April Showers Bring May Flowers

If I've learned one thing since having kids, it's how fast and full life can be! With three in our nest now, things happen and weeks go by and before I can even catch my breath, another month has come and gone! Lots of things have gone down this Spring and this is my attempt to re-visit some of them that are worth documenting. There isn't too much rhyme or reason to this post but it is full of things that we enjoyed and events from April and May that I wanted to share with family, especially those who don't get to see us on a daily basis. We've had such a busy few months, here's a taste of what's been on our plate! 
Spring Soccer! We signed these two up for a month long soccer clinic in April I believe and it was so much fun for them! We knew we didn't have the capacity to commit to a Spring league with practices and games for two kids, so this was a perfect substitute. They were able to be in the same age group and it was just one night a week for five weeks. They were thrilled to go on the first night! 
This was Carter's first experience with an organized "sport" so we were anxious to see how he would do. He thought he was SO big and was looking forward to it so much. After they split them up by age, you can see he is about foot taller than most kids his age! He stuck out like a sore thumb and as soon as they started to "play" that was a hilarious thing to watch as well!
We were interested to see how well he would listen to instruction, follow directions, etc.. He surprised us and did pretty well but mostly what killed us was watching his ultra-competitive drive take over! Carter basically ran the show and took every single opportunity to put the ball in the net, no matter what the drill was! Almost all of the kids his age stood around, lost focus, stared at the ceiling, etc, but not him.  He turned his wheels on, put his head down and chased down every single ball, often stealing from the other kids, so that he could score! Ha ha! It was so funny to watch and a taste of what we've always thought might be true of him. He LOVED the whole thing and was red in the face and sweaty every time the hour was over! He must have scored a hundred goals and each time he would grin and look for us to see if we saw it  :)  On the first night he suddenly left the court and ran into the hallway where we were, just so he could say "hi guys! I'm having so much fun!" and then two or three times we saw him spontaneously find Ava in the gym so he could give her a hug and a kiss on the cheek! 
Holy moly, he's going to be a trip to watch! 
Ava on the other hand was the exact opposite! She loved it each week for sure, but she was all about talking to the friends she made and playing with the jersey they put on her. She spent more time trying to untangle that after she twisted herself in it like a pretzel and then looked as us grinning  :)  It was quite reminiscent of her first soccer experience last Fall! 
She did have fun however and she enjoyed the coaches and tried to do her best on every drill. She made a strong effort to get to the ball during their "games" and scored a few times too! We loved watching her and especially seeing her make friends. She's great at that and we love that about her! We are also biased and thought she was the most darling one out there! 
4 year old soccer is totally funny and something every parent should experience! Or many endure? 
This little guy did his best to stay busy through the hour too but he and I stayed home a few times, he thought he should be IN the gym and not on the other side of the glass :) 
Carter always wanted to sit next to Ava in the circle  :) 
Sweet girl!
Again with the jersey...see what I mean??  :) 
And because we live in a world where everyone gets a medal for basically existing, these two got a medal on the last night and of course, they were super excited! And as a bonus, the medals glow in the dark so we are STILL enjoying the rewards of Spring Soccer  :) 
It was a great experience for each of them!
As the weather got warmer and warmer, Walker started to understand what going outside meant and we found him often by the windows checking things out.
As often as we could, I started taking the boys to the park during the day and all three to the park after school.  Walker got to experience sun hats and we battled each other in the struggle to keep one on his cute, little head!
There is something about the Spring in Minnesota that is so healing to our cold, Winter souls! I feel like a better Mom when going outside everyday is an option. That sounds silly but it's just so helpful for the kids to run and get their energy out and I love that every year. The parks are good for all of us. 
These two are learning more and more to play together and although it often ends in tears or frustration right now, I know this is part of the joy of having a sibling. I'm embracing it and I love that they have each other. I want them to get along, yes, and I'm sure it will come with time but I also know this is part of parenting and I spend a good portion of my day trying to help them get there. Also, refereeing and drying the tears of the offended :) 
I had a fun opportunity to speak about Interior Design at a local, private high school on their career day. It was fun for me to think back on my days in a firm and to share what it's like to work in that industry. I enjoyed the departure from my normal days in sweats! 
Carter kept growing like a weed this Spring! He shot up again and suddenly his clothes were looking a little small. He is such a tall guy and although he is 4.5, he's wearing size 5-6 now. As school began winding down for Ava, I was also aware that my days with Carter were coming to an end too. They'll all be together this Summer and then life will change again in the Fall. I sure enjoyed this year to play with him and enjoy him while Walker napped a whole lot and Ava was gone each day. It was a sweet year for the two of us!
And the same could be said of this guy! He changed so much this Spring and I found myself looking at him often, realizing how long gone those infant days are and how much he reminds me of his brother and sister at that age. Thankfully he still napped in the morning and the afternoon this Spring and that was a good thing for all of us!
Carter really grew in his independent play this year and I found him at his train table a lot. 
Sometimes he played trains there but nearly every toy found it's way to that table for some reason or another! He did a lot of crashing and banging things together, which is pretty typical when you are a little boy  :) 
More often that not, this is an accurate picture of what Ava and Carter's room looked like. When Carter was home all day it was littered with cars, planes, dart guns, legos, magnet sticks and balls, trucks, and various pieces of clothing he shed. Now that Ava's home, add princesses, baby dolls, markers, and ten times the amount of clothes and you get an idea of why my heart rate is constantly elevated. I like to remind myself that lots of playing happened in here and that's a good thing, but oh my goodness, the house has been my greatest struggle this year. Maintaining it with three busy kids is challenging to say the least! 
And speaking of Ava, she brought plenty of spunk and originality to the Spring. That Christmas dress made its' way to her body more times that I could keep up with and she decided hair extensions would be something fun to wear to school! 
I love her so much, she reminds me of Pippy Longstocking in this picture! Remember that book? With every day of sunshine we got, more and more of those darling freckles made their appearance known on her nose and cheeks. I had tons of freckles as a little girl and I love to see them on her! 
Trav and I celebrated our birthdays with a date night out with friends. It was much needed and we enjoyed every minute without our precious kiddos. I could cry at the sight of all these babies in my arms, God has been so good to us! They all look very alike, we hear that a lot right now, and we are so grateful for each one of them. We also know as much as we love them, we need time for US! Date nights have not been easy with three but when we get one, it's such a breath of fresh air for both of us. 
Trav took us all out to my favorite ice-cream place the weekend of my birthday and we attempted our first family selfie when we got home! I sure love my peeps! 
AWANA wrapped up in April I think and that was a welcome end to a great year! Carter completed his first year of Cubbies this year and Ava completed her first year of Sparks. We did the afternoon  program, right after school every Wednesday. It was a better option than being out late with a baby but it made for a loooooong Wednesday and a busy one at that. One of the best reasons we kept it up however, was the precious friend that Carter made in his class.  Throughout the year these two became fast friends, looking alike even and sharing the same kind of light-up shoes. That was big news in our house! They had so much fun every week and we got to know their family a little bit and are excited about these two spending more time together!
Ribbons and awards for both of them! Carter was a rebel and didn't love wearing his vest, which was exactly how Ava felt in Cubbies too!
Ava had the sweetest year in her Sparks class. She worked hard and finished her book, which meant that she memorized quite a few verses throughout the year and worked to complete the other things required of her. She was blessed with the most darling helpers in her class who just spent so much time with her and loved on her like crazy all year. 
She adored both of them and we are thankful that they were in her life this year! 
We will get to have them in Junior High next year  :) 
We squeezed quite a few park trips into our days after we picked up Ava from school each afternoon. 
It was fun to explore some new parks together and they kids looked forward to it as much as I did. 
Daddy met up with us after work several times and I got this sweet picture of him with all of his kids! He is the best Dad and they are lucky to have him! 
For as long as they've been in our care, he has spent every night he could reading to them at bedtime and talking about Jesus with them. I love it for many, many reasons and so does he. I laughed one night when I spotted our little dissenter in the group! Walker doesn't understand obviously, but he wanted to be near them, as long as he could do what he wanted! ha ha! 
In May, Carter and I caught on to the the Star War's celebration on the 4th! Star War's is a new love in our house as Carter discovered the joys of it this Winter and lucky for us, we had one t-shirt to wear that day :)  I love having boys and discovering the things they love! 
Teacher Appreciation week was a new thing for me this year. I didn't even know it was a thing, but we jumped on board and got some gifts for Ava's teachers, as well as the boys' childcare volunteers at Church. These are the kinds of things that caught me off guard this year but next year I'll plan ahead! ha ha! We really did love and appreciate each one of the people who cared for our kids this year so it was a pleasure to celebrate them. I'm just glad Target is close to our house and open late! 
As the seasons changed and we discovered that everyone needed some changes in their wardrobes, I pulled out the old bins of Carter's in order to find clothes for Walker, and we found this funny costume...which cracked us up when Carter decided to re-visit it! He sure is a darling dino!! 
Trav started hitting the trails again, running with the boys in the jogger. Last Fall Walker was still in an infant seat attachment so this was a big upgrade for him and despite his solemn face here, he loved it!
A sweet neighbor blessed us with some farm fresh eggs after Trav helped her with something in her condo. I thought they were a beautiful display of the ombre craze, but as a plus, they were also delicious. I haven't had an egg so amazing since! She made me re-think the eggs I buy and we've been enjoying much better eggs this Spring  :) 
We made it official and signed the papers to enroll Carter in preschool this Fall! He is SO excited and we are happy for him to experience all the fun that preschool will bring. He will likely be in a class with his two buddies, which is awesome, and he will enjoy three mornings a week doing his own thing apart from me! I think it's going to be great for all of us! 
He and I have been building all kinds of things lately, marble towers, legos, blocks...building is something he loves and I enjoy watching him! We turned our screened in porch into a total kids' zone this Spring. 
It's been wonderful for all three of them to have some space to play in the fresh air, and especially for Walker. 
I have been mourning my cute porch and the fact that I have no furniture, no plants or herbs this year to tend to, but it was the best thing for the them and we've all enjoyed the extra play space!  We did enjoy some beautiful pansies for awhile until Walker proved that truly he is no respecter of Mommy's pretty things. He was a one-man wrecking crew until I finally gave in and removed all the pots and even my pansies. Oh well! Someday I hope to have a garden and plenty of room in a backyard for sitting and drinking my coffee in peace! Maybe by then they'll all be big enough to play without me and then I can really kick my feet up and enjoy myself??  Here's hoping! 
Ava put this cute headband on and wore it to school one day, which made me think of the night she wore on the reverse side to Church, about 2 years ago. It's easy to see how much has changed and how quickly these seasons with kids, go. She is a beautiful little girl now...
...just like she was a beautiful, little girl then! Ava seems to be our benchmark for milestones and the passage of time. She is a daily reminder to enjoy these days for all they're worth, just as Carter and Walker remind us as well.  Spring was busy, full of changes and good for our family. 

 Mother's Day arrived in May and I enjoyed a sweet afternoon with my little family.
 I love my growing Carty-boy! Mothering him has been a grand adventure and good for me as the Lord continues to show me my own need for Him. I love the ways that Carter surprises me and stretches me. 
 I've been referring to these two as "the twins" lately because we get that question almost every single time we are out with them. They are in a pretty great stage and I am so appreciative of the ways they've both stepped up to help me this year with Walker. They were such a dynamic duo for so long but it's been pure joy to see them welcome a little brother and learn how to make room for him. 
 And speaking of him, we had to wake him from the car seat to take a photo before we put him down for a nap. Oh how I love our little Walkie-Talkie!!  I have enjoyed mothering a baby again and this whole last year has been the best gift ever. I am so grateful to God for him!
 It's truly hard for me to believe that I once ached to be a Mother! God has filled my arms with the most precious kids and all in His perfect timing. I love these three so dearly!!
 And of course, my darling Ava! The one who made me a Mommy first. What a pleasure to parent her. She is full of grace for her Mom and is patient with me as I test the waters with her in just about every way. I love what sweet spirit she has and her helpful heart. She is a joy to mother! 
 Ava woke me on Mother's Day with these treasures that she had been hiding! I had no idea! She made me a beautiful bookmark that said I was the best Mom because "You bake banana muffins for me" and a gift certificate good for "One sweet date wif Ava!" I also got a little plant and a cute card she made me.  I loved and cherished all of it! 
 Even Carter had a great surprise for me with this cute mug he colored for me in his Tuesday morning Bible Study kids class. 
I added a verse to the back of it, one that I love. How blessed I truly am to have a quiver full of kiddos!

April and May were busy!!   

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