Thursday, December 26, 2013


We headed up North last week. We spent some time in York with Nate's parents and now we are at mine. On Christmas day we went to Nate's grandparents in New Jersey. It was a really fun day. When the boys got a bit too crazy Nate and Harmony took them for a walk. 
 Piper was quite the sassy pants. She was very happy to receive a plethora of My Little Ponies.
 Getting a normal shot of these two will probably never happen.
 Ember has done pretty well this trip. Nate's family vied over who got to hold her yesterday. She enjoyed all the attention.

Monday, December 16, 2013

According to Dexter

I have a guest speaker on the blog today. It is Dexter. He would like to present to you a list of things that I did today to make him upset.

7:55- You offered me milk. I didn't want it, so I calmly responded by hurling it across the room.

7:58- I wanted milk, but you refused to go across the room to pick it up for me.

8:00- You gave me 7 pancakes. I only wanted 6.

8:05- You closed the refrigerator door after I opened it.

8:06- You closed the refrigerator door again. I really wanted it to stay open.

8:07- You refused my request for Cheez-its.

8:10- You took my pajamas off.

8:11- You put socks on my feet that didn't match. 

8:30-You made me carry my backpack to the car. 

12:00- You buckled me in my car seat after school. I really wanted to ride in the front seat.

12:30- I requested eggs for lunch, but you got them out of the wrong container.

12:40- You gave me eggs for lunch. I didn't want them anymore.

1:15- You put me down for a nap.

1:17- You gave me the wrong orange book.

3:00- You wouldn't let me have a cookie after my nap. 

3:20-You put me in time out when I emptied dog food all over the kitchen floor.

3:30- You put me in time out again when I poured water all over the hallway. 

3:45- You told me I couldn't wash my hands anymore.

3:50- You wouldn't let me sit on the counter and throw the bananas on the floor.

5:15- You fed me chili for dinner. I responded by spitting it all over my shirt.

5:16- You took my shirt off.

6:00- You made me put a new shirt on. I prefer not wearing clothes.

6:45- You wouldn't give me any dessert. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Rainy Afternoons

While so many of our friends and family are dealing with snow and ice this week we just have rain. The kids love hanging out in front of the fireplace and staying warm. 

Juno is pretty much the best dog ever. She is perfect with the kids and puts up with a lot. The kids repay her kindness by dropping enormous amounts of food on the floor at every meal. 

 Emmy Lu, my current snuggle bug. There are no words to describe how much I love her.
 This guy. All day long he goes around saying "Dexter es funny". He sure is. Dexty is pretty much the best two year old right now (I was not saying that about 3 months ago). He is definitely my buddy these days.
 And lastly, princess Piperella. She is still sweet and girly, and completely in love with her sister.
 She also wanted to contribute a silly shot for the day.
Hanging out with these hams on a rainy day is awesome.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Black Friday

For the last couple of years our tradition has been to get our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. My brother and I take the big kids and then we usually go out to lunch. We let Asher and Piper decorate the tree first. After they were done we went through and did some serious editing. Piper was a big fan of putting three ornaments on the same branch. 
 Every year on that Friday night our town has something called Light the Night. Everyone gathers in front of the courthouse for songs and then we countdown and turn all the Christmas lights on. A lot of the local shops are open for fun activities. Santa was in one of the shops and the kids loved seeing him. There were also sleigh rides, hot chocolate and cookies, and Mrs. Clause was reading stories.
 We had such a fun day.
 The week was very tiring for Ms. Emmy, so she has been sleeping a lot to recover from it.

Monday, December 2, 2013


We had a very relaxed Thanksgiving this year. My brother came down for a few days and is always a big hit with the kids. There was quite a bit of fighting over Uncle Matty for the week. 
 He couldn't sit down without someone climbing up next to him.
 The wonderful Day family came over in the afternoon for dinner.
 It was really fun cooking and hosting this year.

 Nate made the Baked Alaska Pie and I did the pecan. It's fun being married to someone who enjoys cooking and baking. We enjoyed spending most of the day in the kitchen together.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Week

Last week was rough. Everyone had been sick for what seemed like forever. I felt awful and Ember was so miserable and was barely sleeping at all during the night. We also found out that we need to completely gut the master bath in the rental house and redo it. When we got the estimate it caused me to die a little on the inside. I was not feeling very thankful. I was also discouraged about the kids' behavior. Kindness and gratefulness doesn't always come naturally to them. 

This week has been different. I can't really change the circumstances, but I can change my attitude. Instead of yelling at my kids "Be nice to each other", I need to model it instead. 

I was more intentional this week when it came to parenting them. 

These two little buddies make me laugh so much. They make my days so much brighter. 
 We started Ember on reflux medicine last week and it has made a big difference. She slept through the night two nights in a row this week!!!

 Yesterday while Asher was in school I made cinnamon rolls. The recipe makes 8 tins (thank you Pioneer Woman). Nate suggested I halve the recipe to make fewer. The kids and I decided to make them all. We then made a list of people we are thankful for and gave them out yesterday. It was a really fun way to talk about thankfulness with them.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Ten years ago I was a sophomore in college. It was the hardest year of my life. I made so many choices that left me hurt and broken. I didn't want to keep going. I could barely attend class and work. For much of my life I dreamed of a husband and four kids. That year I stopped dreaming, it was too painful. The future looked so hopeless and I wanted to give in to the weight off all that I felt. 

In the lowest parts, where I stopped dreaming and hoping, I had people that did that for me. Friends that painted the future for me. That made me laugh. They made sure I ate and didn't wallow. I had people who cried with me. 

At the end of that year I slowly started to dream again. I pictured the future. I slowly envisioned the family that I wanted to badly. 

Ten years later that dream has come true. 

I am so grateful for the friends I had that year. The ones that loved me, despite what a mess I was. I'm grateful for God and the dreams that he made come true. 

Now I get to dream some new dreams.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

This Past Week

Sickness has descended upon the Niphakis house. Nate and Asher started it with fevers and bad colds. Last week Dex got the same thing and Piper decided to up the ante with a double ear infection and pink eye. Ember isn't sick, but we found out she has terrible reflux (without actually spitting up). That has caused her to be super grumpy and congested. She started medicine yesterday, so I'm hoping she will feel (and sleep) better soon. 

The kids missed a lot of school last week. Dexter thought he would feel better if he wore my sweat shirt over his pajamas. 
 In other news, Asher lost his first tooth last night. He was a little disappointed that the tooth fairy only leaves a dollar. He was hoping for some Benjamins.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Ember is 6 weeks old. I feel like I've gotten into a pretty good rhythm with the kids, but I'm still having a hard time with balancing some things. My mornings are spent getting the kids out the door and running them to their various places. After preschool pickup I rush to do lunch and get Dex down for a nap before I have to pick Asher up (although Dexty's nap days are quickly fading). I tutor about four evenings a week. Have you noticed what I am not doing? Cleaning. The few free moments I have I usually spend trying to keep myself awake since little Miss Emmy still isn't sleeping well at night. 

When the weekend comes my first inclination is to spend it getting caught up on cleaning and laundry. I have come to realize that this season of life may not be the most organized for me. Going places with the kids and doing fun things with them is probably more important right now. 

On Saturday Nate and I decided to ignore all the messes and we went to Virginia for the day. We haven't been to the zoo in a while and the kids had a lot of fun. Dex loves all the animals. 

Now if a cleaning fairy could magically appear I would really appreciate it.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Niphakis Ramblings

Nate pointed out the other day that I haven't posted any of the things the kids say in a while. Here are a few highlights.

Anytime Piper wants to tell you a secret she comes up and says "I need to tell you a whisper".

Last week Nate was raking a little and had the kids collect leaves in a bucket. Piper meticulously chose leaves and went around saying "You are a beautiful leaf, you deserve to go in the bucket".

Asher was sneezing a lot last night. When he came downstairs this morning he announced "I was blessyouing all night".

Nate has been doing some mad scientist things in his office. He took apart an old typewriter and is doing some computer programming with it and making all sorts of shapes. Today he and Asher were making some different patterns and I suggested an infinite symbol. Asher chimed in "Is God infinite?" Nate replied "Yes". Asher then said "Wow, God's been growing".

Friday, November 8, 2013

Emmy's First Playdate

When I was pregnant with Ember, my friend Julie was pregnant with Beatrix. We were due a day apart. The girls ended up being born a week apart. They came over yesterday for a lunch date. Both of these girls are pretty fussy and spent a lot of time crying. 

We put them together on the boppy and Emmy Lu took the opportunity to try and eat her little friend. 
 I hope these two will be great friends. I also hope they discover that life is much easier if you don't cry so much.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

For the last few weeks there has been a countdown in our house to Halloween. Asher got to wear his costume to school and the other kids were in theirs most of the day as well. Chick-Fil-A was giving out free meals to kids in costume today so Piper and Dexter hit that up after school (I am all about anything free). 

After dinner we put this little cow out to pasture. 

 I was feeling a bit sad that there will be no more Niphakis kids to wear this costume.
 Have you ever seen a cuter chicken? He went around all day saying "Bok Bok". It almost made up for the fact that he hasn't napped in days.
 Little Rapunzel wouldn't stop twirling long enough to get a proper picture.
 Batman is pretty cool on his own, but even better with a sword.
 I give you one tired little chicken.
Trick-or-Treating was a lot of fun with the kids. I had to laugh at all the people who asked "Are they all yours?"

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Emmy Lu- 1 Month

Ember you are one month old today. We are having a very warm fall, so you get to be outside a lot. You favorite activities include sleeping, eating, and keeping us very awake at night. I know that is mostly due to the stuffy nose that you've had for the last three weeks. I don't hold it against you, but if that can clear up soon I would really appreciate it. 
 I see a lot of Asher and Dexter in your face. I think you are going to have blonde hair like they have as well. Piper is hoping your eyes will be brown like hers, but it's too early to tell.
 We are all so in love with you.

Monday, October 28, 2013

All by Myself

Ember is 4 weeks old today and it's the first time I have all the kids to myself. The big ones don't have school so we are having a relaxing morning (well as relaxing as it can be with these crazies). 
 Watching Piper with Emmy Lu is so sweet. She loves her sister so much.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I haven't posted in a week due to the fact that I am walking around in a sleepless fog most of the day. Emmy Lu is not a fan of sleeping at night. During the day she is all for it, but once the sun goes down she decides it is party time. 
 Today was gorgeous. After Asher got home from school we headed outside. I managed to capture the three minutes she was awake all day.
 Piper is dying to have the training wheels off of her bike, I'm thinking she is ready.
 Dex and Piper are pretty good pals these days. They love taking turns playing.

 Both of them think going backwards is much more fun.