Happy Birthday to Chaz!

I can’t believe our sweet, cuddly, loving, and funny middle son turns 3 tomorrow! He is very proud of the fact that it is his birthday and keeps telling us, “I am turning ‘Free’, not Four, ‘Free.'” It’s pretty cute. He also declared that he is the only one that gets to blow on his candle…. not “E” (his name for Bradford). You can tell he’s a middle brother, who is always being asked to share as he declares with fact that it will be his birthday and his candle to blow!

Chaz has grown so much this year. He talks all the time at home, but not much in public, so we are privileged to see him and know him where he leaves mystery and a shyness to others. He loves his brothers, and is sweet and affectionate with them both. We will often see him trying to hold Bradford’s hand while we’re out, and I am not surprised to find him hugging Sam often. He handles his position as middle brother well, and definitely has some fight in him to defend himself against the dynamics of being sandwiched between two other boys. He sure knows how to hold onto his toys!

His favorite things right now are Cars, Planes, and Trains. He loves characters from books and movies, and loves to talk about Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen the most. He is dangerously comfortable in the water swimming, and has full confidence that he can swim by himself even though he definitely cannot. He is a good eater and follows in his Dad’s footsteps with his love for sausage, potato chips, and fruit. Andy once told me that if that was his lunch every day, he would be happy and I am pretty sure Chaz feels the same way.

We are so proud to call this little guy our son, and are delighted to celebrate his three years of life with him tomorrow!
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The Beach in pictures…

We were so excited to get to go to the beach for a week to celebrate Riri’s birthday, and to get some time with family.  The week was full of the pool, playing in the sand, eating at some fun restaurants, and a visit from our Orlando cousins at the end of the week.  It was a great week!

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The past few weeks…

It’s been a fun few weeks around here, as we have enjoyed the adventures of summer and  the joys of our growing boys.  The past few weeks I feel like I can sum up with this picture:

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Whether we are home, at  park, friends house, or traveling, it seems like it’s been a summer filled with bathing suits (or just underwear) and water play.  We started swim lessons with the boys, which have been really fun.  And almost every day, we are in bathing suits, sometimes twice a day.  The boys have spent a lot of time playing with the hose, and just enjoying themselves in these buckets.  They are at really fun ages right now, and are full of life and energy.

Other events that have happened included a super fun visit with cousins.  The boys could not handle the excitement and must have asked a million times if it was the day their cousins would arrive at our house.  We had a great time, and loved having some of our family from Georgia come down south to visit.

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We had our washer break, and were so thankful for our sweet neighbors who let us do laundry at their house for a few days.  It’s amazing how much laundry we do with just the 5 of us, and how quickly it builds up!  I think the boys must change their clothes at least 2 times a day, sometimes 3.  Chaz seems to constantly be changing his clothes!  So, this is how we made it through a few days, going back and forth across the street with my little laundry helpers:

DSC_0297We also found out we have to move, as the house we are currently renting was listed for sale and sold within 48 hours.  So, we are bummed and still looking for a place to move to in a month…yikes!

Then, we spent the last week doing separate trips.  Andy spent a week in Tennessee with high schoolers.  He was the speaker for a camp for a week, and although I wasn’t there, I am sure he did an awesome job.  The boys and I loaded up and headed for a beach vacation for the week with my parents and sister.  We had such a fun time!  The boys loved all the time with Riri and the weekend we got with Pop and their Aunt L.  More pictures of the beach trip to come next…

 

It’s a Girl!!

I am still a little shocked by our news… when the ultrasound tech told us we were having a girl, my first question was “Are you sure?”  She confirmed, and I sat in a stunned silence, soaking up the rest of the ultrasound and staring at our newest addition on the screen with a thankful and joyful heart.  We talked on the way into the appointment, both agreeing that we were going to be happy either way and that we feel blessed to be given another life to raise.  We both were anxious to hear the dr. say that the baby was healthy and were excited about learning the gender.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t hope for a girl.  I love my boys.  And I would love another boy if that is what we were given.  But I do feel filled with joy and blessed to have been given a daughter.

Andy and I left the appointment excited and overwhelmed with joy.  We stopped and bought our little girl her first 2 dresses, and the boys each a train as a present.  I stood looking at all those little dresses, and it hit me that this is now going to be a part of our world.  The boys were really funny when we told them.  Bradford was really sweet and excited, and Chaz initially cried and said he wanted it to be a boy.  They were all really excited about their train!  They are now mostly concerned about where she will sleep, and if she will still get to share a room with them.  I am looking forward to seeing how they react to having a baby sister, and excited about all she is going to add to our family.

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Summertime Update

The summer here is following it’s usual pattern of being really hot… so we have been enjoying ourselves by spending a lot of time in the water.  The boys have started swim lessons, which are going really well and super fun for them (and us!)  Andy and I have loved watching them learn new skills and have enjoyed getting them in the pool each week.  They are a little over-confident though!  Both older boys are confident that they can swim by themselves, when really neither of them are ready for that!

We’ve had some fun playing at the beach, getting ice cream, and the boys are enjoying their summer hair cuts.  Both B and C got buzzes and Sam got a short cut for summer, which makes them all look so grown up!

Andy put on a week-long summer camp for the youth group kids, which was a huge success.  He has also preached this month and rocked it!  So it has been fun and exciting to watch him excel in his job and do such great work.  We go tomorrow for an ultrasound to check up on the new baby, and will find out what the gender is… so that is exciting!

Here are a few pictures from the past couple of weeks…

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A trip to Atlanta, 2 weddings, and a lot of fun family time

We just got back from a trip to Atlanta, which was a whirlwind of fun and activity.  We always leave feeling thankful for the richness of the family relationships we have there, and recalling the memories made and fun had.  It never feels like we have enough time to see everyone that we would love to see! We started off the trip by going to a friend’s wedding and catching up with some good high school friends.  Then we got to spend the week enjoying connecting with family members and being a part of the wedding festivities for my sister-in-law, Hannah.  We are so thankful for the time we had with members of each of our families!

The boys had a great time hanging out with their cousins and grandparents.  They loved swimming in the cousins pool:DSC_0250 DSC_0257 DSC_0259 DSC_0262 DSC_0275 DSC_0278 DSC_0283 We had a great visit with Grammy and always cherish the time we get with her:DSC_0284 DSC_0292 The boys loved exploring in the woods at Pop and Riri’s house, getting to roast marshmallows, and loved spending time with their grandparents and cousin, Olivia:DSC_0298 DSC_0301 DSC_0304 IMG_2174 All the 4 year old’s got to be the ring bearers and flower girls in Aunt Hannah’s wedding.  They all did an awesome job, and were so sweet and adorable:IMG_2190 The flower girls at the Bridesmaids lunch:IMG_2192 We had a fun night out as sisters celebrating Hannah before the wedding:IMG_2194 Hannah was a beautiful bride!:IMG_2197Congrats to Hannah and Gordon!!!  We were honored to be a part of her big day and loved all the wedding festivities.

A few pictures from the last week…

I realize I’ve not been great about updating this blog recently… Most days, my brain feels done by the end of the day and I just can’t think of much of anything to say.  There are lots of funny, entertaining, and sweet moments with our kids that I don’t want to forget and I do wish I was better at recording.  But I do realize that a little updating is better than none at all… so here are a few pictures and moments captured from the last couple of weeks:

We had a great trip to Orlando last weekend, and we loved visiting with the cousins.  I waited until the last minute to tell the boys that we were leaving for Orlando, and I wish I could have recorded their reaction.  They were so excited and thrilled!  Bradford immediately ran and got his backpack, packed his bed friends and blanket and did not take his backpack off until we left.  He could not wait to get there to have a sleepover!  We had a great time visiting with family, got to watch the twins soccer game, and ate some delicious food.  DSC_0263 The snow cones were a big hit:DSC_0269 IMG_2147 We  came home and had so much to celebrate.  Andy’s 30th birthday and Mother’s Day fell on the same day this year.  We could not feel more blessed to have these 3 wonderful sons and another baby on the way, and enjoyed celebrating these holidays with the boys.  I love that I get to be their mom:DSC_0246 IMG_2131IMG_2133 IMG_2134The boys and Andy on his birthday.  They were really excited to give him the presents they picked out for him.  We took a trip to the dollar store, and it was hilarious to see what all they picked out.  I think he ended up with 3 shovels, 3 rakes, a frisbee, a bat and a new ball, and 2 water guns.  I guess it shows they like to play with him outside!IMG_2150 DSC_0275 DSC_0272