Saturday, February 21, 2015

We Are Family

".....all my brothers, sisters, and me..." 
Did that title make anyone else go there? It's a talent of mine. You're welcome. 

I think I've said a bajillion times on this blog how much I adore that my kids are always developing their relationships with one another. Not like, strategic team building kind of junk (I mean, I'm type A but I'm not forcing them to sit around and sing kumbaya) but just like the every day stuff of play and share and learn and discipline and compassion and all that.  It's hands down the coolest thing to watch as a parent for sure. I mean, watching their interaction and enthusiasm and development with friends is cool too, but watching them with one another day in and day out is just the best. 

My girls are buddies. Most of the time (and I emphasize most intentionally) they are the best of friends. I over hear them saying nice things to one another or just playing together and genuinely having a good time with each other and it makes my heart sing. 

Kennedy sometimes gets an opportunity to pick prizes at school and she'll pick her one prize that she's allowed for Avery or she'll save a treat that she got at school ALL DAY LONG so she can share it with Avery. For real. Avery says almost every day when I drop Kennedy off at school "Mommy, I'm going to miss Kennedy today" to which I generally reply "me too too". When Kennedy is gone in the evenings for any reason she repetitively asks me when she'll return. They just love each other and I'm so glad they do. 

 Oh this cat...he'll sit on whomever will allow it. What that means is that as soon as the girls are "in position" he pounces (literally) on the opportunity. Glutton.
 The girls share a room and they've done really well sharing a room. If one of them is gone for a sleepover or a stay at Honey's or Nana's or Aunt Melissa's...the other is typically a bit beside themselves. Whenever we have cousins or friends spend the night, we make a pallet in between their beds on the floor & the next several nights they'll beg to "sleep in the middle" together. It's real presh. 

 Going back through some of these photos makes me long for warmer days....tank tops and crocs on my little tan babies. I mean, we had some 10 degree madness this week so it just seems so far away. Remind me of that when I'm complaining of the Carolina heat this summer, mkay? 

Grey gets in there too. He absolutely adores his "big sissies". I'd like to state for the record that I always said I didn't care for the terms "bubba, bubby, and sissy" and then when I heard my kids say it instead of brother & or sister it was all the sudden not only ok but cute. Anyways, right when he wakes up in the morning they are the first things he asks about and again when he wakes from nap. He, like Avery, is also sad when Kennedy goes to school and will  say "Momma, I miss Kenny" 

I remember when we got pregnant with Avery and I realized she and Kennedy would be 3.5 years apart I was really concerned that the gap would be such that they'd not be close. I'm so thankful I was wrong. As soon as Kennedy gets home from school every day she is "all in" and plays with her siblings until it's time to call it a day.

 Sometimes, because Grey is my "baby", I can be guilty of thinking he won't be able to "get" what they are playing or maybe they won't include them but by in large they include him and he catches on to WAY more than I would have given him credit for. They play house, they play hide and seek, they play all kinds of pretend stuff, it's just amazing really. 

 Wherever K and A are is where G wants to be...even if there doesn't appear to be room. Often times I'll see him sitting in one of their laps just so he can be with them. 

 After the school year started back for Kennedy, I was really nervous because she and Avery had spent SO MUCH of the summer playing together and Grey had kind of done his own thing with trains and trucks and what not. I wasn't sure if Grey and Avery would develop as close as a relationship and play together as well but they did and they have. Those first couple of weeks were a little tense with lots of pining for big sister, but then these two figured out how to enjoy each others company and since then they've been inseparable. I will say, however, that most of the time their play looks a little like this: Avery tells Grey what to do/say/play with and Grey does it happily. It seems to be working for them. For now. :)

He pretty much follows her lead. Sometimes following her is a good thing and other times...well.....;).  Good or bad...he's following her. We're working on that. 

 Over the summer, I was walking through a nearby neighborhood and someone had put this little Jeep out on the curb. It needs new tires but other than that was in great working condition...and the plug was under the hood. Hello? Haven't they heard of Craigslist? Anyhow, I was totally that person that pulled up and loaded up another man's trash and it became our treasure. 
 When I uploaded these pictures later that week my heart rate increased a tad and my throat got a little tickly because....before I know it this will be a real a real car. I hope they always love each other like they do now. I honestly pray for it. They're gonna need each other because this's kind of jacked up and I want them clinging to truth and love so they'll be victorious. 
 And Grey? He'll be watching and copying them, because just like now -  he'll never be too far behind. 

I'm sure that will prove true for Micah as well. 

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." 
- Desmond Tutu

Saturday, February 14, 2015

No longer my baby boy

Planning for Greyson's 2nd birthday party wasn't too tough - the boy is OBSESSED with trains, so having a trains as a theme was a no brainer. As usual, I had a lot of fun preparing for the party & although it may seem I went overboard...I enjoyed every moment of the party planning process and Greyson loved it in the end...making it all worth while. 

 Kennedy and Daddy's awesome sidewalk chalk designs....leading our guests down the track and to their destination! 

 We ended up having to replace our patio table over the summer and thus had some big pieces of cardboard which came in handy when it came time to design our RR crossing signs. 

 I made this little mantle train out of keurig k cup boxes and an empty aluminum can. So fun! 
 Tim had found some old rr ties on one of his work sites and they live on our porch for months before I finally incorporated them into the party decor. See them in the mason jars? A nice little touch for the train party! 

 Some friends of ours in our small group had this choo choo train mold cake pan that they let us use and I was so excited to try it. It looks like this: 

My goal was to dye the cake batter and have each train car be a different color - red, green and blue. I don't know if it's because of the non-stick spray I used or what happened to the batter as it baked, but they call came out looking super dark and not at all like the bright primary colors I had hoped for. So...I had to improvise with my cake design in the end and use piped icing to kind of decorate each train car. 
 We had a lot of fun in the grocery store trying to decide what would work well for the track and wheels and all of that good stuff. The track shaped into the number two and the smoke coming out of the train were ideas thanks to Pinterest. Tim decided to create the little trees to add in and our finished product was one our boy loved which was the #1 goal. PSA - should you ever need rock candy in a particular color, there's no need to seek out a specialty candy store because as it turns out the party store has it in any color you want. Sadly I only learned that after I sent my sister out on a last minute errand to the fancy candy store near her house. Thanks Aunt Melissa! 

 I thought it would be fun to have stations for all of our food items, but I really wasn't sure if I would have time or energy to do it. In the end, I had both and I'm glad because they turned out really cute and were a nice touch to our train theme. 
Choo Choo PB&J's 

 One of Grey's favorite snacks is popcorn so I wanted to be sure we offered that at his party. 
 The boy's #1 LOVE - SMOOTHIES or "smoody's" as he calls them. 

 A friend of mine made these little train cookies to go with our sweet's station. 
 Every time I have a birthday party for my kids, I plan to take pictures of all of their guests and in the end I forget or run out of time or whatever. Honey and Big Jim were the only guests that I got pictures of  & although it's a cute picture I wished I'd gotten pictures of everyone else that was there too. 

 The Birthday Boy

 Anxiously awaiting the arrival of the guests - can you see Pawpaw on the outside of the window?
 One of our greatest gift requests was for "dress up" items of a more masculine nature. Greyson loves to dress up but at this point it's mostly in heels, tutu's and jewelry (compliments of watching his two big sisters). He ended up getting several boy dress up things. 

 Another thing compliments of his big sisters - a princess smoothie cup! Daddy and I gave him a cars smoothie cup for his birthday so now he's more manly when he drinks his smoothies. ;)

 Cake time!

The party was a success and so much fun. It's hard to believe our "baby" is 2...just in time to welcome in another baby a few months later.