well but no where as near as easy as he has been.  I don’t know if it is because he is a boy or if it is because he is the third and forced to go with the flow, but I’d take 10 more just like him.

He makes me melt with one little look.  I could eat him up and steal millions of kisses every day.

I want him to stay exactly this age forever…please Rives, stay just like this.

Here is what he is up to:

  • Eats during the day, every three hours.  Bless his heart.  He usually “eats out”.  I am either feeding him in the van, a building, a restaurant or someone else’s house.  He rarely gets a meal at home.  Thankfully, I am ALWAYS with him so his food is readily available.
  • Quite a few people have asked about his schedule.  I have no idea what it is other than he eats every 3 hours.  I don’t know what his nap schedule looks like or his optimal play time.  I’m horrible.  Most of his naps are in his car seat and I throw him on the floor to roll around when we get an opportunity.  Poor third kid.
  • Speaking of rolling around…he has rolled from tummy to back a few times.  I have yet to capture one of those times on video though.  It seems like every time I pull it out he doesn’t want to perform.  Camera shy, I guess.
  • He is “talking” quite a bit.  He imitates us and oohs and ahhs a lot.  So sweet!
  • He is a fabulous sleeper!  He typically goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 at night and will sleep until 4:30-5:30.  If I went to sleep when he did I would be very well rested.  But, I haven’t gotten that smart yet.  As far as naps, see above.
  • His sisters still love him like crazy.  Elyn tells me a lot that we have the best baby (possibly because she hears me say it all the time-ha!).  They are so good with him!  Nora cracks me up because sometimes she’ll be in the living room with him while Matthew and I are in different rooms of the house.  She’ll yell, “Mom, can you take care of Rives now?” Ha ha!  I didn’t realize I had asked her to babysit.
  • He has horrible cradle cap!  We try to wash his hair at least three times a week with Selsun Blue and a toothbrush.  It has gotten better and is starting to flake off (baby dandruff alert) but he still has a bad case!
  • He is starting to wear 3-6 month clothes.  The 0-3 month ones are definitely getting to be too small.  I still shove him in them sometimes because I haven’t switched his drawers over.  He is also still being shoved into a size one diaper.  I am trying to finish up the last box and then I will move on to the super comfy/roomy size two diapers.
  • He shows no preference of “stationary holders” (bouncy seat, swing, etc.).  He’s pretty content to sit in any of them.
  • I think I’m his favorite because he does light up like I’m a rock star when he sees me…I am the food source, afterall.
  • He is an excellent car traveler! Thank goodness!  We drive many miles a day taking his sisters to and from school.  We went on a long trip in June and have made a few shorter trips since then.  Again, very laid back personality (fingers crossed it stays that way!)
  • His eyes have ALREADY turned brown.  My dream of having a blue-eyed baby have been destroyed…sigh.
  • He is able to grab toys that are hanging over his head and enjoys kicking toys with his foot too.
  • I was singing to him yesterday and he started crying…hmmmmm.

He is such a perfect addition to our family!  When the girls are having their dramatic episodes and I am at the end my rope with their emotions, I look at his sweet face and think, “You’re my favorite child such a blessing!”

We love you so much Rives!

Monday, August 01, 2011

First day of school!

It has begun…school!!!!!


I cannot believe that Nora started kindergarten today!  It seems like we were just meeting her in the hospital! 

We went to her orientation last week, to meet her teacher and see her classroom…I cried on that day and couldn’t believe it.  I really didn’t think I would be so emotional.

I didn’t cry this morning at drop off but waited until we got back in the car. It really hit me that I wouldn’t be with her all day…for the rest of her life.  Sigh.

Here are some pictures of our morning.  I’ll add more when I download them off my phone.

Sassy girl…


I wish I could insert pictures here of our special breakfast and stellar devotional time BUT we, all 5, had to be in the car and heading down the road by 6:50 and I didn’t even have time to eat breakfast…I’m not sure what everyone else had.

Walking into the school building…


Standing in front of the building


Guess who?  It’s GIBSON!!!!!  What a blessing that Nora and Gibson are going to the same school!  I pray that these sweet girls always have a special bond!


How did this poodle and lobster (along with John David the octopus) go from these babies to…


These big girls looking at an iPhone…sniff, sniff!


Walking with daddy and Rives to her classroom…it was a bit like a red carpet event with all the parents taking pictures and video.


Finding her cubby to hang up her backpack…


First one at her table…


One last picture before we left our baby (and who was in charge of Elyn’s hair?  Sigh.  I can only do so much…at least she’s not in her pajamas!)


Up until this point, I was holding it together quite nicely.  No tears from this mama!  Then I got in the car and realized that she was about to experience so much that I might not ever know about.  I was no longer there to protect her and watch over her.  I cried then.

To ease Elyn (and me) into her first day without her BFF, we went to Krispy Kreme…it helped brighten her morning.



Rives enjoyed his first visit…the girl behind the counter even offered him a “hot now” donut-and she was serious.  Really?  He’s 2.5 months old…we like to wait until they are 3 months old to start introducing the “donut food group”.



We spent the day without Nora moving Matthew’s stuff from his old school over to his new school…good times.

We got to Nora’s school about 2 minutes after school was supposed to let out, anticipating a super long car rider line and thinking we could beat the traffic and drive right up to collect Nora.  We were wrong.  We waited in the line for 35 minutes before she got in our car.


Thirty. Five. Minutes.

Worth the wait though…

Coming to the car-


We went out for “first day of school” ice cream.  Thankfully it was about 104 degrees here today-perfect for excuse for ice cream (and a heat stroke).


We ate with two of her kindergarten buddies, Alex and Sterling.


It was a great first day for Nora.  We pumped her for info (of course) and she was happy to tell all about the day.  She liked her class and all the activities they did today.  She has already requested that I not walk her in to school tomorrow morning (sorry, I am going to baby) and that she can buy her lunch from the cafeteria (we decided one time a week she can buy).  As I type this, Matthew is reading the girls a story and about to put them in bed…and it’s not even 7:30!  Welcome back to the real world!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

tap, tap, tap…anybody out there?

Wow.  I think this is the longest I have gone without blogging.  I’m sorry my children…I will go back and document your lives later.

I have also not spent very much time on the computer either.  I know that because I had to log back in to most of my accounts.

We have been busy and relaxed, all at the same time.  Just enjoying our summer.

Nora starts kindergarten in a week (year round calendar) and Matthew starts school the week after that.

I might have an emotional break down on her first day of kindergarten…to be determined.

Let me leave with a picture I took of my baby boy today…I think you’ll see, he’s growing!


Oh my goodness, I love him so much!  And I really need to blog about our last two months with him because, sadly, this is his baby book.

Hopefully when school starts and we are more in a routine I will get back into the land of blogging and documenting our life!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy 4th!!!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Catching up

Here are some pictures of our life lately-not necessarily in order by date:

My razorback boys:


Only half the people in this picture are asleep…can you guess which two-ha?


The girls are so good with Rives and are great about giving him his paci if he is crying…helps a mama out!


Nora continues to LOVE Rives and is always such a helper!


Chillin’ out during some tummy time-


A few Saturday’s ago it was gorgeous outside, the girls got their jeep out of the garage and wanted to drive around.  Well, before that could happen it needed a good washing-


One day I was in the kitchen fixing dinner or washing dishes or something productive (I’m sure) and heard nothing but the television.  I walked over to the family room and this is what I saw…Rives had fallen asleep right beside his sisters-so sweet!


Last weekend we went over to the Graham’s house for a cookout with our old small group…good times!


My college friend, Joy, came to see me and Rives and bring us some dinner…love Joy!


Gram made the girls some dresses…thanks Gram!


On Matthew’s last day of school (or maybe 2nd to last day of school) he made trashcan milkshakes for all of his 8th graders…delish!


The girls took swim lessons at the beginning of the month.  We went to the same swim teacher we had last year and she is AWESOME!  This was Elyn’s first year to take lessons from Mrs. Dana.  Here she is on her first day:


Elyn did great!  However, she had to miss the second week because she was sick (more on that later).  Before the swim lessons she was timid about going all the way under the water and wasn’t too sure about jumping off of the diving board.  I’m happy to say she is confident with both of those now!  She refuses to wear her floaties now-ha!

Nora is an old pro at swim lessons.  She is a little fish and loves the water!  She was pretty confident in the water last summer and we felt pretty confident letting her loose in the pool.  This summer she had to step it up in swim lessons and learn some technique.  Actually, the first day, she got back in the van and said, “Swim lessons aren’t any fun…we have to do hard things.”  Ha Ha!  She wasn’t happy about having to tread water for almost a minute in the middle of the pool.

Here she is on her first day of swim lesson…can you see what she is doing?  Trying to get Rives to smile-ha!


Love those chins!


Rives at his 3 week check-up…almost 9 pounds!  He had gained a pound in two weeks!


The girls enjoying some TCBY after Rives doctor’s visit…hey, he couldn’t have any.


Drinking his first bottle


Ha ha ha!  He’s ready for Cuba and some Latin dancing.


This is what he looks like after a night a sleep and spitting up.


Last Monday we went to our local splash park.  It was a great day for it and I just knew the girls would have a blast.  Poor Elyn just sat on the side and hardly participated…I thought maybe she was tired.


However, when we got home I took her temp and it was 103!  Here she is…sick little girl.


She looks horrible!  Her temp stayed between 100 and 103 for 6 days…it was so sad!  I felt so bad for her!  I took her to the doctor and he said it was probably a fever virus.  After the 6th day, the fever was completely gone and she was back to her fun loving self.


The day I took Elyn to the doctor we came home and found Matthew and Nora cleaning the cars.  Thankfully Elyn’s Motrin had kicked in, so she went outside and joined in on the fun…you just can’t see her in the picture.


Two of our kitchen chairs now look like this…I really like them!


My little helper-she felt well enough one day to help me pick up a little.


And look, I had 5-6 inches of hair cut off!  I was tired of always wearing it in a ponytail and was desperate for something new.  Since none of my clothes fit and it is extraordinarily depressing trying on new clothes, I thought this might make me feel better-and it does!


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