Monday, July 28, 2014

Cousins:



I found these pictures in a folder titled 'random' on our computer. Not sure how they got lost in the shuffle, but I love them and I wanted to share them. Cousin Anson is only two weeks younger than Henry...in fact let's get really crazy here and talk about how there are six boy cousins all under the age of 2 and 1/2 on Doug's side of the family. Babies Babies Babies! I think the Castle Family Baby Train is slowing down but it sure is fun and crazy and we are all tired all the time together.

Doug lived close to his cousins growing up and has lots of memories of birthday parties, holidays, etc all spend together. I never had a cousin in my own state growing up so our relationship is made up more of visits with each other periodically over the years. It is fun to think that our kids will most likely get both. In state cousins that are close by and the out of state cousins that they get to make their own special memories and traditions.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Creek Time:






We have a pool here at camp and we have not even been in the water once this summer! Crazy I know..but I prefer the creek to the pool. Waaaaaaay less chemicals on babies skin and campers pee. Plus Henry can touch the bottom and has fun throwing in rocks and Jack likes to sit in my lap and splash the water. Win win for all. It is the best when Dad can come with us (this is true for everything though).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Random Pictures Random Thoughts:



Summer camp is nearly over and I am not sure how that is even possible. Wasn't staff training last week? It has been a good summer. I have found myself getting farther away from camp each summer. As our children grow and multiply it makes it harder to be completely immersed in the camp life. At the beginning of the summer I found myself tired, frustrated, and worn out from trying to be down in camp during the day. I had an ah-ha moment where I realized I don't have to go to meals down in camp. I can stay home. I can put my children's needs first and we will all be happier. Sure we miss seeing Doug during the day, but having a nutritious meal at home and good naps are pretty wonderful and make our days go so much smoother. 

It is just another part of the constant lesson I am learning in this whole motherhood thing. The lesson that my main ministry and purpose right now are Henry and Jack (and Doug). It is okay to say 'no'. To make sure I am not making myself unnecessarily tired and wiped out leaving nothing or very little to give to Doug and the boys. I have to look for creative ways to have impact outside of our home. I have really tried to focus on bringing people into our home and lives and minister to them here. Surrounded by blocks on the floor, loud boy voices, and highchairs. It is not glamorous in any way. But it is real. And just being open to what the Lord can do through us in this time of life is pretty exciting. 



Saturday, July 19, 2014

High/Low:






High: 
- Jack taking over the blog with his adorable smile. And his army crawl around the house. Nothing better.
- Parent Trap on Netflix. Please and thank you.
- 70 degrees in July. No need to say anymore.

Low:
- When a child wakes up before midnight. I am mentally more prepared and ready to tend to their needs if it is 3:00 am. But 11:30 pm for whatever reason makes me super grumpy.
- Running out of coffee or milk or frozen pizza. And the panic that sets in if we are out of any of those things.
- Leaving not one, but two books outside that got ruined in the rain. Rookie mistake.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Naps and Play Time:





Henry only naps once a day in the afternoon and tends to sleep for a few hours. Jack is still taking two shorter naps. One in the mid morning and on really good days, one during Henry's afternoon nap. Jack is always the first to wake up in the afternoon. I am working on not getting frustrated that he only slept 30 mins (!!) and try to embrace the Jack only play time. On this particular day we played with this cone toy. One of my favorite toys. Jack loves all the pieces but his favorite is the yellow triangle on the top. Henry woke up and got to join in on the fun for a little bit before he hit the ground running.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Letters to my Boys:


Dear Doug,
I love when you do tricks on your dirt bike when you get home from work. I also loved walking outside and seeing you work with that grinder thing on the trailer. I still get butterflies in my belly watching you. And talking to you is one of the greatest things about being married to you. I love our conversations.

Dear Henry,
Last night we kept you up past your bedtime and let you play down in camp with friends. The whole way home you asked us questions to stay awake. Your questions and your sweet voice are so wonderful and I pray that I have the patience to always recognize this.

Dear Jack,
Last night you slept for several hours down in camp then we got home and you were wide eyed and super smiley. Just so happy to be awake and with us. Your sweet smile is almost more than I can handle at times.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Very Busy Weekend Away:








We had a very very busy and wonderful time away this past weekend. 

We got to meet our newest nephew (bringing the total to six nephews and one sweet niece) Isaac Bradley. He came into the world two weeks early and is a tiny, sweet little one. His hair is adorable and it was so fun getting to spend some time with him and his whole family. 

I went out to dinner with some of the best friends a girl could ever have to celebrate Ashley's birthday. It was a special time celebrating our sweet friend and having conversation and a meal without the distractions of little ones. We also ate some of the best chocolate cake I have ever had. So it really was a pretty perfect time. 

We got to meet baby Eli Nail for the first time! Another sweet boy in the party of boys we have going not only in our family but also in our friend group.

We ate dinner with Grandma at Blue Moon and took a tiny walk down Brookside before heading back home for bedtime.

Church (!!) on Sunday is always a highlight of weekends in Tulsa. In our current life, church rarely happens due to Doug's job. When he is off it is priority to go. So good for our hearts and souls and I miss it deeply.

Then time with Pop Pop and Ju Ji. Family gatherings are only going to get much much crazier before it calms down. With all these boys and all being under the age of 2 1/2 it is going to get crazy!! But such a good crazy. It is always good to see them and I am glad we are close enough to be around for these get-together's.

And our weekend ended with a frozen pizza night with the Odom's. Really one of my favorite things we do together and a refreshing time of encouragement, friendship, and lots of loud moments since once again we had four children under the age of 2 1/2 in one house. So wonderfully crazy beautiful.

Also to note Henry fell asleep in the car twice throughout our weekend which NEVER happens. We missed lots of naps and had horrible night time sleep so I told Doug "my bones are tired and this is the most tired I have been since having Jack". Monday was a super sleepy day around our house and I think we are still in recovery mode. It was so worth the tiredness. One of those times in life when my heart is so full and blessed by time away with people we really love but my body is exhausted from going going going. It is good to be back home and in our beds but I am ready for another three day weekend already!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Post Bath Jack:






I could not get over how cute Jack was the other night after his bath. I grabbed the camera and did the best I could taking pictures and holding him on the counter. He has just started taking baths with Henry sitting up. He continues to fly through milestones and continues to find him place in our family. He gets mad now if Henry takes his toys or messes with him. But at the same time, he loves almost any attention that Henry gives him. We hope and pray that these brothers are close and love each other deeply despite their differences.

And his little tuft of hair on top of his head is still one of my favorite things about him.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 4th Camp Out:












We decided to attempt a family camp out in our backyard for the 4th. Henry has camped one time before and loved it so really we were only concerned about how Jack would do. I would give the overall experience a B. We got some sleep and made some really fun memories.

We had hobo's for dinner and Henry cracked me up making his. He had to have a carrot in the middle of each onion. But then he added the potatoes so he took all the carrots out of the onions, added the potatoes, and then topped them with carrots. So cute.

We had smore's. Shot off some fireworks. And Henry and Doug played on bikes and skateboards until way past Henry's bedtime.

Henry only liked the 'quiet' fireworks and got really worried if they made too much noise. There were lots of tears when they were too loud. But he kept going right back for the sparklers. Lots of intense focus when he had them in his hands.

Once we were in the tent I told myself I would give them an hour to fall asleep. If they did not go to sleep in that hour we would call it a night and head inside to beds. I wrestled Jack for 45 minutes. He was so excited to be with us and he loved the sound of scratching the tent so he took a while to calm down. Doug laid by Henry and repeatedly told him to go to sleep. And finally, they both fell asleep!!!

We watched fireworks laying on the floor of the tent. It got cold during the night so I cuddled up to Doug and Jack cuddled up to me. Jack woke up bright eyed at 6:00 am with the birds. I brought him in to his crib and he fell back to sleep for two more hours, while I slept on the couch.

We finished the camp out with a pancake breakfast outside. It really was one of those perfect family memories. Low frustration and high quality of time together doing fun things. I am not about to attempt a camp out away from the comforts of home just yet. But our backyard was the perfect camp site for this stage in life.