holiday, Ramblings, story telling, Uncategorized, Weekending

Long (Exhausting) Weekend

Hello from the other side..

Last week was B-U-S-Y. I hosted our families for Thanksgiving. I cooked pies and cookies all day on Wednesday. I worked a couple of hours at the library and then came home and resumed chopping veggies. I cooked all day Thursday until everyone arrived.

It ended up being 15 people total; my mom ended up sick and I fought crying the whole darn time.

I literally took one picture on Thanksgiving.

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ha! I had never made sweet potato casserole before, so I looked up a recipe. I sent this picture to my mom before putting them in the oven. And, that is all I got a picture of. No pictures of family. None of the crazy arrangement to fit everyone in a seat. Sweet potato casserole.. There are sweet potatoes in there, but I had specific instructions to load it with marshmallows. I made one with pecans and one without. It was so delicious.

Everyone left after they finished eating to go “Black Friday” shopping. My sister and mom-in-law did the dishes for me, and I was so grateful. I was so tired, but my heart was so full. We weren’t really sure what to do since everyone left so quickly. Scott and I wrapped up pajamas and a new Christmas book for the girls to open Thanksgiving night. My kitchen was still a disaster, as you can see in the picture, but we were done for the night.

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These goobers. I love them.

Friday, I woke up at some terrible hour to go ACTUAL Black Friday shopping with my sister. We had a ton of fun and found matching Griswold hats. We tried to be good, we really did. But, we couldn’t resist the darn hats. Amy even played Christmas music from her phone because we are extra. This picture was after coffee. Bless.


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We basically were running or driving every day of the long weekend. We struggled hard on Sunday morning and didn’t make it to church. I have been battling some stupid sinus junk for FOUR weeks, and by Sunday afternoon my throat felt like it was on fire. I should probably give in and drag myself to the doctor, but I am stubborn and hate antibiotics.. I need to face the truth though.

I will resume my small shop spotlight tomorrow. Today, I am focusing on Cyber Monday deals over on my deals and steals page. (This is my favorite deal today!) I am truly so grateful to everyone who orders through one of my affiliate links. I have been able to make enough to pay for all of the kids’ birthday presents and a good chunk of Christmas gifts because of this blog! That is huge for us, so thank you thank you!!!! This is my small business, and I love it.

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family life, Ramblings, story telling, Uncategorized, Weekending

A little Bit of This and That

Hi, friends.

It’s been a while. I’ve just been trucking along. We went to Boo at the Zoo on Friday even though it was so cold and drizzly. We actually had freezing rain in the afternoon. We told the girls that we could go on another day, but they really wanted to go. So, we bundled up and went. No crowds. Imagine that.

Let’s just ignore the mess that is my house. I clean and clean and clean. But, it seems to be fruitless.

Saturday I got to help my niece get ready for her first show choir performance. I was standing outside of the hospital room when she was born. Now, she is this beautiful thirteen year old girl doing something that I loved when I was her age. I cried. I fought tears every time she was performing, and when all of the show choir groups sang “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman, I lost it.

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I don’t even know how she got so grown… or how my own daughters are so grown. Time is such a bitter enemy.

Sunday, we took it slow. Church, rest, choir practice, and church. My mom-in-law drove over and had lunch with us. I didn’t get any pictures. I think I was a zombie by that point.

Monday, my mom invited my older sister and I over for a craft night. It was so much fun. We made Christmas crafts and, yes, turned on Christmas music. (Pandora’s Hipster Holidays station is the best.) We ate snacks and chatted.. it was perfect.

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I felt pretty miserable yesterday. I haven’t been eating the way I know I should, and I’m paying for it. As soon as Scott came home, I laid down for the rest of the evening. It doesn’t help that Harper has been waking up at 4:30 every morning when Scott leaves for work. I have horrible insomnia, and only get a few hours of sleep a night if I don’t take something to help me sleep. I only take something on nights that Scott doesn’t work the next day; so once a week usually. The exhaustion paired with a terrible diet (terrible for my needs) has been a pretty rotten combination.

I rearranged Harper’s room this morning in the hopes that she won’t hear all of the noise in the driveway. What kind of person builds a house with all of the bedrooms over the REALLY loud garage doors and driveway? A cruel one.. that’s who. (whom?) She has a sound machine in her room. I just don’t get it. She can sleep through her sisters’ obnoxious noises, but not Scott leaving for work. If you have any tips to keep me from losing my mind, I’m all ears. I can’t take much more.

I hope that your week has been wonderful and you are getting wonderful autumn weather wherever you are!

family life, Ramblings, story telling, Uncategorized, Weekending

Weekend Recap

This weekend was so full and fun. I love weekends like that. We had summer weather, which is kind of annoying when it’s OCTOBER, but we wouldn’t let that stop us.

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Friday, we had plans to go to Lincoln’s New Salem for their candlelight festival. I invited my mom and dad to join us for the evening, and was so happy that they were able to come with us. We met them for dinner before the event. We made it into town a little before them, so we took the girls to see Abraham Lincoln’s home. Their minds were blown to see this incredible piece of history.

At New Salem, they had all of the cabins open and illuminated with candles. They had a militia camp set up as well as a few other camps so that you could see what live was like in the 1800s. It was SO crowded. I overhead others saying that they had never seen that many people come to the event. We were determined to make it to the tavern for gingerbread and apple cider. Naturally, we headed that way first to get our snacks. We needed fuel for the night, you know?

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We only made it into a few of the cabins before the kids were tired of the crowds and long lines; also a little scared of the darkness. It was past their bedtime, so we expected it to happen at some point. While we were walking, my dad was telling me stories about my grandpa building a cabin with his bare hands. I want to soak in all of the stories about my parents and grandparents. How much history has been lost by people not sharing the stories or remembering the stories?

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Saturday, I had signed my mom and I up for a craft at the library. Scott ended up having to work, and I thought I was going to miss out. My dad saved the day by offering to watch all three kids for me so that I could go! It basically thrilled the three of them to spend a couple of hours with their papa. They talked about how fun it was the entire day. My younger sister and her family got into town in the evening. I popped into my parents’ house to say hi to them and hug them all.

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Sunday started off as it always does- with our church family. We were running a few minutes late, but were still going to make it. Then, we got stopped a train. Then, the train stopped. That is pretty typical for this town, and everyone hates it. After church and lunch, we met up with my mom and younger sister’s family at the apple orchard. IMG_9541

I love this orchard so much. If you live anywhere nearby, you should definitely visit. They have delicious cider slushes, donuts, and all kinds of goodies. The people who work there are some of the nicest.

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They have a playground, hay bale tunnels, and even a toddler playground that is all free for you to enjoy. They don’t charge you for every activity, which is so common with some of the big-name orchards.

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I also got to hug a friend of mine that I’ve really only met in person once, which was a big cherry on top of a great weekend.

I love fun weekends where you get to spend time with the people you love and do all of the fun fall things. I’m holding on until later this week when the weather will actually feel like fall again. The schools are out today, but we are still working away. Instead of taking today off and staying in the house because of the heat, we will take another day off later this week when we can walk to the park and play!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend also, and that you enjoy your Columbus Day!

family life, kids, Ramblings, story telling, Uncategorized, Weekending

Our Weekend in Pictures

Alternate title: Our Sunday in pictures.

Saturday, Scott and his brother left at 3 AM to go to Michigan to watch the football game in Ann Arbor. This left the girls and I solo all day. I invited my parents over for breakfast. I made biscuits and burnt scrambled eggs (lucky them) and my dad made bacon and gravy. It was so much fun having them over. We played a couple games of clue before they headed back home. Then, we loaded up and went to Target to walk around and get out of the house. I typically spend 6 days a week without a vehicle and trapped at home, so when I have it I am GONE. When we got home, I spent HOURS helping the big girls clean their room. Seriously, no one is allowed to bring any toys into this house unless they are a birthday or Christmas gift. I’m sick of spending hours with the junk my kids accumulate. Anyone else? That was our Saturday, and I didn’t take any pictures.

Sunday, we got up and went to church. I love my church family. I am so thankful that God brought us here to be with these people during this time in our lives.

The place that my mom works for throws a big family picnic each year. It was originally scheduled for Saturday, but the heavens opened up and INCHES of rain fell. It obviously was rescheduled. As soon as church was over, we headed home to change and go to the picnic. Unlimited fair food. Heck yes! Bounce houses for the kids to wear themselves out in were available. There were so many crafts and games. The girls got more than one pony ride.

 

 

I asked Chloe if she wanted to go play BINGO with me. She came so close to winning, but neither of us did.

Glitter tattoos and face paint may have been the favorite part. For some reason, Addi always gets super nervous and never wants to have it done. I don’t push it, so that’s why you don’t see her in these. Gah! They are so cute!! We spent ALL DAY here playing and having fun.

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I love days like this. They had a fireworks show once it got dark, and of course everyone loved that.

 

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend as well. Now, it’s back to the grind.

family life, Weekending

Beach Bums

When Scott gets a Saturday off, we rejoice. We decided that if he did get the day off, we would head to the beach.

The weather was calling for scattered showers at the beach we always used to go to. We checked the forecast for a beach north of us, and saw that the storms were past that area. We quickly packed a lunch, our gathre mat, sunscreen, floaties, and ten million towels. We put the wagon in the van so we could drag all of our stuff to our spot on the beach, which was a HUGE help.

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Hitting up the beach with three kids is no joke. So. Much. Stuff. It is always worth it though. It was overcast and a little on the cool side when we arrived, but the water was warm. We went right in and swam until everyone was hungry. I may have nudged them to hunger because Mama was hungry. haha! After a healthy lunch of bologna/ham sandwiches and chips, we reapplied our sunscreen and went back into the water. acs_0058

These people are my favorite. Sandy feet and all.

I may go overboard with the sunscreen. haha! When your four year old goes in to have a huge portion of her skin removed because the doctors fear it may be cancer, you don’t mess around. (If you remember from years ago, it wasn’t cancer- Praise God.)

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I am sharing the sunscreen we used, because it is amazing. A lot of times, kids still end up with very light tan lines even with sunscreen. They had NONE. No harmful rays got through. It sprays on white, so you can see where the coverage is going. Just rub it in. It is also ocean-friendly. (Read about the importance here.) Plus, it is free from all of the crap that is just as harmful as a sunburn. This is not at all sponsored (although I would absolutely love that), I just really love it and am overly passionate about using a CLEAN sunscreen.

Lake life may be the best life. I hope your weekend was wonderful.

Sources: \ gathre mat / wagon / puddle jumpers / Addi’s swimsuit / cooler / my suit / healthy human bottle (15% your first order) / sunscreenveggie-go’s snack /

 

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family life, Ramblings, story telling, Uncategorized, Weekending

Weekending

Happy Monday!!

Scott had to work this weekend. I was really bummed because there were several fun activities going on around town on Saturday. When he works, I am without a car unless I want to wake our kids at 4 AM. Uh, nah. My brother-in-law was awesome and brought his truck over for Scott to borrow so I could have our car.

I was so excited to be able to get out of the house. Then, Friday night came. I laid down in bed and I heard it. The bark. Just one. I let it go and laid down. I have insomnia, so I toss and turn FOREVER. After an hour or so, Harper started crying and “barking” a ton. I jumped up and threw my robe on. I turned the shower on as high as it goes and rushed into her room to bundle blankets around her. Outside into the cold air I went. No slippers or socks, in my bath robe. Thank goodness it was dark. I stood outside with her for about 10 minutes while she laid her head on my chest. Then, I took her into the bathroom so she could breathe in the steam. I put some eucalyptus rub on her, filled her diffuser with some RC and a little eucalyptus, and put her bag in bed. She  was really restless and took a long time to get back to sleep. She was up and down all night. I got maybe 2 hours of sleep total. I wanted to cry.

If you don’t know what bark I am talking about, I’ll tell you. When kids get croup, their cough comes out like a seal barking. Their airways are constricted, so air coming out sounds super weird. Harper got bronchitis when she was three months old. We had to do steroids and breathing treatments. It was awful. They warned me that she was going to be susceptible to lung infections since she got that at such a young age. Thankfully, the only problem is that she gets croup frequently. I know how to treat it, and I know when I need to get her to a doctor or the ER. Only once have I told Scott we needed to call an ambulance. We lived close to the hospital and it was faster for him to drive. Most of the time, I’m able to treat it at home, and she only struggles for one night. No matter how many times you have been through it, it’s a terrifying sound.. hearing your child struggle to breathe.

I always think of the parents of medically fragile babies. That is their every day.

Anyway, I knew we shouldn’t go traipsing all over town. Harper was running a slight fever on Saturday morning. I decided that I would go for coffee, we could grab lunch and sit in the car by the lake and eat it.

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Our Starbucks drive-thru is ridiculously busy every time. This was after 10 minutes of waiting..

I took the girls to the little park where Scott proposed to me. We rolled the windows down while I finished my lunch. The big girls inhaled theirs on the way, and Harper didn’t have any appetite.

I decided that since no one else was there, we would get out of the car and I would take them over the hill to see where Scott asked me to marry him. They are at an age where they love hearing these stories. I hope they remember them.

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Even though we didn’t play much, it was still really nice to get some fresh air and sunshine.

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I have been wanting to get my hair chopped for quite a while. I have been letting the platinum grow out for quite a while, and it was looking pretty trashy. I sent a message to a friend that cuts hair and asked what her schedule was like at the salon. She said she had some time that day! What?! She squeezed me in after Scott got off. I was able to donate my hair, and I feel so much lighter. My head doesn’t hurt. Ahh. I love a fresh cut.

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That is the best picture you are getting. My skin is stressed out; adult acne is the worst. I have huge bags under my eyes. I’m working on self-love, y’all. But, I’ve self-hated for so long that its a hard thing to overcome.

Harper slept really well on Saturday night. Scott went to morning service with the big girls at church. We did some yard work while it was warm out, which was really nice. We are working on removing a lot of the rock from our back yard. It is in random places, and gets drug all over the place. When we pull that out, we’ll put some now soil down and put grass seed out. I need to go out and take some “before” pictures. After a few hours of working outside, I went to choir practice and evening service. It’s nice that we can take turns right now when a kid is sick instead of me always having to be the one home.

Unfortunately, Harper had a rough night again last night. It wasn’t as awful as Friday night. We actually got some sleep. I’m hoping it will be over soon. She’s not grumpy at least, but it’s really hard to hear your kid struggling so much at night. Croup is the pits.

I hope your weekend was full of love and family.

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