Thursday, September 14, 2017


August began with a little visitor in our backyard. I just happened to look out the window one morning when something caught my eye. The kids and I watched him for awhile trying to decide what it was. Tatum finally suggested a groundhog. I had to look it up online, but she appeared to be right! He went over under the shed and came back out a few times. I assumed he was living there but we haven't seen him since that day.

Oh this girl. Happy at the park.
It was Tatum's turn for the FHE lesson. I asked her what she wanted to do and she told me she wanted to talk about getting back to heaven to live with Jesus. Our day got busy and by the time I was getting dinner ready I realized I hadn't sat down to plan anything with her. She took it upon herself to plan and execute it herself. It was definitely a proud parent moment.
Those were footprints we had to step to and they were the steps we were supposed to take to get back to Jesus (the picture at the top). Scriptures, baptism, forgive and work. When we asked her where she got this idea she said it was like a lesson she had at church but that she couldn't remember anything but baptism from the lesson so she made up the rest.

We met up with our good friends the Leighs at Old MacDonald's Farm.

Emry hit the 10 month mark.

We made it to a Kernels game. A summer tradition for us. They have a neat summer reading program where the kids earn free tickets to the game, free passes to the jump houses and some Kernels gear.

Watching the kids jump around.
Those cheeks!!
The boys intent on the game, of course.

Zoom in on this next one if you can. :)

Oh my heck I love my kids.
Such a great night as a family.

Picnic in the backyard. After a few days we decided it was safe to venture out there again. No joke, I refused to go out there after we saw that groundhog. haha

A gross bug that I was way too close to while painting my parents' house.
My parents took on the huge task of painting the outside of their house this summer. I've tried to make it down there during the week about once a week since they started it to help out. When you come to help with three kids in tow I'm not sure how possible it is to be helpful but I try. Hopefully that's worth something haha.

Declan can be a pretty good helper sometimes.

See that glob of paint in his hair? Somehow he got himself with his brush haha.

A drawing by Tatum. It's Mike the Knight, a little character from a show that they have the toy of. I was impressed by how much it looked like him.
Emry's head is bigger than Tatum's I'm pretty sure. :)
Declan woke up way too early one morning. After breakfast he got under the blanket across from me on the couch and I was careful to completely ignore him and sure enough he fell asleep about an hour after waking up. Silly boy.
More summer reading rewards-lunch at Burger King.
Cute, cute baby.
Holding a baby snake at grandma and papa's house. Can she be my child? Gross.
Brennan wanted to go biking out at Squaw Creek Park. He did enough research to know there were bike trails but not enough to know they were "mountain bike trails". Obviously, not like real mountain biking but also not really kid friendly. We found some grassy walking paths that were a little more doable. Still tough, but we through Declan in the trailer and Tatum was a real trooper on her bike. We took a break to climb on a fallen tree.

The cutest sisters.
They had an awesome playground. It was a happy discovery and is definitely a permanent part of our park rotation now. A lady from a nature preserve happened to be there at the same time so the kids got to see and pet a turtle as well as touch a bunch of animal furs.

This picture cracks me up. Tatum and I are making the exact same face.

Playing with dad. He's way more fun than mom.

Fun at Palisades on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

I've had a heck of a time with binkies with Emry. I lose them constantly! The kids and I took a looong walk to a park on a different route than usual and due to a miscommunication between Tatum and I, we discovered the binky was gone over halfway through the walk. Emry was tired and cried most of the rest of the way to the park and then for the whole time we were there, which wasn't long due to the crying. We walked back the way we came and Emry finally fell asleep. I was shocked when I saw the binky in the road and so happy! Until I got closer....another one bites the dust.

Literally climbing the walls at grandma's house.

Yet another summer reading reward-lunch at Arby's this time.
Kill me now. She is just the best.
The eclipse. We were supposed to get 90% eclipsed here. But it was overcast and apparently the difference between 90 and 100 percent is significant but it was still fun. My cereal box viewer didn't work well and my dad had suggested using camera film. I finally remembered where I might have some and we tried it out with several strips on top of each other and we could totally see it. The kids were so excited! And then I spent the rest of the day worried that I had just permanently damaged their eyes. They're okay though... I think.
Learning to climb stairs at the park.
The start of Hand Foot and Mouth. Long before I knew that's what it was. She was just sad and feverish for a day or two.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed. :) Emry's face cracks me up.
I knew she wasn't feeling well at all when she fell asleep on my lap.
My view from painting on my parents' roof.
Declan and I had a rough go of it there for awhile. Rougher than usual even. His beloved Ryder toy was one of the casualties of Declan's intense and difficult to control emotions.
Watching the kids play outside while she's trapped inside with mom.
Emry is, and pretty much has been since day one, the happiest, easiest baby. It was quite a shock to my system having to deal with her during hand foot and mouth. She was so angry and there was nothing I could do. A very new and unwelcome dynamic for me and Emry.
Hiawatha Fun Days. And fun they were. Didn't hurt that all the rides attractions were FREE. That's the way to do a town fair!

Tatum really wanted to do the rock wall but unfortunately she just wasn't heavy enough for the harness so it didn't work out too well.
Inflatable race.

The kids participated in their first tractor pull. I was excited for them to try it but it was pretty poorly run. Oh well.

 Competitive Tatum was bummed to not get a trophy but she just couldn't complete with the boys her age. She would have gotten a trophy if she was only competing with girls though!

The same Saturday was an open house at Brennan's work. It wasn't as kid friendly as we hoped and were led to believe.
But the kids did get to build a tower with dad.
And see his desk.
More sick fits. She and I got to hang out at home during church and there was a lot of this going on.
And this. Screaming through my entire shower and climbing half in and getting soaked. So peaceful and restful, right Brennan? ;)
Some of her spots.

Our new human vacuum cleaner.

Cheese bread! Too bad we lost a whole loaf to mold within a week. I wanted to cry. How??!!
The kids really frustrated me one day. I can't even remember why now. It seems like we had a rough go of it at visiting teaching with Declan and then a horrible trip to the store mostly because of Emry. So when we got home I sent the kids inside and just sat in the car with sleeping Emry for a few minutes to try to regroup. I walked in to this scene. It was good for me to remember they really are good kids.
Emry loves slides. And we all love watching her go down them.
Declan had an extra chore of cleaning the basement as a punishment one day. Brennan went down to see how well he did and came back to show me this picture. Cleaning like a man already. ;) I mean, yes all the kitchen toys are picked up but there is nothing CLEAN about that. It gave us a good laugh.
 Emry looking super grown up. :(


Emry making a monkey sound.

The kids loving having the missionaries over for dinner and I love watching them pretending to be missionaries for the next few days.

Emry hates the hot potato game. I thought I had a better video of it than this but this is all I could find. For awhile there she would whimper and cry if we just said "hot potato here we go".