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.
 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?).
 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)
 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).
 Realizing a day had nearly gone by without a picture again.  When in doubt photograph the happy baby (always good material there). ;o)
 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.
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.
 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)
 August discovers he can do stairs.  Biggest brother watches with concern.
 Emmett all ready for Wednesday activities.  His two new front teeth are starting to show in his smile.
 Another pleased August-on-the-stairs pic (different brother keeping watch). ;o)
 Yay for sunshine in January and nearly 60 degrees.  Kids went out and got their fill of fresh air.
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.
 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.
 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).
 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)
 And this is what cozy looks like. {LOVE THEM}
Beautiful winter sunset.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

December 28-January 3

 This is Snap Circuits, where Emmett gets to pretend he is an electrician and make cool things happen, like switch on a fan or make a light bulb turn on.  He spent ALL DAY playing with it!
 August discovered the cause and effect that is the wipes container (I pull one out another pops up!). And then he ate them.  Sixth time around and some things about babies never change--they like to empty wipes containers and they like to eat them.
 Our December artwork making the school room an extra cheerful place.  (That and I finally got around to tidying things up a bit). ;o)
The Return of the King.
Josh and these four made it through all six of the Tolkien inspired movies during December. And the last three were all extended versions . . .
 Chicken footprints in the snow--now that is one picture I don't have in our scrapbooks!
 Learning some Rummikub (huge hit with the number loving boys).
Lots of Foosball!
A family at church gifted us their table as their family had outgrown it.  We are able to change out the top to different games (air hockey, mini pool, mini ping pong, etc).  Foosball has definitely been the favorite!  It was nice to have some lazy days this week just to hang out in pajamas for half the day (or maybe that was just me?) and play games. It has definitely been hard to say good-bye to Christmas break!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Favorite Books Read in 2014

This year I tallied up 33 books read, which is probably about half (and then some!) of what I had read in previous years.  It would be safe to say that since acquiring the sixth child the reading has suffered. ;o) And even though nursing affords me some "down time" and does tend to be when I will pick up a book, sometimes I just don't find myself with enough brain cells present to actually focus and comprehend what I am reading.  Those are my excuses. ;o)  But there were a few favorites among the 33 and I thought I would share them in the event anybody is looking for a good read to start off the year.

This was my favorite.
The writing was just beautiful.  The cover is lovely.  It is a WW2 story.  I will admit some disappointment with the end . . . just that I would have liked to see it end in a different manner. But still it remains this year's fave. 
This book was about the Civil War, particularly Yankee POWs at Andersonville.  I knew nothing about Andersonville prior to reading it (therefore I learned a whole bunch!) and it was just a really good story. (I am so good at book reports . . .) ;o)
Fascinating story about a mom and her amazing Autistic son.

This one is about a book store owner and his favorite books (and so much more). I believe there was some language (so, be forewarned if you decide to read it).
So, there you have it, my four favorites of the year.  One book I read that I really did not enjoy was "The Light Between Two Oceans." It was the "One Book One Lincoln" book this year.  It wasn't that it was badly written, but it was easy to slip into "What would I have done had it been me?" It just kind of left me feeling "icky." 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 21-27

(I have had some picture updating to do . . . but in order to keep everything all neat and tidy, I did some backdating, so the other two weeks I was missing are on here, you just might have to scroll a bit) 

On this stage stand five of my children, the only one I can point out is a little shepherd in the first row, red plaid shirt peeking out under his robe (Owen).  He stands next to his cousin Drew in the blue head-dress.
 The rainbow cake "innards." I couldn't locate my nine inch cake pans and had to use eight inch, which I am sure contributed to the height. ;o)
 FINALLY, FINALLY a lovely lazy day at home for ALL of us. We decorated cookies, Josh did a borax snowflake craft with them, we dined on free steak (given to Josh by one of his wrestlers). It was a good day.
 A quiet Christmas Eve at Grandpa and Grandma's house.  (And I did remember a picture!!).
 And a quiet Christmas morning (and subsequent day!) at our house.  Due to illness we postponed the big Cooley Christmas an extra day and in the end it was nice to stay home.  I didn't get out of my pajamas until 2:00 in the afternoon.  It was fabulous!!
I think this picture neatly sums up August's thoughts on the end of the year Tolkien traditions going on at our house. ;o)
The Hansmeyer Christmas--a good portion of the participants awaiting present opening.
My brother Louie and his wife were in Florida, but otherwise we were all able to gather and finish out the December celebrating. Now to wrap up 2014 . . . ;o)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy 5th Owen!!!

I am slipping in here--before your day is officially over--to write your birthday post.
It has been quite the year, for me, for your daddy, and of course you too.
Since you turned four your uncle died, you became a big brother, you moved to a new home . . .
We have had conversations, just you and I, and I know that little head is thinking.
Randomly you will come up and tell me, "I miss Uncle Dan. He was a nice guy."
You will tell me you miss Arapahoe. So I KNOW your little self "gets it."
You lost your "baby of the family" status.  And while you love your little brother to pieces, I know you miss the one-on-one time we had, and I miss it too.  It is still there, just not like it used to be. I think of all these things as your turn five today.
God gave me you so I could see what your daddy was like as a little boy.
You are FULL of energy.
You love to do things with people one-on-one.
Your attention bank is always "empty" and no matter how much time anybody spends with you, you are always in need of more--ready to go again, read it again , again, again, again!
You love imaginative play.
You want to do it all--you are full of passion for every new thing or idea that comes your way.
I love that.
You are silly.
You are serious.
You are a helper.
You are sweet.
(and yes, in typical little brother style you are maddening . . . you mess with stuff, you hide people's things under your bed . . .very similar to stories I have heard about a certain daddy of yours)
Sugar has adverse affects on you.
But works great for bribery. . .
You are starting to read and can write a good many letters on your own.
You were making me a Christmas gift just tonight and had written "MOMM" all over it.
And also, you told me you cleaned my kitchen today (well, you swept it, but I will take what I can get). ;o)
I love that your little heart thinks of me in such sweet ways.
You requested homemade pizza and a rainbow cake for your birthday.
And because I love you I made you this towering six layer cake.
Five finger for five years of you!
We love you so much buddy and are so happy to have you a part of our big Cooley crew.
Our prayer for you, always and ever is that your heart will belong to Jesus and that you grow to be a follower of Him.
I can't wait for new adventures with you!!
Happiest day Owen Joshua!!