Thursday, July 28, 2016

Friday Favorites on Thursday: Last Week of Summer Edition

This week has been a challenging one. We've just experienced lots of ups and downs. The boys have been fighting and terrible one minute and perfect and best friends the next. Layton is having bedtime trouble and waking up too early, plus he's just going through a super high maintenance phase right now. Austin has been sick and not feeling or sleeping that great. We've been on an emotional roller coaster gearing up for back to school. It's just been a crazy week. But today is our last day of summer and we are hoping and planning for a great one! Despite the challenges of the week, we've had some fun, sweet, really great moments too.

Here are our faves...

*Last Friday morning we made our last trip to the library for the summer. I limited them to 2 books each and we participated in the guessing game and had a fun little trip. Austin even won the prize for the correct guess! We enjoyed the summer reading program. 

*Riding home from Papa's and Granna's in the front seat of daddy's truck Saturday night. The boys thought this was the best thing ever. =) #perksoflivinginthesameneighborhood 

*Our Bay-Bay girl is enjoying her new bed! Even if she did experience a major down-size. =)

*The boys and I made a Target run on Monday morning and then I surprised them with a trip to CFA for lunch and play time. The ride down (our Target is 40-45 minutes away) was terrible because the big boys LOST THEIR MINDS, but thankfully we salvaged our trip with good behavior and a good time. Phew.

*Last Summer Family Game Night! Hungry Hungry Hippo was a hit! We laughed a lot. =)

*Our final morning swim of the summer was pretty fun. These 3 have loved their pool time this month. We're looking forward to having our very own in the future!!

*A rare moment of late afternoon, post-nap/rest time calm. Ahhh. Mama savored it. =)

*The boys have enjoyed lots of table time coloring all summer but this week Layton has actually NOT drawn all over himself or put markers in his mouth and changed the color of his tongue or made a huge mess OR had to leave the table for time-out. Yay!!! This particular moment was captured while I was making supper. So thankful for sweet, peaceful moments while I'm cooking. We even listened to music together. It was the BEST. =)

*My favorite table-time coloring creations this week.... Garrison's Avengers!! Do you recognize them all? Top, left to right: Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye. Bottom, left to right: Black Widow, Falcon, Thor. I just love them. 

*During rest time yesterday the boys and I read the Rainbow Fish (one of Austin's library books for the week) and then made our own. Crafting is messy and a lot of work... and I was definitely reminded of that yesterday, but I think they enjoyed making it and are loving seeing their fish on the fridge.

*My favorite photo-bomber. =)

*Favorite Not-Pictured Moments: A successful Open House!! Both boys are so excited to be at the same school this year and they both had great impressions of their teachers and classrooms. I'm covering this entire school year in lots of prayer and looking forward to all the boys will learn and experience in 2nd grade and PreK. 

*Also... my mom hosted our family and Anna's family last night after Open House and cooked a huge back to school feast for everyone! We enjoyed it so much and had the best time together.

Tomorrow is the 1st day of school! We're all loving a Friday first day. =) So that means today is our last day of summer and we're going to enjoy it to the fullest. We don't have anything big planned, just a little back to school fun. And this weekend we have absolutely nothing on the agenda! We're hoping for laziness, extra rest, lots of downtime, and some fun at home. Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Summer In Review: Different, Busy, Fun

Summer is coming to a close for the Selph household and we're currently experiencing all the emotions because of it. *Sigh* We are just going to miss summer oh so much.

Even though this summer has been a little different for us (I started tutoring, we've had a slightly busier schedule, we had to make a big and last minute decision about where Austin would attend PreK, and I was awaiting/searching/stressing over potential jobs for the new school year), it has been full of some wonderful  memories and fun-filled adventures. We have enjoyed it soo much. Even the weekly trips to buy groceries and all of the challenges of fighting boys and non-stop craziness have been worth it. I have a brand new appreciation for summer now that I have 1 boy (almost 2!) in big school and have experienced school year busyness and exhaustion. I cherish summer days with my boys and this summer was no exception.

Time to recap. Our summer in review...

*For the first time ever we kicked off summer and Memorial Day weekend with a trip to the beach! Even though we were worn out from end of school craziness, we had a great time and really loved our summer kick-off with the Selph side. =)

*After returning from our trip, I finished up my days with Baby A, planned to start tutoring 2 mornings a week, started potty training Layton, and enjoyed a fun "water day/night" with the boys.

*The big boys participated in their first summer camps and really enjoyed themselves! Garrison loved baseball camp and Austin enjoyed swim lessons with friends. The commitments were brand new to us and our start to summer was busy but I know the boys would say it was all worth it. =)

*Terrell and I enjoyed an amazing anniversary trip to the beach to celebrate 11 years of marriage! It was definitely one of our favorite trips ever and the boys loved their fun-filled weekend with their grandparents.

*We had a great time sharing a favorite summer tradition with Layton and the whole fam went to the Braves game! It was super challenging with our 2 year old in tow, but also lots of fun and memory-filled. =)

*We endured a stretch of busy summer days and then enjoyed a happy, busy, (and kinda sick for me) Father's Day Weekend.

*We loved our field trip to Dauset Trails with Granna, AnAn, and Piper! Another favorite summer tradition that we were excited to share with newbies. =)

*Then we enjoyed a wonderful week at the beach and our best family vacation ever! (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) We fell in love with St George Island, Florida and can't wait to go back! This is one of the first summers I can remember that I've actually missed the beach so much I wished we could go back in the same summer. This is big deal when you're talking about vacationing with littles! It was that special.

*We returned from vacation to a long weekend and pretty great 4th of July. We also took the boys to see Finding Dory. Terrell and I will laugh about it one day, but Layton Selph made sure it wasn't a lazy, relaxing trip to the movies... and that we didn't really see the movie we paid for. Ha.

*The week of the 4th is also the week Ms. Debbie so graciously invited us to use her pool. We've enjoyed her pool lots the 2nd half of summer and I can tell a huge difference in the boys' swimming and confidence because of the opportunity to swim weekly. Garrison is now a strong swimmer and all over the pool, Austin is more confident, doesn't mind getting his face wet, and doesn't mind going under, and Layton has learned to kick and get around the pool in his float like a pro. I don't even have to be in the pool with them every single second. Having a pool to visit regularly has been awesome.

*We took a really fun trip to the Georgia Aquarium and loved our under sea adventure with Granna, AnAn, and Piper. =)

*In July we enjoyed game nights, building with blocks, library visits, reading time, coloring at the table, movie nights, mornings at the pool, afternoon TV shows, a housewarming party, and making over our master bedroom.

*The big boys had a ball with their grandparents and cousins while Layton soaked up extra fun, attention, and quality time with mama and daddy.

*Then we enjoyed our last big summer weekend full of water park fun, fishing, swimming, celebrating AnAn's birthday, and fro-yo. =)

We have had a great summer. I have really, really loved tutoring (and I'm so excited to continue through the school year!), we potty trained Layton (wooohooo!!), we had some lazy days and some busy days, experienced some firsts, and enjoyed some favorite summer traditions.

Now things haven't been easy, breezy all summer... we've definitely had some low moments. Think anxious mama due to all the decisions hanging over us most of the summer plus fighting, ugliness, drama, lost tempers, lost patience, tears, meltdowns (by all of us), the works. But all in all, this summer was a really great one. Slightly different for us but still really wonderful. We have it enjoyed it so, so much and it's hard to see it go.

HOWEVER, we are focusing on the positive! Going back to school was never my favorite growing up, but now that I'm a mama I know it's up to me to rally the troops and get everyone somewhat excited and to set the tone with a good attitude and joyful outlook. So this year we're doing something a little different to get us pumped up. Nothing big, just mama being intentional about getting everyone motivated and looking forward to the brand new year. Little things that will hopefully add up to big things. =)

Today is a BIG day... Open House for both of my big boys. This year I'll have a big 2nd grader AND a big PreK-er. Oh my heart!! Let the excitement, good attitudes, and joy-filled happenings begin!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Big Summer Weekend Recap

This weekend was our last weekend of summer and we enjoyed lots of big summer fun! Terrell and I planned a few special outings for the boys and were officially worn out after all the fun, but we managed to find some down time this weekend too. Our big summer weekend was a big success and definitely worth the exhaustion. =) 

Friday afternoon Terrell got off work early and we took the boys to a nearby mini water park. We wanted somewhere close, not too expensive, not too big or crowded, and a place the whole family could enjoy. It turned out to be the perfect "water park" outing for everybody!

All 3 boys loved the kiddie section but this was definitely Austin's favorite. It wasn't so shallow that he couldn't swim but wasn't deep enough to be intimidating or for him to need any extra help. By the end of the afternoon he was going under and actually swimming with his face down. If you know Austin, you know this is a HUGE deal for him. 

They had so much fun!

The water slide was another big hit!! If you look at the top of the slide you can see Terrell getting ready to take Layton down. Baby boy was adamant about doing the water slide!

He did the water slide more than any other member of the family. He was smitten. We started counting how many times we slid down with him and Terrell estimated 15 times and I estimated 20+ times. Hahaha. The water slide was his clearly his favorite. =)

We even talked our middle into trying it out! Austin enjoyed it and went down a handful of times but he wasn't in love like Layton. Haha.

Garrison really enjoyed everything. He even jumped off both diving boards several times. 

I've jumped off the high dive before and once you're up there, it is high. We were pretty proud of how brave he was. All 3 boys showed some bravery Friday afternoon. =) We had the best time. 

We crashed Friday night (I. Was. So. Tired. Ha! We had so much fun!!)

Saturday morning we woke up and took the boys on a surprise outing (we actually let them guess on Friday night).... we went fishing!!

We have family who live about 35 minutes away who have always invited us to come fish and swim (in their pool not the pond, ha) but we've just never had a good opportunity to do it or haven't made it a priority. But the big boys got fishing "gear" for Christmas so we knew we wanted to prioritize a trip this summer. And Saturday was the day!

My parents went with us as they are the fishing experts and thank goodness we had their help. It was a little stressful at first trying to get all the boys set up and ready to fish. Once everyone was settled, things started off slow. Plus hot. Haha. Fishing definitely requires patience and I think Garrison and Austin both did great given their ages.

Layton tested things out too but then decided he needed some other entertainment. We walked around quite a bit and then gave up and let him swim. =)

I was really proud of this little man. He hung in there for a looonng time waiting on a bite. 

Garrison had the most patience and it eventually paid off!

Garrison's first fish!!! Yay!! We were starting to wonder if either one of the boys would catch one. Our biggest spent most of the morning going back and forth between the pool and fishing and had so much fun.

Austin and Layton loved seeing Garrison's fish!

They even touched it. =)

Layton actually got out of the pool to fish before the morning was over! 

And Garrison caught another fish!!

Granna and Papa caught several as well and the boys were pretty proud of their catches of the day! (Mama on the other hand was hot and feeling sick. I don't have much tolerance for the heat and Saturday reminded me of that again. Even after being in the pool most of the morning. Plus fishing isn't my sport. Ha! But I'm so glad I could experience this first with my boys and I'm super thankful for how much they enjoyed our morning.)

Saturday night we went out for AnAn's birthday!

We had such a fun night together and ate good and laughed hard. Plus these cousins were the sweetest. =)

Sunday morning Austin and Layton woke up with bad runny noses and coughs so they stayed home with daddy while Garrison and I went to church. We ended up leaving after the first hour but Garrison was thankful he decided to go. 

Meanwhile these 2 perked up and went grocery shopping with daddy. =)

We enjoyed a lazy afternoon at home before heading out to shoe shop for our big boys and then fro-yo as a special treat. A big hit for the whole fam. 

We wrapped up our weekend at the prayer walk for our schools last night. The Sunday before school starts our church always hosts a community prayer walk for our school system and individual schools. This was our 2nd year to participate and we plan to do it every single year. To quote our superintendent, I am so thankful to be part of a community that loves children and believes in prayer. LOVE our small town and love this tradition. To see so many from our church and schools, and others from our community that I don't even know go out to each of our schools and board of education praying for the students, teachers, staff, and the entire school year is just a huge blessing. The boys prayed some pretty special prayers last night standing outside of their school too. It's special tradition for me as a parent and I know God heard his people and all of the prayers prayed last night. #thankfulforourcommunity #thankfulforourschoolsystem 

Our last big summer weekend was a blast!! This week we're going to enjoy our last days of summer and prepare for the brand new school year. Have a great Monday!