Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Favorites

I've been a blog slacker. There's been so much to catch up on too and so much that I never want to forget that I'm linking up with Shay and the gang and doing a Friday Favorites! We made sure to work in some Marshall madness as we wrapped up summer the past couple weeks. The summer went quickly- especially July. It was just a blur of working overtime for Mike and I and making sure the girls were still having fun and trying to be intentional about our time with them. During this edition of Friday Favorites I'll highlight our last couple weeks of summer leading up to our biggest change of all...Kindergarten!!!
 Our summer was filled with a couple sports. Early in the summer Kayla asked me to join her coed softball team. I couldn't have said YES quicker. It's been a long time since I stepped onto a field and I was so excited to get back into it. I'll be honest- the day of my first game I was NERVOUS. All those old competitive emotions came back. It took me a little bit to shake off the cobwebs- I sure didn't like that feeling. But after I had a couple games under my belt I was loving it again. I feel pretty at home on a softball field and I don't know if that feeling will ever go away. I'll cheer my girls on no matter what sport they play, but I'll cheer a little louder if they are playing softball :). So once a week I had a double header. The girls came to quite a few games and my heart swelled as I watched Paisley move her little lawn chair right up to the backstop. She would cheer extra loud when she would see me shouting "Go mommy! Go mommy!" It was so special and I never want to forget her little voice cheering me on. The girls loved playing in the dirt and running the bases after the game.
 Tenley tried soccer this year! She doesn't know if she will play again next year, but she had a great first experience. She never complained about the heat or all the running and she had a great time. She isn't overly aggressive- but we know that's just not her personality. After soccer season she said "no more sports mom and dad. I just want to dance." And dancing she will do next month. Sigh. I have to learn how to be a dance mom.
 Towards the end of summer I got a surprise text from this beautiful girl! Brittany and I went to Hesston College together and she's just the sweetest and one of the best friends that I made while at Hesston. She and her family live in Iowa, but her grandparents live in Goshen.. They were coming for a visit at the end of July and wondered if we could get our families together. YES!! So the Davison's came over for a cookout. It was so good for my heart. I thought that going to college with Britt was the best, but watching our kids play together and interact was enough to make me cry. So thankful for this girl and her friendship.
Hesston College 2005
Britt and I this summer

5 kids later!

 School was right around the corner so Mike and I planned a special evening to take Tenley school shopping. It never ceases to amaze me how different the girls act when we are one on one with them. Tenley was completely in her element. She wanted to try on fancy dresses, heels, etc. Once we got her honed in on good school clothes she had so much fun trying them on and talking about what she's looking forward to most about Kindergarten. We chose to eat at Hacienda for dinner that evening and we just enjoyed our time with our big girl so much. While we took her shopping, our little girl got to spend time with a couple of her favorite people!
Paisley loves her GG and Great Grandpa so much. She jumps up onto Great Grandpa's lap and shares his snack and tells him lots of stories. He's a great listener to her elaborate stories! They are buddies and I love seeing all three of them together! We're glad that GG and Great Grandpa aren't going back to Florida this year so we have more time with them! In about a month or so Paisley will be starting preschool two days a week, so we'll take her school shopping too.

Right before school started I got the girls in for MUCH NEEDED hair cuts! I decided that everyone was going short! Tenley went first and got the cutest bob. Paisley went a little shorter and hers is stacked in the back. They both look so grown up with short hair! But oh so cute! Our mornings are MUCH easier with less hair to worry about! In a few months when I think about letting their hair grow out again- remind me of this moment!

I couldn't have ended the summer more proud of this little girl. Paisley has never been very comfortable in the water. Even with floaties on she would have a death grip on me and scream if I even acted like I was going to let her go. We spent most times in a pool walking around with her on my hip trying to get comfortable, but she very rarely let go. On our last night of summer we gook the girls to Aunt Becky's for a final swim and look what happened!
She swam alone!! I was in with her for awhile and I kept letting her go to show her that she wouldn't go under with floaties on. She got a little more comfortable in the shallow end, but then Daddy decided to take matters into his own hands and after supper he picked her up by the floaties and put her in the deep end- alone! I guess she just needed that little push! She was so proud of herself for swimming without anyone helping her! Of course then we couldn't get her to come out of the pool once we were ready to go!
I can't believe I'm even writing about it, much less living it. We have a kindergartener! Summer came and went and left us with an almost six year old who was very ready for her first day of school.
While this is probably boring for you- I don't want to forget what our first day was like. I went in late to work that morning so that I could take her to school that first day. I got up early that morning to make egg casserole so that she would have a hearty breakfast before her first day. When she got up she informed me that she doesn't like egg casserole... oookay. Noted. Ha. So she chose waffles instead. We had breakfast together and while talking about the day she informed me that she changed her mind and wants to pack her lunch on the first day instead of buying. So we quick ran to the kitchen to pack a lunch for her. I informed her that today it was okay- but from now on we would decide the night before and couldn't change our mind. I didn't want to be rushing around every morning. She helped me pack her lunch and she chose a pb&j sandwich, doritos, carrots and grapes with orange juice. I think she was very excited to use her new lunch box! One thing I didn't think about was how Tenley going to kindergarten might effect Paisley. While we were waiting for the doors to open at the school Paisley told me that she needed to tell "my Ten" something. I sat her down and she just grabbed Tenley's hand and held on to it for awhile. It was as if she knew something big was happening and just needed her sister.  Paisley and I walked her to her locker and got her all set and then walked her to her class. Tenley walked right in and didn't look back. I wish I could say that Paisley and I handled it with as much grace as Tenley did- but the second we got back to the car we were both a mess! Paisley said "I'm going to miss my sissy!" and that was all it took for me to start crying. I was very anxious for the day to pass quickly at work so that I could hear all about her day. We're on day three now and she's loving it. She's been so worn out by the end of the day, but I'm sure that will get better. It's been a nice change the last few days to have very easy bedtimes! I pray that she will be clothed with strength and dignity this school year. That she will be filled with kindness and compassion. That she will be a light for Jesus in her school. And I pray for this little one as she misses her sister at the babysitters.
I pray that she will develop her own little personality without her big sister around and that the transiton to preschool for her will be a positive one!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Lots of Pictures!

This post is going to be full of pictures. When I look back on this as our little time capsule I want to remember these sweet moments and sweet faces! Not to mention I haven't sent GG and Great Grandpa any pictures lately!

So here's what we've been up to! It was a rough winter. Lots of cold, not a whole lot of snow which I'm thankful for- but we did get a big storm towards the end of the season. We finally got the kids outside to make a snowman!
Tenley and Paisley named him Herb. Herb the Snowman. I have no idea where that came from. The girls could see him from the back door of the house and they would check on him periodically. Within two days it had warmed up considerably and as we were leaving for school/Iva's, the girls ran out back to see that all that was left of Herb was his hat. Paisley was NOT happy about this. I told her Herb will be back next year. Or in April considering we live in Indiana and the weather is unpredictable.

It started to warm up after that and we were able to spend some time outside! Sunshine and warmer temperatures are perfect for these girls - including mommy!

One thing from the past couple weeks that I desperately want to remember is that on March 21, 2016 Tenley asked Jesus into her heart! I've wrote the conversation in my journal so I won't repeat it here, but let me just say that we know God has been working on her for a long time and that she finally understands what it means to have Him as her personal Savior! We are thrilled that this decision has changed her entire eternity!! I think we celebrated all week long!

Then we celebrated Easter last weekend. We had a great time with our families, going on several egg hunts, and celebrating Jesus!

We've tried to create some special one on one moments with the girls over the past couple of weeks too. I can really tell when they just need some time with just mommy or daddy. Not to mention you wouldn't believe how well behaved they are when they aren't together! Ha! So last week I had to take Tenley to her kindergarten physical - kindergarten ya'll. Can you believe it?! After the doctor we went for milkshakes before heading back home. It was a fun afternoon with my biggest.
Then last Thursday after we took Tenley to the shop (Dad takes Tenley to school on Thursdays) I surprised Paisley with a trip to Starbucks for a cake pop! Ok.. mommy also needed a little pick me up with a caramel Frappuccino, but let's just focus on this cute face with her cake pop!
She was thrilled and decided that this was a special secret that she wouldn't tell Tenley about! We also took the girls to one of Brenin's basketball games a couple weeks ago. We thought maybe it would help Tenley enjoy sports a little more- she seems to be focused on how tired they make her instead. Ha!
They loved watching Brenin in action!

We've also spent some time with the newest and smallest member of our family - Lincoln! We just love him so much. Paisley, especially, can't get enough of him!

Tenley saw this picture of herself and decided she looked pretty good holding a baby boy and declared that she wished she had a baby brother. Sorry Ten. No more babies in the Marshall house! You'll just have to love Lincoln as a brother instead!

Ok GG and Great Grandpa - that's it. Now you'll just have to come home to love on these girls in person!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Life Lately

Grandma and Grandpa are back in Florida, so that means I need to get back to blogging to keep my only two faithful readers updated on our Marshall Madness. That saying has never been more true than it has been the last month or so. Madness. Mike had hernia repair surgery about a month ago. The recovery for this surgery is much more than we expected and he's been off work this whole time. That's been a hard thing for him, but we're surviving. Tenley has enjoyed having him walk her to school every day though. He can return to work on Monday and he'll be more than happy to do so I think!

So what have we been up to besides nursing daddy back to health? We've had a lot of fun at home! The weather for November has been BEAUTIFUL. 70s in November!? I'll take it. The girls have enjoyed playing in the leaves, taking walks, playing in the backyard.
Halloween weekend I decided we needed to do something different and fun so I made a movie theater night at home for them! They bought their tickets and snacks with their own money and could choose what they wanted.

They had a great time doing this and I'll be sure to do it again soon. Then for halloween we decided that this year we would skip the costumes and we would just stay home and hand out candy. Tenley had two minor breakdowns about not being able to trick or treat. But we thought that we would just see how it went and reevaluate next year. To our surprise- they loved it! They loved seeing all the costumes and having everyone come to them! I still had little bags of candy for them at the end of the night so they didn't feel like they missed out on that.
They both stood by the door anxiously awaiting the next round of kids to come! Aren't they cute in their rain boots?! Tenley got her 5 year pictures taken and we snuck little sister in there for a few of them to get some updated pictures! They turned out so cute! 

On a personal note- Mike and I have attended a wedding of our very good friend Corey. We're so happy for him and his new wife, and I was glad to have some adult time for an afternoon. Mike was just happy to not have to wear a tie to the wedding. ha!
In other news... I ran 6 miles just last weekend! It felt good to see how far my body could take me! Next week I'm hoping to do 7!

 Lindsey took an updated picture of me last week to show my progress and I very happy to see the results. The picture on the left is from a year ago around this time. Before I started trying to lose weight. The one on the right is from last week. This week hasn't been the most motivating, I've been super stressed, and I tend to be an emotional eater. But I know my triggers and I'm determined to stay on track! Even when I fall, I'm going to get back up!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up

Summer is almost over. Tenley will be starting school soon. This is her last year of preschool before she's off to the elementary school! I plan to savor each moment of this school year. Next year things get real.

 This past week Mike was gone in Pennsylvania for work. So this weekend we laid low around the house. We had a dance party in our pajamas as you can see from the picture below:

 We had a playdate one evening. We watched movies. We waited for daddy's return! And when he came through that door- these two were so excited!

 I made sure to send daddy pictures of the girls frequently. Of course they rarely could take any serious ones.

After being gone two weekends ago at a family wedding, it was nice to have some time with the girls this weekend. Speaking of that wedding- we had SO much fun. It was a great time for us to get away, relax, and be kid-less for an evening.
My hubby looked pretty handsome didn't he! I wanted to post this picture to document where I am in this weight loss journey. I'm down about 46 lbs. I've had some set backs along the way. I've made some mistakes, but what makes this different is that I'm still going. I'm not quitting. Don't let me :)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Life Lately.

I'll be honest. Life Lately has been busy. But as I was grabbing pictures for this post I realized how much fun we have had too!

Our neighbors and us started a kid swap night once a month. Last month we watched their boys so that they could have a date night, and this month the girls went to their house so we could have one. It's been so much fun for the kids and us! This month since it was our turn we went to the Channel Marker with some friends. It was a rainy/muggy day, but it turned into a really nice night on the lake. We love going there!
While we were there, I got this picture of the kids. Ashley always does super fun things with her kids. She's a pinterest mom.  And I'm jealous most of the time. Since the rain washed out their "drive in movie" in the back yard, they decided to make milkshakes. This is all four of them lined up drinking them.
They are making some great memories with these cute boys and we are so thankful to have them two doors down!

I'm grateful for our date night that weekend, because the next week things got BUSY. It was family camp week at Prairie Camp, so I worked out there every day/evening and I felt like our family was basically passing by each other in the evenings. The weekend that camp ended Mike and I said that the girls were such troopers that they deserved to do something fun. So Friday night we took them to the Splash pad. I don't have any pictures of that - mostly because while Tenley played in the water, Paisley clung to me. She is not a fan of it yet - which is ok - Tenley wasn't at that age either and this year she loved it. So I know we'll get there. Paisley is a bit more reserved around water in general than Tenley has been. Saturday night when I got off work, we headed to Mike's aunts house to swim. The girls love going there and on that night we were able to swim with Mike's cousins and their kids.
Tenley and Madison loved jumping off the side together! Tenley has really gotten a lot better in the pool this summer and is able to stay in the shallow end without floaties. She tends to get a little brave sometimes, so we have to watch her closely, but she has gotten good at knowing when she's tired or needs her floaties back on.
This cute little fishy took awhile to warm up to the pool. She is perfectly content sitting on the steps and playing there while watching the big kids jump around. That's ok. She'll be jumping in soon enough.

Speaking of that cute little girl - we did her first ponytail the other day! Oh my goodness was it cute.

On Sunday after church we had a special surprise for Tenley! (Due to the heat, we decided that Paisley should go with grandma and grandpa for the day- so she had a special day too!) She got to be in the Elkhart County 4H Parade! This is a huge parade, and we knew she would love being a part of it. Pam Shaw called and asked if she would ride on the Apple Festival Float and invite some friends too. So Ella and Jayda joined us and the girls had so much fun sitting with the Queen/Princesses of the Apple Festival!

These girls may be Future Apple Blossoms!  Me? A pageant mom?! haha! Tenley wasn't the only one who enjoyed the parade. Mike, Kayla and I were also in it. We walked beside the float throwing out candy. We had so much fun! It was about a 3.2 mile parade, so we got a good work out in too on a very hot day!
The parade kicked off the fair, so we have taken full advantage of enjoying it this week! Mike and I even got to enjoy some time at the fair alone on Tuesday night! Some very sweet friends gave us track seats for the Cole Swindell concert.
We had a great time and new more of his songs than what we realized! We haven't been to a concert in a long time, so it was really nice to enjoy that together. Last night we took the girls with us to the fair. They loved looking at the animals, the ice cream and the rides! We spent the evening with the Whickcar family and the kids had a blast!

Paisley wasn't a fan of this big slide. Mike enjoyed it though!
One of the random things that the girls have really enjoyed doing lately is going with me to the gym. I go to spinning class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and during that time they have child care available. The girls have LOVED going with me and playing in there. I love that they are entertained, but also that they get to see me working out too and they will grow up knowing that my health is now a priority in my life. On Tuesday morning I decided we all needed to get out of the house for a bit (after lots of fighting between the girls) so I went to the gym early that day and I caught this picture while I was lifting.
They were great motivators as I could hear Tenley yelling through the window "Go Mommy! Go Mommy!" haha. It almost made me cry. What special times these are! The days are long but these moments will pass quickly. I'm thankful for all them!