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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

the beginnings of our beach vacay

VBS ended late Thursday night then Friday morning we woke up, packed up and were off on our vacation adventure. If I didn't already know it would be worth every second in the car I'd have considered not going after our busy week. However what's a better place to relax than the beach?
With three little ones there were plenty of stops to break it up. First a late lunch with Uncle Jeremy at Lupes in Houston. Yum! 
Then we picked up Gigi and Pops in Lake Charles and made our way to Baton Rouge where we saw Mimi and Pappy and spent the night. The next morning after breakfast we were off again. Pit stopping for lunch at Canes. 
We finally arrived in Destin around 5 pm. Long days of driving but the kids really did pretty good. It was nice to see the beach! Abby tired to rename Florida "the beach state." 
The next morning we headed out to the beach. Abby couldn't wait to get in the water. Micah was more tentative. He didn't really want to go in the water much on Sunday or Monday. We coxed him out there (holding him) but he was quick to want to go back to the beach. (And then proceed to ask for a "nack!") Lexie was just a happy camper. She took a nice beach nap soon after getting out there. She was happy to play once she woke up. We have a little tiny baby pool she can splash and sit in to keep her cool and from eating too much sand. 
However she is happy to crawl over to the edge and dig her hands in. She also loves the water when it's calm enough to not splash her face. 
We started off Tuesday with a swim in the pool before the beach (instead of the reverse we did the day before.) Lexie is a little water bug like her big siblings - she was fussing in Pops lap but once we took her in the pool so she could float and feel the water more she was a happy little girl. 
Micah while he was tentative about the water at the beach, suddenly had no fear in the pool. Usually he's been wearing his puddle jumper and even then won't jump to us from the side of the pool. But on Sunday he went in and was fearless jumping to us over and over without his puddle jumper. He would go under when he jumped, and even taking a couple doggie paddle strokes. And by jumped I clearly mean belly flopped to us. 
 Abby loves to surf in to the beach in the waves with both the tube and the buggie board.
 Here's Micah out in the tube with Pops (briefly.)
 Lexie in one of her many beach naps. This one was a short nap since she feel asleep while I was standing in the surf with her in the sling. Most others she took in her baby cabana tent. Either our timing of hitting the beach was perfect or the beach was like a baby sleeping pill because she napped most days out on the beach. Such a sweet, easy going girl. 
We had a rainstorm out on the beach one day and Lexie and I hid in the baby cabana while the big kids and Gigi and Pops continued playing in the water... until we say the bigger, heavy rain heading our way then we packed up and headed out before getting everything totally drenched! 
Such a great start to our week at the beach! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Daniel in Babylon VBS

Last week was round two of VBS at our Church. It'd be too crazy and impossible to have all ages at the same time so they break it up 2-outgoing kinder in an early childhood camp and then incoming first-6th in a night time VBS. This was our first time to experience the Bibletimes Marketplace. Since it's in the evening (6-9pm) we've never done it before as this is the first year Abby was old enough to go. Since she could go, I signed up to work childcare for the younger kids of those volunteering to teach the older group, instead of dragging Micah and Alexis out past their bedtime to pick Abby up. This meant they got to experience the VBS as well because we did the same theme downstairs with the 2-5s. Everyone working and attending needed costumes to wear - so cute! 
 The whole Church was transformed into Babylon. The worship center was full of shops and the stage held the lions den and the fiery furnace, they even had a well set up in the middle. 
Abby and Micah had to check out the fiery furnace when we were taking some pictures before drop off time. 
My role for the week was a shop keeper. I ran the jewelry shop where we made the bracelets and we also made beaded necklaces. When I didn't have a rotation in my shop, I helped out in other shops (bread shop, music shop, thumbprint lions and the mosaic shop) or with the babies (since Alexis was over there.)
 I was able to sneak upstairs and take a peek at Abby during her tribe's snack time but I missed her in all her rotations. Instead of using the classrooms, they had ez-up tents set up around the upstairs, and each tent was one of the 12 tribes. (Though there were so many there were multiple tents of each tribe) Abby was in Asher and Micah was in Judah.
We created Chariots for the babies, but the little ones didn't like it so much since they couldn't see so the toddler class and the two year old class used them and we carried the babies. Lexie actually slept through praise and worship on my shoulder two out of the three days since she hadn't had her evening nap two out of the three days. The worship/drama team really did a fabulous job making the stories come alive! 
 Here's everyone for the final closing ceremonies. All 300 kids, teachers, teenage helpers, the younger bunch we were teaching, shop keepers and the parents coming to watch. It was quite the crowd. The worship music they used for the week was awesome and I still have the songs stuck in my head days later! I need to ask about a cd with the music on it when we get back. I was wishing I had one on our two days of driving we did right after VBS was over. 
It was a lot of work and effort put into getting everything set up, and lots of long, late nights for us teachers and kids but I think the kids really enjoyed it , I know mine did.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

first foods

Since Lexie has hit the 6 month mark and was already trying to steal mashed potatoes off my plate, I couldn't put off solids any longer. I'm not a huge fan of the baby food/solids stage... honestly it's just so much simpler when they are only nursing! Nothing to have to remember to bring to feed baby, no worries about which ones baby likes, which ones do/don't mess with their system (and  slightly less smelly diapers as well.) 
I tried, somewhat, the baby-led weaning method with Micah and he just didn't seem to get it. I think I'll try to do that some with Alexis but we are also doing baby food. 
 MMM.... yummy. So far we've tried green beans, sweet potato and peas. She didn't like green beans or sweet potatoes on day 1, tolerated them day 2, seemed to like them by day 3. Peas she gobbled up on day 1.

Such a big girl these days. :( (ya know in relation to a newborn who sleeps all the time)


Friday, July 13, 2012

VBS bracelet craft

We've been preparing for VBS next week. Our Church does two VBS sessions (it would probably be crazy overwhelming with everyone at one session!) The VBS for the little guys, 2s - outgoing kinder was a few weeks ago. Next week is incoming 1st-6th, but we are also doing a mini-VBS for the little ones of the parents volunteering with the biggers. It's a different theme so all new crafts. I typically work with the itty bitties but this next week, I get to do something different and I'll be a shop keeper. The jewelry shop to be exact. I had one craft planned out but we are now doing two rotations through the jewelry shop so I needed a second jewelry craft. I googled and searched interest and found this tutorial. So I tested it out at home with my two to make sure it would work for next week. 

Boiled popsicle sticks molding ... it's going to take a few rounds of this to get them all done. They have to boil from 20 minutes to an hour then mold over night. It doesn't take much active work but it does take a while for them to dry. 
I'm trying to decide what would be the best way to decorate them. I gave Abby and Micah a free for all with all the options I had. Micah chose painting. 
 Abby wanted to color hers with markers so she could do a picture. 
So serious about her work. She drew Honey (our dog), herself and mommy (awww!), the sky, sun and pink snow. It's pretty cute! 
 Abby didn't want to add any jewels because then it would have to dry before she could wear it. Micah however was all about the jewels. 
I tried one out with mod podge and scrapbook paper. Abby claimed it as her own this morning so that she has two. I added a layer of mod podge over Micah's as well to hold his jewels on a little better. 
I think I like this craft even better than my craft idea of the necklaces! Abby and Micah have tested out both crafts for me and I think they enjoyed this one better too. Glad I was given the opportunity to do a second craft! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Alexis: 6 months

My sweet little Lexie had her 6 month birthday on Tuesday. I can't believe it's been half a year already! 
 At 6 months you are a busy little girl. You still may not be quite sitting on your own but you can certainly move! You do your own little version of the army crawl and can get all over the place. You pull/push yourself forward to whatever toy (or piece of paper way on the other side of the room) that you want. The past two days you've briefly gotten up on your hands and knees - I'm sure at this rate it won't be long before you are crawling the "normal" way. 

You certainly have the exploring things with your mouth part down and love to taste all your toys. Sophie is usually your favorite toy to play with - we sadly lost the "original" Sophie that Gigi had brought Micah from Paris so we had to get a replacement. You still like her but don't seem to like new Sophie as much as the original. 
A couple weeks ago your had your first taste of solid food when you took a quick swipe of mommy's mashed potatoes. Since then we started solids this past week. So far you've tried green beans and sweet potatoes. You almost seemed to enjoy the green beans on day 3 of them and weren't too interested in your first taste of sweet potatoes today. You are easily distracted by Abby and Micah and were twisting to see them instead of eating tonight. I'd try to feed you without their distractions but they love you too much to not be a part of everything you do. I'm not a big fan of the solids stage anyway so I'm not too sad if you don't take to them. :) 

You are still wearing mostly 3-6 month olds but we are starting to add in some 6-9 month things as well. Still in size 2 diapers. I'd guess based on your previous growth pattern you are about 16 lbs. We don't go for your check up until the beginning of next month (at almost 7 months.)

Happy half-birthday little girl! We all love you! 


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Weekend in photos

I started my weekend a little early with some much needed mommy almost alone time. My feet were in desperate need of a pedicure. Usually it's a thing my mom and I do together (because it is much more fun to go with someone to chat with) but we didn't have a chance while we were in Lake Conroe. I did take Lexie along with me as she's a mommy's girl and I thought she'd take a nap while we were there. (I was wrong - too much to see and too many people to smile at)
Saturday we ate an early-ish lunch and then hit the pool for a couple hours. We played in the pool for about 45 minutes, took a break for Lexie to eat and the kids played in the spray park, then back in the pool for another hour. That second hour Lexie napped in the water sling. I think I can say we all enjoy the pool! 
Saturday evening we headed to Church where I worked in the nursery - it was a busy night in Bibleland. It was an exciting weekend since Selah was leading worship/performing and Angie Smith was speaking. 
Since I was also working the middle service this morning, we all got up early and went to the early service. I only got to hear a couple a cappella songs from Selah since the first service is all a cappella and the usual singers lead the first part of worship. Angie Smith's message was amazing! I would have stayed for the second service and heard the band and listened again if I hadn't had to go down and teach Bible class to the toddlers. 
This afternoon we took it easy and played, cleaned up a little, and let Lexie get a couple decent naps.  Abby talked Micah into playing "princess dance class" with her while she was supposed to be cleaning up her room. The joys of being a little brother. (In case you are curious the difference between normal dance class and princess dance class is that you need wands for the princess one.)  Micah is gonna love me for this picture in the future. HA! 

Hope you've had a great weekend!

Thursday, July 05, 2012


What makes you smile? That was the question of the day a couple weeks ago when I had the privilege of attending a luncheon and photography workshop put on by Invisalign. The awesome White on Rice Couple  was there to teach us all about how to capture the things in life that make us smile with whatever camera we have handy. It's not always about having the perfect lighting, best equipment but instead about capturing the memories. 
This sweet thing always brings a smile to my face! 
Capturing your memories can make you smile and you see a lot of smiles of those you are taking pictures of too. I remember back in 5th grade when I got my wire braces on. I really didn't want to smile in pictures and show them off. Not only that but at times, especially after an adjustment, the wires and brackets would cut into my mouth and the wax to put over them to prevent that really didn't stay in place. With Invisalign, I wouldn't have had that problem, as their aligners are inconspicuous and won't cut into your mouth since they are made of a nice light-weight (BPA-free!) plastic. I'm now jealous they weren't an option when I had braces but thankful they'll be an option for my kids should they need them. 

Now I knew a smile was important but I didn't know just how much difference a nice smile can make. It makes me thankful my parents put a priority on having a heathy smile and something I'd like to also pass along to my children.

It's crazy to think that it's only a year or two before we need to start thinking about a straight smile for Abby. I learned that she should be seen by an orthodontist to have a first peek in her mouth but the age of 7 or 8. While she wouldn't likely get braces at that point, there maybe be a "quick" fix that can be done at that point. When all her permanent teeth have come in between 11-13 is when she could start using Invisalign Teen

I remember my first orthodontist where we discussed the braces I was going to have put on my teeth. I ended up crying. Not necessarily because I'd have these metal braces on my teeth and how they'd look but because they said I couldn't have popcorn. What can I say I love my popcorn. (I ate it anyway braces and all) With Invisalign, you take the aligner out while you eat, so no forbidden foods! This also means you can fully and floss your teeth with no wire braces to get in the way. Another win as you'll have healthier teeth and gums. No worries either because with Invisalign Teen you can get up to 6 free replacements for your aligners if one happens to get lost or accidentally thrown away. Another nice feature of Invisalign Teen is the compliance indicators - the blue dot - that fades with wear so you be assured your teen is wearing them and helps you to know when you are ready to move on to the next aligner. 

If you are now thinking about how great Invisalign would be for your kids, or even for yourself, why not head over to Mom it Forward and enter the $1500 Invisalign giveaway! You can see more about how Invisalign works right here.

And for my local mama friends (or even those who live in the near by cities since with Invisalign appointments are less often than with wire braces!) - you can go here for a $500 off coupon and a list of doctors. 

* This is a sponsored post but all opinions are, as always, my own. 

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

gone are the days

This summer is flying by! I can't believe it's already 1/3 of the way over already. It seems that gone are the days of a summer filled with lounging by the pool day in and day out. We've been go-go-go every week so far or at least so it feels.

So far we've had a round of swim lessons for Micah, one week of VBS, a vacation at the lake, and a few trips to Sea World.
This week was supposed to be a "down" week aside from swim lessons for Abby. However at the last minute I ended up helping out a friend and babysitting her 3 1/2 month old baby. So that makes my two wild and crazy "big" kids and two babies under 6 months at my house yesterday and today. Yes I know you are thinking it - craziness. It went amazingly well though and both babies ended up napping at the same times a few times. My big two were great 90% of the time and played nicely and were big helpers to me. I'm now throughly exhausted! We all were especially since we ended the day by going to Bible class where I teach the baby class. Turns out tonight the one non-teacher baby was out of town so we worked on getting crafts and such together for the next round of VBS instead.
Tomorrow it's a desperately needed trip to HEB as I was going to go Monday but with the change of event there was no way I was taking 4 kids to the grocery store! Now that would be crazy! Ha! 

Next week I thought would be another easy week which it still will be but I'll also be doing more preparation for round two of VBS. (Our Church does two VBS sessions - one for the little guys 2-outgoing kinder and one for the incoming 1st - 5th grade but we also offer childcare for the VBS teacher kids so we'll be doing a mini-VBS for the younger ones of the parents who are teaching the older ones - does that make sense?) 

Now this little girl is trying to keep me on my toes. She is rolling all over the place. There really is very little point to putting a blanket down anymore as she rolls off it quickly and across the floor to get whatever she wants. She can get her knees up under her and then kinda face plants/inchworms forward along with rolling. She'll be crawling all too quickly here! (Then again she's right at the same age my other two were when they started trying to crawl so I shouldn't be shocked)
As I look ahead at the rest of the summer we have a week of VBS preparation and week 2 of Abby's swim lessons, VBS the following week (in the evening), a beach vacation (can't wait!!!), Abby's birthday, then it will be time to get ready for back to school. Seriously it's crazy how fast this summer is disappearing! 

Is anyone else feeling their summer is too jam packed?