9.19.2016

SIX!

Six years ago the most precious 9lb sack of sugar made me a mama. It was the craziest and one of the best days of my entire life. Grayson was the most alert & active baby and to this day is always busy. It is hard to remember him being this little!
At 6 years old, this boy is a harder worker than any kid I know. He is driven, determined to do his best, & always looking to improve. His two biggest loves are baseball and American Ninja Warrior. Grayson's dream is to be a professional baseball player & become a Ninja Warrior--he dreams big & works hard so I have no doubt he could do both!

I remember when Grayson was 4 and I prayed confidence over him. He was so unsure of himself & that was my word for him that year. Two years later & he is a different kid! He is so confident (we may even be working on that whole humble thing-ha!) and that makes me so proud. I love that he doesn't care what others think of him. Two different color Nike socks? no big deal. He thinks it looks cool and that is all that matters!
I love this little guy's personality! He has such a funny sense of humor & is an old soul. And sometimes he thinks he is a 16 year old trapped in a 6 year old's body! He is opinionated & can be a perfectionist. He is the best big brother to Griffin and Cheney. He is super independent and loves picking out what he wants to wear every day.  I feel like he has already grown up so much this year since he started kindergarten. I think 6 will be a big year for Grayson--lots of learning and lots of growing!
Happy SIXTH birthday to our baseball playing, monkey bar obsessed, always climbing or running, tender hearted firstborn. Grayson, you are a natural leader & I know you will do big things in life. We love you, G!

9.12.2016

back to preschool!


We can officially say that summer is now over. Griffin, Cheney, & I all started back to school last Tuesday!

This will be my 2nd year teaching a 3 year old class at our church. I would have never thought that I would enjoy teaching young preschoolers, but I am so happy I took a chance last year. I love it! We have a really sweet class this year & I am looking forward to spending a year with them and watching them grow!

Griffin is in the Alligator class this year!
I was a little worried about Griffin being in the 4 year old class. It is a big year of independence and our middle boy has a funny way of still being the baby in the family. However, he is with a lot of his best buds again and he is doing so well!! He tells me all about the fun things they do in class & is loving going to centers. I get to spend some time with his class at recess & I love watching him play with his friends!

Cheney is in the Panda class this year! This is the class that the boys both started in & I love it so much.
This little lady is LOVING school. She tells me all about the friends she plays with & sits next to at lunch. She is such a social butterfly and I know she loves being there. Her sweet teachers have even gotten her to nap on her mat!!! I was shocked and amazed.

Our little school is the most precious place for children. I'm soaking up these years before my babies go to the big school with their brother!

9.04.2016

New House Tour: the play room

One thing that was on my wish list for looking at houses was having a big bonus room that had a door. Our old house had a great play room for the kids but it was out in the open and there was no way to hide all the toys. It drove me crazy once we started accumulating more & more large, plastic toys. If the room is messy at the end of the day, I want to close the door and not think about it!
 
I was so excited to see the big bonus room at our new house. It is upstairs, above the garage, away from the bedrooms, AND it has a door. Hallelujah! The only problems? Well, it was dark brown & had a horribly obnoxious UT vinyl sticker on the wall.


 
This is what the room looked like when we first saw it. Thank goodness the owners took those decals with them. The door on the right is the laundry room & has a walk in attic. There is also a door to the left with more walk in attic space! HUGE bonus points.
 
This was the first room we painted after we moved in. I could not handle that dark brown paint. We also changed out the light fixture--that one was so dark.  Griffin had to wear a head lamp to pick out bedtime books--not even kidding!
 
Here is what the room looks like now!
We painted a very light grayish blue. It makes the room look so much brighter!
You will notice that we are still very much in the stage of HUGE toys.
This used to be our sectional. Our movers tried moving it upstairs but the corner piece would not make it through the doorway. SO, we ditched that piece and now just have a really long couch. I need to hang our Ikea art wire and hang the kids book covers above that couch!
This is my favorite little corner of the room...Cheney's girly nook! That is the baby crib that Pops made her & my mom refinished my old baby bunk beds and made them quilts! Cheney loves to read in her little Owl chair and play with her babies.
That door goes to our other huge storage space. It is no nice not having to go up in the actual attic to store stuff!
 
Well, that is our play room/bonus room! Now if only I could get the kids to always keep it this neat! 

8.29.2016

Menu Monday




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Monday: Mississippi Pot Roast, mashed potatoes, & rolls. I am not a huge fan of the crockpot but I do use it quite often for baseball nights! This is a new recipe for us that I am hoping will be tasty!
Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken I howsweeteats.com
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Tuesday: BBQ Beer crockpot chicken (making nachos with the pulled chicken!)-- this is a staple at our house because the leftovers are great & we can use for lots of different things!

Wednesday: Chicken cutlets with brown gravy, mashed potatoes, & peas

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Thursday: Tamale Pie -- this was a recipe that Ben did not have high hopes for but ended up loving.

Friday: using the leftover chicken to make BBQ chicken pizzas

Saturday: Pancakes and bacon

8.22.2016

Menu Monday

We are almost fully back into the swing of things around here. School has started and so has baseball practice. Both boys are playing now so we will have double the practice & games this fall! A hectic schedule and late nights at the baseball fields make menu planning a little more difficult, but I am determined to not eat out during the week! When we looked at our budget over the summer and saw how much money we were spending on food, it made me sick. We have been doing a lot better about eating at our house. And let's be honest...eating out with 3 kids isn't exactly easier in the long run. Here is what we are having this week!

Taco-Filled Pasta Shells Recipe
Monday: Taco Filled Pasta Shells -- I have blogged about this recipe before. It is a family favorite! It is also great as leftovers!
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Tuesday: Chicken stir-fry & veggies (I saw this posted on Instagram--hoping it is good!)

Wednesday: Grilled chicken, white cheddar macaroni and cheese, sautéed squash & zucchini

Thursday: Leftovers!

Friday: Burrito Bowls (rice, chicken, corn, black beans, avocado, salsa, & a little shredded cheese)

Saturday: Pancakes and bacon

8.19.2016

WE SURVIVED.

I haven't been this happy about a Friday in a long time. We survived the first week of kindergarten and tomorrow we won't need an alarm clock to wake up! HALLELUJAH! I guess I should say Grayson survived his first week of kindergarten..but not only did he survive, he rocked it! 

This week was the real deal. He rode the bus to and from school and was there for the full day. I was so nervous about Monday since it was the first time he rode the bus, but he did it and really wasn't even nervous. I am so proud of him! He is definitely not like I was when I was his age. Love that about him!

He seems to really like his teacher, Mrs. Hodge. He has also talked about a few of his new friends...one of which is a boy named Griffin! I think his favorite things are riding the bus, eating lunch in the cafeteria (but he refuses to buy a lunch EVER because they put veggies on the tray. haha!), going to P.E, and of course recess. He was so excited to see that they have monkey bars on the kindergarten playground! 
It has been really strange having just the two little ones with me during the day. We went to our MOPS leadership meeting yesterday and I told G it was so weird to not bring him with me! I started going to MOPS at our church when he was just 11 months old. Crazy how time flies! 
Last night he was so cute. They went to the school library for the first time and he got to check out his first book. He would not show it to us until bedtime because he wanted to surprise Griffin and I. Grayson is just loving all these new experiences and it is so sweet to watch! 
I am proud to say that we have had no tears about school so far...from either of us! (don't worry--I will more than make up for it when my last baby heads off on that bus.) It has been a busy, busy week with this and baseball starting but G has handled it all like a pro. Yay for a great first week! 

...and just because I love this picture so much, I have to share it. Cheney was not happy about her Bubba going to school without her last Wednesday. She cried and cried that morning & kept asking "where Bubba go?" We are definitely missing him during the day but I know he is having fun being a big boy at school!


8.09.2016

the day before kindergarten

Well, friends, here we are. 
Grayson is going to KINDERGARTEN.  I feel like this is his senior picture. My firstborn is looking so grown up these days!
I don't feel like I will be one of those weepy mamas as I drop Grayson off tomorrow.  He is so ready for this & has been ready for a long time! I am mostly just excited for him. Excited for him to learn how to read, make new friends, and watch him blossom into a big kid. He is mostly excited about the school bus, his new neon Nike lunch box, P.E, & recess.  I'm sure this transition won't be a walk in the park (for any of us) but I am looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.
I ordered this bag tag from my friend, Amy, and it is perfect. (Etsy: One Good Name. Check her out!) These are ALL the things I have been praying over G as he starts this new adventure.  I know he will meet kids this year that aren't nice. I know he will be around kids that say words we don't approve of. I know that this year he won't be as sheltered as he has been at our wonderful church preschool. BUT, it is all part of growing up & as hard as it is to let go a little, I know that it is time to. Grayson is more confident as an almost 6 year old than I am as an adult. I am so proud of him.  He is such a good kid & I know he will do just fine!
Watch out kindergarten, Grayson is ready for you!