Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Spring/summer top 10

Wow...it has been a while since I last updated the blog.  So it goes in this ever busy life of this family.  Here goes.

10.  Spring and summer mean lots of yard work around our house.  And while not everyone loves it, we spend time together outside, racing back and forth with branches to the fire pit and things.  Thomas, however, loves yard work.  With dad on the mower or doing any old chore is where he is happiest.

9.  We finished our school year back in May.  I would have to say this was our best year yet.  I feel like the kids learned quite a bit here at home and with their online classes.  Their standardized test scores were great, and we finished our plans for the year, all with Thomas underfoot and on top of desks and tables, with markers and paint.  Yikes!

8.   Little Miss Lucy has turned 3!  How can this be?  Lucy is such a spit-fire, and we love her so.  I cannot imagine our life without her.  She went through quite a rough spell of screaming fits when frustrated and tired.  They were ugly.....Patrick thought her head might spin.  But we are making progress in the area.  I find it quite useful to simply tell her she needs to calm down and use words, or she will lose her dessert after dinner.  We don't eat dessert everyday after dinner, but Lucy isn't on to me yet.  

7.  Baseball season has ended.  Along with swim team long course.  Summer is such a busy time, but it was almost too busy when we were swimming and playing baseball, nearly everyday.  Luckily the little ones love to be outside, so we packed lots of picnics to eat out at the field.  Luke and Sean played baseball and Max played t-ball.

6.  I lost my calendar.  And life went on.  It was crazy for a bit as I tracked down which kid had what going on when.  I thought school was  the busy time of year, but this summer has proven me oh.so.very.wrong.  School ended.  We went on vacation.  Sean went to scout camp.  The kids had vacation bible school.  The kids had science camp.  They little guys had Y camp.  The big kids had an all day science camp.  Luke had scout camp.  We went to the beach for a family reunion.  A hurricane brought us and all our family home to our house.  We had baseball and swim team.  And games and 2 swim meets.  I just bought a new calendar.  And I can't wait to find my rhythm and organization again.  But the kids are truly loving the opportunities this summer has brought them.  

5.  A frog in the pool...a bunny too!  For some reason a very big turtle found his way into our pool.  Luckily for me, Luke fished him out of the deep end with some goggles and a fish net.  The kids took him down to the lake to throw him back in, after we checked him out of course.  A bunny made his way into the pool, while Sarah was giving Max some swim lessons.  She fished him out and we dried him off and kept him in a box with some food and water on our porch.  He had some injuries that made me think something had been interested in eating him before he "found" the pool.  Rocco maybe?  Anyhow, Patrick amused us all and looked him over, only to tell me he didn't think he would survive the night.  Sadly, he was correct.  But it was a good lesson in compassion for the children.  I asked if they wanted to hold a funeral for our little bunny, Mr. Cocoa, but Max, who took the news the hardest encouraged me to give him back to the woods where he would "help" other animals.  So. No digging for me.  yeah!

4.  We went and visited Scott and Mindy and all the kids in Texas, and we had a wonderful time.  It always amazes me how after a few minutes the kids are getting along like siblings...all of them.  It is such a blessing to spend time with their wonderful family.  Here are some highlights.

3.  Sean turned 9.  He is growing up so fast.  I had to buy him several pairs of pants this year as he sprouted up.  He is busy with all sorts of things.  Scouts and and swim team and play dates.  He has really improved in swimming and was "elected" to swim the 100 fly in the team relay for his age.  That is hard work.  He has become quite helpful in helping me with the little ones.  He has spent time fishing with his brothers and dad and grandpa.  He learned all sorts of great things this year in school, including Latin and all about ancient Rome and Greece.  He is still our quiet guy, who likes to think things over in his head.  And he loves to READ.   We love you Sean!

2.  We went to the beach with my side of the family.  And while it took some time to get there (It is still NC, how far away can it be?), we loved the time we got to spend soaking up the sun and surf. It was so special to watch all the little ones in the family get to know one another.  Even the hurricane couldn't keep us down.  Almost everyone came back to our neck of the woods to spend the last few days of vacation together.

1.  Summer is little more than half over and while we are all tired from being so busy, we are loving these summer days together. God has blessed me with these wonderful people who are my family.   And over the years I see just how fleeting our time here is with them all under our roof.  God has sent me gifts of love through these children.  A little sister who runs up to her brother as he leaves the baseball field and throws her arms around him.  "Mommy, I got to see Sean!"  Daily "fights" over who gets to sit next to the baby at dinner.  (The baby who is very loud and throws food from time to time, mind you).  Siblings who miss each other when they are away at camp and count down days until returns.  I plan on enjoying the next several weeks before life settles down to normal.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Valentines Day 2014

Valentine's Day fell just a few days after the great snow.  We were still in that cuddly, cozy sort of way.  Perfect for the day, I think.  Patrick and I made the kids a special Valentine's day breakfast.  And along with snow we had some Valentine's day treats.

 We made our first batch of snow cream on the day of the big snow.  I hadn't heard of it before but I guess it is a Southern tradition.  Luke said all the kids were talking about it at swimming, as in, "Luke, how long does your mom make you wait on a snow day to make snow cream?"  So we gave it a shot. Not as good as ice cream, but the kids ate it.
 I picked up a new Wii game before the storm, which I never, ever, ever do.  I let the kids have a Wii playing fest one afternoon. The Wii happens to be located in our bedroom at the moment.  So they played from our bed.
 I got Lucy a Pinkalicious book.  I had never seen one before.  She  loved it.  The rest of us...not so much.  Sarah thought they were mostly dumb, so I think I will only bring one home from the library a few times a year.

 Lucy cuddled up with popcorn and a movie to get warm after a time outside.

Snow day 2014

Last Wednesday the snows began, as predicted.  The weathermen said it would start at noon, and wouldn't you know the first flakes fell at 12:04.  We had fair warning of the storm, so we were well stocked up on important groceries and library books...and treats.  Roads don't really get salted here.  And only major ones get plowed.  The way it works in the South is that snow shuts down life for a few days until the ice and snow are mostly gone.  It was such a wonderful, cozy, fun-filled two days.  It was such a blessing of family time spent sledding, snowball fighting, game playing, book reading, cuddling, movie watching, cocoa drinking...and NO SCHOOL.  It was the first time I have given the kids an official snow day.  Patrick was home from work on those two days, and he is the one who declared it a SNOW DAY.  I am so thankful that the Lord blessed us with a snow storm this year and that a few days later all the snow was gone.  And a few days after that it was 70 outside!
 The "Baroness" a.k.a. Lucy loved the snow once we got her all bundled.  It was too deep to walk in, so Luke would take her where she needed to go.  Mostly she sat and ate snow!

 Can there ever be too many cups of hot cocoa?  We may have reached our limit.  But I tried to have hot water at the ready all day, so when the kids came in they could get warm in a hurry.
 We ended up with an extra kid during the storm.  Sarah's friend came over and within a few hours the roads were too bad to take her home.  She is such a sweetie and so helpful that we loved having her with us!
 I did laundry all.day.long.  I didn't mind, but am glad we only get snow about once every few years.
 The main road to our house during the storm.
Sean loved the snow more than anyone, which I found funny.  Here he is on a snow drift off the roof.
 Does this kid look sick?  Well he was.  I was thankful to have Patrick home as he got to see what 3 full days and nights with a sick kid are like.  It was so nice to have his extra hands.  Little man woke up with a fever of 103 the morning the storm was supposed to start, and the doctor's office had closed for the duration of the storm.  He was happy once we could get his fever down, but we played the fever game for 3 days.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas 2013

After a quick trip to St. Lucia and one to New Orleans for the Academy meeting, we had a few weeks to pack up the house and move to the new house.  Then it was just a few short weeks until Christmas.

St. Lucia

In November, Patrick and I got away for a few days with friends, to the lovely island of St. Lucia.  It was wonderful to spend time together in such a beautiful setting.  I don't think I have ever been somewhere so beautiful with such lovely islanders.  We had a fabulous time drinking, eating, swimming, drinking, sunbathing, drinking to our hearts content.

pumpkin patch

October brought a trip to the pumpkin patch.  It was a cold, but beautiful day and we enjoyed all the things the patch had in addition to the pumpkin picking.