Pages

Saturday, January 25, 2014

January 19-25

We spent a good long time at the park on this afternoon--temps hit 68 degrees!  Typically, with Josh's wrestling schedule January is always such a long month for us.  However, I have no complaints--we have been amazingly healthy and able to get outside nearly every day for fresh air and sunshine.
~
Strange how often I find "outside cats" INSIDE (and they're all outside now!). ;o)  The kids thought it adorable that the big brothers were all snuggled up together.
~
 After a long day in Kearney we throw our stuff all over the place and curl up with our latest library finds. ;o)
~
 Isabella spent a good half a day designing a poster to advertise for her daddy's wrestling fundraiser.
~
 You are never too old to play with blocks. 
~
 Marissa also contributes to fundraising posters.  I'm glad to see all the Garfield reading is paying off. ;o)
~
Owen demonstrating how fast he is on his bike. Super speedy!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Daybook~1/20

God's Glory Outside my Window~
Another sunny January day in the 50's.  Yesterday we hit 68 degrees!  How lovely to be outside and really enjoy it. ;o)

Listening to~
Owen daily sings through a little Christmas medley he came up with and one of the lines I hear often is, "Deck the Halls with Hobby Lobby."  There is a lot of truth in that phrase . . . ;o)

Giving Thanks~
Jackson has really upped his game in the schoolwork department--working ahead, desiring to do extra work to finish something early . . . I have been so surprised and pleased to see such a good work ethic.  I have spent a lot of time praying for that boy!

In the Schoolroom~
Last week's start up wasn't nearly as painful as I had thought. ;o) All the kids are somewhere in the early 1800's as far as history goes, we will be discussing Daniel Boone, the Louisiana Purchase, and stuff like that this week. Science has us learning about all the different kinds of energy out there.  I'm also researching some new stuff for Emmett who has just been really struggling in the reading department lately.  While the other three learned with basically the same methods it just doesn't seem to be working with Emmett, and that sends me back to the drawing board.

From the Kitchen~
An old, comforting favorite "Swiss Chicken" is slated for tonight, along with mashed potatoes, and whatever frozen vegetable I can locate in the freezer. Josh will be able to join us for supper tonight as all his wrestlers are gone for some sort of choir thing.

Around the Home~
I have been on a decluttering spree, and nothing makes me feel quite so happy as hauling out bags of junk. It is so freeing! ;o)  I blame it on an early nesting onset combined with always the possibility of Josh landing a new job this spring that would necessitate a move.  I'll take advantage of whatever energy I have now and put it to use (although I must confess to slowing down a lot this month and needing to always be in my (supportive) running shoes . . . I think being five months pregnant sixth time around is probably comparable to being seven or eight months pregnant first time around . . . but I'm not exactly sure how one figures the math in all that). ;o)

Creating by Hand~
I still have that scarf to get to.  I've also been researching a few patterns for some tops to sew for myself that will be great in those first few weeks/months postpartum.  I'm not really enthused about having a baby and then heading into summer with all that glaring white and untoned skin.  There is definitely something to be said for fall/winter babies and sweaters, tunics, and leggings . . . just saying.

On my Nightstand~
I'm just about done with The Shoemaker's Wife (which has been pretty good and made me cry) and then I shall dive into My Family for the War by Anne C. Voorhoeve, a YA book that deals with WWII.  I brought three books back from the Lincoln library, and since I will be back in town come Sunday I'm hoping to be able to return them all. ;o)

Pondering~
How good routines and busyness are for me when dealing with hard stuff . . . and how streaming church yesterday from IHCC and listening to all the worship music, or a kind word from a friend (or even stranger) takes me back to square one, reminding me my heart is just this raw, pulpy mess.

Plans for the Week~
Mostly just a normal week for us.  Josh has a meet on Friday but has the weekend home (except for the fact there is a wrestling fundraiser for the basketball game on Saturday that I need to make two lasagnas and two desserts for).  The kids and I will be driving into Lincoln Sunday afternoon for an appointment with my midwife on Monday morning (and hopefully a final squaring away of what gender this baby is!!).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 12-18

 My new bed--a late Christmas/early Valentine's Day gift??
The long story, I have been wanting an iron bed for a few years and after browsing (mostly online) I decided my most favorite was the Pottery Barn Coleman Bed, which for our budget is a tad pricey (once you figure in the tax and shipping), so I assumed some day we would save for that and I really wasn't in a huge rush.  I happened to mention this to Josh and he said "Well surely there is something like it cheaper!" And I said, well no, I've looked all over and have never come across anything.  So, Josh does a search and lands on Overstock.com where there is virtually the same exact bed, that in the end was 2/3 less than the PB price. And surprise! He got it for me and built it on Sunday.  While it is a bit lower than our old bed (I do miss what I could fit under the old one) it is really sturdy and seems good quality (and easier to get me and my ever-growing belly in and out!).  Slowly my little 10 1/2 by 11 1/2 ft "master bedroom" has become a bit more welcoming. Last summer I painted it while Josh was detasseling and rearranged a bit to make it seem more like a bedroom than just a place we head to sleep.  In the corner is the secretary I painted last winter.  Confession--still not finished . . . I need to hit the cubby organizer with perhaps another coat of primer and then paint again (it was a bear to try to paint those nooks and crannies).  But it photographs all pretty. ;o)  I still need to get a bed skirt and the matching shams to my comforter (Xmas gift from my parents).  I hope to eventually collect some French provincial furniture to finish it out (I do have one long dresser awaiting a paint job in my basement--however if this baby were to end up a girl we might just use that for a baby dresser/changing area).
~
 Rewatching The Hobbit (#1) in anticipation of seeing the 2nd one in the theater. All six of my lovies on the couch. ;o)
~
Night two of watching The Hobbit--technically this is not really an "Owen movie" but as you can see, Josh navigates through the more scary parts like the expert parent that he is. ;o) And Owen sits there quite patiently until he is allowed to watch again.
~
Finding our school rhythm again this week.
 A visit to the library after a good month break landed us a plethora of Garfield books again.
~
 New towels!!!
Back in November, prior to Thanksgiving when all the Kohls Black Friday sales hit online I ordered some new bath towels for the house.  Fourteen bath towels, and 4 hand towels to be exact, in the shade of "pearl" which online looked like a lovely light "pearl gray."  They arrived in a timely fashion a week later and I opened the big box to discover that when they said "pearl" they actually meant "pearl"--an off-white color. I debated what to do with the off-white towels but decided in the end they would look rather dingy in no-time-flat, and so three weeks later when we headed back to Lincoln for Christmas I packed my big box of towels to exchange.  And I carried that huge box of towels through the whole store (having to stop once or twice to catch my breath . . .) only to find they had no color that I wanted in store to exchange them for.  And I then carted them back to my in-laws' home perplexed. And then Josh and I went in together (he carried them this time) and we happened to find the same towel, for the same price, in "gray" on the little Kohls kiosks they have in the store, so we ordered the same amount and finally ditched the off-white ones.  And then we waited, and waited . . . and with giddy anticipation I saw that Fedex had gotten them as far as North Platte, so I KNEW I would have them the next day, and then they disappeared completely.  After calling around we learned they were in Des Moines, Iowa. And then FINALLY at long last I have my new towels and I can officially retire the shredding ones.   It was with complete and utter joy I quickly did two loads of towels and folded them all pretty like. Simple pleasures friends. ;o)
~
Saturday afternoons (particularly in the winter when Josh is gone for wrestling meets) I allow the kids some "Wii time."  Unfortunately, for whatever reason the Wii wouldn't work for them (and I have refused to learn how to work that thing so I am absolutely no help . . .). ;o)  Not wanting to lose their only time allowed for video games Isabella got out her DS and her brothers all huddled around to watch her play.  While I would much rather prefer pictures of them doing something a bit more productive, I did think it sweet to see them all snuggled together like that.  And I was still able to sneak through their rooms with garbage sacks and declutter my little heart out with no one the wiser. . . (insert evil mommy laugh). ;o)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Daybook

God’s glory outside my window~
Sunshine, mid 50's . . . for January weather you will hear no complaints from me.  I'm so thankful that the kids can get outside for fresh air.

Listening to~
"In Christ ALONE my HOPE is FOUND, HE is my LIGHT, my STRENGTH, my SONG."

Giving Thanks~
For life, for family, for how the body of Christ loves, encourages, and props you up when you need it.

In the Schoolroom~
It was the first day of our 2nd semester today.  I'm still awaiting the arrival of some math books and I'm switching the girls back to "Easy Grammar."  We tried too many new things this year and sadly, not that there was anything wrong with the new stuff, but we found them to not be a good fit for us, or just not what we were looking for.  The most disappointing was the history curriculum which just did not give us the depth we desired for the girls.  And so, we've been "winging it."  We spent a lot of time on the Revolutionary War and now we are going to move onto "Westward Expansion" and all that entails.

From the Kitchen~
Hopefully, there will be a lasagna tonight (just need to get to the town grocery and pick up some items). There has been no time for a big grocery trip and we have been limping along in the menu department, scavenging the deep freeze and trying to fill in the extras with stuff bought in town (which is for the most part more expensive and I try to keep that at a minimum!).  Thankfully, tomorrow is Kearney day.

Around the Home~
Finally (!!) got the soggy oozy pumpkins off my front step.  Now, in my defense, MOST of them got thrown away right around Thanksgiving.  A few (4 or 5 maybe?) were still in good shape, so I let them linger (obviously a bit too long). ;o)

Creating by Hand~
I am finishing up knitting an infinity scarf--just need to watch something on youtube about how to cast off again . . . ;o) Hopefully it will be on my neck by the end of the week!

On my Nightstand~
This weekend I read The Spark by Kristine Barnett about a mom and her amazingly genius autistic son (and every time I set it down Marissa would snatch it up--at one time I told her she needed to go read something else so I could have my book back . . .).  And now I've started The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani.  I've never read anything before her before, but I keep coming across this book title and hearing how wonderful the story is, so we shall see.

Pondering~
Love--loving harder, loving better, just loving others more.  I didn't vocally pick myself a "word of the year" but that is the concept I keep coming back to.  And as I keep reminding myself what love is--patient, kind-- already I find myself tripped up a bit.  So, yes, this year--toward loving better.

Plans for the Week~
"Kearney Day" on Tuesday which will begin pretty early so that Jackson and Owen can each get a cavity filled.  Maybe more basement organizing?  Josh has back-to-back wrestling meets on Friday and Saturday. Oh, and the second installment of "The Hobbit" will hit our theater.  I probably won't attend, but it is high on the priority list of everyone else in the house.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 5-11

Owen and I made homemade Runzas.  It has honestly been around 10 years since I made Runzas, and I'm not quite sure why because they are so good!  They are quite a process, but always worth the effort.
~
 On Friday night (the 4th) I took the kids to see Frozen because I thought we would be leaving for Lincoln the next day.  It ended up we remained in Arapahoe for the weekend and then Josh took them to see it AGAIN Monday night. Total cost for 10 movie tickets? $12 (Owen is free until he is of school age) That movie theater has definitely been a perk and kind of offsets the fact that the closest Hobby Lobby and Target are an hour a way. We all loved the movie.  Marissa's favorite part was the end--that it was the love between the sisters that broke the spell.  Awww. ;o)
 My view of Marissa most days.  
I have been feeling a bit guilty about the lack of brain stimulation going on here lately, and while I know some little people around here will definitely benefit from us getting back into a routine again, Marissa has found others ways to keep herself busy--writing her novel.
~
 Packing again to head back for the funeral.  
~
The whole Cooley family on a very sad day.
~
 Josh's parents--all of us--we were so blessed by so many people in the food area.  A family friend showed up with Val's pizzas on Friday.  Valentino's puts one pepperoni on top so you know it's pepperoni.  Josh declared that piece Dan's piece--Dan always loved his pepperonis OVER the cheese, not underneath it.  And I can't tell you how badly I wished for him to walk through that back door and have some pizza with us.
~
And home again. 
Josh had a wrestling meet all day Saturday and I unpacked and did laundry and tried to find our way again.  The kids needed to detox from an over abundance of screen time.  There was a lot of Lego playing going on.  And a lot of squabbles.  We got outside for some fresh air and in the evening pulled out some paints.  My calendar arrived in the mail while we were gone and as I hung it up I was kind of shocked to realize we are nearing the middle of January already. It feels like we entered some foggy world before Christmas and now we are slowly emerging from it. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

December 29-January 4

 This guy thought Isabella's press-on nails were pretty neat.
~
The time when all those hours wasted playing Tetris actually proves beneficial. ;o)
We arrived in Lincoln the afternoon of the 22nd and returned home the evening of the 30th.  That day would be the last we got to see Dan.  He was very alert that day and we asked him if he wanted all the kids to come see him and he did.  We all got to tell him we loved him.  Leaving his hospital room that day, walking that long hallway was so hard, not knowing if there would be one more time.
~
 And once home we tried to have some normalcy.  We played a lot of Legos and took down some Christmas decor.  We rang in the new year with our traditional "junk food feast" and Josh and the older kids finished up the the last  Lord of the Rings movie and celebrated reaching midnight together.  I went to bed around 10 pm. ;o)
~
 There was a lot of playing "Settlers of Catan" as Josh continued to win every game.  The kids almost had him on this one as they all ganged up on him together blocking his every move. AND YET he still managed to declare a victory.  One of these days . . .
~
 The game where the boys take Josh's wedding band and spin it on the table and blow on it to see how long they can keep it going.  And yes, that would be missing paint from my coffee table from boys who used it for matchbox car wars.  
~
 Josh had a teacher work day and Dan took a turn for the worse.  He got home from school and we threw his stuff in a bag in hopes he could make it back to see Dan once more and be with his parents.  My friend Brooke had sent me this verse in the very beginning, back in December, and it is where I have camped these last weeks, Psalm 62.
~
We lost Dan at 2:26, the morning of January 4th. 
I woke up after some fitful sleep at 2:47 and called Josh, and then I just couldn't sleep the rest of the night.  I sat quietly, alone on my couch watching the sunrise, thinking of that quote "God's in His heaven, all's right with the world." Even though there is this weight of unbearable sadness, we know God is sovereign over all of it--that God had known and numbered Dan's days before there was even one. I told the kids when they woke up.  It is one thing as an adult to deal with your own grief, but as a parent of little people that grief becomes compounded as you try to help your kids understand as well.  My heart carries their grief too. Even though we had several weeks to prepare ourselves for the worst, when the worst comes there really is no way to be ready for it. Our days have been slow and gentle.  We have watched too much tv and played too much Wii.  Some of us haven't managed to get out of our jammies.  The school break that was supposed to be two weeks and then grew to three has now become four.  And I'm okay with that.
~
Thank you to all of you who have prayed, who have sent encouraging emails, texts, or comments on facebook.  I've read every one.  The weekend was lonely with Josh in Lincoln and the kids and I in Arapahoe, and all of your words meant so much.