Sunday, November 20, 2016

Lots of Kids = Lots of Programs

One of the things I didn't really think about when I decided I wanted to have a lot of kids was all the "stuff" that each kid would have.

I mean, I knew about sporting events and gymnastics and piano lessons and whatever interests they would have. I knew I would desperately need to rely on carpools and tribes and villages to make it all work.

But specifically, I never really thought about the fact that I would be attending three Thanksgiving programs in as many days the week before Thanksgiving. "Oh, really Courtney? Like that's a big deal or something?"

Let me tell you WHY it is a big deal.

1) Because each morning it means getting dressed- and I don't even mean dressed up... I just mean getting dressed in something other than workout wear or jean shorts and a shirt. Putting on makeup, doing my hair (which may or may not be clean). It also means getting whatever other kids dressed and getting out the door to attend a performance.

2) It means getting to the school early to get a decent spot all while keeping the kids I have with me entertained and happy while we wait for said decent spot without using all the fun things I brought to also keep them busy during the actual performance. Was that a run-on sentence? Yup. But that's exactly how it feels while keeping babies entertained and waiting. And I'm not going to lie, I got to the performances EARLY each time. And there was always a ton of people there before me. WHAT TIME DO THESE PEOPLE GET UP EACH DAY?

3) It's juggling a baby and at least one other kid (but likely two other kids) while filming the performance. And even if Daddy or Grandeb are there, it's just NOT THE SAME if Mom isn't answering you. And if you haven't kept a baby and toddler happy and entertained and filmed all at the same time then you haven't really lived.

4) It's spending hours in the morning prepping and waiting to watch these performances for about 15 minutes. 15 minutes! 15 minutes of watching your kid get blocked out by the other 100 kids around them and stand there and maybe sing. Then just like that, it's over!

5) If the kids are in preschool then that means you take them home for the day after the morning performance. So yeah, that day is SHOT. It shouldn't even be included in tuition. You go to school and drop them off, you go straight into the auditorium, you watch the show, you take them home early. That's just how it is.

6) And it's having THREE DAYS IN A ROW completely shot the week before you host Thanksgiving. Not to mention the girls are out of school the week of Thanksgiving, so any errands I have to run means the girls come with me. Grocery shop for Thanksgiving meals 9 days before Thanksgiving? Yeah, doesn't work that way, so... um, yeah. Can't wait for the grocery store this week!

As tough as it was making all these school programs work all week and having three days where I seriously got nothing done (oh, and did I mention that Kelsey worked her way back into the Fussiest Baby in the World category!?), there is something about watching your babies sing that just completely freaking melts you.

Seeing their faces and watching them sing their little hearts out and watching them look through the crowd to find you... Gosh, that moment they find you- it's got to be one of the top 10 parenting moments ever, right? Seeing them find you and smile and wave and watching their little chests puff out just a little more... Dang, it makes all the crap and chaos above so. stinking. worth. it.

These faces. They get me every time!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Squill Ranch Anny!

It's hard to believe we've had our ranch for a little over a year now!

We have enjoyed this place more than we could have ever imagined! We've celebrated (almost two!) Thanksgiving(s), New Year's Eve, spring break, Easter, birthdays, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, and countless weekends. We've had so many friends and family members out (and if you haven't been out- COME!).

The house was pretty much move-in ready, but we made some personalized touches here and there (paint, etc). We have taken our time furnishing the house and finding all the right pieces and fixtures (also because it's expensive to furnish two homes!)!

We have seriously loved all of the memories we have made. The kids learned more in a year about the outdoors than in all their years combined. Dirty nails, chasing grasshoppers/lizards, digging in the dirt, climbing on hay bales, hacking through trees and brush, finding gophers, picking sticker burs out of feet, poking fires.... the list could go on and on and on.

There is no way I could pick favorite pictures from the past year out there... but I'm going to try! I will inevitably leave out too many, but here are some of my favorite things from throughout the past year!

Closing Day! 

Moving Day! 

First day out there that we owned it! 

Tex is a huge fan! 

First family weekend out there!
Everyone stayed busy! 

The beginning of a beautiful relationship between Anthony and his pond! 

The first (and now only!) campout! 

Family fire time! 

Jay has fallen in love with fishing! 

...and shooting! 

A random warm November day...
And the kids wanted to "swim"

The beginning of the hide and seek with our gopher! 


Grandma and Grandpa at Thanksgiving!

Anthony and his best bud Jake fishing on his birthday!

Christmas parade in Brenham!

New Year's Eve crew!

The mommas on NYE! Wild and crazy! 

Random fishing fun! 
It's a family favorite! 

One of our favorite parts of being there on the weekends...
Porch church! 

St. Patty's Day in the bluebonnets!

A random Mommy/Molly day! 

Jay loves finding new creatures out there! 

Easter egg hunt with the cousins! 

Iowa family in town! 

The girls from Iowa (plus me!)

Our biggest porch church yet...
Memorial Day weekend!


Baby Kelsey's newborn photos at the ranch!

Julie working her magic! 

A family shot at the ranch...
It was SO important to me to have our pictures taken there! 
We love it so much! 

 4th of July with the Moriarty clan!

I waited TEN months to enjoy the mint from my garden! 
It was an occasion to celebrate! 

More 4h of July pics! 

Mom helped me brave the Brenham water park with all four kids!
We were exhausted but it was worth it! 

Grammy came for a visit! 

Grandma and Grandpa help set up the ping pong table!

One of the kids' favorite things there is the HUGE bath tub! 

Dove hunting on opening weekend from the porch in the rain! 

Mom and I exploring the local spots! 

I love this shot! 

Good times with friends! 

As you can see, it's been a fun-filled and jam packed year! This isn't even a tenth of the photos! We are so excited to add more memories!

We have filled our lives with this place more than we could have imagined. This ranch has blessed us more than we knew! Every time we go out there we fall in love with the place all over again. So thankful for Squill Ranch.