Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Family, fun and holiday cheer

Every year on the first weekend of December we get out the Christmas decorations.
I can't believe it's that time of year again!  Every year seems to go by faster then the last.

The kids were so excited to decorate the tree.
They each wear a Santa hat, and we play Christmas music.

It was a little challenging with Sawyer.  He kept wanting to take the ornaments off of the tree instead of hanging them up!

It was so cute watching the excitement in their little faces.

The next day we met at Papa Bob's nursing home with their Uncle Brian and cousins Beth and Hunter.
We helped decorate their Papa Bob's door for the annual decorating contest.  Everyone's family can come out and decorate their doors for a contest.  The sad part is that no one else really comes out to help decorate.  Brian had the great idea for us to decorate everyone's door in the wing where Papa Bob lives.

So we made a whole day out of it!  Everyone got decorations, a mini stocking and a bow on their doors.  Plus we had some extras to hang in the common areas.  Beth brought a few friends to help, and it became a family affair, that will now become a tradition!

Not only did it make the eldery folks happy to have their door decorated, but they loved visiting with all of the kids.  One of the nurses told Brian that it's been a long time since they have seen everyone come out of their rooms at the same time.

I think we should start all going over and decorating for all of the holidays and seasons for the folks there.  It felt so good to see them smile, plus it was a great family day.

I feel so lucky to be a part of this family.
I am an only child, but Russ's brother feels like a true brother to me. 
I love my niece and nephew like they are my own children, and would do anything for them!
They are both such great kids and I am forever proud of them both.

Sunday evening the kids posed for their Christmas pictures in front of the tree.

Again I feel so honored to be the Mother of these 3 wonderful children!
I can't imagine life without them.  
I am so excited for what the future holds for them, and what they hold for this world.
I can't wait to see what great things they will do with their lives.

We decided to try a group dog photo in front of the tree as well.
This is as good as we could get!

Even thru all of the hardships we have endured this year, the good still outweighs the bad.
We could choose to focus on the negative, but what good would that do?  It won't change anything.
I can feel that our hard times are only temporary.  Things will continue to get better.  We choose to take it day by day.  To still smile and enjoy the little moments.  Life is way too short to do otherwise.

Peace and love.....

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The little moments mean the most.

Jaylee sprained her ankle.  Russ took Jaylee to the Dr. and Sawyer was already in bed.
I started unloading the dishwasher and Marshall asked if he could help.  I said sure buddy.
So as we were putting away dishes, I said to him "So you're the man of the house when Daddy isn't home aren't you"  He proudly replied, "Yup, that's why I'm helping you."  
I asked him, "So Marshall will you always take good care of your Mommy?  Even when you are all grown up?"  He said "Yup!  I will pinky sware ya"  He then quickly offered me his pinky.
In our house a pinky sware is for life!  It's the most serious promise that we have with each other.  A pinky sware can NEVER EVER be broken.  The kids and us take this very seriously.
Then I asked him, "So when you grow up and get married will you move far away, or stay close?"
As he was putting away silverware he said "Nah, I think I will just move to Berryville.  It's kinda close and it's a really big place to live"

These moments are my absolute favorite!  What was an exhausting, challenging day instantly became completely worth while!  These are the moments that make me smile.  These are the moments that I never want to forget.  He is only going to be little like this once.  You don't get do overs.  Every day they grow a little bit more, and change a little bit more. 

 I could have easily completely missed this whole moment with him.  I worked a 10 hour shift today.  Russ then had to leave to take Jaylee to have her ankle looked at.  I was tired, flustered and over whelmed.  There have been times where I was so caught up and busy trying to get things done, that I may have said NO to him helping me unload the dishwasher, because it would have been faster for me to just do it myself.  There have been times when I have been so exhausted that I wouldn't have sparked a conversation with him like I did.  But by me letting him help me with something so little, even though it took forever, it got us talking.  Think about how many moments like this you miss with your loved ones.  It's so easy to get caught up with yourself, that you become so unaware of your surroundings and how important the people are that are in it.

It's so easy to lose sight to what is really important.  It's so easy to take things and people for granted.  It's so easy to lose compassion for those that we love. 

Life is too short to miss out on these moments.
Peace and love...

Random Fall Fun

There is a new fire chief in town....

Lots of great stuff happened this fall in the Lederhouse House!
Marshall lost a TOOTH!

Jaylee and Marshall both got straight A's on their report cards.  Jaylee made honor roll!  So their reward was that they got to have an evening at Monkey Joe's with their besties!

So Jaylee chose Mia...
Jaylee and Mia have been best friends before they were even born!  Mia's parents and us met in birthing class.  Then around their first birthdays we found them again.  They have been absolute best friends ever since.  They go to different schools, so it's hard to always see them, but they never lose the special bond that they share.

Here is Sawyer doing his Elvis impersonation.  He was rocking out with his guitar that he got for his birthday!

Our Stella

We spent an afternoon at Brian and Teresa's house.  I baked some pumpkin mini muffins, and they had a nice lunch for everyone.  

It was beautiful outside, so the kids had a lot of fun playing outside in the leaves.

Mogan in a leaf shower...

Russ was having fun running around with Morgan and Sawyer

Kissing cousins...

Cousin Kailey was here visiting from New York.  Jaylee really looks up to her and has missed her since she moved back home.  So they had fun catching up.

A week later, it was Marshall's turn at Monkey Joes with a friend of his choice.
He chose Mason.

Mason and Marshall are also BFF's.  Mason lived across the street from us in Martinsburg.  They are the same age, only a few months apart.  Mason goes to a different school, but we try to get them together as often as we can.  They are also very close and have lots of fun together!

At Jaylee and Marshall's school they had a Thanksgiving lunch in for the parents.
Jaylee's class put on a little show.  Some were indians and some were pilgrims.  It was so stinkin' cute!

 I couldn't be more happy and proud.  Jaylee and Marshall are both thriving in school.  We are so lucky to have them in such a great school system.  They have GREAT teachers, who care and go out of their way.  Their teachers email me often and the kids really love them.

Both kids are doing great with their grades and are having a good time socially.
We love Boyce Elementary!

Since the kids had their lunch ins on different days.  I had to work during Marshall's.  Russ went to Marshall's and I went to Jaylee's.  We make sure one of us is always there, and try to rotate to make it fair.  I remember when I was their age, and these little things are SO important to them.  When things are busy and I feel stressed and feel like there isn't enough time in the day to make these school functions, I try to remind myself that there will come a time where they won't want me around as much anymore.  I need to take advantage of these moments while I am wanted the most.  These children of mine will only be little once, so I need to cherish and embrace them now, because they will be gone before I know it!

Peace and love....

Halloween 2013

Jaylee entered a painted pumpkin for the school contest!

Daddy helped the kids carve their pumpkins.
Sawyer wasn't into the whole pumpkin thing, he vomited when he saw Jaylee scooping out her pumpkin!

Marshall the Nijna

Jaylee the witch.  She posed with her black cat, owl and we made it look like the light was coming out of her hand

We decided to try something a little different and take them to the mall for a trick or treating event the night before Halloween.  They had so much fun!

Sawyer actually left his costume on, for a little bit!  He caught on quick and figured out what he had to do to get treats!

On Halloween we went to our old neighborhood in Martinsburg.  Stella dressed up too as a bumble bee.  We were able to trick or treat for just under an hour before it started to pour!
So we were happy that we did the event the night before.  The kids still had plenty of fun and got more then enough candy!!

Peace and love....

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Pumpkin Patch

October 2013

It's our tradition to take the kids to the pumpkin patch every year.
This year we decided to take the kids to Great Country Farms.

Our little pumpkins...

As you can see, Sawyer wasn't exactly thrilled to be on top of this big pumpkin!

Checking out the selection!

On the wagon ride to the pumpkin patch.

It was a perfect day!  The weather was good, and the kids behaved.  You always know it was a super good time when they pass out before we get them back to the car!

After we left the farm, us adults ventured across the street to taste some wine at the winery!
Good friends, good times and good memories.
Peace and love....