Friday, November 14, 2014

Tom Turkey 2014

It's TRADITION. There isn't any way around it.

We love Tom Turkey. Thanks to crazy schedules and other things, it took us an extra few days to get him going. But here is is.

Taking pictures of five kids all at once, attempting for them to not kill each other in process and/or not look possessed is a task that I am simply not equipped to handle.

We love Thanksgiving around here. Reflecting on our blessings as the years ends is about the best way to start off the holiday season. We are grateful.

Without further ado, here is Tom Turkey + Kids 2014:

And because it's tradition, Tom Turkey + Kids through the years:


From Nov 2009

From Nov 2010

From November 2011


What can we conclude from so many years of Tom Turkey photos? My children are wacky, refuse to sit still and smile like normal humans even once a year for their poor sentimental momma. 

GO team. 

Henry's Golden Birthday

Henry turned 9 on the 9th. In THIS house, this means it's his GOLDEN BIRTHDAY. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate. Never again will he have a golden birthday. So that means golden decor, golden cake and fun. (When you're nine, I'm assuming if one's golden birthday is when they are 30, it's less exciting.)

We began his birthday celebration at a place with all the bouncy slides, etc. It's not my favorite place on the planet, but the kids enjoyed themselves thoroughly so who I am to judge?

His actual birthday we had golden ice cream cake (to be exact, he wanted ice cream cake with oreos, carmel, whipped cream and cherries. ODDLY specific, bu whatever.) And presents. Then a couple days later, he got the opportunity to use the gift cards he'd been given.

If you want to please Henry give him gift cards. The first of them came from his parents and was to Harbor Freight Tools. Free money to the hardware store means that he got to buy all the gadgets. He loved it. Then to the Walmart for toys. Oh he's so funny and careful. He THINKS about his purchases. It is great. And takes a super long time.

Basically, his birthday lasted for days, just the way he likes it.

Monday, November 3, 2014

October Wrap Up

I blink and a month has passed. At the same time it takes endless patience (which I lack) to survive each day. Bed time, even on the best of days is met with a sigh of relief. We made it through the day!

October treated us beautifully. Really, the blessings are abundant.

Our month had celebrations of multiple kinds.

First, we found out what kind of baby #6 is. We laughed SOOOO much.

Of course he's a he. What else would he be? 

We enjoyed the leaves changing with incredibly mild weather, and celebrated Halloween multiple times. It was declared from boys all that Power Rangers were the thing this year. So, yeah. Power Rangers. Not my fave, but cute kids nonetheless. 

We did the ward Trunk or Treat ANNNND Trick or Treat here in our little town. It was awesome. The town takes candy donations throughout the month of October, then distributes them to the residents on Main Street and everyone in the whole town trick or treats right on Main Street. It's magic, like a movie. We had so much fun. 

October was awesome. Now we're into the chill of November, trying not to dread winter. (We are dreading winter.) November is a month with two birthdays and my second favorite Holiday! So, we have lots to look forward to still. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

We Love Autumn!

I blink and nearly a month has passed. Hello! Life here is moving along. Autumn has hit full-force with cool temps and famous colorful leaf displays in our own yard. The days are getting shorter while getting busier. It's a rare day when we have nothing scheduled. It's fun and crazy. The kids are learning (I hope) and the grown-ups spend a large chunk of our days asking where the puppy is and what is he destroying?

Really, I have nothing REAL to complain about.

Our little town had our fall festival last week, and it was so fun.

Basically, if we ever have to move, there will be much keening on my part. Holy crap, I love it here.

The fire department let the kids shoot the water hoses. 

Ezra at the fall festival.

Miriam shooting the fire hose. 

Ice cream! It was cheap! 

Oliver and Henry on the hay ride!

Henry on a horse.

Fireman Spencer. 

Now we are in the throngs of "What should I be for Halloween?" which is always fun, until I click "check out" on that Amazon cart. Then the debate is over. I am mean like that. Fall is a favorite around here. I hope it's treating you as well as it is us. 

Thank goodness for October. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We Continue To Hope

Things don't always go as planned.

 I know this. I've learned and relearned this.

So, when we found out, after three losses, then, after a lot of difficulties, testing, etc, that we were again expecting, I didn't feel anything close to excitement. Nope.

All my pregnancy joy and excitement had died, it seemed, back in February.

All I felt instead was a feeling of bleakness, and said to Derek, "Well, we'll see."

Weeks were spent in a state of high anxiety/near panic. Every twinge, every stretch was, "Am I miscarrying?"

Exhausted by the end of the day, I'd fall into bed and think, "Made it through another day. We'll see what happens tomorrow."


Part of the exhaustion was anxiety, but part of it was trying to NOT feel anxious. Ferevently, I'd lean on my God to just help me feel peace instead of fear, make my faith greater than the terror. See, I KNOW in my heart, that faith is better, that no matter what happens we'll be okay, but putting it into practice is and continues to be very hard.

Add to the anxiety, near debilitating "morning" (yeah right) sickness, and constant exhaustion, and well, it doesn't take much imagination to guess my house was in shambles and my spirit pretty battered. We couldn't hide it from the kids, with my being so out of commission. They took the news fine. Mostly because I simply said, "We're hoping for a baby in the spring."

For so long, all we had was hope.

Yet, through it all, everything continues to look great with the pregnancy. Everything IS great. My 12 week appointment was yesterday, and while still considered and treated as "high risk" Baby keeps on growing, and making me fat and tired.

It's so awesome.

It's taken me a long to time to feel okay. Then to go from "okay" to excited. And now? Well. I know tomorrow it could all change. It could all go away. But I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to be grateful TODAY for God's gifts. Today, I'm 12 weeks and some change, pregnant with our baby. We're so hopeful for a March birthday, just as spring is springing. Every day is a victory.

If it all goes away, I'm still going to be grateful for the journey.

(Baby, happy and healthy about two weeks ago)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Final Hurrah of Summer

We are celebrating the end of summer. Sadly. Summer has been straight up fantastic. Oh how we haved lived and loved summer. I let go of my expectations very early on. Our chore chart, for better or worse, was left to gather dust. School books were left forgotten on the shelf. I have/had some guilt about, but the reality was it was what we needed. We swam in the lake, had camp fires and bbq parties, swimming pool parties, hikes, picnics, outings galore. Oh my, I am mourning the passing of summer. 

To give us one final hurrah, Henry has been asking if they could sleep outside in the tent. We live in a ridiculously secluded woodsy lot, in a zero-crime town, so I figured, sure why not. To make it more fun, we had a camp fire, cooked hamburgers, ate watermelon and smores until we nearly burst. Then I tucked all four boys into the tent, ready for a night out. 

Ezra immediately changed his mind and came straightaway into his familiar bed. Oliver lasted twenty minutes. But the big boys made it all night and were up with the sun. 

It was pretty awesome. 

Wallace, the puppy (have you been introduced to Wallace? I can't remember...) found a bottle of blue food coloring IN THE YARD (Thanks a lot stinker butt kids) and well, the results were blue. Lots of blue. The whites of his EYES were blue. His mouth was blue. I'm sure his fur was too, but he's too dark to be able to tell. Anyway, both dogs were invited to the party, and Jonah at least behaved himself and didn't dye himself colors.

School will start for reals on Tuesday. It'll be great. All the books are awaiting readers, pencils need sharpening, but we're ready. Kind of. Well, I will be by Tuesday.

Cheers ya'll!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Birthday Adventures

With Miriam's birthday yesterday and mine on Tuesday, we decided that an afternoon off on an adventure was definitely in order.

Tomorrow is too busy, so Derek played hooky. And we went to Maine. See, when you live in New England, like 13 states are all just a quick drive away. I'd heard rumors that this particular quick drive up was VERY worth it, so we threw a picnic in the back, grabbed some diapers and went.

We should have put a BIT more thought into what to bring along... like towels... or extra clothes...

Anyway, first stop, Nubble Lighthouse! It was beautiful, and closed to the public which was a tragedy indeed. But we did get the chance to watch a Mainer fisherman who was CLEARLY extremely experienced save the life of a sea bird that had tried to steal the bait off another fisherman's hook and failed. The bird and lesser experienced fisherman were struggling a lot. Mr. Experienced saw from across a rocky cliff, took off running and in a matter of tense minutes had the bird free and on his way. It was amazing, and we all applauded.

I wanted to break into the lighthouse and move in. I mean, and never ever leave. Squat there for the rest of my days. Oh it was beautiful.

Then we headed to Short Sand Beach. It was COOL today, so I had veto'd swim suits. I demanded that the boys wade and not get soaked. We had no extra clothes after all!

Yeah. That worked.

For about three minutes.

The freezing water did not slow them down one bit. We left covered in sand, having eaten sandy PB&J, soaked to the bone, and thrilled with ourselves.

Next, since we were filthy, wet and still hungry, we got a couple wholesale lobstahs to go. There wasn't anywhere to eat them except in the parking lot of the Rite Aid where we bought paper towels with which to dry off. We are KLASSY.

And, neither Ezra nor I had any interest in eating the lobster. Everyone else found it quite the adventure. It WAS an adventure, airing the car out, and ensuring that the lobster juice didn't stick to the floor and cause un-earthly stench.

Then we drove through McDonalds for the momma who won't eat lobstah.

It was the BEST Birthday Adventure I could have asked for. I love the ocean, I love the waves, the sand, the rocks, the infinity of it all. LOVE. It was amazing. I could go back everyday. Too bad ocean front shacks cost a million dollars.

So so fun.


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