Friday, January 12, 2018

2017


I simply must close out the year 2017 in a proper fashion. December devolved into a miasma of holiday stress with a heavy twist of viral illness, and I mostly would like to forget the weeks leading up to Christmas. However, we were healthy and happy just in time for the big day and celebrated a lovely quiet Christmas at home, followed shortly thereafter by a nice long stay at my folks'. All the beautiful snow over there plus day after day of brilliant sunshine helped clear my funk of a mood and things have been looking up ever since. 

In very large news, I also would like to share that we just completed our very first week of HOMESCHOOLING! I've been thinking about this for, oh, six years now, at least? And though it felt incredibly awkward to go full stop in the middle of the school year and leave teachers and friends maybe a little bewildered, it feels even more right now that we are doing it. I have tons of thoughts to share, both in our reasons for taking the plunge and on my reflections of the experience this far, but I am going to defer those. My hope for this blog, and my writing "career" is to take it all in a more earnest direction, including moving to a new platform and reassessing my content and ambitions for what I share here. I haven't started any of it yet, or course, but I have big plans. I will let you know where and when I "move" and apologize in advance for what will likely be a quiet period while I figure out this homeschool gig and get my writing/blogging ducks in a row. 

In the meantime, I extend my most sincere thanks for being with me here, and wish you all a very blessed 2018. See you soon! 

Monday, December 18, 2017

12.18





December is not my friend. Sorry to miss some days of my promised daily blogging. But I'd like you to meet my new friend! This is Quila! Like Chester, Quila is a rescue from Aruba. Once getting hooked up with the rescue groups on that island I'll admit to becoming a little fixated on their other available rescued animals; the work people are doing their to help the animals is really admirable. This girl's picture just spoke to me and it seemed to fit, we couldn't keep the Aruban puppy but we definitely could find a spot for an Aruban kitten. So here she is! She came home right at the beginning of the month and she's such a sweetie. So far Ollie and Humphrey have not been terribly kind to her but she is SO lovey to people, and especially the kids. Just what we wanted in a pet, since O and H don't really give the kids the time of day. Quila has been camped out in Amy's room which both parties love - now Amy has a snuggle buddy at night and Quila obliges so sweetly. We sure love our kitties here and are happy to have a new addition! 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

12.12

Pardon the hiatus. December 12th? Really? We've all had a terrible chest cold here with Matthew especially hard hit and it's been several nights (and days) of not ever getting to actually put him down. Better now. Back to Novemeber we go. 

Very shortly after M's birthday came Thanksgivng. This year we stayed put; my parents came to us and stayed over for a few days. So nice! All simple and easy and pleasant. Great weather, sunny and cold. The menfolk did tons of raking and yard work, I made dinner with some good helpers: 



I took pitifully few pictures the whole weekend. But Mom did make sure we got a big group selfie: 


Another treat was getting the chance to go shopping with just my mom and my girls on Friday. All we did was cruise slowly through AC Moore and it was so enjoyable. 

That's about it for TG. Here's a few more random pictures of my boys to finish off November, no explanations needed:.



Friday, December 8, 2017

12.8

Skip ahead just two short weeks from Amy's birthday and we get to Matthew's birthday. My little guy turned 2!! Incidentally, even though each of my kids was born on a different day of the week, all four of those dates line up so that in a given calendar year every kid's birthday falls on the same day of the week. So everybody got a Monday birthday this year. Anyway, M turning two felt like a big deal to me, because for four straight years I've had a child under age 2. C and M are my closest kids in age and having them just less than 2 years apart has been, well, pretty intense. But tons and tons of joy, wouldn't change it for the world. 


The day before his birthday he found these in his big brother's drawer and wore them, without a shirt, allll day. He said, in this pose, that he was "Fuperman!"


My not-so-little littles. 




Again with the lack of clothes... We found this little basketball hoop at the grocery store. This little guy has a thing for basketballs. He also got a big one for his birthday. 


He had lots of helpers waiting to open his presents for him. I mean, help. M was very thoughtful and gracious about his gifts, it was very mature and sweet. 


And, a cake. 


He is such a dear, dear little boy. He gets compliments everywhere we go because he's so small and yet such a classically cute little guy with his blonde hair and blue eyes. He can keep up with kids twice his age and loves the action of his big siblings and their friends and classmates. He's a shy guy too though, just like all my others have been. I just love him to pieces. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

12.7


Moving right along. On the 6th of November this girl turned TEN. I had to double check to make sure I was counting right. Ten. Really? She is something else. She is a bossy one, but a bossy one with a strategic vision of How It All Should Go - be it putting on a play with friends or directing art time with her sister or any of it. She's in charge. She is an amazing student, overachieving in fifth grade. She's a quiet and reserved one at school though. Likes her classmates and teacher and routine but has lots of grumbles about school in general. She is very adamant that she WILL be homeschooling come middle school. Frankly I'd love that, and she's my partner in crime as I (endlessly) contemplate homeschooling as an option for all the kids. 

Amy's birthday-day was a Monday and a busy one, but we made time for presents and cake at the end of it. 


The following weekend she got her birthday wish of having her best friend and neighbor sleep over. That was great fun for all. 

I found this gem of a picture on my old phone, this was part of the musical Amy wrote and directed with her siblings and friend on the sleepover night. 


She's quite something, that's all I can say :) and I love her so. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

12.6

So as part of her "Halloween Crafting" Amy made a bunch of paper letters to tape to the front door: 


which was all well and good. The next day, Caroline was quite insistent that new letters are needed, as it was of course no longer Halloween. Now, this girl has a better-than-average grasp of time, dates, seasons, etc. However, my suggestions for "Happy Thanksgiving" or "Welcome Fall" or something like that were not suitable; instead she was quite sure that the sign we needed on our front door was: 


And she worked on this with such dedication that I happily cut out letters for her to glue down. And paint with glitter. And yup, next day, she taped it to the door herself. 


We had a bit of explaining to do when friends came over, but all in all, I kinda could get behind the sentiment. Skip the holidays and winter? Tempting! And she wasn't too far off, weather wise, because the next day looked like this: 


Summer clothes and matching new Paw Patrol sneakers. Okay then! 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

12.4 and 12.5

At the end of October we had a very severe wind and rainstorm on a Sunday night. It was brief but to my memory not unlike when hurricane Irene slammed us back when we lived in southern Maryland. Our power was out for a bit overnight but since or neighborhood has underground lines we were restored pretty quickly. The best part though, was that the damage in our town was so bad that they closed school for two days! The kids and I were overjoyed about the unexpected long weekend and made the most of Monday by carving pumpkins, something we had sadly not had time for the previous two days. 




The big kids did quite a bit of it themselves, and we followed that up with more craftiness and made plaster masks. 


When we got the call Monday evening saying that school would be closed again the news was heralded as "a Halloween miracle!" And we proceeded with more fun accordingly. 


Bare feet with a sweater weather. 


More leaf raking. 


Furniture rearranging. And then...


Trick or treating! A bunch of unrelated costumes this year, mostly of their own creation. Forced M into the raccoon jacket again, though he spent most of the (rather chilly) walk trying to take it off. 


We went with a whooole lot of people and were out for a long time. Honestly, I liked last year's trick-or-treating which kept us on the quieter half the neighborhood with a smaller group of friends, but this was fun, too. The kids had a blast, and I kept thinking about how lucky we are to live in a walkable neighborhood like this. All in all it was a thoroughly awesome couple of days to end October.