Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ava Jane's 5th Birthday - A Tea Party

I cannot understand how today, September 14th, 2017, we could possibly be celebrating Ava Jane's fifth birthday.  I still vividly remember my water breaking, getting to the hospital and having just under two hours before we welcomed her into our world.  She was a dream come true, an answered prayer, a miracle in the works.  We couldn't have possibly imagined what the next weeks and months would have held for her, but we were thrilled to be holding her in our arms that day in 2012, kissing her soft cheeks and enjoying snuggling her up tight.   Her brothers were thrilled to meet her, to love on her and ultimately bring her home.  We became a family of six that day.

Since then we have gotten through a major heart surgery, blood pressure medicines, slowly learning to crawl, walk and talk. We wondered when she would finally say more than ten words, she was two and a half.   Once she started talking, it seemed to come quickly and we were excited to hear the thoughts running around in her mind.   Since then there's been lots of laughter, wrestling with Daddy, toe nail painting, costume wearing, book reading and singing.  She's an active little girl who is growing a tad bit sassy day by day, but she is sweet as ever and we love her so!

This year she had asked for a tea party for her birthday so I set about planning a little soiree.  I went smaller this year, and invited a few of her closest little friends.  It was more manageable and honestly enjoyable for me.  I think Ava Jane had a great time playing with her sweet friends and if I do say so myself, I think they were pretty cute as they colored, sipped, dressed up and played outside.

I had fun pulling this tea party off!  Ava Jane wasn't thrilled to wear her hat, but she humored me a bit.  And thanks to Donna, I had a hat to wear (and now I'm ready for the Derby if I ever get the chance to go!) 
I served food that was child friendly with cinnamon raisin and cream cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and strawberry jam heart shaped sandwiches, fruit, candy coated pretzel sticks and strawberry wafer cookies drizzled with chocolate.  And instead of tea, these girls had raspberry lemonade.
They each got a hat and a pearl necklace to wear.
As the girls arrived we started with a craft.  There was a coloring page, stickers and a "teacup" to decorate.
Afterwards we had lunch and they had some time together around the dining room table.
I'm gonna put this out right here, if you like to throw parties, you must check out Talking Tables they have the most adorable paper products and they aren't much more then Party City prices but are way more cute!  It's where I found these paper plates and napkins that look like real china but have the ease of paper plates!
These sweet girls had fun helping us celebrate Ava Jane's birthday!  Aren't they so cute?!
We all enjoyed being with Ava Jane on her special day.
Strawberry iced cupcakes were her choice so that's what she got.  Sweet one , we love you so much!  
She loved all the girly gifts that she was given.  How fun it was to get Barbie dolls, a real purse, and other fun items.  She has loved playing with it all!!  Happy Birthday Ava Jane!  We are so thankful God put you in our family and that we get a front row seat to the story He's writing for you!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Big Cedar & Labor Day Weekend

With the advent of Adam's new job with CARTI, and the workload that we anticipated would await him upon his start date, we decided to get away to Big Cedar for a quick, quiet weekend together.  It was a beautiful weekend with beautiful blue clear skies, lush green grass and picturesque walking trails with waterfalls to take in.
We enjoyed dinner at Top Of The Rock which has fabulous views of the golf course and Table Rock Lake while a Scottish bagpipe played in the background as the stunning sun went down.
Saturday morning we slept in for a bit and woke up to this beautiful scene, grabbed breakfast at Devil's Pool Restaurant then headed off on one of their walking trails.
We ended up taking one of their golf cart tours of the caverns and falls and it was a nice little ride.
On our way back home on Saturday afternoon we stopped along the Buffalo River and were able to enjoy the beauty of the moment and spent some time praying together--praising God for all He has done in our marriage as He is redeeming us and forgiving us when we hurt each other; in the lives of our kids, and with Adam's job transition.   We also spent time asking God to go behind and before us as we embark on this new journey and to protect our marriage with a hedge of protection around us as Adam's responsibilities increase, his time and calendar fills up and as we are pulled in multiple directions with our kids and their activities.
We have always tried to keep a running list of answered prayers and times we feel like God has gone before us and been our Jehovah Jireh-"our Provider".  We lovingly call it "polishing our memorial stones" so we spent some time along the river bank thanking and praising God for who He is and what He's done in and through us, then headed back to Little Rock.  
Getting away together was a real refresher and one night wasn't long enough, thankfully my parents said the kids could spend another night with them and we were able to extend the weekend with a date night dinner at Ocean's.
We had planned to spend one last time at the lake as summer drew to a close and the kids enjoyed taking one last turn on the wakeboard, knee board and of course the tube.  It was fun just being together.
On Monday, we spent time with some good friends and their kids.  The boys were eager to shoot their shotguns and hand guns, practicing skeet shooting and enjoying being out in nature.  Being with good friends and living life alongside one another is a real gift.  We are so thankful for the Liver's. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

High's and Low's of Late

Here's a few high's and lows over the last week, we've had some illnesses, we've had some crying, we've had homework frustration and been a tad overwhelmed by the after school activity schedule plus homework load.  There's been real highs and very low lows, here's a few as of late.

Low:  We have had our fair share of visits to the doctor's office over the past three weeks.  With everything from unknown white spots on the bottom of two kids feet (of which we now need to see a Pediatric dermatologist to determine what it is) to one child with Pneumonia and another with Strep.  I really love our Pediatrician, but I do not want to go see him again for some time.  (Visiting his office 1-2 times a week for the past three weeks has been plenty for us!)
And with five in tow, it is definitely not all that F-U-N to go multiple times a week for weeks on end, though I can be grateful for the fact that there was a pill or liquid medicine that I could run right to the pharmacy and pickup and within a few days, the kids were on the mend.  That, is truly something to be thankful for, so that is a high.
High: Peyton went fishing with Poppy and Grammy and the other kids and caught this nice size bass!  He was so proud and now has the itch for more!!
Low: The prongs on my center stone of my wedding ring were loose, so I'd put my rings in a ziplock bag to take to the jewelry store and had it sitting in the console of my car.  Adam saw some trash in the side of the door (which I lovingly use as my trash can) and he assumed that the ziplock bag (in the cupholder of my console) was also trash.  I was taking in groceries when he decided to "clean" out the car and I didn't realize he'd done this.  We jumped in the car to take the kids to baseball practice and got home late that evening.  I started looking for my ring bag and couldn't put my hands on it so I asked Adam if he'd seen it?  When he said he didn't know, but that he'd cleaned out the car, we had a little spat about him not cleaning out the car for me anymore (since I take it to the car wash and vacuum it out 1-2x per week) then I proceeded to start looking through the trashcans.  We COULD NOT find it in the dark.  The next day I literally put on work gloves and started tearing through ALL.THE.TRASHBAGS!!  One by one I rifled through three nasty bags when I finally found my rings!  I was thrilled and relieved and tears came to my eyes!  Phew, that was a close one.
High: Molly, my sister in law, teaches piano and Peyton is starting his sixth year of lessons with her.  We decided to try something new this year, with her coming to my house to give lessons to her son Jojo and my three boys while I watch her other kids.  So far, we've had only one totally successful lesson.  The second week Lawson had Pneumonia so her kids couldn't come and last week Emerson had Strep so we cancelled all together.  I'm hoping to get to spend more time with my nephews and niece this year so here's hoping we can hit a healthy streak for all the peeps!
Low: On top of all our visits to the pediatrician, pour Emerson ended up having to have 4, that's
F-O-U-R, teeth pulled at one time because his adult teeth were coming in and his baby teeth weren't even lose.  He was a trooper and did really well.  (You can't beat the movie playing in the ceiling; it sure made the procedure enjoyable!)
Here he is before.
And here he is afterward!  Yikes!  It looked so yucky, but thankfully his adult teeth (that were very far back, have already started moving forward and more into the proper place, so that's good!)  And he has this funny little lisp from the missing teeth that is super cute to listen to.
High: These sweet friends make me smile.  They have this sweet little friendship and I'm so thankful.  

Life Lately...

The past few weeks have been jam packed with activities and fun things to do and be apart of, here's a little recap. We had the opport...