Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 2013 ...

first of all, these are in very random order! I don't know why, but I can't figure out how to get pics up to blogger in the order I want them ... and fixing them after the fact is, frankly, a huge pain in the butt! so in crazy order they shall remain! moving right along ... 

I thought I'd share some of the October highlights ... instagram style!!!  cause these are all pics I've shared there!!!

since we carved pumpkins (for the first time) I decided that I could also, finally, give it a try at roasting pumpkin seeds!  the verdict was that they were not salty enough AND they were a bit too chewy.  well, I tried! I guess I need to figure out how to get them crispy and perfectly seasoned - lol!

I shared this little spot in my kitchen, because lately it makes me smile!  I have a morning cup of coffee almost every day now, when I get home from school drop off ... it's my sit down & relax at the computer time!  ... pardon me while I sip ... yum ... I'm back!

I may not be a great housekeeper ... ok, let's face it, I'm not a great housekeeper!  it's partially because I have four little tornadoes lovely blessings running through the house - they have a tendency to make messes and leave them behind.  it's partially because if something doesn't have it's own place, it just gets dumped here & there - and so far I've only had one home that I felt was truly, completely organized to that point.  sigh.  it's also partially because I'm just not great at time management ... I may get sucked into computer "work" (which may or may not be actually things needing done) a little too often these days!  anyway, when I do make the effort and get motivated and get some organizing done, it makes me smile, too!  which is why I was very happy & excited about this the other day:

play-dough is really popular in our house these days ... the boys ask me every day, at various times, if they can play with play dough!  I love this.  not asking for tv or video games, that makes this mama smile!!!  so the other day Liam asked me to make him a pig ... again, I tried, and that's what counts!  right?!

this was taken today!  pumpkin pie spice creamer, it's delicious - and it's limited edition so one must enjoy it while it's available!  I may have bought two bottles of it, for that very reason.  again, yum!
I'd also like to mention that my owl mug is very special, from a Christmas mug exchange last year at MOPS!  we wrote our names on the bottom and the idea was that every time we use our mug, we pray for the person we got it from!  well, the name on my mug washed off but I still think of her (her name is Sarah) every time I use it - which is nearly every day!  I love some with some special sentiment/memory behind it!  plus, I love owls - so it was the perfect mug for me!!!

perfect, it's thursday - "throw back thursday"!!!  this was my "tbt" last week - little kindergartner Jericho!!

I've probably never mentioned Zoey's love for vacuuming!  she loves it so much I bought a little vacuum just for her (my friend had one and one day while watching my kids Zoey got to use it and loved it) ... we pull it out fairly often for our little helper girl!  finally, I got a kid who likes to clean!!!  she's pretty good at picking up her toys too and even picks up the other kids' left behind laundry AND takes it to the hamper or laundry room!  she's amazing!!!

remember how I just said she's amazing?  I bought a refrigerator lock last week, because she discovered she can open the fridge!  it wasn't even 24 hours before she attempted and succeeded at opening the little "lock" latch.  she called it a "buckle" ... oh yes, clever girl!!

Zoey has discovered cookies!
cookie monster!!!

more organization I've done - I love command brand stuff!  I should be their poster child or something?!!!

Zoey did some chalk drawing!
so cute and so fun and that was the day I realized that when put on
time out ... she actually stays there!
that's a first, my other kids never would stay put!!!

Liam wasn't feeling good one day!
he was super hot, but we couldn't find the thermometer to take his temp - I know he
had a fever, though!  he drank plenty, just didn't want to eat!  he just lounged and watched movies
and slept off and on all day!  the next day he woke up good as new!

Zoey is so funny - she can say bath (it sounds more like "baff" - adorable) and often asks for one!  or says something like "I nee uh baff" (translation: I need a bath) ... seriously, could she be any cuter?!  so, I needed to document bath time and this was a fun way to do so!

I have been trying to be good about making my kids breakfast!
that sounds really awful, like I don't feed my kids, but - truth be told - breakfast
had become a meal that I usually left them on their own!
gasp!  what!
I said it ... aside from Zoey, of course, who for the longest time refused to
eat breakfast and would only drink her milk!  so generally breakfast was cereal or
whatever random thing the kids came up with ... with me "cooking"
just a couple times a week for that meal!  
...anyway, I wanted to change that!
of course, we still have cereal some days (and honestly, I still usually let Annicka get her
own breakfast - she's a very picky eater and wastes tons of food, I might add - it's 
annoying to me!) but I pour it and serve it!
my goal is, for the boys, that breakfast is ready and waiting for them when they get
up!  and so far I'm doing pretty good!
all that to say, I made an extra fun breakfast one morning ...
I love making food in fun and/or seasonal shapes!!

we decided to walk to a park one day!  it's a great park and the kids had tons of fun!
also, I'm "teaching" Zoey how to sweep up crumbs!
... and that day I was happy to have gotten some stuff done around the house -
including getting this art display wire up!

and, of course, Liam started school ...
well, he had already started kindergarten at home - but
we made the decision to enroll him in a local charter school!

another goal of mine is to have snacks for the boys when they get home!
some days it works out, others I have to prepare it after we get back ...
and some days I like to make something extra special!!!
Annicka and I had a lot of fun decorating these cupcakes and surprising the boys!!!

we decided to go check out a mall!
it's been so long since we lived anywhere near a decent mall ...
this one was a good one, according to what I like!
and it had lots of fun extras for the kids too!!!

Zoey has definitely been going through one of her "picky eater" phases, sigh.
the kid is seriously gonna turn into a chip!
cheetos, potato chips ... she's not as much of a fan of the little gerber toddler puffy
"chippies" (as we called them), she's moved on to "real" chips!
she also loves crackers and will ask for them along with the sign for "cracker"!
I consider it a very good day when she'll eat even one good meal - 
good meaning: a decent amount of food that isn't chips or crackers!
she also loves chicken fries and fruit ... 
chicken fries may not be the best, but it's the only "meat" she'll
eat fairly regularly!  again, sigh.
anyway, isn't it funny how she went from grumpy pants (she went through a
"I don't want pics taken" phase too) to laughing and happy when I made a game out of it?!
(also note: we put the high chair tray away!  Zoey sits at the table now - big girl)

auntie Layla sent Zoey some super cute dresses - here she is modeling one of them!

Nana & Grandaddy had been with us a few weeks, helping us move!
we said good-bye to them as October began!

Jericho and I were grocery buddies!
of course, we had to grab some lunch at Sonic first!
I love that we live near Sonic again!

I did a bit of decorating around the house ...

these make me a little sad, same as still seeing all of Liam's homeschool materials every day -
still here!  but, I know it was a good decision and knowing that makes my sadness fade!
I had to get creative one day, when he didn't want to cooperate ...
and I loved his family portrait!
it's daddy, mama, Annicka, Zoey, Liam, and Jericho "with a big head" - lol!!!

something else I've wanted to do, but just never have:  home-made applesauce!!
I bought a book that had a crock pot recipe, so easy - and sooo yummy!!!
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

sight words and booklets and reading - OH MY!!!

I can't believe my baby boy is learning to read!  We were doing lots of letters, phonics, etc. at home - but he is truly amazing me with his memorizing reading skills!  LOL!!

I just had to get some videos of these first moments of "reading"!
let me note that one really must appreciate the chaos of my home - pardon all the background kids!
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

our pumpkins ...

 our pumpkins

another first for us, our first time to carve pumpkins!!!
we've had pumpkins before, but they never got beyond just themselves - plain
'ol pumpkins sitting nicely as a front door decoration! 
I wanted to be sure to change that this year!
carving a pumpkin was one of my favorite things as a kid, so I wanted
my sweeties to get to have the fun of it too!
to simplify this, we planned to just carve one - together!
... but I was having so much fun, that I went ahead and carved Zoey's tiny pumpkin, too!

so, we have Annicka's painted "vampire" pumpkin,
our joint effort carved pumpkin,
Liam's easy-peesy Yoda pumpkin,
Jericho's painted "ghost" pumpkin (he did this one at school),
and Zoey's carved heart pumpkin!

they all enjoyed it ...
Liam did not enjoy pumpkin guts, he got a tiny piece on his finger and that was it - he 
was done ... until carving time (it was hard, but he got a turn)!
Zoey liked it too, but it was difficult to have her involved beyond feeling
the inside and observing, she was fine with that though!
and of course the big kids loved it, fought over their turns to carve,
all that fun stuff ... will sibling rivalry ever end?

all in all it was fun and I'm super happy I finally made the effort!
and now we have some cute little "jack-o-lanterns" adorning our front yard!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I want to remember ...

... so, I was sitting here.  thinking so many thoughts.  then I'd think, "oh, should I blog that".  hmmm.

honestly, there is SO much on my mind, I feel like I can't truly begin.  anyone who actually reads this blog (and kids, some day you'll read it in book form) should be prepared for, possibly, some very random and most likely very "long winded" posts!!

... anyway, I was thinking about the blog and how I'm so excited to be getting back into blogging.  admittedly, I have some guilt for the many months that aren't documented on here ... then I remembered something.  it needed to be the way it was.

blogging had somehow gone from something I loved and something I treasured, to a chore.  it wasn't fun, it was something I had to do.  I mean, I can't have adult children that don't have every minute of their lives documented, can I?  it's kind of like the way I hold on to some of their baby clothes, toys, art work, etc. - how can they survive as adults if they don't have all these things?

then it sort of hit me: they can.

plenty of people in this world don't have any such treasures from their childhood.  maybe they care, maybe they don't.  I have (in existence, if not in my possession) many treasures from my childhood - maybe that's why I'm so sentimental when it comes to my kids having these same sort of items.  there are photos of me, baby clothes, baby shoes, art work, school projects, tae kwon do belts & broken boards, sticker books, doll clothes - I even still have some of my toys and my parents still have my bike!

the thing is, we live very different lives.  we're a military family and we move every few years - I, on the other hand, grew from 2 to 20 in the same home.  we have four children - I, on the other hand, was essentially an only child.  so, that's another thing I have had to realize - things are different for us.

now, to my point. 

when I really felt that the blog was becoming a burden, I decided to do something radical: let it go.

it was never meant to be permanent, I think I always knew I'd return to my blog - it is, after all - as I've stated many times, our scrapbook.  literally the only documentation I have of our life as a family.  ok, there's facebook and instagram - but those don't count.

I just needed a break.  I wanted to live in the moment with my kids.  I wanted to do fun stuff and not have to then sit on the computer for an hour blogging about it.  there are still photos - I don't think I could ever stop being "photographer" - however, often times I even backed off of that ... once again, to be in the moment and enjoy it!!!  pretty much anyone who follows my blog is also a facebook friend and/or follows me on instagram ... so the photos from our fun times & our every day stuff haven't been completely lost. 

and now, that time is behind me.  I feel refreshed and I miss blogging and I'm excited to "be back"!  I feel excited that I have this for myself and my kids.  I feel excited that we have this new beautiful home and our future is looking so bright.  we have conquered many hurdles the past few years and I praise the Lord for getting us through all the hard stuff.  now it's time to truly get on track & live life to the fullest ... and blog along the way!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

the Pumpkin Farm animals ...

Pumpkin Farm Slide!!!

Liam went up ... and came back down several times, too "afraid" to do the slide!  A quick trip to the bathrooms and then we went back and he was ready ... and he did it!!!  yay!!!

Pumpkin Farm Train - October 7, 2013

the corn maze!! October 7, 2013

am I back?

I feel like I'm writing a letter to a long lost friend.  actually, lately I've been missing blogging like it's a long lost friend!  there have been some pretty big changes in the last two months:

1) my hubby is back from his short tour (a year) in Korea
2) we moved!!!  we're still in California, but we moved about 7 hours away!
3) Liam is back in school (we decided to stop homeschooling him and he began kindergarten
    at the local charter school last thursday!)

those are the three things that are the biggest & most significant!  but of course there have been many changes for all of us!  both Jericho and Zoey had to start their new schools and I have had to accept that zumba (yah, the blog totally missed out on all my obsession with zumba) may not be a part of my life, hopefully just for a while!

so, that's where we are!  we're getting settled here and I'm feeling like I'm really loving it.  I'm still adjusting to not having my little Liam home with me - and he is still adjusting to school.  Zoey rides the bus to her school, because it's a good half hour drive!!  she adjusted to that quite quickly, though the first day she cried and was very upset ... I walked into the house bawling my eyes out.  to say I'm having some real challenges as a mommy would be very accurate - but I feel like I'm learning to let my babies go, just a bit!

so, am I back? 

well, I sure hope so.

I have been thinking about the blog so much lately and have been missing having this space to document our memories ... I always think of the kids and think: "will they remember this?"

I still take pictures, so I hope that will be enough.  but it means so much more to have the stories and little memories that even I forget about later!  so, there may end up being some "catch up" here and there - of the things that really stick out in my mind! 

for today, I will be sharing a few photos, cause every good post needs a few photos!!!

I will share our photos from our trip a very fun little pumpkin farm ...

 I can't get over these kids!  
I keep staring at these pics and thinking:
"oh my, where are my babies"!!!

 hahaha!  Jericho has become quite the little poser lately!  he was very into pics this day!

 the boys really enjoyed these fun photo props!!

 obviously these pics aren't in order, lol!
we finished our outing with everyone picking their pumpkin!!

 it has been some time since I've even made an attempt at a pic of all four kids, it's just
always so difficult and usually stressful!  ha ha!  but this day, it was spontaneous (I just decided
hey kids, everyone sit there and lets take a pic) and I have to say I was really 
happy with what I got!  my four blessings - I'm so lucky!!!!

 they had a huge slide!  so fun!  
both of the boys went down it!  and after you go down the slide, you get 
to pan for gold marbles!!!

  this was pretty cool!  that's the railroad grand-daddy used to work for!
(again, Jericho the poser - he completely posed himself!)


 the corn maze!
we have some fun videos too - I'll have to see if I can figure out
how to get them on here!  I've forgotten all that technical stuff - lol!!

 we had lots of yummies while there!
garlic fries, hot dogs, carmel candy covered apples, apple pie, ice cream - OH MY!!!

 the sunflower labrinth!  everyone got to pick a sunflower!
(oh and just as I snapped a pic, Annicka told Zoey to stick out her tongue!)

 this pic really seems to describe Zoey!
beautiful, amazing little girl ... with a lot of spunk!!

 a ladybug landed on his glasses!!

 how sweet is this, for real?!

 the petting zoo ... 
Zoey really loved the animals!  so did Liam! 

 we tried and tried to get a cute pic of Zoey - but this was as good as I got!
(wearing a skirt mama made)

jumping over pumpkins! 
I loved watching the boys run through the pumpkin patch ... 
and when Jericho starting jumping it felt just like I was watching a picture perfect moment!

(written October 23, 2013)