Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nostalgic for Summer Pt 4 (this is the last one, promise)

I know, it's December. Time to stop talking about Summer 2014. After this I'm done, but there were just too many good memories not to get on here. Like going to Lake of the Ozarks for our 5th (?) year with our buddies the Harrises. Several other of our other buddies joined throughout the weekend, and it made for so much fun in the sun. One of my favorite memories was all of us adults tracking the storms that moved in and out that weekend on our phones. We spent one perfect, sunny morning on the lake managing to dodge the rain. As we pulled into the docks it started to pour. Hard. All of us (really fun) moms decided that shouldn't stop us from swimming, so we all jumped in and swam in the rain. Such fun memories!!

 Another fun memory was swimming with our friends the Taylors at their pool as the sun set. The boys had a blast jumping off the life guard stands!

 Of course we spent a lot of time at the pool we join, and we even were able to swim with some friends from "the past", the Lutzs, as they were in town!

Harper learned to dive in the Harrises pool. It was our last time to swim there before they moved, so it seemed fitting.

 An non-water related, we got to go to Chris' cousin's wedding, and the Hoyles all had fun cutting a rug at the reception!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nostalgic for Summer Pt 3

Here's some more randomness from our summer... 

We took lots of walks around the pond behind Chris' work since the weather was so amazing. There's a fun swing and lots of trees to climb...

Our good friends, the Moores, who usually live in Ethiopia, Africa are in the States on furlough this year. We were fortunate enough to be one of their many stops on their cross-country travels this summer. Our kids have helped buy them gifts we send over to them, and they've been praying for them for as long as they can remember, so it was really fun seeing them get to play with the kids and ask all sorts of questions about life in Africa. Jake and Erin also spoke to our small group from church, and I think it was one of the best groups we've had to date. 

One of my favorite memories from this summer was taking a few friends to Paw Paw's to see the animals, play in the hay and swim in the creek. All of us had a blast. I'm not sure who had more fun on the hay bales - the adults or the kids. I don't have pictures of the dads having races jumping across them, but it was definitely memorable. Swimming was quite the adventure as the creek was running a little faster than normal, but that didn't stop the kids from swinging on the rope swing and jumping in till their parents were worn out! 

Somehow we managed to see two Naturals baseball games this summer too. And both in the boxes up top...that's the way to see a baseball game! Chris' company sponsored one of the games and was nominated by his office to throw out one of the opening pitches. He looked like a "natural" (pun intended) out there. 

We also let the kids try out a "sports" camp through our local YMCA. The boys played baseball and Harper took a dance class. They all had a great time.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Nostalgic for Summer Pt 2 - 4th of July

We all went to OKC for 4th of July weekend, and then the kids and I stayed a little longer to see my friend, Kobie. It was such a fun extended stay in OK and it was really hard to leave...

 There's something pretty special about seeing your kids play with their cousins. We didn't get to see ours very often, so I'm so thankful that our kids get to see each other pretty regularly.

 I don't get to see this lady nearly enough. Even though we average seeing each other once a year, we pick right back up where we left off. She's such an encouragement to my soul, and I'm already ready to see her again... Love ya, Kob!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Nostalgic for Summer Pt 1

As the first "arctic blast" is about to hit us, I have really started missing summer life... Since I did a horrible job of keeping up with the things we did this summer, I decided I should take a look back to Summer 2014. It may or may not be healthy for my mental state as we move into winter! Regardless, here's to summer and lots of pictures documenting what we did...

We never made it to an actual camp ground, but Chris and the kids camped out in our backyard. It was pretty perfect as I got to hang out with them and then walk inside to my own bed!

We attempted a community garden in our back yard. The first part of the summer was fun as we had radishes coming out of our ears, but as the summer when on it got a little out of control and we let it go. We're hoping maybe next summer will go better?!

 We made a trip to OK to see my NM cousins, and we had a blast spending time with the kids and also getting an adult's night out on the town.

 Summer was also the time of light pole climbing. Strange, yes. Ethan discovered that he could make it to the top (while I sat and watched with sweating palms). Of course Chris decided he should try as well.

Our downtown square was always a source of fun over the summer. This particular summer they had a whole "city" built out of boxes for the kids to build up and then defend from evil doers.

 Mimi and Grandma came to visit, and as always we loved having them both around.

This was the summer that Ethan realized reading could be fun. He stayed up late many of nights reading in his bed. I loved it.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Happy Halloween!

We had another memorable Halloween this year as we celebrated with good friends and good food while attempting to stay warm! (it was COLD this year) We grilled out over 100 hot dogs and overwhelmed our neighbors with the mass of kids we had hit each house. The boys, per the usual, changed costumes multiple times... Ethan was The Human Torch for Halloween party we went to in the morning while Owen was an OU football player. By the evening, Ethan became Captain America and Owen was Bumblebee. Harper stayed true to being Queen Elsa the whole day. Chris embraced being Wayne from Wayne's World...not nearly as attractive as last years Maverick!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Last Week of School

Ethan is now a 2nd grader! I feel like I blinked and the year was over...life is going way too fast. It's been a great year. We've loved Mrs. Temple, and Ethan has made new friendships and learned a ton. His favorite subject has been English, but Math has come very easily too. We're still working at reading. He is able to do it, but the "switch" hasn't flipped to where it's second nature yet. He still loves drawing and writing stories. At Ethan's end of year awards ceremony, he won "the honesty" award. (mom fail - I didn't get any pictures)

 One of his last assignments was a report on a missionary. He wrote about our friends, the Moores, in Ethiopia. He even typed out his report on my computer...that was a little crazy to see!
Our last homeschool day we decided it would be way more fun to finish our homework while eating ice cream, so we went to the Spark Ice Cream Shop down the street.  Harper and Owen thought it was great homeschool day too!

To celebrate the year being over, we went for (more) ice cream with a few of our buddies. (please note Miss Amy's photo bomb) We're so thankful to have made it another year with these friends alongside us!

Now on to SUMMER!!!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

The Sunshine Gala

We had the opportunity to attend The Sunshine Gala to support a local school that helps children with disabilities. It's a fantastic organization that has provided so much help for our community. It was a "cowboy chic" themed night filled with auctions, dancing, and a live band. 
After dinner they had the live-auction portion of the benefit, and a trip to Florida came up. The starting price was reasonable considering that you got $1,000 worth of spending cash to go along with it. After it quickly going up to $5,000, Chris decided to jump in and see what happened. As soon as he placed his bid all the other bids stopped. Crickets. The auctioneer started saying, "Going once...going twice..."
...And then someone else raised their hand. Chris was off the hook but it took about 5 minutes of the auctioneer trying to get Chris to raise his price with everyone's eyes on us. We had our whole table telling him to go a little higher, a lady behind us telling Chris this was the most excitement she'd had in awhile, and Chris was sweating bullets. I haven't laughed that much in a long time. Chris' face was priceless... The other person ended up winning the trip, but we enjoyed the laughs. The auctioneer came up to Chris afterwards and apologized for all the pressure he put him on him. It was pretty priceless.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Kenzie the Climber

I walked outside the other day to see Harper doing this. When I said, "Harper, please be careful", her response was, "My name is not Harper. I am Kenzie. Kenzie the Climber. And I'm always careful." Well all right then!

Kenzie (or whatever her name was on this day), went to a friend's birthday party at Cherry Berry later on that week. She was one of the younger ones there, but she managed to hit the jack pot on two different games. I've never seen so many tickets in one little girl's arms! Vegas, here we come...

Sunday, April 27, 2014


We've been blessed with some pretty fantastic friends. As I look through random pictures I've taken through each month, I am reminded of that.

And speaking of friends, I was lucky enough to run my first ever 5K with these two lovely ladies. It was very cool to be able to run with them in support of all the women who have fought breast cancer. Thoughts of those brave women, like my mother in law, kept flashing through my head that morning. It was a great experience, and dare I say I might run another race in the future?!?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Owen's First Job

Owen is our "hard worker". Even at the age of 2 he would want to be outside doing some project with Chris. He's always preferred toys with a purpose...lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc. For Christmas we decided to get him a real leaf blower, and that things has been used quite a bit! He was hired by some friends of ours to come blow out the leaves from under their deck, and I think his chest swelled a little bit as he walked to their house with his leaf blower in hand! When he came back with the money he earned, he was so excited to put it in his piggy bank. We always joke that he's going to be the kid that starts his own lawn mowing business at 12...hopefully this is the beginning of that!

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Full-Filled Weekend in OK

We had the chance to bring some AR friends across the border to OK and cram several fun activities into one weekend. We started out at the Tulsa zoo...
In the 20 some years I lived in OK, I never once made it to the Tulsa zoo. It was fun checking it out with the kids and several buddies. It was pretty chilly, but we still managed to have have fun.

After the zoo, we all headed to OKC for a night of good food and basketball. My parents watched all of our kids (THANK YOU GUYS!!!), and we had a blast being adults on the town. I didn't do a very good job of getting pictures of the game or of anything else really. Guess we'll have to go back. 

That Saturday, the AR people headed back home, and we stayed to celebrate Papi's birthday. The kids went fishing with Papi, played outside, built forts inside, and pretty much had a great time being together. We grilled out and ate amazing apple pie. It was a fun night being together as a family and enjoy each other's company. Thanks for having a birthday, Papi! Here's to MANY more to come!

To top the weekend off we met Grandma Debbie at IHop for breakfast and enjoyed catching up with her and Lynn. I told her that I can't see an IHop without thinking of her!

It was a fun-filled weekend with friends and family. We left with great memories and wanting to do it again soon!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Harper Turns 3!

 My baby girl turned three! She's talked a lot about this birthday...turning "free" as she says. She has told us that she is a "big sister" now that she's "free".
I didn't get any pictures of her waking up to pink balloons in her bedroom door or of her opening her gifts from her brothers. #momfail Owen picked out a princess dress for her (well she picked it out and he offered to get it for her for her birthday...smart guy), and Ethan got her dolls from Frozen. She requested homemade donuts for breakfast, mac and cheese for lunch, pizza for dinner. 

Her birthday party was 100% girlie. She wanted a Frozen party, so the amazing B's Cakes made her an delicious strawberry cake that was almost too beautiful to eat! We painted finger nails, listened to the Frozen soundtrack, wore princess dresses and tiaras, and colored Frozen coloring sheets. I think everyone had a fun time, and Harper is of course already planning her 4th birthday party!

Frozen has been the first thing H has become obsessed with. To feed that obesession her Aunt Keela bought her the Ana dress and doll for her birthday which she has worn a ton. While listening to the soundtrack. Belting out every song. Pretty sure it makes me smile every time I hear it!

I have loved having Harp as my daughter. She's spunky, expressive, passionate, sensitive, strong, hilarious, loving, strong-willed, and perceptive for a three year old. She can make you feel so loved with her hugs and sweet words, and she will try hard to make you laugh. She's a pretty fantastic little lady, and I feel lucky to be her mom!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Weird Weather

This month has been crazy with the different weather. There was tons of snow...and then it warmed up enough for my kids to strip down to their undies and play one afternoon. We couldn't be more ready for summer...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Family Birthday Party

We had a family birthday weekend to celebrate all three kid's birthdays, and it was a fun filled weekend of cake, gifts, and time with family. The kids were able to play outside quite a bit, and the adults even got to go out to dinner and make a quick trip to Crystal Bridges. It was a great weekend!
 The kids compromised on their joint birthday cake and landed on a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Not a surprise, but we have some very opinionated cake eaters!

 They loved all the gifts, and it was even more fun having the cousins there to help them play with the toys.

Thanks to all the family that was able to make the party, and we missed those of you who couldn't come!