Day 1

DSCF2322 DSCF2326 DSCF2332 DSCF2334 DSCF2335 DSCF2340 DSCF2341 DSCF2342 DSCF2343Breakfast out together. Stories. Coloring. Naps. Lots of good end-of-summer fresh air. Great first day and happy their Daddy was here to share in it. Taking huge comfort in these words. Every last one of them and know deep down in my bones this is right. Praise God for Day 1.

First Swimming Lessons

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A homeschooling friend of ours was telling us about a local outdoor pool that offers swimming lessons every Summer and how much her kids love it there. I liked the idea of doing two weeks straight of lessons every morning so that we wouldn’t have to bundle everyone up in snowsuits and trek out to a pool for 30 minutes in the middle of January.

Ben was off for their first day and was able to join us which thrilled the girls to no end. Then my mom and sister showed up so we had a good little cheer-leading team on the sidelines. The sun was shining and at 6:43am the girls came barreling into our room asking if they could put their swimming suits on yet!

We are three days into the lessons now and it has been perfect! We are all up and out the door at 8 am. The girls are with their instructor for half an hour and then we play on the playground and roam the waterfront collecting shells and throwing rocks for about an hour. We all come home tuckered out. The girls are getting comfortable in the water and that’s all I really could ask for at this point. Watching them learn and cheering them on from the side has been such a treat! I love my sweet girls, really and truly. Happy Summer, friends!! xo

Time Flies

It’s 11pm and I’m doing that thing where I stay up too late and then look through old pictures from when the girls were two and one and it makes me emotional. The time is going too quickly. Oliver is suddenly seven months old and I just want time to stop. But it won’t. Time stops for no one and no thing. Babies grow.

If I really think about why I don’t blog more often right now.. that is my reason. Babies grow. I am busy doing my best to drink it all in.. to hug and kiss and smile and nurse and sing love over all the little Andrews babes, because they just keep growing. Lucy will be five next month and I am so not ready for that. It just makes me ache for all the times I’ve been overtired and taken it out on her or missed out on some gorgeous thing she was doing because I was too busy being selfish in some way. Some of that is just part of life. We do our very best as parents and of course we love our children but we cannot realistically be present and “on” every moment of the day. We are only human. I trust that God sees my small sacrifices and that He is the one who keeps filling my heart to bursting with all their sweetness.

Like how Oliver lights up like a Christmas tree every single time I walk into the room. Like I am the only girl in his world. The way Abigail keeps asking me at nap time to stay with her and says, “mama, would you please tickle my arm?” and sweet Lucy, always asking when we can go on a date, “just us two girls”..  So all I have to offer here is love. Me loving my kids imperfectly. Me loving my husband imperfectly. Thankfully, my God is perfect. He is the one who makes right all of my wrongs. He is the enough for all of my not-enoughs. And wow, am I thankful every single second for that.

DSCF2048 DSCF2044 DSCF2029 DSCF2028We’ve signed the girls up for their first round of swimming lessons and they start this coming Monday. I cannot wait to see them in the pool and take about five hundred pictures!! I hope you’re enjoying your summer as much as we are. Bless you!

Managing Screen Time

We are almost halfway through the Summer and I find myself needing to get back on track with the kids. Oliver is now almost seven months old and the survival mode I was in when he was two months old is no longer necessary. Sitting in front of the TV for so long each day is certainly not necessary. Here is my new plan.

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Each morning the girls get their TV ticket and can cash it in whenever they like before supper. It entitles each of them to one episode on Netflix usually lasting 20 minutes. Once they’ve cashed in their tickets, they are gone for the day and the television stays off. If they like they can combine their tickets to watch something longer like Barney or the Meerkats documentary (I know, right?)  I also made a Family Movie ticket thinking that once a week when Ben is off we can choose a movie to watch together with a treat.

I’m just done listening to them whine all day long about when they can watch TV. This way it puts the onus on them to decide when they will use their tickets and hopefully teach them a little responsibility in the process. I’m also hoping it will teach them to savor things a little and not rush to do things all by 8:30 am!  The other bonus of this is that it keeps me accountable for the amount of screen time I have as well. When they watch cartoons it’s easy for me to be on the laptop and let them carry on with another show if I am not done what I am doing. Now I will have to just shut the computer and get on with the day. Genius.

What are some ways you manage the screen times in your home? or do you at all? Ain’t no shame, mama.. Let’s hear it!

Spring Days

This last month has been kind to us. Lots of wonderful things have happened including welcoming my sister home from Niagara! We were all so happy to have her home again, especially the girls. I turned 29 which I haven’t decided if I am happy about. It isn’t the 29 that is bothering me. I think it is the looming 30 that unsettles me. In the end I had a great extended birthday/mothers day weekend. Next week Oliver will be five months old! I cannot say where the time has gone but our family is in a really good place right now. The kids are growing so fast and so beautifully and I am just thankful, thankful, thankful each day that I get to be here to witness it. Here is a bit of our days lately between home and school mornings and a few from a lobster feast at my mom’s on Mother’s Day.

DSCF1922 DSCF1917 DSCF1912 DSCF1911 DSCF1900 DSCF1903 DSCF1904 DSCF1908 DSCF1879 DSCF1878 DSCF1874With the weather finally turning sunnier we are starting to spend more time outdoors and the girls are very excited to plant a little garden with me soon. We’re going to grow some carrots and maybe some leafy greens of some kind. It is so nice to finally see more sunshine streaming into the living room first thing in the morning. I hope you are all getting the very best out of these Spring days..

I can hear all three kids chatting happily away in their rooms. Time to start the day!

A Kiwi Adventure

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Spring is finally here! The weather is starting to fine up and when we woke up this morning we thought it was the perfect day to get out of dodge and do something fun. With a house full of littles who often decide to all break down at the same time, it is good to break from our daily routine from time to time and go on an adventure.

We had heard about the Kiwi Cafe from one of our midwives a few months ago and thought we would go check it out since it’s only about 40 minutes away. It was great fun! We enjoyed the drive listening to music while Ben and I were able to have a conversation the whole way there and back. We each had a nice flat white while the girls drank their babyccino’s and we shared a plate full of treats. There was a playground nearby for burning off all that sugar and a little walk down to the ocean. There is nothing like a good deep breath of salt water breeze to put things right again. Every time we visit little towns like Chester I love how my heart rate slows, the stress shakes off of me and I am able to be in the moment without the distractions of the computer, the phone and the chaos of carting the kids here, there and everywhere. Ah, to live  by the sea!

I am happy and blessed to have such a great bunch of kids and a hubby who loves us! Happy weekend here..I am ready for the week now.

Easter Sunday 2013

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Happy Easter, friends!

He is risen!

Today we celebrate the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. The hope that we can change. The hope that we can become the men and women that God has created and called us to be! Fresh starts all around, I say!

The day started off with excited little girls coming up the stairs to discover that the little tomb we made (with a step stool and white table cloth) was empty! Alleluia! They also found some new shoes and treats to enjoy in these next few weeks.

We got to mass and the girls were each given a little ‘Alleluia’ flag to wave around during the songs/hymns. They thought that was great and I had to keep reminding them not to get too enthusiastic with their waving since they kept brushing against our neighbors heads! Oliver wore real clothes for the first time today (as in not pajamas) and he is such a handsome little man. I can’t help but smooch his little cheeks so hard!!! As mass began I couldn’t help but smile at all we have been given in these little miracles and how much we have to be thankful for! I felt a little differently by the end as they were seriously testing my patience but that’s all part of the journey, eh? God said to bring them! He never said they would behave 😉

Afterwards we headed to my mum’s for brunch and a visit with my sister and her family. They all met Oliver for the first time at their son Jude’s birthday party yesterday but this was the first shot of all the kids with Nana! So sweet. We had a really lovely day together but I think we have reached the decision that it is time to start celebrating the holidays at our house…all day! It will be much easier on the kids who still need naps to get through the day and easier on us to be in our home, not carting everyone back and forth.

We finished the day off with a simple supper at home and our Easter tradition of Easter Sundaes! Previously we have only done the sundaes on Easter Sunday but I think this year we will do them each Sunday of the Octave. So simple and yet the kids have a blast putting together their own little dishes. Speaking of dishes, I found these little ice cream dishes at Value Village last week and they are perfect for our little tradition.

I hope you have had a lovely Easter surrounded by people you love, treats to enjoy and the hope and love of our Savior to fill your heart!! Many blessings,

~Katie