Thursday, March 28, 2019

Family bowling!

We had a fun family night with the De Jongs! Brett, Elizabeth, and Will are here because Brett has spring break from med school, and we have loved seeing them! We hit up Bob's for the first time of the year (a place that's closed in the winter and is known for their coney dogs, basically like a hot dog with chili on top, and milkshakes) and then went bowling. The girls thought it was fun to break out their sunglasses! (Norah's are upside down on purpose! :)

Norah had gone bowling once before with Kley on a daddy daughter date, but it was Lucy and Ellory's first time. They really liked it! They kept at it for the whole game and did better at waiting for their turn than I thought they would (certainly helped that they had Will to talk to and nachos to eat during their breaks!). 

Everyone was very into trying to carry their own ball and pushing them down the ramp!

Love to see their smiles and experience new things together.

And so sweet to see them root for each other!

See how good they are at smiling for the camera? ;)

We love Friday night family fun!

Talking to cousin Will!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Dear park, oh how we love you!

The return to the park each early spring is glorious, and this year was no different. It feels so good to break out the spring jackets, feel the warmth, and get fresh air! It's so fun to watch the girls grow each season; it seems more obvious after not being at the park for months and then go to back and see all that they can do. Watching your kids have fun is really the best feeling.

An added bonus was that Elizabeth and cousin Will got to come with too! He is six weeks and just the sweetest. Norah loved pushing him in the stroller.

These girls love to swing!

I love this picture! It's fun to watch their personalities at the park. Lucy is adventurous and loves to go all over and see everything. She has no fear and loves the biggest slides. Ellory will go down the small slides, but is more cautious and likes to watch. They both had lots of fun! Norah too!

I bet Lucy went down this big slide 15 times. Ellory climbed to the top a couple times, but always gets scared and wants to come back down.

Ellory said she was stuck here. :)

What a great first time back, and we are all excited to log many hours there this year!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

House Tour- Norah's "new" room!

Here are some pictures of Norah's "new" room! Norah loves to call it her new room and show it off to everyone who comes over, even though this was actually her nursery when she was baby, and also this is all her same stuff, so nothing is actually new. We had to switch the girls' rooms around because Lucy and Ellory's big girl beds wouldn't fit in this room because of the configuration of the door/window, so the girls traded rooms! Norah was a bit hesitant at first, but has done super well with it. She got on board with switching as soon as we said we could put the gold dots on the wall again. She says that's her favorite part!

If you're interested, you can see what it looked like when this room was Norah's nursery and then Lucy and Ellory's nursery when they were born. Also, here is Norah's first big girl room (in the other bedroom- we live in a ranch house with three bedrooms on the main floor).

It turned out nice, we think! Even though nothing is really different, it was still fun to set up again. I also love that Norah really loves the gold dots.

Everything in her room is a few years old, but her bedding, curtains, NORAH letters, lamp, and rug are from Pottery Barn Kids. Her dollhouse is Kid Kraft. Her nightstand and dresser are actually part of the nursery set we have, but it all wouldn't fit into Lucy and Ellory's room with two big girl beds. We moved Norah's old dresser into our spare room in the basement (which we like to call Aunt Kayla's room, who goes to college in our town, although she rarely ever sleeps there, or the foster care room, since that's where everyone stays whenever we do respite), and now each room has one of the dressers from the nursery set upstairs. The stuffed animal shelves and the book shelves (on the opposite wall) are from Ikea and we spray painted them gold. Her headboard was a birthday gift from grandparents two years ago when she first got her big girl bed. (She also has a queen bed because that's what we had in the guest room at the time, so she just gets a massive bed for a little girl!)

The "You are my sunshine" painting we had done when we were pregnant with Norah, and it's the song we sing to all the girls before bed every night. The picture of the three of us is from Norah's two-year-old pictures and I was pregnant with Lucy and Ellory, but I just like it so much that I haven't changed it.

There really isn't anything amazingly special about her closet, but I really love it because it's big and great for storing extra toys (I love rotating toys- so many benefits!). Interesting fact- our house was originally a 2 bed 1 bath main floor, but they later added on this room and the master, which is awesome because then we got a master bath and both of those two added rooms have big closets. (The original second bedroom became an office, because both of those rooms were added off of that room, so now there's no window in it or anything.)

The carousel picture was in my nursery as a baby! Also, the one new thing Norah got for her room was that baby table for Christmas.

The giraffe and floral pictures were another new touch from Hobby Lobby, so I guess she had a couple new touches, but almost everything was the same.

Norah, we are so glad you love your room and that you can feel safe and loved in there!

Friday, March 15, 2019

House Tour- Lucy and Ellory's big girl room/beds!

Lucy and Ellory have a big girl room and beds now! They are growing up so fast. We switched the girls rooms around, because their beds wouldn't fit in their original nursery because of the configuration of the door and window. Their cribs converted to full beds, so we just went with that route straight away so we didn't have to buy a toddler bed conversion kit and a full bed conversion kit. We figured they would end up in full beds in the long run anyway, so we would just do it right away.

If you're interested, you can see where this room was originally our guest room when we moved in with just Norah and then it was Norah's big girl room when Lucy and Ellory were born. You can also see Lucy and Ellory's nursery.

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I originally wanted it configured a different way, but then one of the beds ended up blocking the closet door, so this arrangement was our only option. I'm glad all of our bedrooms are decent sized and can fit two full beds!

Most of their things were from their nursery as well, so it's not that different, but still fun to set up! The E and L are a new addition from Hobby Lobby and the alphabet sign was moved from Norah's room. Their bedding was a birthday gift from grandparents and I think it's so pretty!

The curtains, lamp, and mirror are from Pottery Barn Kids, and the Willow Tree figurines are what we picked out for them when they were dedicated at our church. The dresser is from their nursery set, and the night stand we've had for years.

I had originally wanted to wait until it was more "complete" to post pictures, but that's just not real life, so I just took the pictures and quit waiting. Personally, I would want to have more cute things on the nightstand and another throw pillow, for instance, but that's totally not practical in a room of two two-year-olds who love to climb and touch everything. But, they seem really happy with it, so we are thankful for that! (Other than getting out of bed, which has been a big issue unfortunately, but I don't want to go into that. This is not a sleep post, this is a cute room post. :)

The "love you to the moon and back sign" was in both Norah and L/E's nurseries, and the floral picture underneath was in their nursery too. I also still really love their gray floral name signs that we ordered from etsy when they were born.

Nothing spectacular about their closet, but I really love it. This is one of the things in the house we redid, and it's been so worth it. The original closet just had one shelf on the top that was very hard to reach and one hanging rod. Putting in the white shelving has made it seem so much bigger and we get so much more use out of it. I feel like we store quite a bit in there for the space!

Lucy and Ellory, can't believe you're big enough for a big girl room already, but here we are. So thankful you are growing happy and healthy. Being your mom is the best.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Our favorite Christian board books for younger kids.

Kids books are one of my most favorite things. I love reading to our girls and hope they grow up to treasure and enjoy reading. We give them a book for each birthday and Christmas too! Recently, I tried to include more Christian books into our collection to be speaking Truth into them as we read too! Here are some of our favorite Christian board books.

I Prayed For You by Jean Fischer- This one has been on rotation a lot. A super cute book about a mama bear praying for her cub through different situations as he's growing. I love how this incorporates prayer into many aspects of daily life and is a good model of praying continually.

Thank You, God, For Mommy by Amy Parker- This would be a great Mother's Day gift, about all the wonderful things his mama does for him and how she cares for him well and trusts in Him.

God Loves Daddy and Me by Bonnie Rickner Jensen- This one, on the opposite end, would be a great Father's Day gift- a neat story about the fun things they do together and how God loves them through all things, through the fun and even in mistakes.

God Loves the World by Gary Bower- This is one we just got the girls for Christmas and I love it- a great book that shows how everyone- all ages, races, abilities, etc.- are loved and created by Him.

Found (Psalm 23) by Sally Lloyd-Jones- This book is based off of Psalm 23, written for kids (great for even younger ages!). She also has a new one out based off The Lord's Prayer that's good too called Loved

How Much Does God Love You? by Michelle Medlock Adams- A fun rhyming book about His everlasting love for us, more than anything else.

God Made You Just Right by Jill Roman Lord- This one is another favorite, about how God made you perfectly and uniquely and you are special just the way you are, because He wanted you to be exactly you!

If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart by Jill Roman Lord- I love this one too, about different things we can do to show His love and that He is living in us.

God Gave Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren- A warm story about the bear cub's birth and how her parents are so thankful for her.

Thank You, God by P.K. Hallinan- A fun story about the many different things we can be thankful for.

Love One Another by Mike Berenstain- I grew up reading The Berenstain Bears, so this was a special one that my mom gave the girls, about different things we can do to show love to each other.

God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers by Hannah Hall- There is a whole series of "God Bless" books, and all of them look really good! I like this book because it talks about trusting God through all parts of our days, and also includes Scripture on each page that correlates to the scene.

With Love, From Me To You by Mary Manz Simon- A rhyming book where they're on a train and going out to share His love with others through doing kind things.

Bedtime Blessings by Marianne Richmond- A rhyming wind down to the day, appreciating all His blessings to us.