Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter.

So, I should have a picture of all 5 kids in their Easter lovelies, but by the time we finally got home (where my camera was) they couldn't wait to get into something else.  Well, everyone but this guy...


Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Madness.

It's March, we live in Kansas, and we are Jayhawk fans...so we are knee-deep in some March Madness around here!

I have to say that while Anthony and I are true Jayhawk fans, we are hardly insane about it.  But having kids has made watching sports so much fun.  Seeing them get into it.  Filling out brackets.  Dancing around and cheering our hearts out, while the littlest fan in the house just stares wide-eyed at the six of us.  Listening to Adele explain to Elise what a a free throw is.  Lucy always wanting to cheer for the red team.  Nate's obsession with Kevin Young's afro.

And since the Jayhawks have been winning it has been FUN FUN FUN.

Anyway, so all that to say...GO JAYHAWKS...and, how cute is this little fan?!

this is so much fun!
go Jayhawks!
okay, now you all are getting kinda weird.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

St. Louis photos!!

Well, we missed a lot of photo opportunities this year, but here are a few from the arch and my uncle's farm for you all to enjoy!


looking down from the top!
Lu checking out the view
someone was a bit over it
see the teeny windows at the top that we looked out from?!

enjoying Uncle Harry's "toys"


me with my sweet uncle



can we just stop and admire the sweet man I married...sigh

So glad we got this done this past week because it is a winter wonderland again out here!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

How to survive a family trip with 5 small children.

So we just took our third annual family spring break trip, this year to St. Louis.  We had such a wonderful time.  We truly do love to be together.


I figured for my post this year I would do something a little different, so here are my top 10 tips on how to take a trip with a bunch of little kiddos.
  1. Vocabulary is important...know the difference between a trip and a vacation.  Trips are with the kids and while a blast, leave you in need of a vacation.  A vacation does not include children and leaves you wishing you could take more vacations.
  2. Keep it close.  You don't need to venture that far to have fun.  Living in Kansas City we have made our way to Nebraska, Arkansas, and Missouri.  You can find something fun to do in any city and the car rides for us have all been less than 5 hours.  And trust me, that was plenty!
  3. Keep it short to keep it sweet.  The reality is that this is exhausting.  For us two nights and three days is the sweet number to have fun and keep us all still wanting more without crossing the threshold of wanting to kill each other.
  4. Stay comfortably!!  Find a hotel that really works for you and stick with it.  We have stayed in the exact same hotel in the various cities over the last 3 years.  It's great because we never stress over where we are staying when planning the trip and we know exactly what we are getting.
  5. Think hotel freebies.  Okay, so I understand that you have paid for the pool and continental breakfast in the cost of your room, but it feels free and it is so nice to have breakfast taken care of and an "at-home" activity.  And with Matthias needing time to just nap someplace other than his carseat, being able to be in the room while Anthony took the others down to the pool was perfect.
  6. Food should be planned.  Research some fun spots to eat ahead of time.  Think of them as one of the activities, this will keep you from forgetting to go someplace before everyone begins to break down and then end up eating at McDonalds.  We pack food for the other meal, which makes it so that we don't mind spending a bit more on our meals out.
  7. Don't over schedule.  We do one major activity a day.  Add to that pool time and a meal out and that is more than enough to keep everyone busy without completely wearing out.  There is always something else that you coulda shoulda done, so get over what you might be missing.
  8. Put the camera down.  Taking pictures is great, but know when to put the camera down.  This year the battery of our camera died right at the beginning of our day at the zoo and we considered getting a disposable one, but decided instead to just not worry about it and enjoy our kids.  I mean, how many pictures of a caged tiger do you really need?
  9. Be organized.  I wouldn't call myself the most organized person in the world, but I get it together for trips.  We fill our minivan with people, so we definitely don't need a bunch of extra stuff.  Being organized helps to keep it simple and we pack very few extras (except underwear...everyone packs extra underwear).
  10. Be flexible.  Let go of certain things going the way you think they should.  Matthias sleeps from 8pm to 7am most nights but woke up at 1am both nights we were there.  Normally I would let him cry a bit and resettle, but I needed to think about the other kids and guests, so...nighttime feedings!  (I DO NOT miss those!!!)  First night back home though?  Back on schedule!
Two years ago, when we started these trips, we were nervous.  It felt like a lot to take on.  But it has become something that we really enjoy as a family and on the car ride home we were already thinking about where to head next year.  We are thinking Branson...any other ideas?

Stay tuned for a photo bomb soon!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Six.

How is this little girl six? Seriously, I can hardly believe it. Lucy is just still so tiny that having her be anything but a baby just seems wrong.  And yet another year has come and gone and our little Lu is now six.


Lucy is quite a little character and this year she has really begun to come alive.  When she is happy you can't get her to stop talking, and considering she rarely talks otherwise, you don't want her to stop!  And that laugh...she defines giggle.


She is still obsessed with anything strawberry related and loves the colors pink and red. Everyday she asks me what color gum ball she should take from our jar and no matter what I say she will take pink or red...the girl knows what she likes! She didn't even bother to look at the flavors of cake...she wanted pink with pink frosting, so strawberry cake and cherry icing it was!


I was going to take pictures of her new room, but frankly, I just forgot. We haven't painted it yet or anything though, so I'll post some once we get it all together.

Happy birthday sweet Lucy!  I'd say I hope you had a wonderful day, but with the amount you talked tonight, I know you did!!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Six months.

Six months ago we were welcoming our second son into the world.  It was truly an amazing day.  There was something so sweet about bringing a baby into our family after all those years and we have just all fallen madly in love with him over the last 6 months.

This little man is just the sweetest thing.  He is BIG, at least, for us he is.  He is already bigger than any of the girls were at a year (more than 2 lbs. heavier than Lucy was) and we haven't even introduced any solid foods to him yet!  He is slowly starting to sit a bit by himself and even finally rolled over for the first time the other day.  He is definitely one of our kiddos, taking his time to reach all of those "important" milestones.  His sleeping is getting better and better.  He still likes to wake up a bit early sometimes (before 7am), but he is finally taking some good naps and goes to bed at 8pm, so we can't really complain.

His personality?  Well, he is just so so sweet.  He watches all his crazy siblings with wide eyes as they dance around him.  He smiles just the biggest smiles.  He is a morning person, big time.  Our first feeding of the day usually gets interrupted with some seriously big grins flashed my way and entirely too much conversation when I could really use his eating a big breakfast!  And he is sensitive...just like his daddy.  A little too much of just about anything can melt his face into one of those incredibly pitiful (and absolutely adorable) looks.

Oh how we all love this little boy!

there was of course no way he was going to smile for me tonight

Friday, March 8, 2013

Nine.

Nine years old.  Adele is nine years old.  And that just blows my mind.

She is changing so much right now it is unbelievable.  She's not as interested in "kid stuff" and prefers to hang out in her room or with me.  She is truly Matthias's second mother and does a great job taking care of him.  She loves to write in cursive and does division problems...


This year, after promising to redo the older girls' room for their birthdays, I realized that Adele and Elise's room was really too small for the both of them and we did have an extra room up there so...everyone moved into different rooms, giving Adele and Elise their own rooms.  And after sharing a room since Elise was only 11 weeks old, it was a pretty big deal.

Anyway, so just in case you were wondering what a 9 year old girl's room looks like...




I can't even begin to tell you how HER this is.  And she just loves it.  And I love that she loves it.

Happy birthday sweet girl!  Sure do love you.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Quirks.

My kids make me giggle all of the time.  Mostly it is the things that they say...the kind of stuff that makes me look over at Anthony and we just break out into big dumb grins over.  They also do all sorts of goofy things...goofy faces, funny dances...

But my absolute favorite is to just see their quirkiness come through.  You know, the stuff they do when they aren't trying to be funny, they're simply being them.

Here are a couple of things that have made me giggle lately AND I was actually able to grab my camera for...


Nathan is by far our neatest kid (his shoes are even lined up) and I'm beginning to understand why he takes so long to get ready in the morning...you'd have to with a set-up like this!


Both Elise and Adele use sleep masks that were given to them as party favors...am I raising little girls or old hollywood movie stars?

Parenthood is hard and exhausting, so you just have to love moments like this when you just smile and think, "this is just so much fun".