Intentional Hours Outdoors: 509 (of 1000)
We racked up three and a half hours on Friday night, jogging in the Great Santa Run to support Wings of Hope for the second year in a row with Greyson. (that completes 100 small things list number 13: Run in three races!) Rusty came along too, so I pushed the stroller while Grey ran right next to us for the whole 2 miles. It was a pretty nice night, so we weren't too cold and Grey kept me motivated to keep running the whole time. After the race, we got our medals and some hot chocolate - then snuck into a place on the side of the street to watch the Holiday Light up the Night Parade. Gemma walked with Abba & Chum and threw candy with Conemaugh Health Systems. Violet rode the stroller with Uch and threw out candy with Alleghenies Unlimited Care Providers. The parade was beautiful (Rusty loved the high school marching bands!) and then we all congregated in Central Park to see the giant Christmas tree get lit up for the season. It was really a magical small town evening.
Reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman little by little. I am able to clock quite a few minutes reading during bath/showertimes and I've been sneaking in some minutes during the kids' bedtime - but I've been struggling with carving out time to get some longer bursts of reading in. I just keep telling myself, come January when my substitute teaching comes to an end (bittersweet) I'll be able to play some major catch up!
Donating my time and math talents to support the Needy Children's Shopping Tour at JCPenney's. I'm no math wiz at all, but I used all I could muster to keep track of the sales and prices to get as much as possible for my assigned sweet girl during our shopping trip. We did awesome together searching for her sizes and preferences in the store. We were able to get a ton of stuff including some warm boots and lots of new clothes. It was my second year volunteering/chaperoning and it is a wonderful event that is so thoughtfully and efficiently organized.
Eating dinner after 8p each night as basketball season officially has begun! Their first game/tournament isn't for another two weeks, but it's practice every night now, so we're enjoying some late afternoon snacks to hold us over until Daddy gets home so we can eat dinner as a family. The upside is that as soon as dinner is done it's bedtime! hah.
Dealing with some in-home sickness (runny noses, sore throats) and a bout of pink eye from Greyson! He missed two days of school this week for it and when I took him to the Peds to make sure that's all it was - the doc took one look at me and the other three kids and said, "Oh gosh, I see a lot of eyes in here....and right before Thanksgiving!" She gave me an extra refill on the eye drop meds just in case we all woke up on Thanksgiving with pink eyes! haha, fortunately - we did some serious handwashing & quarantining to keep it contained to just one of us!
Giving our Trick-or-Treat for Unicef box collections to the Coinstar this week to (finally) finish our October 12 months of Kindness project. Our kids collected as did my 4th&5th grade CCD students which came to a total of over $53 dollars! ***Don't Forget: Giving Tuesday is this coming Tuesday, November 29!!***
Upgrading to a new phone after six years! Brandon needed to get a new phone now that he has a new job, so we went together and the Verizon guy took one look at my beloved iPhone and said, "um, the last time we sold those was five or six years ago." HAH. I was really hesitant to change though because it has so many photos and videos on it from the kids. Many of which I was saving and trying to transfer to Youtube because I was getting "storage almost full" messages daily. We did a little tour and when it came time for a decision, we made the leap from iPhone to the Google Pixel phone. I was worried because of navigation concerns - but after four days, I'm one hundred percent sold on our change. The camera and video is awesome, there are NO storage limits (like ever), all of my photos get pushed right to google+ (easy for blogging too!), and the photo assistant is basically my BFF now.
Celebrating Thanksgiving! One of my favorite holidays of the year with two wonderful family dinners. We started the day with cousins at our house while their Mum, Dad, and big sis ran in a turkey trot. The kids love playing with Benny and Brookie so it gave the day a happy start to begin first thing with family that we are thankful for! The kids played with the Macy's Parade running in the background while I baked three pumpkin rolls and mini apple pies. Then we got all ready and headed out to Indiana, PA to celebrate with our Adams family (my side) and after delicious food (Rusty had his first thanksgiving 'meal' of mashed potatoes & gravy!) and a happy birthday sung to my Dad (Chum), we headed back towards home to enjoy dinner with our Studer family. So much to be thankful for, especially given our newest baby this year, and Brandon's new job, and good health, and a warm home, and places to go at every turn where people love and support us. I am just so very grateful for this beautiful, messy life of ours.
Making breaded porkchops, doctor'ed-up frozen pizza (I added onions and banana peppers to our parents' pizza), dinner for breakfast (egg sandwiches!) and more than once this week - microwave popcorn with chocolate chips on top (mine and the kids' favorite snack!)