Around Here Forty-Eight: 11/25-12/01

Saturday, December 2, 2017

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

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 522+ hours (of 1000)
Snagged another two hours outdoors this week while the temperature took a pleasant little upturn into the most perfect fall day on Monday. I also got in a few laps during my lunch break at school on Friday which is just so nice, I really want to be better at carving out that time during the day to give myself a mental and emotional (literal and metaphorical) breath of fresh air.

Reading just a little bit of The Nix by Nathan Hill - I better get a move on considering our next Brews and Blues book club meeting is next week (eek!) I also looked into ordering our first Spanish novels for my upper level classes and I am so excited about it. My Spanish III students just did a few days with the past tense using Los Tres Cerditos and finished with a Fluency Reading assessment. I'm forever grateful for the inspiration from Martina Bex and Mis Clases Locas for their lesson plans and ideas. I feel like I'm finding my groove a little bit more and pushing my students to speak more Spanish and it's exciting - I love seeing their surprised faces as they realize, 'oh wait, I do understand that!' or 'holy cow, I can communicate in another language - maybe not perfectly but I can get my point across' which is what it is all about.

Celebrating Chumsgiving (my dad's birthday) with a surprise breakfast at work. The kids loved being in on the surprise and because it was such a nice fall day too, they got to spend time out in the massive parking lot roller blading, biking, and scooter'ing.

Meeting our new baby friend Jackson on Saturday night! Mario is one of Brandon's college roommates and he and his wife Kali made the trip all the way from NY for Thanksgiving and we were so glad to get in some hugs and chats while they were in town. Our kids had a blast meeting Mario's little cousins (Gemma said, "her new friends") and it always feels like drinking water from the fountain of youth to be with friends from high school and college (doesn't it?) Like the time falls away and we're young again...except for these little people who need fed and changed and cared for - HAH.

Seeing camo as hunting season continues with the first day of buck (rifle season). Grey and Brandon spent almost all day Sunday out setting up blinds and kicking out spots for the first day. Does your public school district close for first day of buck? HAH because we do here in Western PA. For a long time they tried to just call out 'Thanksgiving vacation" because students and teachers weren't going to show up anyway - and now they literally just call it "Deer Season vacation" hahahha. So all of our schools are closed on the Monday following Thanksgiving. Grey stayed out in the blind with Pappy for the full 12 hour day, even taking a nap in the blind and eating his body weight in ham&cheese sandwiches and peach rings. He's a boy obsessed now. None of our men had any luck on the first day though, so hunting season continues....

Supporting Rusty through his feelings about basketball season and Coach Daddy. Rusty is experiencing his first time being aware of the basketball season and has some 'missing Daddy' feelings to work through.  The other kids are pretty seasoned in the schedule now and Grey knows he needs to get his homework done early if he wants to go to practice with Dad while the girls are relishing in being able to play super girly together. But RustMan has been missing his Dadda and as soon as he seems him runs into his arms and refuses to be let down. Poor little guy, Coach Daddy is eating up the attention though, hah.

Donating baby clothes on #GivingTuesday to the Women's Help Center by the garbage bag full. I spent a few days prior doing the emotional work of sorting clothes our babies have grown out of (waaaahhh) and pulling out select few that really had me brokenhearted with the memories of our kids as little squishy babyums and stowing them away for future nieces or nephews. But the rest of the stuff got loaded up and is currently awaiting mommas and babies who desperately need them. I did an instastory about it and was all emotional because the majority of the clothes were gifts to me and my kiddos as support and love from our family and friends loving us. Gosh, love makes the world go round and if we could all just see all those little strings of love and support that is connecting us all together I think the world would be kinder and gentler.

Embracing all the extra work of the holiday season including the arrival of our Elf Marco on Thursday afternoon. My mum was over visiting (cleaning my house top to bottom while we were all at school because she is an actual real live saint!!) and laughed/sighed because we both know Marco is the very last thing I need to add to my plate right now (full time job, four kids, basketball coach daddy, hunting season, life) but then I read this quote from Harlan Miller (on Daddydoinwork) and knew that it was the truest thing about the holiday and why we do all these additional magical things.
"Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmastime with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts* is that we don't quite know how to put our love into words" 
*could also be replaced with: decorating the tree, Elf on the Shelf, Gingerbread house making, breakfast with Santa, St. Nicholas day, house Christmas tree lights, holiday parties, cookie baking, family holiday traditions, etc, etc, etc. 

Feeling true magic as I can sense that Grey has about a drop of doubt in his mind about all this magic stuff, but he is choosing to believe it anyway. Gem and  Violet have just blind belief which is it's own kind of magic to see. But this year with Grey, I can sense that his belief is a choice. He knows now that it seems kind of fantastical, something doesn't quite seem logical, but he's making the choice to believe - and boy does he ever. He was probably most excited to look for Marco that first day, and when he held Marco after he arrived, Grey said, "I think he looks taller!" It fills my heart with so much joy to see him make the choice to go for the magic and I'm soaking every little bit of this for what it's worth. (Grey right now reminds me a lot of what Mac Barnett talks about it one of my favorite Ted talks).

Making these sausage, egg, and cheese biscuits for breakfast, chili over bowtie noodles, no-bake cookies, bbq chicken tostados, candied kielbasa, and tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches. Gemma helped make cookies two days in a row (both mixes for the busy momma win!): Peanut butter cookies and honey, oatmeal, raisin cookies that I bought from a student for their class fundraiser (I also bought a tub of pumpkin spice dough and I'm already grateful for them as we head into the holiday season!)


  1. Love that Christmas quote so much - so, so true! Wishing you and your family a wonderful, memory-filled Advent. xoxo

  2. I love that your mama came and cleaned house for you. What a beautiful blessing!