Sunday, April 29, 2012

Be our guest!

This week we had a special visitor in our home.  His name is Howard.
 Howard is a special dog.
When you are in preschool, you get to bring him home for a week and take care of him and then journal about all your adventures.
 This week Howard played all kinds of fun games with us... hide-n-seek, zingo, marble races... he even had a tea party with us.  That Howard wasn't very good at drinking tea with his pinky in the air but we let it slide...because actually this is not Carter's strong suit either. :)
He also went all sorts of places with us - to the store, to the park, to ride go-karts (although he stayed in the car during the go-kart rides!)  He was going to go to Carter's t-ball game...but we left him at home.  Sorry, Howard! :(
 Howard even went with Carter to his kindergarten screening!
(And - can my little Carter actually be going to kindergarten next fall???)
Even cuter?  Howard slept with Carter in his bed for every night of his visit.

Thanks for coming to visit us, Howard!
We will miss you. :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

{Friday Favorite Things}

My favorite things this Friday....

A husband who works hard and takes good care of our family and home even on the days he would "rather lick toilets clean for a living"....

Chloe's first spontaneous "I love you, Mama" complete with hug.  Out of the clear blue.  Makes me teary just thinking about it.

Snuggling up with Audrey to watch and comment on American Idol.   Because heaven knows Chad will never do this with me.  And probably Carter won't either.  So glad I have my daughters!

Lying on the kitchen floor with Carter, markers scattered everywhere, to work on his special "This is Me" poster for preschool.  Now I know he aspires to be a drummer AND an astronaut!

Eating a delicious brunch with my Bible study friends after a two-week break.  Sweet fellowship.

Legs that - although tired and sore - can now run 6 miles.

My dirty house....dirty because spring has arrived and 3 little pairs of dusty feet and grimy hands are running all around the yard, rolling in the grass, picking dandelions, splashing through puddles, and making forts in the backyard. 

Up-too-late nights, reading The Hunger Games trilogy.  And for a young female protagonist that is strong, courageous, and not obsessed with boys. 

And coffee.  Always thankful for coffee. ;)

Linking up with....
(stumbled onto this wonderful blog)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Space Cadet

Carter has been VERY interested in the solar system for awhile now.  The planets hang suspended from the ceiling of his room.  He owns a few books about space/planets/etc. that he has practically memorized.  I found some planet flashcards in the Target dollar bins that he enjoys.  He even received this motorized solar system for his birthday this year! 
During church, he used to ask me to write out the planets' names so he could copy them and draw them.  Last week he did this all on his own.  Every single planet written out from memory.  In "fancy" writing no less. :)
Today we were outside and while I was talking with a neighbor, he was busy doing this.  Drawing a solar system out of chalk on the driveway.  He even drew the planets proportionally! (ie, Jupiter is the largest, Pluto is the smallest, etc.)
Tonight when I was saying good-night to Carter, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, thinking he would say "an astronaut."

He quickly answered:  "A drummer!"

Drums.  Another slight obsession interest he has...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Crayola Factory

Yesterday Chad took the day off and we decided to take the kids to the Crayola Factory.  It was a bit of a trip but definitely worth it.  The kids, every one of them, has really been into "art" lately - coloring, painting, drawing, etc.  So we knew it would be a fun outing for them.

The kids loved that the building had crayons falling out of the box
 Coloring on the Dry E-race car
 Painting "alien spaceships" (aka paper plates) :)
 Playing with the "model magic"
 Coloring a page of Chloe with Cinderella
 Intently working....
...then being a cheese ball.
 We all loved doodling on the glowing wall.
 Yup, that's my boy.
 Inside the factory there is also a little waterworks museum where kids can put their boat through a "canal" and see how canals work. 
Chloe had a lot of fun with this too but ended up soaked! She didn't like it so she started to take her pants off right there in the museum...eek!
 All 3 kids....and Carter with chalk all over his pants
 Headed to look at the Crayola store (you know they're going to try to get you to buy something else...)  We resisted.  How many crayons do 3 kids need????
 By the wall of colors.  I don't know what's up with all the posing going on but what else would I expect from these 3???

Highly recommend going there if you have young kids.  For us - finding things that all 3 kids (at their various ages and developmental stages) can do (and/or enjoy doing!) is not always easy.  But this was fun for all!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sweetness is....

....sending your little boy out in the front yard to play
....hearing a little knock on the door a short while later
....seeing  his sweet face bursting with pride and joy as he clutches a small bouquet
 ....watching him hand them to you
....hearing him say "Mommy, I picked 3 dandelions - one for you, one for Audrey, and one for Chloe!"
....bursting with happiness at the sweet and thoughtful heart God has given him - today, for the girls in his life
....praying that he will continue to grow into a kind and caring young man who cherishes the women in his life.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Fun

Chad was out of town all last week so we were all happy to have him home for Easter weekend.

We started the weekend with some Easter Egg dyeing.
Carter spent the whole day asking "is it time to do the easter eggs yet?" :)
He was pretty pumped about this activity...
If anyone that I went to high school with every reads this you recognize this "smock"???
Yup, it's my old gym shirt.  I don't know why but I could never just throw it out.  Weird. 
This is the first year that Chloe actually participated in doing eggs.  She loved it!
And somehow, no eggs were broken. 
This picture doesn't show it, but Chad always colors really unique and cool eggs.  Carter was cracking us up because he kept exclaiming things like "Daddy, your egg is so cool!"and "Daddy, your egg is so CREATIVE" !?  Where did he learn that word?
(Okay, I know it is from his teacher at preschool.  She is amazing.)
Partway through this process, Audrey decided that we should have prizes for the best eggs.  So she ran back to her room and made some.  I was very proud of her.  Originally she just made one ribbon, but then she decided to make two and give one to Daddy and one to Carter. 
As you can see, Carter is pretty proud of his "achievement".
This is random and has nothing to do with Easter.
But Chloe drew this on the doodle board and said "This is Daddy, Mommy, Audrey, Carter & Chloe."  Looks just like us, right?  So cute.
On Sunday morning we send the kids on a "treasure hunt" to find their Easter baskets.
They love it!  We hide the clues in eggs.

This year we hid them in the van! :)
Excited about their loot!
Checking it all out.
My first attempt at pictures was not very successful.
Chad was at church early to help with set up/video so I was flying solo.
Carter was pouty about having to wear a "button shirt"...
Chloe did not want to stand still.
Audrey was the only cooperative one!
Yup, even offering lollipops didn't work....
After church we went to my parents.  This picture turned out much better!
After our brunch the kids hunted eggs in my parents' yard.
At this point he has forgotten about the button shirt!
How grown up does she look these days??
As previously noted....Chloe does not like to stand still for long.  Lots of pictures of her from the back!  Luckily the back of her dress is pretty!
The whole gang
Finally a pretty nice picture of all 3. :) 
I love this one....all 3 little heads checking out what Audrey found in her basket.
But of course someone still decided she would not look at the camera. :)
But I have hope for her.
Audrey used to be exactly the same way... and now she is happy to get her picture taken!

Monday, April 2, 2012


I know my birthday was the beginning of this month.....but one last present was waiting. 

On Friday afternoon, we (meaning Chad & I, not the kids) took off for a little jaunt to Hershey, PA.

And that evening we went to this concert:
Christian music fans.... can you tell who we went to see?
How about now?
(It says "Let my lifesong sing to you")

It was Casting Crowns.
It was an amazing concert!   Wow.
I love when you leave a concert and you feel like you might have just tasted a little bit of what heaven will be like...
 Thank you Chad for the awesome birthday present!
(It was also such a gift to just be able to be together without kids.  No offense, kids.  We love you with all our hearts, but it sure is nice to go out to eat without cutting anyone's food and without having to remind anybody that poopy talk is not appropriate table conversation....It was also nice to sleep in, sit on a couch and read a book, eat meals out, and shop without navigating a stroller!)
A big ol' thank you to our friend Jacki  who stayed with our kids overnight.
Anyone who knows her knows that she is a saint!  And my kids had so much fun with her!

Anyhow, we also stayed at an amazing place.
This was the view:
Horses grazing in the pasture
Little ponds and gardens scattered around the property...
It was just so, so lovely.  
And I am not someone to use the word "lovely" in everyday conversation, ha! :)
(Downton Abbey must be affecting my speech patterns....)

I also started reading Hunger Games in the car. 
I know, I know.  I am the last person alive to read it.
And now I know what all the hoopla is.  It is SO. GOOD!
This is one of those rare times that Chad and I both are interested in the same I want to finish reading it so that we can go see the movie together in the theater!

Yesterday (Sunday) was filled with church, our church's egg hunt (at which I did not take a single picture.  I was busy doing face painting... so fun!)  Then straight to a birthday party with 2 out of 3 kids.  A very full but fun day.

So back to reality this week.
Not only is Chad out of town all week, but one of the kids is on Spring Break, and the other starts hers on Thursday.  So my hands will be full.  Thankfully I had a little break already.
But there is also something fun about just me and the kids.  Like I don't feel obligated to make dinner!  Tonight was hot dogs and chicken nuggets! :)
(Don't worry they also had strawberries and carrot sticks to make up for that processed junk....)

I am still running but I did not get my run in this weekend.  T-minus one month til the big race!
(Shhh, don't tell my running buddy Rebecca that I skipped out on my run!  And Rebecca, if you're reading this?  Well, just pretend you didn't see it!)

How was YOUR weekend?