Monday, February 27, 2017

Weekend Recap

We had a pretty sweet weekend and wrap up to our Winter Break. I'm pretty sure we are, for the most part, ready to take on this brand new week and jump into our new normal.... mama preparing to work full time and baseball season. Dum, dum, dum. Who am I kidding? We'll never be ready, we'll just do the best we can to adjust, enjoy, and make the most of it. =) 

Friday around lunch time we met Terrell for a quick trip to Walmart for a few items, mainly brand new helmets for our now bike-loving, bike-riding kiddos, then we had a lunch date at Taco Bell. And on Friday afternoon after nap time the boys and I went on a walk together to test out the new helmets. (Layton drove his tractor so technically his hand-me-down helmet wasn't needed.) This weather has made walking around our neighborhood my new favorite thing. 

Friday night we had leftovers and sandwiches before enjoying our first movie night in quite some time. 

Popcorn and snacks are always a big highlight of movie night. =)

Saturday morning we slept as late the boys would let us, 7:15ish, and I woke up to this! Oh my sweet, precious baby Layton! Baby fever strikes again!!

And now he's a big 3 year old helping daddy in the yard. =) We spent Saturday morning cleaning inside and then cleaning outside. The boys played and helped daddy with yard work while I ran some errands and bought groceries. 

Then on Saturday night we made yet another trip to Walmart for an exchange before meeting my side of the fam at La Purilla. Soo good and so much fun! 

Our family's new thing lately is looking at the stars at night. Anytime we get home after dark we make a point to gaze at the stars and really appreciate their beauty and our Creator. The boys actually laid in the driveway for 10 seconds or so looking at the stars Saturday night when we got home. My hands were full or would've taken a picture. I highly recommend star gazing. =)

Sunday morning was cold! So we bundled up and and went to church in our Winter clothes. Haha. My family humored me with another selfie. Sort of. Ha.

Unfortunately Sunday when we picked Austin up from SS, he wasn't feeling well, and sure enough he came home with a fever. Boo. He took some medicine and went straight to bed for almost 2 hours! He perked up after his nap and ate and played a little outside but we still aren't 100% sure about the school day today. And I have to work so trying to figure out a plan for him hasn't been fun. Something I'm definitely not looking forward to when it comes to working full time. =(

I did have a chance to read and rest a little on Sunday afternoon.... a Sunday afternoon requirement whenever possible. =)

 After Layton and Austin were both up from their naps and ready to play outside with Terrell and Garrison I got started on lunch prep for the week. I started trying this out a few weeks ago and once we realized it made a huge difference in our week nights, we ordered 2 sets of these lunch "plates" and they've worked perfect. I make the big boys' lunches for Mon-Thurs and on Fridays they take a lunchable, applesauce, and a granola bar so I don't have any prep for Fridays. I leave out the cold stuff until the night before or morning of, and any day they're taking leftovers I warm that up and include it the morning of... and they may or may not need their lunch plate that day. This also doesn't include their side of yogurt or some type of fruit I always put in a separate container.

This is a sample of today's lunch. We do sandwiches on Mondays only because you can't prep a sandwich for Thursday on Sunday afternoon. Our boys typically take similar "sides" each day... chips, raisins, freeze-dried fruit, dry cereal, a granola bar or half of a granola bar, yogurt melts, or some type of crackers. I try to do different combinations for each day so they aren't taking the exact same thing all the time. I also throw in some "dessert" in the form of a few pieces of candy. It's a great way to get rid of the candy we get for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's, Easter, etc. 

It's time consuming and messy to do it all at one time, but for us and this season, it's worth it. Making lunches keep me in the kitchen way too long on school nights so this is just the best solution for us. I want my evenings (especially those evenings after working all day) to be as relaxing as possible. They're still busy but at least I have 1 less big job to do each night.

Once I cleaned up the mess in the kitchen and got all of our lunch food put away, the boys came in for showers and we got ready for our usual Sunday night breakfast supper. Then we did more of school night prep of laying out clothes, getting bags ready, etc. We also watched an old episode of Deal or No Deal together. Haha. The big boys discovered this show by accident and love it. 

We had a pretty great wrap up to our Winter Break. Hopefully we're ready to get back into the school year groove this week! Have a great Monday!!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Favorites: Winter Break Recap!

We've been on Winter Break from school all week and have enjoyed our time off to the fullest!! Originally we thought we'd be laying low all week doing nothing while Garrison recovered from his tonsillectomy.... but after that got postponed it left us with a week of absolutely no plans. (Other than baseball starting) And I think it's exactly what we needed! We've been home most of the week just playing. Lots of outside time, lots of downtime, lots of laundry, ha. Even though it hasn't been full of exciting plans or outings it's been a much needed BREAK, and we've enjoyed it lots

Here's a recap of our Winter Break fun...

*Last Thursday afternoon was all about our PTCO Little Debbie Fundraiser. I think it's safe to say the fundraiser was a huge success! We were pretty proud of our big fundraiser. =)

*Our amazing President even painted a ceiling tile at Art Night in our honor!! Love our team of ladies and have so much fun working with them!

*Celebrating Layton Thomas on Saturday was definitely a favorite. =) 

*Our "early/pre-afternoon" parties are sometimes a bit stressful due to not allowing much time for party prep on party days, but the reason we continue to have our parties early is because we LOVE the downtime that follows after everyone leaves. Playing with toys, extra time to clean up the inevitable party mess, and even a few minutes to crash. It's the best. Terrell had time to assemble toys and Layton and his brothers had time to enjoy them. =)

*Saturday night we had another party to celebrate... My Paw Paw turned 91 and he and my Granny (just before Christmas) celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary!

*We had such a fun night celebrating with this special couple and tons of family. What an amazing testimony of commitment, love, and God's grace. 

*Then on Sunday we celebrated again! After church and nap time our newly turned 3 year old got his new big boy bed!! Hand-made by Pops!! (We don't have a comforter yet because I can't seem to find the one. Sigh. I want something that will grow with him and that goes with the decor and look we already have in his room. Hopefully we'll find one soon!) I'll have to do a little tour once everything is finished. He is doing GREAT with the transition. I really think him being 3 has made it super smooth for him and no big deal. After Terrell and his dad got everything set up we got ready and went out for Nana's birthday. It was a fun Sunday. =)

*Terrell had the day off with us on Monday for President's Day and we took advantage of a beautiful morning and went on a family walk. My favorite.

I love our neighborhood and that family walks are so easy and doable. 

I also enjoyed my view and the exercise I got keeping up with my guys.

*Then on Monday night, baseball started!! Our recreation department scheduled an early opening day so we started practices this week. And it was kind of nice easing into the new routine during Winter Break. The big boys have practices back to back on Mondays and Thursdays and we *think* we have a plan to tackle the craziness of those nights. I'm not loving the too late bedtime for my oldest on those nights but we are VERY excited to have Tuesdays and Wednesdays (other than choir) off!!!

*On Tuesday Austin had his very first cleaning at the dentist and he did great! He did have one small cavity but we were able to have it filled yesterday in about 10 minutes. I was really proud of my middle man. =)

*On Wednesday morning the boys and I set off for another morning walk. So fun.

*Then on Wednesday night we let the boys have their very first sleepover! Melt my heart. They didn't make it all night but only because Garrison is an "active" sleeper and kept rolling over into Layton and waking him up. So around 11:30 Layton was sitting up reading. Hahaha. So Terrell went ahead and moved the big boys back to their beds and everyone slept the rest of the night just fine. We've done several little sleepovers this week... with different combinations of brothers... and we're thinking this might become a more regular thing. =) 

*We've played outside a TON this week. It's actually felt a little more like a Spring Break than a Winter Break. I don't want to complain about beautiful weather but I am a little bummed it appears we basically skipped Winter this year. Maybe there's still a chance for some Winter precipitation?!? Haha.

*We also made a trip to the library this week and came home with lots of good books. I know I'm really enjoying mine. =)

*A few serious games of Connect 4 have happened too.

 It's been a productive week, a laid back week, and an overall amazing week. We've had some moments of fighting and attitudes I could've done without, ha, but all in all this week made me want to consider homeschooling. Haha! I just love us being together. Most of the time at least. =) 

Today we're going to enjoy the day with a trip to Walmart, lunch with daddy, movie night, and possibly another "sleepover". And this weekend our plans are still a little up in the air. We aren't exactly sure what we'll be doing just yet but mama's main goal is soaking up these last few days of our break and savoring every minute. It's been a really good one and I know next week is when things get real. I'm already scheduled to work a couple of days, tutoring resumes, baseball continues, and the school year and daily routine marches right along. I'm a little intimidated but really hoping I can focus on one day at a time and enjoy the present. =) Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Layton's 3rd Birthday Party

We celebrated Layton's 3rd birthday on Saturday with a tractor party!! It was so much fun and SO perfect for our tractor lover!!

While this was a super easy party to plan for, it didn't come together quite so easily. There was one point leading up to the party when I seriously thought I was in over my head... cleaning, decorating, preparing, and tons of stuff/errands/responsibilities, etc happening at one time made for a CRAZY Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning. I almost lost it and declared us done with home parties for good. #itwasbad But thankfully everything did in fact come together and we ALL had the absolute best time celebrating our littlest man with family. This party was a huge success and big ole blessing!! YAY!

Our all time favorite and very own personal graphic designer did Layton's invites for us. He was so smitten when he saw them! Thanks again Megan for your awesome work!!

Pre-party family picture! (I think I was finally somewhat calm by this point, ha!) 

The favor table and picture display. =)

Our tractor lover with 2 of his most favorite tractors...

His framed invitation along with our tractor cookie favors...

We went with yellow table cloths and toy tractors for centerpieces. =)

The cake table! This was probably Layton's favorite spot of the whole party.

The cake was perfect!! Layton was THRILLED. He chose strawberry and it was sooo good. 

My uncle, Layton's great uncle, provided the party entertainment for us. =) We scheduled this party around a time when my aunt and uncle (who live in Suches, GA...  the north Georgia mountains) could come and bring their tractor. It turned out to be the biggest hit!!

Layton was totally mesmerized. 

And excited!

He was also pretty nervous and intimidated and declared he didn't want to ride the tractor at first. #hechangedhismind =)

We kicked off the party with eating lunch and this little lunch date was precious. Sandwiches, CFA nuggets and fruit, and chips and dip were delish. We needed a break from pizza. Ha.

By the time we finished lunch Layton had asked for his tractor cake no less than 14 times, so we finally obliged. =)

I think he was tad overwhelmed with us singing to him!

He was a pro at blowing out the candles though!

The cake was delish! And the second our birthday boy was finished he was asking to open presents. =) This party was such a big deal to him and so much fun.

Present opening started off at a slooow pace, but finally picked up some speed. Ha! His gifts were the best. Him and his big brothers have been playing with everything almost non-stop. 

I love this picture of my guys. So blessed with all 4 of them.

The big surprise of the party was waiting in the kitchen for the birthday boy....

#farmerLayton #readytocutthegrass #futurelandscaper

It was super wet and rainy off and on so we didn't take his new tractor out right away... we had rides on the real tractor instead. =) We went youngest to oldest and Piper rode first. Haha! Layton knew it was safe after Piper's ride so he was confident and ready when it was his turn! #fulfillingadream Hahaha.

He LOVED riding on the big tractor and it turned out to be a huge favorite for all the kiddos. From ages 1 all the way to 9, every single kid loved their ride and was so excited for their turn.

The older kids even got to steer and "drive" themselves. =) They went all over the neighborhood and loved every second.

We wrapped up the party by finally letting Layton take a ride on his very own new tractor. He's in love. =)

Even though things were a little crazy and stressful during the party countdown, everything really did turn out perfect. And most important of all, our birthday boy had a ball and loved every second of his tractor party!! 

Huge thanks to our families for coming to celebrate with us and to Uncle Terry for bringing his real tractor and making Layton's party extra special!! Every birthday party for my boys holds a special place in my heart, but this one will always remind me that if the birthday boy is happy, everything else is perfect. =) 

Happy Birthday again to our very favorite 3 year old!!