Wednesday, September 21, 2016

First Day of Fall Tradition...Pumpkin Smoothies!

I can't believe tomorrow is the first day of fall!
The girls and I put up all our decor the other day and have been lighting our pumpkin candles for weeks.  Just need to get my hands on some pumpkins and mums for my front porch and we are set!
I just wish the weather would get the memo, we still can't go outside without dripping sweat.  So depressing, but that doesn't stop us from getting in the spirit around these parts.

Two years ago I started a tradition with Brynn that we make pumpkin smoothies for breakfast on the first day of fall.  We don't make smoothies often so she gets super excited about this.  So, today I thought I would share the recipe we use.

Pumpkin Smoothie
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup milk 
1 medium banana + 1 cup of ice OR a frozen banana and no ice.
1 Tablespoon honey

Mix it all up in your blender & serve!
Extra yummy with some whipped cream on top!

And no post would be complete with out some cute kid pics :)  Brynn enjoying her smoothie at 1 and 2 years old.  Can't wait to let Miss Jo in on the tradition this year!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


So, last Monday marked the first day of our preschool homeschool adventures.  Homeschool is something that I have thought about since Brynn was born.  I definitely go back and forth with whether it is for us or not.  There are so many pros and some cons to both and so, I really feel like there is still so much more research for me to do.  Any who, I decided to start with preschool.  This is like our trial run, we will see how it goes, how I like Brynn likes it.  I really do love the idea of me being Brynn's teacher, working at her speed, on things she is interested with, taking our time on things she loves..the one on one time.  I love keeping our family together, I love that we can incorporate religion and Jesus into our whole day and of course keep her innocence a 
little longer.  The list goes on and on...and the ex teacher in me is so excited!

Around June I came across another mom homeschooler online and her website.  I spent hours reading her blog and site and ultimately ended up purchasing her curriculum for pre school age children. (Confessions of a homeschooler)  It is basically letter of the week style and goes with different themes...which definitely speaks to me! haha.  I love a good theme....P is for pumpkin...V is for valentine...J is for Jesus :)  I spent the past three months printing it all out, cutting, laminating...turning our playroom into Brynn's school room.  Finishing the school room was the icing on the cake and made it feel so real and official.  That room just makes me so happy now.

Our typical day looks something like this:

The girls wake around 7
Breakfast at 8 were we do family devotion time
Jolie naps for 9-11 so this is when we do our school time
11:00-12 outside time
12-12:30 lunch time
12:30 Brynns nap
2:00 jolies nap and when I start my chores for the day
2:30 Brynn is up/ snack for her and free play
3:30 everyone is up and we are back outside until 4:30 when I dinner prep.
5:00 we normally go for a family walk
6:00 dinner and baths
7:00 bible/bedtime stories and bed

We are half way through our second week and this schedule has been working so well and bringing so much peace and organization to my life.  For the first two weeks of school we just did "review/all about me" theme. I wanted to get her used to the school routine and schedule of things.  We have worked on learning her phone number, address, how to write her name as well as how to do calendar time with her calendar time notebook.  Next week will officially start the curriculum with A is for Apple.  We are excited to start and learn all about apples, the apple life cycle and have an apple day for Johnny Appleseeds birthday with our other homeschool friends!

Below are some pictures of our school room and pictures of Brynn working on some of her activities.
 I cleared all the toys off these shelves and moved them into the girls closets.  I organized all the craft and school supplies into these bins. Books and puzzles on the bottom.  Construction paper inside the cabinets.

I kept the play kitchen and a house furniture in here. The girls play with these things the most and we spend so much time in this room so, it is the best place for them.

The back corner is where I put our calendar time things, library book basket, shelves that I change out with themed books.  Steve turned our old chalkboard into a white board and I hung abc posters and shapes above and below it.  I hung a ribbon with clothes pins to display all Brynns art work.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Jolie 12 Months

Our little nugget has been 1 for three weeks now, so I better get this post up before she is not longer 12 months!  

This has been such a big month for our little bit!  She is growing and changing at warp speed and I can't take it.  Love it and hate it all at once.  The biggest thing that happened between month 11 and 12 is Jolie is walking!  About a week before she turned one she finally decided to give it a try and hasn't looked back.  Just like her sister, as soon as she realized she could do it she never crawled again.  I'm pretty sure walking has made Jolie so much happier.  She is loving being able to keep, especially with her big sister.  Jolie also switched from formula to regular milk this month and didn't even flinch at the difference.  I didn't really think she would, girl loves to eat and drink.

Nothing has changed in this department.  Still a solid 12 hour sleeper.  Pretty much 6:45/7 til   6:30/7 in the morning.  Two naps, 9 and 2:30/3.  I don't see us changing that any time soon, she still very much needs both naps.  Still sleeping with like four blankies and a million pacis in the crib.

Such a chunkster weighing 21 lbs at her one year appt (80th percentile)...pretty sure eating is her favorite.  Im really not sure Jolie would ever stop eating or push food away...I have yet to see it happen.  She definitely has to be regulated. haha.  I still have yet to find anything that she will not eat so, that is nice.  She drinks two bottles, one when she wakes up 8 oz and one before bed 6 oz.  Eats breakfast, lunch dinner...regular food.  At her one year check up we found out that she is anemic which means she is low in iron so we have added some things to her diet now.  I mix in baby oatmeal with apple sauce or yogurt for her breakfast.  She hated it so I have to disguise it. And I am also now adding a multi vitamin to her morning milk.  Lunch- she normally eats deli meat, cheese..or a pbj sandwich...with a veggie pouch.  Dinner she always eats what we do and I really can't tell that she likes any one thing more than the next.  its all good to miss Jo.

size 4 diapers and 12m clothes.

Lots of change in this department.  Jolie loves loves loves to play with Brynn.  They disappear into each others rooms for long periods of time just playing around.  They chase each other, scream dance you name it.  She is such a copier and is constantly watching what Brynn does and then going and doing the exact same thing.  She loves loves baby dolls.  She constantly is found with a baby doll in tow...holding her, patting her, feeding her a bottle, pushing it in the stroller or shopping cart. Tonight I caught her trying to give it her paci. So cute to see her so little and already mommy like.  She also loves to just hold things.  She is always walking around with something just holding it.  A pen, marker, bucket...her favorite is a piece of play food in a toy pot.  Last week I picked her up from church nursery and she was just walking around the room with a sharpie.  She also loves to be outside and would stay outside all day if I let her.  Loves to swing, play in the sandbox and her favorite is the water hose.

Used to be super shy but will now wave and blow sugars to strangers.
Transition to her big girl carseat and I think she loves all the room and her own cup holder ;)

Dearest Jolie,

I feel like it was just yesterday that I was in the hospital meeting you for the first time.  This has seriously been the fastest year of my life!  Before you were born I worried if my heart could love another one the same way it did your sister.  Everyone assured me it just happens and they were right.  The moment I heard your cry and brushed your soft cheek with my finger my heart grew instantly.  The bond was so immediate and I have loved you more than I ever thought was possible.

You gave us a run for our money your first few months with colic and constant crying in pain.  I was so sleep deprived and stressed, but we worked through it and right around four months one day you just stopped crying.  It was amazing and you were a new baby from that day on.  Your sweet and easy going personality immediately shined through and you couldn't meet a single person with out them commenting on what a happy baby you are. 

I know I am your mom, but you are the cutest thing ever!  The longest lashes, blonde hair from we don't know where ;) and the tiniest chubbiest legs!  You are so teeny and a part of me secretly loves that!  It makes you seem younger than you are and I will take that always!  You love attention, snuggles and sugars but are also so strong willed and sassy. You are a mama's girl through and through and don't go far before you are looking for me again.  You are definitely in that stage where you are often found on my leg whining not wanting me to ever be productive.  We joke that you need me to breathe.  & that baby girl is a-ok with mama, because I definitely need you to breathe.

Jolie Aryn, you have taught me so much in one year.  Most importantly being that just when you think your heart is so full it is able to expand and love to depths you never dreamed possible!  But, also that there is no greater joy in this world than watching the love you and your sister have for each other.

I pray that God does great things with you my love, and that you are able to use the many talents you have been blessed with to one day advance his kingdom.  You are something special my dear, and I can wait to see what is in store for you.

We love you Jolie!
Mommy & Daddy

Monday, September 5, 2016

Our Weekend

They say this weekend is the big end of summer hoorah!  It's always around this time that I am starting to get super eager for fall, all the pumpkins, candles and cooler weather....howeverrrr that is just never the case around here.  It is still totally summer with September always seeming like the worsssstttt month of the year for heat and humidity to me.  It's always this time of year especially that I wished we could live somewhere else with seasons.  At least for the fall months that is.

Anywhooo, no big end of summer hoorah planned over here for this Labor Day.  This pool of ours will probably still be being swam in right into December.  Actually, last year our annual Christmas party play date with Brynn's friends ended in them all swimming in the pool.  Nothing screams Christmas like swimming ;)

We had a pretty quiet weekend around here this week.  Friday I spent the day shopping with my mom and Brynn for my brother's girlfriends birthday.  We threw her a fall themed birthday dinner on Saturday and decorated the table in lots of pumpkins and candles and let her take them all home for her own decor as her present.

I made this pumpkin pecan cobbler from pinterest that was speaking to my soullllllll and it did not dissappoint  y'all!  Seriously.

Saturday was also the first college football weekend of the year and so of course I had to deck us all out in our Alabama best!  The girls had fun throwing the football around in the backyard and playing with the pom poms.

& of course it was a great win for the Tide!

Sunday morning was spent at church and the rest of the afternoon was pretty slow with naps for the girls while I finished up the last touches on our homeschool room.  More on homeschooling and our decisions regarding that later this week, but we are starting this morning and I am very excited about the year to come for me and my sweet Brynn.

I set my alarm this morning to wake up before the girls, got dressed, watched the news, enjoyed two cups of pumpkin spice coffee while watching the sun rise and praying for our day and future school year ahead.  As much as I love my sleep I am going to seriously try this whole waking up and starting my day before the girls.  A little quiet mama time to get the day started.