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Monday, February 23, 2015

February 15-21

I caught August warming himself by the fire on Grandpa and Grandma's back porch. Or maybe he was mesmerized by the blaze (have no fear, it is actually a space heater).  Regardless, I found him cute (and it was a much better way to spend his back porch time--his most favorite activity in that room is digging into potted plants and eating dirt).
 This, THIS is Comfort Food.
It is a crock pot beef stew.  The recipe suggested serving the stew OVER mashed potatoes.
But of course!!
I am not sure why I never thought of that before but it was wonderful--definitely a keeper and a favorite with the whole family. (We kind of fought over the leftovers the next day). And you know what else? There are carrots, celery, onions, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, PARSNIPS . . . my kids are gobbling them all. ;o)
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NINE MONTHS OLD!
While I did get some smiley pictures, something about this one just made me want to squeeze him and smother those cheeks with kisses.
What August is up to these days:
27 inches (12th percentile)
18 lbs 14 oz (22nd percentile)
Head Circumference: 18.5 inches (90th percentile)
Needless to say his noggin is sporting some bruises . . . we are a bit top-heavy. ;o)
He plays a bit of peek-a-boo.
He gives a few high fives.
He will briefly let go and stand alone.
He "shakes his booty" in some most awesome dance moves.
He has been a stinker in the nap department--constantly afraid he is going to miss something (and well, that is highly possible in this house).
He has two teeth.
(they are quite sharp) ;o)
He enjoys food. Real food. Like enchiladas.
He says Mama or Mom-mom.  I am quite certain he knows who I am.
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 The older three have all been immersed in World War II inspired reading lately.  The girls are studying the war in history, but Jackson likes to sit in on their lessons because it's a bit more exciting than ancient history. ;o)  I'm digging it along with the rest of them--I vaguely remember a bit from a high school history class, so for the most part I'm learning it too. Fascinating!!
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 Happy boy with his crackers.
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 Since our move you might have heard me singing the praises of the violin teacher we found for Marissa--she has been just fabulous!  So, you might understand how very sad I am to announce that just this weekend she moved . . . to Utah. :o(  I am thankful Marissa had six months with her--I know she learned so much!! There was a recital Friday night and we said our official good-byes.  What a crazy weekend . . . while Josh was gone for state wrestling I found myself running hither and thither to keep up with all my kiddos.  I am so glad my parents came up Friday night to help with kid sitting.  Isabella has been my go-to girl as of late, but I feel bad having to lay so much responsibility on her.  I was accompanying Marissa on the piano, so bringing my busy little August didn't sound like a good plan . . . Sometimes it really does "take a village." ;o)
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And over the weekend Jackson finished the youth version of Unbroken. This year he has really been digging biographies of men that are on the more "adventurous" side.  He was fascinated with this book and I would dare say a bit obsessed with WW2 lately . . . he gets out the board game "Axis and Allies" just to set up the armies!  (Disclaimer: This book is not necessarily  "3rd grade reading material" . . . I read the adult version, I looked through this youth version, but did not read it.  I felt okay with Jackson reading it, but I don't want somebody giving it to a kid and then being horrified and thinking I led them astray in recommending it!  It's an amazing story, but quite frankly the Japanese weren't very nice during WW2). What's next on his list? 
And already he is asking me what to read after that . . . if you have some good true-life action-adventure to recommend let me know! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February 8-14

 For the record I must state that Josh and I are not huge fans of sporting events that take place on Sunday.  However, the fact being that Shelby was hosting this kids wrestling meet and it would be a good idea for the Shelby wrestling coach to show up, we signed our boys up to participate as well. ;o) This is Emmett getting a "double leg take down." It was fun to watch Emmett and Owen wrestle.  Not so fun to watch Jackson . . . The poor guy found himself stuck on his back almost every match.  But I have this to say: If you remember my little toddler Jackson, and my little preschool Jackson, well, he was a rather strong-willed kid.  Even still we butt heads.  As I watched him out on the mat not giving up even though he was stuck, but fighting it out AND keeping a good attitude in spite of losing three matches (and not losing his cool!) I realized how much he has grown up.  And that stubbornness--when channeled correctly--can really be a huge strength.  So he lost, but he lost well, and he made me really proud to be his mom.
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 The kids and I spent a few nights at my in-laws to allow for Marissa to participate in a play for the church's brunch break.  So, you get a pic of my baby in the bath. ;o)
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 We visited my parents on Tuesday afternoon.  After learning my kids enjoyed Rummikub as much as she did, my mom pulled it out for a rousing game.  Here Jackson makes his move (literally). ;o)
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 Bestowing smooches on my overall-clad little man.
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 I have plans cooking in my head for a "great outdoors" kind of themed room for my two youngest boys.  I have begun a bit of crafting, I bit of collecting . . . It feels good to fit a little bit of creating into my day. (Wood round, chalkboard paint, chalk marker all can be found at Hobby Lobby . . . which is now only 15 minutes from my house--WOOHOO!!).
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 We crafted up some hot air balloon Valentine boxes.  I tossed a bit of candy into the basket.  We were all happy with the outcome. ;o)
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And while Daddy was away at wrestling districts we had ourselves a Valentine tea with all sorts of goodies.  I think that because of wrestling I will never again have a Valentine's Day with the hubby, but I have a whole bunch of other little Valentines to hang out with and love on. We had a fun day. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 1-7

 Even while I made my Sunday preparations on Saturday night we received notice that church had canceled.  I kept waking up during the night, but the snow didn't start until early morning.  Come Sunday the world was blanketed in white and SO COLD. I had to slip out for a picture or two but my face got so cold it made my eyes water . . . Still I love a good snow storm, particularly when I have nowhere to go.
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 School was canceled the next day for Josh. He had a laid back day. August watched him get the shoveling done. We made a trip into Columbus for violin lessons mid day.
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 Snow galore!
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 And yet another snow day for Josh!  More snow Wednesday morning called for cancelled classes again, as well as all Wednesday night activities for the kids.  At this point, I was rather giddy with my life as a hermit. Josh continued his Narnia read-aloud with the kids. (Wonky picture frame disclaimer:  every time I look at that wall, I think I need to do some straightening, but you see they all need dusting, and I just haven't exactly been in a dusting mood so they remain wonky . . . you know, "If you give a mouse a cookie . . ." There is a snowball effect that will happen.)
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A snowy sunrise.
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 Josh and the kids departed at 7:15 for Arapahoe so that Josh could attend a funeral (and the kids wanted to see Arapahoe again and get ice cream at the pharmacy). ;o)  August and I had the day to ourselves.  We met a friend in Columbus for the GRAND OPENING of a beautiful new Hobby Lobby (I am so excited!). August took a nice nap upon returning home and I puttered about my super quiet house.  And then we had to meet up with the rest of the gang in Seward so we could head into Lincoln for a church activity.  It was kind of crazy, but there were pockets of quiet. ;o)
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And a Saturday to recover from the crazy Friday.  No wrestling meet this Saturday (it was on Thursday). I think we could all get used to Josh having a two day work week. (2 snow days, plus an already scheduled Friday off). I have nothing overly interesting to say about this picture except August has a really big head, don't you think? ;o)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 25-31

(Forgot a Sunday picture)
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 August joining--and attempting to steal--Isabella's post-shower cup of tea.
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 My boys created "grappling hooks" from sticks and bits of rope and then attempted to scale the trees.  A fabulous way to spend a beautiful January day. ;o)
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 August got into the wipes again.
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 Another new August trick--stealing Marissa's glasses.  He gets this little gleam in his eye and Marissa knows she is in for it.
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I made Owen play-dough and he in turn spent two hours making breakfast for his favorite stuffed animals.
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 January suddenly remembers, "Oh yeah, it's winter time!" And after 17 days of above normal temps, the cold returns, and with it snow (and snow, and more snow!).
That's okay.  I love a good storm.

Monday, January 26, 2015

January 18-24

 Sunday afternoon hanging out at Grandpa and Grandma's watching an old-timey Looney Toons DVD from the library.
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 Discovering that even though the Stratego board is pretty torn up a Chess board will suffice as a stand in.  (The board games have been out, even though we have had pretty good weather this month . . . maybe board games are just a January thing regardless?).
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 Sometimes you snap a picture and you just know it will probably be one of your favorites forever, and this is one of those.  I happened to have my camera handy when August discovered a board game set up on the coffee table.  In his hand is a die and I am saying "NO EAT!" and this is the look I get. ;o)
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 Just a quick snap of the bookends.  Wednesday is busy.  I have no creativity on that day. (Actually who am I kidding? I am still trying to come back from 2014, the year that creativity died).
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 Realizing a day had nearly gone by without a picture again.  When in doubt photograph the happy baby (always good material there). ;o)
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 Owen has been on a vacuuming kick lately.  His favorite part (of course) is to use attachments and go around baseboards and such.  (I do not discourage him).  I am forever amused by his mouth expressions and/or his tongue when he gets intent on a job.  He makes the funniest little faces (or sticks his tongue out or wiggles his tongue back and forth).  Hopelessly adorable.
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A big ship with a load of men.  Anybody else out there frequently asked to send pictures of creations off to Lego magazine?  Their LIVES would be made should Lego ever showcase one of their designs. ;o)

Friday, January 23, 2015

January 11-17

 This pretty much sums up how we all feel on Sunday evenings when we get home at about 9:15 p.m.
Owen managed to stumble into the house and fall right back to sleep.
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 Little boy wrestling shoes.
On Monday and Thursday evenings I drive into Shelby and drop the boys with their daddy and they go work off some of their energy.  The girls and I (and August of course) enjoy a quiet evening that usually involves some time spent tidying (and it staying that way!) and finding a cozy corner with a book.  We like Mondays and Thursdays. ;o)
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 August discovers he can do stairs.  Biggest brother watches with concern.
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 Emmett all ready for Wednesday activities.  His two new front teeth are starting to show in his smile.
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 Another pleased August-on-the-stairs pic (different brother keeping watch). ;o)
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 Yay for sunshine in January and nearly 60 degrees.  Kids went out and got their fill of fresh air.
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August Daniel turns 8 months.
It was really hard to get a picture of him this month because he is EVERYWHERE and into EVERYTHING.  There is a certain vigilance that has crept into my day because he is constantly crawling off to cause mischief somewhere.
Things he can do:
He crawls fast.
The progression of pulling to knees, then to feet, then to cruising around furniture. (He is persistent in spite of the numerous topples and bonks to the head--oy!!)
Climbs stairs.
Climbs into dishwasher. Unloads the silverware.
Cut his first tooth on the 16th.
"Chatters" a string of syllables.
Climbs, clings, follows me everywhere.
I have declared the living room an "August friendly zone." Meaning no Legos and the board games need to stay out of his reach.

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 4-10

 After a Sunday spent in Lincoln I got a kick out of watching August's glee once home. He knows his own house and was happy to make the rounds to his spots once freed from the confines of his car seat.
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 I used my Christmas money to snag some simple chairs off of Amazon. Originally, I had the wingbacks there, but they are cumbersome and don't slide in and out easy.  Plus, to the right of this picture is the stairwell and gate.  We couldn't open the gate with the chair in the way (and with a mobile little baby we need that gate in working order!).  Slimmer profiled chairs are nice (it remains the most favorite spot to sit in the house!).  All these years I have had my "$30 wingbacks" and planned to reupholster/slipcover/paint the fabric.  I am starting to wonder if that will ever happen.  Regardless, I think I did get my $30 out of them. ;o)
 I glimpsed my Bella-girl out the window, surrounded by the cat population and had to go out in the cold for a picture.  It always brings a smile to my face to see her with her furry friends.  They really love her.
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 And now he pulls himself to standing.
  Jackson sits nearby rather concerned about his little brother's recklessness and ready to catch him should the need arise (the little dude has taken many a tumble lately--not that it has deterred him).
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 Several thoughts from this day:
Cacophony defined--one child practicing violin while one child practices piano while one walks around trying to beat "Bop-it" while the other children go about daily life.
Dejection defined--when the four older siblings participate in a group "Bop-it" session and skip over you because you will lose the game for them.  
What's that? You don't have a Bop-it?? You don't know what you are missing. ;o)
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 And this is what cozy looks like. {LOVE THEM}
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Beautiful winter sunset.