Saturday, December 9, 2017

Tis the Season

Our annual trek to Clarks Hill Christmas Tree Farm proved to be a success!  Admittedly so, we all arrived a bit out of sorts....the skies were grey, the children were tired, the air was just not cheery....
 then, after a prayer for us to just make good memories, the skies opened and the children were all chiming in on the excitement of finding the perfect Christmas tree!
 This little Drafts is full of exploration.....she isn't afraid one bit and LOVES being outdoors.....
 We live with our very own "Clark"....well, sort of.  He comes prepared to measure the trees to be sure we don't end up with one too tall!  Good thing because Pryce and I would have the tallest tree in the forest and still think it wasn't big enough, lol.
 MK tends to be more on her hands than on her feet these days....she is always challenging herself to master the next gymnastics stunt!  
 These boys were asked to do the annual "tree hug" photo.....
 they try, really they do....but sometimes goofing off is just way more fun!
 This little peanut has it tough.  She is the baby, the youngest, the one who is constantly being told to do this or do that....the thing is, she has a mind of her own and she isn't afraid one bit to let the others know when she isn't on board with their demands!
 Taking a picture at this particular moment was not on her personal agenda.  They all respond differently to her....Colin is ready for her to be quiet, Pryce is genuinely sorry for her luck, and the big sisters are sad for her and always wanting to know what is wrong so they can fix it!
 I paused for a moment in all of my running around and caught a glimpse of this....they were just standing there staring out over the pond and chatting.  My prayer has always been for these two to have a bond like no other and I am beyond thankful that they continue to enjoy each other as they grow up!  
 Boiled peanuts, boiled peanuts, Christmas Tree cakes, and more boiled peanuts!  
 The stair steps....and Colin loves this measuring system!  His goal is to be at least 6'.  He recently went to the dr. for a physical and he was sad to hear that his official height was 5'11" but this pic has him over 6' so he is going with it!
 My whole heart....
 Cutest snowman ever!
 And Santa....Chapman loves Santa!
 A random pic of Maryn aka Elsa White....
 Though we got our tree early, we had to wait several days to decorate....six children and six different schedules can be a bit tricky!  Alas, we had a free evening and the children had the decor done in no time!
 St. Nicholas Day
Shoes were left out, treats were given....
 Pryce finished his first season of football at his new school with no injuries!!!  One down, three more to go :/
This guy LOVES his school, he hasn't looked back once!  He was ready to go, could not wait to go, and he has thrived in his first semester.
 We were the proud parents.  The parents who are so thankful for the coaches and their encouragement to their team, the life lessons that are constantly being taught, the friendships that are being formed!  I've missed my boy but I am so happy for him!
 Chapman.  This little one has won all of our hearts.  She is into everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, she does everything that no other child would have dreamt of doing, she is in constant motion, she loves us all and we are so thankful to call her ours!  We have been trying to teach her to sleep in her room with Maryn.  She isn't a fan.  One morning, I went to check on everyone and she wasn't in her bed.  Instead, she was sleeping peacefully with MK.  
 This little one is a light to all that meet her.  She brings a smile to everyone and makes us all laugh daily with her cute little words and her funny little expressions!  
 A nine year and going strong tradition....A Christmas Carol.  It is official, the Christmas season has begun!  We LOVE this show and look forward to it every year!  We watch and laugh and learn. Following the show, we always go to the mall for a classic Santa pic, have lunch, shop around a bit....it's a favorite time of the year for sure!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

This year I was especially thankful for have all SIX of my babies under one roof, all day, everyday for one whole week!  It has been a transition for all of us....school for everyone means less time together as a family SO the times that we are together are extra special.  Thanksgiving week was one of those times and I was in my element!
 We began our week with breakfast at our favorite breakfast restaurant, Sunrise Grille.  Then we were off to deliver goodies to a few of our favorites just to show our thanks to them!
 Next up was a Target trip....it is a rare event to have all six in the red store at one time....
 each day we watched a movie together snuggled on the couch....
 we slept late, we cooked our favorite foods, we stayed up a bit late....
 the big girls and I held a Matilda Jane Cookie Decorating event on Tuesday....it was great fun watching my girls serve others and also enjoy a little decorating themselves.  
 The boys took every moment of rest and relaxation to heart....they were beyond excited to sleep in, throw the football together, play the XBox and just hang out....
 One of my goals for the week was to get a picture of the children for Christmas cards...
 after finally deciding what they would wear, we had a date one afternoon to snap a few shots....
 the outtakes always seem to be my favorites because they show more of what our life is really like....
we have two level-headed teenage boys, two level-headed middle girls, and two "we are not sure what will occur next with these two" little girls.... they are the life of our party and the pics tell it all.
 My fabulous six.
 there are days when I feel very overwhelmed and inadequate to be the best mom to each of them....
 and then there are the days that I can't get enough and wish for time to stand still.  
 Our Thanksgiving this year did not look like previous years.  We had plans to be with family on the farm and then more family time in SC.  
 Not even 30 minutes after these sweet photos were taken, my little Maddox Ren came running in, tears streaming down her face and claiming she was going to be sick.  It came on so fast.  She was literally fine one moment and horribly ill the next.  
 We doctored her and nursed her through Thanksgiving Day and by Friday she was feeling a bit more like herself.  Thankfully, Ryan and the rest of the children were able to spend a few hours with his family while Maddox and I stayed behind and enjoyed some good quiet snuggle time on the couch.  
 The boys called as they were making their way back home....they were wanting to make a trip to Target Thanksgiving evening.  Though I wasn't 100% sure it was the best idea, I said yes.  We had such a great night, just the three of us, shopping and buying....and trying on things that we would never buy but were fun all the same.  
God reminded me this Thanksgiving to be thankful in all circumstances.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Sunny Day Farms

This Fall, we went on an adventure to a farm not too far from our home.  They advertised pig races, duck races, hayrides, and a pick your own pumpkin from the patch.  I was intrigued and thought it would be so fun to actually pick a pumpkin from the patch.
 We drove the most beautiful 45 minute drive, open cotton fields and such and along the side of the highway was the farm....
 We thought twice about actually going in....it was in the middle of nowhere and not a soul was there. It was a beautiful day so we decided to give it a try....we searched for the duck races first....and, there they were, little rubber duckies to be fueled by a water pump and race their hearts out!  Well, not what we had in mind but so fun!
 They had the usual tube swings, slides, corn play area....
 and they had little farm animals that our littlest miss was fond of....
 and the zipline was a huge hit for all!
 This little was a bit sad as she watched her siblings climb the zipline stairs....she wanted a turn too!
 Some chose to do tricks....
 while others took some time to genuinely smile while going down....
 and she finally got her turn!  The smile says it all....she was thrilled!
 Sometimes our little Maddox sits back and takes it all in....
 There was a cow train....
 and there was absolutely no hesitation from any of the girls to jump on for the ride....
 they all returned waving and smiling and our littlest did well and did not stand up!  Cow ride for the win!
 The boys found much to do as well....they played football, went pumpkin bowling, had a trip through the corn maze.....
,
 After a little snack, the girls played Checkers with miniature pumpkins....
 and Chapman found her little furry friends once again....
 she thought they were the best!
 The girls then found a mountain of hay bales to climb....
 and the littlest wasn't about to be told she couldn't climb to the top...what they can do, she can do too!
 And they all shouted hooray for their efforts!  These girls are the best of sisters!
 And, finally, the long awaited pig racing began.  There was the green pig, the red pig and the yellow pig....pretty sure the crowd was more into their racing than they were....the best part of the race is when the pigs got loose and ran around the farm....the workers were quite unimpressed by their antics as they tried to capture them and get them into their rightful pen.
Our day at Sunny Day Farms was not exactly what we had envisioned BUT it was the fun we all needed.  We loved that we were one of very few people visiting, it felt as though we had the farm to ourselves....the ducks were fun, the pigs were fun, and the pick your own pumpkins, well, they didn't exist but that was ok!  We didn't really go for the pumpkins, we went for the family time together.  One of our challenges that we have lived up to this year is spending quality time together.  With everyone in school, the time that we once had as a family is now a bit different and we have to be very intentional about making sure we don't lose sight of the importance of family time.