I almost got another post in before the New Year! But not quite... so while I reconnect with my writing skills, here are some favorite family photos to tide you over!
Mamie's first Santa visit...
Really not certain?
And, we have a winner. Yea for Dad!
Zoolight Safari- a family favorite each year... and even better with the cousins!
The photo highlight of our Christmas, entitled Forced Family Fun
Christmas morning... Mamie was very unsure... and as all sweet girls do, tried to take her time. And as all sweet boys do, they blew through every gift in 38 seconds. Alas, no photos worthy of blogland.
But here is the aftermath. As well as the personalities of our children. The most telling photos from all of Christmas. And I LOVE it.
Middle Child (I promise he had an equal amount of gifts)
Youngest Child (and also only girl):
After the chaos of it all, everyone settled in for some serious fun
Our kids have matching pj's with the cousins. But our boys got fleece robes. Which trumped the Christmas pj pic.
Christmas #2 in Nashville. My little Warrior. Anything that "fights" is alright by him.
Oh Baby Giggles or also known as "Diddle" to Mamie. THE beloved toy this year. That overtook bitty baby before she even had a chance.
And a lego Christmas for this boy. He did them ALL. (5 DIFFERENT SETS). Within 3 days. By himself. This kid has a serious future ahead oh him.
So I took a little break. OK, a very long break. In my head, I kind of thought I would start blogging again in January. But I've accomplished so much since school got out this week, that I can even do a short little post, 2 days before Christmas! I've also just tried to simplify life this fall. Because this whole 3 kid thing... it can keep you going full speed. I've joked with our friends, that this fall, our extra curricular activity has been doctors appointments. Maxwell started weekly allergy shots, Mamie has weekly speech and the occasional physical therapy, and throw in a few ear infections and leg doctor appointments, a pretty long commute to and from Maxwell's school several times a week, and there you have it. So when we're home, it's coveted time.
All in all, the past 3 months in a nutshell go something like this:
Maxwell LOVES kindergarten. And his school is more than we could have hoped for. His self confidence, but more importantly, his confidence in his Faith is amazing. Although I did mention the long drive, it's worth it. And his weekly allergy shots, also hoping that's going to be worth it?! This kid loses teeth like it's his job. 4 since May with one more coming any day now. And his growth? Off the charts... 2 inches in 1 year! Some days I look at him and wonder how much longer before he's my height? 6.5 years old... that's getting too big for me. He even asked me a few weeks ago if Santa was real. GASP! We don't really push the whole Santa thing, or deny it. We just have fun and make sure Jesus comes first. But when this happened, I wanted to cry... so I'm pretty sure I'm pushing Santa more than ever before!
Which brings us to Elliott... really. We still just say his name and laugh. He survived his rough summer and is back to our funny little almost 4 year old. And unlike his brother, I'm pretty sure he hasn't grown or gained 1 pound in 2 years. But he does often tell us about his lost teeth. Or about his soccer trophy he got when he was 7, or "when he was a baby he used to do ___". All so very serious, with a quick "MOM" (said in 3 year old demanding gruff voice) when I laugh or try to correct him. This sweet middle child would also spend every waking (and sleeping) second with his Mama if I would let him. He LOVES me. And I'm trying to soak it all up now, assuming it won't last forever (or I hope not?) And what does this kid want for Christmas? A Spider Shooter... translated: some Spiderman thing that shoots webs. I do believe he made this up in his mind, but thankfully Amazon has also created one for $16.99.
And Mamie. Whew this girl is something else. She LOVES school, church, friends... but we laugh because she still can't talk so we know NOTHING about any of it. Which kills me. I want to know every detail of all of my kids lives. And I love hearing their stories from 2 and 3 year old pre-school in particular. So school pickup goes something like this:
Me: "How was everyone's day?!
Mamie: Blank stare
Me: Mamie, did you have fun?!
Mamie: Head nod
That's it. Her whole day summed up in a head nod.
Which if you ask her speech therapist, sounds very similar to our weekly speech sessions. This girl gives nuthin'. But I'm assured that when speech becomes necessary, she will prevail! She does have a small list of words. And it's certainly growing. It's just much of them sound very similar and most now end in "a". As in Daddya, Mamiea, you get the picture. And Christmas? This girl is so has been a dream. She has yet to even break an ornament. After 2 boys, this is amazing! I thought she would have picked up the entire tree and put it in her room (because yes she is that strong... and strong willed) just to admire it. But there isn't all that much attention paid to it, maybe they had a tree year round in her orphanage? ;) And obviously since there is no talking, there is no Christmas list. So babies and clothes it is!
Merry Christmas from our crazy crew... and hopefully I will blog more often with much more meaningful posts than just a family update. But if you want to read a really great well written blog, then check out my dear friend's post today. It sums up what lots of us want to say but she's much more eloquent...
We took an amazing little outing with friends this past Saturday. A simple hike turned into a little more "complex" hike. But great fun was had by all.
The boys climbed.
And squeezed (through little tiny cracks that I could only dream of squeezing though)
I carried. Although I needed that... I'm doing the Muckus Ruckus mud run for MS in a few weeks and am surely not in the shape I need to be for it.
Got wet in the creek.
Herded like cats. This was a touch of the "complex" part of the hike.
AND had a family photo that isn't half bad! And if you could see Elliott's face, this picture would become our Christmas card simply because we are almost all looking and smiling. Who cares that our clothes are 3 years old and no one has a hair cut. Or even clean hair? Or that Charles is carrying Maxwell's school backpack. Maybe I'll just photoshop a new Elliott head? And title it "from our rugged home to yours"
Schools back! Not that I was counting the days... but yes I was.
And "big school" has begun! I jokingly said, I want to keep Maxwell home and ship the other 2 to big school. He's the easy one! But alas, off he went. To a Christian school located at our church (given the uniform... ONE OF THE BIGGEST HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SCHOOL!). The first few days, we missed him terribly. And I would just stand at the door waiting for him to get home, ha! But now we have adjusted and alls well in the land of big school. Now if only pre-school started at the same time.
So we waited and we waited for Labor Day. Because what followed is the start of pre-school!! I was super concerned about sending Mamie. How would we handle it? Would she flip out? I should have known... all I needed to do was give her the schoolbag and she was off. That girl loves a good bag. Soo very proud!
And then I took her bag away. Bad move.
And Elliott just wasn't up for a picture.
Or for holding his bag.
But you give him a General Grievous Star Wars Nerf Gun and he's all smiles.
Mamie in 2K! We had "practiced" going to her classroom and playing with her teacher before school started. A HUGE help!
And Elliott in 3K! Although he was convinced he was going into 1st grade. Because Maxwell told him he was.
And there you have it. Where is the cute pic of all of them together? Yeah, that didn't happen. I'm just happy to have a picture of any given child smiling. And getting to school on time. Happy School Year!