Around Here Week 11: 03/10-16

Saturday, April 13, 2024

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

art, photo, and edit credit: Gemma

selfie credit: Grey

selfie cred: Abba

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 15+ hours (of 1000)
the daffodils have arrived! The kids got to play outside after school almost everyday this week thanks to the sunshine (trampoline, shooting hoops, chalk art, bikes, etc) and then we all got some time in the fresh air when we had a little picnic with cousins to celebrate Remi's birthday at the Que. On our way home right before dusk, the reflection of the sky on the water was so gorgeous I pulled right over to grab a picture. The kids were cheering me on from the car as I made me way down through some briar bushes to get the best vantage point - hah! 

Reading and finishing Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter. So adorable, so many tingling lovey moments - no spice (a nice surprise!) and just full of all those teenage heart fluttering moments. (gah, how is it possible to be able to access those feelings for my high school boyfriend so easily? I mean, luckily for my husband it just makes me want to kiss him because he WAS my high school boyfriend, hah!) Then I started The Body by Bill Bryson and well, Bill Bryson is just a master and I am loving it. 

Listening on my commute to Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange and finishing it. So interesting and capitivating. I loved listening to it because of all the different voice actors that narrated the book, but I think I would have preferred to have a copy of the book in front of me to flip back and forth and re-read some parts. Then I started Never Lie by Frieda McFadden

Getting to check in with a former student Tyson who was sweet enough to collect all my popcorn orders from the prom fundraiser for me! We met up at our local microcafe Cafe Dodie and had coffee and chatted and it was so nice to see him. We were laughing about how our goodbye this time was much less hysterical than the last time we parted ways (hahah - both of us crying in my classroom on my last day! LOL) 

Visiting with Kitty before she heads out for our PCT hike (!!) She will be gone for about 6 months as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail northbound (Mexico to Canada) with her fella Bryan. We are going to miss her terribly but are so inspired and in awe of her. What an incredible experience for mind, body, soul - I am only a teeny bit jealous. She has researched, prepared, made arrangements, and trained. I cannot wait to hear about her trip and see all the pictures and videos. Follow her and Bryon instagram to be inspired too: @kankla  @bweimer27 

So touched about a sweet message for me in our staff compliment notebook. It was so specific and really was a boost to my heart after still feeling like I'm floundering to get my feet under me (thank you Ms. Pyle!) Most of all - I want to share the idea with you all, because what an awesome tradition to start in a workplace! Please go add a 'compliment notebook' to your place of employment and get those supportive vibes going! 

Tell me you have a (nearly) teenage daughter without telling about staying up until almost 11p with a hair straightener in your hand while she giggles at ridiculous things and you have to shush her through a smile so she doesn't wake any of the other kids up. This is the good stuff man, please Tab, don't forget this. xox

Seeing my biggest boy smile because it's fishing season ya'll. He got to fish at Yellowcreek this week and there ain't nothing that makes my child happier than being in a creek with a fly rod in his hand. 

Fangirling at the CT high school musical - they did Mary Poppins. It was flawless and left me getting teary-eyed proud to be a member of this community. It is very cool at CT that the whole student body seems to makes an effort to support the musical, either by attending or volunteering. Our Gemma ushered twice this week (directing audience to seats) and when we attended Brandon had varsity football players there passing out programs and selling flowers. If you want to be inspired, please get your butt to a local high school musical; these young people are out there dazzling.

Watching The Eras Tour on Disney+ and at one point our entire family was sitting on the couch, smooshed together, staring in awe. 

Enjoying lunch & a cousin playdate with Heather and Caleb. They stopped up with lunch in hand (thank you!) so Heather and I could catch up (25 different topics interrupted 85 times - it's hilarious how we can keep all the strings connected, hah!) The boys played outside and even took a little bike ride to DG. Cousins make the best friends.

Shipping Gem and Vi off with Abba and Chum to work on their new house. Nothing these girls like more than demo days. Hah! Chum had them jackhammering and knocking walls down. 

Volunteering with You in Flood City at the first annual Paddy's Day Pub Crawl. B and I were stationed at The Haven for registration - along with Russell, Mo, and Jake. We had a lot of fun chatting and face painting pub crawlers while sipping on green beers and people watching. After the registration, B and I got dinner at The Boulevard (also a pub crawl stop) and there was live music and delicious bruschetta. My sister is the head of YIFC and like always - she put on an amazing event. Check out the video of the event here (bravo to Bridge Perspective you guys are honestly the very best at capturing the essence of the thing. xxo) 

Setting up our leprechaun trap! Grey was actually a great support in getting the trap designed and organized; he had the kids all excited about the leprechaun. Reddy was a little scared about it at first (a man who breaks into our house?!) and Olive kept thinking we were saying "Mrs. Conn" (our friend who is the mom of Grey's besties & is also Gemma's teacher), so she kept asking, "When Mrs. Conn coming?"

Teaching 3 full days and 2 shortened days thanks to a 2hr snow delay on Monday and a regularly scheduled early dismissal on Friday!  It felt like a much needed adjustment though so that I could get my school life organized and I was thankful. Spanish special continued with our capybara projects (kids are having so much fun and being so creative!) Spanish Expo learned about Spanish speaking countries and geography. Spanish 1 started Unit 4A (ir, places) while we also worked through Somos 1 Unit 2.5 (Cumbia) and Spanish 2 started their 4A (imperfect tense, childhood items) while also working through Somos 2 Unit 7 (acosador). After a wonky yet busy week, on Friday, I received a very sweet thank you and a potted plant (thank you Destiny & Nik!) and it was such a nice way to end the week on.

Sporting Violet had 1 indoor Sparks soccer practice and Gemma had the championship game at the CV tournament; they came in second but she was proud to represent her team as an all-tourney player. Grey had baseball practice for the school 4 nights this week (including photos and the team meeting), and on Saturday, he had a pony league baseball practice. B had his Franklin basketball game on Sunday night and our whole family was able to be there to cheer him on after Gemma's tournament. It is always nice to watch him play something he loves so much (and is ridiculously talented at. my handsome, talented husband - proud of you always).

Making chicken&gravy over mashed potatoes, Sloppy Joes and Shells&Cheese, Dump & Bake Aloha Chicken & Rice (yum!), For breakfasts we had pumpkin/chocolate muffins on the Act 80 day. For dessert I made a double batch of cowboy cookies!

Around Here Week 10: 03/03-09

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

 A glimpse into what it is like to be in our family just this moment. 

photo cred: Peyton

photo cred: Jackie F

photo cred: Stacy S (thank you!)

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 12+ hours (of 1000)
The first sign of fake spring this week was incredible. What a boost to my soul! It was short lived (cold rain by the weekend - but I'll take it! 

Reading and finishing Six Years by Harlan Coben. I made it through it but still not a fan of his writing style or storytelling despite several of the writers I admire having positive reviews on the cover of the book. I had no investment in the characters and it all sort of felt contrived. I tried, but he's a no for me. It was a borrow from my friend Sami (thank you!) Then I got started on Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter - it was a suggestion from my best friend's daughter Sophie (thank you Soph!) 

Listening on my commute to Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange, and wow!

Retrieving Osa from some kindhearted Good Samaritans who picked her up on the side of the highway. She apparently was out having some major adventure while half the kids and I were at church and B & Vi were at the basketball game. We came home to texts and facebook tags to a picture of Osa in someone's car asking if anyone knew who she belonged Good grief! Very grateful to our friends who messaged us right away and also to the couple who scooped her up and met me so I could get that crazy pup back home! 

Missing B. He spent 3 nights and 4 days at his annual work conference in Hershey. We all miss Daddy something fierce when he's not at home. And it is always a logistical scramble when there is only one parent/ one driver in the house. Thanks to family, friends, and teammates though - we somehow manage to float back up to the surface. Honestly, how do I do it? NOT BY MYSELF! (bless you: Abba, Chum, Pappy, Gigi, Miss Emma, Miss Baylee, the Feathers family, the Conn family, the Lasure family, Heather, Kev&Uch, Kitty, Kuma, and Mimi for all you did to support us this wacky week - whether it was rides, pickups, dropoffs, check ins, or plain old emotional support - hah!) 

......and most of all, thanks to our own kids; Grey, Gem, Vi, Rust, Reddy, and Olive who all go easy on me when Daddy is away. They are so helpful with chores and trying to be extra patient with each other. My life is easier because you are in it, my babies; easier because you are generous and loving and thoughtful. I am so grateful to get to be your momma. xxo

Just staying afloat. This week felt like a blur because with B gone for three days, a basketball tournament, the official start of baseball practices, and only my second week in a new school; it was enough to just try to keep my head above water. I didn't do much besides work, made food, help with kids' homework, and workout logistics of who needed to be where and how (hah).

Bottom braces for the Roie! She looks more beautiful (how!? seriously) and a big thank you to Abba who got her to the appointment!

Picking up my books at Young Hearts Books & Toys on Saturday. My dear friend, Renee is the owner (as of only December) and she is doing incredible things up there to promote a love of curiosity and learning and her store is truly becoming a real hub for her community. I am so darn proud of her (love you, Renee!) She orders books for the store and sends out the opportunity to the community to place a book order too and I gladly took advantage of it. My book haul was available for pick up and so I took some of our kids and like always - they were obsessed looking (and wanting everything). We confirmed that the Easter bunny shops there (lol) and they brought some of their own money to buy copious amounts of Thinking putty. 

Teaching and settling in at my new school. I'm getting more comfortable with the schedule and the routines - still need lots of prep time to try to get into step with the curriculum, but I'm getting there. I'm trying to stay positive and give myself grace - but geez is it hard to start over in a new place! Please let this be a reminder to give a hug to anyone you know who started a new job, hah! Spanish special at the elementary school started a Capybara Design project (big hit!) Spanish Expo (8th grade) worked through the Somos Unit 2 Corre/Camina unit. Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 each reviewed the unit they were supposed to be learning while their teacher was on maternity leave (key word being supposed to)...but after some check ins, we all agreed that we'd do a week long review and then unit test this week and move on! 

Sporting with a basketball game and a sparks soccer practice for Violet. Gemma played with the Jr High soccer soccer team at a tournament in Latrobe, then had a 6th grade basketball tournament at CV (1 game Wednesday and 3 games on Saturday); her team made it to the championship game which will be played on Sunday. Grey had his last baseball pitching and then the start of baseball practice (5 nights of practice) was this week. He also had a QB training and a pony league baseball practice on Saturday.  We had so much support this week for rides to practices/games - thank you so much Feathers family, Abba, Pappy, and Conn family!

Making Change Your Life chicken, turkey burgers and homemade fries, sheetpan kielbasa & veggies, creamy chicken pasta in the crockpot, take out pizza (B ordered it and surprised as while he was away at the conference!), and tacos and/or taco salads.