Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Eat, Pool, Shop, Repeat.

One thing I've been so blessed by was being able to take many trips growing up. The ones that are most memorable to me are the little family trips where we spent hours at the pool each day and went shopping where I found the most hideous gorgeous puffed sleeved circa 1989 dresses on ridiculous sales with 14 matching accessories because that's how you rolled in 1989.  My family is a family of scavenger/outlet mall junkies/thrifters/flea marketers/garage sale-ers.... if bargain shopping were a sport, we'd be Olympic athletes.  So, for Memorial Day weekend we were blessed enough to have 3/4s of the Sherman clan (minus the Nizams, sadness) and went down to Charlotte! 

I like to think I am recreating the perfect little getaway memories for my kids with the Sherman vacation cycle in full force: Eat, Pool, Shop, Repeat.
And what's a vacation without doing a few flying squirrels from one bed to the other?? And trust me, these little boys are MUCH cuter than I was doing the flying squirrel as a teenager onto my sisters bed as they were screaming NOOOOO.  Yes, I was the obnoxious sister. 
And Starbucks IN the pool? Talk about luxury! (I'm sure for our sweet guys, these types of vacation events were more fun than our marathon Concord Mills Outlet shopping adventures).... 
Can you tell from their faces how excited Judah & Quinn are to be with their Uncle Will??

Before every recent vacation, we map out where we're going to eat and what we're going to do to make the most out of our trip. This trip we tried to eat at several Diner, Drive-In and Dive locations including Cabo Fish Taco and Penguin's BBQ. YUMMY. (PS. If at all possible I'd like to ONLY eat at restaurants recommended by Guy Fieri, is a diet of all grease and cheese bad for you??) 

When you have 3 kids under 5 you have to celebrate being with family who can hold/entertain the kids so you can have an adult moment or shop/eat/pool in peace for a few minutes! :) 
 We took the kids to Nascar Speedpark. I think that maybe boys are built with pistons & spark plugs as part of their anatomy because I swear, both boys were "vrooming" before they could speak and have been obsessed with race cars from about that age as well.
 It's pictures like these that I hope the boys look back on and remember these priceless, sweet moments of wonderful life together! 
 Judah & Quinn made us SOOO proud!! They both got to ride in a race car/go cart all by themselves!!! Judah was like an old pro! Stayed on the line and was like a perfect little driver!
Now, I think watching Quinn get in the car, where he could barely see over the wheel was one of the cutest things I've ever seen! I'm not sure how this adorable little 3 year old managed to learn how to negotiate a gas pedal AND steer, but he actually did an OK job for about half a lap, then he crashed into 4 cars! LOL! 
 I kept telling Judah & Quinn what AWESOME drivers they are!!! Especially Quinn, since I was blown away that he could even make that car go at all, but I hope one day when he's 16 he doesn't crash into 4 cars and think "man, I'm an AWESOME driver"!!! ;)
Despite all the activity we had some wonderful down time..... 
 And little boys who crashed even before their bedtime.....
On Sunday we went to one of my favorite churches EVER. Elevation church. Best preacher- Steven Furtik and best worship CD! Vivi wore her Sunday best, but I'll have to teach her it's not polite to flash the world your diaper after church! 
Let's hear it for the indoor water park on the overcast, rain threatening day! Woot woot. 
All in all, just a wonderful time with family..... 
 And wonderful driving with wonderful babies & helpful Mimi & Papa playing "I Spy" car games with the kids......
 And as the saying goes in the Sherman family, "when the car's full, it's time to go home"!
 See ya later Charlotte!
......but for the record, being back at home with moments like this make everyday seem like an awesome vacation!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The fastest 5 years ever!!

Could it be true?? My little angel, Judah Bear is 5 years old??? It just seems impossible! Judah is my heart. He is so perceptive to what is going on around him and people's feelings and he's kind and smart and thoughtful.  He's a leader and confident and brave. I love him so much and I could celebrate him everyday! We wanted to do a special birthday party for this monumental age, the age where he'll leave home & start school. I sort of think of a kids life in two parts, one is before school and the other is when they're in school. Before they leave for school they're a little and after, they're a big. Sadness. 

For Judah's special party, we did a night lights theme. Lots of glow in the dark things, tiki torches, christmas lights and sparklers, a fire pit, smore's and lots and lots of food!

It was like the crock pot parade in there! (If you ever want the easiest, less stressful party, try to cook a lot of food in crock pots) 
The weather was PERFECT, almost a little chilly, perfect for out night activities! 
It's so fun to celebrate with all of our little friends! 
And our big friends too! 

The little girls were busy turning their daddys into frogs and princes with their magic glowing wands while the boys used them as billy clubs and light sabers.... :) 
The kids looked so cute in their necklaces & bracelets!  

Judah had perma-grin on his face for about a week leading up to the party and during the party he had a total blast! 
Gmo's fire pit rocked.  
No sparkler mishaps with the little hands, PTL! 
I love the glow in the dark turned body armor! 
And I think the adults had a good time too! 
Judah freaked when he saw his Optimus Prime cake! 
On Judah's actual birthday we just chilled and loved on each other all day! 
At lunch, I told Judah because it was his birthday he could eat as many chips as he wanted to, so he dumped the entire half bag on his plate and went to town. Sigh. It was orange finger/face central up in there. 
Judah loved all of his presents so much and this year there was even minimal whining from the other non-birthday boy. (probably partially due to a pep talk with Quinn that although it wasn't his birthday, I'm sure Judah would share his toys)....

Happy birthday my love!

And in other non-birthday news, guess who tried baby food for the first time???? 
she wasn't sure anything would be more delicious than her finger..... 
Looks like she might be part bunny, she LOVED her carrots! 
YAY!!! Now I'm just praying that the boost of extra vitamin C in the carrots will help her get over this very long lasting cold she has. I'm afraid baby girl might have seasonal allergies! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day for the mamas

My dear, amazing sister sent me the most perfect pendant for mother's day: 3 little angels with the word "joy" on the back.....
The word Joy is a wonderful word to describe motherhood. Motherhood contains the greatest love you will ever know, and stretch you in every way imaginable. You will feel the most extreme emotions you've ever felt, from awe, wonder, happiness til you're about to explode and even at times, frustration, confusion and just wondering if you're doing it "right". You pray for your kids like you've never prayed for anything in your life, you stress over their every move like they are the most fragile gift you've ever received, you cry when they cry and you laugh and smile over every little silly thing they do. To be a mother is the greatest ministry I'll ever be a part of and I am so grateful to God for these amazing blessings. 
I thank God for my little angel who at his kindergarten orientation on Monday night saw me tearing up and whispered in my ear "I'll miss you too Mama" (which made me cry more or course)... and lemme tell you, before kids you'd never catch me crying! Mamahood has changed me in so many ways. 
And to the little dear that squeezes me so tight and closes his eyes when he hugs and kisses me like that moment is the most important moment in his day.  And the little boy who always remembers to say thank you, over and over for the little things in life, like dinner or an event we took him to several days or weeks earlier. 
And this precious little girl who is a total mama's girl and will "only fall asleep in your arms" - as Guillermo gripes to me, and when she smiles at me, she smiles so big, I think her little cheeks will break. 
I thank God for guidance & wisdom to raise these kids and family & friends who encourage us to raise these kids to know the Lord & help us get thru the hard parts together and rejoice & celebrate the good times together....... it truly does "take a village" to give encouragement and guidance as you raise kids. Raising kids the right way will be the hardest, but most rewarding thing you've ever done.
As a special surprise for my Mom, I dressed Viviana up in a traditional smocked bubble romper, with a matching bonnet for Mother's day.  I knew this would make my Mom's day since that is her idea of a beautiful baby outfit and she dressed me in almost an identical outfit as a baby! I wish I could find that picture! 
I love watching my parents with Vivi, because when I see my Dad & Mom dote on her and just talk to her and feed her a bottle, I know it has to remind them of us three girls as little babies and it just warms my heart. What amazing parents, I couldn't ask for any better! 
We had a fun wait at the marina for Mother's Day lunch.  It's always a plus when neither boy decides to plunge into the water, I'm just waiting for that day.....
We love celebrating with Mimi & Papa! 

I am so grateful for my sweet hubbz who is the biggest cheerleader of me as a mama.  

Happy Mother's day girls, I know SO MANY amazing, awesome mamas.  The most important thing you can do as a mama/grandmama is point your child toward Christ and act like Christ towards your kids, and I see that in so many of my girlfriends & our family especially..... you guys are so awesome & I am blessed & inspired by you!