Saturday, July 25, 2015

Easter 2015

Yes -- you read that right -- EASTER in July!!  I really want to post about summer fun, trips, camps, and vacation...but I will try to go in order.  So -- back to early April! {Honestly---I don't think I ever do posts on Easter.  This must be the time of year I get too busy!}

I "try" to set up a fun Easter morning breakfast for the kids.  The Easter Bunny always visits us right before we wake up!
Apartment life this year --- I didn't have too many of my pretties available.

Camille's 2nd Easter -- but her 1st 'real' Easter basket :)))

I love the boys "baskets" too!

{I remember a few eggs were even found MONTHS later!!!  I love it when that happens!}

LOTS of pics of baby girl --- she was LOVING this!!

Our day was a very LOW key Easter Sunday.  It was damp and cool if I remember correctly.  I did, however, get them dressed for a few pictures.  

9 years old

6 years old
{is that chocolate on his mouth??!!!}

1 year old

On to more...

Friday, July 24, 2015


Today my baby boy is TEN YEARS OLD!!!

Motherhood is hard to put into words...but I know there is NO love like a mothers'!!  Joshua Michael is SOO special in so many ways!!  
I won't lie, our 9th year had some hard moments, and I bet #10 will too --- but we will learn together.  He is my 1st pancake!!

10 reasons why I LOVE him so...

1.  He is the BEST helper!  When I fell and had to get stitches this past spring, he directed our sweet neighbor out to our house, went upstairs all alone, and got milk and supplies for his baby sister!  He is the BEST big brother!!

2.  He is ADORABLE!!  

3.  He is funny and goofy and has a great personality!

4.  Joshua has a KIND and SENSITIVE heart!!  He is friendly to everyone and he has my emotional side {we cry during Free Willy :-/ }

5.  He is very athletic and loves to participate.

6.  He is creative and he is a pleaser:))

7.  Joshua is "becoming" responsible!  I can trust him to do what he says.  
(except brush his teeth -- ugh!!!)

8.  He works hard and he tries very hard!  I'm his biggest fan on this one!!!

9.  He is all boy!!  Sensitive, yet STRONG {and dirty...and stinky... :)) }

10.  Joshua is a momma's boy!!  I think (hope) we will always have a special bond!  He is my favorite little 10 year old on the Earth!!

Happy 10th Birthday 
Joshua Michael Szymanski!!

Below : I came across this article last night and actually read the whole thing -- I know!!  It may be an old one, and I might have actually read it before, but it really spoke to me.  I hope I copied and pasted it correctly.  

***I thought it was a night like any other night. I was folding the laundry on my bed, listening to my daughter sing her heart out in the shower. Then my throat tightened and I felt panic set in. When did I last wash her hair?
I ran to the bathroom and opened the door so I could yell inside, "Katie, do you need any help washing your hair?"
Her reply brought tears to my eyes, "No, Mama. I'm fine."
I've always tried my best to appreciate every day with my seven children. There has been a motto I've lived with in parenting ever since I had my first child:
Make sure they remember joy yesterday, experience joy today, and anticipate joy tomorrow.
I just didn't know tomorrow would come so soon.
I'm a firm believer in kids playing hard and getting dirty. And my two oldest daughters sure did that. Every day, they were out in the Arizona sunshine--climbing, digging, swinging, and getting very, very dirty. Children have to get dirty. It's a universal law. And I'm not about to tamper with universal law.
But with dirt, comes baths. I remember when my two oldest daughters, Kelsey and Katie, would take baths together. I would wash their hair, then let them play in the bathtub for awhile. It was our routine. Then they got older. Baths turned into showers, but I was still there to come in and help them wash their hair. Then the hair washing turned into just helping them rinse out the shampoo. Then the rinsing turned into the occasional, "let's go back in the shower and I'll help you rinse that one spot on top of your head."
Then came, "No, Mama. I'm fine."
Here's the deal with motherhood: It's our job to raise independent kids; but no one tells you how to handle it when it really happens.
That night, it happened.
I thought back--When was the last time? When was the last moment I rinsed the shampoo out of her hair? Why didn't I know it was the last time? If I would have known, I would have done a better job, or made it last longer, or kissed her head, or something. I would have done something!
I couldn't see the laundry anymore because the tears blurred my vision. But I kept folding. Folding and praying. "God, help me remember how quickly this is going by. Help me appreciate every single day--even the hard ones. Show me the beauty in each moment--even the bad ones."
I thought of David, pleading with God, "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12). He was probably having one of his own, "last hair washing" moments, those moments with the brevity and speed of life strikes you and you realize you can't put on the brakes. He wanted enough wisdom to slow down and appreciate each day as a gift from God because he realized when it's gone, it's gone.
The cure isn't to slow down. That's impossible. The cure is a heart of wisdom. The wisdom to know that broken dishes, stained clothes, and spilled food are never reasons to lose your temper. The wisdom to know that school assignments can always be done later, after the sun sets and the mud puddles have all dried up. The wisdom to know that every moment is a sacred moment--changing diapers, snuggling on the sofa, swinging at the park, even washing hair. They're all sacred, if you can just slow down enough to see it.
Years went by. Then came the fateful day. A ball was headed toward the goal, and Katie was determined to keep it out. She dove for it, and we heard it--crack! A quick trip to the emergency room and we found out that Katie had fractured her wrist. That meant six weeks in a cast.
You can't wash your own hair when your hand is in a cast.
When I realized that, my heart practically jumped for joy--not for the broken wrist (what kind of a sick mom would I be?) but that I got a second chance! I got another shot to slow down and appreciate washing her hair. I got to put on the brakes! I let Katie pick out a brand new shampoo--a sweet-smelling shampoo for brunette hair. We got some towels, she laid down on the kitchen counter with her head in the sink, and I got to wash her hair. Each time I did, we would joke around and laugh about it and enjoy every. single. moment.
To this day, when I smell that shampoo, it takes me right back to our kitchen counter hair washing experience.
But we don't always get second chances. There will be a last fort with chairs and blankets. There will be a last story before bed. There will be a last outfit put on a Barbie doll. There will be a last swing at the park. We don't need to know when the last one will be. We just need the heart of wisdom to appreciate each one.
As I wrap up this post, I thank God for His mercy. My fingers were flying on the keyboard and I heard my youngest daughter call to me from upstairs, "Mama, would you put my hair in a braid before I go to bed?"
Oh. Yes.
I took a little longer brushing her hair tonight. And I lingered as I put her hair into a single braid down her back. When I kissed her goodnight, it lasted a couple more seconds than usual. Because after seven children and years of thinking I had all the time in the world, I realized something. life will run off with you if you let it. Sometimes, you just have to stop and breathe it in.
Thank you, God, for braids before bedtime. Thank you for messy kitchens and legos on the floor. Thank you for noisy dinner times and late-night conversations, for forts, baby dolls, fingerpaint, and bedtime stories. Thank you for broken wrists and shampoo for brunettes. Thank you for teaching me to number my days. And, God, when I forget, please number them for me.  ***

And just in case this hasn't made you cry -- remember I'm emotional, check out THIS sweet sweet song:))

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

One more....

I forgot to put this beauty on the last post.  We had a very quick (people were on the way to see the house and we had to get out!) front porch photo shoot!! 

I LOVE my family so much!!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Axis Deer Run

In February (I think), we decided to put our house up for sale.  We had been talking and thinking about it forever.  And then one 
L O N G rainy day, while we were stuck inside, I made the call!! 
It was a VERY VERY quick process!!  We had it all wrapped up and we moved out on March 8th -- my 34th birthday.  

This cute little house will always be in our hearts and holds TONS of memories.  Joshua celebrated his 3rd birthday party in the backyard...he also broke his arm flipping off the couch in the living room.  Keegan was brought home to this house and as a little boy he LOVED starring out the front windows!  And Camille, she won't remember this house or her 1st Christmas here, but this was her 1st home too!

We have ton of front porch Halloween and 1st days of school pics.  We swam and played many hours in the backyard.  Our little house looked glorious all lit up for Christmas.  And in this house we met TONS of friendly and caring neighbors!  

The Friday that we closed, I took off work and saw the boys off to school on the bus for the last time...
 and one more time back home!  The bus stop right in front of our house has been AWESOME!

Moving the Trampoline with Mr. Mike. 
Moving Day.

Those movers there brought us to "The Apartment."  A 2 BR apartment!  Yep --- we are all crammed in here while waiting for our home to be built.  This home will hold us all and is so BEAUTIFUL!!!
Here is our lot -- we chose the BIGGEST one:))))))
Currently we are about to get some sheet rock installed --- hopefully we will get to call it home before decorating for fall.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Spring Baseball

This year we signed BOTH boys up for spring ball.  It was a GREAT and BUSY season.  And we all survived!  Ha!

I LOVE watching my boys play!!
{another picture overload:)}

Tryouts -- "evaluations"

This year there was an opening ceremony parade :))

K got on Mr. Mike's team with Keegen Jackson!

The next ones are of the parade at BHS,
 I do not know why they are turned sideways.  
Just turn your head:)))

The sno-cone truck is a very important component of baseball!!
K was soooo sweet to give bites to Millie:)))

Sideways again.  
This day was Millie's actual 1st BIRTHDAY!!!
We spent it at ball practice!

Saturday baseball crew.  I remember this day being wet and cold!

Our fans!!

Nora came with us one Saturday to games.  
That's right..I managed to keep up with 4 kiddos 
{snacks are my key}.
J and K played at the same time, 
so we walked back and forth just a few times!

More ball practice.  This chic was a trooper!
I'm getting her a shirt next season that says
"little sister, I don't have a life because my brothers play baseball" 

I got me a cute shirt that would work for BOTH teams!

I think these 2 pics are so adorable!!  
Millie loved these little girls and they were so sweet to her too!!

Little League Day with the TEXAS RANGERS!!
A fun boys day!

J got to play 1st base!

And he got to work in the "confession" stand! 


K's last game

Joshua's team advanced far in the final bracket.  
They all played AWESOME!!  
Like they beat a team that had not lost in forever! 
Mikey came to see it!!

Team party at CiCi's for the Mets. 

Joshua's team had paintball party.  
It was AWESOME but sooooooooo HOT!!

Keegan stayed with friends and this little chic and I burned up!!

Both boys had an awesome season!!  
They learned a ton and made a ton of memories.  
Joshua and Keegan, I hope you both always know I'M your biggest FAN!!

Till Fall Ball ---ugh:))))))