Monday, October 31, 2011

Like, Totally 80s

We went to a Halloween Party on Saturday night. The theme was "80s Prom Gone Wrong." There were all different interpretations of that in the costumes, everything from prom clothes, to smurfs, to rocker dudes, to Top Gun. It was fun to see what everyone chose.
Our Interpretation:
The whole crew
Words don't really do it justice. Let's just say Garret and Elaina know how to throw a party. They know how to decorate with all the little details, which I totally love (they even had an Atari for us to play!) They know how to bless their friends.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sam's Turn

Last Sunday, Sam ran the concessions for our Family Cowboys Game Time. He really did a great job. Since he was my baby for so long, I tend to think he can't do what the big kids do, but he showed me that I was wrong.

He added two new elements of his own to the concession stand. Look carefully on his sign of items for sale:
Number 6 says, "foot moshosj." That translates to "Foot Massage." Number 7 says, "back moshosj." That translates to back massage. Now that is how you watch a Cowboys game!!

His s'mores creation
Another element he added was having everyone take a number when they ordered. It was so cute to hear him call out the numbers as the food was ready.
This weekend we will celebrate our House Bday Party with an evening Cowboys' game. It is Isaiah's turn to do concessions. That should be interesting!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reluctantly Raising the White Flag

~We put the air conditioners away last weekend.

~I put our winter bedding on our bed(flannel sheets and amazingly soft plush blanket).

~I have pulled out the winter jammies and comfy, cozy socks.

~We had our second snow this week.

~We turned the heat on yesterday.

~The kids wore winter coats, hats, and gloves to school.

~I bought my winter lotion(Vanilla Bean Noel) today. I am putting away Hawaiian Coconut and using the new one on Nov. 1.

~I made hot chocolate for the kids yesterday.

~The sunscreen has been put away.

~Winter has officially arrived in Colorado.

~ I am mourning, but I really have no choice.

~I surrender.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fun Days Ahead

This weekend is big with lots of stuff going on for the fam and kids.

Thursday night will be our annual pumpkin carving event.

On Friday, Cody will be going on his first church retreat for the weekend.

We have 5 different parties/events for various family members where costumes are needed from Friday - Monday.

On Saturday, Lauren has 2 soccer games.

Sam has a sleepover at a friend's house on Saturday night.

We are hoping(fingers crossed) to get the room redos completed.

Sunday is our 8th House Birthday that we MUST celebrate.

The Cowboys play on Sunday night!

And, of course, Monday is Halloween!!

We are also being told that we could get a big snowstorm during the night on Tuesday.

We might just have a snow day on Wed.!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pikes Peak Cog Railway

On Tuesday, I went on a field trip with Lauren to ride the Pikes Peak Cog Railway leading up to Pikes Peak. I have shared before that I am not a big fan of field trips. This one proved to be particularly challenging for me to endure for many reasons. I have to remind myself that I do these to build into my kids. It is worth some discomfort on my part in order to invest in them. The funny part is that when it was all over, Lauren commented that she wouldn't want to do it again, either.
This was my first clue that I wasn't going to enjoy this field trip.
It actually ended up being colder when we got up there, -7 windchill to be exact!!
Before the journey
I now affectionately call this thing "Torture Tube Part 2."
(our old Suburban was the first torture tube according to Cody)
Let me just paint a picture for you. Imagine a 1 1/2 hour ride each way, really horrible exhaust fumes, single digit temperatures with negative windchills, over 50 5th graders in one cabin, only 5 adults in that same cabin, windows that open and close, and for me, sitting with 5 boys, one of which had no boundaries all while trying to listen to the conductor share history facts over a microphone that was not very loud. At one point, Lauren looked at me and said, "mom, do you want to switch seats?" She is so sweet, and of course, I said, "no," although it was tempting.

This is the view that inspired the song, "America the Beautiful"
Lauren's class at the Peak
Hot chocolate and donuts were served.
View from the top
My sweet girl
When it was all over, I had a horrible headache. I was so exhausted that I went to bed at 6:00 that night and slept for 12 hours.

My girl was worth it, though. I did it for her. I am glad she didn't have to experience that one alone. We have a memory that we share with lots of things to laugh about!

Happy Apple Farm

During Fall Break, we made a trip with the Schwarzs to Happy Apple Farm. I have to say, it wasn't truly an apple farm this year because the crop froze and there were no apples to pick, but there were raspberries and pumpkins!!

We started with our berry picking

Proud berry pickers!
We ate all the raspberries for lunch!
There is just something about eating a berry you picked.
Then, it was off to the pumpkin patch!!
Yes, those are all my children. No, I do not run a daycare!
Proud pumpkin picker

The whole crew on the hay ride
It was a good day. The weather was beautiful. We continued a fall tradition. We were able to spend time with friends. Now we have a display of pumpkins on our front porch. We will carve them and have a little friendly competition between the girls and boys the night before Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall Break

As I said in my previous post, Fall Break was busy. Here are a few of the things we did:
Sam's spiritual bday. At his request, we had Little Caesars Pizza, Crazy Bread, and,
as always, ice cream sundaes(Blue Bell coffee ice cream).
Sam loves animals! So, we gave him a book that would teach him about
animals in the Bible. He loves it!!
Sam and Abby actually share the same spiritual bday. We celebrated them on 2 separate days. Abby chose breaded mozzarella sticks and spaghetti for her meal,
followed by ice cream sundaes(Blue Bell Cookie Dough ice cream).
We gave Abby a devotional book for girls her age.
On Sat. night, Abby and I snuck out for a date night.
We saw the Smurfs movie and had dinner at Chipotle.
Sunday was the Cowboys game!!
Our little cheerleader!
Cody ran the concession stand this week.
The menu
We even had signs.
Too bad our enthusiasm didn't win the game for them!!
Up next: Happy Apple Farm and Pikes Peak Cog Railway Field Trip

Coming Soon: Bedroom Makeovers, we are hoping to paint the last room this weekend. Then I will share the big reveals!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What a Week!!

~We have had a very full Fall Break.

~2 kids and one dad have had sicknesses during this week.

~We are still in the process of completing the kids' bedroom overhaul. We have worked for countless hours this week and our upstairs still looks like a tornado hit it!!

~Rick and Cody have been painting his room today.

~We(and I mostly mean Rick) have taken down and put together a total of 7 beds.

~I took out Laila's hair and had it rebraided this week.(Thanks to Abby, taking them out only took 3 hours, add to that another 2 hours to clean, detangle, moisturize, and blow dry. 3 more hours of braiding and the whole process took 8 hours. That is better than the 11 hours it took last time!)

~I have washed every piece of bedding, from all of our beds all in this one week. That was 10 separate sets of bedding(Some old that is being put away, some new that needed to be washed before it was used. Because some of them were too big to fit in one load, I think it totaled at least 15 loads of laundry. That does not include our regular clothing laundry.)

~We visited a pumpkin patch one day.

~Cody and Sam got haircuts.

~Isaiah had preschool 3 days this week, and Rick and I had a parent/teacher conference with his teacher.

~I had a MOPs leadership meeting.

~We had $1 waffle cones at TCBY.

~We celebrated 2 spiritual Birthdays in our house.

~Abby and I went on a movie/dinner date.

~We got doughnuts one morning.

~Lauren had 2 soccer practices and one game.

~Abby had a group piano lesson.

~Cody had Boy Scouts and Life Group.

~Rick and I had a great double date with friends that was refreshing and encouraging.

~Tomorrow is church, Cowboys game, and some work on Beyond Survival.

There are so many stories to tell.

So many pictures to share.

I plan to post those in the next few days.

For now, I plan to collapse!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall Break and Overhaul

The snow on Saturday propelled us into a project that we have been wanting to start for a while.
All of the kids' activities were cancelled so we began the process of moving all the kids rooms around.

Until now, Cody and Sam have shared a room, Lauren and Abby have shared a room, and Laila and Isaiah have shared a room.

We had hopes earlier this year that we could finish our basement and open up the opportunity for both Lauren and Cody to have their own rooms.

This little event has detoured that plan.

So, we decided to move forward with what we have. The kids are ready for a change, and it is time to get our 3-year old out of her crib.

Commence Project "Bedroom Overhaul."

This is how it will go: Cody will have his own room, Lauren, Abby, and Laila will share a room, and Sam and Isaiah will share a room.

Rick painted the girls' room on Sunday. That began the room shuffle.

Last night everyone slept in their new rooms for the first time. It went surprisingly well.

The upstairs is a total disaster. It is going to take most of the week to get everyone's items to their respective rooms. When it is all done, it will feel so good.

I have really wanted to clean out their rooms for a while, but have been waiting for this.

We are decluttering, weeding out clothes we don't wear, getting rid of toys that we no longer use. It feels amazing. You would not believe the number of trash bags we have filled. It is sad really.

So, that is why I am a bit quiet on here this week. I can't wait to share pics when it is all done.

In the midst of all of that, we are also celebrating Sam's and Abby's spiritual bdays this week. What a treat it is to celebrate the birth of our kids into God's family.

Big stuff going on!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cowboys' Sunday

Last Sunday, we had our first official Family Cowboys Game Time. It was fun. We ordered pizza and had sodas(a big treat in this house).
We all put on our Cowboys Gear

We even had a concessions stand
Just ignore the messy kitchen in the background!!
Sam and Daddy with their Tony Dorsett jerseys.
(The one that Sam is wearing was Rick's when he was a kid!)
Even though the Cowboys lost, we were excited to start a new tradition and find a way to come together as a family. (Cody was there, he just was not in the mood to have his picture made.)

The one consolation that we had was that the Broncos lost, too!! That eased the pain a bit!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

So, So Tired

I haven't had a good night's sleep since last Friday night.(I go through phases of sleeplessness and restlessness in my sleep. Woohoo, this week has been one of those phases.)

Rick has been out of town this week.

This has meant I had to get everyone dressed and out the door this morning by 6:45 AM.

Laila was uncharacteristically whiny ALL DAY.

Isaiah was pushing every boundary that he could push.

I am feeling a kind of tired that I can feel in every organ of my body.

Fall Break for my kids began at 12:15 today.

On one hand, I am thrilled to have the next 10 days where I don't have to get everyone out the door by 7:30, drop off 3 kids, 4 hours later drop off another kid, 3 hours later, pick up one kid, proceed to the next location, pick up 3 kids, proceed to the next destination pick up the last kid.

On the other hand, the thought of having all 6 kids home all day every day for the next 10 days brings visions of fighting and a whole different kind of exhaustion to my mind.

It is only 9:30, and I am heading to bed. Yes, this night person has hit a wall.

Tomorrow, I have 3 parent/teacher conferences back-to-back(orchestrating that is a blessing), a consultation for Abby with the Oral Surgeon, Rick returns, and an opportunity to view Africa through the eyes of a friend.

On Saturday, 3 of my kids have events going on that all start at the same time at opposite ends of town. Not sure how I am going to make that work.

These are the days that I know deep down that I will miss. I am trying desperately to remember that as I wish them away and count down the minutes until their bedtimes.

Tonight, I surrender to the exhaustion and overlook all the things around this house that are left undone.

Sweet Dreams(fingers crossed!)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Standing In The Middle Of Nowhere

I saw this quote on a friend's blog. I could relate on so many levels.

The feeling of being between adventures is a destination itself. It may seem like a braver traveler wouldn’t have to wait in the stillness of the empty crossroads, but it takes a different kind of boldness to skip the comfort of an arbitrary destination and enter the quiet land of uncertainty, as if you wanted to send yourself a postcard from there. It’s a daunting passage along the heroes’ journey that some people never dare enter. But if you can hang at that empty crossroads and bear the boredom, that’s when magic roads appear out of nowhere. But to get on those roads, you have to be willing to stand in the middle of nowhere for a while.”

(David Wilcox)

I don't know what God is doing or what He wants to do in so many areas of our life.

I do know He has given us instructions for now to "wait, listen, rest and make our family the priority."

That is where I am, "the quiet land of uncertainty."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Glimpse into His Heart

Look at that sweet face.
Who would guess that an outgoing little boy like him would struggle in his heart with feeling all alone? A four year old should not have to worry about that. When you have lived with at least 4 different caregivers, your heart is hesitant to believe that this one will last.
We are constantly having to remind him that we are his Forever Family. Nothing will change that, not his behavior, not our moods. I actually have him say when he is struggling. "I belong to this family forever." I want him to speak truth about his life, not the lie that works its way into his heart that says, "this one won't last either."

At this point, he has been with us longer than he has been with anyone else. Each time we pick him up at school, each time we leave for a short trip and return, and each time we make a memory together as a family, it is another deposit we are making into his love and belonging account.

His class at school is talking about families. They each made a scrapbook page about themselves and their families. Yesterday, they talked about Moms, Dads, and Families. Here were Isaiah's comments:

-Daddy lets me play video games and helps me set them up.

-Mommy takes care of me.

And my favorite of all: Families stay together and you don't have to be alone.

That little sentence that came out of his mouth gives me a small glimpse into his heart and where he is. He is getting it. Slowly, but surely, he is getting it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

We All Scream...

...For Ice Cream!!

Lauren's Soccer Game + Hot Day + Groupon = Dipped Cones

And Last, but not least, Laila living life to the fullest

That was some good stuff!