Around Here Week 46: 11/08-14

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  529+ hours (of 1000)
Up 4 hours this week thanks to an afternoon outside helping Brandon set up our ShelterLogic Shed. We are going to keep the tractor and the goats' hay in there this winter so that we have space for the vehicles in the garage. We are hopeful that someday we will build a proper barn - but for now this seemed like the most feasible and cost effective solution. It looks good and wasn't terribly difficult to put up- Grey and Gemma helped too. 

Reading Outlander by Diana Galbaldon.

Letting the kids sleep in and camp out in the living room two "school nights" this week since they didn't have school on Parent Teacher Conference day and Veteran's Day, which is customary every year for them. I found Gem and Vi snuggled up on Wednesday morning on the couch and it was so sweet. Miss Hannah stayed with the kids on Tuesday. (thank you!) Rusty was overjoyed to have a special day with his Chummie boy (my dad) where they played ping pong all day long. (thank you!)

Checking in with the kids' teachers on Parent Teacher Zoom conferences. Everyone got good remarks and we really just have the very best teachers in all the land. So grateful for them and how they support and cheer on our kids. 

Feeling so much gratitude for veteran's, especially my little sister Aunt Kitty (National Guard vet). We have numerous friends and family members who are veterans including several family and friends who are currently enlisted and stationed all over the world. How lucky we are to know and love real life heroes.

Taking Gemma out to an eye specialist (Dr. Moon) to be seen to maybe shed some light on 'the mystery that is Gemma.' We had a special day just the two of us (I had scheduled off of work) and we drove an hour and half one way to visit with Dr. Moon who checked her eyes, her eye muscles, and some other cognitive stuff to see what we can figure out. The appointment went good and we grabbed lunch afterwards before heading back home. Fingers crossed that we get back some helpful information when the full report gets sent to us. 

Shouting Bravo for my students who participated in a local musical production of Disney's Descendants. I had four students who acted in the show and they did so great. My sister Uch and my two girls went to the show with me on Friday night. We had a great time and my students were so proud and sweet. Gosh, I am just so proud to be their teacher and see all the ways they shine!

Reading up on owls because we are pretty sure we figured out that's what is killing our chickens! Brandon and Grey saw a huge owl near the driveway one night right where we have been finding feathers that clearly show a chicken has been kidnapped/murdered. Time to order a big fake owl for the yard to keep our girls safe!

Smiling at Grey's nature pictures. Since he already got a deer, he's been heading out to the woods when Brandon goes to the treestand to spot for him. He sits himself up way at the other end of the fields and texts Brandon on my phone to let him know when deer is headed up his way. (It's hilarious to read the text messages between them when they return later as Grey is learning how to use GIFs). Grey is actually a pretty good photographer/videographer and he's snagged some cool videos of birds migrating, deer hopping, and always the hilariously adorable selfie shows up in the camera roll. Grey goes out from about 4:30p until dark by himself and finds his way home with the help of my phone flashlight! Soak up those outdoor hours, little man. 

Winter Sporting with a basketball practice for Gem and a game on Saturday night for her. Brandon and Grey took her to the game while I stayed home with the littles because it was too close to Red's bedtime and #pregnancyearlybedtime 

Teaching the last week of pre-reading for Capibara con Botas in Spanish 1 which included creating our capybara designs to be displayed in the room and playing Gimkit to practice for our upcoming vocab quiz (TEACHERS: if you have not tried Gimkit yet - get with the program! Students LOVE it). Spanish 2 finished El Silbon and Spanish 2 Honors started the Spooky Stories writing unit. Spanish 3 read chapters 3-5 of La Llorona de Mazatlan and Spanish 4 finished the Chica Ideal unit including the Spiderman reading and Ratón en Venta animated short. 

Making buffalo chicken dip, pot roast in the instant pot. I was deeply grateful to visit with Heather on Sunday when she and Caleb stopped by to drop off taco lasagna and multiple other surprises for us (including Pie Shoppe snails! my favs!) Thank you so much Heather, everything was delicious and you are the most thoughtful person - I am so grateful to have you in my life. 

Around Here Week 45: 11/01-07

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  524+ hours (of 1000)
I got next to nothing this week. Too cold, too tired, too big of a wimp. 

Reading (still!) Outlander by Diana Galbaldon. I only read it at night and I have been so exhausted that I literally get through about 2 pages before I fall asleep. I am determined to finish this thing! 

Comforting Red as he works on getting his first tooth through the gums. Poor little bubba is so miserable. A lot of snuggles and a freeze pop a day seems to make him feel a little better. He turned 7 months on the first and he is just growing right along, gosh he is so very loved and spoiled in this family! 

Closing out fall sports with the end of season tailgate party for football and cheerleading. Brandon took Grey and Gemma while I stayed home with the three snot nosed little ones (and my own snot nosed self). We made it through the whole fall sport season and for that we are grateful that we got a full season in for the 2020-21 school year. Who knows what the rest of the year will bring, but we got one in! 

Voting on Tuesday morning. I left early to get to the polls before work (I wanted to wear my sticker in front of the students all day to be a good role model of civic duty) and I got there at 7:03a (they opened at 7a) and I waited in line for almost 20 minutes, which was a first ever to have to wait in line. It was great to see so many people out making their voice heard. B ran during his lunch hour and didn't have a line then. 

Holding our breath while the election continues on and on and on for forever. Grey has been super into keeping track of the colors on his electoral college map while B and I refresh the screens on our phones incessantly. We had a good long talk with Grey about how the numbers work on the map (why some states had a bigger number) and the only thing that held us together was the election memes - hah! some people are so funny! Our current favorite song playing on Alexa on repeat is You Can Have Whatever You Like by T.I.

Enjoying our last week of Miss Hannah at our house to tutor Gemma for the semester. Gemma has benefitted so much from extra studying and practice with Miss Hannah 2-3 times a week this nine weeks - we are so grateful that it worked out. Miss Hannah met her elementary school college requirements while Gemma got the help she needs to succeed. (We love you Miss Hannah!)

Swiping all the things out of Red's mouth because this baby is on the move and the big kids do not know how to keep stuff off the floor. Red can move all over the house and at the least the big kids realized that we need to keep the door at the top of the steps closed when Red is moving and grooving upstairs. So far I have found hair ties, pieces of paper, and a baby barbie doll in that little chipmunk's cheeks! 

Cheering for Grey as he got his first buck ever! He got to have a 'mental health' day on Friday (we give our kids 3 a year and Grey uses all of his for fishing and hunting, hah). He snagged a nice 8 point with the crossbow while he was hunting with Brandon and his godfather, Jon. Who was more excited about the deer - one will never know because those three were the giddiest bunch of nerds I ever did hear on the phone when they called after they tracked the deer. Grey was over the moon and Brandon said that Grey was shaking and leaned down over the deer and kept saying, "thank you. thank you for dying for me today." So we will have a freezer full of deer meat after High Ridge butchers his deer and he is even getting a shoulder mount done! (hooray for more dead animals on my living room wall...HAH, just kidding). 

Smiling as Rust got camo'ed and face painted up to go spend an evening with Brandon in the blind behind our house. Now that Grey got a deer, it's Rusty's turn to spend some time with Daddy like a big boy hunter!

Winter sporting with basketball practice for Gemma and then her first real game on Saturday. They didn't win the game, but Gemma still had a great time playing and we can see how she is getting a smidge better each time as she learns the game a little more (basketball has so many rules!) They had a basketball team party afterwards (for her teammates birthday) and she was thrilled to spend most of the day with her teammates. 

Teaching pre-reading activities in Spanish 1 to prepare for our first novel, El Capibara con Botas. They learned about Ecuador and got vocabulary words. Spanish 2 finished their novel, El Silbon de Venezuela, and Spanish 3 started La Llorona de Mazatlan completing chapters 1 and 2. Spanish 4 started Somos 2 Unit 10 digging into imperfect tense ER/IR verbs. I also gave out Leave Me Alone passes this week which is always a big deal. We only had four days this week and an Act 80 day on Friday which was amazing to get some grading done and do a little Schoology professional development. 

Making chicken alfredo in the instant, hamburgers and shrimp on the grill, pizza grilled cheese snackers, and broccoli & cheese soup with homemade bread. I also whipped up a batch of snickerdoodles with the Meatballs (Violet & Rusty) because I have been so hungry for them recently (#thanksbabybump) 

Around Here Week 44: 10/25-10/31

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

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  524+ hours (of 1000)
Up only 2 hours this week thanks to literally trick-or-treating on Saturday. 

Reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon still forever and ever. This book never ends. HAH. just kidding - it is good but it is taking all the days to finish it. 

Smiling as Redland repeats over and over again a million times in a row, his first word "Dada" B wins again! 

Taking Grey for a cast appointment and x-rays. Unfortunately they saw that one of his fractures still needs some healing time, so back on with a new cast for two more weeks. He was massively bummed but also knows it needs to heal right so he can play all of basketball season - so he made a paper countdown chain and he's hanging in there. 

Feeling relieved that the news is out in the world about Studerbaby #6! We were surprised too and my actual initial response was, "But we already have a baby...?" Who knows which way is up at this point anymore. My midwife and cousin Meg (who is the literal best in the universe) was so patient and reassuring that my uterine wall is going to be fine despite the fact that I just had a c-section five months before getting pregnant again (gulp...but also amazing body of mine- I love you and trust you). Everyone has been overwhelmingly kind and supportive and obviously we've been the butt of many jokes but they've all actually been pretty funny so we're rolling with it. Bring on the Studer half dozen, I guess! 

Seeing our little nugget at my first in-person appointment this week. A beautiful, perfect fast heartbeat (come on old wives tales - give me another girl!) and all looks great so far. 10 weeks and due date is May 24th! 

Saying prayers for our loved one who headed back to the hospital on Saturday due to an infection.

Feeling so grateful for love of long distance friends (hi Ashley! Hi Shelly!) I got very kind and supportive emails in response to our newest babe news and then a very sweet snail mail package. It's regularly baffling to me that we have never met in person, but that I always feel like you are such close friends. Thank you always for your support, encouragement, and kindness through the vastness of the web.  

Giggling about my students' reactions after hearing the news of our next baby. One of my students immediately stood up and went over to my old school chalkboard and titled a chart "Color Baby Name Ideas" hahaha, they know me too well. All week, students added names to the board and actually had some pretty good ones. They are all sweet and supportive. #lovemykids #lovemyjob 

Celebrating Halloween at school for the kids with some mini fall parties and a parade (thank you so much Aunt Uch for going to watch the 10 minute parade - the kids were so happy to see a familiar face in the crowd!) For Halloween this year we had a fisherman (Grey at school), an owl (Gemma), Queen Elsa (Violet), T'Challa/Black Panther (Rusty), and a pumpkin (Red). 

Trick or treating most of Saturday. We went with Aunt Kitty in her neighborhood before Gemma's game, then after Gemma's game we hit Abba & Chum's neighborhood including a nice visit with Aunt Lisa & Uncle Matt, THEN we headed up to Mimi's neighborhood and the kids got to go one more time with their cousin Ariel. Holy chocolate and cheese balls, Batman. We all went to bed with bellyaches, but that's the point of Halloween, right? 

Winter sporting with basketball practice for Gemma and then her first scrimmage! She did pretty good for her first "game" and she really loves it. She wears her Dad's number (swoon) and it's so funny that she's one of the tallest girls out there! I could never imagine such a thing as a life long shrimp! haha!

Teaching Day of the Dead to Spanish 1 which also included watching one of my favorite movies The Book of Life. Spanish 2 worked on reading their novel, El Silbon de Venezuela. Spanish 3 did some pre-reading activities for their upcoming novel, La Llorona de Mazatlán. Spanish 4 completed their Fables unit which ended with presenting a retell of the individual fable that they received. We also had a dress-up week at school and the Spanish Club hosted an incentive morning to celebrate the end of the first marking period on Friday. If students had no missing work and a C average or above; they were able to get out of their morning classes to watch Coco in the auditorium (socially distanced of course). 

Making homemade bagels on Sunday morning (they are so so good and easy from Ginny @1000hoursoutside ). We also had chicken over mashed potatoes, and taco pasta. Miss Hannah brought us Deer meat tacos on Wednesday with brownies (thank you!) and we had dinner at my parents' house on Thursday night after trick-or-treat was rescheduled due to weather. 

Around Here Week 43: 10/18-10/24

Friday, November 13, 2020

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

So grateful for my assistant coach this year! Love you Leesha!

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  522+ hours (of 1000)
Snagged some hours during the football game and then again at the playground later in the week when the weather was so warm and beautiful I also wept of gratitude. The trees are still lovely but as the temperatures start to dip, my wimpyness is in full force. I get so cold at night that I put on my thick winter wool socks and have a cup of tea on my nightstand. (by midnight, I am roasting and I rip the socks off and fling off of the blankets, but at bedtime; I am shivering so much it's actually painful. this is every.single.night in the fall/'s ridiculous).

Reading Outlander by Diana Galbaldon and then I finished our Project Lit book Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson on Saturday. I mostly ignored my family and finished reading the whole thing which was amazing and sometimes you need a day like that - right? The book was insane and I can't wait to talk about it in our Project Lit meeting with the students. 

Kissing ("too much" says Rusty!) on our 12 year anniversary on the football field no less. Hah. Typical. 

Getting so many laughs out of this gold skeleton mask we snagged from my Mom's house. It somehow fits every person's face perfectly and it is so hilarious. 

Throwing Gemma's boot in a corner! Yay! Her appointment at Children's hospital on Monday showed that she did a great job of keeping her non-displaced 7 (!) fractures lined up for the last month and they are healing successfully. The doctor wants her to just wear a shoe at school and home and if it starts bothering her to put the boot on to give it more stability. Otherwise she should be flexing it and moving it to make sure it doesn't get too stiff. She is overjoyed (as am I!)

Celebrating a birthday for my favorite human on Wednesday night. My sisters and Kevin stopped by with tons of food, a six pack of assorted fall flavors of IPAs and we all sang over a homemade ice cream sundae. He's just the best guy and we are so lucky to be his family - me most of all. (thank you Gigi for him!) 

Unboxing Halloween costumes which have been arriving this week. We have a fisherman, an owl, Elsa, T'Challa (Black Panther), and a pumpkin. I'm feeling grateful for Tabitha of last week who remembered to order them since Halloween is right over the horizon. 

Picnicking on Thursday night because it was almost 80 degrees and it just didn't see right to stay home like a regular day. I packed up sandwiches and snacks and we headed out to the playground on Luray Ave (like lots of other families) and spent the evening hanging out in the beautiful warm fall air. 

Enjoying the most incredible lazy, chilly fall day at home all day Saturday. As our first non-coaching week since the end of July (!!), we took Saturday to do almost nothing. I made some cookies and cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom, but then I literally just read my book, played with the kids, and threw dinner on. It was bliss. B got some mowing done and the kids played outside most of the day leaf-fighting, jumping on the trampoline, and riding bikes. 

Fall sporting with the last football/cheer game of the season on Sunday. We made it to the playoffs and headed out to Meyersdale for both minors and majors.

Winter sporting with Gemma's basketball practices. She had two this week. Grey's basketball team starts next month and he is anxious to get that cast off and get to playing!

Teaching and finishing up our weather/Spanish country projects in Spanish 1. Spanish 2 started El Silbon de Venezuela novels. Spanish 3 worked on their preposiciones de lugar vocab quize and then did some fluency reading exercises while learning about el Biblioburro (I have such a crush on Luis and his dreams and his determination and his love of books and his belief that one person can make an impact). In Spanish 4 we started the Tres Cerditos fluency and Fable unit.  I also had a "practice virtual" pretend day where the kids were to try out accessing the lesson completely on Schoology, but I was in the room for support. I learned how to integrate my Edpuzzle into Schoology and MIND BLOWN. obsessed now. 

Making cake mix chocolate chip cookies, turkey & cheese melts with wedge salads and little noodle soup, and ham & cheese sandwiches for our playground picnic. Gigi and Pappy made us meatballs, pierogies, and my favorite macaroni salad on Monday and then my sisters brought over stuffed shells to celebrated Brandon's birthday on Wednesday, and we ordered in with GrubHub on Friday night wings from Big Shot Bobs.