Ice Cream {Summer Bucket List}

By Texas standards, or summer has been mild with temperatures in the 90’s. The past week or so triple digits have arrived and it’s feeling like Texas in July. That meant time for ice cream! There’s a McDonald’s not far from our house so one afternoon we hit up the drive through for the $1 hot fudge sundaes. When we got home, we enjoyed every last drip of the creamy, cold stuff on our front porch.

Ice cream is a lovely summer treat, but going to McDonald’s meant we also needed some golden French fries.  Sydney decided ice cream was too cold and gobbled the fries instead…

golden french fries

ice cream

ice cream

ice cream

Believe it or not, we’ve tackled nearly every item on our summer bucket list.  It looks like I’ve got some posts to publish!

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Hello, three year olds!

Three days ago, our “babies” turned THREE!!!!  Last week my friend, Jen, came over and snapped a few three-year photos of the crew to mark this milestone.  On their birthday I asked them a few interview questions about their favorite things.  I plan to ask the same questions every year, perhaps adding a question each year.  One thing I’m loving about this age is the conversations we have, especially when I get insight into their perception of the world.

Shawver family

Rylin age 3 interview

Harper age 3 interview

Sydney age 3 interview

Mason age 3 interview

quads

Harper and Mason

Harper & Mason

Stay tuned for the quadventres of or three-year olds!

hugs,

Amber

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Board Games {Summer Bucket List}

As part of our summer bucket list, we’ve been introducing preschool board games.  They are ideal for teaching social skills such as turn taking, winning and losing appropriately, problem solving, and following directions/ rules.  Our favorite preschool games include:

Four player games such as Hungry Hungry Hippos are absolutely perfect for quads.

Tea Party game

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Yippee!  We accomplished another of our bucket list items.

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Lee’s Grilled Cheese {Summer Bucket List}

Grilled cheese is among my favorite meals, and it has been since I was a child.  George prefers a more sophisticated panini, but never complains when we have grilled cheese for dinner, especially when we have tomato soup for dipping.  Several years ago Dallas Fort Worth locals started raving about Lee’s Grilled Cheese.  It originally opened as a food truck, and later expanded into a brick and motar establishment as well.   Recently, I spotted Lee’s Grilled Cheese lists of restaurants to try: Movato’s 15 Best Restaurants in Fort Worth, Best Places for Grilled Cheese in DFW, and 15 Best Places for Grilled Cheese in Fort Worth.  At that point, a visit to Lee’s Grilled Cheese made our summer bucket list.

Lee’s was perfect for a little summer nostalgia with its kitschy decor and Ms. Pac Man arcade game.  It just so happens that Ms. Pac Man is George’s all time favorite arcade game and he’s a champion player.  He spent a few minutes teaching a few kids tricks to playing the game.

Lee's Grilled Cheese Arcade

Though grilled cheese is a family favorite meal, Rylin is does not like cheese.  At all.  I sometimes question her allegiance to the family being a cheese hater…. Luckily for her, grilled peanut butter and jelly was on the menu.  I went for a grilled ham and havarti, the other kids had American grilled cheese, and George a loaded grilled cheese paired with fresh-cut French fries.  Every bite was delicious!

Lee's Grilled Cheese

We had fun sampling Lee’s three signature drinks: Lee-mondade, Strawberry Lemonade, and Pirate’s Punch.  The Pirate’s Punch was a bit sweet for me, but Harper thought the blue stuff was divine.  Both versions of lemonade paired perfectly with our meal, and the kids were great about sharing sips so that everyone got to try each flavor.

Lee's GRILLED cheese

Lee's Grilled Cheese

Lee's Grilled Cheese

Lee's Grilled Cheese

Sydney apparently decided crust is not for her and she preferred eating the insides out of her sandwiches.

Lee's grilled cheese

Cheers for finally trying the cheesiest restaurant around!

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Sleep Over with Grandparents {Summer Bucket List}

When George and I received an invitation to attend the wedding reception for our friends Zak and Elizabeth, I knew it was an ideal opportunity for date night.  We don’t have many excuses to get gussied up, and we take advantage of every chance we get.  Nisey and Poppa agreed to babysit the quads at their house, and since it would be late, put them to bed.  Thank goodness for rock star grandparents!!!

Zak and Elizabeth tied the knot in Ireland with their immediate family, but held the reception stateside in order for friends to celebrate their union.  At the beginning of the reception, they played  video of the ceremony on a large screen, and it was beautiful.  It took me a minute, but I eventually realized the officiating priest was Father Tom who was pastor of our family’s church during my childhood.  In fact, he confirmed both George and I, and baptized George.  Father Tom was in attendance at the reception, and we had  few minutes to catch up with him.  He was amazed that our teenage romance transformed into a long-lasting marriage, and that we are now parents to quadruplets.  A lot can happen in 15-20 years!

Father Tom

After we enjoyed all the dancing, cake, adult conversations, and beverages we could handle, it was time to head back to my parent’s house to scoop up the quaddlings.  The gorgeous newlywed couple obliged us for a photo before we parted ways.

Zak & Elizabeth Waddell

Perhaps the quads didn’t have a full fledged sleep over with Nisey and Poppa, but it was at least a “sleep under”.  They spent the evening with their grandparents, and went to bed there until about midnight.  Actually, only three went to sleep.  To my horror, Rylin was WIDE AWAKE when we arrived to pick her up. Nisey described the many tactics attempted to help Rylin drift off to sleep, none of which worked.  She did, however, fall asleep within about 10 seconds of riding in the van.

sleeping bag

sleep under

I think the quads sleep under counts as a sleep over with grandparents, thus another item checked off our summer bucket list!  Plus, we got a much needed date night out of the deal.  Congratulations, Zak and Elizabeth!

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Popsicles {Summer Bucket List}

There are two good reasons to enjoy a Popsicle: 1. you are sick 2. it’s summer!  Fortunately, wass the latter and we enjoyed icky sticky Popsicles al fresco one hot, humid day.  Even though the quads started eating their frozen treats at our Little Tikes picnic table, it wasn’t long before they began wandering.  And dripping.  Then stepping in the gooey drips, then tracking them. All the sticky fun eventually turned into the perfect opportunity to hose down the patio and the kids.

popsicles

popsicles

popsicles

Happy summer, ya’ll!

Hooray for enjoying a summer bucket list item!

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Family Flicks {Summer Bucket List}

Back in February, we took the crew to their first movie in a theater. We have a discount theater nearby and tickets are a whopping $1.15 each, and kids under three are free. Seriously, it cost us $2.30 for six of us to see a movie in a theater.  Unsure of how they’d behave, we sat on the back row in case we needed to make a quick escape.  Being movie aficionados, all four watched the entire movie intently.  Ever since, I wanted to take them to another, but waited for the right film to drop, and for a day when Nisey & Terri could join us.  A few weeks ago, Home was on the schedule and it looked perfect.

summer movie

Since tickets were inexpensive, we splurged on popcorn and soda from the concession stand.  Even paying full price for snacks, I think we spent less on tickets plus snacks than we would have at a traditional theater. We all enjoyed the movie and the kids behaved just as well as they did for their first theater flick.

Following the movie, the quads had a blast darting up and down the long theater hallways.  Fortunately, no one else was in the vicinity so they didn’t bother anyone.

summer movie

Long before we had kids, George and I received an hot dog roller for our media room.  Not expecting much out of it, we threw a few hot dogs on it and they cooked perfectly, just like at a concession stand.  We later found matching hot dog and popcorn holders, and hoped they would eventually be perfect for family movie night.   We were right. One evening when the dinner hour approached, we spread a quilt over the living room floor and set up TV trays.  We dusted off our trusty hot dog roller and accessories and prepped a concession stand dinner with hot dogs, pickles, tater tots, and popcorn.  Since we don’t typically eat in the living room, the quads were thrilled.

Family Movie night concessions

Family Movie Night

Family Movie Night

Family Movie Night

Family Movie Night

Family Movie Night

Family Movie Night

Since family movie night, there have been numerous requests to eat in the living room, but all were denied.  However, I think there are many more family movie nights in the future.  What is your favorite concession stand snack?

Here’s to another item marked off our summer bucket list!

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Summer Tunes {SpeakStick Product Review}

With gorgeous summer weather, we are spending loads of time outdoors.  Thanks to our SpeakStick® Bluetooth Speaker, we’ve been streaming Amazon Prime music while outside.  I’ve noticed that music lifts everyone’s spirits, and I’m loving how the quads are interested in knowing the names of artists and song titles.  At the moment, their favorite jams are by Taylor Swift, Echosmith, and Three Days.  There’s nothing sweeter than hearing children sing together and seeing their faces light up as a favorite song plays.

The SpeakStick is a tiny, unassuming speaker, but delivers excellent sound quality.  As a mom to preschool aged quadruplets, I appreciate the fact that the SpeakStick is waterproof, suctions to the windows out of kid’s reach, and plays music while our expensive devices are safe inside.  It’s also incredibly simple to use.  After charging the speaker, you hold down the power button until a light illuminates and then sync with any Bluetooth enabled device.  I prefer to sync the SpeakStick with our ipad rather than a smartphone.  However, it can sync with a smartphone and you can use the mic to hold conversations (this might be handy for someone who wants to chat while showering!)  If you aren’t keen on the current song, you can easily skip it and go to another.  It’s not intuitive, but you can adjust the volume with the SpeakStick as well.  I’ve found that the volume is loud enough for us to enjoy while quads chatter and even scream, but our neighbors aren’t disturbed.  There are short video clips on the SpeakStick website, which quickly show you how to use the features.

SpeakStick Bluetooth Speaker

Can you spot our SpeakStick affixed to the window?

This Little People bath station occupied the quads for a solid two hours and we enjoyed some of our favorite summer tunes the entire time.  SpeakStick plays for up to six hours and takes about two hours for the battery to recharge.


I prefer to keep the speaker out of the quads reach, but found that it is durable since it is designed for use in the shower.

speak stick bluetooth speaker

We primarily use the SpeakStick outside, but I was pleased with the sound quality in the shower, and the suction cup.  It is easy to move and stays put with a minimal amount of moisture.  I usually swipe it under a running faucet once and it’s good to go.

SpeakStick bluetooth shower speaker

I was thoroughly impressed with SpeakStick, but they offer a no questions asked money back guarantee and a lifetime warranty, which is always a peace of mind for me.

hugs!

Amber

Disclaimer: I would like extend a special thanks to Smart Mixture, LLC for providing a SpeakStick® Bluetooth Speaker for us to try for the purpose of review.  No other compensation was received, and all thoughts/ opinions are 100% my own. 

I have provided Amazon affiliate links should you choose to make purchases via Four to Adore.  Please visit my disclaimer page for further information regarding affiliate links. 

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Sprayground {Summer Bucket List}

In the heat of Texas, Splash Pads/ Spraygrounds/ Splash Parks are all the rage for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. These are generally city owned and operated parks that involve water sprayers and sprinkler type structures.  There are no pools of water, which is great for children who cannot yet swim, and it’s a relief for parents supervising little ones. Plus they are my favorite price, free! I’ve been itching to give one a try all season.

Even though I’ve been more caviler in taking the quads out myself, I was more than relieved to have my friend, Kristen, join us.  An extra set of hands and eyes is always nice for a new excursion.  Though I don’t typically dress the quads in matching threads, I bought matchy suits especially for the sprayground.  I’ve found that dressing the kids alike helps me keep tabs on everyone if they’ll have opportunities to dart away.

When we arrived at the sprayground, the quads hesitantly followed Kristen and I through the gates. We spotted an empty table shaded by an awning and staked claim with our baggage.   I planned on the kids playing in the water for a while, then breaking for lunch.  Much to my dismay, not one of the kids was eager to approach the water.  Kristen and I made a decision to enjoy an early picnic, giving the kids time to observe their peers at play before giving it a whirl.

splashground

After polishing off our meal, the quads were still uninterested in playing.  Eventually the boys decided to explore with Kristen.  It was going well until another sprayer unexpectedly doused them.  They were D-O-N-E at that point, and the girls were not having any part of this wet mania. Kristen and I took turns taking kids through the tame misters, and every single child blubbered and wailed through the entire experience.  We were miserable.  It wasn’t long before we cut this field trip short and headed home.

splashground

To prove we were all at the splahsground, Kristen snapped this photo-

splashground

IMG_5082

Getting four two year olds ready for the sprayground was a huge undertaking and I didn’t want all the effort going to waste.  Once at home, we filled up trusty inflatable giraffe pool, which the quads thoroughly enjoyed before nap time arrived.

inflatable pool

Following nap, we hit up or local frozen yogurt shop for an afternoon snack.  The quads got a kick out of choosing their own flavors and toppings.  Sydney chose classic chocolate, which she dribbled all over her yellow and white dress (if you have tips for removing chocolate frozen yogurt from clothing- I’m open to suggestions!). In the past, shaving cream removed chocolate stains, but not this one.


I’m not giving up on the concept of a splash pad/ sprayground just yet.  We have a sprinkler for the yard, and I’m hoping it will help the quads warm up to sprayers.  Even if it wasn’t a total success, we knocked more items off our summer bucket list!

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Fireworks, Water Pistols, Sparklers, & S’ Mores! {Summer Bucket List}

Several years before the quads debut, our friends, Billie & Bob began hosting an annual Fourth of July pool party.  We spend the entire afternoon poolside enjoying beverages a la carte with assorted snacks followed by dinner from the grill.  Two years ago, the quads attended their first pool party, but we left several hours prior to the fireworks display.  This year, we borrowed a library book about July Fourth that mentioned fireworks, and it peaked the quads interest.  Because they usually startle at unexpected noises (e.g. the blender, toilet flushes, hair dryers), I wasn’t convinced fireworks were a prudent idea. I did not make any promises to the quads.


Fourth of July pool party 2013


Before letting the quads outside the confines of the house, I began strapping each one in a puddle jumper.  Naturally, Rylin protested her aqua colored version, stripping it off multiple times.  Billie happened to have a hot pink one available and a disaster was averted.  I’m nervous about the kids near water with puddle jumpers, having them near water without them is a total nightmare.  At first, the kids were hesitant to get into the pool, but with many familiar adults handy, they decided it was worthwhile.

pool party

The day prior to the party, I stumbled upon an eight pack of water pistols on sale at Kroger.  They ended up entertaining kids and adults at the party.  At one point, a duel between Kristin & Aunt CiCi vs Harper & Sydney ensued.  I think the kids won.

In 2013, Ashley and Rylin looked adorable in matching bikinis.

Rylin and Ashley both wore their

This year, Ashley had her own adorable little guy by her side who enjoyed his first Fourth of July pool party.

Ashley & Maddox

And next summer, there will be another cutie at the pool!  Congratulations, JW & Kristin!!!

IMG_5208

Once everyone’s fingers and toes had a raisin like appearance, we bailed out of the pool for an evening picnic.  Apparently the quads worked up an appetite splashing around.  They devoured dinner and had plenty of room for dessert!

Since all four kiddos were in good spirits after dinner, we changed them into pajamas and decided we could stay for fire pit s’ mores and sparklers, both of which were new experiences for them.


s'mores

There’s nothing better than watching your children experience the joys of childhood for the first time.  The looks of awe were priceless.

sparklers

As we enjoyed our s’ mores, several of the neighbors began shooting off small fireworks, and I braced myself for pandemonium.  Much to my surprise, the quads seemed okay with the commotion.  By then, they were already up at least an hour past bedtime and seemed content, so we let them gaze at  poolside fireworks.  Sydney became upset at some of the loudest fireworks, but was content to snuggle with me.

fireworks

How did you celebrate the Fourth of July?   For our readers in other countries, do you observe a similar holiday?

Hooray for another item marked off our summer bucket list, and the bonus items we experienced!!!

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Splashground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels

hugs,

Amber

PS- If you can’t get enough of Four to Adore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!