Monthly Family Recap: October 2021

October was a fun-filled month, but really what month isn’t filled with fun when you have four precious babies to experience life with, right?

When Kye was Spear’s age I used to LOVE to go to local community events. With the craziness of our world the last few years there haven’t been many opportunities to go and do around town with the kids and I was so excited about the touch-a-truck event!

Tess was not that into the idea at first but she quickly started having fun. I love opportunities where ALL the kids have a good time, even Kye loved seeing the cool army vehicles. And, of course, Spear was in HEAVEN.

Britt is my down for anything kid and always makes everything FUN and she was all about getting a turn to operate a real tractor πŸ™‚

A perk of living in a military town is that we got to get into the tanks and check out all the army vehicles!

We also got to see a real bomb defuser robot thing. It was so funny because I was talking to the GBI guy who operated it and I said “yall probably don’t use this bomb thing very often!” He then told me that there are THREE bomb threats a DAY in Georgia. And when I said that surely most of them aren’t actual bombs? He said that they actually see a LOT of legit bombs and that they just do a good job of keeping it from the public. Yikes!

They also all got a turn sitting in the back of the police car – it better be the first and only time πŸ˜‰

This month was a great news month for Aunt Karen as she is CANCER FREE! We all got together to celebrate her news as well as say goodbye to Big Daddy’s and Little Mama’s home. After his passing in June Little Mama decided to sell the house and move into a new build which is SO exciting for her to have something new and something easier to manage. But, whew, it’s tough to say goodbye to a place with so many memories right?! It was so nice that we could all be together there one last time!

We all shared our favorite memories from the house and even each of the great grand babies shared their favorite memories (Spears was “Playing!!!”).

Mr Rusty invited Spear and I to attend the Sunbelt Ag Expo with him and it was SUCH a fun day. Spear LOVES all things tractors AND adores his Big Papa so the chance to have BOTH together? Perfect day for him!

I tried to stay out of the way as much as possible and just let the two of them have their time together. Spear was SO pumped to get to actually sit in all the tractors AND touch the buttons. He could have stayed ALL day. He wanted to sit in every, single one.

Of course he’s a little fancy with his tractors too and John Deere’s have his heart! We also found this super cool toy tractor that I instantly loved for him and Santa ended up getting for him for Christmas πŸ˜‰

We also got to watch the tractors race and bail hay and ride on a tractor too! He had THE best day EVER and has talked about the Expo constantly. He wants to have his birthday there and celebrate Christmas there. Zach wishes he’d been able to go and we def plan to have him there next year as I’m sure this will be an annual event with our little farmer!

Jolee, Zach’s cousin, got married in November and we all went to Mrs Charlotte’s for her wedding shower. The girl cousins all LOVED helping to host the event and were all dressed so cute. Jolee has such a special spot in my heart as we share so much in common and understand each other in a special way. I am so happy that she’s found her forever and has started her own family unit! I was so sad we weren’t able to attend the wedding (it was over Thanksgiving break) but am thankful the girls and I were able to be there to celebrate her at the shower!

Tess was so funny as when we got there she said she felt shy with there being so many people she didn’t know…but then just a few short minutes later she was the life of the party chatting up everyone and anyone and even volunteering to say the prayer. She warms up quick πŸ˜‰

After the shower we took some group pics with everyone! I try to be really intentional in offering to take group pics at special events as pictures are so important! We got so many cute ones πŸ™‚

And even got Mema in ’em which is an extra special treat! Mema is Mrs Charlotte’s mom. Cheryl is Charlotte’s sister and Jolee is Cheryl’s daughter πŸ™‚

After our fun morning I took Tess out for a little afternoon coffee date. I am trying to do better at NOT having everything pre-planned and “even” and “fair.” Sometimes a kid gets to attend a birthday party that a friend invites them to. Sometimes a kid gets to attend a playdate. Sometimes a kid gets solo time with a parent. I am trying to do better at just rolling with things as they come. It’s okay if sometimes a kid gets to do something and the others don’t. We have our priorities: family time, extend family/church family time, and last is school/neighborhood friend time. I used to beat myself up over things not being “fair” all the time and always tried to “make up” for things when it seemed like a kid was disappointed or didn’t “get” to do things that the other(s) got to do. But who needs that on their mental load? Right? A big personal goal of mine is minimizing my mental load plate and this kinda stuff just needs to go!

So on this day it happened to work out where Tessie and I had the chance to get a coffee and just enjoy some time together. She is REALLY into joke books right now and it’s so funny how she really has her own unique personality. She wanted to bring both of her joke books as well as her reading book into Starbucks with us!

She loved the board they have set up for thoughts to share. I love what she wrote πŸ™‚

She ordered a white chocolate hot chocolate and a cake pop and took one sip and one bite and then spent the rest of the time reading out loud to me from her book. It is TOTALLY okay with me that she didn’t want to spend our time together talking. It’s about pouring into my babies the way THEY best feel poured into. And having me sit and listen to her read out loud to me brought HER joy so therefore it brought ME joy too! Love our time together!

I had a campaign for Instagram this month and it gave me a great opportunity to take some pictures of the kids in front of the house. I love campaigns like these because honestly who thinks to take pics in front of their house on a regular basis right?! It was a great push for me to get these pics and I just LOVE them so much. I love our house and love the babies that make this house a home!

We had a lot of friend fun this month too! Again, I am working on not keeping score πŸ™‚ Kye had our church buddy, Conner, over between services and they had a BLAST getting to play Risk together as well as having Nerf battles. It worked out great to have him over between churches and for Zach to take the girls to the golf course for a bit too!

We also had a dinner night at the Clark family home. I love how quickly we’ve been able to really connect with our new church family. I ADORE the Clark’s and all of our kids love each other too. It’s such a blessing and gift to have their friendship!

A group of girls started up a monthly card game meet-up which I’m also all about! We’re playing Canasta together. I’d never heard of it but it’s really fun and quick and easy to learn. I just LOVE spending time with these ladies and am so thankful for these new friendships. I have been very focused on managing my plate and creating more “white space” on my plate and those efforts have already been paying off in my plate having SPACE for these new friendships and fun times together!

A group of ladies from church also meets up pretty regularly for book club and one of the ladies had the great idea to include our older daughters at this months meet up. Britt is my kid that is ALWAYS wishing she could be included in the “girl time” I have with friends and she was SO THRILLED to get to be included in the Book Club meet up. She sat at her own table with Brenna and they had so much fun together πŸ™‚

Kye’s archery season kicked off this month. We learned that Archery CLUB is from the time school starts until Jan. During that time the Archery Club members play in tournaments and their scores are taken and those scores go towards making the actual Archery TEAM which is announced in Jan. So basically August – Jan are practice tournaments for Kye. Still important, of course, but we stopped trying to attend EVERY SINGLE after school one and just made sure to be there for all the weekend tournaments. Last year we made sure he had someone there to watch EVERY one and we couldn’t figure out why he was one of the only ones with anyone there – now we realize haha.

He had a GREAT first weekend tournament to kick off the season and scored a 257. It was AMAZING to see his growth and the strength he’s gained as well as the confidence he has this year compared to last year. We even went ahead and invested in the yard signs for archery for him as we’re pretty confident he’ll be on the team too πŸ™‚

Kye also went on a field trip this month with FBLA to the Perry Fair which is the largest fair in Georgia. He had a great time…and he won some carnival games in order to bring each of his siblings home a gift. A GIFT OF GOLDFISH. And he HAD a way to communicate with his mama to ASK her about the goldfish prizes and yet did not ask. He carried around the fish the entire day at the fair AND had to carry them the entire bus ride home. Super, super sweet and thoughtful for his siblings but also an excellent lesson as he also had to use his own money to purchase a tank and food and accessories etc for the fish and has had to completely care for them too.

We went from a non-pet family to have SIX pets now haha A cat, a turtle and four fish! Meet Gup-Gup, Luca, Olive and Ollie!

Kye also had the opportunity to go with Sources of Strength to read to the elementary school kids and he was excited about it for literally WEEKS. I LOVE that the middle school focuses on fun experiences for these kids and opportunities to be positive role models to others. He had THE best day getting to read to the little kids and I love the positivity and building UP our teens!

Kye is also STILL hanging onto baby teeth and is finally getting close to losing the remainder of them. He’s down to just having 3 left!

The girls had school pictures this month. I’ve always been really hardcore about getting family pictures taken regularly and therefore I never buy school pics. It’s just for the yearbook picture so I let THEM dress how they want, style their hair how they want etc. I love that Britt wanted to dress nice and she was so cute with her hairstyle for her pics this year. She had her hair trimmed with some shorter pieces in the front and is ALL about it!

They had dress up days this month at school too and Britt was so excited that a sweet friend from church had the same shirt she did so they could twin together!

We are also at the age where Britt can really wear a LOT of my clothes from my teenage years which is just mind boggling to me. But she wears ’em better than I did!

It was the first time planning family pictures where I had help choosing the looks. Britt was GREAT at helping me decide what looked cute together and flowed well too.

Britt really wanted to learn how to French braid and y’all I’m just NOT good at “girl hair.” I learned how to French braid in college but who remembers how to do that, right? I’m not big on allowing the kids to watch You Tube but we found a how to French braid video that I felt comfortable with her watching and she totally used it to teach herself and did a GREAT job!!!

She also had the Book Fair at school this month and bought a “creepy” book and Britt is THE best player in the fam when we play Tripoley! She balls OUT and wins like every time!

For school pictures Tess also wanted to dress up and I thought it was so cute that both girls wanted to wear red. Tess wanted her top ALL the way buttoned and wanted to wear a tiara too. I love her toothy grin stage too. SO cute!

Tess’s current FAV foods are go-gurts, popcorn, and spaghetti with meatballs. I’m just glad I finally have a family meal I can cook that EVERYONE loves! She is still really loving her shorter bob style haircut and it is just so adorable on her. She rocks it!

Tess is the kid who enjoys the study room the MOST out of the whole fam. She writes little notes and messages and drawings on the dry erase boards every night!

Tess is the most hardcore about picking out her own clothes out of any of my kids ever up to this point in my parenting journey. It cracks me up how she often picks monochromatic styles. We call it the “Dave Sedgley” look because my dad is well known for wearing blue on blue in different shades. Tessie def takes after Grandpa in her style choices πŸ™‚

I love reading the sweet notes from her teachers. Teacher comments are always the most valuable thing to me on the kids’ report cards!

Tess was laying on the couch with Zach and he called me in to see the weird way she was bending her leg. How awkward is this?!!? Weird fun talent!

As I previously mentioned Tess has been on a ROLL with the joke books lately. Seriously such a great gift for this age! Zach worked this month on painting our master bedroom and master bathroom and Tess kept him company and kept him entertained by reading jokes to him the whole time he worked πŸ™‚ Never a dull moment as a parent, even doing household projects you have company!

Tess also received a letter this month inviting her to participate in testing for the gifted program! Kye and Britt are both in gifted and it’s been a fantastic experience for them and we are excited for Tess as well!

Tess is such a little book worm but also loves to write books too. She is a little artist and she also is killing her math facts with multiplication!

What I will look back on with the fondest memories of this stage of life with Spear is our “Sams Jams” mornings. I love running errands together with him. He is always so sweet and snuggly and half of the time I’m having to shop with one hand as I’m hugging him with the other while somehow also pushing the cart. We have so much fun together and it’s “our thing” and I love it so much! When I see moms shopping solo it makes me sad as I know that’s the next era for me and I will miss these mornings so much together.

At Halloween and Christmas I get out our themed book collection and Tess is always the one who enjoys it most but this year Spear was ALL about it. He loved reading all the Halloween books!

His hair is finally fully grown in from the hair buzzing incident! He looks so handsome with his fresh cut. Bless his heart too he stepped in a huge ant bed at Little Mama’s and y’all he didn’t even CRY or tell anyone! He is SO TOUGH.

Spear is so sweet and has us all wrapped. I love watching him play so sweetly with his siblings but also how he enjoys just playing solo too. He brings such happiness to our lives!

He is def in that fun dress up little kid stage of life and dressed up like a fireman for character day at school. The cutest fireman ever for sure!

The kids love pulling out our Halloween decorations every year as a way to kick off the Halloween family festivities! I have such a hodgepodge of Halloween decor that the last few years I’ve just handed it over to the kids and let them decorate their bathroom however they want. It works out perfectly because THEY get to enjoy it daily and I never have to deal with any of it πŸ˜‰

We also made a big family decision this month. Last year I had a smart watch company reach out to me and partnered with them in exchange for the watch and a year of service. When the service ran up I couldn’t get the company to get back to me about releasing ownership of the account to me so it no longer worked. I did a bunch of research and decided to make the leap to an Apple Watch.

I like that it syncs to my phone and we did get a line for the watch itself so we have a way to text and communicate with it. We plan to use it for times the kids are away from us (like Kye after school stuff when needed or field trips etc) but mostly for the theme parks so we can separate and still be able to communicate and track location!

I always start my Christmas shopping in October and this year I scored a super good deal on Target gift cards (10% off) and bought the highest amount allowed and did ALL my Christmas shopping that way. Not only did I save 10% off everything but I also was able to combine that savings with other deals Target had going on. It was a great feeling to have so much of the shopping knocked out before November even hit!

I don’t talk about Zach’s MS often but a big side effect he deals with is struggles with sleep. This month we FINALLY took action. I was talking to my dad about Zach’s health and he made the point that we can’t just think long term about things, we need to think about the NOW too and invest in things to help ease whatever symptoms we can. SO BUY A DANG MATTRESS.

Our former mattress was literally 10+ years old and bought as a super cheap deal. We have always also slept on a queen. I went into Mattress Firm and told them our concerns. Zach’s sleep struggles due to the MS but also his 2 back surgeries. We ended up going with the 2nd top of the line Tempur Pedic option. It has a cooling mattress feature (and we got them to throw in a cooling mattress topper as well as two cooling pillows for free) and we invested in the lift as well. Now Zach can sit up in the bed comfortably! We also got a KING!

It has truly been life changing. Which may sound crazy that a mattress can make that big of a difference but it truly has. Zach spends so much more time in bed now because it’s so comfortable and he’s sleeping the best he has in YEARS. So thankful we made the leap!

When we went to Disney over the long weekend this month we got home and couldn’t find Lily. I ended up posting in our neighborhood group and a neighbor had taken her in and was planning to keep her! Thankfully he returned her to us after seeing my post but it def kicked our butts in gear about her and made us ALL realize how attached we are. She’s not just a cute stray we took in, she’s OURS.

We made it official with a collar and Zach even made the decision to start letting her inside to visit and to SLEEP. Yup, she snuggles with us in our new bed every night!

It was also a fun month in turtle ownership. After Lily discovered Mortimer we moved him to the front porch and I love taking my little buddy a bit of food every day. It’s random but seeing him peeking out of his shell brings me such joy πŸ™‚

We shut down the swimming for the year and started making Christmas lists. Zach also took the girls golfing between church on a Sunday and they were able to play with Baby Bryce too!

We kicked off the holiday season extra early this year and none of us were mad about it. Sometimes I really love how IG campaign pics turn out and I loved receiving this personalized Christmas storybook. I had a personalized book as a kid that was very similar to this one and I love having this for my babies to read during the holiday season. I ended my age of 36 with wearing Christmas pjs to bed and snuggling my sweet babies!

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