five favorites (06/23)

It’s not Friday, but I’m overdue for one of these posts! We’ve been off of school for a few weeks already, and despite mostly still being quarantined, we’ve been trying to make the most of our time at home. Luckily, it really doesn’t take much to keep these girls happy!

ONE.  We’ve had a lot of outside fun and have really enjoyed the sunshine. Nella and Eve love to draw with chalk and throw a ball back and forth together. It’s been fun to see them getting closer and spending more time interacting with each other, instead of just playing side-by-side. Kaya and Kaelyn are my little monkeys. They’ve probably spent hours up in this tree.TWO. Our local pools have closed for the whole summer, so we got a little inflatable one to try. It takes forever to fill, so I’m not sure how often we’ll be using it, but it’s a fun treat every once in awhile. The girls were so excited and had the best time playing in it, even if it’s really not much more water than they’d have in the bathtub!Kaelyn really wanted to wear her floaty. I love these sisters.I was really excited that Eve got to wear her panda swimsuit… my favorite!Nellie was blowing bubbles!THREE. The girls had been begging Daddy to take them camping! Because of all the rain we’ve been having, he decided to set the tent up in the basement. We couldn’t trust Eve to sleep anywhere but her crib, so I stayed upstairs with her, and he slept in the tent with the three oldest girls. There was a lot of silliness and not a whole lot of sleeping that night, but they had a good time. Eve’s face! She didn’t know she wasn’t staying yet!FOUR. We had a taco and ice cream sundae party to celebrate the end of the school year! Everyone was so excited to eat outside at the kid table. We also recently introduced the girls to hard taco shells, so they have been really loving those. Yes, it was Taco Tuesday!We gave them Magic Shell for the first time, too! It’s the simple joys.FIVE. Kaya, Kaelyn, and Nella have been saving up their allowance for months, and finally decided that they wanted some new Beanie Babies. We ordered them online and they came in the mail just in time to open after we finished our weekly chores.Nella picked this little dog, “Huey”, and has been completely obsessed with him ever since. Apparently, Beagle (her all-time favorite stuffie) is his mommy.Kaelyn chose this Unipuppy she saw at Joann’s months ago. Daddy calls it a “Puppycorn”, haha.Of course, Kaya chose this sparkly cat, Whimsy. I love seeing them enjoy things they’ve worked so hard for.Evie doesn’t get allowance, but she requested a picture anyway.Happy Tuesday!

five on friday (01/24)

We’ve had a lot going on the past couple of weeks, and to be honest, I haven’t felt much like writing here. I thought doing a “Five on Friday” might help me get back into gear. I have two memory cards full of DSLR photos to go through, but for now, I’m just going to share some quick and easy pictures from my phone.

ONE. We battled the stomach flu! By the time it went through all the kids, it was a whole week of sickness. It’s just awful seeing your babies feel so horrible, not to mention the amount of extra laundry and clean-up required. We made it through, and here’s to hoping we don’t see another stomach bug for a long time to come.TWO. Kaya has always loved Eve, but lately, they’ve really been playing together a lot more. Eve will jump into her arms, give giant hugs, and apparently, even enjoy a ride on her back. The older girls sometimes say, “I miss when Eve was a little baby”, but they really have been having a blast with her now that she’s a little bigger. THREE. Michael has been amazing in his recent calling as counselor to the Bishop, but he’s still adjusting to a new schedule. Meetings at 6:30 am mean that he is completely wiped out by 1 pm. He’s not a napper, but he has taken a few here lately. FOUR. What’s better on a cold, wintery day than a warm, snuggly puppy? Scout has really been my pal these past few weeks. She also turned 3 years old on January 9th (we have yet to get her a birthday gift)! FIVE. This little sweetie always keeps us smiling. She gets so excited over everything, even eating cereal! She’s such a good reminder of how even the simplest things can bring so much joy. HAPPY FRIDAY!

five on friday! (10/18)

Happy Friday! I have a lot of small things to share that have brought me so much joy this week, so I’m glad to squeeze this post in just before Friday ends. Little things really are my favorite.

ONE. I have to start with these adorable matching sisters! I know I’m biased, but come on… that ear-to-ear grin on Nella and Eve’s insanely-blue eyes? They are really becoming little buddies with a perfect sibling relationship, meaning that sometimes they play and hug, and other times, they push each other and fight over toys. I really love seeing them interact, and having them wear the same shirts that Kaya and Kaelyn wore four years ago just completely melts my heart. They’re my next inseparable duo, just like their oldest sisters. TWO. Kangaroo Kids started up again, and these girls could not be happier. I love seeing them jump, climb, balance, and pretend. Nella has started asking, “Go Bim Bam” when she wants to go to our class, because at the end, we usually sing a few songs, including this one called Razzama Tazzama. Watching her have fun is just the greatest.Eve is all over the place now, walking and climbing on everything. She really wants to keep up with her sisters.THREE. Kaya and Kaelyn have been making some pretty fun art lately. Kaya started this one out as a galaxy, but it somehow turned into a rainbow, as most of her creations do!

Kaelyn made this card for Kaya. It says, “Kaya, I hope you like this card. I love you Kaya.” She even made a little “frame” for it (they learned how to do that from Mr. Rogers), and attached a cute turtle at the bottom. She’s so thoughtful.

This one is from Kaelyn, to me. She drew me outside with flowers and a butterfly!Kaya has also been really into making these bubble/block letters. She sometimes writes notes on the magnadoodle board and leaves them for me to find.FOUR. I got to do a photo session for a family Michael knows through work this week, and we had a lot of fun. Michael met up with me on location so he could take the kids, but they ended up staying and playing with the other family’s little girl, which was a blast. We all went to dinner afterward, and I’m still excited about the dreamy lighting we had.Those little arms reaching around Daddy for a hug… ahhhh my heart!FIVE. Kaya came down with a cold on Thursday, so she’s done quite a bit of sleeping, and we’ve had modified school lessons. We even counted watching The Magic School Bus as science, which everyone really really loved!In between sleeping, she’s read over 100 pages of Because of Winn-Dixie. I’m so proud of my avid reader! She can’t wait to see the movie when she’s finished.Happy weekend!

five on friday (09/13)

Happy Friday! It’s been a much easier week than last, especially since all of our girls have gotten past the sickness that lingered around here for nearly two weeks. It’s such a relief that they aren’t congested anymore.

ONE. Our Nellie is officially a big girl now because she got her own comforter this week! We had already moved her into a “big bed”, but seeing her bed all made up like this really seals the deal. She was beyond excited when I pulled it out of the box and said it was for her! I would definitely be tempted to have a blush pink bedspread on my own bed if Michael hadn’t already vetoed it years ago, haha.

TWO. Bike rides near sundown are some of my favorite childhood memories, and I love seeing our girls enjoy them, too. Kaelyn is still kind of nervous to ride, but after about half a mile, she calmed down a bit and actually enjoyed it. Daddy passed us on the way home from work, and decided to go the rest of the way home with us. We were laughing about how funny it must have looked to any random onlookers that all the rest of us were getting some exercise and he was leisurely riding his moped.

THREE. We still have Halloween on our minds… and the girls already have their costumes picked out. They decided, all on their own, that they wanted to use costumes we already have from years past. We always buy them secondhand, anyway, but I’m excited to save a little time and money by not having to go costume shopping. Also, yay minimalism.

Plus, it doesn’t get cuter than this, anyway.FOUR. If we’re not talking about Kaya’s upcoming birthday or Halloween lately, it’s usually Uncle Karl and Kaitlyn’s wedding! Because they aren’t brides, I think it’s okay to show off their flower girl dresses. They all look so grown up and gorgeous that I might cry a little when they walk down the aisle. Eve has one, too, but she was asleep when we tried these on.FIVE. Sisters. These ladies are best friends 85% of the time, and I’m so grateful. Disputes do happen, though, like this morning, when one sister bit another on the face. It took a long time to get her to apologize, but eventually, hugs were given and giggles were heard. I love these happy faces.Please, girls, stay best friends forever.Happy weekend!

five on friday! (09/06)

Happy Friday, and happy September! I’m excited for fall, although, admittedly, I partly wish we could keep the summer sun and warmth forever. Still, we have a lot to look forward to here in the next few months, with birthdays, holidays, family visits, and my brother’s wedding!

ONE. As warm temperatures start to disappear, we’re preparing to say goodbye to our little container garden until next spring. I was surprised this week when Kaya and Kaelyn showed me this humongous cucumber that seemed to appear almost overnight!They were so excited to pick it! We shared it for lunch, and it certainly was fresh and tasty. I’m still so proud of these little ladies for growing these vegetables.

TWO. We’ve had a bit of a rough week and a half, with sickness lingering and spreading ever so slowly to each child in our family. Coughing, congestion, runny noses, body aches, and tiredness has gotten to all the girls now. Nella tucked Kaya in when she fell asleep on the couch, and even gave her her Kitty.Kaelyn’s bout only seemed to last a day, with a lingering cough.Nella has had it the roughest.When you don’t feel well, it’s perfectly acceptable to pass out in your chair at lunchtime.

THREE. Nella and Eve have had the best time being little buddies lately. They’ve been playing together, sharing snacks, and laughing at each other’s antics. As soon as their eyes were open on Monday morning, they couldn’t wait to sit by each other on Nella’s bed. I just love that they’re truly bonding now.

FOUR. Now that it’s September, we’ve already got Halloween costumes on our minds! The girls love dressing up all year long, though, so really, the only thing different on Halloween is that they get candy for looking cute.

Kaelyn became a “super unicorn”, and dressed her puppy (Pokie) up to match!Eve loves wearing anything on her head, and usually it’s these unicorn ears or a birthday crown.FIVE. Everyone loves to be like Daddy. When I saw Nella pretending to work on her laptop next to him, I just had to get a picture.

Happy weekend!

five favorites (05/19)

Happy Monday!!! I’m still making an effort to make these posts simpler so that I’ll write them more often. Here are a few fun recent moments!

ONE. We have been studying plants for the last few weeks and just wrapped up today! I decided to do something different than using a regular textbook for this unit, so I bought this set of lessons, labs, and powerpoints. It’s been a whole lot of fun for all of us! The girls are growing some lima beans in a bag, have learned about the plant life cycle, and are fascinated by carnivorous plants. They also really loved doing this pollination lab, where their fingers were insects, the juice box was nectar, and the cheese puff residue was the pollen.
The life cycle of a plant, according to Kaya. Notice the seeds dropping off on the last plant!TWO. We had our final Kangaroo Kids class last week. I’m always so sad to see it end for the summer! No one else in our class showed up, so we had the whole place to ourselves. Kaya built this little “ice cream shop”, and served her sisters (and me!) desserts for nearly the entire time. The balls were the scoops of ice cream. The green bucket was even “dairy free”, special for me. I just love her creativity.Kaya even built this little “seating area” you could go to after getting your ice cream. Nella was having a good time!THREE. The pink castle tent usually stays in the basement, but it’s been back in the living room for the past couple of weeks, so there’s been a whole lot of playing “house” and just generally hanging out in there. Even Evie loves it! Nella and Eve have been doing a lot more together lately, so I loved seeing them having a little party together in there.Nella is always taking care of a baby doll!FOUR. When you’re the size of a baby doll, you might just get a (nice, slow) ride in a doll stroller… Being the littlest sister seems to be the most fun!

FIVE. We watched the new Christopher Robin movie a couple of weeks ago. The girls loved it, and I cried the whole way through it. It was really well done! I found this sign in the big girls’ room after nap one day, and I just thought it seemed like something right out of the movie. The girls kept asking me if Heffalumps were real for a few days afterward, although they said this sign was to keep sharks away.

five favorites (04/01)

Happy Monday (and April Fool’s Day)! We haven’t played any tricks over here, but I’ve already been fooled by at least one online article today. Whoops!

Looking back on years past, my “five favorites” posts used to be a lot simpler and shorter… and I’m thinking I’d like to get back to that. Simpler posts might encourage me to make time to do this more often, instead of trying to block out enough time to write one very long post.

So, here’s to a new week, and a new month!

ONE. Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck came to visit our house! Kaya made me a special “Disney ticket” that I had to hand to them so I’d be allowed to greet them and take photos. Kaelyn wants to go to Disney so badly, but for now, I guess dressing up is a good alternative!

TWO. When reading with Daddy…
…turns into TICKLING!I just love how much Nels loves her Daddy. She’s his little buddy right now. There’s just something extra special about the age of two.

THREE. If you don’t know what Kaelyn is up to, she’s probably cuddled up with a book! She’s our newest little bookworm. She tries hard to read what she can, and if she can’t read it, she attempts to recite books from memory.

If she’s not reading a book, she’s very likely to be playing with Evie! Kaelyn spends time with her any chance she gets. They truly have a special bond.

FOUR. Kaya made a “teddy bear picnic” for her stuffed animals. It was the sweetest. She drove them over to the event in the stroller, lined them all up, and passed out their “baby bottles” (markers) and food.

FIVE. These baby ROLLS! Do I even need to say anything else? I just love her so much.

five favorites (03/02)

Happy March! I am so excited that we’re nearing the end of winter. Hopefully, most of the cold temperatures and snow are behind us now!

ONE. It’s been nice enough to go outside for walks a few days this week! Evie had her first stroller ride without having the car seat attached. She loved sitting up, looking around, and kicking her little feet the entire time. (Also, can we all just take a moment to admire those cheeks and her double chin? Definitely some of the best baby features. I just want to eat her up!)Our little “hoodlum” (what we call her when she wears this) was so glad to go outside, too. She always likes to wear this particular shirt because it has “a hat”!Kaelyn was excited to ride the tricycle for the first time! She made it about half a mile.
TWO. Kaya has started her first round of swim lessons! She always looks forward to it, and I’m so proud of how well she has adjusted to doing something completely new, with people she just met.

THREE. After she was always taking Kaelyn’s Minnie Mouse to play with, we finally got Nella one of her own. I ordered it online when Disney had a good sale, so when it came in the mail, we were all excited to surprise her.

Daddy started opening the box……and it was love at first sight.It was fun to have something special just for her.

FOUR. These sisters… are just crazy! They have moments when they fight or don’t get along, but the majority of the time, they’re best friends. They’re always coming up with some silly game to play, and I love seeing them do it all together. They were dancing (which looks a lot like running in circles through the house) while holding hands. These laughs are real! They also love hanging out in Kaya’s bed. Nella only stays up there for a few minutes (with Daddy or me supervising). Nella seems to think her big sisters are a little crazy! This one cracks me up.FIVE. Evie might be too little to run with her sisters, but she has a tummy time buddy! All the girls adore Eve, but Kaelyn has a special place in her heart for her baby sister. I think it’s because Eve is the only baby she remembers (and she also likes that their birthdays are close together)!I love these silly princesses.

five on friday (02/01)

Happy February!!! This is always one of my favorite months (it might have something to do with my birthday!), so there’s a definite air of excitement around here. This post is full of little moments from the week, which are always my favorites.

ONE. We had a tiny Dalmatian puppy living here this week… and apparently, this puppy knows how to drive a car!
Nella has been obsessed with this costume lately. It’s sometimes hard to convince her to not wear it for meals or nap time. So adorable!All that driving makes a puppy tired.We also had a cowgirl, walking her pet tiger around, one morning before school. I love seeing what they come up with.TWO. Speaking of school, our sweet Kaelyn has been working on Kindergarten material since the start of the new year. Suddenly, she just seemed ready, and more than eager, to do something a little more structured. She can read quite a bit, and she also loves working in her math book. She and Kaya started their own little competition to see who could complete more pages in their workbooks, which means that lately, they each do quite a lot!Another homeschool perk: getting to have lunch with your baby sister every day. Or maybe that’s not such a good thing, if the baby is trying to spill your entire plate onto the floor…THREE. Eve might not do schoolwork, but she decided to “work” on the toy laptop this week. She’s already following in Daddy’s footsteps!Really, though, she likes anything that plays music.Also… that little grin!!!I think I need 100 of her!FOUR. Nella asked to hold Evie this week, and it was just the most precious thing. She even shared the toy zebra she had been playing with. I love these sister photos so much, and I hope they will become the best of friends, just like Kaya and Kaelyn. CHEESE!Nella was also lucky enough to have a mini Daddy-daughter date this week. It was her first time pushing the little shopping cart at Food Lion, and she LOVED it! Beagle had a ride, of course.FIVE. We had a “slight” (compared to much of the U.S.) polar vortex this week, which meant that it was just perfect to let the girls stay in their jammies, and that always makes them so happy. Kaya also had a slight cold, so she enjoyed cuddling up with all the blankets and being so cozy.Kaelyn snuggled her best friend, Minnie! I am really hoping that we can take this girl to Disney one day.Happy weekend!

five on friday! (01/25)

Happy Friday!!! The day is almost over, but I’m glad to sneak in one of these posts before it ends! These simple little things are some of my favorites to look back on.

ONE. Evie had her first “snow” last week! I say “snow”, because it really ended up being more ice than anything else. Kaya and Kaelyn were so disappointed that it wasn’t right for playing in, but we still bundled Eve up just long enough to take a picture and head back in. She had no idea what was going on, but I still managed to get a smile!The first real snow of the season happened while Michael, Eve, and I were in Spain, so we missed that one.That’s a tired baby who really didn’t care that the outside world had turned into an icicle. (But oh, those cheeks of hers!)

TWO. I finally bought the girls some new dry erase markers, after a very long time without any (a certain 2-year-old someone was big enough to take the caps off the old markers, but still too little to put them back on, so they all dried out)! They have loved drawing on the whiteboard nonstop. I always love seeing what they make.

Kaya is still the queen of rainbows!She is also still obsessed with dinosaurs……and she is very ready for my birthday, which is still a few weeks away. I love how excited she gets for all celebrations.Kaelyn made some rainbow hearts……a dinosaur (Stegosaurus?)……a cute little turtle……and, a “statue” as named by her. The abstractness of this one reminds me of some of Picasso’s later versions of Las Meninas… seriously!

THREE. Over the past few months, the trees in our backyard have suddenly become the perfect hangout spot for cardinals. We’ve spotted up to six out there together, and amidst all this dreary brown and gray of winter, I’m glad to see those bright red birds out my window. They’re my mom’s favorites, too, so I always think of her. They are welcome to stop by anytime they please! The girls love watching them. FOUR. When everyone suddenly wants to squish together for a photo, I don’t miss the opportunity for anything! I love these girls so much, and I’m grateful for these rare, random moments when they’ll let me photograph them all together for a few minutes. I still can’t believe these girls are mine sometimes. Also, we’ve had several cuddly pajama days lately, especially with the recent frigid weather! I just love cute kids in jammies.FIVE. Because we like to keep things silly around here… huge play glasses on little kid faces crack me up! HAPPY FRIDAY!