Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Heading "Home"

Tomorrow the kids and I are on our way to DE to visit with my parents for about a week. I try and make this trip about once a year. I am really excited this year because I am going to be meeting up with a few of my friends from high school. Some of us haven't seen each other for at least 12 years. It should be fun to catch up and see where life has taken each of us. This trip has gotten me thinking about the importance of friendships and the time we invest in relationships. Since I moved away from "home" almost 11 years ago I have made the effort to keep in touch with a few girls I have known since high school and a few since jr high. I never really understood why that was so important to me. Was it a way to stay connected to a place I had lived my entire life before getting married and moving? I think maybe that was it in the beginning. Now I think it is because these people REALLY know me. They have seen me through struggles, joys, pre-marriage, pre-kids - I guess I feel as though they really "get me". Not that the close friends I have made since moving aren't incredibly important, because they are. I have been blessed with friendships here that have supported me in ways that make me feel like I have established a "family"here so to speak. I guess it is just nice to have friends that know your past and certain things just don't need explaining. So while it is always nice to visit with my parents - I have to say the best part of this trip will be reconnecting to those old "forever" friends.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Let's Party!!!

Kelly's blog is one of the blogs that I have been reading for awhile now. I don't even remember how or when I came across it but it was when she was pregnant with sweet Harper and have really enjoyed reading it over the last year or so. Her blog is one of the reasons why I started my own because I saw how it was a great way to journal your life and keep in touch with out of town family and friends. Anyway - Kelly has been doing this "show us where you live Friday" series and I thought this weeks would be a perfect one for me to participate in. I love to plan and organize my children's birthday parties. I could probably go way more over the top if I had all the $$$$ I would like to spend. I thought I would share Teresa's 4th birthday party. I actually got the idea from a friend of mine who did something similar for her daughter. Thank you Jen!!! She was nice enough to give me some left over supplies and it was definitely a help to keep expenses down.
Welcome to Teresa's Pizzeria

This is a banner I made to hang facing the kitchen. I wish the picture was better - I used red and white checked ribbon to tie the banner together and red paper for the letters. Thankfully I was able to use the Ellison machine at Gabe's school which made it so easy.

This was the table set up when the kids arrived. I had paper chefs hats for them to decorate. At each place there was their name in foam stickers. After they made their hats they were to make their own personal pizzas. I used individual sized pizza crust and each kid had their own sauce and cheese bowl to use.

Teresa and Gabe making their pizzas!!

While we were waiting for the pizzas to cook we made necklaces out of colored pasta. The kids liked this activity more then I thought they would. The younger ones enjoyed just trying to string the pasta on the string and the older ones enjoyed making patterns out of the colored pasta.

Gabriel making his pasta necklace.

The kids all enjoyed there pizzas and thought it was cool that they got to make their own. After they ate it was time for CAKE. I have to say this was the part I was most proud of. My friend Shannon had come over the night before and help me to make these and I think they just turned out great!!!

I had them in to go pizza boxes and I think out of everything these were the hit of the party!! The kids at a blast and I had fun planning it all. It was great to see the excitement on all the kids faces.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

God Bless America

I think this 4th of July was probably the best we have had in awhile. Jason was still on vacation so we were able to plan a lot of fun activities. The weather was just perfect on the 1st, 2nd, and the 3rd so we went to the beach all three days. I absolutely LOVE the beach - everything about the beach - the sand, sun, water. I think there has to be something in the beach air that immediately puts me in a good mood. The kids all have a blast, even baby Lauren has the best time. These days made me realize how fortunate we are to live so close to such a beautiful beach like the Outer Banks. One day as I sat watching the kids play, I thanked God for blessing us with such beautiful scenery, awesome weather, and the opportunity for making such wonderful memories. What an awesome Creator we have!!! A few pictures from the beach:

On July 4th we made our traditional t-shirts. Last year we tie-dyed and this year I found this idea somewhere on the web. They were a little more difficult to make then I thought they were going to be, but I think they turned out pretty cute.

Every 4th a few neighbors shoot off fireworks, which is nice for us because we don't have to drive anywhere to see a pretty nice firework show. This year we invited Jason's parents and a few neighbor friends over for a bonfire. It was such a great time. The kids played flashlight tag, we made smores, and watched some great fireworks.
On the 5th we went over to Jason's sister's house to celebrate with family. I made my tradition flag cake - this year I changed it up and used Pioneer Woman's cream cheese frosting recipe - which was out of this world. I made a lemon cake and with this frosting the cake turned out DELICIOUS!!!

It was a wonderful weekend and a prefect way to celebrate our nation!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Best Laid Plans

Back in October Jason went on a weekend camping/kayaking/fishing trip with some friends to the Core Banks. He had such a great time that for his birthday he wanted to take Gabe, Teresa, and I there. At first I was a little leery, but I knew the kids would have a great time. Also how could I pass up going to a beautiful place like this:

Pictures from Jason's trip

We had been planning for months for our big trip. The week before we left Jason spent hours getting everything ready and making sure we had all the necessary supplies. The plan was to take just the bigger kids and leave Faith and Lauren with Jason's sister Jenn. The morning we left everyone was so excited and could not get on the road fast enough. It took about 5 hours to get to the campground and then we were going to boat over to the island we were going to set up camp.

The boat all loaded up and ready to go!!

The water was a little rough so we knew we had to go slow and we were going to get wet. The ride was only supposed to take about 45 minutes. Well about 3/4 of the way over the boat engine just STOPS!!! Jason tried and tried to get it restarted and the engine just would not turn over. I was a little nervous but knew Jason would be able to figure it out once we got to the island. He starts using the trolling motor to get us to this island called "Bird Island".

Jason using the trolling motor

Teresa and Gabe trying not to act scared.

Bird Island

We didn't stay long at Bird Island because it was a protected area and we couldn't pull the boat up there. Besides that the smell was almost unbearable. We started trolling along when all of a sudden the trolling motor stops working also. At this point I could not believe all of this was happening. Jason hops out of the boat and begins pulling us to land. At about this time we begin to hear thunder in the distance. Seriously could things get much worse!!! The water gets shallower and I am trying to help push. We could see the beach by this time. Unfortunately the tide was working against us and the boat finally gets stuck in about ankle deep water.

The storm was getting closer so I walked the kids up to the beach (that is how close we were) and Jason called the campground to see if anyone could come out and help us. Thank God for Verizon and good cell service and for two guys Randy and Brad. Mr Jerry (the owner of the campground) asked these two guys who were staying there if they would mind coming out and pulling us back in. Randy and Brad where two of the nicest guys. They didn't hesitate it jump in their fishing boat, with threats of a thunderstorm, to pull us back in.

The "Rescue"
- I wish had gotten a better pic of Randy and Brad

While we were being pulled in the sky got darker and darker. We were about half way there when the rain began. To say we got soaked would be an understatement.

By the time we made it back to the campground it was torrential rain. The kids were relieved to finally be back on land and had fun playing games in the camp store while Jason and I unloaded the boat. Because all of our stuff got soaked we ended up having to stay in a hotel which the kids were pretty excited about.

Thank God for the Hampton Inn

Even though NOTHING went as planned I told Jason I still had a really good time. It was nice to spent some time with just the older kids, which is such a rare thing. It was also nice to see how we worked together and dealt with a difficult situation the best we could. I always tell the kids we are a team and this was a perfect example of TEAM SARVER. We also talked about trusting God. When the kids and I were walking to the beach I was telling them everything was going to be fine, we had to have faith. Before we left we prayed for God to protect us and watch over us during this trip, so I told them that God would not let anything happen to us.

I wish this was a better picture. After the storm stopped and we were leaving the hotel to get something to eat Jason saw this rainbow. It was a perfect ending to a day that didn't go as planned, but was filled with many memorable moments.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ice Cream Inflation

I was in the house cleaning up from lunch when I heard a familiar sound from my childhood. It kind of took me by surprise because I think I have only heard this sound once before since moving to our neighborhood 8 years ago. I looked out the front door and looked down the street and saw it coming - The Ice Cream Truck. I immediately called for the kids and told them the ice cream truck was here. They were so excited and ran outside. By that time it was passing the house, so of course they ran to the end of the driveway and tried to wave it down. Gabe's friend Chris hopped on his bike to catch him and tell him to come back. As I watched them I could remember all the summer days I spent with my sister, brother, and friends chasing down the ice cream truck. It was such a neat experience watching my kids and their friends get just as excited as I did as a kid. So of course when he came back around we just had to get something. We walk up and I am thinking "okay they should be about 1.50 each right". Boy, was I wrong. I guess there has been some serious ice cream inflation since I was a kid because 12.50 later we had 1 ice cream cone, 4 snow cones, and 1 classic bomb pop. Even though I could have bought a few boxes of Popsicles for that price it was worth it. Seeing the excitement and joy the kids got out of chasing down and buying from the ice cream truck will definitely be a cherished memory.




Thursday, June 18, 2009

Small Successess


I have been reading these for awhile on other peoples blogs and have said to myself that when I started a blog I would participate. So here we go.....

1. I have always had a love/hate relationship with exercise. I have been trying to lose the last of the baby weight (you can still call it baby weight when the baby is 14months right) and get in better physical shape. I was doing well and really motivated and then I sort of lost steam. Ugh I wish I could be more committed to working out. This past week I really tried to make it a priority and I managed to go on 3 2 mile walks, work out on the elliptical once and do the "Start it Up" Slim in 6 video once. My goal is to do some sort of "exercise" for 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week.

2. I have been trying lately to be more aware of my tone and level of frustration with children. I want my children to think of me has a joyful and peaceful person - not a screaming lunatic that I sometimes feel like. This week I have seen an improvement to how I handle periods of frustration. I still have a lot of work to do, but I definitely feel like I have made small steps toward success.

3. I finally started this blog. I have been reading blogs for about a year now and have been incredibly blessed with the wisdom of many. I have thought about for awhile but had some fears. I decided to give it try because I really want a way to preserve the memories of my children. I also thought it would be a neat way to journal my life and perspective of this time of having 4 children aged 8, 4, 2, and 14months. Now I just have to tell friends and family that I actually did it - hopefully that will be a small success for next week.

Here it goes I am going to try my first Mr Linky (that's what they call it right) - Lets see if this works.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Sarver Poultry Palace

If someone would have told me we would be the proud owners of 8 - that's right 8 chickens a few years ago I would have never believed them. Jason and I have talked about how neat it would be to own chickens, but I never thought we would actually go through with it. Jason and I first started talking seriously about it back in November when we visited Jen and Danny in MD and saw how much Teresa loved the chickens. Besides having fresh eggs we thought it would be an awesome experience for the kids.

I had told Jason that I didn't think I could take on any more responsibilities this year so maybe next year, when Lauren was 2, I would be ready to take on adding chickens. Well right after I said that I felt like people started talking chickens all around me. Jason sister Jennifer said out of the blue that they were talking about getting chickens, Gabriel's classroom had chicken eggs in the incubator at school, and Jason's friend Danny told us about their kids business Granova Poultry. I could see the look in Jason's eyes and just knew we were next to "adopt" some chickens. I finally said okay and was thrilled at how excited the kids were when we told them we were getting chickens. I went with Jennifer to pick up the baby chicks and I have to say I feel in love the minute I saw them. It was so neat to see the kids excitement when I brought them home. Even Lauren was enthralled with the newest additions to our family.

Baby chick 2 days old

After the chicks came home, then came talk about coop designs. Jason originally thought he would built something behind the shed with scrap wood and materials. After looking at pictures on the Internet I knew I wanted something a bit bigger and safer. Thank God that I have such a talented and skilled husband - not only did he build the coop I envisioned, but he built the coop that would be later named "The Sarver Poultry Palace".

The "Chicken Run"

Inside the Coop

The nesting boxes - hopefully by Fall these will be filled with eggs.

I have to say so far it has been a great experience. It has been such an awesome thing to see the kids get excited and care for the chickens. We'll see what the future hold for the Poultry Palace, but right now I'll say this addition to the family will be around for a long time to come.

Jumping In

I have been reading blogs for awhile now and have always thought they were a neat way to journal and document one's life. I would love to be one of those "scrapbooking" moms but it just doesn't seem to be happening for me right now - so I thought I would give this a try. It seems my memory is getting worse by the day and with every child the memories are getting more fuzzy. I would hate to "forget" all the precious memories during this time that seems to be going by so quickly. So here it goes - here is a little peek into what I like to refer to as "Our Beautiful Chaos"