Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Life Lately

I have been absent from the blogging world, yet again.  For the past month or so, life has been very busy - more so than usual.  All good things, but our days have been full to the brim. All our time is spent doing something.

I still desire to keep the blog updated every week or two, but life will have to slow down a bit first.  I thought until then, I would do a recap of what we have been up to for the past several weeks.  This may be picture and detail overload, but a good way to see what's been going on with us lately.

The last time I blogged, I shared our decorations for Independence Day so let's pick it up from there.

We had a great 3-day weekend celebrating the 4th!  We didn't travel or have any guests...the three of us just had a fun and long family weekend.  We did lots of playing, eating, work around the house (still working on several projects) and hit the town a little bit.  We did lots of cooking over the three days - John gave the grill a good workout and I kept the oven warm.

One morning I made my Grandpa's coffee cake for breakfast and another morning John grilled pancakes and bacon on the grill.  
We had quite a spread for our "4th of July" feast - so lots of leftovers too.  John smoked a chicken all day as well as some stuffed jalepenos.  I made roasted potatoes, green bean bundles, deviled eggs and rolls for the sides.  It was mighty tasty!  
  Our little firecracker!
This is his 3rd Independence Day ~ see how he's grown!...
Playing outside after dinner  - so thankful for the freedom to do this!

The Wednesday after the holiday weekend, my Mom (also known as Mamaw) came to visit us for almost a week.  We had a great time and really enjoyed having her here.  She of course spoiled Parker completely and helped me with things around the house.  She made us one of our favorite meals that she makes - so yummy!  We had fun shopping, playing, watching tv, eating, working on our coupon books and did lots of talking and catching up.  As usual, we got wrapped up in all of the fun and didn't take as many pictures as I should have. 

While here, she treated Parker to a morning at Build-A-Bear and Toys R Us - he loves his puppy and new toys!
Because of Parker's Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) he can be a bit defensive and overwhelmed at times (not on purpose) with people, places, environments, surroundings, sounds, textures, change, etc. until he gets more comfortable with what's going on.  With Mamaw coming, and Parker not having seen her in a few months, it took him a few days but he finally let her hold him.  It was sweet to see and such a great feeling for Mom and me both.  Here's hoping the next time will be even better as he makes improvements in his therapy. 
 

My Mom left on a Tuesday and on that Thursday, John's parents and our two nephews came for a long weekend visit.  We hadn't seen our nephews, Jacob and Isaac since January 2013 - Parker was only 11 months old.  They live in Missouri now so we don't get to see them as much as we used to...or would like to. 

Like with Mom, Parker wasn't too sure about what all was going on, especially with so much going on in a short period of time and different people being here, but he started to warm up (especially to the boys) as the days went on during their visit.  He's more used to John's parents since we lived with them for six months.  They stayed until Monday and we had a nice time with them all.  There was a good mix of playing, time outside, eating, board game playing, tv watching and visiting.  The weather was so nice all weekend!      

Due to the fact that it had been a year and a half since we had seen the boys, and not sure when we may see them again, we wanted to get a few family pictures before they left.

I cannot believe how much Jacob and Isaac have grown and changed.  Isaac was the ring bearer in our wedding (he turned 2 on our wedding day) and Jacob was the junior groomsman (he was 4).  Now they are 13 and 15 - starting the 8th and 10th grades this year - my oh my!  They are both about or taller than John and I now.   
 
I cherish this picture!  Parker's doesn't always want to cooperate for pictures (bless his heart), but he felt good enough to get this one and I love it!
 The last time these three cousins were together (January 2013)...
They left on a Monday and on Friday morning of that same week, the three of us headed to Galveston for a Family Reunion - whew, what a full July! This is the biggest group we've had in a while so it was nice to see so many people.  Parker went "swimming" in a real swimming pool for the first time and really enjoyed it.  He also saw the beach for the first time.  We didn't spend a whole lot of time there, but maybe when he's a bit older we can plan another beach visit.  We came back home on Sunday evening.  Overall, it was a great trip and fun time with the family - it was good to get out of town for a little while. 



We had to take a family picture of our feet in the sand.  John and I went to Galveston in August 2008 and took a similar picture (see below) so we needed an updated one with Parker's cute little boy feet.

For the first time in a long time (and maybe for a long time to come), my Dad and Kristin (Granny and Grandpa) had all of their grandchildren together - all nine of them (along with Hillary's husband Jake) so we had to get a picture.  Once we got them all corralled up, several people took pictures to try and get the best shot.  The quality of this one isn't the best, but you get the idea.
This little one was worn out from the full weekend - he took a good nap on the ride home. 
On the home front, we are still loving our new house and neighborhood.  We are so blessed to be where we are.  We've been here a little over 4 months and it feels good to be home.  We still have a list of things we are working on regarding the house - inside and out and we have plans for things we want to do as we have the time and money.

As I have time, I have been working on various craft projects (and have many more to do) for the house.  

I made this sign for the playroom.
 My Mom bought this "P" for us while she was here.  It was unfinished wood so I painted it last week and we hope to hang it above Parker's bed this weekend. 
I also took an idea from my pal Pinterest and re-purposed Parker's old baby gate to keep his stuffed animals behind in his closet.  I took it a step further and made a cute sign for it. 
 
I found this quote online and loved it.  I had a plain white canvas in my craft closet, so this was one of my projects one week - I would work on it as I had time. I am doing a teal and black theme in the laundry room.
Parker has been in therapy now for almost 2 months and is doing well.  He's making progress in different areas so that's great to see.  We also do some exercises with him at home.  He will continue therapy into December and then be re-tested.  He goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and every Thursday we go to the library after therapy.  He LOVES the library and gets excited for our weekly visits.  And as you can see, he likes to be in charge of our library card too.  
 
Over the past month or so, we've had a couple of what we call "Fun Family Night Out" where we will go out to eat and then we usually go to a couple of stores (usually Target, Toys R Us and/or Barnes and Noble).  We also might make a dessert or coffee stop too. 
 



Parker's really into pretending he is camping and building tents so we have been doing that from time to time.  The tents vary in size and we have used different blankets in different parts of the house.  We also set up his Thomas the Train tent some too.   
He still adores being outside - if it wasn't just so hot and uncomfortable!  We've had some nice days sprinkled throughout the summer so we've tried to enjoy those or go outside later in the evening.  Come on FALL!  
 
Parker has a new love - DONUTS!  He so enjoys a chocolate donut, especially with sprinkles.  Who could blame him?  He gets one when we go buy groceries and at church on Sunday.  As he says "Mmm, Donut".  Can you tell he enjoyed one coming home from church?
 
Just a couple of my favorite shots of this sweet son of ours.  Our days are surely full, but we are also surely filled with joy because of him. 

Wow what a month!  It was a good one though and we got to see so many of our loved ones.

I also forgot to mention that on July 1st, my best friend from high school, Carianne, and her family came to stay a night with us.  They hadn't seen the house and we hadn't seen each other in over two years.  It was such a quick visit, but it was wonderful to see them all, share a meal and catch up on everything!  They have two boys, Owen is 4 (5 in November - oh my) and baby Collin is about 3 1/2 months old.  They are both so sweet and precious.  Thank you Billett family for coming our way.  Shame on us for not taking pictures!  I guess we were so wrapped up in eating, talking, playing and baby holding.  Fun times!  

August should be a lot calmer for us.  We are glad to be staying put for a little while and doing more work on the house and enjoying our everyday life.

I love doing life with this handsome guy.  


So there you have it - that's our life...lately!

Until we meet again...
Riley

1 comment:

  1. It's always so nice to read your updates, Riley! SOOOOO good to see you last month! Can't wait to do it again. :)
    LOVE the eyelashes picture. We have one of Owen's eyelashes when he was about 7 months and it's one of my favorites!

    ReplyDelete