Friday, November 21, 2014

We've made it!  Today marks the last day of the Rotten Eight!

We've been doing well over here and the days are going by unusually fast - maybe it's the earlier darkness of winter, but I swear by the time I turn around, it's already 4p and I'm left looking at my planner making choices between whether I'll write a blogpost this week or get a shower for the first time in three days/feed my children/or fold the clothes that have been in the dryer for two days.  Sorry - blogposts have not been winning recently - but I'm hoping the close of the Rotten Eight will bring a new bounce to my giddy-up.

I was even sort of feeling newly-energized yesterday and washed all the bedsheets (a feat in itself) and took all three kids grocery shopping by myself (heroic!)  Alas, Violet was determined to finish out the Rotten Eight with a bang by partying all night, so I'm running on two cups of coffee and a dream today.  She thinks she's hilarious.

Here's what we've been up to lately...

All this month we've been daily adding to our Thankful Tree.  It's been funny and enlightening to see what the kids want to add and also what they think Violet would add if she could talk.  I keep using language like, "We have so many things to be thankful for," and "How lucky we are!"  It's time to gear up for holiday consumption overload - so we've also been talking about how commercials and magazines try to get us to buy things that we don't need.  Grey has been randomly announcing during commercials on tv, "They want us to buy that truck, but we already have a car so we don't need it."  The fight of consumerism is on!  haha

We've been adjusting to basketball season , as this was the first official week of practice.  That means B goes to work all day, stops in to give us all a hug&kiss in the late afternoon and then runs to practice to get back in time to give everyone a good night kiss.  We all know that time is limited, so it seems like it forces us to really give quality in the moments we get it - isn't time funny like that?

Basketball season basically looks a lot like this at our house:

(Can I also add that I love basketball season because I can see so fiercely the passion that B has for basketball and his players in his face and the way he talks.  Seriously, obsessed with Coach Studer).

#tbt to circa 2001 when Brandon scored his first 1000 points as a sophomore in high school
I started teaching Catechism two weeks ago and I'm really loving it.  It's like a nice step back into a (sort-of) classroom and working with not my own kids.  I'm teaching fifth grade and it's been refreshing to spend time with kids that can ask questions and comprehend bigger ideas- but are still little enough to want to play and do crafts.  I'm really happy to have that hour and a half on Sunday morning to myself being a teacher - it's a nice change of pace from all the rest of my normal with my own three kids hanging off my limbs asking for new sippy cups of water.

entertainment with scotch tape.  Pig Noses.

Also, our little Gemmi bear is still in full-throttle and I have to repeat myself twenty times a day to tell her to, "Please find a nicer way to talk Gemma Rose."  She is very into yell-talking and telling us all what to do with the bratty voice of a tweenager.  She also lamented to me yesterday, "I don't like people."  ...nice.  Every single night when we pray and say thank you for the things we have in our life, Gemma consistently says thank you for both "the playground," and "the ocean."

Grey is a huge helper and very, very patient with both of his sisters.  Honestly, 80% of the time I feel so insanely blessed that this kind, generous,sweet boy is my son and the big brother to our girls.  He reads to them and shares and helps them when they need it, and suggests games they can play together.  Honestly, he is precious and makes me so proud.

And then there is the other part of the day that is filled with insane boy mania:  running. jumping, slamming into things, pretending everything is a weapon, wrestling, tackling, attempting to fly off of things, fake fart noises, talking about butts/poop/throw up, burping, messes everywhere.  Just so much roughness.  I think that's something I'll never quite understand about boys; such jagged, rough edges but such a soft inner core.  The dichotomy of it blows my freaking mind.

Violet continues to be an absolute angel (save last night) and astonishes us and everyone with what a good baby she is.  Thank goodness she wasn't our first - we'd have very skewed views of what normal babies act like.  She is such a pleasant little thing when she's awake, but spends most of her days blissfully sleeping.  No amount of Studer Zoo Crew general loudness can disturb her slumber.  It's the stuff of miracles.

When I wake her up to feed her (for real, she sleeps right through feeding schedules), she lets her eyes get adjusted and the moment she recognizes my face, she gets the sweetest, biggest toothless smile on her face.  My cup runneth over every.single.time.

We've been trying out lots of new recipes over the past few weeks for some reason (thank you pinterest) and Grey has been hesitant to try anything that looks remotely different than lunchmeat sandwiches or pizza.  So I tried blindfolding him at dinner to try new foods.  It works for a solid two bites and then he takes it off and decides he doesn't like it again.  While Gemmi digs right in and eats anything you put in front of her including a bite from everyone else's plates. She's our resident seagull.

Here are some of our (minus picky-eater Greyson) recent favorites:
Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
Baked Tacos
Crumb-topped Chicken Supreme Casserole

For my parents' wedding anniversary - my sisters and I pitched in to get new professional pictures of our family taken by the wonderful Carissa McClellan.  We spent a very (very!) chilly afternoon outside snapping beautiful photos.  Is it too much to order wallpaper in these photos? J.Crew - feel free to reach out to us for modeling in your next catalog....hahah, but seriously...why does natural light, pinterest-suggested color pops, and really awesome photographers with really good cameras make peeps look so fresh?

And then after our group picture - THIS HAPPENED!!

Kevin waited until all the rest of us had left and when the photographer asked if they had any other couple poses they wanted to do, he said, "I have an idea"


And now my baby sister IS GETTING MARRIED!!!!  I can't even properly post about this right now because I'm still processing and gushing over this.  Expect a full update when I am no longer hyperventilating.

I was in the parking lot, actually sitting in the truck nursing Violet when Tash came to tell me.  She was fake handing treats for the kids to me (really actually trying to stick her new engagement ring in front of my eyes) and like a total airhead I kept swatting her hand out of my face.  I think at one point, I was even like, "Tash, move your hand."  lololololololol.  finally she blatantly stuck her hand directly into my eyeball and I screamed, "Whaaaaaaaaaat?!!" all the while, Violet is happily drinking along.  hahahahha.  #momprobs

And then I repeated over and over the rest of the evening, "My baby sister is getting married!"

Thanks for hanging around - I'm hoping to get back into the swing of normal here now that the Rotten Eight is over!  Feel free to toast a glass of wine with me tonight over this fact!

(This post brought to you in large part by Violet's nap and SpyKids on the iPad.)


  1. Your family is so beautiful! And I love the way you write, it's like I'm right there with you experiencing these things and I've never even met you! Congrats to your sister! And Good luck to a great Basketball Season! The family pictures are great and that snapshot of Gemma on the counter putting on makeup is just too much! So cute!

  2. The part about boys having rough edges and sweet cores is SO true! One minute, these boys are playing quietly with Sophia and cooing back to TJ, the next they're running like maniacs around the house! So glad you understand my everyday normal. :)