Friday, August 31, 2012

First Grade!

YIPPEE!!!  It's the First Day of School!

Someone's growing up fast and little sister is desperate to be just like her; she watches her every move;)

 Where has time gone?  My chubby baby girl has somehow turned into a beautiful young lady.  

 It does this mamas heart good to see she still is dwarfed by a full size back pack- a reminder that she's big, but still little;)

Chloe was none to happy to be excluded from these pictures and even more upset when Ava left for school!

Phin was very excited for Ava in the morning.  He kept saying, "I'm so happy for you to be in First Grade, Ava!"...but the whole day and every day since he has asked over and over (AND OVER) again when Ava is coming home!  He has REALLY missed her!

 She had a great first day and week that followed.  I am so proud of my little girl.  She has a soft heart.  After a really difficult year in kindergarten we saw her confidence waver.  She had trouble with one little girl and everything we taught her didn't work.  Kind words didn't work, creative problem solving didn't work.  It was crushing to her.  It was devastating to watch her learn first hand that not everyone is nice and not everyone will like you.  Summer break was good for Ava; she thrived in soccer and art camp and we saw her confidence in friendships return.  The little girl has switched schools and I am glad that there will be less drama for Ava this year.  She has really taken off in her reading in the last few weeks and is eager to continue progressing.  When asked about her favorite part of the first day, she replied in an almost magical tone, "Oh, mom!  I looked through my math and science books.  There are lots of things in there I don't know yet and I get to learn it this year!!!"  She is a smart little girl and love learning just for the sake of knowledge.  I love that about her.  She appreciates the wonder of creation and loves discovering the hows and whys of life.  She is a good friend and appreciates the values in others.  I am excited to see her thrive this year and continue growing into the lady God created her to be!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to School Silly Supper

 Summer flew too quickly for me.  Before I knew it, school time had arrived.  My heart began to grieve a bit at the loss of time as the school year approached. My little girl will now be in school all day five days a week.  How we will miss her around the house!

Ava, of course, has no sense of grief;)  She has been counting down the days to first grade.  I determined early last week that we would make the most of our last week of summer break and decided I'd plan a Back to School silly supper for the night before her first day.  Soon, the kids joy at the fun activies and Ava's excitement about school caught like wildfire to my soul.  It was a week of celebration and my heart is full.

Here are some photos of our Back to School Silly Supper;)

See that jar of Chalk?  It's edible:)

Found these accidentally in the candy aisle at Walmart and I instantly became giddy at their resemblance to chalk;)

Decorating this one was SUPER fun for me (obviously).  The color red just makes me happy and so do school supplies;)


I made ballon apples for the chairs.
I got this super cute "Reading is Fun" banner for 88cents at Walmart and it will migrate to our playroom reading corner in the near future.  I used flashcard boxes to house the silverware and got old fashioned writing strips to write names on just like teacher did on our desks when I was young.
Our fare was ABC & 123 pasta, I made pencils out of a bugle, cheesestick, and cube of ham.  We also had letter Cheezits, and apples.


Ava had a bit of a headache (allergies!), but didn't let it ruin her fun.

Dessert was again a pencil, made from a covered roll of Rolos, a strawberry marshmallow eraser, and a Caramel Hershey kiss tip.  I also make an eraser form one of those square marshmallows Kraft is making;)

We LOVE marshmallows 'round here;)

I love that my husband and kids love silly suppers as much as I do;)

Me and my precious Ava.

This is the smile we'll miss during the day;)

I love how excited the kids were about Rolos, because they remind me of my mom- she loves them;)

My little guy was deterined to get "these chalks" to work- ha ha;)
It was another fun evening a memories and definitely a Silly Supper we'll do every year!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Unexpected Gift

This morning we were supposed to have a park meet up for my mom's group.  It was scheduled for the park that sits near the beach.  As we were leaving, I decided to quickly throw the kids swimsuits and towels in the bag just in case anyone else decided to meander onto the beach and into the water.

Today only one other mom ended up coming (I don't think the beach is a popular site for moms with kids under three;).  We both had suits for our kids so it turned into a beach day.  An unexpected morning at the beach- My kids were thrilled and I felt blessed- I sat on a towel and fellowshipped with my super cool friend Laura and our kids played.   It was easy, fun, and relaxing.  Last summer, it would have been chaos with my two littles, but at the end of this summer Phin is independent and Chloe is getting there.  It was the perfect way to spend our last Friday morning before school starts.  It was unplanned and perfect.  I LOVE when God throws little gifts like that my way!

The Park

Where does time go?  This is my baby?

What a beauty Ava is becoming!

He totally knows he's cute;)

Happily obsessed with Dora;)

These two are pure fun and pure mischief...but I wouldn't trade their relationship for anything!

The Beach 

I KNOW!  She's adorable;)

It's hard to get this little guy to stay still long enough for a picture;)

Ava is definitely born for the water.

I don't think there is anywhere else she'd rather be;)

My little girl starts 1st grade on Tuesday I am going to miss this 
smile during the day!!


Sand Fights (I am guessing this is a boy thing;)

Happily filthy.
 Just two months ago this little one hated the sand and found the water too cold...

 How times have changed;)

She walked with such purpose while building her sand creation;) 

When my kids are fighting, there is nothing worse, but when they are playing together and loving one another, my heart is blessed beyond measure.  Brothers and sisters are truly gifts!

I've said it before, I'll say it again- My cup overflows;)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pray for our Boy and Haiti

Please be in prayer for Christian and for the country of Haiti.  Tropical Storm Isaac is projected to gain strength and hit Haiti with Hurricane force Friday evening or Saturday morning.  It could be devastating for Haiti.  There are still many people living in tent cities and it is very susceptible to flooding and mud slides.

I am praying a lot.  I am very glad to know a Omnipresent God who is with Christian when we cannot be.  I am praying that though at 15 months he can't understand what is going on, that the Holy Spirit will envelop him in peace and surround him with Guardian angels.  I am praying for all of the orphans in Haiti for God to grant them supernatural peace and hold them when there are no parents to wrap their arms around them when they are afraid.  Please pray for these vulnerable children- many of whom are on the streets.  God sees each one of them.  My three children, who are home, are frightened of a little lightning or strong winds, imagine the fear children can endure when they aren't enveloped in a sturdy home and have no parents room to run to for comfort.  They have great need for the God of all Comfort and he is more than big enough to meet their needs.

Please pray for the storm to lessen instead of intensity.  God is MORE than capable of calming the storm and even commanding it to cease.  Please join me in prayer.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gentle Reminders

My Friend Nikki posted this article on facebook today.  It is a MUST read, especially on hard days.  I am actually planning on printing it and keeping it on hand for tough moments.  In fact, if you only have like two  minutes right now- quit reading my blog and read the article- yes, I am serious.

As a mom, it can be easy to lose perspective.  When my two year old is throwing a tantrum and nothing seems to help, it's hard to remember somewhere in that chaos is an eternal soul.  It is easy to lose sight of eternal perspective and feel like a failure if I've raised my voice or spent too much time on face book.  It's easy to give into lies that what I am doing matters not.  It's easy to feel marginalized and useless when I read People Magazine and Bloomberg Business more than I read my bible.

It's easy, yes, but not right and certainly avoidable.  Temptation to self destruct or quit lurks around every dust-bunnied corner, but "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."  ( I Cor. 10:13)

We need reminders sometimes and more than anything we need Jesus.  We are blessed to raise our children and impact there futures.  We may never know how profound our influence is in their lives, but God sees every seed planted, he sees every opportunity we seize, every question we answer, every prayer we utter on their behalves.  We have the best jobs in the world fellow Mamas!!  Let's do them with joy and make the most of every opportunity!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Boys will be Boys and Girls will be...well, Girls;)

A few snapshots from our home yesterday.  I love them;)

 Phineas and Conner sticking Veggie Straws up there noses.  It was so hilarious, I couldn't even begin the "we don't stick things in our noses conversation."  Thankfully, it was Veggie Staws and not peas;)

Phin quickly moved from merely sticking them into his nose to eating them from his nose.  Completely disgusting and yet...hysterical.

The girls, though they did try the old "veggie straw in the nose trick" after laughing at the boys, moved on to well...girlish things.  They put on a fashion show.  Julia, the announcer, can  barely be seen behind Ava, but she did a stellar job and boy did Chloe work the catwalk!

This was my favorite of Ava.  The froofy dog completely tops off the outfit.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I woke up at 4:30am with a headache.  I knew it was raining before my ears woke up enough to decipher the soft pitter patter on the ceiling.  One has to make a choice on days that start at 4:30, awakened by a splitting sinus headache- be a miserable grump or find ways to cope.  I vote number two.  My miserable grump persona is not anyone's favorite and it leads to lots of guilt and apologies.  I laid awake and prayed and then when I got up I did what anyone would do, I came down to the kitchen took Sudaphed and tylenol and ate a Reese's Peanut Butter cup.  I mean really, even a bad headache cannot trump the delight of chocolate and peaut butter.  Then in tribute to my English friends who endure rain on a much more regular basis, I cuddled up with a very large mug of P&G tips; though I usually take my tea black, I even had it with milk this morning and had anyone else been awake to chat with me, I would have charmed them with my nonexistent British accent.  Here's to a rainy, dreery day and all the choices I will make today with my kids to keep Miss Grumpypants at bay.  Movie anyone?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mexico with my Man

I must admit I had some preconceived judgements about Cancun.  We ended up escaping there because our SPG points were usable there and the flights to Cancun in August are much more reasonable than most US destinations.  I think of "spring break" when I hear Cancun and I think of "excruciating heat" when I hear "Mexico in August".  My judgements were incorrect.  First, I had no idea Cancun could be a family destination.  Our Westin Resort is a time share property so the rooms are apartments.  Many families were there.  They have a kids club and miniature golf and a kid pool.  The mall across the street had a couple restaurants with playgrounds in the middle of them or next to the eating area...making dining with children doable for families and many of the activities are SUPER kid friendly.  It didn't feel trashy at all where we were (and we didn't venture to the area with night clubs and such;)  Heat?  It was about the same weather as we've had in Sheboygan this summer...if not a little cooler.  High's were in the mid to high 80s.  It was very pleasant...especially in the shade where my pale behind hangs out;)

I was just excited to hang with my honey; the pleasant weather and atmosphere were icing on the cake:)

We had a GREAT time;)  We spent a day on the beach, a day having an adventure, and a day by the pool.  We had plenty of rest, plenty of time to read and to chat.  We deliberately avoid too much TV watching and spent the evening talking and playing cards.  We were gone long enough to rest and miss our children...but not too long to where the missing turned to guilt;)  Our kids did well in our absence, thanks to my in laws!

I am just so thankful to still enjoy spending time with my husband.  We have fun together and we can just be...he's a gift! 

I have long been aware that I have a fear of snakes, I have learned this week, that I also am not so comfortable around large lizards.  When I was absorbed in my book, Marc noticed a little friend who came to share my shade.  Instead of freaking me out (wise use of restraint on his part), he calmly said, "Kim, don't freak out- just look to your left."  Um...creeped out doesn't begin to describe my internal angst.

The favorite part of our trip was our "adventure day".  We wanted to take some time to do something we couldn't do if we had kids in tow.  It was really fun to laugh together and conquer fear.

Before the zipline the stop you for this photo picture, but know what?  I don't like birds so much either.  This made me want to vomit;)
My Tarzan
(unfortunately there is no photographic proof but I did one zipline hanging upside down; I did it solely because I knew Marc would be impressed that I overcame fear and I didn't want to later regret fear stopping me from the full experience. I much preferred upright ziplining, but I was glad I did it...I felt impressed with myself;)

Next, was off-roading in these crazy vehicles...Marc made the mistake of driving first.  He thought it funny to get me a little muddy.  Later, he learned the joke was on him...I love a good dose of mud, but nothing better than terrifying your husband with your driving.  My antics made his seat belt pop open and I think he must have said, "Seriously, Kim, you are going to flip this thing." a dozen times.  Someone forgot that when we offr-oaded years ago in jeep was by far the muddiest at the end;)

Spa mud bath or off-roading?  off-roading any day for me;)

The final stop was a visit to swim in this Cenote.  It was BEAUTIFUL and so refreshing...not to mention a great was to wash off the mud;)

Cheers to an amazing get away...I am so thankful for time alone with my very best friend and the time we spent together with the One who holds our family together.