Monday, March 28, 2016

Tricks on the Trampoline

The kids love their trampoline.  Adrian and I enjoy jumping with them occasionally, but it is quite the work out!  Kyle learned how to do a couple of different types of flips, so Avalyn had to learn them, too.

 I love how happy Keira is while she tried to jump higher!

 Kyle makes some of the funniest expressions! 

He is still whistling while jumping!  (It is hard to get him to stop whistling sometimes!)

This is my favorite flipping picture.  I love to see him in midair.

Sophia couldn't do flips, but she had fun doing swirls and jumps.

 Mercy had her go at tricks, too!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Gibb's Garden

{This is a very picture heavy post!}
Adrian and my birthday are 2 days (and a couple of years) apart.  As a birthday present, Adrian's parents told us they would take us to Gibb's Garden when the daffodils were in bloom.  So last week, we made the trip.  It was so beautiful!
A couple of years ago, we had a membership to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  We couldn't help comparing the two gardens, but they are very different.
Gibb's Garden felt more like wandering through someone's backyard, albeit  a VERY large backyard cultivated to perfection.  But it was relaxing and quiet.  Atlanta Botanical Garden felt more like something new and different was planted in every corner and along every path.  It is very pretty, but not relaxing in the same way.
Gibb's Garden was very beautiful, relaxing, and peaceful.  One of my favorite parts was the stream that ran through the lower part of the garden.  The fields of daffodils were amazing!  Can you imagine 20 million daffodils?  I couldn't have before seeing it in person.  They were more beautiful than I could imagine.  Mr. Gibbs had a vision for the gardens and spent 32 years planning and cultivating it before opening the gardens to the public!  That is vision!  If we all had that kind of vision in our Christian life and focused on becoming more like Christ, what could we do in 32 years?
I didn't realize that the Gibbs family actual live on the grounds of Gibb's Garden.  They allow visitors to wander through the valley gardens and the manor house gardens and actually sit on their porch to see the view from their home!
We walked more than I expected and much of it was up and down hills, so if you go, prepare for the exercise.

Even the path markers are pretty!

This little girl and her curls just make me smile!

I was amazed to see all the daffodils.  I especially liked seeing them growing among the trees.

A small section of daffodils had been trampled (assumingly so people could take pictures among the daffodils), so we took advantage of the spot and took a couple of pictures of the kids.  They weren't the most cooperative, but it is still nice to have all of them together.

I love all the variety of daffodils.

I think the yellow on yellow daffodils are my favorite, but I do like the lighter and darker ones as well!

 Once we left the daffodil fields, we moved towards the manor house gardens.

We thought this would make a great sledding hill!

 This is the view from the Gibbs' porch!  I wouldn't mind waking up seeing this every morning!

Walking back towards the valley gardens, this is the view up towards the house!  Spectacular!

What a cute little owl near the Japanese garden!

Mercy likes the turtle.

in the background you can see the bridge modeled after Monet's bridge.  I liked the little sculpture on the island.

Overall, the day was perfect!  The weather was gorgeous and the gardens were magnificent.  I would love to go back when all the leaves are on the trees and see how the gardens look different.  Maybe one day!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Donuts for Rewards

A few years ago I read about finding ways to reward children when they do good things.  We decided that an inexpensive and fun reward was donuts!  The kids really love this, and work hard to earn them!  Now they don't get donuts just for a good test or one job well done, but for finishing their math for the year, or learning to tie their shoes, or learning how to use the bathroom.  Mercy is currently waiting to go get her treat, but we haven't found the time yet!  In the past couple of weeks, Sophia and Kyle earned donuts.

Sophia learned how to tie her shoes!   
She couldn't wait to eat her donut while I took her picture.

The wind kept making it hard for Sophia to eat her donut.

Kyle finished reading GA Henty's With Lee in Virginia!  Henty books are substantial books with a large variety of vocabulary.  Kyle was really excited to get the specialty donut from Krispie Kreme.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Project 365: Week 11

I am starting to forget how many Sundays I have missed, but the week of March 13 - 19 found me at home with Kyle suffering from asthma.  But moving forward, Patrick isn't nursing as much, so I can leave him with Adrian and can go to church when the kids are sick.

Sunday: As Kyle and I stayed home from church and moved around getting things ready for lunch, we spotted a bird feathering his nest!  This bush is just outside of my pantry window.  I am thankful for seeing God's creation up close!
Unfortunately, we haven't seen Mr. Bird in his nest again.  I hope we didn't scare him off!

Monday: I don't know how or why I missed Monday.  This picture is from Wednesday when Adrian's parents took us to Gibb's Garden.  It was amazingly beautiful!  Right now they have over 20 million daffodils in bloom!  I loved seeing the daffodils mixed into the woods and just swaying and fluttering in the breeze.  I am thankful for the opportunity to see such a beauty!

 Tuesday: Mercy Rosie turned 3!  It is so hard to believe!  I am hoping to take a picture of each of the kids on their birthday.  You think this would be obvious and easy, but I am going to have to try hard to remember.  I want something that shows their personality, not just a picture in front of their cake (which we also try to take every year).  I am thankful to God for entrusting me with her.  Such a big responsibility that I do not feel worthy to undertake, but the Lord is good and allows us to raise these children.
I took Kyle to the pediatrician for his asthma.  As I suspected, he needed the oral steroid to help open his lungs. :(

Wednesday: As I said earlier, Adrian's parents took us to Gibb's Garden to celebrate our birthdays (that were a few months back).  We really enjoyed how relaxing and peaceful the gardens were.  Such a beautiful place, I can't imagine living here, but the Gibb's family does!  I am thankful for the wonderful weather so that we could enjoy such a beautiful place.

Thursday: Thursday was crazy as usual, but involved several extra trips up and down the interstate to and from church.  I thought I was going to miss taking a picture all together, but right before bed, I asked who wanted me to take their picture.  Sophia spoke up first, so I told her to smile or make faces.  She chose to make faces!  I am for this bundle of craziness.  She keeps life interesting.

Friday: On Friday, I went to the pediatrician for the second time this week. This time, Avalyn needed to be seen.  It turns out that she has swimmer's ear and an ear infection.  I didn't know that swimmer's ear is a swelling of the ear canal.  So besides the pain of an ear infection, she also has that pain!  Adrian kept his eye on the kids, and this is Patrick asleep in Adrian's office!  I love the trail he left behind him. 
Friday was Avalyn's birthday, too.  She didn't get to spend it the way she wanted!  But we did have her birthday dinner and cake and ice cream.

Bonus: Avalyn on her birthday.  Even though she wasn't feeling well, she managed to smile a couple of times for me.

Saturday:  One of our many helpers!  Sophia loves to help cook the breakfast sausage.