"The White Water"

Friday, July 30, 2010 All summer Macy has been wanting to go to "The White Water" as she calls it. I told her if she practiced swimming and got to be a stronger swimmer I would take her before the summer was over. Well she has learned to swim and then some this summer. She not only can swim well, but can swim under water and go off the diving board and isn't afraid to get her face in the water. So me and my Dad took the girls. I knew we would have fun but I had no idea how much! I hoped the girls would be brave and ride several things. But you just never know with kids! Mackenzie would ride all the tube rides. She doesn't like to get her face in the water, which I can understand, she is only 3. But her favorite was the Lazy River. She had her duck floatie on and she loved just drifting along. Who wouldn't! But Macy was the one that shocked me. That girl was fearless. She rode EVERYTHING (except for 2 slides that she was too short for)! Her favorite thing was the cliffs. She never even hesitated. She just jumped right off and loved it. Look at the sheer glee on her face in this picture! She jumped off probably 10 times. But I just couldn't believe how brave she was. I am so glad she is comfortable in the water and becoming a strong swimmer. She makes her Momma proud! We went full blast for 6 hours till we finally had to leave and get back to Noah and dinner. It didn't take more than a few minutes for this to happen. Sweet girls!

Oh noes.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 Macy and Mackenzie woke up first this morning. They crawled in bed with me and then decided to go watch cartoons. I layed in bed awhile longer because Noah wasn't up yet. Macy is getting more self sufficient every day and wants to do everything for herself. A few minutes later I got up to let the dog out and poked my head into the kitchen and saw she had gotten the french toast sticks out of the freezer to heat up for her and Mackenzie. I had showed her how to heat things up in the microwave the day before. I go back and lay in bed and about 5 minutes later I hear the smoke detector go off. Uh-oh. I run into the kitchen and I find Macy holding this, with a horrified look on her face. Poor kid, I felt so bad for her. She thought she was going to be in trouble. I am still not sure what she pushed but instead of heating these for 25 seconds, they were in there a LONG time. Long enough to melt the plate and smoke up the kitchen! She was crying and I asked her if it was because she was scared and she said no, she was crying because she wanted to make Mackenzie breakfast because she was the little one. Best. big. sister. ever.

The Heavens

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 We drove over to Falls Creek today to visit Jason. We went over in the early afternoon so we could hang out all day and have dinner. Macy had been telling me all week how much she missed Jason and she said the sweetest thing as we were pulling into Falls Creek. She said "Momma tears keep trying to come out of my eyes because I miss Daddy so much." I thought it was so adorable.

We had a fun day visiting but I didn't want to get home too late so we left at about 8:00. We couldn't have left at a better time. The sky was so beautiful and ever changing the whole drive home. The girls just kept commenting on all the yellows, reds, pinks, purples and patches of clouds. It was awesome to enjoy God's beautiful creation!

Snack Day!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 Aren't we a perky looking bunch?! One of my favorite parts of my job is Snack Day. We don't need much of an excuse to declare a Snack Day. Someone's birthday??? Snack Day! Someone quitting??? Snack Day! Someone retiring??? Snack Day! Someone sneeze?? Snack Day! We usually have some sort of theme and everyone brings some sort of goodness in their interpretation of the theme. Or sometimes someone forgets and brings something totally random. We don't care. We will eat it. Today we had a Snack Day in honor of Natalie's birthday. Happy Birthday Natalie!

Splash Zone

Monday, July 27, 2010 Noah LOVES his baths. He has loved them since he was first born. Whenever he used to get fussy in the evenings a warm bath always calmed him right down. The girls never really cared for baths that much so I think it's cute he likes them so much. I used to give him a bath in this tub over the sink in the kitchen. It fits perfectly and it was easy to reach him. But about a month ago he figured out how to splash. It is the absolute cutest thing ever. He gets this really concentrated look on his face and his arms and legs go straight and stiff. Then he starts kicking and hitting the water. At first he didn't get much water out but now he has really gotten good at it. I finally had to start putting his little tub in the bath tub in the bathroom because he started to get water all over the kitchen. We joke that he has a "splash zone" like Shamu. If you are within about 3 feet you are going to get wet!

Evening Swim

Sunday, July 25, 2010 Jason left for Falls Creek this afternoon so me, Macy, and Noah (Mackenzie is at Grammy and Papa's) decided to stay home. It has been so hot the last few weeks. What better to do than swim??! We went to my best friend's grandma's house with her kids to just swim and relax. Macy loves hanging out with Riley and Reese. They had so much fun swimming. And for some reason Macy feels like she has to pose like a freak whenever I take her picture. I took 4 and she was making some crazy face in all of them!

Dinner Party!

Saturday, July 24, 2010 Every year Jason cooks dinner for all the Falls Creek sponsors. This year he had a little helper. Macy helped him cook all day! She was so excited to help put on a "Dinner Party". It made her feel fancy : ) And she even helped clean up! They made smoked pork and sausage, potato salad, baked beans, and a chocolate cake. I wish I would have gotten a picture of all the food after it was done. Everything was delicious!

How To Have A Completely Peaceful Car Ride With Three Small Kids

Friday, July 25, 2010

Occasionally I will read an blog post or article about a 3 child family. It's funny how the dynamics completely change when going from 2 to 3. It's hard to understand unless you have been there. I love these stories and 9 times out of 10 I can completely relate to what the writer is saying. I wanted to re-post them here so I can always come back to read and enjoy them.

How To Have A Completely Peaceful Car Ride With Three Small Kids

by Tsh on SimpleMom.net

My husband has this little joke whenever the three-foot-and-under crowd in our family gets insanely loud en route somewhere. He pretends to press an invisible button near the A/C of our car, which magically scrolls up a sound-proof window between us in the front seat and those in the back. You know, like in a limo.

Total peace after that.

Obviously there’s still cacophony. The baby is screaming because that burp just won’t get out. Our second is loudly singing to whatever tune is on repeat in his head (he doesn’t talk, but he sure hums in pealing decibels). The five-year-old sits in the back, telling us whatever story from the day she wants to recall, yelling over all the hubbub so that we can hear from the front.

It doesn’t always work this way, but most days, Kyle and I look at each other, and we just smile. Sometimes one of says, “Three? Really?” But at the end of the day, if we don’t laugh at the chaos of it all, we’ll go mad.

See, it’s a matter of perspective.

When the bedlam is good-natured and the clamor is simply because our family’s median age is five, then there’s not much to do except smile and remember that the days are long but the years are short.

How’s your perspective? When your day is nuts and the house is a mess, do you feel like a failure? In taking a quick glance at the living room and recognizing that 95 percent of the mess is because of the kids, do you still somehow feel guilty?

Are you counting your blessings?

I know that life at this stage is insane. I’ll be the first in line to wish it wasn’t so messy, so sticky, so loud. I’ve given up hope that by the end of the day, I’ll never have anything smeared on my shirt that I didn’t directly put there — at least for another decade or so.

I’m not saying I never get frustrated or impatient — far from it. But I’m also learning, day by day, to embrace all the good with the bad that come with this stage, and to smile at all those voices vying for my attention from the back seat.

They’re totally worth it.

Putting These Hoodlums To Work!

Thursday, July 22, 2010 Me and Jason were talking the other day how much more there is to do around the house since we now have 5 people to clean up after. It kind of creeped up on me. When it was just the 2 of us, and even when the girls were little, it wasn't that much more. But now that they are bigger (and messier) and we have so much laundry it is more than I can keep up with by myself. Jason helps quite a bit but we decided the girls are defiantly old enough to start pitching in. So today I turned on some music and got Macy and Mackenzie to cleaning! They were actually a lot of help! Macy dusted the whole house (and Mackenzie went behind her and re-dusted, lol), I taught Macy how to use the sweeper in the kitchen, and they put up all their clothes after I folded them. And they actually thought it was fun! They insisted I take a "action" shot. So this them dusting their little hearts out.

Yeah I Did!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 I have been getting back into running the last 2 1/2 months. I am not a "natural" runner, I really have to work at it. I finished the Couch 2 5K program about 2 weeks ago, which when you are done you can run for 30 minutes straight. I haven't really progressed much since then because I have been really busy lately and it has been too hot to run outside in the evenings. Yesterday I went to they gym to run my 30 minutes and I was kind of dreading it, I hadn't ran in almost a week and thought it was going to be really tough. But as I got closer to 30 minutes I was feeling really good, so I decided to keep going. I ran 40 minutes, without stopping!! That is seriously the longest I have ever run in my life. Ever! I probably could have went even longer but I didn't want to overdo it. I am so proud of myself!

Macy Lost Her First Tooth!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 It has been loose for weeks but she was too afraid to let anyone pull it. It finally got so loose it just fell out! I am completely freaked out by teeth in general and especially when they come out. It just seems so unnatural *shutter*. I have tried not to act to weirded out by Macy's loose tooth because I didn't want to scare her, but I know she has picked up on it a little bit. God was looking out for me and luckily she lost this tooth at my parent's house. Now that I see the tooth and the tooth hole, I think I am getting over it a little. It isn't as freaky as what I had built up in my mind. But she looks ridiculously cute with the little hole in her smile. She is super excited about putting her tooth out tonight for the Tooth Fairy!

4 Months

Monday, July 19, 2010 I can't believe my little Noah is 4 months old! He is growing up so fast but we are enjoying every minute of it. He has discovered his hands and loves to chew on them and suck on his fingers. He is very alert and loves to people watch. Here is his cheesy little smile. He is such a happy little guy, it is so easy to make him smile. And he has started to laugh out loud and giggle! Here he is sporting his post-shot band aids. He did so good! He only cried about 10 seconds and then was back to his normal smiley self. He weighed in at 16 pounds 7 ounces, which put him in the 80% for weight. He was 25 3/4" long which put him in the 80% for length. At least he is proportional!


Sunday, July 18, 2010 This weekend Doc had his first official sleepover. Our best friends were on vacation so their dog Pepper stayed with us. She is one of the few dogs out there that could get along with our kids/dog/cats/chickens. We have a lot of people to deal with : ) Her and Doc had a blast playing together. Everything went smoothly till the last day when Pepper got a little bored and decided to take it out on my flip flops and house shoes. I forgive her. We love you anyway Pepper! Don't they look sweet together?? You have no idea how long it took me to get them to both sit still next to each other long enough to get a picture!

Garage Sale Glory

Saturday, July 11, 2010 Every July Duncan has their city wide garage sale. Me and my mom have made it a tradition of going each summer. It is so fun and we always find lots of goodies. This year was no different. The highlight of this year was this cup. This may look like a ordinary cup to most people. But this is The Greatest Cup Ever. When I was a kid we had some yellow plastic cups exactly like this. Oddly, we got them as a "bonus" in a bag of dog food. I can't really explain why I got so attached to these cups. They are like the perfect size, shape, and weight. There were only 2 cups that have survived all these years, one at my Mom's house, and one I have at home. Today when we were out shopping my mom spotted this. And to make it even better the lady gave it too me free!! Best garage saleing ever.


Friday, July 16, 2010 Raspberry... there is only one man who would DARE give me the raspberry... LONESTAR!!! If you recognize that quote we are going to be friends forever.

Every Christmas my mom and sister make strawberry jam. I had never tried because it always sounded like it would be really hard. Well my mom was down for the weekend and strawberries were on sale (the perfect storm, right?) so I decided to give it a try. I thought it would be nice to make some to put back for Christmas gifts later since that time of year is always so busy. So it turns out it really wasn't so hard after all! If you have never tried homemade strawberry jam you really must. It is SO much better than store bought. Yay for strawberry jam!


Thursday, July 15, 2010 This week at church we had Vacation Bible School. All the kids had SO much fun! I helped with the Pre-K / Kindergarten group since that was were Macy and Mackenzie were. Macy got to hold the Bible during the pledges at the beginning one night and she was super excited. She felt like such a big girl. The theme was Saddleridge Ranch. Doesn't Jason look good in his cowboy get up??!! I was fan of the outfit : ) The kids brought offering money all week and whoever got the most (boys or girls) got to put a pie in either Jason's face our our Youth Minister Sean's. It was pretty much a tie so they both got pies in the face, which the kids LOVED! The last night they had a petting zoo, races on the stick horses they made in crafts and ice cold watermelon. Macy, Mackenzie, Riley, and Reese thoroughly enjoyed the watermelon. This group of hoodlums is just trouble waiting to happen : )

Blackberry Cobbler

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 Mmmmmm..... We LOVE blackberry cobbler. This one was so good I ate that (giant) chunk before I remembered to take a picture! We have a huge blackberry bush in our backyard, but this is the first year we have gotten very many blackberries. I have been experimenting with different recipes and I think I found a winner (thank you Carrie!).

Cowboy Noah

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 This week at church we have been having Vacation Bible School. The theme is Saddle Ridge Ranch so Jason has had his cowboy hat on all week. Noah was hanging out with Jason and Jason kept putting his hat on him. He looked so cute I had to get a picture. He was being such a good sport about the whole thing!


Monday, July 12, 2010 This is Bella. Our sweet (but slightly crazy) kitty. But we still love her anyway. About a year ago I took the girls to the shelter here in Duncan hoping to pick out a cat that could be their buddy. I took them with me because I wanted to let them play with the cats, that way we could make sure and find one that could handle their crazy. Bella drew the short straw. She wasn't the least bit phased by their screams, squeals, and complete spastic-ness. I thought she was extra special because of her unique coloring and her one blue eye and one green eye. It was a sign. She was meant for us. The girls loved her and she loves the girls, especially Macy. They have been best buddies since that first day. She lets them play with her and do just about anything with her. She is a great playmate, as you can see in the picture above!

Mackenzie's Militia

Sunday, July 11, 2010 Mackenzie has had this thing with little plastic figurines since she was about 18 months old. She loves them. And she loves to set her up her little plastic army. She calls them "Her People". It is the cutest thing ever. My mom saved a lot of my little plastic McDonald's toys from when I was a kid and ever since we got those out for her several years ago she has been in heaven. She is very particular about each little piece and does not like anyone messing with "Her People".

I should feel shame.

Saturday, July 10, 2010 For letting my garage get to this point. But I really don't : ) This is what I spent a large part of my Saturday dealing with in some of the most humid weather I can recall. It was sooooo sticky out today! But, in my defense I have been cleaning out the house for the last few weeks, so the garage has become my dumping ground. This had been my plan all along, sort of. I threw everything out in the garage knowing that the day would eventually come that I would have to deal with the dungeon the garage had become. BUT, I did take one giant Expedition load of stuff to Goodwill and 3 giant trash cans full of stuff put in the garbage. And I have a nice little garage sale pile that I am sticking in my neighbors garage sale next weekend. I also managed to get both sides of the shed cleaned out. It feels so good getting everything clean and organized. Successful day!

I do in fact sometimes serve a purpose.

Friday, July 9, 2010 I had probably the best moment of my ultrasound career so far today. Several weeks ago I had a patient come in for a routine kidney ultrasound and just by chance I happened to see a very large aortic aneurysm. Very large. He was sent to a larger hospital to see a surgeon that day and they did the surgery early the next morning. I never really gave it a second thought after that. So many patients come through each day and since our clinic is so small almost all of them with any kind of significant problem are referred elsewhere, so I rarely see the patients again or hear any kind of follow up. But today I got a message that someone was in the waiting room that needed to talk to me. This patient and his wife were out there. He gave me the biggest hug and told me how grateful he was that I had found the aneurysm and that I had without a doubt saved his life. It was one of the few times I have ever had a patient make me cry. They were so sweet and got me this adorable little hippo with a flower and balloon. It was so wonderful to see how I made a difference for these people. I love my job and days like this make me even more grateful for getting the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives.

My Lucky Boy

Thursday, July 8, 2010 I can't believe how fast my little boy is growing up. Each day it seems like he gets a little cuter and even sweeter than the day before. He has finally mastered sitting in his Bumbo seat (ignore the girly lavender color, he will probably hate me later for putting him in it) and he loves to sit and watch the girls play. And of course they love to entertain him. I was telling someone just earlier this week, Noah has no idea how lucky he is. Macy was stuck with just me and Jason. Mackenzie had Macy to entertain her but Macy was barely even 2. But Noah has 2 big sisters that love and adore him and are always right there to play with him. It is so fun to watch the girls with him. As he gets bigger and can interact with them more they enjoy him that much more. Often they fight over who is getting his attention and trying to make him smile. They are always holding, always kissing, and always making funny faces trying to get a smile out of him. Hopefully someday he will be able to appreciate just how special his sisters are.

Who doesn't love a baby mullet?!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010 Noah has been working on growing out his mullet for sometime now. He had a pretty decent amount of hair when he was born but pretty much all of it has fallen out except for this patch. And it is unusually long and dark. I think it's adorable and he totally pulls it off : )

In Bloom

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 This is a lily we have planted in our front flower bed. We planted it several years ago and each summer the girls anxiously await for it to bloom. Yesterday it was completely closed and today this is what we came out to. It is so beautiful and vibrant but the bloom only lasts a few short days before it dries up in the summer heat. I love how this picture captures all the tiniest details and colors.

Tie Dye Awesome-ness

Monday, July 5, 2010 Tie dye fun!! We thought it would be a fun craft for the girls (and Noah) to tie dye shirts while we were on vacation. Me and Holly ended up doing pretty much all the work once we figured out how messy it was going to be, but we let the kids pick out the designs and color patterns. They all turned out really cute and unique and the girls loved them. And that's what matters! This was our last picture before we all loaded up to head home. We made so many memories this weekend. Some of the highlights were:

~Mackenzie calling Jud "Dud" in her sweet little voice all weekend because she can't say his name very well.

~The girls waking up at 6:00am that first morning because they were so excited to be together and sneaking up the stairs to London's playroom.

~Me and Holly going to the Couch store at the outlet mall (Woot!)

~Jud taught Macy to swim underwater, which makes me SO proud of her!

~The giant fish Jason reeled in on London's light up Disney Princess fishing pole.

So as you can see we had so much fun and can't wait to do it again!

Happy Birthday America!

Sunday, July 4, 2010 Happy 4th of July from Round Top, Texas! We had an amazing day that started with a parade and grilled hamburgers. Then we got in a nice afternoon nap and spent the evening swimming and fishing. We all caught a few fish (with London catching the monster) and then Jason and Jud put on a fireworks show for us. It was an awesome day spent with our family!

Cousin Time!

Saturday, July 3, 2010 It's cousin time! These 3 crazy girls can't get enough of each other. It's too bad they have to live so far away from each other. But every time they get together they have a blast and it's always an adventure. They had so much fun this weekend swimming, fishing, and being cowgirls!

Road Trip!!

Friday, July 2, 2010 Road trip!!!! Woooooo!!! We took our first road trip as a family of 5 to Houston to see Jud, Holly, and London. We spent a night at their house then headed to the Walker County House for a fun filled 4th of July weekend! I wanted to capture the girls excitement before we left, because I knew they wouldn't be quite so exuberant after 8 hours in the car...

Raising A Three Child Family

Thursday, July 1, 2010 by Robin @ www.simplemom.net

Raising three kids is not simply raising two kids plus one more.

A three-kid family has a different dynamic, and it’s not the default dynamic of most family situations.

Event tickets are sold in packs of four.

If you’ve just had your third kid, you might not be able to fit your kids’ car seats and boosters in your family car.

You’ll go to a restaurant and be asked to wait a minute.

They’ll push a table over for you while a family of four is seated immediately.

You’ve exceeded the norm. Four is a tidy number and five is not, but since when has raising children been a tidy process? As we celebrate with Tsh as she joyously expands her family, I would like to share my observations on caring for a family of five. Our children are four-years-old, two-years-old, and four-months-old, respectively, and here are some lessons I’ve learned by having three children.

Count your blessings.

Yes, you just made life so much more complicated than your friends who have enough hands to hold each of their children’s hands when crossing the street. You have two kids to hold onto as well as a stroller to push; one day you’ll have a kid holding hands with a kid holding hands with you.

For now, you can babywear and free up a hand for each of your elder two, but the math is clear: your youngest isn’t even walking yet, but you can’t keep a hand on each child.

They will need to rely on each other more, and you will need to trust them to do so. But think of that image of them walking together in a line and remember that they are gifts to each other as much as they are to you.

Encourage an alliance.

Your older two deserve to maintain their regular activities, to get outside and play, to read and be read to – without always having to wait for you to feed the baby or shush the baby or put the baby down to sleep. Figure out how many ways you can accommodate their needs while you simultaneously tend to the baby, but also encourage them to work together.

Can your eldest read to your second child? Can they push each other on the swing? Foster their sibling relationship in this unique time, before the baby can join in on all of their activities.

Find time for each child.

Then, when the baby is finally asleep, make sure you take over the reading, and wrap each of your elder two around you. They will need just as much physical affection as ever, and perhaps even more of your attention.

You won’t be able to devote your full attention to them every time they ask for it, but you can reward their patience. Read a third story at bedtime instead of the regular two. Sit out on the porch and share an orange after dinner. Seek out quiet moments so that the space for talking is available.

Watch your language.

Your second child now seems impossibly large. For so long you’ve thought of her as your baby, and now she’s been bumped up the line. As she defines her new role, help her by modeling positive language.

You don’t have to call her your middle child. Labels carry a lot of weight, and the “middle child” label doesn’t carry many positive connotations. Call her your second-born, or use gender to define her via her siblings as your first daughter or your only girl. Honor how special she is by introducing her in a way that everyone else will be able to see it, too.

Make the difficult decisions.

Sometimes the baby will cry just as the older two need you, too. It’s true outside your home and it’s true here, too — you can’t please everybody all of the time.

Make sure the baby is safe, and then take a minute to tend to your elders’ needs. They’ll remember feeling neglected if you always go to the baby first, but the baby won’t remember a thing if he cries for an extra minute. And you’ll make it up to him with extra snuggles at midnight. And 2 a.m. And 4 a.m…

Remember why you’re here.

You’re here, a mama of three, because you can do this. Because you have this much love in your heart. Because you believe in yourself, your partner and this family.

My second daughter’s birthday is December 11th, which means she was nine months old on a September 11th. I spent a lot of time thinking about that milestone; that the day she transitioned to longer “out” than “in” was the day we commemorated such violent tragedy.

My daughter became more a child of the world than of my womb on the anniversary of the day I remember hearing people ask how anyone could bring children into such a world. We asked the opposite question: How could we not?

The gift of your three children to the world tips the scales towards greater compassion, greater ecological care, and greater humanity.

Savor the moment.

Caring for yourself, tending to your marriage, and now being responsible for three little ones — it can be a lot. There will be chaos, and you will be more tired than you believed possible. But enjoy it.

My own mothering mentor, whose children are now in their 20s, tells me to remember that the days are long but the years are short. They won’t always need you as much as they do now, and then you’ll miss their little hands and constant closeness.

It is my hope that when I reach that period I’ll look back on these crazy days of their childhoods and think, We did it. We got through it with love and patience, and we raised them well.