Our Five Ring Circus: November 2020

Monday, November 30, 2020

The End of the Fall-idays

The Lucky Few

2020 is most certainly a challenging year, but we had one of our best Thanksgiving breaks ever! I know it's contradictive, but this is the most relaxed AND productive I have felt in months. We spent 4 great days together as a family, and I'm not even bummed about it coming to an end on Tuesday morning, because we are all so excited to celebrate the Christmas season together!

Despite being an unprecidented year full of things we never expected to face, this year went surprisingly fast. Spring in quarantine quickly turned into a Summer at home, then my kids went back to school, cheerleading/football began, and Fall arrived. The busyness of (somewhat but not really) normal life took over, and before we knew it, Halloween passed and November was here. 

Before moving on to all things Christmas, I wanted to share my last Fall post. I figured it was easiest to lump the rest of the Fall-idays together. Here are the pictures from our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, and the quickest Thanksgiving recap ever!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Dylan's Sweet Sixteen Pandemic Birthday

Sweet Sixteen Pandemic Birthday

It seems like just yesterday that I was staring down at my firstborn child, who had just arrived in our lives, making us a family of three. I blinked, and sixteen years passed by. Now I'm staring UP at my son, and wondering when he slipped through my fingers and who, exactly, this young man is! I desperately tried to slow down time, but today, he celebrated his SIXTEENTH Birthday!

When I started this blog, Dylan was 3 and Lexie was 1. Now they are both teenagers, and we have three more children. Sometimes it's really hard to wrap my mind around that! It's even more difficult to accept the fact that my first two babies are not babies anymore, and are just a few years away from leaving home. That's the point of raising children, but I don't have to like it one bit!

2020 was a rough year for everyone. We try to make birthdays a big deal in our home, but this year we had 4 major milestone birthdays, and we weren't able to celebrate with parties. Sweet Sixteen is supposed to be a big deal, and we had big plans at the start of the year. Unfortunately, we weren't able to follow through with those big plans, but we made the day as special as we could for Dylan. It may not have been exactly what he expected, but he had a great 16th Birthday!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Ten Adorably Festive & Inexpensive Christmas Decor Target Finds


Ten Adorably Festive & Inexpensive Christmas Decor Target Finds

I usually have a firm rule of No Christmas Before Thanksgiving. This year is a different story! All the stress caused by 2020 is making me to get into the Christmas spirit early this year. Christmas music is already being played, the Christmas clothing is coming out, and Christmas decor is starting to show up in my home!

Over the past week, I picked up a few new Christmas home decor additions from Target. If you couldn't tell, I LOVE Target! My savings account - and my husband - doesn't love Target, but I'm very thankful for all the options Target has for a big family on a budget!

All of my finds are $5 and under because I love a good deal! Most are from the Target Dollar Spot, and can be used throughout Winter, too. If it's inexpensive, cute, and versatile, it somehow ends up in my cart. I'm not quite sure how that happens, but I sure do love what I brought home!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

A Week In The Life - Halloween Edition

Big Family Blog

For as crappy as 2020 has been, it has gone by surprisingly fast! It's hard to believe that October is already over, and we're in the midst of the holiday season. I absolutely love this time of year, and I'm not going to let the pandemic stop me from enjoying it!

We filled the last week of October with some fun Halloween activities. We went to the pumpkin farm (post coming), carved pumpkins, went Trick or Treating with friends, and went to a small party. A few of our regular traditions had to be canceled, but I'm very thankful for a fairly normal Halloween week!

Now that Halloween is behind us, we're focusing on Dylan's 16th Birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. November is going by so fast! We're just trying to slow down enough to fully enjoy the holiday season!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

What We REALLY Want You To Know About Down Syndrome

Down syndrome

Down Syndrome Awareness Month has come to an end. Most people are aware of Down syndrome, but the majority of people don't understand exactly what it is. So many people still view it as a tragedy or something to fear. What they can't allow themselves to see is that a person with Down syndrome does have differences - just like any other person - but they truly are like every other person on this planet...just with an extra chromosome!

I advocate for Liam and his peers through inclusion. I share about life with Down syndrome by simply sharing our family. Liam does what we do, goes where we go, and is very much an intricate part of our family unit and our community. Down syndrome is a part of him, just like his big blue eyes that are flecked with Brushfield spots or his joyful smile, but we refuse to let it define him.  

I spent the month of October advocating for Liam by sharing how he has impacted the lives of those around him. I have been advocating for over 7 years, but my ways have definitely changed. I used to share facts, but now I just let Liam and our experiences lead the way. I always share from my heart, so I will let Liam's siblings and grandparents tell you all about life with Down syndrome, before wrapping it up with a few things I really want you to know about Down syndrome.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Halloween 2020

Halloween 2020

2020 has been quite a year, and I really didn't think Halloween was going to be the same. As Fall began, and social distancing guidelines were still in place, I started to brainstorm alternative ways to celebrate. I didn't have to worry too much. Trick or Treating was still on where we live, and the community came together to make it extra special for the kids!

This Halloween wasn't filled with the usual amount of activities, and hand sanitizer was a staple while Trick or Treating, but it went surprisingly well. Actually, I said I preferred the C-vid Halloween! Everyone was in their driveways, extra festive candy tables were set up, everyone was just HAPPY to be out, and it was much more efficient!

There are stressful moments every single day in a big family household, and Halloween was no exception. I was a bit bummed that Dylan went off with his best friend and his girlfriend, but they made a surprise appearance later, and it made my night! Overall, it was a great Halloween, made even better due to the fact that it was on a Saturday! Here's how we celebrated...