Still here…

So much has been happening lately and I’ve had every intention of posting pictures and thoughts about each activity…but haven’t slowed down much to actually make that a reality.  Instead of letting another day go by without at least recording the events for me to think back on someday, I decided to take 5 minutes and jot them down here.  Even a bulleted list is better than nothing, right?!

(Of course I have a few pictures of some of these things, and I really want to post them…I’ll try to add them sometime soon!)

  • January/February is coaching season for Hubs and this year, we’ve appointed the kids as managers.  So they’ve helped give water to the girls as needed, clean up the empty cups, put basketballs away and generally cheer on the 8th graders as they play hard!  It’s been fun and adorable watching them, and they’ve both picked up some basketball skills along the way too! 🙂
  • Buddy and I scored some last-minute tix to the Mother-Son Activity Night and we sure had a great time!  It was such a good reminder to take time just one-on-one with the kids!
  • We participated in our first ever Awana Grand Prix and learned that we’ll need to spend a little more time on the design and construction of the car than we did this year.  It was a good experience though!  Despite the reminders that it wasn’t about winning, there were still tears when trophies were awarded and he was handed a ribbon.  Hard lesson, but hopefully one that he’ll take to heart.
  • Sis and Daddy headed to the Daddy Daughter Dance on Valentine’s Eve!  She woke up at 5am the day of the dance, which also happened to be ONE of her preschool party days!  She wore the special dress to school and kept it spotless, so she could wear it for her big date that evening!  Hubs said she was a riot and that she didn’t stop dancing or smiling all the entire time they were there!
  • Valentine’s Parties!!  I used the new Silhouette Cameo I bought with a friend to cut some super cute cards!  We’ve been crafting up a storm with this thing!
  • Kids spent last weekend with Aunt Julie and got to see a few cousins, go swimming and generally get spoiled by treats, movies and later bedtimes.  They’re already asking when they can go back again!  We were able to enjoy a dinner out and then I took pictures at the Winterfest game, which was a lot of fun (and still on my list of projects to finish!).
  • For the first time since I can recall we actually had President’s Day off from school – no Professional Development or anything!  So we picked up kids from Julie then headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for dinner.  Afterwards, we all went into Aunt Cheri’s house and found GGMA and GGPA there as well as Aunt Meri and Uncle Jeff!  It was a regular Bigg Small Group! 🙂  We had a great time and spent the night with Mom and Dad before heading home the next afternoon.
  • We nearly escaped February without sick kiddos, but this past week, Sis woke up with a fever and a sore throat.  It kept her pretty much out of commission from Wednesday until today.  She still has a sore throat, but there wasn’t anything the doctor’s could find to treat, so we’re just hoping that she’ll continue to stay fever free (and that others in the house won’t catch whatever it was!).
  • This week we have a couple more basketball games, Awana, and Sis is starting gymnastics.  Then, a few family members are headed northward to celebrate Great Papa’s 90th birthday party, while one of us heads westward to photograph a wedding!

Quote of the Day ~ January 12th

There’s something about a Saturday with no commitments that makes me smile.  A little grocery shopping, a few crafty projects, staying snug in jammies until whenever we feel like actually getting dressed – it’s absolute perfection.

While I had hoped for a little more leisure to get it started, someone else (a certain little lady) informed me she was ready for breakfast at 6:15!!  I suppose that’s technically sleeping in for me, so I can’t complain.  As we headed downstairs, I smiled in the dark at the feel of her hand squeezing mine tightly.  About half-way down, she said, “OK, Mom, so we’ve got lots of work to do today.”  Of course, she’s right and we did get lots of little crafty stuff done.

After finishing little pesky sewing projects – nothing fancy, we’re talking AWANA patches and rough-looking tooth fairy pillows – we started a little Valentine’s Day project, ate lunch and then headed out for a hike because it was nearly 60 degrees yesterday!  In January.  In Michigan.

Before we left, Sis ran and scribbled a bunch of circles onto a couple papers.  She was intent on bringing them with us.  When we arrived at the trail, she broke them out because they were our maps – of course!

We started strong – running, excited and ready for adventure.  About .5 miles into the 2.5 mile course, we stopped for a quick photo op of the the kiddos and Dad!  (Look closely and you’ll see her map peeking out from behind buddy!).

photo 1

We saw all sorts of cool rocks, tracks, and just had a great time being outside and together.  There was very little complaining about the walk, but G and I had to manufacture a few races here and there in order to keep the pace moving along.  When we neared the end, the map came out again and I told Sis just how proud I was of her for thinking of that and bringing it along.  She responded with our quote of the day –

ThinkersQuote

And since I rarely stop to actually get IN a picture, I decided that today was as good a time as any to actually be on the other side of the camera phone.  As much as the unseasonable warmth was enjoyable yesterday, I’m also love the big fat flakes I see falling just beyond my picture window as I type.

photo 2

Winks and Wishes

Yesterday after school I knew I needed to get some fresh air for at least a few minutes.  Between the far-too many hours spent at the computer in the wee morning hours, I’ve managed to find a few extra pounds as well.

The brisk winter breeze that greeted us when we carted all our school gear inside was nearly enough for me to rethink my initial plan.  But thanks to some kids I’d promised to push in the jogger and a husband willing to get it around and ready for us, we pressed on.

Sweats, Under Armour shirt, parka, scarves, gloves, kids in snowsuits and ready with the blanket to cover them just in case and we were ready!  It felt good to be out there.  Ever the personal trainers, they begged me to run and I indulged them on a particularly steady downhill stretch!

Shortly after that and nearing the end of our walk, they began to get restless, vying for space which considerably less given how much they’ve grown and thickness of their winter wear.  In order to keep them focused on something else, I gave an off the cuff suggestion.  “Why don’t you catch some wishes?”

A short pause in our pace allowed me to show them how exactly they caught wishes.  “Glance around you, keep an eye out and give a little…wink.”  I said.  We walked on a while as they winked and settled in closer together, space no longer a concern.

We rounded the corner for home.  “OK, now it’s time to send some wishes back out into the air.”

“How do we do that?” Calder asked.

“Like this,” I said.  Crouching alongside the jogger, I whispered into my hand, paused for the briefest moment and then opened my gloved fingers and blew the wish into the air.

The final steps home were spent sending “Giggles” and “Goofiness” among a few other wishes out into the universe, just in case some other mom was out with her kids, making up random games that turn into some of the warmest moments of a cold winter day.