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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Witching Hour

The witching hour doesn't end once they start school, in case you didn't know that.
It just looks different. And sounds different.

There isn't as much crying and gnashing of teeth (though there is some,) but there is an unusually high amount of questions that you just don't have the brain power to answer.

  • Mommy, what would happen if all of the cars just melted onto the road?
  • Mommy, what happens if all of your eyelashes just fell out?
  • Mommy, why would someone tell me that they were good at karate and they weren't? 
  • Mommy, can I say "Oh shucks?" Because I can't say "Oh my God" and you don't really like it if I say "Oh my goodness." So is "Oh, shucks," okay? Like if I said "Oh, shucks, Willamena, (True Story,) but I don't think I can sell you my ice cream today?
I don't know kid. 
I just don't. 

What I do know is that momma wants to watch Fixer Upper and I'm weighing the benefits of watching it over the frustration over not being able to hear over all of the questions!
(The frustration always wins. Only an occasional Pioneer Woman appears on our TV when the kids are awake since they are entranced with Ree and all of her magical abilities.)


Back to the big kid witching hour:

There is a need to be snuggled RIGHT when you have started chopping the onions. And a cuddle shall not be denied.

There is a realization that you didn't get to the tasks you wanted to and a very real possibility that your husband will walk into your home with crumbs on the floor, dinner uncooked, and laundry piled high. If that was just it and the kids were happy I'd say I still had a good day, but no. There are days when all of that stuff is a mess AND the kids are screaming like banshees with crocodile tears rolling down their faces the moment he steps over the threshold.

There is a very good chance that on child will beg to have "alone time," AKA: let me have all of the toys that I want to herself in the name of recharge time, but the moment that the second child is doing anything interesting in the other room she is suddenly charged up, rested, and ready to be "by herself," in the room where her sister was just hanging out.

*Eye Roll*

I'm not saying big kid witching hour is harder or easier than infant witching hour. Just different. Painstakingly different.

So hear me when I say that our routine after school is simple.
1.) Walk in the door.
2.) Drop all of the jackets and bags in one pile.
3.) Herd many small children to the family room where you spread a blanket on the floor.
4.) Throw snacks at them and turn on one "educational," show.
5.) Get you act together as much as possible in the next 23 minutes. Because that's how much TV they can watch with you feeling guilt free.

It's only 2 hours until bedtime after all!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Merry Christmas to You!

Christmas has finally wrapped up for my family and although our decorations will still be up for another week it feels like we are finally moving on to the New Year! We were able to celebrate Christmas with both sides of our family this year, a real treat.

We started off by going to a  Christmas Eve (eve eve,) service on Thursday night.  The church we have been attending for a couple of weeks is a bigger church and they were having something like eight services and you were advised to reserve a seat online. We originally planned on going to a Christ,as Eve service on Saturday afternoon but it was all booked up. Thursday night worked well. I brought a bag full of our amazing interactive Usborne books and the kids stood to sing with us then entertained themselves semi quietly. The girls felt so special to get to hold their own candle then it was over and off to home and bed we went!

Ian's parents flew up from Florida on Christmas Eve. We had dinner (Christmas Eve enchiladas,) and opened the kids' Christmas pajamas after reading the Christmas story from Luke 2. It was neat to see how much more of the story the girls retained this year! The kids went to bed and we wrapped some last minute things and got the stockings and tree ready.






As a side note, we don't really "do santa," with the kids. We say the same thing we say about the costumed characters at Disney- "It's a fun story people like to make believe and have fun with. Isn't that neat? We can pretend too!" But for some reason this year (hmph, being in school and just being in America in general,) It's like the girls have forgotten completely about the whole pretending part. So, we are a bit at a loss how much we push the whole story. They will say "Such and such is pretend but Santa is real! " I've chimed in that it's a story too but they just ignore me completely. So, when we put out cookies (cinnamon rolls because I didn't get around to baking cookies!) they were over excited to see if Santa would come and eat them.


Christmas Day we woke up when Luke woke up (a little before 7,) got coffee brewing, and opened stockings. We took a brief pause to grab Christmas morning Cinnamon Rolls then went on with presents. Considering we stick to the "Something you want, something you need, something to wear (or love!) and something to read," gift guide it sure seemed like we had too much!









We had a Christmas lunch of ham, green beans, corn casserole, and homemade cranberry sauce before we put the kids down for a nap and Ian and I headed out to watch Rogue One (free babysitting!) The evening was spent hanging out as a family and playing with new toys.

Later in the week Ian's parents flew home and the kids and I drove to Nashville to spend New Years with my parents. Ian had to work, sadly, so he could not join. Though I think he is enjoying a few nights of uninterrupted sleep just fine! The drive was LONG but we survived, thanks to an iPad, copious snacks, and some good listening material.



The morning after we arrived we got to celebrate Christmas again with my parents! It was fun to get to see some of the same traditions play out again but with my kiddos. The girls got more Calico Critters things, which they love, and Luke got some Thomas the train things and a tool bench. We had a ham dinner and drove out to see a really neat light display.





Ian and. Did some small presents for each other but since we did just have to replace both Of our seven year old laptops that sort of counted as our gifts. Yay for working technology, which is part of the reason I can blog again!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Stars on Our Ceiling

Every house has their own quirks, don't they?

Creaks, strangely built things, seemingly pointless additions.

Our house? It has a hidden feature.

We didn't even see it before we bought the house. True, I didn't actually get to do a walk through before we made an offer- Ian Facetimed me in and walked me through it since he was up in Maryland and I was in Tennessee visiting my parents.

Our house was newly renovated. New paint, new floors, new appliances. It seemed to be a fresh slate.

On move in day, we worked hard all day getting things unpacked and keeping the kids out of all of the boxes that weren't ready for them yet.

The kids got to bed and we were hot, dusty, and tired. Eventually we stopped unpacking and collapsed onto our mattress on the floor. We switched off the light and we saw it: Our house's secret feature.

Scattered across the ceiling were dozens of stars! I had taken out my contacts and thought I was seeing things. Ian busted out in laughter and told me that they were indeed there and not just scattered, there was a rhyme and reason to them.

Actual constellations!

We got up to flip on the lights to see how we had missed them before then quickly realized that they were painted on! During the daylight you can't see anything different. Keep a light on and they "charge," up, then glow during the night.

Sweet.

We could always paint over our ceiling, but I think it's better to leave it like it is so the next owners get to experience their own little treasure discovery, don't you?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Picture Catch-Up

First Day of School


New Bedroom

Corn Maze


Halloween Family Costume
Apple Picking
First Fieldtrip
Family Visits
Fall Portraits



 Florida Trip



Saturday, October 29, 2016

Catching Up

Everytime I glance at my blog I think of whether to shut it down and give it up. There has been so much that has transpired that it is impossible to get "caught up," on here.

On the other hand, I love writing. I love sharing about my family and our crazy adventures. I love documenting the mundane day to day things that often go unnoticed. I'm so out of practice over writing about what goes on in my family and that makes me sad. If I could just dust off those ol' typing skills and tap into that creative writing experience I know my "down time" (what's that?) would be so much more enjoyable.

We've had technology woes for a long time now. Both of our laptops are almost 7 years old and have travelled the world, been pulled in and out of luggage, survived a house flood (just barely, and they both have weird electrical issues,) and are out dated and clunky. My laptop in particular has to be charged standing on one end and at full battery only last for 20-30 minutes. It also has a strange strobe light effect of the screen for the first 5 minutes it is booted up. All of that is to say that we hope to replace one soon and if we do then I would have a more effective and efficient tool to write from. Maybe that will help?

Grace is in Kindergarten.
Sophia is Preschool.
I teach Sophia's class!
Luke is in a class next door to mine.

Ian's been at his new job for four months now.
We bought a house.
And two cars.
We have a great neighborhood with lots of neighbor kids to play with.

We found a church.
We are getting plugged in.
They have AWANAs (a bit of a dream come true for me to have my kids in it!)
Ian and I are both in small groups, but we hope to lead our own, together, in our house.
Ian's preaching at the church soon.
I'm going to a women's retreat and leading a session.

I started working for Usborne Books and more!

We went to a pumpkin patch.
And a corn maze.
And an apple orchard.
And the National Zoo.

We've tried many new restaurants.
I have a library to use!

We have a trip to Florida and Tennessee planned.
We need to get to Georgia to see Ian's grandparents.
We live within an hour of my sister and that has been amazing.

Both of our football teams stink this year. It's underwhelming.

We miss Abu Dhabi. We continue to ask God if He will ever lead us back there.

And that's it! I think that just about wraps up the last four months. Maybe that will take the pressure off a little. Maybe.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Month and A Half

A month and a half ago my kids and I survived a harrowing two day drive (without Ian!) We arrived in Annapolis and signed on our new home. One day later the moving truck arrived with all of our things and we were able to begin settling in. It felt so good- six months of wondering if we should move back to the US followed by almost six months of uncertainty of where we would end up concluding with a new home in a beautiful town with a good job.

The Lord provides, even if we still don't understand why He brought us back.

The kitchen came together quickly, running lots of loads in the dishwasher and figuring out the most logical way to organize things.

Luke's room was easy as well. He didn't have much to himself besides some Little People toys and a pack n play.

The girls' room took some thinking. We found the right bookshelf, organized their closet, and finally figured out the right piece of furniture to fit between their beds that was low to the ground so that they could use the top surface for playing with their Calico Critters.

Our room was just a disaster zone. It was where we put all of the unopened boxes so that the kids couldn't get into them. My teaching supplies spilled over everywhere. And the books. Oh, my. The books.

We had sold our Target bookcases in Abu Dhabi thinking they wouldn't survive another international move but then we had the hardest time getting new ones here. We bought and returned SIX bookcases before I finally just ordered them online. Four had damage and two were the wrong color.

Books put away and order was still far away from us.

And I won't even tell you the hours I put into choosing a kitchen table. Our "breakfast" area in our kitchen is an odd shape and the whole kitchen is small-ish, meaning we really needed an all white table. Weeks after moving in we finally decided on one and ordered it. It was so good to stop having meals on the floor- a 5, 3, and 1 year old are not very clean and tidy.

We also knocked out some landscaping over Labor Day weekend. It's not finished but I think it's enough for the winter- I'm worried about putting stuff in so close to cold weather and it not surviving.

We are waiting on the last few pieces of the family room to come together but other than that we are settled in! Praise God for a place that is home.

I loved that last week Grace came up to me and said "This is a really good home, Momma!" That means alot coming from a girl who had a hard time leaving her home and her friends in Abu Dhabi.

Picture tour to come of our new home!


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Luke is 16 months old!

Luke is 16 months old!

I can't believe it has been four months since he turned one! That means we have been in the US for almost four months.

It sure feels like longer than that.

But this little guy...


Time just needs to pause for him. He is growing and changing too fast for my comfort!

Luke is:

Wearing: Size 12-18 month clothes but is ready to move up! Too bad his next size is packed away in our storage unit!

Size 5 shoes, but he's ready to move up to size 6!

Size 4 diapers. Also, ready to move up. I'm sensing a trend. Perhaps I should move our little guy up. At least it's not because of sentimental reasons. At least it is because of the chaos of an international move!

Eating: Any sort of fruit or yogurt. He's had a bit of a food regression with the cutting of teeth #9-12 right now. We had to switch him back to formula after being on full milk when his stomach had some issues. I haven't had the energy to try switching him back. He likes feeding himself but won't use a spoon if its handle is too short and gets messy. Funny kid.

Sleeping: Through the night, for the most part. Poor little guy has been moved around every 3 weeks for five months now! It takes him awhile to settle in and then we move him! Plus, every time he cuts a tooth his sleep is a disaster. He is definitely the worst teether we have had. Luke also still naps two times a day, for 2 hours each, from 8-10 am and from 1-3 pm. He sleeps from 7pm until 6-7 am.

Saying: Eggs, Moon, HI!, Eyes, Trash, Bubbles, and he signs about 2 dozen different things, his favorite being fish and milk. He is not saying very many things yet but has sounds or signs that he uses to communicate and can usually let us know what he wants. He does love making different animal noises and recognizes 10 or so animals.

Reading: Goodnight Moon! All three of our kids have gone through a phase where they are obsessed with this book. Luke is right now and he asks for it before each nap and bedtime, points to some specific things and wants me to make all of the sound effects to go along with it.

Playing: Luke LOVES cars and cooking in a play kitchen! Balls, chalk, and bubbles are his favorite out door activities. Plus, pressing anything with a button/that makes noise.

Luke has loved living with the grandparents and makes himself right at home. I think it will be so good for him to have his own space, and a routine that he can count on! We can't wait to see how he blossoms and his first little friends that he will make when we settle in to our new life in Annapolis.

Slow down, little guy! We are so excited about each new thing you learn to do and your (usually,) joyous attitude!