Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Simple Prayer for Your Husband

I came across this prayer on Audrey Roloff's blog that she prays over her husband each day, and I loved it so much that I created a printable to keep in my van.

What a special gift we can give to our husbands just by covering them in prayer each day. Feel free to share!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Back-to-School Prayers for Your Kids

I found these awesome back-to-school prayers for kids on Today's Frugal Mom and have since typed them into a printable so I can pray them over my kids each day of the year.

What an incredible way to send our kids off to the school year ahead. Feel free to share!

Monday, August 8, 2016

First Day of School

Today was my babies' first day of school! (Notice I used the word babies just to make myself feel better. I'm officially a mom of a high schooler - eek!)

Jacob is starting the 9th grade and is adjusting to a whole new life in high school. He's been at the same school from kindergarten thru 8th grade, so this is literally like a new world to him. But, it's good and exciting and awesome all at the same time. At 5'10" (and growing) and wearing men's large shirts + size 13 men's shoes, this guy is ready!

Brooklyn is starting the 3rd grade at the same magnet school she and Jake have been at the last several years. The only difference is that this is the first year she will officially be on her own. Scot used to drop both kids off in the mornings and Jacob would help walk Brooklyn to the gym or her classroom, and he helped her when I picked them up at dismissal every afternoon. He was the typical protective older brother, and I know Brooklyn's sure going to miss him. But, at just 4' tall and wearing size 7/8 + size 2 girl's shoes, this girl is ready to start her new adventure too!

Connor will be starting preschool in a couple weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am-2pm, so this will be the first year that I'll have all three kids in different schools those days. (His first day of school pics will be coming soon.) Three schools also means three different pick-up places at three different times, so my days from 1:30-3:30pm every afternoon will be busy in the van!

How she really feels about waking up at 6am:

Keepin' it real...

Little brother had to get in on the action too.

I could just kiss their faces off!

Some other exciting things this fall:

- I'll be babysitting a 3-year-old little girl on Mondays, Tuesdays + Thursdays from 6:30am-4:30pm.
- Connor will have soccer practice on Thursdays nights with soccer games on Saturdays.
- Jake will have soccer practice on Friday nights with soccer games on Monday nights. He is looking forward to joining the YoungLife group + Beta club and attending lots of high school football games with friends this fall.
- Brooklyn plans to join the Steps group a couple times a month after school along with her Saturday art class twice a month that she loves.

It looks like we'll have a fun + busy school year ahead, but through it all, I pray these 10 things over my children this school year:

Knowledge + Understanding
Wisdom + Discernment
No Fear
Safety + Protection
Godly Friendships/Relationships

Looking forward to a great year ahead!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Brooklyn's New Haircut

Right after our Atlanta trip, Brooklyn decided she wanted to get her hair cut. Her hair is so thick and gorgeous and she's been growing it out for so long that I was very hesitant. But, ultimately, I know she's getting older and I want her to be able to start making those fun decisions. You know, the fun parts about being a girl. :)

We were over at Scot's parent's house one summer day when she mentioned it, and Grammy offered to cut it for her. Next thing you know, Brooklyn's sitting on a stool in her bathroom, grinning and giggling in anticipation of her new "do."

Grammy was nervous, but we all loved the transformation and how it turned out!

And isn't she just the cutest?

Grammy and I both looked at her and it was like meeting my 14-year-old daughter for the first time. Scary! But, so exciting at the same time for I know my baby girl is growing up.

She is a beauty, inside and out. No matter what her hair looks like. But, I have to say, we're all digging the shorter look.

Third grade, here she comes!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Connor's Eyes

Right before our Atlanta trip, Connor had a 2-hour eye exam at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Back in February, he started having random outward eye movements where each eye alternated rolling to the side. At first, I thought it would just go away. But then, it started getting worse and worse by the day. I called Vanderbilt and they are so busy in their pediatric department that it took almost 3 months to get him in.

I was a big ball of nerves - happy, scared, anxious - the day that we went.

For 2 hours, they did test after test. Dilated his eyes and retested again. I was worried they would recommend glasses or God-forbid surgery, but thankfully, the doctor said Connor's vision is great. He diagnosed his eye condition as intermittent exotropia. Basically, each eye turns outward or away from the nose at times - and it occurs more when he's tired or looking far away in the distance.

He said to put a patch on one eye each day for 3-4 hours, alternating eyes each day, and to come back in 3 months to check his progress. I was so, so relieved it wasn't anything serious!

He loved the cool sunglasses they gave him:

And here he is wearing his new eye patch. Now, he can be a pirate every day!

Connor is the bravest little kid we know. For being our little miracle baby to having pyloric stenosis + acid reflux as a newborn to undergoing two surgeries by 6 months of age to having a severe dairy protein allergy until 12 months of age...and now, just one more little hiccup in his story.

So, so proud of this brave boy - and so grateful I get to be his mom.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Family Weekend Vacation // Atlanta, GA

We surprised the kids and took off on a super fun, long weekend to Atlanta last weekend. Jake missed our family vacation to Florida in June, so this was such a fun time to spend with all five of us together in one place!

Scot was awesome and did all the planning on this beforehand - researching fun things to do, getting reservations, printing parking passes + tickets beforehand - which made everything so easy. (Thank you, babe.) Unfortunately, our van was still in the shop so that created a little snag. But, Scot's dad let us borrow his Jeep Cherokee for the weekend, so we packed everybody + everything in like sardines and early Friday morning, we were off to our surprise destination - Atlanta!

The kids were so excited to see these signs and find out where we were going:

We checked in + unloaded the car as soon as we arrived. Here's the beautiful 2 bed/2 bath apartment he arranged for us to stay in (courtesy of their corporate lodging program):

We headed to the movie theater nearby to see a movie, but unfortunately, it was sold out. We were all hungry anyway, so we opted to go to Brio for dinner instead. One of our favorite Italian restaurants from up north.

The server was awesome and gave each of the kids some pizza dough to play with while we waited on our food. It was so fun!

Connor and I got some snuggle time in, too. Loved it.

I mean, who can resist this??

After dinner, we played bocce ball on their outdoor courts. We all had the best time.

We drove around downtown and headed back to our apartment. Such a beautiful end to the night.

Saturday morning came bright and early for our next big day. We surprised the kids (again) and headed to Stone Mountain State Park high up on a mountain. (Scot had already printed tickets for admission + food for the day, so we didn't have to worry about anything.) It has this massive granite dome called Stone Mountain in the middle with all kinds of outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, fishing, picnicking, horseback riding, camping and more. It's one of the best outdoor theme parks we've ever been to.

The kids had no idea what we were doing when we pulled up and they saw this:

First up was the kids obstacle course. They loved it!

The big kids did some rock climbing. We were surprised how much Brooklyn liked it - she even made it to hit the button at the top!

(Jake was the biggest kid we saw rock climbing in that area, so Scot teased him that he might tip the rock wall over - ha!)

It may have been 100 degrees out there, but these sweaty kids were having fun.

We did a little hiking + exploring around the mountain.

Just check out this 600-foot granite dome:

Next up was the Summit Skyride. A high-speed Swiss cable car that takes you over 800 feet to the top of Stone Mountain.

It was a beautiful ride.

The views were amazing!

At the top of the mountain, the views are even more spectacular. You can see the Appalachian Mountains and more up to 60 miles away. So crazy. (And a little scary with a wild 4-year-old boy, to be honest, but we all did great!)

It was exhilarating and so free to be standing at the top.

 And the kids loved stopping for cold drinks and popcorn for an early snack.

We walked + explored the top of the mountain for a long time until the little kids and I eventually hopped on the Skyride to head back down the mountain. Meanwhile, Scot and Jake decided to take the 3-mile hiking trail down the steep + rugged terrain of the mountainside, which they later laughed about and maybe regretted - ha!

We saved the boys a table inside the marketplace (yay for A/C!!) and we all ate a big, hearty lunch, wiped down our sweaty bodies and continued on with our day.

Next stop, a 5-mile train ride on the scenic railroad.

A few fun, crazy selfies:

I think their faces say it all:

Scot and Jake hiked + climbed all over the big obstacle course at Camp Highland Outpost. The SkyHike.

And I took the little kids to the indoor play place at the Great Barn. It was seriously the coolest play area I've ever seen for kids of all ages with super slides, trampoline floors, climbing structures and indoor games. We stayed there for almost 2 hours!

We saw a couple shows. First was a men's acrobatics show with the Chicago Boyz. They performed lots of tricks and did not disappoint.

The second show was Yogi Bear's 4D Adventure with air + water spraying right in your face - it was so much fun! (No cameras allowed for that one.)

We hit up several souvenir shops and bought candy, souvenirs, and all the best theme park food like pretzels, funnel cakes + ice cream. The best!

We ended the night with the laser show. It started at 9:30pm, but everyone got there early to save seats. It lasted over an hour with music, lasers, fire cannons and fireworks - seriously, the best laser show we've ever seen.

We all collapsed in bed close to midnight that night, but we were up and ready to head to our last surprise location by 10am on Sunday. The Georgia aquarium. The kids loved that place!

Their favorite spot of the whole day was our first stop - the sea lions. So. much. fun.

We took a break for lunch and walked down the street to Johnny Rockets for hamburgers, chicken + milkshakes. It was the kids' first time there, and they loved it. (Don't let this picture fool you.)

We walked back to the aquarium to enjoy the rest of our afternoon there.

The dolphin and sea lion shows were amazing!

We left the aquarium a little before closing time and headed back to our apartment.

We changed clothes and walked to the outdoor pool for an evening swim.

The little kids ate cereal for dinner and were tucked in bed with a Redbox movie, while Scot and Jake picked up Chipotle and a Redbox movie for us. A great end to a great weekend.

Such a fun weekend getaway and such precious time we got to spend as a family. I am so thankful!
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