Thursday, January 29, 2015

Changes for Addy

Just a little over a month ago, we made the decision to take Addy-Kate out of pre-school. For the past year, Addy has been blessed to be part of an EC (exceptional children) program at a school just down the street from our house. Due to Addy-Kate's special need (microtia of her left ear), her English was not improving like it should, and it was determined that she would benefit from an early intervention preschool and intense speech therapy.
 She has made incredible strides since beginning the program, and her teachers have been phenomenal!!!! They loved my girl so much, and I know the feeling was definitely mutual! 
However, after just a few short weeks into this new school year, I felt the Lord tugging at my heart to bring Addy-Kate home. I started to notice some small changes in my girl, and after chatting with her teachers, it was confirmed that Addy needed to be home MORE than she needed school. 
Right before Christmas, we decided to pull her out of the program.
{We will have her speech re-evaluated privately, and take it from there;)}
It was a little adjustment at first, as Addy-Kate really missed her friends, teachers, and the routine of school. 
However, we have quickly found a new routine, and having her home has proven to be the biggest blessing EVER!
The Lord knew THIS is what Addy-Kate needed most! Lots of snuggles, cuddles and together time with mommy! I thank Him for allowing her to be part of such a wonderful program for the past year, and I praise Him for revealing to us what her heart needs most now.
He is so good!
Most mornings, it's just the two of us. 
I love having a few hours to focus my time and energy on just her, 
and I know she enjoys it too!
We did join a Bible study that meets on Monday mornings at Hudson's pre-school. 
Addy-Kate goes to her little class, while I go to mine.
Addy's classroom is just down the hall from Hud's and she thinks that's pretty cool.
We've definitely found our new routine, and having her home has brought us BOTH so much JOY!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Weekend Randomness

Shane and Corban spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Savannah at a soccer tournament. That left me and the rest of the crew at home to enjoy the weekend together. 
Friday afternoon, the girls and I did a little crafting! We made matching Valentine shirts. I found this not so cute (and way too small) plaid shirt at our local Goodwill. 
I fell in love with the print though and knew it would be perfect for these shirts! 
Cute, huh?
Saturday morning, we just lounged around in our comfy PJ's until well past noon;)
We played lots of games and Riley taught me how to play Stratego!
He kicked my tail (twice) though!
This girl is all about her lite brite lately!
I love that she's trying NOT to smile while I take her pic.
 We also had a sweet little visitor staying with our family for the weekend.
Hudson was so excited to bring his classroom "pet", Mr. Mouse, home with him for a few days.
Mr. Mouse joined us EVERYWHERE we went. 
(On Monday morning, he returned to preschool and gave the class a report about all the fun he had with our family over the weekend.)
Saturday afternoon, Mr. Mouse went with us to see the new Paddington Bear movie!
From this picture, it looks like we had the entire movie theater to ourselves. Actually, we just got to the movie early. It was a rainy Saturday, and I was worried it would be super busy and I wouldn't be able to get five seats together. 
It was such a super cute movie, and the kids (including Mr. Mouse) LOVED it!!

Saturday night, my mom called and invited our crew over for dinner!
My sister, B, and her sweet kiddo's joined us for the evening too!
 It should come as no surprise who got their little hands on baby Emery FIRST?!?!
Love those chunky, kissable cheeks!
We had pizza for dinner.
 And brownies and ice cream with rainbow sprinkles for dessert!
Photo bombed by Papa;)
Sunday morning, before heading out for church, we enjoyed this yumminess.
I called it "sin on a plate";)
We followed this recipe here, but I rolled my dough instead of folding it.
SO GOOD!!!!!!!!
Sunday afternoon, Riley and I spent several hours working on his school project. 
He had to read a biography, and then turn a bottle into the person he read about. 
Yes, a bottle?!?!?
Riley is into inventing things lately, so he chose to read about Orville (and Wilbur) Wright (inventors of the first airplane).
Yea...I cannot tell you how much fun we had turning a gatorade bottle into ole' Orville!
Oh, and btw...Corban's team WON that tournament he and Shane were at in Savannah!!!!!! 
And from what I heard, Corban played GREAT!!!
So proud of these boys!!! 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day FOUR: Meeting Anna and Elsa

Day FOUR: 
Our last and final full day at Disney World was spent back in the Magic Kingdom! 
Once again, we started our day off bright and early, arriving at the park before the gates opened. We did our best to finagle our way up to the front of the line (closest to the gate), in hopes of being one of the first families through when it opened. You see, we were on a mission. We had very important business to attend too. We were meeting Anna and Elsa...WITHOUT fast passes. We had tried and tried, actually my A-mazing friend Juli did, to get fast passes for our family, but it just wasn't meant to be. They sold out within SECONDS of becoming available. SECONDS!!! (Sigh) 
So our ONLY hope of meeting the Ice Queen, and her quirky sister, Anna, was to make a MAD DASH to the meet and greet immediately after the doors opened. Otherwise, you could forget about it, as the average wait later in the day would be at least three hours...OR MORE!!!! Seriously!!! It's the craziest thing EVER!!!!! As we waited for the gates to open, Shane told us our game plan. He would be our fearless leader and guide us through the crowded streets and the sea of people.
 Each of the bigger boys were to hold tightly to a littles hand and follow Shane as closely as possible. Addy-Kate and I would bring up the rear, making sure no one got lost in the hustle and bustle;)



They didn't actually say that, but that's exactly what was going through my head as we prepared to run (like crazy people) to the meet and greet. 
The gates finally did open, and with our game faces on, we joined the hundreds of other Frozen fanatics racing to meet Princess Anna and Queen Elsa.
We made it without losing anything, or anyone (except maybe a little dignity) and quickly found our place in line.
And even after ALL that rigmarole, our wait time was still over and hour. (sigh)
Oh well!! We knew we just couldn't bring our girls all the way to Walt Disney World,
 and NOT meet two of their very favorite princesses. 
And yes...the wait was totally worth it!
My girls...and even my boys for that matter...

were all SUPER excited to meet these two royal sisters;)
After the meet and greet was over, we spent the rest of the day enjoying everything we didn't get to on our first visit to the Magic Kingdom. 
Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger, Splash Mountain, 

and the Tomorrowland Speedway...just to name a few;)
Surprisingly, one of the kids very FAVORITE rides was the People Mover!
I think we rode it three times (in a row). 
They loved it THAT much! 
We also had time to revisit some of our favorites again...
The Tea Cups...
a classic, for sure...

and the carousal are always worth another ride.
Especially if it makes you smile this BIG;)

We also had time to do some shopping. 
The littles had some spending money to use up, and they each purchased a fun Disney souvenir to take home with them. 
Shane and I had ordered some cool light up toys and trinkets online before leaving for our trip. 
(WAY cheaper than buying things at the park) 
We kept them hidden, and once it got dark, we pulled them out and surprised the kids. 
They were so...excited!  
They had a BLAST waving their wands and flashing their swords as the Disney Electrical Parade went by! 
(Coolest parade EVER, by the way!)
Since our final day in the Magic Kingdom began with Anna and Elsa, it seemed only fitting for it to end with them as well. 
As our day came to a close, we sat back and watched as Disney magic happened before our very eyes.
Queen Elsa used her "powers" and covered Cinderella's castle in ice and snow, turning it into a "Frozen" wonderland. 
It was absolutely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!
Our last day in the Magic Kingdom was indeed just that... "Magical"!
Exactly what wonderful memories and the sweetest of dreams are made off;)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sunshine makes me HAPPY!

Not only did my kiddo's have Monday off of school, but they had Tuesday AND Wednesday off as well. 
Extra LONG weekends, and super SHORT weeks are the BEST!!
And when the weather is THIS gorgeous out, we can't help but be outside--soaking it all up!
On Wednesday, I took the kids to Freedom Park. 
It's near uptown, which is about 25 minutes away from us, but it's (hand's down) the BEST park around. 
 It has an awesome Carolina Panther play area that my kids absolutely LOVE.

 Corban and his good buddy, JP, thought they were pretty cool as they took pictures of each other practicing their fancy football moves!
 A picnic in the beautiful sunshine totally hit the spot,

 and gave us the energy we needed to head over and check out the new playground equipment they just put in. 
 The kids had a blast and played for several more hours here.

 Before calling it a day, the kids asked if we could take a walk around the lake and feed the ducks. 
They were having so much fun and no one wanted to leave. 
It's so true what they say,  "A little sunshine is truly the BEST medicine!"