Friday, January 30, 2015

5 (or 6) on Friday

1) Hair Cut
Last week I got my hair cut and highlighted. I feel like a new woman! Does anyone else out there feel invigorated with a new hair cut and color? I had not had a highlight in about a year and when I saw pictures of myself during the fall I always disliked the dark hair color on myself.

So I bit the bullet and chopped my hair to a long bob and added a full head of highlights. I love it! Is it weird that it totally energizes me? It makes me want to do my hair and put on make-up instead of spending all day in my sweats with little to no effort spent on myself. I realize appearance isn't everything, but it's just what I needed to get through the dreary, freezing cold days of an Ohio winter.

2) Girls Weekend
A few weeks ago I got to spend the weekend with some of my favorite people! Me and four of my college friends from Taylor got together for the 1st time in over 5 years (I was pregnant with Sawyer last time we were all together).

We had so much fun and it was is always so refreshing to spend time with people who know you so well. We may not have seen each other in 5 years, but we picked right back up like no time had passed (though there was lots of catch up as we had 2 weddings and 7 children born during that span).

My college roommate, Drew, graciously hosted at her house in Indianpolis. We arrived on Friday evening and enjoyed dinner at her house and hours of chatting and catching up. Saturday morning we traveled an hour north to Taylor. Our 1st stop was English Hall, our home away from home. We wanted to be the old ladies who stop by their old wing and reminisce with the current college students living in their old room. Unfortunately, no one was around (they were all ice skating :). So, we moved on and did a walking tour of the campus including my first visit to the new science center and the memorial chapel built in honor of those who passed away in the accident in 2006. We also ate lunch at Ivanhoe's...because of course! And the ice cream was as good as I remembered!

my mouth is still watering

Drew, Sarah and Hannah on our old wing
Me and Drew at our old room
Walking that very familiar sidewalk
our attempt at a group selfie

Visiting one of my favorite places with some of my favorite people
Saturday evening we headed to downtown Indy and ate at a fun tapas restaurant. Then we returned home for more chatting. Sunday we went to church and when we returned our final mate. We spent the remainder of the day taking a walk, catching up with our newest arrival, doing a craft (we made boot socks!), eating cupcakes and watching football.

Monday we relaxed, ate some more, played a new game (Ticket to Ride) and generally just enjoyed each others company. We all departed for home on Monday afternoon. We stayed up way past my bedtime every night, but it was so refreshing to have some kid-free time and to spend time with girls I adore!

And a huge thank you to my mother-in-law, Sheila, for flying out and watching the kids so I could go!

3) Cinderella's House
One night I was trying to get Nora in bed and she was stalling. She was melting down and crying. I asked what was wrong and she wailed, "we didn't go to Cinderella's house!" Well this was a new my haste to get her to sleep I said we might be able to go to Cinderella's house tomorrow. Big mistake, huge! She will not let it go...each day she asks to go to Cinderella's house. I've asked her if she wants us to We tried renting the movie to see if that would appease her...nope. She really wants to meet Cinderella and/or see her castle/house. Short of visiting Disney World any suggestions for visiting Cinderella's house? At this point she is happy saying we can go to Cinderella's house in August or I guess we've bought ourselves some time ;)
We went to the library to see if that was Cinderella's castle…obviously it was not!

4) School Search
We are currently in the throes of deciding when/if and where Sawyer will go to school next year. We are debating whether he will attend preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten. Half-day or full day? Public, private, charter? Traditional or Montessori? I can't believe he is old enough to even have this discussion! I also can't believe we have to make this decision in doesn't start for another 6 months!

I went to a kindergarten informational meeting at his current preschool, which is also a private grade school. I was very impressed with their program and would love for Sawyer to continue there, but it is a private school so finances are part of the equation. Then we visited a local charter school that is Montessori based. I was pleasantly surprised by our visit. I liked the smaller environment, it is technically a public school so it would be free, it's half-day, etc...but there is a lottery to get in so it may not be an option. Then next week we have the kindergarten registration at the public school. I'm trying to withhold any decisions until we check out the public school, but some things I'm concerned about is the all-day kindergarten and to be honest I do not know anyone who goes to this school so I have no frame of reference (and that makes me nervous). I'm just praying for the Lord's direction and clarity about the decision. Strangely enough I'm not really that worried about Sawyer. I know he is ready for kindergarten, but I am nervous about making these decisions for him because it could affect the rest of his schooling years...

Funny side story...his pre-school teacher pulled me aside the other day and told me after she did his kindergarten readiness test she said "Sawyer, I think you are about ready for kindergarten." Sawyer's response, "Yep, I was born ready!"

5) Flash Died

Kyle drives a 1985 Toyota of January 1st his truck turned 30 years old! When we returned home from Christmas break it became very apparent that Kyle's truck, lovingly named Flash, was on it's last leg. For several months it would not shift out of 2nd gear. And on January 5th the engine started, but it wouldn't go anywhere. The transmission died in the Malone parking lot. The truck served us well for 5 made the trek from KS when we moved, it was a huge help as we renovated an entire house, it served the football team well hauling equipment to and from practice each day and the kids adored getting to take special rides in Flash with Daddy.

I'm not really that sad about the truck, but I am sad about buying a "new" vehicle. I abhor spending money on cars, but alas in these brutal winter months (when a bike isn't an option) it is needed. So we are on the hunt for a new vehicle. While Kyle would love another truck our priorities are low miles and something that will fit the whole family. So we've narrowed our options down to a Toyota Camry. Kyle test drove one vehicle, but we would like to drive a few more before we decide. One complication is Kyle works everyday, several evenings a week and every weekend during recruiting our opportunities to find a car are few and far between. Right now it's working to share 1 vehicle, but it can be a hassle. Praying we find a good option in our price range soon!

6) 9th Anniversary
We celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary on New Year's Eve. Well we didn't actually celebrate because we were still traveling and spending time with family. When we returned home we quickly scheduled a babysitter for a night out. We went to PF Chang's for a nice dinner. Nothing too exciting, but when you have 3 kids 4 and under a dinner out, alone is pretty exciting!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


These 2 brothers just happen to have the same shirt in sizes that currently fit, so I couldn't help myself.

and of course Nora had to join the action too

And anytime I pull out the camera Sawyer has to take a pic, he did a pretty good job :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

A New Year

I realize January is almost over and many people have long since dropped their new year's resolution, but I'm just getting around to processing mine. So, bear with me...this isn't technically a resolution, but rather a change in perspective.
this picture has nothing to do with the post, but I had to include a picture
About a week before Christmas Sawyer asked a few seemingly simple questions. As I contemplated my response I was struck by the profoundness and timeliness of these questions (at that time we were focused on the Advent season and Christ's birth). His out of the blue questions were:

Why do we have hands?
Why do we have a voice?

As I thought about my response I began with the simple answer (so we can talk to each other, etc). Then I attempted to expound further as I explained how God created hands to do His work and he created voices so we could worship Him and proclaim His name to the world. It was a quick moment in time and I pray that I used it as a teachable moment. Sawyer was quickly distracted and proceeded his typical jumping off the walls or Lego building.

But I couldn't get his questions out of my head. Thanks to my (then) 4 year old son as we prepared to celebrate Christ's birth I was struck by Christ's entrance into the world, how he lived his life and used his hands and voice to glorify his Father!

So with that theme in mind my new years goal is to practically use my hands (service to others) and voice (glorify God, proclaim his name, be kind and encouraging with my words, etc) for His glory!

my favorite people
I realize this goal is somewhat abstract, but I'm trying to put it in practice at home with humble service to my family and taking advantage of those teachable moments with my children. I also want to model this for my children, so during the Lenten season we will be doing a random act of kindness each day. Several of my FB friends did this during the Christmas season and I thought it was a great idea, but in all honesty I was trying to keep our Christmas season simple this year, so we could focus on our family Advent time each evening. But I loved the idea and it fits perfectly with demonstrating the hands and voice of Jesus to others. So I'm looking forward to putting together a calendar for our random acts of kindness and my prayer is that it will turn into a joyful habit we all have!

Lord, thank you for sending your son to this earth. Thank you for the example of his hands and his voice. May my hands and voice be a reflection of His light!

Friday, January 23, 2015


 I can't believe my first born is 5! On one hand I can't remember life without him, but on the other hand 5 seems so old!

Sawyer currently loves all things Lego. He is terrific at building creations using the directions, but he can also use his imagination and come up with his own designs.

His favorite shows are Octonauts and Handy Manny.

He loves to play games (board, video, active, anything and everything).

He is great at puzzles.

He loves tools and building/fixing things.

He could live outside.

He still loves to snuggle with his momma and will ask for snuggles nearly everyday.

He is quick and likes to hang on things like a monkey.

He is quick to laugh and his smile brightens the room.

He hates taking pictures.

His favorite food is PB & J

We recently had his annual well check. It was the 1st time he has been to the doctor since his last well check (last January), so I would say we have a healthy little guy on our hands.

Speaking of little…he weighs 33 lbs. 8 oz. (5%) and is 40.5 inches tall (8%). This pretty much tracks with his growth curve…he is just small.

This kid makes us jump for joy!

Other notable tidbits from the appointment:

We discussed my concern that he has not yet chosen a hand to write with. The doctor found that a little odd, so he performed a few tests (i.e. throwing a shoe, etc). The doctor concluded that his skills seemed age appropriate and while rare there is a good chance he will be ambidextrous. I think this may serve him well later in life, but at this point in his fine motor development it's important that he picks a dominant hand to help improve his writing skills. I'm not too concerned, but he is my 1st so of course I over analyze everything ;)

Recently we noticed Sawyer wasn't hearing well. We guessed it was a build-up of wax, because this has happened before and he hadn't been to see the doctor in a year. We were correct. Both ear canals were completely blocked making it difficult for him to hear. The doctor was unable to get the wax build-up with his tools, so the only other option was irrigation…Sawyer has had medicine in his ears and didn't mind it so I figured he would have no problem. Well I was wrong! He did not like the water in his ear, but once we started we needed to finish for the sake of his hearing. The doctor was able to remove 1 "plug" of wax, but we left the other so as not to traumatize him too much. We've already seen a marked improvement in his hearing.

And finally, he had to have an MMR vaccine. I didn't tell him until the last minute as the nurse was standing over him with the needle. He was scared for a second, but he sat still for the shot. There were a few tears after the shot, but overall he was very brave.

I told him how proud I was for being so brave and he looked at me with an angry face and declared, "I was NOT brave, I was scared and I cried!" Then we had a talk about the definition of bravery and in the end he conceded, "Maybe I was a little brave."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pre-K {1st Semester}

Sawyer has really blossomed in his 2nd year of preschool. He loves being in the 4's class! We love his school and his teachers!
Here's a look at some of his creations and some shots from his class:
Leaf man creation

an owl made of objects found on a nature walk

button apple tree
 One week the class read the book "Chrysanthemum" and they discussed the origin of their own name and how their name is perfect for them!

Before Thanksgiving break Sawyer gifted us with this hand-crafted book. The cover features his hand-written name, his hand turkey and the handle demonstrates the pattern making skills they have been learning.

We are so thankful for this boy, his teachers and all he is learning

an original Sawyer painting for his momma
And now some shots from his classroom. At the beginning of the year his teacher set up a class account on the Remind app and she takes several pictures each day for the parents to see. Most of these pictures are posted from his teachers.

This picture (see him in the orange hard hat?) was taken during his orientation, he fit in immediately

Dr. Sawyer

a huge tower made with teamwork

Nora loves to visit…here they are during singing time

Sawyer was so excited when I was the mystery reader at school

The thankful tree in November

the sensory table

proud of their tower

With his 2 teachers…he adores them