Around Here Week 42: 10/14-10/20

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  515+ hours (of 1000)
bleh, up only 2 hours this week. It has been really cooling off around here and I have not been motivated/encouraged to spend any real time outside. I did hop on the tractor this week after we finally got the flat tire replaced to mow 'the back nine' but other than that, I've been sticking indoors, unfortunately.  Grey and B got some of their own outdoor hours though on Saturday for mentor youth hunting day. Grey spent half the afternoon in a double tree stand with Pap and other half of the time in a double tree stand with B. He loved it.

Reading the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series by Jenny Han thanks to the sweetest snail mail ever this week from my dear friend, Shelly. I literally gasped and squealed when I opened her package to find all three books in the series. I gobbled up the first two books (TATBILB and P.S. I Still Love You) and then passed them along to my students who are all reading them too- we have a bit of Peter Kavinsky fever going around our school right now (hah #same) I am nearly finished with the third book (Always and Forever) and I'm loving it.  Kind of glad I watched the movie first, because the books are different enough that I probably would have been let down from the movie - so now I just like each separately of each other. (Shelly - thank you so so much - that was so very thoughtful and kind of you!)

Holding Violet's hand while she got her ears pierced! In our family, you can get your ears pierced if you want to but not until you're at least four years old. Our Vially was ready and took her ear piercing like a champ (only a few tears after the second one). She was so proud of her new earrings though and couldn't wait to show her preschool friends and teachers. She has been very dedicated to cleaning and twisting them each day to keep them healthy.

Celebrating ten years of marriage with my man. Seems impossible (both too long and not long enough... how odd the passage of time is). We realized that in a decade of marriage (which went by in a blink of an eye) we have an eight year old child. So in just another decade (basically, no time at all) our son will already be in his fall semester of college. #gulp #gulp #gulp

Taking the kids for haircuts, including Rusty's first ever haircut (at 28 months!) On the way to the salon, Gemma and I just decided that she should get hers chopped off since it's been such a hassle and knots up so easily and she was, "um, okay." She looks adorable and it is so much more healthy - she must have brushed it 80 times that day when we got home. Violet got a little trim and looks like a cutie pie peanut. And the Rust Man got the slightest trim to calm down that #georgewashingtonhairdontcare look of his. He still has all those curls though (and any that got cut off, I scooped up off the salon floor to save!)

Teaching personal descriptive adjectives in Spanish 1 and gustar to Spanish 1 Honors. Spanish 2 is working through Capibara con botas and Spanish 2 Honors is learning about tener miedo de, mira, and hacia in Somos 1 Unit 9. Spanish 3 Honors is so close to finishing Esperanza (only one more chapter to go after last week!) They researched political asylum in the US and almost everyone really learned something. I had them respond to some questions on our google classroom page and then they had to thoughtfully comment on two classmates' responses. It was all very collegiate and I was pretty proud of them.

Making two ingredient chocolate chip muffins for breakfast, chili over mac and cheese, crockpot lemon chicken and rice, chicken quesadillas, and we enjoyed some delicious pot roast with mashed potatoes and homemade bread that my parents delivered to us for our anniversary!


Thursday, October 18, 2018


we attended a wedding this past weekend. it was a rushed and wild day. Our Violet was the flowergirl and our Greyson had his last football game, of which you are the coach. The day started in a whirlwind and kept up at a steady pace throughout the day.

There were four kids to make, feed, and clean up breakfast for, two little girls' hair that needed brushed, styled, hairsprayed, and reminded to please just try to keep it nice until after the ceremony. There was football pants to pull out the dryer and shoulder pads to secure. There was a diaper that needed changed, and lots of little teeth to be brushed. There was 'where are your shoes?!" that needed shouted multiple times throughout the house. There were carseats to be buckled and many "please hurry up we need to leave right now" 's to be said between gritted teeth. there was a kiss goodbye, then a run back in the house because oops I forgot something and then another kiss goodbye.

we both said 'good luck;' me because I wanted my two football boys to be successful, you said it because you knew three kids six and under in a church during a wedding was going to be a circus act.

we made it though, both of us. You and the big boy earned a victory, and our flowergirl made it down the aisle, and our baby didn't scream or cry during the ceremony (although he did shout, "MOMMA!" once, but I can live with that).

We made it all the way to the reception where we ate our meal in bursts between chasing Rusty to the photo booth, and trips to the bathroom and cookie table for the kids, and speaking to other grown ups who we haven't seen in awhile. There was dancing, and blowing noses, and sideway glances with a whispered, "that is the last cookie, I mean it,  you're going to have a bellyache." There was switching shoes, and removing itchy clothes, and kissing booboos, and refilling drinks.

And then a slow song came on, and we found each other on the dance floor; just the two of us. Grey was dancing with his aunt, and Gemma was squeezed between her cousins, and Rusty and Violet were chasing each other with glow sticks around the dance floor.

And it was just us two.

And I tried to settle into the moment, just be there with you for that minute - but when I looked up, the bride and groom were right beside us slow dancing and smiling at each other with that 'forever starts today' glimmer in their eyes.

And suddenly, I could see the past ten years stacked up between them and us; stacked between us like folders marked with each year across the top - bulging full of photos, ticket stubs, and favorite meal recipes. Was it so long ago, that we were those two glimmering-eyed bride and groom?

But also, was it not forever ago that I have been yours? how many good mornings have been whispered since that first one the morning after our wedding day? How many fights and make ups? How many dinners we've shared and how many nights we looked at each other and agreed on ordering pizza instead? How many nights pacing the hallways with crying babies in our arms, how many diapers changed? How many kisses have you placed on my neck when you've returned from work? How many I'm sorrys and I forgots and thank yous. The inside jokes, and the stories told and retold and retold again and again until the kids think they actually remember being there. The parenting fails and the messes that have need cleaned, and shared chores and the apologies for being late to everything always. The meat of the life we have share already, it's consuming and chaotic and perfect in all of its obvious imperfection and wildness.

In that slow song dance; our bodies so worn down to a refined, polished fit; so accustomed to being near each other that we move without effort; like breathing - a sudden rush of gratitude came over me followed by the dizzying free fall feeling that comes with loving someone so fully; so undoubtedly, so inherently and instinctively that tears welled up in my eyes for a few moments before we both started laughing at Rusty who had his glow stick connector suctioned to his tongue and his eyebrows raised up wondering about how he was going to get it off.

ten years married.
nearly 19 years together

it will never be long enough.

Around Here Week 41: 10/07-10/13

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 513+ hours (of 1000)
Up a measly 2 hours this week. The weather has been so ridiculous swinging drastically between super hot, to raining for ever, to legit cold (like we turned on the heat last night). It sure does make for some beautiful sunrises and sunsets though.

Reading (and finishing FINALLY!) This is How it Always is by Laurie Frankel.

Visiting and snuggling up with baby Sukey and her momma Loni. The kids were all so happy to play awhile with their friends while Loni and I got a chance to catch up and talk kids and books and momma life.

Upgrading with a brand new stove and fridge! I love them and they both work like they're supposed to (hahha, unlike our old ones) and are so clean and shiny. Brandon and Pappy got them both in the house and installed and working Sunday evening. I also upgraded my teacher wardrobe with this shirt and it makes me real happy :)

Singing happy half birthday to Greyson Rudy who turned 8 and a half on Sunday! Celebrating half birthdays seems as good excuse as any to eat dessert and measure the kids' heights on our kitchen doorway, so a tradition it is!

Receiving the kids' Halloween costumes in the mail- we got a werewolf, Evie from Descendants, a donut, and Peter Rabbit!

Worrying about Grey's cough all week. He missed two days of school with the nasty, barking cough of croup and a fever. He was on the mend by about Friday night though, but it really wiped him out for a few days.

Being pampered when I came home from work on Thursday and Bud had already cleaned up, handed me my book, and sent me up to an already drawn bath. #dreamscometrue It was amazing and so relaxing, especially since my back has been out of whack recently.

Fall sporting it at our last cheer practice with the flag girls (bittersweet) and we made up a Halloween version of 'who rocks the house' that was adorable and hilarious. Since we had the wedding on Saturday (read below) Tasha nor I could be at the game, so we were blessed by the majors cheer coach who stepped in for us with flag girls for our last home game of the season (also, bittersweet). Grey played against Shade on Saturday during the wedding - he and B missed the ceremony, but they won! and then the two of them rolled up to the reception just in time for dinner!

Celebrating love at our cousin Morgan's wedding to her high school sweetheart Nick. Violet was the flower girl and Gemma got be a 'bride's assistant' as she handed out programs and bubbles, and helped set up the reception hall (she loved all her 'jobs!'). Violet made it down the aisle (practically ran down it!) and the wedding was absolutely beautiful. The kids had a blast dancing and frequenting the photo booth.

Teaching school supplies and the boring (but important!) articles/gender/plural grammar rules in Spanish 1, while Spanish 1 Honors dug deeper with Somos 1 Unit 2 and dipped their toes into the colors. Spanish 2 read up through chapter 5 in Capibara con botas and Spanish 2 Honors finished their final project for Brandon Brown Quiere un Perro. Spanish 3 is still reading Esperanza nd we've made it up to Chapter 7 and we used to give us a jumping off point to talk about where the main character is during the chapter (so fun and easy and engaging!...and free!) I also used Quizlet Live this week and it was a massive success. The kids were so excited about it and super competitive and kept asking for more rounds of games. We had an act 80 day on Monday and I got to spend the whole day with other local language teachers and it was incredibly useful and interesting. I took a lot of notes and got a ton of great ideas (like Quizlet Live and which I already used this week. Can't beat that!

Making meatloaf, slow cooker cream cheese chicken taquitos, old fashion American goulash, and thai fried noodles with chicken and veggies.

Around Here Week 40: 09/30-10/06

Thursday, October 11, 2018

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

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  511+ hours (of 1000)
Up 16 hours this week thanks to some (finally!) beautiful fall days! I'm still not totally satisfied with my intentional outdoor choices, almost all of our hours come from activities that we need to be outside for anyway (games, practices, etc) and I'm not choosing myself to spend time outside, especially when I get home from school. I'm still trying to get a handle on chores, homework, and dinner which those three alone have me shaking my head every night at how the hours get swallowed up before bedtime. (let alone adding blogging or reading to the mix yet). I know I'll get there, but this long readjustment is always frustrating.

Reading...I can't even say it again, I'm reading so little that it doesn't even count. But our book club did pick our next book which is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (which is also about to be released as a movie!)

Celebrating our Violet with her princess bouncy house party at our house. We lucked out on an absolutely perfect September day (finally!). The bouncy house arrived in the morning (from Hogue's Fun Factory) and kept our kids occupied all morning while I was able to clean and finish the Princess dress cupcake tray. B ran off to Stuver's to pick up mum flower pots for around the house and our family and friends brought delicious food to accompany our hamburger and hot dogs on the grill (thank you!) Violet had a great time with her cousins, friends from school, and her besties Benny, Grady, Hunter, & Chloe. It was such a great day for our peanut.

Fall sporting with practices and an away game at Meyersdale this week. Our flag cheerleaders had the two last run-thrus to paint and it went over surprisingly well (I had my doubts considering 19 first and second graders with paint). It rained (again) on Thursday so B had the minors football team over for game film in our garage (hah!) Our game was on a hot, fall day and the flag cheerleaders did great through the heat and sweating. Our minors boys (Grey's team) experienced their first loss of the season which Grey took kind of rough. Always good practice though to work through those feelings of defeat and disappointment (25 Rules for Moms of Sons).

Enjoying Gemma's full on toothless grin after she lost her other front top tooth! (tooth fairy was on it this time!)

Taking a day off of school after my body just shuts 'er down because I don't know how to relax. Between October and November each year, my body has to do something drastic to get me to take a rest day and it was this week. I got to relax home alone and take care of myself (which included getting some grading done, chatting with my sister, and watching The Shape of Water).

Teaching colors and school supplies in Spanish 1 while Spanish 1 Honors starts in on Somos 1 Unit 2 (corre, camina, ve). Spanish 2 started reading Capibara con Botas and got to play for the first time one of our favorite novel games: Write-Draw-Pass. Spanish 2 Honors finished up Brandon Brown Quiere un Perro and took their end of book test and learned about their RAFT Project that will be due next week after some in-class work days. Spanish 3 Honors is still working through Esperanza and we've made it to Chapter 6 and everyone let out an audible sigh at the end because, ugh, sad (but yay that everyone could understand that it was sad, right?)

Homecoming week at our school this week - so we dressed up for our Haunted Hoco theme before the big pep rally on Friday. It was the high school teacher's turn to put on the show and we showed up for it - all dressed as recognizable spooky characters (I was Pennywise from It! We also had Chucky, Freddie, Jason, and the Purge people!) complete with a Thriller and Kiki dance (hah). Then the Spanish Club participated in the Hoco parade thanks to some parents and awesome Spanish Club kids. I brought Vi and Rust with me on the float and they were kept company the whole time with our Spanish Club President, Ana (aka: Maddie). I even had two students dress up as the Ganga girls from the Se├▒or Wooly music video (JAJAJ, you're amazing Cheyanne & Olivia!) The babies and I stayed for a little bit of the Hoco football game and watched the crowning of the king and queen (Violet wanted to hug all the 'princesses')

Making Italian crockpot chicken and potatoes, taco pasta, order in pizza (on game film night), leftovers, and stromboli.