Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 2012

March 1- dropped Nicky and Abby off at preschool, ran errands with mom and the kiddos, said goodbye and went to Great Wolf Lodge for AHG, Brian picked up Caden to bring him with us and dropped ephram off at Laura's while we're at GWL, lots of sliding/laughing/playing/ and having great fun together, after 9 hours of water the kiddos did story time and played games in the arcade (or R K as Cailey calls it:) until 9:30!

March 2- another super fun day at GWL starting at 9am, left with the girls at 3:30 to get Cailey to her last basketball game where she scored another basket!!! (even though she had played all day at the water park then sat in the van for 3 hours thanks to traffic), bojangles with the girls, brian came home with the boys at 8, reunited with my baby boy who had a great time at Laura's, and crashed.

March 3- soccer games canceled because of rain, kinsey's cheerleading, unpacked, cleaned a bit, lazy day, school, piano, and games.

March 4- big kids ran 4.2 miles!, church, some school, kids played outside, cailey picked her talent show song (Go Light Your World) and started learning it, braden was my sweet helper, ephram had the grumpies after nap time, kinsey spent her day outside, awana, and choir.

March 5- school, gymnastics, mom came for the day on her way back home, writing class for cailey, games, laughing, snuggles, dancing...and more laughing:)!, scouts for braden, hung out with mom, ice cream sundaes for everyone (except me:), and laughed more.

March 6- braden went to the eye dr., said goodbye to mom, long school day, played games/sang/tangrams/letters/puzzles with ephram, played with kinsey, listened to cailey practice her talent show song, coupon shopped, laughed a lot with braden, and read to my babies.

March 7- oldest two ran hills for 3 miles, school, beth came over to be cailey's vocal coach and help her with Go Light Your World, kinsey and ephram played with addison, caught up with beth over lunch, school, and outside play.

March 8- school, errands, field trip to Gretchen's to see baby chicks/ducklings/chickens, school, warm day...lots of outside play, prepped for big weekend, listened to kiddos practice their fine arts stuff, and

March 9- watched alex, co op, forgot about clean up...then stayed!, AHG, kiddos packed for lock in, dropped braden off at lock in, picked up gracie, girls played outside for a bit, upward banquet, dropped girls off at lock in, kinsey and ephram had wii night, then veggie tales, and a sleepover.

March 10- 8am soccer game for kinsey, picked up kiddos from lock in, rushed cailey to her 9am game and stayed to watch kinsey play another while the others went home for naps, COLD:), got kiddos pictures framed for art show, outside play, fine arts show at crossroads where cailey sang (then the younger two accompanied her)/braden did art and piano, and kinsey did art.

March 11- oldest two ran 5 miles!!, church, ice skating for braden, cailey sang at Bayleaf and went with Morgan's, early choir rehearsal for cailey, park for youngest three, awana, and choir.

March 12- piano, early school with kinsey, cleaned the house, school with others, watched gymnastics, writing class where cailey had her rough draft of her first research paper, played outside with the kiddos, watch ephram draw a 'king' (magic kingdom castle) with chalk, played lots of princess card games with kinsey (and my helper, Ephram), and baked cookies.

**wanna remember..forever how ephram ALWAYS says thank you unprompted for the sweetest things. like, "taint tou mommy for reading a book with me" or "taint tou mommy for letting me pway wif tinsey (kinsey) or "taint tou mommy for letting me have a sleepover with the girls" goes ON and ON. SUCH a sweet sweet boy!!

March 13- school, lots of playing outside in the warm weather, made and LOVED korean beef, played games with the youngest two, loved listening to kinsey read more amanda pig, cailey finished (and typed) her first 5 paragraph research paper on Korea for writing class, braden wrote the cutest story about being invisible, kinsey ran a 10:19 mile, cailey and braden ran 3 when brian got home, made 'yogurt' dots, and read a super cute garden book to the kiddos...which they will be turning into their own stories.

March 14- kids had to wear shorts since it's 85 on this march day, school, took ephram to story time at the library only to find out they weren't having it, went to Durant park for swinging and played lots of tag with all the kiddos, jumped on the trampoline and played outside w/ kids, braden found Runaway ('our' turtle) under the porch, tons of playing outside, tried a new recipe (Rio Chicken) and didn't love it, brian pulled braden's second tooth since the permanent had grown in, took leslie's kiddos since they were both VERY sick so they joined us for dinner, outside play, refuel at church, and then they came to sleep over!

March 15- braden and cailey ran 3 miles, fed all 7 kiddos breakfast, brian took girls to school while winston played at our house all day, school with kiddos, cleaned and "reset" the house, picked up the girls from school, made cake batter rice krispie treats for the kids, they spent most of the day/evening outside, yummy dinner together of spaghetti pie/awesome breadsticks, etc, introduced the Morgan's to frozen grapes (YUM!), played outside w/fam until dark, and crashed.

March 16- c & b ran 3 miles, watched alex, co op, caught up with cheryl l, played with the kiddos, early dinner, back to back soccer practice for both girls, ran errands, listened to a great play and poem written by cailey, LOVED hearing braden's amazing piano songs, read with ephram and kinsey, and got lots o' snuggles:).

March 17- lucky charms and green milk before early soccer games, rainbow waffles and lots o' green after, went on a green hunt with ephram, big walk with the girls where cailey found a turtle, kiddos spent the day entertaining both turtles (runaway and speedy), decorated rainbow cupcakes, went on a bike ride, and went to the Klick's for a YUMMY green dinner and lots of fellowship time:)

March 18- kiddos ran 6 miles!!!, went to cheer them on (in my jammies:) from the van with kinsey and ephram, stopped by BK to pick them up breakfast for a treat, church, nice day outside meaning LOTS of playing, cleaned the house, awana, and choir.

March 19- piano lessons, school, cleaned, laundry, gymnastics, kinsey went home with kelly for the day, met Kelly at the Y to walk, made a dessert with kinsey, and crashed (after all the laundry was put away:)

**don't want to forget when ephram said (two weeks ago) after screaming at a sibling, "do you still love me mommy?" MELT MY HEART...of COURSE, sweet boy!!

another E quote: "Tinsey, do you like pepperONI?" "Ephram, I'm the pepperoni QUEEN!"

March 20- made orange fluff and rice krispie treats for our guests, braeden came for the day/night to play with braden, school, took ephram to the dr. for pink eye, braden had lab work and tb test (for eyes), welch's came for the day/night, kiddos played outside most of the day and had a ball, great catching up with laura, walked with her in the evening, and stayed up until midnight.

March 21- went on a walk with all the kiddos and laura, said goodbye at 10:(, school while Braeden played with ephram and joined in with us, played Old Maid with Kinsey, worked on blog books, braden played lots of games with braeden, nice day so kiddos played outside, found out molly was having her 4th boy, chatted with cailey, did triples, shrimp and linguini:), and read to the youngest two while the oldest were working with brian.

March 22- oldest two ran 3 miles (and Braden ran so fast brian had to slow him down!), school, braden went to get tb test checked...and was negative (of course), triples shopping a few times, great 'date time' with kinsey girl, played and tickled ephram and braden and had some great time making "people sandwiches" with them!!, went to kelly's 31 party, and came home to just the boys awake for more fun:).

**ephram said, "what's your name?" "is it heaDer? Oh, and daddy's name is BIan?" (just w/o the r) so cute!!

March 23-watched alex, a little school, triples, lots of playing with the littlest ones, AHG, poor cailey went to sit down and missed the chair..and was horrified in front of her fellow AHG girls:(, took braden to harrison's birthday party, race packet pick up at CFA, almost took E to the ER for an allergic reaction of bumps all over him but all was fine, visited with leslie, got the kiddos ready for their race day, and got great 1 on 1 time with braden to hear all about the party.

March 24- got up bright and early for the Chick fil a race, cheered on the three oldest in the rain with ephram as Cailey and Braden ran their first 10K and Kinsey ran the mile, watched them devour lots of CFA biscuits when it was over:), stopped by the morgan's to share biscuits and tell them about the race, took hot showers, kinsey and braden went to swimming lessons, cleaned the house to rid it of an ant attack!, laundry (just a couple loads), played kings in the corner with kinsey, read w/ ephram, did triples w/ the fam, went to the mall for Easter clothes/claires w/ the fam, and helped Cailey with her Korea poster for writing class.

March 25- braden woke up with a stomach ache so i stayed home from church w/ him while the others went, triples three times (once w/ ephram:), awana, choir, lots of playing together, read tons to ephram and kinsey, and listened to cailey practice for her presentation tomorrow.

March 26- piano, school, took kids to gymnastics (started feeling sick), kelly took ephram and kinsey so i could rest in the afternoon, watched cailey give her oral presentation at writing, rested/ helped the oldest two with work, scouts for braden, got new blog books, and listened to brian read w/ the kiddos.

March 27- woke up not feeling good, school, kiddos played, brian did one last triples run for me, made a big yummy dinner for the fam (with help on the chicken course from braden and cailey), brian did History/Science.

March 28- school, dr's office for my chronic stomach prob's, more school, preschool with ephram, lots of snuggles from the youngest two while the oldest two procrastinated with their school work, and kiddos went to McD's with brian for 25 cents lemonade slushy drinks.

March 29- school, picnic lunch with ephram and kinsey, lots of playing outside, kiddos/neighbors played in the yard all afternoon/evening, and did resurrection eggs/easter candle nightly routine.

March 30- school, walked with kelly, helped with the easter egg hunt at co op, loved watching the kids have a blast at the hunt, dr.'s apt for lab results which didn't show much, cailey and braden had a piano festival, soccer practice for the girls while i stayed home and played with ephram for a long time, lots of baby boy time, and heard all about piano/soccer:).

March 31- rainy soccer games, swimming lessons, lazy day, errands, kiddos played outside, played dinosaurs and read about them with ephram, old maid with kinsey, great talk with braden, cailey spent her day outside with neighbors, and blogged.

Friday, March 30, 2012

yogurt drops

pinterest has taken off and i've been a fan since day 1. i have a TON of sites bookmarked from all the blogs i read so in a way i've been 'pinning' for years.

since we always get so much free yogurt i was intrigued when i saw this idea for yogurt drops. super simple...take whatever yogurt you have, put it in a ziplock bag, cut a hole in it and squeeze it out on a cookie sheet. once it's filled freeze for an hour and repeat until you make WAY more than you know what to do with:).

I used up one 6 pack of yogurts which made a TON of these dots...three containers this size. In the end the kids had fun squeezing out the leftovers into each others' mouths. Since it's been so hot they have LOVED having this along with frozen grapes at snack time.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

chick fil a race

Cailey, Braden and Kinsey (along with Daddy) ran in the Chick Fil A race. They were originally planning on running the 5K (and Kinsey the mile) until they found out there was a 10k and asked if they could run it. After talking to their doctor and finding out it wouldn't ruin their knees for life:) we said yes. They were SO excited and trained by running 3 miles a 2/3 days a week then their "long" run on Sunday mornings before church. They ran 3, 4, 5, 6 on the they only trained for a month but their first run out they were already up to 3 miles so it wasn't hard for them to move up.

Braden LOVES running. It's his in he likes going on training runs, long runs, anything...and does great at it all. He has never cared about time until recently and still doesn't pay attention to it but continues to be faster. There were training runs that he would go out and run so fast that Brian would have to get him to slow down! The most amazing part of it is that even when he runs his fastest he still has conversations...and never breathes hard! Brian just can't get over how he can talk about anything and not be winded even going fast. He has endurance like nobody's business. He is amazing and I can't WAIT to see how God is going to use him.

Kinsey decided she only wanted to do the mile this time instead of the 5K which was great because I was in no condition to run and wouldn't have been able to join her for 3 miles. She went out and did it all by herself for the first time and rocked it! She didn't do much training....maybe four runs total over a month but apparently didn't need it. For the first few she would run the first mile with the other kids then they would finish their run. I told Brian that since it was so easy for her maybe he could try going faster and boy did she! She cut over two minutes off her time then on race day she ran it in 10:14 all by herself!! Girlfriend rocked it!

Cailey LOVES races. And piano recitals. And swim meets. And triathlons. And any kind of competition there is. But she does NOT like to train or practice...for any of it. She got great talent in so many areas but struggles with the desire to practice...which I TOTALLY get. I never would have wanted to do this as a kid and I quit piano SO many times because of practice...but I didn't have the awesome ear and talent she does. Training was not fun for her BUT everyday she'd come home and I'd ask her if she wanted to just not run she wouldn't have it. This was her we are NOT going to push any of our kids to do something if they don't want to. So the training part was not fun for her but she wanted to keep doing it and couldn't WAIT for race day. She just has a natural ability that amazes me where no matter how training went she thrives on competition. She did it. She put in the training...but just didn't love it. And she was BEYOND excited for race day...counting down with excitement and telling everyone about it. She's so funny! And has so much drive!

making a poster for each other before the race

Race day was rainy and yucky. And both the 5K and 10K courses were SUPER hilly (which we knew ahead of time). Because of the times I was only able to see the older two start and finish with no time to go see them halfway and cheer them on because Kinsey had her race in the middle of theirs. So were off! The plan was for Brian to run with whoever was slower. This is the first race they'd done where there weren't enough adults to stay with each kid so we told them each to run at their own pace.

my excited racers!

Cailey LOVES her knee socks...Kinsey loves her pigtails...and Braden says he just wants to be 'normal' lol!

Kinsey was thrilled to start and did SO great!!

she CRACKED ME UP because when she was done, girlfriend thought she ran a marathon and came back with a bagel, banana, orange, yogurt parfait, sausage biscuit, and bottle of water! and yes...she ate it all! oh...then later she got a slushy:).

crossing the finish line...and Ms. Katherine:)

Knowing that in their training run they ran 6 miles in around 1:04 I was guessing they'd be around there or a little after since it was 6.2. It KILLED me to not know where they were or be able to encourage them along the way but I waited at the finish then saw Braden coming up all by himself with no some other adults coming behind him. I was shocked to see him by himself! I thought for sure that Cailey would have been there or Brian but was SO BEYOND proud of him!! I asked him if he saw them and he told me that Cailey was ahead for the first three and a half miles while he was running with Brian and then they caught up to her and Brian stayed with her. So Braden ran BY HIMSELF UPHILL for THREE miles in the rain. and quite honestly I couldn't believe the endurance he had to be able to keep up his pace up the HILLS! He finished in 1:04. He told me that he just kept praying to get up the mile long hills in the end. Proud mama moment for SURE!! The next day he asked Brian if they could start training for another race, too! He has cut 6 minutes off his 5K time this year but more importantly he has found a sport that he LOVES. We'll only do the 10k thing maybe once a year and stick to smaller races for him but I was just so glad he found something he loves so much. Just praying his body (knees) don't get destroyed in the process! I have a feeling that with his amazing endurance he'll follow in daddy's footsteps by running cross country. Only time will tell!

While Braden was getting food and cooling down I was standing at the finish line so worried about what happened to Cailey and Brian. She has always thrived at races finishing way before we thought she would. As the minutes ticked by my anxiety level increased until I finally saw the best sight EVER when she and Brian came around the corner. I was THRILLED to see them and know they were ok!! She looked beyond spent. That day she learned a valuable lesson that I think she'll remember for a long time.

A lesson that I remember learning on a 12 mile run with Molly and Kelly at 5am on a fall morning. Molly and I were gabbing and I was running much faster than I normally did (not realizing it). Kelly was behind and we were meeting Beth for the last four. When we got to 8 and met Beth I was SPENT (as Kelly kept warning me I would be) and struggled to finish the last 4. I was so excited about our 8 mile time I had no idea the last 4 would be so hard. Thankfully that happened to me on a training run though.

SO...Cailey ran the first 3 1/2 in record time. She was running 8 minute pace or a little above for 3 and a half miles. She did it by herself and then the hills came. She was fine on the first two but Brian and Braden finally caught up to her on the third and Brian said she was doubled over and just 'done'. She NEVER stopped. She wanted to..because it was so hilly and hard and she had already run her heart out but she didn't. She ran SO fast on the first half that the second half seemed impossible to her. But bless her heart she found something inside her that allowed her to finish. And I was SO proud of her for finishing because I've been there and KNOW how hard that had to be for her..only worse because she's only 9. I would always tell both Braden and Cailey that in the end the tortoise wins and the first thing she said to me was that she was the hare and ran out of steam. Then later Braden said that he was the tortoise. I think she gets it now but just felt terrible she learned it on race day. I'm not sure if she'll want to do anymore long distance races or if she'll want to stick with 5K's but I do know that she still loves running and did FINISH. She was so sad and disappointed because she came in at 1:11 and knew that the week before she did it in 1:04 but I reassured her that she was AWESOME as there were many adults who came in after her and that I couldn't even run it! She did great! but she knew she could do better and was sad...until she saw the food:). Silly girl! She still says she wants to run a 1/2 marathon when she's 12....only time will tell!

my wet boy...the oldest three were FREEZING after running in the rain so they shared a jacket. At one point all three of them were sharing it:). ephram was a TROOPER for the whole thing!

i love this picture. they were coming back from getting "FREE!!!!" slushies. sweet cailey just could not believe that they were free! and yes...they were freezing but wouldn't pass up ICE to drink.

we never stay for awards because quite honestly I didn't even know they had awards after races (other than first place). now i'm wondering if they've ever won any before because they both won FIRST place for their age/gender category!! They were SO excited to win a medal because we didn't even know that was a possibility. Oh, and winning a medal made Cailey feel so much better about the race because she realized that even though it wasn't the best she had ever done it was still faster than so many other people. I always tell them that finishing is the most important thing:).

We are SO proud of all three for finishing! Cailey and Braden wore their medals all day...including to the mall later on in the day:).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

number 2.

he lost number two!! numbers three, four, and five are wiggly...but he's not one to wiggle so I'm guessing it'll be a while on those. i requested he get the front top ones out so he'll have teeth for pictures at the beach and Christmas but I don't see them coming out soon:). maybe he'll be able to sing, "all i want for Christmas is my two front teeth:)." number two was pulled like number one because there was already a tooth halfway I told him to go see Brian and get it pulled. it was SO wiggly that it was time. and it was painless.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

9 little children....

While Laura was visiting in April we were also hosting Braeden since he was tracked out. Braeden came over at 8:15 am one day and didn't have to leave until 1:30 the it was a super long sleepover:)! He had a great time playing with EVERYONE and I was so thankful that they were all over together because everyone got along so well:).

The day was spent playing games, TONS of outside time, having girl talk, carrying "prince" ephram who was laughing hysterically, going on walks, and catching up.

Laura and I were talking about how FAST the kiddos are growing up...especially the oldest girls. They were walking off on their own having their own conversations...that we didn't hear. Surreal. Planning to be college roomies...boy I hope that God keeps them close as they grow up! What a blessing that they have each other...even if they can only see each other once a month. And Kinsey and Hannah...and Ephram and Samuel, and Braden with Isaac..can't wait to see how these friendships grow closer as their age gap starts to not matter as much as they get older.

Cailey was asking us if we thought they'd be friends when they were in our belly's...but truthfully we lived miles apart with Laura in SC and us in MA so we didn't know if the girls would even know each other. I was SO excited when I found out that she was having a girl though! It seemed impossible, but God brought us both to NC when the girls were so little and they were able to become instant friends...seeing each other once a week until they now once a month. Such a blessing!

And Laura always says, "WHAT did we do with ourselves when we only had TWO children??" (Just Cailey and Rebecca)...but it didn't last long because Braden came home right after Cailey turned two. Sigh. Memories:). Sweet memories....

Monday, March 26, 2012

runaway 'returns'? and speedy...

We assumed our turtle rescue, Runaway, had left months ago but low and behold Braden spotted him walking around under the deck. The kids were SO excited (as were us adults) because we thought that without a water source he had moved on. Now they have no trouble finding him as he seems to stay under the porch while the kids are out and wander around the yard when he's all alone back there. (We can see him from the homeschool room window).

A few days after the kids rediscovered runaway Cailey found this little turtle, Speedy, on a walk with Kinsey and I. She carried it home for over a mile! When we were almost home this little turtle decided it had enough and was scratching her and 'swimming' with it's legs but she got it all the way home. It was very fast...and I was pretty sure it wouldn't hang around long. They played with it for a few days before it finally moved on to another home. Runaway is still hanging out in the backyard for now we have a 'pet' that doesn't have to be cared for yet provides hours of entertainment for the kiddos.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

impromptu sleepover

Leslie and Tommy got sick and called to see if we could feed their kiddos dinner. Well I THRIVE on being able to serve others and went right over to pick up the kids. They joined in and ate Rio Chicken Quesadillas then went outside to play for a while before we took them all to church for refuel.

When I went to take the kids home after church I took one look at Leslie and told the kids to pack a suitcase because they were gonna spend the night. Ephram was BEYOND excited to have Winston sleepover...which would be a first for him to have one of his friends over!

We actually separated the girls since it was a school night. We wanted them to get as much sleep as possible! It ended up that Cailey slept with Winston because he got sad (being used to having his mommy with him)...but all turned out well!

The next morning everyone ate breakfast together then Brian took the girls to school. Winston stayed with us all day and played with ephram. Then we picked the girls up from school and kept them until bedtime. The kids were so excited to surprise them by picking them up in the carpool line!

i made cake batter rice krispie treats for an after school treat and they were DEVOURED by the gang! they played outside (after doing homework) for the afternoon while i made spaghetti pie, garlic breadsticks, broccoli, and cut up fresh veggies for dinner....which again, was devoured!

So thankful for these sweet neighbors and friends!