Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day of October


So this past month has flown by...with parent-teacher conferences, days out of school, Halloween parties, trick or treating on Main Street in McPherson for the first time, waiting on our Halloween costumes to arrive that we ordered 2 weeks ago and were shipped to Hillsboro--and still haven't arrived, coming up with make-shift costumes in the mean-time, interviewing college students who might possibly want to watch the two little ones while I work a few days a week, being concerned when the first sitter I hired entered my kitchen upon introductions of ourselves and began taking knives out of my butcher set and looking at them while rubbing them together and making ooh and ahhh sounds,  praying my kids were all in one piece when I got home...
Trick or Treat Main Street

Checking out the goods..


High Five's for Little Caesar!

Fireman Carrying my partner Rachael at our CrossFit Halloween Workout (she was dressed up as a 9 month preggo)

Pull Ups Holds!

Just another day snatching in my Daisy Dukes! haha

Introducing Joe Dirt and Brandy :)
Fairies feeding ducks at the park
I had to also explain to the other parents at Leah's school last week what Autum's " pencil holder" was, after she bent over at parents day at Leah's school while we were waiting to eat lunch with our kids, and said "Look, today my pants fit, my pencil holder NO showing, mommy! Yay, right??"
"We don't eat the stale bread, we feed it to the ducks..."

Hello, Kermit the Frog here..

Grumpy Princess

Happy Hunter!
 Then I had to do some damage control at Leah's new Wednesday night church program after she came home so excited after her first night there and said, "Mom, we prayed for your bottom to feel better at church tonight!" WHAAA???  I injured my hamstring earlier in the week when Autum jumped on my knee while I was sitting in a split position on the I had been using a heating pad and working it out with a lacrosse ball all week long...I asked why she thought I had a hurt bottom and she said, "because you have been wearing a heated diaper all week!!"  Oh my gosh....still not sure whether to just let that one go or try to pick up the pieces on Sunday...
After Leah's first 5K run--Zombie Run! Autum ran/walked about 3/4 mile of it.

Daddy and Leah building their new fort in the backyard!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

2, 3 year olds!

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday Alma and Bobby!
Happy Birthday to you!

We celebrated for 3 big reasons yesterday! A 3-year birthday, a 4-year birthday and Blake's 2-year Metcha Day anniversary!
So the grandma's and grandpa's, great grandma's and grandpa, aunt and uncle, and friends all came over to join the festivities...
The kids opened presents (my kids are spoiled)...played with the toys, tossed aside the clothes, and tore through the cards.  They ate cake, ice cream, veggies and dip, fruit, ham and cheese, crackers, cake pops, and suckers.  Drank some cherry 7-up and played and played and played.

October 2011...hard to believe how little this guy was when we first met him!

Still one of  my all-time favorite pics from Blake's orphanage!

And look at him today!  What a difference 2 years makes!

Leah even got a few presents...she must be pretty special!

Autum got her sucker...all she wanted for her birthday in one lick!

Blake and all his motorized, noisy toys!

Autum and her new bicycle

Blake and his new bike and shark helmet!

Riding away..


Blake and his rocket launcher from Uncle Chad

Stomp on it!

Watch it fly!
And cheer!  He did this for a solid 30 minutes, over and over...

Night-time snack, in all our pajamas, wearing our fairy wings, still eating cake...

Trying on our new clothes..

Posing before church!

Monday, October 14, 2013

No Pinterest

I am NOT crafty.
I try to convince myself I am at each of my children's birthday parties.  So, this weekend we plan to celebrate Blake and Autum's birthday parties with family.  Autum keeps saying she only wants a sucker for her birthday.  No presents, she says, only "guckers." So I know she means business...

So I got the great idea that I could make cake pops to look like lollipops to go along with the lollipop theme of the party.  She would love it!  And so did the planning stages.

I decided yesterday to give the cake pop recipe a trial run just to make sure I knew what I was doing...

I had the girls help me because I just wanted to destroy the kitchen, for some reason, and I thought I had enough patience in my tank, to give it a try.


We had cake flying everywhere, frosting smeared on the fridge, cabinet, and every door in the whole kitchen.  Sprinkles coated the floor enough to be considered a risk for anyone that entered.  Every time I turned around one of the girls was licking the frosting or the cake batter.

We got it all baked, mixed, crumbled, reformed into balls, sticks shoved in, and set-up...
And then everyone starts offering their opinions on why they did not look anywhere close to the picture we were trying to mimic.

Autum, "MMMMM....more frosting? No cake..."
Leah, "Mom, those look gross, but don't taste too bad..."

Jerad, (who had been out back with Blake this whole entire time, decides to re-enter the house while I'm looking over the recipe again trying to figure out where I went wrong) and says, "We are having meatballs for dinner tonight?  Why did you put sticks in them?"


Now to call the Cake Lady.  I am flying my white flag.  Done.

Someone please remind me of this in May...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Halloween Costumes

I always start out excited coming up with Halloween costume ideas for us and the kids in early October.  Then the 31st rolls around and I am scrambling to throw something together from the chest of dress-up clothes we have accumulated through the years.

Poor Blake, he could choose about any type of princess costume he wanted...we have Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella, Belle (minus a few jewels), a pirate princess...

But of course Jerad won't have his only son wearing last year he was a football player for one event and a baseball player for the next.  Thank God for jerseys!

Leah has been every possible red-headed character there is...Pippy Longstocking, Raggedy Ann, Strawberry Shortcake, and Arial...last year she and Autum were olympic gymnasts with their metals and leotards.  Thank God for leotards from gymnastics class.

We have been invited to several Halloween costumes as adults too...but Jerad never is too excited about dressing up in anything other than camoflauge this time of year.  He has enough for all of us to dress up as a camo family, probably.  Fit with the doe urine smell and face paint.  Maybe a set of duck calls to hand around our necks.  Some deer sheds to rub together and the deer feeder pulling behind us in the wagon.  Sorry kids, you have to walk!

So this year I'm vowing to come up with something early, buying or making it and not stressing the few hours before we trick or treat because Leah swears she has been Princess Aurora the last 5 years...even though she'd probably be more accurate to say she's dressed up as a cheerleader the past 5 years.  Her request to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader this year, was met with a unison "no" by her daddy and mommy.

She has in mind some Dracula's daughter costume.  Which I swear she only wants because the costume includes a pair of high-heeled boots.  Which stems from an argument in Walmart last weekend when I wouldn't let her buy a pair of black, 2" high heeled boots from the women's shoe section, with some of her money.  My argument that they were too big, didn't seem to matter as much as me saying she couldn't even walk in them.  I let her try and she took off in a bent-knee, ankle-shaking, foot shuffle, with her arms locked straight out to the side...trying to convince me that this is how I always walk!"

So that costume is still pending in my book.

I really want to dress Blake and Autum up as Miss Piggy and Kermit.  But $30 a piece for an ugly costume is not my idea of fun!  So I may have to get creative.  I asked Autum if she would wear a blonde curly wig and she said "no, only a bwack one, like Wweah!"  (translate: No, only a black one like Leah.) Not sure if she means red or black...we obviously need to work on our color wheel again.

And I just think Blake's skinny little bow legs scream "frog!"

As for Jerad and I...I have lots of good ideas.  But so far he is a no-go!

Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons...for our CrossFit Pathos workout Halloween costume party.  He absolutely refuses short running shorts with slits up the sides...

Or this one...
Couples Plug and Socket

That one speaks for itself...

Or the Incredibles family...but again, black speedo's are out for him..

Last year we dressed as the Veggie Tales for a 5K, but he said he was NOT doing that again.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My BFF Business Woman

So I have apparently been underestimating the smarts of my firstborn, red-headed child.

I decided to dive into the dark hole of papers that make up her book bag last weekend to see what all I have probably missed as far as parent reminders, meetings, special events, fundraisers, and homework.  What I found instead were some trinkets that I KNOW did not belong to us: a snow globe with a bear in it, some jewelry, a small coin purse, Leah's wallet with a large sum of cash and coins in it, some candy, and a few other knick knack things.  I also found a notebook filled with people's names, and some sort of scribbly writing I didn't understand.  Kid code or something. 

At the top was written, "BFF Club."

Now my curiosity was killing me. I brought the subject up as we were driving to the grocery store that evening, just her and I.  I said, "so what is BFF Club?" 

She turns her head quickly and gives me this stair like "oh crap!"

She thinks on it a bit and says "It's my club."

I ask her what it means to be in her which she thinks again for awhile.  As if to carefully word what she says in order to protect her club members or something..

My curiosity peaks even more...

She says, "Well, I'm the boss of my club.  And people sign up to be my BFF's..."

I listen some more.

I say, "That's interesting.  And people sign up just to be YOUR BFF? You must be special...what do you do in your club?"

She replies, " be in my club they have to give me gifts..."

Silence.  As I sort out my careful response, without laughing...and also in complete amazement with her sales skills...this girl has a gift!

I finally say, "So let me get this straight, to be your BFF, people have to sign up on your list and give you gifts?"

"Yeah, kinda...or money."

I can't take it any longer. I gently tell her that she has to return the gifts and money, that to be a true friend means you care for that person no matter what.  That you show them God's love by our words, actions, and heart.  It should not involve lists and gifts.  That is is a feeling and connection a relationship, not gift-giving...

(all the while thinking she could have a career in politics)

And also realizing this explains why a neighbor girl in Leah's class brought over a basket of Starbursts the night before with a note for Leah...for no reason...according to Leah...


She assures me she returned all the gifts and money and I think we are back on track with friendships.  Feeling pretty proud of the lesson she learned, I forget about it.

Until this week, when I check her bag out again and see another "BFF List" and a few trinkets in the bottom of her bag.   

I stomp up the stairs to her room to find out what this new list involves.  And to get an explanation for more gifts...

She says, "Oh mom! Don't worry about it!  Now, my BFF's just rent me their gifts for a night, so they can be in my BFF Club!  I'm not accepting them to keep, just to borrow.  It's all good!"

Oh my word...
Leah at CrossFit Kids


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Life Here

I will not lie, we are running at a fast pace in our new setting.

A typical day goes something like this:
  • 4:51 Alarm goes off (Thank you Sarah Basile for getting me started on setting my alarm at weird times while we were in Ukraine)
  • Hit CrossFit Pathos at 5:15 am to either coach or workout
  • Get home at 6:55 in time to meet Jerad running out the door to work.  He usually passes by filling me in on who's awake, who has a poopy diaper, who is asleep in our bed now, where to drop off bills today, a quick kiss, and he's off!
  • I assess whether I have time to take a quick shower downstairs--all depends on if a child is asleep downstairs on the couch or not--or who all is awake demanding breakfast by 7 am.  Most days a shower is not a priority.
  • I whip up something for breakfast while answering all of Autum's questions as she follows me around the kitchen.."why are you stinky?"  "why are you wet?"  "where's Eeah?" "Bobby poopy?"  "We go to fish park today?"  "We Wwing (translation is swing) today?"
  • While doing this, I get Blake his meds 30 minutes before he can eat breakfast, pack Leah's lunch and repack Leah's lunch if Autum gets into it and eats her candy out of it while I'm in the shower, while staying on Leah's case to keep moving, keep eating, brush her hair and teeth, find homework, get shoes on...(she's not a fast mover in the morning)
  • I push everyone out the front door toward the van while I hurry up and get some clothes on to take Leah to school.  
  • I get outside hoping to see the kids crawling in the van but usually find Autum riding her bicycle, Blake pouring dirt over his head out of the big flower pot out front, and Leah standing out in the street yelling something to the neighbors as they are trying to drive around her and out of our cul-de-sac.
  • It takes roughly 5 minutes to get to school, so if we leave at 7:55 am I can usually get Leah to the front doors before they lock the doors and I have to go sign a tardy slip (only done that a few times)
  • Then I take the 2 little's home to get their breakfast finished and cleaned up, get their clothes on for the day, and decide what all we are going to attempt to accomplish before I have to take Blake to school at 12:20.
  • Somedays we have to go to the store, or according to Autum go ride in the "blue car" (translation blue shopping cart with car on the front they can drive while I push them around store)  This is usually when I realize I may have rushed too much getting everyone ready because I put Autum's shoes on her on the wrong feet (she usually does that herself with no help from me), didn't change Blake's diaper and its hanging down between his knees, realize I haven't taken Autum to the potty in awhile and she is wearing her cloth panties, that I forgot to put make up on or only have one earring in or only shaved one leg...
Most days I have the kids in and out of the van 15 times before dinner.  And it is not fun. I finally invested in a bike stroller and we ride our bikes a lot more to save getting in and out of the van so much--and on gas.  

  • I then get the 2 little's lunch and we make our way to Blake's school, usually with the bike.  After dropping him off, Autum and I will sometimes head up to the gym to coach or workout before heading home about 2:20, just in time to get Autum down for a quick nap and me to eat some lunch before having to pick up Leah and Blake from school.---that is unless the dishwasher repairman shows up and takes forever, and Leah's carpool ride is running late and I can't leave to get Blake on time and the teacher isn't answering...and when I finally get to the school to pick Blake up the teacher informs me I'm late enough (25-30 minutes) that they had to call Child Services and the police...
  •  We usually hit the ground running upon arrival home from school.  Empty bags and lunch pails, change clothes, refill water bottles, go over what's for dinner later because that is a big "need to know" for Leah. And head out again, either to the park to play, to feed the ducks, go to CrossFit Kids, go swim, go run errands, etc.  I get everyone home about 5 pm before I head up to the gym, some evenings, to coach again.  (can you tell I love that place?) Or else I stay home to hang out with the family, get to know the neighbors better, grind through homework with Leah, bathe little's, get lunch stuff together for the next day, etc.
  • Put kids in bed.  Hang out and catch up with Jerad. Head to bed early, and exhausted.  And get ready to go again.
I will say I am feeling more settled in that I've pretty much got my routes down to all the different places we drive.  I figured out the best times and ways to get the kids to and from school on our busy street.  I am getting some actual time to sit down now and don't feel so obligated to unpack another box in my free time.  Or clean up another room or space.

So life is slowing down in a sense.  Thank God!  I was wearing down.  But we are back on the up and up long as I don't get the police called on me again for another 10 years :) 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Zoo Birthday

Fish...feeding the fish.

A quick break.

An attempt at one good pic

This gorilla kept rolling his eyes at Leah...haha!

Then Blake gave it a try.

Fighting over the wooden horse. I'm not standing there to pose, just to keep Autum from shoving Blake off the back. :)

We spent Sunday afternoon at the zoo to celebrate Autum's birthday and Mimi Terri's Birthday.  It was a beautiful day outside and the animals were all out and moving around. 

Blake liked the animals that were in his face and moving.  Forget the elephant swinging his tail 50 yards away, nope!  Not exciting enough.  Give him a snake climbing up the glass, preferably glass he could lick and he would be entertained for hours.  Then everyone else was entertained when I had to drag him away kicking and screaming, every. single. time.

Leah had her eye on every vending machine, pop dispenser, snow cone stand, and gift shop in sight.  As well as every 50 cent viewing and feeding station.  That girl just had her mind set on spending Papa David's money. :)  And eating...she did figure out how to get a penguin to follow her though.  She put on quite a display for everyone tracing the water with a blade of grass as the little penguin with the pink clips on her wings swam right along chasing that blade of grass.  Leah loved the attention and even bowed after her performance for all the by-standers.

Autum just toddled along with us, sipping on her juice box, chewing on her snacks.   Waving at the animals as we walked by, hollering out a hello!  Completely indifferent to one animal from the other.  "Hi Snakey, snakey!"  "Hello monkey, monkey!"  She did keep her distance, though, a little unsure of what to think.  Especially after a random tall bird crossed our walkway and let out a shrill squawk as Papa David assured Autum it wouldn't do anything to her as she walked by...that girl jumped about 100 feet in the air, and had to be held and reassured of her safety until we got back to the caged up animals. :)

We ate a late lunch and headed home.  The little's slept nearly 3 hours.  So I'd say it was a good day!

Happy Birthday Mimi Terri!
Happy Birthday Autum!