Summer Recap: Week 10

I work with several companies and links to any products within posts are affiliate.

As summer started winding down I really tried to go over our “must do” list and make sure we would have time to fit it all in! Here’s our Week 10 Recap πŸ™‚

Saturday the 15th we hung at home and got things done around the house. I like to set aside the weekend prior to a kid’s birthday party to get things done and Zach would be out of town on a business trip the 22nd so we tried to knock some stuff out the 15th!

Tess has discovered the storage shed and loves building things πŸ™‚ 

I got to lay out a bit during naps and really LOVED One True Loves! Great one to pick up, super light and fun read πŸ™‚ 

On Sunday Zach and I took the kids to his parents after church and headed to Atlanta. He had his 1st round of the new infusion on Monday and we had originally planned to go to Ikea on our way up in a hunt for office furniture. BUT I found him a SUPER huge and nice desk, storage cabinet, and chairs for mega cheap online. Sometimes Ikea is randomly more expensive and I felt like this would be one of those times so I jumped on the deals when I saw them and it meant we could take our time going to Atlanta. 

We had talked about going to somewhere fun to eat and being soclose to where I lived most of my life I really wanted to hit up one of my favorite places to eat from back in the day : Johnny Carino’s. I was SO SAD to see they closed for good. Wahhhh!

Instead we decided to go to Maggiano’s which has always been a favorite date place for us. If you’re local to the Atlanta area we ate at the one by Lenox Mall. It was among THE worst service we’ve EVER experienced anywhere. We won’t be hitting that up again anytime soon!

After dinner we headed up to Laura and Gino’s. They recently built a beautiful home and Zach’s infusion was the perfect excuse to visit and get to see it! 

This has happened to me a few times and it’s SO annoying when it does but we put in the address into our Maps App and it took us to the totally and completely wrong place. It was pretty hilarious! The driving around didn’t bother me too much because I loved getting to see my old stomping grounds πŸ˜‰ 

We had a great night visiting with Laura, Gino, and Ben and getting to know them better! I wish Kye had been with us as Ben and Kye seem so much alike and would probably really hit it off well in a one-on-one setting. The only times we really get to spend time with their family are in BIG groups which makes it harder for any of us to really get to know each other better! So thankful to them for opening up their home (and Laura y’all is like THE nicest person on the planet. She even made us lunch for the next day!). 

Making Robyn jealous πŸ˜‰

The next morning we had Zach’s infusion which you can read about here!

Sidenote but THANK YALL. Seriously AMAZING suggestions on helping prevent/treat sicknesses and I appreciate them all so much πŸ™‚ 

While we were gone all the kids had a BLAST! They spent the day with their cousins and G-Mama πŸ™‚ 

Ugh I always hear Zach complaining about Atlanta traffic…it was even worse being a passenger in it! On our way up we were literally ran off the road by a U-Haul. So thankful Zach is such a great driver! It was a little funny though because we were talking when it happened and the last word one of us spoke before the U-Haul came towards us was “unicorn.” I mean if you’re gotta go out, it’s a good word to go out on at least ha!

Treats for the way home! Loved our quality time together πŸ™‚ 

On Tuesday we had our annual visit to the firestation. I love organizing this every year and all of our local friends are invited. It’s a great outing…fun for the kids and educational too. Plus, hello, FREE. This was the first year that Kye wasn’t super pumped about going, but once we got there he was allll about it still. Whew! I’m clinging to the “little boy” as much as I can right now!

They were SO pumped to see each other! 

This years crew! A much bigger crowd than last year and I hope everyone had fun!

Tess kept trying to cut in line and I had to keep putting her to the back!

Carter is so serious about fighting those fires πŸ˜‰ 

I knew Kye was having a great time when he got in the line to go twice for the water hose! 

Every year we all always meet at CFA for lunch following the fire station. We did a quick stop at UPS to mail off some of the stuff for the birth mom situations (which you can read about here!

The kids found a rock at the fire station (pretty sure Cooper hid it!) and did a re-hide at CFA!

It was so cute when all the kids chose tables to eat. Our first suggestion was a boy table and a girl table but they all ended up mixing things up. Kye had quite the little fan club of ladies and I overheard someone asking him if he has a girlfriend (to which his answer was “I did have two but now I just have one” ha!)

Table 1

Table 2

This is the CFA struggle. I never have my kids put their shoes in the cubbies b/c we’ve had ours taken before by mistake! 

That night we had our 4th book club meeting! Is anyone else obsessed with Atlanta Bread’s greek salad? YUM!

We read One True Loves and it was SO SO GOOD! Def pick up a copy! 

Working some stripes on stripes! I am pretty much obsessed with this bag πŸ™‚ 

(also I got the white pants from Target and so far am LOVING them!)

Britt had her last day of speech on Wednesday! I will discuss this more in her solo post!

One of the items on our summer bucket list was to visit our church members who are living in a retirement community. This is something I try to get outside my comfort zone with doing. Growing up my brother and I had nightmares from an experience at a nursing home facility and since then those types of places have always bothered me. It’s an important ministry and I want to do better and do more! Children are such a JOY and I knew people would enjoy seeing them! I got the list from our church of members residing at one of the retirement communities near us and we stopped by Publix to pick out a little plant for each of them. I hate waking in empty handed! 

Kye was precious as he wanted “manly” plants so he picked some that didn’t have any flowers! We visited 4 people and each of them were surprised by and enjoyed our visit! One man had just recently moved in and is really struggling with the transition. Y’all. My heart just broke. He’s always so lively at church and is dear to my heart and seeing him so down was just so, so sad. He told me how hard that phase of life is and I just can’t think of another word to describe my emotions other than heartbroken. Whew. I totally stepped out of my comfort zone and just took his hands and prayed right there with him. This is something I need to get better at and I felt the need to pray so I did it! SO thankful we took the time to visit with everyone there, I know the kids really brightened their day!

Good job Target on that packaging…

Quality. 

This week marked 2 years since Ashleigh passed on to Heaven. I think of her often, I look at Tess and wish so badly my sweet friend could see her son of the same age now. I know she’s rejoicing in Heaven but she’s missed here on Earth too! 

I had several people tag me in this post on FB…check out Kye πŸ™‚ I appreciate that the site DID give me credit on the post however, it’s pretty rude to just use photos like that without asking first, right? 

Found another rock at gymnastics!

Britt had a big week of “lasts” as it was also her last day in the beginner level class at gymnastics! She’s loved her coach and will miss her!

We hit up Wild Adventures on Thursday and stopped by to get pics to present to another birth mom on our way (you can read about that situation here!

We have a Wild Adventures routine pretty well set in place…first we meet up with our buddies and animal friends πŸ˜‰ 

Then we ride the carousel and dizzy dragons

and stop on the way for some Hopper fun too 

and we always say hey to the meerkats

and finally hit up the bathrooms to get changed for the water park (which we usually do the lazy river first then go to the slide area). It’s great having a routine down and even better to have friends to experience all the fun with πŸ˜‰ 

Tess has finally realized that the slides are FUN!

Hiding the rock we found the day prior!

My crew!

I love catching moments like these!

This is one of our family favorites! I cook up some sausage and eggs then add some cheese and wrap it in a burrito. I freeze them and they make PERFECT meals for school lunches (and peanut butter free if you’re school doesn’t allow peanut butter!). I simply warm them in the microwave before school! 

Playing Spoons (with BBClean ha!)

First time playing and she WON!

Casey’s due date was Thursday and we were all pretty shocked that there still wasn’t a baby by Friday! At that point things were c-razy for her and we kept wavering as to if Zach should go to his out of town meeting or not and what the kids and I should do too. Originally I’d planned for us to have a YES DAY while Zach was gone. I’d let the kids plan the entire day and we’d do whatever they wanted (within reason). We got word that the baby wouldn’t be arriving until Sunday/Monday so Zach went ahead and left and I went ahead and told the big kids about the YES DAY idea πŸ™‚ 

They were SO PUMPED! It was also so, so adorable and sweet. I told them they could plan whatever they wanted for the whole day and that I’d say YES to it ALL. Guys. I expected tons of junk food, some crazy plans, lots of spoiling. I was SO impressed that they really thought through the whole day and worked together to choose what they would do. AND that they made such good choices for each thing! 

Here was their original agenda. So precious that they still wanted to make sure to have fruit at each meal to stay healthy and that they had such specific requests. They wanted to swim both at 8 am and 8 pm because they wanted morning swimming and night swimming. Britt was especially excited to have ALL THE FANS on her in the playroom b/c she gets hot up there ha! It was EASY to say YES to these items for sure!

Swim time! 

Sweet girls playing puzzles

I can now officially say how EXCITED we are to have Keeli and her sweet family as our NEW NEIGHBORS!!! We are beyond pumped about it and since Zach was out of town the kids and I went and hung out at her empty house for some pizza dinner πŸ˜‰ Keeli and I have been friends for a few years now and I’ve loved that we’ve grown closer over time and know that bond will only strengthen now that we’re only a few houses away! Our kids all adore each other and it’s so great to just let them run and play πŸ˜‰ 

Millie and Tessie are precious!

What’s more fun than running around an empty house and getting to eat pizza on the floor? 

It was such a fun week with one exciting weekend up ahead! 

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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 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!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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Summer Recap: Week 10

I work with several companies and links to any products within posts are affiliate.

This week of our summer started on Saturday July 18 and went through Friday July 24th. Basically this week was “prepare for Tess’s party” week. Really it was NOT too bad on the stress factor, I did so much in advance and spread out everything I had to accomplish that it wasn’t too much all at once. I did miss having free time and it was a good lesson to me to plan it even sooner next year. Tess’s birthday is just about as badly timed as Britt’s. Britt’s is hard because it’s sandwiched in-between Thanksgiving and Christmas and Tess’s is hard b/c it’s so soon after our big beach trip, it’s during summer when kids are home all day with me, it’s right around back to school time and it’s so close to Zach’s birthday. 

When we first moved into our house one of the biggest issues we had were dealing with the fans in our living room. Like I have some serious bitterness about these dang fans! THIS is what my husband has to do in order to change out the lightbulbs. I seriously freak out and it’s hard for me to even watch. (Like seriously Mrs. Charlotte cover your eyes and keep scrolling haha) We found out on this day that one of our fans is completely shot. Light kits don’t work at all so since then I’ve been on a super fun hunt (sarcasm) for new living room fans. At least the ones I’ve ordered should make it less dangerous to change a light bulb!!!

Kye and I finished up reading James and the Giant Peach so Zach and I thought it’d be a fun weekend treat to watch the movie. Several years ago we bought this set of 180 dvds for $199. It was a TON of Disney dvds and a bunch of random ones. And yes, they are all pretty much in Chinese so we are 99% positive they are bootlegs. But we didn’t know it when buying them so we don’t feel bad about it and they serve their purpose πŸ˜‰ Anyways one of the dvds in our set actually is the movie version of the book so it worked out great to watch it that night. The last movie we saw in theaters as a family was Frozen and I just don’t see us going to another movie anytime soon. Y’all. It’s SO expensive and just not worth it! You can buy the movie for cheaper than the cost to go see it once in theaters! Anyway…we like to watch movies with some popcorn. The kids LOVE it! 

We watched the movie as a family and I didn’t do any research prior to watching it b/c I assumed it was based off the book. Um. I didn’t realize it was Tim Burton? Or that it went way way away from the original storyline? Oops. Both kids didn’t like it and had some fears after watching it. Parenting fail for sure!

This “cool dude” face phase is pretty classic!

Tess got to watch for a few minutes too!

Kye has really been all about using my camera lately. Since it’s always laying around it’s readily available for him to practice with. On this day we were prepping for the party and Zach was painting our coffee table (we are cheap cheap and decided to just paint it rather than buy new even though it’s 8 years old and was already cheap when we bought it new) so the living room was basically a disaster zone. It was after church and I was down on the floor playing with the kids and Kye asked to use my camera and I didn’t even realize at first that he was taking pictures of me. I’ve read several articles lately about how our children will remember us and I think these are some pretty good pics Kye captured of how my children will probably remember me. Even if there is a mess around me, I’m gonna be done on the floor with my babies πŸ™‚ 

Even though it was “party prep weekend” we still made sure to have some family fun! I’m kinda hardcore about our weekends being FUN. That’s what weekends are about am I right? We hadn’t had smores all summer so it was about time we busted out the fire pit!

I love the love my husband has for our children!

We ate s’mores and told silly stories (we decided scary stories are just too scary) and they ended up evolving into embarrassing stories. Kye’s embarrassing story was when I pack him sweet potato fries in his lunch during the days he eats lunch bunch and all his friends say “ew” haha. I took that moment as an opportunity to tell him that Mommy loves him and wants him to eat healthy. I also made a mental note to pack him carrot sticks for lunch more often in the fall πŸ˜‰ We were all cracking up at our embarrassing stories and it was a fun moment and I think it was a good thing for Kye to experience. He tends to get upset when people laugh at him and by sharing our embarrassing stories and all laughing at each other I hope it helped him to see that it’s okay to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously all the time πŸ˜‰

Something on our summer-to-do list included going to the movie theater. I mentioned earlier how DANG expensive it is to go to the movie theater. I think part of the reason it costs so much is because we only have ONE theater in our town. No competition to help drive down prices. Anyway in the summer they have a deal on movies where you get in for $3 and popcorn is $1. I was hoping to go to a couple of the movies but when I did some research on them I found out that most of them just weren’t appropriate. 

Sidenote but have you ever taken the time to look up the movies geared towards kids?!?! I LOVE the site plugged in as it gives a breakdown of the content of the movie. As I looked up each summer movie I got so ticked at the ways these “kid movies” push political agendas on our children. No. Thank. You. So many of the moves had an underlying agenda that directly goes against our beliefs as Christians and is an area I’m not even comfortable discussing with my children at their young ages. I could handle The Lorax as it’s pretty easy to talk about how cutting down trees for profit is not all bad. But some of these deeper topics are something I don’t want to have to explain to my children until I’m ready. 

In the end I felt the most comfortable with the movie Rio 2. We didn’t see the first one (confession: we try to only see Disney movies haha) but the 2nd one was really fun. Lots of cute songs and, over all, pretty appropriate content. Nothing major that I had to worry about explaining! It was a super fun morning with friends and it made me wish they offered a better selection of movies so we could have gone to more of them this summer!

After the movie we had to run to the library. I got to add to my embarrassing story collection. We were standing in the library waiting for Robyn and the kids said they saw her so I turned and walked directly into a large man. Bahaha. Pretty classic moment. Another classic moment was the Kye suddenly HAD to go to the bathroom. I’m talking one of those 20 min session types. So Britt and I took pics in the bathroom while we waited πŸ™‚

That evening Zach had an early basketball game so I decided to get daring and take Tess to the game with us rather than have her go to Mrs. Charlotte’s. Tess is VERY easy going but I’m always afraid to test those limits with her. I figured it was worth a try to just see how she did and worse case we could always leave!

Practicing before the game

Kye made a special sign to hold up during the game that said “Go Dad Go Dad Gooooo Dad!”

We didn’t get home until close to 8 and Tess hadn’t even nursed yet for her final feeding. I had taken a bottle with me to the game but it was so noisy that I figured I’d just wait until we got home and nurse her. And she did AWESOME! My sweet girl was so smiley and slept fine and it was a good experience and a good reminder to me that it’s okay to be flexible and that Tess’s personality is one that does FINE with some flexibility in her schedule!

Even though it was party-prep week and I had a TON to do I became mega obsessed with reading The Girl on the Train. Y’all. A lot of people have compared it to Gone Girl which I don’t understand the comparison because it’s not the same thing. Or really all that similar? But it’s still so, so good! I loved it and couldn’t put it down and haven’t read another book since b/c I’m afraid I’ll get obsessed again and lose a lot of sleep haha. I have very little self control when it comes to page turners!!! 

Waaaaaay back when Britt was first born Zach made Kye a house out of boxes. Kye loved it and it occupied him a lot at age 2 Β½ when he had a new baby sister at home. Since then the box has been broken down and stored in the garage with plans to throw it away. For some reason that never happened and randomly this week it got pulled back out. Kye is now 6 and guess what? He was equally inthralled with this box house. We had it on the back porch and both big kids had a blast with it!

He said it was a house for Smyrna to enjoy!

Mr. Rusty has some farmland and this year grew watermelons. He and Kye had discussed Kye selling some. I mean this kid is alllll about turning things into a business πŸ˜‰ He and Zach set up shop on the corner of our street to sell some watermelons. I believe they were selling them for $3 a piece? And they all sold within an hour or so. And Kye made some mega profit on that deal! Big Papa was nice enough not to take a cut πŸ˜‰

This was THE strangest thing. The day after the watermelon sale I found this just laying on our front porch. Of course a note with cash and little hearts draws some questions?!?! If Kye was older I’d be thinking she had a crush but since he’s 6 I figured the crush must have been on my husband right?!? Zach and I still can’t figure out the story behind why this girl brought this much money to Kye! The kids did remember her and she was a young teen who talked to them a lot (and didn’t flirt with Daddy surprisingly…I think at 30 we are kinda out of the young teens finding us attractive age bahaha) and who only had some change in her car. So maybe she felt bad? But still $20 aint no joke! It took Kye’s earnings from just selling some watermelons to over $40. Score for him!

You can’t let summer pass by without a proper tea party! I love how Kye got dressed up for the occasion πŸ™‚

And this girl drank like 10 teacups of water!

This week since Zach was gone a couple of nights I decided to make a family favorite treat for dinner. We LOVE this recipe for Pizza Bites. They are SO GOOD! We made them the night Zach was coming home and saved him a couple to enjoy once he got back πŸ˜‰ 

This week was a hard emotional week for me. On top of the emotions surrounding Tess turning one…Ashleigh also passed away this week. It was heartbreaking and I’m so thankful they did a livestream of her funeral. The service was amazing and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. My big kids and I were snuggled up watching it together and they both got to witness the part where a friend of Ashleigh’s shared the Gospel. How amazing is that? It was so neat to think that Ashleigh’s story helped my babies hear God’s Word and who knows the way that may touch their lives in the future. It was a great opportunity for lots of questions about death and what happens when we die and a chance to show them the pain we feel here on earth when people we care about pass away. While it’s so sad that Ashleigh is now gone from this earth, how amazing is it that she’s with our Heavenly Father? Thankful for the life she shared with us and pray that her walk only continues to inspire others!

One night we were getting ready for bed and I had just tucked Tess in when we heard that sounds familiar to all of us parents: the ice cream truck. The kids had never heard it before so they didn’t know what it was. They FREAKED OUT when we ran outside and they saw it. Britt kept saying “a truck came to our house with ice cream inside!!!” Simple pleasures πŸ™‚ You know I’m all about that cheap cheap so their choices were pretty limited but it was an awesome experience and one of those random special moments that stick out because it was just good timing and very unplanned and unexpected. 

A big kid special treat πŸ™‚ 

Get ready for all of Tess’s birthday party fun!!!

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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 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!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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