Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

Ty's curiosity continued to develop

This old boy aged quite a bit but is still going strong

These two flew to Florida during spring break to see Greg's parents. Believe it or not, they've been invited back.

This scene was all too common this year

The Emergency Room was visited for the first time in over a decade. Urgent Care was too.

Makenna attended a school dance

Erin loved her Senior Prom

Makenna was a Who in Seussical

Grandparents visited

Erin graduated
A car was purchased (and later a van)
A car was totaled.

Lauren embarked upon the road immediately after Erin's accident. Insurance premiums quadrupled.

Colby visited

We gained another teenager!

Ty ate his weight in watermelon

Kate's spirit remained sweet and she sought adventure in nature regularly

Lots of little ones filled our house with endless energy

Quality time was enjoyed but we've determined to be more intentional in 2014

A family photo was taken

New projects were tackled
 In looking through posts from the year, I discovered several from our water issues in January, new appliance purchases, milestone birthdays, school photos noting multiple adjustments and lots of adventures in the creek. The oldest girls gained jobs and boyfriends. We've grown as we navigated surprises and stayed entirely too busy. We hope to usher in 2014 peacefully; deliberately slowing the pace.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Weekend

I am sure I have alluded to this fact in the past but it seems worth noting again. Raising teens alongside younger children is not for the weak of heart. There are countless opportunities for discussions about how we may have stated something differently or how we could have avoided certain situations altogether had a little filtering been engaged. Yesterday morning Erin loudly announced she was having her first period in over four months. Whereas she was celebrating on one hand, well....it's still a period and all women everywhere know that is less than remarkable generally speaking. (Yes, we have been utilizing medical intervention for Erin's ongoing issues should anyone be concerned for her). But Kate was sitting with me during the announcement and immediately asked, "what's a period?". I shot Erin the look and very slowly began an explanation for Kate. She is a young and naive eight year old. "You see Honey, as your body transitions from a little girl into a young lady........" This is the point where Erin jumped in and declared, "the next thing you know, Mom, Kenna, Lauren and I are arguing about tampon brands in the middle of the grocery store!" Erin was dismissed only to have Makenna arrive on the scene in time to hear me tell Kate periods don't hurt even though there is blood. Makenna took that opportunity to double over, dramatically hold her gut and scream in agony that it is like death. I took a very deep breath and told Kate periods are punctuation marks at the end of sentences and we'd talk in private later about the other kind. Seriously.

Ty was at that particular moment in time out because he insisted on a snack of crackers and cheese. Easy enough, or so I thought. As it turns out, he wanted the cheese that was meant to be cheese. I have no clue. He lost composure and I lost patience. Does anyone ever wonder why I look tired?

My parents gave Ty the movie Despicable Me 2 for Christmas. We watched it last night, hysterically laughing as a family. It was entertaining but I am concerned the creators are not likely sober people. 

Greg and I slipped away for a lunch date today. It was our last date of 2013 and the first time this month we've spoken in complete sentences. I am ready for UPS to give me back my husband. It was a long peak season; to say the least. For those who know us well, yes we did go to Meijer and the Home Depot. We are predicable and pretty low maintenance. We also enjoyed using a gift card to the Longhorn Steakhouse given to Greg from his new boss. It was appreciated.

Kate completed her first sewing project this weekend. She loves her little sewing machine and has big plans for it's future.

We are looking forward to a relaxing week ahead. Greg will have a few days off, praise the Lord and I only babysit two days. All four of our daughters have social plans for New Year's Eve so Greg, Ty and I are planning an early bedtime and a quiet entrance into 2014.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

 Mom and Dad joined us for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. We relaxed, over-ate, indulged in white chocolate peppermint tea along with a lot of other sweet treats and talked for hours. Games were played, stories read, and crafts completed. We enjoyed togetherness.

 This is Justin, Erin's boyfriend. He's a good guy. They appear to like each other.
Kate's year to read Twas the Night Before Christmas at bedtime. She has memorized the poem because it's her favorite.
Having Grandma and Grandpa here on Christmas morning significantly increases the appearance of spoiling! Santa brought our family a new trampoline and two sleds. Grandma and Grandpa were quite generous too.
This was the year I took over stocking duty. Kate was rather concerned I wouldn't manage as well as Santa but after checking out her surprises, she declared I wasn't too bad at it.
The teenagers were all up before Kate and Ty this year; we had to wake Ty! Once everything was opened, Makenna and Lauren crashed among their gifts for a bit.
Grandma bought Kate a little sewing machine for Christmas. It took us a few hours to get the machine to run properly but once Grandma and I had it working, Kate quickly took the reigns. She loves it and has already tried to teach Makenna how to use it but Makenna lacks the patience Kate exhibits.

This afternoon I took down the tree and restored the house to pre-Christmas order. Even the kids mentioned how much lighter the house felt; Makenna stating, "I can breathe". It must be in the DNA because I feel the same way. It was a good Christmas. We are so blessed but I am always ready to pack it away when it's over. Last Friday I heard Amy Grant's, "I Need a Silent Night" and wept. Tonight, I shall claim that silent night once Greg and Lauren return to work, Erin is out with Justin's family for the evening, Makenna spends the night with a friend celebrating a birthday and the little ones are tucked into bed. That silent night is more than welcomed.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Pajama Party

Today I hosted a pajama Christmas party for the little ones I babysit and Anne's family. We had a blast. Sugar cookies were decorated with icing and sprinkles; unless you were Devyn who says she used peanut butter and shake-shake. Smile.

The kids were supposed to wear their Christmas pajamas but Ashlyn, who beats to the tune of a different drummer in all situations chose Halloween pajamas instead. Again, smile. Makenna organized a little photo booth of sorts to get fun shots of the kids. She did a great job!

We had just wrapped up reading Twas the Night Before Christmas when Santa called from the North Pole! He was pretty busy but the kids loved him taking the time. As it turns out, he doesn't have a favorite reindeer but Dasher is "a little tricky" sometimes.

We then made reindeer food. Kate had to know if she ate flying powder if she would also be able to fly. I advised against testing it only to discover she had her eyes on Brutus!


Flying powder works.....it flew right into Ty's eye

I think it's safe to say we had a good time. Thanks Anne for the video and joining us for a fun day.

Christmas Party 2013 - Santa Calls! from Anne Hill on Vimeo.