Around Here Week 14: 03/31-04/06

Saturday, May 4, 2024

 A glimpse into what it is like to be in our family just this moment. 

selfie cred: B

photo cred: Miss Emma

selfie cred: B

photo cred: Uncle Jonny

photo cred: Kitty

selfie cred: B

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 27+ hours (of 1000)
omigosh, the rain this week?! We had a beautiful first day of April and then the April showers came and they were not messing around. It rained and poured and cats'ed & dogs'ed (hah). We had roads close due to flooding, our driveway has a river rut like never before, and I don't know how the ground is ever going to dry out. Then it snowed because, ya know, we live in western PA and that's just how the weather behaves sometimes. By Saturday though, despite the low temp it was at least dry and sunny. 

Reading High Achiever by Tiffany Jenkins and really blown away by her story and honesty. If you love someone with addiction, not a bad idea to pick this book up (and it's an easy read!) I'm also still reading The Body by Bill Bryson but it honestly blows my mind every single page - so I'm taking it slow and highlighting a ton of stuff like I'm going to be grade on it ( hah #nerdvibesforever ) 

Listening on my commute (and while sorting laundry) Wrong Time, Wrong Place by Gillian McAllister. Really enjoying the story and then I used up all my audiobook listening time on Spotify - hah! It renews in a couple days, bleh. 

Celebrating Easter with a day full of love. The Easter bunny left the kids baskets and then we made it to church just barely in time (we were actually late, but so was everyone so they kids made it in time for the ribbon procession - yay!) Then it was lunch at Aunt Dar's with our extended Adams family (delicious food, got to snuggle baby Lennox!) and then it was off to Mimi's to celebrate with the Studer side (delicious food, funny egg hunt, a birthday song for the birthday twins: Mimi and Redland - both April Fools babies only 83 years apart!)

Singing happy birthday to our Redland. He turned four this week! Still a little snuggle bug but getting bigger too. I love watching him play with Rusty and his cousins; all of them lost in a world of imagination where they fight bad guys and score the winning touchdown every time. His laugh is the most contagious in our house and he finds a way to crack us all up every single day. What a little dose of joy you are Reddy Sketti. 

Losing my voice and cracking up when Olive asked me "why you sound like that?" and when I told her I had a sore throat she said, "You should just do this" and then cleared her throat! I laughed so much and then continued to think about it and laugh. What baby talks with so much sass and certainty?! Geez, this chick. 

Kissing B goodbye for a few days for his annual fishing trip with Uncle Jonny. B, Jon, and Yetka all had a fun few days together fishing the treacherous riverbanks of the little Juniata (only treacherous this year because of the crazy rain we had this week). Those fishermen still managed to catch some fish (of course they did). We missed him, but are glad he gets a few days to play his reindeer games and be in the fresh air with a wet line. 

Thankful for everyone who squeezed in to help us while we were down a parent this week. Pappy was on morning bus duty, Abba picked up an afternoon with the kids when our nanny had to leave early, Heather dropped off dinner for us, the Cable family took Rust & Vi on the early dismissal day, the Conn family helped with baseball rides, and the Feathers came to the rescue for soccer rides. We could never do this raising up on our own; thank you all! 

First day of trout and despite terrible fishing conditions (cold, high rivers, mud, cloudiness) Brandon and Grey found a stream to fish for half the day because there was not way my son was having a first day of trout pass him without getting his line wet! We had his best friends over on Saturday night (the Conn twins) to sleepover so they can fish at camp on Sunday in hopes that conditions will be a little better - it is supposed to be warmer at least! 

Kitty & Bryan PCT Update: They hiked crazy miles this week (75 miles in 5 days!) to make it to Idyllwild, CA (mile 179) before another storm (snow, rain, wind) hit them. (so glad they are warm, safe, and resting in a hotel during it). They are seeing some incredible sights (follow them on Instagram: @kankla and @bweimer27 ) The mayor of Idyllwild is a dog! hah! Kitty sent a selfie with him and he honestly looks like a mayor somehow (and so stinky cute!). We, back at home, are feeling so inspired by their sense of adventure, time in nature (and unplugged!) that we came up with a 50 mile challenge! If you're inspired too (or just need motivation to get moving this spring,) join us! (here's the PDF if you want to print & track!

Teaching a new unit in the elementary school special: the Castells de Tarragona and the kids are so engaged and excited! Spanish Expo learned Somos Unit 1 including Dice, Hay, and numbers. Spanish 1 finished Unit 4B and learned about ir + a + infinitives and time telling. Spanish 2 finished their chapter too including reciprocal verbs and really firming up their preterite/imperfect verb conjugations.

Sporting with very little because the weather was not supportive of spring sports at all. Rain, rain, and then snow. It was supposed to be the first week of AYSO soccer, but the fields were closed almost all week! Violet still had two Sparks practices (indoors). Gem did squeeze a soccer practice in on Monday before the weather hit. Grey's baseball games were cancelled so he had three indoor baseball practices instead. 

Making Korean beef, green beans, & rice, spaghetti, chicken wraps, meatball casserole (thank you Heather!), take out pizza, baked potato taco bar (to feed 3 hungry teenagers; Grey and his friends). 

Keto'ing because I hate being controlled by sugar. I loved Whole 30 eating but it's so much work and I know that I cannot manage that kind of meal prepping/planning right now in our current life/schedule. But Keto can be lazy and still be off sugar, and that's really what I want. Sugar takes total control over my mind/body/soul (cloudy, anxious thinking - overeating, fatigue, low motivation) and I just want to be free of that kind of chokehold. I started on Monday, April 1 and had one solid day of terrible Keto flu (headache, irritation) and then I was good! I started feeling more clear thinking and energized by Wednesday! And honestly, thank goodness! I am feeling really grateful to feel like I am control of my brain and body and in the right head/heart space to stay on track! 

Around Here Week 13: 03/24-30

Friday, April 19, 2024

 A glimpse into what it is like to be in our family just this moment. 

photo cred: Heather

photo cred: Heather

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 24+ hours (of 1000)
Fishing camp really increased my numbers this week. We had a couple nice spring-ish days this week and the sunrises and sunsets are dazzling. I can sense that spring is on her way, I can hardly wait for my kids to be outdoor tired, dirty, and happy again. 

Reading High Achiever by Tiffany Jenkins and The Body by Bill Bryson. Both are great! 

Listening on my commute to Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister and really liking it so far! What a concept! 

A happy half birthday to our Violet Mary! Nine and half and full of sass! B took her for a Dairy Queen blizzard while they were out running errands (she was thrilled). So at home we measured her height and sang to her over a leftover cookie!

Adding chickies to our family. Brandon can only be trusted for so long in Tractor Supply in the spring and he ran out of self control this week (hah). He and Olive brought home 16 new little chickie babies because that is always just what we need. The kids are obsessed and the sounds little peeps chirping make us all believe in Springtime. 

Do you ever feel like all you do is clean up poop? HAH. if you have children or pets, then I know you know. Our two old dogs (bullet and trixie) are randomly having potty issues - it's not consistent which is even more annoying. So I had to steam scrub the boys' room carpet this week. Now we have the chickies that need their cage cleaned twice daily. The guinea pigs need daily cleaning. Osa got into dirty diapers on the back porch trash (ripped to shreds, niiiiiice) And Reddy is still trying his darnedest to make the potty trained transition but still not there all the way. So yeah, I pretty frustrated cleaning up everybody's literal poop these days. 

A fun afternoon for the big kids and the little kids. Heather took the big kids (Grey, Gem, Vi, and Caleb) to Monroeville to spend the day jumping at Skyzone Trampoline Park and I took the little ones (Rust, Red, and Liv) to Altoona to spend the day sliding, climbing, and arcade'ing at Slinky Action Zone with Kate and Charlie.  

Mentored Youth Fishing Day! We spent the day in Bedford with the Rummells, Moores, and some seasoned mentors (Pappy, Uncle Ray, and Mark) catching all kinds of fish and kissing them before releasing them back into the stream. Osa came with us and she was pretty good (only chewed through a tie-down and her leash, good grief!) The weather was chilly but mostly clear skies and everyone had a great time. We didn't dye eggs for Easter but we did kiss some fish and sit by an open fire and there were a lot of smiles and snacking and laughter- so ya know, it all shakes out in the end. 

PCT trail update for Kitty & Bryan: By Saturday, they made it to Julian/Scissors Crossing which is at mile 77! Kitty is posting the coolest update reels on Instagram so I hope you are following her ( @kankla ) Despite some weather this week, they are still trekking and having an awesome time. I got to facetime with her and it was everything to see her face and hear here laugh and get her updates firsthand. Miss them so much but so obsessed with their journey! 

Teaching a short week due to spring break. The elementary school specials finished up their capys and learned about Merengue music! I ordered from the Coffee Corner elementary club (they practice math while taking orders!) and they delivered my iced caramel macchiato & a pudding cup! I forgot that it was delivery day and it was the best mega-sugar pick-me-up ever! I got a new group of 8th graders for Spanish Expo and they had their first two days of class. Spanish 1 finished their question packets and got new vocab words. Spanish 2 presented their De pequeño projects and then got their new vocab words. Both levels learned about the Easter tradition of Casacarones on the early dismissal day. 

Sporting with one Sparks soccer practice for Vi and Gemma had a end-of-season basketball party at 814 Lanes and Games (thank you Coach Bryan!) Grey had 4 baseball practices and 1 Chaos basketball practice. The kids and I all went to Meet the Coach Night for AYSO this week. I am coaching Reddy and his 4U team and assistant coaching with Eva for Violet and Rusty's 10U team. Gemma is playing 12U and it was fun to see all our soccer friends again. Brandon and the Varsity football team did their March rep checks on Sunday night.

Making baked lunchmeat sandwiches and roasted broccoli, chicken fajitas with rice & beans, pork chops, and Korean Beef with green beans over rice. For desserts - I made a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies on Sunday because I was hungry for them (hah). For fishing camp, I made buffalo chicken dip and cowboy cookies. We brought hot dogs & cheddar brats and even carted the Blackstone all the way out there (hah!)