Thursday, December 27, 2018

7QTs - Christmas-ish Things

Linking up with Kelly ... pre Christmas happenings


M and A had their preschool Christmas program 2 weeks ago: 

Don't you love a good bowtie? 

A was a touch under the weather but looks a lot worse because he ran and tripped and fell so his forehead was a bit swollen.

My favorite memory of the night was him singing Jingle Bells and jingling the hand bells (that were in his right hand) but jingling both hands (because he is left handed).


Meet Polly!

We have a friendly opossum that patrons C's scraps in the evening. We have seen her a few nights in a row and read the riot act to the kids about not opening the door for Polly (like they would - because 3 are terrified of all things with fur)

Target has this really AWESOME snowflake lights... 

Except the team in charge of R&D failed because they do NOT string together like the icicle lights do. You know, you want several snowflakes strands strung together to line the porch.... NOPE. There is only a plug on one side of each strand so basically it is terrible and I was stuck with 100 boxes of snowflakes and I was super annoyed 

Until Lee put up hooks (those 3M things are worth anything) and then got a million extension cords and made my vision come to life. I promise a better picture but please note there are at least 6 extension cords just making my snowflakes light up : )



Little C is a full 18 months

And already for swim team! Gosh I love her!!! Even though she's kind of a mess


E and R had their Christmas program... 

It was cute. The best part was going to the dress rehearsal and not fighting for a seat and not having to mess with A and C who hung out with me during the evening performances. 


The kids came together and unwrapped 9 bags of hugs this year

It was a good amount. Not manageable on the oven side but not too bad for them 

I told E I'm putting her in charge of pretzels next year because I never got into a good rhythm of loading hugs while the hugs/pretzels were in the oven

So the whole process took way longer than I would have like BUT... it's all good. 

These are the best fresh out of the oven... my OCD cannot handle my color error

Batch 5 of 6 

My batter taste tester

Ready to pass out the gifts


Two Sundays before Christmas we went on an exhilarating tree hunt...

There should have been about 15 vendors with trees. 

There were 3.

I'm quite sure there were more people looking for trees than were available trees so there were very few deals to be found which was a bummer. I think we passed through every spot at least 3 times. I called Lee (who wasn't tree shopping with us) and was half convinced we'd end up with an artificial tree. But we didn't and I caved on a long needled tree that looked like one side was hacked up and missing and the other side was immaculate. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Last Snow of 2018?

It snowed a week ago. It was pretty. It was wet. It was short lived. It was fun. 

There is this iconic picture of my dad and his siblings I would love to reproduce. 

My version didn't come out exactly as I was hoping but it was a valiant attempt given we don't have 4 sleds. 

Anyhow, we dragged out all the snow gear and found that for the most part we are pretty well covered from head to toe with amazing hand me downs and stuff from years past. I will say after Christmas I plan on getting a pair of ski pants for me because I'm the outside snow parent and Lee's the insides snow parent (which I love and works great for us but I don't have good pants for being outside) also I need to add a pair of boots to the footwear because A and M could be wearing the same size and M was falling out of her boots - which was no fun. 

It had started snowing in the middle of the night

And snowed nicely until about 9:30 

The temp was just at the freezing mark - which was kind of a bummer because it turned to freezing rain/rain/sleet 

Had it actually snowed all that precipitation instead of rained several hours of it - that would have been amazing 

But this is the earliest snow we have had in a while. We had a 12/26 snow within the last 8 year

Everything was cover and it was really pretty

She was not happy about making a snow angel

But I did it anyways and sent her in to hang out with Papa

The girls really wanted to sled but this was really not sliding snow so disappointment abounded. 

We made it up to our neighbors and there were some snowmen and snowball throwing 

Then we went in for the day. The snow turned to rain and it was just not fun and cold

But that didn't stop E and R from getting in on a snow swimming challenge that was circling the swim team. 

Hopefully next snow will be the same volume or more but about ten degrees colder. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

St. Nicholas Day!

I LOVE the peacefulness and the silence in the candlelit chapel... if only a bit of incense were burning

Lee and I did matins AFTER we got all of the things that the kids (and parents) designated for St. Nicholas put away and a few treats from St. Nicholas out. I was worried E or R might wake up and catch up but they didn't. (Lee PROMISED me the dresser would be out of the chapel by the end of the year - here's to hoping he'll keep his word!)

There were some gold coins left from China but the kids didn't notice which was a bit disappointing but whatever

The great race...

The excitement they had was contagious and all week they kept on talking about St. Nicholas and how he was coming and can you believe it? 

Gold coins, sugary cereal (I never buy), toothpaste, mouthwash? - we live on the edge -, gum, chalk, books, Christmas outfits - they were thrilled. I had picked up some socks at Target but then I realized we have a million socks so I thought better of them

Then we headed downstairs and found St. Nicholas had left us some chocolate milk! to go with the cinnamon buns. It was Jesse Tree readings over breakfast. 

We were all supposed to go to Liturgy tonight BUT C has a nasty cough and I had to get her from school early sooooo.... It was Lee and the big girls. A and C and I (if we ever had an I kid name then I would have to be careful about typing that out - because you know everyone is A. asking when's the next one coming B. R and M have talked about me having twins for a month C. but no, no, no) held the fort here for the evening and are hoping to kick this crud by the weekend!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Moms Swim 2018

Gosh this seems like a long time ago but I suppose it was only about 6 weeks ago yet I am finally getting around to it...

Back in October the girls had an evening swim meet. It is definitely a fun meet for them so to add to the fun I thought it would be even more fun to get some moms involved in a moms vs coaches relay. 

Let's just say it was loads of fun and even though we lost and it taught our kids a thing or two about what their mamas can do. 

I must admit I'd been hatching this idea probably since the end of summer because I knew I need so swim savvy moms if we were to even have a shot at this. After pitching the idea and a little bit of pleading we were in. 

Next thing we needed was a team cap. Well apparently #swimmoms or anything related to moms swimming cannot be found printed on a silicone swim cap (though there is an array of nice shirts). So the next best thing is... typing 'swim mom cap' into Google and seeing what appears. Wouldn't you know these were the caps that came up.

I mean they had flowers and hearts on them and they seemed fierce enough and the name of them is La Vengadora - Lady Avengers so here we were. 

Then it came to the morning before the race. We assembled at 5:30 (in the morning because everyone knows that's when moms really have quality time for themselves) to practice diving off the blocks. Ummm.... let's just say having not dove off one of those blocks in 20 years - they were really high. And here we moms are telling our kids they have nothing to worry about and get up there and just do it. 


Well then it was race day - which was kind of hilarious because there was this series of serious texts about our order but also included who was going to be in our cheering section because word had gotten out about the #swimmoms and even non swim friends were wishing us luck and then dying to see the video of it after the fact. 

I mean Lee and my mother in law even stuck around until 7:30 with all the kids - hello past your bedtime A and C - to watch. 

Anyhow we lost and it wasn't even close which was a bummer because none of us wanted to lose because we are all THOSE kind of mamas. For me personally, I can tell you that the take homes for me and my swimming girls are this:

A. I probably can and should swim (when I get around to it) faster - because I can and I just don't push myself. That in and of itself was worth all this 

B. R couldn't believe that I was ACTUALLY going to swim. So I am glad that I publicly showed her that her mother can, in fact, swim even though diving off the blocks is not as easy as you kids make it out to be

C. E saw how we lost. We were good sports. Disappointed but still having fun as a team of moms. It is fun to win but sometimes it is not about winning and losing - it is about just doing something for the fun of it (and winning next time)

D. One of teammates rang in her birthday swimming on the relay team - which was AWESOME!

On that note, I cannot speak for all the #swimmoms but I hope that we can have a rematch next year. Hopefully next year the coaches team will have a closer median age to our as they were about 7 years younger than us on average OR we need a handicap based on the number of kids we have. Once the race was over, we looked around at each other and determined that there are 15 kids between the four of us! 


Saturday, November 24, 2018

7QTs - Gobbling all the way! Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

Linking up with Kelly ... post China, much turkey edition


So I made it back from China without much ado... though there was a medical emergency on the flight from Detroit back to RDU and I am pretty sure that the would have been diverted had there not been a doctor and a nurse on board. I hope Delta gives those medical professionals a free flight if they have to step in and help like that. Anyhow.... Saturday Lee took E and R to a swim meet early Saturday morning. E swam the 100 fly and didn't DQ which was the goal - not her time. R did well and she DQed in breast and IM - not surprisingly but it was her second meet ever and she's really only been swimming for about a month. 

Saturday evening we did our week one Advent activity - Operation Christmas Child in an exhausted state but it had to be done. 

Sunday we FINALLY celebrated M's 5th birthday. 

This is the cake that my mom worked tirelessly on and then sat in the freezer for 2 weeks but it was still yummy.

It was massive. M was thrilled to finally celebrate her birthday and I was thrilled to be able to take the HB decorations down. 

Monday kicked off the (seemingly) endless Thanksgiving celebrations at school - so I am thankful for all the kids that we have been so generously blessed with to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. I am thankful for both their sweet little schools and their amazingly great and dedicated teachers (and staff) who make the schools go round. And I'm thankful for my jobs that allow me the time and the space to shoot off to the parties mid-work day and go and come as I need to enjoy these special moments with the kids. 

First up was R and her Thanksgiving play - there were a few cute songs and I've caught R singing them to herself over the long weekend. I really enjoy this celebration because the kids write notes to their families inviting them so it is a nice time to see all the parents in the class and catch up because sometime life can get so busy. The meal was coordinated and easy for parents and a hit with kids and adults. 


The next day it was M's turn for a party...

which only means one thing. Turkey cookies. I think I've owned turkey cookies since E was in the same class that A is in now - though I had to put my turkey game face on when I couldn't find the pre-made, pre-cut turkey cookies - and honestly I'm kind of glad because this is one thing I think I've got down to a science in the cute/crafty/cooking department. 

I spotted a 2 yr old parade going on and look who I found!

I usually make a point and don't go to a number of the class parties unless I'm in charge of it or I know that it is really important (because honestly, I can watch my kids eat food at home) BUT I knew M had to make a little presentation so Thanksgiving parties all around this year. 

M presenting her "Wild Turkey" to her class

She and I whipped up the Wild Turkey the day before I left for China because Lee probably would never let me leave again had I left him with an art project to do. Glitter glue, feathers, jewels - thankful for a hot glue gun and all the little gun sticks to go in it. 


Then after a quick lunch break it was off to the races for E's class party which turkey cookies were requested so....

I made it a bit more interesting for the 3rd graders by giving them naked turkeys that they had to put the feather on. I think they liked it : ) 

They asked for a picture

Future turkey cookie baker and maker!


And last but not least was A!


and the final round of turkey cookies. I did enjoy sitting next to him while he feasted on his snack. 

Then it was onward and upward to our Thanksgiving Thursday...


C disappointed when she realized she couldn't go outside and play in the massive leave pile with the other kids. 

This picture really doesn't do the leave pile justice or Uncle Kev who made it happen. Lee and Grammy worked in the kitchen while Uncle Kev worked on blowing the leave to entertain the kids. 

A winter hat and shoe were lost to the leave pile and we are hoping they'll surface before Lee takes a flame to them. 

On this day we are Thankful for our family and friends who descended on our house. Thankful for fun times and good food and great company. I'm especially thankful for a husband who loves to cook - because if I had to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving that would not be nearly has fun as just having to eat it. 


Finally, Friday brought another Thanksgiving feast...

This time it was off to Jibbe's house. On this day we are thankful for Jibbe who has been letting us have Thanksgiving on the Friday for a while now. Which means that out families can enjoy one Thanksgiving meal two days in a row rather than stuffing ourselves with two Thanksgiving meal in eight hours. Friday was a great day filled with more great food and friends and fun times especially with cousins.