Friday, August 31, 2012

My week with five kids!

Today concludes my week of having five kiddos in my house! Whew, I made it! I'm alive. More importantly, so are all of the kids! My house is still standing, even if it is a total disaster. And don't even ask about my laundry pile that is nearly as tall as my washing machine. But everyone has been fed at breakfast, snack, lunch, and snack {and dinner, too, for my family}. We've had lots of fun and had minimal time outs! The week has gone by quickly, if not only for the fact that everything takes longer to do. I'm exhausted, but I've loved it!

Seriously, check out this face that I got to snuggle with. How could you NOT love this?!

So, here's what kept us busy this week!

Playing in the back yard

Walking to the playground, and climbing mountains.

And this girl. Seriously. No fear. I was on the other side of the equipment helping Jackson with the monkey "jars" when I look over and Belle is crossing this bridge thing BY HERSELF! I practically had a heart attack. 

We painted several times this week and it was a total success. 1) Jackson was actually occupied for more than two seconds... all of the older kids actually. And 2) He used colors other than black! Miracles on both accounts. 

One morning we walked over to the park, but not where the playground part. The instructions: GO RUN! They played with sticks, they petted dogs, the raced around trees. It was good for them to wiggle in big open spaces. 

During our walks, this girl was sleeping it up. Have I even mentioned how much I love using my moby wrap? Totally amazing.

And today, it's raining {yay!} so we couldn't play outside. We improvised and made a fort. 

Don't you love the front door?! The kids toys add some super cool elements to fort building!

Chillin' under the table. {and for the record-- I have no idea what Belle is doing. I said, "say cheese!"}

Edit: After I wrote this post and the kids woke up from nap-- they actually got to play in the rain too! It was the perfect rainstorm to play {i.e. no lightning} and they had the most fun.

{please no comments about Belle being in her jammies until 5pm. It was just that kind of day!}

So... am I opening up my very own daycare. Ha. Nope. For those who might be new readers, I used to watch Chacey full time before I had Belle {and her parents moved to Canada the north part of the city} and her and Jackson are basically BFFs. Tenley is her itty bitty newborn sister. I only had these two this week. And the little guy, David, he's a friend of Jackson's from church and now that school has started, I am watching him four days a week. Instead of feeling like an extra kid is extra work, he actually makes my two kids LESS work. So it's perfect!

The fun thing-- I went to high school with Elizabeth and I met Marena in college. If someone would have told me those many years ago that, "Your kids and her kids are going to be best buddies" I wouldn't ever have believed it! Life is so funny the way it turns out sometimes! I'm just super lucky that my kids have good friends that come from great families!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Crappy Weekend Recap

Despite having a house full of children today {five, actually}, today has been what every Monday should be, a nice calm day to recover from the weekend. Maybe that tells you a little something about my weekend.

To avoid being overly dramatic and an overall whiner, I don't want to dwell on the crapiness of the past few days. I'll try to sum it up real quick: Rain put a damper on our tailgating plans. I witnessed {worse: paid money to see} one of the worst football games EVER. Our van broke down on our sweet babysitter and was towed the next morning. Sensing me at my weak point, my children started acting like crazy people. My plans with friends on Saturday fell through. Lastly, since I was lacking my vehicle {and DVD player} and I was completely exhausted at this point-- my plans to travel to Springfield to attend a baby shower and to visit my sister got squished. Ugh. Did I mention that Derek was at drill? Double ugh.

In the midst of the obnoxiousness of the weekend, I did attempt to pull myself together. To calm down and focus on the positive things going on as well. Here's a few I came up with.

  • The rain let up and the weather was perfect for the game- even though the game itself was much less than perfect. Final score: 44-14. Ouch. But, we had a good time.

  • I ran into a guy I went to high school with at the Chiefs game and so I went up and said hi. He remembered my name, which was surprising because I never even knew the people in my brother's grade actually knew my name. I was always just "Phil's little sister" to that crowd. 
  • Jackson started singing along to a song on K-Love in the car on Saturday afternoon. It was his first time and it melted my heart as he was singing "I want to live like that" by the Sidewalk Prophets. 
  • I have fabulous in-laws who came to the rescue multiple times over the weekend-- even at 11pm on Friday night after I got home from the football game. My M-I-L has loaned us her vehicle while mine is out of commission. 
  • Missouri welcomed home 400 National Guardsmen this weekend from deployment. One is a friend from college. It made my heart happy to think of all of the joy the families were experiencing! 
  • At Walmart Jackson was pre-tantrum over riding in just a regular cart. And I simply said to him, "Mommy is having a really crummy day. I really need Jackson just to sit in this cart and to not make a fit. That will make Mommy's day much better and it will make me so happy for Jackson to obey." And guess what-- he did! I was so proud at that moment. 
  • Lastly, while we were at the store, I decided to let the kids pick out a toy each. I can count on one hand {two fingers, this weekend included} the times I've bought a toy for my kids from the store. I had a gift card that I got for participating in a research study and I'm glad I got to share it with them!

Jackson picked out a Super Hero Squad car with Spiderman and Hulk and I picked up a knock-off My little pony set for Belle. 

But they each spent more time playing with each other's toy! Crazy kids. 

Derek came home from drill earlier than expected and we even snuck out to a movie last night after church. We're ready for this week and then it's a three day weekend! Woo hoo! And believe it or not... it's my ten year reunion so we're headed back to my old stompin' ground. Craziness.  


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Take me out to the ballgame

Taking Jackson to a Royals game was high on the list of things to do this summer and we finally made it happen last weekend. We met up with friends and had a great time.

Elizabeth snapped this photo of my family and it might be my new fave family pic!

Friday night games are the best-- it's buck night

and fireworks!

We joked that the entire evening seemed like a date for Jackson and Chacey. I'd love to say these photos were totally staged for cuteness sake, but it's not true.

The date even ended with a kiss. Jackson was content with chest-bump send off, but when Elizabeth told the kids to say good-bye, Chacey looked at Jackson and said, "give me a kiss." I made sure to mention that if a wedding is in the future these two, that we would fulfill the traditional role in paying for the rehearsal dinner and the rest was up to them. :)

Meanwhile-- here's what the rest of us were up to...

We browsed the museum before the game

Belle got to hold baby Tenley... and instead of being all sweet and gentle, she 'bonks' her nose. Ha. I'm so glad I was able to snap this shot. It wasn't quite what I was expecting to get, but it's just so cute. 

And Belle cheered for the home-runs!


And when she got antsy, we handed her a bag of cheetos to keep her occupied for awhile.

And when I tried to get a cute picture together, she was being a total stinker and she wouldn't put that tongue in her mouth...

So I joined her! Look at her dimple chin!

We won the game and the fireworks after the game were fantastic as usual. It was a perfect ballgame experience!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's raining, it's pouring...

Okay, that's an exaggeration; more like wishful thinking. But we did get a morning full of gentle rain, which was a wonderful treat. It's been months since we've had some cool weather and a rainy morning!

If your not from the midwest, you may not even know how dry and unbelievably hot it has been this summer. So I'll share a picture. This is the state of Missouri and a Drought Monitor that I got from the National Weather Service website. All 114 counties in MO have been declared a "disaster" in order to obtain federal assistance. We live in Cass County, which one of the 4 counties labeled 'Excepational'.

So I'm not exaggerating when I say it's been dry and way too hot... which had unfortunately created devastating numbers in agriculture. Over 84% of corn, 74% of soy bean, 99% of pastures are in "very poor" condition, while 91% of water supplies and 89% of hay supplies are short. And it's obviously not just in Missouri, but all over the midwest!

Of course I'm not looking forward to the higher grocery prices that will come this fall and I'm sad that I can't take the kids to the berry and peach farms because they are closed due to no crop. But want to know what else is really crappy about this drought??

My yard... our grass is so dead that we haven't mowed in EIGHT WEEKS.

My hostas (and all my other flowers). And I could have watered them and my grass more often than I did, but I have a very large yard and I didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a losing battle...

And more than just the dead grass, our yard has cracked! Did you know dirt shrinks when it's dry? This has also made our roads, sidewalk, and driveway crack too.

And the shrinking dirt has caused the foundation under our master bedroom to sink... which has made our bedroom start to pull apart from the rest of the house. Jackson likes to play cars by our door, because if you put them down up at the door frame, they roll down. Who needs Hot Wheels Tracks when you have a sinking foundation?

The gap in our shower is nearly an inch and a half at the widest. And you can see that it's not just pulling apart, but going down by looking at the tiles that make an "X".

Oh it pains me to look at these photos! We stopped using our shower several months ago so we don't get a ton of water through that crack and because our shower door quit latching. We did have a quote to fix this and it was more than a year of mortgage payments. Ugh. The contractor we talked to-- his business is booming! Did you know you should water your foundation when it's dry outside!? Yeah, we learned that a little too late.

Oh, homeownership...

But, at least we had a rainy morning. We are still blessed enough to have food even if it will cost more and we still have a roof over our heads. Be sure to pray for our farmers and remember that there will be some families who won't be able to keep up with grocery prices. Be sure to donate to your local food banks! Not only will more people need food, but they will be receiving less from the farmer surplus.

And pray for rain!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Fun Day

Today turned into an impromptu day of fun! Mostly fun anyway and that's what the pictures portray anyway. We won't discuss the relentless back talking three year old, the 20-minute-nap-is-sufficient one year old, and the endless whining from each of them for not wanting to leave/have more candy/not to take a nap/to buy bottled water/hold me/put me down.. and on and on. I love my kiddos, but whew... taking them to have fun is quite an exhausting feat. But, it was still a super fun day!

Last night {or early morning depending on how you categorize midnight} Elizabeth and I decided to meet up at Wonderscope so the kiddos can play and we can have adult interaction. It'd been over two years since we last visited! It's a pretty cool place and I'm not sure why we waited so long to go back!

Belle taking care of animals in the Vet room

and Jackson looked through the x-rays

Not surprisingly, admin was the most coveted spot in office.

Yay! We're coloring on the walls! {and not getting in trouble!}

And what is with these two-- we're at a museum, not at prom! What a cute picture though.

In the ball room...

Down the ramp...

And then on to the H2Oh room...

And the shadow making room-- they were making funny shadows on the wall. 

Then to the Farm room. Belle was picking cucumbers from the garden.

And she loved the shopping cart-- full of her fresh garden pickings!

Oh, and I got to spend some time snuggling with sweet Tenley!!

 And the kiddos enjoyed a picnic lunch. My child is probably the only child on the planet who'd rather trade his cheetos for grapes and luckily, Chacey was pleased with the system as well!

After lunch, they played for a bit longer and then came the drive home, which offered me my very first opportunity to pull the car off the highway to discipline my child. I suppose that's what I get for keeping him way up past his nap time in order to squeeze in some fun.

Then later this afternoon, after I scored some great garage sale finds {which is always very fun for me!} I decided we needed to take advantage of this cool weather--85 degrees-- and take the Belton Train ride that we've been meaning to do for the longest time! 

We were all pretty excited about the train ride, well except for Belle. She was a cranky pants {being that she refused to nap today}. This picture shows her little attitude!

Jackson loved looking out the window

And Belle lightened up as the evening went on...

And Friday night means ice cream on the train!! Delish!

I'm glad Jackson wanted to ride on the open-air train for the return trip back! It was a beautiful night and it was a pretty view!

Jackson and the conductor-- all the staff who run the museum/railroad are volunteers! They did a great job!

I love being able to take the kiddos to do fun things! Now if only I could take a day to recover and to get caught up on all my household chores that I didn't get around too doing... oh well. At least I have happy kids and fun memories. :)



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