Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Monday moments...the first of 2017!

Happy 2017!  I know a lot of people who were wishing good riddance to 2016 but my family had a pretty good year and we are looking forward to an even better 2017.   Change is inevitable and all we can do is be positive and pray that more good days than bad are in front of us. 

The first day of 2017 was unseasonably warm so we took a walk down to the beach.  Now that Christmas is over, the sunshine and warmth can not get here soon enough for me.

We finished puz puz over break.  This has become one of our favorite traditions.  This one is getting modge podged and put up in Trent's classroom.

Back to school and it didn't take long for Hailey to earn a Spirit Stick.  It was funny to me that it said I love cats and she was wearing cat leggings and a cat shirt. 

Hailey's teacher (who also taught both her brothers) has always been a huge Steelers fan.  He was so excited that they made the playoffs he had last Friday dubbed Steelers day.  He told the kids he had enough jerseys at home they all could wear one if they wanted.  Hailey was so excited for this day she didn't even perform her nightly snow day ritual.  

When I saw her teacher in the hall and told him "Happy Steelers Day!"  He told me he had given Hailey first pick of the jerseys because she was so into it and she picked the twin one to his.  So cute!  When I snuck into lunch to take this picture she told me "Mom!  I'm Antonio Brown - just like Mr. Osborne!"  

Saturday night we went to dinner at Red Robin to have an early celebration for this little lady's birthday.

After dinner she got to open some gifts.  Grama has bought her one of these dolls since she was one year old.

She got the game Googely Eyes - which was a big hit.

It is hard for me to believe that my BABY is ten!

On Sunday we woke up to some fresh snow and temperatures that were not below zero.  It seriously felt like a heat wave! 

Silly girl messing around with a pair of my "cheaters".

All three kids got these super soft blankets from Grampa Dan for Christmas.  I swear when they are home they have them all the time.

Fooling around with phone selfies while watching some of the Golden Globes.  Can you tell we were kind of bored?  That's what happens when you don't know or have never heard of the shows or movies nominated.  I guess I don't know if that is good or bad that we don't watch that much TV.  Or maybe we just don't watch good TV?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Random new year thoughts.

You know what stinks more than having to take down the Christmas decorations in your house? Having your house half decorated for Christmas and half not for a week.

I am flat out exhausted and it is taking me sweet forever to get this house back into any kind of normal shape after the holidays.  I could blame it on the tooth infection that I am currently rocking that is forcing me to be on antibiotics that seem to be knocking me for a loop.  Mostly it is because I am totally obsessive about how things need to be put away and find it easier to do myself than ask for anyone to help with it.

We have the first week back at school just about finished.  Hopefully we will all get a lot of relaxing time this weekend to recharge for the next full week.

One of my goals for the new year is to try to get on here and write more.  I was really bad about it over the fall, mostly because we were having computer problems and I couldn't load photos from my phone onto the computer.  When your phone is your go to camera and you can't move photos without emailing them one by one - it sort of makes you not feel like loading many pictures.  Now we have a new computer and I have a new phone so I should not have any excuses to get on here and write and preserve some memories.  Our family's favorite music right now is the Hamilton Soundtrack.  We are all obsessed with it.  One of the themes that runs through the show is "who tells your story?"  and how sometimes we don't have control over who does.  I have committed this year to telling our story.  For sure not every part of it - as the kids get older a lot of what happens becomes their stories and I don't feel like it's my right to write about struggles or situations they get themselves into.  These years that are flying by are so precious and when I look back through the blog or old journals I can't get enough of the memories and am so grateful about the things that I have recorded on paper.  So I will try harder this year.

Now it's time to see if I can finish packing up Christmas....

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Halloween 2016

How is today the middle of November?  It doesn't feel like it at all since it is almost sixty degrees outside.  I figure I better get a few Halloween pictures on here before it is time for turkey and things get into super crazy mode. 

Spencer dressed up this year as a DC comic book villain named Shade.  I had never heard of him and had to put Google to use for the rescue.  He looked a lot like the character.  The hat and hair just kept reminding me of Slash from Guns N' Roses. 

Evan wanted to dress up as a wizard, but not the moon and stars pointy hat kind of wizard.  When he found the costume he wanted it was a Gandalf from LOTR.  It was cheap enough on Amazon that I figured by the time I bought fabric, a pattern and what my time would be worth...I just clicked and it was on my doorstep in two days.

The costume came and was exactly what he wanted, but he didn't want to be Gandalf - he just wanted to be a generic type wizard.  He repurposed the staff from his Pharaoh costume and he was good to go.

I love this picture because I can just catch the faintest glimpse of my Baby Evers.

Hailey decided fairly early on that she wanted to be Super Girl.  When looking for costumes online they were all the super flimsy fabric ones and were still kind of pricey or the way to grown up looking for a little girl type of costumes.  I ended up ordering a royal blue shirt and a red skirt and cape from Amazon for way cheaper than any costume I saw.  I made the logo out of felt and sewed it on.  The skirt is even cute enough to wear for Christmas or Valentines Day.

She had an old pair of boots that were super scuffed up and headed for the trash can until an idea clicked in my head and they were repurposed with a can of red spray paint. Perfection!

I can't get enough of this Super Girl!

We came up with the brilliant idea to carve pumpkins outside this year.  It was a bit of a chilly day but not bad at all in the sunshine.

I LOVE the fact that my kids are old enough to do most of the carving on their own.  We can for the most part just sit back and watch the festivities!

Spencer imitating his pumpkin.

Evan with his well pumpkin.

Evan with his sick pumpkin.

Hailey and her two sided creation.

We kept up the annual tradition of making our ghosts in the graveyard cake.

It was a beautiful night for Trick or Treating.  Finally!  It seems like the last few years have been terrible nights to go out in.

It was a great Halloween!  The kids are already looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Shameless bragging

The past two weeks we have had parent teacher conferences for all three kids.  I knew they were doing well because I have online access to the parent portal which is like a tattling second grader and lets me know about every assignment and grade they get.  Beep.  Spencer's math grade is now an A minus. Beep.  Evan's French grade is now an A.  If you want to be in the school loop, you have no excuse not to be with technology these days.

Trent joined me for our first ever high school conferences.  We met with three of Spencer's five teachers.  His choir teacher was out sick and Spencer didn't think we had much to discuss with his guitar teacher.  So English, Biology and History it was.  We left feeling very proud of our Freshman son.  All of his teachers thought he was a great and respectful student.  His Bio and History teacher told us that they thought he should really look into the AP (advanced placement) classes next year.  That was a shock to us.  We know that Spencer is smart - extremely smart - but he doesn't put much effort into anything he does and the fact that two out of three teachers were really pushing for AP was very encouraging to us.  His history teacher told us that he sees almost all of the Freshman as they start high school and Spencer was definitely in the top one percent.  What the what?  So far he seems to be adjusting to high school very well.  He auditioned for and got a role in the Players.  He is Alan-a-Dale in the upcoming production of Robin Hood.  He just finished auditions for the Allegros show Anything Goes this spring.  After the singing portion of auditions he got a call back to the dancing portion.  We will find out Friday if he will be cast - he doesn't feel super confident but you never know.  It would be a big deal to get cast as a Freshman.

Hailey's conference was last week.  I was most concerned about hers because of all my kids she seems to be the one who has to work the hardest at school work.  She is also still not a huge fan of reading.  I know all kids are not readers, but it is strange that four out of five of us in the house are big time readers and she just has no desire.   A point that kept coming up in Spencer's conferences was that his teachers could tell that he has always been a reader - that is so important for success.  The fact that Hailey is not a reader was a little scary to me.  I brought it up with her teacher and he was not really concerned.  As far as the testing they have done so far this year she is right where she should be as a reader in fourth grade.  It is hard to not compare your kids and maybe that is where my problem is - because the boys were always so far above grade level in reading.  Hailey is different from the boys in the sense that the work and learning part of school do not seem that important to her.  She is much more social than her brothers ever were.  She is always looking for a playdate or ahead toward the next party.  She loves being with her friends at school, but it seems like the learning gets put on the back burner sometimes. Don't get me wrong.  She is smart and her conference was great and her teacher thinks she is exactly where she should be.   She is still quiet at school and lacks confidence to take on her work sometimes.  So we will continue to work on that.  She is enjoying fourth grade so far and just finished up her cheer season.  She joined the school choir and is one month into piano lessons and loving them so far.

Evan has always had the drive and ambition to succeed in school and this year is no different.  It almost seemed a waste to go to conferences because he has all A's and I get notes from teachers telling me what an amazing kid and student he is.  But the school really pushed for the student led conferences so I went with Evan in the afternoon and met with all of his teachers and got to hear in person how great he is doing and how he is a model student. I have to admit - I will never tire of hearing good stuff about my kids.  Even with his minor health challenges this year he has continued to do wonderfully in school.  He is super excited for Destination Imagination to start next week.  We wondered if he would try out for the middle school musical this year and he did.  He was thrilled to get cast in an actual role as well as the ensemble.  Play practice starts next week as well so he is about to get busy.  What I most love about Evan is that he is always his own person.  His English teacher told me that he comes from his Drama class to English class and sometimes he is wearing a chef hat or a note to remind him of something stuck to his face.  Last week he had to dress as a ghost in drama and borrowed a pair of white pants and a white Seinfeld-ish puffy shirt from Trent's scene shop.  When I went to pick him up from school I laughed out loud in the car when he was still wearing that get up after school.  He wore it from Drama to English and then out of school.  He is such a weirdo but he totally owns it.  I love that!

These three kiddos are truly the best parts of their Dad and Mom.  We are so proud of all of them.  As they continue to grow into their own people we are so blessed and humbled to call them our own.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Monday least I tried!

I really tried!  On Monday I had the phone hooked up to the computer and everything but the computer did not want to recognize the phone and I didn't have time to mess with it and figure out why until now.  I still don't know why.  Either the phone or the computer is finicky and only wants to load with a certain cord in a certain USB port.  I swear I have this problem every week.  

It seemed like a busy week but nothing much to take photos of I guess.  Nothing until the weekend. 
Friday was a half day of school for Ev and Hai so we took advantage of a nice fall day and took a walk.  I also used it as an excuse to get some updated pictures of Hailey.  I thought Evan might need a haircut before so I didn't do his at the same time but looking at these photos, his hair doesn't seem too long. 

They were posting the cast list for Elf Jr. on Friday at 2:00 and it just so happens that last year when they posted the cast list we were on a walk and took a break to look at it.  We went to our "lucky" spot and sure enough...Evan was thrilled to be cast in the role as Fake Santa.  He smells like beef and cheese and sits on a throne of lies.

My two little cuties enjoying a gorgeous fall afternoon.

The nice weather held into Saturday so that afternoon we went for another walk.  Hailey and Ev decided to scale the retaining wall on the way.

We walked on a woods path and Hailey was running up ahead of us.  When we came around the corner she was standing still holding a finger over her mouth to shush us.   I guess when she ran around the corner she rustled up an owl who flew right in front of her.  We could see it in the branches - I tried to take a picture (it looked just like Hedwig from Harry Potter) but I couldn't get in very close.  That is the second owl encounter we have had this fall.

Coming out of the path to the rock.

Saturday afternoon was also Hailey's last football game.  She and her teammates cheered the Stingrays on to the championship!

She even had some adoring fans in the stands cheering for her!

It was a great fall weekend.  The end of this week should be full of lots of Halloween festivities around here!