Monday, August 24, 2015

Isaac starts kindergarten!

I can't believe my Isaac is old enough to be in kindergarten!  Weren't we just driving home with him from Temple? 

Isaac and I went to his school a week before kindergarten started for a one-on-one "meet the teacher" meeting with Mrs. Kirk.  We sat down at a table in the classroom, and Mrs. Kirk started off by giving me her email and phone number.  She hadn't even finished giving me the information before I started crying.  Wow!  Mrs. Kirk was sweet and found me some Kleenex.  :)  If just getting that information was that emotional, I couldn't imagine how hard the first day of school would be!  

But, I think I got all my tears out before the first day of school.  Isaac woke up on the first day so, so excited.  His excitement was just contagious, and I was so excited for him, too.  Our friends lost their 4 year old son a few days before Isaac started kindergarten, and his death was so heavy (and still is) on my heart.  I felt God reminding me that it was a privilege to have this boy and be able to send him to kindergarten.  Also, I get to pick him up at noon each day and spend the afternoon with him while Emma and Josiah nap.

My mom came to take care of Emma and Josiah so that I could take Isaac to school and stay for chapel and pictures.  
finding his cubby
Isaac is so proud to be a "Lutheran Lion" at Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy.  (I've heard him tell Josiah, "Someday you can be a Lutheran Lion, too!")  Isaac also loves his tie--he even wore it to church yesterday!  Yes, I am "that mom"--I told Isaac, "If you will just smile well the first time for each picture, this will go much faster and you can be done with pictures."  :) 

After Isaac was settled in his room, I waited with other parents for chapel to start.  Isaac's class walked through the lobby, and all the students had their hands behind their backs and their lips zipped.  (Isaac told me this is how you walk at school.)  He gave me a small smile and unclasped his hands to give me one quick wave.  I sat at the back of chapel and cried a bit as we sang the closing hymn.  Mostly, though, I am just so proud of Isaac and excited for his new adventure.  When his class filed out of chapel, he blew me a kiss.  

It's a tradition at his school for all the students to go outside for an all-school picture.  This was only taken on my iPhone, so it's not the best quality. 

This is Isaac's kindergarten class.  He knows many of the students from PreK.  The lady on the right side assists Mrs. Kirk in the kindergarten classroom each morning.  

Oh, we love this boy!

Friday, August 14, 2015

JBF Fort Worth $15 giveaway!

Just Between Friends (JBF) is my favorite place to buy clothes, shoes, books, and even toys for my kids.  The majority of what my kids wear is from JBF.  Each JBF sale location throughout America has two sales each year--spring and fall.  This post is sponsored by JBF Fort Worth, which is the largest JBF sale in the nation and is coming up soon!  Since attending JBF sales for the last nearly six years, I've figured out a few tips that make my shopping experience even better.  

Here are my top tips for shopping at JBF:

1. Search through your child's clothes ahead of time & make a list so you know exactly what you need
JBF Fort Worth is huge!  

It's held at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in downtown Fort Worth.  Being able to attend a sale this huge is a good thing, since there's a lot of selection.  But, it can also be overwhelming.  My very best tip is to go through all your child's clothes and shoes for the upcoming season before the sale and see what you really need.  You may think you'll remember, but it really helps to make a list.  Since sizing varies so much between brands, I have even measured the waistlines of pants or the outline of a shoe before going to the sale.  Then, I can use my measurements to check items at the sale to make sure they'll work. 

2.  Plan ahead to have childcare
You'll be able to shop much more efficiently if you don't have your child with you.  When my son was two years old, I took him to the sale in a wagon.  It took much longer since he needed snacks and was interested in all the toys.  :)  Trust me--you'll get more done and enjoy yourself much more if you are alone.  

3. Bring cash
Since there are so many items at a JBF sale (tutus! DVDs! costumes! books! toys!), you'll focus on your most-needed items if you bring and only spend cash.  There have been some sales where I've been so excited by all the deals that I've bought too much.  Not only do I not need more unnecessary stuff in my home, it's also not a blessing to my family if I overspend.  

Another benefit to bringing cash is that you may be able to get through the checkout line more quickly--sometimes there is one register open just for cash-paying customers.  That's usually the fastest-moving register!

4.  Bring snacks and water
It really does help to have some snacks and bottled water with you as you shop.  You're likely to be at a JBF sale for at least a few hours, and shopping when you're hungry or thirsty isn't much fun.  

5.  Bring a wagon, stroller, or rolling laundry basket
You'll need somewhere to stash all your great finds!  I have found that a wagon or a stroller works best for hauling all my items around the sale until I check out.  Since all the clothes are on hangars, I like to place the hangars on the stroller handle as I shop.  

There's also a secure area where you can check larger items (potty chairs, pack & plays, large toys) at the sale so you don't also have to carry those around the entire time you shop.


The JBF Fort Worth sale is open to the public Thursday, September 3 through Saturday, September 13, 2015.  See the full schedule here.  But, if you are a first-time parent or grandparent, you can register to shop before the sale opens to the public.  Even if you're not a first-time parent or grandparent, you can still get in early by volunteering or consigning (more details here).  I've had a lot of fun volunteering with a group of friends before...we made it a Mom's Night Out and even went to IHop after our shift was completed.  
Even if you're not able to volunteer with friends, I promise that you'll meet new friends by volunteering at the sale.  :)

If you are interested in winning a $15 JBF Fort Worth gift card, comment on this blog post by answering this question:  "What's at the top of your list for the JBF sale?" and then login to Rafflecopter below so that your entry is counted.  Halloween costumes for my kiddos are at the top of my list for this sale!

(Giveaway details:  You may enter by commenting one time.  The contest will close at midnight on August 22, 2015.  The winner will be announced on August 23, 2015.  The winner must pick up the gift card at the JBF Fort Worth sale at time of shopping trip.  The winner may not be another JBF blogger and can only win once per sale.)  

Also, here's a coupon to get in free to the sale on Sunday, September 6, 2015.  You are welcome to print this as many times as you need--print for yourself, grandparents, and friends!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Josiah Dodge: 5 Months

At 5 months, Josiah wears 6 month clothing and size 2 diapers.  He is back to waking up every 3 - 3 1/2 hours at night to eat.  He eats quickly then lays back down very easily.  Josiah babbles a lot now!  It's such a sweet sound.  He also blows bubbles and has slobber everywhere!  My favorite thing Josiah does right now is how he "chats" when he's feeding...he often leans back, looks at me, and just starts to babble and grin.  

Josiah loves sitting in his Bumbo seat.  His neck is so much stronger now!  

Chick-Fil-A "cow appreciation day" 

first time swimming!  
I think he liked swimming as much as he likes his baths...not too much!

On July 24, we celebrated that it had been one year since we found out I was pregnant!  It was fun re-enacting the picture we used to tell our families and friends we were expecting!  

Two weeks ago, Josiah moved out of our room (sniff!).  He now sleeps in his co-sleeper in the guest room, and Isaac often sleeps in there with him. 

"Sometimes it's just hard waking up on a Friday morning."
I think this is the funniest picture ever!  Haha!

morning snuggles with Pop!
Josiah and I spent the night at my parents when Dave and the big kids were driving to Colorado.  

Then, we flew to Colorado and met them in Denver.  Josiah did a fantastic job on his first flight.  I brought along a bottle that he took during takeoff, and then he was out for the rest of the flight.  I'm pretty sure nobody even know there was a baby on the plane.  

Josiah loved his first visit to Papa and Nana's house in Steamboat!

hanging out at the cabin at Snow Mountain Ranch

Josiah now loves to fiddle and play with toys, watches, and necklaces--really anything he can get his hands onto!  He has also started to bat at the hanging toys in his carseat.

We love our smiley boy!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Josiah Dodge: 4 Months

At 4 months old, Josiah weighs 12 lbs, 14 ounces (5th percentile) and is 25 inches long (40th percentile).  Dr. Dalton said that if he had been born full-term, his stats would be 25th percentile (weight) and 50th percentile (height).  Josiah moved into size 2 diapers & wears both 3 and 6 month clothing.  He eats around 10:00 each evening and then wakes again around 3:30 to nurse.  Lately, he has been waking again at 5:30 when Dave gets up for work, so Dave usually takes him downstairs while he eats breakfast and gets ready for the day so I can sleep a little longer.  In the last month, Josiah has become much more talkative and social.  He smiles, coos, and babbles, and we all love it!  
Josiah loves his swing!  He coos at the animals that rotate above the swing, and he coos to get anyone's attention when they walk by--adorable!

Josiah has also become much better at sitting in the Bumbo seat.  He often sits on the kitchen counter while I cook or do dishes.

**smiles with daddy in the bathroom mirror and during bathtime**

Daddy's first Father's Day with three kids!  

Josiah's first Fourth of July!
Josiah is wearing a onesie I purchased for Isaac's first Fourth that says "little firecracker!"  We all laughed that Josiah is the calmest little firecracker ever! 
Josiah only cries when he's especially hungry or doesn't want to go into his carseat (which is about every time), but he has found his right thumb to pacify himself.  

**matching shirts from my mom for the boys**
Isaac was so proud!

Emma looked at Josiah the other day and said, "He has a double chin!"  Oh, I love the little rolls on this guy.

Josiah does tummy time more often now, and he is able to lift his head up higher and higher each time!
Isaac is still enamored with Josiah.  I thought it may wear off by now, but he is still thrilled to see him every morning and spends a lot of time laying by and talking to him.  Isaac said, "Mom, life is sure different with Josiah, but I wouldn't want it any other way."

We love this precious boy!
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