Monday, February 27, 2017

Reading and more Reading

This is a fun week for the kids. They are having "Read Week". They do this every year to coincide with Dr. Seuss' B-day and Read Across America. Colby doesn't have homework all week and no tests. Basically they are just emphasizing reading for fun which I think is a great idea. It also helps since its Mardi Gras season and there is a lot of parading and the kids get out of school on Friday. 
So Monday was pretty routine for us...Austin was off so he stayed home that morning and did some stuff around the house while I went to the grocery store. I then came home and put all that away and he and I went to Lowe's and Petsmart then to Chili's for lunch. It was nice to have that time just he and I. I have been missing our dates lately. That afternoon he left to go to Hattiesburg to spend time with his mom. I was just planning a quiet night in with the kids. My mom read to Lindsay's class that afternoon so I think she really enjoyed that. 
Tuesday was a pretty busy day for me. I had bible study. Its always great to go there and get refreshed. The rest of the day ended up being pretty low key though. Austin got in around 1:30 and he and I went together to pick up the kids. Colby was supposed to have kickball but it got cancelled due to all the rain we had the night before. I was a little bummed though b/c it would have been fun to watch him as a the weather was gorgeous. I think the Lord knew though we needed a slow paced night. It was nice coming in and the kids getting to play and us cooking dinner together. 
Wednesday was another full day for me. After dropping the kids off at the school I had to run a few errands. After the errands I came home briefly then went back up to the school to read to the kindergarten class. I really enjoyed it even though it was super short. I miss the "classroom" on occasion. I hope that maybe one day I can sub up there. This year my schedule has just been too busy though. So I came home and had lunch and enjoyed a few quiet hours before the kids got home. That evening we had church. I had 5 kids that night. They were all pretty much younger though so I felt bad for Lindsay. Austin ended up bringing home early b/c she was "bored". We had a fun evening though. One little girl though was completely exhausting though. It seems like there is always that one...sigh. 
Thursday was my music day. I really do enjoy it though. The kids all seemed to really be into it and it went well. I am always exhausted though after. I was thankful though that we didn't have any after school activities so we were able to just have a night at home. 
Friday was Dr. Seuss Day for the kids. I love how the whole week was geared towards reading and then it culminates on Friday with a big celebration. I usually do help out with this day. I did when Colby was in kinder and in 2nd grade. I've always just been an assistant b/c trying to plan and run an activity just seemed like too much. So this year I was assigned to help Audra Love with her activity. We read "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back". She had planned a little activity also for the kids afterwards. The first group we had was 5th and 6th. They really liked the cup stacking. The next group was 3rd and 4th. I read the book for them. I enjoyed seeing Colby's class since I know all of them. Our next rotation was 7th and I think they were the rowdiest bunch. I am sure they were bored out of their mind. The next one was prek and kinder. Once again I read and I was happy to see Lindsay and her group. She seemed to be having a blast at her first Dr. Seuss Day. The last group we saw was 1st and 2nd. They were cute and really seemed to enjoy it as well! After we cleaned up from the activity I went downstairs and Colby was having lunch. I decided I would stay and eat with him. They were having gumbo so I figured why not? It was yummy and I enjoyed talking with him and his friends. Ella was also celebrating her birthday so it was fun to be there for that as well! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Parades and Pals

Whew this last weekend was a blast but I am pooped! We had a nice low key Friday night and for that I am thankful. Since Thursday was so busy I had wanted to not do much on Friday. We had baked potatoes for dinner. We also did our usual movie night as well. 
Saturday we did get to sleep in also which was nice. We got ready and headed out though about 10. We went over to my parent's house for the parade that goes by their street. My mom had the kids work on making their traditional little king cakes. The kids of course were super thrilled and excited with that. Around 11:15 we decided to walk on up to the parade. Once we got there we also ran into our friends Melody, Nijel, and Mia &; David and Ebbie &; Cindy and Layla, and then my friend Stefanie and her daughter Anna Claire! It was so much fun to parade with so many people we knew. It was a short really low key parade but the kids had so much fun! Its always a really fun time. After the parade we went back to my parent's house. I was so glad that Stefanie and her little girl could also join us. We had lunch and just visited! We ended up all staying over there until about 3:30. It was so much fun though. The kids played and decorated king cakes while we just visited. Stefanie was one of my best friends from 4th grade-highschool. She moved when we finished the 10th grade but we still stayed in touch and she was in my wedding. This was honestly the longest I had been around her though in a very very long time! It was truly like old times! Once I got home with Lindsay we just mostly hung out until Austin got home. I was pooped! Colby spent the night with my parents so it was kinda nice to just have a very quiet and low key evening. 
Sunday Austin was off. We were all thrilled to have him home with us. We went to first service at church. I feel like it went well. I was teaching the preschoolers. We had 8 kids I believe. They were mostly good but a few had attitude issues. After church though we went to eat and then uptown to PARADE. I knew this would probably be our one and only chance this season to do a "big" parade. Now that the kids are older we try to atleast do 2 a year. So far the last 3 seasons that has worked out beautifully. They have been to a Super Krewe, a Metairie parade, and now another Uptown local parade. We got out to the route right as the 2nd parade was starting up. The parade lasted like 2 and a half hours. There were still 2 more to follow but we felt like the kids had caught plenty and we had been out there awhile. It was a great time though! One of those moments where I just realized how great our city is. It was just a fun, neat atmosphere. We got home around 3 and we were all pretty tired so we had a very low key rest of the day. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Back to Life

So this week has been us getting back into the groove. After the "sick week" I was honestly a little anxious to being our week and get back to some normalcy. Plus I was craving having a little alone time to have the house to myself. 
So Monday I grocery shopped and had the majority of the day to myself at home. It was so nice! I love those days b/c I feel rested and accomplished. That afternoon Colby had a dentist appointment. That put us a tiny bit later getting in but he did great at the dentist and no cavities. 
Tuesday I had Bible study. It was nice to get back to this after missing a week. It was a really good week. I felt much better after this week. I was a little discouraged the week I had been last. After Bible study I picked up heart donuts to surprise the kids for Valentine's day. We honestly didn't make a big deal out of it...honestly we rarely do. With Austin working like crazy and us getting over being sick. We had planned to go out last Friday night but that just didn't end up working out. Anyway that night I cooked Chicken Alfredo and we had the donuts for dessert. I think the kids felt special and loved. We had gotten them Legos as a small prize as well. 
Wednesday was another low key day for me! It began with me taking a trip to SAM's. Lindsay had snack day this week so I was mostly shopping for that. That day I was able to spend another day home which was PURE Bliss! That night we had church. Again it was great to get back to another activity we missed last week. The kids were definitely excited to be with their friends! I had a sweet group of 5 littles at church. This semester so far has been great b/c I've had smaller classes and all big kids. Basically 3-5 year olds which is my passion! We just talked about how Jesus Loves children. It was a fun and easy lesson! crazy day!! So Thursdays are always my busy days but throw in kickball for Colby and it was really a day on the go! So my day began with going to teach music. I was glad to be back after missing last week. I missed the kids and it was good to see all the teachers again as well. The kids were great...although I think the 3s were the hardest. Some weeks I just feel like the songs/lessons I prepare click and other weeks not so much. Anyway after that I came home for a brief couple of hours before going up to the school. Colby had kickball. I was so excited when I found out they were going to have a kickball league at the school. Sports have never really been Colby's "thing". We have tried soccer and he hated it...we did tennis and he liked it "ok". I have never wanted to push him into "park" sports b/c 1) he didn't like it and 2) they take up so much of your week/weekend. I always said I wish they would offer sports at school and that way he could get a taste of it without it being a HUGE commitment. That's where I began m playing sports. I actually started in 4th grade. Anyway when the kickball registration came in I knew it was something he needed to try. I think it will be good for him to gain the confidence of playing with his peers and the older kids, also its outdoor time which is always great, it teaches kids winning/losing, and its just a  fun social time to be with friends. Anyway I thought the first day went great! It was a really fun atmosphere. The kids were all great. It wasn't too "serious". Colby did great kicking/running bases but was clueless when it came to "fielding". I realized we had never even really tried to teach him that part. Anyway I think he will learn more as time goes on. Lindsay also had a great time b/c there were plenty of friends for her to hang with. After the game we went on to my parent's house. We had to stop by there to eat dinner and do homework. I was so thankful for them b/c it would have been hard to stop at a restaurant and do it all. It was nice to have a little "breather" in between activities.
We went on to Scouts. It was a good night but I could tell the kids were hyper which I think really meant they were all actually tired. They were easily frustrated and very distracted. I think the adults were pretty tired as well. Fortunately this won't happen too many times where they both fall on the same night. 
Friday I had a good day. I had a dentist appointment though to begin the day. Never a fun thing...and ugh if I didn't have another cavity?!? I think this is now my 3rd. So annoying! So now I have to find time to go in for a filling after Mardi Gras. After that I met some friends for coffee at PJs. It was great to get some girl time in though but then my day went by super fast and I didn't feel like I had a lot of time around the house for much. I was thankful though that the weekend had arrived! 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thankful for Healing and Weekends

So this week has surely been one of sickness! It was a long week in many aspects but I've tried to soak up the time of being still and relaxing. I truly believe sometime God puts us in these seasons so we can rely on him and just rest. Life is so busy and this would have been an extremely busy week and maybe God knew we couldn't handle it. 
So thankfully though on Friday Lindsay was able to go back to school and Austin was off. Colby was still pretty puny so he stayed with Austin while I brought Lindsay to school. It felt really good just to get out the house and do something "normal". I think Lindsay was happy to return as well. After I dropped her off I even met my friend Ashley for a quick coffee break! I just needed some social time after being cooped in all week. We had a nice visit then I ran a couple errands before coming home and getting the boys. Colby was still acting a little sickly while we were out but we figured the fresh air would do him some good. We had to do some shopping at Target and then we took him to lunch. Thankfully by that afternoon he seemed to be back to normal! 
Austin and he picked Lindsay up from school and the kids had a nice time playing outside. We cooked tacos for dinner. It was nice having a family dinner and then having our family movie night. I was sad our kids missed out on the ValenGras but there was no way Colby should have been up there since he wasn't puke free for 24 hours. Plus we felt they needed their rest and one more night to really re-coup.
Saturday was the first day we were all 4 home and well enough to feel like doing something! Although I have to say it was nice to sleep in and not have anywhere to be early that morning. We had a busy day planned later though. Lindsay had a b-day party at the Children's museum...we figured since Austin was off he and Colby could go have a man day. They ended up going to the WW2 museum. The party was a lot of fun! Lindsay had a blast seeing and playing with her little school friends! I enjoyed visiting with the grownups. it was a pretty low key party I felt like. I really enjoyed our time. From what I hear the boys had a nice time and they met us back at the museum for like the last 30 min of the party. Afterwards we were pretty anxious to get home and relax for a little while. We had dinner plans that evening with my family. That night we had a great time celebrating Randall. It was a yummy dinner as always and the company was great. We didn't get home until almost 9! Its kinda nice though now at 8 and 5 that we can now stay out later at these events. 
Sunday it was great to have us all home again. We were attending 2nd service that day so we were able to sleep in again which was wonderful. After the sickness in our house I felt like all our energy level was down. Or maybe it was just the missed nights of sleep while they were sick? So we went to 2nd service. Colby went to his class and Lindsay stayed with us in service. She really isn't fond of going to class when I am not her teacher. We stayed after for the Love Lunch for the Joy Ministry b/c the cub scouts were invited back to serve again. We had a nice time. The only boys that were able to attend was Colby, Nijel, and Makyrin. I am so thankful though for these boys and their families and for our church. It was a great experience. After the lunch we came home to rest and get prepped for the week. Colby had been invited to hang out with his buddies but between make up work from missing school and just us needing to get stuff done we decided to just make him come home. 
It was a great weekend and I am thankful we were all feeling better so we could really enjoy it! 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sickness Strikes

Well our turn has come for the winter "sickies". Well honestly I feel like someone in our family has been battling some type of sickness since early January. It all began when Austin's mom was here after Christmas and she had a bad cold and passed it to Austin. He was sick with that for a couple weeks. Then late January Colby and I had our turn with bad colds. I am honestly just getting over mine. I feel like it was part cold and part allergies. 
So I'll pick up Sunday. So Sunday we went to church. Austin had to go back to work so it was just the kids and I. I taught first service. We had a good group of littles. We had 7 and I had Mrs. Linda helping me along with Ella. All went well and I felt good about the morning. The kids and I picked up lunch and came home after though. I was anxious to rest and re-coup from the long day before. We had a great afternoon and got to spend some time outside in the beautiful weather. 
Monday started out as a great day as well. I was looking forward to a day home alone. I had two offers to sub but I really felt God telling me that I needed to rest and work on things around the house. Little did I know the crazy the rest of the week would bring. Its so amazing how He works out those details. Anyway I grocery shopped and enjoyed my day here. I got a lot done scrubbing my tub so I was feeling pretty good about things. That afternoon things went well with the kids. Austin worked a little later but was home for the bath/bed routine. Well little did we know that later that night Lindsay would get sick. Around bedtime she said her stomach hurt and she went to the potty. Shortly after that she said she had to throw up. She threw up a few times between then and the time we went to bed. We let her sleep on a pallet in the den that evening. I got up and checked on her several times throughout the night and every time I checked she was sound asleep. She told me the next morning though that she had thrown up once during the night? Sweet girl! I cannot believe the independence she has! She left no mess and even cleaned up from herself! 
Well so Tuesday I knew school was out for her. My parents came to get Colby and take him to school. Little did we know that later my dad would also fall ill to the same bug. So Lindsay and I had a very low key and quiet day at home. Well kinda quiet. There were tornadoes all around the area that day so we spent most of the day watching the weather and getting phone calls from my mom and texts from others. That afternoon we had to go get Colby and go to his kickball meeting. By that point Lindsay seemed to be feeling better. I still hated to get her out in public but with my parents sick and Austin at work I really had no choice? Anyway we sat through the meeting and tried to sit far away from others. That night she really perked up and even ate 2 hot dogs for dinner! Although poor baby ended up puking again that night. 
That night was also rough between Lindsay getting up and saying her music was off and Colby had a nightmare we basically were all up from 4-6. I made the decision that I would just let the kids sleep in. So needless to say both slept super late. Lindsay got up around 7:30 and ate a little breakfast then curled up on the floor and slept again from 8:30-11. I worried at that point that she still wasn't ok but once she woke up from her nap she seemed ready to hit the roads. I got everyone dressed and we went out to Petsmart. I felt like getting out the house everyone would feel much better. The kids really enjoyed the outing too. We even ate at chickfila for lunch. Lindsay by that point even seemed to have a pretty good appetite. It was good to get out with them even for a little bit. We honestly had an awesome afternoon and I was SURE we would be back to normalcy by Thursday! The kids played outside for hours that afternoon and evening and it was just so pleasant. I know God gives us these times of "sickness" sometimes as a slow down...I honestly felt like Wednesday was a gift. With full time school and a full schedule its not often the kids and I just get to be. It was a wonderful feeling! So we were feeling pretty great about things Wednesday night. Around bedtime though Colby came out saying he was having trouble breathing. He hadn't been sick or anything and his nose wasn't stuffy and he wasn't congested so I thought at first he was having a bit of a drama moment maybe from the day before and the tornadoes. I think he's been thinking about death a lot lately. I really felt like he was just having some type of anxiety. Well finally we realized that no he was super nauseous and needed to throw up. After about an hour of him groaning and not feeling good he finally puked and puked and puked. We did the same thing with him that night. We put him on a pallet in the den. We figured this way he would be close enough to call us if he needed help and he wouldn't throw up in his bed. Well he called us about every hour!! It was the worst night of sleep in a long time! I think he puked every hour the entire night. Well of course then I knew school was out for Thursday too. 
I turned off the alarm once again and knew we just needed to sleep. I woke up around 7:15 and the kids were up around 8. Colby still wasn't feeling good at all. In fact he spent most of the day laying around moaning and groaning. I felt bad b/c by that point Lindsay felt good enough to be at school I think but with him being super sick I couldn't leave the house. So home we stayed again! We ended up having a decent day despite the sickness. Lindsay and I spent a lot of time outside since the weather was gorgeous! Colby even made appearances in and out as well. By mid day he was acting like he felt a little better but still pretty pitiful. He spent most of the day on the couch. We did get out to pick up McDonald's for dinner. I realize that was probably a HUGE mistake but I didn't feel like cooking and its what Lindsay wanted. well Colby ate a little and Lindsay scarfed down her mighty kids meal! Everything was going fine and Colby had even perked up a lot that night after his bath. I really felt like we were in the clear....well that night around 10 Austin and I were watching TV and Colby came out crying and covered in puke.  So at that point we knew any activities on Friday would be out. It was so yucky! We had to completely strip his bed and bathe him. Poor guy he felt so bad. Thankfully after that though we all slept all night! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

MawMaws Birthday

So Saturday was Austin's Mom's birthday. We had started talking about when we would go to Hattiesburg next about a month ago. When I realized her b-day was on a Saturday I mentioned to Austin that that would be a great time. At first he was unsure if he could take off work. Between his work schedule and the kids and school and church it was looking like the only possibility would be to go up for the day. 
So that is what we did! We left our house about 8 on Saturday morning. We picked up chickfila and let the kids eat in the car. Its nice that they can do that now. We got into Hattiesburg around 10. It was nice to get there early and the kids have lots of time to play. Austin's sister and her family arrived shortly after. We tried to get the kids outside a lot b/c it was a gorgeous day. I notice that our kids don't play quite as much with their cousins. It honestly makes me a little sad. See they are 12, 10, 8, and 5. The girls are more into their phones and things of that nature now. So for awhile it was just Austin and I and our kiddos doing things outside. We had lunch. His mom prepared a lasagna, with some bread and a salad for lunch. It was quite yummy. After lunch the kids played some more and we just enjoyed visiting. Around 2:30 though we decided to take a ride to the cemetery. It was the first time the kids and I had been back since the funeral. It was hard...Austin had been back but watching him, his mom, and his sister take it hard was hard for me. It was also hard thinking that my kids will never get to see their pawpaw again. Well I know they will in heaven but it was a hard moment. I know how fragile life can be and how unexpected things can occur. I just feel like maybe we didn't appreciate the time we had with him as much as we should have? Anyway after the cemetery we went on to the Animal Shelter. His mom is looking to get a smaller dog but we didn't find one that she wanted. The kids enjoyed just seeing all the dogs and cats though. 
Soon after we got back though we decided it was time to go ahead and get loaded up to leave. It was hard saying goodbye to his mom since we all left around the same time. It was hard leaving her there alone. 
We had a nice drive home though. We ended up stopping in Slidell at Cracker Barrel. It was a good dinner and a good way to break up the drive. There ended up being traffic in New Orleans so it took us a little longer to get home. We got home around 7:30. We put the kids straight in the bath and bed! 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Attitudes and Sickness

So Monday this week started out great! Austin was off..I did have a dentist appointment scheduled that I ended up moving b/c I have a cold. I really didn't feel like going plus I try to be considerate of the dentist and don't want them to get my germs either. So I grocery shopped and came home. Soon after that Austin and I went over to my parent's house so he could install this digital frame for them. He bought his mom one for Christmas and I told him my parents would love it to. My mom always complains that since she isn't on Facebook she doesn't often see pictures of the kids. I also am so behind on printing ones out. I do print them but I am currently working on a 2 year old photo album for Colby...sigh! 
So after that we went to buy a new mattress. Our other one was 12 years old and in much need to be replaced. After that we had our weekly date. We went to lunch at Panera. It was nice to have that time out with my hubby. That afternoon was usual routine for us. I like when Austin is home during the week though and can go pick up the kids. It just gives me a bit more extended time to get things done or to just sit. That evening we had a nice dinner of chicken, mac n cheese and green beans. We were able to even take a walk after. 
Tuesday Austin was still off. Again we do miss him very much on weekends but I don't mind having him off during the week either. Sometimes having him off on a weekday seems more productive. Plus it allows him some time at home alone. I had Bible study so he spent the morning doing yard work. My Bible study went ok...I kinda had a mini-meltdown after. I had brought a king cake that morning for snack. Long story short but when Bible study was over I still had 1/2 a kingcake left. I was super excited to be able to bring the rest home and share it with Austin and the kids. Well before I could go back there and pack it up someone knocked it to the floor. Well this meltdown made me see that right now Bible study for better or worse is changing. Its been something that maybe has been on the back of my mind but this brought it to the front. I still love the Bible study and the leader and the ladies but the dynamics are definitely changing. I feel we are becoming very "self focused". We started a "Secret Sister" thing which I really thought meant most praying for the person and such but rather it seems its turned into mini gift exchanges. I received a little gift. I mean its sweet and all but I honestly don't have time to go by little gifts each week nor do I want to. The lady I was also assigned is very big into the "gifts" side. I'm just feeling very stressed over it and feeling like now Tuesday mornings rather then being my sanctuary and safe place they have become that "one more thing". Anyway...the rest of the day was good. I got home and Austin and I had our mattress delivered then we ate lunch and watched tv and just had some downtime. Also nice moments! That afternoon he picked up the kids. We had our usual homework time. We cooked pork chops, au gratin potatoes, and broccoli for dinner. We just hung out that evening. We did get to play outside and practice some kick ball strategies with Colby. He starts kickball next week!! 
Wednesday was a pretty busy day for me. I was able to begin my day though with breakfast with a friend. Those are always great ways to start a day. It was great to catch up with Ashley. We had a nice visit. Oh and I also went to Target that morning. I did get a few hours at home though to be productive and also rest. That night we had church. It was such a good night at church though. We had 4 in our preschool class. It was such a sweet night! We did the story of Mary and Martha and made Valentine's. I just love when I have older kiddos and I feel like they truly get it. I know those dynamics will be changing very soon b/c Lindsay will be promoting along with a few of my other older kids so I am trying to really soak it up.
Thursday was music class. It was another great week! I am really loving and enjoying that job even though I am usually super tired after Wednesday nights and that. I am always thankful to come home to a quiet house for a couple hours. Scouts was cancelled so that was a relief. It was nice to have an extra night in this week. 
Friday was another busy day! I ended up meeting my friend Cindy for coffee that morning. I picked the kids up that afternoon. Colby's little friend Nijel came home with us. It really works out well to bring him home on Fridays b/c the boys play so well. I ordered pizzas for them and the kids all ate their dinner outside. He got picked up around 5:30. That evening we did our usual movie night. The kids wanted to watch "The Secret Life of Pets."