five favorites (09/11)

I really meant to write this on Friday… but it just seems like it’s getting harder to find time to get on the computer these days. Better late than never, as I always say!

ONE. Baking with my little ladies on Sunday mornings is one of my favorite things… ever! Now that the weather has cooled off and it’s basically autumn, my penchant for whipping up homemade jam… bread… muffins… brownies… or really anything, is strong! Getting these two involved in making strawberry freezer jam was super simple, and they loved having the leftover strawberries as smoothies afterward.

TWO. We’re pretty excited, because we just replaced the roof on our house! Between that and the new shutters, it looks so drastically different. The girls loved going outside and watching “the roof guys” working and seeing all their progress. (Also, can I just point out here that Kaelyn is totally Michael’s mini-me? They are so much alike in so many ways!)

THREE. With all the noisy hammering going on, we had some fun getting out of the house. We visited with friends and spent some time at the library. These girls love books, so they always want to bring home more than we could possibly carry. It’s also been fun helping Kaya to try reading some actual stories, instead of just the super silly ones in her phonics book. We also really love the library’s Lego table.

FOUR. I’m so proud of Kaya, because only about a month and a half into our kindergarten year, she’s already finished with half of her math program. Book A is complete! She absolutely loves doing math- she’d probably do these workbook pages all morning if I let her, but I try to slow her down a little to be sure she really understands the concepts. We’re on to Book B, and she’s so excited!FIVE. The other awesome thing about homeschool- being able to take all three of my girls outdoors any time we want for some cool, fresh fall air. I love seeing these babies together (and hey, having the playground to ourselves isn’t bad either)!Happy Monday!

five on friday (06/02)

ONE. We kicked off our week with celebrating Memorial Day! It was so nice to have Michael home for an extra day, and although we didn’t do too much of anything, I enjoyed having a little more family time. Michael did some work on the house (still replacing shutters), and I took the girls out for a walk and to the playground. I think Michael was glad to have some uninterrupted time to get things done, and hey, I always love playing outside with my kids. I love when Kaya asks me to swing with her.
Her new trick is “twisting around” on the swing and going in all different directions!

TWO. On Tuesday, the library in a neighboring town held a special petting zoo event, so we headed out to see the animals. It was so insanely busy there that people were parking and walking to it from far up the street, which meant that there really wasn’t a lot of time for each child to pet the animals. Kaya was in love with this little goat though, and she loved feeding her some grass.

THREE. We have our own zoo at home! What is cuter than a baby in a hooded animal towel?

FOUR. We also went to our library to get some new books and do the craft of the month. The girls made paper rainbows!

FIVE. As luck would have it, on the way home from the library, a real rainbow appeared in the sky! Kaya has been obsessed with rainbows for the past two years, and I don’t see her love for them ending anytime soon. After a little more rain, we actually ended up with a double rainbow and a very pink sky, which was so fascinating to Kaya and Kaelyn.

Fun fact: I loved rainbows as a kid too, and even used to painstakingly write the dates of my journal entries in rainbow colors. I can’t wait to show those to Kaya someday!

Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (04/21)

Whew! This has been a long, tiring week, and I’m so excited to get the weekend started!

ONE. This nerdy guy (and I say that as a compliment, because he loves his work, and I love that he enjoys what he does) headed to Austin, Texas, this week for Docker’s big developer conference. He had such a great time, but we most definitely missed him. When we would talk on the phone with him and then hang up, Kaya would cry, “Talking to Daddy makes me miss him even more!” Me too, kid. I feel a little lost when my best friend isn’t here.

TWO. Thankfully, Michael’s mom came up to help out and spend some time with us this week while he was gone. I was so grateful for an extra pair of hands, and that she could watch the kids so I could still have some time to myself to go running. We all love Grandma!

We did a lot of fun things with her, including reading at the library, swinging at the park, doing puzzles, visiting the vet, and going to Kangaroo Kids! I think we tired ourselves out. She also helped me rake and pull all the weeds in our garden so I can get some vegetable plants started here soon!

THREE. The teachers at Kangaroo Kids usually pull a new and different activity out of the closet each week, and this week, it was these jumping balls! Riding around on these was one of my favorite things to do in gym class in elementary school, but I had completely forgotten about them. Kaya and Kaelyn loved them just as much as I always did!

I found out they make them in adult size… can you imagine me hopping around my house all day long?

FOUR. This sweet baby girl has had a rough week. She went to the doctor for her shots, which always make her feel crummy for about a week, but then she came down with her very first cold on top of that. She’s been so congested, which makes nursing and sleeping a little difficult.On Wednesday, we had the roughest night of sleep since the day we brought her home from the hospital. I was so grateful my mom-in-law was there to hold her for a couple of hours so that I could get some sleep after being awake most of the night.

FIVE. Favorite Dollar Tree purchase ever- whale bubble machines! These have been so much fun! Scout wasn’t quite sure what to think of the bubbles!

Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (02/17)

ONE. Michael finished making his work desk/table this week! He’s really excited to have his own space for doing coding projects and using an extra monitor when he needs it. Naturally, Kaelyn had to try it out!

Kaya thinks it makes a pretty good fort for coloring.

TWO. We have a tendency to hold on to the same old library books for several weeks, but we finally went and chose some new ones! I love that the kid section also includes puzzles, Duplos, and coloring pages. Kaya put this giant puzzle together on her own!

THREE. We haven’t gone out for dinner in a few months, so last weekend, we enjoyed some Chinese food. This picture sums it all up perfectly- Kaya is too busy eating to stop for a photo, Michael has a mouthful of food, and Kaelyn is wild about eating Jello.

FOUR. I finished a local running challenge (complete 100 miles in January), and I finally got my free shirt last week! In summer, a hundred miles in a month is a piece of cake, but I’m actually pretty proud of getting it done in the winter… and I kind of forgot about it until the month was half over. Oops. Nella was pretty excited too! 

FIVE. I knew my kids were growing up fast, but who knew they were old enough to drive? Haha. They love pretending. Cutest little drivers ever.

five on friday (09/23)

Nothing too exciting has happened this week, but I’m soaking up all these calm, “mundane” moments before our world is completely rocked (in the best possible way!) by a baby so very soon!

Here are our top five:

ONE. Kaya got her first-ever pair of (clip-on) earrings this week! We took her to the mall on her real birthday and let her pick out whichever ones she wanted. She chose a set of butterflies! If she wanted her ears pierced, I’m completely okay with it- but she’s just not ready. Maybe in a few years!_mg_5255She’s been excited about them all week long… and I think they make her look at least 5 years older (even with this goofy grin)! 🙂_mg_5259

TWO. We played this “say and spray” alphabet game this week and my girls loved it. Luckily, Daddy came home just in time to finish writing out the alphabet so that I didn’t have to bend over this huge 36-week belly anymore!_mg_5258 _mg_5252

THREE. Suddenly, Kaelyn is saying many, many new words every single day. I absolutely love this little voice, and I’m grateful for improving our communication, too. Seriously, how sweet is the way she says “birthday”?

A video posted by Tara (@tarairwin) on

FOUR. We worked on the letter U for preschool this week, so of course, we had to make unicorns! Kaya was all over this since it involved using rainbow yarn, and Kaelyn actually put hers together without much guidance from me. I love any colorful crafts we can hang on the fridge._mg_5394

FIVE. We picked out some new library books this week. It’s hard to get them to narrow down their choices, and we always end up coming home with somewhere around 15 books these days. I love their enthusiasm for reading!09222016collage1

Happy weekend!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (07/29)

It’s the final Friday of July… Seriously, where has summer gone?

ONE. We had our last day at the pool this past Friday! As it turns out, management leased our old apartment, and we didn’t find out until we tried to sign into the pool and weren’t on the VIP list, haha! It was a little bittersweet- we love the pool, but we’ll be happy to get a refund check for half of the month’s rent in the mail soon.

TWO. Michael came up with the idea to wash the car for family night on Monday. Any activity that you can do in your swimsuit is an automatic hit- these girls loved it! Kaya was a great helper and loved spraying the car… and herself… and Kaelyn’s face… and me… 🙂_MG_4167 Soapy hands!_MG_4177 Kaelyn mostly played with the water table while Daddy and Kaya worked!_MG_4176

She could not have been more excited when it was finally her turn to try the hose!

THREE. Kaelyn sported her very first pigtails this week! She was delighted when she looked in the mirror and saw how she looked, and has wanted to wear her hair this way every day since._MG_4196_MG_4192

FOUR. My girls have really developed a love for the library this summer, and this week, we brought Daddy along with us! He helped them build this T-Rex puzzle (only to discover that the middle piece was nowhere to be found)! I love these simple family outings.

FIVE. I took the kids with me to my doctor appointment this week, and they were on their best behavior. I’m really thankful (and amazed) that they are generally so quiet and well-mannered in public.

We finished my appointment pretty quickly, so we stopped at the dollar store for some preschool supplies on the way home. I thought maybe there would be a fun treat for the girls there, and we lucked out- we found some Webkinz stuffed animals for $1! I spoiled them and let them each pick two (they have no idea that there’s an online game, but they are good-quality plushes, so we all like them)! We even splurged on some Ring Pops, and I think I chauffeured the two happiest girls in the world home. Every once in a while, it’s fun to “spoil” them and just enjoy their happiness.

Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

five on friday (10/16)

Happy weekend! 🙂

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._MG_9519 Can you tell that she was just a little bit excited? She loves to “do school”, and I’m honestly impressed with how quickly she’s learning and retaining information._MG_9514

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._MG_9539

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.