Sunday, April 28, 2013

Easter Eggstravaganza

I want to start off by saying: "buckle your seat belts folks - it's going to be a long ride". I know there are insanely too many pictures in this posting for one entry but I didn't want to have like three Easter postings and so I've crammed it into one. Although Easter wasn't long ago, I had fun re-living it all through photos.
Our first Easter project/craft/activity was making jelly bean bags for our MOPS friends and teachers. I'm not sure where I saw this little poem for the first time but I found it when we were moving in some of my things and wanted to pass it on because I thought it was so great to have for kiddos. I determined we would need about 30 little baggies so our first step in the creative process was sorting jelly beans or "jubby beans" as Avery called them (so cute). Kennedy is firstborn to a T - she loves a project and she is very much a perfectionist so this was right up her alley.

 Avery was only willing to watch for so long but then she wanted in on the process, so after a thorough (VERY thorough) explanation from big sister - she was put in charge of the orange jelly beans which are also known as the owng jubby beans.
 I was very impressed with Avery's dedication to her orange jelly bean separating task. I will say that she asked about every other jelly bean if she could have it. I can't blame a girl for trying...I'm all about "one for you, one for me, one for you, one for me" when it comes to sweets ;).
 The progression in pictures made me laugh because our mornings usually consist of the following routine: snuggle, breakfast, play until Grey gets fussy, put Grey down for nap and all get dressed for the day and then go back downstairs to play some more until he wakes up and then we are usually headed out somewhere. Clearly, after the jelly bean separating we went upstairs to get dressed because we went from PJ's to -
 I would like to point out that in the above picture, Avery is smiling which is a rarely photographed expression for that child in particular: victory!
 I thought the jelly beans looked so pretty once they were all separated. Is it just me?
 The finished product - aren't they cute?
 Jelly Bean Prayer
Red for the blood He gave
Green for the grass He made
Yellow for His sun so bright
Orange for the edge of night
Black for the sins we made
White for the grace he gives
Purple for His hour of sorrow
Pink for our new tomorrow
A bag of jelly beans, colorful and sweet is a prayer, is a promise, is a small childs treat.
The week before Easter we were able to get together with our friends the Englar's and dye Easter eggs. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that this was the first time the girls and I have dyed Easter eggs. I know, I know, but I don't really recall doing it much as a child so I guess it just didn't really dawn on me to do it with mine. I have, however, made lots of bunny cakes and done Easter egg hunts and what not. We'll be dyeing Easter eggs each year from now on because the girls and I really enjoyed it.
 Notice how on Avery's first run she immediately gets dye on her fingers. Classic Avery.
 Jennifer's crew had a tie dye Easter egg kit and it was neat - they let us try it out.
 Me and my sweet peas!
 So, so thankful for this re-kindled friendship because our kiddos love each other to pieces and have such a good time together. We Momma's always have a really good time too - parenting is always more fun in numbers, right?

 Our purdy 1st dyed Easter eggs
 The Easter bunny visited our house Easter morning and left everyone some goodies.

 A new teether for Grey.
 Pet shops, Barbies, Ponies and coloring books for the girls along with some candy too of course.
 Somehow we managed to get in a pancake breakfast and Easter basket opening before getting ready for church! Look at this good lookin' bunch:
 So thankful Avery gave it her best, as usual.

 For every "I hate the camera" glare Avery gives me, Kennedy can kick out like 12 super stellar poses like this one:
 Love their little different hearts. I'm totally hearing the "Love your Neighbor" Veggie Tales song in my head right now about being different but being special to God.
 So thankful for Easter - a time to remember that the overwhelming love I have for these three pales in comparison to the love our Heavenly Father wants to lavish on us - a love strong enough that he would sacrifice his own son...for us. Incomprehensible.

 Last, but certainly not least: the Easter Egg hunt. We went to my sisters neighborhood Easter Egg hunt and the kids had so much fun hunting eggs.

 I was on camera duty, the Daddies were on kid duty and thus Aunt Melissa was on baby duty....I don't think she minded very much - what do you think?

There were even little egg races and other games for the kids:

 I mean, I figure if you can get them all three looking in the general direction of the camera it's a success, right? I like

I hope all of you had a blessed and special Easter!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Carolina Thread Trail

Tim travels some for work, and when he does I often get a little stir crazy after "flying solo" for a while. Thankfully, he travels a loss less frequently than he used to and when he does travel I try to think of women whose husbands are deployed because it helps me keep my "woe is me" in perspective!

I've learned that getting out at least once a day with the kids does me a world of good. Don't get me wrong - I love some pajama time and a lazy day every now and then, but that can easily turn into 4 pm, no shower and everyone still in PJ's kind of day which is just not a good thing for my psyche. So..when Tim was away last I had one of those days where we hadn't really gotten out and didn't really plan to but this Momma needed to, so I began searching and found out about this little gem nearby:
It probably seems crazy ambitious to get out to a trail with three kids, but I'm to the point now where I just pack my brood up and get going and deal with whats to come when it comes. I mean - I want to keep it real with you: I get some INTERESTING looks at the grocery, hair salon, etc. with my little posse but whatev - it's my life (three kids included). Kennedy is ABOUT outdoorsy stuff: hiking, camping, exploring, getting dirty, etc. so all it took was me telling her we were going on an outdoor adventure and she was all in. Avery is not so much about outdoorsy stuff but she IS a trooper and troop along she did. Grey was in the front pack and aside from fussing a tiny bit he did splendidly and finally fell asleep.
We had gotten some rain the few days prior so I had the girls wear their boots and I'm SO GLAD I did because it was pretty muddy in a few spots which just added to their delight. Rubber boots + mud = tons of fun for kids.
The trail (though relatively new) was incredibly well marked and just really pretty (think clean see through creek wandering along the trail, beautiful tree canopy overhead, lots of fallen crunchy leaves underfoot and limitless wonderful fresh air!)
There were several spots along the trail where we could actually get down into the creek and stand on some nice flat shallow rocks (again - the rubber boots were a good idea). Kennedy spotted this little guy and the girls were most enthused with their "find".
We hiked about a mile and it took us over an hour! Avery did not want to leave and thus I had to hike the trail back to the car with Grey on my front and Avery on my shoulders: just call me do what you gotta do, right?
We had such a good time and got some good exercise. Look how pretty! The girls had a little snack after our hike while I packed up the muddy boots and caught my breath - hiking with two babies on board isn't the easiest thing as you can imagine. I kept thinking that day that I couldn't wait to show Tim my super awesome find in this trail - I knew he'd love it!

As soon as we could get back out to the trail as a family and there was nice weather, we did so. Here are some pics of our fun family outing:
I'm sure this is a seriously proud papa moment because my girls are about a creek and of course, so is their Daddy.
My kids L.O.V.E. throwing rocks!
My sweet little man and I.
I adore catching my girls in moments like these:
Kennedy found something interesting on the bottom of several creek rocks that afternoon:
Tim knew pretty quickly that these were some type of egg, but we weren't sure what kind.
After returning home, a quick Google image search revealed that these were salamander eggs. Cool!
I mean, seriously: look how gorgeous this is (the trail, of course). My husband has an uncanny nack of taking really super flattering pictures of me (insert sarcasm here).  
Knowing that we intended to hike the entire trail, we went prepared with Avery accommodations and thank heavens because I think she only made it .5 mile before Tim had to pack her the remaining 3.5: yikes!
Homegirl even started her picnic in the backpack!
My handsome boys and little wild one!
Totally in his element!
Testing out her rubber boots - she was trying to see how much she could splash and still stay dry. Let's just say Avery was good and wet by the time this little experiment was over.
Preciousness - sisters are the best!

Two flat rocks and three self timing photos later, we finally all got in a picture: victory!
This little one hiked all 4 miles by herself - ROCKSTAR!!!
 The Carolina Thread Trail will be a place our family visits often, I'm so glad we found it! You know what they say? The family that plays together stays together!