Wednesday, August 28, 2013

baby with a beard

Mini Aaron?

My friend gets all the credit for this awesome picture.
It's so wrong yet so so hilarious.

And guessed it. 
Duck Dynasty does have a beard app. 

Sorry Hudson. We promise not to show this to your girlfriend one day. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Simplifying- toys

My kids have more toys than they know what to do with.
Literally they must not know what to do with them because they never play with them. 
Seriously. Well kind of. 
They love playing with rocks outside, trash, and crafting supplies and a few toys. 

While they may not really love playing with toys (more than a few seconds at least) they do enjoy taking them out.
All of them.
And mixing up all of the little pieces from one set to another. 
So when they actually go to play with a toy they can never find the pieces that go with it. 
Which is not very fun. 

So the other day (actually almost 2 weeks ago!) we pulled out all of our toys and started boxing them up. I let each kid pick out one set to keep inside and the rest we put in the garage.
Mackenzie chose her Dora dollhouse (and accessories to go with it), Madelyn chose her baby dolls (bottles, etc.) and baby stroller and Wesley chose an Imaginext ship (with the men, etc. that go with it).  And Hudson got a box of baby toys. 
And I know what your thinking "My kids would go crazy if I packed up all their toys"...that's what I was thinking too. 
But no one complained about it 
at all. 
They were really excited to choose their toy and even helped me pack them up. 

I also let Wesley choose 5 stuffed animals (since they are his fav) and we packed up the rest. 
Now our house looks less like this (above)

and more like this. 

so. much. better. 
And the best part is...

the kids are actually enjoying their toys and playing with them. 
So funny how less really is more. 

*I also let the kids keep their dress up, play tents, puzzles, coloring/crafting supplies and games inside. 

And after 2 weeks a few more toys have made their way in from outside but I haven't heard any complaints about not having a certain toy or wanting more. My plan isn't to keep them all outside forever but to rotate them out every now and then. I tried to put each of the kids toy "sets" in storage tubs (Polly Pockets, dinosaurs, Squinkies, Barbies, cars, etc.) so each kid can switch out their tub for a new one easily. The idea is to have fewer toys inside at a time and so far it is working great!  

How do you manage the toys in your home?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Lately life has felt anything but simple.
In fact most days I feel like I'm just trying to keep my head above water. 
I feel stretched thin. 
Like there's not enough of me to do all that needs to be done to keep a family of 6 running. smoothly. 

I've tried different ways of organizing our things and different approaches to managing the laundry.
And making a schedule, getting the kids to help, etc., etc.
And life still feels chaotic, cluttered, too full and busy and crazy.
And at times just plain overwhelming.
And for months I have been trying to put my finger on exactly what was causing this sudden feeling of stress.
(Just for the record I don't feel like it's having baby number 4.) 
It more of a feeling of always being behind. 
Like there is just too much to do and not enough time or energy to do it. 
 I think part of it has to do with the fact that we are always busy. 
too busy. 
and for a month or so I have been trying to protect our calendar, say no to things and schedule days where we are just home playing and doing stuff that needs to be done around the house.
I've also been praying and asking the Lord for wisdom and He has been teaching me a lot about just how much I need Him (which is a lot) and just how much He delights in helping me.

And then I just so happened to read this blog post/series

all while I have been reading this book (so good!) 
and it dawned on me 
we have too much stuff. 
Too many toys, too many clothes, too much stuff.

We need to simplify. everything.
So that's what we are going to do. 
Toys, clothes, dishes, towels, craft supplies, meals, etc.

It's like a breath of fresh air already. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

A peek at our week

 Happy Friday everyone!
I just realized that Mackenzie starts school in a month.
A month!
Ahhh...I'm so not ready for summer to end and real life to begin.
And I still can't believe I'm going to have a kindergartener. 
I'm trying to stay in denial as long as I can 
so let's not talk about it.

Here's a peek at some of the stuff we have been up to...

Wes got some awesome Tonka trucks for his birthday. 
They are the old school metal kind. 
So cool. 
Now we just need a giant pile of dirt for him to play in. 

Mackenzie is always amazing me with her creativity.
Last week she spent an entire day creating a theater (stage, characters, etc.) out of an old box and things around the house and then put on a show for us.

 I got 600 pictures printed. 
Now all I need to do is start scrapbooking (the hard but fun part!). 
Trying to finally get started on my new years resolution

Huddy loves his jumper!
(He's totally going to hate his nickname when he's older but that's what ALL the kids call him so he's stuck with it for now). 

We crashed my parents vacation at a timeshare they own. 
It's the same place I have been going to for over 26 years so it definitely has a special place in my heart.
We tried to do some fishing at a lake there 

 but all we caught was a Maddie girl. 

So much fun packed into one day. 

King of the pillows

I found a huge black widow spider in our backyard and as it crawled back to it's "home" I found 2 egg sacs next to her!!! 
Luckily the hubby came home from work to rescue us and kill the mama and all 400-800 of her babies.
so gross.

I celebrated my besties birthday

 I'm so thankful to have her in my life. 

We made some prince and princess accessories.

 And Mackenzie designed her royal palace.

 Wesley created a new game called "the magic carpet ride"

Kenzie made her very first real hand sewing project.
She was so proud. 

 Wes prefers any craft that involves glue and/or scissors. 

 my silly boys

Kenzie lost another tooth!! 
Which makes a grand total of 4. 

 We had a summer fun day at church 

 and spent some time with cousins. 

We went to Pump it up to celebrate 

 this little man turning 4!

 Then we went to Chuck E Cheese for dinner. 

 safety first people. 

We went to the Mission Viejo Lake. 

 And I found a way to keep Wesley still :)

 Summer...never end! 

 The kids made the ocean in our backyard

Oh and Wesley got his first car! 
Watch out world!!

Hope you guys have had a great week too!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Monster van

Our minivan is going dowwwnnn. 
Every day it seems like something else is wrong with it. 
I'm kind of just holding my breath until it finally bites the dust.

And in the meantime I just so happened to find the coolest (or nerdiest) car ever.

Meet the Nissan NV.

Aaron and I have talked about what our next family car will be. 
Even though our minivan is pretty big it still feels pretty small with all of us (and our stuff) in it. 
Especially on road trips or even something like a trip to the beach.

Here's an example from a recent trip to Costco.

I'm pretty sure we will have to rent a trailer when we go to Yosemite this year just to hold everything.
The bottom line is 
6 people=a lot of stuff

Aaron really wanted a giant SUV but I love the kid friendliness of a van.
And then we found the perfect compromise. 
The Nissan NV can tow a ton and has lots of storage room for all of our outdoorsy adventuring

 but it also has heated seats and all the great mom conveniences. 

And the best part is it seats 12.
Twelve people! 
Now we can have at least a couple more kids :) 
 Or if you don't need to drive 12 people around you can take some seats out or move the seats around (there are 324 seating arrangements). 

So have you seen the Nissan NV
What are your thoughts?
What is your favorite big family mobile?