Around Here Twenty Nine: 07/14-07/20

Saturday, July 22, 2017

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this moment.

photo credit:  David Sobina Photography

photo credit:  David Sobina Photography

photo credit:  David Sobina Photography

photo credit:  David Sobina Photography
photo credit:  David Sobina Photography

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 351+ hours (of 1000)
Up 19 hours this week, which is just okay.  I want to make a goal this week to shoot for 4 hours a day outside.  That should put me at least on average to get to my goal of 1000 hours for the year...we will see.  Besides the stuff I talk about below - I also scored some outdoor time with dog walks, fires on the patio for dinner, our volleyball game (last regular season game!), and dinner & a night swim at Pappy and Gigi's house!

Reading and finishing The Dry by Jane Harper.  Just like everyone else who has read it this year, I really enjoyed it and liked how I kinda knew all along what was going to happen but not enough that it felt like, 'duh.' I've passed it on to Brandon to see if just maybe I could get him to read it (he's NOT a reader), but it has sat unopened on his nightstand for about five days now (LOL). Still working my way through Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott too.

Library Haul:  ugh, we're the worst.  skipped again this week!  I did receive my Amazon Prime order of Nanette's Baguette by Mo Willems this week (saving it for Christmas) and the kids and I swooned over our freshly arrived copy of This is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe which has beautiful illustrations on each page following seven kids from around the world and what they do each day; like what their home looks like, what they eat for lunch, and what their classroom looks like.  I'm in love with this book.  And we pulled out our Shark Week book collection in prep for the upcoming holiday week! 

Celebrating love and family at Kara and Brett's wedding.  My cousin Kara was in my wedding when she was in high school (our youngest bridesmaid besides our flower girls!) and she and her now hubby Brett asked all four of our kids to be the flower girls and ring 'bears' last summer.  It felt like so far away when they first asked and Rusty was only a little new baby, but somehow (as time always shocks me) their special wedding weekend arrived this past week.  We did the rehearsal and dinner on Friday night and then on Saturday we got to spend the whole day with the beautiful couple. I have a whole post to come later because the photos are incredible (David Sobina Photography did an amazing job!) All four of our kids made it down the aisle (albeit RustMan awfully slow), and we danced the night away.  It was a wonderful day and we are so blessed to have such kind and wonderful people in our lives.  We love you Kara & Brett!

Cheering on the minor league Altoona Curve at a Sunday night game with our besties the Fiores.  It was a beautiful night for a baseball game and we enjoyed the ballpark food and beer, the kids got to run the bases at the end of the game, and then we saw the best firework show we've seen this summer yet! #nobummersummer

Dissecting owl pellets with the kids at home.  We borrowed a book about Owls from the library a few weeks ago, and Brandon mentioned that he remembered dissecting owl pellets when he was a kid.  That was all Grey needed to hear to ask daily if we could dissect them.  Amazon has a ton of options (I purchased this one) and it arrived this week.  Our kit had three sterilized owl pellets in it, tweezers, a magnifying glass, bamboo probes, and a bone sorting page!  The kids were totally engaged and it was almost a completely independent activity. I just sat back to take pictures, 'oohed and awed' at their findings, and enjoyed their delight.

Biking at Ohiopyle with Gigi and Pappy and all the kids for 10 miles!  Our family all rented bikes (ugh, it is a sin against our kids' childhoods that they don't all have proper bikes, I know. I berate myself internally daily) but it worked out as Grey rented his own bike, Gemmi and I got a tandem bike (she can ride without training wheels, but only just this summer and 10 miles would have been a little long for her), and B pulled the two littlest in a bike cart.  Well, he attempted to as Rusty was not having it and screamed for about three miles straight before B got him out and carried him on his lap (!!!superDad!)  Ohiopyle is such a great park and we stopped a few times along the way to rest and watch the kayakers and white water rafters go by.  After our trip, the kids got ice cream and we splashed for awhile in the Yough river down by the bridge.  It was such a great day and all the rest of the week, Violet has been asking, "you member when we went on a bike ride?" #corememory

Hitting the reset button when we all needed it on Thursday.  I follow some pretty inspiring mommas on Instagram, including Kortni from and one of her posts saved our day from momma fatigue and kids meltdown.  I loaded up a backpack with watercolor supplies and a blanket and we headed out to the cornfield behind our house.  I set the kids up under a big crab apple tree and let them watercolor paint, climb the tree, skip through the rows of corn, and throw crab apples across the field.  The wide open space and natural surroundings gave all of us almost instant peace.  I even painted a little (even though I'm no painter at all) and it was so lovely and calming.  This will be a repeat activity for sure.  (thanks Kortni!)

Doing a happy dance over Violet deciding she was done with diapers this week.  After a long few months of back and forth about potty training, Violet up and decided that she was just going to wear underwear now.  And it's been nearly 100% success every day.  I still diaper her for bed, (because #aintnobodygottime to wash sheets) but she's been doing amazing!

Watching Real Steel on repeat.  The movie has made a comeback in our life (Grey was obsessed with it when he was about 3years old).  It was on tv the other day and so we DVR'ed and Grey has watched it every single day this week.  It is a pretty great movie (although, it's about robots there's quite a bit of violence, LOL).  He's even got Gem on his side and can convince her pretty easily to watch Real Steel over The Parent Trap during their afternoon get-out-of-the-sun time.

Making spaghetti topped with grilled chicken, grilled kielbasa with grilled veggies, and oatmeal blueberry applesauce muffins for breakfast.  I made a double batch (one to freeze) because our kids eat up mini muffins like they're snack food.  Brandon and I have been laughing every single day as we pull together makeshift meals with what is left in our fridge and pantry.  I haven't been proper grocery shopping in over a month (!) It's incredible what you can still put together with the stuff you find pushed to the back of the shelves.  I did finish my end of July through August meal plans though (it was exciting, weird, and sad to plan the week of back to school meals!) and I'm going grocery shopping on Sunday, period. the end.


  1. We rented Real Steel on Amazon for family movie night and it was a HUGE hit! They spent the rest of the weekend (and today too!) creating their own bots out of Legos and then having "super mega battles" for the rest of us to watch. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

  2. I read somewhere a suggestion to drag your little to the bathroom at mdnight or do to let them empty their bladder. It hope train the bladder for the long ovenight. Both my boys ore's through their diapers every night. My 3.5 yr old sldom ets the bed, usually only f my sister in-law watches them because she gives them way too much to drink. Love following your blog. My kids like checking out your kids.

  3. What a week of pictures!!! There are SO many good ones! Grey helping his sister up the tree; Vi in her daddy's lap; all the ones of the wedding-- your kids are ADORABLE!