Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fall Break Time!

My big kids have enjoyed a few days off of school! They finished up the first quarter and we were ready for a little breather:)
We had teacher conferences Thursday morning, and of course spent lots of time getting ready for my sister's big wedding, but in between we had some fun together!
Matt has been working a side job lately which has meant that he has been gone until late every night, so by Thursday the kids and I needed an easy supper. We went to Chick-fil-a for family night!
 We got there early to eat and play...
 And then went "backstage" for a kitchen tour! We got to see where all of our favorite menu items are made! Pretty neat!
 After the tour we made our very own special desserts:)
Friday morning we woke up to some drizzle, but that didn't stop us from having some fun!
We headed to the new Panther Park out by us! We met some friends there last week for a play date and realized it is not quite like the other Panther Park that we go to. It is geared for bigger kids and adults, but since we were the only ones there, my crew had fun playing on it anyway!

Friday night the wedding frenzy began!
We met at the church for the rehearsal followed by supper at UNCC. We were really so busy the entire time that I hardly took any pictures, but this one was taken of Emery and I think it's pretty sweet:)
The wedding was beautiful and my sister made a stunning bride!
We are so excited for her and her new husband and can't wait to see them when they get back from their honeymoon!
It's been such a wonderful (and a bit exhausting) fall break!
Now, we're gearing up for another busy week! Whew!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Brooklyn's First Grade Field Trip to Dan Nichols!

Today Sis had her first field trip of the year and it was to one of our most favorite little places...Dan Nicholas Park! Her class just finished up studying animals and their habitats, so this was a great place to go for some hands on learning!
I always look forward to special days like this with my kids! It was a HOT day (we were melting), but a wonderful day spend together!
(Her favorite part of the day was riding on the bus to the park though! It was her first time on a school bus! She was SO excited!)
 The little ones got to come too, and Parker totally thought he was a big first grader by the way he tagged along with her class:)
We got to do so many fun things and were totally worn out by the end of the day!
Brooklyn is totally rocking FIRST GRADE and absolutely loves it!
Love my girl and the memories that we made today!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Day at the Dixie Classic!

Yesterday I took Parker and Emery to the Dixie Classic Fair! 
We met some of our good friends there and enjoyed the day together! It was elementary day, so there were LOTS of schools there, but everyone got in free, so that made it just perfect for us!
Of course there were plenty of animals to see:)

And some GREAT shows to watch!
We saw a magic show, a dog show, a horse show (which was AWESOME!) and of course...the racing pigs! Such a favorite of ours! This time we saw the pigs race around the track for cheese puffs! Ha!
 After a FULL day of fun, Parker bought a big ol' bag of cotton candy to enjoy on the way home!
 It was a gorgeous day to be outside, enjoying another day at the fair with friends!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Back to Aw Shucks!

This week I had another special field trip planned for Parker and Emery! 
We made a trip out to Aw Shucks Farm! 
We visited this farm last year for their preschool day and knew we wanted to go back again this year too! We took part in their Little Hands Farm Tour and really enjoyed it!
Since we were such a big group, the staff divided us up into smaller groups and we rotated through all sorts of fun stations!
Here is a peek at our fun filled FALL day!
We started off with a tractor ride around the farm and then learned about planting crops. We tried planting some corn of our own:)
Next, we headed to the chicken coop!
We got to collect some chicken eggs and then we practiced milking a cow!
We enjoyed visiting some of the other animals on the farm too!
This was one of our most favorite parts of the day!
We even got to feed the sheep and the goats!

 After all of our hard work on the farm, everyone got to pick out a pumpkin to take home!
And of course we made time to jump on the haystacks!
 We ate a quick picnic lunch and then finished up our day with some play time! The farm has a giant grain bin slide and a tumbleweed roll!
It was a great day with my little ones!
I love all of the FALL FUN starting up!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Birthday Party Time!

Emery turned three a few weeks ago, but the birthday celebrations have continued throughout the entire month! Ha!
Here is how we celebrated...
Our family went out for supper on her actual birthday. We all enjoyed cheeseburgers at Fuddruckers!
For dessert they brought her out her very own ice cream sundae to enjoy:)
Last weekend we partied with Poppa and Memaw!
Poppa also has a September birthday, so we always enjoy celebrating the birthday buddies together!
We had a steak dinner over at our house and had birthday cake and ice cream for dessert! So yummy!
Then this weekend we got to celebrate with my side of the family. Cousin Sophie also has a September birthday, so these two sweet cousins celebrated together!
We kept things simple and just had a pizza party! We enjoyed a few favorite desserts and then finished up the evening by opening presents!
Happy Birthday, Emery!
Thankful to celebrate YOU!

Friday, September 22, 2017

To the Orchards!

Today is the first day of fall (even though it doesn't feel like it at all)! 
We welcomed in fall by doing a little apple picking!
The kids had the day off of school and Matt took the day off of work, so we decided to head up to Morganton to our favorite little apple orchard!
We always enjoy going with friends when we apple pick, but today, we were on our own!
 We got to the orchard late morning and got all set to fill our baskets. Our most favorite apples have already finished their season, so today we picked Red Delicious along with a few Golden Delicious!
With so many little hands picking, our work didn't take long!
We filled our baskets full and then found a nice shady spot to picnic!
After our lunch was gone, we grabbed a few apple donuts to enjoy on the car ride back:)
The little ones and I went to a special class yesterday that was all about apples! They colored and crafted and even tasted apples! It was so fun for them to learn all about them and then visit the orchards today!
I love our little apple picking adventures! Now, we can't wait to enjoy all of our apples!

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Fair Is Here!

One of my most favorite outings that I get to do with my kids is Preschool Day at the Fair! 
We have gone for many years now and we love it each and every time! 
It's such a fun way to experience the fair, but we don't have to spend a penny;)
This was Parker's last trip since he will be off to Kindergarten next year!
(I am SO THANKFUL we get to have an extra special year together!!!)
 I told him to enjoy every bit of it this year! And I think he did;)
We rotated through several different stations, but the petting zoo area is always so much fun for my little ones!
 The smiles that I get to see and the giggles that I get to hear from the animals coming up so close are so, so sweet!
This was Emery's favorite station! We visited this area twice because she loved it so much!
The last station that we got to participate in is an ALL TIME FAIR FAVORITE!!!
We got to see Robinson's Racing Pigs! They are so much fun to watch! Parker was chosen to cheer for a specific pig and we were really hoping that his little piggy would win, but some of the other piggies were a bit faster and his came in third place!
We love that the fair comes to our little county!
It's such a fun experience for us to have!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Emery Turns Three!!!

My sweet Emery girl turned THREE yesterday!
It just doesn't seem possible that my baby is three!
She brings such joy to our family and makes us laugh these days with all of her silliness!
She's pretty serious around others, but really lets loose when she's with us!
We celebrated last night as a family by going out for supper, but we have a few other birthday celebrations planned for our girl and we can't wait! She is all about "The Little Mermaid" this year, so that's how we are celebrating...mermaid style!

Here is what I want to remember about you at this age...

I am not sure how much you weigh or how tall you are. We go for your check up next week, so I'll find out then.
You wear a size 3 in clothes, but are definitely into some 4's as well. You wear a size 8 shoe.
You are potty trained! You just wear diapers at night:)
You go to bed around 7:00 each night and get up around 6:45 in the morning. You sleep with your two lovies each night.
We are not home in the afternoon for you to nap, but you doze off most days in the car while we are picking up the big kids from school.
 Being the youngest of four, you love to do big kid things. 
You love to ride your bike in the cul-de-sac and you love to play baby dolls or Barbies with Sis. 
You play SO WELL with Parker during the day. You love when I take you to story time or when we have picnics outside!
You mostly eat cereal for breakfast with a squeeze pack. You are kind of picky when it comes to lunch. You do like mac and cheese or yogurt and some times you'll eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For dinner you love tacos or spaghetti:) You love your apple juice, but enjoy milk too.
You can be pretty animated and love to talk with your hands:)
You are actually a very good talker. I think, at this age, you are my best talker!
You still don't love Sunday school, but are getting better. Your favorite friend in class is Caroline. You always talk about her.
You still LOVE Minnie Mouse and we always talk about going back to her house! Hopefully one day we can go back!
You love to swim. You love to paint with your water colors. You love to get your nails painted. 
And you love to watch Bubble Guppies or Dora on t.v!

Happiest of Birthdays, Emery Caroline!
So thankful that we get to celebrate you!

Daddy, Mommy, Jake, Sis, and Parker

Monday, September 11, 2017

Through It All

Ever since I started blogging (NINE years ago!), its been a place for me to record our family happenings. All of our fun memories, milestones, and moments. We look back on posts and smile at all the memories that our family has made! We have had MANY special moments together!
This past week, however, our family received some devastating news and I want to write about it because it is now a part of our story. We found ourselves in a place where no one ever wants to be, but God is good and is healing our hearts.
Matt and I have always wanted a big family, so we decided that we would start trying for another baby. It took a bit longer than we had hoped, but we were so excited to find out Baby #5 was on the way! We went for our first appointment around ten weeks and saw a sweet little babe on the ultrasound screen and even saw a leg give a giant kick:) I was SO relieved to get the good news a tiny little baby was growing strong inside of me! I went back around fourteen weeks for my next check up. Brooklyn was with me and Dr. D let her help him with my visit! She loved it! I always get nervous during appointments though (we've received bad news before) and I panicked just a bit while he searched for the heartbeat. It took him just a minute, but ended up hearing it...and he made sure I did too! Ah! Such relief:)
As the next few weeks went by I was anticipating those first few light flutters I would feel! I would lie down and just wait quietly for something. I never felt anything. I finally mentioned it to Matt and he said not to worry, but I just couldn't help it. I had worried myself sick as each day passed, so I finally decided to call the doctor's office to ease my worrying. The nurse called me back and said I was still a bit early and to give myself a few more weeks. That made me feel SO much better and brought me some relief, but honestly I still feared a bit that something wasn't quite right.
Our next appointment was scheduled for this past Tuesday. I was just over eighteen weeks and was set to have our BIG ultrasound. Again, I was a nervous wreck and I ended up having to go to my appointment alone because Brooklyn woke up early that morning sick. Matt had the day off, but had to stay home with her. 
I told the ultrasound technician that I was really nervous and was concerned that I hadn't felt any movement. She listened to me and then proceeded to take a look. After just a few seconds, I felt my heart sink. I just knew. I knew that something was very wrong. I will never forget the way she looked at me and let me know that she could not find a heartbeat. She gave me a moment to gather myself and call Matt. Even though I felt like the Lord had been preparing my heart, we were obviously heartbroken!
I ended up having to wait a few days for my procedure, but went in this past Friday and everything went well. I was very nervous and anxious, but the Lord has been so good to carry us along. We have been overwhelmed with kindness by literally hundreds of people from all over! So many people have reached out to us! We have truly been blown away! Our church family and the kid's school along with our family, friends, and neighbors have done so much to love on us. Our family is truly so thankful!
We still cry. We hurt. We feel empty. We wonder why. 
We are obviously still healing. But in time, that will come too.

"Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
And it is well with me"

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Trippin' It to Florida...

Our family loaded up the car over Labor Day weekend and made a quick trip down to Jacksonville, Florida to visit family! We are so glad we did because this weekend everyone is boarded up waiting for Hurricane Irma to hit! Yikes!
We hit the road right after school on Friday and arrived in Jacksonville pretty late after lots of rain and traffic slowed us down.
Saturday morning though we woke up ready to have some fun in the sun!
We decided to visit the St. John River which is just a few minutes from Josh and Katie's home! 
Matt and the kids had a blast riding the jet ski...
 Josh and Katie took our family out on their boat. We rode down the river to the city!
We saw tons of dolphins playing in the water!
After our boat ride, we went back to the house that was hosting us for the afternoon and enjoyed their pool for a bit while we waited for the rest of our (Tampa) Florida family to meet us there!
Sunday morning our entire crew went to church and then enjoyed the rest of the day swimming, playing, and eating together!

It's always a treat for us to ALL be together! 
It doesn't happen very often, so we always make the most of our time!
After a fun-filled weekend we headed back home...
We were absolutely exhausted, but our hearts were full from such a special weekend with some of our most favorite people!