Sunday, August 9, 2015

May


We had some end of the year festivities, beginning with a music class performance for the moms, followed by a Mother's Tea in Colt's classroom. The kids showered us with gifts, self-made books and snacks. It was such a sweet time together. 

Levi posing after a tball game. Such a cutie! 

Ty and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary at our favorite restaurant, Uchi. No star spotting tonight, but we had fun celebrating us nonetheless! 

Tatum's preschool class. She loves these kids, school and her teachers. She's similar to me in that she really likes to read, practice writing her letters and will spend hours doing so. 

Levi hanging out with his friend Ashlyn at the swim team concession stand. This was our first year on swim team... practices were Monday thru Thursday with meets on Saturdays. It was a long but fun season! Swim pictures to come next month... but one of the kids favorite activities was to work the concession stand! 

Last day of school froyo with Brady and Jackson! 

We have moved our church location to a school downtown. Our first Sunday to set up there we had lots of boxes to throw away and these kids were the ones who got to stomp them down in the dumpster! We are excited to be in our new location and to see what God has in store for the community here! 

Abbey graduated from high school!! 

A selfie at graduation :) 

We loved getting to celebrate Abbey! 

The whole fam :) 


Abbey is Baylor bound. We are excited to have her a bit closer to Austin next year and hope to see her much more!


April

What's the best way to kick off spring? With baseball of course! This year we switched leagues and played with a less competitive league a bit closer to our house. This was Levi's last year of t-ball and Colt's first year of coach pitch. They had good seasons and learned a lot but surprisingly didn't seem to love the sport. Part of this might have been due to not great coaching, so hopefully they'll try again next season. 


Tatum spent the spring playing soccer. This was her first season and she loved it! I accidentally deleted the photos I took of her actually playing soccer, but here's a funny story about her season: We signed Tatum up to play with her friend Wesley (on the left below). Wesley  had signed up to play up an age group, so these 4 year olds were playing with 5 year olds who had all played soccer before. It took Tatum and Wesley several games to catch on to the game, but they had so much fun anyway! On the last game of the season, Tatum had only scored one goal in the previous 7 games. Uncle Dusty came to the last game and I brought my camera to take pics of TaterTot since I hadn't taken any previously. During the first half of the game, Tatum played like normal (lots of assists, but not any goals). I told her that I wanted to take a few pics of her scoring a goal, so this crazy girl went out and scored FOUR!! Guess someone likes getting her picture taken :) We are all signed up to play with the same girls again this fall and Tatum can't wait! 

Zoe also really likes soccer... or at least dressing up in Tatum's soccer uniform. She has been in a phase where she ONLY wants to wear Tatum's clothes so walks around in baggie clothes all the time :) 

Easter Sunday picture at Westover. I sure do love these cuties! 

Zoe came with me for lunch duty at Veritas. She loved sitting next to her brother to eat her lunch! 

We also took a trip to the Capitol. 


We went to support International Justice Mission as they had an anti-slavery rally on the steps. It was fun to show the kids the capitol and teach them about who we can try to influence change in the world. 

Granny Rae came to visit... we went to Rudy's...

Made cookies...

and had tea parties! 

Colt was student of the week and brought Biscuit home again.

He wanted to take a picture with Biscuit and all his animals. Colt is funny b/c he NEVER plays with these animals, but likes to keep them on his bed during the day and on the floor at night. When we travel he takes them ALL with him... and still doesn't play with them :) 

Zoe turned 2! 

Happy Birthday to this spunky toddler! Mmm... cake! 

Zoe, You are the funniest of kiddos and crack us up each and every day. You bring so much laughter to this house! You are already working on your independence... "I do it!" is a common phrase you utter. You are a great sleeper but are starting to not be a great eater :( You are a fabulous communicator and have lots of words to use. Even when you get frustrated, you are easily redirected. You love to watch movies on the iPad... your favorites are Lion King and Big Hero 6. You also like to give high-fives when you do something you know we approve of. You are a social butterfly and know all of our friends names. You always greet the adults with a hug around their legs. Your love language is physical touch, especially sleeping on my stomach. You frequently lift up my shirt and put your cheek on my tummy when you are tired. 

We love you so much! -Mom

Tatum is a big girl! She wanted a picture with her bunny in her bed. Shortly after this picture, she moved out of the boy's room and this toddler bed and into a room with Zoe in a twin bed. She's also working on getting out of a pull-up at night. She's really growing up! 

Tatum and Zoe playing on the playground at pre-school. Tatum is the BEST big sister! She is so nurturing and helpful and loving and the list could go on. 

I participated in a Bible/book study this spring with some friends from church. The study was led by Jennie Allen, the author of the book, Numb. I'd never done a study that was led by the actual author... and it was a great study to awaken our spiritual eyes and live fully in the moment where the Lord leads us. I changed and grew in many ways over the 8 weeks. This is the last night of the study... we worshipped outside, had a carnival, desserts and released these lanterns into the sky. It was beautiful and I'm so thankful for the friendships that were created during this time. 

We took a trip to the Austin Zoo! 

The peacocks were showing off. The boys thought this was so awesome :) 

Levi spent the spring working on an animal unit at school. He chose zebras to study for his project and was proud of his final result. 


I took Tatum and Colt with me on a photo shoot downtown (I think Levi had a tball game). Afterwards, they got to play in the splash pad. We love this town and all the fun things we get to experience here! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Levi turns 6!!

Wow, that feels weird to write!

Who are your closest friends? Liesel at school

What are some talents you have? hopping on one foot, spinning around and clapping while nodding my head at the same time. Going down poles at the playground. Obeying, giving hugs and kisses to you. Having running races. 

What activities do you like to do with your family? going on dates to Chuck E. Cheese with mom and dad, going to different places like downtown, work in the garden, eat dinner and talk with y'all 

What makes you happy? when y'all give me hugs and kisses, when you give me kindness coins and obedience coins, when we go on dates. 

What makes you sad? if y'all died, if the garden got wrecked,

Favorite color? I have two... green and blue. 

Food? Salad with ranch dressing

Sport? basketball

Book? Ozzy and Mac (he reads it with a LeapFrog pen) 

TV show? Wallykazaam (seriously... I don't think he has watched this show in months. In reality he very much loves Ben 10... he plays Ben 10 with Tatum every day, his b-day present request list was comprised of all Ben 10 toys, this is the main show he asks to watch, etc.)

Movie? Barnyard (some cartoon movie on Netflix that is pretty comical) 

Game on iPad: Disney Infinity

Song to sing? I don't have a favorite song.

What do you like best about school? Math

Day of the week? Saturday 

What did you get for your birthday this year? A razor scooter, Ben 10 Spidermonkey costume, ultimatrix, voice changer toy, Ben 10 gun, Grandpa Max car, 2 sets of Star Wars Legos, lots of Legos from Mom and Dad

When I grow up I want to be a "like a regular dad." (This is a dad like our dad... just to clarify;)

My goal for this year is to go to Disneyland.

Something new I want to learn when I am 6 is how to to cut someone's hair. 

Anything else? No.

This year Levi wanted to have a Lego party, so we had some of his school and church friends over to the house to play various games with Legos. It was really fun and he was gifted many new Lego sets, so we haven't seen much of Levi since then as he's been holed up in the school room playing with them all since then ;) 

Levi, 
You are such a sweet, thoughtful and smart kiddo. You are so mature for your age which sometimes throws your Dad and I for a loop :) You have been learning to present your side of an argument, which is fine except we need to teach you better about how to do that respectfully and tactfully! You loved kindergarten this year and excelled in every area. It's a joy to watch you learn to read as this will unlock many worlds of imagination for you! You are developing a faith in Jesus and genuinely love and care for others. You are still a great helper around the house and a leader for your siblings and classmates in many areas. It has been fun cheering you on as you tackled new sports this past year... some you liked (basketball) and some you didn't (golf), but either way you stuck with it and had a good attitude. Your dad and I are your biggest cheerleaders. We love you to pieces and are so thankful that God placed you in our family. We pray that you will continue to grow in love for God and through that a heart of service towards others will also be nurtured. Love, Mom

Monday, July 6, 2015

More March

Ty and I took a short trip to Little Rock, Arkansas at the end of March. Ty had to go for business, so we went the weekend before his meeting and enjoyed some time together without the kids!
The first day we drove out to Hot Springs and enjoyed some food and drink on their main strip, followed by a trip to a bath house where we received the royal treatment. There was still snow on the ground when we landed, which was a treat for me since I haven't seen snow in about 5 years. But it warmed up quickly and we enjoyed some sunny days while on vacation! 

That night we headed back into Little Rock and attended a New Moon festival at a local park. It was so much fun! Here we are kissing in front of the new moon. The festival had several stations along a candlelit hiking trail... each station was a different country where you could stop and buy food and drink from that country, experience music and entertainment from that land or make crafts, etc. It was very family friendly, but fun too for those without kids (us on this particular night!). This kind of thing in Austin would have been jam packed, but in LR was really enjoyable and relaxing to not walk in a sea of people. 

We visited the Clinton Presidential Museum! It was a great place and we learned a lot. I know that all Presidential museums make their guy out to be a champ, but Clinton really did a ton for this country and abroad. I've always been a fan of his politics and visiting here reinforced much of that. 

Replica of the Oval Office

We took a whisky brewery tour. Some pretty strong stuff! Not our favorite tour but a nice place to spend a rainy afternoon :) 

We toured Central High School, the school where the Little Rock Nine were the black first students to be integrated into a public school. It was sobering to see what these brave young students underwent to make great strides for equality for a people who were (and continue to be) kept in unequal positions. This was probably the most impactful part of our trip. The tour guide had some culturally relevant social commentary, including that the architecture on the outside of this school is an example of institutional/systemic racism that many of us are unaware of -a new level of racism I've just started learning about. I've been moved lately to pray that God will use his people to bring love and understanding and justice to those who still live life having started on a different rung of the social ladder simply because of the color of their skin. Even though segregation ended 50 years ago, there is still much self-imposed segregation in our country, in my life, in my church, etc. I hope to see greater strides taken to change this in the remainder of my lifetime and am committing to doing my part to help.

My mom and I toured the kids museum at Heifer International Headquarters. I would love to bring my kids here someday and teach them about how people live in developing nations and the struggles and successes they have found in their lands through the help of organizations like Heifer. (They started by giving cattle and chickens to villages, which then bolstered their economy.) 

Ty and I stayed a few nights at the Capitol Hotel. They had this enormous elevator that was said to be built by President Grant for he and his horse to be taken to his room! There is a lot of history at this hotel! It was fun to stay here, but now I think I'm over staying at fancy places and will opt instead for a normal hotel in the future and to save the dollar bills for other fun adventures :) 


My mom lives outside of LR, so we went to her house one day for a delicious brunch (thanks Mom!). Then she came to LR one day to have dinner with us at a farm-to-table restaurant we found. It was good food and good company. I'm glad we were finally able to see your stomping grounds after all these years of you living in Arkansas! This was a great trip!! It is always nice to get away with Ty and, especially with young kids, I am in need of a break every once in a while. The kids were lucky enough to stay with Grandad and Grandma while we were gone... their Christmas present to us all. Thank you guys SO much for the gift. It truly was priceless! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

March

The boys got to dress up like cowboys for Western Day at school. 

YeeHaw


Granny Rae sent a fun fireman water hose for Levi's birthday. This will be much loved this summer! 

Ty 's birthday treat for me. He knows me so well. 

Plus, I love Ty's sense of humor and creativity. When we first started dating in college, his 9 year old brother couldn't remember my name or maybe he just thought it was funny, but he would call me "Carrots." 

Zoe hanging out at one of the boys basketball games. 

A little dirt never hurt anyone.

Levi loves the dirt! Here are the kids helping prepare our garden. 

We have spent many hours our here preparing the soil in this bed that has been full of weeds for many years. 

The kids have been so helpful out here (and Ty for tilling the weeds out and pouring all the compost on top). 

Another trip to Wheatsville. This time with all of the kids. Not sure we will do that again anytime soon. Lots of chaos ensued with all 4 having a shopping cart ;) 

We took the kids to the Austin Fair one night. They had a blast on the rides and keep asking to go back. 

Zoe and I on the carousel.

Colt worked all trimester long on his body project. It turned out great and he received the highest mark for it, an E. He learned about each body part represented, wrote a few sentences about each one in his best handwriting, colored the body part and assembled them on the board. Then he got his hair cut and glued it on the body to make it look like him. :)

Levi was excited to see Hazel at Westover one day. We love anytime we can get together with Eliza and Hazel! 

The boys had a recital at their piano teacher's house. I am so proud of their hard work to learn this instrument and hope it benefits them in the long haul. 

I love 

these 

silly

kiddos!