Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Back to School

He started packing over a week ago. Whereas he was using his new Spider-man backpack, he wasn't packing school supplies for kindergarten. Nope, he was packing toys. He also gathered his sleeping bag, pillow and blanket. He was moving out. Clothing must be overrated. He is obviously handling the stress of starting school well.

He will be in class with Anne's daughter. This is both a blessing and a curse. They are buddies and will be a great comfort to one another in the coming days but they are also quite familiar with one another so we anticipate owing the teacher wine soon.

Kate is starting fourth grade with the same teacher she had last year. When we discovered Ms. Cox was moving up, we requested the opportunity to continue working with her. We are pleased the scheduling gods saw fit to make it happen. Once Kate found out which class she would be attending and which of her close friends were going with her, the anxiety she felt about school dissipated. Praise the Lord. We had a tummy ache every stinking day this summer.

Makenna was also a bundle of nerves as she approached her sophomore year but once she had her completed schedule in hand with teachers she is already familiar with, she too settled in and accepted her fate. Her tech commitment should be a little easier this year with the addition of a technical director rather than the chaos we worked around last year. Amen.

I requested the day off from my extra kiddos knowing full and well I would be an emotional mess throughout the day. I have two dear friends who also put their last babies in kindergarten this year. We decided weeks ago to go out to breakfast together this morning as a way to take our minds off our kiddos. We are wise women as the camaraderie will be good for our souls.

In other news, it is July. We have started back to school. Since we say the kids go back every fall, is it too soon to pull out the pumpkins?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Rainy Days and Mondays

Serious gardeners work in the rain

Rumor has it she says she will marry Ty one day

This Lego set was so involved, Greg took a few days' break in between assembly sessions

Four hours invested in this. Clearly, he's thrilled.
Birthday money well spent.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The final days....

Our summer is quickly wrapping up as school starts this week. Celebrating Makenna combined with back-to-school tasks consumed most of our weekend. Saturday night, Makenna and I were called to the hospital to support friends losing a very special man in their lives. Needless to say, it wasn't what Makenna planned to do on her birthday but it's something she is glad she was able to do for her friend. Emotionally it has taken it's toll though. This man loves the Lord and told me weeks ago he was at peace as his life was in God's hands. I am grateful for that truth as it provides comfort in his final hours but watching this family say goodbye to him is tough.

As much as it breaks my heart, we are going to have to utilize the dog crate again. Layla has torn something up each of the few times she has been left home alone. She is fine as long as someone is here, even if they are sleeping but she is overly stressed when left alone. Saturday's casualty was a library book on my nightstand. Sigh.

I made some napkins appropriate for kindergarten and we shopped for some Lego display ideas at Home Depot. We took Makenna along and ended up with the essential bathroom sign. I think it's fun but Greg only humored us as we put it in the cart.

She needed new specks to best tackle her sophomore year. Years ago kids were tortured by having to wear large plastic frames but my child chose these and loves them. 

On Friday, we borrowed a friend's pool for the afternoon. Ty still remains on the steps but Devyn braved deeper water once she discovered I don't cart kids around pools. By the time we left, she was jumping in and went under a few times. She was pretty proud of herself. I suspect our opportunities for water play are quickly dwindling. This summer flew by and I am not certain we are ready for the routine of school. Ready or not, here it comes.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Makenna Grace is 15

So here we are at age fifteen. She has a boyfriend and whereas they are both entering their sophomore year, he is one year and two days older than her. This is often the case with her late July birth date. However, this means Makenna has a boyfriend old enough to drive. I liked the kid prior to that realization. Upon the delivery of that news, I very casually suggested she might be tired of that boy and should probably let him down easy and immediately. Please. Perhaps I wasn't as casual as I intended? Sigh. So we are in the throws of another teenager and it isn't getting any easier.

She is hilarious, sarcastic, patient, nurturing, smart and feisty. She rolls with the punches until she doesn't, which is often colorful in the end. Her final straw is never expected.

She's famous for long lazy days in front of Netflix with commentary about how "Pretty Little Liars isn't going to watch itself" when we dare to suggest a shower or real clothes hours after she allegedly woke up.

She is excited about the upcoming theater season and hopes to manage one of the smaller shows this year. Yes, she is still quite bossy or as she says, "I just know what everyone else should be doing". She is a loyal friend, almost to a fault hanging on to relationships long after they are no longer healthy. She doesn't easily give up on people; a trait that's endearing and concerning at the same time. Her discernment is growing as she ages and she sees most for who they really are but loves them anyway.

She has a growing library of favorite books and leans toward vintage decor, clothing from thrift stores and music from the 80's. She is a pretty cool kid with her own sense of style. I noted she was wearing a beautiful lace blouse and asked if we could take her birthday photos. She surprised me and agreed. I scoped a wild flower field and a bubbling brook as our location. An hour later she was ready. She was dressed in clothes from Goodwill and wanted to go downtown to take a picture with graffiti and the cheese sculpture I still don't understand. I ran with it and we had fun.

She reserves her deeper conversations for midnight and beyond. The unfortunate reality is the alarm that sounds at six each morning. But for those moments snuggled in my bed late at night, I will forgo sleep most every time. Her world view differs from mine but we respect each other enough to listen carefully. She is pretty awesome. 

Happy fifteenth birthday to you, Makenna Grace.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

When the Going Gets Tough

This was not my day. In truth, this has not been my week. The summary is that parenting is really hard. We've had more challenging moments than enjoyable this week and I was ready to throw in the towel by Wednesday. I prayed about it and escaped for some worship music on the river last night with the one compliant child in my brood and came away with the idea I needed to shake things up a bit and get the kids out of the house. I decided we'd pick peaches at Huber's Winery since we have not been this season. By mid morning today, one child had smeared poop across my living room floor. Another child had peed in a bed not belonging to her. And there was a bit of vomit. Be jealous my friends, be jealous.

Superman Ice Cream

I took five kids to the winery and ordered ice cream treats. Smarter women would have had the wine. After our sweet treats, we rode out to the peach orchard and collected half a box full.

Whereas the kids were picking peaches, I was wearing one....isn't he adorable?

After paying for peaches, we decided to tackle blackberries next. It really was just an excuse to once again ride the tractor back into the fields.

On the way home, Ava decided this was one of the best days this summer. She loved everything about this day except the part where there was poop everywhere. I concur Ava, I concur.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Brown County Weekend

When Greg I went to Brown County last fall, we vowed to bring the kids back to also experience the ease of relaxing away from technology and the hustle and bustle of day to day living. We started shopping around for a cabin and decided to invite one of our favorite families to join us. We were thrilled when they agreed. It was perfect with the exception of the weather which could only be described as smoldering.
This play structure was incredible. We combated two long hot afternoons climbing here.

Random sculptures, paintings and artwork is on display throughout Columbus. It's a beautiful city.

There was one wasp sting. I was well supervised as I tended to it.

Brian was "reasoning" with Josie. Josie is two. Nothing further needs to be said on the matter.

A water gun fight broke out and all the kids chose one target. Brian is a good sport.

A game of tag yielded similar results. Once again, Brian is a good guy.

The original cabin was built in the mid 1800's. Kate was fascinated to learn the one room was at one point the entire living quarters and similar to the one she's read about in Little House books. It had a lot of charm. The additions were also charming. Robyn and I both had kitchen envy. It was perfect for a large family or small group of friends to gather.

The barn out back led to a covered creek and large fire pit we didn't need this visit. It was simply too hot.

We attempted to wait up for the stars Saturday night. Our flashlights were ready for a walk across the street to a large pasture for best star gazing but the clouds rolled in at sunset and little people were worn out.

It was a peaceful ending to a perfect weekend.