Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Oh June, how ready we were for you to come!  We longed for an end to the schedule, the rush, the paperwork and deadlines and reminders.  Summer, you are finally here & kindergarten, you are finally over!

David turned 4 months old the beginning of June, on James' last day of school.  He is so full of happiness, and his smile lights up the room in our house.  No one can resist getting down to play with him in our family, and his giggles are a worthwhile reward!

David's first time in the pool!  He was able to get in for a little swim after the water finally warmed up enough with our hot summer days.  His brothers were so excited, and he really did love the water! no tears!

James' last week of school, his brothers were already out for the summer.  So we decided to bring him lunch and have a little picnic together.  James took his brothers through the line to buy ice cream in the cafeteria, and he was so proud.  It was a treat to get to do that all together.

We decorated Mrs. Viola's door for the last part of the year, and used Calvin's birthday decorations.  It is sweet to me that on James' last day when I forgot to snap his picture at home, his daddy was able to go by school and take his picture in front of that door one last time.  This year has been such an emotional one for me & much harder than I had realized.  But my James finished it out in a fantastic way.  He was able to become a leader in his class, able to shine in front of his teacher, able to choose wisely instead of follow the misbehaviors of others, and excel at his school work.  We were incredibly proud of how well adjusted he became!  It was a true gift to me to see him loving school again!

 James: first day & last day!

James celebrating the end of the year with his buddies from school!

David, who is just the most beautiful baby in the world.  I just love capturing a hint of how lovely he is in person.

These days we have lots of Lego battles taking place in my dining room, and I don't mind one bit.  (until it is clean up time & that my friends is the hardest job!)

My sweet middle boys- these two giggles the entire way through Winn-Dixie one day when we ran in for a quick errand.  These tiny shopping buggies made it WAY too much fun & I was honestly repeating to them the rules of the 'road' around each corner... ha!  Hayden was so excited for David as he rolls over & plays.  Our only trouble is he loves on him a little too much & a little too close.  We are practicing boundaries for sure!

David is a pretty good sport for the most part. :-)

Our first summer trip!  We drove up to visit Grammy&Papa and our nieces!  We were so excited that we got to see Madeline swim backstroke & butterfly in a swim meet.  The boys were really excited to watch, & so was I!

David got to meet Aunt Darcy, Uncle Josh & the girls for the first time!  And Madeline won first place in both her races!!  Wow, I really didn't know she was so fast! Way to go Madeline!!

Grammy & David.  Such a sweet relationship already!

Me & my car full of 6 kiddos!!  We had a blast! And my co-pilot Corrie read to us from JK Rowling's short stories which I had never read before.  so fun.

Madeline was the nicest to Calvin.  She stayed with him all over the playground & held his hand.  She asked him what he wanted to do, and she helped him do it all!  It was really sweet to watch.

The Austin Grandkids!!

Madeline wanted to hold David. :-)  She is so sweet with him!  And she looks a little bit like me in this picture if I do say so myself, but I love her blue eye!  My nieces are both so beautiful.

One of the boys favorite things to do is build Legos, so we went to Target & picked out a new box each.  It was our first summer treat for our guys & it was really fun to get to give the girls a gift too.  Their first Star Wars Lego set! I get to take credit, haha!  It was a really great way to beat the heat as well.

We had to say goodbye & drive home for David's four month check up. My first long drive with all four by myself, & I am proud to say it went well!  My sweet baby was surrounded by all his brothers making silly faces in the background of this picture; I wish I had captured them too!

David was 16.5 lbs and 27 inches long at four month!  He was still waking at least once at night, and doing great overall.  Growing so fast, and nearly out of his 3-6 month size clothes.  He was rolling over both ways well, and starting to roll over at night also.  Thankfully, he figured out how to sleep on his tummy without too much trouble.

Our second trip of the summer: to see Mimi&Grandpa!  We were able to hang out with our nephews as well, and they had a blast at the splash pad & playground.  Complete with a picnic lunch, the day was all kinds of fun.

We went exploring one morning while Mimi took Nana to a doctor's appointment, and we found this great park on the gulf!  One day we need to go back with our bathing suits to play again.  They even had ice cream on the beach there right next to this play ground.  What a sweet hidden gem.

The boys had the biggest, best, most luxurious bubble bath of their LIVES at Mimi&Grandpa's this trip.  I was having a hard time with David, and it took me nearly 45 minutes to get him to bed that evening.  I thought, "man, I bet they are done with bath, in PJs, and reading stories by now" but who was I kidding?  They had been in the bath the entire time, and who can blame them?

Matt surprised me with my favorite flowers, peonies. :-)

I surprised him for Father's Day with the fourth cup for his collection! (or mine? but that's beside the point).  David's feet!! and his big brothers all contributed their thumbs & fingers to make bees; I loved it!!

This adorable baby, he and I just hanging out on the quilt.  I love these simple months of him not mobile, the nearly static play.  Watching the world going on around him & being amused by each toy endlessly.  He's such a content, happy child.  His view is never boring with all these brothers!

I loved this image of my sons all gathered around the iPad with their friends.  Such an impressive feat to share this well!

Our big trip of the summer!!  We traveled out to St. Louis, Missouri to see my cousin Jess take her vows to become a cloistered nun at a Carmelite order.  Her new name is Sister Gemma Rose, and it was a honor to watcher her become the bride of Christ in this special way.  She has dedicated herself to religious life, and we are so thankful to be able to take our sons to meet her.

The boys also got to meet the majority of my Mom's side of our family.  All my mother's siblings were there, and it was the first time I'd seen them all in years, before any of my boys were born.  What a special celebration!

Us with Sister Gemma Rose!  As close as we could get to take a photo.

We also got to meet my cousin Sarah's sons as well!  Her boys James&Jack are still so little, and it was really cool that we got to hang out!  The picture is Calvin, James, & James. :-)  My sister Christina also was able to come, and her boyfriend Matt kept her company.  I loved seeing her as well!

Sweet baby David Scott Prose was able to meet his namesake, David Scott Roberts.  What a special honor to have a name shared with a family member!  You can see baby David agrees, as he is hanging onto Uncle David's tie very tightly.

We promised our boys some ice cream if they were well behaved for the service, and they were very good!  Even the nuns (non cloistered ones) who were sitting behind us commented!  I'm not going to lie, it will make you feel really proud for nuns to tell you your sons are well behaved.  I'm sure they have high standards, haha!

The boys & my Aunt Cindy!  They were able to meet Aunt Cindy last year, and James especially looked forward to seeing her again.  Our little family reunion was so lovely!  All of my cousin Jess's parents & siblings were there: Aunt Diane&Uncle Bob, Katherine, Anna, Stuart, & Sarah.  My cousin Lucas drove in, my sister&Matt flew in, Aunt Cindy&Uncle Robbie drove in, and my parents also flew in!  It was a fabulous time.

On our way out of town, we stopped by the arch to see it up close, but the boys had already fallen asleep.  It was also 100 degrees in Missouri, so we decided a drive by was sufficient.  Calvin was all tucked in with his Ohio State football that Aunt Cindy brought.  She brought the sweetest gifts for everybody.

We decided to take the long way home after the big event, and we used the time as family vacation.  Our first stop: Nash-vegas, I mean Nashville.  haha, we had no idea how much club activity Nashville has, and honestly we wondered around town and stumbled upon it by accident looking for a place for dinner.  Anyone who is currently in control of their mental facilities knows how gross & smelly those kind of environments are, and honestly, I'm sure anyone that saw us with our stroller must have thought we were crazy!  We finally got off that main strip, and made it down a quieter tree lined street which was much more the Nashville I was hoping to see.  We ate dinner with a view of the river & the only park in town.  It was lovely & quiet.  We got caught in a rain storm going back to our hotel, but we sang the whole way there.  It was a short, sweet, hilarious trip.

We got up Monday and drove down to visit Uncle John&Aunt Kelsey in Alabama!  We had never been to visit them before, but we were excited to stop in on our way through!  They have the sweetest little town, a great home, and a really nice church.  We enjoyed a great BBQ lunch, and we get to bring some gifts for our new niece on the way!  Thanks for letting us come visit. :-)

Our next stop: Chattanooga, Tennessee!  We stayed the night & had half a day to do something before heading on down the road.  So we decided to go see Ruby Falls.  It was truly amazing!  An underground waterfall that you see inside Lookout Mountain, which was kind of awesome and terrifying.  We were inside real, live caves, when mostly we have done safe, kid friendly stuff like Disney.  It was hard mentally to keep reminding yourself, 'this is not Disney, we are actually inside a mountain, a mile underground, in a cave".  Crazy and really cool.

We panned for gems & enjoyed the view after our hike was done.

We said goodbye, and we drove over to one of our favorite spots, Gatlinburg, Tennessee!  We got there just in time to have our dinner at the Apple Barn, which is one of our favorite spots.

Gatlinburg was full of our favorite things: the Donut Friar & the Ripley's Aquarium.  The pancake house & Ober Gatlinburg.  The boys got to try out the Apline slide & the mountain coaster!  My favorite was the gondola that we got to ride up and back.  It was truly the best view of the mountains we could ask for.

We found a great spot for mexican food, the Loco Burro.  Their rooftop seating in the evening with the twinkle lights & the sun starting to set.  Both our younger guys fell asleep & slept in the double stroller for about half of our meal.

The sunset over the mountains from our hotel room balcony.  My sweet little guy & me got to get ready for bed a little early while the big brothers went swimming with daddy.  This hotel had the best layout of all for our size family, and the bunk beds & water slides made it an instant hit with the boys. If it only included breakfast, it would be the perfect location.  You were awesome Park Vista (Double Tree hotel).

Our last evening in Gatlinburg, we took a drive out to Cade's Cove to see if we could see any bears.  We were lucky enough to see one!  We saw a ton of deer, even a couple of bucks with the felt still on their antlers.  It was a beautiful drive, the boys loved it.  The only downside was the optimal viewing of animals was at dusk, so it made for a late evening getting back for bed.  And our back window got stuck down!  But, super Matt was able to fix it; I am still amazed that he figured out a way.  Matt-gyver!

Lord thank you for the fun of June!  We were able to spend such sweet time with our family, near and far.  I will treasure the time in my heart; it was such a wonderful gift!  Thank you for the vacation we were able to take with our sons.  We loved being together, and the weariness of being away from home did dampen our time.  Lord thank you for the memories made by our boys; I pray that we would be good parents for each one of them.  Thank you for summer time in all its chaos & glory.  Amen.

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