Monday, April 27, 2015

Mom and Dad, meet our community

Without a smidge of hesitation I can confidently say that one of the highlights of our days is our community.

We are blessed with great friends.  And our children are blessed by their children.

In the spring we visit a park most every Sunday afternoon.  The crowd isn't always the same, but the sweet times with friends are a treat every time.

I love that my mom and dad are getting to spend time with these people so dear to us!

Saturday, April 25, 2015


I'm hardly taking any pictures.  I need to get out the camera and make sure I'm getting photos of the kids with their grandparents.  

Luke is still a tricky kiddo when it comes to sleep.  It's hard for him to settle down at midday and at night.  He sleeps fewer hours per day than any of my other kids!  And he's the youngest!  By Friday this week he was sleepy and grumpy.  By Friday this week I was struggling to parent him well.  He climbed up in my lap and I got this picture.  Nothing fancy but it's pretty much exactly how both of us were feeling at the moment.  

Right after I took the photo I texted Matt and asked what he thought about going out to dinner.  Even when the menu plan said "leftovers" I was overwhelmed with the idea of getting it on the table and cleaning it up again :)  

Luckily we have a great restaurant right across the street.  And ice cream for dessert :)  

This morning we walked down to the local sporting goods store.  Two of our boys needed new helmets for their growing heads.  I loved this line of colorful kids taking a short rest before heading to lunch.  

Julianna bought rollerblades and spent almost four hours this afternoon on them!  She said her ankles were sore!  Isaac is also a new roller blade fan - but his cash flow is a little low to be considering a roller blade purchase.  I'm praying that I'll see a used pair for sale in the next few months.  [This time of year we see a lot of turnover in the expat population of our city, so it's a great time to be looking for roller blades!]  

And after lunch Mom and I headed for Ikea where we bought a new set of shelves that will be my "linen closet".  It's set up and hiding behind the door of our bedroom.  After all our walking and with the addition of our new shelves we decided to take a three-wheeled motorcycle cart home.  

Now the house is quiet and I'm headed for bed.  Tomorrow's forecast is beautiful and we often spend Sunday afternoon at a park.  Maybe I'll take my camera :)  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

the help (Luke and Mom)

Everyone was a little squirrel-y yesterday afternoon.  Easily frustrated, snappy voices, quick to fuss.   Hours like those exhaust me.

But we made it through.  Dinner on the table, eaten, cleaned up, boys through the bath, and a few chapters of Narnia.  Tomorrow is a new day.

In the chaos I decided to snap some photos.  Maybe to distract me from the insanity :)

Luke is a professional table-setter..... it's probably his favorite way to help.  He specializes in thorough-ness :)  

My mom is even more helpful (imagine!).  She arrived anxious to help out in the kitchen.  No problemo :)

One other nice thing about Grandmama in town - extra capacity to do more complicated crafting.  They worked on this tie-dye scarf and I think it turned out really well!

Lydia helping with the dinner rolls.  She arranged the serving platter herself :)

And John Paul.  Poor guy.  No energy.  ha!

More coloring (and Dad in the background, working with his computer). 

Surely today is gonna be a better one, right?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

the weekend

Friday Dad walked with me to get the boys from school.  John Paul loves to wear clothes that match his Granddaddy!

Later that afternoon Isaac took a few photos at the playground.  I rarely stand at the base of a high-rise and just look up, but he did.

While we played our way through most of Friday and Saturday Matt and his companions reached the summit of a 16,000 ft peak.  He was pretty pumped.  Obviously.

And it's good to have him home again too.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

departing, arriving

Matt left early Wednesday morning for a trip to the western mountains.  I heard from him yesterday and then received these two photos around noon today.  Unless he happens to cross an area with a weak cell signal somewhere back in those mountains I won't expect to hear from him again until Saturday.

This kind of travel feeds his soul.  And I know - wherever he is - there's a big smile on his face :)

There are plenty of smiles on faces around here too.  The exact same day that Matt departed.... my parents arrived!  Mom and Dad have been in Asia for four months already, so they are jet lag free and eager to join right in to all the fun.  We've had two gorgeous days, pleasantly warm and sunny.  The perfect welcome for a six-week stay here in town!

Dad is teaching basketball, Mom is teaching crochet.  They're practically on staff with our little home school :)

Perfect timing, since we could use some fresh legs here for the final laps of the race!

Monday, April 13, 2015

a picture and a few sentences

An April Monday, in the rear view mirror.

It's getting late and I'm getting wrapped up in the Narnia stories, so there's not much to say tonight.  [Matt and the big three are reading through Narnia for the 2nd time, and it got me to thinking that I might need a little run through Narnia myself.... I'm hoping to finish book one tonight!  I've been turning pages in The Magician's Nephew waiting for this picture to load.]

It's a big week for us - Mom and Dad arriving Wednesday afternoon - so I'll be back with more.  When I finish my book :)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

looking ahead (next week goals)

We really lost our home school groove during Easter.  Two field trips the week before.  Monday after Easter Matt had the day off work.  Monday night Julianna spent the night out and Lydia hosted a sleepover friend so Tuesday we just plain skipped school (though they did go to local school in the afternoon).

Wednesday we waded back in to the pile of books.  And today, again, was jumbled and cock-eyed.  But we did it.  We'll do it again tomorrow.  And maybe next week will be our week to shine?

I guess there are some weeks when perseverance is the key?

Today, instead of starting a new writing assignment we spent extra time crafting.  The boys were happy.  The girls were happy.  It wasn't a hard decision :)

We make a tremendous mess crafting.  It seems to be a specialty.  I'm committed to letting supplies fall where they may and doing a massive clean up at the end.

Our craft supplies are *mostly* stored in the bottom half of this cabinet.  I took advantage of the chaos and did a bit of purging.  Yesterday Luke took advantage of my chaos (switching the kids clothes from winter to summer) and snagged himself a new shirt.  I guess you could say both of us are looking for opportunities to turn chaos into gain :)

[His new shirt happens to be a boys size 7.  I know a loosing battle when I see it.]

In addition to getting some "groove" back to our home school days we have another big goal for next week!  Welcoming my parents!  They arrive Wednesday for a 6 week visit.  And we can't wait!