Friday, October 31, 2014

Week In The Life 2014 | Thursday Words & Photos

As far as the Week In The Life Project goes Thursday was a bust.

Three usable pictures. Hardly enough by mediocre standards, but guess what, I don't really care. You know why? Each one of my pictures tells significant parts of our stories.

Our day started with a trip to Northwest Eye Surgeons. Eric drove into work (rather than the van pool) so that he could go to this appointment with Daniel and me. I love that about him. He doesn't expect me to do these things alone, doesn't want me to. It's been a year since Daniel's last check up. I had been noticing his eye pulling when he was tired, so I was apprehensive about today's appointment. Daniel had eye surfer when he was in first grade, to this day it has been the most challenging part of this parenting journey I have had to walk with him. It was very, very hard. You can read that part of the story here.

Dr. Cadera, after a thorough check-up, where they take all kinds of measurements and rattle off all kinds of numbers that I have no reference point to understand. At the end he swings around on his rolling chair and says, "Stable. The best word to describe his eyes are stable." Thank you, God!

After the appointment we headed to Walmart to pick up some fairy wings for Gracie. Her heart was set on being a fairy and I didn't know how I was going to pull of making a set by that evening. So five dollars and we had the perfect set.

Later that night, as we waited in line at the school's Halloween party I stood behind her. Every time she saw someone she knew she hollered out their name and waved enthusiastically. After the fourth or fifth little friend I leaned into Eric and whispered, "I think she came as a social butterfly." I don't know where she gets it, neither Eric nor I is what anyone would call social. I adore that about Gracie and at the same time feel awkward at how to encourage and support her social strengths.

A huge part of the day that was undocumented in picture was the process of making Daniel's costume. His heart was set on being "Steve" from Minecraft. He'd made a pickaxe in his wood shop, which he planned to use, so I only had to make the head. But after discussion we realized he wasn't allowed to have a mask/face covering, so he decided on the "diamond helmet". I spent hours working on transforming a box into a helmet. Then when he got home Mercy informed him that the pickaxe wouldn't work because they couldn't bring anything that "COULD" draw blood. So, one hour before we needed to leave and I am madly cutting out a Minecraft pickaxe from the bottom of a Costco box, using a kitchen knife because it was too thick for my scissors. Daniel told me about a half a dozen times that he loved me. It was worth it to see him smile. And so thankful that it didn't need to be pinterest worthy to please him.


Week In The Life 2014 | Wednesday Words & Pictures

Wednesdays just might be my favorite day in the week. Around here it's late start, which means school is delayed and hour and twenty minutes. It changes the whole morning, making it feel almost like Saturday. Everyone sleeps in. And after the kids are "ready" they almost always have time to do other things. Gracie had begged me to find and print out some color-by-number sheets. So both she and Mercy spent time coloring. Then they had a few minutes of tablet time before school, Minecraft.

And I had a few minutes to upload my Tuesday photos and post before driving the kids to school.

On Wednesdays I drive the kids to school because I help out in Gracie's classroom. She loves it. I would help in the other kids' classrooms, but their teachers are both men who are newer at the teaching thing and are still figuring out how best to use volunteers. Mrs. B., Gracie's teacher is in her 29th year teaching and has utilizing volunteers better than any other teacher I have ever encountered. I never stress about volunteering in her classroom.

I watched Castle while folding several loads of laundry and cleaning my kitchen.

And today I worked out on the treadmill for the first time in months. It felt good and awful at the same time.

Time spent lesson planning today too, for the children's program at church. Easiest to do in a quiet house.

Tonight's dinner: Korean Beef with rice, salad, peas and fresh veggies. Right now Daniel chooses carrots, Mercy chooses celery, and Gracie chooses sugar snap peas. We watched Duff's Ace of Cakes, a current favorite with the kids, during the second half of dinner. (We almost always start out talking about our day and what we did before we watch something.)

We had to go to Costco because the printer has been running low on multiple ink cartridges. Every trip it seems is crazy expensive. But I love getting fruits and veggies at Costco. So much cheaper than the grocery store. We can usually get through the produce before it goes bad. (Sometimes it's hard to get through the lettuce because right now only Eric and I, and sometimes Mercy eat salad.) So thankful that Eric is always willing to go.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Right Now I'm Thankful For | Week One

My friend, who I am blessed to know in real life is starting a meaningful link up where we dwell on what we are thankful for, right now.

Beautiful. Meaningful. So of course I want to join in.

Here is my Right Now I'm Thankful For List:

Right now I am thankful for my kitchen helper.

Right now I am thankful for my husband who has started making my desk, the one we have been talking about for over a year.

Right now I am thankful for my former reluctant reader who just discovered the lexile rating for her Judy Moody book and felt immense pride.

Right now I am thankful for selfies taken at the bus stop.

Right now I am thankful for an eye check with the specialist that resulted in a "stable" diagnosis.

Right now I am thankful for my "sweet fairy" who is really a social butterfly, despite her parents.

Document your thankful heart over at Angela Strand's blog.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week In The Life 2014 | Tuesday Words & Photos

Week In The Life is a week long project Ali Edwards (an awesome scrapbooker and designer I've followed for years) where you capture and document a week of the everyday stuff of life. Every single time I do it, I'm glad I did. It is a bit of work, but worth it.

Here is our day two.

Right now all three kids are making their own lunches. Sometimes I help Gracie make her sandwich, peanut butter.

Right now the kids all eat cold cereal for breakfast, which they can get themselves. Honey Bunches of Oats is a favorite.

Right now is the school book fair. They all took their "spendable" money so they could shop. They all came home with a book. Unfortunately both Gracie and Mercy came home with the same title.

Right now I help Gracie get her shoes on. She's probably old enough that I should make her do it on her own. But her tennis shoes are snug and they have "Pace" everyday, so she needs to wear tennis shoes. So I help every morning.

Right now tablet time is a BIG motivator. If they are all ready to go and have a few minutes before the bus is supposed to arrive they get tablet time. This morning it was about ten minutes for Daniel and three for Mercy. Three and she still does the work of getting out. Like I said, BIG motivator. Gracie is even motivated by getting to watch. (Thank you Uncle Andy for the tablets.)

Right now the laundry basket has been sitting on the couch with clean laundry in it for three days. Today I will fold it. Maybe.

Right now I love, love, love waiting with them at the bus stop. It's seriously one of my favorite things. Often we read. When I take the camera out they have fun taking pictures.

Right now I fold laundry while watching something on hulu. It helps motivate me to make it happen. It's working right now.

Right now I am more in love than ever with this man of mine. He's the best for me. Love him.

Right now when/if the homework gets done early we can take impulse evening trips.

All three kids voted to go see Grampy. So we did.

Right now we have leftover cupcakes from Sunday's birthday party celebration at the Blue's. The kids have been working through them at dessert time before bed.

Right now we are working through the fourth season of Alias after the kids are in bed. Such a silly show, but brainless and her "aliases" always crack me up.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week In The Life 2014 | Monday Words & Photos

Week In The Life snuck up on me. Since Ali Edwards changed her blog I haven't been quite so faithful to visit. I still get her posts in my in bin, but I just haven't been paying as much attention. So there has been no preparation, just life happening here. I haven't been good about taking pictures lately, so hopefully this week will be redemptive in documenting now.

It's about capturing right now for us. I can do that. I want to do that.

Right now books are prominent. We read whenever we can fit a little (or a lot) in. At the bus stop. After school. After dinner. In bed before the lights go out. Mercy is loving tag-team reading. She reads a page. I read a page. She follows along when I read. I think she's like me, a stronger sight reader than phonetic reader. A handicap, but still we move forward in our strengths. We're reading Judy Moody together and loving it. We just got a mammoth stack of books from the cousins. Mercy felt encouraged when I looked up some lexile numbers on the books she was reading (I love It made her realize she's smart. And my heart felt proud and achy and so full of love for that girl of mine. Adore her.

Right now our counters are a mess. They do get cleaned up at least once every day, but a lot of the day they are looking like this, used. And I am trying to live with the mess, passing less judgment on myself and extending myself a little grace and mercy.

Right now I'm the last one out of this bed in the morning, so making it falls to me. And it doesn't always get done. I know what the Fly Lady says. Sometimes my sink doesn't get cleaned either. Gasp. Again, a little grace and mercy is nourishing my soul right now.

Right now I do get dressed every day. It's been a long time since we've had a pajama day in our house. There is always something that needs doing away from home it seems. I do often go to the bus stop in my sweats, however. Today it's my work-at-the-church day, after Weight Watchers weigh-in. A one-time schedule change.

Right now I enjoy the days that very few people are at work. I get more done without distraction. I only have to be there until the job gets done, so the days without many co-workers in the office or children's programs running in the church generally mean shorter work days. Much of my job is relational, however, so the days with minimal people interaction are scarce. I got to leave work before 2PM and I felt a little bit giddy!

Leaving work early made me feel more ready for the kids and hubby when they walked in the door about 4:15.

  • 4:15 Kids off bus. Snack of apple slices. I drink coffee while going through folders of papers. Mercy shows off her timed subtraction test where she hit the benchmark and got her name added to Mr. C's Wall of Fame. Snuggled with Gracie while she talked about her day. Flew through Daniel's paper stack.
  • 4:30 Caught up with Eric in the bedroom. We're in the habit of spending five to ten minutes when he gets home just reconnecting without the kids talking in our ears, making sure we're on the same page for the evening plan.
  • 5:15 Eric calls Del Fox Meats to tell them how the half a cow we purchased from a local cattle raiser needs to be cut and wrapped.
  • 5:50 Dinner is ready. Crunchy fish and sweet potato fries with salad, fresh veggies, and peas. Get ready to pray and Daniel starts to cry and say something about homework. I tell Daddy and the girls to get started while Daniel and I head back to the bedroom to talk. He's overwhelmed by his homework. IXL has already taken nearly an hour and he still isn't done. Plus he has XtrMath and reading to do. We talk about tackling the easy tasks first and getting them moved off his to do list, but first eating dinner so he can use his full brain power.
  • 6:20 Eric clears up dinner dishes while I help Mercy read. Twenty minutes down. Send her to work on Math. Get Gracie started on her reading.
  • 7:00 Mercy does extra reading on ThinkCentral. Daniel has been working on his homework. Still not done. Multiple moments of frustration and tears. Now Daddy is sitting with him while he works, encouraging. So thankful Eric is helping tonight.
  • 7:45 Everyone is finally done with homework. Pajamas are one. Dessert enjoyed. Teeth brushed. Let them go to the garage to work in Daniel's "workshop". Lot of nails being pounded into wood scraps. Duct tape being wrapped around wood.
  • 8:10 Call them in for family devotions and prayers.
  • 8:25 In bed listening to a book on CD from the library.
  • 8:30 Eric pays bills. I finish cleaning up the kitchen from dinner.
  • 9:00 Eric and I finish watching an episode of The Amazing Race we started the night before and eat frozen fruit.
  • 9:30 Eric and I head to bed. Try to watch an old episode of House Crashers in bed on his laptop, but it's acting up. Give up and go to sleep instead.

That's more story captured than I've documented in a long time. So worth the extra effort.

Find out more about Week In The Life HERE. It's not too late to jump in!