Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thankful for crafts

This is no news flash for any of you, but I love a good craft. Both of my girls have inherited my love of crafting, however Kennedy requires little to no supervision while Avery on the other hand......
 During the month of November, we created and added to daily - a "Thankful Tree" full of leaves with things we are thankful for written on each one. 
It was so fun each day hearing what they each were thankful for. 
 There were simple things like "markers" 

 Certain foods, natural things like rain and thunder....
 and deeper things like The Bible, Family time together, etc. 
 It was really fun and had our family in the Thankful mind set - we will definitely do it again next year! 
Kennedy had a school assignment to craft her own turkey - the turkey could be whomever she wished and she elected to create a ballerina turkey who she named "Kennedy Turkey". 
 I present to you Kennedy and Kennedy Ballerina Turkey:
 Continuing along our crafty path, we made our Turkey cookies again with the Englars...just like last year. We had some royal icing/piping bag catastrophes so the kids didn't last long, but they still had fun and made some super cute creations. 

 It's hard to believe how much these kids have changed in a year. Here they are this  year: 
And last year:
 Poor Avery, she can't be around sweets unsupervised ;). 
 Next year Grey will be right up there with us instead of peeking over the table!
...and the stinker last year - she's growin' up! 
Due to the aforementioned royal icing/piping bag catastrophes, Jennifer and I resorted to decorating the majority of the cookies this year. As it turns out 2 glasses of wine and lots of laughs begin to yield things like this beauty:
 And the special creations continued. I feel a yearly tradition coming on.
 Kennedy will sometimes craft/create on her own and I love it when it produces sweet little gems like this one:
 I love Mommy and Avery, even when you're frustrated you're my favorite. 
Grace. It's a beautiful thing for which I'm so grateful.

Some of Kennedy's school crafts. 
 I was so tickled when Kennedy's "thankful turkey feather" came home from school and said "I'm thankful for my sister Avery". LOVE IT! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Break

Within the last few months I've been trying to figure out if Avery truly needs her afternoon nap still, or if she's ready to drop her afternoon nap. Some days she goes without but I've learned that she does still in fact need her nap because if she doesn't have it she not only gets fussy late afternoon but she also falls asleep THE SECOND we get in the car to go anywhere. Before I reached this conclusion, I was sending her to her room when she would get fussy and this is typically what would happen (another indication she wasn't ready to drop her nap): 

 So, for now she will take her afternoon nap which will give each of us a break. 

Speaking of breaks, for Kennedy's Fall break from school we took a trip to Winston to visit my girls' favorite people - their cousins! There are a ton of things I love about their relationship with their cousins, but one thing is that park or no park, toy or no toy, these girls are going to enjoy each other to the fullest! Aunt Catina always plans a fun time when we got visit, so here are some pics from our quick playground trip: 

 I love that they are never too big to play and I do mean PLAY with their cousins - I hope it always stays that way. 
 Even Aunt Catina got in on the fun. 


 A sweet moment with my three the next morning before breakfast: 
 We had such an awesome visit and before we even got out of their neighborhood on our way home Kennedy wanted to know when we'd see them again. 

 I love Grey's look of adoration here - as it turns out this starts young and just keep going because Kennedy adores them just as much now as she ever has...if not more. Love it!
We handled some business over fall break too - Grey got himself a hair cut because he was rockin' what I call "old man whispies" over his ears and neck. Here are some "befores":

 He is a pretty chill little dude, but he DID NOT enjoy the hair cutting experience. I will say, in his defense - we found out later that evening that he was running a fever so I'm interested to see if he pitches such a fit next time. 

 Because of him being sick, I didn't get a good "after", but here are some a few weeks later over the Thanksgiving holiday - he looks like a little man now - it's precious! 

 In other Fall Break news: Kennedy had a pallet separator placed in the roof of her mouth (because she has a cross bite), and when she went back to school the next week she lost yet another tooth. I need to take a picture of her pallet separator - Tim and I both had one growing up, but ours required a key and cranking (it's as glamorous as it sounds folks) but Kennedy's is tension loaded on a spring so there is no cranking required: hallelujah! She's been a total trooper about the entire thing - aside from some eating "issues", she's not complained at all.  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Camp out

After a bit of searching and asking around, we eventually got the name of a local campground that ended up perfectly meeting our needs for camping with little ones. Cane Creek Campground is about 25ish minutes away and is absolutely gorgeous. We were thrilled to get a weekend away and as a family and equally thrilled that we were able to take Declan along with us. 

We went out on a Saturday afternoon and set up camp. 
When we took Kennedy camping the first time she was all about helping and was super invested in the whole camping process/experience. Declan and Avery - not so much. They were most interested in playing chase and throwing pine straw and digging up rocks and fun stuff like that. 
Once we got their little tailgate chairs set up, the kids pretty much did this until Tim and I were done and it was off to the potty and then a hike. 

On the way to the bath house a giant rock was spotted and we had to pause for climbing. 

Investigating a hole near the lake. 
They were yelling "boat" and all I could think about is that scene from Nemo where he's trying to tell his new school friends what a boat is and instead he says "it's a butt". Ha ha! 
The weather and foliage color could not have been more perfect! 

After thoroughly exploring the lake we went for a hike and despite obsessing over the forecast prior to our trip and feeling confident we were all clear, the skies opened up and it started to pour. Awesome. Hiking with two toddlers and a 6 year old in the pouring rain! Ugh. We ran to the bath house because it was closer than our campsite and waited it out. Ave and Declan could not resist splashing in the building run off water so I ended up having to take them into the women's bathroom entrance. 
Perfect place for some Big Daddy Longleg observation: 

Sadly, when we got back to our campsite, there was standing water in all of our tailgate chairs and our firewood was soaked, but Tim was able to get a fire started and we improvised thanks to Momma's swagger wagon (love those fold down seats!). 
The sunset was so beautiful over the lake that I ran down there during dinner and took a picture. 
After dinner it was S'mores time! 

Yep, this is my girl - she lives life to the fullest!
They may be cousins, but they are also BFF's.
After S'mores we cracked a few glow sticks and let the kids have a little fun in the dark before getting them settled down for the night. 
Cars on the kindle - Ave and Declan had the death grip on their glue sticks. 
They watched Cars for a while, but when Tim and I turned in- this was what they looked like: 
Declan woke up kind of early but after I snuggled him for a bit over on my side of the tent, he went back to sleep and the three babes got some more shut eye while Tim and I started on breakfast. 

After a while, these three groggy babes woke up and once bundled they came out to join us and get warmed up by the fire. 
Beautiful sunrise!
Now listen y'all, I'm all for sleeping in a tent and I'd even be ok with foregoing a bath house and straight up "wilderness camping" but I CANNOT imagine anything worse than being stranded without a cup of coffee to start my morning. If Tim and I camped more often, we'd invest in a camping coffeepot to do my coffee over  the fire, but for now while we will camp at campsites with electricity and a bath house nearby (there's just no other way with small kiddos), the keurig comes with us! 

There's something about camping food that is just flat amazing - I kid you not! My kids eat better camping than they do at home - go figure. 
Happy campers!
While Tim and I broke down camp, the kids played a little more tag and hide and seek. 
Thank goodness for the tripod - we got a group photo before heading home. 
Despite getting caught in the rain and despite waking up a bit earlier than I would necessarily choose to, we had an awesome time. I'm so thankful that we are close enough to my sister than I can bring the little man along with us when we go camping. Honestly, for someone like me who is constantly marking things of her "to-do" list, camping is a dream come true because you can't talk on the phone, you can't work on the computer and once it gets dark you can't even really read so it's just nature, a roaring fire and good company but most of all it's a chunk of peace amongst the crazy and I love it! Already excited and looking forward to going again in the spring!