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...


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 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!

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! 


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