January 11, 2017

one of our new goals.


We aren't really a goal-setting family. I mean, a long time ago, Jeremy and I would sit around and talk about things... but it's been a while since that happened. And with the new year upon us, we decided that this year we would set goals. To make those goals into something, we decided that writing them down needed to happen too.

One of our biggest goals this year is to get ourselves out of debt. We took a Dave Ramsey course a couple of years ago and it really resonated with us. And we were on the right path... until someone's vehicle needed a complete engine replacement. We weren't even close to having a fully funded emergency fund when that hit, so you guessed it, out came a credit card. Ouch.

But, but! We're ready to change that this year. And we're also ready to get our kids on board with understanding money just a bit better. Dave says to pay your kids commission rather than an allowance; come up with chores that they get paid for actually doing rather than a set amount (allowance) they get every week regardless of performance.

With our boys being old enough to help around the house, a commission chart for them also became a goal for 2017. The problem? I couldn't find any charts that I liked (I'm picky, people!). Good thing I know someone in graphic design! And ta-da! Whipped these beauties up this morning! If you're looking for something like this, all three colors are being offered in my Etsy shop as a digital download. (I also finally uploaded another print that I've had in the works for a while. You can check that one out here.)

We're really looking forward to putting these into rotation. I might even get crazy and laminate ours so I can use them with a dry erase marker. And I know there are some little boys around here who will be excited to get paid for helping take out recycles (they love this chore in particular for some reason, ha!).

January 5, 2017

tatum: five months old.


It's hard to believe we're quickly approaching that half year mark with Tatum. Each kiddo keeps going faster and faster. And it stinks when it's your last kiddo because you most definitely want them to take their time. But time? It waits for no one... so here we are, five months in.

This last month was a big one! First Christmases were celebrated... even though Tatum slept through most of them. A couple of weeks ago she decided that instead of rolling belly to back like most kids, she'd just master the whole back to belly thing first. Which is cool. Until she couldn't get roll to her back again. No worries though, she figured the whole belly to back thing out just a couple of days ago. Once she combines the two? I have a feeling our lives are going to get a lot more interesting.

We still have a hard time getting an actual laugh out of our sweet tater tot. It definitely surprises all of us when one shows up. It makes her brothers laugh like crazy. What also makes them laugh? Tatum sitting at the dinner table with us in her bumbo! I think the fact that she's sitting up and able to look around thrills them. And she's pretty smitten with her brothers too. Always keeps her entertained.

We're still nursing really well. Tatum's starting to show a little interest in food – especially now that she's sitting with us at the table – but we'll probably hold off on closer to six months to start food. She seems to still be pretty content with mama's milk, so no rushing there. Also? I'm in no hurry to start changing solid food diapers, ha!

Sleeping is still going well. This past week has been a little different. Some restless nights and early mornings... but she's probably having a growth spurt (mentally, for sure!). It's also getting colder at night so I do wonder if maybe she's been a bit chilly at night. Fleece jammies and sleep sacks to the rescue!

She's a sweet, sweet baby. Keeping us all laughing and swooning with her special dimple and smiley eyes...

January 1, 2017

christmas, 2016.


Before the holidays are completely over, it only seems fitting to share some of our Christmas morning. We finally were able to get over the sickness that seemed like it would never leave. On Christmas Eve morning, we headed northwest to visit with my in-laws for a few hours. We had an awesome breakfast, some good family time, exchanged gifts and headed back home to prepare for our Christmas Eve service at church. That service is always special, and as the boys get older, it's so nice to share it with them.

We made it home after church to cook up some chicken and waffles (a new tradition, I believe!). The boys served up some milk and cookies for Santa, checked on his location, left some reindeer food and then rushed to bed to make sure Santa would stop by.

At 3:45 – in the morning – the older two boys decided it was time to check to see if Santa had come. After they saw that he had indeed come, we made them go back to bed and sleep for just a bit more. That was just too early for us, ha! At around six-ish, we were all officially up and excited to see what was brought. I think everyone's Christmas wishes came true!

We wrapped up our Christmas festivities at my parents house that night with a big dinner of the best breakfast options. Tatum slept through most of our festivities and missed out on most of the photos – I promise she was there for them though!

December 23, 2016

the plague.


Christmas break started out awesome on Monday. We were able to get some great photos of the kids in their matching jams. The boys got to entertain themselves with play doh for a couple of hours. Jeremy took the boys shopping for me and left me with a quiet house. I started dinner when they got home. It was going so well.

So well! Until one little boy scream-yelled at us, "I needa poooke!"

Rush two year old to the bathroom where he does, indeed, puke. Strange. Brush it off as a one-time thing and sit down for dinner. When Graham didn't eat his dinner (which just happened to be a favorite of his – breakfast!), we started wondering if he was sick. And then that worry was solidified when he asked to go puke again. And continued to do so throughout the night.

At 3ish in the morning, I joined in with the puking. Great.

Thankfully, that one time was it for me (& good grief, I'm glad – it was violent!). But I felt terrible all day Tuesday. And Graham continued to puke until mid-afternoon. We thought it was all over; most people assured us this bug was a two day thing!

Woke up Wednesday morning and Graham was sporting a 101ยบ temp. Kept an eye on it and ibuprofen took care of that. Awesome! We beat the random fever! We even went to Nana's house to help her make cookies. We were confident we were done!

We were wrong. Cayden started puking Wednesday afternoon around 4ish. And continued through the night. Thankfully I felt pretty good again (minus a cold that showed up post-sick). Graham was no longer puking. Whew.

Thursday was looking pretty good! No throwing up! Christmas might not be a disaster after all!

And then this morning came. Cayden threw up again. And Graham has now thrown up twice today. Thankfully Jeremy, Sawyer and Tatum have missed out on the fun. And now I'm beginning to wonder if our little bit is ever going to get over this. No fun, y'all! But thankful for a toddler that knows what's about to happen and can (usually) make it to the bathroom.

Will everyone say a small prayer that this ends now? We really, really want to go see Jeremy's family in the morning. And we really, really want to see mine on Christmas night. The holidays just aren't quite right without our family in the mix. Amen.

December 22, 2016

christmas jams, 2016.


This is the first year in a while that we've documented some matching Christmas jams – in fact, it might have last happened when Sawyer was a toddler. This year might have a little something to do with that little one in pink, but mostly because all of our kiddos are adorable. And because Monday was the perfect light day to make it happen.

Also, let's go ahead and note that Tatum's eyes are turning dark... Cayden will be our only blue-eyed baby. Which makes me a little sad, but also happy that this green-eyed girl and dark-eyed husband were even able to have a blue-eyed baby!

The cool thing? After I got done taking the Allen Four's photos, the oldest three took turns for at least 30 minutes taking pictures of each other on their little camera. It was hilarious watching them come up with poses. And once I through out the term "art director," you should have heard them taking charge and giving direction. Hilarious!

Here's hoping you and your family enjoy the merriest of Christmases on Sunday
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