Around Here Thirty-Nine and Forty: 09/23-10/06

Monday, October 9, 2017

Each night as we tuck the kids into bed, we have this baffling moment where we look at each other and ask, 'wait, what just happened?' Whole days swallowed up in the fast paced whirlwind that our life currently is.  There are flashes that we hold on to: Grey cracking up about anything Rusty does and reading so fluently now, a proud Gemma announcing that she had 'no cries' at school and is soooooo close to getting on the letter wall, Violet's scrunched up nose giggle when we give her a big snuggle that turns into a tickle, and Rust Man running with arms held high and open for a hug. It is a good time right now, gosh - these kids, and their smiles and their love for us and each other; their general enthusiasm about life.  And this marriage that feels like we're camping out in a foxhole together awaiting the next attack from the kids, or life, or work - but we have each other's back so we're going to be okay.  But it's definitely a whirlwind and I'm holding onto these Around here posts if nothing else because when life eases up on the accelerator here (anytime soon?) I hope to be able to comb back through these days and remember with a smile that despite the constant feeling of treading water, there were some darn good moments.

So, here is another glimpse at what it looks like to live in our home just this minute.

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 493+ hours (of 1000 hours)
The weather has been beautiful and quite warm, like almost a little too warm for that sweatshirt and flip flop fall weather. We've been able to make the most of it with outdoor events (parties, races, football games) and grabbing a few extra hours afterschool while the kids run out energy and I clean up outside or read my book.

Reading and finishing Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld and getting a little bit of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott in before my next book for my local book club arrived, George Saunders The Tenth of December (short stories) and really loving it.

Volunteering as a family at the kids' PTA color run.  We manned the Yellow station and had a blast spraying runners (and each other) during the race. Cheering on runners is one of my favorite happiness activities (seriously makes me joyful!) and being able to do that while volunteer with our whole crew was a lot of fun.

Celebrating our three year old Violet Mary girl. I did so little prep for her party that I found myself only six days prior to party date texting our family and friends a picture invitation. Then, from the incredible beauty that comes from holding your hand outstretched and letting people help you, everyone pitched in to make the birthday party a wild success. Our Uncle Dave and Aunt Cindy showed up with one of their horses, Dawn, and gave pony rides. Our cousin Tausha came with giant blow up waterslide which was perfect for the 85+ degree weather that day. Uncle Matt and Aunt Lisa lugged their tractor wagon out painted up with Violet's name so that we could do hay rides around the yard. It was honestly amazing. Violet had a great time and won't stop talking about Dawn the horse who came to her birthday party. Thank you so much everyone for loving our Vially girl.

Attempting to manage the regular madness around here. Most days we're running on survival mode and doing whatever it takes to check as many boxes as possible. Like babies in the bath and big kids doing homework on the bathroom floor. Or 1:30am night runs to the gas station to fill up Sheila for the next day because a restless Rusty could use the ride to help him fall asleep anyway.  Laundry, dear Lawd, the laundry, sits clean and wrinkled for days at a time (but they got cleaned, right?) Friday nights have been our mad dash to get the house in some sort of order, because then our weekends are loaded with fun and important activities too. Whew, I know it's a season of life, but it's a wild one for now.  We're just hanging on to the handlebars, enjoying the wind in our hair, and pretending like we don't care that the brakes don't work.

Homecoming celebrating at both the school I teach and the school our kids attend. We had a big, awesome Hoco pep rally at our school where the awesome Elementary teachers did this huge, magical Disney skit with costumes.  The Elem kids were so excited and it had tears in my eyes to see how much teachers love and care about the joy of our students. Grey got to walk with the football players in our Hoco parade and the little kids were ecstatic to have candy hurled at their head the whole time. We spent some time at the Hoco game before it started downpouring and we slinked off to our friends' house to spend the evening hanging out and laughing.

Working on figuring out next steps for our Gemma Ro. Thank you all who responded and commented after my last post about worrying about Gem. I so appreciate all of your support, web links, love and advice. (xxoxo)  We are so deeply grateful to have Gemma's teacher, Mrs. Roman, on our team too. She is incredible and such a warrior for our Ro. She and I had a nice long neighborhood walk and chat (grateful also we live in the same neighborhood! hah!) about what she sees in class and what we see at home. We are both on the same page and are working on either end to get this figured out so that Gem can be successful in all ways. (thank you Mrs. Roman - you are truly the best!!)

Running in the Que Classic with Grey and the Stankans. Grey ran with the Stankans in the 5k and did amazing! He and Ivan ran the whole thing in under 28 minutes - they were third and fourth in their age group (14years and under)! I ran and finished the 10k as the slowest pace finisher (hah!) I cheered on all the runners I passed (my fav) and kept up my own snail pace (and proud of it) for the whole race. I got to meet and chat with my bike safety rider, Marlene, who was so encouraging and sweet. No training in two weeks prior and a sore throat contributed to how not fun it was, but I stayed my pace and finished which is what it's all about in the end.

Feeling fall in our bones as the trees change and our view on the mountaintop looks glorious. Archery season has arrived, which makes for a very happy husband and excited son. And we spent a beautiful day at my parents' house for the annual Fall Festivus party and I pulled the Halloween decor out and let the kids go at it all themselves (haha! Which made for some pretty hilarious placement - like a fully covered front door with taped homemade decorations). The kids were delighted to see our Halloween book collection again and we've been reading them on the daily. Our favorites are: 10 Trick or Treaters, 10 Timid Ghosts, Boo!, and Max's Halloween.

Footballin' with Grey's flag team. They are currently undefeated and such a great group of kids and teammates. They really watch out for each other (on and off the field) and work together so well. I know all the coaches and parents have been daydreaming about how great they'll be by the time they get to junior high together. It's really amazing to watch. Grey loves football season and is so happy to play and learn from his team and coaches. Sports are more than sports and for that, B and I have always been grateful.

Taking our truck to the shop for a major check up as the 'ole guy is slowly dying the deaths of well used, well loved vehicles. We are blessed with the generosity of our cousins Tausha and Aaron who lent us one of their vehicles in the mean time while we wait for Big Green to get mended (thank you!)...and while we search for a new truck on the side, because Big Green don't have many more miles left in him we fear. hah.

Getting into a great groove at school. I'm feeling much better and less stressed at school as (I think) I've figured out where all my different level students are in their Spanish learning. We are working on some really fun ideas with the Spanish Club for the year and my Spanish 3 Honors students have been studying different Hispanic-American celebrities throughout the last two weeks for Hispanic Heritage Month. I know the classroom is where I'm meant to be, so despite how much it brings more chaos into our life with two full-time working parents - it's still worth it because I'm doing what I'm meant to do.

Throwing a Cast Off Sleepover party for Grey and some of his friends. At the last minute (night before) we sent out a quick text to some friends to invite them to the party - and as always, I am overwhelmed with gratitude when parents show up with giddy kids to play and arms full of snacks and juice bags to add to our party. Six boys came to spend most of the evening (and then five slept over) while they played football, jumped on the trampoline, shot everything (and everyone) with nerf guns, and watched Rookie of the Year and played the wii. It was our first more-than-one-friend sleepover and it was a success! They were all finally asleep by 2:30a when I came down to check on them and were all back up again by 8:30a!

Making chicken and gravy over mashed potatoes, crockpot roast, chicken and gnocchi, spaghetti, burgers on the grill, and chicken and ranch wraps. three ingredient chocolate muffins, banana and cinnamon muffins

1 comment:

  1. Been watching for an update from you-- so happy to see all your smiling faces again! Happy b-day little Vi and so Happy for Grey to get his cast off. Hooray!
    I am so glad for you that you know you're doing what you're supposed to be doing. Isn't that the biggest blessing?
    Sending love from afar, my friend!