Family Recap: December 2018

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Continuing with my trend of combining all the big kid’s stuff with the family stuff for this monthly recap. I’m kinda hoping I can just keep this going from now on and do a big combo post each month! With how much we travel and all the posts covering those things I typically have less and less to share each month in individual posts. 

This month the kids had several fun things, especially around the holidays! Britt had a field trip that I was SO PUMPED about. It was a Santa Express train ride. Like a LEGIT train ride. I think a train ride is one of those things that everyone really wants to someday do, right? I feel like it’s a thing. 

So when I heard about the field trip I was ALL ABOUT IT. It’s actually the most excited I’ve ever been for a field trip. It was an hour and a half drive to get there and I met the school bus there. Britt was thrilled to have me along with her and we even wore our matching Christmas dresses for all the fun!

It turns out that riding on a train is only exciting for like 5 minutes. Y’all. Like I said, I drove one hour and thirty minutes to get to the field trip. Then we get on the train and it was a TWO HOUR train ride. TWO HOURS y’all. With a TON of first graders.

When we first boarded the train I saw a mom with a bag of snacks and things for her kid to do and I totally was like “omg why would that mom bring all that stuff?” And then after a few minutes of the train leaving the station I realized that that mama was a GENIUS and I was the idiot not bringing a single thing to keep my 7 year old entertained for TWO HOURS. I brought a dvd for her to watch on the hour and a half drive home…but didn’t think about the TWO HOUR train ride. 

I’m thankful I made friends with the mama sitting across from us so I had someone to chat with. I also didn’t have my own child to entertain, I had a bonus kid as they sat kids that didn’t have a parent on the field trip with a student who did have a parent. Thankfully Britt got along well with the little girl and they had a pretty good time. Also thankfully they had a concession cart so we were able to walk down to that part of the train to get a snack mid-way! 

Checking out the view!

It was a Christmas themed train ride but the only real Christmas thing that happened was an Elf walked by and said hi and then the kids got to meet Santa and Mrs Claus. Cute, but only took like 3 minutes. Honestly the whole idea of a train ride is SO FUN, they should have just had it be a 30 minute train ride to a closer location and it would have resulted in MUCH happier KIDS and parents too!

Authentic train ticket!

Walking between the train cars was really neat and the bathroom was super cool too. 

Sweet friends sharing a snack!

The destination of the train ride was Plains, Georgia the home of former President Jimmy Carter. I was excited for the train ride and also excited for the town visit as I’ve never been there before! 

When we arrived we ate lunch and then walked down to see his current homestead. The walk and home glance took up pretty much all of our free time. Another change they should make to the field trip is to allow a LOT more time in the destination. We had under two hours total which just wasn’t enough time considering the FOUR hours total spent on the dang train! 

It was a cute little town and I would have enjoyed having more of a chance to really explore what there was to offer! 

Jimmy Carter’s current home location. 

All the kids were SO excited about the pay phone and had no clue what it was haha!

Our train conductor!

On the way back the kids were OUT OF CONTROL and I didn’t blame them! They’d been cooped up for so long. I’m really interested to see if this is a field trip they have again or not. I think the concept was awesome but the actual trip itself just wasn’t. Other parents all felt the same way and there were comments about “worst field trip ever” and “never again.” I told Zach since he has a life long dream of riding on a train that HE can go if Tess and Spear have this field trip in the future πŸ˜‰ 

I enjoyed the quality time with Britt and we had even more of it with the hour and thirty min drive back home! We were super late getting back and Zach and I left that evening to head to Orlando for our weekend away so it was QUITE the DAY! 

Britt’s class Christmas party went MUCH better! It was short, sweet and at a great time for Spear and I to be able to come without messing up his schedule at all. It was PJ day for the kids at school and Britt was super pumped to be wearing Kye’s old Christmas pjs from a few years ago. She loved having Spear and I in her class for snack time! 

All the sweet girls in her class!

When we went through Kye’s pjs we found several sets that are too small for him but just right for Britt and she was thrilled about it. I’m all about the kids thinking that hand-me-downs are super cool πŸ˜‰ 

The kids had themed days at school leading up to Christmas and one of the days was “white day” where they wore all white. Britt looked like a straight up Kardashian in her all white and animal print jacket!

Our fierce girl!

Britt was invited to a birthday party at the YMCA and she LOVES the gymnastics themed parties and loves her sweet friend Zoe! 

Typical Britt moment: 

When the kids had their holiday parties I asked them if they wanted me to attend and they both said YES! Kye’s fell during Spear’s nap time and I made the decision to find a babysitter. I wanted to be able to really give Kye my full attention and wanted to be there because HE wanted me there. He will soon be in middle school and I doubt parents are even invited anymore. So I gotta do it while I can!

Yes, it was a bit of a pain to find a sitter and pay a sitter just to go to a 30 min class party…but seeing his face when I walked in was SO WORTH IT. 

Kye is really enjoying taking part in student council. He helped organize a toy drive for kids in the PCB area who were affected by Hurricane Michael. He was even featured in our local paper and we totally kept the article for his political campaign someday πŸ˜‰ 

We are hardcore against pushing our kids to play any sports or put any sort of pressure on them in that area. Kye has discussed wanting to play basketball this year so we signed him up! He has been practicing a bunch and really seems excited about it. Zach and I even got him some basketball clothes form to wear πŸ˜‰ He had his first practice and he made his first 6 shots!!! I have yet to see him play but am excited for all the games to come and am so glad he’s enjoying it so far! 

As everyone knows…Kye LOVES reading. I think it’s so precious that he’s at a stage where he’s recommending books for ME to read. He really loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and had me read one of the books. 

I’m so glad I did read it. Not only was it a pretty entertaining and funny read…but it REALLY enlightened me to a lot about Kye. I realized he’s at an age where books really make an impact on him. So many of the things that he’s been sharing on his heart and mind lately have stemmed from things he’s been reading in these books. And that’s not a bad thing, but it’s also an important opportunity to make sure he understands that we don’t have to apply everything we read to our lives. 

This month we spent some time over at G-Mama’s house and Zach took the opportunity to shoot our guns. We don’t shoot them often and it’s important to use them from time to time. 

Now that Kye is getting older it’s important that he understands gun safety and has gun education. So Zach took him out and let him shoot my gun…and y’all this video was his FIRST SHOT! Kid has some skill! 

Zach’s freshman year of college football (2004) Valdosta State University won their first ever National Championship Title (not to brag but Zach did catch a touchdown during the game). Then his senior season (2007) VSU won it again (and yes, another touchdown during the game for Zach). They won another one I believe in 2014 and this year they played for it again and WON! Zach had such a fun time watching the game with Kye together and cheering on the Blazers!

Having an older kid is pretty awesome y’all. Kye is LEGIT helpful. He can do things completely on his own and I can totally trust him to handle tasks and I’m better able to get my own stuff done. When it came to putting away the Christmas decorations, Kye completely handled putting away our Christmas Village! 

Tessie LOVES board games. Girl will play a game totally by herself. Doesn’t even need anyone to play with. She loves setting up the game and just working through it. For first day of Christmas break I let her leave on her pjs (she’d LIVE in pjs if I let her!) and we played games together πŸ™‚ 

Tess also really enjoys looking through books. I love having our holiday books out for her to enjoy throughout the day. 

Making bracelets from her Christmas gift!

At church the kids had a little performance. Zach and I missed it as we were out of town but Mrs. Charlotte recorded it for us and it was so cute!

At Tess’s school the focus at Christmas is solely on Jesus (no Santa etc) and this year they did an ADORABLE play working through the story of Jesus’ birth. Tess was cast perfectly…as an angel πŸ™‚ She was adorable and the whole thing was just precious and she loved having us all there watching and cheering her on!

Video of Tess speaking part, video of Jingle Bells song, video of “we wish you a merry Christmas.”

Carter was baby Jesus haha! So epic!

Zach was able to take Tess on a little lunch date this month to her choice…CFA πŸ™‚ 

Sweet girl Tessie!

Another hand-me-down pjs! 

Our family tradition is to have a big feast on the night after Christmas. Christmas night Zach and I always get Chinese for dinner (this year we did Aligatu and it was SO GOOD). We always use our Christmas china and eat in our dining room! This year Daddy did homemade pizza…so good!

Over the break we played a LOT of games together which was so nice. It was nice not rushing to bedtime and just having that leisure time together. We got several new games for Christmas and it was so fun playing them all! This game, Bounce-Off, is great too!

I also want to add that I’m VERY proud of Kye. He has always been very, very competitive and often struggles with getting upset when he loses or doesn’t do well playing a game. He really is working on it and did SO great over the break playing games and having a good sportsman like attitude about it!

The kids love their new Star Wars weapons πŸ™‚ 

Whew Christmas break y’all was NOT much of a break for us! When we built our house in 2010 we did builder grade everything with the knowledge that we’d have to do updates. Our carpet has been needing updating for SO LONG and the time finally came! 

We had to move everything off the carpet (the install did include their moving of the furniture which was great but we had to still move things off the furniture, out of book shelves etc). And we went over to Mrs Charlotte’s the day of the install. The kids had fun playing outside!

And playing games inside!

And having chill time watching some movies!

For dinner we went with Big Daddy, Little Mama, and Zach’s parents to their favorite little pizza place by their houses. We were all dressed in grunge play clothes but it was a fun spontaneous dinner!

Big Daddy loves feeding Spear πŸ™‚ 

Making wishes in the fountain!

I had planned to head to Melbourne for the weekend with the big kids. It is THE reason we scheduled the carpet install when we did. My cousin had a wedding shower I wanted to attend and I figured if we planned the carpet install for the same time it’d be a great chance to get the kids out of the house and do something FUN for them and also allow them quality time with my family. A win all around!

We got home from Mrs. Charlotte’s after the first day of install to realize THE INSTALLED THE WRONG CARPET. For real y’all. THE WRONG CARPET. The carpet we ordered was a gray/tan mix and the carpet they installed was WINTER WHITE. 

I was thankful that it was THEIR mistake and not the carpet we ordered because it was NOT GOOD. I was so upset, knowing we’d have to live in our chaos house until they could reorder the carpet and reschedule install (spoiler alert it ended up being 2 full weeks). 

I woke up early the next morning and loaded up the car and was off to Melbourne when I realized the car wasn’t driving right and discovered my tire was completely flat. Ugh. Not my best 24 hours. 

I ended up calling off the trip. I felt like the bad tire was a sign not to travel alone with the kids that day. I was bummed and so were the kids but Zach didn’t even get home from getting the tire fixed until almost lunchtime so really it was a good call not to be driving down there at noonish only to come back the next night! 

The kids enjoyed the soft carpet and we let them have some screen time since they’d been planning to play their tablets on the drive!

I was reallllly bummed. No trip, no seeing my family, and the wrong carpet. Ugh. It was beyond frustrating. I knew the kids and I just needed to get OUT of the house. Luckily we hadn’t seen Mary Poppins yet AND Aunt Katie was able to meet us to see it all together. It was very cute. Not as good as the original, but nothing ever is. The songs weren’t as memorable (“Let’s Go Fly a Kite” is totally one of my absolute favorite Disney songs) but I LOVE all the nods to the original. And Emily Blunt was fantastic! 

In the midst of the carpet chaos Zach also went ahead and started on the flooring project for the kitchen and dining rooms. We have had tile in the kitchen and have hardwood floors in the dining. I can’t STAND the grout of the tile. So I loved the idea of doing some plank flooring in the kitchen area and it just makes sense to do it in the dining too so it all flows well together. Zach is so handy and it saved us $6000 on the cost of install for him doing it himself rather than having the flooring guys to install it! 

This spot in my kitchen gets THE messiest because the kids eat at the bar all the time so I had to get a picture of the cleanest it’ll ever be!

Since we weren’t able to go out of town, we did a sibling sleepover for the kids!

And try to make it special by doing cinnamon rolls for breakfast πŸ™‚ 

Randomly in early December we had a TON OF RAIN. Like legit the kids MISSED school due to RAIN. So crazy!!! Zach had a super fun idea to decorate water bottles and go race them near our house in a drainage ditch that was flooding. All the Disney stickers came in handy!

They had so much fun and Daddy enjoyed having a craft project πŸ˜‰ 

For their day off of school I made muffins and served them on Santa plates πŸ™‚ And yes, this is their morning breakfast. They always eat part of a banana, a prune, and their vitamins! 

It was so funny when the kids found out we didn’t have school Kye IMMEDIATELY stripped down out of his clothes haha!

We did some girl-time nails for Spear’s party!

It was also so great for Spear’s party that the kids were so hands on and helpful!

Hot chocolate for the win!

Tess is SO patient and sweet when Britt reads to her!

We stuck close to home all of the break and the kids played so well together and so nicely together! They loved playing games!

We baked some cookies and it was the first time that I was truly HANDS OFF in the baking. The kids could truly handle every step on their own! I just handled getting the ingredients out and putting them away!

White Day at school!

As one of their Christmas gifts Mrs Charlotte got the girls matching unicorn flippy dresses. They wore them together to church and when I took the pic Britt cracked me up because she did this weird smile and said “I’m just trying out a new smile, what do you think?” and I was like “um let’s stick with your regular smile” ha! 

Here’s a link to the dresses! 

We also just got back the pictures from the Santa and Mrs Claus meet and greet at Southeastern Credit Union. How AMAZING are these?! Huge thanks to Southeastern Credit Union for hosting and to Jennifer Chmielewski Photography for the awesome pictures πŸ™‚ 

Here are some of my outfits from this month:

Cardigan from Amazon

White Shirt from Old Navy

Jeans from Old Navy

Shoes from Amazon

Top from Kohl’s

Jeans from Old Navy

Shoes Toms from Amazon

Cardigan Amazon

Shirt Express

Joggers Amazon

Boots Amazon

When Zach and I went on our shopping trip I really wanted to up my skirt game and get some new complete outfits for church or other type outings. I really love them! I had a lot of luck at Loft Outlet and Banana Republic Outlet too! 

Here is a link to my boots in both pictures (from Amazon)

We had a FULL December and are ready for more slowing down in Jan! I also was featured this month in a Mommy Interview, you can read it over at Exploring Domesticity! 

journeyofphood

Hey Guys, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happy place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Today Parenting and Chronicles of a Babywise Mom. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, FacebookΒ and Pinterest!

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