Weekend Wrap-Up

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bluebonnet pictures! It happened! I won't get kicked out of Texas!

(seriously, though, I have no excuse for not making this happen before. It took like, ten minutes to find a good spot, and the girls thought it was awesome, and we took seven billion pictures, and that was that. It's not like it's a complicated tradition.)

We also got to go OUT on a DATE with FRIENDS, which was awesome. We went to a popcorn show of Journey to the Center of the Earth, and ended up falling terribly in love with popcorn shows. Aaron was slipping handfuls of popcorn into random people's bags when they got too close. He's going to take a group of his guys to the show at the end of the week, and we are going to take our summer kids there as one of our excursions FOR SURE. 

On Saturday I got the big girls dressed up so they could go to a fancy high tea party with their Gran. Despite my best efforts, I could find only ONE pair of leftover white gloves at Target, and I was filled with terrible dread at the prospect of the ensuing sister-battle. I thought about just skipping the gloves altogether, but you know, sometimes there isn't enough of everything to go around. Sometimes life isn't tidy and even, and I want them to know how to cope. I explained that the store only had one pair of gloves left, but that I knew both of them were going to want to wear the gloves. "What should we do, babes? How can we solve this?"
(I think I said this with my eyes shut and my face all scrunched up...I felt like I had just activated a bomb FOR FUN BECAUSE THINGS WERE GETTING DULL AROUND HERE)

Both girls stretched out their hands supahfast, but then Avalon stopped. "Maybe Lainey should get to wear them to the tea party and I can wear them tomorrow."


I got to spend an afternoon cleaning and organizing my costume room. And making friends with the fancy sewing machine that our PTF gave me for costumes. Oh, it is marvelous. Now the costumes are all organized, the room is clean, I know exactly what remains to be done (a lot! Don't let this fool you into thinking that I'm not still completely in awe of how much is left to make and how little time remains!) and for the first time ever, I have a pile of delegate-able tasks. Now when people ask if they can help, I can say yes. As opposed to previous years, when I would just whisper I don't know what I'm doing...no one can help me now

Not really! That would be overly dramatic! Wait...

Speaking of delegating... I finally stopped trying to defy the laws of physics every Sunday afternoon, and asked Aaron to do the grocery shopping for me while I clean the whole house, put away all the laundry, and prepare everything for the coming week. Oh. My. Lord. We are doing this from now on. I still worked like a house elf, but I had time to get everything done without feeling like a small hurricane rather than a person. I even did some extra baking, because hey, I'm already in the kitchen. Banana bread! Scones! The boys were very happy about this. AND all the meals are prepped for every evening this week, so I can spend more time playing with my babies after school, which means I will maybe not be a puddle of guilt at bedtime each night because I made these people but I'm so busy taking care of them that I never get to spend any TIME with them! So much win, and all from asking for help with ONE task. I feel like there's a lesson here, or something.

And now for another crazy week! Let's do this!

Quick Takes

Friday, April 25, 2014

Another one of my babies got into college! We found out on Wednesday night (when Aaron was taking some of the boys to yet another several-hours-away college try-out) that Shawn was accepted into Oklahoma Wesleyan and made their basketball team. I'm so proud of this boy! He transferred to Flint for his senior year, so we haven't known him long, but we've all been amazed by his leadership and character...and by his light, if that makes any sense. Also by his crazy basketball skillz. 

Now ask me how I feel about all these try-out trips. A little selfish, and therefore kind of ashamed of myself, is probably the most accurate answer. During basketball season I just have it in my head that I'll be solo-parenting every afternoon and most nights of the week. That's just how being a coach's wife goes, and since I feel (adamantly!) that what Aaron is doing is a ministry in a very real sense, I want to support him in it, and I try not to whine too much. But basketball season is over, and ordinarily this would be my time to NOT solo-parent. My mind-set is in the off-season, and I've had to remind myself several times how happy I am that I'm married to a man who will drive his players to as many try-outs as it takes to secure their future success. Pouty Mode OFF.

This year's school play is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat...which is going to be awesome! I've had my traditional small panic attack that the costumes won't be done in time, which fueled a massive let's-DO-this afternoon yesterday when our schedule was disrupted by a field trip and we had an extra long drama period in the afternoon. So now I'm not panicking, I'm just obsessing. That's just where my head is going to be for the next two weeks. It doesn't help that everyone in my house has been completely marinated in the soundtrack for the show. Someone is unconsciously singing part of it at all times. Then others join in involuntarily. Then we all cry, because THIS IS NOT THE SORT OF THING WE BROTHERS LIKE TO HEAR.

The entire school went on a field trip to see a production of Peter Pan yesterday. I love field trips to see plays no matter what, but I was extra excited about this one because it was the whole school. I'm always busy teaching my own class when Avalon and Lainey's class goes on field trips, so I rarely get to go with them. Yesterday Aaron and I both were able to be with them during the field trip, and they were so happy! About that, and about making the high school students who were riding with us play a strange version of I Spy in the van. "I spy a...tree." "Okay...? Is it a tree?" "HOW DID YOU KNOW?"

I made the mistake of doing the girls' hair in milkmaid braids for school picture day a few weeks ago, and now they want me to do it ALL the time. Which is problematic, seeing as two sets of milkmaid braids is a bit time-intensive for school mornings. I love how it looks, though. I hate that I'm always sending them to school in last-minute ponytails. Really, the obvious solution is that I need a Time Turner.

No really.

Phoebe has taken a few steps every day this week. Last night she took FIVE in a row, but it was while I was unloading the dishwasher so naturally she had a BUTTER KNIFE in her hand at the same time. Gah. Can we just work on talking now? I've changed my mind about the whole walking thing.

We are taking the girls to take pictures in the bluebonnets today. No, really, I mean it. It's happening this year. I'm pretty sure that I will be kicked out of Texas if I go any more years without taking bluebonnet/baby pictures.

More Quick Takes here!

A Year of Phoebe

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Such a difference a year makes...














And she took her first completely independent, not-touching-anything steps last night, apparently wanting to make sure she got that milestone in before she turned one officially.

She's kind of perfect.

In Which Easter Weekend Was Fun!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Phoebe's first birthday is tomorrow (how this is possible, I don't even know) and since it falls so close to Easter this year, and she is one and doesn't know the difference yet, I cheated and gave her an Easter birthday. It's like the planets aligned for my laziness, just this once, but I can't help feeling a little bad about it. I really don't want that whole Third Child thing to go much farther than I unsubscribed from those Weekly Milestone emails, and I don't sanitize her pacifiers in boiling water if they touch the floor.

But I think she had fun, and we'll make up for it next year with a great big NOT Easter party, theme to be determined by Avalon, who is rapidly becoming as obsessed with parties as her mother.

(No, seriously, she's already collecting ideas for her own birthday party next February. Spoiler: it's going to be a Frozen party. Totally didn't see that one coming.)

So without further ado, Easter/Birthday Weekend pictures!

Weekend Wrap-Up

Monday, April 14, 2014

 This past weekend was very, very full. We did! All! The things! Really though, to be reasonable, that is what every single weekend is going to feel like until the school year ends. April and May are filled to bursting (with good things!) each year. It's just the nature of the season, and I'm starting to learn to go with it. Maybe even love it, and it's not really my nature to love so much activity. Ironically.

On Friday night the Flint upper school had a dance - the second one we've ever had, and it was wonderful. It probably wasn't what they were going for, but I couldn't stop whispering to Aaron, "They're so ADORABLE!"

I mean, they were cool and edgy and hip. I felt old and out of place and I can't understand the music these kids today dance to.

The dance music part is maybe not complete sarcasm, but mostly just because our fire alarm system has been messing up lately, and the last time it went off I was trying to shoo my class outside and then I realized that several of the students were, in fact, DANCING to the fire alarm.

But really, they were so cute that I wanted to die.

(Hey! Chaperons! Leave room for the Holy Spirit!)

We got home around eleven, and then had to get up again at four to drive one of Aaron's senior basketball players to a closed try-out five hours away. I wanted to go so I could check out the school and talk to Admissions, but also because if I didn't go I would spend the entire day worrying about car accidents and falling pianos and zombie invasions, and obviously if I was there I could protect everyone with my imaginary force field. I know this makes no rational sense, but it makes extremely good Mama Sense. Yes, it does, because I said so.

(Imaginary force fields were about all I was able to contribute to our collective safety, too, since Aaron wouldn't let me drive at all, preferring to slap himself in the face repeatedly when he got sleepy. There's either a commentary about my driving skills or his driving-control-freak tendencies here. Maybe both.)

SO it was thanks to a heroic combined babysitting effort on the part of both of our mothers that I was able to go with, and thank goodness for both of them! 

 (Totally not an over-use of Instagram filters, y'all. That's just what it looks like from inside a force field. Keep up.)

Then we drove five hours back and went to bed at like nine thirty because, wow. So tired!

I have exactly zero pictures from Sunday, because I spent the day basking in the company of my babies and I didn't want my phone anywhere near me. We had lots of weekend chores to get caught up on, but we took plenty of breaks to snuggle and read Beatrix Potter stories. It was pretty awesome.

And now, back into the fray! It's a whole NEW busy week!


Monday, April 7, 2014

He is sixteen, but he looks like an angry, grown man. He's yelled at two teachers already today, and he's not particularly happy with me for suggesting he do his homework before he leaves school for the day. "It's an easy one this weekend," I point out. "Just an illustration of something we read about this week."

She is three and a half and she comes flying up to hug me and tell me about her day. Midway through her sentence she spies him hanging back in the hallway and her smile deepens. "That's my friend! Mama! He's my friend!" She waves enthusiastically, and his smile lights up, genuine and bright.

"Can you help your friend? He has to draw a picture and he needs help." I say. Her eyes widen.
"Help him draw a picture?"
I nod, and she takes off, grabbing him by the hand and pulling him to my classroom. They sit at my table, heads bent together over blank sheets of paper, and I keep out of the way. She chatters away, drawing her picture and drawing him in. In just a few minutes he has completed his assignment, beautifully.

People wonder and worry about us having all these teenagers around our babies, but I can count on one hand the times I've had to snap out a fierce, "Don't you ever say that around my girls." Most of those times, I was drowned out by the wrath of the other boys. But all the times like this, where I've watched innocence and sweetness prevail and be cherished...I can't even begin to count.

Quick Takes

Friday, April 4, 2014

So, the flu (I think. I'm pretty sure.) happened this week! That was fun!
I couldn't believe that I was sick for so long...literally an entire week. I didn't actually know that I was allowed to be sick and out of commission for an entire week. I called in sick two days in a row, even. It was weird.

This guy took over for me, though, and took care of everybody. We're pretty lucky to have him, I think.

Last Thursday we had a baby shower at Flint, and it was SO much fun. I always think the school feels like a big family, but it's nice to get to see it. Plus the theme of the baby shower was the Green Lantern, which, um, awesome! I was already feeling kind of sick by then, but luckily my guys helped me make some of the decorations the night before, and then some of the upper school girls helped me set everything up. Because, family!

Continuing on in that all-working-together theme, I had everybody outside doing some Spring is Finally Here! yard work after dinner tonight.

And I do mean everybody. Just you TRY to keep her away from whatever the big kids are doing.

(Also, THIGHS! So much deliciousness. So. Much.)

Today we got to read the part in The Scarlet Pimpernel where Sir Percy gives Chauvelin pepper instead of snuff. That's the real reason I decided to get better and come back to work for the end of the week...we're getting to my favorite part of the book. I have held out against bribes, threats, and pleas from my students, who have needed to have their suspicions confirmed as to the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel. No way I'm missing out now!

I'm pretty sure that Aaron is going to have to take me to see Divergent this weekend. Reading it was pretty much the only thing I accomplished all week, but I accomplished it very, very well.

More Quick Takes here!

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