The months are just flying by it seems! I’m doing my best to just savor the everyday with these 3 sweet little ones of mine because they are growing so quickly.

Here are some highlights from the month of September:

We started ‘school’ on September 2. We’re currently using the Sonlight P3/4 reading list and activities for our planned learning. Here’s a post about the Sonlight Curriculum: Choosing Preschool Curriculum

Our philosophy on preschool learning is lots and lots of reading, fun activities, following the child’s interest and a lot of outdoor play. We’re not focusing on ‘academics’ but we’re making learning fun and we’re amazed at how much they’re soaking up.

We read 1-3 stories from our Sonlight P3/4 books and do some type of related activity. We also read a Bible story a day from My First Hands-On Bible. (This Bible and The Jesus Storybook Bible are our favorites!)

Our library has story time once a week. The children’s librarian reads 2-3 stories, has an game or activity that goes along with the stories and sings a song. We’ve been attending that pretty regularly so the boys can be around other kids their age and be read to and taught by someone else. We all enjoy our library days and picking out stacks of books to read. (We really love reading around here!!)

First Day Pre-K
Paxton was just a little excited about his first day of Pre-K!

First Day Preschool
I’m letting Weston join in the learning fun! That’s the beauty of Sonlight, it works for multiple ages. While I wasn’t doing anything formalish for Paxton at this age, I’m letting Weston join along with Paxton’s learning. He has an amazing attention span for a 2.5 year old little boy and is learning so much too.
Brothers
When I had the camera out snapping the first day pictures, they wanted me to take pictures of them! Of course I said yes. Love this loving shot.

Sweet Brothers

Home Depot Kids Workshop
We attended the Home Depot Kids Workshop at the beginning of the month. We let Weston attend this month. They built and painted little birdhouses and both boys really enjoyed building and painting. They didn’t get bored the entire time but worked hard getting their birdhouses together.

Little Free Library
We also found a Little Free Library at the park up the road from our house! We put 2 of our books into the library and picked out new to us books to read and then return. This was a fun little find for this family of book lovers. We’ve also found Little Free Library’s at 2 other parks in our area!

6 Months Old
This sweet little lady was 6 months old on the 22nd.

Here are some milestones:

  • Rocking up on her knees! Rolling, scooting, army crawling wherever she wants to go!
  • Almost sitting up unsupported.
  • Playing with toys and other objects (like leaves, blades of grass). She studies them and of course they go into her mouth.
  • Sucks on her fingers to soothe
  • Wearing 6 month clothes and starting to wear some of her 9-12 month fall clothes on cooler days!
  • Exclusively cloth diapered – bumGenius One Size on medium setting with regular insert and doubler.
  • Exclusively breastfed up until the day she turned 6 months. Nursing every 3-4 hours during the day.
  • Sleeping through the night almost every night!!!
  • Loves splashing in the bathtub.
  • Loves being worn in the Boba.
    Sweet CeciliaI took some pictures of her outside in a sweet little dress on the day she turned 6 months. She wasn’t too excited about me taking pictures, she wanted to move around and explore the grass so the pictures aren’t great but I managed to get a few sweet shots.

Mama and Baby
Mama and baby girl! This little sweater was mine when I was a baby – my mama kept it and brought it to me when Cecilia was born. It’s such a sweet little sweater.
First Bite of Food

We wait until 6 months to introduce solids to our babies. Cecilia’s first food was a soft boiled egg yolk from a pastured egg. (Just egg yolk, no egg white!) She seemed to like it and did pretty well eating for the first time. (The next 2 weeks after starting solids, she wasn’t too into food but she’s getting the hang of it now and really enjoying her foods!)
Messy Baby
Messy baby girl after eating her first solid food. Love those rolls on this healthy baby girl!

Sweet SiblingsAnd, here they are all together. These 3 little people keep me busy wiping bottoms, feeding seemingly bottomless bellies, doing a ton of laundry and a lot of cuddling. Many days it feels like I get absolutely nothing important done but nourishing my growing children, loving them and teaching them that Jesus loves them really is the most important thing I can do with my life.

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Homemade Applesauce

One of my favorite fall traditions is making applesauce. Each fall, my parents give me a bunch of Arkansas Black apples from my grandparents farm and these apples make delicious applesauce.

Making homemade applesauce is easy – it just takes a few hours from start to finish. The yummy homemade applesauce is worth every hour spent in the kitchen.

Apples

Arkansas Blacks aren’t technically good applesauce apples because they are a hard apple. Good varieties for applesauce include Gala, Fuji, Stayman Winesap and Pink Lady to name a few. I use the Arkansas Blacks because they’re given to me so making applesauce from them is free!

Here are the simple steps to making homemade applesauce:

Peel Apples

Step 1: Peel the apples.

Slice Apples

Step 2: Slice/core the apples.

(An Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer would definitely speed the applesauce making process up. I can’t justify spending money and using valuable cabinet space for an appliance that I would use once a year.)

Put Apples in Pot

Step 3: Place apples in a large pot with a little water.

Cook Apples

Step 4: Watch them cook, stirring often. Add water as needed to prevent burning.

Applesauce

Step 5: You have applesauce. Add sugar if you want (we never add sugar because apples are naturally so sweet) and cinnamon if you want cinnamon applesauce.

At this point, you can refrigerate your applesauce and eat it over the next few days. Or, if you’ve made a large quantity, the next step is to can the applesauce.

To can, place applesauce in jars, put on lids/bands and put in water bath to can. They need to process for 20 minutes (for pint jars).

Canned Applesauce

Step 6: You have canned applesauce. I ended up with 9 pints of plain and 3 of cinnamon this round.

It took me approximately 4 hours from start to finish (canning completed & kitchen clean) to make these 12 pints.

And, one of my favorite parts of making applesauce, it always makes my house smell oh so homey!

Now that September is half over, I’m finally sharing the highlights of the month of August. Oh well, better late than never!

Here are some favorite photos and memories from August:

Home Depot Workshop

Paxton attended his very first Kids Workshop at Home Depot and loved it! He built a pencil holder and was so proud of it.

Reading with Brother

We came home from church after our first Wednesday service and I propped Cecilia up on the couch and asked Paxton to watch her while I went and helped Weston. When I came back into the living room, I was greeted by this sight that took my breath away. My heart felt so full seeing my biggest boy cuddled up with a book and his baby sister. These two have a special bond.
Playing

Our girl has been rolling and scooting since she was 4 months old, once she started moving around, I started putting her in the boys room sometimes to join in with their play time. At first they thought it was the cutest thing, now they’re starting to realize that she’s into everything and she wants to chew on their toys. It’s so fun watching them interact with her and watching her playing with their toys.

Back Carry

I love wearing my babies in my stretchy Baby K’tan for the first few months, then I like using a soft structured carrier because they’re so easy to put on. While I prefer front carries, it’s nice to be able to put baby in a back carry for washing dishes and gardening. At 4.5 months, Cecilia was comfortable in a back carry and I had to document the moment!

Decorating

Once we decided that we were staying in our home, I decided to love the home we’re in so I started working on some decor plans for Cecilia’s room. I chose a color scheme (hot pink and teal), bought bed sheets and made bunting back in July. We finally got the bunting and her ‘C’ hung in August. There’s still a few more finishing touches left but I love the girly space I’ve created for her!

Closet

Another ‘love our home’ project was creating built in shelving in the boys closet. My talented husband built designed and built this shelving and we worked together painting them. The closet looks great and it’s very functional (notice the low clothing rods – easy access for preschoolers!)

Bunk Bed Construction

We’ve been talking off an on about bunk beds for our boys. We decided that we wanted to free up floor space in their room so they’d have a lot of room to play since baby sister is now in the room that was their playroom. I found a set with stairs on Craigslist at a great price! John David’s dad just happened to be visiting when we got them so he helped him pick them up and assemble them. The boys really enjoyed watching daddy and papaw assembled their beds!

Bunk Beds

Here’s an ‘action’ shot of their bunk bed! They were sleeping in separate twin beds before we got the bunk but since getting the bunk bed, they’ve been sleeping in the same bed. And, I’ve spent half the night with Weston in the bottom bunk and it’s quite cozy under there. 

Sleeping Baby

Baby girl has been sleeping most of the night, usually waking up anywhere from 4-7 to eat. Once she wakes, I’ll put her in our bed for the rest of the night/early morning. There’s nothing like waking up to a sweet, chubby, sleeping baby!

Reading

Cecilia is starting to join in with story time! Scenes like this are precious.
5 months

Cecilia was 5 months on the 22nd.

Here are some milestones:

  • Rolling and scooting wherever she wants to go
  • Laughing
  • Smiles so big when she’s talked to
  • Loves sucking/chewing on cloth – burp cloths, swaddles, taggie blanket
  • Wearing 3-6 month clothes
  • Exclusively cloth diapered – bumGenius One Size on medium setting with regular insert and doubler.
  • Nursing every 3 hours during the day.
  • Starts the night in her crib and when she wakes to nurse, I bring her to our bed.

Siblings

The boys love joining in her monthly photo shoot – and I love that they actually want me to take their picture! I feel so blessed to be their mama!

Keeping it Real

Last week I gave you a tour of our 1,343 square foot brick ranch. The pictures I shared were from when we were trying to sell our home so they were beautiful – showing our home looking it’s best.

Well, this week, I’m giving you another tour of our home but this tour is keeping it real – nothing staged, just real life!

Messy Dining Room

I try my hardest to keep our table clutter free because we eat 3 meals a day there however it’s just seems to be a stuff magnet. Honestly, it’s mostly my stuff – we come home from running errands or church and I dump everything on the end of the table instead of putting it where it should go!
Finger Paint Mess

Ah, preschoolers and art. Before having kids, I dreamed of peaceful, non-messy, creative art time with my kids. Ha, ha! My boys love creating but boy are they messy. This time, I let them have a few different colors of paint and they were happily painting on their paper. Well, then the baby needed me and I left the room for 2 minutes and came back to paint everywhere – all over the table, chairs and the boys. At least they had fun, right? And, thankfully it was washable!
Dirty Dishes

This is an all too common scene around here. I guess because we eat 3 meals a day?! There’s really no getting around that. So, the kitchen is used and is pretty much never fully clean!
Laundry

Here’s photographic evidence of our mountain of laundry. I was warned before Cecilia was born that a third child seems to make laundry really explode. Well, it’s true! So much laundry. (But, who really cares if there is a little more laundry to fold – our third baby is awfully sweet and so worth it!)
Pile of Laundry

More laundry. Messy Bedroom

Noticing a trend? Laundry. Everyday. On my bed.

Confession – some days, I don’t get around to fully folding it all so I just dump what hasn’t been folded yet back into the basket for the night and the next morning dump it back on the bed to fold sometime that day!Livingroom

Living rooms are for living and we do a lot of living in ours so it’s rarely clean. This day, the boys were creating with big cardboard boxes. Art stuff all over, pieces of cardboard everywhere and a really sweet baby girl in the midst of it all!
Messy Kid Space

My boys love puzzles. I love that they love puzzles. I however, do not love puzzle pieces. So many pieces. I may break out in a sweat when I realize they’ve mixed puzzle pieces all together!Broken Blinds

One thing I find myself saying over and over is ‘we cannot have nice things.’ The reason I say this – my boys are destructive. I’m often quite impressed at the things they decide to destroy. One day, one of them spent rest time in the baby’s room and decided to bend back a piece of the blinds. (It has since snapped off…)
Unmade Beds

Right after deciding to put our house on the market, we decided to rearrange the kids rooms. When Cecilia was born, we had the boys in a full size bed and her crib in their room. We decided to separate Cecilia from the boys and then got the boys twin beds. Their beds had sheets and quilts but nothing on the box springs for months (and now they don’t even have the box springs thanks to their bunk bed!)
Messy Kid BedroomAnd, since deciding to stay in our home instead of sell it, we’ve been making some changes to make this house work better for our family. One of those things was installing some shelving in the boys closet for more efficient organization. So, everything from the closet was piled up in the corner for over 3 weeks. And, while the closet is finished and some things have been put back into the closet, there’s still a nice pile in the corner.

I shared these pictures with you so you remember that people often just share the beautiful (like the staged home tour I shared last week) on blogs, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. I didn’t want you to think that was my reality because it’s so far from reality that it felt like a lie!

We all have messes (at least those of us with young children do!)

Stop aiming for an unattainable goal of a perfectly clean home. Embrace the reality that life is just a little messy and then you can begin to view your mess as beautiful.