Thursday, December 11, 2014

George Update

The baby is the last to get his update done. We have been busy with holidays and such so I need to get this update on here and move on with the rest of the fun posts I have. 

My getting huge! He is enjoying Kindergarten and learning so quickly. His conference report was great. He is ready to read and I've been gently nudging him but he just says "no thanks". Ha!! His teacher and I talked about this. In class she suggests George try a challenging math option and he politely tells her "no thanks". Cam and I talked to him and gave him a pep talk about challenging himself. He is becoming more willing. George loves to look at books and spends hours asking me questions about what he sees. 

George goes to half day K. It was a HARD decision to decide between the half day and full day. Half day is free and full day is $3,000 a year. We opted for the free option. Truthfully he's a bit bored in the afternoon. But, he and I do have nice one-on-one time to hang out. Some days are great and others are filled with endless pleas to watch TV or play video games. Yesterday I played Candy Land AND Go Fish with him. Yes, I earned my way to heaven in one afternoon. 

George is fully embracing TKD. He loves to go to class and learn his forms. He is an amazingly strong athlete. He rocks out the perfect form on his push-ups. Just like his Dad!! 

George played soccer and had Cam as his coach. It was such a fun season. It was his first year playing and he jumped right in and was not at all shy or timid. He scored some goals too! He is really excited about playing next year again. 

George has a tender heart. If one of his siblings gets into trouble he gets very sad. He will ask me to please let them out of time out or reverse whatever the punishment might be. He will often break into tears when a sibling is crying. He was given an award at school for being a good friend. 

Thankfully he is still very affectionate to me. I love to sit and snuggle him. He ALWAYS kisses and hugs me goodbye. ALWAYS. I appreciate this so much....especially as the older boys move away from this. I'm going to collect the hugs and kisses and cuddles for as long as I can. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sister Update

Sister is a Mama's girl. From the moment Cam put her into my arms in the airport she has been Mama's girl. I love this photo of her laying on my lap.

I recently went away for the weekend with some friends. Sis REALLY missed me. Cam had to call me so I could talk to her on FaceTime. She was very sad and crying and wanted me to come home. 
Although it made me sad it also made me feel good that she missed me and LOVES me so much. I'm the one she also gives the most a reminder of love is good. 

Sis is having an amazing year in school! I'm so proud of her. Her conference report was fantastic. She struggles in some areas of academics but she is making great progress. She is working hard! Sis is a good friend to others. She's made several new friends this year. I love to hear her tell me all about the kids at school. She is very open to other long as they are kind (and funny) she loves them. 

Sis adores her teacher. She is kind and friendly and has amazing understanding of wiggly kids. Sis loves recess and PE where she can run and run and run! If there was a local track program she would be the star...track and the money bars. She rocks the monkey bars!

In Sept. Sis started playing soccer...which was something new. Along with a new school year she became a bit anxious and nervous. Her coping mechanism was to spend her day with her finger in her   mouth. She spent the day at school walking around with the finger in. At soccer she would run up and down the field with the finger in there. I tried to remind her to take it out....which got me a snotty reply of, "it's MYYYYY finger!". Okay.

As the weeks went by she became more at ease. She really enjoyed soccer and even scored a few goals! A couple of the goals were in the wrong net. Who cares?! Not this mom!! She was so proud. 

She has stopped going to TKD with the boys...just not really loving it. She is going to return to gymnastics soon. 

Sis is awesome at playing...mostly alone. She spends hours drawing, painting, singing, playing dolls, building blocks and did I say singing? LOUDLY!! She is very musical. She knows the words to zillions of songs. She belts out everything from 80's rock (thanks Cam) to current top 40. She's got perfect rhythm. I see choir in this girl's future.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Moses Update

Moses is a character. On crazy hair day he decided he didn't want me to spray his hair blue like the other kids. Instead he came out wearing this wig. It was a hoot! 

I described Moses as "always prepared, very organized and an on task student" to his teacher at the beginning of the year. At conferences she told me that I was exactly right. He is doing very well in academics. He is reading above grade level and tested high in math also. Most importantly he is kind to others. He is a very good friend. Moses is the kind of kid that goes with the flow, both with friends and with siblings. He's easy going and has fun whether it's the exact game he wanted to play...or not. 

At the OR coast he picked out these sun glasses. They are PERFECT on him. He looks like the star he is. He likes to have all the cool accessories...hats, gloves, sunglasses, he also likes cool socks. He'd be happy to have an iPhone to go with his wallet.

Moses was the assistant coach for his younger brother's soccer team this year. He was an awesome help for Cam! He helped run drills and chase wayward balls. It's renewed his interest in soccer and now he wants to play year.

He will be starting basketball soon. This will be his second season. I LOVE to watch him play. He is the stealth player. Out of nowhere he will quickly throw up a shot and make it. Can't wait to see his skill set build this year. He is a great sport too!

He also attends TKD and is working towards his second degree black belt. AND...over summer he gained a lot of skill in swimming. He's very athletic and loves to ride his scooter, and bike....and a skateboard is on his Christmas wish list.

I bought this beautiful hand knit shawl. It was knit by women at the Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. Moses was thrilled to hear about the women and he loves to snuggle in the quilt. He is excited to visit Ethiopia one day. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mr. P Update

Oh to be eleven again. What a magical age. I'm finding that I want time to slow down. Mr. P is just on the cusp of teen hood yet still very much a kid. A tween! I really like this age. Oh yes, there are little snippets of snottiness and arguments and eye rolling over wanting more independence...and flat out refusal to publicly show affection to me.

But.....there is so much to like too. I love that he wants to be independent. He is growing in maturity and takes on new responsibilities willingly. He is fun to hang out with. I really enjoy any one-on-one time I have with him. We have good conversation and laugh too. My favorite thing is at night if Cam is gone to TKD and the other kids are in bed.....Mr. P will come sit in bed with me and read. We snuggle down in the blankets and read....and chat a bit too. It's a good time to hear about his day. I find it's also a good time to remind him that he can ask me any questions he has or talk to me....about anything.

Mr. P loves little kids. Somehow this doesn't always translate to his littlest siblings....but, he does ADORE his cousins. Little kids love him too and are naturally drawn to him.

We are heading into basketball season. I LOVE to watch Mr. P play ball!! LOVE!! I might be more excited than he is about he season. I can't wait to see how much he grows his skill set (and confidence) this year. And....he is still practicing TKD too. He is working towards his second degree black belt.

Conference time was last month and I heard rave reviews about Mr. P. Academically he is doing fantastic. But, most importantly his teacher told me that he is always kind to other students. That is the best thing I could hear about any of my kids. He is also working as a mediator at recess, helping younger kids solve their problems.

Mr. P reads A LOT! I love this!! It makes my mama heart soar!! He devours huge novels in a matter of days....whole series in a matter of a month. He spent his hard earned lawn mowing money on books! Happy mom! Yes, he does love video games too....and is annoyed at me for time limits and game censoring I set. Oh well, that's my job.

I love this sweet boy. He is growing into a responsible loving guy....but not too quickly. He thankfully still spends time using his imagination....slaying Darth Vader or saving the world from zombies....I'm not sure but it's sure fun to watch. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tuba Update

I'm going to write a bit about each kid and what they have been up to. I'll start with my sweet Tuba.

He transitioned this year into the job training program. Three days a week he goes on the DART bus to the CRC (Community Resource Center)...which is the school district headquarters. He delivers interoffice mail, shreds paper, puts paper into photo copy machines and wipes tables. He LOVES it!! He adores the people in the offices and the staff adores him. The rest of his time at school is spent learning and going on other community outings.

Tuba's got money to spend!! I finally got his SSI and Medicaid application done and he is all approved. We also finished his guardianship. Phew! So glad those things are done and set up for him. Tuba and I are going shopping soon for some new shoes (he loves shoes).

Tuba has a new aide working with him this year. He previous aide, Anne (the most amazing woman ever) moved to CA. We were very worried about who the district would hire but they did great. Tuba misses Anne a ton but we will go visit her this year. 

Most everything is going so well for Tuba....except the seizures are back and they have been terrible. They started out happening about once a week and now we see at least one a day. Poor guy. The Dr. has increased his meds and between that and the seizures he just doesn't feel so great. Say some prayers for him. Light some candles for his healing.

A funny Tuba story. He was on the school bus and all was quiet except for the radio playing. An advertisement came on. The ad asked, "have you been trying unsuccessfully to become pregnant?". Tuba said, "No!". Hilarious. The bus driver and his aide were dying laughing. Tuba has great timing. 

Tuba is everyone's biggest cheerleader. He goes to all the kids' activities and games and cheers for them. He listens as they play piano and tells them good job or nice! He tells me I look nice or pretty. He jumps around and hollers excitedly when Cam comes home. He listens to all of us. He doesn't miss a thing. If one of us is sad he knows and gives comfort. He is a such a sweet and tender soul. He is loved by all of us and everyone he meets. I'm so lucky to have him for my son. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween was so much fun this year! We carved pumpkins the night before Halloween. Cam is the best! He takes the lead and does a great job with the kids. 

Tuba enjoyed a nice fire in the fireplace while we carved.

Halloween is a busy, crazy, hectic and FUN day at our house and our kids' school. They call it Story Book Character Day. Each of the kids had parties in their classrooms. I attended the K and 1st grade parties. We played games, made crafts and had treats. So fun! 

After partying from 9:30 am until noon when school was out left me a bit tired. I came home and put my witch feet up. Actually, I put on pjs and got into bed to rest and enjoy the view while I let the kids watch cartoons. 

Then off for round two of the day. Halloween party and trick or treating! Sis dressed as a princess at school and then decided to be a Kitty/Ballerina/Princess for the night time dress up. 

We had a great time at our friends' house and then trick or treating with a band of kids. 

....and thank goodness Halloween finally landed on a Fri. night!! No school the next day. The Witch, the Kitty Ballerina Princess, the Ninja, the Werewolf and the Vampire were very glad!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Stitch Fix Keeper

Thanks for all the feedback on the Stitch Fix order! I really love honest opinions!

I need to actually set up my tripod and take better pics of myself in the clothes. I take a terrible selfie...and then resort to asking one of my kids to take some photos. Short kids holding the camera at an upward angle to do not produce the best effects. Eeek!

So here's what I thought about the clothes. 

1. The jeans. They were comfy and a cute style but they were too big around the waist and a bit too short in length. Bummer!! I really need new jeans and I was hoping they would work. I returned them.

2. The navy polka dot dress. It is comfy and a cute style. I don't think the photos do it justice. The negative is that I have three other navy blue dresses. I solicited a bunch of advice from my Fashion Friends and they told me great ideas for wearing the dress. Suggestions included pairing it with leggings, tights, boots, belts, jean jacket, fun jewelry and colors ranging from brown and black to red, turquoise, and hot pink. I'm going belt shopping to see what I can find. I kept the dress.

3. The Infinity Scarf. I hated it. It was HUGE and ITCHY and whoa.....HUGE. Plus I already have a burgundy infinity scarf (that's not huge). I returned it. 

4. The Grey Cardigan. I loved the style. But it too was itchy. I HATE wool and it was a combo of wool and acrylic. Also, I have three grey cardigans. Phooey. I sent it back.

5. The Mustard Blouse. I HATE the color!!! It's just not for me. Actually, the style looks good in the photo.....which is completely deceiving because the blouse is cut open all the way down to my navel and as soon as I move it flops open so far that it falls off of me. Too big...bad color. I sent it back.

I had a credit of $50.00 so the dress only cost me $18.00. Thanks to all of you that have tried Stitch Fix and gave me a referral credit!!

I'll post some pics of the dress when I complete the look.

I am loving Stitch Fix! So fun. So easy and I've liked at least one or more item from each shipment! You should try it too! Go here to Stitch Fix.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Stitch Fix. Need Help!

Help!! I received a new Stitch Fix order today. You give me your much solicited opinion and I'll let you know what I end up keeping. 

1. Skinny Ankle Jeans.

2. Navy and white Polka Dot dress. 

3. Burgundy Infinity Scarf

4. Grey Cardigan

5. Mustard Blouse

Okay....GO!! Tell me what you like, and don't like. What should I keep and what should I send back?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Closet mess and more

My confession: The hallway in front of my closet is always a mess!! It's a funny thing. I bring my clean laundry up and put it on the floor in front of my closet. Then, I neglect putting it away...and then I did through it...dump stuff on top of it. Finally, when I can't take it anymore, I clean it up.

It's an especially strange habit since I am very organized about my clothes once they are put away. I organize my shirt by color and by style. The first section is cardigan sweaters and then shirts.

Scarves at the end and then pants and then skirts by color....ooops it looks like one coral skirt is amiss. 

Dresses have their own area next to a long hanging organizer for bras, camisoles, and then folded sweaters.

At the end of my hallway I have a skinny cabinet that I put workout clothes, undies, and socks.

Once it's all put away I feel so good. It lasts for about half a week....or until I have clean laundry to put away. 

Once my closet is clean and organized I like to stand back and take a look. These pics were from summer so the colors reflect my summer wardrobe. You can see from the photos that I like coral, turquoise, green and navy a lot. I do have a smidge of purple and lots of basic black and white. And I love stripes.

I like clothes but I really don't like too many choices. I regularly purge because it's too overwhelming to decide if my closet it too full. 

This year I've added a lot of cute new items through Stitch Fix. I love it!!! I didn't post my last shipment because I was swamped getting ready for vacation. 

They sent me a coral cardigan (it was too long for my petite height), a coral leather purse (buttery soft), a pair of jeans (too tight and just like some I have), a zig zag pattern top (not my fav), and this cute navy tank.

I only kept the tank. Money was tight...although the purse was tempting. I've worn the tank several times. It's loose fitting and flows nicely. I wore it with my turquoise pants and fun orange and turquoise jewelry. It's also cute with jeans and a jacket or sweater. 

If you haven't tried Stitch should!!

So what does my closet say about me? What does your closet say about you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Deck Remodel

When we bought our house three years ago we knew it needed a deck. But, we had to wait until we could afford one. That time finally came this summer. Yippee!!

The slivers the kids and I were getting from the rotten wood were terrible. We were very excited to get the project done....and I could put my needle and tweezers away.

We hired our good friend Vern to do the job. The demo began on the weekend when Cam could help. The kids helped too! It was fun to watch the old rotten deck coming off. We rented a huge dumpster to put all the old deck into.

Once the deck was off I could start to imagine how the new larger deck was going to look. We made the new deck 4 ft. wider than the old deck. 

PS...see that doorway under the deck? When we bought the house I had Vern take the door off and board it up.

Once the deck was gone we discovered these nice concrete stairs....that didn't match up with the door. Not very helpful!

Did you know that the dirt under your deck is really dry, really powdery and that kids love to play in it? I found that out and then spent weeks hollering for the kids (Sis) to stop digging in it...and tracking it all over the kitchen. 

How do you like my kitchen stool/back door stairway? If I could do this project over again I would have the deck built in the Spring when the kids are in school ALL DAY LONG. Can you imagine the inandout, inandout, inandout!!! got even more fun for the kids when they could jump from beam to beam, duck under, run along, fall, bump their head....

Just imagine if you were the builder. Vern is a saint!!

Here are some Before and After shots of the deck. One thing I really needed changed was this corner. My BBQ lives in a little cubby at the end of the deck. When I use it, I pull it out...but the deck wasn't wide enough. And the stairs were angled so there was not enough room. Kids would run up and down the stairs and the hot BBQ would be right next to them. 

Adding 4 ft. made such a difference! Plus the new stairs go off the end instead of at an angle. Now I have lots of room for the BBQ. 

The end of the deck had built in seating. We opted to not have any built ins. I am planning new deck furniture for next summer. So fun!

You can get a sense how much bigger the deck is by looking at the picnic table and how much space was created.

Old stairs. I didn't care for the angle nor did I love how wide they were. 

New stairs!

Overall view from back yard.

The scale of the new deck is so much better. Vern made the beautiful lattice to cover the underneath area of the deck. I love it!

We used a composite decking. No more rot, no more slivers! Plus, it feels so nice on your feet. The railing is cedar with a wire inlay. I am thrilled!


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