Sunday, September 30, 2012

How did you sleep last night??

This is a normal sight to wake up to in our house. Some time through the night you'll hear little pittar patter of feet walking into our room, and then you'll feel a kid grab a hold of the sheet, put their foot up on the side of the bed, and crawl into it where ever they can find a spot to curl up in! Eric is usually gone by the time Vada Belle wakes up (which is usually between 6:45 and 7 to nurse and will then fall back asleep, so I'll just leave her laying there,) but since it was Sunday (the only day he gets to sleep in a little) he was still asleep while all 4 of them were in our bed. This morning it was a coloring book that fell out of the bed that woke Vada Belle up, but you never know what else will be in there that the kids decided to grab on their journey through the dark into our room. Nine times out of 10 there is a Woody stuffed toy (Jackson), a princess (Ansley), and a Minnie Mouse (Elsie), and some books as well in there.
In between Jackson and Vada Belle..... that is where I was asleep. Comfy! ;) 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy birthday, Daddy!

Happy birthday to the most incredible husband and father. Obviously he was way cool before I ever met him:
(and thankfully he has a great sense of humor and will think it is funny that I posted this picture!) :)

Seriously though, how cute was he (and still just as cute!):
 No wonder my kids are so adorable! 

A few weeks ago I had won some tickets from the local newspaper (thanks to The Tomahawk!) to see Tarzan at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA. The three big kids had went and spent the night camping with Mamaw Di & Papaw Fred last night at Roan Mountain (and they were still gone), and we took Vada Belle to stay with Great-granny Ollie (which was my first time being away from her- I was nervous but Mamaw said she did great!), and we decdied to go watch the play. It was amazing and we were so glad we went!
I don't even remember the last time we went out just the two of us!

We then went and met all four of our babies at Mamaw Ollie's where we also sang to daddy and enjoyed some birthday cake.
Thanks Mamaw Ollie for the cake!
We are so lucky to have such a wonderful Christian man in our lives. Happy birthday Eric Miles! We love you the most!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

 Vada Belle is 3 months old today and weighs in at 10 lbs. 12 oz. Such a sweet girl!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Our Weekend With the Bears, Elk, Deer & Turkeys!

Last weekend, September 7-9, we went on our annual camping trip to Cataloochee in the Great Smoky Mountains. On Friday the weather was perfect, and we were all able to get our tents up and camp set up with no problems at all.
 The big kids sleeping area in our tent
Vada Belle was excited about her first camping trip!

We then went and looked at the elk, turkeys, and deer. There wasn't as many elk out in the fields as we usually see, but we went a little earlier this year and figured that was probably the reason. While Eric, the kids and I were driving on the road near our campsite, we did see a mama bear and her two bear cubs- so cute! On Saturday after we ate breakfast the kids spent a little time in the creek and we went out to do a little hiking and exploring.

Cousins make the best, best friend, ever!

 Some people thought a hike made a great time to take a nap:

In the middle of one of our hikes we got caught in a rainstorm, but thankfully Vada Belle didn't seem to mind and slept through it.

The rain made it a good time to for some to take a nap, or at least rest for a few minutes:

On Sunday we warmed up by the campfire:
and then packed up all of our stuff and did a little more hiking, exploring, and playing!
If you have never been to Cataloochee, you should take a weekend trip there (but personally I think you should wait until the leaves are chaning colors because then it is even more gorgeous!). You can see some beautiful wildlife, take some fun hikes, and spend some time exploring an old church, schoolhouse, homes, barns, and cemetaries.
We are already trying to figure out when we can all go next year! :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

We have a roller!

When Jackson was a little newborn I remember hearing how babies should have tummy time and I made sure I gave him enough tummy time every day. Then when Ansley came along I would try to make sure I would remember to do it at least every other day, if I didn't forget (which I would more than I liked!), but when she rolled off the couch at only 6 weeks, I wasn't that worried when I would forget. By the time Elsie came along, she never got tummy time, and poor Vada Belle has been the exact same. Today I realized how I never put her on her belly (she is usually in my left arm resting upon my hip), so I laid her down on the floor to see how she would do, and the next thing I knew, she rolled over! I picked her up and put her back on her belly several times, and every single time she would roll back over for us. (She had a great cheering squad with her big sisters!). I ran and got the Ipad (my awesome 30th birthday gift from my super sweet husband) and was able to videotape her. At this point she had about enough rolling, but she still performed for us. :)

Yay for Vada!

On another note:
Yesterday Eric and I went to Jackson's midterm parent/teacher conference. His teacher started out with, "What can I say? He is a perfect student!" She went on to say how well he is doing in school with the academics, behavior and I was most proud of her saying that he is so kind and helpful with all the students in the class. She said that often times he will help a student that is struggling without them even asking him or the teacher for help. I just love that boy's sweet heart! I asked her if he seems to be alright at school because he is still crying almost every morning, and she said you would never guess it while he is there. That made me feel much better knowing that he is happy while he is there. He tells me the reason he is crying is that he misses me so much, and his sisters. I guess it is a huge adjustment going from never leaving mommy (I have never put my kids in daycare or preschool just because it wasn't worth it since we live so far out,) to being gone 5 days a week, all day long. I told him tonight that I hope that he still thinks that much of me in about 13 years when he is deciding on where to go to college or his next big adventure in life. :) We were so proud of the great things his teacher had to say about him!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Typical Night at the Clifton House

Our house can be a little chaotic at times, but we wouldn't trade it for the world! Here is a little look at what a typical night, before we say our prayers and get tucked in, looks like.

Vada Belle talks & laughs:

Ansley & Elsie dance & sing:

Jackson reads some books (here he is enjoying his first chapter book!)
Tonight while we were praying Jackson says, "and God, please let me slide down a rainbow & play with your son, Jesus."

Oh how I love their sweet little hearts!

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Today, at 12:51 am, our sweet Ansley Kate turned 4 years old!

I can't believe our beautiful little sunny-side up 7lbs. 9oz. baby girl is turning 4 today. 
Ever since she came into our lives she has been a wonderful blessing and addition to our family. She has such a sweet heart that she doesn't ever want to see anyone or anything hurt or sad (even if it is a nasty bug or spider she wants me to get it, throw it outside, and not kill it- yuck!). :) She is the most amazing big (and little!) sister, and thinks she is a second mama to her mini look alike, Vada Belle.

At 4 years old Ansley loves to play with her princesses and dolls, dress up in her princess costumes, wear dresses that twirl, singing, snuggling up on mommy's lap to read a book, and her most favorite thing of all (besides playing with her big brother and little sisters) is dancing!

She started her day off with our traditional birthday pancakes:

then spent the majority of the day painting, coloring in her coloring books, playing baby dolls with Elsie, playing on the swing set with Jackson, making Vada Belle smile and laugh at her, playing with her new birthday toys and changing into new outifts she got for her birthday several times (this happens often with Ansley! She loves clothes, mainly dresses!).

We then went and had some pizza and played at the park, and then finished the night with a special treat at Sweet Frog!

Look at how she has grown in just a blink of an eye!

10/1/08- 1 month old

9/1/09- 1 year old

 9/1/10- 2 years old

9/1/11- 3 years old

9/1/12- 4 years old

Happy 4th Birthday, precious Ansley Kate! We love and are so proud of you!