Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Welcome August.  You were highly anticipated because of the start of the new school year & our family entering the elementary school years, which will be present for the next decade of our lives plus some!  It has felt like a big step for all of us, and August you came right on time.

One thing we did not anticipate, was for James to lose his first tooth!! It started to get loose, and just fell right out one day while the boys were playing.  We couldn't believe it!  James was really proud & couldn't wait to use his 'shark pillow' which holds his tooth for the tooth fairy to find.  Our buddy started kindergarten minus one tooth!

The end of summer always brings the last few trips & back to school preparations.  Our family loves the drive down to the beach, and we love going into town to explore.  These crazy guys have been riding these same cannons now since they were tiny!

The boys needed new school shoes, so we headed to the mall one day.  Hayden calls his sneakers his 'fast shoes' & loved to show us all how fast they made him run.  We did not need to do much more 'back to school' shopping, but our boys do wear shoes hard at this age!  Not many more hand me downs coming your way Calvin...

Hayden had his well check for his 4th birthday & luckily did not have any shots needed.  It is pretty tough to get any of my older guys to agree that shots aren't so bad.  I guess they take after their momma (yes, my poor parents).  My big 4 year old fella was 41.5 inches tall & 41.5 pounds!  ((fun fact: nearly identical to James at the same age)

Ah Summer, we love your slow, calm days.  But Fall, we look forward to the new activity & the productivity that schedule can bring.  But first, we gotta draw a few more pictures on the driveway & enjoy the sunshine while floating on a pirate ship.

We shared our big news with our friends&family:  We are having a new baby boy!!  We found some blue shark candy for the boys to celebrate our new boy coming this February, and we jumped in a photo booth to capture our excitement. :-)  Little boy, we are looking forward to having you in our family!

We were able to take the boys with us to the ultrasound appointment to see our new baby's gender, and they had the best time watching him move up on the big screen.  James never stopped talking or asking questions, and Hayden&Calvin mostly just laughed & giggled about his little movements on screen.

One final trip to the zoo had to include the splash pad (or we all would have melted!)  We love our local zoo, but generally skip the water park because it requires that change of clothes.  It was a treat for a hot August day.

One more beach evening where James got to practice some surfing skills with daddy & the little guys played in the surf.  I love the peacefulness of the ocean & the contentment of our family.

On a very hot day, we decided to take the boys bowling to beat the heat.  They loved it & have begged to go again&again.  (They even got to go with Mimi&Grandpa in Sept!  I don't think I got a picture of that outing, but so much fun)

Open House & orientation came.  Our James was so excited & couldn't wait to meet his teacher.  He was so brave & didn't struggle initially in school.  He's had a tough time learning all the rules and remembering to follow them all.  It has been hard for mommy&daddy to understand how to help him adjust, but we have tried to continue to encourage him to do his best.   We are hoping he gets back to loving school like he used to.

Daddy decided the best way to celebrate James' last weekend off was to drive down to Sea World for the day!  These boys even sat in the splash zone for the Shamu show!

Happy First Day of School big guy.

James was so excited, he didn't even want to eat his cinnamon roll for breakfast.  He said he was too exited to go to school!

These boys have loved swimming more than anything else this summer.

We signed James&Hayden up this year to play t-ball, and we decided they should watch a baseball game to see if they could learn the rules a little better before starting their own season.  We went for a 'Christmas in August' (?) game and the boys really loved the mascot dog, Southpaw.   I'm confident their favorite part may have been the cotton candy, but it was a fun time together.

I haven't taken many pictures of my belly yet, but here was one from 16 weeks with our Prose baby #4!

Hayden & Calvin had their first day of Preschool the following week after James started, so it was nice to have a chance to enjoy each day separately.  We got to take their pictures & celebrate walking them into school as well.  Hayden was excited to be in the same class James' had last year, so he already knew his teachers, which made his transition totally smooth&easy. (thank you Lord).  Calvin of course had a little bit of sadness, but after he got to know his teachers, he has loved his class!

Grammy&Papa got to come down and visit us!  And they brought Clemson goodies for the boys to wear on a special game day in September...  We had such a great time having then stay for a few days.  My Mom got to spend time with just me (!) while the boys were all in school, and my Dad got to play some golf for his mini-vacation.  It was almost like I had a vacation too!

I have three mornings a week now that are just Calvin&me.  He has been such a sweet helper & loves to just be doing what I'm doing.  It is easier to shop with just one little boy in tow, but we do stay at home and play catch up on chores as well.  Our simple minion trips shopping & picnic lunches inside.  :-)

The end of August gave us a real treat, an answer to prayer.  I had hoped that my boys would be able to meet more of my family, and we were so lucky it happened!  My cousin Lucas was ordained as a priest just outside of Orlando, which was close enough for us to go and see him.  We were able to spend one night there, and we got to see my Aunt Cindy!  The boys absolutely loved her, and wanted to be with her all the time.  My Uncle Robbie was there, his brother Calvin (which was too much fun), my cousin Stephanie, Lucas' wife Delana, and Grandma Glenna.  My parents joined everyone for the ordination service as well- what a happy day!

Presenting Father Lucas Small!

The whole gang.

This cuteness.  I am so thankful for the camera on my phone.

Lord, Thank you for new beginnings, even when they are scarier than we imagined.  Thank you for answering my prayers for my boys to meet my Aunt Cindy & a number of other family.  Thank you for our final summer outings, for trying new things & enjoying our favorites as well.  Thank you for the time we were given to spend together, and how it seems to continue on so quickly.  I am so grateful for writing down our memories, even just the basics, so that the boys may have them from me.  Amen.

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