Monday, October 10, 2016


There are days when being a mom to three children is flat out exhausting. It is relientless, tiring and just flat out nasty sometimes. There are plenty of days where I desperately want to hide away from all of the work. The discipline the homework helper,the meal planner,the driver, the washer of clothes and the vitamin giver, the brush your teeth reminder-er, the use self control advice giver-er. Sometimes it's too much. 
And then there are moments like today that make me stop in my tracks and I look at all the work and I am thankful. Oh so thankful for these 3 precious beings that need me for everything. That require guidance from me, because I am the one that gets to capture moments like these:
A moment when the 8 year old promised his 4 year old sister a 'birthday tea-party for elmo'. A moment that made me so honored to be their mom. A moment that didn't need discipline or guidance, but needed praise as I stood, teary eyed, watching these two together. 
Sure, parenting is hard, but moments like these remind me that it is all worth it. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Field Trippin'

Paxton had a super fun field trip to the corn maize/pumpkin patch! He had a great great time with his classmates!

Going for a ride on the cow train!

Reading the signs as they go through the corn maize. 

Getting to pick a pumpkin!

Pumpkin Picking

Harper's school had a mini pumpkin patch and the kiddos got to pick a pumpkin that was set outside on the playground lawn. It's so sweet and such a fun time to get sweet pumpkin pictures with the class!

Here she is with her sweet friend Kate. These two girls are so silly and have so much fun together. I'm so thankful they've had each other in class the last two years!
She really has such a sweet class and it's been really fun getting to some of the momma as well!!

Tiny Dancer

It was observation week in Harper's dance class. Yippee. We were able to watch her dance, and if I'm being completely honest, it was the cutest thing I've ever seen. She loves tap dance the most and she listens and follows directions really well. She is still not all that coordinated but by golly she is adorable to watch!
Her dance class is right after lunch time, and Brad just happened to be on that side of town when her class started, so he was able to come and watch as well!!

I love this next picture so much. The struggle is real trying to get those feet to do what you want them to!!!
I'm excited to watch her have a great time in dance class!!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Abilene Field Trip

Abilene 3rd grade field trip is 'in the books for Maddox ...beautiful day for Frontier Texas museum, national center for children's literature, picnic park lunch & Abilene zoo. Maddox had an absolute blast and I am so thankful for the parents who were able to go and the teachers who took such great care of the kids. (I wasn't able to go, but Maddox had a blast riding in a car with his friends). They are exhausted, they left the school at 6:40am and arrived home at 5pm. (Huge shout out to my mom. She and Paul let Maddox spend the night last night and she got him to school super early, which helped me out so much because I didn't have to get pax and harp up at 5:30am. Thanks mom!) That is a full full day of travel and adventure (I can't even imagine how exhausted the teachers and other parents must be)

Maddox said his favorite part was the zoo. They saw all sorts of animals but his favorites were the monkeys and this really pretty black and white striped tiger! 
I'm so thankful the parents that went with them took such cute pictures. Makes my heart happy to see him having such a good time with his classmates and his friends. 
On a proud momma moment, this evening I messaged the sweet momma that Maddox rode with and expressed my appreciation for keeping up with MADD all day. She responded with such sweet things about Maddox and complimented him on his manners and maturity. It blesses my soul to hear those things from other people, especially when he was away from home and I wasn't there to remind him to be polite. Great job Maddox. Keep changing the world just by being you!!!

Jersey Day

Today was Jersey Day at school (Maddox had a super cool field trip that I will write about next, so he didn't participate in spirit day). Oh sweet Paxton. You are a joy. 
Love this boy so much. He is growing and maturing so rapidly. He is making sweet friends in his class and learning so much. He has found a huge love for history and I enjoy hearing him tell me all that he learned that day. They are currently learning about the Revolutionary War and he is completely intrigued! He is a helper. He is honest. He works hard. And he loves loves loves Jesus. Everyday I'm blessed to be his momma. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Apple Pickin'

Harper girl had a super fun field trip to the Apple Orchard today. Oh what a joy it was to be with her, watching her interact with her friends and observing the little girl she is becoming. 
She loved that her Gigi came with us on the field trip as well!!
We are so blessed with an amazing class this year. The kiddos are so sweet and their mommas are super nice as well!

Harper was thrilled to sit with Gigi on the hayride over to pick some apples 

There wasn't a huge selection of apples to pick, but she worked hard and found some good apples

Her sweet little friend Kate. Oh these two have so much fun together. Such a sweet sweet friendship

Oh sweet girl. You are the apple of my eye. I love watching you blossom and I'm honored to walk this journey of life beside you. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Goin' Band from Raiderland

Today was a very fun day for the 3rd grade class as they had the opportunity to take a quick field trip to Texas Tech University and watch the Goin' Band from Raiderland practice. Maddox thought this was super fun and he really liked watching the baton twirliers 😉. He said it was cool to watch them throw that big stick and spin around and catch it. Hahah. I love it. He also mentioned it was really neat how the band could move around while they played. 
Thankful he had such a fun time with his class and his friends, watching the band practice that practiced right outside the window of my dorm room in college. He might not choose to attend Texas Tech when he gets older, but he will at least know the special spot it has in our hearts!!

Slow Down

Oh time, please slow down. This little lady is getting too big way to fast! Look at her holding her pencil, writing her letters. (I'm very impressed with her pencil holding skills)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


I just want to take a minute and brag on our eldest boy! Oh Maddox Bradley, this child is amazing. His heart is pure gold. His spirit is kind and God-seeking. He is a great friend. A rule follower. A justice seeker. He is brave. He faces new people or situations with such grace and ease. 
Recently, he has discovered that his kindle has an alarm feature on it. He decided he wanted to set his alarm to wake him up at 7am. When I go in to make sure everyone is up and moving (usually around 7:15 or so), he is fully dressed, sitting on his bed (which he made and put all the decorative pillows up) and he is reading his Bible or writing a note to me or Brad. And, if this show of responsibility isn't enough, he has even begun to lay out his uniform the night before (which may not sound like a big deal, but he even remembers to lay out the proper clothes for Wednesday's, which is chapel days and their uniform is different for that day). 
We are blessed. He is such a good example for his brother and sister. He is sweet. He is kind hearted. He is helpful and genuine. He changes the world for the better every single day, just by being himself!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Raider Power

Brad and I had such a fun weekend! My dad and Kelly kept the kiddos for us Saturday evening, which gave us the oportunity to go to the Texas Tech game. A friend of Brad's gave him 4 club level tickets, so our friends Ryan and Hillary joined us for the game. It was nice to be away from responsibility for the evening and relax with friends, watching our red raiders play! 
After the game, we were able to go down on the field and listen to a little private concert from the Goin' Band from Raiderland. (Hilary's mom and sister are a part of the alumni band and they were playing. When the alumni band plays, the family and friends get to walk on the field with them and march off through the tunnel and through campus while the drum line plays). It was a lot of fun and a super awesome experience!!
Always proud to be a Red Raider!

Friday, September 16, 2016

My People

Just a few pictures of my people this week. Busy and full!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

New Skills

The sweet awe and wonder of learning new skills. 
Harper girl has made huge strides in being able to write her name and learning  letters. (She's a stubborn little one when it comes to learning. She'd much rather play with her babies.)
Her class at her Mother's Day out program is blowing me away. She's already learning so much and she's only been there for 2 weeks! We are super blessed with two amazing teachers!!
I can't wait to see all that she learns this year, and I'm so thankful I still get my time at home with her as well!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Eye Exams

The boys had an eye exam today and they did fantastic!! Paxton's eyes are getting stronger but his astigmatism is still causing his vision issues, and it changed some, so new glasses were in order!
Maddox still has near perfect vision (how that is possible with my eye sight and Brad's vision difficulties is still a huge surprise)
I have to take a minute here and brag a little on these two boys. They are great great boys. The staff at the eye doctor's office love them and praise how well behaved they are. It is always such fuel to my soul to hear how wonderful they are!

Monday, September 12, 2016


Life is busy. Life is full. We go go go all week long. It's nice when we have time to stop and soak up some togetherness. 
Friday evening I had the opportunity to take Maddox to swimming, alone. The littles were at my moms because we were celebrating Paul's birthday later that evening. Wow. Sometimes I just get too busy to allow myself to soak up just how amazing Maddox is. He is so tender hearted, eager to learn, incredibly smart, funny and a joy to be around. Watching the young man he is becoming is truly a joy. Not everyday is sunshine and roses, but his heart is kind and his intentions are pure (most of the time). He is such a big helper for me and is gaining so much responsibility. 
What an honor it is to be his momma!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tiny Dancer

Harper girl started dance class this week and boy oh boy was she excited. She loves her tap shoes and her ballet shoes and her super fun, twirly outfit that she wore to class. She said she was nervous but had a great time!!
I myself might not ever fully recover from the all the cuteness!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Harper's First Day of KDO 2016

Harper girl started school this week. She goes twice a week to a kids day out program and I am super excited about this year for her. She has two teachers for 10 students and both teachers taught in school for several years before doing the KDO program. Her classroom is so cute and it looks like there are some great kiddos in her class. I'm excited to watch her learn and grow. 
Oh Harper girl, my prayer for you this year is that you grow in knowledge and confidence. You are such a precious little girl and you have such a sweet personality. I pray you make fun, sweet friends and that you learn so much!!

My niece, Ruby Grace, started at the same program as Harper. It's going to be so much fun to see her after school during the week! 

Jamaica 2016

 For our big summer trip, Brad and I decided to take the kids and grandmom and grandad Voda to Jamaica!! It was SO much fun and a trip that created memories to last a lifetime! 
This was the first time for grandmom to fly and grandad hadn't flown in a very long time. They were a little nervous, but they just let us lead and they followed us through security and customs and everyone did great. That process is an adventure anyway you go, just a long process but oh so worth it once you're to the destination!
  (Grandad and the kids looking at the airplanes before we got on our way)

(Maddox and Harper riding on the tram to get to the next gate at the airport. Harper wanted her babies to see everything!)

The resort was two hours from the airport. On paper, I was dreading this ride after a long day of flying, but it was actually a really good break and a way for all of us to decompress/nap before reaching the resort (aka, the kids are ready to play play play)

                     (We made it!!!)

We decided to try out the Beaches Resort in Ocho Rios and it was fantastic. The staff was top notch, the rooms were perfect for our family, they had amazing accommodations for the kids (which ultimately makes the trip even more enjoyable for the adults) plus it was all inclusive....what more could you ask for? Yummy drinks, great food, kids buffets, servers that know your kids names and what they like to drink, sand between your toes and sunshine on your nose!
(Beautiful view on our way to dinner the first night)

The Sesame Street characters met you at breakfast, walked the pool decks in the afternoon and had a show for the kids every evening!

There was an amazing water park with fun slides for everyone. Brad and grandad took the boys down the big slides (I think the grown ups enjoyed the slides as much as the kids). Harper and I (and sometimes Paxton too) enjoyed the smaller slides and the pirate ship!

Our days were spent poolside or at the beach with a pina colada in hand, watching our kiddos have the time of their lives. 

The beach was one of the most fun beaches I have been to! The water is so beautiful and because the reef is so close to the shore, the water is super calm, which makes it safe and easy for the kiddos to play in! 
The boys enjoyed digging trenches in the sand and swimming in the water, while Harper girl searched for the tiniest of sea shells!

They had these neat, large floats that were tied to a rope. The kids could swim out there and sit and view the beautiful ocean! Maddox called it the "Maddox and Paxton island" and they spent over an hour playing on that float together!

The resort was all inclusive, and that included their water activities as well! We went out on the glass bottom boat to see the reef and the fun fish (it was super cloudy that day, so we weren't able to see as much, but it was still a lot of fun). Brad and I took Maddox and Paxton snorkeling and that was probably my favorite part of the trip. Paxton was nervous and convinced it would be too hard for him and panicked the first time the mask was put on over his nose. Brad was able to calm him down quickly and put the mask on and snorkel in his mouth and got him in the water. I held his hand and told him to look down and once he saw how cool it was to see all the fish close up, he immediately relaxed! I am proud of him for over coming his fear and loving it! He and I swam together and looked at all the fish, while Brad and Maddox went a little faster! Hand and hand my boy and I swam in the beautiful water admiring all the creatures. Definitely a memory I will cherish forever. 

One afternoon, the boys road on the banana boat and got to go super fast! Poor Harper was so sad that she wasn't quite tall enough for the ride!!
Brad tried wind surfing, but there wasn't enough wind for it to be very successful. I tried paddle boarding and got stuck when a gust of wind got me and I couldn't get turned around. So embarrassing. Ha. They had to send a life guard to get me! 
I mentioned before that the staff was incredible....well, when Harper wasn't big enough to ride the banana boat, one of the other workers saw and he came over and told us he would take her out on the sail boat catamaran for a fun ride just for her! Brad and I rode with her and it was stunning. We were able to go further out and see the blue blue waters. Absolutely breathtaking! When we got back to shore, we told grandmom and grandad that they needed to go and I'm so thankful they did! They loved it!

This goes down as one of my favorite vacations ever. The kids are at such a great spot (age wise) to travel. Memories were made that will last a lifetime and I am so thankful for the time away!!
Bye bye Jamaica. You were good to us!