Thursday, November 26, 2015

Week in My Life - Sunday

One. More. Day

The documentation of our days has gotten increasingly bad and probably boring so my apologies

Getting ready for our early church departure. Complete with milk cups for breakfast and supplies to complete our Advent activity numero 2. 

We eat breakfast in the parish hall so that means I've got to pack three four sets of church clothes, shoes and jackets PLUS we were going over to Lee's brother's house after so pajamas were in order as well. 

Loaded up. I've only forgotten crucial things like socks once and fortunately I was able to rummage some up from someone's bag.

Living an hour away from church is just normal to us now and the kids do surprisingly well in the van - no TV around here. Usually there's lots of singing, some minor spats, and silly game playing - like hide and go seek? Yep, the girls have played that more than once while strapped in their carseats : )  

Bread that Papa makes for church... 

Sleeping bebe = easier breakfast

We found that taking breakfast for the girls and having them eat in the parish hall is way better than rushing to eat it at home. That gives them plenty of time to eat and gets Papa to church is more than enough to do pre-liturgy prep as part of his deacon-duties. It only took us three weeks to figure this out when our service time was changed, we have been doing it for over 2 years and it makes Sunday mornings way easy. 

Everyone gets dressed for church after breakfast - this is usually a bit more rushed. E usually hurries through breakfast so she can catch the last few minutes of Matins and get organized for liturgy. If she has her own music stand and stands with the choir she is bound to have much better behavior. 

Speaking of behavior, I will say that Sunday mornings at church are some of the most the difficult 90 minutes of parenting each week and this week proved no different. I'm not going to throw a pity party here just want to have some solidarity moments here of taking young kids to church. 

Okay, so Papa was ordained (Deacon Joseph - since there is no saint Lee; and I probably really should refer to him as DJ more often - I'll work on it) when R was 3 months old. Prior to that he was a subdeacon and prior to that he served on the altar every week. So I've been eased into solo parenting 4 kids at church - which doesn't make it any easier - I just know what I'm up against. I think the hardest part about taking young kids to church (there is no nursery option, and if there was I doubt I'd send them) is that I really want my kids to behave plus be semi-tuned into was is happening. When that doesn't happen - this week case in point - it is because A need to be bounced and fed, M is taking off her shoes and scratching wax off the floor, R has decided she's not going to sing and wants to stand right in front of E try and be cute, and E is distracted by R. Some Sundays are awesome but I'm not going to sugar coat, some Sundays I leave church annoyed with a high BP. I will say this, I used to even question why I bothered bringing them to church - even though I knew the answer - but I don't ask myself that anymore because I am quite sure it is the devil trying to plant seeds of doubt and despair. 

Moving on... 

We hit up Target for our Advent Activity for Week 2. 

Packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

It is probably my favorite Advent activity to do with the kids... I'll post on that separately (maybe : ) 

Dear Target - your new shopping carts do not allow the infant carrier to fit in the normal spot! WHY?!?!?!?

Then after a few more errands we headed over to Lee's brother's house for an afternoon of family and football and food. The girls LOVE LOVE LOVE going over to their cousins house and we usually end up leaving in tears because we cannot handle being apart from all the fun. 

Some of the 2.5 minutes A was not in the Beco because he just couldn't stay sleep anywhere else 
#ihaveproblems - except really not.

Then we packed up and headed home after dinner, threw the troops in bed and called it a night

While we were driving home and I was thinking about all the posts I had done for the week and all the things we had done (and not done) and how all the gears turned to make our lives function the way it does I can make a few claims:

1. It is nearly impossible to raise your voice when your teeth are clinched. I have been trying ever so hard to not yell at the kids and whenever I start - I clinch my teeth and then say what I want to say and my volume isn't nearly as loud. 

2. There are so many people who help make our world go around. Our family, our schools, our friends. Sometimes I think our lives couldn't get crazier and then I realize that it could be. If the family didn't bring E home from school - how would I finagle picking her up with 3 other kids and working in the afternoon? If one of the preschool teachers didn't help me out and let me drop R and M off 10 minutes early, how would it be getting home 25 minutes later for lunch? Two examples of how people go out of their way to help us and honestly I don't know how we'd do it without them

3. Our family is awesome. Aside from the fact they help us out a lot - we really enjoying spending time with them. The past two Sundays we've spent with Lee's family and my family. It is so nice to have family close by and to have the kids have cousins they spend lots of time with and grandparents who are deeply involved in their lives. Having grown up seeing my grandparents about once a year, because of distance, our kids are extremely fortunate to have grandparents this close. 

4. School. Yes we did seriously toy with the idea of homeschooling E this year and I can tell you I believe we made the right decision not to. I think we are exactly where we need to be. And while E claims she 'does SO MUCH seat work' and 'NEVER gets to paint', Lee and I are more than happy with her school situation. I remember this being such a huge weight (on me especially) this time last year. 

5. Work. Some people might ask why in the world do I work. I really enjoy what I do and I am fortunate to have two really flexible employers who let me bring the babies to work, work from home and take off when there is no school. It is the best (and let's be honest, hardest) of both worlds being able to work part-time and being at home in the afternoons. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week in My Life - Saturday

I don't think I'll get tired of waking up to this view... 

Here's E's Lego creation that she was saving from R's potential destruction. It is on Lee's major todo list to make a Lego table for upstairs. If you have any brilliant ideas let me know otherwise to Pinterest I will go... 

It is Saturday so you know what day it is around here? Laundry day. Usually I'll employ the girls to get their clothes separated but E was leaving and I wasn't up for a battle so I just did it.  

E and M have really taken to A. R is still mostly doing her own -almost-4-yr-old thing so she is usually not paying him much mind. I think M is on the phone with Grammy and Grandpa Joe. Now when they call all the girls want to talk so the conversations can be a bit lengthy : )  

We did our Jesse Tree before Papa and E headed out. We really have not been on top of it like we were last year so we definitely need to do better at planning 5-10 minutes in the morning or evening to do it. 

E and Papa were heading out to the campgrounds where her American Heritage Girls had spent the night and were spending the day. Neither of them really knew what to expect. Here's to a father-daughter adventure!

That left me with the youngest 3. And I get constant reminders there is a 2 yr old in the house. This is the girl who I had to call Poison Control for because she ate an unknown number of my Tums, she is bound to get a hand or foot smashed in the van door because she will NOT stop closing them herself (I've seriously considered turning off the buttons) AND the other day she stuck a fourth of a cashew up her nose and it was pretty well lodged up there - but I got it out before it require medical extraction. 

She's really cute though... And she loves taking pictures

In between R and M's antics laundry was done and Rumba was run. It is nice to be able to tell the kids to clean up their room so I can run Rumba and they know Rumba means business. We have migrated most of the toys upstairs except for the Duplos, some baby stuff and MagnaTiles so clean up is not too terrible. 

A and I were treated to a solo shopping trip because Jibbe took the girls to the park for lunch. They are savoring the waning not-so-freezing days. That was a huge help to not have 2 extra helpers while shopping. 

The view after a shopping trip and note the pile of clothes that needs to be folded. Shopping trips can mess with my laundry schedule but I did manage to get the bulk of it done. 

The girls came home from lunch and then hit the hay for rests - or quiet time as R calls hers.

I watched the second half of the Carolina football game and I still cannot believe they actually won because the last few minutes of the game were pretty terrible.

The girls got up and a neighbor came over and we chatted it up while our girls played. 

Then I got a text from Lee saying that they'd be home - so that gave me 30 minutes to feed R and M, shower them and tidy up. It was a success since I had a pretty unproductive afternoon. 

I got the scoop from E about her time at the campgrounds and she was so tired she gave me a skewed report about how there was 'nothing to play on'. The girls were tossed in bed because it was late and well Sundays are Sundays around here. 

I got the scoop from Lee who said they went on a hike, cleaned up a few campgrounds, and went to the nature center and they heard a talk on hibernation. Overall I think it was a success. But a word to the wise - before you start going to trash talk someone or some group of people it would be best to know who is in earshot of your conversation as you never know who is listening and what you are saying might be quite hurtful to them. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Theme Thursday - Portraits

Taking a break from Week in my Life...

I took these pictures the day before Halloween. These are the ones from my phone but I did bring out the real camera... These will suffice for now

These were our fall pics from last year - In fact it was a Theme Thursday post but the sun was much better. This year I was desperately late and didn't have my act together thanks to a 3 week old : ) 

Getting four kids to look at the camera is nearly impossible so cuteness tends to make up for it

I've always taken each kids picture in this pumpkin outfit for their first Halloween. Considering M wore it last year and she was a few days shy of one, you might imagine that A was swallowed by it. 

Now, these won't be our Christmas card pics unless a get super desperate and the bribes of Sweet Tarts (because they are small and not messy and 2 yr olds can eat them while pictures are being taken) don't work. 

My all time favorite Christmas card outtake is from 2012 - and I've never snapped one as fantastic as that one. 

Here are our previous Christmas cards:

Happy Advent!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Semana in my Vida - Friday!!!

Working for the weekend... 

Both of these people were up before six this morning. I threw M in bed with Papa because he's usually perched in his office well before 5 am each morning. 7 hours of driving will take its toll... 

Everyone else got up earlier than normal - as in before 6:30. I actually kind of like the fact they aren't rushing in the morning but I still don't like it too much because I feel like 'my' part of the morning is diminished. 

Papa was right back to work packing lunches and snacks and bags and hustling everyone out the door. 

I got the whole wide world in my front seat. Except I don't have M's bag and a mildly perturbed Papa drove it to school when he couldn't get a hold of me because my phone was an silent. #oops!

Ready for the day and not taking prisoners... 
This is E rushing to get in line and giving squeezes and taking M out in the process!

Just a lazy Friday at work.. At least for some people

R went on a field trip today with her class and fortunately Jibbe was able to take her. She talked about it so that makes me believe she enjoyed it

M is talking to Jibbe about going to lunch again... tomorrow

R got me the mail... I wasn't up for fighting her on rest/quiet time today

She played upstairs for a while and after the fact found out one of E's Lego creations was a victim... 

Papa got home from so work things in time to mow the grass while the girls played outside

Referee called a timeout for a kicking-your-sister penalty 

Love them

Finally getting back on the Jesse Tree schedule with Noah, Abraham and Isaac. It is pizza Friday around here and football Friday too. It is one of Papa's hobbies that I have come to accept and not complain about. But football is almost over!!!!! Woot woot (Sorry Lee) 

The kids were driving me bonkers and they fought in the bathroom when they were brushing teeth so I said straight to bed but then I thought better of it and let them play. 

He's so cute!

They are so silly

In her happy place

Everyone got in bed. R was out in a second because she didn't rest. E camped out in our room for a few to avoid M's noise. I've caught up on the blogging. Papa walked in the door from football and we discussed the 'freshness' of the dirtiness of the dishes as to determine what cycle to run it on and that was all she wrote!

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