The Ultimate Mudpie Party

I hosted a summer play date for my homeschool group this week & well I’m pretty sure the kids will be talking about it for a longggg time.

I filled our sand box and our baby pool with organic kid safe soil from Home Depot. I bought 2 bags but 1 would have been enough. Then I filled a huge tub with water. 


Shopping List 

  • Organic soil
  • Pie tins
  • Plastic spoons
  • Shovels
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Funnels
  • Pitcher
  • Mini cups
  • Fake flowers
  • Glitter for sprinkles
  • Shaving cream for whip cream

The key ingredient: WORMS! Yes the real kind. I bought night crawlers from the fishing department at BassPro. 
Everything you see I bought from Dollar Tree other than the soil and worms.

My girl can make even a mudpie pretty 🌸
After I blew up our pool and filled it with water and baby wash so that I could send them home all clean!


And no summer day is complete without popsicles! Popsicle in one hand, worm in the other. My sweet gross boy ❤️

Lydia is 11 months

I just had her I swear and just like that it’s almost her first birthday. Every day with her is sweeter than the next. She is the happiest little girl.

Ooooo I could just squish her!

She is officially standing with no hands!

I really could photograph her all day.

And boy does she love her Daddy. Every time he walks in the room she yells Hi Dada! It is so sweet. 

At her check up she weighed 21 pounds and 29.5 inches. She has 6 teeth and is wearing size 4 diapers and 12 month clothes. Still not enough hair for a bow but we are working on it! Mickey Mouse is her main man and it’s bitsy her favorite song. 

She loves the water. This month we took her swimming at Aunt Erica’s and to the beach.

We finally ditched the bath seat and she’s so happy about it.

I’m loving watching her start to play with Timmy and Grace. She just wants to be part of the party now.

The invitation were sent out this week, decorations started, outfits ordered.. We are so excited to celebrate this little blessing. A whole year of all the happiness. We give Him all the glory for entrusting us with this sweet little angel.

Happy Fourth!

Fourth of July was extra sweet this year.

The day before we went and visited a local nursing home with our homeschool group and passed out some of our art, festive necklaces and mini flags to the residents. My kids worked very hard on their little crafts.

And who’s day wouldn’t be made brighter by these cute faces!

Our dogs are terrified of fireworks and not like regular scared dogs more like the eat through your walls type. I wish I was exaggerating but my dogs did literally eat through a door AND a wall one July 4th. This forces us to stay home every year.

We brought all red white and blue to church on Sunday 🇺🇸

We had a really simple day. We visited one of the ladies from church who is in rehab for back surgery. Then we came home and went swimming in our blow up pool and that turned into a family water gun fight. If I could have I would have froze that moment in time. All of laughing and playing made me so happy. When Daddy gets in on the fun it just lights these kids up.

Then we grilled hot dogs, hamburgers and corn. Daddy did a little teaching by talking about all the states that make up our country and telling the kids about which places he’s visited. Then he read them a book about the USA. The kids were so eager for it to get dark so that we could shoot off our very first ever fireworks. This was a big deal for me. I’m paranoid of fireworks. But I admit that it was thrilling and worth all my anxiety because my kids thought it was amazing. 

After our own show we went for a drive to see some more.

The best part of the whole thing… Hearing my kids go on and on about how this was the best day EVER! 

More pictures…

The Dube Pumpkin Patch

We are not gardening pros at all. But for the last few years we’ve been swimming in eggplant. We started a small garden 3 years ago and our tiny eggplant turned into a tree. For real. I had to give so many away we couldn’t eat anymore. And this “tree” lived for all THREE years. 

Well this summer I teared it all out to make room for The Dube Pumpkin Patch! Now I’m not entirely sure it’s gonna actually work but so far so good.

Easiest Garden Ever:

  • 12 cinder blocks 
  • Large cardboard box
  • Dirt

All you do is lay flat the cardboard box wherever you want your garden to grow. There’s no need to dig up the grass or anything. Just lay it out. Place the cinder blocks on top of the cardboard to make a rectangle. Soak the cardboard with your hose. Pour in dirt. That’s it folks! 

Mine is old so grass has grown thru the block holes but if you’re really awesome you would plant marigolds and herbs in those boxes to encourage pollinators. 

Use more or less blocks to make your perfect size garden. This size fits about 4-6 plants. 

Two weeks later from that above photo…

That’s only 5 Pumpkin plants. Underneath all those vines is romaine too but I don’t know that it will survive this Pumpkin invasion.

The most exciting thing was this morning when I went out to pick off all the caterpillars that snack on my garden I couldn’t find any. I knew they were there because their poop was all over the leaves. I was so surprised to find 6 cocoons!!! Turns out we are also growing butterflies 🦋 I’m just glad that these vines grew faster than the caterpillars could chew. And now these little green monsters that I thought were destroying my garden, now might actually be the ones to pollinate these Pumpkin flowers. 

Just another amazing way that God has shown me that what he has designed is perfect. I have only watered this garden twice in 4 weeks, there’s no pesticides being sprayed to keep the bugs away and there’s no magic fertilizer in the soil. God doesn’t need our help, we only need His.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Sweet Memories

Playing peek-a-boo in the mirror with Lydia. She cannot believe that there’s two of me. She keeps looking around and touching my face.

Gracie brushing and braiding my hair.

Timmy asking me what’s over there just so he can surprise kiss my cheek.

Grace and Lydia crawling around the house together like friends.

Hearing Lydia say Da-da everytime he walks in the room. Hearing her say Gracieeee, basically hearing her say anything in that sweet voice.

Being snuggled up in bed with all the kids and Daddy just reading.

Grace says she’s marrying Max.

Timmy is saving all his dollars to build a new house with stairs.​​​ 

My Saturday night plans..

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day sweetheart. Nothing makes you look more handsome than than three littles dangling from your arms. We love you so much!

We had brunch with our families and it turned into dinner too. It was a beautiful day.

A Star is Born

Grace is shy and quiet, but put her in a tutu and on a stage & a star is born. This child had an entire audience clapping and laughing so hard some were crying including Daddy. 

She walked out on that stage confident & twirling. & she spun & spun & spun the whole time. The song ended and she kept on twirling. They had to come escort her off stage. 

Apparently she told Aunt Erica that she wanted a solo and she totally got that solo.

She’s just the cutest duck ever!

Memaw came to see the big show ❤️

Me & my girl 

Daddy & his princess

Proud mama 

Me and my dad & Grace & her Dad ❤️

Nursing Little Ones

Nursing my babies has been such a joy for me. It is a time set aside, several times a day, that is just for me and baby. The more children you have the less of those individual moments you have. 

Nursing forces you to slow down. Its the interruption of your day that is the gift. That reminder to snuggle your baby even if the laundry is piled high or the dog hair is floating around like hay stacks in the wind.

It has not always been easy. This is my third round and I feel like a breastfeeding guru now. But when I think back to nursing my first born it seemed like a hopeless feat. He was 4 weeks early by emergency c-section, I was very sick with pre-eclampsia and pneumonia and he was very sick in the NICU. They had me pumping every 20 minutes and nothing was coming out. In the meantime he was getting formula. Thank God for formula. When we left the hospital a week later I was determined to nurse. My mother nursed all six of her kids so for me there was no other way. At first we alternated formula bottles and nursing and I would pump when he drank formula. It. Was. Insanity. It was not at all glamorous. My nipples were so sore I slept with frozen peas in my bra. There were sores and scabs and bleeding. I was a battle of sorts. I just kept going. And by 3 months old Timmy was exclusively breastfed and all the way until his first birthday.

My second experience wasn’t nearly as traumatic. Grace was born a pro. She was nursing 30 minutes after my c-section. They brought her in recovery and she just knew what to do. My nipples were not spared tho. Same thing all over again with frozen peas as my savior and lanolin. That stuff is a life saver. Grace nursed until 19 months. She preferred nursing to eating real food. The girl never took a bottle. That means I never could leave her with a sitter. She would starve herself before she would put her mouth on a bottle nipple. That was beneath her. I should have know then she was a born diva! 

Lydia has been my easiest. I am a different mom now though and I think that makes all the difference. I’m not consulting a book or webmd at every cry. I feel confident in my “momming” and I think that calmness makes for happier babies. I don’t have a breastfeeding journal like I did with Timmy, I don’t worry about how much time she feeds and what side I used last like I did with Grace. We go with the flow. A very smart nurse once told me that the first breast is the entree and second side is dessert. So don’t count minutes. A happy full baby will either fall asleep or pull away when they’re done. You can’t over nurse a baby. So Lydia nurses for as long as she wants & I try to soak it all in because in a very short time this season of my life will come to an end.

Lydia is 10 months

She’s just so happy, her eyes smile. & she has the craziest laugh. Like sometimes it sounds a little devilish. ​

​She big into immitating everything we do. Shakes her head no, blows raspberries, clicks her tongue. She says the word hi at least we think. She’s stands by herself for like half a second. I just bought 18 month pjs and size 4 diapers. She’s all over the place and everything goes in her mouth. She hums herself to sleep. Still loves her swing. Just learned how to throw things. Does not like avacado but love broccoli. Sorta figuring out drinking water. Still wears her bows like a champ. Can’t keep shoes on for a minute. Loves Minnie Mouse. Took her first bath without the bath seat. 

She is so loved.

My Dad is 7-0

Yesterday we celebrated my Dad’s 70th birthday. Seems crazy. 

We’ve gone all out on his last few big birthdays & boy has life changed from birthday to birthday.

At his 50th birthday my mom threw him a huge surprise party with a golf theme at a country club. He was in the prime of his life & living large. Family from all over flew in to surprise him.

On his 60th we planned a surprise cruise. He knew him & my mom were going on a cruise but when he turned the corner past the passport check in we were all standing there plus his mom & sister. He was so surprised and ALOT concerned about who paid for all of us 😂 At that point me, Jessica and Erica brought our boyfriends on this trip.

This picture is from Tina & Tonys fake wedding. He just looks so happy here. This was 7 years ago.

For his 65th birthday we went to Discovery Cove. We got a cabana with a butler, full bar. Everyone came plus grandma Leslie. Me and Tim were married plus little Timmy. Jessica and Matt were married and a little surprise, John was proposing to Erica. It was so cute. He had a dolphin swim over to her with a buoy that said Will you Marry me?

The years between his 65th and 70th birthday have been hard. There have been many ups and downs with his health and he now lives with me permanently. My parents have divorced and we’ve added 3 more grandkids and one on the way. Victoria has met an awesome guy who is also a chef (!!!) and my mom is engaged to a wonderful man who really loves our kids. He is the grandpa my kids might never have had. Both me & Tims dads are elderly and can’t play with the kids or spoil them the way my moms fiancé does. Nothing has shown me more that God has a plan, than this realization of the gift that Tom has been to this family. 

Now my Dad lives for the days when all his kids are in the same room. Nothing brings him more joy than to sit and listen to the laughter. So that’s just what we did for his 70th birthday. We had a feast for a king! It was a great day with my favorite company and the best chefs I know!

The grand babies!

The chefs!

The poor yummy lobsters! RIP

The birthday boy!

His mini me!

 

He was excited!

Carols first lobster! & she spit it out 😱