Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Middle School Ready

This room feels so grown up. Despite my best efforts to deny facts, Kate is no longer a little kid.
Kate was ready for a change. Her room had served her well enough while she shared with her little brother but once he gained his own space, she asked for an update. What transpired was her vision and she executed it well. The bunk beds and dollhouse bookcase were replaced with Lauren's queen size bed once Taylor moved his bed into her apartment today. We had been collecting bedding and accessories for several weeks in anticipation of this transition. I am relieved she was happy with the paint color and wanted to work with her existing quilt even though it is twin size. Frames were spray painted and other wall decor was picked up at 80% off clearance sales. Not only does Kate have the ability to pull a look together, but she can do it on a tight budget.
Kate chose the fabric and Anna's mom made the pillows

Elephants were the subtle theme. All of my girls have loved them at one time or another.

The chairs were Erin and Lauren's. I keep very few things in the attic so Kate is happy these were available
We may have another tech on our hands...she helped construct the night stand and moved furniture.
All indications are this was a success

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Wedding Day

Sometimes things feel so much bigger than words can adequately describe. This was one of those things.
photo credit Theresa Gambrell

photo credit Theresa Gambrell
Photo credit Theresa Gambrell 

photo credit Theresa Gambrell

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Strawberries and Ducks

I took the kids to pick strawberries, have a picnic and then get ice cream at Huber's this week. It was a glorious 70 sunny degrees and we loved every minute of our day out. Levi turns two later this month and thoroughly enjoyed "helping" us pick berries. He selected his from the boxes we had already picked and sampled them for us. All the while he kept saying "help". He was charming, messy and happy.

During our picnic, it became mating season for one duck couple right by our table. The children decided they were fighting and must be siblings because one was half drowning the other. I remained silent. Awkwardly silent.
There are no photos of the ducks. I am not that kind of photographer.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Crying Over Spilled Water

There is this incredible man in my life; my first super hero of sorts. I know I can call him for anything from home repairs to finances. And whereas he may not always have answers, I always feel better after hashing things out with him. I call him Dad.

My dad is known for using humor to tackle tough subjects and I find I lean toward laughter (sometimes inappropriately) to process difficult situations myself. It works for us. So when I walked into the emergency room last night after a frantic three hour drive, I was not at all surprised to hear him declare the room service at home stunk so he was trying a new place.

My dad has an excellent health record but his family line does not. I missed the chance to say goodbye to both of his parents who were younger than he is now because by the time it was understood they were having heart attacks, it was too late. I have always feared losing him the same way. My dad was very ill and more than 24 hours later, we still don't know why. But he is back to his ornery self, wearing out nurses and my mother. I wouldn't have it any other way although I suspect my mother might have a slightly different opinion.

After the initial shock of my mom's call and the frustration of sitting in rush hour traffic when I simply needed to get to my parents, a take charge calm took over. The girls and I looked to jokes and funny stories to keep us from stewing as we navigated that drive. My emotions remained in check until a cup of water was spilled this morning. It was clear at that point my dad was going to be okay but the reality of what I feared bubbled over and spilled out of me much like that cup of water and I sobbed uncontrollably. No matter how old I get or how far apart we live, I need my dad and I am beyond grateful this was not as serious at they initially suspected.  After all, my world is a much happier place with his particular sense of humor in it.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Adoption Day and Other Crazy Decisions

Layla, deck stain model
In honor of Layla's adoption day today, I am re-sharing this post written by Layla herself. She is a happy, rambunctious addition for sure but I am not going to lie, there are days I wish I had found her a good home that wasn't ours. But the kids love her and I love them so she will remain a member of the family despite her endless antics.
The father of the bride is a hottie.
Date Night! Because even Home Depot without kids counts when you need some time together.
So there was this idea that occurred to me when my beautiful daughter sprung six weeks notice of a wedding on me. I thought hosting it in our backyard would be affordable and easy. What I have learned is that easy is a relative word in that it might be easy compared to some other sort of wedding planning but what I didn't bank on would be the grocery list of projects I would love to have completed before the event. The truck has spent a fair amount of time in the yard and we would rather not discuss the time and money we have invested at Home Depot. Lets just say they recognize us there.

My son has discovered Power Rangers on Netflix. Lord help me. I can't even begin to describe the horror of the scripts, acting and graphics but he is hooked. As result of this recent discovery, he is convinced he can skateboard while doing back flips. This is not going to end well.

Erin had some car trouble this weekend so she made her way to the driveway of her favorite free mechanic. Greg spent hours investigating and tweaking sensors for her. At one point, she and Ty were supporting his efforts. Only the best mechanics' assistants use YouTube videos to identify car parts.
We mentioned breakfast for dinner on Friday and everyone arrived early for dinner. We loved having them all around the table at the same time but then put a few to work constructing the wedding arch.

People often ask how the wedding planning is going. On paper, it's all ready to go. Only time will tell how smoothly it will come together. But when I was planning my own wedding, I lost so much weight my wedding gown had to be altered twice. This time around I have taken slightly different approach to stress management. Stress eating no longer involves carrots my friends.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Final School Days

This is our last day of all three on the same schedule as they will be in three different buildings from now on with different bus schedules.
A very stressed Makenna melted down immediately after a test last week. Apparently she cried out something along the lines of, "That's it! I can't do this anymore! I'm quitting school, getting a G.E.D, becoming a stripper and changing my name to Velvet." Her bewildered teacher calmly responded, "um.....you received a 99% on your test". God bless him. She was beyond exhausted as she wrapped up multiple projects, writing assignments and finals. All indications are she is ready for summer.
Elementary school graduation pin
For the first time in the school's history, an entire class passed all the levels in music class and were asked to perform a song called Joy in honor of a classmate they lost to cancer last year. 

By contrast, Kate and Ty each celebrated multiple free days, lots of playtime and creative assignments. Kate participated in her 4th grade celebration where her teacher reminded the entire class they were special and could do anything they set their mind to. She made sure each child got a warm hug and personal words of encouragement. To say we have adored her the last two years would be an understatement. Kate shares stories here and there about the ways this teacher goes above and beyond in her quest to help each and every student. She is a blessing and just as she told Kate, we too have a special place in our hearts for her. We politely asked the principal if we could take her to middle school with us but we were denied.

Miss Heid presented his lanyard with a hug

Kindergarten celebration was beyond adorable. Ty was pumped when he was presented with his lanyard and declared a first grader officially by the principal. He and his sweet friend, Ashlyn enjoyed chatting throughout the ceremony. As it turns out, her mother and I did as well.

Both Kate and Ty were acknowledged with awards on the last day of school. Ironically, they both received math awards. I text the oldest three demanding an explanation and Erin swiftly responded, "I can count to 32 and that is all that is required for my job." Touche.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Family Photos

While listening to my three oldest in the car Friday night, I laughed so hard I literally couldn't catch my breath. They are wickedly funny, to say the least. Makenna suggested our family would make a hilarious reality show and I was overcome with a sudden and horrific feeling we could actually be living one.....and I am the only one without a script. 

The kids, for reasons even they don't understand have called me Sheryl Crow, or Sheryl for about a year now. They say it so often, I answer to it and their friends are understandably confused as to what they should be calling me. Makenna uses the hashtag, "typical Sheryl" on social media. Her friends say I am twitter famous. I have no idea what that means but apparently it is rather entertaining for the under 30 crowd.

Life in my world is anything but boring. These people who live with me exhaust me and amuse me. Family photos are a task only the strongest of souls should undertake and we are once again thrilled with Erika's talent and patience.The oldest three insisted on dressy family photos this time. I was happy to have their buy-in but added ice cream at the end of our session because I have to keep it less dignified in an effort to maintain truth in advertising.

#typical Sheryl