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Thursday, July 23, 2015

random favorites.

I wanted to share some of my favorites, thinking that it might just change a life. Maybe that's a huge exaggeration, but I think they are still worth sharing with the world.

Key Lime Greek Yogurt + sliced almonds + blueberries might just be one of the best flavor combinations ever invented. And I sort of want to take credit for this combo. I do not typically like ANY type of greek yogurt because it has a tangy/tart flavor that I just can't handle. But since key lime is naturally tart, I love this one and only greek yogurt flavor. Try it. It makes a great breakfast or snack.
Speaking of snacks, have you ever dipped fresh veggies in guacamole? I usually go for hummus. But lately, I've been using the 100 calorie portion controlled guacamole. And with carrots and sugar snap peas you hardly realize that you would rather be eating chips. :)
Season's of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson. I started reading this book in the spring. Just taking a chapter here and there, normally in the mornings before the boys were up and ready to start the day. It helped to prepare me for my day ahead. And although the title shows it being for the homeschool mom, I think it can be an encouragement to any mom! This book has encouraged my heart in so many ways and it will be one of those books I pick up and re-read over and over for years to come.
Shellac manicures! I really wish I could justify paying someone to paint my nails every two weeks, but I just can't. And shellac manicures are so amazing because the polish doesn't chip and typically stays on a two full weeks. So a couple months back I picked up this Sally Hansen gel polish set in Target to try out. It is great! I love it!
I'm going to admit that my feet get a little rough around the edges. Ok, alot rough. I like to blame the waterpark in the summer time. And I blame the dry winter air in the winter time. Then during the mild seasons, I like to blame things like long distance running. :) But really, maybe it's just my feet and the fact that i go barefoot 99% of the time. But this stuff is amazing. I slather it on every night when i get in bed and it keeps my old crusty feet from getting too crusty. I've tried everything you could imagine. Even straight coconut oil. This stuff is the best.
Camp Gladiator! I seriously only went in January to take advantage of a free month of workouts. I had no intent on "going bold" as they call it by committing to sign up for a 6 month or 1 year commitment. But at the end of January when my freebie time was up, I was completely head over heels in love with these workouts, the trainers and the entire atmosphere at CG. Jeremy surprised me on my last day and told me to commit to a year. I nearly cried happy tears. There are not many things I would set an alarm for 4:30am for...but my morning CG fix is one of them. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

San Antonio!

Jeremy had a business trip in San Antonio in early June. We were fortunate to get to tag along. We drove down on Sunday morning and went straight to Sea World. Monday through Friday morning he was in a conference in our hotel. So the boys and I swam for the most part. And hit up a little train ride near the San Antonio Zoo one day. In the afternoons all three of the boys would nap in the hotel room. I was shocked at how well that played out since I expected a sleeping disaster. Then in the evenings we would venture down the Riverwalk getting our fill of their famous Tex-Mex food. On Friday the conference let out at 11am. At that point, we loaded our things into the van, and hit Sea World for one more afternoon before heading back home. It was a fun week for the boys and I as we played while Jeremy stayed busy. And I was so thankful we had the opportunity to squeeze in an extra little "vacation". Here are some pictures from our week.
First day at Sea World:
Abe is fascinated by ALL birds. He LOVES them. Here he was watching the flamingos.
The boys loved the whole Sea World experience. But I have to say that they really preferred to spend their time seeing all of the shows more than they did riding the rides. This was a pleasant surprise for me to see how the shows captivated their attention. Well... accept for Abe. Nothing captivates his attention for too long at this point. :)

Mornings spent at the hotel pool:
We typically had it all to ourselves.
Just a typical 5 year old boy. Lounging by the pool with a his nose in a book. ;) This boy and his books. I've never known anything like it.
 On our way to dinner on a river taxi. I think they are so handsome!
 I've mentioned that Abe loves him some spice! Here he is with his own personal salsa.
 This was our morning riding the little train.
Abe enjoyed himself so much he threw the biggest, most embarrassing fit once it was time to get off. Ho-hum. The life of a 2 year old can be so so hard. And it sure can humble a momma really fast. Not that I need any extra humbling in my role as mommy. Believe me, I learned humble 6 years ago. Because when we brought home Holden 7+ years ago, I sort of thought I knew how all of this was going to go. Seasoned parents, let's all go ahead and laugh at that together.
And then on our last day at Sea World I talked Holden into riding the ride behind us. He didn't really want to try it because he has some typical nervousness with trying new things. We could tell he wanted to do it, but he was nervous enough to just avoid it and opt out. But I convinced him to ride it once with me saying something like: I know you will love it so much you will want to ride it again and again. And I was about 99% confident in that statement I made. As soon as we made it to the bottom his words to me were something like: Whoa! I do NOT want to ride this again! I immediately started laughing. He was not a fan. But I was so proud of him for getting on it and trying it. And he earned himself some cotton candy.

Fun fun memories were made this week. And I was so thankful that Jeremy sacrificed what could have been a relaxing week away and instead brought the chaos that is his family along with him. Thanks babe, for letting us crash your party. :)

June re-cap.

So much for staying up on this blog in the summer when I have more free time. I have definitely had more free time and I have loved pretty much every selfish moment of it. But I have just been spending that time in different ways. Mainly by plowing through a bunch of books. The boys have a rest time on most afternoons (like right now as I type this) and some times I sit and read a book for my own personal enjoyment. Hopefully soon, I will post the books I've read since early May when we left on vacation. Other times I've been planning for our next school year that is about 6 weeks away! Other times I'm staying on top of my other duties around the house. But unfortunately, sitting to blog our recent happenings haven't been a top priority for me lately. So here is a re-cap of June even though we are now over halfway through July!
 Picnics under the trampoline. Which is just about the only shade in our backyard.
 Lazy morning breakfasts with coffee filter hats, which we started when the bigs were tiny littles.
 A special visit from a very sweet boy that Holden really admires.
 Playdates with new neighbor friends!
 Slip and slide fun for my two water boys.
 Waterpark days at least twice a week.
 And sometimes we run into the Rich and Famous at our little waterpark.
 Stumbled upon this boy reading books on the floor of my closet. Weird spot to relax but I don't care.
 Celebrating the daddy on Father's Day!
 Cuddled up for a movie.
 Books books and more books!
And this little guy trying to do everything he sees his brothers doing. He's getting so so big!
We had one little venture away from home last month and I hope to get that posted soon!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer fun!

Our summer officially started May 1st when we headed off to the beach for our vacation. The rest of our May looked a little something like this.
 Trips to the library...
 Which always brings hours and hours of peace and quiet into our home. :) Those books are miracles!
 My littlest continues to get bigger and bigger and now can easily reach the pedals!
 A new water toy as a birthday gift provided some water fun at home.
 Speaking of water fun, we headed down the road to a spray ground one day. It's a simple and little one, but my boys still enjoy it.
 A special ice cream date with my oldest boy. (If you see Holden in this outfit often, it's because he chooses it when it's clean. I'm good keeping up with the laundry, so he wears it ALOT!)
See Abe peaking through behind my seat? :)
 The ending of another fun soccer season. 
 And the first year that these two brothers were teammates. I love this picture of them chatting it up on the sidelines.
Don't let this picture fool you. He did NOT enjoy sitting through soccer games.
One morning I left Abe with my parents and took Holden and Pax boys to see Home. Such a cute and sweet movie.
The first of several summer snow cones!
And I think that finally wraps up our May!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Celebrating with friends.

We waited to celebrate Holden's birthday with friends after we returned from our travels. In lieu of a party our boys can choose a friend and an activity. Holden chose a brother pair that he has grown up with through church. So on a cloudy Saturday morning we headed to play putt putt and drive go-carts with 4 big boys plus Abe. We knew that the weather was not looking promising so we opted to drive the cars first. Then we moved on to a chaotic game of putt putt. A few holes in and the rain started coming. We ended up spending the rest of the morning in the arcade area. The boys didn't mind at all. After a lunch stop and dessert at our house, our celebration was over. We could officially put a stamp on Holden's 7th birthday. Sometimes we really tend to drag out the birthdays.
 I love these four boys. I hope they continue to be great friends.
 Holden, Brody and Reed all lined up and ready to race.
Pax raced in round 2.
Once Abe saw the big boys driving the go-carts he was adamant that it was his turn. And he was quite unhappy with my response of "you're too little." Oh man, this third boy hears those words from me a lot. And it never satisfies at the age of two. I've mentioned this...but he wants to do WHATEVER he sees his big brothers doing. 
 So daddy bought a ticket to drive a big go-cart and took the little man for a few laps. :)
 Time with the arcade games.
Loaded up and headed for lunch. Pax road in daddy's truck since we couldn't all fit in the mini. And that was our final celebration for Holden.