Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Midweek Randoms

Summer means a lot of free time for me and so I try to pack in all the things I don't have time for during the school year. We also have had the pleasure of having Daddy home with us EVERY weekend and that's been so much fun! We've been able to have more adventures than normal!

We have annual passes to the zoo and try to go at least once a month!

 I have been craving sushi something fierce and my darling husband likes to surprise me with it! The way to my heart is simple...feed me sushi!
 The kids and I have been snuggling in bed longer than normal and reading. Connor must be lusting after the snowy weather, because he keeps picking out winter books.
 The twins finally have the stamina to watch an entire movie, so we've been renting movies from redbox for after the pool.
 We have a standing weekly date with this adorable man. The kids are always SO excited to see his office!
 At the beginning of the summer, we bought a junior scrabble and we've been playing it a couple times a week. I love this game, because each kid can get something out of it. Connor is learning strategy and spelling of words and the twins are learning the letter names.
 This cutie below has been extra snuggly lately with Daddy and me. I love this phase!
 Monkey had surgery a couple weeks ago. This poor lovey. It is beyond complete repair...but we keep doing surgery and giving him little extensions on his life.
One night at about 10:30pm, I came up the stairs and saw this cutie sound asleep on the floor. She was completely out just like this. Hubby and I couldn't even wake her. We picked her up and carried her to bed and she had no idea it had even happened. We took a video and showed her in the morning and she laughed and laughed; she doesn't remember it at all.
My goal for the summer has been to read one book per week. I have already read two books so far! I finished Darker than Amber, which is my 7th novel in the Travis McGee series (I'm reading them in the order they were published...even though they don't build upon each other). And I also read Grey.

The End of a Season

Connor finished his very first year of baseball. This will be his last year of tee ball, as next year he'll start coach-pitch baseball. Connor is super athletic and he picked up baseball pretty quickly. Being a lefty will give him an advantage, if he continues to play it.

 It was so adorable watching all his teammates learn the sport - from learning how to get outs to learning how to throw the bat down and run. The parents and I all had some good laughs over their adorable mistakes.
 At this age, they all play every position and rotate multiple times in a game. Connor was definitely best at first base, but he loved playing pitcher (even though they don't actually pitch).
There is just something that just slays me when looking at the little boy, who used to be so tiny he fit in my belly, dressed up in a uniform on a baseball team. I know I say this often, but boy does time just fly by. 
He had his End of the Season celebration at the beginning of June and Connor was so excited about getting his very first trophy! He asked Daddy if we could install a special trophy shelf in his room to showcase it off. 
What a great season! We can't wait for next year.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The best job - Summer Stay at Home Mommy!

We've been having the best summer! We've been so busy it's been hard to find time to blog!

The older the kids get, the more blessed I feel to be a summer stay at home Mama. These are memories that I'll get to have with my kids for the rest of our lives! I'm behind on this blog, because the kids and I packed our bags and went to Palm Springs for a week to visit my brother and sister-in-law. I had meant to bring my laptop, but I didn't and, honestly, it was kind of freeing to not be able to do any work while we were gone. I'll get caught up on everything in time, but first - this is what we've been doing a whole lot of while home. We pretty much drive over to my mom's house three times a week and the kids and I swim, swim, swim to our hearts content - and then we all take amazing naps! Even though I lather on the SPF 50 on the kids and me, we're all getting pretty tan from all the fun.
And this is what it looks like when we come home! We all veg on the couch and watch movies, while we eat our snack. Even the dog is exhausted from all the fun!
Alright, well, I've got another pool play date with some friends of ours at my mom's house again this morning and the kids haven't even had breakfast! So I should probably get going.

Friday, June 19, 2015

What started as my Mother's Day present...ended as a much bigger celebration

 For Mother's Day, my husband gave me the gift of a Date Night, which we were able to do a few weeks after celebrating the holiday with my little family. He arranged for us to go to Ruth's Chris and then to have dessert and drinks, while watching Pitch Perfect 2 at Studio Movie Grill.
We were both pretty full from dinner, so we elected to go with the warm chocolate chip cookies and a bottle of wine. And it was an amazing choice! A perfect compliment to a perfect dinner.
Even though the plan had been to celebrate Mother's Day, Mr. Howard had just accepted a job offer the morning before and, honestly, that was much more exciting for our family. We were celebrating a huge shift in our marriage and family life and the promise that we would be able to spend MUCH more time together. It was also a celebration of the end of the grueling process of interviewing. Before he received this job offer, he had been recruited by two other companies and we were just so blessed to be able to put an end to that process and get excited and prepared for his new adventure. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

We Will...We Will Rock You!

A few weeks ago, the twins had their end of the year celebration. One of their friends is leaving next year for kindergarten, so it was a graduation for him and a celebration for everyone else. (Since I don't have the other parents' permission, I'm hiding their faces). They did a rock concert complete with sun glasses and guitars. Their pre-school teacher even put glitter on their guitars so that when they strummed them, glitter would fly off (Umm. Hello Adorableness!)

When asked what Aiden wanted to be when he grew up, he said, "I want to be a space guy, because I want to go on a horse! It is brown and white." So precious. Reminds me of when Connor said he wanted to be a hot dog man (see post HERE for his explanation too!).
Aiden and Isabella even lead us in the Pledge of Allegience. 
They did several songs and performances, including a hilarious rock-star-glitter-guitar version of Queen's We will Rock You. 

Our gifts from their teachers were framed pictures of our little Rock Stars. Get it? ROCK...stars! I seriously love them!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Donuts with Dad

To celebrate Father's Day a little early, Connor invited Daddy to his school for Donuts with Dads by giving him this adorable invitation that he made with lots of yummy donuts on it:

They did a song performance for all the daddies and then they did a little workout together. Hello adorableness. 

He wrote in his journal about his Daddy. I'll translate his handwriting and spelling for you: "My dad is fun because he tickles me. Do you know my dad's name. He shows me off-road videos and tomorrow it's donuts with Dads." So precious. Connor read this to Daddy, while they ate Krispy Kreme donuts. 
 Apparently Daddy is 14 and at work he "does jobs." Very concise. Extremely accurate. I also love that American Ninja Warriors (the obstacle course show!) made it into his paper, because that really is something the two of them watch together. Hopefully, his teacher doesn't think we let him watch some scary ninja show. ;-)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Last Day. First Day.

All three kids had their last days of school recently. Boy-oh-boy did that fly by quickly! But seriously! How did it go that fast?

Aiden's adorableness: 
 Isabella's sweetness:
 And, because, who doesn't love a comparison photo...
Connor's doesn't look that different until you look at how small his shirt got and how tall he is comparatively in the second one. 
Isabella's photo, to me, looks the most drastically different. Her hair grew six inches and she went from a baby to a little girl. 
And now...my favorite part about these pictures is what they symbolize. It may be the last day of school. But it's the first day of summer. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Huge News!!

I have huge news in our world to share with you! It's been a LOOONG time coming for my family and I am jumping up and down with joy to finally share it.

My husband got a new job.

I never cease to be amazed by how driven he is in his work. When he graduated high school and worked as a manager with different retailers, he never dreamed of graduating college or having the life he now has. In fact, I remember time and time again him telling me that he wasn't sure he NEEDED a degree. Fourteen years later, with a bachelor of arts degree from Chapman (which he achieved at night while working 50 hour work weeks and having three children two-years-old and younger at home), 14 years of managerial experience under his belt, three small children at his feet, and a million milestones met - he now knows that even his wildest dreams are achievable.

(Photo from 2012 Graduation):
Of course, it would be easy to be so accomplished in his work if he left the child-rearing to me - but any of you long-time readers know, that that isn't the case. In addition to his hard work with his employers, he is the type of dad and husband who takes the kids to school, packs lunches in the morning, and happily volunteers to put the kids in the bath, so that I can grade papers or clean the kitchen.

He has accepted a Operational Management position with a company that will allow him to be Monday through Friday. I am thankful he will be home on Father's Days and Easters, attend little league games in the evenings, and that he won't have to leave us all on Christmas Day to start an overnight shift for Black Friday. I don't, for one second, take for granted the sacrifice he has made for our family the past few years and can't wait to see him finally enjoy the fruits of his labor.

We've already had two weekends in a row together and I can't even tell you what that is like! It's such a comfort to know that he won't miss stuff with the kids anymore!

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