Thursday, August 31, 2017

For Adults

I found this on a friend's facebook page and I thought it was funny.
Here are 34 questions for adults:

1. What bill do you hate the most? 
I don't pay that many of the bills... but right now I'm struggling  when we pay baby-sitters.  It's just so hard being so far from family and anytime we need extra help with the kids, it costs us money.

2. What do you really want to be doing right now? 
Receiving a head-to-toe massage
3.  If you had a day off from work, what would you do?
Well, "work" has changed over the last few years... if I had a day off from work, I would spent it with our children and working around our house.  If I had a day off from children and housework, I would love to have a spa day, go shopping, and have a date with my hubby.

4. How many colleges did you attend? 
One undergraduate school, one study-abroad program, one graduate school, one post-graduate certification program... so four?

5. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now?  
Huge nightgown... it fits and is cool.

6. What are your thoughts on gas prices?  
I like that I remember when gas was less than a dollar a gallon (it was once in high school)...and I wish that was the case still.

7. First thought when the alarm goes off in the morning? 
By alarm, I'm assuming you mean my three-year-old.  My first thought is, "Yes, Sweetheart."

8. Last thought before going to sleep last night? 
Lord, please help tomorrow go smoothly... its going to be a big day.

9. Do you miss being a child?  
Not really.  I see my children playing together and how much they love each other, and I never had that in a sibling.  Some parts of childhood was nice, but I wouldn't go back if I had the choice.

10. What errand/chore do you despise the most? 
I don't like vacuuming.  I also don't like that when I vacuum, the floor is dirty again before I even put the vacuum away.

11. Get up early or sleep in?  
I prefer to sleep in, but it has a much earlier definition than it did when I was younger.

12. Have you found love yet?
Yes I have.
13. Favorite lunch meat? 

14. What do you get every time you go to Wal-Mart?  
Whole milk for the kids

15. Ocean or Lake?  

16. Do you think Marriage is an outdated ritual?  
No way.  Marriage is one of my favorite parts of my life.

17. What famous person (past or present) would you like to have dinner with?  
My ancestors.  I would love to hear their stories and how their lives took shape.

18. Have you ever crashed your vehicle?  
Crashed is such a big word.  I have hit a deer (actually the deer hit me), and I have bounced off a guard-rail.  I really wouldn't call either one a "crash" but I was definitely very lucky in both.

19. Ever had to use a fire extinguisher for it's intended purpose? 

20. Strangest place you ever brushed your teeth?  
I don't know... maybe in the shower?

21. Somewhere you have never been but want to go.
Australia and Asia

22. At this point in your life, would you rather start a new career or a new relationship? 
I would prefer not to, but I have learned to never say never because you never know what is coming around the bend.

23. How old are you? 

24. Do you have a go-to person? 

25. Are you where you want to be in life?  
I am happy with where I am, but I don't think about being "where I want to be."  I definitely have many of the things I've always dreamed of having, but I think life (and marriage) is an on-going journey, so there are many other things I want out of life.

26. Growing up, what were your favorite cartoons? 
Muppet Babies, and Sesame Street (I guess Sesame Street's not a cartoon)

27. What about you do you think has changed?  
I think I'm quicker to apologize than I used to be, and slower to respond when I'm upset.  I've learned to give it an hour to keep from responding in a rash manner.  I think it has also helped that I married a man who gets upset so rarely and usually makes me laugh when I'm upset.  I get over things much more quickly than I used to.

28. Looking back at high school, were they the best years of your life?  
No way.  They were fun and challenging, and impacted the person I became, but definitely not the best years of my life.

29. Are there times you still feel like a kid? 
Not often.  Sometimes I'm able to feel like I'm back in college, but again, not often.

30. Did you have a pager?  

31. Where was the hang out spot when you were a teenager?  
I have no idea.  I know where I hung out -- my house, my boyfriend's house, my friends' houses.  There you go.

32. Were you the type of kid you would want your children to hang out with? 
Depends on the age...

33. Was there a teacher or authority figure that stood out?  
Sure -- Miss Sunderhaft in middle school and Mr. Rose, Mr. DeVries and Mr. Green in high school.  Probably my harp teacher too, Mrs. Heger.

34. Do you tell stories that start with when I was your age?  
Yes I do.  I've earned it.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Time For Bed

Last night Hubby and I put the kids to bed and then we were having dinner and working on our budget in the kitchen.  Tracey kept getting out of her bed and coming downstairs to talk to us.  First she told us she heard crickets.  Then, she told us she heard Lexie.  Then, she said that she and Daddy forget to dance together before bedtime, which he had said they could do.

After the third time, we let her know very clearly that it was time for bed and we did not expect her to come downstairs again.

About an hour later, Hubby and I went up to bed and found that Trace had in fact gone to bed... just not hers.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017


I have been very effected by the images coming out of Texas with Hurricane Harvey.  I have so many friends from college and graduate school from Houston, and I just can't believe what I'm seeing.

Please pray for Texans in the wake and aftermath of this Hurricane.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Saturday Morning

Hubby's school district only has school four days per week.  But between teacher collaboration days, various committee meetings, sporting events, and additional work, it is rare that he is not working on Fridays.

In addition, our children attend school on Thursdays and Fridays, and I work on Thursdays and Fridays.  So even on the rare occasion that Hubby doesn't have to work on a given Friday... the kids and I are still up and going and have a busy day.

All that to say, when Saturday mornings are quiet and relaxing (that is, when we don't have other commitments dictating our morning), they are really special times.

Cuddles with Daddy 

Then, I jumped in the picture, and I actually love how blurry this picture is because that's indicative of the jumbles and wiggles and giggles of the cuddles.

Then, I finally got everyone in the picture, and everyone is looking at the camera... but no one is smiling.

 I love Saturday mornings... and NEXT Saturday is COLLEGE FOOTBALL!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tracey's Room

Tracey has had the same room since about two weeks after we moved into this house.  She was still in a crib when we moved, so we kept her in a crib for a few weeks, but between my ever-growing twin pregnancy belly, and her ability to climb, we moved her to a new room with a twin mattress on the floor after about two weeks in this home.

We never felt the need for a toddler bed for her.  We liked that with a mattress on the floor, she could roll out of bed without getting hurt, and we could lay down on the mattress next to to her to read stories without breaking a toddler bed.

I had to do some digging to find a picture of how her room was set up with the twin mattress on the floor, and this was the best I could find...

That set-up has served her well for almost two years, but we were gifted a bunk bed by friends of ours at the beginning of the summer, which we gratefully accepted.  It spent the summer in our garage until a few weeks ago, when Hubby constructed the bunk bed.

It's not a traditional bunk bed with two parallel beds, but it still fits very well in the space in her room.  Right now, she sleeps on the bottom bunk, and enjoys climbing up to the top to play -- in fact, now the twins have also learned to climb up to the top to play, which to terrifying for a number of reasons.

Eventually Tracey will share this room and will probably sleep on the top herself, but we have some time to figure out with whom she will be rooming and what the arrangement will be.  When the time comes that we create long-term room assignments for our children, we might rearrange the furniture, and I'd definitely like to paint the room, but that is still a few years away.

Last year for my birthday, however, Tracey picked out a gift for me of flowering trees and Frozen the movie sticker decals for her walls saying that this was a project we could do together.  Hubby helped her with this idea, and I will be very honest -- at the time I had just marked one year of having three children ages two-and-under, the twins had just turned one-year-old, and were still nursing, and Tracey had not yet turned three.  Hubby was still in graduate school, and the twins were becoming more mobile every day.  I was none too thrilled that my birthday present was a Do-It-Yourself project that Hubby had chosen for me, that I now had to complete with my almost three-year-old.  I couldn't even just lock myself in her room with some good music and do it myself -- we were supposed to do it together.

Well, I made a point to "misplace" those wall decals for quite some time... but after the bunk bed was assembled, and before the new baby arrives, it seemed like the perfect time for Tracey and me to work together on this fun room decorating project.  I'm sure the decals won't last forever, but we want to paint the room in a few years, so this seems like the perfect interim decor for our big girl and oldest sister.

Here are some pictures of her room before the project:

Here she is helping me with the stickers:

And here is the finished product:

I'll be honest, some of the flowers stickers are not sticking to the wall very well, which could be that they are a few months old, or it could be they have been rolled in their package for a long time.  Either way, the flowers may not last long, but Tracey loves her room, and it was very fun for the two of us to do together.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Home Projects

I was very happy when Hubby completed his Masters Degree last Spring.  It was a huge relief, an exciting accomplishment, and a family celebration to watch him finish such hard-earned academic and career achievement.

Then, it was very meaningful to watch him attend his graduation ceremony in July.  We got to formerly celebrate the degree with classmates and professors.

All that to say, I had no idea how much his being finished with his degree would really change our day-to-day life.

I have a "To-Do Before October 1st" list posted in our kitchen... and every weekend, we check one or two projects off that list!

I used to have various To-Do lists, or Honey-Do lists made up, but they never seemed to get any smaller.  Our weekends were spent with Hubby working, and a little time with the family.  There wasn't any time for home projects.  Or, if one was completely necessary, we had no time as a family that weekend.  Hubby would work all week, do grad school all weekend, and complete the project I needed done.  Even getting the project done didn't feel like an accomplishment because it came at the price of time with our family and any chance for a rest.

This is a completely new revelation for me and I'm loving it.  We aren't under-the-gun with any of these projects, and every Thursday or Friday evening, we look at the list and brainstorm what might be feasible over this coming weekend IN ADDITION to time spent as a family and re-charging for the week ahead.

I had no idea how much graduate school really was a sacrifice of our family, but it really was.  That's not to say it wasn't completely worth it, and not to negate how proud we are of Hubby for all his hard work.  It's just to say that life post-graduate school is so much sweeter than I ever expected it to be.


Friday, August 25, 2017

You're Invited

You're invited to a tea party...

 Mind your manners... its a proper tea party.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Coloring Fun

Most of the time, coloring is so much fun... but sometimes its so much fun, the markers just can't stay on the paper.  Did you know they work on skin too?

And... if you're Caroline, and you're happily coloring knees... there is only one thing to do when Mama tells you to stop...

You turn away in the hopes that Mama can't see what you're doing anymore.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Say Cheese!

Howard is really getting the hang of, "Say, 'Cheese!'"

 This little boy cracks me up!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Preggers III: 31 Weeks

How far along?  31 weeks, 2 days

 31 Weeks with Tracey

31 Weeks with the Twins

31 Weeks with Baby Number 4
How I am feeling?  Pretty sore by the end of the day... and well, truth be told, my feet and back are even hurting at the beginning of the day now.  But, when I'm wearing the right shoes, and the right leggings, I forget the aches and pains most of the day.
How big is the baby?  The size of asparagus -- 16.1 inches long, 3.31 pounds
Sleep:  I sleep very well, thankfully.  Up a few times a night to use the restroom, but if I can try to keep my brain asleep, I fall right back to sleep.

Boy/Girl Predictions:  Well... we know our baby's gender so no need to predict here.

Baby Nicknames:  I call the baby, "Baby," but Tracey has switched from calling the baby, "Strawberry," to calling it, "Grape."  The other day she said the baby's name should be "Rapunzel," which was new.  It has been so much fun to watch Tracey anticipate this baby along with Hubby and me and watch how excited she is for her new sibling.
  Best moment this week:  I have a To Do list with a deadline of October 1, and the best moments have been Hubby and me able to cross some big projects off the list.  We put toddler seats in the car for our twins so I do not have to lift carseats anymore, and we finished building the swings et with the help of some wonderful friends.  Those are two huge projects to have crossed off our list.

Food cravings:  Nothing really, just trying to make good food choices throughout the day.  We have been using our Instant Pot for the past few weeks, so I'm trying to use ingredients in the pantry and home-cooked healthy meals the kids will eat.  I'm also trying to eat more salads -- the more I eat, the more I crave them.

Missing:  Well, this week, once we finished the swing set, I really wanted a beer -- and with college football season starting soon, a beer sounds really good.
Movements:  Yes, and I love them.  I mostly feel the baby move when I sit down or get off my feet at the end of the day.  I'm pretty sure the baby is still breech, so no foot jabs in the ribs at this point.

Labor Signs:  Not yet, thankfully.
General Attitude: I have been very emotional in this pregnancy, and it probably influences my attitude.  I can't believe I'm eight weeks or less from delivery (my due date is two months from today), and I want to savor the pregnancy -- something I have been able to do pretty well in my previous two pregnancies, but this time I find myself more excited for the baby's arrival and having a newborn again.  But I'm trying to stay content for the last two months of pregnancy and the feelings of pregnancy while they last.

 What I am looking forward to this week:  The kiddos meet their school teachers later this week and I have loved getting to watch them play on their new swing set.

Milestones: Well, I've been in the third trimester for the past few weeks, and the new school year starting is a milestone as we figure out the new routine.  But really, I think I'm just trying to enjoy my three little ones and how well they play together while its just the three of them.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Twelve Hours

What a difference twelve hours can make when you have a goal in mind, and some hard working friends to help.



In between:

The next morning: