Growing older....

On the eve of y'all turning 7, I'm feeling nostalgic...so forgive me for the following sappy post....

I can't believe how much you both have grown over the years- physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
It is a pleasure to be your mother and I can't wait to see the plans our Lord has for you both...

Daddy and I started a birthday tradition on your first birthday of filling your bedroom ceiling with balloons (the first four years this meant we crouched in the doorway  to let the balloons go when we heard stirring  because a certain someone was convinced one of you would choke on a falling balloon)

What started as a tradition for you all, has also become a tradition for us, as parents.  We both look forward to praying over you each and discussing funny and meaningful  points throughout the year as we blow up the balloons (in between Daddy inhaling helium and talking like Donald Duck!) 

We are in awe of you both and love watching you grow! Y'all have taught us so much......
we hope to return the favor!


"The Cousins"

That's how these 4 refer to themselves...
Our beloved cousins have been visiting for the past few days, along with (our equally beloved) Coach , who is kind enough to play chauffeur so these visits are frequent.

The baby girls have been "mommaed"- probably not a word, but very fitting to the situation- half to death by these 2 sweet girls

Though the visit was brief, we enjoyed our time to the fullest....
we went swimming...

blew out the candles for the first time since Coach won't be able to be here for the big day...

horsed around...


worked diligently at the local bounce house to win a few prizes....


and finished up the evening at kid's zumba.  I love this for the kids and the boys even really got into it today.
B and L won the "freeze" game and got to lead the class in cool down.

These "cousins" are a precious bunch and have the tightest bond.  I love it!



From birth, Lyla James little personality has been determined and a little stubborn.  She refused to nurse, will only take a bottle from certain people, prefers to be on my hip, etc. 
She has shown very little interest in crawling or trying to stand up.  I have always thought it was a personality thing, not a physical limitation, but I have worried that maybe there might be something wrong.

Until today.
She was sitting on the floor playing and spied my cell phone across the room on the floor.
Very gracefully, she lunged forward on her tummy and crawled/ scooted across the room....
I think the teenage years will be interesting with this little sweet!



 Anna Cate and Brian have been begging to go camping.  For Father's Day, one of their gifts was a tent! 
 We convinced them that this summer we would practice in our back yard and see how they like it. I was sure they would come in at some point during the night, but they didn't and actually slept later that usual- meaning 7a.m.!

 Roasting marshmallows before bed proved to not be the smartest move- it took them forever to go to sleep!  However, I came inside and slept great! 


A Fun Day At The Zoo....

 Nana joined us which made everyone happy!
Brian's smile is just a little forced.....

 This was the babies' first time at the zoo....they loved it, though they also loved their cups and snacks...

 AC was all about the peacocks during this trip...

 The billy goats in the petting zoo were all about her dress!


These Days....

I didn't post yesterday.....
It wasn't such a great day in our house...
It was a no morning time for Mama, energetic kiddos ready for an adventure kind of day.
I yelled too much
I didn't pray nearly enough
Not a mommy of the year day, to be sure

Today was a little better
We made it to the pool and to kid's Zumba, which B quickly declared as "too girly"
I still yelled when someone tracked mud all over the house, but maybe that's understandable since I spent the morning cleaning?

Every day.....
it is a joy and a challenge


3 Great Men

We are so blessed to have 3 great men to celebrate this Father's Day!

Papa, you are such a great dad, father-in law, and grandpa!  We love you so much and are praying that you feel better soon!

Coach, today is extra special since it's also your birthday!  We would be lost without all of your help and love you so much!

Todd, Daddy, Da-Da....so many roles you fill and always with a smile on your face.  Our 4 littles are blessed beyond measure to have such an giving, fun-loving, and patient father. 

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4


Summer Fun

Today we spent the morning at the city's water fountains...

these four have so much fun togerther

After lunch, V came home with us and I laughed my head off at AC's begging the boys to dress up in Mario and Luigi costumes befor paying Super Mario....she insists on  dressing  up as Princess Peach before she can even consider playing. The boys were having none of that, though they did pacify her by playing  Just Dance, much to my amusement!


What I'm Loving Wednesday....

We have had a really good day today.  I took all 4 kiddos to the pool, forgot the baby floats, but we survived and hung out just in time to get home for afternnon naps for the little ones and quiet time (reading in their rooms) for the big ones while I frantically ran errands all over town....don't worry, T's office is in our home!
I'm linking up for What I'm Loving Wednesday

1.  I love that my oldest chick thinks nothing of swooping up a hungry baby and giving her a bottle since my hands were full feeding MC.

She is such an excellent big sister and yes, that would be a  t.v. induced trance on her face..

2.  I'm loving the fact that our little garden is starting to produce.  We have tiny squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and bell peppers- can't wait to pick them!

3.  I'm loving the bond between AC and B.  Just when I think the fussing and fighting is going to drive me totally nuts, they go and do something like they did this evening.  AC has been working and working on losing her second top front tooth.  When I was cooking dinner tonight, they both ran in the kitchen and AC was screaming, "Brian is my hero!"  He pulled her tooth for her...that is a great brother!

Looks like the tooth fairy will be paying a visit to our house tonight!!
Happy Wednesday!


10 Months

Lyla James and Mary Connor, y'all are 10 months old!

I had great plans to get pictures of you all at the beach for this post, but unfortunately my camera battery died before that could happen. 

I know I say it every month, but I can not believe y'all are already 10 months old!  

 Lyla James, you are a momma's girl and would prefer that I hold you every minute.  You say momma all the time and I love it!  You love to read your books and swing.  I think you might be slightly addicted to puffs...the minute you see the container, you start clapping your hands and laughing!
 You aren't crawling yet and I think it's because you are so long and you are able to reach things by lunging and grabbing from MC!
 Thinking about it.....
Got it! 
Your facial expressions are hilarious and you continue to be the spitting image of your Daddy.

Mary Connor, when we found out we were having 2 girls, I prayed that one would be layed back and easy going.  You seem to be the answer to that prayer!
Most of my pictures of you look like this because you can crawl faster than any baby I've ever seen.  You love going into your big brother and sister's rooms and explore.
You started saying "na-na" a few days ago and now say it over and over when you see a banana.  You are pulling up on everything and starting to "cruise."

You both are the sweetest girls and I love watching you grow!

Last week we loaded up the family (to the point that I thought we might we might have to rent a U-Haul trailer) and headed to family's place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

You can barely see it, but this AC's plea to Todd to leave a day early....written in chalk on the driveway.
Much to her dismay, he denied.
We decided to try a new approach to our travels- leaving in the early evening.  I was not in favor since I'm not a night person, but T thought it would mean fewer stops and the little ones and I could sleep.  The ride down was a little rocky....the big kids were so excited, they could hardly sleep and I was so nervous Todd was going to fall asleep driving that I kept jerking to a waking start and screaming, "Are you ok?," to Todd and thus, waking up the entire mini.
Thing settled down around midnight and just as I was drifting off to sleep, we heard sobbing in the way back.  After turning on the lights, we saw AC holding her beloved American Girl doll, Elizabeth, her head in one hand and her body in the other.
"Elizabeth is dead!!  If we have to bury her. I would like to wait until we are home and have the funeral in our yard."  Funny now, especially since she is fixed, but it wasn't so funny at the time.

Soaking up the sunshine....

Ready for the beach......

These kids LOVE the ocean....Todd and I watched in awe as they dove head first into rough waves and loved every minute of it...

Breakfast with Uncle Brad

Relaxing with CC before bedtime

Looking for clams on the dock...
the "captains" are ready to get going...

ready for action....

Whaler, my uncle K's and aunt M's new puppy was a highlight of our trip.......

Anna Cate, Brian, and Todd built an impressive sand village...
the baby girls loved their pool...  thank you CC and Grandma Pat!

The "AC's" playing tetherball... Anna Cate was joined at the hip with Anne Campbell throughout our whole trip..I can't think of a better role model for her. 
AC and B were thrilled to have willing participants for hide and go seek, freeze tag, and simon says... Uncle Brad looks a little annoyed with my picture taking!

The "AC's in a feirce competition of UNO......
Brian teaching Uncle K the art of "bey blade battling"

True to form, my camera battery died at this point
Familaiar?  Yes. 
Plus, I forgot the battery charger. 

Uncle K took us to Shackleford Island- the most peaceful beach ever.  We swam, saw the wild horses that live there, and got tons of huge gorgeous shells.  AC even found an old medicine bottle washed up on the beach.  She is convinced it once belonged to Black Beard!