Sunday, April 12, 2015


March has marched on & left me amazed.  Time seems to have a funny dichotomy of passing slowly & very quickly simultaneously.  March was the end of our 15K training, the end of our FL winter, the beginning of our Spring time, flowers blooming & birds singing to us in the morning.

Our small town grew by one coffee shop & our we now have a 'local hangout' where we can almost always meet up with a friend.  I love it!!


The boys started playing soccer for the first time this March.  The weekly practice & game schedule makes our weeks feel busy & our days end on a rush to include dinner & practice & bath & bed.  We have all been a little thrown off by the later bed time, but it has been so much fun.  We are watching them decide to be involved or not, watching as they battle their tempers and frustrations, and seeing them just enjoy the sport.  Hayden has struggled most with wanting to 'win' which is surprising, but I hope we can just start learning that lesson early.  It's not about whether or win or lose, it's how you play the game.  Thankfully, the Bernstein Bears have a book & so does Pete the Cat on playing fair and just doing your best.  What a great reinforcement!!

My sweet little guy.  He has been struggling either with molars coming in or adjusting to his 'big boy bed'.  Night wakings & clingy behavior.  Extra cuddles & extra fussy.  We decided to take away the P-A-C-I (don't say it!! haha), because we hoped that would help some.  He seemed to be waking at night looking for it, and so by eliminating it we hoped to eliminate the night waking.  We were partially successful.  Night waking still coming & going, but at least now he doesn't need a paci!

 School work for me has been a interesting balance now that Hayden is dropping his afternoon nap.  We work on the deal that if he naps one day, he gets 'quiet time' the following day.  We are now up to one nap equaling two quiet times, and hoping I can delay him giving it up totally for a little longer.  His temperament suffers when he becomes overtired.  I'm hoping my little system will help him get in 2-3 naps a week until he's closer to 4 years old.  This is the boys playing at my feet while I grade papers.  I am looking forward to the Fall schedule when I will have some dedicated quiet time to grade, and I won't have to balance between anymore.

Our last fire of the winter!  the boys really loved watching it & the heat is so lovely on the really cold evenings (to us).

The boys.  James' stuffed-animal-zoo.  Calvin who won't leave my lap.  James & Hayden concentrating on the Lion King on the iPod.  Our daily mess.

I have really enjoyed seeing the boys get more creative since starting Preschool.  They are more interested in drawing that ever before, and their driveway creations are just the best.  James drew a monster for each of us, and Hayden drew the letter H over&over.

We had a morning off, so we went to the zoo with a friend!  My boys love our local zoo; we are so lucky to have one close enough to enjoy often.  My favorite exhibit is the tigers; we got to see them do some 'training exercise' with the tigers.  They are amazing!

James' 1st Soccer Game!  It is amazing how much fun it is to watch.  And a beautiful sunset as the cherry on top.

The Gate River Run 2015!  Surprisingly, it was a HOT, muggy day.  In the past, it has been cold.  When we trained, it was cold.  I was not ready for the heat!  But, I did my best; no records that day.

March brings the birthday celebrations of some of our closest friends. :-)  We love being there to celebrate!

My oldest.  He wanted to take his mommy on a 'date'.  So his daddy got him all set up with flowers & some cash so he could pay.  He helped him get dressed & get his hair all combed.  Then he came and 'picked me up'.

We went on a date to go buy him some new shorts since he's growing so big.  I paid.  And then we got ice cream.  He paid. ;-)  What a lovely evening.  Memories made.

Our Irises this year - Amazing!  I think last year we had maybe 3 blooms, the year before only one.  This year?  DOZENS.  Three and four blooms on each stalk, it has been just gorgeous.

 And then came Spring Break... and we went to Disney World.

And Mimi&Grandpa got to come for a day.

 One of my favorite things: The story time with Belle.  Hayden got to be Filipe the Horse, and his little gallop and neigh were just the cutest.  James was a dancing plate, and got to dance around the room.  The boys were kind of star struck by Belle, and they all had a sweet, embarrassed face when they got to stand by her!  It was adorable.  Calvin wasn't even 'in' the show like his big brothers, but he ran up and got in line to meet Belle! haha, it was just precious.

We ended our first day at the Magic Kingdom with the fireworks show, and it was amazing.  The boys all stayed awake (??) until around 11pm.  Lucky for us, they slept well, and we were able to enjoy the rest of our trip!

 Our Day two was at the Magic Kingdom again, and we took the boys to Tom Sawyer's Island for the first time.  That was their favorite spot of the day!  Besides riding the Buzz Lightyear twice...

 The fort the the guns, the bridges & caves.  The best spot for getting a chance to run and play while at Disney!

 Calvin slept in my arms the end of our 2nd day.  We left before dinner, grabbed something quick, bathed our kiddos, and all got to bed for a solid 12 hours of sleep.  It was glorious!

 Day Three was our last day, and we went to the Animal Kingdom.  The best part is the safari ride, but ours was less exciting this time than in the past.  The characters were our favorite part this time!

And the dinosaurs.  The worst part?  Trying to get some lunch.  It was crowded & it was by far the worst part of our three-day trip.  Will not be going over Spring Break again.  Mental note taken.

We headed home after Disney.  Enjoyed sleeping in our own beds & taking naps the next day.  We rounded out our weekend with a foggy trip to the beach.  It was just gorgeous out- cold and overcame with the thickest fog I've ever seen.  The boys had the best time, and they literally just ran back and forth carrying buckets of water to dump into a sand hole.  Simple joys.

We got back to normal after our vacation, all except for Calvin.  He's been battling some really clingy behavior.  The tantrum photo is him crying because mommy needed a potty break.  I am hoping that some of his pre-2-year-old-birthday tantrums are just his early 'terrible twos' but maybe he has simply been sleep deprived.  Gaining back those hours lost when he's in a toddler bed is tough!  There is no more cry-it-out option.  Instead, we get to do the 'silent return to bed' method which is just exhausting.  This too shall pass.

 Hayden's soccer game.  His mad face when he 'didn't win the battle'.  But he did score his first goal that morning!  Apparently he's got some perfectionist tendencies.  Can't imagine where he got those from. !

 The end of March gave us the chance to celebrate the wedding of Matt's cousin, who we like to call, 'Uncle Ryan'.  Here is a partial cousin shot, our boys 1,3,&5 and the Lyon kids 5,1,&2.  Love that they can grow up together.

Tiffany&Ryan were married in a beautiful outdoor setting on a ranch very similar to the one Matt's family lived on for many years.  It was cold for March, and we were all cold.  The boys put on their sweaters at dinner time!  I don't remember when it has ever been cool like that in Spring, especially in Tampa!  But, we had a lovely time celebrating.  Congrats to you Tiffany&Ryan!!

 These two.  I love seeing the boys as their friendships grow.  In the simplest ways.

Thank you Lord for March.  For all we got to see & do & celebrate.  Thank you for your provision & how you sustain us.  Thank you for giving us the chances to make special memories with our family.  thank you for soccer and how much the boys can learn about life through the lessons.  Thank you for the hard stops that soccer has given us to be outside, with no agenda.  Thank you for the time off & time away together.  Thank you for our lovely extended family.  Thank you for growing us & stretching us, even when there are not pictures taken.  Thank you for the gift of our days.  Amen.

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