Around Here Week 15: 04/10-16

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

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

same dress! me with my mom in 1984 and Olive with her Abba (my mom) in 2022!

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 59+ hours (of 1000)
Up 17 hours and surpassed (finally) 50 total hours outside for the year. The 1000 hours outside app notifies you of the milestones through badges and when my 50 hours badge popped up on my phone, I gasped so loud that I startled my dad who was visiting. Haha, oh, don't mind me, just geeking out about outdoors like always. 

Reading Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Celebrating Palm Sunday with my parents and sisters/boys. My parents are headed out on vacation later this week so will be out of town for Easter. It was actually perfect to be able to spend the whole day with them and not feel like we were rushing around trying to hit all our families for the holiday. All eight of us made it to church and the whole way through without anyone having to step out with the babies (Palm Sunday miracle!) Then it was lunch at Abba & Chum's house with yummy food and lots of silliness and playing. We even got another Happy Birthday singing and cake in for Booboo!

Writing love poems in my head about daffodils and daisies. Thank goodness they exist to herald in the hopefulness of spring weather! 

Half happy-half disgusted about the kids' current obsession with the giant mud mini pond in the backyard. The ducks have really dug it out as a little swim area, so the kids have been using spare wood pieces to build bridges over it to pretend there is a monster under the mud. Unfortunately, the ducks have also used it as their personal potty - so it's actually not just mud but also gross duck poop too. So, ew. 

Surprised (like always) at how fast chickies grow. Our little baby chicks are already starting to get their feathers and Red and Olive love secretly opening the door and letting all their wood chips out. 

Happy for Spring/Easter break for the kids from school. As loud and wild as it is to have everyone home all day everyday, it's also wonderful. All six of them under my roof, eating my food, ready for hugs at any moment, and asking me 8 million questions. I know that someday I will only want exactly that, so I'll take it for all it's worth right now. 

Prepping for Easter. We dyed hard boiled eggs, decorated sugar cookies (thank you Miss Janell for the kit!), and made sure that everyone's Easter clothes were picked out and ironed. I didn't buy any new clothes this year - we just went with whatever I could find in everyone's correct-sized bins! (win!!) 

Meeting with a window company in hopes of installing new windows in all of the house. It is something that we really need to get done (so many drafts and broken window cranks!) but holy moley - have you ever priced out windows? I would advise having a stiff drink after the meeting, yikes. We are still in the talking/negotiating/thinking & rethinking phase because we have a lot of other project we also need to afford and prioritize (new carpeting, the back porch, farm needs, etc). Being a grown up can be a bummer.

Welcoming duckies to the farm! Because why not? They are really stinking cute and we can hardly stand it. So that's 6 baby duckies, 3 grown ducks, 12 chickies, 14 chickens, 3 goats, 2 dogs, and 2 guinea pigs at current pet count! 

Enjoying playdates over the holiday break. We visited at our house with the Fiore family! The kids orchestrated an egg hunt, played baseball, and basically ran around like ruffians while Kate and I had a ton of time to chat and it was amazing (thank you for visiting us!) Grey had a birthday sleepover (thank you Dails!), and Gemma had a playday and helped make Easter desserts (thank you Lasures!) 

Trying to convince Grey to buy aaaaaanything else besides an Oculus. He's been saving up his Christmas and Birthday money and finally had 300+ dollars to purchase one and I wanted to make sure that he had all kinds of examples of other things he could buy with that kind of money instead of virtual reality. (#sorrynotsorry I hate it so much. There is so much to see and experience IN THE REAL WORLD WE LIVE IN that I cannot get behind this VR crap.) Even after my 6 page Slides presentation (lol), he still picked to spend the money on the Oculus. It was his money, so I let him do it... but you guys - I feel so defeated. We have a family that prioritizes outdoor time, free and wild play, adults who can mentor and teach our kids to do so many awesome skills and activities (fishing, hunting, building, sports), we have so many siblings to play with, so much space at our own house to use, animals galore....and still, it is so freaking hard to compete with technology and peer pressure. But we must keep trying to fight the good fight, parents. Know I'm beside you trying to maintain a childhood for my kids that is wild, free, and rich in real life experiences and relationships. 

Getting a new car battery for Lucille (our 12 passenger), because it's always something with home and car ownership! 

Participating in Holy Friday mass. Grey had some reading parts and Gemma was acolyte. The mass started at 7:30p so I went with Violet while B stayed home with the other three for bedtime.

Trying to figure out a short-term solution of our ShelterLogic shed that holds our hay. The material ripped from all the severe weather (snow, wind, rain) of the fall/winter and we've lost a bunch of bales from the leaking. (farm fact: hay bales that get moist not only grow mold and can't be fed to animals but are also a huge fire hazard!) To buy a new cover is way out of our price range, so B and the kids went through all the bales and took out the ruined ones to the compost pile and then we hung a big plastic tarp up underneath the frame and another overtop the remaining good hay bales. Daydreaming about someday building a real barn/pole building to keep all our hay and farm equipment in! 

Sporting with two baseball practices for Grey and games began this week. He had two baseball games and so far they are 2-0! We had downright miserable weather on Monday for Grey's game (rainy, chilly) and then beautiful get-ya-in-the-mood-for-baseball-season weather on Wednesday (hooray!!) I printed out my Parent letters for my 6U soccer team and the kids were overjoyed to finally got some soccer practices in this week after all the rain/]mud of last week. Violet and Rusty both had two practices and Gemma had one practice. 

Making bbq chicken sliders, beef stroganoff, frozen pizzas, baked ravioli (the kids love this super easy meal!), and burgers, hot dogs, and mac&cheese. 

Keto check in: in week one I lost 6.8 lbs, and even if it is mostly water weight, I'm counting it, man. We had some yummy meals this week: chicken cordon bleu (with leftover Palm Sunday ham), Big Mac casserole, tuna melt zucchini boats, buffalo cauliflower, orange roughy fish with roasted brussels sprouts, shrimp & broccoli alfredo, and I topped some leftover steak with banana peppers and butter and re-roasted it - it was legit better reheated! 

Around Here Week 14: 04/03-09

Monday, April 18, 2022

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

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 42+ hours (of 1000)
don't worry. it snowed again this week. at this point, I'm honestly getting seasonal depression. is it too much to ask for consistency and normal expectations for the seasons? Where are my spring thunderstorms and slightly warmer temps each day, little by little? ugh. sorry, I'm cranky about it.

Reading Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. still loving it so much.

Visiting with Mimi for Sunday brunch to celebrate her and Reddy's birthday. She wasn't able to come to the birthday party, so we brought the party to her! (honestly, our big family is truly a party in an of itself!) Mimi whipped up a delicious brunch, like only great grandmas can, and we sang over leftover cupcakes. 84 years young and just the very best. How lucky we all are to have our Mimi. 

Honoring chickie season! hahahha, we adopted 12 new baby chickies for the spring season. They are very sweet and we all just swoon over them all day long. 

Planning for Easter. I organized and loaded up the online shopping cart, I pulled out dress clothes from everyone's clothes stash and put together outfits that are ironed and hung in our closet ready for the next two Sundays. And I talked with both sides of family to finalize times and figure out what we are contributing to the celebration. It takes a lot of prep, but not being last minute frantic is always worth it

Calling in the tooth fairy as Rusty lost his first tooth! He had us cracking up when after Brandon pulled it out, he said, "Ugh, I can feel the goosh everywhere!" 

Missing Bud who headed out to Spruce Creek this week for his annual fishing trip with Uncle Jonny. They had a great time and caught a ton of beautiful, native trout. We did great holding down the fort, I told him it's a lot easier now that we have some bigger kids - Grey and Gem were so helpful. Chummie picked the girls up off the bus and visited for a little bit and then Pappy and Gigi stopped with groceries on Friday while Heather swung by and dropped off dinner too. My gratitude for the people that squeeze in tight when we need support and care is unending. We are so incredibly blessed by the people that love us. 

Sending Grey to the funeral home for a buddy who lost his grandma unexpectedly this week. Thank you Stankans for taking him with you!

Giggling about Liv and Wells. They are really coming into their little personalities, especially with each other. Welly loves the dogs and Livy loves stealing every single thing Wells ever has in his possession. They smile and coo at each other and were overjoyed when I put them both in a sink bath this week (although Red was really jealous and had a hard time understanding why he couldn't get in with them. He got a solo turn after them!) 

Congratulating Gemma who earned her Knights of the Math table in division this week (48 division facts in under a minute) and who is inching forward in progress as she learns the trumpet in fourth grade band. It's hard to believe I have these two tall (!), mostly grown kids walking around my house - like how did this happen?

Celebrating our 12 year old. Grey! If I said it once, I've said it non-stop for the past 12 years, I cannot understand time at all. He was thrilled to be picked up early from school by Dad and Uncle Jonny to go get wings and pizza for lunch. He is planning a survival-type camp out for a few weeks from now when the weather warms up a bit with his friends. 

Prom planning with a virtual meeting on Friday. We've finalized the budget and menu! Prom spirit week is planned, we are in the final week of ticket orders, and all our chaperones are covered. I feel really good at the spot we are in, which thank goodness because it is coming up quick! 

Grocery shopping with Grey and mostly laughing at his simple-minded middle school goofiness. He mostly drives me insane all day, everyday because tolerating the bizarre noises, movements, catchphrases, and "jokes" of middle school is a full time job. But I tried to lean into the awkward, cringe, ridiculousness of it all when it was just the two of us and we actually had a pretty fun time together.

Sporting with only one soccer practice this week due to the rain and muddy, swampy soccer fields. Since it was only the first week, the board decided not to ruin the fields right out of the gate (hah). Gemma had soccer practice on Monday while B took Rusty and Grey to get new cleats. Grey had a baseball scrimmage and then picture day on Saturday. 

Making chicken tenders, sloppy joes, spaghetti, slow cooker orange chicken over rice, take out pizza, steaks and moose on the grill with asparagus. For Keto: ground turkey, broccoli, and cheese skillet, alfredo shrimp and asparagus, taco meat over cauliflower rice, hot dogs, broiled haddock, lots of avo toast, eggs, and salads. 

Starting Keto this week because we are just disgusted with ourselves. hah. I know that sounds like negative body image talk - but really its more like we are tired to thinking about our bodies all day long; thinking about how our clothes feel uncomfortable, or our bones ache, or what we look like in photos, or moving easily. My goal weight is always the point in which I'm not even thinking about my body, I'm just taking it for granted because I feel comfortable in my own skin and it works like I want it to work. And we don't hate Keto after day3, it's actually pretty nice to have that carb brain fog lift. I went back and re-read my Keto posts from 3 years ago and was re-inspired and excited to get to that feeling of just being ME again, the me not so exhausted and controlled by carbs, processed foods, and over sugar. So, so far so great!