Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bye bye dog days, hello school daze

Gavin and Ashlynne on their first day of 2nd & 5th grade
August 20, 2013
Well another successful summer is in the books.  While I always welcome back the routine that the school year brings, I am always sad to see yet another school year start because it is yet another reminder that time passes too quickly.  How is Ashlynne already in 5th grade?!?

The first week of July we shipped the older 2 off to spend a week in Lincoln, NE with my great aunt.  They always love the time they get to spend with Aunt Lois and always come back incredibly spoiled.  They got to go to movies, shopping, Chuck E. Cheese, and the Children's Museum (twice).
Breckyn kept calling the goats at the petting zoo
"Little Horsies"
 At the end of the week, Russ and I headed up with the you get two and finished off the week with a trip to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.  I have heard so many good things about this zoo, and let me tell you, they are all true. This place was amazing! They had a petting zoo, train rides, a carousel, and every kind of animal you could think of. The kids loved the monkeys. They had more kinds of monkeys than any zoo I had ever been to. And some I had never even heard of.  My favorite part was the butterfly pavilion.  Breckyn LOVED the petting zoo. Logan liked the train ride. Ashlynne of course loved the bugs, as did Gavin.  And I'm fairly certain that Russ's favorite part was lunch!!!

The end of July/ beginning of August brought fair week to Abilene, which is always a fun time for the kids.  The week starts off with the parade, and the carnival lasts all week. We went and watched cousins show their goats and sheep, and went to the Demo Derby.  Breckyn got to ride her first carnival ride, and Ashlynne walked away from the games with a HUGE stuffed dog.  But the icing on the cake that week was that Lex was in town.  Ashlynne and her have a special bond, so she was very excited to see her.  Breckyn hasn't seen her since she was a baby, but we talk about her so much, that Breckyn went right to her and didn't skip a beat...  Not that Breckyn is shy with ANYONE!

Gavin, Ash, Logan, and Breckyn
Henry Doorly Zoo
July 14, 2013

Logan, Ashlynne, and Gavin at Fritz's
At the close of summer we decided to take a trip to celebrate Gavins birthday, and have one last hoo-rah for summer.  We went up to Kansas City for a long weekend with some friends who have a little boy around Breckyn's age.  our first stop was a cute little diner called Fritz's Railroad Cafe.  The kids LOVED it. They got little conductors hats, and a train brought us our order. A little boy's paradise! That night we stayed in a hotel close to Oak Park Mall so mom could do a little shopping. The kids had a pool so they were fine with that! The next day we got up and went to Legoland and Sea Life Aquarium. I seriously could have spent all day at Legoland.
Breckyn on a giraffe made of Legos
The kiddos at Sea Life
This place had entire mini towns made out of Legos.  The aquarium was a hit too. My kids are such animal lovers, that those kind of things never get old to them. And I was impressed that we made it through both places without any of Breckyn's famous epic meltdowns!!!  So all in all, it was a good day. But it was far from over. Our hotel for that night was at Coco Keyes water park.  I don't know who had more fun, the 5 kids, or us 4 adults.  Either way, everyone slept very well that night!

When we retuned home, it was time to take Logan back to his mother, and back to reality for the rest of, school shopping! While most of you reading this know how much I love shopping, I do NOT love it with a 2 year old...  Ashlynne called that shopping trip the worst one EVER!, was even in tears at one point, and instructed me to take Breckyn to the sitter next time so we can shop in peace! I think I will take her advice on that one!!!  All in all, we had a great summer, full of memories that I hope my children will cherish as much as I do.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Birthdays, and life's greatest blessings

Tomorrow when Gavin wakes up, he will be 8 years old.  I can not even put into words how this makes me feel.  Every time one of my kids's birthday rolls around this overwhelming sense of nostalgia seems to rush over me.  I have heard it said countless times by other parents, but seriously... Where has the time gone?

While it is nice that my older two are now MUCH more self sufficient and can now do things to help me out, such as folding laundry, and vacuuming, I would trade that for being able to make time slow down, for being able to make those precious moments last just a bit longer.  Time is the one thing on this earth that money can't buy.  I wish I could bottle Gavin's laughter, or somehow preserve one of Ashlynne's sweet kisses. Because I know that some day, that laughter will be saved for his friends, because mom will no longer be funny, and those kisses, they will be saved for a boyfriend, or only for me when no one is looking. I wish I could stay up all night, and just watch them sleep, because I know overnight, they will have grown just a little more.

Tonight, when we were driving to dinner, I overheard Ash and Gavin talking about their friends. Ashlynne was talking about all of her best friends, and I was teasing her, asking her how many "best friends" she had. Gavin piped up and said, "I only have one, and it's Mom".  It seriously made my throat close up, and my eyes fill with tears. In times when they frustrate me, and make me want to pull my hair out, these are the moments I hope I always remember.  When Breckyn is throwing one of those lovely "terrible two" fits, I stop and tell myself, this too shall pass. But the trade off is that she, too, is growing up way too fast.

To all of my friends with young children: stop, take a deep breath, and enjoy it.  Time really does fly.  I know that I am a better person because God has blessed me with these amazing children.  Being their mommy has been the greatest joy of my life.

Happy birthday, Gavin!  I am so proud of the amazing young man you have become!!!