Friday, January 19, 2018

Back to Reality

After about 2 1/2 weeks of having everyone home last Monday was back to reality for all of us. It was strange getting the kids off to school and not having to stay. I missed teaching, but it was also so nice to be alone! I dropped them off then went to the grocery. It was a rainy, cold, and gross day! I spent the rest of the day around the house trying to clean up from Christmas! I realized how much I had missed that peaceful time after a whirlwind fall and start to winter! Thankfully Colby's teacher eased us back into school by not giving too much homework. Last week we were able to take walks before dinner which was so nice! I cooked spaghetti that night. Austin had to fly to Atlanta for the day so once he got in he was able to eat and hang out a bit before everyone was off to bed! 
Tuesday the kids of course went to school and I had a coffee date with my friend Brittany. She is the one who lost her baby in November. I have to admit I was a little nervous before going. I prayed that I would show grace and love towards her. Anyways it went really well and I think we both enjoyed the fellowship and bonding. Afterwards I was able to come home and have a pretty long day at home which was lovely. That night the kids and I basically did the same thing: do homework, walk, then have dinner. I made these baked chicken tacos that were super yummy! 
Wednesday I was able to come straight home after dropping the kids off. That always feels weird to me. I have been dropping them off right at 8 so I was back at home before 8:30. Anyway I had plans to get together with my friend Virginia. I prefer to do coffee/breakfast so that once I get home I do not have to get out. She wanted to meet for lunch though. I came home and got some things done around the house before leaving about 11 to go meet her. We had a nice lunch at Panera. I got home around 1. I mostly rested/hung out the rest of the afternoon. My parents brought the kids home so I was able to have a little more downtime. We didn't have church so I brought the kids to get dinner at Chickfila. We were able to walk again which was great. I am loving these low key nights! 
Thursday was a Super busy day for me! Although after a couple months of working full time...even my busiest of days don't seem too bad. So Thursday the kids had Awards Day. Both got awards again which was fun. Lindsay got Alpha Honor Roll. It will be interesting to see how she does in school. So far she's only 6 and she's received alpha more times than Colby. I never want to really compare them b/c they are 2 totally different kids, but its just interesting sometimes to see how different they really are. Colby got Alpha once in first grade and that was it. Right now though this kindergarten class the majority of them make Alpha Honor Roll. The whole class made it last quarter except one little boy and this time the entire class made it but 2 kids. So either its a really smart class or this is the norm? Anyway we are still super proud of her! So Colby got Beta Honor Roll which we were super proud. He usually makes it once or twice a year! He also got the Advanced Reading Award which was awesome b/c he's come SUCH a long way! Well after Awards I had to rush off to teach music. I am so thankful though I have a job that I can be there for my kids first. Anyway I was running late so I had to do a "shorter" schedule. This meant I had to skip the baby class. It was fun getting back and seeing the kids although I felt a little crazy in the first 2 classes. So much so I stuck like 4 kids in timeout! I know it'll just take time for them and me to get back into the groove. The older class did super though and I loved being back with them! We mostly sang some winter songs! Anyway I got home and it was my "short schedule day" where I get home eat lunch, rest, then basically go pick the kids up. We got in and did homework then Colby had Scouts that night. Its nice now that we are able to come home again before Scouts starts though. I think Colby enjoyed being around all his buddies. 
Friday I had another busy day. I had to sub at Aurora. I looked forward to being back there and honestly excited to "teach" again. I had the older 3 year old class along with their assistant. It was nice to have someone else there. She mostly took the lead and I helped. It was fun though. Very busy, but fun! It was really cold that morning so we mostly were inside. They played with toys a good bit of the morning, then we took a walk in the frigid temps, then came back inside for king cake, before going in the gym for awhile. We stayed there the majority of the morning. It was nice to sit and chat while the kids just ran and played. We went back to class and did circle time and I sang some "winter songs" with them. It was a fun morning! That afternoon I had short bit before having to go pick up my kids. Colby had piano so Lindsay and I came home and cleaned up the kitchen then picked him up. We had a low key evening around the house. I made gumbo and we had our movie night. It was a great week and I think we were all happy to return to our schedules! 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Christmas Break Part 3

So once we got past New Years the kids and I had one week left to hang out and have fun. Tuesday I knew we needed to get out the house we I brought them to the Monkey Room to play. Its sad that we no longer really have a group of friends to call up and meet us places. I feel like everyone is either working or busy. Anyway so it was just the kids and I, but we still had fun. I was at first doubting my decision when we got there and there were no parking places but we found street parking. The place was busy and crowded but not so bad especially since my kids are older and I don't have to follow them around. I was able to find a chair and read and just people watch. We stayed about 2 hours which was long enough for them. I think had we had a friend there they could have stayed longer though. I picked up lunch for us and then we came home to rest/relax. Its been so cold this week...but I am treasuring these cold afternoons to just relax. 
Wednesday was another day I knew we needed to leave the house, but its been so cold in the mornings. We decided to take our time getting ready. I told the kids if it got to be 40 degrees we would go to the park. So about 11 it hit that and I took them to the park down the street to run and play. I just love taking my kids out like that. I think kids need outdoor time. They climbed and ran around. I was also happy to see them playing so well together. Its just sad to me that we were the only people out there. They still had a blast though! After the park I promised them lunch out. I think we were all burnt out on Chickfila so we opted to go to 5 Guys. They loved this! It was quite yummy. Afterwards we dropped Colby off at my parent's house to spend the afternoon and night. It was nice coming home with just Lindsay. She and I had a quiet afternoon around the house. We watched Beauty and the Beast that night while we ate dinner. I enjoyed my time with just her. 
Thursday morning again was quiet and easy only dealing with 1 kid. I stopped at the Donut Shop with her as a treat though. I usually try to make mornings special when the other one is spending the night out. Afterwards we picked up Colby and came home. It was nice having a majority of the day home. I had them work on school work. We did good and did that 4 days of that week. I felt good getting them to review...especially Colby working on math. That's pretty much his weakest subject. I wish I had more time to "teach" them from home. I wouldn't want to homeschool but I do enjoy working with them like this. Lindsay mostly worked on phonics. That afternoon my parents came to pick her up. Then it was really quiet again just having Colby. I made him mac n cheese for dinner per his request then he had Cubscouts. It was nice going to SCOUTS on a non-school night. Made it fun and not stressful. It felt good to be back and see all our friends again. I am so thankful for the group of boys that Colby has been able to grow up with. They talked about internet safety. It was also nice to just focus on him. That evening we let him stay up a bit later. 
Friday was nice once again waking up with just one child. We got out and picked Lindsay up by about 9:30. We then went to Target for a few things before going to the movies. I can't believe we made the movies twice during this break, but with cold weather and so many good movies out it was a must! We saw "The Greatest Showman". It was SO GOOD! I think the kids enjoyed it, they might have been bored a couple times, but I think it was a movie that kept their attention as well. After that we came home and had lunch and just hung around the house. That night we did an abbreviated movie night. With seeing a movie that day and the late nights they had had at grandparents we knew they needed to go to bed on time. 
Saturday it felt great to have a family day! We slept in a bit then had a nice breakfast before getting ready to head out. We decided to have a City Park adventure. The kids had been talking about going out there. We never did make it to Christmas in the Oaks this year sadly. They also really wanted to ride the roller coasters but I knew all that was closed for the month of January. We ended up bringing their bikes out there and we found the bike/walking trail and just let them go. They had the best time! It was just a lovely day of simplicity. The weather was gorgeous and it was nice just letting them BE KIDS and be unplugged. We made the loop once with us walking and them riding. Well then we decided to rent a Surrey. They had been asking so Austin went ahead and bit the bullet. It was hilarious. We had to rent a big 4 person one b/c Colby was too big to fit in a basket. So Austin and I pedaled up front and Colby tried to pedal in the back and Lindsay sat in the very front basket perch thing. It was SO hard! It was so funny I am sure we were quite the sight. It was a memory and also a bucket list thing! I am so glad we did it despite how crazy we might have looked. ;) After that we let the kids play on the playground. They ran around and had a blast! I loved soaking up the outdoors. We left there and went to lunch at this new place called Crabby Jack's. Well its not new, but it was new to us. The food was delicious! It was just a little hole in the wall, but those are usually the best. We then went to go pick up a kingcake. We had to wait about 30 min in line since it was King's Day after all. Gotta love NOLA! After we got the king cake our last stop was to drop the king cake off at Randall and Elizabeth's house. We then came home and just enjoyed the rest of the day at the house. 
Sunday was ofcourse church. We went to first service. After church we stopped and ate at Olive Branch Cafe. It was nice finishing up early and getting home. We rested and watched the SAINTS game. That afternoon/evening was mostly about getting the house together and preparing for reality again. 
It was a great break! I feel like we truly had time to slow down. We got to do some fun things, but with the cold weather I feel like we spent more time around the house too. We also really didn't get to do much with friends, but I have learned to be thankful for the season. Right now we seem to be in this weird season of friends being so busy with life that we have a hard time getting together with people. I just tried to soak up the slowness and enjoying the time off though before the crazy starts back up! 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Years 2018

So this year New Years Eve fell on a Sunday which felt strange. We once again at church just had one service at 10:30. Its been nice to slow down a bit in this season and not have as many commitments. Church was nice and it was great to worship and also to see everyone. Again due to the slower season and less activities we also see less people. Anyway after church we went out to eat Mexican with my family. I have loved all the family time we have gotten in this season of life. That afternoon we hung out and watched the SAINTS game. That night we just had a low key family night. Austin cooked gumbo and we made pecan pies. We also did a few fireworks and he and I actually stayed up until midnight! 
New Years day it was FREEZING outside! We had our leisurely breakfast and I made potato salad for our lunch gathering with my family. We left about 11:30 to head over to my parent's house. The kids were of course excited. We also brought the drones so that the kids and Austin could fly them out on the golf course. We had contemplated bringing bikes and such to go over to the park but it was TOO COLD! Lunch was nice and more family and visiting time is always great too. Well after lunch we went out to fly the drones. Well my brother flew Colby's and ended up losing it. We thought it went in a tree so we spent about an hour trying to figure out where it went. We even went as far as going down the street to ask some neighbors if we could search their yards. Well no luck but finally Austin had the idea to search the golf course one more time. Sure enough he walked right out there and found it! AMAZING! So now this is a fun memory and story we have to tell. I am also proud of how well Colby handled the situation. After that we had dessert and watched a little football before coming home. The rest of the day was pretty much just being lazy around the house. I am really trying to soak in these winter days. I mean I truly think God created January as a time to rest and reflect. I try not to wish the weather or anything away b/c I want to absorb it and enjoy it for what it is. 
This past year was a great one. I feel like it was an extremely busy one. Colby went from 3rd to 4th grade. Lindsay finished her first year at full day school and started kindergarten. They are both doing wonderfully in school and love their teachers. Austin got a new job towards the end of the year. I continued teaching music at Aurora and subbing occasionally. I also got the privilege of teaching kindergarten the last couple months of the year at Calvary. I got to be Lindsay's school teacher! Anyway that was a life adjustment for sure...going back to work! It was only through Jesus' strength and grace that we all made it! It was a challenge, but a sweet season that I will cherish. We are looking forward to all that 2018 holds! 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Christmas Break Part 2

So last week after having our Christmas in Hattiesburg it felt good to settle in and really be able to enjoy our break. With getting out so late and all the Christmas festivities I hadn't had much time alone with the kids. 
Wednesday Austin went back to work so it was just the kids and I again. We decided to go to the library that morning. It had been awhile since we had been and it was really too cold to do much else. We left there and went to Target for some things. After that we picked up soup for lunch. We ate a quick lunch then had to get back out the house b/c Lindsay had a 2:00 doctor appointment. This was just her 6 year old well visit. This is the first year we have had to do this over break. In the past attendance at school hasn't mattered for her so I would always just let her "skip" a day and take her. Anyway we were like the last appointment of the day so they weren't busy at all. We were in/out in under an hour. We also got to meet Dr. Vigour's new c0-doctor. We really liked her too. It was good to get to establish a relationship with her in case the kids are ever sick and we have to see her instead. Once we got home it felt good to just relax. This is something I had really looked forward to was slow afternoons around the house. 
Thursday I wanted to plan a fun day with the kids. We decided to go to the movies. Again the weather has been SO cold outdoor activities weren't really possible. I wanted to bring the kids to see the movie "The Star". I guess since it was after Christmas there was only one showing of this movie and it was at 9:45. We got dressed and got going and made it though! It was sweet just being out with them like that. The movie was really cute and sweet. After the movie I brought them to lunch at Chickfila...there we ran into Lindsay's old prek 3 teacher. After lunch I brought them to my parent's house to stay while I had coffee with friends. I actually met Lindsay's prek 4 and kinder teacher at Barnes and Noble. Its funny I saw 3 out of her 5 teachers she's had in her life! It was great fun visiting with friends. We laughed and talked and stayed for 2 hours! After that I rushed home to get the kids and we came on home. Soon it was dinner time and all that. We have been letting the kids stay up later though and play with Wii. 
Friday was another free day for us! I knew it would be cold but we decided to go to the park. My friend Melissa and her w sons met us there. We stayed about 2 hours. We had a lot of fun. It was nice hanging out with a friend like that. Afterwards we went on home for lunch. It was also our first afternoon to be at home which felt amazing! That's one of my favorite things is just a slow paced afternoon at home. The kids opted out of watching a movie and chose to play the Wii instead. 
Saturday it was nice to have Austin home with us again. It was a very busy day though. The nice thing was that we were able to take our time getting ready and have a slow morning and leisurely breakfast. Gosh I will miss these when the kids go back to school. Anyway once we were all dressed and ready Austin took the kids on some errands and I went grocery shopping! I am so ready for next week when I can get back to Monday morning grocery shopping and not going over the weekends. Once I got home I put everything away and then it was literally time to turn around and take Colby to his friend Zach's b-day party. The party was at Laser Tag. I was happy to be able to take Colby even though afternoon b-day parties aren't really my thing. It was nice to visit with some of the parents and to see my boy having fun. This Christmas break we weren't really able to do anything with friends so this was a nice change of pace for him. I hate that these days so many parents work or kids are so busy that we didn't get together with anyone but atleast he had a couple hours of guy time! The Laser Tag place really isn't my favorite either b/c its all centered around video games. I would much rather see boys running around outside but hey I didn't plan the party. Anyway it was fun and so that afternoon we just hung around the house. We got the rest of the Christmas decor down and just hung out together.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Christmas 2017

So this year Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday. It felt a little different since we had church that morning. Usually Christmas Eve is like the one day we always sleep in and stay home all day. It was fine though and I was happy to be at church celebrating with my church family. Once we left church we came home to watch the SAINTS game and relax. We had a few things to accomplish though before heading over to my parents house that evening. That night we went over about 5 to have dinner at my parent's house. This year my mom did a ham, potato salad, green beans, mac n cheese, and a salad. As always we just enjoyed visiting and hanging out. We did our usual singing of Christmas carols and reading the Christmas story as well. Afterwards we celebrated all the December b-days with a red velvet cake. By the time we got home it was time to send the kids to bed. We did all of our Santa preparations then sent them off to sleep. Austin and I of course stayed up and watched TV and then played "Santa". 
Christmas Day was nice. We were up fairly early so the kids could do their Christmas here with us. This year we tried to stick to a 3 gift rule. Colby got a bike, golf clubs, and a CARS toy. Lindsay got an American Girl Doll, Moana doll, and skates. They both got a few little stocking stuffers as well. After letting them open up everything here we got dressed and headed over to my parent's house. Its tradition to go over there and have breakfast and open presents. We had a good time doing that as well. Its always a sweet time. We also reminisced through some old photos as well. We left there about 11 and came home. We first dropped off some gifts to our adopted family from a couple years ago. We came home and just had a simple lunch. It was nice having the rest of the day home with the kids. My parents did come by later that day to see them and their new stuff. We took a walk and just enjoyed being home together. That night we had to get presents wrapped and stuff together for our trip to Hattiesburg! 

So Tuesday was our Mississippi Christmas day! We got up early and were heading out about 8ish. We stopped and picked up breakfast and just ate in the car. We got into Hattiesburg about 10. We did stop first at the cemetery where Austin's dad is buried. It was SO cold though we didn't linger long. Its still hard to believe that Mr. Jim (Pawpaw) has been gone over a year. Well we got to his mom's house and from there we just had a day of visiting and hanging out. Wendi and her family got there the same time as us which was nice b/c the kids were able to all play immediately. Maggie and Shelbi got a drone for Christmas so they did go out some and play with that. We mostly sat around and enjoyed visiting. Austin's mom's sister and her husband were there so it was nice to have a new addition to our holiday crowd. His sister Dianne and husband didn't make it though this year. Also Jim's sister stopped by as well so I feel like it was a pretty busy day. We had our usual big lunch and opening of presents. The kids did a lot of Drone flying especially after Colby got his. By about 4:30 we knew it was time to head on back. We had a lot to do at home. We stopped in Slidell for dinner and got home about 7. From there it was bathing the kids and sending them off to bed after a very busy day! 
I cannot believe another Christmas has come and gone. The kids being 9 and 6...I feel like we are in the sweet spot although Colby no longer believes. Lindsay is really into all things Santa though. It was a really sweet year, but also different. I feel like with working we weren't able to do as much "holiday" stuff as we normally are. There was also a soberness about the holiday. I guess just realizing what its truly about and that we don't have to DO all the things in order to have Christmas. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas Break Part 1

So Christmas break for us started the Friday before Christmas. Austin had taken off that day which was nice. It felt so good for us all to be able to sleep in. We got up and made breakfast then made our plans for the day. Traditionally Austin likes to take each child out by him or herself to shop for the other one and also just to spend quality time together. He chose Colby for his first day. They had errands to run across the river. They went to Lakeside and to the Seminary then to eat lunch. I think they had a good time from what I hear. Lindsay and I chose to stay closer to home, but we had to go to Barnes and Noble, deliver teacher gifts, Hobby Lobby, and had lunch at Panera. She had a gift card from her b-day so I let her do some shopping at B&N and we got colby's teacher a gift card for there. I figured she could buy books or just go enjoy the cafe and get some coffee. After we dropped that gift off in her mailbox. She had just had surgery the day before so we didn't want to disturb her. After we were ready to eat so we stopped at Panera. Its always so fun to have girl time with her. After lunch we went to Hobby Lobby. Here is where we found her teacher's gift. Lindsay found a glass decorative cross for her and we got her a gift card. So after that we dropped that off at her house. We ended up staying and talking for about 30+ minutes. Once we got home it was after 1 and we were all ready for some rest. We hung out around the house and that evening though we all got dressed and went to eat at Des Families. We didn't get to really celebrate our anniversary this year since it fell on a Monday and we were all busy with school/work so we thought it would be sweet to go out to eat as a family. I think the kids enjoyed what they called a "fancy dinner" as well. Afterwards we even went to look at Christmas lights. Once we got home it was bedtime though. We didn't stay up and do a movie since it was already kinda late when we got home. 
Saturday we were up and at em early so we could go have breakfast with my family. It was time for our annual Parrot Pete's December Celebration breakfast. As always a great time was had by all. Its always nice to fellowship and visit with each other. Afterwards though we split our separate ways. Austin took Lindsay with him to Target and I took Colby to the grocery. We both got home about the same time. That afternoon we just spent around the house which was nice. We had grilled pork chops and mashed potatoes that night for dinner. It was nice to have a slower paced afternoon/evening. That night we let the kids stay up and watch Home Alone. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

'Twas the Week Before Christmas Break

So this past week has been a very interesting and busy week. By Monday 3 staff members at the church had fallen to the flu. It was a crazy week also with it being the week of Christmas! Monday was a pretty ok day. Austin did have a Christmas party that night which meant he didn't get in until after 11. I was so tired b/c naturally I couldn't fall asleep until after he got in. 
That next morning I woke up  and was SO TIRED! Lindsay also woke up not feeling well. I took her temp and she had a slight fever. I registered right at 99. Well with the flu going around I really didn't want to take chances. I also really knew we could use a day of rest. Austin was off that day and I just knew it would be a great day to rest. Well Colby did not want to miss school so Austin went ahead and brought him. I literally relaxed ALL day. My body felt like it had been run over by a train. I really thought I was getting the flu. Turns out it was just pure exhaustion. Lindsay and I went to go pick up Colby and that way I was able to get a few things situated in my room from having a sub that day. We got in that night and just hung out as a family which was nice. Since all the grades and such were turned in there was no homework this week which was pretty awesome too! 
Wednesday we were ofcourse back at it. In kindergarten though we had a full fledged day of school. The day before they hadn't done much since they had a sub. She taught handwriting and Bible and that was about it...which was fine. So I had them doing a full day of school. It helps though to pass the time. Finally that afternoon the sun came out and we were able to get outside which was awesome! We had been cooped up all that week. I also let them watch a movie that day during nap time. Colby also had a party that day b/c his teacher was going to be having surgery the following day. That night though we found out my dad went to ER b/c his heart rate was elevated. I felt bad that we couldn't be there with him and my mom. But we had literally just gotten home and the kids hadn't had dinner. Anyway my brother and sis in law stayed there with them so that was good. 
Thursday was of course Christmas Party Day. I knew it would be a long day at school. We didn't do any work that day of course. I had them do a few "Christmas type pages" we also spent about an hour + in the prep 4 room doing centers and crafts which really helped speed the time along. We had lunch right after then I took them to the playground to play. I was so glad we could get outside even though it was hot and muggy. It helped that they got their energy out though. Once we got back to class they settled in for a movie. I was glad to have that time to just "sit" as well. I did do a few things to get prepped for the party. Well the room mom aka party mom was supposed to arrive at 1 which would have been exactly when the movie ended. Well she ran 30 min late so in true teacher fashion I had to pull stuff out of my hat for the kids to do. We did a couple Christmas worksheets before she arrived. Once she got there the kids got really amped up. She had them do a "birthday party for Jesus" which was really cute but she kinda made them hyper with party hats and blowers. It all turned out ok though and I was just thankful to not have to "run" the activities. I mostly just went around and managed the chaos. Well by 2:45 we were wrapping up her activities so the other parents arrived and the kids were able to sing their songs then give their parents their gifts. It was a sweet little moment. I didn't want parents hanging out all day but I was glad they got to come in and see their kids in their classroom. I was so glad to have that day behind me! 
Well after we left the school we stopped by the hospital to see my dad b/c he had to stay another night. It made for a long day but since I couldn't be up there any other time I knew it was important for us to stop. Plus I think just having us there helped lift his spirits. We stopped and picked up Chickfila on the way home b/c we were starving! It was a long day and I was so thankful to get home and get in the bed that night and then to begin our Christmas vacation! It felt so good knowing the next day we could sorta "sleep in"!