Sunday, October 23, 2016

still here!

Well life got really crazy busy right after I published that last post...on Ry's first day of school! Of course! I knew our lives were going to take off in a fast way once the kids were in school... but it seriously didn't click with me that as soon as our oldest was in school that was it! I've felt guilty a lot of times over the last year about that, there are a lot of little things we've had to let go of since school started: The fact that the boys (mom) don't get to enjoy waking up when they want to every day because we can't be late getting sister to school, no more get-away-trips in the middle of the week, strict bedtimes all around. interrupted naps because we can't be late to pick up sister, and a bunch of other "little" things that I forgot to really relish and enjoy.

On top of Ry starting school I also started coaching. I am at the same school as Rylee working as the head cross country coach as well as assisting with track. I really enjoy getting to be out there working with runners, but again, we've had to say goodbye to a lot with the time that I spend coaching and traveling to meets.

We love the school and have really enjoyed our last year! But it definitely has pushed our lives into a faster gear.

I hate that I've neglected to keep the blog updated because 1) I know so many friends and family far away like to keep up with what our family is doing (or how cute our kids are getting!) and 2) I like to look back over the blog like a scrapbook (Now we have a missing year!)

No promises, but I'll be doing my best to post more regular updates (cross country season is almost over ;)) as well as trying to back-track a few of our fun outings etc.

Here's to more hours in a day! Thanks for sticking around!

until next time,

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Rylee has been in school for nearly a week now. I still cannot believe it! I blinked and summer was gone, it feels more like I blinked and she wasn't a baby anymore. Time please sloow down!!!!!

She has been so very excited about starting school! And we have been so very excited for her. Our summer has been full of supply shopping, uniform try ons and nightly "I am just so excited for school, I wish I could start tomorrow!"

She has been having so much fun each day at school. I think yesterday was the highlight - during chapel (they have chapel! I love it!) the teachers look for a student who was quiet and well behaved, and that student gets to take home Silent Sammy - he's a sweet little stuffed bear - and the most coveted lovey in all lower elementary! I was driving home from cross country practice and I called home, Rylee was dying to get on the phone to tell me that she was picked to bring home Silent Sammy! She got some big high fives and we had a fun evening entertaining the cute little bear.

Jackson and Layton are falling into place hanging out at home without big sister to play with. They look forward to having her home each day - we all do!

School has been one of those big milestones that I have both dreaded and been excited about all at the same time. I miss her so much each day, but I love seeing how much she loves it, and I am happy to know she is in a great place each day that is teaching her, but more importantly to me, they are loving her and in that showing her even more who Christ is. 

We are looking forward to a great year! 

until next time,

ps - those uniforms?! I can't even stand how cute she is!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

monster trucks and a splash pad

Despite my pleading and bribing, Jackson decided to turn three on Saturday. Three! Its a mix of feeling like he's been three for years, and thinking, He's already three?! 

We had so much fun celebrating the little guy on Saturday! The kids had a great time splashing in the water, eating cake, and squirting adults with water toys (the last one wasn't exactly fun for everyone!)

Birthdays are so fun and so special, we are incredibly grateful for all of our new friends that came to play and celebrate with us! We were all excited to have Mimi and Papa with us for the weekend too, we miss having them close, but we're glad they made the long trip to celebrate with us! 

Jackson Dean,

You are something special. Equal parts sweet and silly, devious and thoughtful. You are an awesome brother, little and big. You are bright, witty and charming. You keep us running and surpise us everyday with a new way to make us all laugh. Kid, you're going to rock 3! We love you. 

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Our week

playing with: baby toys! Not just Layton. The big kids have been doing most of their playing in his room with his toys. (And in his bed!) I don't know, I guess it's something new for them but I dig it because we aren't scattered across the whole house - we're all in there together. 

listening to: My playlist these days includes veggie tales and yo Gabba Gabba - I have a veggie tales song from Noah's Arc stuck in my head now :) 

reading: Aside from their day to day books we have started working our way through their Jesus Calling Bible Storybook again. We've read through the entire thing with them a couple times now, but we've started reading a story and doing something that ties to it during the day - we made a giant rice crispy snake with jelly bean eyes the other day for one. Yum :)

eating: warm weather really kills my cooking joy. Just not into it. Let's just eat sandwiches and grill and play outside!

ups: potty training success! (Mostly) Jackson has said goodbye to diapers (woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!) last week it was raining just about non stop, so I decided if we were stuck inside that would be the perfect challenge for the week! I told him we were going to have a peepee party and eat jelly beans and wear underpants - he was totally into it! I'm so proud of the little guy, for a kid who doesn't like change and has a strong gag reflex he has been a star through it! We spent the whole day out on Monday and he didn't have a single accident. The boy is getting lots of high5's and mom and dad are rejoicing at our diaper bill being cut in half!

Downs: Jackson has an awesome imagination. It's rediculous the stuff that kid can come up with - but at night it can turn ugly. This week it has been a parrot in his room that wants to eat his hand. Poor guy! He can't turn his little imagination off at night and it scares him into our bed almost every night. I feel for him because he gets so scared. And that also means there are 4 of us squished in our bed every night.... And then bear joins us in the morning. It's quite a laugh actually. 

Mimi sent rain boots for the kids, so we decided to test them out! They had so much fun playing in the puddles and filled their boots up with water from all the splashing. 

Our life doesn't ever settle down too much, but I feel like we are settling in!

Until next time,

Monday, April 20, 2015


It has been fun to be in a completely unfamiliar area and get to explore and go on adventures as we try to familiarize ourselves with our new home! 

We've ventured out and had fun doing a lot of different neat things. Today we took a car ferry to Fort Morgan.

Just the drive to the ferry was fun for us. We have spent our whole lives landlocked in the Midwestern plains - so driving alongside giant bodies of water and over bridges is so exciting! Haha!

We drove our car onto the ferry and then rode to Fort Morgan. Once there we went to explore the old military fort. It was all so neat! History was never my favorite subject, but when it is brought to life for me like that I am fascinated by it! 

We hung out on the beach for a little bit and there were jellyfish EVERYWHERE! 
I've never seen a jellyfish on the beach before... Does it hurt really bad when your stung by one?!! 

We stopped on the way home and had some ice cream and all 3 kids fell asleep on our drive back. It was an awesome day.

We still ask ourselves "we live here?!" It feels both like we just got here and like we've been here forever. And we love it. We are all so happy to be here and excited that this is our home! 

Until next time,

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

We are home!

We've made it to Mobile! It was a long trip so we tried to have a little fun along the way...

On Monday night we stayed in Monroe, LA. Andrew and I went to Duck Commander and took pictures. For dinner we ate at Willies Cafe which was just across the parking lot of our hotel. While we were eating we noticed a group in the back having dinner... And then Willie walked out! We realized that 'group' was the whole Robertson family! I thought the last place we'd ever run into them would be AT their restaurant. But it was still really neat. AND! The food was definitely worth bragging about! 

On Tuesday morning we woke up and got ready for the final stretch. We stopped in Vicksburg Mississippi to see the river. The kids ran and played and had fun. It was awesome seeing the river! 

From there we piled all 6 adults, 3 kids and the Bear back into our 4 vehicle convoy and headed to Mobile!

The drive was long but it was beautiful. We made it to town and headed to our house and were greeted by a yard full of friends from the church waiting to welcome us and help us unload! 

I can't say enough positive things about how much this church family helped us transition! We are so thrilled to be a part of this new family and feel so loved and taken care of. Our truck was unloaded in minutes and our fridge and pantry are stocked. Yum! 

We are tired, but we are so excited about ALL that is ahead of us! Thank you to everyone who has had a hand in making this transition easier on us. 

... Now I've really got to go start sorting through some boxes! 

Until next time,

Monday, March 16, 2015

For now...

One of my favorite parts of Jeremy's sermon was when he was introducing it, and explained the title: "last sermon at Tarzan... FOR NOW"

I am so thankful he thought that through. It really helped me in the moment to remember that as hard as those final hugs and farewells were (seriously, hardest goodbyes of my life.) it is just FOR NOW. Wether that means we will see you this summer when you come to visit, or when we come back for a workshop, or a wedding... Or if that means until we meet again in the light of heaven. I am comforted to know that goodbye is never really goodbye, because we WILL meet again. 

We love you Tarzan. Thank you for loving us. 

Until we next time,

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Some news...

Have I mentioned our news?...

We have decided to move on in our ministry and will be moving to Mobile Alabama in March! Jeremy will be preaching for a wonderful congregation there starting mid March and we are preparing for the heartbreaking goodbyes here in Tarzan.

We are thrilled, anxious, excited, and hopeful for this new ministry opportunity! We are looking forward to so much about it all... But, with the anticipation of the new comes trepidation about saying goodbye to our family in Tarzan. 

I've tried a dozen times to filter my feelings about it all into words, and I just can't. I think the challenge I'm having with it all is trying to find words worthy enough to describe how amazing this place and these people have been to Jeremy and I, and our family for the past 8 years (8 years! Has it been that long?) the people here that make up this body of Christ are our family. They are our moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandmas, grandpas, (and maybe a crazy aunt or uncle too ;) They have grown us. Taught us. Challenged us. Counceled us. Encouraged us. Welcomed us. And now, with tears in their eyes they are embracing this new transition with us and pushing us out of the nest, reminding us that they will love us from afar, and that this will always be home.

Looking back, I am so thankful that one Sunday we took a trip to a tiny little country church 100 miles away. My life is forever blessed because of it. 

Please pray for us as we make this exciting transition! Thank you all for your loving encouragement and support. 

Until next time,

Chicks and ducks

This weekend we went over to some of our most favorite peoples home to see and play with their baby chicks and ducks!

We had the best time playing with the fuzzy little guys and watching how excited Ry and Jackson were to be there.

We had the best time! I don't think the chicks and ducks felt the same ;) 

Until next time,

Friday, November 21, 2014

this week

playing with: Our front yard is covered in big crunchy leaves so we've been running in them, throwing them and even bringing armfuls into the house to crunch into millions of pieces all over my floor...(That last one was not mom approved.)

listening to: Trying to hold out on Christmas music for as long as possible! My fingers are dying to click on that Christmas Pandora station!

reading: still working my way through my book. I am adding books to the kids' Christmas list, I could make that there whole list and still not get all the books we want! Those kids love to read. Happy mamma!

eating: We've had the joy of having friends over for dinner this last week. I've missed it so much! Towards the end of my pregnancy and the first couple months with Layton, hosting is not something I like to add to my plate... but I LOVE it. So I am so glad to be up to having people over to share meals with us again.

ups: Family time! November has been a great month for time with family. We love our families and are so thankful to have them near and get to spend time together. We also have had time to play and relax with just the 5 of us.

downs: sick and doctors. I feel like we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on the cruddy yuckies going around. Fall is awesome, but the sick that gets shared around, no thank you. And along those same lines: doctors offices, pharmacies, and insurance hassles. I'll take being sick over calling the insurance company or walking into a pharmacy for a prescription.

funnies: Jackson has started doing the cutest thing with Jeremy and I. If Jeremy and I are hugging or standing close to one another he will run up to us, wrap one arm around each of our legs in a giant hug and say "I love you cuties!" haha! Its the funniest, cutest, most heart melting thing ever and I have no idea where he came up with it. Oh that boy makes us laugh!

A couple weeks ago Jeremy, Layton and I made a day trip to the Guadalupe Mountains to see the beautiful fall colors. It was amazing. We did an easy 7 mile hike enjoying God's amazing creation. It was the perfect way for us to rejuvenate. Of course pictures can never do scenery justice, but here are some from our trip...

until next time,

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

halloween 2014

What a crazy week it was! Monday night we went to the Fall Festival at the school. I forgot all about it, and my plan to have costumes ready by Wednesday was bumped to having them ready by that night! We got what we needed in town and made it home 2 hours before the Festival giving me enough time to get their costumes put together and make a big mess of the house.

Rylee had a hard time deciding what she wanted to be this year, everything from a chef to captain hook, we settled for a pirate, and she was the cutest little pirate. Jackson was very clear that he was not going to dress up for Halloween... and we just allowed him to keep thinking that he was not dressed up, haha! It was so funny when someone would ask him what he was for halloween, or say I like your costume, his response was "I not dressed up!" or "I'm Jackson".

On Wednesday night we had our Trunk-or-Treat. The best turn out we've ever had! Again another hurried day trying to get our trunk ready, kids ready, and all the other details that go into planning and organizing those fun events. It was all worth the effort. We had a great time, made a great impact, and got a lot of candy!

Thursday Rylee had her school party, she got to wear her costume all day and then go trick-or-treating AGAIN after they had a small parade of costumes! so cute! and more candy to bring home!

Finally on Friday we went to 2 different trunk-or-treats. We finished at one pretty early so we decided to hop over to another we'd been to before. Both were so much fun and the kids were full steam the entire time. Jackson actually kept his hat on for a lot of the night (the no candy threat works...ha.)

It was a busy whirlwind week. Now we have bags and bags of candy we don't know what to do with (That's a lie. Obviously we are eating it!)

As the kids get older it is a whole new level of fun doing all these festive things with them! I just love it! I love getting to dress up for Halloween, and now with kids, I feel like I have a more acceptable reason to as an adult!

 Daniel and his lion (Bear)

There are some super creative people in this community! All the trunks were spectacular. 

 Costumes this year weren't coordinated... we have a construction worker, Daniel, a pirate, Rosie the Riveter, and little Clark Kent (who ditched his work shirt and tie earlier in the evening) and Bear the Lion.
 Ready for round 2.

Christmas will be here in a blink! I just love this time of year!

until next time,

this week

Well I would LOVE to start these again! You know me though, it will probably succumb to a quarterly posting of "our week"... who cares, my blog, my rules, here we go!

playing with: duplo blocks, jenga blocks, wooden blocks, you get the picture. The big kids love building and creating everything with blocks! and this teacher mama loves seeing my babies creating with open ended play!

listening to: we just bought an imagine dragons album and we've had that on repeat around house for the last week.

reading: Jackson loves all his car books, he has his favorites memorized, his newest one Demolition he nearly knows by heart already. Rylee reads everything, but is very particular, when we ask her to pick out a book it takes her forever, but she knows exactly what she wants (or doesn't want really). I started One Thousand Gifts a couple weeks ago and get through about a page a day, maybe. If I sit still to long trying to read, I'm out. My list is long, so I am eager for time in the future when my eyes aren't quite so heavy and I am a bit more rested.

eating: horrible. ugh. our eating habbits have been so ugly the last few weeks. I think its a combination of the busy, the picky, and the no appetite. The kids are all over the place with eating, it creates such a challenge for meal planning and healthy eating. Time to make a plan and clean out the fridge!

ups: sleeping. Layton sleeps great through the night, from 7-7 he only wakes up twice to eat. The big kids are in a great grove for bedtime too, they are typically in bed by 7 and asleep by 7:30. Everything else can be a disaster, but a few hours of sleep in a row, bliss. for real. Sleep, I love you.

downs: daytime. Still searching for that sweet spot. I know it will be months before we finally find a happy grove, and then it will all change again, but its so tiring right now trying to tend to the big kids while nursing every 20 minutes and bouncing, burping, or bathing Layton. I feel massive amounts of guilt for hearing myself say "I can't right now I'm feeding Layton" or "Try to play quietly I'm putting Layton to sleep" Ry and Jackson have dealt great with this new transition, I am so very proud of them for their patience and eagerness to help. They are great big brother and sister. I am trying to live joyfully in the messy and remember that though those moments can be soo very stressful, they will be soo very missed.

funnies: Some of the things Rylee and Jackson are saying are totally cracking us up lately... that's one of them! Jackson started saying "You crack me up!" at anything he thinks is funny, haha! Rylee has started repeating the phrase "Oh, sorry about that!" whenever she make the slightest offense, like bumping into you. SO. CUTE! The way her 4 year old self says such grown up words and phrases is hilariously cute. Another one is "To tell you the truth..." and Jackson uses "Well, actually" before everything.

The weeks seem to speed by faster and faster with each one. A few pictures below from our trip to the Monohans Sand Hills!

until next time,