Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Season and Halloween

We had plenty of pumpkin activities this past pumpkin season to keep us busy and happy.

Our homeschool group took a field trip to a local pumpkin patch, Mark's Melon Patch. We enjoyed a hayride and picking out a few pumpkins for our front porch.

Also, my mom and I had fun painting these fun pumpkins together! 

On Halloween day my sister, grandma, and I gathered together to paint and carve pumpkins with the kids. The finished pumpkins turned out great!

We celebrated Halloween at my mom's house. Daddy Mitch and papa Ran took Skylar, Maddox, and Mason trick or treating while Jessica, GiGi, grandma, Jojo, Gage, baby Ashlynne and I stayed behind to pass out candy. The kids racked up on enough candy to last them through Valentine's Day, and we all had a good time.

Happy pumpkin season! 

Potty Training Mason

Still months away from his 3rd birthday Mason is daytime potty trained! After already going through this potty training thing twice, I was kind of dreading it. I thought Mason would be my hardest child to train, but my big boy proved me wrong and has become my easiest so far!  I started training him the summer after his 2nd birthday. I didn't want the distraction of school in our way and I figured that summer was an acceptable time to allow your 2 year old to run around the house and backyard pantless. Just like my other 2, I simply put him in big kid undies and sat him on the toilet every 30 minutes, and declared "ut oh" when he peed on the floor. We started out using a toddler toilet, but now he uses the regular toilet just let the rest of us. The only set back we had was the short relapse he experienced during our move, but he is back on track now.  In recent weeks he has even gone potty without me! Mason wears his big boy underwear proud and we are proud of him. Our next step will be to get him night time potty trained, and then it won't be long before Jojo is ready for the potty too!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Loss of Our Dog Heidi

Time slowed down with grief last Sunday when we received the call that our beloved pet Heidi had died. She was hit by a car and passed instantly. My heart sank knowing that I would have to break this news to my 10 year old daughter, who loved and cherished this dog from the moment we first laid eyes on her at the shelter. Heidi was Skylar's baby, the warm furry friend who laid in bed with her at night, and the one who licked her face to wake in the morning. That feeling of cold, then hot waves came over me, multiplying my own heartache by 10, knowing the shattered pieces of my own daughter's heart that I would have to hold. She screamed and cried, and begged it not to be true. I held her and I cried too. 
I thought about how shaken the woman who hit Heidi must have been, and the integrity that she possessed to stop, kneel down beside our dog, and call the number from her tag. How heart wrenching that must have been for her. We could have gone days wondering where our dog had gone, but because of her compassion, we were able to get to Heidi and bury her right away and have our closure. 
Heidi was a good dog, a true companion to Skylar. Intelligent and patient, we couldn't ask for a better dog. She will be missed, and we're thankful for the wonderful memories Skylar was able to share with her, even if for a short time.

I Cut My Son's Hair!

Ove the past year, I have found a few Pinterest articles on cutting your son's hair. Maddox has asked me to do this before, but since I'm no professional I brushed it off. This is the same child who also asked me to homeschool him for 2 years before I took the leap of faith, and prayed this to be best. Maybe, just maybe this boy has a way with my heart, and knows how to push me past my fear. It's funny, I was suppose to ask my homeschool mama friends where they take their sons for a trim, and instead I was encouraged to just do it myself. The only advice given was, just do it, and learn from your mistakes. Scary right? I came home that day from our homeschool group to find that my husband had already cut his hair for the month, and he took the initiative to cut our 2 year old son, Mason's hair as well. I laughed and told him its funny that today must be haircutting day, and then revealed my plans. I watched a few youtube videos before I got started, and then just jumped in with my husband's clippers and hair scissors. I knew I would make a few mistakes, and I forgave myself when I did. I cut his bangs too short, and I know what I want to do next time to avoid this. I was happy with the fading, and I know that the youtube videos were a huge help. Overall, I was pleased. It wasn't too bad or too painful, and Maddox was happy with the results. 

The next day, I admired my good work and handsome boy and kept telling him how nice he and and hair looked. He eventually became annoyed with me and told me, "Mama, I know that I look good, stop telling me!" lol

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mitch's 32nd Birthday

Mitch turned 32 this past Saturday! Each celebration we have together is a loving reminder of how we are growing together, making memories along the way. I remember celebrating with him for the first time the night he turned 21, eleven years ago. The morning of his 32nd birthday I thought to myself, in 6 1/2 years I will have been with him for as long as I have been without him. Mitch asked me if that made me feel old, and I told him, no, it makes me feel like I'm with Mr. Forever. We celebrated his big day this year by attending Sylvester's Peanut festival, watching the Peter Pan Peanut butter Parade (say that 5 times fast), and a magic show. Afterwards we enjoyed lunch at a local BBQ restaurant, Keith-A-Que. We then spent our afternoon shooting. We were able to do this for the first time in our backyard! Mitch's dream come true, now that we live in the country.

That night my parents came over for dinner. Mitch grilled bacon wrapped beer butt chickens, yum! and for dessert I made a pumpkin pound cake. We ended the night by sitting around the campfire, talking about anything and talking about nothing, letting the kids roast marshmallows.

Happy 32nd Birthday Mitch, I love you and I look forward to celebrating many more with you!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Home in Georgia

Moving down to Georgia was a substantial change for us, but we already feel right at home!

Though everyone was already excited about the move, we wanted to get the kids into the country spirit by offering them special gifts. Skylar and Maddox received BB guns, while Mason and Josiah slipped on new camo boots!

Just days after moving in we joined our new local homeschool group, Classical Conversations, where we meet once a week with other like minded Christian families, friends, and tutors. Tuesdays have quickly become the kids' favorite day of the week! I know that Skylar and Maddox miss their SC friends, but we were thrilled that within days both the kids made new friends, who we have since had a handful of playdates with outside of school.

Because my sister and her family traveled into town for a 2 and a half week visit, our first few weeks were made a little more adventurous. It was special having my sister and her family here for the extended stay, because it gave us a sneak peek in the near future for when her family plans to move back home to GA as well! Between Jessica and I, we have 3 toddlers ages 1, 1, and 2, we call them the triple threat, and I can't wait to watch these cousins grow up together! Grandma drove in for an extended stay too, we are leaving her behind in SC, which made the move bitter sweet, or as my grandma would tell you, just bitter, but as it would seem, no one in our family can go longer than a few days without calling or checking in on each other, so no one will be missed for too long before another call or visit is made. 

Living close to my parents (and soon my sister too), is one of the many reasons why we wanted to live in Georgia, another is to experience the country life. We wanted to get away from the city, and live a life slowed down, focusing on building stronger relationships with each other, our family, and our friends. This lifestyle has proven to do just that! We've only been here a few short weeks and the kids are already spending their free time fishing in the pond outside our home, shooting their bb guns in the yard, exploring the woods surrounding our 5 acres, and learning from their papa how to pick and boil fresh peanuts, scale and clean a fish, spray a cotton field, and dig a pond on papa's land. Our small town is surrounded by other small towns, this means there is a lack of restaurants and weekend night entertainment. Because the country lacks these city streets, and miles of entertainment, we are forced to gather with each other and make our own fun! The second week we were here, family friends invited us to attend a fish fry. The day before my kids journeyed out with my dad and his friends to fish for this fry, and together Skylar and Maddox caught 24 fish between them! This was our first night "out", and we had a good time with family and friends, enjoying fried fish, grits, and homemade slaw. 

With hunting season is in full swing, the real reason for my sister's visit wasn't to spend time with me, but so that her husband could go hunting on family land. My brother in law shot with a bow 4 deer while he was here, so as a family we gathered together in my parents's front lawn and processed the deer. I counted this as a field trip for the kids. Skylar thought it was gross, but Maddox relished in the manliness of it!

That night, after processing the deer and turning it into hamburger, we grilled burgers together at my place and set up a bonfire, inviting more family to join and delight in the night with us.

We still have plans to grow a garden, raise chickens, goats, and maybe even a pig or two. This past weekend Mitch and the kids worked hard in the yard to clean out the barns and the chicken coop. When animals do arrive, I'm sure there will be plenty of pictures and adventures to follow!

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