Friday, October 24

a whole lot of random

I love my life.  I can't believe that I have the husband I do and that we got to have babies together.  It's all kind of surreal for me.  I have seen so much junk, some of it happened to me and some to those I love dearly but because of that my heart is incredibly grateful for all that God has blessed me with.  One of our discussion questions in my MOPS group recently was if we are living our dreams.  I smiled as soon as I read it.  A thankful smile that God is so familiar with from me at this point.  It is a smile that I can't help, a smile that comes from deep within my heart knowing that I am most definitely living my dreams.  Of course there are days when I want to stay in bed because the thought of caring for four kids is overwhelming and I feel completely inadequate.  I get angry and yell at my kids, I am selfish with my time, I don't always treat Jason the way I should,  and the list could go on and on.  But despite all of my brokenness, Jesus thinks I am worthy of love.  His love.  That is all I need.  But for some crazy reason, He decided to bless me with an adoring and faithful husband and four beautiful babies.  It doesn't make any sense to me.  But I will take it and do my very best to seize the moments I have on earth.

So with all that said, I love to blog because it forces me to pause and reflect on life through different seasons.  It helps me remember my calling and makes me fall in love with my husband and babies even more.

Violet likes to pretend to use Daddy's roller.  It always makes her laugh.

On beautiful Sundays after church when the light pours through the living room windows, I love to take pictures of our kids being kids.  They are usually happy and and the fact that they are dressed nice and cute from church makes for extra fun pictures.

I love it when Avery and Tyson wrestle.  He is making Avery tough and they laugh a lot.  It typically ends with someone crying but it is pretty fun to watch.

This little one.  Oh, that dimple melts me.  What is it about dimples?  She is the sweetest little thing and such a stinker.  She acts like a 7 year old trapped in a 2 year old body.  She can say anything and everything and she does!  She will let you know what she wants and expects prompt reaction.  It is hard for me not to just spoil her rotten.

These two are beginning to play together more and more.  The problem is that they both want to dictate how everything is done so that makes things interesting.  Can't wait to see their relationship develop as they grow.

I love it when Mia performs for us.  Her made up songs and dances are the best.  

I am completely biased of course but the beauty of our babies blows me away at times.  I could just stare at those faces all day.  God outdid himself with these four.

 I have never seen a bigger Daddy's girl until Violet.  She is seriously in love with her Daddy.  It melts my heart to watch them together.

Mia loves to dress up and especially loves to wear hats.  Last winter, she wore this panda hat almost constantly and it is back again.  She wore it for about a week straight even to bed but seems to be backing off a bit now.

Jason and Tyson tried to go for a run one evening and an insane thunderstorm hit minutes after they walked out the door.  It was scary and Avery and I were not fans of them being outside during the crazy storm.  Jason called and asked me to pick them up in the next neighborhood.  I threw the girls in the van and we headed out.  A super friendly guy invited them to hang out in his garage while they waited for me.  I love nice people.  So on our way to get them only a few blocks away, we got a flat tire.  Ugh.  I had never had a flat tire before and I didn't know what exactly was going on so I continued to drive.  We located them and Jason checked the tire to confirm that it was indeed flat as a pancake.  The guy that offered his garage for shelter had previously worked for roadside assistance so he offered his tools and services.  Jason ran home to get what he needed and then drove back to us and changed the tire.  A neighbor from across the street came over to hold a flashlight up for them.  Nice people all around that helped make what could have been a horribly chaotic and rough night into a count your blessings kind of night.  They found a screw in the tire so if I had not taken the van out that night, it would have gone flat on my way to take Avery to school the next morning.  Thank goodness Jason was home when it happened, it was an easy fix, and we headed to the tire place in the morning to replace the spare with a new one.

Mia loves riding her purple bike and it is very cute to watch her struggle up hills.

We love going to the Zoo.  It's beautiful there and the animals are so fun to watch.  This guy was full of personality.  One of the zoo workers said he stays right by the fence most of the time and does little dances to get attention.  Funny little flamingo.

We were leaving our local chinese restaurant the other day and the lighting was perfect so I grabbed the camera out of the car.  I tried to get a cute picture of her messing with the gum ball machine but she wasn't into it so I captured this sweet little face instead.

Violet carries her babydoll blankie thing all the time.  She says, "It's my special baby doll" and it is incredibly precious.  It was on clearance at Kohl's one day when she was about 9 months old and I snatched it up hoping she would love it.  I was right.

My Mom visited last weekend and we had a wonderful time with her.  She brought some peanuts that Violet could not stop eating.  We had to finally cut her off so she didn't get sick.  She really loves peanuts.

Grandma also brought little wooden fall pictures for the kids to paint.  They were a huge hit.  Grandma knows what she's doing.  We got to shop together for several hours on Saturday and that was a blast.  She is retiring soon and we are looking forward to spending more time with her.  The kids were sad to see her go, especially Violet.

And last but not least, one of the funniest pictures I have ever taken.  Violet was telling me about how she went poo-poo and I caught this hilarious face.  That's how I feel about dirty diapers too.  

Thursday, October 23

the pumpkin patch

One of my favorite things every year is when we go to the pumpkin patch.  Everyone loves it.

We got some pumpkin cookies and popcorn and that always make the little ones happy.

They got to feed a carrot to the donkeys.  Violet was totally into it and kept talking to the donkey.  It was awesome.

The donkeys seemed to have had too many carrots and were pretty full so they didn't want much of ours.

Violet is almost constantly sucking her thumb these days.  That is going to be a HARD habit to break for sure!

And this next picture makes me laugh.  I don't know what I was doing because it is way too crooked but I still love it.  Her and the donkey seem to be making the same face.  

Avery asked me to take a picture of her on this giant pumpkin.  Such a little model.

Jason and I can barely keep up with them in the corn maze because they just fly right through it.

This was probably the last year for Violet to be in the pack.  That makes me sad but Jason's back will probably be happy.

The hayride is always a hit and we got to ride on the one with the cool old tractor.

Mia proudly displayed her pumpkin bow made by Aunt Beth.

Oh my goodness, my heart on a hayride.  I love these five so stinkin' much.

Violet was not excited about the dirty pumpkins.

They all go through so many pumpkins before they finally decide which is the perfect one for them.  We require them to pick one that they can carry by themselves the whole time and all the way back to the van.  This keeps the cost down, makes it easier for Jason and I to manage pumpkins, and they don't mind a bit.  Avery takes it quite seriously and has been known to shed a few tears during the picking process because she can't find the "perfect" one.

They finally made their choices.  Avery ended up with a squash, Tyson with a crazy gourd, Mia with a little white one, and Violet chose a tiny green one that was not yet ripe and lasted about two days.

Another day at the pumpkin patch picking pumpkins, eating cookies, feeding donkeys, running through corn mazes, and making memories.

Tuesday, October 21

a backyard campout

We had a backyard campout on a Friday night a few weeks ago.  It was going to be beautiful and we just decided to go for it.  We took the kids camping last fall for one night and it was okay.  A few sweet moments but mostly crazy so we weren't sure what to expect this time around.  We figured they need a chance to get used to the whole camping thing and the backyard would be much easier than going somewhere.  Especially because we could put Violet to sleep in her crib and then I could join her in the house when the others were going to sleep.  

I didn't get any spectacular photos from our experience but I love them anyway.  They capture the event perfectly and serve their purpose of preserving memories from our first backyard campout.  

Our kids are quite possibly the most excitable kids in the universe.  I am not sure how else to put it except that they were complete maniacs.  It was so fun surprising them with our plans when Jason got home from work.  Their reactions were priceless.  We grilled hot dogs for dinner in the backyard and played like crazy until it was time to put Violet to bed.  After that, the real fun was supposed to begin (sorry Violet) but it was hard to even talk to the little maniacs kids because they were all over the place and bouncing from one place to another as if an iv full of straight sugar was running through them.  

We filled a cooler with fun snacks like kettle corn, grapes, oranges, and energy bites.  They thought this was awesome and wanted to eat it all at once.

We planned a flashlight scavenger hunt that they loved.

We retired to the tent as it got late and began a game of Sorry but we cut it short because it seemed to be never ending.

After the kids and Jason were all tucked into their sleeping bags and blankets, I headed inside to a warm cozy bed because somebody needed to be close to Violet of course.

I was joined by Mia and Avery at different points of the night.  Mia randomly woke up crying so Jason brought her to bed with me and Avery got scared at some point and crawled into bed with me.

Tyson hung in there with Daddy and made it all night in his sleeping bag.

In the morning, Violet joined us once again and we enjoyed some Krispy Kremes in the tent.

This last picture pretty much sums up the experience.

Will we do it again?  Yes, of course.  Because that is what you do with your kids...keep trying, learn from the mistakes, and hope for the best.  You just never know what you're going to get. But there is always a moment or two that are worth all the effort and energy you put forth to make it happen.

Also we are a little crazy.