Friday, June 29, 2018

7QTs - Swim, Cake, Swim

Linking up with Kelly ... and I'm smashing 2 week together so as to not skip


Last weeks swim meet....

M has the best take off swim pics ever

This is E on her IM turn

She actually likes doing breaststroke... If we could just get her stroke count higher I think she'd be really great

Getting ready for free

I think the bag might be as big or as heavy as she is...



Once a week we have breakfast for dinner. It is easy. I don't have to think about it (unless you count getting bread out of the freezer) and it is easy. Last week I cooked 6 eggs for the kids including C. This week I cooked seven because C really liked her last week. That's a lot of eggs. 


R and her bff and M and her bff and me and other family and friends went to go see E in the musical she had been at camp for. Friday night I took the bigger kids and Saturday night Lee and I escaped (barely - you crazy, crazy, crazy pool season) for dinner and the show. It was cute. It is funny. It was well-done and at one point I laughed so hard I cried. 

Newspaper lady and everyone else in Madagascar Jr... well done. 

Well done!


The girls were playing upstairs before rest so...

A and I raided the leftover birthday cake!

Partners in crime : ) #cakemonsters

This is C's birthday cake... More on that parteeee later


I adore our neighbors...

There was a girls vs boys soccer game about to begin and I think the girls were deciding on their uniform colors and team name while the boys were warming up. #priorities The game ended up stopping at the first half as the boys waited for their start recruit to counter my entry into the game. The boys median age was over 8 and the girls median age was 5.5 so they needed a little boost. 

Someone recently asked me if we wanted to move (rather than do changes to our house) to which my answer is Nope. Nope. Nope. 


In other news... 

R had this loose tooth that was looking kind of weirdish so I convinced her to pull it out on the spot... and she did because that's how she rolls. The tooth fairy surprised everyone and came extra early. I guess that's what happens when you put your tooth under your pillow extra early :  )


We messed around outside the other day which involved

C's first time in the sand box and her getting ready to go to the beach!


Catching up on yesterday's swim meet in which I gave the portrait setting on the new phone a whirl...

M swam pup squad (again - even though she doesn't want to) and I videoed that for her so no pics. I really need to charge up the camera and put the big lens on it and see what I can get.

R swam backstroke and breaststroke for the first time! I think she surprised herself with backstroke. She got out of the water and said, How did I stay on my back the whole time? 

E switched things up but of course had to swim backstroke because it is her fav. Nothing like a little dose of humility to get you mad and get you motivated. I guess we'll see just how motivated she is. 

R won freestyle for the 6 and unders! It is was a nail biter but she did it. I can't wait for her to pick up her blue ribbon :  )

C was happy the swim meet was over in just over an hour. I think I was drenched in sweat (from toting her around) for a hour after the meet. Sometimes I think I hear her saying go-go-go when there's a race going on. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

C is ONE!

Dear C - 

This year has flown by! I mean you were just born right? Like JUST BORN - and your Papa probably still has some PTSD from that day. Except you weren't just born because there were a million things that happened - and a million more things that you tagged along for - like that swim meet when you were a mere 5 days old (if you ever go to the Olympics for swimming you know why) and R's first day of K and coaching M's soccer team and so much fun and crazy stuff. 

You big brother adores you and your name Clare-Clare is the first two syllable word he uttered so that has stuck for you and Clare-y girl and Clare-y nut and just C but not CC which surprises me because of all the kids to have a nickname CC would have been an easy shot.

You are a great baby. Good sleeper. Good eater. We had the longest BFing stint of any of the kids and after all that hassle of pumping in China you quit after only a week or two after I got back (about 10 months in)! Your teeth did not appear until 10-10.5 months and they came in a strange order. Two on the bottom. Two fang teeth and two top teeth. 

Your likes include going to school, sitting in the pool, pulling nightlights and cords out of the wall, eating, drinking milk and only milk, yogurt, baths, clapping your hands, waving at yourself in the mirror in the morning and watching all your sibs go to and fro. 

Your dislikes include water to drink, waiting to be fed, getting mauled by your big brother, and getting put in your carseat. You don't love rice cakes but you tolerate them  

You make lots of different noises and sounds. No words to speak of. Sometimes I think I've heard you say Clare-Clare but I highly doubt that's possible. 

Happy Birthday (a few days late) sweet C! 

We are so happy God gave you to us and while things may be wild and crazy more times than not, I hope you love it because we are keeping you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

7QTs - All things A, Swimming and Such

Linking up with Kelly ... skipping a whole week but I don't really care


I upgraded my phone not too long ago... aka my boss graciously let me get a new one

And the camera is great. 

And I waffled over a case and I didn't like the Otterbox colors and I ordered an UAG and a Lifeproof case but ended up going with the tried and true and not-loving-the-color OtterBox

Last week was the last week of craziness...

E had drama camp, and the others were farmed out between sitters and MMO. So grateful that our regular summer sitter started Monday. 

So grateful. I need order in my life. 

A actually wore cowboy boots to school one day last week because by the grace of God he had them in his bag. A friend had given us a bunch of shoes from the last time he walked out the door without shoes on and I kid you not, I cleaned all of them on the night before this happened. 

It was either spend 45 minutes going back and forth to school with shoes or let him wear the boots. 

He wore the boots. 

Also that week I managed to forget C's milk cup at home which involved getting an emergency cup from the drug store for $10 million dollars (and now she refuses it) AND having a law enforcement officer, in a round about way, remind me to NOT leave my van running while I drop my (some) kids off a school because insurance won't cover that if it is stolen... BUT WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS WHO WERE INSIDE LISTENING TO MUSIC WITH THE SLIDING DOOR OPEN!!!!!!!?!?!?!?

So Monday and our amazing sitter could not have come fast enough. 


We had a late night sprinkler party 

And if by late, I mean later in the evening before Papa gets home because pool season is in full effect and we aren't complaining because last year was worse and St. Joseph is looking out for us. I will say it is hard to maintain my own - it is going to be okay when the kids are begging to see Papa and crying and I just want to be right there with them BUT we carry on and will be more grateful in the fall. 


Thursday marked the first official swim meet of the summer


I just can't

M and her pup squad glory!

These sweet friends.... from way back. Yes scroll down and weep

This is a top contender for best summer 2018 swim pic

E getting ready to blast off

Rocked it out in IM, back and breast.... yes breaststroke!

R our freestyler!

She didn't win but she did her very best and I was half worried she wouldn't breathe (unlike E who KILLS me with her freestyle breathing)


Another C in hat pic... 

So much I could say about this picture. The girl in it. The boy whose hat it is. The Papa who has a matching hat. The awesome company from where the hat came. 

So much but I won't.

Love your family. Love your job. Love the people you work with and for. 


E's got a big performance this weekend for her drama camp and I cannot take any pictures and that is a bummer. All the kids have been loving the CD we have been listening to for this musical for going on a month. A cannot go to a performance because there is an age requirement which is a bummer for him but he won't know the difference. 


Also, Lee and I are possibly concocting some really fun and great travel plans for us and the fam over the course of the next 3-6 months. It should be really interesting to see if and what shakes out but I think passports are in the future for all parties involved. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Happy Fathers Day 2018

Happy Father's Day to my Dad also known around these parts as Grandpa Joe. My dad is probably one of the funniest guys you'll ever meet and he can make anyone laugh. He has a small pack of grandkids who love playing endless games of Uno Attack and whatever other board games they can convince him to play. He is an expert at pretty much everything and he's always ready to go out for a stroll. 

Then there's this guy. Not as seasoned in the Fathers Day department but so loved by his troop of adorers. He's super hard working especially during the summer and I think that's when I notice the kids love him the most because they whine and cry and stay up later than they should just to catch a glimpse of him some days. From work to church to home, the only way that he gets through his days is by God's grace - because he should be falling flat on his face as soon as he walks in the door and he should be dragging out of bed just to get out the door, but he doesn't. 

We went to our traditional Fathers Day dinner spot on Saturday night. We were running a solid hour late, because there is a Mt Everest amount of work to be done, and I was pretty much up for ordering pizza and just scraping the whole thing because personalities, no naps, bedtime etc etc. I kept my mouth shut and put on the best face possible and everyone must have rose to the occasion for him. Even C cooperated on the eve of her first birthday and happily ate sweet potato fries. E would have nothing to do with sweet potato fries but might have eaten as many fried oysters at Lee and I. R was the first one done. A forgot his tie. M barely squeaked in the roasted veggies on her plate so she could get the last of the skillet cookie we saved her. 

Then we came back for cards and presents... And yes there was much lobbying over who was going to sit where (as usual)

He is super hard to surprise and of course we did not surprise him. I don't know who was more excited about his present - him or the girls. There will be a lot of Friday night Lego building in the foreseeable future. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

E is Eight

(long overdue so here goes...)

Waffles were the breakfast request of choice

The book in your hand pretty much sums up a lot about you. You are a total bookworm (probably because you do not own an electronic device, much to your disappointment). You stay up so late reading books it is inspiring. You will come down well past 10 on a school night to tell us you've finished a book - an I know on more than one occasion you have come down only to find us asleep already. And your shoes are tied! For the LOVE - you shoes are tied. They are rarely tied (ehem.... you have an excellent role model for untied shoes - I'm working on that). It is actually a sticking point that you shoes must REALLY ACTUALLY be tied before you get out of the van. 

You are bright and caring and you love to give us kisses goodnight. You like to play with A when no one else is around and you like to help with C and get her ready for bed. You are begging for chores and I've been giving you more daily chores to do and it has been a huge help (to me). You like to help especially when you know I need it. I think you have a sense when things are stressful around the house and that's when you like to step up. 

Your dislikes include: dogs and thunderstorms and any form of natural disaster - hurricanes, tornados, volcanos, cyclones, earthquakes - we've talked about them all. You are a worrier and get nervous about random stuff (imagine where you get that from). We try and talk you through a lot of it but you kind of just have to experience it just to know you are good. 

This was a big year: AHG camp, 2nd grade, first confession, help coached M's soccer team, finished the 500 a few times in swimming, played soccer and scored a goal if I am not mistaken. It was a good year. It was fun to watch you this year. 

We shall see what this year holds but I am sure it will be great as you continue to grow in your faith and confidence. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

7QTs - Parties, parties, parties

Linking up with Kelly ... I left off with preschool celebration and baseball game for the bigs...


Saturday (of Memorial Day weekend) Lee had to... work. Shocking indeed. We had some running around to do which involved shopping with all the kids at Lidl and the big girls actually carting the bulk of the groceries which A and C rode in my cart. I think all of  us cart pushers got hit in the back of the heels by a cart - E took her caboose role more seriously after that. Side note, I like Lidl except for the grocery packing... It is stressful to me because I always feel like it is a massive rush and I need a better game plan to pack my bags.

After the shopping trip we headed to fiesta number one of the week...

Clearly A needs to eat more popsicles:

There was amazing food, awesome cake and great people. 

It wouldn't be a party without a piƱata 

Thanks to Nani and Co for a fun night


Sunday and Monday were low key days that involved:

The pool and popsicles

These 2 have been friends since FOREVER and they'll be in preK together in the fall!

We thought the rain was going to run us away from the pool on Monday but we stayed out in the drizzle and it was enjoyable.


Tuesday somehow Lee got home early - I think it might have been a rainy day - and E and I went off to AHG for some final badge signings. I think I did Chicken Orzo for dinner which was the first time I've made dinner in a while as we have been eating out of the freezer. With swim practice canceled due to some (early.. ehem) afternoon thunder it made for a much easier evening. 

Wednesday was R's last tee ball game... FINALLY

Forever friends 

R had a few good hits and wrapped up a very successful season. Time will tell if she decides to play again in the fall. 


Thursday R 'graduated' from Kindergarten

The cake tasted as amazing as it looked!

Grammy came up for the cute little program they had

R wants to be a dentist when she grows up. So we will see if that holds true. 

After graduation we took A for a haircut - which he has been begging for. Mainly because he gets a lollipop while he sits in the chair. 


We put one of E's American Girl hats on C...

and it was cute and hilarious

and she's going to be ONE before we know it. 


Saturday we have Jibbe's birthday party at our house

The weather mostly cooperated though it did rain a few times we were mostly spared but it totally justified my decision to put the MASSIVE tent in the front yard and not the back. The back would have been a swampy mess! 

We did see a few rainbows which was neat!


Sunday involved a family reunion lunch 

Which we go to every year and the food is great and we take an obligatory family picture afterward.