Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pictures that make me smile

Life has been pretty rough the past few days. Not like catastrophic-rough, but more like life-is-busy-Mommy-is-tired-and-wearing-thin hard. It's not so much that having three kids is hard. It's having three kids PLUS LIFE is hard. Since nothing is changing (other than Derek finishing grad school this week!!!!) I've decided that I simply need to an attitude change. I founds myself looking through some pictures that made me smile and I'm posting them here so I am forced to remember, write, and focus on all of the pretty great things we have going on for us! Basically, I'm "therapizing" myself utilizing positive psychology. 

This is a sign that the kids made for Derek for his birthday. The "S" makes me smile. :)


Isabelle went through a phase were she kept picking me flowers. And if that wasn't thoughtful enough, then she even found a vase (candle holder) and watered them. 


A few weekends ago, we traveled to Springfield to visit my sister and some old college friends including Billy, our campus minister. He's now an owner of a coffee shop in Ozark and we really enjoyed a getting to briefly catch up over some hot chocolate and a cookie! 


We also got to visit our friends Missy and Jeff. It's been YEARS since we've seen them and it was so good to see them. I'm so glad we're the kind of friends that even when we don't get the opportunity to hang out and visit as much as we'd like, we always pick up right where we left off! Missy is battling some pretty aggressive breast cancer and she is doing so with such grace and joy. You can follow her story on facebook! You can tell by her smile that she's still in great spirits. She held Caroline and said, "You've got more hair than I do!!!" I treasure this picture! 


For book club last month, we went to see, Emily Giffin, the author of some of our previous book club books. It wasn't like meeting Meg Cabot, but it was still fun and I love any excuse to visit the Plaza!


 Jackson is a GREAT big brother! These two have a pretty special bond. 



Caroline LOVES to swing. How can you be grumpy when you see this picture???


Right before I took this photo, Belle asked, "Mom, do I look cool?" I love her confidence to be herself! 


What really convicted me to change my attitude was our timely discussion in Sunday school today. We're in the book of Zechariah reading about all of the prophecies of The Day of The Lord and discussing how patient the Lord has continued to be over thousands of years of continuous sin on this earth. In focusing on how the Lord continues to show us grace, mercy, and unwavering love, I am reminded that the same is expected of me towards my family. This is one of those times when my kids have become the teacher to allow me to know and understand My Father in a deeper, more intimate way! 

So here's to the new week-- a deeper understanding of God's love for his children and a new positive attitude! And it's my birthday week! Woo hoo! :)

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Life Lately

So I just wanted to drop in for a quick second. Our house is all sorts of craziness right now. Derek is in Chicago on a business trip. I call it a vacation because he gets to sleep uninterrupted all night. The criterion for vacation has surely changed. 

Speaking of vacation, Derek and I have been planning our upcoming summer vacation through emails, texts, and brief phone calls. It'll definitely be a new kind of "vacation" for us-- the kind where it's not really a vacation at all, just normal life only at a more desirable location. But, I'm totally pumped. The kids are excited. And we've already started letting them know that there will be a VERY LONG drive to get to the beach-- 18 hours of drive time, which equals about double that when driving with children. 

What have the kids been up to lately? Well, Jackson likes to take selfies. 


The other day, I stopped by the school to work on the end-of-the-school year bulletin board (see exhibit A) and happened to spot jackson as he walked through the halls. He stopped to wave and blow me a kiss. I know that one day he'll be too old and too cool for that, but I'm going to blow kisses and wave back as long as he'll let me!

Bulletin board accomplished-- sleeping baby and all. ;)



Isabelle is going to be a flower girl next month. I ordered her a new dress and it came in the mail this weekend. She's so excited! 


I have been doing my best to keep house, care for children, still work part-time, and maintain (kinda) my sanity while Derek's gone. Caroline is a big help. Look how she helps me keep the counters clean! Her arms may be only10 inches long- but her radius is about 3 feet. It's quite amazing actually.



Oh! Guess what?! After starting the month with more sickness and breathing treatments for Caroline she is officially completely healthy for the first time in 2015.

I'm going to say that again. She's officially healthy for the first time in 2015.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Well, she still has a cough but she's back to her non-cranky-all-the-time-self, she's sleeping better, and she's just SO much more pleasant to be around. So last night I got 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, which is also a first for 2015.

6 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Man, the criterion for getting excited these day. I actually received a birthday coupon in the mail from our grocery store the other day for $10 off. I told Derek that I know I am getting old when $10 off groceries is actually a pretty cool gift!

So much for a quick minute. I'm cutting into my uninterrupted hours of sleep. Have a great week!

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Resurrection Day!

Resurrection is the word of the day around here. Jackson learned that word in Sunday school and he's pretty proud of knowing it. I wanted to pop in here and some (or a lot) of pictures that I (or my sister) has taken over the past few days as we've celebrated Easter. 

We started out by dying eggs on Friday. I think these face stickers are the funnest eggs we've ever made. Aren't they looking quite dapper? 


We're a silly bunch. :)


We went to the easter egg hunt at church on Saturday and stuck around for a few slices of pizza. Domino's-- my favorite!



The Easter Bunny brought some baskets. The big kids got mostly gardening stuff and Caroline got some bath toys and new pacifiers. 



And here's just a large assortment of family photos. I love all the fun colors! The kids said we all look like Easter Eggs. :)






Caroline is sick (AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!) and wasn't feeling up for too many pictures. Look at her sad little lip. 


My parents, my Grandma Dryer, and my sister Laura came down and joined us at church this morning. We enjoyed a nice Easter lunch and spent quite a bit of time outside. My sister Laura recently bought a hammock and she brought it over so we could share in the fun. Oh man, was it much more relaxing and comfy that I had imagined (aside from wiggly kiddos). 


This girl... love her!

Jack and Aunt Laura


We had a small egg hunt for the kids in the front yard.



Caroline with me and my sis!


The temps dropped pretty dramatically this afternoon. Although it got quite chilly, the winds picked up and the kids were super pumped about trying out their new kites. It was very fun. 


Isabelle said, "Hold my hand, Daddy, so I don't fly away!" 


We went over to Derek's parents later in the evening and had a nice time hanging out with more family. We even attempted to get a pic of all the cousins-- and it worked! How cute are all these guys? 


Whew! And now I don't feel so bad about being so tired over the last few days. We've crammed in a lot. I love, love, love the days when we get to spend time with family!!! Though as much as I love my family and the fun celebrations, I love to tell the story of why this day is so very special.
Luke 24:2-3 "And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus." 
Happy Resurrection Day!

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Six Months: Caroline

Dear baby girl-- You turned 6 months old last week! You're super sweet and we love watching you grow and do new things-- like sitting up all on your own and being VERY enthusiastic to eat food. We had hoped that this would have been a month that'd we finally get to sleep-- however, you ended up with an ear infection so maybe next month? 


You make life super fun and things are so busy I don't have time to go on and on this month. But, we love you to pieces! XOXO

Oh-- and this picture of all you kiddos is my new favorite!

I can barely believe I get to be a Mama to all three of your guys. Best job ever!

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Meet Malcolm, my fur nephew

Since the beginning of this year, we have been dog-watching my brother's dog, Malcolm.  Phil has been preparing to take his med school board exams and he studies practically from sun up to sun down (or perhaps longer). The therapist part of me is somehow concerned that med school might really just be a very expensive, socially acceptable way to cause unnecessary harm to one self. Hopefully these intense years in school will pay off someday. 

Anyway,  he knew that he wouldn't be able to give Malcolm the attention he needs and so he asked if Malcolm could stay with us for awhile. It worked out great because my kids looooove Malcolm and it has been a great temporary fix for my kids who want a dog. My brother left very few instructions. However, it was strongly conveyed that he wants pictures of Malcolm and/or the kids on a regular basis. So... I have a TON of pictures.

All of my kiddos have enjoyed time with Malcolm



Malcolm starts to go crazy when it's time to pick Jackson from school. I'm not even sure how he can tell time, but he will pace by the door at 3:00 waiting for me to get everyone ready and out the door! Then he waits patiently by Jackson's seat and welcomes him home.


This is my spot on the bed, by the way. There have been times when I have taken Malcolm outside to potty and then had to race back in order to get to my spot first. This dog is clearly spoiled at home. 


Snuggles in the sun!


After a very, very cold couple of weeks-- Malcolm and Jackson were thrilled to get outside and play.


This night was so funny. Jackson was playing a video game and Malcolm just climbed right up on his lap! :)


Malcolm hasn't had a lot of experience playing in the snow. He had fun!


Malcolm is the master of naps. I was hoping he might give some tips to Caroline, but no such luck. :) The big kids love to make sure Malcolm is covered up!



I have several photos of Isabelle and Malcolm sleeping together...





This one is my favorite. Can you tell Malcolm has his head ON Belle? So sweet. 



As Valentine's Day approached, I knew Phil was really starting to miss his dog. I cannot even believe that I even searched on pinterest how to make a dog-gift, let alone work so hard to make it... but I did, and I loved how it turned out! Phil loved it too. Malcolm also "wrote a letter" describing his time here. This was about the time Malcolm made the transition from just being a dog into being my fur-nephew.


And if I thought I was crazy for helping a dog celebrate Valentine's Day, I knew that I had crossed over into ridiculous territory once Phil messaged me that it was Malcolm's birthday.


I ran to the store, picked up a few supplies, and we had a birthday party for a dog.


We sang happy birthday and Malcolm even got a few presents.


Malcolm has become just part of the family-- so of course he wanted to participate in Caroline's monthly pictures!


Malcolm's favorite part of the day is when I load the dishwasher! Another man's trash is another man's dog's treasure I guess!


 Isabelle hardly gives Malcolm any breathing space. He's a good sport and always sits calmly and accepts her love.


Malcolm loves walks around the pond down the street. They do a good job of walking him and they each have only hand their feet pulled from under them once. 


The kids like to  bring Malcolm to the playground when we walk across the street. They like to show him off and also drag him through the equipment. Belle wanted him to go down a slide, but he stubbornly sat until she gave up.


And earlier this week, Malcolm accompanied me and the girls as we walked to get Jackson from school. It was good exercise for us all!


And this is my favorite picture! Isabelle got upset because Malcolm wouldn't took at the camera and smile. :) 


I started to say to someone the other day that I don't know what the kids will do once Malcolm leaves. Well, Isabelle has said that she asked Uncle Philip and he agreed that she will just move in with him and Malcolm until she's a grown up. Those are her words! 

But actually, I'm not sure what I'll do when Malcolm leaves (other than enjoy having my side of the bed to myself again)! He is Belle's special buddy while Jack is at school. He keeps my kids exercised when they play outside. He eats food off the floor so I don't have to sweep so often!

Phil took his exam yesterday so Malcolm will only be hanging out with us for a little while longer. As much as we've enjoyed having Malcolm around, my brother has missed him terribly. I'm certain Malcolm is anticipating the quiet life he has at home. Now, I'm just trying to consider how I can send one kiddo to Uncle Philip's for a few months... or maybe just consolidate all three into a shorter period of time. That'll be even, don't ya think? :) 

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