Thursday, August 24, 2017

School Start-Up 2017...

Oh my gosh, you guys! School has started back up. Summer 2017 is in the books and somehow we have a 5th grader, a 2nd grader, and a preschooler. Maddie will still be at home with me 24/7 but the rest are school bound. Yikes!

Kate's last year of elementary school!
She is 5'4 1/2", wears a size 10 women's shoe, loves sports, and is super wonderful!

CJ is starting 2nd grade in her pencil pants and decided to pose rather strangely but whatever...
CJ loves reading, playing, she is learning to roller blade, and is one fabulous girl!

The gang 2017.
10, almost 8, 4, and 2

Natalie starts 4 year old preschool in two weeks.
Isn't she a beauty! And a super smart beauty at that!

The girls and I watched the solar eclipse while Maddie napped. Bliss!

I cannot stop laughing at CJ in this picture!
Life with sisters is hard, guys.

Maddie is spending her last full year at home. Next year she will start 3 year old preschool. Now that's hard to imagine. Maddie is a typical two year old in all ways but she is darn adorable and has started talking up a storm, I tell you. I think this is going to be a very big growing year for Maddie.

Perfecting our rollerblading.

Dress-up while the big girls are away at school.
The dress Natalie is wearing is one my mom wore as a bridesmaid many moons ago.
It has a slight tear in the front now so I took it permanently out of the dress up rotation for repair.

Little kids always wear sunglasses upside down. It's so funny!

And here is CJ modeling her new dress for me. Kate and CJ had a date day with mom where we ended up at the mall arcade. Gotta love gross, plastic, arcade teeth that have probably been touched by lots of hands. Ew.

I loved you summer 2017. Until next year!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Summer closer...

Summer has flown by this year. Maybe it's keeping up with Maddie, or all of the sport camps, or maybe the fantastic trip to Clear Lake and Okoboji. I obviously have a lot of blogging to catch up on. Somehow though it is August and school starts in less than three weeks. We have our first potentially rainy day in a long time so I imagine this will be a day filled with board games and television...and hopefully no fighting.

Maddie has stopped napping this summer. I've attempted to hang two baby gates, one on top of the other, so she cannot leave her room. Unfortunately for me she has learned to climb over both of them. If I tie or hold her door shut for an hour or so she will eventually give in and sleep. Overall though Maddie not napping has been mostly a good thing because it opens up our schedule, allowing us to visit the pool when we want. I imagine this will just be a long, challenging phase of transitioning into a no nap life for here on out. Hard to imagine we've entered the stage of life with no napping little kids.

Speaking of the pool, the girls and I have logged a lot of hours at the pool this summer. Natalie has reached the necessary height to go down the big, red, twisty slide which thrilled her to no end. AND the next day I tested her and she could swim well enough to jump off the diving board by herself. She proceeded to jump off 8,241 times in one afternoon. And it made my heart soar! To continue with her adventures, the very next day, Natalie boldly marched up the high dive ladder and without blinking an eye, jumped off the end of the board. Again, my heart was soaring. Oh, and not to be outdone, Natalie also started dance lessons this summer. She has begged me for quite some time to take ballet and while she does enjoy the lesson, she isn't interested in practicing. I think lessons may end after this summer. But she is a pretty ballerina. :)

I bought a tent this summer and we tried family camping for the first time!
Matt took Maddie home for the overnight. Great time had by all!

Kate has been an unbelievable help this summer. She has been sweet, and courteous, and helpful with household chores and with keeping an eye on Maddie when another girl needs something. Kate has also been busy with various sports including wrapping up soccer at the start of the summer, softball, basketball camps, and a volleyball camp. Oh, and how could I forget her endless trips to the pool, even when the rest of us weren't able to be there.

CJ has enjoyed her time reading, swimming, and living life in her own world. CJ also wrapped up soccer at the start of summer, played her first year of coach-pitch softball, and participated in two basketball camps.

Natalie found many beautiful treasures while school shopping. She loves pretty things.

Matt finished his second year playing for the CourtKings and has officially retired from playing professional basketball. He has since bought new golf clubs and is trying to get back to playing more golf. He is, of course, busy at work and planning for another year of coaching girls basketball.

Me...I'm slowly getting back to running as I figure out what may really be wrong with my hip. I'm set to run my first 5K in forever this coming Saturday. It will be slow but the goal is to finish, not to set a PR. I have also been loving summer because I am a summer girl at heart but I am beginning to feel the pull of getting everyone back into a routine. School is good for everyone. Not that I don't enjoy spending more time with all of my girls, because I do, but some days are more challenging than others with so many bodies asking mom for so many things. :)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer time 2017...

Summer so far...

Puddle jumping after a rainstorm.
Swimming lessons were cancelled but the puddles were open for business, and we took advantage.

 I planned a surprise birthday party for Matt. We all met at Lion's Field and played a family game of softball. So much fun! It was an incredibly hot and sweaty day but well worth the time out there. We followed up the game with a water balloon fight at the field and lunch at our house. Below is a picture of the ice cream cake I made. I was awfully proud of that thing.

We haven't had much rain at all so far this month but when it did rain we didn't let the puddles go to waste. More puddle jumping...

I found this picture on my phone. hahaha

Maddie asks to go to the pool at all hours of the day. Typically "pool" is the first word out of her mouth when she wakes in the morning. "Night, night, pool?" Our visits to the pool are often followed by popsicles at home. SUMMER FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And SOMETIMES everyone plays together AND gets along. And it is literally pure bliss.
Here the girls took turns wrapping each other up like babies. Haha

Summer has also been filled with swimming lessons, softball games, coach pitch softball games, basketball camps, summer enrichment classes, Matt's basketball, men's and women's golf leagues, dance class, and of course, visits by Taryn to help me out and babysit this wild brood.
I love summer! 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Update on things around here...

Hey little blog and future are a few things going on around here. Better document it so you can remember! I mean with all these pictures I take on my phone I feel like I need to write down the story that goes along with it. Nothing more fun than looking back on what life was like when.

Matt decided to sign on for another year with the Cedar Valley CourtKings. He's calling it his retirement tour. So far this season the CourtKings are 8-0. Last season they were the league champs. Below is an action shot of Matt receiving his championship ring and a high five for Loo.

Mom and I took the younger three girls to the Easter egg hunt while Matt was with Kate at a soccer game. Maddie semi-patiently waited to collect eggs and then stuffed all their contents into her mouth as fast as humanly possible. Natalie found TWO golden eggs and won a slew of prizes including, pool party passes, two beach towels, a gift certificate to Tootsie's, AND a bike!! She was beyond thrilled. Sadly CJ found only one egg and it contained taffy- her least favorite candy. It was a wide range of emotions from many girls.

A few weeks back we had a cold streak which forced us to begrudgingly dig out winter coats again. We made the best of a chilly situation and jumped in puddles. 

Everybody had themselves a good, messy, dirty time.

But then when you least expect it, the weather takes another turn and we find ourselves in sweatshirts at the park. This picture was taken during Maddie's no-nap phase. Here I made them complete some hard labor in hopes of a joyous, quiet nap time. It worked. :)

We also celebrated this little lady turning TWO! She loved her birthday. How is she 2 already? I know every parent asks themselves this question as each of their kids turn a year older and I'm no exception. The days are long, and the years are short. Since turning two she has started doing some light talking. Her first official word other than mom or dad was banana but it's said more like a minion. Growling voice yelling, "NANA!!"

Homemade malts. I can smell and taste summer!!!

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before but our yard is referred to as the vortex. Nearly every afternoon you can find various children playing in our yard or on our porch. It's mostly good. We typically have nine kids. It's a little overwhelming at times but I think everyone has fun. It does get a little old when kids are peeking in the windows during dinner but at least I know where my kids are playing rather than disappearing into someone else's world. 

Nine and a half more days until school is officially done for the summer. Our June calendar is PACKED! Here's to hours and hours of outdoor play whether in the yard, on the softball field, or in the pool.
I heart you, summer!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Having fun...

I've been having so much fun lately with Natalie and Maddie. They are both super goofballs who love to dance and pretend. Kate and CJ are lots of fun too, of course, but they aren't here as much as the two littlest girls, so they don't get into as many photos. With the weather warming we've been outside a lot too which makes EVERYBODY much happier! Also, everyone in our house (with the exception of Matt) is growing out their hair which makes for fun hairstyles each morning. NOTE: The hairstyles don't last long which is evidenced in these photos. Ha! I love these girls!

We make tiaras, bracelets, necklaces, and garlands with Natalie's "special beads." I also step on countless "special beads" which doesn't feel too good but they are at least fun to play with. Lots of creativity happens when these beads are pulled out of the closet (or from under the bed, dresser, etc.)

Clothing is optional. Diapers are not.

Nacho, our pet cat, went to the vet overnight to get fixed, get shots, and declawed! Poor thing. The girls were missing her something fierce. The day she was set to return, CJ made Nacho a banner at school and we set up a "kitty buffet" to welcome her home. I sent this picture to Matt and he responded, "Is CJ eating cat food? Why is Maddie naked? And is Natalie drunk?!" I laughed, and laughed, and laughed. This is our crazy house day in day out.

Barbies, barbies everywhere, everyday! Natalie loves Barbies!

I cleaned up so we could actually play with the Barbies. Natalie promptly left. Apparently it is more fun to play with Barbies strewn everywhere. Oh, kids.

And here is a random photo from January when we went to one of the local bouncy house places with our neighbor friends. We've gone bouncing quite a bit this winter. The kids burn off SO much energy!

What fun days...most of the time. I'm looking forward to summer with excitement and mild anxiety. It will be busy and exhausting, and hopefully, filled with lots of laughs!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Truth and tired...

Each time I open my blog and reread old posts, I get nostalgic. I also get grumpy with myself. I'm not documenting the days of Natalie and Maddie being little squirts like I did with the older two girls. As if I need any more pressure on myself to do more, and yet, I do just that. I'm not gonna lie, four girls is major work. Four kids is major work. I'm nearly forty. Ack, how did that happen? People tell me regularly things like, "You look tired!" or "Your teeth look yellow." or "Losing baby weight is hard, huh?" Thanks all! Add to my aging body the fact I can't run because of my stinkin' hip, that's right, this old lady has a hip injury, and it's not exactly easy to stay in shape. I'm trying to take care of myself but apparently 39 isn't treating me well. 

Little girl laundry...

Maddie is a bundle of happiness that climbs like a mountain goat and explores like a burglar in a diamond store. Does that make sense? She likes to destroy. I have a hard time keeping up with her. But dang, she is adorable.

My brother and sister when they were little...

That's me on the right. I thought I looked so good in that coat. And my hair! I probably spent a solid 30 minutes perfecting that coif. Now I barely spend three minutes on my hair.

My mom and dad a few years back... Look at my mom's mane. So beautiful!

That's me raiding my grandma's refrigerator. Maddie and I could be twins!

Maddie's twin (me) again...
That outfit. Love it!

What's the point of this post? I don't know. I barely documented anything of importance related to my children but maybe one day I will look back and think, "I tried. Even though I often was tired, and apparently didn't look my best, I at least tried."  


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