Weekend Recap: Memorial Day 2017

It's been a really full and fun weekend!

On Friday, my parents took the kids after school to go get a treat (frozen cotton candy! apparently that's a thing? They said it was really good!).

While they were out getting a treat, Kyle and I ran a couple errands sans kids. 

When the kids got back, we watched Homeward Bound and ate pizza. LK cried all the way through it. And just when I was telling her to cool it, I started crying at the end! So sweet! I loved it!

On Saturday, I cut the boys hair. And by cut, I mean buzzed. I'm pretty sure Shepherd's hair has never been this short in his life, even when he was born. But it's a fun Summer cut for them and EASY for me! 

Ok, so I have to tell you about my project on Saturday. Sometimes I get these crazy ideas in my head and can't get rid of them until I attempt it. So I've been eyeing those super cute leather, feather earrings. You know the ones? I see them everywhere and love them, but as with most things, I didn't want to pay $30 for a pair. Well, a few weeks ago, my sister had the grand idea to make some from leather scraps and I decided to copy her! I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a bag of leather scraps for $3.99. I used hooks from earrings that were old or that I never wore, and I make 4 really cute sets of earrings! I'm in love with them. My favorites are the long feathers, but I like the gold dipped ones too. It took me about an hour and less than $6. Such a win!  

On Sunday, my flip flop broke at church and I had to walk around barefoot. We all know, when it breaks it breaks and there is nothing you can really do about it. These were my favorites and I knew they were nearing their end. I got them on our Disney trip in 2013 in Animal Kingdom. When we went in 2015 I looked for some more and couldn't find any! 

On Sunday night, LK had a sleepover at Grammy and Papa's, and the boys camped out in our living room. I really really thought they wouldn't last past 11, but they actually last the whole night. Well, Shep came in our room at 4am because of a bad storm but he would have done that anyway even if he was in his own bed. They had a blast "camping" though. So looking forward to more fun things like that this Summer. 

This girl was spoiled with extra snuggles and actually fell asleep in Grammy's arms. Can't remember the last time she did that! 

And then yesterday, I joined Mom and LK for lunch and shopping! It was much needed girl time and all 3 of us had a blast! 

Then to celebrate Memorial Day, we cooked out at Mom and Dad's. Fischer had been looking forward to that Watermelon for days and my sister had been looking forward to my dad using his father's day gift for 2 years now! Ha!

Such a fun weekend with some really sweet family time! Our kids still have four more days of school this week. (Yes, so dumb. We are all over it.) and then we are heading out to see Joel and Ashley next weekend! 

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Thailand July 2017

Hey friends! I am so excited to share with you about an opportunity I have to serve the Lord in Thailand this Summer. As you know, for the past nine years, our family has been involved in leading trips overseas, for seven years at NEXT Worldwide and now, for the past two, with LifeVesting International. In July, I will actually have the opportunity to serve on a short-term trip in Thailand as a member of a women’s team, where I will be joining in the work of ministering to different women’s groups in the Nong Nae area.

            This particular area of Thailand is at a crossroads between where things have stood for generations and where they are headed in the future. Numerous factories have been built in recent years and even more are in the works, giving new opportunities for people who, until recently, only had rice farming as a primary occupation. These factories are set up within close proximity to one another, where entire new towns are popping up almost overnight! There is a great need for churches to be planted here, and building relationships among the people is crucial for this work to flourish.

            Our trip will be from July 13th through July 21st, and will primarily focus on ministering to some existing women’s groups in the area of Nong Nae, but also in building relational bridges within the community with women who may not know Christ yet. Gospel-centered conversations, training in what it means to be a godly woman, and even serving alongside an after-school program for students whose parents work into the evening hours will also be part of our overall goals. As with any outreach, our hope is to mirror the love of Christ and point to his gospel in everything we do.

            For a trip like this, financial support is an important part. The cost of this trip is $2500, which includes everything from airfare to food and lodging, as well as funds that will be given to the Church in Nong Nae as a blessing to their people as they continue to plant new churches and train up new believers in the way they should go. For this trip, I am raising support as a team member and not as a paid staff member of Lifevesting International. Funds raised will be additional to our monthly family support.

Would you prayerfully consider being part of my support team and helping me reach my goal of $2500?

There are several different ways in which you can give towards my trip: first, simply by mailing a check in to LifeVesting International. The address is 1120 Hillcrest Rd. Suite 2A, Mobile, AL 36695. If you choose this option, please make the check out to LifeVesting International and put my name in the memo line.

The other option is to go through their website (www.lifevesting.org) and give through the support tab, being sure to put my name in the comment section. All donations are tax deductible, as LifeVesting International is a 501(c)3 organization. If for any reason I’m unable to participate in the trip, your gift will be used to support this particular team from LifeVesting International.

One other way you can support this trip is by purchasing a Thailand "Grace" shirt here:

Thank you for considering partnering with me for this trip! Your prayers mean so much! 

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Water Play With Littles

Today is Babywise Blog Swap day! You can find me at Mama's Organized Chaos sharing some of my favorite tips with room sharing. Today, I'm hosting Kim talking about Water Play with Littles! Enjoy!


 What is it about water play? All little kids adore it. It can be a great way to keep little ones cool and occupied during the heat of summer. If you are have more than one baby or toddler it can be a little intimidating to think of doing water play with just one adult to supervise. The key, as with all things, is to keep it simple and plan ahead.

First of all, you can get away with keeping the set up pretty simple. Big pools look like a lot of fun in the store, but for my kids the small ones work perfectly. In fact we have gotten by without a pool in the past. A big bucket (cleaned out of course) and a big plastic toy bin have been just as effective. No, it doesn't look as pretty. But my son had just as much fun.

 Kids really just want to play in the water, they don't care what that water is in. I've seen water tables in the store that look awesome, and I bet they are. You don't have to have one. A big bin of water and some toys, and most kids are thrilled. Speaking of toys, most dollar stores have a great selection of cheap buckets and pool toys for kids to play with. But you don't even have to go that far. Have any Tupperware lying around? It will work perfectly. Really any plastic toy can be a pool toy. Just keep in mind that if there are holes or small crevices that water can get trapped in they need to be dried fully so mold doesn't grow. We also have a couple of paint brushes so the kids can 'paint' on the porch or driveway with the water. It's a big hit!

 We have two small pools that we are currently using.  One is this little (affiliate link) blow up kiddie pool. It blows up quickly and is easy to store. My son has loved it for years. He is three and a half now, but it is still plenty big enough. We have a larger pool from Target, and it is the one the girls use. Since there are two of them they need a little more room to spread out. I put in about an inch of water and they are as happy as can be!

 The biggest issue with water play and little ones is safety. Of course remember to sunscreen up and reapply every ninety minutes to two hours. Keep an eye out for dehydration. Sitting in water isn't the same as drinking it ;). 

Being prepared is the key to having fun and being able to enjoy the water time. You will want to get everything ready and set out before you and the kids go outside. This means all the toys are out. Water bottles and sippies are in place, and extra sunscreen is by the pools. I lay out the clothes I will change the kids into after they swim inside the door so I don't have wet kiddos running around my house. I also lay down a couple of extra towels to try to keep things dry. Don't forget to grab any extra diapers and wipes you might need. Finally, I grab the travel potty and take it outside with us. 

We have a walled in back yard, so no one can see us. It is much easier to have my son use that potty than have to take two wet babies in the house with us to use the potty. I know, it isn't the classiest move, but it works. It is just another consideration to make.

As I said the most important thing when dealing with water play, especially in pools, is of course safety. The safety talks are ongoing in our house. I am constantly reminding my son of the rules. He must listen and obey the first time I tell him to do something. He must respond when I talk to him. We practice some of them as well.

 Ben loves to play a Marco Polo game of calling back and forth, "Oh, Ben!" "Oh, Mommy!" This verbal contact lets me keep track of him if I do have to look away for a moment to take care of the girls.

 Yes, I do my best to keep my eyes on the kids at all times. Sometimes one year olds need extra attention. Ben is a very cautious kid, and I have trust in his ability to follow rules. That doesn't mean I want to leave him alone with the water. Maintaining conversation lets me keep track of him if my eyes and hands are elsewhere. I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to following safety rules. There is no gray area here. If my kids don't listen, we are done with the water play. Safety is the most important thing.

 Even with all the preparations in place, I am prepared for a mess. Oh, the water play is outside not inside. I just haven't found a way to not get puddles of water around, even with the extra towels. For some reason 15 month olds don't stay sitting on the towels I put down, and instead decide to wander off and play. Crazy, right? I have learned to accept that. There really isn't an alternative, other than leaving a child outside until they are dry and changed. I'd much rather err on the side of caution and get everyone to a safe place before I am unable to get to them quickly.

 Remember to only do what you can handle. If you aren't comfortable with pool play on your own then don't do it. Kids can have fun with small bins of water, squirt guns, or sprinklers. You need to feel like you can handle the situation and that everyone is safe. You never have to apologize for wanting to keep things safe and manageable.

 To wrap it up, water play is awesome. It is a great way to entertain your kids and keep cool in the summer. It doesn't have to be Pinterest pretty, the basics are plenty. Plan ahead and have everything ready to go before the kids get into kiddie pools. Focus on safety. And have fun! Summer is way cooler when we can all get out and splash around!


Kim is the mother of three- a 3.5 year old son and 1 year old twin daughters. She loves helping people find ways to make their home team thrive. She blogs at team-cartwright.com.   

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Dear Shepherd (Six Years)

Dear Shepherd,

STOP IT. How are you six years old already??? You are so handsome, Shepherd. I love watching God grow you up to be the young man he is making you to be. You are so special to me and I feel so blessed to get to be your Mommy. I love how your brain is growing right now. You are learning new thing every day: reading, numbers, facts, ideas... it's constant and I love it.

I think my favorite thing is how much passion I see in you. You have a fire in you to campaign for the truth and for things to be the best way they can be. You fight for the things you believe in and the things that you feel are right and true. I hope this is something that you never lose, this passion. And I pray it's something the Lord would use for His Kingdom purposes as he continues to woo you to Him and His heart.

My prayer for you this year is that you would truly learn what it means to delight yourself in the Lord and for HIM to give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

At six years old:

- You have KILLED IT in Kindergarten. Rarely seen a grade lower than 100, and are every day learning to read more and more.

- You are an excellent night sleeper (when your brother doesn't wake you up early)

- You still hate to wear clothes

- You weigh about 42lbs, wear size 6 clothes and size 13 shoes

- You have loved playing tball this year and started learning how to play coach pitch baseball. Your daddy and I see a lot of talent blooming in you

- Most of the time, you see your sister as your biggest ally. I see you looking up to her and wanting to be like her. The trouble the two of you get into right now is about enough to drive me mad.

- Fischer is the one you are sharpening your arguing skills with right now. You love him and you get very frustrated with him.

- Archer is your little buddy and you love to teach him new things and to play with him

- Your daddy is still the moon in your sky! Wherever he is is where you want to be and whatever he is doing is what you want to be doing.

- This year was an "off" year for your birthday. We had a family party with foosackly's chicken, and a homemade cake!

You are a JOY Shepherd and you make my days so much brighter!

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Weekend Recap: #realwileymoments edition

I had some plans to write a lovely weekend recap all about the events of our weekend including family movie night watching 101 Dalmations, a fun "Meat Party", (yeah, it was was it sounds like. A giant part with a lot of meat!). However, because my children were in FINE Wiley form this weekend, this post is going to be about the adventures of their own choosing.

If you've been around for a while, you know that I was broken in REALLY WELL in the department of shenanigans and creative adventures. You might remember that time Laura Kate left the house of her own accord, BUTT NAKED from the waist down, waiting at the end of the driveway and cheering for her Daddy to come home (The Streaking Sasster). You also might remember The Great Poop Explosion of 2012. Or the time decided to cook a cheez it on her bedside table lamp (The Cheez-it Story). There was the time that LK decided to drag Shepherd on his belly halfway across our church foyer.

There were a few stories I was too busy living to blog about... like the time Shepherd climbed onto his windowsill during room time and got stuck, inside the blinds, and was crying and I was outside and didn't hear him, but I saw him plastered against his window looking like a tortured prisoner. There was the time Fischer climbed on his changing table, tried to get down, and fell with his foot stuck and was dangling upside down till I could rush to rescue him. Or the flushing of the toothbrushes incident where we had to completely replace our toilet. Or when Shepherd emptied my Bare Minerals makeup in the toilet for fun and then decided to put all of my jewelry in my Scentsy "so they smelled nice". And that reminds me about the time that LK stuck all of my jewelry to my headboard with aquafor to decorate it. THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS.

Then there have been all of the accounts of things sprayed or painted on bodies that shouldnt have been: Diaper rash creme on faces, black spray paint, fingernail polish, other paint.

I know what you're asking yourself, WHERE WAS THIS NEGLECTFUL MOTHER DURING ALL OF THESE THINGS? I'll tell you where she was. She was changing a diaper, or unloading a dishwasher or changing over a load of clothes or going to the bathroom. Also, sometimes right under my nose. This particular brand of children are GIFTED in speedy mischief. Parenting lesson #1: DON'T EVER TURN YOUR BACK EVEN FOR A SECOND.

All of that to say, for the past several months, things have actually been better, more smooth sailing. Nothing was flushed that shouldn't have been, no one painted anything on their bodies that they shouldn't, no one dragged anyone else and gave them a carpet burn. We've had our normal sibling disagreements and whininess (OH THE WHINING!!), but nothing like above. (Guys, there's no need to knock on wood, that time has passed because of the things I'm about to tell you).

Let's start with Archer. Y'all., we are in FULL BLOWN two year old world over here. FULL BLOWN. He is busy, he never stops moving and he has discovered a love for dirt. At the for-mentioned meat party, I was so tired from chasing him. I rescued him from escaping in the street, I kept him occupied with corn hole in which he decided it would be more fun to slide down the boards than toss bean bags in, and somehow he still discovered all the dirt. That he decided would be fun to coat his whole body in.

Somebody flushed sometime. We don't know who and we don't know what. But we are still trying to unclog the toilet. #prayforthewileystoilet

Shepherd. Yall, Shepherd. was in full-on project mode. If you follow my Instagram stories you already know. You already know the miracle that is his life. I went in after naptime to find he had somehow tied some cords together, some with exposed wire on it, and hung a coat hanger at one end and wound the cords around the ceiling fan, from his top bunk no doubt. After I finally got it unwound and untangled, the ceiling fan resumed it spinning AT HIGH SPEED. Which means he did this contraption, from his top bunk, in the dark, while his fan was spinning on high speed. Some people worry about their kids jumping off the top bunk. Oh not us, THAT'S TOO NORMAL FOR THE WILEYS. (Insert eye roll here).

After Saturday's nap, we decided to split the boys up for nap and have Shepherd rest in our bed during naptime which has worked well in the past. Fischer still needs a nap to function well and I wanted to avoid any mischief. Oh hahahahaha. Oh Carrie. Like that's possible. HAHAHAHAHA. I should have laid down with Shepherd. I shouldn't have let him out of my sight. There was a basket in our room that used to be in the kitchen and somehow ended up in our room. I had forgotten about this basket completely. And I for sure forgot their was food coloring in a ziplock in that basket. Shepherd, ever the expert, sniffed it out and decided to decorate my pillow with it. Laugh or cry, friends. Laugh or cry.

Also there was the watercolor painting on the bathroom wall. More eyerolls yall. That one didn't even phase me at this point because it was washable. I just handed Shepherd the clorox wipes and HE GOT EXCITED ABOUT IT. I quit.

Also too small to mention in their own paragraph, the pom pom projects, paper napkin and glue airplanes, chocolate chips spilled all over THE FAMILY ROOM FLOOR, and the un-identified person who colored on the the hand soap bottle with my concealer stick.


Hope your weekend was boring.
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