Saturday, April 12, 2014

Happy Birthday Clayton!

We celebrated Clayton's 8th birthday on Thursday.  It's definitely been an eventful 8 years, and I feel like I never quite know what's around the corner for this boy.  Life isn't always easy for this kid, but he mostly takes it all in stride.  He's the happiest kid I know.  I can honestly say he has a sweet spirit and can find joy in the most unexpected places.  God knew just what he was doing when he molded this personality.  It's just what he needs in life.

We started our day at the donut shop with birthday donuts on the way to Eli's preschool.

We had a party planned for Friday night, but we still needed a special dessert for Clayton's actual birthday, so I whipped up a cookie cake.  It turned out to be a ton of cookie cake, but I think we'll find a way to push through and get it eaten.

Presents are always fun when you're 8 years old.

And while he was opening gifts, his cousin Lizzy called to sing him Happy Birthday.  I think he liked that.

On Friday morning I woke up with a million party to-dos, plus I needed to get Eli back and forth to school, and do school with Clayton.  Clayton has had a birthday cake vision for a few weeks, and while I had fully intended to bake the cake the day before so I would only have to decorate it on Friday, that didn't happen, and I was really feeling the time pinch.  When Clayton woke up, I told him the list of tasks that needed to be accomplished.  He agreed it was a lot.  Then I asked him if it would be alright if we went to Publix and picked out a cake, instead of me making it.  I thought it would be no big deal, but wow.  The silence, the chin wobble, the tears.  It was all too much for me, so I had to make the cake happen.  Luckily he agreed to a few time saving modifications, and although my floors and the schoolroom were not exactly as tidy as I would have liked, the 8 to 12 year old party guests couldn't have cared less, and we had Clayton's only slightly altered dream cake for dessert.

After pizza and cake, Ryan and I and one of our neighbors took 7 boys, including our 3, to the movies to see Rio 2.  Although not quite as cute as the first Rio, the boys all loved it, and it was so much fun to see Clayton enjoying the movie with all his friends.  We live on the best street, and my boys are blessed to have such great neighbor kids as friends.

Happy birthday Clayton!  It's been tough at times, but you always pull through it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Break

Eli is on Spring break this week, and the weather in Georgia has been gorgeous.  We've been soaking it up because all too soon I know it will be super hot and muggy.  Today we had a picnic lunch at one of the church playgrounds in town.  It's a great place to eat, play, and explore, and I'm so thrilled they encourage the public to use their facility.  There are not very many playgrounds around here, so this a gem.



Serious sliding

Love this little guy.

The boys love climbing to the top of this hill and running down.

Here they come.

Eli is still in his walking boot, but it doesn't slow him down.  If only the manufacturer of this boot could see the abuse this boot has endured.

They also have this cool climbing wall.  Eli has gotten to the top before, but he was a little less confident today.  I was laughing so much when I took this picture.  You know the scene in Frozen when Anna is determined to climb the mountain, and she puts in all that big talk and effort and only ends up about three feet off the ground?  Well that would be Aaron!  You would have thought he was climbing Everest with all the talk about what a great climber he is, and this was as far up as he got!  Maybe next time buddy!

After we'd played for a while we decided to take a little stroll on some trails in the woods behind the playground.  Almost immediately we ran into this bad boy.  I was so proud of myself for just continuing on like it was no big deal, when I really wanted to abandon my children and run screaming out of the woods.  I had planned to take lots of cute pictures of the boys on the trail and exploring the woods, but instead I was on serious snake patrol the rest of the hike.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Charlotte's Web

We've had a couple of these giant spiders hanging around our house lately.  Unfortunately, the kids and I read Charlotte's Web this summer, and now they have a real heart for giant spiders with big webs.  I guess that's okay with me because I don't know how I would get it down without having a heart attack.  For now I keep telling myself she's on gnat/mosquito duty, which is very important in Georgia.

Snack Time

Mom: Eli, what are you doing?
Eli: Waiting for 4:00.

Four o'clock is the only time Eli can tell on a clock face.  That's because 4:00 is afternoon snack time around here.  Not 3:00, not 3:30, not 3:55.  If I didn't have a set snack time, these kids would ask to eat something ALL DAY LONG.  They are never full and are determined to break our bank in the grocery department.  Lucky for me, Eli finally learned to recognize 4:00 on our living room clock.  Now he doesn't have to ask if it's 4:00 a million times every afternoon.  The only downside is that now he knows when it's 4:00, and then, no matter what I'm doing, it MUST be snack time.  Love this crazy kid!

Plains Peanut Festival

The annual Plains Peanut Festival was back in September.  The boys and I were looking for something fun to do during our weekend, so we drove over to join in some peanut fun.

Hello Mr. Peanut!  Aaron was in a bit of a mood and DID NOT want to have his picture taken with Mr. Peanut.

We took the SAM Shortline Railroad out to Jimmy Carter's boyhood farm.

We didn't have much time at the farm, but we saw a few of the outdoor sights.

Sometimes I just wonder how I ended up with all these boys.

I needed a train picture.  They just wanted to get back on the train to check out all the Thomas merchandise in the dining car.

Once we were back in Plains, there were lots of inflatables.

I carry Band-Aids in my purse.  Blood is a common occurrence when we're out in public.

After an afternoon of trains, inflatables, and booth browsing, we needed some gelato.  Aaron had strawberry, and the other boys and I had orange-vanilla.  Yum.  It made the trip totally worth it.

The boys and I were able to get out and about to several little places around Georgia this summer.  We had so much fun exploring our new state and making a few memories while Ryan was gone.  They are really great travelers, and I'm so glad they like to go to new places and see new things.  It's nice to have their company.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Welcome Home Dad!

Oct. 5th.  It was a good day around here.

Wing Fall Fest

Our wing organized a fall get together at a local farm on Columbus Day.  We headed out to Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley for a beautiful family fun day.

Farmer Clayton

Aaron checking out the playground

Plenty of wide open space to run

Heading into the corn maze

Excited to get going through the corn maze

Eli checking out the corn

Aaron navigating the maze

Heading to the corn cannon

Hay bale fun

Painting pumpkins