Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Favorites - May 22nd

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Memorial Day weekend.  I can't believe it's here already, but I'm also thrilled because summer is just around the corner!  

We have no plans, and I couldn't be happier about that!  I want to plant some flowers and vegetables, be outside, and have some fun family time with Matt and the kids.  The last 5 weeks of school are always so busy, so I want to take this weekend to relax before the crazy begins.

I am so grateful for those who sacrificed their lives for our country.  We are free because of the brave, and as we have barbecues this weekend and enjoy a day off, let us not forget the real meaning of the weekend. 

ONE - Summer Goals
I love to make summer goals.  I usually have so many that I'll never be able to do them all, but it's still good to have them.  This year I'm working on really prioritizing and making achievable goals for myself.  

We still have 5 more weeks of school (!!!), but I decided that my personal summer goals will start this weekend.  Memorial Day - Labor Day is summer in my book!

I love to make a "Summer Fun List" with the kids as well.  Love to hear the goals they have for their summer.  We'll start working on their list in the next few weeks. 

TWO - Sweet Sisters
These three girls love each other so much right now.  They are each other's biggest fans.  I hope it always stays that way and that when they grow up, they continue to be great friends.
THREE - Lily
Lily is such a little spit-fire.  She is so funny and silly.  The other day she was calling me into the den, and when I walked in, I saw this:
She fit into a small, reusable shopping bag.  
She was quite proud of herself and I just couldn't stop laughing.  Who even thinks to put themselves into a shopping bag, let alone fits?
She is such a funny kid. 


FOUR - Gardening
I am a terrible gardener.  I really am.  I would love to have a vegetable garden and beautiful flowers.   I'm terrible at keeping up with watering everything.  I get so overwhelmed picking out flowers to plant, keeping up with the weeds and the garden - it's so silly and such a simple thing.  I don't know why it has been such a problem in the past.

But, this year I am determined for it to be different!  This weekend we plan to do some planting.  I feel bad because the other day Maddie said that she's a terrible "planter" because everything she plants dies.  I felt terrible because it's totally not her fault - it's mine for not following through and keeping up with watering and taking care of the plants.  

She's so excited to grow some vegetables and our yard needs some colorful flowers.  We're going to make it a family effort this year.   I think it will be a great experience for all of us.

FIVE - Summer
This girl is ready!
One of my biggest goals this summer to not to over-schedule.   The past few summers the kids were involved in so many weekly camps and activities and I felt like we had a crazy schedule and all I did was drive around.  For the past 4 summers, I either had a newborn or a non-walking child.  It was hard to go to places like splash parks and playgrounds because the newborn couldn't be in the sun and the non-walker didn't want to be stroller-bound, and couldn't crawl around in wood chips or on concrete.  So, to keep the other kids busy and happy, we signed up for a lot of different classes and activities so they would have things to do.  They loved it, but it left me feeling too scheduled and busy.

This summer we can do so much more, which means I want to be so much less involved in activities and free to just go out and have fun.  I have stuck to my word and said no to so many camps and activities.  Friends keep asking us to join this with them and join that with them.  I almost caved a few times, but I'm sticking to my word.  They will have swimming lessons and go to VBS.  Other than that, I want to enjoy the pool, playdates, playground, splash parks, the beach - whatever we feel like doing.  

It's going to be great!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

April Little Things

April was a mix of fun and busy and hard.  

We started off the month with lots of fun celebrating spring break and Easter and birthdays.  We kicked off soccer season and Maddie's Musical Theater class.  

We ended the month with illness as each little one took a turn getting the stomach virus, one each week.  

It was not an easy month for sure, but there are lots of little moments that I want to remember. 

Easter was totally different for us this year, and it was great.  We were in Hershey Park for Easter so we had a little Easter egg hunt in our hotel room.  We didn't dye eggs until after Easter.  It was very relaxed and we really spread out the fun.  Hershey Park was great.  I wrote all about it here and here.  Such a great little family trip.  We all had a blast:
When we got home from Hershey (the day after Easter), the Easter Bunny had left baskets and more eggs to be hidden.  
Matt hid them quickly and the girls headed to the backyard to find them.  These pictures make me laugh because normally on Easter, they're all dressed up with some new clothes and looking adorable and put together.  This year it was quite different - it was around 5:00 at night, after being in the car for hours driving home from Hershey.  Hair was a mess.  Outfits casual.  Old shoes.  Sigh.  Not quite my vision of Easter loveliness, but a glimpse at real life around here for sure. 
Maddie and Lily loved it:
Annie had zero interest in the eggs.  She was more excited to play in the playhouse:
This was really the first warmish day we had and the first time this season the kids went in the backyard to play.  We realized that the last time were in the backyard (back in the fall) Annie wasn't walking yet.  She was SO excited.  It was like a whole new world opened up to her.  There was this place she didn't remember existed and she could finally explore it on foot.  It cracked us up how excited she was:
When we got back from Hershey, we still had all of spring break ahead of us.  We hadn't dyed eggs before we left, so the girls and I did that.  
Lily was especially excited about dying eggs this year:
Lily turned 4.  Her birthday was so much fun this year because she really "got" it this year (you can read more about it here):
The big birthday present reveal (a new bike!): 
Lily designed and decorated her cake herself and she could not have been more proud of her creation:
In lieu of a kid birthday party, Lily had a little birthday party with her best friend Mark (their birthdays are 3 weeks apart, so our families got together for dinner and a little celebration).  We decided on a Minnie and Mickey theme and I made the cutest cupcakes (I got the idea from Pinterest):
Love these two:
We did a little spring break shopping for some new sneakers for all the kids (oh boy - kid shoe shopping is NOT my favorite thing!):
I was doing a little closet cleaning and Annie came in and got herself all dressed up in Matt's ties.  She was missing daddy:
When Annie sees a camera, this is how she smiles:
I call it her "Say Cheese!" face. 

We went to a fun event at the library.  They make a life-size Candy Land board and the kids play the game and they are they pieces. They get to collect candy from the different characters:
My girls LOVE the mannequins at Old Navy.  Can you spot the real kids?
Annie's starting to pitch in and earn her keep around here:
Soccer season kicked off and Maddie couldn't have been happier about that.  This girl loves to be the goalie:
April meant some days warm enough to play at the playground:
Lily used to give me such a hard time at swimming lessons.  She got this new bathing suit for her birthday and she told me "I'm four now.  I'm not going to cry at swimming lessons anymore."  And she hasn't.  She has not shed one tear or given me a hard time about lessons since her birthday:
Signs of spring:
This little one follows the beat of her own drum:
Sweet sisters watching TV together:
Poor Maddie got the stomach virus the worst out of everyone.  She was sick for one day, but had no energy or appetite for about 5 more days after that.  Four days after being sick, this sweet, tired girl fell asleep on the couch for a nap at 9:00am.  Poor kid:
The little girls had fun at Imaginations at Play:
Lily was SO excited to get to go to preschool on her birthday;
Maddie had a choir concert:
We ended the month going to one of our favorite places: Hoyt Farm.  We love going on a hike and playing on the playground.  They have a "Good Bench" and a "Time Out Bench" there, and our little actress insisted on acting out each scenario for us:
Hiking (Maddie insisted on needed a walking stick):
Annie loved the playground.  She is so good at playgrounds now.  She can really do most everything by herself and she's so proud of herself:
It was a good month.  It flew by.  We had a lot of fun and a lot of stress this month (especially a lot of stress at work for me with all the state testing and opt-out controversy).  I have to say though, with 2 1/2 weeks straight of sickness at the end of the month, we weren't sad to see it end!