Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Night

I snore... or so I'm told.

Over the last 6 months I've become increasingly tired (and I'm always tired, so this is bad).  I'm not rested.  My poor husband complained quietly and now loudly.  It was time to do something.

Last night I headed in to the doctor's office for a sleep study.  Kind of crazy to show up at the doctor's office at 8:30 at night! 

I was led to the "Spirit Lake" room where I was met with a cozy bed, pillows and tv.  Lying across the bed were a MASS of wires.  It took about 30 minutes for the technician, Natassia, to hook me up.  She then told me to sleep normally... yay, right... with all of these wires. 

Surprisingly enough, I fell asleep quickly... I was tired, had dealt with a headache all day, hosted a party the night before and run like a crazy person all day.

Imagine that this is me!  I wanted to take a photo of myself, but I chickened out!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Are you ready?

There comes a time... often for me... when I get discouraged.

Right now I don't feel healthy.  I'm doing some things to help myself {and my family}, but it can be a slow process, especially this time of year.

I found this blog {it is now in my blog roll} which has re-inspired me.  It just makes sense!

97. health... my cousin just had brain surgery... she's doing great, but something like that really makes you think about your life.
96. my growing children, particularly this new pre-teen phase... woah!
95. my ability to be independent and get things accomplished
94. my dependence... I can't quite do it all
93.  our puppy... she is just too cute and fun
92.  my big dog... you can't beat a gigantic snuggler

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Living in the moment...

I've realized that I need to better about living in the moment and enjoying each moment as it happens.

For example... Fall is my favorite season's.gone.

How did I celebrate it? (Besides celebrating Thanksgiving.)

Did I embrace the beautiful changing colors of the leaves?

Did I enjoy the texture, the chill, the sun breaks, the crinkling leaves?

The big answer is... no.

So, now that Winter is almost upon us and Christmas is rapidly approaching I'm realizing that I'm not living the experience. 

Living Today... my countdown...
100. I stood back to admire our Christmas tree.
99.  I watched proudly (and cramped) as my son sang in his Winter concert (and cracked his knuckles the entire time).
98.  The warmth of the pellet stove.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A day of snuggling

It has been a long few weeks... transitioning to working a lot more and looking at working even more. Yesterday was filled with snuggles, movies, jammies, puppy love, etc.  It was just what the family needed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A lovely Friday morning

Finally a few minutes at home to just BE... linger, waste time on the computer, listen to the quiet.  Oh, how I've needed this.  It's been a couple of weeks of just go, go, go...

I do have to work today, and grocery shop, and run the vacuum through the house and tackle two more bathrooms, but I needed this morning for an hour to just BE.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Missing in Action ?!?!!

No, not missing, just missing from my blog.  It has been a whirlwind of adventures and I'm trying to enjoy (and keep my sanity) with each and everyone!

Fall soccer has ended, basketball has begun, indoor soccer is in swing and the list goes on and on. 

I've found some new challenges at the University in writing a new undergraduate level class as well as preparing to teach two classes in January.  Social studies boards, tutoring, supervising... not to mention being a MOM!

The kids are doing great... we have a preteen which is making life interesting and a 10 year birthday rapidly approaching.

They always ask to do more, and while we welcome new opportunities (Mad Science, Swimming, Piano) it's important to keep life in check.

We "squeezed in" the pumpkin patch between soccer games.
Wishing I had more time... time to foster and develop friendships further, time to clean my house better, time to craft, time to attend bible study... this is my life in this moment... and I love it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And they've finally settled in...

It's been one of those afternoons/evenings... everyone picking... a few too loud... one wanting quiet.  We headed to the park (practice of course), with our intention to come home and get things done, it was apparent that they all needed to stay and play and run. 

So we did.

Upon on arrival at home the picking continued, the too loud and one wanting it quiet. 

Husband is traveling, again.

Missed my bible study, again.

But now, their bellies are full and they've all retired to their beds to read.

All is quiet, finally.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In this season...

This is a season for us... FALL SOCCER.  It is all we do and we love it... sadly, my posts end up with the same photo "look".  We've had our ups and downs with wins and losses, but in the end my kids continue to grow and grow in all ways.
Joey has been picked as one of the captains for the fall season... he's working very hard.

Joey's team photos (I took these!)
 They are learning how to lead... sometimes the are successful and other times they are not.  All of my children are learning responsibility... what a lesson.  It's is a constant battle... some days I feel like I'VE FAILED.  Other days, I feel like I've done my job. 
Daisy playing at the soccer game... she is the life of the party!

I'm getting prepared to host my little sisters baby shower... she's due with her first baby in December. It's hard for me to believe that she's having a baby... she's been married for 10 years, but my first memories of her are visiting her in the hospital when she was born.  There is only 4 years between us, so I was little, but I remember pressing my face up against the glass to get a peak at my new baby sister and then I saw my mom walking down the hall to see us... she was in a robe and slippers (in those days we weren't allowed to go back to her hospital room.)
Emmi playing goalie.
 My baby girl is growing up... reading Junie B. Jones, enjoying her friends, making new friends, joking with her coaches, etc.  It is so much fun to watch her come into her own.  She REALLY wanted to try an afternoon program at school, Mad Science, so she's taken it on and LOVES it.  I love watching her try new things... the other night she came down in her version of a karate outfit and asked if she could take karate classes.  She also wants to begin piano lessons... I'm sure her life will continue to be full!
Showing her skills.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's the good stuff...

Daisy at the soccer game... playing with the shadow!
1.  Snuggling with miss Daisy Duke is fabulous... it's like she's teaching me to slow down a few times a day and just be at peace.

2.  Watching my kids do well in their soccer games, but more importantly watching them take leadership roles.

3.  Buying and putting together a new desk for myself.

Phinneous has become a great leader on his team.
4.  Working as a supervisor for student teachers -- I LOVE IT!

5.  The changing of the season.

6.  Missing my husband, but appreciating all that he does.

7.  Planning a baby shower for my little sister.

A homemade breakfast for Joe!

8.  Laundry -- trying to hard to love it... I do love my new homemade laundry soap.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Frugal -- Cheap -- You decide

So, I'm always looking for ways to cut my big costs down.  As my kids get older and eat more and their acitvities cost more, I'm looking for ways to cut out excess but still provide a wonderful life.  Here are a few ideas that I've tried lately!

Shopping... One of my big methods is to stay out of the stores!  The longer I can wait, the better I do.  I've attached a magnetic pad of paper to my refrigerator and I'm training everyone in the house to write down what we need.  Then, when I do head into a store I can choose to pick up the items if they are a great price, or I can choose to wait for another time.

Cash... I'm also trying to use more cash when shopping... it makes me more accountable to my budget.

In the kitchen... with the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm right now, I don't want anything to go to waste.  We have some wonderful tomatoes that were beginning to go bad.  Instead of letting them continue to rot, my friend told me about freezer pasta sauce.  I gave it a try... it is so easy!  {Olive oil and garlic in a pan, huge chunks of tomatoes, seasoning and let cook down for about an hour and a half. When finished puree and freeze.} I've made several batches and even purchased more tomatoes so that we will benefit from our homemade sauce for several months.

I also picked blackberries at my sisters house {for free!}  I brought home a huge bowl and got to work making jelly.  My husband kids are not fans of seeds, so I spent time straining the seeds from the blackberries, but it wasn't too much work and they will all be happy.  The kids even helped with a few batches which gave them pride and satisfaction of making something for our family.

{With my thought of being frugal I also want to provide healthy meals for my family... I don't know that my tomato sauce adventure is really frugal... I'm sure I could find sauce with coupons and on sale for much cheaper, however, my sauce is full of other "stuff"... however, I may have thrown in some eggplant and such :)}

How cute is Phinneous!??!?!

My supplies
Finished product
Laundry... I do massive amounts of laundry! I've seen recipes for making laundry soap and decided to give it a try.  I made the liquid soap with the kids... we had a great time and it didn't take too long.  I started using it yesterday and I must say it smells good and our clothes look clean, so I must declare it's working.  I'm keeping track of the number of loads of wash I'm able to do.  The supplies cost me about $6 and I'm told it should do 576 loads of laundry... so cool!!!

What ideas do you have?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

And we're only half way through the month!

Joe's birthday flowers -- We had a Mexican food theme "party"

Joe's sushi lunch.

A new nephew... so sweet.

Got to watch our favorite volleyball player!

Baby girl's birthday.

Tent camping in the backyard.


This is what can happen with "helpers" in the kitchen.  Not a big deal... we learned to be more patient, take our time, clean up our messes and try again.  I think it was a good lesson for everyone involved. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Camping Birthday

Here are the pictures from Baby Girl's 8th Camping Birthday.

It was simple. I'm happy with what we did.  I have found ways to improve (such a teacher... always).

However, my baby girl was HAPPY!

Cake pops shaped like marshmallows... lantern from Target (it's solar and is awesome at night in her bedroom).

Cupcakes (digital fun added)

Baby Girl helping.

The table... fruit kabobs, cake pops, cupcakes, create your own trail-mix -- FUN!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

And... it's another birthday!

Mt. Hood... playing in lots of snow!

Goofy Girl
Found an Anaconda exhibit at Newport Aquarium... she was so excited as she wrote a report on Anaconda's in first grade.

Running down the dunes in Newport!  She was nervous to jump.
Found a crab claw in Seaside.
This girl likes her whip cream!
A diva in Maui!
Happy Birthday to our sweet Baby Girl... she turned 8!  I can't believe how the time has flown by.  She is creative, artistic, caring, stubborn, independent, courageous, helpful and almost always smiling.  What a joy you've brought to our lives!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Birthday Boy

It's time to celebrate Joe... it's his birthday!  As much as he doesn't need or want a bunch of attention, it's still his special day!

Tonight we will celebrate with a Mexican fiesta with some friends and the kids.  It should be a nice evening... just the way he likes it. 

I've watched him over the last year go through many ups (Maui, work success, kid success, etc. and downs (the death of his mother, work stress, kid stress, etc)... you know the routine.  But through all of it, he somehow manages to keep it all together.

Wishing you a very happy birthday... I love you!

First night in Maui

Wipeout in Kaanapali

Snorkel cruise

Hang loose

In front of Papkea -- out resort.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to School

It's hard to believe that summer is over and the kids have headed  back to school.  We have a 6th grader, 4th grader and 2nd grader in our home now.  Boy does time flies... it just seems like yesterday that they each started Kindergarten.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Countdown to School

The kids are headed back to school is 2 days and counting.

As we prepare for the big day (hair cuts, supplies, nerves, etc) I wonder ... did we slow down and enjoy our summer?  Did we spend time together?  Did we get to just "be"?

I don't know that we slowed down... it seems that life is always a bit hectic around here.

We did spend time together... Maui, soccer fields, driving to many soccer tournaments, swimming, etc.

I think I would have prefered more time at home to just be... I certainly know my yard would too. 

 Ready to snorkel.
 Playing together.
 Mama watching the kids play in the pool at night.
 Joey working hard with his team (they took 2nd place 2x this summer).
 Stefan working hard with his team (they took first place 2x this summer).
 Mirror Lake... look at this beauty!
 Wildwood at Mt. Hood
 2nd annual 3-on-3 tournament for Stefan and his buddies... they took 3rd place in their division.
 Putting up the shots!

The comment I heard last night was, "I think I'm ready to go back... it will be fun."  I guess that means we've done well with our summer fun.  Now, to make it through the first day jitters!