Thursday, September 11, 2014

End of Summer

I'm sure the only people who will enjoy this end of summer photo recap are the grandparents and great-grandparents, but that is okay!  So here are the recent happenings in the Keyser family this fall!

Malachi has been paying close attention to mommy and mimics my actions a lot. Here he was burping his Lillybelle while I burped mine!



                         
Little Miss and her dreamy smiles (and she has dimples!)

Clearly starting to chunk up!  I just love her! 

Daddy brought mommy home some flowers but they were quickly stolen when the princess saw them and with excitement exclaimed "Daddy got me flowers!"  Lately she has become a total Daddy's girl and I think it is pretty cute!

 

Lillyelle took her first trip up to Seattle to meet Uncle Andy!



Daddy took his sweet little princess on a date. It was pretty much the most adorable thing I've ever seen! 



The boys went to the dentist, Eli was pretty chill watching movies while waiting for the dentist. 

I love these boys and the relationship they have.  They were daydreaming together first thing in the morning. 


Lillybelle went to her first football game! It was really hot, but she was a trooper!
The kids have been enjoying every last second of summer.  They recently became obsessed with baseball and have been practicing with each other.  It's pretty cute. I was informed I was not allowed to be part of the team and pitch because I did not have a jersey. 








They're pretty cute little stinkers! 

We went out for our first dinner as a family of 6. That was crazy!

Malachi completed 4 sets of swim lessons this summer and is making great progress. We hope to sign him up for a few more lessons in the winter and see if we can't get that kid full on swimming. He's close! 

Little Miss turned 6 weeks and is now smiling and sleeping great at night - Yay! 






Life has been pretty great if not totally busy.  Things are not showing signs of slowing down here anytime soon but that is kind of just the way we roll!  Stay tuned! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

School

Well September typically marks the beginning of another school year.  This will technically be our second year of homeschool as we continue to feel like at least for the time being that this is the best fit for our kids.  I'm thrilled to get to keep them at home and spend more time with them!  After our first year of school last year, I decided to switch things up a bit this year and felt like year round school would be a better fit for them so we actually started school back at the beginning of July and are on a 4 week break right now.  We will continue back at it in October and keep going with the 2 months on and 1 month off trend for the year.

Malachi has moved up to K4 this year.  This is a great program for him and he is learning a lot! In the first two months he's learned to write almost all of his letters and is learning how to sound out words.  He's right on the brink of learning to read and that is pretty exciting for all of us. It isn't surprising coming from him and the obsession he has had with letters since he was 15 months!  


Eli is in Preschool 3 this year.  He's still not super interested in school until Malachi starts working at it so I think the simple program for him is perfect for where he is at this year.



And then there is the Princess.  Anything her brothers do she must also do, so it made sense to have her do the preschool 2 curriculum that Eli did last year.  It is very basic and simple and perfect to entertain her for a few minutes when I need to ve teaching the others.



Needless to say, I am one busy mama and enjoying the break from school we have right now.  It can prove pretty difficult to keep all these preschoolers busy and have a newborn on the hip but the kids ARE learning and so I guess we're doing something right! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Gotcha Day 2014

The day after coming home from Florida, we celebrated another big family milestone.  4 years prior, we held Malachi in our arms for the very first time!  It's hard to believe it has already been 4 years but we are so glad to have him as part of our family!  He is a young man full of joy and life!  We couldn't love him anymore, I just wish he'd stop growing!  This year the party was a little bit more low key but I was just happy to be home to get to celebrate the day with him!  

We made our typical Ethiopian feast of Sega Wat, Doro Wat, and Ethiopian Honey Bread.  He also requested homemade ice cream.  

We love you Malachi and are so glad we were home to celebrate your special day with you. It doesn't seem possible that it has been 4 years since you joined our family but we are so grateful for the privilege to be your mom and dad!  We love you more than you will ever know.  You are an incredible little boy with so much personality and joy!  You are also so kind and gentle. God has something big planned for your life!   


Friday, August 29, 2014

1 Month

Somehow a month has passed so quickly as it seems to do and the littles one grow in the blink of an eye. We've thoroughly enjoyed our first month with our sweet little Lillybelle!  She's just perfect!  Here's a few pictures of our first month with her (can't velieve how vehind I am, vut with 4 kids that's to ve expected right?

Week 2:




 Sabrina just adores her sister! I am just so impressed with how well she has handled this adjustment!  She truly acts like another mommy!  They are already forming an awesome sister bond!



This guy sure loves his baby sister too! He's so kind and gentle with her!  If you wonder where Eli is, yes he loves her too but he's more in the camp of hardly even noticing she exists. If you know Eli, then you know that is just the way he is in general ;)







Now our sweet little princess is 1 month old!  She's getting more alert during the day and I just know that first smile is just around the corner and I can't wait!  She's pretty spoiled and get snuggled by someone for most of the day and she sure does love snuggling!  She takes forever to wake up and does not like it when we try to wake her up.  She's a little sleepy head much like her mommy!  

She is now right at 6 pounds. I really thought she was bigger but I guess I'm just getting used to how little she is.  She's under the 5th percentile for height and weight right now. I don't think that is too big of a deal right now as she was small to begin with and hopefully we will see her gain here soon.  She was induced early in the first place due to being small and not really growing in utero so it makes sense that she might take awhile to catch up on the outside too.  

She is still easily in newborn clothes and newborn diapers.  She is eating 3-4 ounces at a time now. She does struggle with eating as is typical for smaller, early babies. I'm hoping she outgrows that soon because right now she makes a huge mess.  She is doing pretty good at night so I really can't complain even if I am tired.  She sleeps a good 4-6 hours at at a time during the night.  We recently moved her into her own room as Peter was waking her up when he went to work in the morning so that has been a good transition.  

She is just beautiful and perfect and we adore her. She's been just the addition our family needed and I want to pinch myself because my family couldn't be anymore perfect!  We are blessed!  



Monday, August 18, 2014

Adjusting

I know I kind of left everyone hanging after my last post. As you can imagine, life with 4 kids is a bit busy!  We are full of adjustments and changes around here.  Life never seems to slow down. We came home rather sleep deprived and dove back into life with the kids and Peter went straight back to work. We had a coming home party and a Gotcha Day Party and loads of laundry to contend with. We had a stolen credit card, medical fees that shouldn't be, appointments we had been putting off until after the adoption along with several visitors who couldn't wait to meet our little miss.  It has all been kind of a blur. Newborn photos, post adoption social worker visits,  potty training, swim lessons, diving back into school. We truly jumped right back into life, but there isn't much choice when we already have a very busy family. I finally feel like we might be breaking back into a routine and hopefully the return of blogging will be soon to follow. 

I know I didn't share too much but we spent July 26th-August 7th in Florida.  Our sweet baby girl was born on July 28th weighing in at 5 lbs 6 ounces!  She has fit in perfectly with our family. I feel like all of our babies have been super easy and she is not any different and is so laid back. We were able to spend 3 days with her birth mother of time I will never forget.  It was a joy filled and heartbreaking time all at once.  We still talk almost daily with her birth mother and I hope we can continue to stay close. 


For now, know our life is more full of joy than ever before. My heart truly feels complete! I look at my beautiful family of 2 boys and 2 girls and I just feel so incredibly thankful and blessed.  God wrote the best story! The other kids have accepted Lillybelle into the family as if she has always been there!  You would never even know they are adjusting to a new sibling in the house.  Sabrina has done amazing with her new sister. I was very worried about her but she surprised me and just adores her baby sister!  She is also quite the little mama herself and loves to help me take care of Lillybelle.  This has been the smoothest transition for Peter and I too. We haven't fought or even really gotten frustrated with each other through this sleep deprivation.  I guess after 4 kids we just kind of know the routine.  Or maybe what they say is true, that 3 kids is the hardest and it is all smooth sailing after that.  We can hope! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

8 Years

If you can't tell how on top of things I am right now, we celebrated 8 years of marriage last week!  This year looked totally different  than most anniversaries do.  Leading up to our anniversary we had ideas of a nice dinner and maybe a night at a hotel away from the kids and while our night was indeed spent at a hotel in a nice warm and sunny location away from the kids, it looked a bit different than we expected. 

Our day included a lot of this:



                                                                      Some of this:


                                         
                                                            A romantic dinner of this:




                                                             And a lot more of this:


I asked Peter if he ever imagined in a million years when he walked down the aisle with me 8 years ago that he might be spending his 8th anniversary in a hospital meeting his 4th child and he can safely say that no, he never predicted this one coming!  It was a long, exhausting, STRESSFUL day but there was certainly cause for celebration.  

Year 7 was a great year as Peter got a new and wonderful job and we welcomed our newest little bundle of love right at the tail end but it also had its difficulties.  I wouldn't say it was a "7 year itch" but for whatever reason the 7th year had new challenges as maybe there is something to be said for adjustments in marriages that come in the 7th year.  We still had a wonderful year and I couldn't imagine walking this road with anyone else.  We make one heck of a team!  As we move into year 8, our word for this year is "communication". For whatever reason, the longer we are married it is easier to make assumptions or be too busy to communicate.  So openly communicating with each other is of key importance.  Another priority is how we greet each other in the first couple minutes we are together whether in the morning or when Peter gets home from work.  Sometimes Peter has a frustrating day at work or I am busy and flustered from a day with the kids.  The way in which we greet each other truly does make a difference in how the next few hours go.  I know with just a few small changes this next year of marriage is going to be great!  Here's to another year!  It just keeps getting better! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Life Through My Phone

Summer always seems to end up ridiculously busy with not a moment to spare.  We've been really enjoying this summertime and I wanted to share a few snippets of the fun we've been having!

Our backyard is more than just a dirt pit this year, so while it still needs a lot of work, it's making great progress and has been a lot of fun for the kids!  



                                    These two!  I just love the relationship my little Irish twins have!



We've worked hard this summer on the boys staying in their beds and made good progress, but it doesn't keep us from sometimes finding this one in bizarre places.



We started another year of school. Yes, I know that is weird, but for our lifestyle I really think year round school will work better for us with 2 months on and 1 month off.  With expecting a baby here soon, we even pushed the start forward even more so I can have the flexibility of more time off if I need it.




                                                         Sabrina crashed a date night!


                                                       She was pretty excited about that




                                                           We took the kids free bowling!



                                                  It's boring to be patient and wait your turn!


                                                              Someone is very creative.....



                                           Still have a little bit of dirt left in the yard (for now)




We had a skunk in the backyard who was out even during the day.  So we had to hire someone to trap the thing for us.  I felt bad, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do!


 Malachi passed level 1 swim lessons.  I was so proud of him.  New experiences are very hard for him but he was brave and loved it and is even ready for more!




                   We had a very fun 4th of July weekend and my darlings were as adorable as ever!



It has been 4 years since we enjoyed 4th of July up at Peter's grandparents house.  We've always enjoyed that tradition and it was fun to finally get to share it with our kids.



It has been 6 months since we had been up to Seattle to see Uncle Andy so we figured it was high time to make a trip up there.  It was a very fun and nice weekend spent with family!




Hopefully there will be more blog posts to come here soon!  July is always our funnest and craziest month of the year!