July in Pictures

It's been a crazy busy month! Not only has it been packed full of all the initial appointments that go along with new foster care placements, we've also managed to have a ton of fun mixed in there as well. We've had a lot of visitors, too, which has helped me brave taking all 4 kids out places to entertain our guests. I might have otherwise been too intimidated to venture out and I would have missed out on a lot of fun times and great memories. I'm so thankful that the transition from 2 to 4 kids is going much easier than I anticipated.

This sweet girl came to visit. I guess I can't really call her a girl anymore considering she somehow became an ADULT in December, but whatever. She is really such a lovely young lady and I couldn't be prouder of her. She took a break from her beach house vacation with her friends to drive up to hang out with us...and that right there says a lot about her character.


Just a few random pictures. 

Violet & Harrison. Wish you could see her beautiful smile.

Take my picture, Mom! I'm a "snowboarder!"

Visiting Dad at work. I'm picturing some child labor happening soon.
The girls' favorite activity...playing beauty shop. Rick is such a good daddy!

Ashley & her boys came up to see us for a few days. It was such a good visit. The girls bonded with her very quickly and I'm so thankful for her interest and eagerness to be involved in their lives. This hasn't been the case with some of our family but we are trying not to take it personally (although it's not easy). But of course she marched in and introduced herself as Aunt Ashley and was genuinely excited to meet the girls and fully accepts them as members of our family.  She is the sister God let me choose.

We dressed up our crew in cow gear and took advantage of Chick-fil-A's Cow Appreciation Day and scored us some free food. I know it's a silly tradition but we have so much fun doing it every year. I almost skipped this year since life has just been so hectic the last few weeks and I didn't really feel like messing with costumes and carting 4 kids into a restaurant. But the day before, I got so emotional when I thought about the fact that these precious girls have probably never been dressed up in anything fun. They've never had someone sew them anything. They've never even had anybody teach them what a cow is or what sound one makes. So we headed to Hobby Lobby for some bandanas and I dusted off my sewing machine and spent time praying over each of them as I sewed their dresses. And the smile on their faces when they were all dressed and ready to go was worth every ounce of effort and then some.

Plus, between Ashley and me and our 6 kids we scored over $70 in free food. I mean, come on. Why would we not do this every year??

I didn't notice Harrison was pretending to be asleep until I uploaded this pic. Ha!

Can't believe how big Baby Colt is getting
She is such a little mother hen


My aunt & uncle and their kiddos were in Galveston on vacation so we got to see them one night, too. They live in the Dallas area and we don't get to see them often so it's always good to get in an extra visit aside from the holidays.

My cousin Julian

not a great pic but here is Connor (my brother), Ed (my uncle), and Tim (my step-dad)

My cousins Zoe & Addison with Lily

Hollyn had an adorable birthday tea party that the girls were soooo excited about going to.

We had to swing by the store to grab a gift bag and look who fell asleep 2 minutes before we got there:

If you're wondering why she's wearing a coat in the middle of July, join the club. What can I say? Harper knows what she wants and she will take no advice from anybody else when it comes to fashion. Apparently a proper peacoat is a non-negotiable item for a fancy tea party. I found myself arguing with her and finally just thought whatever, chicky. If you want to roast, then you can roast.  Don't tell her, but I'm glad she brought it because it made an excellent pillow.

Katie did a great job on the party. It was basically every little girl's dream come true. A real tea set with real tea, hats, pearls, clip-on earrings, & boas. In other words, heaven. And I learned that it doesn't matter what color your skin is or what circumstances you come from -- little girls adoring dress up tea parties is definitely universal.


And to round out the cousins on my mom's side of the family, Hunter came down to visit for a few days as well.  My mom & Tim planned out some fun activities to do while he was here which meant we got to tag along. He is now a freshman in high school but in my mind he will always be that sweet 2-year old boy who loved to snuggle in my lap.

We toured the Battleship Houston in La Porte. Harrison was in heaven. That boy is already a history buff and asked me a million questions in the car on the way there. Of course I didn't know any of the answers because I am the opposite of a history buff. He was clearly frustrated with me. Sorry dude. Throw some math questions my way and then I might be able to help you out.

A giant gun. You can bet he loved this.

We went to main event for some glow in the dark putt-putt and bowling.

Somehow I got last place??? Back in my glory days I had a high score of 202. And now I lose to 2 year olds.
sweet sisters
best group shot I could get...
 One night the boys went to ride go-karts so the girls went to get milkshakes.

they did not come up for air until they were empty

she was frustrated that she couldn't suck it up through her straw fast enough. I feel ya, kid.

We also had another visitor...Mamaw! We had a great visit. We even ventured into Houston to go to Ikea.

having a staring contest

making silly faces

As you can see, the girls took to her really fast. I'm not sure there is a child that knows Mary that doesn't love her. She always takes time to engage and play and be silly...and of course she always buys them lots of toys. She knows the key to their hearts :)

Violet "fixing" Mamaw's hair

My mom's birthday was on Sunday. We met up with them at Olive Garden and ate way too much pasta and breadsticks. Because that's mandatory at Olive Garden.

Thankful to be her daughter

Do I have anything in my teeth?
 H&H are in VBS this week. The theme is "Weird Animals" and they are having a lot of fun. It's been helpful to be down to 2 kids for a couple of hours each day, too. I finally took my van in to get fixed so dealing with that mess and switching out 4 carseats into the rental in 120 degree weather was definitely easier without having to keep an eye on 4 preschoolers. We also had a CPS visit and a CASA visit this week and even went shopping for bedding today...I'm kind of amazed by how much you can cram into 2.5 hours a day when you are motivated :)


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