What to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon?

Dance- off, of course!
I know you have to dangle your head to the side to enjoy this video and I have spent way too much time trying to turn it, with no luck, but go ahead and dangle, this boy's moves are worth it.

Later in the day, when we were especially desperate to "get the jumps out", Daddy to the rescue!

Sorry, Honey, but is anyone else reminded of Bill Cosby in "The Huxstables?"



Kelly's topic this week for Show Us Your Life is parenting advice and while I am certainly no expert, I have learned a few valuable lessons over the past few years. 
The biggest is letting go of the desire for perfection. You all probably know someone who is "that mother"...her children are never sick or disobedient. She will go to extravagant ends to make her and her family the picture of perfection. Once I entered the mommy world and encountered a few of these women and the effects it has on the whole family, I realized how alienating and damging this can be. 
Our house gets really messy, I lose my patience and yell, Todd and I have arguments, my car looks like a bomb has gone off in it, sometimes I let the babies just wear a diaper around the house to save myself from having to do more laundry, but we love each other despite the quirks and flaws.
 That is what family is all about.
That is my new perfect.

 A favorite found on pinterest...


This girl....

brings so much joy to this house....
I always knew having daughters was going to be fun,
but I wasn't prepared for this little  sweet fireball.
Dusting, changing sheets, running errands, getting pedicures...
it's all a glorious adventure through her beautiful eyes and I am thankful.


Meet the newest members of our family....

 Tom and Jerry

Actually (and much to Todd's relief), they will only be with us a week and then will go to live in AC and B's first grade classroom. 
Last week we got room assignments (we have decided to put them together and we are thrilled with our teacher!) and when she called to set up our meeting, I asked if she needs anything for the classroom. I have learned that by just asking this, I can get the teacher a useful first day of school gift instead of another candle or notepad.  Anyway, she mentioned that she would love to have an aquarium of Dwarf African Frogs as a classroom pet.  
So here they are and AC and B are so excited to take them to school!


Sunday Funday

Last year, AC and B won passes to Six Flags for reading.  We were suposed to go on Good Friday, but sut we ended up being out of town that weekend.  So, going to Six Flags ended up on our summer to-do list.  Today seemed to be the day....

A very fun day, despite te heat. 


A Fun Day

After this crazy week of sickness, we were ready for a little adventure today and since it's hotter than blazes, we headed to a nearby town to play in the natural springs and explore the caves. 

 It so nice and cool in the caves, I could have pitched a tent and stayed until October, when it might be a little cooler.

 AC and B feeding the trout....all was going great until B decided he would like to try catching a fish with his bare hands!

 Wading in the springs....the water was so cold!

The babies taking it all in......

2 funny stories from today:
-We stopped at a little cafe for lunch. It got quite busy and there were only 2 girls serving tables.  When our server came to clear away our dishes, Brian said, "Wow, you have your hands full!  If you will tell me where to take our dishes, I'll clear our table."  That boy's sweet heart just gets me.
- When we got to the caves and we were trying to get the babies loaded in the stroller and situated, AC and B were standing by the car watching a large motorcycle group pull into the parking lot.  One lady saw them watching and said, "Maybe when you all get a little older, y'all can ride."  AC quickly said, "We aren't allowed to in our family.  Mama says it's tacky."  I thought I was going to die!  And for the record, I have said they are dangerous, not tacky....but whatever keeps them away from motorcyles works, I guess.


Marriage Advice and Date Night

Today's Show Us Your Life at Kelly's Korner is about marriage advice. 

While I certainly don't feel like I'm in a position to give marital advice, after almost 11 years of a great marriage, I will offer these tips:

1.  My favorite, which I shared on our 10th anniversary remains to be true: 

We had a book at our wedding for the guests to write well wishes or advice. I love to go back and read what everyone wrote, but my favorite is by my uncle, Rick. He wrote: "Todd, begin every day thinking how you will help Michelle that day. Michelle, begin every day thinking how you will help Todd that day."

2.  Let God be the center of the marriage and the 2 of you be the balance.  Neither Todd or I are exactly laid back, but by letting God lead us, we are able to strike a balance for who must "freak" and who must be "laid back."    Very important if you are both Type A!

In other news, tonight is Anna Cate's night for date night with Daddy....
She has been so excited and wrote him a note this morning with the time of their reservation so he wouldn't forget.....perhaps we have another type A in the future?


Motherhood- It's A Humbling Job

AC came home from cousin camp Monday running a fever and with a stomach ache.  After a trip to the pediatrician's, we know it is a virus and must be what the babies have had as well. 
When we woke up this morning, everyone seemed to be feeling better, so we went to the mall to do some shopping for school shoes. 
By the time we got there, it was lunch time, so we headed to the food court.  We sat down in a really crowded space and the kids ate while I fed the babies their lunch.  Mary Conner was over being in the stroller so I got her out, finished feeding them, and attempted to eat my own lunch while holding a determined-to-sample-my-food 11 month old.
Suddenly I heard a man-like burp come from the stroller and watched as Lyla James vomitted her lunch.  I tried to put Mary Connor back in the stroller, but she has figured out if she arches her back, plants her feet, and screams like crazy, it makes it difficult.  Lots of kids were around us and I could hear them saying, "Gross!"  Poor Lyla James.
About that time a woman came over and said "Can I help you?  Wow, are they twins?  Are these guys (meaning AC and B) also twins?  Wow,you have 2 sets of twins?  You might want to stop now or you could end up with 3 sets!"  Blank stare.  I'm sure she was just tring to be helpful, but really, what was she going to do?  Clean up my child's vomit?
With the article I linked to yesterday on my mind, I called out over my shoulder as me and the crew sprinted away, "That would be a huge blessing!  This is the best job EVER!"


A great read....

My sister emailed this article to me by Rachel Jankovic yesterday and it has blessed me so much, I wanted to share it with y'all.  You can find it at desiringGod and I hope you get as much from it as I have!



Finally, I was able to capture Lyla James' sweet giggle on camera....Mary Connor is all business at making her sister laugh!
Makes my day so much brighter!

Linking up with lowercaseletters Miscellany Monday


Cousin Camp

Friday the big kid's left for Cousin Camp 2011 at CC and Coach's.  They are having a great time- learning to weave, cooking, swimming...it's all I can do to even get them to come to the phone when I call!
When we put the baby girls to bed Friday night, Todd and I looked at each other and said, "How did we think things were so busy when AC and B were little?  This is a breeze!"  I suppose it's all about perspective- someone with 6 kids likely finds our day-to-day calm.
I have been able to get so much done and get organized for back to school...this summer is going by way too quickly.  Todd has been playing in a golf tournament this weekend and last night was the cocktail party.  We had so much fun and danced and danced.....you know you might be getting a little up there when a night of dancing is followed with a morning of laying on icepacks because the ol' back just isn't what it used to be!
It has been great to have a little down-time but I'm ready to see my AC and B!  The house has been way too quiet and stayed way too clean!


Same vs. different classes

At the end of the school year, Todd and I decided we would put AC and B in the same class next year.  Well, now that the school year is getting closer, we are really struggling with our decision. 

The pros:
1.  We want them to work out their competitive issues now, instead of down the road.  I really think it's important since they are in a small school and will be in a lot of the same classes when they move to the upper school.
2.  Same homework, activities, fieldtrips,etc- I nearly went crazy last year trying to keep up with who had to do what, who needed to take what in, etc.
3.  I love working in their classrooms and our school is great about encouraging parental involvement.  But trying to be available for 2 different classes is hard, especially with babies at home.

The cons:
1.  We have 2 very different personalities here.  One is very strong and the other is ok with letting the strong one be their "voice." We are seeing this change as they get older, but I'm a little afraid this could lead to problems. 
2.  Tattling on each other- the one year they were in the same class for preschool, this was an issue. 
3.  This is probably the biggest- When asked, they don't want to be in the same class.  And while they are aware that it isn't their decision, I keep going back to this.  They are super close, but they do argue and fight.  How is that going to play out in a classroom?

That's all I can come up with at the moment.  But, I would love to hear from any of you have or are currently dealing with this!


Silly Faces

What is a momma to do when she is dealing with a pinched sciatic nerve?

 LJ's popeye face

MC's fake smile

Sit around taking pictures of silly faces, of course!

Luckily after 2 days of visiting the chiropractor, things are looking and feeling a lot better.  If you have never dealt with a pinched sciatic nerve, let me just say, feel very thankful.  It honestley hurts from the top of your head to the soles of your feet and breathing is painful.  Fun, huh?
After spending the day watching way too much tv and playing Wii for too long, the big kids were about to burst, so we got a sitter to take them out for the day.  They left with the instructions, "Wear them out." 
Hopefully tomorrow's treatment will show more improvements and I will no longer be hobbling around like a 80 year old!


11 Months

Lyla James and Mary Connor, y'all are 11 months old today!

enjoying the tiaras at big sister's party yesterday 

 Lyla James, you are on the move!  You crawl everywhere with great ease and love going into your big brother and sister's rooms while I'm changing MC.

 You love music with a beat and dance the moment you hear it, noodles, and pumpkin, and Da-Da.
You don't love getting dressed, squash, and strangers.
You continue to be the image of your Daddy, in looks and personality,
I am so impressed that you have warmed up to other's giving you a bottle: as of today, Ac and Maryanna have met your expectations!
You are a cuddle bug and "give love"

Giving love to Papa

Loving Nana

 Mary Connor, you may walk at any moment!  You stand without support and laugh like crazy when we hold your finger while you walk.  You are into everything- especially the art cabinet- is that  a sign?

You don't love rice, strangers, and being held- you could probably win an olympic race in your crawling speed

AC gave Nana a manicure during their visit....
Our Nana is a talented knitter.  Months ago AC asked her to knit a pink and purple dress and B asked for a Tennessee Vols sweater to wear to the games this fall..... Nana far exceeded their expectations!

Party Hardy!!

Today we celebrated Anna Cate and Brian's 7th birthday...it was a full day of partying!
Brian's party was in the morning and then Anna Cate's was in the afternoon.  The girls of Lark Events were my saving grace and we couldn't have pulled it off without them! 

We dressed up like Mario and Luigi.....

 AC and B's favorite babysitters were sweet enough to come spend the day with us-  welove them so much!

 Even the baby girls got in on the dress- up action before they went down for their nap...they were not impressed with their toad hats!

 We played memory with Mario characters...

 The boys raced around collecting gold coins in the yard while we tried to hit them with water balloons...

 Morgan decided to make it extra challenging!

 Princess Daisy and Princess Peach being held captive by Bowser...

 The boys had to try to kick a target on Bowser while coming down the zip line...

We had 2 hours in between parties to transition for Anna Cate's party....once again the girls of Lark events were essential to this happening!

 We were so happy Maryanna came over to help with the pampering

 Soaking their feet in rosepetal water, an avocado masque on their faces, and cucumbers on their eyes...

 Manis and pedis....

It was a long, crazy day but so much fun!!!

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