Saturday, August 22, 2009

I can hardly believe it, but in one hour it will mark 7 years that Elijah has been out of me and living in this world. We decided to have his party next Saturday in light of the first week of school, but we did our fair share of celebrating today anyway. We had an impromptu breakfast at IHOP complete with singing and clapping wait staff (and an ice cream sundae for breakfast--this is after his hot chocolate with whipped cream and pancakes, eggs, and bacon!). This evening we took him shopping for his first big boy present-a bow and arrow. It's still a little surreal to me. Five was getting big. Six was kind of big, but still just kindergarten. Seven seems different. Like, no longer a little kid (well, who are we kidding? Elijah hasn't been "little" since 2003.) He is a school aged child. Happy Birthday man cub!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

cutting back

In the interest of my sanity I am cutting out some things that I think are important, but just not attainable for me right now. No more cloth diapers during the week, no more teaching flute lessons, no more fall garden; and we are making a serious effort to not plan up all of our weekends. I am trying enjoy my job and not to start the countdown to next summer when I can "be me" again.

We got rid of our entertainment center and tv on Sunday. Took them to the curb and they were gone within the hour. We found an ad on craigslist for a free piano that we are picking up this week. Man, does it ever feel great to not have a tv again!

We have a houseguest this week: it's our dog buddy, Judah! Carter is so happy having a friend here that we are considering getting a second dog. It is breathing new life into that tired old dog. Believe me, it won't be anytime soon. But it is at least something we are considering.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My tomatoes are ripe! We've had the little delicious bite sized ones for about a month, but we've been waiting and checking each day for the larger heirlooms to be ready. There have been a few, usually just one at a time. We used one for BLT's and a couple I froze because they were ready as we were getting ready to leave for vacation, but I think we're about to hit the motherload. I've got my canning jars prepped and I am ready to get my canning on. I hope there are more ready this weekend.

In other news I am going to have a large class this year. Tonight was meet the teacher open house. I think I will end up with around 23-24 students, which is several higher than last year. We'll see how that goes. Should be interesting. We have a new kindergarten teacher in our building and get this--she grew up in a town in Michigan where a lot of my family lives. Sara M.--if you are reading this, she remembers you and your sister from Brighton HS! Her name is Karen. (This is where you start humming 'it's a small world after all') Crazy.

We have reclaimed our back porch after it's use as command central all summer. It is nice to not have it full of power tools, random nails, and other garbage. I don't even care that there is no table and chairs. I am just happy that the siding is done and for the first time since we moved in, there is no painted plywood looking trashy back there.

I can definitely tell that I sat in a chair for most of the day today. All I want to do is get on the treadmill and run. So, I think I will. Brian is out tonight for a much needed "out of the house" adventure. The kids are in bed and I have the whole night before me. Well, it is 8:45, so at least the next two hours before me.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

girls versus boys

This is how you know girls are different than boys:

Upon finding a Buzz Lightyear laserblaster, Emily proceeds to pick it up and use it to dry her hair. Not even shooting sounds.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Where did the weekend go? I was just patting myself on the back for my more frequent posting, when to my surprise, almost a week has passed! I am back to work testing incoming kindergartners and getting my room ready for the next school year. Elijah and Mary are all signed up for their respective schools and I've got all my people lined up to help drive everywhere said children need to go each day. Brian and I are mourning summer. Each year gets better. I do think it went by fast, but when I look back, we sure did a lot.

Elijah and Mary did art camp, we walked as a family a lot, we went to Tropicanoe Cove three times, camped at Prophetstown State Park, camped in Bloomington for the weekend, went to the Taste of Tippecanoe, spent the 4th of July with my family at Lake Michigan, enjoyed a week with Brian's aunt, uncle, and cousin in town, went to the Indianapolis Children's Museum, Art Museum, and had an overnight date adventure where we ate dinner at the long lost Italian Restaurant in Michigan where it all began for us 12 years ago (when we were in HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH GROUP!!), attended the Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering, Wolf Park twice, spent a week in a house on the beach with our wonderful family, spent two weeks in the car driving across the country and finally just spent two days with my aunt and cousins visiting. Oh yeah, and a couple of little house projects we like to call new windows and siding. There really wasn't a lot of lounging in our yard, playing in the pool, like years past but I would still say that our summer was a success.

I think it's therapeutic for me to do this each August when I start to get whiny about going back to work. It's good to remind myself that we had a good bit of fun and now this season is over. Time to get back to work. This year will bring new adventures as Mary goes to preschool and makes new friends. Emily will grow up quickly now that she gets to go to the big girl day care with her sister and will start Bible Study Fellowship in January with Mary and cousin Jonathan. Lots of things to look forward to. It's just not sleep.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

our bounty

Since we've been home I have been spending a lot of time weeding our overgrown mess called a garden. We've been harvesting and eating lots of things as well which is really satisfying. Brian's grandma loaned us her pressure cooker so I started canning beans for the first time--SO EXCITING!!

Monday, August 03, 2009

what i should be doing. er...?

Well folks the time has arrived once again. The time of year when I play tug of war with all the demands on my time. I can clean closets and get rid of clutter (whatever happened to our firm resolve about not allowing our kids to have tons of worthless toys?) or I can go to work and get my classroom ready for the next school year that starts in less than 2 weeks. I always hold out to the last possible moment I have to go in during the summer so I can enjoy the last weeks of summer. But today school called and basically said, "where are you?" I am not officially expected to be there until August 14th, but I was unofficially expected today. Instead my to-do list included canning green beans, LAUNDRY, and purging useless crap that we don't play with because we can't find it because we have too much stuff for our house. I love seeing uncluttered homes. Maybe I am in denial about the amount of stuff that goes with having three kids. It probably will just make me crazy trying to contain the stuff, but by golly I am going to give it the old college try. I see homes that are decorated and I think, what kind of decor do we have? Well, guitars, for certain. Rock and stick collections, several pairs of shoes, dirty dishes, lots of unopened mail...

We are getting rid of our enormous and outdated entertainment center because our tv has a demon and randomly goes on and off, like every five minutes. It's impossible to watch anything. So we really don't. We use our computer and watch hulu after the kids go to bed (our new favorite is Kitchen Nightmares), but the exciting news about getting rid of the very large piece of press board is that we are trying to make room for a piano. Not that we have one, but would like to acquire one. Maybe for my birthday? We'd be happy with a cheap/free one that needed to be tuned if anyone knows of something like that.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Elijah and Mary hike up the needles in Custer State Park
panning for gold

Emily doing her best imitation of the Ingalls girls at the homestead of Pa and Ma in DeSmet, Suth Dakota.

So, our trip to South Dakota was amazing. We are back and ready to get into action. We have plenty of unfinished things to do around here before our life kicks back into high gear. Brian is doing the back side of the house siding, we are all still unpacking and organizing stuff from being gone for almost 3 weeks, and of course there is all the laundry and house cleaning to do. Some of the highlights of our trip were definitely Mount Rushmore, seeing all the wildlife so up close and personal, all the natural splendor, and visiting the homestead site of Charles and Caroline Ingalls. We are already planning our trip for next summer.