Sunday, March 29, 2015

Imagine Our Surprise...

All the way back in August, I asked Jer's dad to consider some life skills that he might work on with the boys. He agreed and jumped right in, offering to first work with them on building a birdhouse! They decided to meet on Saturday mornings and after picking a design, they faithfully spent many mornings cutting, sanding, gluing, and painting. Only taking a few weeks off for the holidays, they finally finished around the beginning of February. It was a rather big deal for the boys to complete their houses and an even bigger deal to them that we got them hung in time for all our migrating bird-friends to have the opportunity to take up residence in. Well, imagine our surprise when just a few days after we hung them, Judah spotted our first family busily setting up house. Needless to say, our morning of table work came to an end and we traded our math and reading for cameras and binoculars and learning right out our dining room window. A little further investigating told us that our bird family are Eastern Bluebirds, a variety that we had never noticed around our house or one that we even knew existed! What a fun little endeavor it's been trying our hand at birdwatching. And come next February, perhaps we'll be a little more prepared for The Great Backyard Bird Count!

 {Pictures by Ben}


Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Daybook (March Edition)

Outside my window: Sunsets like these. Amazing. Jeremy and I even managed an evening on the front porch this last week. The later sunsets, the warmer weather; Spring is nearly here!
Giving thanks: For friends. Isn't life just so much sweeter when you have dear friends?
In the schoolroom: We have finally {FINALLY!} hit a stride. I remember finding our groove last year about this time too. It's like everyone is on board with what's expected of them. Our days have been smoother, we are jumping in each day with little to no hiccups, interruptions are limited. Praise God. 
From the kitchen: One {two?} words. Whole30. Basically it's thirty days of no dairy, no sugar, no gluten, no legumes, no wine, no fun. But I feel so much better, I kinda don't care. The last 24 days have taught me a lot about how important it is that I take the time to eat well {i.e. stop cramming goldfish over the sink while the kids eat lunch}. I have more energy. My skin is clearer. My jeans are looser. I'll take it. But for now, someone pass the chocolate chip cookies, STAT.
I am creating: Our curriculum list for our new year. How, how, how we can nearly be at the end of this year, I am still not sure. How Judah will be in Kindergarten and the boys in second grade, I am still not sure. How I will teach three kiddos and still manage a pre-schooler, I am still not sure. But my hope and rest isn't in those things but rather in the One who does know. So I'm banking on Him and planning on. 
 I don't ever want to forget: Our snow day of 2015. We woke up on a Saturday morning in February to 16 inches of Narnia snow. The kids were over the moon. Who am I kidding, Jer and I were too! Despite the fact that it was the day of their 7th birthday party, we let it all go, the house, the to-do, the errands, and we made our own sledding hill instead. It was a day filled with so.much.laughter. And coffee. But mostly laughter. And a giant breakfast and the house mess to prove that our day was spent treasuring each other in the outdoors. Too much fun. 
I am working on: Planning a baby shower for my sweet little nephew who is due in June. No words to describe the sister-joy here. 
 I am reading. Shauna Niequist's Bread and Wine. DI-VINE. An absolute joy to read. Also, What Did You Expect by Tedd Tripp. Five star read.  

 Around the house: We are prepping to replace the entire downstairs flooring. GAH! We finally found tile and now we are just waiting for a box of it to come in so we can get a better idea of what a larger sampling might look like in the house. I have no idea what replacing 2700 sq. ft. of flooring looks like for a family of 6. I imagine it will include my right eye twitching, though.
One of my favorite things: Honeycrisp apples. Seriously, have you ever tried one? Open back doors aren't too shabby either. It's like a trophy for winning the winter games where the event is four young children stuck inside for 43 consecutive days due to weather.
A few plans this next week: Waiting for Jer to get back from Mexico. He's doing some work down there at an orphanage that is near and dear to us. The big boys have their PE and cooking class on Friday at the CC and Judah has a soccer meeting on Saturday morning. All three boys start soccer next week! 
The news in Gracie land: Can you say momma's little helper? A few weeks ago, while we were skiing in Wolf Creek, I hit up an antique store and found the most perfect little step for the kitchen. It has been her life line to all the things she was missing in her short life. Now, every time she even hears a drawer open in the kitchen, there she is, on her stool and ready to help. It's equally precious and "what have I done?!"
 Total randomness: I took the kids in to the pedi two weeks ago and Gracie weighed in at 32 1/2 lbs, Judah was 46 1/2, Ben was 44 1/2, and Abe was 52! Big babies!! 

Monday, March 2, 2015

If You Give a Boy a Guitar...

He's gonna play it.
And if he plays it, chances are his little sister will probably want to dance to the song.
And if she dances to it, it'll mean the attention is most certainly NOT on him.
Which means he'll give his mom this exact face...
And then he'll add in a side of pout to really make his point.
And then his mom will likely ask his sister to let him finish his song.
But his groove will be gone so he'll have to think for a minute or two.
After a short brainstorming session, his inspiration might start to flow a little...
But then his fingers will really start to fly.
He'll rightfully take his stage again.
Solo, as it should be for every boy-rockstar.
And then he'll gladly drink in the attention of a snapping shutter and his momma's undivided watchful eye.
He'll really start to jam.
And probably throw in some of his best moves.
You know. Hypothetically, of course.