Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It's Been a While as Usual...

Better late than never, right?  I'm going to stick with that belief while I work on this super long post of the past month and a half...

Life has been busy, as usual.  And pretty good, besides the what feels like constant arguing and bickering going on between kids.  It's kind of been driving me insane, but I'm hoping it's a phase that will pass. There's also been some bad attitudes popping up, so we're trying to squash those right away.  The kids are growing up and Zack and I are figuring out how we need to mold our parenting around that. It can be so tricky to figure out just what works for each different personality in the house.  They are giving us a run for our money but we love them more than life and wouldn't trade our crazy life for anything.

     Zane is being challenged so much this year by his teacher which has been nice and is keeping him busy and engaged.  He is really into sports, especially football and soccer.  He's starting flag football soon and we also found a cool little indoor soccer place where he can play pick-up games.  Last week was his school's read-a-thon and he seriously read almost 20 hours during the week. A long weekend was mixed in that week, which helped.  The guy is still just as obsessed with reading. 
     Emmy likes Kindergarten.  She is ready to come home at 11:30 each day though, she's kind of a homebody.  She loves having "girl time" in the afternoons with me while Molly naps and Smith rests.  Her favorite things right now are her acting class and swimming.  She performed in the "Snow Queen" a couple weeks ago. She's also into art.  She's constantly creating new projects, painting, making bracelets, etc. She's so good at taking care and playing with Smith and Molly. She also helps me a ton in the kitchen and with other chores. It's awesome.
     Smith is still a handful, but is growing out his incredible temper tantrum stage.  I haven't had to carry him out screaming in a while now, which is a good sign.  He's turned into a great friend and is getting so good at playing well with Molly and his other buddies.  He gives the biggest hugs and kisses and is the most loving little dude and cracks us up.  He is still obsessed with superheroes and wants to play with his little figurines or in costumes all day long.  Lately he's loved Big Hero 6 characters too.  Music is also a big part of his days - he wants to carry the iPad around and play his playlist all day.  He and Molly's dance moves are getting pretty good.

The weather has been absolutely amazing!!  It has boosted our attitudes a bit and we are loving being outside. 

We washed the cars a couple days ago, which was an absolute blast for Emmy and Smith.  Zane was upstairs in his room working on a comic book. :)

 These guys do have moments of AWESOME friendship.  I savor it for sure.

 Who knew burying hands and feet in rice could be so fun?
 Sicky girl
 My sisters and mom and I met Grandma and Pappy at Cracker Barrel.  I hadn't been there in years.  The kids liked the rocking chairs out front.

 Boys time!!!  There were a couple of times that we dropped Emmy off at a birthday party and spent some good quality time together, just the boys.  This time we went to a park.
The next time, we got to walk around the shops at Orchard.  We got frozen yogurt, played at a park, and just walked around.
 I wish I had more pictures from this week, but our school had a Read-a-thon where the kids kept track of the minutes they read and earned prizes, they had special guests visit the school, etc. They kicked the week off with "Milk and Cookies" where the kids got to listen to their teachers read aloud and eat milk and cookies.  We brought Grandma and Molly along for the fun. :) And by the way, Zane read the 2nd most out of all K-2 graders that week.  He's a champ!  The rest of us read a ton too.
Valentine's Day...
Heart pancakes!

 Heart hair
 On actual Valentine's Day, we took the kids tubing up in Frasier.  We almost didn't go bc both Zack and I felt sick, but we toughed it out and it ended up being an absolute blast.  I love that all 3 kids love adventure and daring things.  They were all way more brave than Zack and I were comfortable letting them be.  They just kept wanting to do more and more.

 Crooked goggles - didn't bother him a bit. Haha

 Oh yeah!!

 We got a TON of snow in February.  I think it broke a record.  Here's Em, Molly, and Zane making some mean snow angels.
 And snowball fight.
 Smith wanted nothing to do with it, so they had a snowball fight with him with the door in between. :)
 Emmy has really started reading more on her own. She has been dying to start reading for forever now, so she feels so proud of herself now that she's starting to get it.  Watching kids learn how to read is one of the best parts of parenting, I think!
 Here's Emmy practicing her magic show and new tricks on an audience (Smith and Molly)

 The kids were learning how to draw Baymax in the Disney Store.
 Working together on puzzles, and next thing I know they were all 3 watching a screen of some kind.
 The big kids and I sledding.  They are SO brave!

 Like I said, lot's of snow in Feb!
This is Smith, pretending like he's Tommy, our favorite worship leader at our church. 
 Every other year or so, our church puts on a humungous and extraordinary party called, "Shine" for disabled or marginalized people who normally wouldn't get invited to parties.  It's an enormous celebration for them where they feel welcome, loved, special, and just have so much fun.  Zack has volunteered for it before, but this year I also got to be on a team.  I invited Katy to join me and we were on the hostess team, who sat the guests at their tables.

Before the party, we took the kids to sneak a peak at all the cool decorations.  Smith was in love with all the superhero decor. I mean, just look at this cool board of super hero masks.  Wow!  Here's Zack and Smith checking it out.
 Super heroes!
 My friend Katy and I had such a blast.  I literally enjoyed every single second of helping at the event.  I am thankful that I get to be part of a church that follows in Jesus' example of serving others and partying with them. :)
 Here are some of my fellow sophomore girl leaders.
 Dance party with a live band!!
We are so lucky - the coordinator of Shine saved our kids' a few superhero posters from the party.  Wow, they are so cool and went straight up in our basement play room. 
They were a little excited.

 My bug and me
 I took these two cuties to the Children's Museum one afternoon while Zane was in school.

 Emmy's favorite activity right now are her acting classes. Recently, she got to act in "Snow Queen."  She played Daisy, the Ice Princess.  She did a great job on stage. Unfortunately, Zack missed the show because he was out of town, but he surprised Emmy with a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the day of her play.  It made her feel beyond special and loved.  This gesture made her day, week, and she took time to sit by them and smell them every single day that they were alive.
 Em before the show, getting ready.  Our sweet actress.
 The audience members... Bob, Judi, Dad, and Nell
 And Jord and Molly joined us too

 Emmy is the second from the right

 Here are a few pictures from our visit to Aunt Nell's house.  We went to see how her renovations were coming along and I helped her start to unpack her dishes into her new kitchen.
The kids had so much fun in their new hideout.  Nellie had saved a special space just for them under her stairs.  We added twinkle lights, blankets, hooks, etc. What a cool spot!
 Zane did some artwork in Aunt Nell's art studio
 And they watched "Sandlot" and ate Lucky Charms on the couches.  Spoiled? Yes.
 One morning, we invited a couple of our good friends over to play.  The four kids and I went to a park for the afternoon. There was still so much snow, even though it was really warm outside.  It took forever for it to melt.
 The wore boots so their feet wouldn't freeze.
I love this one of these two cuties.

 A couple weeks ago, after going on a field trip with Zane to see it, I called to see if I could get tickets to see "Charlotte's Web" on stage, since I knew Em and Smith would love it.  They were completely sold out through April, except for that exact day.  We got the last 3 tickets.  So lucky!!  We absolutely loved it.  Smith is getting so big - he sat through the whole play!

 One random picture of Zane focusing on his picture he was creating at the Museum of Nature and Science.  I didn't take any other pics that day.  Oops.
 This picture cracks me up - Emmy wanted to hold our friends' new baby Micah and she was so happy doing it, but still wanted to watch TV at the same time.  Haha.

 The kids painted and created Leprechaun traps.  The next morning, we saw that the leprechaun had been there, but got out of the traps.  Maybe next year!
 We signed Emmy up for t-ball and Zane up for baseball this summer.  They are both really excited.  We got out for a little bit to practice. :)

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