Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Weekly Smorgasbord

Y'all! My Delicious links work again. So I'm back at it and hopefully will be sharing things on the regular again!
Posted: 20 Nov 2014 09:42 PM PST
"I'll never forget when Kim came over to my apartment one night after work and told me she was pregnant. I was devastated. Not just because the news was a shock or because I hadn't expected to be a parent at such a young age. I was devastated because everyone who had celebrated my return "to the fold" would think the turnaround was a false alarm. I had caused my family so much pain and heartbreak with my self-absorbed shenanigans, and they had been so relieved and excited that their reckless son had finally come back; it had been the answer to years and years of prayer. I had put my parents through more than any son ever should and had asked for their forgiveness on numerous occasions. To drop this bomb might crush them all over again, and I just couldn't bear it. I was scared, ashamed, and angry at myself for failing yet again...Kim and I had been so excited about getting married, and now we were going to be parents as well. In addition to the embarrassment and shame involved, we were we were grieving the happy expectation that we’d have a few years, just the two of us, before starting a family. We were in a state of shock. Yet my father did not condemn or lecture us, even though he had every right to do so. Instead, he comforted us. More than that, he gave us good news. He told us that while the circumstances clearly weren’t ideal, this was going to turn out just fine. This baby was going to be a blessing to both of us and a gift to the whole family. Every time Kim and I look at our oldest son (now eighteen), we realize afresh that my dad was absolutely right that day...My father was not preaching the Gospel to me that day–he didn’t sit me down to tell me that, on account of Christ, my sins were forgiven. Instead, he showed me grace. That is, he treated me in a way that was analogous to how God treats you and me. He was not God, of course, but like many fathers, he did play a similar role in my life: someone in authority who showed me love in the midst of deserved judgment. As it is with big-L and little-l law, if occasionally we use big-G and little-g grace interchangeably, it is not because they are they same thing, but because we often experience them the same way… I was at my least lovable in that instance–a repeat offender whose offense was going to have very real consequences–yet somehow my father treated me as though I’d never been loved more."

So powerful. Two things:
1. I desire so much to be a powerful reflection of God's love and grace and not so focused on outward behavior, especially when the primary reason is embarrassment because of how my children make ME look.
2. The most refreshing part of this story was that it happened AFTER the prodigal returned to the fold. So often in my younger years, in regard to sin such as this, I questioned why my faith wasn't stronger or if I was even truly a believer at all because of slip ups I experienced. That's next to impossible when you really start to understand "big G Grace".

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 09:12 PM PST
This is really good. Partly because I was fretting over my kids being not as dressy as I'd like tomorrow. It just seemed impractical to bring extra dress shoes for Graves to wear twice and that sort of thing. I don't really judge others (on this!), but I sometimes make it an idol in my life. I do NOT want to take the kids to First Methodist in clothes they easily church in when we're in Brooklyn. THAT is a sign I need taking down a peg. I love it when God humbles me with appliques instead of smocking, red Chucks instead of little boy dress shoes, and ruffly pants instead of a bishop.

On Parenting:
Posted: 20 Nov 2014 09:41 PM PST
Hmm. I have mixed feelings. I think there's a good bit of truth here- you can totally become so consumed with kids you forget each other. But I have a little different perspective because I read so many conservative Christian books/listened to so many radio programs, ect. And they all sent this message about making sure your husband was #1. Like, it doesn't matter if you're up six times in the night to breastfeed, you better make sure you're having sex before you lay your head on that pillow. And it doesn't matter if you hardly had time to get yourself clean for YOURSELF BECAUSE THAT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE A REAL PERSON, you better slap on some lipstick and something other than yoga pants before he walks in. And co-sleeping will destroy even the strongest marriage. I really think there's a balance. And I think we're incredibly fortunate to have found it. I also think Peyton's extremely patient and took things in stride. And for the record, I don't think I could say I love Peyton more than Graves and Annie or vice versa. What I can say is that I know that I love him more because I've watched him parent them beautifully every day for the last five and a half years. So, at least in this house in America, I can only say that parenting has grown my love for Peyton exponentially, rather than killed our marriage.

Posted: 24 Nov 2014 08:26 PM PST
"The tiredness is real, y'all. And I feel so inadequate. Because my tiredness makes me think of others who must be more so than I. So I think--ok, I need to take a meal to that friend who is going through the tough time. Or--I need to take that sweet new baby a gift. Or--I need to load up my babies and go visit that elderly person. I am tired of being the person on the receiving end of the thoughtfulness and care, if that kind of crazy makes any sense to you. I want to be the person giving the care and being thoughtful. But most of the time right now, it doesn't happen. I do try to send encouraging texts each day to friends or family who may need them, but beyond that I basically collapse into bed each night triple exhausted and hoping against hope I will get a three hour stretch of sleep that night."

This post and the one after it both really resonated with me. So often it's so hard to let others serve us. One of my favorite songs is called Servant Song and one of the most powerful stanzas says "Brother let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant, too". 
Posted: 24 Nov 2014 08:24 PM PST
"We are reading David Platt's Radical and were talking about how we could show the gospel to those in our Church. I thought of basic ideas: help in the nursery, teach Sunday school, bring meals, etc. And this woman, who is recovering from a pretty major knee surgery right now, said, "We can show others the gospel by accepting help from them."Wow. And that's where I am right now. Having to accept grace from others, having to have grace on myself when everything isn't perfect or when I feel weak."

On Adoption:
Posted: 20 Nov 2014 09:38 PM PST
"Twelve-year old Stephen tells me that I'm his best friend. I'm his social worker, and he should have a real best friend, but I don't say this to him. We're at a taping for Wednesday's Child, the news spot featuring children who are up for adoption. Stephen is engaging on camera. Maybe somebody will pick him this time. Maybe he is offering just enough evidence, at twelve, that he's a boy worth loving. And he is lovable, truly. But it is not enough. A family never comes."

 Heartbreaking, truly.
Posted: 24 Nov 2014 08:22 PM PST
"And it is this that leads us to understand that our love and companionship are enough. For we have not been called to carry his burden but rather see him through it. It can not have been better illustrated than that portrayed in the Lord of the Rings triology. As Frodo Baggins was called to carry the one ring unto completion of his task, Samwise Gamgee was equally called to accompany Frodo as his companion. Sam came to understand he could not save Frodo from the agony and burden that he was carrying. Simply, he was there to provide his friendship, love, affection, encouragement, counsel, equilibrium and strength along the journey. It was this role that he came to embrace for Frodo and we witness the sufficiency of love and companionship."

Beautiful post. 

On Breastfeeding:
Posted: 21 Nov 2014 09:09 PM PST
From 1977. Love this so much!
On Gender:
Posted: 20 Nov 2014 09:35 PM PST
"Her words have shaken my foundation. I look at men differently. I look at my husband, son, father, and brother differently. I think the mistake Atlantic Monthly made was an honest one. I think it is easy to assume that women are alone in their suffering. But it is not so simple. Life and identity are infinitely more complicated than we want them to be. Men were not made to hold the world up by themselves. Our fathers were not made to be hardened statues of strength. Our husbands are not able to walk this world in denial of their vulnerability; allowing us to fall apart while they must always keep themselves together. Like all of us, the men in our lives need saving. They need a Savior." 

Excellent article by my friend Sarah. I think so often about what it means/will mean to have a little boy that seems very sensitive. It kind of scares me because I don't know that the world will look on his vulnerability positively, like they (in some cases) would his sister's. But it also occurs to me often that maybe more of the adult men I know would be more similarly tender and sensitive had they been afforded that opportunity not just when they were three, but when they were eight, twelve, and thirty two. It's a big burden to bear. And if we don't allow them to fall off their white horse then how can they possibly need a Savior to heal their wounds and brokenness?

On Writing:
Posted: 20 Nov 2014 09:32 PM PST
"Sometimes you think about just picking up and leaving this filthy city, but then one morning you wake up and watch the sky turn from narcissus-white to the delicate, throbbing, vein-purple hues of the nodding heads of crocuses and irises, the ones you remember picking from your mother's garden when you were still young and unafraid, and there above the Gowanus you see a map of your future, your past, and your heart (but not in an overwrought or sentimental way.)"

Laughing so hard.

On Abortion:
Posted: 20 Nov 2014 09:31 PM PST
I volunteered a good bit at the CPC in Jackson. (Clearly what I'm about to say is anecdotal.) I really didn't see a lot of what went on here. There were a few things I saw that I questioned (mainly that they really don't support anything other than abstinence only as far as unmarried clients go), but I didn't see this sort of clear deception. For the most part, when potential clients called it was "We don't provide abortions, but we'd love for you to come in and talk about other options with your pregnancy. And we can give you a pregnancy test and potentially a free sonogram to confirm you are actually pregnant". And no, you're not winning the war for the unborn with scare tactics and deception. At least, that's not the way I want to win it.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Weekly Happenings Post #295 (November 17-23)-- Hiking and House Guests

We had a full, fun week! We had our normal activities and then we added in an eight mile urban hike and house guests! Peyton had an extra day off (Wednesday), which was fun. He was supposed to work Friday, but he ended up not having to, so he was off Tuesday through Friday, which was SUPER nice.

Monday seemed long, but it was a good day. Peyton was working and the kids got up around eight thirty. They were pretty cranky at first, but brightened up a bit after breakfast and their shows. I folded up the couch, scooped liter, planned school, got on the computer, ate my breakfast, and took my bath. I played with them for longer than usual and then we did their devotion and catechism and cleaned up. They ate lunch and I put Graves down. He actually fell asleep! I ate my lunch and got on Facebook and uploaded pictures and then did school (English AND math!) with Annie. We got Graves up and they played and I packed up my Summer shirts. I fixed the kids supper and then we did Graves's critical thinking and read a bunch. I helped them get ready for bed and put them down. I got on the computer and watched The West Wing until Peyton got home. We talked and I worked on a post and then went to bed.

Peyton was off on Tuesday and it was a really nice day. We got up early and I got myself and the kids ready because Peyton was putting the last touches on a presentation on vaccines that he was giving at A House on Beekman. We got going and headed to the train. It was FREEZING. We made it and had a great time. And Peyton's talk went really well. Lots of discussion and questions. We headed back to Brooklyn and stopped at our favorite BBQ place. It was so cold and Peyton wanted to walk, but Annie and I decided to take the train. Well, it was one of those stations where you can't switch sides and I went to the side going to lower Brooklyn instead of Queens, which is what I needed to get back to our neighborhood. Anyway, I had swiped when I realized and you can't swipe again for twenty minutes. So we just waited. A lady with a young toddler came down and couldn't figure out how to get the stroller through the door (it wasn't a turnstyle it was the kind of door that only lets one person in at a time). Usually, there's a door, but there wasn't at this station. I heard a train coming that we could make, but I was helping her figure out a solution so we missed it. We all got through eventually, after she folded up the stroller and then another train was coming. I was helping her down the stairs and we missed that one, too. We finally got on one and got home and Peyton had Graves asleep. We just hung out and I got on the computer and did a few thing and then Annie fell asleep. That never happens. Peyton woke Graves up for Cumbe and I took a nap myself. I had to wake Annie up and I let her watch a couple of shows. I Lysoled a puzzle Peyton had found that someone was giving away and then read some.

Peyton and Graves got back and Peyton got ready to go out for his book club. Actually, this particular night they were going to a TGC event about racial reconciliation. He left and I let the kids play a bit while I changed over my shoes (the last of my closet changeover). I straightened a little and then they had supper and baths. I started bathing them separately, so Graves helped me take some toys back to their room while Annie took her bath and then she picked out books while he took his. I read to them and got them to bed. Too bad those naps had kicked in and they were up until PAST MIDNIGHT. Peyton did get home well before then and we talked and ate and I finished a blog post and put pictures on Facebook.
My kids have the best papa. Annie told me she missed Wicked Witch so I found her toy Wicked Witch. She said "Oh, I meant the real Wicked Witch". When Peyton got home, he got all dressed up and ran cackling into their room. It was as terrifying as it looks, but they loved it.

Wednesday was fun, but exhausting. We got up and got ready and all had breakfast and then we walked (four miles!) to Ikea to check out a day bed I wanted. We ate there and then headed back.
All bundled up. I wanted to go to Ikea to check out a daybed for our sunroom in the suburbs. Peyton complied as long as I agreed to an urban hike, so we walked eight miles in the bitter cold 

No big deal, just shooting a movie in my nabe, per usual.

One thing I love about the cold is another year in granny print corduroy overalls. And I love her sweet face. Would anybody guess she'll be SIX in four months? She looks like a toddler here! Ha!

 Peyton and Annie were going to a program at the Museum of Natural History and Graves and I were hanging out at home.
ready for a simulated trip to the moon at the Museum of Natural History

 They left and, after a few tears, we had a great time!
I enjoyed my night with sweet Baby Graves so much. We watched a Charlie Brown DVD, read his his favorite books, snuggled a LOT, had some really good conversations,and ate graham crackers and raisins for supper. I was surprised I didn't have any bruises (he's about as rough as he is sweet) and bedtime was HARD without his night party playmate, but it was such a great night.

He said "I'm fantastic". So true, Buddy.

Peyton and Annie got home right after I put Graves down. She had supper and we talked and got her to bed. Peyton and I talked.
They got back and Peyton started pretending to be a waiter with a "Louisiana Republican" accent, pulling out her chair and tucking in her napkin. A little dancing was in order, too.

It ended up being an awful night after an awful argument. I went and got both kids and snuggled with them in the guest room. I cleaned up around the apartment and got on the computer for a bit.

We woke up and made up and ended up having a nice day on Thursday. I had slept a little late (I had had such trouble falling asleep and then Graves woke up with a bloody nose). Then we all got ready and went and served at Saint George's "common table", which is like a once a week soup kitchen. We washed dishes and the kids were GREAT! They helped dry them and stayed mostly out of the way. We came home and ate lunch and got ready for ballet. I took Annie to her class and the boys went grocery shopping. I enjoyed the time- I read a bunch!
The munchkin is mine <3 font="">

She is not the most coordinated, but she is deeply focused. And she loves it so.

We got home around the same time and the kids ate supper and we got them to bed. I did some laundry and cooked some delicious soup. I got on the computer a bit and went to bed.

We were having house guests on Friday, so we spent the day around the apartment getting ready. My laundry hadn't completely dried so after my bath I started drying it and washing more. I had a TERRIBLE headache and about four loads to do. I got it all done and folded and in between I swept and tidied the house and helped the kids straighten their room and purge toys. We took some stuff to the storage unit and I cleaned the bathroom. Peyton did dishes and paid a bunch of bills. It was nice to get the house so in order- it was definitely the best it's looked since we got back from Mississippi.

Anyway, Peyton ran to Mr. Coco's and then Mandy and her husband and brother and sister in law got here and we visited and then they went to eat. Peyton and I got the kids to bed and when they got back we talked some more and then they went to bed. I got on the computer for awhile.

Saturday was really laid back. Peyton and I got up at the same time the kids and our guests did. Peyton was getting ready for work and cooking pancakes and when he had to leave, I took over cooking. I also went ahead and scooped liter. We helped Mandy and them get off and then the kids and I watched a few shows. I had had sort of a restless night so I dozed a bit. I put them in their room and had breakfast, got on the computer, and took my bath.
still such a great sentiment! 

Annie's still so much like this, but she's learning more and more how to problem solve through intense emotion (something that's pretty difficult to teach a small human incidentally).

I played with them some and Annie insisted we do their devotion and catechism. I also read to them some. I fixed the kids lunch and we headed to the playground for a bit after that. Graves rested and Annie did the iPad and I got on the computer. I did some critical thinking with her and then took a quick nap because my head was hurting again. I got up and got going and made some more soup. The kids played so well- they played a little game and did play dough and then it was supper time. They ate and then I bathed them and got them ready for bed. Peyton got home and I finished reading to them and put them down. We ate and Mandy and everyone got back. We all visited and then I got on the computer a bit and went to bed.

We all got up on Sunday morning. Since we had four extra people staying with us and I knew we were going to church that night, I decided we'd skip morning church. We got Peyton off to work and then helped our friends get off- after a quick haircut for Baby Graves.
Perks of having your hair girl from the South as your house guest: your little boy looks like a little boy instead of like a hipster styled by the Russian barber. Which is what happened last time I got it cut up here. 

After that, I told the kids I really wanted to go ahead and take my bath before their shows. They played and I ate breakfast, got on the computer, and got my bath and then we watched some Charlie Brown specials. I was so tired I dozed some even though I'd been up for hours. And Graves was SO cuddly. After that,, we all had lunch and I did dishes. I got Graves down for his rest time and I got on the computer and hung out with Annie. When he got up, they had a snack and I looked at Christmas cards a bit. We got ready and headed to church. The kids were pretty wild and I got a bit stressed during the service. Peyton met us afterwards and we headed home. Our friends were back at the apartment and had decided to leave for the airport that night and sleep there because there was going to be really bad storms through the later part of the night and in the early morning and they knew doing trains with their luggage in that would be a disaster. We helped them get off and fed the kids and got them to bed. Peyton and I talked and then I looked at the cards some more and did some other stuff of the computer.

I cannot believe this week is Thanksgiving! The weeks- and months- are flying by!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thankfuls (Days 11-20)

Ten more days of thankfuls! I have to be honest here, I've been in a bad ugly sinful season of discontent. These lists are always a good exercise, but particularly so when I seem to be struggling in finding contentment despite many, many blessings. 

[Sometimes, things have more meaning when context is given. When I look back at these, I want to remember that context.]
*Day 13- This may sound really silly, but along with giving birth naturally, I credit the woman I am today in large part to learning how to manage public transit in a huge city with small people. I used to be extremely underconfident and very fearful. I still am, at times. But these two things have been so empowering and have shown me that through the Lord's strength I am capable of way more than I think I am. It doesn't matter that I'm small and afraid, I am fierce in Him and I will get my tail and theirs' wherever we need to be in this epic city. 
**Day 15- TMI but cough and sneeze season is always a good reminder that my body is a little broken from these kiddos (mainly Graves). It doesn't work like it did six years ago, for sure. But it also reminds me how thankful I am that it did exactly what it was designed to do TWICE, but particularly with Graves who was a lot bigger and a bit more difficult to carry than his tiny sister. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weekly Happenings Post #293 (November 3-9)-- Settling Back in Brooklyn and Enjoying Fall

I hope I can finally get back in my groove with these things. I'm planning to do last weeks at some point this week and get back on track. Anyway, the week was nice. Also the picture above is from the totally week. I've never let two full weeks pass between family pictures, but we came awfully close this time!

We had a good week. We got settled back in and and we tried to get out some while it's not FRIGID. It was pretty cold, though. The leaves were gorgeous that week and I'm glad we enjoyed them!

Peyton was working Monday, but the kids and I had a good day. They got up around eight thirty and we had breakfast and watched their shows. I folded up the couch and ate breakfast and got on the computer. I scooped liter and took my bath and made a grocery list. Then we played a bit and I did their catechism and devotion with them. I fixed them lunch and they ate and then I put Graves down. He played and I got on the computer and ate my lunch. I laid down a bit because I had a headache and then I did school with Annie. I let Graves join us for math and then did critical thinking and tracing with him. They helped me cook supper and ate and then I read to them and got them to bed.
"He was messin' with Hippo's nostrils and then he just started digging in his own nose." -Annie

"I'm your nurse. My name is Cookie." And then she started barking at him to hold his head up and be still. It will be amazing if he finds another girl who will care for him like this and put up with him. Of course, he's a charmer and a flirt and ridiculously sweet, so I think he will. Usually how it works, right? Ask me how I know =)

 I got on the computer and cleaned up the apartment and then Peyton got home. We watched TV and fell asleep.

Tuesday was a nice day. Peyton was off and we had a super lazy morning. I had breakfast and got my bath and did a few things and then headed out to get my nose pierced again.
Now that we're back in the city, I decided to get it pierced again. (I got a keloid round one and it looked horrid and I didn't want to risk it happening again before I was finished with my matron of honor duties.) 

I met Peyton and the kids at the park and it was time for Graves to go to Cumbe.
Peyton took this. Isn't it the best shot ever?

 Annie wanted to go watch, so we picked up a snack and headed there. We left and it was time for Peyton to go to his book club. He walked home with us most of the way. When we got home, I fixed the kids supper and straightened.
We call this "Crocodilia Selfie".

I read to them and put them in the bath and did dishes and cleaned up supper. I got them to bed and then got on the computer for awhile. Peyton got home late and I put up groceries. I went to bed late.

Wednesday was sort of rough. The kids took forever to eat breakfast and were so cranky all morning. We watched their shows and I finally got them settled and took my bath and planned school, ate breakfast, got on the computer, and folded up the couch and scooped liter. I played with them and we did their devotion and catechism and calendar and I texted with Ellis some. We cleaned up (there was a major breakdown during that) and then had lunch.
Annie went to her art table and spontaneously created this mood indicator. She said each day we could discuss our moods and today was "cranky". Then she said "I should have just asked of we could leave out my 'nightstand' in a kind way and not thrown that big fit (which involved spitting, lying, an immediate trip to time out plus another more severe time out during naptime- her only time apart from her brother, and her threatening not to do school to make up for the lost naptime minutes). That day sucked hard and I was dealing with my own Big Feelings, but watching her process and attempt to find better ways to express herself makes it all worth it.

Graves rested and I did school with Annie and ate my lunch and got on the computer. Graves got up and we did Annie's math and then I let them help me cook a new soup for supper. They ate and I read to them and got them to bed. I got on the computer until Peyton got home and we talked and then I finished up a post.

Peyton was off Thursday and we kind of blew the day. I was sort of dissapointed. I got up a bit earlier than usual, when Peyton and the kids did. We still had a slow morning, though. Our sink was clogged and we had to wait for maintenance to come so we stuck around the apartment. Annie did a little school work and we played with Little People and the the kids' fun Ikea rug that has lots of places on it.
Minnie also spent like forty eight hours straight in bed this weekend and Mick called P to see if he could give her some of HIS blood pressure medicine. Flower child wedding in the Bayou and having grand babies shack at her pad for 1.5 weeks finally caught up to her. Preventing something serious until I can get my Buick back. Noway am I trying to haul small people (or myself!) around this city pregnant.

We had lunch and waited and waited. They were supposed to come at one and it ended up being like two thirty. By the time the guy left, it was time for ballet. We were going to a lights festival afterward, so we all went. Graves fell asleep on the way and slept part of the class. After it was over we decided to do the lights the next night instead and we ate at Smash Burger and came home. We got the kids to bed and I worked on a blog post and chatted with Peyton and we went to bed.

Friday was a fun day. We got up, had oatmeal for breakfast, and all got ready for a "city hike". We walked over to Prospect Park and explored for awhile.

What happens when you turn this city girl loose in an open field. She ran and ran and didn't stop for the longest time or even look back. It reminded me of Forrest Gump! 

We saw this Native American dance performance going on near the field Annie was running in and stopped to watch

It was SO cold, though. We headed home and it started sprinkling a little. I talked to a friend who is going to take our pictures next week and then started making some soup. Peyton and I both did school with Annie and then we ate and headed to the light show. It was fun but SO crowded and so cold.

We came home and it was pretty late. I added some more veggies to my soup- I felt like it was too much tomato and got on the computer and then went to bed.

Peyton had to work on Saturday, but we had a good day. The kids got up and had breakfast and then watched their shows. We were all tired so we watched one extra! Right as it was finishing, the guard booth called to say we had a package that had been delivered to the wrong apartment. We ran down and got it and then finished the show. I got on the computer and straightened a good bit and took my bath.
Graves hit his head, pinched his finger in a door, and bit his tongue in the span of about fifteen minutes. I was trying to do dishes so his nurse took over on the third incident. She brought his blanket and cuddled him in her lap. I was saying what a kind little girl she was and she said "You know, he's a very kind brother. At lunch when I was fussing because you said we couldn't have more than one brownie, he offered me his". They are so good to each other.

One more because those sweet eyes. He loves being babied by his "Sissy Missy". 

I helped the kids pick up their room and they ate lunch and then we took a quick trip to the park. We came back and I put Graves down. He actually fell asleep! Annie played and I got on the computer and uploaded pictures. I cooked some chicken and when Graves got up, they ate. I bathed them and read to them and then Peyton got home. The kids went to bed and we watched a few episodes of The Wonder Years. We stayed up pretty late.

Sunday was busy. I had to be at the church to watch kids at eight. We got up around six to get ready and left around seven. So early! Peyton walked with us and we took a bus part of the way. He left and went to work and I helped teach Sunday school. We were there from eight until one. Whew! Graves said later her was "tired from that long church". We got home and I fed the kids lunch and they had rest time. And I took a nap! I got up and got us all ready and we headed to Calvary-Saint George's. The six train had service changes and we ended up being SO late. We made it for the very end of the service. Peyton met us and we came home and I did laundry and he got the kids to bed. I got on the computer for a bit and cooked supper and went to bed.

It's good to be home. For now.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Weekly Happenings Post #294 (November 10-16)-- First Fall Freeze

It's gotten CHILLY. No snow yet, but it's been bitterly cold. It's dropped below thirty several times and we're all getting back in the habit of wearing multiple layers.

Monday was nice. The kids got up and we watched their shows and had breakfast. Then I got busy. I did my usual routine (bath, computer, breakfast, folding up the couch, scooping liter) but I also folded up the stroller and hung up a bunch of coats, straightened the kitchen, put up some laundry, and did dishes. It took about two and a half hours instead of one and a half. The kids played SO well! We did their catechism and devotion and then picked up and then I fixed them lunch after we played a little. Graves had rest time and I ate my lunch and got on the computer. I did school with Annie and then got Graves up. We did Annie's math and some critical thinking and cutting for Graves. I got their supper ready and they ate and I read to them.

I got on the computer until Peyton got home and we ate supper and watched The Wonder Years and I folded a bunch of laundry. I got on the computer again and did my Bible study. We chatted and went to bed WAY too late.

Tuesday was a fun day. The kids got up and I slept a little late and then got my bath and scooped liter and folded up the couch. Peyton headed to Target and I swept and straightened and ate breakfast. He got back and hauled some stuff to the storage unit and I bathed the kids and folded more laundry. I straightened some more and got us all ready because a friend was coming over to take some pictures. Suzy arrived and we headed out to the park. We had a great time and ended up staying out awhile and getting some good shots. We got home and I uploaded the pictures while she visited with Peyton and the kids some more.

Peyton walked her out and ran to the store and I started cooking soup for dinner because we were having company. The kids played with kinetic sand and I straightened some more (the apartment was a wreck) and finished the soup. Peyton got home with the stuff for a salad and worked on that and I started helping the kids clean their room. It was no use. I gave up and helped Peyton with the salad and Adam got here. We had a wonderful night and enjoyed the company so much. He left around ten and we put the kids right to bed. Peyton and I talked some and I got on the computer for a bit.

The kids slept a little late on Wednesday. We got up and watched their shows and had breakfast and then I planned school, ate breakfast, got my bath, and folded up the couch and scooped liter. I played with them and we did their catechism and devotion and then I helped them clean up their room. They ate lunch and then we ran to the bank to deposit a check for our land lady. We got home and Graves rested and I got on the computer and then did English with Annie. We got Graves up (he never slept) and did math and then we did our Five in a Row book (it's been awhile!), some critical thinking, a little activity and some cutting. I fixed them supper and they ate and I did a bunch of dishes. I got them to bed and called my mom and got on the computer. Peyton got home and we talked and then I got back on the computer and finished a post.

Thursday was a good day. The kids got up and we watched their shows and had breakfast. I hustled through my morning stuff (scooping liter, folding up the couch, planning school, and breakfast) and got my bath. Then I played with them a little and we did their devotion and catechsim. We read some and then picked up toys.
This is "Early", a friend we took from Cookie's massive Beanie Baby collection. AP told me that he likes to eat at a restaurant called "Worm Puddle Square". They soak the worms in puddles because, you know, if they're left in the sun they dry out and die. 

FYI, she also runs a pet shop especially for lost animals. She said one of the things she "spends time on" is walking the animals before she takes them to the store so they won't be as scared without their owners. The shy ones have a really hard time, though. HSP right here, folks. 

They had lunch and I did dishes and put Graves down. I got on the computer and had my lunch and did English with Annie. We got ready and all headed to ballet. It went by quickly and a sweet lady complimented me on how patient Graves was.
I decided to try the stroller for ballet today since there were no connections (not as many stairs as a lot of trips). Verdict: it makes me way more nervous on the stairs, it's about equal in stress to my body (those stair trips aren't easy, but it's obviously less work overall), but it's way faster. We did miss a train I know we would have made had I been able to fly down the stairs like I can when I wear him, but the trade off is that the wait time on the platform for the next one was exponentially more manageable. I am thankful for a fifteen dollar stroller and a two hundred dollar carrier that both do their job really well. It's clearly a mixed bag and something I'll just need to evaluate case by case. Until May. Then I'm strapping him in his carseat, blasting Springsteen in the Buick, and stopping for a Sonic drink. Oh wait....maybe just Kool Aid from my house. Either way, no more trains. 

We got home and did more school- Annie's math, some cutting for Graves, and that kind of thing.
I let Graves sit with us and play with manipulatives during math time. Now that he rarely naps, I can't make him stay in his room any longer than what it takes for me to have a break and Annie and I to do English (and I'm selfishly still clutching the me time). Anyway, last Thursday he made this and then said "Look, Momma, I made you a quadrilateral" (something I've NEVER directly talked to him about). This was such a happy moment because I'll ask him to count a group of three or more objects and he will literally look at me, hard laugh, and say "I don't know how, Momma". I'm always trying to decide if he's teasing (I think mostly), being lazy (maybe a little), being defiant (I really don't think this is that), or is slightly delayed (again, I really don't think so, but I'm prone to irrational anxiety). He amazes me sometimes. And then I feel silly, because he's an extraordinarily amazing kid.

They had supper and I read to them a good bit and got them to bed. I blogged and Peyton got home. We talked and watched TV and then I got back on the computer for a bit.

Friday was nice and relaxed. We had a slow morning. Peyton cooked pancakes! I got my bath and we all got ready and headed to Prospect Park.

We stopped back by the library and then came home. By the time we got home and played a little, it was time for the kids to eat supper. I bathed Annie (Graves had taken one that morning) and read to them and got them to bed. I did a bunch of laundry and visited with Peyton while I folded. I worked on my closet change over and then wrote a blog post.

Saturday was a fun day. We had planned to go to a TGC Home Group at a friends' house. We've meant to go before, but never made it. We knew with being in Mississippi for such a big chunk of time, we weren't going to sign up, but we had wanted to pop in. Anyway, we realized they only have two more times and so we decided not to go. I had gotten up and gotten ready, but I ended up dozing on the couch and playing/snuggling with Graves. We headed to the Children's Museum a little before lunchtime. They had a special craft time and a story time for Native American month. Annie loved it and we played a little and then headed out for a late lunch.
Storytelling at the Children's Museum. We ALL loved it. And Graves was so still and quiet! 

We had a great snack to tide us over and then came home. We relaxed and the kids played and ate supper and then we bathed them and got them to bed. Peyton and I talked and watched TV and I uploaded a bunch of pictures from October to Facebook and then went to bed.

Sunday was BUSY. We got up and headed to TGC. We were running late and almost skipped, but Annie was very adamant about going. I'm so glad we did! We left there and headed straight for the Museum of Natural History for more Native American exploration. After we saw some exhibits, did a craft, and listened to a (more adult geared) presentation.

Annie loves the replicas of their homes. Graves loves the outfits the most. Peyton likes to point out how many luxuries we have since we don't have to build underground houses for Winter. 

The kids wanted to go to the Discovery Room and on weekends they do "passes" and only a certain number of kids can come in every half hour. We got passes for the next session and  headed to the food court for a snack. It was so overpriced, but we got a bag of chips and a chocolate milk for around $5. We came back and did the Discovery Room and then headed out for a real meal. We found a sandwich place and there were so many options (it was a chain place and it was just overwhelming). I finally got something, but ended up having a bit of a meltdown. We ate and then walked across town to Calvary, which was about three miles. Whew. We went to church and it was wonderful and then stopped to get some medicine for my headache. We got home and I was so tired. We fed the kids supper and put them to bed. Annie got SO upset about something and it took hours, literally, to calm her down. I finally ate and got on the computer for a bit and went to bed.

This weeks been great so far. I'm glad to be caught up!