Thursday, July 26, 2018


Currently waiting on the carpet guy to show up while the baby naps, KC's at camp, and the boys are playing downstairs with neighbors. While our leak is now fixed (hopefully) the carpet that had to be torn out has been discontinued so we are trying to come up with a good solution. We bought the carpet 2 years ago. Just our luck ;).

Currently signing up for the fall consignment sale because my office is drowning in outgrown baby clothes.

Currently worried about repairing a fence of our neighbor's. A tree limb fell Sunday and damaged a fence and I think we have to fix it.

Currently dealing with a very moody 11 year old who had a sleepover last night and saw a late movie.

Currently have toys scattered among the driveway that need to find a home. I put three baskets of toys away in April before the mold remediation and the girls just found them and dragged them all out. I really don't want to bring them back into the house.

Currently loving the Big Little Meal from the Fresh Market for making dinner just so easy.

Currently wondering how summer is slipping by so fast, but longing for the schedule of school to return.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Trip to the Mountains

Alternative Title: How to Lose a Friend in 5 Days (just kidding, our friends are awesome)
Alternative Title: Water Woes

Oooh goodness. The Mountains, they are beautiful. But I'm pretty sure that water has it out for my family.  Over spring break we had our house remediated for mold while enjoying the beautiful Lake Tillery with our friends. And while in the mountains the river ate our only set of car keys. And currently the downstairs hallway has the carpet torn out, a fan blowing on the wall, and most likely a leaky toilet poised to be removed in an hour. I hear water and I have a mini panic attack these day.

But back to our mountain trip. We have some awesome friends who plan awesome vacations. We went to the lake with them, they planned our Disney trip we did together, and the week before the 4th they texted they'd rented a house in the mountains and asked if we'd like to come too. We were trying to be considerate and not totally cramp their vacation style so we said we'd come for the weekend and then head back. Chris had a big meeting Monday morning so it seemed to work.

We arrived Saturday to do some summer tubing at Sugar mountain. It was hot but the kids had fun. And I quickly met my exercise goal. We headed to the house after that it was it was amazing. The views, the set up, it couldn't have been more perfect. The adults and Katherine claimed the upstairs and the kids claimed the downstairs with bunk beds, a foosball table, air hockey, and ping pong. We were ready to move in.

We spent the weekend hiking, eating, and hanging out on porch. At night the lightening bugs would like up the trees and it was just an unreal sight. In all our years of knowing each other I never realized Chris had never been to the mountains. We'd gone to Asheville but that was more of a city getaway then a real mountain getaway. He loved it. I'm pretty sure we will be doing it again.

In the picture below, KC had just fallen in the river and I'm just standing there posing while my friend takes care of her. This seemed to be a theme of the trip as later on in our tubing adventure my friend saved her life when she fell out of her tube (I was ahead and clinging to Katherine for her dear life).

It was cold enough for a blanket in the middle of the day. Chris jokingly took this picture, but each night he was out there with a blanket as well.

Katherine made sure we never missed a sunrise.

By Sunday night we'd convinced Chris to call into his important meeting and we'd planned on leaving Katherine behind for a nap and taking the older kids tubing. Then Monday morning his meeting was cancelled when the meeting leader became sick. So we gathered all the kids and decided to go tubing together. There are no pictures, as we left our phones in the van. But it was a trip we wish we'd never gone on.

The van that drove us up the river to our spot to put in lacked seatbelts, windows, and ran out of gas (luckily it had a second tank, but we sat in the middle of a mountain road while he tried to get it started again). Then he dropped us on the side of road and we had to get the kids and tubes all together. Also when we asked about lifejackets, he'd forgotten them. The river was described as being slow and shallow (and this was true in some parts, but when KC fell in, my friend had to grab her by the hair to keep her from going all the way in). We got everyone in and each adult had a little kid (4 kids 4 and under and 4 adults) but the guide also forgot rope for us to tie together. So we clung to the kids tubes down the river. The guide also gave Katherine a tube, which I found a little puzzling. I could not imagine putting her in a tube by herself without a life jacket and thinking she's going to sit there for 3 hours. Midway we had to cross a low bridge by getting out and that's when we realized the keys were out of Chris' pocket. I probably had a panic attack right there. We went the rest of the way down the river after Chris and our friend took a long walk up the river trying to find the keys. Once all the way down our friends shuttled us back to the house in multiple trips and while waiting we called AAA and the Honda dealership and had things arranged for the van to be towed and a new key to be made. It took a full day to get the van back so our friends shuttled us to Boone for a day and after that we there was only one more day of vacation so we crashed their whole trip.

And they are absolutely amazing friends because they did it all with a smile on their face.

We did get the van back in time to take on a couple more hikes before checking out the next morning.

The last sunset of our trip from Beacon Heights.

We made it home to celebrate the 4th and get some rest, and that weekend the van battery died. And like I said earlier, currently the carpet downstairs is missing, molding is off the wall and there are two huge fans drying the wall. So Lady Luck if you're listening, I'd like things to turn around just a bit.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Summer time

It seems hard to believe we are already halfway into summer. I was slightly dreading the chaos of everyone home and the fighting that comes with it. Luckily I've been pleasantly surprised and the fighting has been somewhat manageable (maybe we all needed a little more togetherness).
The boys and KC each have a camp week (although N gets two!). Right now they are just day camps or half day camps. Since we have such free days with our only true schedule definer being Katherine's nap, I tried to bring a little order to the chaos by holding a "family meeting" every morning at 8:30. It's worked like a charm and we've done it every week day we've been home. It consists of a devotion (I'd purchased a Jesus Calling one but reverted back to my favorite, d365 app), some assignment (writing, answering reading questions, math, something to keep them thinking), a list of their chores for the day (praise hands here, love having the help this summer), and then they list their prayer requests for that day. Each Friday or Monday they also set two kindness goals for the week. This has been a challenge. They like to write, "Make a new friend" or "I'll help someone when they fall." These are great goals, but I've asked them to make easy goals they can achieve in a week. This week N has written to bring the newspaper to our elderly neighbor's door, and make Texas hash for our church when they serve the homeless. T is still on "I'll be kind to my brother" and still hasn't met it. On Friday's we spice up our family meeting by taking it to a local breakfast place. We're currently in a split vote over where this Friday's will occur.

Some pictures of our summer happenings so far -

KC turned 4! The only thing she wanted was Anna and Elsa balloons. So I delivered. My parents gave her a Rapunzel dress, her second wish list item. And since we were having a few family friends over we rented a bounce house for the kids. We stuck with our ice cream theme for KC's party (and it works with Frozen too), but also ended up ordering pizza when we were all still partying past 6pm (and a major kick ball tournament had broken out with no signs of stopping).

KC was sick on her actual birthday but rallied towards the afternoon. She really wanted a Frozen themed cake so I picked out some Frozen figures from the Disney Store to put on her cake. KC picked out all the candles and asked to decorate the cake herself. She carried the candles around for days before her actual birthday because she was so excited.

Pools, playgrounds and splash pads have filled our summer. The boys have also had fun running through the hood finding friends. This relaxed and lazy summer has also led to N's first sleepover (and followed quickly by a few more, luckily always just two houses down).

We celebrated Father's Day with my parents and spent the weekend visiting family.

The boys stayed with my parents a few days and we took the girls home. We didn't get a picture with all the kids and Chris on Father's Day but there were ones with him, the boys, and KC, and then this one. Not picture perfect and still picture perfect all at the same time.

Katherine and Chris matched so perfectly one morning. It was definitely not planned.

During summer, our church doesn't have Sunday School for the boys, and provides childcare for preschoolers. KC loves going into her class. They have these blocks she loves and they have fifteen minutes of music. Katherine has really adjusted well but will still cry for the first minute after drop off. The first time they took her to music, she screamed. They calmed her down by walking her back to the room. Once she was calm they took her back to music, where she screamed. Turns out, she was screaming for KC because all the preschoolers do music together. She's okay with seeing her now and returning to her own class until we pick her up, but how sweet that this baby wanted to be with her big sister.

Our house is a complete disaster on a daily basis.

And no summer is complete without lots and lots of ice cream.