September 16, 2014

Old House Goodbyes

At the beginning of the summer, we closed on our old house. It was definitely bittersweet. We were so thankful to sell it and we knew it was a young family moving in, which was special. But it's just so hard to say goodbye. I attach STRONGLY to houses (as most people do!) because of the memories and moments that add up to make a chapter of LIFE that happened there. We love you, #2410!

Sweet little playroom picture. . .I still miss this beautiful mural SO much!

Evy Kate in her sweet little room. I remember when we moved in and putting her in her crib. She really grew into a little girl in this house!

My sweet little Leeler in the room we brought him home to. HUGE memories in this room - I remember filling the wait for him by buying little things for his room and getting it ready. I was so sad to say my goodbye to this room!

Lynley Adelie moved so fast across her room I couldn't even get a good picture! Another room full of memories. This is where we brought our littlest girl home and I had those special moments in the middle of the night; just me and Lynley Bear during those night feedings. She was only here in this house for a few months but it was really special!

I cried and cried walking through each room, but like I said, it was just bittersweet. I absolutely love living in the country and being surrounded by so much space. It definitely feels like home and I know it was the best decision we could have made! Once I recovered a little, we started to gather up last minute things we had been storing, including some boxes full of nostalgia!

My brother's self-illustrated, self-created and self-published literary masterpiece entitled "The Separation" from early elementary school. I WISH I could show you the whole thing - funniest thing EVER!

This picture is one tiny drop in the huge BUCKET that was my American Girl obsession in the 90s.

Once we got home from that, it was back to business as usual. You know, yard work in your standard Gaston tshirt.

This was just really sweet - Evy wanted to dress up in her hanbok. It's always so special to see her wearing it!

I ended the day by watching Hook. Sometimes it just hits the spot, am I right? Every time Netflix adds a movie from my childhood I get so excited!

It was a special little day with my family that I know will be fun to look back on!

September 9, 2014

Just Checking In

Just wanted to check in! I'm not ready to let my blog go, but sometimes I feel like my posts get fewer and farther between. I think it's indicative of the season we're in and it's a natural shift as Evy is starting school, I think.

Homeschooling and getting into the swing of our fall schedule has been all-consuming in a great way! I'm really keeping outside activities to a minimum this fall as we get used to homeschooling, but I'm also planning to jump back into choir at church! I'm really excited about this, because Christmas music will be starting soon, and I feel that Lynley is finally at a good place where I can leave her at that time of the evening. I felt a definite peace that I was doing the right thing to not be in choir for Lynley's first year (and a few months); I might have said this before, but for a lot of reasons I just needed to be led in worship and be a participant in the congregation. It was a really good season to just be ministered to, and I'm learning that it's really healthy to do that during certain seasons - especially for young families who are really involved in church.

I'm enjoying figuring out what works for us with homeschooling! I'm finding a lot of freedom in tailoring the curriculum to fit Evy. For instance, My Father's World has each unit spread out over 6 days. It's light work each of those days, but I've already learned what she can move quickly through. Certain units we'll take 6 days, others we might do in 5. Or if it's a unit where she's really interested and we come up with lots of activities, we might stretch it even longer. We're still very new to this, and there's a definite learning curve, but I'm just so proud of her and how bright and articulate she is! She is thriving. I'm also incredibly proud of Liam and how sweet and tender he is with his sisters lately. A little example: Evy couldn't find a Lego piece she needed and we searched high and low for it. Today after his rest time, Liam SO PROUDLY told Evy he had found the Lego piece in his room! He had looked all over for it by himself in his little room, and it was just the sweetest thing when he gave it to her! Lynley is my little adorable firecracker - she definitely has a personality all her own! :) I finally figured out how to word it in describing her: it's like she has a mature sense of humor! Ha! Seriously, it's so funny. It's almost like she understands subtlety and gives these knowing little grins and side glances. So funny!

We had promotion Sunday at church recently. Liam and Lynley stayed in the preschool area of course, but Evy made the big change the children's ministry. Honestly, it's been incredibly hard. Every Sunday or church time has been met with tears, total anxiety, and clutching onto me for dear life. Kurt and I were saying recently that one of the hardest things about being a parent is knowing when to give that nudge and insist they do something and when to withdraw and not push. I had a VERY strong feeling that if we forced her to go into the huge children's ministry room, it would create fear and resentment that would take a long time to overcome. She had kind of a chaotic experience the first time she went (Kurt was with her at that point and he stayed with her a few minutes before they left). A lot of older kids were in the room and it was just overload. Since that point it was just a huge issue. But last Sunday night we had a breakthrough! I prepped her that we would just go and look and I knew a couple of her little friends would be there. Well, it was the usual - starting to shake, crying, clutching. So I told her we would go downstairs and just rest a minute and talk. On the way down she stopped me and said, "Mommy, I want to try again." It was HUGE. I need to add too that our pastor of education had broken the kids up into smaller groups so it was way less intimidating (the Sunday morning structure was also adjusted too, just to try a different format - it happened to be great timing with how Evy was struggling!). We went upstairs and I watched her join her little friends, and she ended up having a great time! I'm praying this was a turning point, and from now on I think she'll feel much more empowered to go. I just knew it had to be HER decision, otherwise it would always be a constant struggle. Parenting can be tough to navigate!

Our kitchen cabinets are being painted this week and I'm so excited! It already brightens things up so much! I'm going to leave the hood and island a wood tone to see if I like a mix - I think I will! We're also hosting a going away gathering for some church friends who are moving, so that will be fun. I'm planning our annual women's ministry holiday event and I'm really excited about what we're doing this year - I love seeing it come together! I always start to feel that familiar excitement when fall gets into full swing; it's such a wonderful time of enjoying the cooler weather and looking forward to the holiday season!

Happy fall!

September 1, 2014

Lynley's Party

Better late than never! On Lynley's birthday (May 20th) we had a little family celebration for her. She was adorable and it was so sweet to watch Evy and Liam have fun with her! It was a sweet and simple little celebration for our adorable little one-year-old girl!

Happy Birthday, Lynley!

August 27, 2014

Magic House

I'm catching up on posting about our summer activities! One really fun thing we did was take Evy and Liam to The Magic House. We live pretty close to St. Louis and we love taking advantage of all there is to do there. I hadn't been to Magic House since I was about 10 years old, so I was excited to experience it again as a parent!

We started our day with an early lunch at a gourmet mac and cheese place. It was so good!

Once we got to the Magic House, everyone jumped right in!

The bubble room was a big hit!

Then we got to the wall of little plastic peg-type things. Creepy but kind of cool!





The water area was so neat! Kurt and I said that Magic House is the best of any children's museum we've been in - and we've taken the kids to a good many!

My favorite area was the Village, where they had kid-size versions of businesses, etc.

The cutest fishing form I've ever seen!

Kurt and I laughed our heads off when Evy and Liam were cooking/serving us pizza!

Evy really loved the hospital!

I loved the area of learning about government. We'll take many trips back to learn more, I'm sure!

Every little boy's dream!

Model trains!

We have a picture of me like this when I was about 10 years old! :)

We had such a wonderful time and can't wait to go back to the Magic House!
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