Friday, April 15, 2016

{easter 2016}

Easter 2016 in pictures:

Ella had an Easter party at school with an Easter egg hunt, Easter bunny visit and class party. She is very competitive when it comes to hunting eggs so she didn't play when it was time to go outside and find them. I stayed and helped to hide the eggs with a few other moms and it was fun to see all the kids and their excitement.  Here she is after finding her eggs...

 Easter bunny came to visit

The boys had a little egg hunt as well and the teachers sent me this picture of them at sweet. And mom fail for not putting socks or shoes on my baby :( I think he was ok though. Isaac came home with a lot of eggs too!

this was when i peeked into his classroom during snack time...i mean, how cute is this?! couldn't resist snapping a picture of my little man sitting there :)

Easter morning...

Easter baskets from Nana...I know Easter is not about baskets, bunnies and candy (and we are teaching our kids the same) but thankful that Nana makes them these cute little baskets each year...



After church...

Nana always does an Easter egg hunt; one for the kids and one for the adults ;)

baby bump on Easter day...
just because this is most likely my last baby bump....gonna try to soak it up and take it in. This is at 24 weeks and 3 days. 

Feeling grateful for this Easter season...
It is finished. The battle won. The body they may kill: God's truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever. 

{valentines 2016 & gender reveal}

I love Valentines Day though a lot of people don't. I think its just a sweet little holiday and its fun to craft with the kids and all the candy isn't so bad either ;)  It's a fun holiday to have in the mix of some "winter blues"....
We enjoyed this Valentines and making a few special ones for some special people in our lives...just a few pictures..

making some valentines for some special people

my little lovebugs!!

This was also the weekend we did our special "gender reveal". It was the Friday night before Valentines (Valentines was on a Sunday) that we found out the gender....
Since it was our first time finding out the gender of our 4th babe, we had to make it special. There really is nothing like not knowing the gender and waiting until you meet your baby for the first time and finding out then whether you're welcoming a son or daughter...but because our daughter is old enough now to really prefer a gender, we thought it was best to know and tell her sooner than later. And we were right. We think it was the right thing for our family. 

I had my OB appt earlier this day with the anatomy sonogram. We asked the tech to put the gender in an envelope and we would open later. Later that evening, we went out on a date to BeesKnees downtown and ate dinner...still with the envelope unopened but in my purse...

After dinner, we went to get dessert (to go since crazy packed) and snapped a pic with the envelop...we then got back into the van and drove to a parking lot by the river...ate some dessert and decided it was time to open!!!

Its a BOY!!! ( I knew all along)!!

Sunday rolled around and we celebrated Valentines with a "date-night in" of my favorites. Since we had a date night that Friday night to do our gender reveal, we just kept it low key for Sunday night. Russ got some food at FreshMarket (crab cakes) and some other things, cooked it up, lit some candles, we put the kids to bed early and enjoyed our evening together. Of course there was dessert involved too. 

set up by my man

this was earlier in the day...showing off some treats 

A few days later, when Nana was in town, we did our reveal with the kids. We had bought a blue and white onesie and a Its a Boy card and wrapped them up and told the kids we had a surprise for them (they didn't even know mommy was pregnant)...they were so excited when they realized they were having another little brother...I mean, mainly Ella of course but she was the one I was worried about because I knew she would want a baby sister...but, it was so sweet to watch her reaction to it all. She truly was so happy and excited- didn't even say anything about a sister. I remember the next day she went to school and told everyone she was having a baby brother! She was telling her friends too and it just made this mama happy to see her joy and excitement! She is such an amazing big sister!!

snow day 2016

It's been about two years since we've seen any snow around here but this winter, we got some (even if just a small amount or "dusting" of it as my relatives in New Jersey joke)! Hey, we'll take it! Russ was on call the morning it did snow and the night before we were watching the weather to see if we had any chance of it at all...I wasn't getting my hopes up cause it didn't look to good for it. So, Russ got up early to go into the hospital and there was some snow. I got up after him but didn't even look out until he told me. Sure enough, there was some snow on the ground and still falling. Russ left and I got the kids up, fed and then we got ready with all our snow gear on and about the time we were finally ready, Russ pulled in and we all went outside. I was excited because it was Levi's first time (even though he could care less) and Isaac was only about 7 months when it snowed last. Ella was super excited to get out in it. It was fun...Levi didn't last long before he was ready for his nap. But, always fun making memories in the snow around here!

watching the snow fall before breakfast

 getting our gear on 

showing Levi a snowball

up to no good with that snowball ;) 

levi turns one!

Caught up to 2016! ;)

Our big, chunky chunk babe turned one in January! He is such a ham and such a joy! He has just been such an amazing baby and to say that about a third one is such a huge blessing, I'm convinced. God knew just what I needed- a good baby to go with this crew while trying to adjust as a family of five. It certainly wasn't easy but Levi sure helped to make the transition a bit smoother.
He is precious though. Easy going, loves to eat, loves to be around his brother (for the most part) and sister. Smiles so much and really only gets fussy if hungry or tired...but he sure loves to eat. He has been our best eater yet and its so easy to just put him in the highchair and let him go at it.  We never really were able to do that with the other two being as picky as they are but he eats just about everything.
He has been crawling around for some time now and (though I'm posting this as he is 15 months) will be walking any time close. He says "daa-deee" the most and "mama" too, "uh oh" and waves to people. He loves to clap and play peek-a-boo. He laughs a lot at his siblings.
He also started "school" in January and loves it. His two teachers adore him!

We didn't have a big party for him (which I kind of feel bad but I don't think he cared much)...we did make a special little cake for him and sang and celebrated. No surprise that he loved and destroyed his cake...he thought it was pretty great. First one of ours to actually eat it!

We love you sweet Levi boy! You are a joy and a sweet sweet gift from our loving Father. You make us all smile and we can't imagine our family without you in it. You have been the absolute perfect addition and we are forever grateful! We pray you grow into a strong, courageous man and leader who loves the Lord with all your heart and holds loosely to the things this world deems so satisfying and runs hard after Him. All our love forever and always from mama and daa-dee ;)

Monday, April 4, 2016

{christmas 2015}

Almost caught up to the current year ;)

they love their little brother so much. sometimes he is unsure what to think about all the attention he gets :) and because they are in their christmas pjs- i had to take multiple pictures 

Christmas was special to us this year because it was Levi's first one. We enjoyed staying home this year like last and having Nana, Aunt Staci and Uncle Curtis over for Christmas Eve/day. Santa (or Nana in our case) didn't disappoint with making the kids so excited and happy but more than that, we try harder each year as our kids get older to focus on the birth of Jesus and teaching them about how God sent His Son that very night to be a light to this dark world and how we, in return, can be like Jesus and try hard to shine that light through our little lives simply because of Jesus and His love for us. I have for the past two years, attempted Truth in the Tinsel with Ella- but the crafting part can at times take a lot of motivation for me...but we keep trying to be consistent with it. She has learned much from it so thats always a great push for me to keep doing something like that every year. 

Anyway, here is our Christmas 2015 in pics...

kicking off the season at the christmas tree farm. only we didn't get one at the farm; we ended up at Lowe's getting one. but, they all sat and smiled cute for a picture so mama was happy

our christmas tree 

because his first christmas

putting the star on top!

they love putting the candy canes on the tree each year- a family tradition my mom always did with us each christmas

Something really special this year was the daddy/daughter date these two went on to see their first Nutcracker together downtown. They went to Mellow Mushroom for dinner and then to the show; all dressed up and happy. Of course Ella was super excited but the sweetest part was seeing her daddy so excited and proud to take her. I could tell for days how excited he was and how he would mention it often leading up to the event and it just made me smile big. I love these two so much and love their special bond. She's a daddys girl through and through and that is perfectly fine with me. Just how I feel it should be. So thankful this is the man of my children and grateful beyond words for how he loves them so well...more than I could have ever imagined in a daddy. God is good!

i just love their big smiles and joy radiating through!!

Russ sent me a few pictures. This is outside the theatre after dinner right before the show

during intermission

Both Ella and Isaac had a Christmas program at school where they would be singing with their classes. This was Isaac's first year doing the program...I wondered how he would do and my thoughts were correct...not much of anything ;) Sister sang her little heart out of course and loved it but Isaac acted like he didn't have a clue what was going on and just stared off or right at his teachers. It was classic Isaac and pretty cute too. He did walk down the aisle with the bells and when he would see us, he made sure to wave big each time. 

before the show

 on stage about to sing

Isaac walking down and around with his bell and teachers- he really didn't do much ringing; just holding and looking around at all the people

sister singing away

and doing all the motions

that boy- never opened his mouth ;)

at the reception with nana

Ella and her teacher Ms. Kim

 i tried to get one with them 

Some random pictures:

at Russ' work Christmas party

Ella's Christmas show at her gymnastics

loved seeing this sight each night 

keeping up with the tradition (just like with my mom) of baking cookies together

one of my favorite ornaments to date- his teachers at school made this for us. classic Isaac face! i'll hang this one up each and every year! (now i know why my mom kept all those school ornaments we brought home) ;)

first year we went to the zoo for their christmas lights

their first (and maybe last) picture with Santa. Classic.

my christmas babes

and then i took too many pictures and a certain babe was over it

gingerbread house making 

 Christmas Eve service at our church

sweet friends 

nana always makes sure we leave cookies and milk out for santa

christmas morning

 taking in his first christmas

We headed to the farm the next day to celebrate Christmas with Russ' family...

Ella has her camera we got her and she was so excited to use it...she took a lot of pictures needless to say

he's got his tractors 

while at the farm. they love to watch grandpa out there feeding the animals and such

Ella also found "her calf" on the farm, the one with some white on its face and named her "Marbley"- she looks for her every time and both her and Isaac will call for her when they go out on the pastures

Marbley girl

back at home and being sweet to each other

and this one just makes me laugh- we put their new pjs on they got for christmas from nana and i told ella to stand there so i could send nana a picture and isaac ran over next to her real quick and stood just like that. he is something else.

and of course daddy kept up with his tradition of Rudolph pancakes for the kids...just a few days after christmas this time ;)

And our 2015 Christmas card: