Around Here Week 24: 06/12-18

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 314+ hours (of 1000)
Up over 37 hours this week: snagged at the baseball field, Rusty's party, and plenty of time hiking and enjoying the outdoors at our getaway weekend in Ohiopyle. 

Reading How We Show Up by Mia Birdsong and The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Celebrating Rusty's birthday with a Spiderman/bouncy house party at our house. We rented a bounce house/water slide from Flood City Rentals and it was a huge hit! I made cupcakes and then DIY'ed some chocolate webs for them (thanks Pinterest!) We had hamburgers and hot dogs, the grandmas brought sides, and Rusty was so happy to have his friends join us for the day. (thank you all who came and helped our Rustman feel special!)

Catching up with the Vorndrans! So grateful they made the trip in from Pittsburgh for Rust's party (they are his godparents and our dear friends). They stayed after the party and the kids got extra time to play and I was so grateful to have time to chat and hang out together - it's so hard with growing kids, activities, and life to squeeze in the time with good friends. (thank you guys!!)

Loving Reddy's progression in speaking. He is really getting it now and saying all kinds of things more clearly. After two years of not hearing actual words come out of his mouth, it's startled me multiple times this week to understand him exactly. "Lay with me." "I like beans." "Hit the ball, Mom!" Granted, we still have plenty ways to go yet (lots of initial sounds missing, some letter sound struggles, still baby gibberish rants, etc) but it feels miraculous to be able to two-way communicate with him now.

Catching the NBA finals on the projector outside on the back porch. Go Warriors! 

Swimming at Pappy & Gigi's one afternoon. I took all the kids plus Wells - to their house and Gigi made us spaghetti lunch! Perfect summer afternoon!

Having another great week at Studerbabies Farm & Free Play. We had a bunch of families on Monday and they got a surprise of being able to use our bounce house from Rusty's party - but even still the chickens and goats were a bigger draw (yes! nature for the win always!) Rusty even put on his Spiderman suit and surprised the little kids - they gave him hugs and high fives. It was the sweetest thing. Very grateful for Gem's help each Free Play session as she helps facilitate so much - from feeding the animals to helping kids play. She is such a helping blessing to me always. 

Packing and planning for our getaway weekend. Uch is so good about sending out a big family email giving us lots of packing suggestions and making sure everything we need is delegated between the family members (thank you!) I was in charge of meal planning the weekend and then we all took parts of the grocery list (thank you Walmart Pick up) and we were able to cover the whole weekend for food! 

Ordering our tshirts for Beer Olympics!

Finally finishing the clothes bins project and getting all the bins back up into the attic (well, almost all - I have two bins of boys' clothes that still need figured out). When I put them away, of course it was a super hot day - so it was probably over 100 degrees in the attic. Holy sweating -but whatever, it's done and I am so relieved.


Ohiopyle Getaway with our Adams family

We spent the weekend away at Ohiopyle State Park in a VRBO with my parents, sisters & fellas, and all the kiddos. It was such a beautiful place - right on the Youghiogheny river, so the boys were all overjoyed to get in some fly fishing time. The kids were obsessed with wading in the river and made some serious core childhood memories perched on rocks with the river pulling them from all sides; laughing and pretending to float away. There were train tracks right across the driveway - so the kids loved running to the window to watch the train go by and Grey may or may not have left a few coins on the tracks to be smashed by the train over the weekend. 

We took a day trip over to Cucumber Falls and Meadow Run Natural Waterslides. I know I've said it too many times before - but nature is so amazing and humbling. It was a beautiful perfect day hiking and I am so grateful that we have family that can still hike even in their 60's and are interested in hiking with us (even pregnant or with babies strapped to them). All the best memories happen outside - I believe that to my guts. 

My favorite part of extended family vacations though are all the moments in between of togetherness; everyone sharing meals around a big table, laughing and telling memories around the fire, playing games like cornhole and volleyball with mix-matched teams and forming random alliances. Such a great weekend and so very thankful to be all together. We also got to celebrate Father's Day and have a toast to Chum's last week of work before retirement! Kitty and Abba put together a scavenger hunt with treasure box together for the kids and Uch had a splash pad delivered for the babies right to the cabin! We had yummy food, refreshing drinks, deep belly laughs, three-babies-in-the-tub photo shoots, coffee on the back deck in the early sunlight, and very little personal space with all the kids all over everyone all the time (sharing couches, chairs, hammocks, laps, and holding hands). 


Sporting with basketball open gym for Violet and Gemma for one hour on Tuesday mornings. The high school coach holds the one day/one hour a week event for girls in grades 2-6 and it is such a great opportunity to build on and encourage the youth basketball program for girls! Thankful for it and very thankful that it is free! Grey had a basketball summer league game on Tuesday and B and I had to unfortunately miss our volleyball game that night due to sick kids and a school board meeting (big bummer). Grey had his last regular season youth baseball league game on Monday (bittersweet!) and then two playoff games with his CT team to clinch the championship 3 game series for next week!

Making pulled pork and baked French fry potatoes, Asian flavored ground turkey rice bowls, and leftovers from the birthday party. At our Getaway trip we had - spaghetti & meatballs, church picnic chicken with haluski, tacos and homemade guacamole (YUM, kitty!), sheet pan kielbasa & veggies, homemade pizza, and lots of snackies including funfetti muffins and chocolate chip cookies. 

Keto Check in: still going strong(ish) because we just feel better to be low carb, honestly. Down a total of 14.2 lbs since the beginning of April. We had air-fryer cauliflower, ground turkey with broccoli and alfredo. I also made our favorite snackie: Keto no bakes (shredded coconut, cocoa powder, and peanut butter!)

Around Here Week 23: 06/05 - 06/11

Friday, June 24, 2022

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

cousins! Olive, Wells, and Gracie

photo cred: Grey (for my phone lock screen)

photo cred: uch

how I coach U6 soccer (lol) photo cred: Uch

"orange, orange, orange! Oooooh!" photo cred: uch

Gemma & her friend Evelyn goofing around with the camera - cool shot!

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 277+ hours (of 1000
Summertime and the outdoor hours are easy. Trampoline gets used probably minimum of six hours a day (LOL). Violet cut some of my gorgeous peonies to put on the kitchen table and they look beautiful - my poor plant was so weighted down by so many blooms! I'm glad to have some to display! 

Reading How We Show Up by Mia Birdsong and finding so many important nuggets of information. 

Blessed to celebrate the baptism of our sweet baby cousin Gracie. She lives in Montana with her parents, Morgan and Nick and this is our first time getting to meet that little darling. It was a beautiful baptism at our former church and then a picnic celebration at my Aunt Lisa and Uncle Matt's house (Gracie's grandparents!) The kids had a a great time swimming and there was so much catching up to do while eating so much delicious food. 

Enjoying time with friends. Gem attended a birthday party for her friend Peyton at 814 Lanes and Violet had a playdate at our house with her friend Giada. So many good memories and laughter at baseball games, soccer games, and the soccer tournaments this year. We are so lucky to have people who share, laugh, and chase after our kids with us! The kids' friends are all so patient and sweet with the babies; it is truly a whole village who helps us raise our babies (thank you!!) 

Finding out that we are getting a....nephew! Uch finally spilled the beans to let us know that her next sweet little babe (due in October) will be another boy! Love him too much already! 

Adjusting to the summer work schedule. B started his 10-hour work days, but then gets Fridays off which is so awesome in the summer. Makes for a very long day for him but a good trade off for the extra weekend time. How grateful I am to have this man of mine.

Pulling every single kids' clothes bin from the attic and dumping them all out in the boys room to reorganize, donate, switch seasons, and silently cry (LOL). Gosh, biggest job ever, but for the past two years of pregnancy and newborns, I have literally just be doing the bare minimum on switching kids' clothes; like throwing boys, girls, any season, any size into any box I could find and shoving them in the attic for now. So it was really back to square one. I took four huge bags to our local thrift store (St Francis Sharing & Caring), organized boxes to send off to younger cousins, donated four big bags of baby girl clothes to a local mom (thanks local facebook page), and really felt such a relief to just check that terrible task off the list!

Shocked when Reddy pulled a dead bird out of his outdoorsman pouch the other day. After the initial shock, he showed me where he found it (under a tree in the pasture). So we placed it to rest under a big pine tree, scrubbed our hands with soap and then hand sanitizer on top of that, and then cleaned out the pouch. Good grief! 

Finding ways to beat the heat! We pulled out a little slip n' slide, use the sprinkler under the trampoline, simply spray each other with hose (this never turns out well), play on our water table, and spend a lot of time in the shade (back porch, under trees, or on the swing at Agnes). So many people comment to us how tan we all are - especially my little sun-whitened hair children - but honestly we are just outside so much and many times in the shade! 

Having a great first week of free play at Studerbabies farm! We had four different families visit us this first week with a total of six kids between them. We fed the animals, played in the 'spooky forest,' made new friends, and learned a little too how to make it work smoothly. Abba painted me a big sign and Chum helped hang it up! (thank you!!) 

Happy for Grey to get a day fishing at Shawnee with cousins Caleb and Albert. Grey had a sleepover then spent the whole day on the fishing boat doing his favorite thing with one of his favorite people! Thank you Albert and Heather!!

Taking the two babies for their well checks. Both got good marks and look healthy and strong. Liv had to get some vaccines (eek, 12 month old shots are a'plenty!) but she took it like a champ and Red was sweet and comforting to her. 

Confirming a summer job for Grey - he is mowing grass for a local family once a week. It was hard work, but he is grateful to be making some money. What a lesson in the value of a dollar for him too, all the sweat and time it takes to make the money, it's a little harder to spend it. 

Another soccer tourney Saturday at Richland where Gemma's team did an amazing job making it to the championship game again before earning second place! Our girl was an iron wall again on defense and really stands her ground no matter what the opposing team sends her way - boy, girl, faster, stronger - Gem will not back down. We love watching her fearlessness out there! One more tournament to go and she is determined to beat the Richland team this next time! Heather and I organized our food for the day - we had walking tacos with all the fixins', monster cookies, and plenty of snackies. 

Grateful to send the meatballs (Violet & Rusty) to one of our family reunions with my parents. They attended the Adams family reunion while we were at the soccer tournament. I am always thankful that we have family reunions so our kids can trace their jawlines back through the family tree of ancestors. (thank you for taking them Abba & Chum!)

Sporting with the last week of regular season AYSO soccer. Rusty had his last two games and we had a little post-season snack celebration with the team after our final game (thank you to all the parents for bringing snacks and for letting me coach your kiddos. We had a great bunch of kids, I loved being part of our team!) Violet had her last two games and finished the season undefeated! Gemma had her last two regular season games and an all star practice. On Saturday, we spent the day at Richland at Gem's soccer tourney. Grey had three baseball games and two practices for his sanction team. He also had two summer league basketball games and watched the city team to meet the coach and players to help him make decisions about next year. B and I had our co-ed volleyball game at Roxbury and thank goodness as always to Miss Hannah who met us at the soccer field to watch two games and then came down to Roxbury to watch the kids while B and I played. (we are so blessed by you Miss Hannah!!)

Making turkey taco pasta, sheet pan kielbasa and veggies, sloppy joes and mac & cheese. I also put into a place a plan to deal with the summer all day eating frenzy of a house full of kids. I made a big batch of something in the day that the kids could eat/snack on when they said they were hungry all the live long day instead of having them eat 18 bowls of cereal or 20 packs of fruit snacks. For example, on Monday I made haluski (cabbage & noodles) and left it on warm in the electric skillet and on Wednesday we had buffalo chicken dip in the crockpot all day. Some other things I tried this with was chicken nuggets (already cooked, just need microwaved for a few seconds), chocolate chip cookies, and mac & cheese. 

Keto check in: down a total of 13.4 lbs since we started in the beginning of April. Trying to not weigh myself every single day because it can be discouraging - a hard habit to break being a teen in the 90's (hah!) We had taco "nachos" (over green/red/yellow peppers) and ground beef with broccoli and alfredo sauce. Lots of salads, lunchmeat roll-ups, and tuna too!