Friday, August 31, 2012

Skillz Set: Ann Peyton Says Her Catechism

At this point, Ann Peyton's favorite part of school is definetly saying her catechism. As in, we started doing it once a day at the Morning Meeting and then we decided to do it at night, too and then this week she started requesting to do it before her nap. So, we work on it three times every day now.

One thing that has been neat about starting to do school with our little punkin is that we're already seeing where her strengths lie.  I really believe all children at this age are sponges, so I don't think she's really out of the ordinary, but memorization has been an area she's really excelled in so far.  On the other hand, asking her to trace (something I'd think most kids would love) is like pulling teeth. She's not very good at it and it irritates her so much when I make her start over because she's all over the place.

[Also, sidenote: I hate that I feel like I need to do this, but with this type of post I feel like I do.  I hope this doesn't seem like bragging...Yes, we are very proud of her, but I'm not trying to be a show off.  First and formost, this blog is, before anything else, the one and only way I consistently document our lives and I want to include as much of them as I can here. If y'all enjoy this it will make me so happy, but my primary motivation is just to have it here for myself and Peyton and for her later.]

Anyway, we're memorizing a few different things, but her favorite is by far the catechism we're doing with her. I mentioned it before, but this specific one was written by Matt Friedeman. He teaches at WBS (where Peyton went for a while) among other things and is very active in pro-life/family ministry in our area. It was somewhat important to Peyton to use a catechism written from a Wesleyan perspective, so I'm glad we found this! It's neat watching these little trinkets become "hidden in her heart" and we anxiously await the day she will truly grasp their meaning.

Here's what she's learned so far:

1. Where do we learn how to love and obey God?
In the Bible
2. What is the Bible? 
Sixty-six God inspired books that teach us about God and how we can be holy as he is holy.
3. Who wrote the Bible? 
Across 1,600 years more than forty people who where guided and inspired by God.
4. Name the five books in the Bible that are called the Law. 
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
5. What is the message of the Law? 
God is holy and He wants us to be like Him.
6. Name the Old Testament historical books. 
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I and II Samuel, I and II Kings, I and II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.

At the end she gets goofy and starts talking about "milk spots" on her Little Miss Curious sticker.  Haha, I love this girl!

And I wanted to share this one more.  It's shorter and the same thing, but at the end you see her excitement over this whole activity:

I hope learning Truth always brings her such joy!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

An Experimental Mutiny: Part Five (Spending)

Well, it's not really surprising that we're days out from September and I'm posting my 7 recap for July.  August was full and full of unexpected (i.e. that pesky broken arm), so I'm kind of glad that we unintentionally failed to do anything 7 related this month.  We'll be back in the game in September and probably round out the experiment in October.

I'm also planning to do a full review of the book once we finish the project. Originally, I had intended to just quote excerpts from the book and share my favorite things Jenn said in these monthly updates. But it didn't happen and there's that. I'm not going to let y'all miss out on some of her great insights, though, so I'll do that post at some point after I finish the book.

Here are the seven places we allowed ourselves to spend in July:

Notice, first, what's missing- um, a BIG RED BULLSEYE? Yes, I went a month without Target and I have to say that my Target consumption has changed a bit since then.  I just don't go as much and when I do go (this is a shocker!) I'm a bit better at sticking to my list. 

Okay, on the legal list:
1. Kroger- we needed a grocery store and it's the closest and the one we go to the most, so it was an ovbious selection. 
2. Farmer's Market- we didn't go that much, but Peyton's gotten had obsessed with it and desperatly wanted it on there (we ended up allowing all "farmer's markets", including the little fruit stand near our neighborhood, not just the big one downtown).
3. Amazon- well, that was easy, it's a pretty great catch all. Actually, we ended up only ordering once the whole month.
4. Bills- pretty self explanatory.  Notice we forgot them at first. 
5. Emergency/Medical- we really didn't use this much, but it was pretty essential to have.
6. Chik Fil A- we knew eating out would be a hard sacrifice, so we included two (yes, two) eateries. Chik Fil A was our economy option.
7. Newks- and this was our high end choice. We're fancy, y'all.

Overall, we did pretty good. We opted not to by potting soil for a project near the end of the month and just postponed it, we chose to eat only at our two allowed restuarants with a couple of exceptions, and I denied myself Target, friends!

We did make a few exceptions:
- We bought gas a couple of times at a non-Kroger station.
- We made a few restuarant exceptions in the case of friends asking us to do things (twice) and a work related event for Peyton.
- This is the kicker- I went to a kids' clothes sale two days before the month's end. Shockingly, it was Peyton who told me to go. I really wasn't that upset about not going because it's not one I've been to before and I didn't know what I'd be missing. I told Peyton though and he completely rationalized it on the grounds that 1) This kind of sale always saves us the money we would spend buying their clothes (the kind I like) retail and 2) I was being a bit legalistic and was I really just wanting to say I didn't go or was I truly convicted about it. Anyway, in the end I went. You can judge me if want. 
The main thing this month showed me was how spoiled we've been by our endless options and choices and how much I take for granted. It also showed me I can have self control and withstand the lure of the bullseye.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More on the "Princess Cult"

I mentioned a few weeks ago when I wrote about my thoughts on this article that I wanted to hit on one item more specifically, namely the "princess cult". Apparently, to some people the article wasn't really anything new or revolutionary, but for some reason, stuff like that (sociocultural norms and gender roles) fascinates me and this really piqued my interest and brought about several conversations with Peyton. He and I do ten to analyze things to the extreme, so if that bugs you, or if this isn't your cup of tea, just skip this one, too ;)

I really want to be careful with this post because several months ago I stepped on a few toes when I said I was happy Ann Peyton wasn't into princesses yet.  I explained what I meant, because it really came out wrong.  So, I'm really trying not to do that in this post.  First off, though, if it's not apparent (and if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, it is), Ann Peyton changed her mind in a big way on princesses and it's quite the obsession.  So, it's not like I don't have a dog in this fight.  Or rather it's not like I don't have my own sweet "princess" to look after- one that in the coming years I will daily be facing the challenge of trying to teach her the balance between being as "wise as serpent and innocent as a dove." I'm not just on the sidelines anymore, y'all.

Okay, so here's what I think about the fact that princess movies indoctrinate our girls to think that they'll find happiness in marriage, a man, ect.....

- I think, at some level, it's a valid point.  Excepting a couple (Tangled and Brave were the examples cited in the article) most princesses do find their ultimate "happily ever after" with a prince.  While Peyton and I *highly* value marriage and family (and if I'm honest- personally I'd love for all my children to experience the joys...and um, the growth...that comes with matrimony), we know that a spouse may or may not be in the Lord's plan for our children.  Again, if I'm being truthful, I don't think many people will bat an eye if Graves is thirty and unmarried, but the same doesn't hold true (in my experience) for our daughters.

- Along those lines, I worry more about other sources more than the media feeding her the lie that marriage is the "end all, be all".  Specifically (and it pains me to say this) the church.  That's a whole other post, though.  [One that is written in drafts, for the record.]

- But back to the movies.  I really think that, while it is a theme, even a dominant one, these stories have more to them.  A lot more.  For example, in Cinderella, it's my understanding that ultimately she really owes her good fortune more to her Fairy Godmother than any prince, if we look at the big picture.  Also, in Cinderella (it's a favorite lately), a great deal of the story focuses on her goodness and how being a good, kind person brought her to the end that it did.  While I don't feel like this is a totally Biblical principle (um, listen up, Joel Osteen), I don't think it totally lacks merit, either.  It's not like "karma" doesn't exist at a very basic level (not in a mystical sense, but in the sense that if you work hard, (most of the time) you'll advance, ect.), but as Bono says, grace basically overrides it.  And in this story, WE SEE THAT.  In the version we read (which is a super old one), the story ends with Cinderella inviting her stepsisters to live in palace with her and the Prince- abundant grace on her part, in my opinion.  No, I was not above redirecting to the Coat of Many Colors and showing Annie the similarities because how could I not make a Joseph analogy at that point?

- As far as general media exposure, I think there's several points to be made here.
  • First, I think the most important thing (my mom taught me this in the way she parented) with any media exposure, is that as much as possible, we make the time to sit and watch (or read)...and discuss. It's up to us to find the redeeming qualities and point them out and find the negative things and discuss them, too. We don't do this enough, honestly.
  • Second, I think that I want to make sure I watch out for this message in lots of areas, not just in fairy tales.
  • Third, I think it's important to realize that, while this is a draw back of this type of movie, virtually every thing we expose her to (save Scripture and (sometimes) that which is based on it) can/will have potentially conflicting messages with what we are trying to teach.  For example, we love Fancy Nancy, but spend too much time in her closet and you'll be a three year old obsessed with materialism. Of course, they'll (mostly) have redeeming qualities, too, but overall nothing secular is going to teach her the not-so-secret secret to a full and joyous life (i.e. the Gospel).  That doesn't mean that they don't have worth, but it does mean, it's up to us to point her to that and explain it.
So those are my thoughts in a nutshell. What do y'all think?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Picture Post: Sailing, Sailing, Over the Ocean Blue! {July 14, 2012}

Whoa, these are old pictures. Once again, I'm super behind on blogging. Pretty much every post for this week is a post I meant to write weeks (or months ago).  Whatever, I'm over worrying about it.  I post (almost) daily, so there's really no way to do a better job keeping up than I am.

Anyway, I found a draft with these pictures in it already uploaded and ready to go. I had the kids dressed up for a nautical themed birthday party we went to and I couldn't resist trying to get some good shots in their little sailboat attire. I think a few came out okay:

They were not very excited about having pictures made at first.

 Annie wanted to discuss her age, Graves's age, and the age of the birthday boy. [Also, how did I miss that red-eye? This was before I got Elements, I think, but I've always tried to catch and edit red-eye. Whatever, I'm not worrying about it now.]

I love this one of them looking at each other.

 And this one is just so sweet to me!

 They make me laugh. Alot.

 Sweetest babies.

 They do a lot of this these days. As long as everyone is laughing, whatever floats their boats.

Just to keep it real: "Mom, we're a little tired of this."

 Graves loves to hug the cat.

He's such a fun little guy!

And she's pretty fun, herself. I have no idea what was so shocking. And I realize the blurriness makes this not really cute. But I had to share because it's so her right now.

As fun as it is to dress them up in sweet things (and boy is it fun!), it's infinitely more fun watching them become themselves.  It's such a joy to watch Graves try to embrace the cat twenty hundred times a day and it's wonderful watching Annie giggle and be surprised over nothingness. And, of course, one of the greatest blessings of my life to date is to watch Ann Peyton tickle Graves or to watch him look adoringly up at her. These moments are priceless and I wouldn't trade them for all the gold in China smocked clothes in the Deep South.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekly Happenings Post #180 (August 20-26)-- A Bad Little Bug

Last week was interesting.  We got back from our trip on Monday and the week was pretty normal until Friday when I got violently ill for like less than twenty four hours.  I'm guessing it was just a little bug since I didn't eat anything unusual. So strange!

Carrie and I got up on Monday and got ready to head back home.  We got on the road around ten and we had another great, speedy trip.  We stopped for lunch and two other times and we made good time! Alaina did so well.  She's a pretty impressive little traveler!  I got home and hugged the kids and Peyton and then I had to get ready because I had my Provisional kick off for the Junior League that night.  Peyton took the kids to the park and I went to my thing.  It was fun- I got to visit with some friend and the lady speaking was hilarious.  When I got home, Peyton had Graves in bed and we gave AP a bath and got her ready for bed.  We put her down and I cleaned up the house and told Peyton about the trip. I started laundry and got on the computer. I got totally unpacked and put up everything but my toiletries before I went to bed.  That's  pretty rare for me!

I had kind of planned for Tuesday to be "regroup" day, but it ended up being "recharge" day.  I was just SO tired.  I think after a couple of weeks that were (physically and emotionally) really tiring and then staying up late on the trip, my body was just worn out.  Peyton took Graves to run errands that morning and I let AP watch cartoons in our bed when she woke up.  I slept super late, but I was still kind of dragging.  The whole day reminded me of how I felt when I was pregnant with AP (probably because I've been thinking about those days a lot lately for some reason).  I was just tired and edgy and even when I didn't want to lay down, I didn't have much desire to do anything else- even watch TV or get on the computer. Before y'all start thinking something's up, though, I think the main cause of all of it was actually that other hormonal issue that confirms the absence of such.  Anyway, I got up and got a bath before Peyton and Graves got home.  When they got back, we visited and played and I gave the kids the presents I had gotten them on the trip.  I started some more laundry and took the trash and recycling out while Peyton got ready for work.  We all had sandwiches for lunch and when Peyton left, I cleaned up lunch and put the children down for naps.

I got on the computer for a little bit and then just laid down.  I didn't feel sleepy, but I was kind of tired and just entirely unmotivated to do much of anything. Graves woke up with a dirty diaper and so I changed it, but it wasn't time for naptime to be over.  He played and fussed for a little bit while I consolidated some piles and put some dates in my planner. Peyton called to remind me that we had Ultreya that night.  I had totally forgotten.  UGH.  I hadn't even found someone to keep the nursery, so I got busy on that first. I found someone pretty quickly! I had been going back and forth between going to my parents' or trying for an early bedtime. It ended up being good because I got my tail in gear and got the kids up and started cooking some pasta salad to bring.  AP and I cleaned up their room and Graves had a snack and then we all got ready to head to church. Ultreya was good, but I had a bad headache.  I put Graves to bed right when we got home and started on AP's night time routine.  I got her to bed and got on the computer.  It took her a good while to get to sleep, but she finally did.  Peyton got home and we talked and then I got back on the computer and uploaded pictures and went to bed.

Wednesday was Peyton's day off and he went to Primos for breakfast and to prepare his lesson for that night.  Graves woke up early and I changed him and nursed him and then he played in his crib for another hour.  I got up with him and fed him breakfast and then started laundry and dishes.  AP got up and Peyton got home and I changed both the kids' bedding and then had my breakfast.  We did the Morning Meeting and read some and I sorted through some piles and rearranged some decorative things in the kitchen.  I fixed the kids' lunch and then it was naptime.

I made some egg salad and had lunch and then I went through some shoes my sister in law had sent Graves.  I got on Twitter and then my mom stopped by to look at the house.  She visited a little and then we had to scramble to get ready for church.  We got there early because Peyton was teaching a class and needed to run off some things.  The first class was just an introduction, but it went well! And Annie got to go to a class herself for the first time (as opposed to the nursery), so that was fun! We had to make a few stops on the way home- Lowe's, Target, and Kroger.  We got home late and it was after nine when Graves got to sleep and even later for Annie.  I cleaned out the fridge, put up groceries, and did dishes and then I got on the computer and worked on my Weekly and put pictures on Flikr and Facebook. I went to bed after Peyton.

Thursday morning AP had a doctor's appointment for her arm.  Peyton let me sleep late, though and AP had crawled in our bed.  He woke me up around 9:30 with this:
breakfast in bed for me and AP!

Annie tucked Rapunzel in under the paper sheet at the doctor's office. Love the Little People princesses! 

I hustled to get ready and I took Annie to the appointment while he stayed with Graves.  The appointment was even longer this time- we talked to the doctor for maybe ten minutes, but waited about two hours.  I really tried to keep a good attitude though, because there were kids there with so much more problems than I face on even my worst day.

Anyway, we got home just in time for Peyton to leave for work.  I fixed the kids lunch and then put them down for naps.

 epic tower Annie made by herself!

I got on the computer and read some blogs and then I ate my lunch and did my She Reads Truth study.  When the kids got up, I folded laundry.  I fed them supper and gave them baths and put them to bed.  It was nice having them both asleep early since we didn't have anywhere to go that night.

Friday was unusual.  I slept sorta late and then got up and started laundry.  I ate breakfast and we moved stuff back into the sunroom where Todd had painted.  We vacuumed everything and I washed the slipcover on the sofa.  We got ready and all went for a walk.

Fun at the park!
When we got home, I had a bad headache.  I ate lunch and took a bath, but I just felt worse.  And then it happened...I started throwing up.  A lot.  I got in the bed and Peyton took care of the kids.  We lined up grandparents to watch the kids that afternoon and Peyton found some medicine from when I was pregnant.  I took it and it helped me feel some better but it knocked me out, too.

Peyton left for work and my mom got here shortly after that.  I just slept all afternoon.  She had to leave and so Peyton's dad came over.  I woke up around eight and he had Graves asleep.  I was feeling MUCH better and Mr. Randy made me some soup and then left.  I got AP to bed.  I stayed up a little messing around on the computer because I knew I needed to stay up a few hours so I could sleep well that night. I put the slipcover back on the couch and read a few blogs and caught up on Twitter.

Peyton had to work on Saturday and Graves got up around 7:30.  I fed him breakfast and then got ready to take a bath. Um, nice surprise...a kitty had pottied in our room.  I cleaned that up and got a bath and dried my hair.  I started laundry and dishes and then AP got up.  We played and did the Morning Meeting and then I folded a bunch of laundry.  I fixed the kids lunch and put them down for naps.  I ate my lunch and did some organizing and got on the computer and then I took a nap.  When the kids got up, we straightened their room and they had snacks and I unloaded dishes.  We got ready and headed to my parents' house for supper.  We had a good time and got home pretty late.  Peyton helped me get the kids to sleep and I read some blogs and visited with him and went to bed.

Peyton got up early on Sunday and we chatted and then got ready for church.  As usual, we were rushing out the door.  We made it on time, though!
 Family Picture outtake- I think he's so cute mad!

We had a guest preacher and that was interesting and then my friend Ashleigh taught Sunday school and it was a great lesson.  We discussed "rights", "righteousness", "mercy" and "retribution"- great stuff!  Interestingly, most everyone associated the word "righteousness" with a negative connotation, but I said that it reminded me of a powerful, Godly leader like Martin Luther King.  When I called Peyton at work on my way home, and asked him about the term, he said "Oh, totally positive, like MLK." Haha!

When we got home, I hustled around and cleaned up the house (it always looks a mess after we fly out of it on Sundays) and got laundry going and dishes loaded.  I put the kids down and Graves took a great nap.  I got on the computer, ate my lunch, and finished cleaning up around the house some.  I started reading some for Bible study that night, but I couldn't focus.  I laid down on the couch for a little bit, but then I couldn't get my mind to stop. Ha! AP kept coming in to ask me things, but I drifted off a couple of times.  Finally, I just gave up- I didn't really need a nap, anyway! Well, of course, she went to sleep! I did read a few chapters for that night and then Graves woke up.

He played and I read a little more and uploaded some pictures onto the computer.  I got AP up and got us all ready and packed the kids' supper.  Annie was so cranky and it was hard getting out the door.  By the time we got to church it was, POURING down rain.  Annie wanted me to carry her inside and of course, I had to hold Graves and we were just a mess.  But we made it! Anyway, Bible study went well.  When we got home, I got Graves to bed and Peyton started working on fixing AP's bed.  He was laying wood planks down with the overhead light on, but Graves slept through it all.  I ran to Kroger and then cooked fish for supper.  It was late, but I felt like I needed to cook something after a week of leftovers and frozen pizzas.  Annie ate with us and then Peyton put her to bed while I cleaned up the kitchen.  We had our family meeting and then I got on the computer and went to bed early (for me).

This week should be pretty low-key, thankfully. I'm just taking it easy and enjoying it before school starts and we get busy with other stuff in September!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Picture Post: Mister Graves Goes to the Barber {August 14, 2012}

Poor Graves was really past due for a haircut.  I think I said it before, but he had gone from Beetle to BeeGee and it was getting rough:

Poor shaggy boy looks like he's wearing a mop on his head!

The before and after- I think it's an obvious improvement!

My heart was just not ready until last week, though.  I built it up a lot because I really thought it would feel like a *huge* step toward big boyhood, but it actually wasn't so bad.  I mean I did get a little sniffly when I told Minnie that he looked like he was four (she told me he looked two and that made me feel better), but overall it was not as big of a deal as I was worried it would be. It does help that I think he looks perfectly darling.

I think it also helped that I *adore* our hair girl and I kind of trust her and knew she wouldn't do anything too dramatic.  Anyway, here are the shots from the day:

He did so good and was so still! I was shocked, to be honest.  The little drape he was wearing had penguins on it and for some reason that did make me a little emotional because his absolute favorite book right now is Penguin Says Please.  I think when I look back at these pictures twenty years from now, I'll remember that connection.  That's probably what made me so emotional- being in the moment, but stepping outside of it for a minute, too.

I actually think he enjoyed the experience!

When it came time for the back, he just snuggled up to me.  It was so sweet and a good reminder that he's still such a babykins!

I took a few after pictures.  I know I'm biased, but I could just squeeze him!

He looks so grown to me in this one.

And still like such a babe here.

My friends and I talked last weekend about how I have such a hard time with these children growing up and how I deal with it.  We ananalyzed it, per usual, and I'm not sure I can do more than say that it's just me and how I deal with things. It's the healthiest way I know to do it.  For some reason, it's easier to me if I know a change is coming and I'm able to really immerse myself in it even if the emotions are hard. I feel like if I don't let myself feel these things deeply, then I'll never really let myself move past them.  So, I sit down and just let the feelings (and sometimes tears) roll out.  More often than not, ya'll have a front row seat.

But there comes a point where I need a little perspective.  As I said, I did pretty well this time, but not without the help of Minnie. When I got a little choked up on the phone with my mom that afternoon, she reminded me of something she has told me since Annie's early days when I struggled with the passing of every stage and it's something my grandmother told her when she'd get sad about us growing up. She reminded me that I need to rejoice in the fact that he can do these things.  When Annie rolled over and sat up, she told me that it was only by God's grace that she was developmentally capable of doing such. When she walked, Momma said that I needed to rejoice that her sweet little legs worked and were growing normally. This time, I was gently given the reminder of how precious a gift it is that he even has hair long enough to need trimming.  Did I need to go back to Batson (our children's cancer clinic) and put in some more League hours to see that this is truly a good thing? 

I got a little bit choked up again as I added these last blurry pictures, but not because I'm mourning the loss of his hair and his baby days.  Because I'm reminded of what a blessing each and every day with him is.  And I'm a step ahead of Minnie this time- in the next few months when he's compleatly weaned, I will know it's because his body is totally capable of sustaining itself (of course, technically, it has been for some time) and I will fight the urge to do anything but rejoice in that and in his life and his health. Glory be to God!

*One of our friends at church has taken to calling him "Mister Graves" instead of "Baby Graves".  My mom enjoys calling him the traditional little boy title, "Master Graves" (the corresponding boy term for "Miss"), and we do some, too but my father in law informed us that it seems a bit Deep South and could have unwanted connotations.  I have always maintained that he will be Baby Graves until he requests otherwise, but in times such as these when I'm so fully aware of how quickly the days pass, I feel that Mister is by far the most appropriate.

Weekly Happenings #179 (August 13-19)-- Graves's First Haircut and a Well-Timed Trip

Last week was so much better than the previous one! AP's arm has gotten a lot better and all week long she steadily improved and her attitude did, too.  I felt like I spent the first part of the week being pretty productive, which was good since it made me feel better about leaving things in order on Friday when Carrie and I (and Baby Alaina) took a trip up to Missouri to visit Ashley! I missed the kiddos (it was my first time away from Graves and that went better than I imagined), but after such a trying week last week, it was really nice to just be with my friends and relax.
[Yeah, I was pretty excited.]

The week started out pretty normal. I slept late on Monday and then got up and nursed Graves and took a bath.  Peyton went to the grocery store and I did a few things around the house.  I got some hangers from the attic and put some of the stuff I'm collecting for the Junior League in the office closet.  I played on Instagram a bit and then Peyton got home with the groceries.
Silly face for Annie for breakfast!

 I cleaned out the fridge and put them up while the kids watched a video and Peyton got ready- he needed to go to work early anyway and he wanted to go swim at the Y. He left and as I was washing dishes my Dad came over to look at the paint job so far.  I talked to him and folded diaper laundry and then he left and I fixed the kids lunch.   My mom came over to bring some leftover chili they had and while she was here and the kids were eating I talked to her and scrubbed counters and then cut Baby Graves's fingernails.  After my mom left, I got them down for naps.

I ate lunch, got on Twitter, and worked on my Weekly Happenings Post from last week.  I took care of some Circle stuff and then I put all my Junior League dates for the rest of the year in my planner.  It took awhile because I had a couple of lists and I wanted to cross reference them to make sure and plus it was just a lot. Whew!

I got the kids up and we cleaned their room and then I fed them a snack.  I sorted laundry and swept the  den and then AP had an accident so I took care of that.  Graves got super fussy so I read to him and then fixed his supper and bathed him and put him to bed a little early.
 Listening to Mumford makes supper sans Papa a little more bearable!

  AP ate and I cleaned up the the kitchen some and then she played a little and I folded some clothes.  I gave her a bath and got her to bed and then I got on the computer and finished my post and read blogs a little. I heated up some leftover beans and rice for Peyton and when he got home, he basically ate and went to bed.  I stayed up a little more doing computer stuff and then went to bed myself.

Tuesday was a productive day.  I got up when the kids did and we had breakfast and then I started doing stuff around the house.  I started laundry and cleaned up the kitchen from the night before and then I cleaned up our couch because a kitty decided to "mark" it.  OMG, my poor sofa! I took off the slipcovers and washed them and then scrubbed the actual cushions and put baking soda on it to absorb everything. YUCK.  I changed Graves's bed and vacuumed behind it and striped our bed because AP's pull up had leaked on it that morning.  I hurried and hopped in the tub while Peyton watched the kids and we all got ready because three of the four of us were getting haircuts (I'm holding out with AP).

We all got our hair cut and ran by the bread store on the way home.
[I sat in the back so they wouldn't succumb to car naps!]

When we got home, I got to work and cooked fish and asparagus for lunch while Peyton took another shower to get all the hair off himself. We ate and he left for work and I cleaned up the lunch dishes and put the leftovers in the fridge while the kids finished.  AP played with Play Dough and I got Graves down and then read to her and straightened up toys and put her down.

I got on the computer and checked Twitter and typed up some of this post and then I put pictures on Flikr and did my She Reads Truth devotional for the day. I also started a new post and then I had a snack and worked on my Old Testament Bible study.

The kids woke up and we all cleaned up their room, played and had snacks.  My mom came over and we visited and discussed (of course!) paint colors.  We actually drove around looking at houses and then she stayed while I fed the kids dinner.  She left and I put Graves to bed and talked to Cookie on the phone while AP did a puzzle.  I got her to bed early and straightened up the house.  I changed over the laundry, put clean sheets on our bed, and finished my Old Testament reading.  THEN I let myself get back on the computer.  I read some blogs and organized pictures and got on Twitter and then I finished my post.  Peyton got home and we chatted and watched the news and went to bed.

Peyton worked Wednesday morning, and the kids got up before eight, but I actually wasn't dragging.  I had nursed Graves a little earlier and I fixed both kids breakfast and started laundry and dishes and got our bed made up.  The kids played a little, we actually had our Morning Meeting at  a reasonable time, and then I took a bath and dried my hair while AP watched TV and Graves played in the bathroom.  I ate my breakfast and the kids played (and fought like cats). I folded some laundry and then AP asked for lunch.  Since they both ate breakfast earlier than usual, I figured Graves was hungry, too, and I fixed them both lunch.  They ate and I started ironing a huge stack of clothes.  I got about half way through (stopping to serve Graves strawberries several times) and then he was ready for his nap.  I finished while AP played and then I put her down.  I got on the computer and read some blogs and caught up on Twitter and Facebook and then I ate my lunch and spent some time in prayer. I watched an episode of Lost and did a little project. Peyton got home and the kids got up and we had snacks and then all got ready for church to kick off Fall Wednesday night activities.  It was a good meeting and I'm really excited! We went by Target on the way home (actually we had to stop at home first so we could get my list).  We got all our stuff and came home and got the kids fed, bathed and in bed.  Peyton and I talked some about the shutters and I called my mom and cleaned up around the house and then got on the computer and went to bed.

Thursday was a weird morning.  I don't know why, but it just flew by.  It kind of got away from me, but I was glad because I was getting anxious for Friday to get here.  I slept in and then took my bath and then I just hung out with Peyton and the kids.  We went outside and discussed paint colors and our next door neighbor came over to offer his opinion.  He's an artist, so we were happy to have it!  We all had leftover for lunch and I put up a bunch of clean clothes in the kids' room.  I cleaned up the kitchen and vacuumed out my car and then I got Graves down for his nap.  Peyton left and AP and I cleaned up the living room and read and then I put her down.

The kids took fabulous naps- well, Graves did and AP played well.  I got a lot done.  I got on the computer and typed up the day's happenings, checked Twitter and read a few blogs. I started my post for that day and then I did my She Reads Truth Bible study and jotted down some things I wanted to pray about.  I ate my lunch and went through a bag of things my sister in law had loaned us for Graves and got them folded and decent looking to send back. Graves woke up and I put a book in his crib and he entertained himself while I cleaned both bathrooms top to bottom.  I got the kids up and we cleaned up their room and then they ate snacks and I vacuumed and unloaded dishes.  After that they played and I scrubbed the kitchen  counters and swept the floor really well.  I guess I really wanted to leave the house in good condition, ha!  It was nice to have the rest of the evening to just relax and play with the kids...and fold a little laundry.  I put Graves to bed after he ate and then put AP down.  I got on the computer and then Peyton got home and I packed and went to bed.

On Friday morning, I got up and got ready.  I talked to Todd (the guy working on our house) and ate breakfast and then we took our family picture.  Carrie got here and I told everyone bye and we got on the road.  The trip actually went fast and we only stopped for lunch and I think one other time.  We made good time and got to Ashley's house around four.  We visited for a bit and then had dinner at a very authentic little Italian place and then came home and talked some more...until about three in the morning.

Saturday was fun.  We slept late and then got up and got ready.  We ate lunch at a cute local sandwich place and then went by this really neat shop that Ashley had so sweetly gotten Carrie and me a gift card to.  We went by Target and then to a dessert place for some more yummy snacks.

We came back to Ashley's and visited some more and then we went to a Japanese place for dinner. We stayed up super late talking again.

On Sunday we all went to church.  Ashley's dad preached a great sermon and then we went to lunch with Ash's whole family.  We ran back by Ashley's house and visited some more.
Peyton texted me these.  Poor Annie fell down and hurt herself AGAIN!

Graves had fun in the nursery according to the texts I was getting!

Ashley had a little fun photo shoot so Carrie and I let Alaina get a little nap and we just talked.  Ashley got home and we all went to a burger place for dinner.  We got dessert and stayed up talking.  We did get to bed a little earlier that night since we had a long trip the next day.

This week has been good so far.  I can't believe it's already "hump" day. The trip was so much fun, but I'm glad to be home with Peyton and our sweet babies!