Life

First Day of School 2015

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We get to do this twice, its a bonus of homeschooling. Yesterday was our first day of home-school, we rolled out of bed, had a yummy breakfast and got to work.

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Zoie is a really good student so far. She enjoys learning and picks things up really fast.

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Pennie is excited to do some of the “hard stuff” this year, like learning to read.

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Zoie and I sat down to read this book together last night and that’s when it hit me, my baby isn’t a baby anymore!!!

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After the book she told me she was a little bit nervous so I asked her if I could pray for her, her classmates, and her teacher. As I was praying I glanced over and saw this, my big baby praying with my little baby. #cuethemommytears

This morning was a little different. It was the first day of workshop and it was a big deal! Waking up on time, hair combed, teeth brushed, matching shoes. Lunches packed, nutritious breakfast eaten and off we go!

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We met up with Zoie’s little friend Audree and they made their mamas happy with a picture!
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She lined up and all of a sudden she looks so big!
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And off she went! I can’t wait to pick her up and hear about her fantastic day!

Happy Tuesday.

Blessings from my family to yours!

Life Lately

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We have been soaking up every last bit of summer these last few days.

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I took this sweet thing back to school shopping. We got Starbucks and talked about how big she is getting. Its hard to believe my first baby is going to Kindergarten! I can’t possibly be old enough to have an elementary student.

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Our normal neighborhood pool was closed one afternoon so we hiked up the hill to the other one. I was grouchy and grumpy about it on the way up but then we met new friends at the pool and then they held hands and sang on the way back… They certainty know how to turn my mood around.

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My dad got baptized and it was kind of a big deal. My handsome hubs got to go out there and be apart of it. Such a special moment for us to get to go and cheer him on.

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Every year Ronnie & I attend Mastermind. Its a personal growth conference focused on business by Buffini and Company. This is our 4th year attending and it only gets better. This year one of the speakers was Diana Nyad, who swam from Cuba to Florida at 60, and she was amazing. It also made me NOT want to swim in the ocean. #sharks

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Meet and greet with her new Kindergarten teacher. I think we hit the jackpot with her, she’s wonderful! This is going to be the best year ever.

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I love this sweet baby and especially when she takes a peaceful morning nap. I can’t believe she is already 4 1/2 months old!

Happy Monday!

Blessings from my family to yours.

Life lately

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We live a charmed life. Our days are full of fun and adventure, even in the simple moments. I don’t want to forget this sweet time when my kids are still little.

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We got invited over for a swim play date, the best kind! I love this kiddo and her mama. Especially when she jumps in to save my boy who thinks he can swim but cant.

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During the summer the Safari Park extends its hours so one night we headed over there after swim lessons. I packed the kiddos a dinner and we strolled around till the park closed. It was awesome.

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This baby is the sweetest. I could just eat her up.
#ihaveathingforbabylegs
#cutecutecute

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We are trying to soak up all the wonderful laziness of summertime. The kids asked to snuggle and watch a movie together in the morning, how do you say no to that?

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Ronnie, Hadlie, & I snuck out for a day date one day. We went to the Del Mar race track and had a blast! Hadlie helped daddy pick his bets
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She is a self soother, she gets a hold of those two fingers and she is content as can be. Its so sweet!

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I actually came out $6 ahead! That’s two coffees from Starbucks!
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These two got picked up by Auntie Kelli to go to the movies and get ice cream. It is such a privilege to live in community and have others love on my kiddos. We are so blessed.

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Oh Target. I love Target so much but lately the carts have been feeling cramped. Hadlie is still too little to sit up in the cart and often she is sleeping in her carseat so I hate to disturb her by strapping her on in the ergo so the WHOLE seat goes in the cart, then there isn’t room for any groceries.  Also, popcorn is the best for keeping my kids interested in following me through the store. #weleaveatrail

imageFreddie is ALL BOY. After our incident on Tuesday, he fell out of a trampoline of Thursday only coming out with a scratch. He is the reason I will have gray hair, but I love every part of it. He got his first transformer this week and he thought he was big time.  His big sisters have swim lessons these past couple week so we get an hour to ourselves (plus sleeping Hadlie) to play and read together, its awesome!

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The big girls had VBS this past week, we decided to celebrate the first day the right way with the BEST cheeseburgers ever. #innoutforever

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With the big sisters gone every morning Freddie and I got some fun one on one time (Hadlie was there too, but she is always game for what we want to do, wink!)  One morning we went to the Children’s Museum another we watched trash trucks while swimming.
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There is a construction site close to our house where they are building a ton of new homes.  I made the mistake of getting him a milkshake and going over there one day to sit and watch the tractors. Guess  what he wants to do every waking moment now?!?image

He tells me “I’m worried about the tractors mommy, lets go check on them.” #smartboy  image

I love catching them really enjoying each other. Its my favorite.

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I got our family photos back this past week from our amazing cousin and photographer Emily. I already ordered a bunch of canvas and am counting down the minutes till it arrives!! Her pictures were amazing!!

That’s what we’ve been up to lately! Happy Monday!

Blessings from our family to yours!

Empty the Orphanages

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Babies. There is nothing more delicious and sweet than holding and cuddling a newborn sweet baby, to interact with a toddler and watch them discover the world, to talk with a preschooler and hear how their little brain processes the world around them.   Did you know that right now in San Diego County there are more than 1400 babies (ages 5 and under) that are in foster care? A typical county foster home can house anywhere from 1-8 children at a time depending on space and it is never guaranteed how long each child stays in the same home. What this really means is kids get bounced around never truly finding a “home.”

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Ronnie and I have always talked about adoption, but very idealistically.  The conversation was “it would be so awesome to adopt,” or “if we ever have an extra 30k we can adopt (hehe).”  Foster care was something I didn’t really want to consider, it seemed too painful to think about having to give a baby back.   About a year ago I was getting ready for bed one night and the Lord placed foster care on my heart.  It was one of those moments where I needed to sleep…. as a momma of three at the time and pregnant I NEEDED to sleep but my brain and my heart were wide awake.  I sat up on my phone for 2 more hours researching everything I could about foster care and specifically agencies here in San Diego.

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I found Angels. This agency is amazing.  They specialize in kids ages birth – 6 and they give their whole hearts to these kiddos.  They have very specific rules to allow each child to flourish with their placement families, for instance each home is only open to one child at a time (with exception for sibling sets) and their home is the ONLY home they will have until they are permanently adopted or reunited with their parents. This allows children to really create a bond with a loving parent figure and develop well.

Six months ago Ronnie and I attended their informational meeting. I was ready to sign up then and there and take a baby home #givemeallthebabies  Turns out they don’t encourage you to take on a newborn when you are already 8 months pregnant. #weirdos Just Kidding. I totally get why, but man we wanted to get started right that second!

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We are close to starting our journey in foster care. We need to fix a couple things around the house (for home inspection) and we would like Hadlie to be at least 6 months old (and sleeping through the night). We were pretty content with our plan…but it is still present on my heart. I think even more so as I look at my perfect little girl and think about how it would break my heart to be separated from her. That’s the thing about foster care, you get the chance to love on a baby and snuggle the heck out of him/her but you also have to become the parent’s biggest cheerleader. Rooting for reconciliation, praying for that family, becoming the child’s advocate and wanting what is best for HIM/HER. It’s going to be hard. like SUPER DUPER DUPER hard, but it’s a pain worth enduring.

Right now, while I can’t actually house a child I can talk about foster care with other people.  Remind them that there is such a need!! Just last week Angels foster care had to turn away EIGHT babies…EIGHT!! They need qualified families to love on these little ones.

By far the most important thing I can do right now is PRAY. Pray for these little ones, pray for their parents, pray for the families that are going to welcome them into their homes, pray for the employees in the agency that are lovingly placing these children.  God loves them far more than we can.

Will you join me in praying? ZF-7991-93505-1-001

If you are interested more in foster care please contact Angels or comment/email me. I would love to chat!

Blessings from my family to yours.

Weekend Wrap-Up

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We had the best weekend!

Friday night we kicked off the weekend like we always do with a dinner picnic at the beach.
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This baby LOVES the beach. She never fusses when we are there. She kicks and squeals the whole time she is in her portable crib (best thing ever, thanks mom!)

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I just can’t get enough of her sweet personality and snuggles.
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Saturday morning we slept in a bit and started off the day with pancakes. While I’m flipping flapjacks these bozos are having their morning meeting.

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Hadlie is the most popular person in our house by far.

I was getting ready that morning and Zoie comes in my room dressed just like me! She wanted to match her mama today and my heart swelled!! She insisted we take a picture and stand the same way.
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#staylittle
#letsalwaysmatch

Our good friend Branden from college stopped by for a quick visit and the kiddos quickly snagged his attention to play. According to Freddie, Uncle Branden is the best.

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It was a day of remembering college. Our school, Biola University, was hosting a backyard event in La Jolla. Ronnie and I dropped off the big kids and headed over.
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It was fun connecting with other alumni and meeting new students.

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The class of 2032 was less than impressed.

Ronnie then quickly dropped us off at home and headed over to Theology on Tap (a men’s event at our church). The kids and I put on our jammies as quick as possible and ate dinner while watching the new movie HOME. It was so cute!
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Sunday morning we love going to church. More often than not, Hadlie and I end up snuggling in the cry room, but we still enjoy it!
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I picked up some new books to read at the church library. I’m excited to crack these open.
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Sundays we practice Sabbath. We try not to have TV on or do social media. We go to church, spend time in Gods Word , and go to family night dinner at my in laws house. Its so good to really rest .

imageWe headed over for dinner and swimming and had such a great time that I completely forgot to take any pictures! It was a great weekend and I’m ready to tackle Monday.

Happy Monday!

Blessings from our family to yours.

Habits

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I have always been intrigued by other people’s habits. I think someones habit says a lot about them, its a peek into their priorities and their life. I have a few habits that float around in my day to day life but I am always looking for better and more efficient ways to be successful in my day to day life as a mom of 4 littles.  I always enjoy other bloggers posts about “a day in their lives

I like a formula, if you do this…then this will happen.  Here are a few habits I have already set in my life.

1. Quiet time. Every morning I get up early (4:30-5:30ish) to spend quiet time in the Bible.  It is a sacrifice to get up that early, but it is TOTALLY worth it.  Spending time with Jesus first thing in the morning sets up my entire day for success, also I get coffee that much earlier.

2. Leave 15 min early.  I was raised in a family that believed if you were on time, you’re late. Its ingrained in me to leave AT LEAST 15 minutes early for everything! Being a momma of 4 little ones, a lot of time this gives me some wiggle room so we actually arrive somewhere on time…but every once in awhile I need to kill 5-10 minutes from being TOO early (that’s rude too!)

3. Fun activity for the kids. I try to do something fun with the kids every day. Everything from just playing outside with chalk, going to the library, swimming, a play date, or spending the morning at the beach. Living in San Diego there is ALWAYS something fun to do and most of the time is doesn’t cost anything.

4. Laundry. I do 1 load every day…the habit I would like to instill is actually putting it away!! I actually enjoy laundry. It smells so good and its warm coming out of the dryer…its the folding and putting away (especially my own clothes!) that makes me a little crazy.

5. Time Block. Each morning I write out goals for the day in my journal and time block them out to make sure they are accomplished. I feel like because I am a stay at home mom my days are always super busy but sometimes I don’t feel like I have accomplished anything. My house is still dirty (I swear I cleaned it), the kids are hungry (I swear I fed them at least 9 times today), and there is always more to do.  Time blocking my days helps me stay focused on the task at hand, allows me to accomplish those extra tasks that often get pushed out because I haven’t created time for it (i.e. organize hall closet, empty out junk drawer, etc.). There is always wiggle room (I write in pencil for a reason!) and of course real life spontaneous stuff happens, but it helps me stay focused.

There is always room for improvement, especially in my life. These are the habits I have been thinking about lately that I want to start practicing.

1. Workout. Since having the baby I have struggled with a consistent workout routine. I would like to create the habit of working out 5-6 times a week.

2. Reading. I want to spend time reading with each of my kids daily. Freddie and I read before his nap and bedtime, but I struggle having consistent time with the girls. Zoie can read books herself, but I want to sit with her and help with the big words and Pennie wants to start learning how to read.  I think if I devote the first hour of Freddie’s nap everyday to reading with the girls we will see some big improvement. Its also a great excuse to cozy up on the couch with my favorite big girls for some snuggle time.

3. Uninterrupted Play Time. I really struggle playing WITH my kids.  I feel like I am good creating an environment for them to play and have fun (i.e. take them to the beach), but where I fall short is actually playing with them (i.e. building a sand castle and jumping waves instead of recovering from the ordeal of getting them to the beach!). I’m just going to lay all my faults out there, when I actually do sit down to play with them I always think go get a picture so I grab my phone, then I see I have new emails so I respond, then I post the picture so it adds to my Chatbooks, then I look at the comments…. if you give a mouse a cookie. Before I know it the kids have moved onto the next activity and I missed it. I want to ENGAGE with them now when they are little, I want to play cars and dolls and mommy before its too late and they aren’t interested in that or playing with mommy anymore. I still want to capture the moment and then PUT MY PHONE DOWN!!

I think that’s enough for now. I have read before it takes 30 days to create a habit and more often than not you can only add one habit at a time to your daily schedule successfully. I’m going to attempt all three, call me an overachiever. #hardly  Maybe I’ll attempt a day in the life post in August and see how its actually going.

If you are actually reading this (thank you!) and have a few habits of your own that you would share with me, please do! I’m always looking for mama hacks and good ideas to keep our family rolling along!

Blessings from my family to yours!

Have a great day!

Life Lately.

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I took quite a break from this little bloggy blog lately. In all fairness I did have a baby.

Anywho. Life lately around here has been great, we have totally be enjoying the lazy days of summer.

20150713_084555We have been trying to eat a little healthier around here so we’ve been starting our days with a green smoothie, but somehow the banana bread made an appearance too.

20150713_195246This girl NEVER falls asleep anywhere but her bed. Her first day of swim lessons really wore her out because she came home, put on her jammies, and asked to snuggle. I’ll meet that request every day of the week.

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It’s like she doesn’t even feel bad for blowing out her diaper. She is the baby, so she gets away with everything. We are soaking up every moment of her delicious babyness.

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My parents are amazing and they took our three older ones for the whole weekend. Ronnie and I slept in till 8am on Friday morning and enjoyed breakfast in bed, it was such a wonderful treat instead of dragging ourselves out of bed at 5am.

My cute dates. #hadlieruth #pretendingtobeanonlychild #gutschowpartyof2

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#hadlieruth catching some zzzzs #gutschowpartyof2

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We had a wedding on Friday night and our Hadlie girl tagged along.  I am totally a nervous mama bear about her ears, so she rocked the headphones. They didn’t bother her in the least and she was a big hit at the wedding.

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This baby is pure sunshine.  I snapped this photo when we were running late for church, but I couldn’t help myself because of her perfect smiles. It was fun having her as an “only child” this weekend.

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These two are finishing up swim lessons this week and yesterday we swam three times.  By the end we were a little over it and getting crazy!

 

That’s our life lately. 🙂