Probably Should Just Give it Up

I’ve failed this blog… I tried to keep up with it… I really did,  but life happened!

I actually do have another blog where I document much of our life, particularly in regards to homeschooling and raising four hooligans.

Feel free to hop on over and visit that blog!

www.wellnurturedplantsandpillars.com

I’ll keep this one up for now, but won’t be posting any more on it. Thanks for those who have been faithfully reading it over the years!!!!

Looking Back- Christmas

I guess blogging about Christmas on Valentines Day is kind of like the blogospheres equivalent of not taking down Christmas decorations until February. Oh Well! It is what it is!

I LOVE Christmas. I love the anticipation… the build up… the wonder of it all. I love it so much… I always have. I love it for several reason.

1. Jesus… of course! We talk about Jesus all the time, but we set apart the entire month of December to focus on the events leading up to his birth and the reason for his coming. It’s a very Gospel centered month. This year, we used a new devotional… The Truth in Tinsel. I found it online. It is an ebook. It has a devotional and a craft for every day in December. The kids really enjoyed the hands on stuff. We did our craft in the morning and our devotional as a family at night.

2. Christmas Music. If it was socially acceptable, I’d listen to Christmas music all year.

3. The gifts Love Language. Have you read the Five Love Languages? One of my primary Love Languages is Gifts. I love to express love by giving gifts and I also like to be on the receiving end of gifts as well. Christmas satisfies both of those needs for me! I enjoy picking out, making, wrapping, etc. I really do.

4. Two Christmases. We usually go to Atlanta to spend Christmas Day with my family. Because of this, we have our Dugdale family Christmas a few days before. It’s awesome… two Christmases. This stresses some people out… not me!

5. Small town Christmas happenings. We basically live in a tourist town… which means… lots of fun holiday activities. .. Lighting of the Christmas tree downtown, Old Fashion Christmas, Story Telling, Cider and Hot Chocolate. Love! Love! Love!

There are more reasons, I’m sure… but I’ll leave it at my top 5 for now.

Enjoy the pics!

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The Cupcake Kids

You may remember this post from last year when we first participated in a Cupcake Kids sale. Well… this year, we joined families all over the world when we hosted our own cupcake kids sale at our local ACE hardware. The kids and I baked about 70 cupcakes and headed out on Saturday morning to set up shop. The owner of the store was gracious enough to let us set up inside the store… right by the door!

 Sixty Feet is a ministry that has become dear to our hearts. We know the folks that started the ministry and have poured hours upon hours and so many resources into bringing the vision of the ministry into reality. You can read more about Sixty Feet and what they are about here.

 The Cupcake Kids are the littlest members of Sixty Feet. They have discovered that even children can have a huge impact on missions. By selling cupcakes, money is raised that can help feed, clothe, educate and house children in an otherwise desperate situation.  You can learn more about the Cupcake Kids here.

By participating in the cupcake kids sale, my children learned about how street children in Uganda live… how is it drastically different to they way we live here. My kids had the opportunity to share what they have learned with people who bought cupcakes. At one point, Elijah wanted to go play during the sale… I reminded him that this was his sale as much as mine and I NEEDED him to help and share with people why we were there. He was a tough salesman.. .he followed people around until they listened to everything he had to say!

If you didn’t get to come out to our sale, you still have an opportunity to buy a “virtual cupcake” from our online Cupcake Kids Stand. Please consider donating … all donations directly benefit the work of Sixty Feet.

Childrens Museum Fun

We joined our local childrens museum this year. The mountains of western NC are great for hiking and exploring, but there is not much to do when the weather turns cold. We thought this would be a good indoor option. We actually were the museums 100,000 visitors and got our picture in the newspaper along with a goody bag and balloons (gotta love small towns). We have enjoyed the museum and all it has to offer.

 We got to meet some local police dogs and hear all about their jobs. Abigail (the brave one) went up to pet the dog. 
 Abigail and Elijah went to a nano science class and got to make gummy worms.
 Elijah and one of his buds went to a wiggly worms class and learned about earthworms. They got to make their own earthworm farms! I definitely scooped earthworm poop out and put it in our garden the other day!
Abigail attended a royal tea party. They made crowns and scepters and went on a royal parade, learned about table manners and had a tea party.

Looking Back- Elijah’s Birthday

The boy is 7!!! How did that happen… I feel like I was just writing a post about him turning 6!!! The night before he turned 7, Elijah lost his first tooth.. just one more reminder that he’s growing up. *sniff* Another reminder…. we usually take the kids to Chick Fil A for their birthday breakfast, but Elijah had his own idea and asked for cinammon rolls and hot chocolate. He is his own person for sure.

 We had an all about Elijah day for his birthday… we went to the childrens’ museum, he got to go to the toy store and spend his birthday money and then we went out to eat at an Irish Pub.. yeah… you read that right.

We also had a birthday party for Elijah with family and friends.

 The kids got to make their own pizzas using English muffins and toppings!
 We split the kids up into teams… boys v. girls for a scavenger hunt using digital cameras. That girls team (plus Daniel) looks fierce!
And then, there was the boys team. For the last picture on the scavenger hunt, they had to take a picture of them doing something silly. This was the boys’ shot.
The Cake… Nate the Great (a detective series that Elijah likes to read)

Tybi- The First Three Months

When Elijah was born, a friend gave us two disposable cameras and said we should take a picture a week for a year and put it all together at the end of the year. I thought it was a great idea… we did it with Elijah.. but not so much with Abigail or Selah… I am trying to keep up with Tybi. I started at week three.
So.. here are weeks three through twelve… she’s changed so much already!

3 Weeks
4 Weeks
5 Weeks
6 Weeks
7 Weeks
8 Weeks
9 Weeks
10 Weeks
11 Weeks
12 Weeks

Things I expected when having this baby… to be up multiple times at night, to watch a lot of late night tv… and let the kids watch a lot of pbs in the mornings (and afternoons)… to fall asleep in unexpected places and unexpected times (like on the floor while she is having tummy time at 8 at night)… to fall in love with yet another sweet little person.

Things I did not expect when having this baby… that she wouldn’t nurse and I would have to pump 8 times a day and bottle feed rather than nurse… that at times I would feel like I am bonding more with my pump than my baby… that she would only sleep well in her car seat…. not flat on her back in the pack and play… that I would have to save her life on a daily basis when Selah is near by.

Right now, it is hard to realize that Tybi is another child in our family. She is so calm and just does her baby thing while the other children are so loud and present all the time. I know that she will make her presence known soon enough… but for now it seems a little unreal that we have four children… in my mind it’s still just three… and a baby.

Impromptu Photo Shoot

Tybi is five and a half weeks old. My window for newborn pictures is quickly closing. Before I show you these pictures, please check out the morning I’ve had…

The kids watched TV for a couple of hours (don’t judge)… After they turned off the tv, Tybi started crying to be fed. I got settled in with the bottle and Tybi when out comes Selah (who is potty training) to announce that she is stinky. I put Tybi in the swing and took Selah to the bathroom. As I am helping her get out of her dirty underpants, the contents of said underpants falls on the floor and on my foot. I get the floor and my foot cleaned up and Selah on the potty just in time to hear a crash. Elijah comes to inform me that he knocked the humidifier off the girls dresser and now there is water everywhere on their carpeted floor. I get that dried up (while Selah is on the potty and Tybi is in the swing). I go to retrieve Selah and flush the potty only to realize that it won’t flush because it is stopped up… lovely.

I get everyone dry and clean and content… I go to finish feeding Tybi and because she was in such a good mood after all this, I decided I better get those pictures taken while I could. It was a nice diversion to an otherwise chaotic morning.

Without further ado… here are the results of my non- professional, impromptu newborn photos:

 Time to add some siblings:

 And now for my personal favorite…

Introducing Tybi

A couple of weeks ago, I was just recovering from the stomach bug and there was a concern with the baby’s heart rate. We thought we might be inducing. I came home from the doctor to find Brian online researching baby names. He wrote out a list of the ones we liked. We always look at the meaning of the name before making our decision. Brian came across the name Tybi (we are pronouncing it with two short “I” sounds) and found that it means “God is good.” We just couldn’t get away from that name and it seemed fitting when we met our newest little bundle.

I was not induced then, but waited another week and a half and was induced then. The labor was somewhat eventful as a myriad of nurses flooded the room when my blood pressure bottomed out… but once that was taken care of, the delivery itself was a breeze!

So… here she is… Tybi Elizabeth


 7 pounds, 7 ounces (same and Elijah and Selah)… 20 inches long (same as Selah)… born at 4:47 pm
 Love at first sight
 Double trouble two year olds… cousin Hadassah with Selah. Sweet girls!
 Gammy and Pops
Sweet baby Tybi. She’s been a trooper so far and so nice to sleep at night… she’s so thoughtful… letting me and Brian get some much needed rest! Let’s hope that trend continues!




Abigail Dugdale… Five Year Old

Read the title of this post again… five years old… is anyone else having a hard time believing this?!? I mean, Elijah has been a little old man stuck in a child’s body from the beginning… when he turns another year older, it’s just not quite as alarming.. but Abigail… she’s a whole other story. I just can’t believe how big she’s getting!!!

She’s been telling me for weeks that she’s tired of being four and just ready to be a five year old. Thankfully, the new baby waited to make her appearance until after Abigail’s birthday… so we were able to celebrate our big girl with no distractions.

 It has become a tradition in our family to take the birthday kid to Chick Fil A for a birthday breakfast. Look at these sweet sisters!

 Abigail requested a big breakfast for her birthday dinner and Brian picked up cupcakes for dessert. She’s savoring every bite!

 The following Saturday (the day after our newest one was born), I was in the hospital and Brian graciously hosted a party for our sweet five year old! We had family in town and invited over some new friends. The house filled up fast and the kids had a blast!

 The Birthday Girl!

She was very specific, and has been for a while about wanting a My Little Pony Cake. It had to be pink with ponies on top. I used to make all the decorations out of fondant, but I’ve decided it’s more fun to have a cake with toys on top that can be played with later. She is still talking about this “pretty” cake. I got to have a piece that night when I came home from the hospital.

Let It Snow

One thing the kids and Brian have been looking forward to with living in the mountains is SNOW! We’ve had a couple of nights with cold winds and lots of snow, but nothing really has stuck. One night it seemed as if the snow was settling in, but it was gone by ten the next morning. That did not stop everyone from bundling up and throwing a few snowballs at each other!

I’ll confess… I’m not as big a fan of snow as the kids, but how can I not take joy in these giant smiles… and this was just a little bit of snow. They got sleds for Christmas… hopefully they’ll get to use them soon.