Sunday, November 24, 2013

"life's hard and that's just the way it is"

These two are quite the buddies.  I love to watch them interact and play together, something that is happening more all the time.  Yesterday I was trying to buckle Sam into his carseat and he wasn't wanting much to do with it.  I finally got the job done and we started driving away.  I had to smile at the conversation coming from the back seat. 

"Sam, I'm sorry but that's just the way it it.  You have to sit in a car seat 'til you're ten.  Well, maybe not ten, but eight.  Even when you're big like me, you have to sit in a seat.  'xept then you can sit in a booster.  We have to so we're safe and that's the rule.  See?    Sorry, but life's hard and that's just the way it is."

When I was growing up and upset about a bad hair day or something equally catastrophic, my dad would tell me, "Life's hard and then you die."  Obviously, we like to break it to 'em young around these parts.

Despite the cold, hard facts of life, my days are pretty fun with these two around.  Busy, because they are both quite the busy little bees- but fun.  One morning Sam and I were eating our breakfast at the table when Claire decided to put on a performance for the two of us.  I loved it.  (By the way, Mr. Sam was an excellent audience.  This kid must know he has a lot of years of dance recitals ahead!)

Sam isn't talking much yet (in fact, he just started speech therapy to help him along), but he loves to read books.  The three of us often cuddle up in the rocking chair with a pile of books.  Sam especially loves anything with tractors or trucks like daddy's.  He is boy all the way through, and loves anything that has to do with his daddy.

Although, I should be a little careful with that last statement, because the boy seems to have a fondness for tutu's- and I hate to make anyone think that his dad runs around in them.  This might have something to do with the fact that his sisters are quite often found in princess/ballerina attire.  We've tried to add a few boy articles to our dress up collection, although we obviously don't get too upset when we see him in a random tutu.  I had to laugh one day when I looked out the back window to see him running across the back lawn after Claire wearing a princess dress.  He was holding up the front of it so he didn't trip, and underneath it he was wearing some camouflage pants!  I think he'll be just fine, although we might have some pretty good blackmail material when he turns 16.

So there you go.  Life's hard and then you die.
Have a lovely day.  :)

my, my, my. . .

So, I kind of feel like this is the busiest stage of my life to date.

I'll probably be saying that again in another year, and the next, and the next.  But so far I think this is it.  It's a good busy, though.  I remind myself of that.  It's all stuff that I signed up for- you know, like five kids?  They tend to keep one busy, but again, I'm not sure which one  I'd do without.

Guess I'll keep being busy then.  (We've tried pretty hard to keep to our "less is more" train of thought that has developed over the past few years of craziness, and so I don't feel that we're doing too much of anything, which is nice.  I really don't think there's anything in our days that I would take out.  Except homework- I hate that stuff.  And maybe toilet cleaning- not a fan.  Oh, and maybe the endless cleaning and recleaning up after all my little people? One of my friends has a magnet on her fridge that says, "Most days I feel like I'm rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic."  Amen, sister.)

A few weeks ago someone asked me if I still blog.  It's sad when I have to think about the answer.  The truth is, I've been feeling the itch to write again for a while but just haven't.  I miss the funny memories that I don't remember until I read old posts.  I feel like so many tales of our everyday life are slipping through my fingers.  I think I'm a bit more balanced when I write- for a number of reasons.  I laugh instead of cry more often, because when I write about our days, suddenly the very worst moments seem to be the very ones that make me laugh and realize how much I love our crazy life.  I've gotta get back to it.

So here's a start:  A few things we've been up to the past few months. . .

We wrapped up the summer with another county fair.  This is a quick summary, but suffice it to say Kate place third in her class.  Again.  She has placed third every year in every show!  (Only the top two from each class go back for Grand Champion).  She teased about posting a big number 3 on her shirt from here on out.  It's beginning to become a running joke. Ryenne's lamb was a tank, and she didn't do as well as she'd hoped but that's life, right?  Win some, lose some.  Also, Claire participated in the pee-wee lead with her lamb, Nacho Libre.  Let's just say she was a complete hit. 

PS. Have I mentioned that we have our own little flock now?  Yeah, I saw the writing on the wall with that one...Never say never, right?

Everyone but Sam started school, Ryenne is in middle school.  Eeeek.  I can't say that enough.  She's doing just fine but I can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that a year from now she will be a freshman.  Also, those middle school years were a little bit traumatic in my recollection,and so I just keep crossing my fingers and feeling glad she's smarter than I ever was.  Kate is in the intermediate school and doing famously.  She's a good one, that girl.  Emmy is in third grade and loves, loves, loves her teacher.  Her greatest achievements right now are getting to move her clip up the chart to "role model" status.  When this happens, the reward is a phone call from her teacher.  Let's just say that her teacher started sending texts.  I think she started feeling silly if you know what I mean.  Emmy makes me smile.  And Claire?  She makes me laugh.  She is a mentor student at the special needs preschool in our school district.  This means she rides the bus and is happy as a clam three days of the week.  (She's pretty much happy as a clam the other days too, but she doesn't appreciate her "days off" quite like I do).  The other day she asked me why the teachers decided to only have school three days a week.  I told her that maybe they thought the kids would like a few days off so they could spend it with their fun moms.  She looked at me and thought for a minute and then said, "I like spending time with you mom!  I just like to do it after school!" 

In September we went to the State Fair, which was a lot of fun.  We can now chalk up the State Fair as providing our longest ever showmanship (last year, about 7 hours) and the shortest (this year was probably the shortest in recorded history!- about 5 minutes in the ring.  maybe.)  The bright side to that is that we had a lot of fun not being in the lamb barn.  The girls had lots of time swimming with their friends at the hotel swimming pool and spending time as a family.  We went to a fun Chinese restaurant with Grandma and Grandpa one night, and the science building at the fair was a hit with everyone.  Overall, we had a really fun weekend.  And yes, Kate place third in her class!  We died over her face when the judge placed the top three. 

We also we've had a few goodbyes.  Grandma Great passed away shortly after the State Fair.  We were sad to see her go, but are so happy to think of her reunited with Grandpa again.  Quite a pair, those two.  Uncle Josh left in August to live in Jerusalem for a few years, with Aunt Kendra and little Josh heading to Israel the first part of October.  Sam and Joshie are quite the buddies, and we were sad to see them go.  Uncle Cole, Aunt Julie, and the Jones girls also moved- to North Dakota.  We miss that crew too!

We've been remodeling the back of our house for a few months, too.  Because, you know- it's been a few years.  Which means right now I have a layer of dust over every single thing in our house.  Last week Courtney tore out the chimney.  It was awesome.  Think black ash covering everything and everyone for days.  The outside of our house was in need of repainting and so I decided to do it to save some money.  It took me over a month, but I just finished it a week or so ago.  I haven't tackled anything like that for a while and am quite proud of myself.  It took everything my body had to give me (and I think I'm paying the price now), but it sure felt good to be productive again.  However, I laughingly told Courtney that I couldn't be a house painter and a homemaker all at the same time, so now I'm digging out the inside.  It's amazing how fast things fall apart when the resident "maid" (as Claire called me the other day) is otherwise involved.  Sam is loving the construction zone around here.  He follows in his dads footsteps when it comes to tools I guess, and I frequently find him with a hammer and nail going to town.  He got his own little tool set for his birthday and loves it, but sometimes it's just not the same as the real thing!  A few weeks ago, Courtney was on the roof shingling when little Mr. Samuel himself appeared on the roof.  Yip, up the ladder (with a bagel in one hand and a blanket in the other) and across the roof to where his daddy was.  Just showing up to work, he was.  Let it be known that I wasn't the one doing the babysitting.

Our summer days were filled with the sound of hammers, and Claire and Sam loved having Brett (our friend who helped us with our project) around to talk to.  Claire followed him around chatting his ear off (she found out his middle name was Samuel and decided she would just call him "Sam"), and Sam followed him around trying to use all of his cool tools.  We couldn't have asked for a nicer guy to help us/entertain our kids!

(watching the guys pour cement.  exciting times!)

October flew by with Halloween preparations added to the mix.  We made our annual trek to the pumpkin patch, but never carved (or painted, or decorated in any way) a pumpkin.   Ryenne and her friends made superhero costumes to help with our little friend Reese's Fright for Sight race again, and had a ball.  They looked awesome.  The rest of the kids were all happy with their costumes, which were pretty low key this year.  Hooray!  Sadly, we skipped our "Skip the Pumpkin Walk Party" because we actually kind of accidentally committed to help out with the school carnival this year, which happened to be the same night as the pumpkin walk.  Really- what's the world coming to?  We must correct that next year.