Thursday, February 1, 2018

January Catch-Up...

I am going to cheat a little bit and include some of December in my January catch-up post. I hope you'll forgive me. Our days have been spent mostly indoors. We've had a few warmer-ish days where we've ventured outside but for the most part, my little girls don't last long outdoors when it's chilly. We're all a bunch of summer loving softies, I tell ya. 


Our evenings and weekends have been packed with sports- primarily all for Kate. Matt coaches Kate's basketball team and they have practice two evenings a week and tournaments nearly every weekend. Matt also plays basketball one night a week. Volleyball has also started for Kate, and CJ started basketball a couple of weeks ago, which Matt also coaches. The little girls and I are home together a lot but I thoroughly enjoy watching the girls play their various sports. I see many, many years to come sitting court side or field side.




Speaking of Kate, she turned 11 this month! She is a super girl. 11 reasons why I love this girl:
1. She loves to read.
2. She has a big heart for animals and people.
3. She is enthusiastic about playing the trumpet and has learned a lot in a short amount of time.
4. I LOVE watching her block shots in basketball. It makes me so proud.
5. She is unbelievably tall at 5'6" and although I act all sad about her almost catching me in height (I'm 5'9") I am secretly thrilled. I find it to be very exciting.
6. Kate is a great artist.
7. She is not afraid to be herself.
8. She is super goofy and makes us all laugh.
9. She is adventurous.
10. She loves her sisters.
11. She is sensitive and sweet.

Happy birthday, Kate!



I also love it when these four get along. It gets awfully loud in our house at times but the sounds are usually joyful...until they aren't. ha!


My mom is so funny. She swaddled our cat, Nacho, the other day. Nacho paid her back with a little scratch on the arm. She'll have to get her baby fix from some other household.


Our kids are very fortunate to receive so many wonderful Christmas gifts but they don't get played with much. Does that happen in anyone else's house? I don't know if they feel overwhelmed or what, but we're bursting at the seams with toys that largely go ignored. Here is Natalie playing with a toy she desperately wanted. I think this is the only time I've seen her play with this. In fact, Natalie begged for a house for her pets (read stuffed animals) and that's exactly what we got her. The exact one she wanted! She played with it for two days and decided she didn't want it anymore. First world problems, I tell ya! My girls make TONS of art, chase each other around the house, and make-up various performances. None of which require toys but at the same time you have to give them something to open, right? Boy, I'm going down a rabbit hole, I think. Anyway, I love these girls! 



Maddie got her first haircut right before Christmas. She sat really well and the stylist even gave her a little pink streak. She was super proud of the pink streak but insisted on washing it out as soon as we got home. Ha!


So long January! 2018 has treated us pretty well so far and I hope that becomes a trend for the year.
Basketball is coming to a close just as volleyball season ramps up, followed by soccer season.
Life's an adventure here!





Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas Countdown 2017...

As we countdown to Christmas 2017 I can't help but reflect on all the changes brought on by this year. I lost both of my grandpas. Last Christmas they were with us and I truly didn't think that by this Christmas we'd have lost them both. But with sadness comes blessings and 2017 wasn't filled only with tears.

Matt played another season, and has since retired, from the Cedar Valley CourtKings. He continues to succeed as an attorney. Speaking of basketball, Matt is coaching Kate's 5th grade girls basketball team. He clearly has a passion for basketball at all levels. Matt also plans to start an informal team for CJ and second grade girls this coming winter/spring.

This year Kate has been involved in basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, and, at recess only, lots of football. She'd love to play organized football but we said no...about 34 times. Kate has also had a lot of fun learning to draw from YouTube tutorials and has put together some really great drawings. This is Kate's last year in the elementary school. How is that even possible? With 5th grade comes the opportunity to play a band instrument and Kate chose the trumpet. I can't wait to go to the first band concert.

CJ is no stranger to sports. She has played soccer, basketball, and coach-pitch softball this year. CJ is second grade and has become an avid reader with an AR range up to 6th grade reading level. She loves drawing and creating, and loves to make pictures that are symmetrical- this seems to be very important in her art work.

Natalie is wrapping up her last year of preschool this school year. Natalie spends lots of her free time taking care of stuffed animals, playing Barbies, and learning to write letters. She is now writing us notes with simple phrases like, "I love you." Her room is Natalie's favorite place right now, and she loves to spend time in there with the radio on.

Maddie is a 2 year old through and through. This year has brought big changes for Maddie as she moved out of both her crib and her diapers. Maddie loves watching Sofia, sneaking into her sisters' bedrooms,drawing on things that are not paper, and eating fruit snacks.

And as for me? I started my second year on the Black Hawk County Gaming Association and joined the LPC Preschool Board. I've continued with our Itsa group at church, spending time with other moms and their children, and coached CJ's soccer team. I'm back to running again after a year long hiatus thanks to some hip pain. I've been pouring through books, as usual this year. I just love a good read. I've run kids in every direction and chased Maddie while she regularly chooses to run the other way. I really enjoy watching the girls play their various sports and I look forward to watching more in the many, many years to come.

Much love to everyone in the coming year.

Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!












Thursday, November 16, 2017

I miss warm...

I'm doing my best to pretend to love our cooler weather.
I've been running outside, even when the thermostat says its in the 20s.
I have taken the girls outside even when my feet beg for slippers.
9 out of 10 of my meals is soup and bread. I'm not factoring in breakfast.
And I guess that's all I've tried. But dang it, I'm trying.

Truly though, doesn't this look so much more fun than being cold...










Yep.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fall Catch Up...

Fall has treated us well this year. Kate and CJ are a few days from closing out the fall soccer season. Kate has primarily served as goalie and occasionally defender for her team, Knight Force. I am coaching CJ's team, Mini Union, this season. We only have five girls but the five we have are terrific. I have really enjoyed coaching them. And much to my surprise, I have really fallen for watching my kids play sports. I think I was less enthusiastic about it in years past because I always had a baby to keep happy while attempting to watch the big girls. Now Maddie is by no means independent or self sufficient but its a little less work this year with the prospect of things getting easier as the months pass...in theory, of course.

I am clearly behind on my blog which has been pretty standard for the past couple of years but here are a few other things that have gone on this fall. 

Shortly after Labor Day Natalie started four year old preschool. She attends in the afternoon, three days a week. At first she was not a fan, but now she looks forward to school. Currently her favorite school playmate is Henry. She always looks forward to playing with Henry.


 Natalie being away at school has left Maddie home as the only kid. While Maddie and Natalie have become great buddies this fall, Maddie thoroughly enjoys her alone time with me.


While Natalie is away at school Maddie and I either wander to the library, park, eat ice cream (Shhhh), and sometimes explore our favorite, Hickory Hills. Maddie doesn't enjoy the hikes so much as she prefers throwing rocks in the water and chasing geese.




Matt's Dad and I like to run a 5K together now and again. (Although my hip is being a jerk right now, but that's another story for another post.) Earlier this year I signed Kate and CJ up to run a 1/2 mile race at the same event Mike and I were running. They loved it so much the two girls are doing another race next weekend!





I'm pretty proud of their efforts and with their results! Good job girls!



One Saturday Matt and I got away for the ISU v UNI football game in Ames. We had over three hours there and back to talk to each other uninterrupted. Whaaaat?! I wore a combination of purple and red...which makes me sound like a red hat lady, but I had to support my alma mater, and I wanted my husband to still talk to me, so I had no choice. ha!



We also celebrated a couple of big birthdays around here. First CJ turned 8! Eight years old????
Here are eight reasons why CJ is so fantastic...
1. She is outgoing and goofy.
2. Her love for reading makes my heart swell.
3. CJ's laugh is top notch!! I love to hear that girl love.
4. She is super creative; whether it's legos or drawing or building, CJ comes up with some really beautiful ideas. 
5. She is a great sister to all of her sisters.
6. That hair and those freckles! My heart melts.
7. CJ loves her space and knows when she needs some time to herself. It's good to know these things about yourself.
8. She is fabulous in so many ways, do I really need to stop at 8?!
We love you, Claudia!



For CJ's birthday we went to Palmer's in Waterloo where we bounced on the jumping pillow, raced go-carts, practiced in the batting cage, and laughed ourselves silly. Here's a few pics from our fun afternoon.

Future softball star

Getting some air...zoom in on that face!!





We also celebrated Natalie's FIFTH BIRTHDAY!!! What a sweetheart! Here are five reasons why I love my Natalie...
1. Natalie is super sweet and loves caring for Maddie, dolls, and her stuffed animals.
2. She has a big heart for animals.
3. She has an even bigger heart for fashion and make-up. Natalie enjoys giving makeovers to anyone whom is willing.
4. Natalie loves to be read to and I love reading to her.
5. She has a sensitive heart but a super smart wit. 
Happy birthday, Natalie! We LOVE you!!!!



It has been a wonderful fall with many more days to come. What a blessing to have this family!


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!

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