Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Ranch Style!

We had the best time at the ranch this past week with Anthony's family for Thanksgiving!

Going into it, I was worried that we'd get cabin fever after being there four days and need some outside-the-ranch time. And I was wrong. We stayed plenty busy and had plenty of fun!

Prepping for the weekend was a whipping- I won't lie. Not only did we need to get "Thanksgiving" meal ready (groceries, prepping the food, etc), AND pack to be out of town for four days, I also had to get things for the house and think of what was needed there. We don't have much at the house yet (just bought a couch last weekend in preparation for the week!), so I needed to think of what all was needed- baking sheets, measuring cups, spices, oil, etc.. I mean, it was a LOT! And the fact that the kids were off of school last week left me no time to do anything kid free! Ack!

But it all turned out to be totally worth it! We were very well prepared and everything went smoothly.

The kids and I ran 7 errands Wednesday morning (seriously!) before we left for the ranch at 11:15. I felt like I had run a marathon at that point! So we get halfway there, and I realize I left my key at home! This wouldn't normally be THAT big of an issue, but the couch delivery people were set to get there the same time as me! I called them and apologized profusely and they were so sweet! We finally got there about an hour later than planned, but the guys were great about waiting for us.

The couch looks awesome and the kids and I got unpacked as we waited for everyone else to get there!

Everyone got in Wednesday evening and the kids were wild (as expected!). Sweet Molly actually did a great job hanging considering she only got a 30 minute nap in the car at 11:30 that morning.

CK was in heaven getting to hold a baby! 
She would have held him the whole time if would have let her!

Thanksgiving morning was spent eating and then fishing and then cooking! The fish were just jumping on the hooks! Seriously, Jay caught 5 in a row! Something about a spiderman pole and hot dogs...

Sloan was terrified of the fish!

Then came Thanksgiving meal! Since I was hosting (my first ever!) I was in charge of the turkey and some various sides/desserts. Since I have no clue how to do a turkey, I pre-ordered a full cooked turkey. I picked it up and asked a jillion times about the reheating process and all of that. After the three hours of reheating I took it out and had Anthony's dad carve it- annnnnnd it was raw. The store gave me the wrong thing and our turkey was NOT ready when it was time to eat! We had a teeny amount of cooked turkey to eat, and then a LOT of leftovers for later! Luckily everyone was great about it and just ate a lot of other things! Sigh... first time hosting Thanksgiving was a fail! Oh well, a memory for sure!


Our "set" table! We are casual in these parts! 

Place setting... Plastic fork and spoon, silver knife
Regular plate, paper napkin, styrofoam cup and glass.
That's how we roll at the ranch! A little country, a little classy.. Ha!

And our kids table!
Color-on table cloth for the win!

The rest of the day was spent napping and playing. Some of our best friends were in the town next door celebrating Thanksgiving with their family, so they stopped by on their way home to say hello! We fed the fish and zip lined- and had a great time with them!

The Squillante grandkids

They loved this tablecloth!

Family pic!

Loving CK in her smock and boots!

That night we all crashed!

Annnnnd... we woke up on Friday to Anthony's birthday! Yummy breakfast, a visit from his best friend and their family, LOTS of fishing, lots of tooling around, a birthday cake, and a dinner "in town" with the fam! Needless to say we somehow stayed busy and had fun celebrating Anthony!

Jay caught his first bass and was pumped! 

Jay's favorite way to fish- cast and catch right away! 

Mommy was on little sister duty by the pond (much to her dismay!)

Jake caught the biggest fish yet from the pond- an almost 2.5 lb bass. 
He didn't let Anthony forget it either! 

Grandpa had a blast fishing!

Jay and Wyatt. 
Their dads go way back and these boys will follow their footsteps!

Andrea and Sloan

Pretty typical. 

Anthony's birthday set up...
Red velvet bundt cake
Hello Kitty plates (CK)
Avengers plates (Jay)
Minnie Mouse candles (Molly)

Sadie and Molly in the play house

Grandma and some of the kids on the trampoline

The guys (and me!) had some target practice. I probably shoot a gun once every three years.
I am proud to say I was 2/2- hit my stationary target and hit my thrown-in-the-air coke can!

Jay and I saw a turtle walking across the back yard! 
We safely relocated it back near the pond/forest

CK passed out on the couch. It was impossible to wake her up!

Anthony at dinner!

These were some FILTHY cousins! 

We all woke up the next morning and took off. Well, we packed and cleaned (and then cleaned some more) and then took off.

It was a really great weekend and we are hoping to start a tradition of Thanksgivings at the ranch. It was just too perfect!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Molly at 18 Months!

I cannot believe our precious baby is already 18 months old! 

It's funny because in the past few weeks I have definitely noticed her seeming much "older" than before. She is definitely transitioning into a little girl instead of a baby and it's so bittersweet to watch.

Molly has continued to be such a ray of sunshine for this family. She truly is our little spark and adds so much! She has such an expressive personality. You know whether she's happy or mad or sad- but she's almost always happy! She is just so joyful and full of full life. But, like all 18 month olds, she can show when she's MAD! Between screaming, throwing fits, mad faces, or even (gasp!) hitting, she makes sure she is understood. Ps- Jay and CK were NEVER hitters. This is such foreign territory to me! Ack!

We just moved Molly into a big girl bed. We have done this with all of the kids around 17 months, and Molly was no different. It seemed to be an easy, natural transition, and she has really been doing so great! She will almost always wake a few times a night, but a quick pacifier back in the mouth and she's back asleep. She doesn't get out of her bed or panic, so it's been easy. She's working on her canines, so I'm sure once those are through (and we get rid of the pesky ear infections!) she will be sleeping much better!

She is talking like crazy. Both of our big kids were early talkers, and Molly is no different. She is speaking in multi-word phrases and repeats EVERYthing. She can really express herself and her needs which is so helpful. One of the things that she is doing better than her siblings is using pronouns correctly- she uses I, me, you, etc the right away and that just really blows me away! She also sings a TON- and knows every word to every song! It's probably one of my very favorite things about her is how much she loves to sing. All the time. No lie, the other morning she woke up singing "Let it Go!" Seriously! Her favorites are The Lord's Army, Let it Go, Fuzzy Caterpillar, Jesus Loves Me, Roll the Gospel Chariot, My God is so Big, Baby Jesus Grew and Grew, Pat-a-Cake, Twinkle Twinkle... and I know I'm forgetting some. I love her precious little voice.

There is nothing this girl loves more than her family- but especially her brother and sister! When we drop them at school she says "Where Jay go? Where Char-ey Kate?" All. Day. Long. She loves them so much! And her Tex and Ella. She just worships them- and they are so good to her! The funny thing is that she will mess with their stuff or hit them if they tell her no. Then I'll fuss at her or scold her and she cries- and then the big kids cry or get mad at me for fussing at her or snuggle her. Mixed signals much?!!?

She's doing so much better at school and actually didn't cry at drop off and didn't cry all day at school TWICE this week! Woohoo!! She's also so lucky to have two cousins so close in age- which lends itself to LOTS of play time with them!

She loves playing babies! Carries her purse around, changes diapers, wipes their booties with wet wipes, feeds them, rocks them, bounces them... Babies babies babies! And she tries to mother real life kids, too! 

Molly has been my little sidekick. I have truly truly enjoyed this "baby." I think I can see with the older two how quickly it goes and so this has been such a wonderful time with Molly. I love having her with me and she makes it so easy to bring her along everywhere. 

Molly June, we cannot wait to see the wonderful things you do. You are such a special little girl and such a joy to our family. Thank you for being such a little sunshine! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Our First Night in the Country!

We finally spent the night in our ranch house for the first time this past weekend! We brought lots of air mattresses and blankets (no beds!) and loaded up on folding/lawn chairs (no couches!).

But we had FUN FUN FUN!

It was my nephew Owen's birthday so his family and mine went out Saturday afternoon. The Fountains are such a fun, easy going family to hang out with. Everyone just meshes together and they are always up for fun! So per Owen and Jay's request, they camped out in a tent that night! The daddies were such good sports! And so were the middle girls! So Anthony, Aaron, Owen, Jay, Charley Kate, and Austen camped out! It got down to about 55 degrees which was really perfect for camping! My kids got new sleeping bags for the occasion (camo and Frozen naturally) and had a BLAST!

We had frito pie for dinner, made a campfire and gathered branches and twigs for it, roasted smores, and had lots of glow in the dark toys (silly string, necklaces, balloons, etc!).

One of my favorite parts is getting to bring Tex. This dog has never been happier than when he's at the ranch! He doesn't stop swimming, running, sniffing, and exploring!

This girl was a HUGE fan of Smores! Shocker!

Yup, they just camped right off the back porch  :)

"Funny" faces aka overly exhausted faces

First family campfire! 

The next morning started REALLLLY early due to the sunshine at 6 am in the tent! Campers were up which meant Tex was up in our room which meant Molly was up which meant I was up. Ugh.

We got a jumpstart on breakfast and playing and got to see the most beautiful sunrise! Pinks and purples and oranges. Just a sight to see!

Owen's "birthday party" was that day, so we started getting to work- mainly getting a new zipline hung! I think the daddies had more fun than the kids!

My parents got there around 8:45 and then my oldest sister's family got there around 10:45. Since it was Sunday morning we had Porch church. We sang, prayed, had communion, and Anthony gave a mini-sermon. It was really just a beautiful thing. We love using this place to glorify God and his immense blessings. And hearing our babies sing and participate was unreal.

Yup, I'm wearing socks and flip flops. I had socks and boots on, but took them off and put on flip flops for working inside. It seemed like a lot of work to take my socks off, so I just left them. I'm so ok with it. 

After church the party got started! Fishing, shooting beebee guns, zip lining, finding critters to play with, eating WAY too much, driving the "jeep" around, exploring, and just having a freaking good time. It was an awesome day!

We knew we had tons of catfish in our pond, but PawPaw reeled in a bass on the pink Barbie pole! 
Anthony was so excited to discover we have bass! At least one! And dad was hilarious with his pole! CK helped of course! 

My nephew Josh caught SIX fish that day! He was nailing it! 

The big catch of the day! Picture doesn't do it justice! 

Auntie JJ found a snake! 

CK loved it! 

The girls- we missed you, Michelle! 

Playing "colored eggs" aka red light green light. 

These third kids are SO go with the flow! I love it!! 

Jay and his "came" lizard

I'm having a glimpse into my future. Ack!! 

It was a really wonderful weekend with some great family time. Each weekend I leave thinking it was the most fun we've ever had. I love the memories we are making there and love the fellowship we get to have. I love that our kids are being exposed to this so early. What a wonderful blessing!