Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Outside my window...a storm is raging. The last day of school has ended with a thunder-roll. Chris called me while I was waiting for him to get home with all the girls and told me to pack up as he was picking me and Blue and Baby Q up as we had to go to the storm shelter. Of course we sat there for 30 minutes and nothing happened, but hey, at least we were safe. Now I'm back home again and outside the rain is pouring, the thunder is rolling, and the lightning is crashing down and making several of my rather storm-phobic charges jump.

I am thinking...of some work issues. Some people need prayer. We've got changes occurring again as one of the sets of house parents have resigned and new people are going into that cottage. Lots of chaos for kids.

I am thankful for...a productive few days. As of tonight, we're into summer season. Which is a lot of fun around here, as it provides a lot of bonding time with the girls, but it's also a lot of extra work as they're here all the time. I feel like we learned a lot last summer of how to make it simultaneously fun but not so much work that we're collapsing by the end of the day; now to see if that's true or not as this summer plays out.

From the learning rooms...[or in our case--the learning brain]...from Baby Q--rolling over, giggles (not lots of them but becoming distinctive), and lots of babbling. "A-goo" is one of our favorites. From Blueberry, I can't keep up. Her language progression is fabulous. She's constantly taking on new challenges and wanting to try to new things. Her understanding of concepts is almost disturbing sometimes, and I'm catching myself wanting to talk less about work issues in front of her because I honestly don't know what all she'll understand any more!

From the kitchen...comes banana muffins. Which of course had 5 minutes more to cook when we had to leave for the storm. So I turned the oven off and prayed that just leaving them in there would not (a) burn them or (b) dry them out. But if I pulled them out, they were going to be ruined, so I went with my second option. I just ate one; not bad. A little darker than I normally let them get, but still tasty. Its the world's moistest banana muffin recipe any ways, so that helps a lot. I've also taken to replacing one of the bananas called for in the recipe with about 1/3 cup of peanut butter. Yum and extra protein!

A few days ago one of the girls was picking blackberries that grow around our cottage. She asked if she could make juice, and we finally comprised on blackberry popsicles. Turned out really good. We had enough mix left to make a second batch and then I poured the leftovers into some oatmeal this morning for our Junior Higher who was done with school as of this morning instead of having to go today like the rest of our girls. She said it was really good. Blueberry tried some and was a little iffy about it.

I am wearing...jeans and a purple-ish nursing shirt. Comfy and stylish. How lovely.

I am creating...lots of new scrapbook pages! So happy to be doing this again. Will start posting soon.

I am see my lovely baby sister this weekend and, hopefully, her husband. Not for very long; more like a 24 hour drive by. But hey, I'll take her every minute I can get her.

In my mailbox today.. .was several packages from amazon including some new pack'n'play sheets. Yay! I'm very disappointed in my son. Here I got this fantastic hammock for him. And he refuses to sleep on his back. He will sleep like an angel on stomach; flip him to his back, and he's awake in 10 minutes. Problem--I can't put him in the hammock on his stomach. So I've wound up pulling out our pack'n'play and he's sleeping in the infant part of that. Needed more sheets though. The pack'n'play itself is pink and black (it was cheap when I bought it and we were having a girl--poor boy has to suffer now). I draw the line at the pink sheets though, so I ordered some new pairs!

I am reading.. . a variety of books including several books on minimalistic living/wardrobes, etc. Slowly getting rid of more and more stuff. I've decided I'm tired of stuff, and I want to downsize a lot. It'll be a slow process, but I'm okay with that. As long as I'm doing it.

Also been reading a lot of essays lately. I've had an onslaught of graduate students asking me to edit the last few weeks. Making a pretty chunk of change if eating up every spare moment I have. However, as I should make enough to cover the cost of my gorgeous new laptop that I'm typing on, without having to dip into anything else, I'm okay with it.

I am successfully and fully wean myself back off dairy again. I've been having quite a bit lately, and while it doesn't make me feel as sick as gluten does, I can definitely tell when I've been consuming dairy and when I haven't. So my plan for the summer is to go completely DF again and then slowly allow myself the occasional bit here and there in the future but not to go back on it fully again.

I am hearing...some blissful silence (silence being a relative term here, meant to indicate that other than the soft tinkling of the water in the fish tank and the rumble of thunder and the blowing of the air conditioning--no other noises exist. Until my weather alert just went off on my cell phone. Obnoxious! Any ways, due to the sudden weather emergency, Baby Q missed his nap and was tired and cranky, so my ever wonderful husband took the girls to dinner while I put Baby Q down for a nap, and I get a few moments of blissful peace and quiet.

Around the house...I feel like I've accomplished a lot this past shift. Lots of summer prep things--including a list of "I'm bored" items for the girls to do when we're not out doing something specific (we try to hit a happy medium of planned activities and outings and free time; hard to manage sometimes, but we do our best).

One of my favorite the look of sheer delight that comes across my son's face when he sees me after a nap or first thing in the morning. Nothing more gratifying than that!

A few plans for the rest of the week: we're having a school-end celebration tonight complete with awards like "most adventurous room" and "most dedicated memorizer". Combine with marshmallows to make s'mores, and we're good to go. Friday not a lot planned as we go off duty that night. Only for two days, which is tough because this is the second 7 day shift after only 2 days off that I'll have had in the last few weeks. Just makes for a tiring time. Next week, however, should be rather easy as of our five "cottage" girls, two will be at youth camp, one is going to a journalism/science camp at school, one is doing a basketball camp for half the day, and so we'll really only have one at home during the day all week! Of course she's one of our most challenging children, but hey, I'll take a small break when I can get it!

Here is picture (or more) for thought I am sharing...
Baby Q's favorite pose currently: hands stuffed in the mouth!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Saturday, May 7, 2013

Outside my glorious sunshine. All over town yellow, pink, purple, and red flowers are blooming. Trees in seemingly every shade of green are gracing the sides of the road, distracting one from the purpose of driving! Its beautiful spring!

I am thinking...about how much I want to go disc golfing now--even though I know I'm going to be awful because its been so long since I played. We went out exploring yesterday, and discovered a new park area that has a fun tree house, assorted trails, a rock climbing rock, and a fabulous disc golf course that will push both my walking and my throwing skills to the limit! Very excited.

I am thankful for...friendship. Due to the nature of our job, I find myself often feeling like I live in a very small bubble. Being able to call on friends far away as well as developing new friendships here is life saving sometimes.

From the learning rooms...[or in our case--the learning brain]...Baby Q has discovered his hands and is finding that he can move things (like Daddy's thumb) into his mouth with his own hands. Little Miss Blueberry just continues to grow in words and ideas and play at a rapid and sometimes overwhelming pace. A few days ago it was a big discussion about going to Little Rock--or as she was calling it, Big Rock. Every rock along the way was "Look! It's big rock!" Full sentences, complete with subjects and verbs and the occasional preposition are flowing out of her mouth. And, oh my, there is much to discuss and share and talk about. All day long. From the minute she gets up until the minute she goes to bed. 

From the kitchen...comes GF chocolate chip cookies--which I haven't made in FOREVER. So tasty.

I am wearing...a brown skirt and a green, short-sleeve nursing top.

I am creating...castles in the air. We did some number crunching a few days ago, calculating our debt and how quickly we're getting it all paid off. We're on track to get the next part paid in full by August and after that we're getting down to the end (relatively speaking). Very exciting. I cannot wait to owe no penny to no man or company or government.

I am go try out a cupcake place this afternoon that supposedly makes some gluten free cupcakes! Fingers crossed that (a) this rumor is true and (b) the cupcakes taste good. Not that I need gluten free cupcakes, but it would make me happy nonetheless.

In my mailbox recently.. .came several new nursing tops (I was getting desperate for some new ones). My favorite is this one:

I am reading.. .The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy again. Its been many years since I've read these books, primarily because the LOR movies irritated me so much with their destruction of several of my favorite parts and characters. However, we recently watched part I of the Hobbit that came out. I was pretty pleased with it, and inspired to read that book again. Of course, I can't just stop with The Hobbit, so here I am deep in the lore of the elves and hobbits and the green valleys of Rivendell. 

I am return some phone calls today! We'll see how that turns out :)

I am hearing...Baby Q beginning to squeak as he wakes up from his nap. Blueberry is running back and forth between the couch and fridge with cries of, "Look at me! Look at me!" I run fast!" Which makes the process of typing this take forever as I'm stopping and starting regularly.

Around the a large pile of laundry that I've been struggling to get put away. Well, admittedly, not really struggling. More like avoiding. I really do need to get it taken care of though, preferably today as I despise going back to work with my house messy.

One of my favorite being asked for cuddles from my 2 and a half year old. She randomly came up to me today holding doggy, blanket, and asks in a very quiet, almost sad voice, "I need cuddle." So we cuddled and read some stories and life was sweet.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Well, we are back "on duty" starting tonight. Got a bunch of meetings and appointments to run the next few days. This weekend I hope to go out to a park or something with our girls. Apparently we're going to be down to just three, so that will be fun for some quality time with them.

Here is picture (or more) for thought I am sharing...

Want to join in? Go check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.

One Year Ago Today

On this day, one year ago, we completely changed our lives. We drove away from jobs and home and loved ones to a new adventure of the very m...