Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Night To Shine

I had a date Friday night and it wasn't with my husband. It was so much fun and fortunately, I not only had my husband's support, but my girls were there too. It was a blast. We had the privilege to serve as a family with A Night To Shine Prom for individuals with special needs in our surrounding community. It was an honor to spend an evening with these special guests.
My new friend asked that he not be named in photos taken of him because he didn't want his girlfriend to find out how many ladies danced with him last night.

Greg helped navigate parking and security. Makenna was on the paparazzi team. Erin was in charge of the buddies and making sure everyone was having a good time. Her church was responsible for the event and they did a great job.

While my date met with his nurse for  few minutes, I snuck a photo with this handsome guy.

It was fun dancing alongside Anne who was paired up with my buddy's good friend. I think we double dated?

My parents came to town to hang out with Kate and Ty so we could all be involved and it was an experience we won't soon forget. If you ever have an opportunity to participate in this event in the future, I promise you won't regret volunteering. Oh and Tim Tebow? He is awesome in my book even though I know absolutely nothing about his sports background. His financial support makes this event possible every year in numerous cities around the nation. Everyone deserves a night to shine and I am so glad we got to be a part of making memories with some new friends. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016


This week I welcomed back one of my families who spent the last eight weeks on maternity leave. It rocked my quiet little world to have a newborn in the house again. She is a doll but let's just say she is anything but patient. She's new here and in the world in general, so she gets to be demanding for awhile. She's cute enough to get away with it too. But while I am bouncing around the house with a baby in my arms, the tiny tornado is in full blown toddler mode. He appears to like my lack of attention and that scares me a bit. Fortunately Miss Anna is pretty laid back and is going with the flow, or lack there of. I am praying we can find a routine in the near future because this gig wiped me out this week.

As result of the twelve pounds I am hauling around in my arms all day, I am in need of daily stretching and have found yoga to be fairly relaxing at the end of the day. I am grateful for my friend Kristil's guidance in this department and hope I can eliminate the achiness I have felt since Monday. It's simply another reminder I need to take care of myself despite having most of my arthritis symptoms managed with the paleo diet.
He challenged his daddy to a Mario Kart battle and even provided a special seat for him too. I am glad Lauren was able to capture this shot for me. These guys are pretty cute.

Ty had a little buddy in his class move away last week. He's been pretty upset about this sudden change in his classroom. Every night he prays for Zach to make new friends and worried Zach wouldn't get Valentines in his new school. He has even added prayers for Legos in his new classroom because he makes the biggest blasters with them. He has a sympathetic spirit sometimes and the tenderness he expresses toward missing his friend is sweet.
Ty and Greg worked on a Spiderman themed Valentine box with red spray paint and then black puffy paint. The final result was pretty cool. Ty is pumped about taking Spiderman Valentines to all his friends.

Of course he then turns around and tells me the laundry basket is overflowing because he puts things in there to give me something to do while he is away all day. He was serious. I pray his future wife likes me despite the mess I am unintentionally making of this boy.

Friday, February 5, 2016

This Week

Devyn is still rather smitten by Lyncoln who is up to 8 lbs now.

Miss Anna was missed around here with her quick whit and commentary. At one point during our visit she asked me to do something for her I pointed out she could do for herself and she replied, "I know but it's easier for me when you do it."

Baby Ava is up to 12 lbs already!
I spent my week surrounded by a lot of my favorite little people. Some visited as they are wrapping up maternity leave and others had trial run drop-offs to see how back-to-work is going to go next week. I enjoyed my final day off for a few months and wondered how I am going to navigate life with a newborn again. Because as precious and snugly as they are, they tend to be rather demanding little things who cry when not being held. This month of relaxation is ending so Greg and I slipped away for breakfast this morning and then Anne joined me for errands this afternoon. If I have work to do, I may as well make it more fun with good company. She cracked me up when I dropped her off  by thanking me for our cup of tea. We each made our own before heading out.....only the best for my friends.
This one has been nicknamed the Tiny Tornado by his mother because she believes in truth in advertising. The toddler years have arrived in full force but he is sweet too.

Two of our friends were hospitalized on Monday. Greg drove to Dayton to see one and I got to share soup and salad with another in Louisville. It's not often we need to divide and conquer for our friends but I am glad we were both able to love on them this week. Both are on the mend and making full recoveries too.
Whenever the kids find out I may have some time without other kids, they ask me to come to lunch at school. When the kids have lunch dates, they get to bring a friend and we eat on stage.

Lunchtime with kindergarten buddies is anything but boring. I can't get enough of their stories and thoughts about the world.

Keep the lines of communication open, they say. Be open with your kids. Let them know they can talk to you about anything. I don't know who "they" are but life would be a lot easier if we had adopted the speak only when spoken to parenting philosophy. Last night I took an opportunity alone with Makenna to talk about how life throws us curve balls because she hasn't rolled with the punches lately. I pointed out how she is the only one of our kiddos we planned but how rich and full our lives are as result of all "God's surprises". She was quiet but by the time we were home, I noted she was frantically calling and texting both Erin and Lauren. Somehow in our little discussion, she got the impression we were having another baby and freaked out. All three girls had some not nice things to say including, "I thought so too". There is no baby on the way and I no longer like some of my children.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Makenna Grace

Well her skills have paid off. She is rather bossy and apparently her technical theater teacher sees leadership qualities in those skills. When the assistant stage manager (ASM) for the upcoming spring show of Peter Pan had to drop out to have surgery on her foot, he asked the other student leaders who they thought could handle the role and they unanimously selected Makenna. From all accounts, this isn't a role offered to underclassman traditionally so she is rather pleased with this accomplishment. We are stressing the importance of grades and her health as she balances a very demanding schedule with high stress but she is thrilled to have the opportunity.

She no sooner accepted the role than her knee gave out while she descended the stairs on the 19th. She was surprised by it but claims she wasn't in any pain until she put weight on that knee immediately after. As it turns out, my ignore it until it goes away policy isn't fool-proof. So Makenna and I met with an orthopedic surgeon yesterday to evaluate the knee since nine days of wrapping, icing and ibuprofen weren't helping.

Her knee cap is no longer aligned. There is also a chance she experienced a small hairline fracture in the bones that collided on impact when her knee dislocated.  So she is wearing a knee brace with a metal support in it that is forcing her knee back into position. She is also supposed to be attending physical therapy a few times a week for four to twelve weeks as needed to strengthen the muscles in the hips and thighs so the knee isn't bearing unnecessary wear and tear. Where it is exactly we are going to squeeze that into our schedule and budget remains to be seen.

She was relieved to report to her teacher, who was at this point fairly certain the ASM role was jinxed, that she should be up and running by show time in March and will not require surgery. However, through the course of our conversation with the surgeon we learned Makenna's growth plates in x-rays indicate she is finished growing. The look on her face was priceless and I failed to stifle my laughter. I owed her lunch at Wild Eggs afterward as result but still enjoy teasing her. My mom says we only grow until we're perfect so Makenna just got there early. I prefer to say she is fun size. She is sticking with Five Feet of Terror but holding out hope she can stretch out a few more inches despite evidence to the contrary. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ty's Mind

I had the pleasure of spending an uninterrupted hour alone with Ty recently. The boy did not stop talking the entire time. I swear his brain moves faster than his mouth and his mouth moves faster than my ears can process. It was non-stop chatter about endless subjects, many of which started mid-thought. He's not too particular in how I respond so I resort to ok, yes, I see, uh-huh, etc.  Because frankly, if I stop him to ask questions, I throw off his train of thought and once it derails, we may have to start that trip all over again.

I have learned a lot about kindergarten as result of these little one-sided conversations and more than anything, I would love to be a fly on the wall in his classroom. Five and six year old material is rich and hilarious. My hat is off to kindergarten teachers everywhere for keeping a straight face.

  • Did you know Zach no longer loves Avery? Nope, he loves Willow instead and calls her his princess. Willow does not love Zach but Zach knows about these things because he turned six first.

  • When I grow up, I will drink my coffee strong and black because that is how real men drink it. (I totally blame his father for this one.)

  • When I am a daddy I will let my kids watch YouTube videos whenever they want. Only awesome parents do that. (Not so subtle hint.)

  • I sat on the bus alone today because Josh was sick and I didn't sit with Kate because all Kate and her friends do is talk like girls. I don't like girl talk.

  • I know how to drive now. I have been watching Mr. Tim (the bus driver) and he uses two peddles and one foot. If you push one peddle you go, if you push the other, you stop. It's easy if you can reach the peddles. (This one scares me a bit.)

  • Police are the best super heroes. They have cool hats, awesome badges AND they get to shoot bad guys.

  • I almost threw up at school when I was coughing but didn't tell Miss Heid because I didn't want her to make me go home. I have to get a lot smarter still. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sledding Fun!

Today was the perfect day to go sledding. The weather was sunny and mild. The kids loved every minute of it.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Complaint of the day goes to Ty who whined, "MOM! My hot chocolate is hot". For real.  There was a second place winner though. Me. The kids spent more time layering up than the actually playing outside. They created more laundry than I thought reasonable and then they believed they needed hot chocolate every time they stepped outside. I considered peppermint schnapps for mine by the end of round two but it was eleven in the morning and mothers of cooped-up kids should pace themselves, obviously.

Greg only cat-napped between multiple calls from employees claiming they couldn't come into work tonight. He's prepared for a very long weekend but we are clinging to the hope we will still get some family time despite the forecast. Time will tell.

There are blessings though. Makenna is baking cookies because we can't have enough of those during winter storms, apparently. And we have sleep-overs, Legos, games and lots of wet gloves to keep us distracted too. 
 Snow days are beautiful in multiple ways.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Snow Day! For real this time.....

The forecast sounded pretty solid but we were prepared to meet the day with or without the "school is cancelled" call. We all celebrated when it came through especially since I learned Makenna offered to meet the assistant superintendent in the school parking lot to "square up" last week on Twitter when he failed to close schools as expected. I can't begin to explain how surprised I am we didn't get a personal visit from our local law enforcement officer over it. Little Miss "five feet of terror" needs to cool her jets.

We lounged in pajamas by a fire, baked cookies, indulged in hot cocoa after snow play and watched Netflix.

Kate wanted an opportunity to earn some money. She cleaned the entire house this afternoon while I watched Parenthood. (I could get used to this.) But it was hilarious to hear her firmly telling her brother he was not allowed to eat in the living room because she just cleaned this whole house and would like to see her efforts last. I literally laughed out loud. It's funny how much more important it is to preserve cleanliness when you are the party responsible for cleaning it.

Our day was otherwise quiet, lazy and perfect.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mellow Mushroom

I took Kate and Ty to see my parents and my sister's family Saturday. We met at Mellow Mushroom where I had the first pizza I've eaten in over two years and enjoyed every bite. I have had some success with gluten free rather than total grain free lately so I decided to risk it and am so glad I did! If you happen to have a Mellow Mushroom near you, I insist you indulge in the Mellowterranean pizza too. You will thank me. I promise.

Watch out for these gangsters. They are pretty tough.

Uncle Jamie is the best. Kate's a big fan.

When you want a photo of all the kids together........

Look out Mason, it appears Captain America is stalking your game

Other than good pizza, we also enjoyed one another. A nerf gun war was fought (Aunt Theresa for the win!) and the cousins are pretty awesome hide and seekers too. We laughed, talked and ate late into the night. It was good for the soul. (photo credits to my super fun brother-in-law, Jamie and our patient waitress, Felice)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Snow Day That Wasn't

We expected a snow day today. We didn't get one but we did get snow while the kids were at school. Snowy days are a lot more fun with the kids, just saying.

In other news, the 100th day of school is coming up next week and our little guy is pretty excited about his project. He used 100 Legos to create a 100 picture. He really wanted to take it to school but his momma was a bit worried about unattended Legos on display outside his classroom. So he got to take a photo for school but if you stop by, he'd love to show you his original.
Kate is super excited about gaining a recorder in music class and feels compelled to practice often. Allegedly she is playing the "B" note. Clearly Brutus loves this as much as the rest of us do.
Tonight, both Lauren and Erin visited for dinner. Immediately after, I noted an open bag of chocolate chips on the table between the four sisters and just smiled. They are so funny together and the laughter literally doesn't end once they get started with their stories. Tonight, Kate jumped in and attempted to persuade Makenna to move in with the girls because the kid who just recently gained her own room would now like a room to practice gymnastics. Can you feel the love?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Can't Believe You're Mine

There are glimpses still of the little girl I choose to believe she will remain. Then there are moments I know childhood is fleeting. Giggling with friends, tumbling practice, and requests to snuggle will all too soon give way to hormones, shopping, friends, cute boys and independence.

Hang on baby, I am not ready.

Today's windchill was exactly 3. He insisted I pull out his summer clothes because he really wanted to wear shorts today. The boy is his father's child and the reason summer clothes must remain out of his reach during the winter. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Back To The Grind

The alarm was set for 6:15 everyday this week to get the kids out the door and onto the bus. Monday they all jumped up and did what they needed but Tuesday I was met with intense resistance. One kid was "super, super sick" and couldn't even narrow down the areas that hurt the most without a round of twenty questions from his already exhausted mother. Another one had a sore throat, headache and stomach ache. The oldest in the house was pretty sure she was going to die if I made her go to school. I made the executive decision to serve hot cocoa in to-go cups for the kids who were ready to leave on time and there was sudden and miraculous healing. Except that by the time they all left my house at 6:55 am, I had a headache hot cocoa wasn't going to cure.

Ty came home with a stamp on his hand Tuesday and he was quite proud of it. Miss Heid stamped his hand to celebrate his "really good sentence" at school. He says he wrote, "Over winter break I went to Grandma and Grandpa's and opened presents." I may just be a proud mom, but this feels like a pretty impressive sentence for a kindergartener so I asked him to write it for me. He declined. I pushed the next day for him to write a sentence and even sweetened the deal by telling him he could use the word poop if he wanted and yet, he still refused. In desperation, I informed him last night he has sentence writing on his homework page so he has to write a complete sentence or I will have to tell his teacher he didn't do his homework. He submitted, "Mom's weird." The boy wears me out.

I promised the kids I would meet them for lunch today since I was free of extra kiddos. Ty was so excited he invited Anne to join us. I love how social he is becoming. And tonight all the girls had plans so I got to spend the evening with my favorite guys. It was the perfect way to wrap the week.
This is his "there are over 500 pieces in this set" look.