Friday, October 17, 2014

Thankful!

These past two weeks have been an exercise in faith, prayer, gratitude and thankfulness.


It all started on Thursday, October 2nd.  I had taken the day off work in order to accompany Grace on a Field Trip.  The trip was scheduled to start around 10:30 and I had an hour or so free between a dentist appointment and having to be at school.  I debated what to do with my time and decided to start with Starbucks.  While I was in line I got a call from her school.  Grace wasn't feeling well.


When I arrived at school I discovered that she had a fever and was feeling awful.  She complained that while singing in chapel her vision when black, her ears started ringing, and she felt both hot and cold at once.  Her teacher elaborated that her face went white and then green.  By the time I had Grace at home her fever was 103.


Friday we went to the doctor and her lungs were clear.  We were told to wait it out.  She would likely peak on Sunday, feel better on Monday and should expect to go to school on Tuesday.


Friends and family were praying for Grace and she was getting better over the weekend.  Monday Grampa stayed with her and she seemed to be well on her way to recovery.  Sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning that trend changed.  By Wednesday she was worse than ever and I was praying.


Wednesday we went to the doctor and discovered it has progressed to Pneumonia.  Praise God the diagnosis resulted in a prescription for strong antibiotics and a clear path for recovery.


After a week and a half of illness, Grace was finally well enough to go to school on Monday, October 13th.


The 11 days Grace was home gave me many moments to pray for her health and recovery, to offer praises for modern medicine, and to be so grateful for a boss that understands that my family needs me.  David didn't hesitate when I let him know that I was going to do my best to work from home for the duration of Grace's illness.  Thankfully I chose a career that allows me to work from home and that has flexibility to work the hours that are possible in any given week.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Children's Museum


Each year the Smithsonian sponsors a Day at the Museum where people can get free admission to a participating museum. 
Last year was the first time I had heard of the program and I took advantage of free tickets to the Sonoma Coubty Air & Apace Museum. It is tiny but the kids enjoyed it. I was very grateful for the Smithsonian's program because without it I never would have thought of taking the kids to this museum. It is only a few miles from our house and it is home to of the first planes to repond to the 9-11 attacks. 

This year I opted for the Bay Area Discovry Museum in Sausalito. The girls have gone here on field trips but I have never been. 

When we arrived we were greeted by a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge. 
That was enough to make my day just about perfect. 

The kids really enjoyed all do the activities. Henry's favorite was the gravel pit. 
He spent quite a bit of time digging. He especially loved the "vest-es". 

Grace is easy going and loved everything.  Cooper really liked the fishing and crabbing. 
I think we will definitely go back again. 

And I think we are going to start spending more time near the bay. The drive stinks, especially coming home, but there is something so renewing about that beautiful, shining water. 


Friday, September 26, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Next steps!

Now that he can balance a two wheeler, Cooper was ready to try out Grampa's motorcycles. 
He has got the driving down pretty good!

video
It is just the stopping that is a little difficult!

video

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Freedom!

Cooper John is one happy boy. Tuesday evening he taught himself how to ride a two-wheeler. 
Last summer he was almost there but then we didn't really try again. He has been begging us to teach him but u guess he got tired of asking so he taught himself. 
He has spent every spare moment on his bike since then. 
Friday morning I realized he spend so much time riding he didn't finish this week's homework. I guess it is time to teach him about doing his work before his play. 
Saturday afternoon Jason and I took the boys to the park so they could ride in the back parking lot. 
Everyone had fun. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekends!

Friday night was the annual Father-Daughter Campout at FBC-WCA. Jason and the girls went for dinner and campfire but chose to come home to sleep since harvest in on and Jason had to work on Saturday. 
While I had the boys to myself, we chose to have a Mother-Son date night. The boys chose In & Out and Baskin-Robins. I added the park. 
There was the normal bickering about which park, park first v. Ice cram first, etc. But overall it was nice to have a night with just my boys. 

The next day it was me and 6 kids!  Grace had brought home her best friends Hannah and Ashley whose dad couldn't make it the the Campout.

We made m&m pancakes, scrambled eggs, and breakfast burritos for breakfast. Then we cleaned the chicken coop (and gathered the egg), cleaned and organized the pantry and freezer and lazed around all day. We were all happy to see jason around 4, of course I'm sure he was happy to have a long week finally over. 

Other fun things last week, Henry started taekwondo!  He has been watching practice for 2 years and we felt it was finally time for him to start.  He went to a few orientation classes and really progressed already. Friday we went to his first Tiny Tigers class and he loved it. Mr Hauth have him a uniform and he is looking forward to wearing it next week.

Also, our chickens have started laying eggs!  Monday we got our first little brown egg. 

I'm pretty sure it is one of the Rhode Island Reds who layed the first egg. She likes to hang out in one corner of the nesting box and that is where I found it. We've gotten eggs every day this week wzcept for Tuesday. Thursday made up for it when we got 2!  So exciting to go out there in the afternoon and find an egg in the nesting box!

Added:  taking the boys for ice cream or frozen yogurt is a regular thing when the girls are at the Campout with Jason. Here is a picture from the same night 2 years ago. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

18 years!

18 years ago I married the man that God chose for me. I never could have chosen such a wonderful partner on my own. 
I am so blessed to have an amazing man who always puts me first. He loves me, provides for me, encourages me, builds me up and makes me my best. I am honored to be his wife. 
Recently I commented to a co-worker that I don't mind driving to Oakville once or twice a week because I can often sneak in a lunch with my husband when I'm there. She was amazed that I would look forward to having lunch with him since we love together and see each other everyday. I can honestly say I do. I think about him throughout the day, wonder how he is doing and long to just talk to him or see him. I even like driving by his office and knowing he is just up the road. It is a little sappy, but I love that after 18 years of marriage he still makes me feel special. 
This weekend we celebrated with a fancy dinner, breakfast at his favorite diner, champagne tasting and dinner with the family. Today was a lazy day of errands, laundry, ice cream and fantasy football. 
I love that we can be ourselves with each other, we enjoy our family together, and we are just as happy celebrating with left overs as with a 5 star restaurant. 


Monday, August 25, 2014

Chickens


I've always known my husband was a country boy at heart. What I didn't believe was that I am a country girl at heart too. 

Jason and I have talked over the years about getting chickens. I thought it was something that Jason and the kids would like and I would tolerate. We discovered that WCAs 4th graders hatched chicken eggs so we decided to wait until Grace was in 4th Grade and get our chickens then. 

This past spring Mrs. Manukian's 4th grade class was given 40 eggs to incubate and hatch. In the end they had less than a dozen baby chicks. Mrs. Manukian purchases enough baby chicks so that each class member had one chick for the chick Olympics. 

On "going home day" Grace was lucky enough to get 5 baby chicks, 3 were hatched by the class and 2 were purchases. 

We set them up in a brooder (plastic box) in the garage with a heat lamp, watered and feeder. After exchanging many emails with Sarah (the crazy chicken lady) I felt confident we were doing it right.

The kids enjoyed going out in the garage checking on the chicks and playing with them. I had expected this. What I hadn't expected was my attachment to them. I found myself thinking about these little chicks all day long and wondering if they were okay. 

Jason and I had decided to transform the kids' playhouse into a chicken coop. It didn't get done before we brought the chicks home and I started feeling anxious that it needed to be done so the chicks would have a home. Each night when I checked in the chicks I eagerly looked forward to the day I could move them to the new coop and watch them explore outdoors. 

Finally in May the chicks were big enough and we moved them to their new home. 
I had a new nighttime ritual. Each evening after coming home from work I would walk outside, swing open the Dutch door and watch my chickies. 

Over the summer they got bigger and bigger. We finished the coop and the run and figured out treats, feeders and waterers. 

We also decided to let them free range in the backyard. 
After they destroyed the garden by eating ripe fruit, digging holes and ripping up roots, we revised it to supervised free ranging. 

Now I am back to enjoying a glass of wine in the evening while watching my chickens scrounge for bugs and seeds. 


Golden Gate Bridge



Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge has always been on my "bucket list" (even before I knew what those were). 

Saturday I finally had my opportunity. Grace's Girl Scout troop decided to cross the bridge for their end of year party. I volunteered to be a chaperone and Emma tagged along. 

I'm not sure it the experience lived up to my expectations but I am sure glad I did it. Especially with my two girls. 
The day was beautiful and we saw many sailboats, seagulls, people and even porpoises. 
This huge cargo ship sailed right underneath us. That was pretty cool. It was ginormous!

After crossing the bridge we walked down to Crissy Field and fed the seagulls and pigeons. 

While the girls were gone, Jason and the boys took are of shopping, visiting Grandpa's barn and swimming. They sent me this picture of their post swim Mohawks. 


Saturday, August 23, 2014

New School Year


We have officially started another school year!
Emma is a sophomore at Windsor High. Grace is in 5th grade. Cooper is in 1st grade and Henry is in the Dragonfly class in Pre-K. 
Emma actually started last week. She has classes with friends and likes all of her teachers so far. She has stories about her health teacher each day she has that class. 
We are still working out her schedule but should have it settled in the next week. 
High Sschool is so different than when I was in school. Emma has a block schedule with at most four classes a day. Right now she can start as early as 8 am or as late as 11:20 and get out as early as 1:50 and as late as 3:35. I've had to write her schedule day by day in my planner to keep track. 
Emma had a very successful first year and her transcript shows her ranked #1 in her class of almost 500. 
Grace is in 5th grade this year. This is the year of Survivor!  Emma loved her Survivor challenges and Grace is very excited about hers. Mrs. Jardine is her teacher again. She was a good fit in 3rd grade and I am hoping this year will be another success. 
Cooper is in Mrs. King's 1st grade. Shaylene was Emma's junior high small group leader so I feel confident that she loves the kids and loves The Lord. 
Cooper has been having an awful attitude this summer and I am hoping that Mrs. King and Mrs. Dick can help to turn that around. 
Henry is very excited about being the big kid on campus. He keeps telling me how the new friends at school won't know the rules and he will teach them the rules. We've never had Mrs. Greenley so I am curious to see how she runs her class. 
Henry very much wants to be big and in charge and I'm hoping he feels more empowered and in control of himself this year. 


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Life is Good


Life is good!  My life is also crazy, loud, busy, full of love, tickles, snuggles and exasperation. I never imagined myself as a mom of four, but now I can't imagine my life any other way. 

This weekend is the annual opening day of deer season, so I am a single mom. Now that Cooper is 6.5 years old he gets to go to deer camp with Jason. 

I hate having Jason gone, but I do sure love having a little time alone with my littles. I treat these weekends as "free weekends" and have as much fun with the kids as I can and let chores (and good nutrition) fall to the wayside. 

So far this weekend Henry has cooked dinner both nights. Friday was pizza bread.
Saturday was nachos. 
He loves to cook or really help in any way. 

We also had doughnuts today, went to Target and got stuff for Grace's birthday party next week, and then went bowling. 

Henry has been asking to go bowling all summer. He wanted to go "when it snows outside this summer" but since I didn't think that would happen we went today. Emma was volunteering for a back to school backpack event with the church so it was just Henry, Grace and I. We had a lot of fun and actually did pretty well.

Henry got 67, Grace got 90 and I got 132!

Being this kids' mom sure is a blessing to me. Hard to believe that next week Emma starts her 2nd year of High School and the week after that Grace starts 5th, Cooper starts 1st and Henry will be in Pre-K.