Summer Recap 2018: Week 4

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Our summer has been IN-SANE yall. We were gone so much that the “weekly posts” are all going to be a bit wonky. For Week 3 of summer Zach was in Ireland and the kids and I were at the Disney house.

When we got back from the Disney trip…we had one week until we left for our annual beach trip! I’m thankful when we made our summer schedule that we did have downtime in-between each trip but that also meant that the downtime was truly DOWN TIME. We stuck close to home so I could unpack, do laundry, then repack for the next adventure!

This post covered June 22nd through June 29th: our 4th week of summertime!

Zach and I put a lot of work and effort into all the trips our family goes on. Our WHOLE family benefits from the trips. Our WHOLE family enjoys the trips. So our WHOLE family should be contributing to make the trips happen. 

A routine we’ve created with our kids is when we get home from a trip they ALL pitch in. They help unload the car and then they help unpack everything too. When we pack up from a trip I try to put all the dirty clothes in one bag. So it’s easy to wash it all. Then I get a laundry basket for each person in the family and the kids sort all the clean clothes that we’re worn (or were washed while traveling) as well as other individual items (shoes etc) into each persons basket. 

It’s a HUGE help. Then as I do laundry I put all their clean clothes in the baskets too and it makes it SO easy to deliver each basket to each room and unpack it all at one time. The kids handling all the sorting frees me up to put away other items and helps speed up the entire process. 

I’m hardcore about getting everything unpacked and settled as soon as we walk in the door. All the clutter and mess stresses me out so I want it put up and settled right away!

With us going to the beach for a week and then having our family photos right when we got home I wanted to go ahead and have fresh hair cuts for all of us. I took the three big kids with me to get my hair done and they got theirs done as well! The biggest change was for Britt:

So LOVES it!!!

We didn’t go short for Tess. Her hair is VERY fine and stringy and she has multiple cowlicks going on so her hair truly looks best UP. Short hair can’t go up so we kept the length as yall know I love to do a top knot situation for her!

Always handsome!

Kye made a super great friend last school year and, of course, he was moving away over the summer. It’s a crazy small world because his friend actually happened to live in our old house in our neighborhood. He came over for some guy time for the day before moving! 

Zach was SO sweet to me after Ireland and said I needed a break from everything. I went and got my toes done all by myself and enjoyed reading our book club book for the month (Eleanor and Park)

I also did a little shopping! It’s SO hard to go out and BROWSE at this stage of life so I wanted to use my time wisely to try to find some new pillows for our new couch in the living room πŸ™‚ Um. Pillows. Are. Expensive. It SHOCKED me. But I lucked out and found some cute ones on clearance at Kirklands! only $14.99 each plus an extra 25% off…much better than the $89 one I saw at Pier 1!

SO. PUMPED for this find at Hobby Lobby!

They had a HUGE sale on tons of cute stuff for SO CHEAP!

Living room is slowly coming together πŸ™‚ 

I had tons of people ask…our name pillow is from Groopdealz and it’s ONLY for the cover, not the filler! 

I liked the idea of tossing a couple pillows onto our fireplace too to add to the cozy factor!

Zach and I have really been focusing a lot on having more regular date nights and it’s been AWESOME. Our town just recently got a Surcheros and I’ve heard nothing but good things so we hit it up and tried it out and both really liked it!

I have been struggling hard core with what I think is allergy crud. I asked on my IG Stories and this allergy medicine was highly recommended. I take half a pill each night and it seems to be helping!

While this may be the summer of tons of travel, I’m also trying really hard to let go of “mom guilt” for the times we are in town and at home. I’ve been trying to just do what I need to do and let the kids entertain themselves. I mean that’s why I gave em all siblings right? πŸ˜‰ 

It’s really been SO awesome to see what they come up with and just letting them BE KIDS. No forced entertainment plans. No real hardcore agenda. They play! 

One thing they came up with was to make a huge pile of pillows in the hallway upstairs to run and jump in. I didn’t love that it was near the stairs butttt we rolled with it #coolmom

Here are some of our epic jumps ;): Britt jumping, Tess jumping, Mommy and Tessie jumping.

On Sunday Kye and Zach went golfing and Britt went to lunch with our preacher’s wife and a friend so it was just Tess, Spear and I for lunch. Tess kept saying “Whew! We are so nice and quiet here!” 

Britt is my little mini social media helper πŸ˜‰ I made my first IGTV Video (which I mean is this gonna be a thing? I’ve never watched any videos on there ha!) and she helped me make it happen! 

Only 4 weeks into summer and I finally wrote out our schedule: 

All of my kids rest during nap time, even the older two. I have it broken down into time slots of what they do each day during nap time! That way I’m still able to get everything done I need to get done and I know what they are doing! It’s really flowed well all summer and was a great schedule! 

All the downtime days at home makes me SO THANKFUL for our pool. Such a blessing to be able to just hop in when we want at anytime! 

I’m also really trying to teach my kids more independence this summer. Kye is NINE. He can handle making lunch! And he LOVES the responsibility to make it himself!

I try to give him the freedom to choose what he eats but after a couple days of meat heavy meals I did have to come in and say FRUIT belongs on your plate too πŸ™‚

And we love picnics by the pool!

All day every day that we’re home these two are saying “can we please go swimming?”

They are OBSESSED with pool jumps: 

Britt

Kye and Tess

Kye

Britt and Tess

I just LOVE the slow days of summer where everyone can spend quality time together! 

I posted about a gift we got for Tess when Spear was born and I wanted to do a little update about it! We got Kye and Britt an Amazon Fire Tablet but got Tess a LeapFrog LeapStart. It’s been AWESOME. She loves it. And so does Britt! I think it’s a great gift for a toddler/preschooler. I also got her these super cute minnie mouse headphones that work great with it too! 

When you have two sisters and an infant brother and just want some peace and quiet πŸ˜‰ Kye’s love for puzzles means a LOT of space taken up in my dining room. I’m pretty pumped about this puzzle mat I found on Amazon and am hoping it helps keep my table un-cluttered. 

Part of our routine is to work through some learning time activities to keep the kids’ skills up. I’m honestly not worried about Kye. As long as he has his reading time I feel like he’s fine. But Britt’s skills are so new and Tess had a good bit to work on from her end of year evaluation so I really focused a lot with the girls this summer!

Britt LOVES learning time. She will ASK to have it and will buzz through her summer worksheets super fast. She did all but two of these math facts in a minute!!!

With some of my guilt over staying at home a lot this summer I have been SO THANKFUL for my awesome friend Kim and her blog Team Cartwright. She does a TON of super, SUPER simple learning activities with her kids at home and she’s such an inspiration to me.

I saw her post on a Dino Dig and knew the kids would LOVE IT! You can find all the instructions on here post here πŸ™‚ 

I have a TON of little dinosaurs left over from a Valentine’s Day card I made for Kye’s class back in 2014 (see being a hoarder pays off ha!). I originally bought them from Amazon and they are the perfect size for this activity! 

I followed Kim’s instructions pretty closely but got some super cheap cookies…I do think it would have been tastier if I’d gotten Oreos πŸ˜‰ 

This is something to do ahead of time as waiting for each layer of Jello to harden takes awhile! I did the first layer the day prior so it’d be set and ready for the second layer. 

Our earth is ready for DIGGING!!!

It’s rare to find an activity that all three of my big kids enjoy doing. Having kids in a range of ages (3-9 is a pretty big leap) makes it tricky. But they ALL LOVED doing this! It kept them busy and happy and filled up their bellies with a treat too πŸ˜‰ Plus it was super simple to put together AND to clean up! Huge win!!!

Here’s a video!

Be sure to visit Team Cartwright’s post here to make your own Dino Dig!

Kye also volunteered to not only make his lunch…but make lunch for the girls too #momwin

WE. LOVE. SUMMER!

Thanks Target for reminding us that the 4th of July is on July 4th bahaha

Y’all. Valdosta is ON THE MAP! We FINALLY have a PANERA. I had talked a big game about camping out the night before it opened but then it I remembered I’m 33 and have responsibilities haha. But I was super excited to try it out and it’s actually THE nicest Panera I’ve ever been in and a guy working there told us that it’s a BRAND new design. HUGE deal for Valdosta. Seriously. When we do get new chains, we always get the junkiest versions of them haha!

Book Club! So glad Sarah joined us and hope we didn’t scare her away πŸ˜‰ 

Another day, more of the kids being creative with what they could do to entertain themselves. This time? They set up a campground in the playroom and being the super cool mom I am…I popped popcorn for them to have up there. HUGE deal around here because I’m pretty hardcore about no food around the house πŸ˜‰ 

The campground

They “camped out” all morning and Tess probably ate her weight in popcorn!

Oh I love being a mom for these funny moments…

What was I doing while the kids were left to their own devices? PACKING.

Glad to have this cutie as my packing partner πŸ˜‰ 

I talked in my Life with Four post about how I’m struggling to adjust and it REALLY hit me this week in a BIG WAY. I felt very overwhelmed and to minimize my mental load I really did have the kids start stepping up more AND at the same time let them figure out ways to entertain themselves. I know a “simple solution” would be to let the kids pack their own clothes for our trip to the beach but yall? I love the coordinating outfits. Love. It. And while it’d be an obvious thing to give up and let go of…I’m not willing to. It’s part of who makes me ME and something that brings ME joy. As silly as it sounds, it’s something I’m not willing to part with! So I made it happen πŸ™‚ 

By the end of the week though the kids were truly getting bored. What I do in these situations is bust out toys in the closet that they may not remember having. It ALWAYS works! They said they were bored, I got out the magnitiles and 15 minutes later they were asking for me to come take a picture of their awesome tower πŸ™‚ 

Britt and I had some quality time together before we headed to the beach. She’s been FILLED with epic moments lately…I love IG Stories for a way to capture these memories πŸ™‚ 

We had our yearly pre-beach nail date! I grabbed her MCD then we ate it together at CSC for me πŸ˜‰

She has been looking forward to this ALL year. The boys have golf, we have pedicures πŸ˜‰ 

Last year they offered to give her some Sprite and I told her she could try it if she wanted but she turned it down. She’s regretted it since and kept telling me she was SO excited for the fuzzy drink haha!

Typical Britt face πŸ˜‰ 

All of Britt’s talk about being someone else made it SO ironic that Mrs Doubtfire was on at the nail place. So glad they keep it muted but I did fill her in on what the movie is about haha

I LOVE our tradition! 

Britt looks like a robot because she didn’t want to mess up her nails πŸ™‚ 

BEACH READY!!!

Love her little flower πŸ™‚ She did SO great this year too not getting upset when her polish washed off in the ocean. While I love having fresh nails for the beach…I’ve been thinking we should move our tradition to a post-beach one because the ocean water really does make it wear off so quick!

Those banged up legs show a girl who likes to PLAY πŸ˜‰

We got home to Kye reading Tom Sawyer. He’d started it earlier that day and was almost done. Kid kills me with his reading! He’ll read ANYTHING! 

Saturday mornings are for chill time with Daddy watching sports or ultimate pools πŸ˜‰ 

Kye came up with the idea of doing read aloud Youtube videos. He chooses a book then reads it on video! He’s super excited about it and has his first video up on our family youtube channel here πŸ™‚ 

Here’s a few of my outfits from the week:

I LOVE sexiflips for summer time!

I wore this dress on our date night and got tons of people asking for a link for it…I about died when I found the link and realized I wore it backwards hahaha

I love a lightweight cardigan for eating out when I know the AC will be blasting!

These TOMS go with everything too!

This kimono is a total favorite of mine! I wear it ALL the time!

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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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