Monday, September 16, 2013

More School Days

I would be remiss not mentioning the start of school for two more cuties, one of whom began school for her first time!  Big things a'happening around here...

J started last Monday.  He said he's one of two tallest in his class--I believe it!
Sweeties.  V has been so enthusiastic about posing for first day of school shots with her siblings. ;) 

His first days have gone really well and reports have it that his class is a really sweet bunch of kids.  Woo hoo!

This little lady started on Tuesday--we dressed her in apples to start the year right! 
Can't wait to see how much she grows and learns this year.  She is so excited!

Big brother is always good for a few laughs.
Here we are outside her classroom.  She has been tentative heading into class, acting shy and coy, but then diving into play time.  She seems to really like her new teachers, who are second-to-none.  We feel lucky to have her first school experience already be so positive!

Next update: Uncle C's wedding from last weekend!  It was a beautiful weekend and we had a ball...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

School days

Our morning got off to brilliant start--it was the first day of school, after all.

Boys were definitely sleepy upon their wake-up, but then diligently set to the task of getting ready.  Our morning routine is pretty set in stone, thankfully...  First dress, then teeth, then downstairs to put on shoes, breakfast, and finally, play.
M perfected the morning routine last year.  He's a carrot-chaser, always seeking more minutes of playtime.
This guy was certainly excited this morning and we're hoping it lasts.  Last year he was a little rough to wake up in the morning.  Definitely not showing signs of being a morning person! ;)
 I later made them do our obligatory first day of school pictures.  We were going through the motions when we looked down and saw this little lady participating in the shots...
I have four words for this A-DOR-A-BLE.  Melt me!  Can I begin to tell you the joy this sweet angel brings all of us?
You can see the boys are very close in height!  We say that M makes up for it in personality. ;)
Here's a lucky shot of mom and dad, the forever cheerleaders, taken by M.
One last shot with "little" brother.  He'll be joining them next year in school.  
Off they go!  M waved until the last possible moment.
The littles and I hung around for breakfast and dress and then hightailed it to the gym.  Mama was SOO happy--an endorphin addict through and through.  Note to self: spin class does not serve well as a "recovery" workout from boot camp class.  My legs are so sore!  The kids enjoyed their time at the child watch with MG opting to stay an additional 20 minutes so she could play with the group outside.  J, V, and I socialized with friends in the lobby.  Then we returned home and had some nice playtime.
MG loved working with these shapes.
V toodled around getting into trouble, as always. ;)
And J enjoyed some quiet time playing with Legos all by himself.  Magnifico!
As I wrap up this post, I can see J and MG scootering on the driveway, each wearing his/her backpack.  I think its safe to say they are excited for school starting next week.

Spaces in our togetherness--it's just what the doctor ordered.
God bless,

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Blogging The Real

MG grew very fond of horses while at camp
We are one Maine trip, two birthdays, and one final week of summer vacation with its various adventures (bowling, chuck-e-cheese, etc.) in the blogging hole...  Can you see why I've been avoiding getting back on here?!

Rather that try to bite off such a large update, I'm merely going to start with today and go from there.  As we commence, I'll try to fit in bits and pieces from the last few weeks.

I will say that, while fun, our most recent days have also been stressful ones.  A few of our children have been going through transitional phases simultaneously, making GG and my life somewhat of a stressful moment-to-moment sitcom.  Parenting is no joke, people.  I am living that mantra and then some as GG and I sort through issues and attempt to steer our crew on the straight and narrow.  Tough stuff!!  Of all the kids, our J seems to be going through the roughest spell.  He is defiant, edgy, and downright mean, at times.  We are praying intensely for him and hoping the start of school in the next week will mean a return to more structure, better bedtimes and more sleep, and *hopefully* better resulting behavior!  Add in a feisty, nap-deprived 3yo and a feisty, strong-willed 8yo (not naming names, of course! ;) and we are at our limits.  So if you happen to think of our family, please humbly add us to your prayers.  We would be so grateful.

Above all, we know we are blessed beyond measure with everything.  Bumps in the road are inevitable.  We just need to remember to reach for His hand when we stumble.  Going it on our own is never the right solution.

But back to today...  We attended Mass as a family this morning.  I dropped the girls off in the nursery where we discovered MG had no underpants.  lol.  What???  Had she taken them off?  Did I put any on?  The answer is still a mystery, but thankfully we remedied the situation quickly with an extra diaper.  Whew! ;)  Thanks to my friend and blog reader, Shannon, for laughing through that one with me!!

Later at Mass, GG and I were less than impressed by our three lazy, sleep-deprived sons.  They were barely going through the motions and needed a ton of prompting for simple standing/sitting/participating.  No way, Jose!!!  So, how do you remedy laziness?  Why, give them naps, of course!  GG was on it.  After church there wasn't time to get donuts, there wasn't energy to eat them, there wasn't ANY time for anything because boys were just too tired.  We had to get home for naps!!  It was natural consequences at its finest. When we arrived home, the boys had to go straight to bed and stay there until we called them down.  No one ever fell asleep, but you better believe we left them there for over an hour!!  They were so relieved when we let them come out.  ;)

Meanwhile, the girls played and GG and I enjoyed a quiet Sunday brunch together.  It was lovely.  And so encouraging.  We were having a parental pep talk, lifting up the other on this parental journey.  We've had to have a few of those lately.  It was our second pep talk in 24 hours.  Last night was my turn for despair, but thankfully GG was there to offer words of hope and encouragement.  When every turn feels like a failure, you start to take it personally--"Is it me?  How can I work so hard and see so little fruit??"  Thankfully we are committed to the marathon journey and are chalking this up to end-of-summer sleep deprivation (big time!), lack of schedules/structure, and need for change.  School starts in 2 days, so we're hoping to snap out of this conundrum soon.  Spaces in our togetherness are more important than ever...

The good news is this afternoon played out beautifully.  The boys finished summer reading reports, played the piano, tinkered with Mine Craft, and squirreled around playing a game with swords and prisoners.  The girls had a tea party, read stories, tinkered on their own...  GG enjoyed a conversation with a good friend and finished his night choosing his fantasy football team.  And I, well, I filled in the gaps while sipping coffee and relishing time with the family.  I also had the chance to tutor a student in the midst.

We finished with kids in bed early, reading aloud from a biography of Amelia Earhart, prayer, and snuggles all around.  Of course with a lot of correction in-between. ;)

Keepin' it real.
Life is good.  God is better.

God bless,

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