Thursday, December 18, 2014

Five! {Celebrating Lydia}

Our girl turned five today.  Five!  What a joy Lydia is (and strong-willed and what some might describe as quite stubborn as well ... all traits which will make her a strong leader I believe!).  This girl has a special place in the hearts of many.  
Like Samuel, Lydia also plays her birth order well - she fits the molds of little sister and big sister well.  She knows how to work her charm on the boys, and she also dotes on Nora (often giving in a little too easily when Nora "needs" something).

On this day I like to reflect back to December 18th, 2009 - it is still with great surprise that I recall the emotions when my doctor proudly and with much emotion himself, announced that we had a baby girl.  And, as I do every year, I must insert the caveat that we love our boys fiercely as well.  It was the surprise of a daughter that was (and remains to be) quite extraordinary.
To our girl, Happy Birthday, we love you more than you can imagine.  XO

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Double Digits {Celebrating Samuel}

Today our (not-so) little boy turns double digits.  It is such a joy to see Samuel grow.  He has a tender heart and loves big.  He adores his big brother and dotes on his little sisters, and he is often the one to bring Owen into conversation.  He plays the role of middle child well.

He also love animals ... if not for allergies I have a feeling we would be more than just a one (oversized) dog and fish family.  In fact, he is trying hard (relentlessly) to convince us that a hedgehog would be a perfect Christmas gift.

It's been a blessing to celebrate Samuel this weekend ... a snow coaster size pizza for family birthday (eve) meal out ...
Special hot cocoa to finish Birthday Eve ...
And, his favorite - a peanut square breakfast ...
And, then a surprise boys' afternoon / night out!
Seems the boys thoroughly enjoyed boys' day out - they went to a hockey game, and Samuel was randomly chosen to ride in the zamboni!  Happy Birthday to him!!
(Samuel and I have a birthday date planned for later this month, and we will celebrate him and Lydia ... and maybe Jason who it seems may also have a significant birthday this month ... with a family party this upcoming weekend)
Me and my December babies ...
Happy Birthday to our Samuel, you are a blessing to us and many others!  We love you!  xo 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Officially a teen ...

Life is beautiful, I have a teen and yet I'm certain I'm not aging one bit (haha).  Today Jack turns 13 ... what?!?!?  To make matters worse, in a normal conversation this week with Samuel, Jack casually mentions that in "just three years" when he is driving ... hard to digest the reality of this!  But, for now, I'll try to stay in the present as I come to grips with having a teen!

Jack is now officially staring me in the eye, I suspect that by the end of the school year I will be looking up at him.  And, the kid fits in Jason's shoes, won't be long and Jason will be getting Jack's hand-me-down shoes!
Jack continues to be social, enjoying time with his buddies (ahem, albeit a bit too much at times during school), and he thrives on being in sports and being a part of a team. 

He just finished football (another undefeated season, these boys are going to be fun to watch in high school ... you know, when they are also driving ... sigh), and basketball practice starts tomorrow (the boys are not quite as strong on the court as they are on the field - which I appreciate as we need to keep some humility in these boys).  
And, of course, Jack loves baseball and will pick that up again with a few indoor clinics in early spring.
Jack plays the role of big brother well (most of the time anyway).  This is such an interesting age to watch and parent - the age of the in between, no longer a boy but not quite a man. 

Jack, Happy 13th Birthday!  You are a gift and we thank God for you every day!  XO

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Back to School

Well, hello little blog!  It's been a while ... seems I've fallen victim to a different form of social media (Instagram) much to the neglect of this corner of my world.  That and the fact that, well, life is busy.

So, here we are finishing up week four of the new school year.  Here's where the LilyKids are at:
Jack - Jack is in 7th grade this year.  At some schools this would mark the first year of junior high, but we have a middle school for 5th - 8th grade so being at the middle school / junior school is quite familiar.  The year is off to a great start - I honestly think football has influenced his school habits (we noticed the same thing last year), I think it has been the discipline of the sport.  Aside from getting a little sidetracked with the "eraser challenge" along with nearly everyone else at school, 7th grade is going great! 

Jack is our busiest outside of home, by far.  From the end of the baseball season, we did a family road trip for a week, he went to camp for a week and then football started.  He has a few weeks of football left and then will transition to basketball.  He also took hunter's safety so will be hunting with Jason this fall (as his schedule permits, of course - ha!).  And, he's doing youth group with a buddy from school.  He exhausts us (in many ways!).
Samuel - Samuel is in 4th grade this year. His year is also off to a great start, he's transitioned back into the school year like a champ.  It's an exciting year as he is the oldest at the elementary school.  He is one of only two boys asked to be a "Bus Buddy" this year.  This means that he is assigned two junior kindergarteners to get on the bus in the afternoon, a big responsibility for the selected 4th graders.  They even had a "meeting" with the Principal.  He also got to be on flag duty this week, another privilege.

Samuel is a homebody for sure so it's wonderful to see him blossom at school and to see him being selected for these types of activities.

Lydia - Lydia started junior kindergarten this year.  JK is the equivalent to 4k, it's just fancy like that in our school district (hehe).  She goes to school four mornings a week.  The transition was fairly easy for her.  For about the first two weeks she did, however, neglect to eat snack at school because she was a little intimidated by the independence and responsibility of pouring her own milk and getting a snack.  She has since realized that snack is worth a little intimidation! 

Nora - Nora started early childhood (a preschool program) this year.  She is at our elementary school (same as Samuel and Lydia) so that she can continue to get speech as part of the program.  The first two weeks or so were rough - lots of tears (Samuel's classroom is on the other side of Nora's so he would come home and report if he heard her crying in the morning).  Nora also goes to school four mornings a week, like Lydia, and they are across the hall from one another.

After the initial transition, Nora is blossoming!  We are so thankful for her very patient, very outgoing, and very loving teacher.  Nora is very proud of going to school and is always eager to show us papers from her backpack. 

To keep this real, while I'd love to post a happy picture of Nora, this is what the first day of school looked like.  Poor girl.  I couldn't even get her to look at me for a picture.  Change is hard for this girl, but she is adjusting to school like a boss!

So, that's the back to school update for September 2014! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Celebrating Little Miss {Nora's 3rd Birthday}

How can it be that Nora turns three today?  I'm at a loss reflecting on how another year has so quickly passed.  Seems like we were just celebrating her first birthday home ... and, many of the feelings are unchanged. 
Nora has grown so much in the past year, it is such a joy to see her blossom.
We were all anxious to celebrate her this past weekend.
Her party "theme" - "Sunny with a 100% Chance of Sprinkles"
Nora told everyone that she wanted "MM's" for her birthday ... she got a big bag of m&m's, a candy aisle bag of m&m's, a box of m&m's, a tube of m&m's, individual treat size bags of m&m's, and a pouch of birthday m&m's - the girl is set and was equally as excited with each gift of "MM's"!
A labor of love ... a homemade bean bag toss (painted to match the absolutely adorable bean bags) by Nora's talented uncle and aunt ... an amazing gift!

Sneaking frosting before I got a chance to serve the cake!
Many people comment on how "lucky" Nora is to have a family, but we are the blessed ones that get the privilege of loving her as our daughter.  And, still on this day I remember a birth mom on the other side of the ocean that likely has an ache in her heart, and I pray for this woman whom I share much with. 
Nora, you are a blessing to us, we pray for your heart and all of the questions you will one day have about your story and His story and the way He has so graciously woven our hearts together.  Happy 3rd birthday, Little Miss!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Life Lately via Phone Photo Dump

Well, it seems that this little blog continues to be neglected ... for journaling purposes, here is life lately via a phone photo dump.

On June 15th we celebrated not only Father's Day but also a significant birthday for my mom! 

Lydia continues to want to be just like her big brothers ... I have a feeling she is going to excel at tee ball and then softball!
It has become an end of the school year / beginning of summer tradition to spend a weekend in Door Co.  We were thankful that the hotel we stay in has an indoor swimming pool (it was a bit of a rainy and cool weekend).  We were still able to go mini-golfing though!  And, the day we were leaving the warmer temps and sun came out, perfect for feeding the ducks at a custard place that has also become tradition for lunch on our last day (Yep, ice cream for lunch!).

 This past week we had three baseball games (was supposed to be four, but one is postponed due to rain), practices, Nora's speech and PT, little odds and ends, and Jack had baseball camp every day.  Jason did most of the taxi'ing back and forth, but I was thankful to be able to do a drop off and pick up (the location of the camp was about 40 minutes away).

After a busy week, we were ready for some family time this weekend so we got the bikes loaded up and went to a state park to bike the trails, had a picnic lunch, and then the kids braved the lake.

Phew ... add in a little one who doesn't sleep through the night and it's no wonder we're exhausted, but in the most thankful way possible.  We are blessed!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lately ...

Seems my poor little blog corner has seen some neglect due to life moving at a rapid pace, not to mention the ease of "story telling" through photo posting on Instagram.  So, in a quick recap, what have we been up to these past two weeks?

Lydia had a date with her cousin (of course, my SIL and I had to chaperon) to get pedicures.  Super fun! 
 Jack's baseball team took 2nd place in a tourney ...
The boys and I went on a Starbucks date ... this is one excited boy (definitely a treat) ...
Samuel had Field Day at school with fun and games, and the girls got to hang out with the 3rd and 4th graders and play on the school playground ...
The boys completed the school year, I somehow now have a 4th grader and a 7th grader (in denial) ...
And, today Jason and I celebrated our 15th anniversary ... not quite sure how that can be!
But I do know I'm a blessed mama and wife for sure!