Winding Down Summer.

Oh my goodness. First grade is a whole new world. So. Many. Things. on the calendar. We are living in the moment but beyond Instagram, I have forgotten to document it.

C’est la vie.

“la vie!”

Let’s see… summer in a nutshell.

It rained every day but one in June. Heavy rain.

But we still managed to hit 12 parks for our GreatParkAdventure challenge – some of them many times, like Cox Arboretum and Grant Park!

Shep began his year round school in July after a 6 week break. He’s taking it a day at a time, but it’s air conditioned, so that’s a bonus! AND He’s a Tiger Cub (Boy Scouts of America) – he’s waited his whole life for this :)

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Shep and Archie both learned to ride their bikes without training wheels and are both playing baseball at the Y. Shep is in coach pitch and Archie is in t-ball. Archie’s quote after every game is “I had TOO MUCH FUN. I love it!”

Ollie got a bike with training wheels for his birthday and was feeling so empowered, he potty trained the next weekend. In about 36 hours. No real accidents in public, and he wakes up dry 9 out of 10 nights. PRAISE GOD.

Harvey’s up to 6 teeth and is standing a bit. He’s humming himself to sleep some days, and will string together sounds like Dadadadadada (mamamamama to come.) He’s still incredibly popular with his brothers but is too big and too mobile for them to hold him on their laps.

They are sad about it.

We’ve just about finished all our house projects in hopes of moving into a larger home sometime in the near future, and the boys are doing remarkably well with keeping the new carpet clean.

The new couch, however… is THE GREAT TEMPTATION. No matter how often we remind them there are no acrobatics or feats of strength allowed on the furniture, they regress to their animal ways as soon as it’s in view. Truly impressive flips and body flops abound. I am more amused than I should be.

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80 days!

Oh goodness.


80 days goes by quite a bit faster than it used to. (Harvey’s 80 days old now.)

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That’s kind of a theme now, because I didn’t realize it had been 6 weeks since our last update!

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My, how everyone has changed.

Shep’s going to be 6 years old on Tuesday.

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You are always asking questions that most people don’t think about until… well, some of them hadn’t crossed my mind until you asked me. You’re especially inquisitive about advent right now as we head towards Christmas. Last night, we had a long conversation after your brothers went to bed about God and love and how much he loves you. You couldn’t wrap your mind around the idea that His love is THAT unconditional, THAT constant, and THAT big. You really grabbed onto the truth that God is always with us and will never leave us and for the first time, prayed an unprompted prayer for someone you thought needed it. I’m going to remember that moment for a long time, kiddo. I love seeing God grow your heart and your mind.

Archie turned 4 and had a dino party!
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You love TV. I’m just going to throw that out there. Yes, you, little man, love your TV. You are so animated while watching, so committed to the plots from beginning to end, I kind of wonder what will become of it! You still adore your dinosaurs, always carrying a few wherever you go. T Rex will share your breakfast, then a couple raptors might join us for dinner. Pteranodons in the bathtub! You’ve begun to take an interest in letters and numbers and are so excited every Tuesday afternoon when you get home from preschool! You pull out your craft for the day and we hang it on the refrigerator and talk about what you learned, the songs you sang, the fun you had :). Your first Christmas program is tomorrow and I am SO LOOKING FORWARD to seeing you up on stage with your new friends.

Ollie started singing and then never stopped.
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You have the music bug. Everything’s an instrument. Every conversation a chance for a song. You will sing anything you hear and add little bits of drama into the words just for a little extra oomph. The little guitar we have has gotten a lot of play in the last couple months, and you don’t know this yet, but you are getting a microphone for Christmas. I can just see you and Daddy staying up even later than you already do, playing music and singing Matchbox 20 songs from way before you were born. Lately, you have become a little bit of a rabble rouser, too. I imagine a lot of it is from being stuck inside all day because the whole family cycled through a horrible bug last month AND it’s freezing and sleety out much of the time. Whatever the reason, you and Archie get a little wild these days.

Harvey smiles and laughs and coos!
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Oh little man, you have won all our hearts over and over and over. You try to get some rest throughout the day in your little chair, but the competition for who is in line to hold you next is so hot that you don’t get a lot of alone time. Your smiles are instant and offered to all, and your laugh has popped up this week, light and sweet and a little twangy. Your hair’s not as dark as it was when you were born, and you definitely have blue eyes. I think you’re catching up to all your brothers after being the smallest at birth, but you definitely are following after Shep and are long and lean. For the most part, you’re waking up just once a night to eat, and don’t hate the car seat like you did at first. Things are going well, and it feels like you’ve always been here!

harvey’s a month old today.


one month old today, kiddo.

you still sleep most of the day but have learned the intricacies of whimpering and fussing a bit when you need something like a new diaper or another meal. you eat all the time right now and you’re starting to stretch out your NB sleepers, so i think you’re in the middle of a growth spurt. it makes for some restless nights, but i wouldn’t trade the time for anything in the world, buddy.

you started keeping your eyes open and looking around and meeting gazes this week. i think part of it is your brothers are incredibly loud when it’s too yucky to play outside, and part of it is they are also lots of fun and you want to know what they are up to ;). you’ll stare at our faces for a long time and then slip back to sleep with the slightest smile on your lips. you’re precious in every way.

one of my favorite memories from this month will be how much joy you’ve already added to our family by snuggling down into whomever wants to hold you. you love on everyone equally and whether it’s ollie or mamaw or daddy’s arms, you leave everyone beaming and warm.

you also are digging bottles and pacifiers and i can’t even tell you how nice it is to be able to have daddy feed you in the middle of the night, or to let you have your paci and listen to you soothe yourself quietly while you have it.

it’s been a peaceful transition to being six.

we love you dearly.



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you chose after dark to stay awake for a little while – one day i will get pictures of you when there is light outside :)

Day One on the Books!



You nailed Kindergarten day 1. It sounds like your teachers made it easy with THREE recesses, and you made two new friends you told us about named Alex and Ashley! It’s only going to get better from here, kiddo. Way to go!



Archie was very excited for you to have a good first day. He missed you very much and wanted as many hugs as he could get before you left the house, and then the van. Here is one he stole form you when you were not being cooperative. For all your goofy fighting, you sure do love each other!

Shepherd & the Robot Turtle


This weekend was your last weekend before your first of 13 beginnings of the school year!

You decided yesterday to take a drive to Cox Arboretum with Daddy and your brothers and today, you guys worked all afternoon and into the evening on your very first lego comic strip. 

You got the idea from GEEK DAD, a blog and a book you gave Daddy for his birthday, and I think you did an amazing job! I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with next.

For posterity, I give you:

SHEPHERD’S PIE the comic strip / concept, design and creation by Shepherd Fullam and Gerald Fullam