Monthly Family Recap: March 2021

All of our family fun from March 2021! Whew it was a BIG MONTH so get ready πŸ˜‰

It’s crazy it’s been a full year since the world shut down for the pandemic. We are SO thankful to live in an area where life bounced back relatively quickly and is looking more and more like normal as time goes on.

A big moment came this month when new movies started to be released in the theater again! Our theater opened a long time ago but no new movies were out to be showing and I just couldn’t justify spending money to take the kids to see a movie we owned at home ha!

We surprised the kids after church on a Sunday and skipped naps and took them to see Raya and the Last Dragon. They were SO PUMPED and it was THE moment I’ll always remember as the transition away from life with littles and into life with bigger kids.

Spear skipped nap and had NO issues at all and we ALL SAT THROUGH THE ENTIRE MOVIE. It was AWESOME. I don’t think we’ve had that experience since having children haha!

The movie was just eh to me. I didn’t LOVE it like I often do with Disney movies but the kids enjoyed it!

This month was a big month for our family in our efforts to find a new church home. Our original plan was to take our TIME. Not rush the decision. Visit congregations multiple times. Allow things to return more to normalcy before deciding.

We knew the decision was between two congregations and they were different in a lot of ways. Both had SO many great qualities and, most importantly, are sound congregations. Whenever we spent time at one for awhile we’d think “okay this is probably the best choice” and then we’d spend time at the other and think “well maybe this is the best choice.”

We were invited to a family and friends get together with the church members in Quitman. It was SUCH a fun afternoon! The Clark fam has a gorgeous property and our crew loved getting to go fishing, play kickball, and (most of all for Spear) see the TRACTORS!

Mr Scott quickly became Spear’s favorite person. Like he’s right up there with Big Papa level of favoritism in Spear’s eyes. Spear ADORES Mr Scott and I know it’s because Mr Scott kept taking him on tractor rides all afternoon πŸ˜‰

The kids even got to feed the chickens! Spear was RIGHT at home and never wanted to leave. It’s so funny to me that our little fam is not the farming type but little Spear is ALL ABOUT IT. He’s the perfect farmhand for sure πŸ™‚

We really just felt at home with the church family at Quitman and anytime we talked through the decision regarding a church home it just kept coming back to the vibe at Quitman. The people are just SO NICE and we just felt so connected and like the church family was OUR family too.

When we first visited Quitman the very first time Britt looked over at me during the service and said “this is IT” and then that same day when we prayed about the decision Britt said “we don’t need to pray about the church decision anymore because we found our church!” She just KNEW.

Zach met with the elders and we discussed it at length and just both felt that no matter what, we’d keep coming back to that gut feeling that Quitman was where our family is supposed to be. Even without life being back to normal, we decided to just go ahead and make it official!

Here’s what I put on instagram:

We are so thrilled to have found our new church home ❤️

The decision to leave our prior church home was not easy or one we made lightly. It was the only church family myself as well as the kids had ever been part of and it was so heartbreaking to say goodbye. 💔

It was also scary 😳 It’s tough to leave a place where you feel comfortable to enter into a place of unknowns. Would we find another congregation? Would we regret the decision to leave? Would it be too hard for the kids? Were there even other congregations where we could grow spiritually? 🤷‍♀️

While there have been tough parts to this journey, it’s been such an incredible opportunity to meet fellow Christians in our community. We’ve had a chance to deepen bonds with friends as well as broaden our circle in such an uplifting way. We also didn’t struggle to find a sound congregation – we found several and it made the final decision that much more difficult as each worship service we attended we knew they were preaching and teaching God’s Word. Which is a great problem to have and speaks volumes to the amazing congregations in our area ❤️

The church is the people. WE are the church. And that is the biggest lesson I’ve learned through this process. I was blown away by the love we’ve received and I want to make sure I’m always looking for new faces and welcoming them with open arms just as we’ve had extended to us! 🥰

And in the end, that’s what made our decision easier. We weren’t just looking for a place to worship, a pew to sit in, a preacher to hear. We were looking for a church family. One where we can be connected with like minded Christians who will edify each other, hold each other accountable and will help us grow spiritually as well as provide us the opportunity to be ourselves and use our talents too. 👏🏻

We found our place and our people! We trusted God to lead and it’s been amazing to see His plan unfold for our family and we are excited to see how He uses us as members moving forward 🙌🏻

I didn’t realize just how much being part of a church family meant to me until we went through this period of not being connected. It was truly like a piece of me was missing. We all felt that void – even the kids noticed it!

I know so many are hurting and feeling alone and there is no stronger connection than that with Christ and no better bond than with fellow Christians who love Him too. I pray you feel encouraged to seek out a local church of Christ in your area and if you’re local we’d love for you to come visit with us too!

This month the fam got together to celebrate Mema’s birthday with a little surprise party at Casey’s house! Zach and I had a date night and a day date to do our taxes πŸ˜‰ He and his dad also went down to the Disney House to do some repairs on the roof and stopped to do a little golfing too!

One of the many blessings during our time of looking for a new church home as been our ability to really get to know other fellow Christians in our area and connect with so many new friends! I’ve started getting together once a month with some local friends and I LOVE IT. It’s so awesome to connect with like minded fellow Christians and we have such great conversations and my cup is always so full during our times together.

Kye had an awesome 12th birthday celebration this month and was THE most excited about receiving Risk as a birthday gift. He was SO pumped to play! The first time they played he beat Zach but then Zach figured out the strategy and it’ll prob be awhile before Kye can beat him again.

We played one game as a family and it took us WEEKS to finish because we’d only play for like 20-40 min at a time before bed each night. Yall it is just NOT my jam. The strategy is just too hardcore for me and I lose interest too fast for it. We have to find some neighborhood kids to play with Kye haha! My favorite parts were when he had a good roll or good turn and I could see his face light up in that joy!

Kye is really at an age where he’s started to make his own friends and connections and I know that’s such a big part of middle school life. Finding those friendships! Archery has been awesome in that area as he’s met some really awesome kids!!!

He’s got a few good neighborhood friends too and I love that we’re entering the stage where kids come to play at our house. Especially with our new church we’re frequently swapping kids between church services on Sundays! Britt doesn’t mind when all the boys gang up on her πŸ˜‰

Zach, Kye and Big Papa went to the VSU basketball game together. Zach said that he and Kye really love watching live sports together and I’m glad that they have a “thing” they bond with!

Kye had the honor this month of being invited to be part of Sources of Strength which is a peer leader program at the middle school. We are always so proud of him!

This month was a big month with archery as well as they competed, and won, the state title! Archery is very similar to golf in that it’s a very mental sport and if you’re off then you can be WAY off. Kye has been consistently improving and his scores have continued to get higher and higher since he started but the pressure of the state championship did get in his head and he struggled a bit.

While it’s always tough as a mama to see your baby struggle – it’s GOOD FOR HIM to have this happen too. It’s a big reason WHY we wanted Kye to be involved in an individualized sport. He is a perfectionist personality and can be VERY, VERY hard on himself. He overthinks (like his mama) and gets into his head and learning HOW to work through that is SO important and a skill he needs to have into adulthood so archery is an excellent way for him to harness that skill.

He had a hard time when he struggled but it was a chance for him to rise above and work harder and figure out how to tweak things to get through that hurdle and to NOT GIVE UP!

We spent a LOT of time at the gym watching archery competitions this month and I’m super proud of Spear and Tess especially for how well they did having to be quiet!

On one of his Saturday morning competitions Kye had QUITE the audience! It made us ALL so thrilled to have Big Daddy come watch. What a blessing and gift for our babies to have a relationship with their GREAT grandparents!!! I mean I never even met mine and Kye is TWELVE and has THREE great grandparents who are still living and who are also an active part of his life. SUCH a blessing that we never take for granted.

Big Daddy was beyond precious. Mr Rusty wheeled him in a wheelchair and the archery coaches were SO sweet to allow Big Daddy to be wheeled up each time they scored a round of arrows. He wanted to know all about the sport and see how it was all done. A memory all of us will hold onto forever.

Kye had quite the “whisper” cheering section and it meant so much to him and to us to have so much support. Even Aunt Karen was able to be there after her breast cancer surgery (which we’re so thankful she’s doing SO well and is currently undergoing radiation).

The coaches presented Big Daddy with a hat in honor of the event and it was a day that will always be so special.

Britt is starting to really grow up in so many ways (I mean she LOOKS like a dang teenager already!) and she has started asking for opportunities to do things with Mommy and Aunt Katie, older girl outings and not always being with Tess.

It’s ALWAYS been Tess and Britt together and they’ve always wanted it that way but I totally respect Britt for wanting to have different privileges than her younger sister. She talked to me about how she feels like Kye has some special privileges at 12 but she doesn’t really have any at 9 that Tess doesn’t have at 6 and I get that!

I talked to Aunt Katie and the three of us planned a big girl outing just with Britt. We went to eat at Austin’s and chatted and enjoyed each other’s company. I told her that’s all us women do…we go out to eat and talk haha! It was great to get to learn more about Britt and she felt special and cherished and it was a great evening πŸ™‚ Plus we ended the night by jamming out to our fav songs too!

Britt RARELY gets sick. Zach’s family has a strong history of auto immune stuff (his mom, sister, and himself!) and my GUT has always been the most worried about Britt being the one to have those genes as she just SO SO RARELY gets sick. Like I can’t even remember her having any sick days from school! This year the attendance policy is much less strict so when she felt a bit sick I let her stay home and rest. It was the first time either of us could remember her staying home and she got to have Mommy’s Sick Day experience of having a bed made up on the couch, binge watching movies and getting gatorade. She didn’t mind the spoiling one bit πŸ˜‰

We are working on converting her bedroom from the princess bedroom theme to Harry Potter. We’re keeping the walls pink but adding in maroon and black and gold and Harry Potter details for her. We spent a whole Saturday cleaning out and organizing and rearranging things!

Britt started a club at school AND had her first legit crush on a boy and I can remember so vividly being in third grade and hitting those same milestones! I love that we share a bond where we talk about allllll the things together and I love our afternoons when the girls get off the bus πŸ™‚

I know life is not fair and I know it’s impossible to parent each child the same. But it’s still hard for me not to try to get quality time with each kid when I have it with one of them! Since Britt and I had our big girl night outing I did want to set aside some time to spend with JUST Tess too. She helped me run an errand (dropping off clothing items at the kids sale) and then she and I grabbed a quick lunch in the drive through together. So while it wasn’t as big of a deal as the evening with Britt, we still got some just us one on one time πŸ™‚ Not fair…not the SAME…but still helped me avoid having “mama guilt.” Plus quality time with my kids is my JAM and the best way to get quality time is just having them by themselves for surrrrre!

It’s funny how different each kid is. Britt wanted to jam out and dance to music while Tess wanted to read the whole time in the car. She was super chatty during the lunch though and loves to recite entire stories that she’s read.

I had my first solo beach trip this month and Tess MISSED ME. When I got home she wanted to hear all about it and wanted to spend time with her mama. It was so sweet that she wanted that time together and she asked if we could lay out and read in the backyard like I did at the beach. I think it’d be fun to take the girls to the beach sometime just us! I feel like they are old enough to enjoy it and not have it be too stressful!

Tessie equally loves quality time with Daddy too and has really started to enjoy golfing with him! She may be the golfer in the fam – check out that swing! He checked her out of school early one afternoon to go hit balls and she loved it!

I cannot get over Tess’s TEETH. Yall. I’m writing this the first week in June and she already has lost all four top teeth AND already has both front teeth FULLY IN. It’s NUTS how fast they fell out and came back in!!!

She had her last front tooth hanging on and it was quite the adorable snaggle tooth. She bit into a whole apple and sure enough it got crazy loose so she and Britt worked on pulling it.

She didn’t have the freshly lost front tooth look for long though and I’m glad I caught a few pics of it!

Tess loves school and loves to pick out her own outfits. She also LOVES reading and it’s been crazy to see how much her reading skills have advanced this school year. She reads at a later 2nd grader/early 3rd grader reading level and she’s just in 1st grade!!!

This month I came up with some daily affirmations for Tess to start the day with each day. We recite them in the car on the way to school and I wrote them to help both Tess and Britt focus on positive messages to start the day. It’s been a GAME CHANGER for Tess.

Tess is similar to Kye in that she is very much a perfectionist and can be hard on herself. She is my most emotionally gifted and empathetic child and I def think she’s highly sensitive. Working through these daily affirmations have helped her in SUCH a huge way! She’s been able to be better in control of her emotions (something that SHE came to me and said she wanted help with) and it’s helped her have a more positive outlook each day!

Spear also had a big March! He is fully day potty trained but wears a pull up at naps and bedtime and still poops during those times. I mean ideally I’d LOVE to have him poop trained and be DONE with diapers but at the same time…who really cares right? It’s not that big of a hassle and it’s better than him having random poop accidents!

I have started to really talk up pooping in the potty and encouraging him to take the time to sit and try to go poop before naps and bedtime. He receives 2 m&ms if he goes poop in the potty. See that itty bitty tiny piece of poop? THIS KID haha he pushed and pushed and went that TINY bit and claimed he was done and got his treats and then pooped in his diaper at nap. Little stinker!!!!

This was THE month that it got to the point where we HAD to say goodbye to the baby crib. I mean he is 3 years and 3 months old so the time was coming…but still. I held on as long as I could!

He started to strip off the sheets in his crib and then he started to lift the mattress and hide under it and then he started to strip the mattress AND his own clothing.

And then. Then he decided to literally RIP APART THE MATTRESS. So that was it. The end of the era of a baby crib for us in our home. We did pack up the crib to save for grand babies!

Of course all of this happened When Zach was out of town so Spear had to sleep in a pack and play until his bed arrived and Zach was home to get it all set up!

Along with his big boy bed I also did invest in a Privacy Pop Bug Tent to cover his bed. He was used to sleeping with his crib tent and I felt like having the tent would help ease the transition for him as well as help deter him from escaping πŸ˜‰

It was the first time he’s slept with a pillow AND with a blanket. He’d never allow either in his crib with him but since we were moving to an entirely new sleeping situation I figured, let’s go with it ALL at once!

He still asked for me to hold him and sing to him which I soaked up. I def felt pretty emotional about the transition since he’s my last baby to leave the crib.

He did VERY well with the big change! Of course he’s gotten out from time to time but overall he’s LOVED his new big boy bed and does well staying in it! We are proud of him – our BIG BOY!

Randomly one day after nap when I went to get Spear up his tooth was chipped! It was the strangest thing! I have no clue what happened and the only thing we can figure is that he bumped it on the metal framing of his bed? I had noticed a small chip in it over the weekend prior so maybe it weakened the tooth and allowed it to more easily chip further?

Bless. Spear is a thumb sucker in his sleep so his front teeth protrude forward so the chip was not only very sharp but also VERY noticeable! Thankfully the pediatric dentist got us in and filed it a bit and agreed that it was so close to the nerve that it made sense to cap the tooth to help preserve it.

This month Spear also had his refresher of his survival swim lessons. I am super mega hardcore about keeping my kids safe when it comes to the water. We have had a pool in our backyard since Kye was a toddler and all of the kids have started survival lessons when they were just learning to walk.

I try to keep them in refresher classes until they are REALLY solid and I don’t worry about any regression. Truly, Spear may be there as the minute he got in the pool he was GOOD TO GO and he didn’t really need any sort of reminding to know what to do. He just did it! We may be DONE with the baby crib AND the lessons πŸ™‚

I mean HOW GROWN IS HE?!?! I love love love these pics I took of him for a campaign on Insta this month. My sweet boy!

Spear absolutely LOVES to be outside and it’s the cutest thing how he’ll find a pile of dirt and convert his little hand into a scoop and pretend to be an excavator. He especially loves ant beds. Yes, he knows they bite and he zero percent cares. He will watch them and get a bite and then enjoy picking it. He’s a mess haha!

He knows no fear and loves to climb and explore and if we go to the neighborhood playground I wear myself out just following him around!

He loves to help Daddy do ALL the things. Yard work. Home repairs. He’s ALL about it!

He is also my little errand buddy. Before I know it he’ll be at big school with the big kids and I think one of the things I’ll miss the most when that day comes is our little errands in the mornings together. Holding hands in the parking lot. Getting the “driving cart.” A purse full of snacks. Frequent stops to pick up a dropped toy. Zooming down the aisles. The joy of a balloon. I love these moments!

I’m gonna miss this right here!!!

Spear loves to anything to do with tools, vehicles, dirt, building, or figuring things out. He cracks me up reading instruction manuals for fun!

As he’s getting a little older his attention span is getting longer and his behavior is getting better and while he’s still wild he’s not as CRAZY wild so I’m able to ENJOY him more and more too! I can see the easier days coming our way and I love that I’m able to soak up his sweetness!

I’m really trying to spend quality time moments with him on the days he’s home with me and have enjoyed playing simple preschooler level games with him to help build on the skills he’s learning at school.

I love that as Spear gets older he’s forming deeper bonds with his siblings and it’s been so precious to see the way Britt has become closer to him overtime! She had NO interest when he was an infant but now she’s ALL about him and he is always asking for “Britt Britt.”

We took some pics of the two of them together for a campaign on Insta and I love how these turned out:

More pics from our family moments this month. The kids had dress up days at school and sibling sleep overs in Kye’s room. We found a new family game we are LOVING (Sequence for Kids). I took a few pics at the eye dr when I had an appointment this month as it’s the ONLY place I’ve been to in AGES that still had a lot of hardcore guidelines in place for Covid!

We did some baking and golf cart riding and year book looking. I love my babies and getting to be their mama is my biggest blessing!

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Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest 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 Love What Matters, Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. 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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