ONE. After a couple days of bad weather, we had a short break from the rain. We were anxious to get outside and play, even if the playground was all wet. Meet the newest little “crocodile hunters.” 🙂Never mind that we were poured on during the last 3/4 mile of our walk home.
TWO. We are going strong with our little “homeschool preschool” and Kaya is still loving it. I’m thinking of putting together some blog posts to share some of my favorite resources so far (even just so I can remember what we did 2 years from now… when it’s Kaelyn’s turn)!
And hey, since she doesn’t have to leave the house, she can do it in her jammies. Why not?
THREE. We were invited to a little Halloween-themed book club/play date this morning, and Kaya decorated her own “pumpkin”! She was so enthused about this activity, and she even drew the face on it herself! I am so impressed with her fine motor skills.
FOUR. I got a thank-you card from the youth/seminary students at church for making them cinnamon rolls… and it just made my day. I love these kids. It’s the little things, you guys.
FIVE. Fashion alert: pretend fruit baskets are now acceptable headwear. Just ask Daniel(le) Boone here with her coonskin-cap lookalike.
On Tuesday morning, we hosted a mini (very mini) Halloween party for the kids. We invited both old and new friends, and kept it super simple. We basically just decorated some sugar cookies and then let the kids all play.
Kaya was truly the happiest little girl as she sat there and decorated cookie after cookie. I think she made more cookies than anyone else did (and actually only ate one… the very first one she made, of course)! I helped her out with the frosting, and she did an excellent job of loading them up with as many m&ms, Resse’s Pieces, marshmallows, chocolate chips, and sprinkles as possible. Would you like some cookie to go with your toppings? (this is my favorite sugar cookie recipe, by the way 😉 )
We played some Halloween music, and Mia and Kaya started dancing. I’ve said it over and over again, but I just love that my baby has a best friend. I put together some super simple goody bags for the older girls- pumpkin bubbles, glowsticks, a kaleidoscope, and some homemade pumpkin play dough. Kaya was so excited to hand them out and even more excited to open hers up. Kaelyn tried her first sugar cookie at lunchtime, after the party. She had woken up around 5:30 am that day, and so sadly, she was cranky and cried for the majority of the cookie-decorating activity.We had a great time with friends, and this little party was a great way to kick off our Halloween festivities! 🙂
I’m definitely writing about our weekend on a Wednesday… whoops. Our past few days have been jam-packed, so that’s just how it goes sometimes!
This weekend was our stake temple trip. We’ve been talking about this for weeks, and I always get excited to visit the temple, but I think Kaya had me beat this time. Her excitement was through the roof, and she couldn’t wait to take our “long ride in the car” (about 4.5 hours) to get there.
It’s always a good idea to burn off some energy before a road trip, though, so we were sure to get some exercise on Friday morning. 🙂
Both girls really behaved fantastically in the car. Kaelyn napped for most of the ride, and we stopped for dinner at Kaya’s favorite place (Wendy’s). When their crankiness could no longer be assuaged by snacks and books, we brought out the tablet. This Daniel Tiger app kept Kaya entertained in the car when we otherwise would have had a huge meltdown.
She was almost as excited about sleeping in a hotel as she was about visiting the temple. Haha. Both girls were more than ready to get out of their car seats (and yes, she’s singing “one little monkey, jumping on the bed”)!
We (barely) made it to the temple in time for the 9 am session with our stake. It was so wonderful to be there with my sweetheart. I always feel our Heavenly Father’s love so strongly in the temple, and this time was no different. The temple president spoke to our stake for a few moments, and referred to the temple as our “home away from [a heavenly] home”. I couldn’t agree more with that simple statement.
The whole reason we were able to go into the temple together as a couple is my amazing mom-in-law. I had casually mentioned to her that we would be at the temple that day, and I had hoped she would be able to come up and spend time with us and her grandbabies. She stayed with our kids for hours while we were inside and while I did some family photos for the stake. She took them to the bookstore, fed them the yummiest snacks, and walked them around until they fell asleep. Basically, she’s amazing. The only letdown of the day was that Kaya absolutely did not want her picture taken. Oh well. We also goofed around with my DSLR and ultra-wide lens, seeing if we could take our own picture with it. That guy in the background pulled off the perfect photobomb!
We drove straight home with no stops. By Sunday night, I think we all felt a lot like this…
ONE. We kicked off our week with PINK EYE (for Kaya) and some lingering colds for Kaelyn and me. Luckily, we quickly got Kaya to the doctor for some antibiotic drops, so she had a just a mild case and is no longer contagious. Sick babies means everyone gets to relax a little extra and enjoy some Daniel Tiger.
TWO. Despite being sick, we still made it outside to play a few times. The weather has been all over the place, with temperatures as low as 28 degrees and as high as 69. It felt crazy to break out some of our winter gear already!
Kaya had a couple of great bike rides on the warmer days. (And don’t dare to tell her that she has a tricycle. It’s a BIKE to her and she will correct you!)
THREE. It’s hard to stay awake for 30 seconds after you come home from a walk, while mommy brings the stroller inside… She was out cold.
It’s also difficult to stay awake during lunch, even when candy corn is used as bribery.FOUR. Kaya got herself all dressed on Wednesday morning, and then put this little jean jacket on… and she was too adorable to not take a picture. Between the boots and the denim and the leaves, these pictures just scream “autumn” to me. Love my girl. Admittedly, I still haven’t taken her 3-year portraits (a whole month late now!), and these are so cute that I almost just want to count them as it and be done.FIVE. Because fall is my favorite season, and there is no beauty like the Earth’s.
We took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch on Saturday! This was the first year that we’ve been out there and had sunshine to help keep us warm! I was prepared for colder weather after last year’s freezing temperatures, but we really lucked out this time.
Having sunshine also made it harder to get decent photos, and while we were there, I was honestly a little frustrated because I didn’t think any of my shots were turning out well at all. Michael lovingly reminded me that not every picture has to be “pinterest-worthy”… and he was right. These actually turned out to be some of my favorite photos, ever, just because of the memories they represent.
Kaya was in love with the goats and Jersey heifer calf (although she called them all cows), and even asked to go see them again at the end of our visit. We met up with Karl and Kaitlyn. He held Kaelyn for almost the entire trip (partly so I could take pictures). That’s one happy uncle! 🙂As tradition goes, Michael did the pumpkin slingshot (but didn’t make it as far as the pond this year). Cuddles in the line for a hay ride! We took the tractor up to the pumpkin field, and Kaya had a great time running around and looking at all the pumpkins. There were so many HUGE ones this year, and of course, she was trying to pick them up herself. Haha.She was also running away from me because she didn’t want her picture taken (#herecomesthethreenager)… But she gave me the happiest, cheesiest little grin later on, so she more than made up for it. 🙂They had an awesome corn maze this year! We might have hit a few dead ends, but we had a blast doing it. Brother & sister shot! I can’t remember the last time we took a photo together, so it was on my to-do list for the day. Sometimes I can’t believe this tall guy used to be a tiny baby I could hold in my little 4-year-old arms.Karl and Kaitlyn picked out a giant pumpkin! So glad they could come with us. We had the perfect afternoon. I love my family and these beautiful days we get to spend together.
Since I’m apparently becoming the queen of cheesy home videos, I’ll include this one to sum up our adventure:
ONE. We’re a little bit late to the game (considering when the official school year began), but we started our own little at-home “preschool” with Kaya this week! We saw how our friends were using these alphabet worksheets, and it finally got me motivated to just start with a “letter of the week” kind of program. Can you tell that she was justa little bit excited? She loves to “do school”, and I’m honestly impressed with how quickly she’s learning and retaining information.
TWO. We had a play date with friends on Tuesday! Seeing these two little BFFs together never fails to warm my heart. Kaya loves Mia so much- she laughs her hardest when they’re being silly together, and is always sure to hug her goodbye. I never could have imagined that our once tiny little babies would grow to be true friends.
THREE. Kaya nearly begged me to go to the library on Wednesday, so we spent the early afternoon over there. I think my kids were more interested in these bead mazes and pushing the kid-sized chairs around than actually reading any books! I still consider their quiet self-entertainment a success. 🙂
I thought it’d be cute to take Kaelyn’s picture with this pumpkin… but she just wanted help getting out of the chair so she could climb right back into it. Haha.
Don’t worry, we still managed to come home with some fun books.
FOUR. Kaya had her first-ever gymnastics class last night! She was SUPER shy for almost the entire time, didn’t even want to look at any of the teachers (never mind letting them help her do anything), and just seemed really unsure of herself. By the end of it, we had her jumping down the trampoline all on her own, and she was having so much fun that she didn’t want to quit. Hopefully next week starts out a little easier for her. 🙂
FIVE. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably being saying it for eternity- I don’t know how Michael does everything he does. School, work, fatherhood, church service, and a side-business… and he doesn’t seem to sleep much. Well, I guess it catches up to everyone eventually, because my sweet husband ate his dinner last night and then promptly fell asleep on the table. I kid you not. I am so grateful for everything that he does for our family.
When Michael mentioned to Kaya that he has a trumpet, she begged to see it! He used to be in the marching band during high school, but he really hasn’t had many opportunities to play since then, so it’s been in the closet for a while.
She was so very excited to hear him play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”!Of course, she was anxious to try it out for herself! Kitty had to have a turn, too. 🙂If she really ends up playing the trumpet in band one day, these pictures will make for a fun comparison!
We kicked off our weekend with a Friday-night Hokie football game! Kaya was more into reading books than actually watching, but she still loved cuddling up with Daddy and staying awake a little past bedtime.
On Saturday morning, Michael took Kaya to another Lowe’s Build and Grow activity. This one was a “haunted birdhouse” for Halloween! She was so proud of her handiwork and keeps opening up the roof while telling us “I want to catch a birdy!” Kaelyn and I had a fun hour at home together, although I didn’t take any pictures (whoops). We worked out our abs, and she played with any toys she wanted to without having to share with anyone.
After nap time on Saturday, we ended up running a ton of small errands around our local shopping center. Michael was pretty much my chauffeur, and that made it a whole lot easier to just run into stores super fast without having to unbuckle, re-buckle, and carry kids in and out of everywhere. Thanks buddy.
Of course, we had to spend some time playing on the playground at the mall and getting some dessert. 🙂
If you give a kid a cookie… you’ll have to clean the frosting off of her face and jammies. Whoops.
Sunday was church, and these sweeties were so exhausted by the end of it. This might sound crazy, but I am so excited that we have 9 am church again in a couple months. It will be so much easier on all of us when we can have our regular naptime.
Happy Friday! Our week felt busy and flew by. Here are my favorite little moments:
ONE. Every morning when I get her out of her crib, she always has the biggest grin, and sleepy, happy eyes. I love lifting her up into a big hug and planting a bunch of smooches on those soft baby cheeks of hers.
TWO. Michael’s parents were here at the beginning of the week, and took us out to Cracker Barrel one night! I had my fill of my favorite mac and cheese, and Kaya actually ate a TON of food. Win win. She also loved playing the little peg puzzle game.
THREE. If you go to Cracker Barrel, you are required to goof around in their store before and/or after the meal. Kaya had fun trying on a Halloween witch’s hat! (photocredit to my Dad-in-law, obviously, because I was too busy photobombing this with my legs…) 🙂
FOUR. Someone figured out how to ride the rocking horse on her own (although she still needs help getting on and off), and she’s in love. One more horse girl for the family! 😉FIVE. Because guinea pigs and burlap and fall flowers all together are pretty much an explosion of cute.
We’ve enjoyed some special visits with both sides of the family over these past couple of weeks. Our parents all live a few hours away, so we don’t just get to see them all the time. My mom tries to come up a few times a year, and we see Michael’s parents every couple of months or so.
Now, the sweetest part of these visits is watching my girls love their grandparents. I am amazed at the instant bond they seem to have with each other- my shy, cautious little girl instantly gives hugs, kisses and cuddles as soon as they walk through the door. She cherishes any surprise they bring for her and takes full advantage of their willingness to play with her.
I just love the level of comfort that my babies automatically have with their grandparents, even though they don’t see each other all the time.
And of course, I love the level of silliness that only a grandpa can incite! 🙂