Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Naia! - 6 Years Old!

Naia turned 6 yesterday!

Over a year ago, the kids and I decided we would not have any more birthday parties. It costs less money and creates less stress.

My husband and I give the birthday child $150 and they choose whatever it is that they want to do for the day.

Unfortunately, for me, this usually involves malls and shopping. Of course I deprive my kids of these things for the entire year so I think one day of complete freedom is fine. I have come to accept it...

The only money the kids receive (ever) comes on Fridays. Their father gives them a whole dollar! Their eyes light up and they tuck it away in their coin purses. Usually they will save up about $5-10 and then ask to go to Goodwill or Once Upon a Child (thrift store for kids). Other than that, I never buy them toys or clothes (except for Christmas). This way, their birthday and Christmas are very special and the joy and excitement on their faces is clear to see (and our house does not become cluttered with plastic Chinese made crap).

A few select plastic Chinese crap toys are okay...I guess. It took a little time to bring me around and I hope my kids will decide not to buy these items in the future, but I let them make their own decisions (within reason). Eaden, my oldest, is starting to say she does not want anything from China because it always breaks and she likes spending her allowance at Goodwill and Once Upon a Child because "it's better for the Earth."

With that said,...on her birthday, Naia wanted malls and Disney (sigh).

She woke up early and was excited to decorate her cake that we had baked the night before.



 Lynni came over and we set out for our day on the town. The doll Naia is holding was a present from Lynni. She carried it everywhere.


 One of the malls has a new play area called Frolic's Castle and we checked that out.







Then to the carousel.






 The kids started to complain that they were "starving" and could not wait until lunch.


 After our snack we left one mall for another...

The Galleria.


 Naia's destination - The Disney Store.

She spent most of her money here. She bought Rapunzel hair, a Pocahontas dress, and a Pocahontas doll. She also bought a toy for Taven and Eaden.



 Next we went to eat lunch at the Rainforest Cafe.


 I had a tall glass of Shiner Bock. How else would I survive the day?





 Naia bought a mood bracelet for herself and a mood necklace for Eaden. She also bought some new earrings.

 Then back home for cake and a couple of presents before Eaden and Lynni had to go to gymnastics.







 After dropping Eaden off at the gym, we headed to the softball field for Naia's last game. She received the game ball and shared cupcakes and lemonade with her team.


Her Aunt Jamie, Uncle Nate, cousins Abby and Weston, and Grandma and Grandpa came to cheer her on and also give her a present.


I have felt so busy these last two months. September and October are meet season in gymnastics and it is Naia's softball season. So every weekend and many week nights I am off taking Eaden or Naia somewhere. During the day, Lynni is here and we are doing homeschooling lessons. I make a conscious effort to not schedule a lot for the kids, but to instead provide them with ample free time. They do not have a full schedule, but I do. I need more me time... My house has become a disaster area. I declared today a holiday so I could clean. I am really looking forward to November 9th. On November 8th, Eaden has her last meet, Naia has her end of the year softball party, and my nephew Weston is having his birthday party. Then our simple and peaceful holiday season will begin. I will be home on weekends and some evenings to keep the house tidy, I will listen to Christmas music 24-7, drink coffee from my snowflake mug, and drink Holiday Ale in the afternoons. I can't wait!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Camping - Huntsville

The weather was perfect for the fall camping trip we took this past weekend. The high on Saturday was 87, just warm enough for swimming! The low at night was 57, perfect for sleeping.





The lake was a little cold for the kids at first.



 Aidan laughing after pushing Isen off the dock.






 Baby butt crack.



 Our kids were the only ones in the lake at first, but all of the rest soon followed suit.


A short hike.






Taven loves fire.

 



Good morning!





 Breakfast by the fire.


 The kids crashing some person's hammock.


 Another walk.



 Troll under the bridge.


 Mirek trying to pull up a root.


We have our spring camping trip booked, but I am looking to fit an extended camping trip in between now and then...