Stylish

My mom bought my kids new clothes for Christmas. My kids (well the older three) all love new clothes and were all excited to see their new stuff. Sierra wore her outfit for three days in a row. I didn’t bother arguing with her about it as long as she changed her underwear every day and the outfit didn’t get too dirty!
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Brooklyn LOVES her new shirt especially because it has an attached necklace! She felt really pretty, I could tell 😉
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She spotted an ant.
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And picked it up. Eewwww.
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I couldn’t believe it, she usually doesn’t like bugs crawling on her and this was one nasty looking ant.
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Aaack. I’m going to have nightmares!
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There is no way I’d ever let an ant crawl on my hand.
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I think this goes to show that my kids really need a pet or something. lol
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The two little kids stayed inside.
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Ember got this cute hot pink dress.
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And Payson got some awesome shirts. The car one was his favorite, of course.
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Sierra sang to Ember when Ember started to get fussy.
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But then Payson came over and started messing with the headband she was wearing and that made her sad.
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Visiting Washington

All of my family lives in Washington. I miss them a lot. I miss Washington, too.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my Arizona home and wouldn’t give it up for anything, but the distance between me and my mom, dad and siblings is brutal.

Allan bought me a plane ticket to Washington last year for my birthday. He surprised me with it and I was thrilled. But within a week I found out I was pregnant with Ember and the closer it got to the day I was supposed to leave the less I felt like traveling. I was so sick and exhausted and moody in that first trimester that I ended up cancelling my trip at the last minute.

So we had a voucher to use and that voucher expired this month. Allan’s parents were willing to babysit our older three crazies for a few days so Allan could come with me. I’m thankful he did. He took care of everything. The flight, the rental car, he drove, he parked, he payed, he carried everything everywhere. All I did was take care of Ember all weekend. It was awesome.
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We got to Washington pretty late. The rental car counter was closed so we took a shuttle to another location.
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Ember and I waited while Allan took care of all the rental car stuff.
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After taking quite a while to get the car we headed to our hotel.
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Ember slept really well that night. She even slept most of the morning while Allan and I got ready.
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We met up with my dad, my little brother, my mom, and my little sister. We all ate lunch at my dad’s restaurant.
Here is my little brother, Kyle, holding Ember. Ember adored Kyle. She smiled and giggled over his smiley face and silly voices/sounds.
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After a delicious lunch there we decided to walk around the shops a block away. I changed shoes since I was in heels and walking while carrying a baby in rain and heels just doesn’t work.
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My little sister, Jeena, and my mom.
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Ember wasn’t happy about the cold, windy weather. She was fussy during this part of the day.
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We stopped at a bookstore. My beautiful little sister, Jeena.
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Me, my mom and my little brother, Kyle, in the background.
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This was taken in a kids’ clothing store. That’s my mom, my sister, me, Allan, and my dad in the background.
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There were lots of stops for nursing. I’ve nursed Ember in public more times than I can count now and it never gets less uncomfortable for me. It was so awesome that first night home when I sat down on the couch to nurse her and didn’t have to use a cover!
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We stopped in a candy store.
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We went to Starbucks to plan out what to do for the rest of the day. I nursed Ember again in there.
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My parents are divorced so I went back to my mom’s town an hour away with her and my little sister. I had to say goodbye to my dad and brother after only seeing them for a few hours for the first time in 4 years. That was rough for me 🙁
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That’s my dad. I’m a lot like him, and I look a lot like him.
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Ember had a first while we were in Washington. Her first (and hopefully last) car accident!
We got rear ended on the highway on the way to my mom’s house! It was a horrible moment when I felt the other car hit ours and that second my entire body was flooded with adrenaline and fear about Ember in the backseat. I probably would’ve broken down in worried sobs if I hadn’t gone straight into protective mom mode. I am a shy and passive person but at that moment I wanted to jump out of the car and go curse out the other driver. But I didn’t because it was an accident and I was far too worried about making sure Ember was ok.
Which she was. She was laughing and having the best time in her Aunt Jeena’s car while we waited for the police.
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The other driver was a college aged guy from Vancouver driving his mom’s car. I felt a bit sorry for him for that. He probably got an earful when he got home.
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The only injury from the crash was Allan’s finger. It got bashed into the steering wheel when we got hit. Luckily it’s not broken, probably just sprained or bruised or something. It was swollen and still is a little bit but feeling much better now.
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We got to my mom’s house and had pizza and played a game with her and her husband, Milo, before going to bed. At 1am, or was it 2? Ouch. I slept in until 10am the next morning!
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Allan went out and took this picture of the rental car. Thrifty brought us a new rental and towed this one away.
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My older sister, Kelly, came over and she, my younger sister, my mom, Ember and I went shopping at Fred Meyer.
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We got home and my grandparents came over for dinner. In these next two pictures are my older sister, Kelly, her two kids, Ember, and my grandma.
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I have the most gorgeous sister!
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Ember was loving everyone. I always knew she liked people but during this trip I realized how much. She is a total people person. She loves everyone! She loves staring at them and figuring them out. She loves when they do silly voices and smile at her.
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My grandma wanted a four generation shot with Ember.
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My step brother and sister were over, too. Ember smiled and giggled at them, too 🙂
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This is my mom and her husband. She married him two and a half years ago and I’m so glad she did. We all really like him a lot. He’s a really nice guy, a great dad, a fantastic grandpa and an awesome cook. haha, had to throw the awesome cook in there because he made me and Allan some amazing meals while we were there! It was heaven.
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And a shot with my step siblings in there 🙂 I really enjoyed seeing them this trip, I wish I had longer to visit with them, the last time I saw them was four years ago and they were so much younger!
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My grandpa and grandma with Ember.
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The next day- me and my little sister, Jeena.
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Our flight left at 3:30pm so we had to go to the airport fairly early. I was so sad to leave since it had only been two full days with them, but at least they promised to come visit me!

Allan filling up the rental.
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We conquered feeling sad about leaving by having a lot of fun together. It was like a date. haha
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A date with a tag-a-long. A tag-a-long who needed to be changed at random times and in random places.
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I mentioned that Allan carried everything, right?
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Allan took this of me ordering us a breakfast bagel for lunch, I like that Ember’s bald spot has been captured so well “on film” now. haha
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The flight went really well. Ember is a really easy baby as long as there is milk around. She nursed, slept, woke up to smile and giggle at us and then started that cycle again. Lots of people, all weekend, commented on how she was such a good baby.
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The man in the seat next to Allan was saying how she is the best baby he’s ever seen. He said it a few times and everyone else stared and smiled and pointed at her. It was fun… I hate being the center of attention (like when pregnant) but having my baby be the center of attention is lots of fun! lol
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We got home and stopped for pizza and cake to bring home because it was Allan’s mom’s birthday!! Yeah, she spent the entire day watching my kids on her birthday.

Being away from Allan the first few days after getting back has been hard. I miss him!
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And that was our weekend in Washington. And oh boy am I tired of typing. haha
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Missed Sister

I think Brooklyn and Sierra were really glad to have Ember home.

Today was busy. This whole week looks pretty busy! I’m going to have to really work on lining up naptimes with quiet times in order to have free time.
It was so great being with my kids again today. It’s amazing how much better motherhood is when you get to take a break from it once in a while! I have awesome kids!

Happy Schooling

Happy, happy schooling. For the first time in two years there is happiness during math time in our home.
Well now that I’m typing that that’s not true at all. Brooklyn has had a lot of fun times with math, but not when using a curriculum. When I create the lessons she does well but math isn’t a subject I wanted, or even thought I could, create lesson plans for on my own long term.

She’s been flying through the first lessons since she knows the stuff already. But she doesn’t know the Rightstart methods so we still do them. Her understanding is slowly building. I’m excited to see things click. It’s such a fantastic feeling knowing that she’s finally getting a strong foundation in math. It’s the only subject we’ve struggled with consistently. Even handwriting, which was her least favorite for a while, was fixed last year with Handwriting Without Tears.

Homeschooling has completely changed. I used to dread teaching math and handwriting because it took over an hour for each thanks to Brooklyn’s whining and refusal to do them! And now I look forward to them as much as geography or history (Brooklyn’s favorites)! It’s incredible and so fun!
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Brooklyn was actually excited to relearn to write her numbers. She likes the way Rightstart teaches it more than the way Handwriting Without Tears taught it.
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She now writes the number 8 with ease. That’s the only number she ever struggled with.
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Ember joined us during school time. She refused to take naps yesterday and didn’t even go to bed until midnight. Yeah, I’m tired and kinda frantically worried about how in the world I’m going to get my house clean with two little kids refusing naps!
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I ordered several new geography books and maps and stuff online since Brooklyn is in love with geography. During my research for geography stuff online yesterday I came across a website I used to use in Texas and LOVE, I let Brooklyn play yesterday and she had a blast.
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During breakfast the girls took turns choosing faces to make and pressing the shutter button on my camera to take pictures.
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Brooklyn is still giving her siblings piggy back rides almost daily.
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I’m going to go attempt to put Ember in her bouncy chair and do some dishes. Wish me luck!

Bible in 90 Days, How Goes It?

I’ve been having a hard time with the bible in 90 days challenge. Since starting the challenge I’ve actually been reading less! I think the pressure of the challenge coupled with the fact that I loathe Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus made me lose steam.
That sounds horrible to say I loathe those books but really they’re so incredibly boring and full of stories I don’t enjoy at all. I don’t care to ever read those books again! lol

In other non-news, trying to read with children awake is pretty much impossible. With Payson giving up his naps (I could cry typing that!) I’ve been stressed and unproductive. I really, desperately need those two hours of time away from him to get stuff done. I don’t know what to do anymore!! My days are even more chaotic. School with him around is brutal, blogging with him around is impossible, eating with him around means him screaming, cleaning with him around is down right dangerous. I’m going nuts!
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Oh but he is so freaking cute!! And he has these moments where I can hardly stand how sweet and funny and clever he is! And he really, really, really adores his mama and that makes all the stress and madness worth it.

I think.
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Evidence of how freaking adorable he is, he was running and pushing the shutter and then running back and smiling over and over again while we took group shots. In the picture above he’d ran to push the shutter but then stopped to watch the cartoon for a bit and when he realized the picture was going to be snapped soon he ran and dove onto the couch.
He cracks me up all day! He’s sitting next to me right now staring off into space while sucking his binky and cuddling his elephant. I just turned to him and rubbed his face and said, “Oh you are so cute!” and he responds, “Mm-Hmm, mommy.”