Tuesday, May 10, 2011

so, come here often?

because i sure dont... I never really meant to put this away for so long. This was suposed to be the way I captured all of our lasts here in blacksburg before we leave our home for so long for new adventures, and to tell you the truth, I'm not really sure why I walked away. there was much i wanted to say here but it always seemed a little to personal for public eyes.
--i cried yesterday for the first time. i was driving to go to my kids elementary school after dropping cara off at preschool. cut through tech campus, had my ipod playing my favorite mix (skeleton key, for those who care--actually go listen to it... the cello is amazing!), saw the kids loading their cars to leave the burg for the summer. thinking of my dinner plans with good friends who i would be saying goodbye to that night for the last time (ive had 3 going away dinners now with the same group of friends, man i love them!) and the tears started rolling. I have neevr been more grateful for my oversized glasses as i was at that moment. to bad it didnt hide the red nose and blotchy cheeks.
--i took my oldest 3 kids hiking the other day to the cascades. just them, and it was glorious. van the man came down with a horrible strep (strep g) and was knocked out for over a week with high fevers. he was horrid. john gave me a break and let me take them out for some peace, hiking, and freezing waters at the bottom of the falls. as an added bonus, tons of tech cadets where there having the time of their lives and the boys loved watching them flip and wrestle each other into the water. very therauptic.
--we are trying to buy a house. the company we are working with is frustrating and isn't used to dealing with med school loans. i fear it will fall apart under us, but we are to late in the game to switch companies. On the same level of frustration, despite john being required to report for duty on june 10 at 7 am, we have no orders in hand which means there is no way to set up a move, close on the house, etc. i fear that this will put me and the kids moving out of the burg much later then we hoped. kids are suposed to start school in new city aug. 8, so the sooner we get there, the better for them.
--ive been sick. not like flu sick and not horrible sick but just blah for so long. after finally getting off my butt and going to see a dr., i was diagnosed with something called hashimotos. it meant a whole lifestyle change. no gluten, no casien, no soy, walnuts, peanuts. cooking almost all veggies and some fruits before consumption but i finally feel better. i have energy. i cook dinner again, i sleep at night. it has truly been an amazing experience to finally feel normal again. i cheated on the diet this past weekend. i wanted icecream. badly. i ate it and felt like crap. fingers swollen, sore joints. i felt old again. i remember now why i went on this diet in the first place and doubt i will break it next time i crave icecream. (i bought coconut milk icecream last night for my next weak moment... we'll see if it holds up to the denali extreme maximum fudge moose tracks soy, gluten and casein laden icecream that is my downfall.) ...maybe pizza would be worth the cheat??
--it was mothers day this past weekend. i have the coolest family. john got me an iphone. jo made me a book all about me (and this kid is hilarious...), tay rolled his eyes and gave me a hug, cara made me a treasure box full of hershey kisses then ate them all since I cant. m gave me a gorgoues plant. van gave me a big kiss. i love my kids. I neevr planned on having so many, so young, or maybe not at all, but i am so grateful for the path my life took despite my immediate intentions
--john graduates in less then a month. i cannot wait. i am ready for it to be my turn. i feel like i have put so much on hold these past 8 years and am ready to catch up. i applied to college. i am hoping most of my credits will transfer and i can make this 4 yr degree take 3 or less. i want to feel challenged again. have discussions that make me think. read things that are required and not rhyming books... i am ready
--its almost my birthday. i feel old.
--cara is old. that makes me feel even older.
--i got carded the other night at a local bar after the final orchestra concert with my amazing friends. i was pissed as it meant walking back to my car in the pouring rain. i was also very much flattered.
--ive been working out at the gym my kids have been going to. i see myself getting stronger, losing weight and feeling better about myself. i need to kick my caffeine habit....
--as we reach the final push, john is doubling rotations and is working 12 hr ER shifts in addition to his regular 8-5 job. did i mention i cannot wait til june 4th graduation?

Monday, January 24, 2011

There is NOTHING I love better then a day spent shopping with my 2 year old! (ok, totally kidding... there are many things I woudl rather do then have to go shopping with my kid, like getting multiple vaccinations, an oil change on my car and a looooong wait at the DMV) nevertheless (i love using that word in sentences!) we were out of everything we needed, namely bleach and shout so out we headed. I realized something horrible while we were out today: My daughter calls me Amy in public as in "yook Amy, a princess gackgack!", or "yook amy, pop-pop (popcorn...) I have noticed it before but she kinda goes back and forth most of the time. today i couldn't get her to call me mom. totally wierd.
Did anyone notice the new outfit she ruined yesterday? think adorable satin grey dress with white polka dots courtesy of my fav. cheap store Old navy with a pair of pink tights with stiched in mary janes and a black bolero, with little french braids in her hair. She looked awesome, right up until it was time to leave for church the first time and she spilled juice (red carrot juice) down her front. then we got to church (late, of course) and there was a potluck after church that I forgot about until I walked in to late to even get a seat in the chapel. Setting a stellar example, the kids and I decided to bail and go home and make soup and came back to church in time for me to teach a class... anyway... this is what the trip to target was for. totally ruined. i don't know if it was the juice or the mexican she ate after church but her dress is a total grease sponge. It is now being rewashed after proper soaking of stain remover along with several other shirts of hers.

I sent Jo back to school 2 weeks ago and have been so happy as a result... He was driving me crazy! My need to be creative returned the same day.. coincidence??? I am currently working on 4 of these and hope to have all of them done before we move... That may be wishful thinking... I also made these adorable letters for a baby girls bedroom that match her room colors...

I love the o.. it is fuzzy paper!

And took the kids to a hockey game (husbandless, out of town and got back at midnight... ugh... We would have been back sooner but we found a starbucks open late and graced the store with 5 noisy kids up way past bedtime...) We met our good friends the Champions and the Fishers for that fun, free night! diva was terrified of the game at first but has since talked of nothing else besides Hokey Hockey.

and if you look 5 rows above the bright blue sign, you would notice my sister in law and her cute family enjoying the game. Totally random meeting up with them, but so fun to see her super cute 3 year olds!
And in 100% random news: I finally bought an Ipod adaptor for my car. i am in serious anticiaption for the iphone to be comign to verizon next month and wanted to make sure I was ready. I feel like 35% cooler then I did last week. Listening to stuff other then top 40s radio is good for my soul. now when i cruise around in my car I can listen to this, this, or this and it makes me oh so happy! maybe one day i wont have to rock the minivan....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Because I am the worst at this....

you get a 2 whole months of updates... in reverse, because I like to shake it up that way (or i really stink at uploading pictures using the blogger upload, take your pick) Ok, so since we are going in reverse... My mom finished the dress Christmas am. before they came to see our family. Snow also fell Christmas day which ment that finally sun carebear got to wear it. And she loved it! It's tea length (mid calf) and she showed it off to everyone! It looked great on her (and my mother is sooo talented!) Thanks Mom!
New years day our extremely tired family (see below) loaded up the van and drove to visit my parents for the day. My sister Heather was in town with her very cute family and we hadn't seen them for a while. We even got a fun surpirse visit from my aunt, uncle and cousin, who just got back from his mission! My mom made fajitas and we all pigged out! There were 3 of my siblings there, and that doesnt happen very often anymore! After lunch we drove across town to see my brother nates new (5 bedroom, jealous!) house.

New years Eve: we went to our friends house for the annual all night party. Even cara rocked it til the clock struck 12! We all had a great time, and I think I will have to continue this tradition when we move, sans alcohol... We sure will miss the friends we have here.
Cara at midnight with her noise maker
van the man.. we've been coming since he was caras age
Christmas day: my dad, brother kelly, and brother nate and his wife tara came for lunch. My mom was sick so she stayed home but the rest of us had a great visit and the kids always love seeing them.
Christmas morning: we had an awesome quiet morning opening presents and eating 2 breakfasts! (the things you dont realize you will have to do until you have 4 boys!) Van got his pillow pet that he had been asking for and we weren't goping to get for him until he started asking santa for an electric guitar. Suddenly a mute toy seemed like a much better choice.

each of the kids had fun this year picking a name of a sibling and buying a gift for them. They love the tradition of this and have a great time giving the toy. I love the reactions and their excitement when the gift is given!

Santa gave Cara a new hex bug in her stocking! She calls it pink and she lost her old one at old navy a few weeks before Christmas and asked often to play with it.

Santa filled the stockings! We had a really good time this year with Christmas. As the kids get older and most of them are in on the surprise of mom and dad being santa, they have had such a good time encouraging the magic in the younger kids... in some really interesting ways. In school, vans class watched polar express and he was given a ticket. On Christmas eve, he was so excited to go to bed because he had a ticket "and it wont even cost you any money!" I was wondering when he had gotten it in his head that he was going to be able to ride it until I overheard Jo telling him that HE rode it every year and that he would get van on it to.... dont really know whether to be irritated that he is flat out lying, or amused... eiother way, he woke upo Christmas morning telling me all about his trip...funny kids.

the boys woke up super early, and we let them go downstairs and open stockings. I had to eventually go get cara out of bed and when she woke up, she looked around and said presents. She knew who had come!
Christmas eve: kids in bed, gifts under tree. We had to put the cookies and milk out, the kids forgot! We spent Christmas eve day cleaning the house and baking cookies (peanut butter in a muffin tin then sticking reeses cups in the middle, yum!) we went to an afternoon mass as a family and it was beautiful! There were candles burning, lots of live greenery and beautiful music. At the end of the mass, they dimmed the lights and we all sang silent night. I am so glad we took the kids! After that, we came home and made chicken cordon blue, put reindeer food on the front porch, opened our traditional Christmas eve gift of pajamas, and then the read the true Christmas story. the kids rushed to bed after that, they were so anxious for Christmas to come!

listening to the night before Christmas

reindeer food on porch (we sweep it off after they go to bed)

my daughter in one of her favorite outfits... she LOVES the green vest!

Kelly and John: the sat before Christmas we always go to richmond and play dirty santa with my moms family. We give away horrible gifts to each other and have a great meal and a lot of fun! One of the best gifts this year was the mirror cover from my aunts bathroom that was just remodeled. I made everyone pose with it and we got tons of laughs!

my parents are awesome!

our gift that we gave away this year was a red prom dress from who knows when that we hid in a gingerbread box. My brother kelly got it this year!

my aunt karen gave all the little girls (her granddaughter, cara, my cousins baby girl twin, and my sisters baby) these awesome green vests. I think the look like the grinch with the hoods up!

papa and my cousins laura baby boy (she has twins)

Before Richmond, we had been in fredericksburg visiting Johns parents and grandmother. the kids didnt have school that fri due to snow so we headed up and spent the afternoon and night.

Johns mom just lost a ton of weight.. doesn't she look great!

cara was totally obsessed with her grandfather. she would not leave him alone, and he didnt seem to mind at all (except when she smudged the pictures!)

early dec: we decorated gingerbread house, made gingerbread men from scratch and had a ton of orchestra concerts. i had 2 different concerts, and tay, jo and M all played in one. this was M's first concert (he started cello this fall, tay and jo have played violin for abt a year and a half now)

cara ate the whole house before she finished decorating it. pateince is not her strong suit!

our friend jack broughtover the gingerbread houses. I watch him 4 afternoons a week while his mom works with bacteria...

Our ward put on the Christmas story at the annual party this year. It was hilarious. M was a wiseman, jo a sheppard, van sang in the silent night sign language choir, and tay was the camel. (and he was so obnoxious abt it, he pretended to chew cud the whole time)
m in red, tay in camel suit.

this is my shy kid, and this is not his things at all! We used to have to drag him out eveytime the primary would sing a song bc he would start crying and screaming bc he didnt want to go stand in front of everyone. he's come a long way....

the kid with the staff kept hooking people around the neck. I finally took it away from him (he's in my primary class) but i laughed first...

cara had a great time running around the gym the whole night. it had been so cold here and there was snow on the ground all dec. and she doesn't really like snow.. It was nice to be out!
early dec: on a night that had temps. dropping into low single digits, our town had their annual Christmas parade and lighting of the tree. It was so miserable, but we went since the oldest 3 boys were in the parade with their scout troop. Van, cara and i went and got calzones (john was on surgery this month so we barley saw him) and tried to stay warm. Cara was terrified by the parade at first (the marching band and trucks were to loud) but by the time santa closed the parade on the fire truck she felt better about it.

the first sat in dec. I took the kids to finish Christmas shopping. John had gone in early to work so I called to see if they wanted anything from panera. He said no, but that he would meet us there for breakfast. Since he was done for the day, we decided we would drive to our favorite tree farm. The horses pull you out and you get to cut your tree. We have gone to this place several of the last few years and the trees are so beautiful. We love the challenge of finding our perfect tree!

tay is such a big kid! With john having been gone 6 months of this past year he has really stepped into a bigger role within the house of being helpful. His newest big kid job? he wanted to be the one to cut the tree. he got it part of the way down then passed the saw to john.
As we were cutting the tree, snow began to fall. (this snow is still on the ground, btw..) by the time we were done waiting for our tree to be picked up, bagged and loaded on our car (while we ate hotdogs and drank hot chocolate) it was really heavy.

so when we got home, the kids headed out to play in it and do some sledding. the keep saying "this will be the last time we get to play in the snow."everytime it snows they get nervous and rush right out

van with a snowball...
sun. afternoon we decorated the tree!
not sure I reccomend this method...

all the orchestra concerts....
santa came to the town concert and passed out candy canes (this is where van decided he needed a black electirc guitar, to which santa replied oh, ok, i think we can do that until he saw my face then quickly backtracked and I said that doesnt the north pole have a lot of pillow pets. He agreed very quickly.
Our Christmas card photo shoot. We were running late to church so we took them to the famers market while their clothes were still clean to get some pics.
cara has her arm up because in the pic i took right before, van had his arm up. she is such a little copycat

We took our annual tgiving trip to the outer banks again this year. What a relaxing break it always is, and we already decided that even though John won't be able to go next year, I will take the kids by myself. We had a 13 bedroom house this year and went with a total of about 50 people. the kids all have such a wonderful time boogie boarding, playing in the sand, seeing their friends, and staying up late! On thanksgiving all the kids put on a talent show, which in the 4 years we've been going is getting better every year! after tgiving dinner, our family went out alone to the beach to have a few minutes of quiet time. It was so nice to be out in the wamr air, listening to the ocean, and reflect on everything we are greatful for. We've had a long year, with john being gone for a lot of it, and some setbacks and frustrations that we werent expecting so it was nice to focus on the positive out there and enjoy being together
the kids table at thanksgiving dinner. i think there were 35 kids this year

the boys had a great time builing and digging, and van even hit the waves for the first time ever. cara wouldn't stay out of the water and kept running straight into the water and I would have to chase her down and put her back in the sand, no fear!
annual football on the beach game
tay tried his hand at ocean kayaking in the safety of a small pool of water. maybe next year we'll get him in the ocean with it, he loves boogie boarding!