Every week I like to take a moment to showcase the moments that brought me the most joy. Sometimes they are awesome activities and other times it's a sweet moment between the kids. There are always moments that can fill us with joy if we choose to see them with a thankful heart.
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I know, I know. I usually post these on Sunday. But after five days of go-go-go with vacation fun and heading home on Sunday there was no chance I was getting this whole post ready. Too much fun to sort through and decide what to post! If you follow me on Instagram you might have caught some of my insta-stories with all the fun we had each day.
But that's real life. Spending time with my family and getting back to our normal life is far more important than sharing pictures - even though I love getting the chance to share my life with you!
It was a great week and I'm so thankful we got the chance to travel, visit family, and have a few adventures.
1. Doing her chores
We are still doing weekly chores and while some weeks are a struggle to get them to cooperate there are also some weeks when they willingly do everything they are asked. It's not always easy for Mercedes to do her chores the same way her big brothers do because she is significantly younger. She's only four and a half so even standing on a chair she can't reach to put away dishes or switch clothes from the washer to the dryer. We've compromised and she now unloads all the dishes but stacks those she can't put away on her own (basically everything except silverware and utensils) on the table. She has to sort them into similar items so they are easy for us to put away and she does a great job. It's not about perfection or getting the whole job done herself but about creating a helpful attitude. The picture looks like chaos because of all the stuff everywhere but I see a little girl learning to be responsible and follow directions with a cheerful heart.
2. Barbie treasures
After arriving at my parent's house on Tuesday night I ventured into their storage space and pulled out five bins of old Barbie toys. I forgot how much my sister and I really had! Most of it is in really great condition still and we all had so much fun sorting through the toys, dolls, and accessories. I wanted to sort through everything and find all the piecesm(most of the furniture was disassembled) but we were so busy with activities that I didn't get as much time to do it as I wanted. Instead I filled a tote with enough to give Mercedes some more play options and we will continue to choose a few more pieces each time we visit. I'm so glad my old toys are getting more use and she LOVES her new-to-her toys.
3. Nickelodeon Universe
My parents won four all-day wristbands to Nickelodeon Universe and we picked up four more at Costco for a steep discount which allowed all seven of us to go on rides all day for a super great price! The little boys are a bit small for some of the rides yet but overall we all went on lots of rides and had so much fun! Parker is a roller coaster maniac, Jamison loves rides that go around and around but not high, Mercedes really likes the mini roller coaster, Cade loves shooting ghosts on Ghost Blasters and Anders loves any ride he is big enough to ride. We were at the mall for about 10 hours and didn't get back to my parent's house until about 9pm! Everyone was exhausted but in good moods and ready for a good night's sleep.
4. Rocket launch
Jamison received a rocket from my parents for his birthday back in March. We could never seem to coordinate a time to launch it when we'd get together but we finally made it work this time. It was a little windy but with a few adjustments we had several great launches. Our rocket time came to an end when the wind blew it into a tree... WAY up top without hope of a rescue. It was a new adventure for the kids and they all had a blast - get it? Yeah, that was cheesy ;)
5. Carving pumpkins
Friday was pumpkin carving day! The kids each picked a design. Well, four of the kids picked a design and Parker designed his own. They helped us clean out the insides and my mom, Micah, and I carved. They each took a cat and I did the other two. Parker did his almost entirely on his own! I'm not sure we will get to carve pumpkins at our own house so I'm glad they got this chance.
6. Birthday party
Saturday was the big party day! Micah's parents and siblings came and the kids got to play with their cousins. We had a burger and hot dog bar with lots of sides and fixings, cake and ice cream, and great conversations. I love that our families enjoy spending time together and that we can do these big family parties. The boys all got tons of snacks, clothes, and some fun new toys. It was a really great day, even with the icky weather.
7. Silly string fight
My sister gifted the kids with silly string and once the rain finally stopped on Saturday we let them go crazy on the driveway. It lasted all of a few minutes but boy, they had fun! We were all covered in the string and our bellies hurt from laughing so hard. The kids have decided to put silly string on their lists for Christmas but I don't think they realize that going out in the snow and cold won't make for a very fun silly string fight! Maybe for their Easter baskets instead.