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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday - January 2016

***I'll update later with pictures...technical difficulties!!!*** is the last Wednesday of the month...which means it is time for another What's Up Wednesday Post! I am joining MelShay and Sheaffer for their super fun link up party!

What We're Eating This Week...

Dear Hubby got some disappointing bloodwork results this week so we are going low-carb!
Monday - Cheeseburger Pie (yum!)
Tuesday - CP chicken tacos (made into a salad)
Wednesday - honey mustard chicken tenders and veggies
Thursday - Asian sesame chicken and rice
Friday - steak sandwiches and veggies
Saturday - breakfast for dinner (eggs, waffles, bacon, fruit)

What I'm Reminiscing About...

All the snow we had last year in New England!  We have family in PA and they got hit hard by Jonas and are trying to telling we have no idea what it's like...ha!  Their 20+ inches have nothing on the 70+ we had last year!

What I'm Loving...

Cozy days at home
Not working :)
I officially have to decide about next year by the end of the month and I'm so excited that we can make this work and I get to stay home forever (or so I hope!)  I loved my time as a teacher but I love being a full-time mommy even more!

What We've Been Up To...

Lots if sickness...ugh!
There has been a nasty upper respiratory virus floating around and Bruiser got hit first.  Which then triggered his asthma...which is scary and almost landed us in the ER yet again.  But a great doctor was right right on top of treatment we avoided that nightmare!  Then he shared with Tater and Bubba.  So we've had round-the-clock breathing treatments every 4 think "newborn sleeplessness" and I'm there.  But as of today everyone is back at school and I'm praying we've beat this stupid virus! 

What I'm Dreading...

Painting the girls' bedroom!
I hate disorder but I know I'll be thrilled when it's all done and things are back to normal!

What I'm Working On...

Planning Tater's 11th birthday...yes, that's right...11th!
And this is in the works...

And I challenged myself to make an afghan this winter instead of just scarves (because we already have too many!!!)...and I'm already planning my next one as soon as this one's done!

What I'm Excited About...

What I'm Watching/Reading...

With the husband...

During the day... 

And reading... 

What I'm Listening To...

4 children who have been spending WAY too much time inside!!!!

What I'm Wearing...

All the comfy pants, leggings, sweaters!!!

What I'm Doing This Weekend...

Painting the girls' bedroom...or entertaining the troops while Daddy paints :)  
Exciting stuff!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Day in the Life - January 25, 2016

Like most of you, some of my favorite posts are "Day in the Life" posts that we all love to do to record what real life is like :).

So here is a fairly typical day in my life...

Alarm goes off at 6:00 and all four trickle in to me bed.  This morning I cheated and put Curious George on the iPad to get a few more moments with my eyes shut...happy Monday!!!, coffee, coffee!
Then making sure all three big kids are dressed, have their lunches, hair is done, meds taken, and teeth brushed.  I remember to remote-start my car so our trek to the bus stop is a bit warmer.  Then kids bundled up and loaded in the car.

It's a chilly morning to stand out at the bus stop even if it's only a few houses away (around a corner so we can't just watch from our house!).

Probably has to do with the white stuff that we got on Saturday!

Here are my crazies while we are waiting!

I also use this time to complete my daily bible reading and share by reading aloud to the kids until the bus arrives.  They love to here the Word and it keeps them under control while we wait!

I started the new year reading the "As It Happened" plan on the YouVersion app.  Nice manageable selections and an interesting way to approach reading the entire bible in a year!

Bubba and I head home to snuggle on the couch with some more Curious George!

Once he's settled, I head to the basement and pull out the girls' summer clothing bins.  It may seem silly to do this with snow on the ground but I'll let you in on a little secret...I HATE changing my kids' clothes each season.  I may have mentioned moving to a deserted tropical island so that we could become nudists (true story!).  So I've developed a new method.  I pre-sort all their clothes in bins and then I can do an easy swap.  It saves me HOURS!!!  So I planned this week to get their clothes all set...and it also helps me to know what each child still needs.  Today I discovered that Tater needs more shorts (after wearing her previous shorts for 2 years!) now I can be on the look-out at thrift and consignment stores.

And while I was doing the clothes, I ventured into the basement playroom and noted what the children will be doing after school...CLEANING!

Bubba was still playing so I poured another cup of coffee and settled in my office to read some blogs!

I took a little break to chase Bubba up the stairs and carry him back down as soon as he got the train he wanted.  

Which led to this...putting the gate back up!
Bubba LOVES to climb the steps but refuses to come back down.  He stands at the top and screams for me to get him.  So gate = sanity!

I take a few minutes to a few titles to the list of books I want to read this year.  I love to read but having kids has taken me away from I'm making a conscious effort to read more.

Then laundry.
One load folded and put away and another put in the washer.  I added this table and am trying to be more prompt with folding to reduce the need to iron.  I've also changed my folding style and am loving the way our dressers are working (more on that in another post!).

10:00...settled on the couch to get caught up on my reading...I was a few (5!!!) behind the schedule I had laid out.

While I was reading, Bubba gave me a complete check-up and made sure to super-check my ears!

Bubba had lunch and a show...usually yogurt, popcorn (Pirate's Booty), and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Today he also got a bit of Doc McStuffins!

After I rocked him and settled him for a nap, I finally took a shower and fixed my hair.  I'm trying to grow it out so I can pull it up and I'm hitting that annoying in-between when I usually cave and cut it...but I'm trying to stay strong so summer becomes easy in the hair department!

Then I devoted an hour to sorting the girls' summer bins...all set and ready for warmer temps!
And then I settled down in my office to work on our elementary school's yearbook.  Last year while I was still teaching, my co-worker and friend roped me in to help her and I really enjoyed it.  In fact our yearbook was good enough to raise $15000 for our school (I'm a bit proud!!).  So I volunteered to keep this side volunteer job this year and I'm trying to stay way on top of it!

The mail came and I had quite a haul from ...check it out if you have books to trade!

Bus pick-up...still chilly and a few minutes to read while I wait!

Things get crazy when the kids get home so I forgot to get pictures of homework and snack!
But here is Bubba after nap...he's snacking on goldfish with his brother's spy gear glasses near by!
And, yes, he's still in his pjs (we had no where to go today!) and has his lovies stuffed inside his sleeper...we have no idea why but he does it every day!  Lol!

Dinner was prepped...cheeseburger pie to be served with salad.

Meanwhile, the big kids were having some time on the x-box and veggie out!
This lasts until the screaming starts...and it always does with 4 kids!

Yet another load of laundry!

Finishing dinner prep with a salad.

And this boy refused to eat and made such a fuss he got sent to the dining room to eat alone :(.  Food and eating is such a battle with him and his sensory issues...but trust me when I say we aren't asking him to eat anything wild and crazy!!!!

We got this devotional book from my in-laws for Christmas and have been using it after dinner.  The kids are responding well to readings!

We FaceTimed with Papa like we do every night.  Tonight was an extra treat as my brother and his family were there for dinner.  We had fun chatting with the cousins and teasing my brother (because he makes it so easy!)

We finished with pjs, teeth brushing and nightly meds.  Tater was coughing up a storm and wheezing away so we talked about the plan if she needed to stay home from school.  It's not usually an issue because I'm home but Bruiser has an appointment that can't be missed or they charge you, no exceptions...sigh.

Once all the kids were in bed I settled on the couch with Daddy and worked on the afghan I started a few weeks ago.  I progressed from scarves to a full-sized blanket.  I plan to use it in my office when I'm working on the computer.  A few episodes of The Following (sooooo good) and then we headed to bed.  I fell asleep watching an episode of Switched at Birth on the iPad.  We love our Netflix!!!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Favorites

I'm joining Erika, Narci, and Andrea again this Friday!

It's been a long cold week here in New England!


Binge watching is huge favorite of mine!  The husband and I just started The Following and it's so creepy it's good!


Oh the love/hate relationship I have with this machine!  Bubba started showing signs of a cold this week and jumped right into an asthma flare.  He has severe, persistent asthma...pretty much the worst of the worst cases.  So we have a whole sick protocol and live our life praying we don't have to venture to our local children's hospital.  Luckily this time we caught it soon enough, began our home treatments and saw the doctor to start steroids.  At his follow-up today he was sounding better (although said with caution!).  We are on a 4 hour rotation and bounce between his straight inhaler, his combination inhaler and this nebulizer machine...all depending on how he's breathing.  Kind of like having a newborn but cuddling a cute, bony 9-year-old :)


Found these on Pinterest and decided to print and laminate as my kids' valentines instead of buying cheap little cards and trinkets.  Hopefully they will see more use!

And now, we are preparing for a bit of snow this weekend.  I'm happy the forecast is showing less accumulations that first thought but still dreading the cold and mess :(  
I hope you all are cozy and warm!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Life Lately

This season of my life has been tough...challenging...heavy...

Grief is a strange beast.  That immediate grief right after your loved one passes is all-consuming, physically-weakening.  Then you pick up your life and go through the motions.  Things begin to take on a sense of normalcy.  You get up, take care of the kids and the house.  You do your errands, meet with friends, and find yourself laughing.

Then that punch in the gut comes.  It can be a thought that invades your mind, an object or event that triggers a memory, or even just a random moment.  This is when it's hard.  Months have passed and people have moved on from your grief...only you haven't.

I'm thankful for an understanding husband and a loving family.  But even amidst all the pain and flashbacks, there is the guilt.  You know, where you think you should be over this, that the tears are silly, that you are inconveniencing and burdening others who just want you to be back to normal.

But there is no more normal.  That's the tricky part.  In my case, I'll never be able to call my mom and ask her advise about one of the kids.  I'll never shop with her again and ask what she thinks of a fashion risk (so please tell me if I am braving something that is just not!).  She's not here to share in my joy of finally being a stay at home mommy to my babies.  She's not here to share the trials and the celebrations.

We often toss around the idea of adding #5 to our crazy crew (I know, INSANE!!!) and all I think is how I'm not going to be able to call and announce it to her.  It would be a grandchild she won't meet on this side of Heaven.  Grandchildren...the one thing she longed for the most...and enjoyed for too short a time.

This whole grief thing pretty much sucks.  But if you ask me, I'll smile and tell you we are doing okay...because that's what you do.  Not what you feel but what is expected.

And with that, I'm going back to normalcy...a glass of wine, a majorly clogged toilet, and a coughing asthma boy.  It's all fun and games at the House of Sprout tonight!!!!

Winter Wonderland Gift Exchange

I LOVE these exchanges!  I get to meet new-to-me bloggers, receive some fun surprises, and shop for someone else...all winning in my book!

For this gift exchange I was paired with Jessica over at The Newly... and a fun time picking out some goodies for her.  Hop on over to her blog to see what she got!

Meanwhile, she sent me a cozy package that spoke my language!

I couldn't wait to wear these earrings today!
This past summer I ordered a pair in pink and then realize how little I wear pink!!!!
These will see LOTS of use since they will go with everything I own!

And what better time to get this cozy woven scarf???
Temps in the New England area have plummeted and there are rumors of snow up to a foot this weekend...and this will keep me cozy on the couch (because anyone who knows me, knows that I don't shovel...or play in the snow...or venture out in the pretty white stuff!!!!!).

Thanks so much, Jessica!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2016 Goals

I'm really bad at keeping New Year's resolutions.  I read a meme over the weekend that said "What are resolutions?  Oh, they're a to-do list for the first week of January!"...and, yup, that's what they tend to be for me!  It's really rather odd...considering my goal-oriented, type-A personality...but, oh, well!

So this year I set goals that I feel will impact my overall well-being and also a few specific tasks that I want accomplish.  Then I set a few things to work towards (see how I took the pressure off me there????).  So here goes!

2016 Goals

  • Read the Bible daily 

I've been using the You Version study "As It Happened" and LOVE it!  I also chose to read The Message version.

  • Illustrate the Bible once a week

I'm trying to explore my creativity!

  • Work out 5X a week

This is a struggle!  Between migraines that I'm continuously battling and a toddler, it's tough.  I am doing a 30 day ab and bum challenge and seem to be sticking to it!

  • Read 2 books a month

I had this goal last year and I'm trying to be successful this year!

  • No phone at night

Aiming for quality time in the evenings!

  • Have 2 "no spend" months.

We are currently in the middle of this now and it's HARD!!!  I actually look forward to buying groceries!!!

  • Develop and stick to a nightly face care routine

Again, I'm just lazy!!!

2016 Tasks

  • Make Art Books

I've photographed all the kids art work through the years and now I want to make them into books.  Clearing out the clutter!

  • Paint the girls' room

This NEEDS to be done...and will help towards one of my "work towards" goals :)

  • Consign clothes and toys

This serves 2 purposes...clears out the clutter AND makes us little money back!  Win, win!

  • Purge the basement

Again, helps a "work towards" goal

2016 Work Toward...

  • Save for a down-payment on a newer, bigger house
  • Start house-hunting
  • Attend church and Sunday School weekly

And there you have it!  I'll check in every few months and let you know how it's going but don't be disappointed!  Given my track record...

Monday, January 11, 2016

And Just Like That...He's 9!

My sweet little bundle of snuggle turned 9 on Saturday!

There was a theme of Star Wars, dinosaurs, and steak.
He spent most of the day playing a new video game...and loving every second of it!
We celebrated dinner as a family and video called the grandparents.

I think it was a great day to be 9!