Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Halloween 2012

Halloween this year was miserable!  So miserable it’s taken me a long time to actually get it documented here (well, that and the fact that I have four kids and work full-time – that might have something to do with the lack of posting I guess).

The weather reports all week had said it was going to be cold and rainy on Halloween, and of course it was, because exactly one week before it was 80 degrees and sunny, so I knew it was going to be miserable. Not trying to be a downer, it just seems to work out that way every year – one week before it’s really nice, and then the week of Halloween the temperature drops like 30 degrees.

But the bad weather reports didn’t stop us from our annual Halloween potluck on the court! About a week beforehand we all agreed on what we were going to bring and got everything set. I was in charge of the adult hot chocolate and stew – perfect!

Halloween day I left work early and went right to work making the hot chocolate and heating the stew (I was smart and made it the night before). I felt so good about where we were at…we had gotten costumes early this year, Ryan was the same thing he was last year, and Colton was the third child to wear the Buzz Lightyear costume. Ahhh, little did I know…

I’m not sure if I have documented on this blog the issues that Kylie always seems to have with her costume or not, but I’m going to rewrite about it because I don’t want to forget about this when she’s older. And if, by some chance, she has a daughter that has even ½ as many issues with her costumes as Kylie has, I want to go back and show Kylie that the girl clearly got the issues from her mother :)

I used to pick Kylie’s costumes when she was little. Her first Halloween she was a Princess (that was actually from my mom), and then her second she was an angel/bunny (angel when it was warm and then put the bunny costume on when it turned cold). For her third Halloween, Kylie was Simba from the The Lion King – that was her favorite movie at that time. Her fourth Halloween was the first year she picked what she wanted to be, and that was Deedee Doodle from The Doodlebops. She LOVED that costume and lived in it months after Halloween. Her fifth Halloween she wanted to be Elina from Fairytopia, and again, she loved that costume. Her sixth Halloween she was another type of princess – I don’t remember much about this Halloween (mainly because I had just brought Ryan home from the hospital and was in a newborn haze) but I don’t remember any big issues. Seventh Halloween – this is when it all went downhill…she wanted to be a bride, so we ordered her a bride costume. I ordered her shoes off of ebay, which of course, were a little too big (the girl was having a hard time understanding that when you dressed up, things didn’t usually fit perfectly), and the plan was for her to use my wedding veil. I remember we had a tailgate that day and she fell asleep outside. I had to wake her up to get ready and that was when the drama started – she was a mess! She complained about everything from the shoes to the veil and every time I look at the pictures from that Halloween, I see the tears in her eyes :(

So I learned my lesson – really ensure that Kylie likes her costume! Eighth Halloween she was an OU cheerleader. If I remember right, that went over pretty well – not many complaints. Her ninth Halloween was horrible! We were at Cracker Barrel and their costumes were on sale. I saw this long red velvet red and black dress and showed it to her. She decided she could make that into a vampire-witch thing and we were set. I asked her over and over again before I actually purchased it if she was sure, and she emphatically kept telling me “yes!” Wrongo! She whined about wearing it to school (“the kids will make fun of me”what????) and we scoured the city for vampire teeth, which I found for $22 and which she said hurt and didn’t end up wearing. Horrible!

So this year, we went to the costume store early (like a month before Halloween – that’s unheard of for us!) so that she could take her time and go through the costumes. She tried a few on (the rest would get made fun of according to her) and they were either too itchy or just not working out. I kept telling her that I was not going to buy her a costume unless she was 110% good with it and that meant no crying or complaining at all. She actually left the store without anything with a plan to really think about what she wanted to be.

During the week, she decided she wanted to be a crazy snake-spider lady (I wasn’t asking – this was her costume). She wanted a long-haired wig and a snake to wear around her neck. She and I went back to the costume store and she picked out a wig. She also got some cool tattoos that looked like scratches, and a package of mini-snakes to put in her hair. I ended up ordering her rat and snake from amazon. When we got home, she put the wig on and walked around the house. A couple weeks later her snake and rat came and she was set…or so I thought…

School wasn’t an issue this year (thankfully) – she had a friend help her put on a couple of tattoos and she had her snake and rat…no complaints. But back to Halloween night where I’m getting all the food ready (my goal is to actually be out with the neighbors on time since I’ve never been able to do that) and Kylie is complaining about the wig…”something’s pokey,” “it’s itchy.” I’m beyond frustrated. I work with her trying to put tissues between her scalp and the wig, we try the net thing on and off…I swear we try everything. It still doesn’t make sense, but another Halloween and I’m yelling and she’s in tears; another set of pictures that I will forever be able to see tears in her eyes :(

She finally sucks it up and comes outside to eat (without the snake and rat mind you – another $20 wasted). It’s so hard – I see all these other girls in“normal” costumes having a great time, and yet my daughter has such an issue with this – why???

Kylie finally cheers up a bit and we all head out into the cold rain (did I mention it was raining?) for trick or treating. As usual, the kids and the dads (actually, everyone this time because I’m the only one with a little one) all take off ahead of us. Colton and I slowly go to the houses in the courts around us – me pushing him in the stroller and trying to keep us both as dry as possible. Colton does not say “trick or treat” once! He had been saying it all week and nothing! We circled back towards our house and I had him brainwashed to “eat candy see grandma.” So we went back to the garage with the heater in it and I ate some dinner (didn’t really have time to eat earlier with the whole Kylie situation) and he ate some candy. During this time, I saw John heading back with Ryan (who fell down on his way back :( ). He dropped him off and went to catch up with the others. Kylie was back a short time after that. I took Ryan and Colton in and gave them a warm bath! Mom stayed out with the neighbor who had come back since them and I sat on the couch and watched Monster High with Kylie while Ryan, Colton and Zora played in the basement. Shortly after 8:30, the boys got back and sorted and traded their loot on the kitchen table. They were definitely rewarded for staying out in the cold rain – they had a ton of candy!

After that it was showers and bedtime. I was beat, John was beat, and another Halloween went down in the record books.



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Weekend Recap...

Last weekend was another fun one!
Friday night was another hodge-podge of a night (so sick of these things).  It took us FOREVER to decide on what we were doing for dinner.  Finally, around 7:10, I decided that I would pick up pizza when I went and got Kylie from gymnastics.  So I ordered it and John and I took Colton to pick it up and get Kylie, while the other two boys stayed with my dad.
When I got to the gym, Kylie begged and begged to stay for open gym.  As tired as I was, and with the thought of staying up and coming out in the cold to pick her up at 10:00 killing me, I agreed – because her friend was staying and she was so sweet about it.
So we took the pizza and went home.  I was cutting Colton’s pizza up when I get a call from the gym:  “Kylie says she’s really tired and wants to come home.”  Are you kidding me???  I was so mad, but I knew I had to go and pick her up because if John went, I wasn’t sure if she’d make it back alive.
The minute I walked in the gym’s doors she was apologizing.  In the car, I did raise my voice and get angry with her.  She said she was tired and homesick.  See, this has been a semi-recurring problem with her…she will be spending the night at someone’s house, and I’ll get a call from her as we’re going to bed that she wants to come home because she’s “homesick.”  There’s no consistent pattern, I have no idea what’s going on, but at 9 ½ years-old, she needs to cut it out.  I told her when she goes away to camp, or goes away for the weekend, then she can be homesick…but not when she’s at a freaking gymnastics practice!  I made her pay me back the open gym fee I had paid and she wasn’t allowed to spend the night at my parents’ house.
Saturday morning was spent doing the normal Saturday chores around the house.  It was cold and rainy, so the boys’ football practices were cancelled.  John and I went on a run right before we had to go and get Kylie.  I’m attempting to train for the Turkey Trot (lots of family pressure – no one cares that I HATE RUNNING).  We were out a total of 4 miles, and I “jogged” (if you can even call it that) for about 3 ¼ miles of that.  John then went and got Kylie, and everyone except Colton got ready for a night of fun!
Colton stayed with my parents as the rest of us headed over to Easton for dinner and a movie.  We had dinner at a burger place (everyone cleaned their plates!) and then went to the cool movie theater.  We had popcorn and pop and lots of candy :)  We saw Hotel Transylvania and loved it!  I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD – it was such a cute movie!  And Ryan ate so much junk food while there – it’s a wonder he wasn’t sick that night!
Sunday morning John took Josh and Ryan to church while Kylie, Colton and I stayed back.  Our normal pastor was not preaching, and I thought my time was better spent getting the million things done that I had to do before the football games.  We went to the grocery store (Kylie did all the list-stuff with her synced version of Grocery-IQ) and then I came home and got a pot roast in the oven and Colton took a nap.
Then we loaded up the car with coats and hats and gloves and blankets and headed to the football games.  It was so cold!  I had gotten hot chocolate beforehand (crazy Kylie got a Frosty), and the hot chocolate was already cold by the time I sat down.  Ryan’s game was fun (cold, but fun) and he had some great catches and a flag pull.
Joshie’s game?  That’s a different story!  It had become so unbearable, but thankfully his field was such that we could pull the car by it and the little ones could play in the car and watch a movie while I stood outside and watched the game.  John’s parents had come to the game as well, and his dad sat outside on the sidelines while his mom hung out in the car with the little ones.
When the games were over, we headed home and just relaxed for a little bit.  When my parents got there, we had a big pot roast dinner that really hit the spot on that cold day.  Then we embarked on the normal Sunday evening activities of picking up and getting ready for the week ahead.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Joshie Is Just Like Me...

I learned this morning just how much Joshie is like me...

This Saturday night we have scheduled to take the three older kids to a movie.  I had not yet told them, so this is how our conversation went this morning:

me:  "have we told you where we're going this weekend?"
kids:  "no, where, where???"
me:  "maybe I should keep it a surprise"
kids: "at least give us clues!"
me:  "hard clues or easy clues?
kids: "hard clues!"
me:  (after thinking for a while because all the clues I could think of would give it away) "pop, pop"
Joshie (with a very sad look on his face): "a movie?"

I just stared at him and asked him what was wrong and why he looked so sad (I was so confused...they love movies and we never, ever get to go).

Joshie: "I wanted it to be a surprise and now I know"

Seriously, this is my kid.  I hate to have surprises ruined or to get presents early - hate it!  And apparently, he does too.  Something to always keep in the back of my mind...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A 1/2 Marathon Weekend...

What a fun-filled weekend!
Friday night, as usual, had a slow start.  John and some of the boys were on the couch watching sports (even rugby at one time) and I was wrestling with Colton and Ryan on the floor.  Poor Josh was so hungry and kept saying he wanted pizza.  And it would have been so easy to just order a pizza (especially since it was chilly and rainy outside), but no, John and I felt like going out somewhere.  So John had Siri give him some pizza place ideas and into the car we went!

The place that he picked (based on tons of great reviews) was pretty far away – about 25 minutes.  But we had a nice car ride – the kids were good and John and I got to talk a little.  When we got off the highway, we realized that we were in a pretty shady area of town.  We decided that we were going to drive by the place, and if it looked bad, we were outta there!  But when we drove by, it looked nice, and full of people, so in we went!

As we were led to our seats, I heard someone say “Debbie!  John!” and looked over to see our brother-in-law there with his brother, uncle and dad.  What’s funny is that we live in the same suburb as John’s sister, and even seeing them out there at any time would be weird, let alone 25 minutes away from our houses!  After we got settled in, he told us how his family had been coming to that pizza place for years and years and how much he loved it.  And he was right – the pizza was great!  And the kids were good!  And there was sports on the TV, so the boys were happy!  It was a great evening :)

Saturday morning we got up and because it was rainy outside, John cancelled Ryan’s football practice.  I quickly got my list together and we all headed to the grocery store (after taking Kylie to gymnastics).  After we got home, I spent the whole day doing laundry :(  I also got applesauce cooking in the crockpot and then started cooking our huge dinner in the late afternoon.

John and Suzie were running the ½ marathon on Sunday, and they had picked a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs as their carb-load that night.  And of course, you know me, I have to make everything homemade!  It was an amazing dinner (although I was extremely exhausted!).  I made a Bolognese sauce, Pioneer Woman’s meatballs and sauce, and homemade garlic bread.  We also had authentic Italian pasta that Suzie had brought back as a gift for my Dad from Italy.  It was a wonderful dinner that was followed by homemade apple crisp.

After dinner, we got the kids ready and into bed (it was going to be an early morning!) and then I stayed up and got all the dishes finished off and everything packed up that I thought we would need.  While the high on Sunday was going to be 65 and partly cloudy, the time we were going to be outside cheering the runners on it was going to be 40 degrees at the highest.  So I pulled out winter coats and blankets and hats and gloves.  Thankfully, my parents agreed to watch Colton while we were gone, so I didn’t need to worry about packing extra stuff for him.

Sunday morning John and Suzie left around 5:45 and I was up shortly thereafter.  I got myself ready and then got the kids up and told them that if we left the house on time, we would stop at Tim Horton’s to get hot chocolate and Timbits.  They all got dressed in the shirts that I had bought for them with no complaints.  They were fabulous and we only left about 5 minutes late.  We stopped and got the hot chocolate and donuts and we were on our way!

We drove over to a little city that the runners would be running through and found a little parking lot that didn’t have many cars in it.  We parked the car and loaded our arms up with blankets and drinks and coats and headed to the street.  The police officer confirmed with me that the runners would be running right by us, so we set up camp and waited.  The first of the runners started coming through so we stood up and got our signs ready.  Then globs and globs of runners started coming through and I was so worried that we were going to miss them!  Luckily I had told John about where we would be (around miles 5 or 6), but he didn’t know what side of the road we would be on, let alone exactly where we would be.  It was getting late, and I was about ready to finally admit that we missed them when all of sudden I saw my sister running up to me!  And then John was right behind her, shedding his gloves for me to take back with us.

After this, the kids went back to their blanket and drank their hot chocolate while we waited for a break so that we could cross the road to get to our car.  I finally realized that we were never going to find a large break, so I prepped the kids and we all ran across right when I saw a small break.  We loaded up in the car and headed off for downtown so that we could see them at the finish line!

We got parked easily and made our way through the madness of people.  We were able to find an area where we could see the big screen of runners coming through and Kylie saw Suzie’s and John’s name flash across the screen as having crossed the finish line.  So we made our way back through the people and met up with them at the end of their path of free food :)  I was so proud of them!

After that we all headed home for a short break before we had to load up the car for the boys’ football games.  It went way too fast :)  Thankfully, the weather had turned absolutely gorgeous and it was awesome sitting outside watching each boy’s football game.  Colton actually fell asleep in the car on the way there and stayed asleep through the transfer of getting him into the stroller and about ¾ of Ryan’s game!

After the football games (which they both won and both scored in and Joshie had an interception), we headed home, caught up with the neighbors for a few minutes, and then headed out for dinner.  We went to the Pub and it was one of the best dinner experiences I’ve ever had!  Since there were so many of us (Cindy joined us for dinner), we got to sit at the tap table, which means there were beer taps on our table.  The other cool thing was that it was off in its own little room, with other smaller, kid-size tables around it.  The kids ate and played while we ate and drank.  The food was awesome and the overall evening was wonderful!

After dinner we took the kids to Barnes and Noble and they picked out some books.  Joshie has really started reading more and more (it had gotten to be such a fight with him) now that he’s picking out his own books and thinking about what he wants to read.  After B&N it was home to baths and showers and some time to just relax before crashing.  And I do mean crashing!  John and I were so beat from all of the day’s activities :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

OU Homecoming Weekend...

What a weekend!  Let me tell you!

I left work a little early Friday so that I could get everything packed up so that we could leave for Athens as soon as the kids were out of school.  And that almost worked :)  By the time we got gas and got money out, we ended up leaving at 4:30 as opposed to the 4:00 I was shooting for.

The drive down there was one of the worst drives I’ve ever had.  The traffic was horrible and we were stop and go almost the whole way down there.  But we finally got to John’s parents’ house and Josh immediately went out to play baseball with Ryan, Mya and Aunt Mimi while the rest of us went inside and ate dinner.  We had a great night of just hanging out with everyone!

Saturday morning we got up bright and early and prepared for a long day :) I was a little worried because the weather was 28 degrees when I got up, but thankfully, buy the time we got our spots for the homecoming parade, it was sunny and a decent temperature with our jackets/sweatshirts on.  We were armed with hot chocolate and enjoyed watching the kids play until the parade came by us.

After the parade, Kylie went back to the house with those going back there, Josh went with Grandpa and Uncle Jim to the basketball team’s practice, and John and I walked Colton around the campus a little bit.  We met my dad and then headed down to tailgate park.  We went to the College of Business tailgate tent and had a wonderful lunch.  Then the boys all went down by the river and threw the footballs that they had caught during the parade.

After that, we started walking over to the football stadium for the game.  I was going to walk Colton around until he fell asleep so that he could get a nap in, while everyone went in to the game.  Luckily for me he fell asleep on the short walk over to the stadium!  So they all went in to the game and my dad and I walked around with Colton.  I had a wonderful time walking around campus and on the bike path and hanging out with my dad.  Colton ended up getting about an hour nap, which was great!

After the walk, I took Colton in to the game and we watched the Bobcats continue their undefeated season.  Some of the football players are in my dad’s class, so at the end of the game, we met them down at the gate and the boys got real OU towels and wristbands :)

After the game, we quickly packed up our stuff and left Athens.  We were so beat!  And even though we got home around 8:30, it felt like it was midnight!  John and Josh watched a little bit of the Buckeye game and then everyone went to bed.

Sunday morning was church (it was our turn to teach in the kids’ room), and then it was football time.  Thankfully, the weather was very warm for October.  Unfortunately though, it was EXTREMELY windy!  But since it was warm, it was definitely manageable.  Ryan scored a touchdown (after catching a long pass) and pulled two flags.  Josh pulled lots of flags and scored a couple of times.  And the boys were proudly sporting the pink wristbands I had gotten them (per their request) so they could be like the pros and college teams that are wearing their pink things :)

After the games, we decided to go to the grocery store on our way home so that we could be in for the night.  Josh and Ryan went into the play area and the rest of us quickly got everything we needed.  We went home, put the groceries away, and ate an early dinner (our new Sunday normal since half of us never eat lunch because of football).
Then it was bath/shower time and relaxation time! The boys watched football (where Colton fell asleep on John since he had not had a nap all day), Kylie took a long bath and watched her shows while in the tub, Ryan went over and played at my mom’s house and I got the laundry done. It really was a nice way to end the weekend!


Friday, October 12, 2012

A Night of Searching...

Last night was another fun “nothing” night that had a not-so-fun part at the end.

John took Josh and Ryan to football practice, so that left Colton, Kylie and I for most of the evening.  It was my niece’s birthday, so I knew the first thing we needed to do was take over her birthday presents.  That is one area of my life that I’m horrible at – getting people their birthday presents on time!  I think this time was the worst because on top of taking Reese’s present over, I was also taking her brother’s – and his birthday was in June!  So I’ve already decided that this is my New Year’s resolution – birthday presents to people on time!

Anyway, I dropped those off and then we headed back to the Halloween store because Kylie has finally decided what she wants to be for Halloween – a creepy spider/snake lady.  Don’t ask me, I have no idea!  But she has put the outfit together and we are getting all the pieces.  She got a long-haired red-head wig (which we are going to fill with spiders and little snakes) and then we are going to get a big snake to hang around her neck, and then we got some tattoos that look like bite marks and scratches that we are going to put on her face.  Again, she came up with this whole thing and is excited about it, which is all I asked of her!

After we got home, we heated up leftovers for dinner just as the boys were getting home.  Everyone ate and started showers/baths and I started packing the kids up for our OU Homecoming trip to Athens this weekend.  That’s when I remembered that we couldn’t find Kylie’s good Ohio Cheer shirt the last time we looked for it.  So at 9:00 PM last night, I started scouring the rooms for it.  ½ later, John started helping.  It’s such a thin shirt I knew it was possible that it got stuck with some other piece of clothing and could easily be with any of the boys’ clothes.  We even quietly searched Colton’s room while he was sleeping – I was desperate!  John went out and checked the car because the last time she wore it, Kylie said she took it off in the car (but swore she brought it inside with her).  No luck.  Finally, John came upstairs holding the beloved shirt.  I asked he where he found it and he said he tried to think like Kylie.  He went down to the playroom and went through her bags.  There he found a pair of pants, and the noise-maker things we got from the last game.  And then there, at the bottom of the bag, was the shirt.  She had taken it off in the car, but instead of putting it in the laundry like she swore she did, she put it in her bag and forgot to take any of the stuff out.

I told John that not having the shirt was not the thing bothering me.  Yes, the shirt is a very nice shirt (Under Armour that looks like the football jerseys and then we had “cheer Ohio” put on the back), I mean she does have a few OU shirts, but I hate the feeling of not being able to find something.  It eats at me and eats at me until I find it, and that was what was happening with this shirt.  It was nice being able to go to bed in peace having found it!

So now it’s Friday, and we are set for a beautiful weekend down at Ohio University full of festivities!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Fun, Non-Special Night...

Last night was a fun night.  And what’s funny is there really wasn’t a “thing” that made it fun, I just really enjoyed myself and when I reflected on it after the kids were in bed, it made me smile.

John had a church leadership meeting last night, so he went straight there after work.  Kylie went to Rachel’s house.  So when I got home, it was just the boys and I!  Ryan and Josh were down playing hockey together and asked me to come and watch their game.  So I sat in one of the designated seats and spent my time equally between cheering for the hockey players and making sure Colton did go anywhere near those flying sticks!

It finally got to the point that I was too stressed about Colton getting hurt, that I took him upstairs to the train room to play.  After a while the boys came upstairs, stated they were hungry and I left to go make dinner.  After dinner both Ryan and Josh went over to play at Grandma’s.

Colton was walking around the house crying “go Gamma’s house” and breaking my heart!  As soon as I was finished cleaning up after dinner, I took him up to my bathroom to take a bath in the big bathtub.  He was in Heaven!  I took this opportunity to call Suzie and catch up with her.  This phone call turned into an hour-long call (I think), and during that time the boys came home and promptly hopped into the tub with Colton, and Kylie came home and helped me watch everyone to make sure there was no drowning.

I finished up my call and got them all out of the tub.  We then all went down and had a bowl of ice cream.  It was fun having all of us sit around the table eating ice cream together :)  Then it was bed time!  And of course, the nightly fight of who’s sleeping where started up.  We decided to bring the toddler bed into Kylie’s room and put it at the end of her bed.  So Josh and Kylie slept in the big bed, and Ryan slept in the little bed at the foot of the big bed (which was actually a fight because Josh wanted to sleep in the little bed!).  And of course Colton went to his crib :)

I got about an hour of TV time before John came home, and then another hour of tv time/catching up with each other.  So nothing special, but a fun night nonetheless!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Costume Evening...

As I’ve said over and over again, our lives are ridiculously busy.  Until you’ve been in the shoes of a parent with multiple children in multiple activities, you just can’t understand what it’s like to have every single second of your days consumed by something.  Something as simple as running to the grocery store needs to be planned in advance because there is no “open” time in our schedule just up and do it.  This is why I do most of my shopping online.  Whenever something needs to be purchased, my immediate thought turns to “can I get this online?” 

So it’s almost Halloween and the kids (most of them anyway) need costumes.  Kylie had found the one she wanted online.  Perfect!  But Josh had no idea what he wanted to be, so I suggested making a trip to the costume store so that we could get ideas.  That’s a great plan at 7:00 PM on a Sunday night…when on earth would we have time to do that?  Luckily, there was one night this week we had nothing going on, so we made a plan that as soon as we got home from work on Tuesday night, we would go to the costume store!

The kids had been looking forward to this since we made the plan.  But I swear, “something” is always out to stop us…it never fails.  John e-mailed me late in the afternoon Tuesday saying that he was working on an issue and didn’t know when he would be home.  This was an issue for two reasons: 1.) my car barely, and I mean BARELY fits all the kids, and 2.) trying to shop for anything by yourself with all four kids is really difficult (mainly because of Colton and his “I all done” every two seconds and trying to get out of the stroller).

So I went home and decided that I would make dinner, and after dinner, if John still wasn’t home, I would pack all the kids in the car and we would do it.  But thankfully, just as we were about to sit down to eat, John called and said he was on his way home :)

So after dinner we headed out.  I honestly haven’t ever really taken the time to look in a Halloween store, and I really had fun walking around with the kiddos.  There were some cool decorations that I would love to get when the kids are older (poor Kylie was terrified whenever we walked past some of the scary things).  We were there for a little over an hour and Kylie tried on three costumes and found something wrong with each one.  Josh found the costume he wanted, and Ryan got the sword he wanted to go with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume he was re-wearing from last year.  Kylie couldn’t decide on anything, so I told her to go home and really think about what she wanted to be (she has a history every year of picking out a costume and then hating it, and then I fight her to wear it to her class party and for trick-or-treating).  So for $66 we came away with Josh’s costume, Ryan’s sword, and the make-up for Ryan (green hair and blue for his eye-mask).  Ridiculous!  But, it was a fun evening and we don’t seem to get many of those anymore :)


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

A Cold Weekend...

Another weekend, come and gone :(

Friday night Kylie left with Aunt Suzie to go to her house for the weekend.  A whole weekend without my Ky-bear – not sure what I was going to do :(  Josh ended up going to a birthday party at the last minute, so John and I took Ryan and Colton to Steak ‘N Shake for dinner.  They were a lot of fun and I really like that place, especially their S’mores milkshakes that they have right now :)

Saturday morning Josh and John went to football practice and I took the two little ones to the grocery store.  I thought the play area would open at 10:00, and unfortunately, I was wrong.  So for 25 minutes I heard “is the playroom open?” 5 bazillion times.  Finally, there was an announcement over the loud speaker that it was now open and we were the first ones there!  Then the rest of the shopping trip went much smoother :)

When I got home, we got the groceries put away and then loaded up the car with Colton (Josh and Ryan went over to my mom’s house) to visit our friends that have the baby in the NICU.  The hospital has opened a whole new section since we were there 18 months ago, and it is gorgeous!  I’m always so thankful to live in a city with such an amazing children’s hospital!  The little girl is absolutely adorable and I’m praying hard that they figure out what is wrong with her.

After that we headed home and the two little boys went down for a nap and I started cooking.  We were going to have our neighbors over and watch the Ohio State game on the garage wall and have a tailgate dinner.  I made a spinach dip and a chicken-corn chili (that turned out amazing!).

We went out and froze our butts off for a couple of hours and 5 minutes before the game started Colton needed a diaper change and I decided it was time to just give him a bath and put him to bed (oh darn, that means I would have to go inside :)  ).  And by the time I got him into bed, my neighbor had decided to go inside too (we both just can’t stand the cold – we should not live in Columbus, Ohio!).  So while the boys all watched the game outside, I gave myself a little spa night.  I soaked my feet and gave myself a little manicure and pedicure.  It was great :)

Sunday was church and then football games.  It was cold.  I was miserable.  But…the good things were that since the boys had to be there early for pictures, I drove Colton around the city so that he could nap, and he ended up getting about a 45 minute nap, which worked out great.  Then we bundled up and sat in the cold for Ryan’s game.  But then it started raining, which I was not prepared for at all.  I pulled the car onto the grass (something I’m so against but I was desperate and everyone else was doing it too) and loaded Colton into the backseat.  Ryan was done by this time (he scored a touchdown and pulled a flag!!), so he and Colton played in the back of the car and watched a movie while I stood right outside it and cheered Joshie on.  I was miserable, but it was awesome watching Joshie!  He caught two interceptions I think, pulled a bunch of flags, and scored.  I was so proud of him!

After the games we headed home and John took Josh to yet another birthday party and I started cooking dinner.  Kylie came home and we visited with Suz for a while and then Josh came home and we ate dinner.  We finished the night off with a movie. 

Great weekend!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Lifting the Weight...

Stress.  Lately this has been a constant feeling for me.

I can’t explain it other than I just feel like I am carrying a 50 lb. weight on my shoulders at all times.  I can’t really pinpoint when it started…but I think the bulk of it has been the last couple of months.

This weight is made up of so many “worries” and burdens that I have right now.  And what’s frustrating, is that I shouldn’t be worrying about anything…that’s what God is for.  The Bible specifically tells us not to worry, and when I remember that, I can let most of the worries go.  But I still feel the burdens…and they are weighing me down.

One of my biggest fears is not doing a good job raising my kids.  I’m worried that I will not push them enough or push too hard; I’m worried that I won’t be strict enough or that I’ll be too strict; I worry that I let them have too much independence and then I worry that I don’t trust them enough; I worry that they’ll grow up, not have any drive, not have a career and then move back in with me.  I worry that there will be a teenage pregnancy that affects our family.  I could go on and on…

So I often question everything I do when it comes to the kids.  And when something is not working right, I extrapolate it and see them failing out of college or getting fired because they don’t respect their boss.  Ridiculous I know, but I still do it.

And four kids.  This is one area that I will be blatantly honest and say that unless you have four kids, you don’t know what it’s like to worry about the future of four kids. I have always worried about the kids and their futures, but it hadn’t become overwhelming until my fourth has left the baby stage and is more of a “person” to me than an adorable little doll :)  I know the odds are not in my favor for raising four “perfect” kids.  And by “perfect” I mean happy with their lives and successful by their own standards and leading a Christian life.

This is the constant worry in my life right now, especially as Kylie is getting older and the kids are involved in so many activities (is it too much?  Are we trying to make them “experience rich” while they are becoming “relationship poor” to quote Andy Stanley?).

And then on top of all of those worries, are the normal stresses of being so freaking busy.  I work fulltime, at a newer job no less, and there is a lot of new stress there.  And then there is the stress of my family, which I wish was not a stress.  It’s so hard being the only one with kids in my family.  Anyone who has kids knows that everything in your life changes when you have kids – priorities, time-management, and most importantly, there is absolutely no room for selfishness anymore.  Life is no longer about you in any way.  And for so many people who don’t have kids (definitely not saying everyone), they just can’t understand that.  And it’s even harder for me to understand that because I really was never that way.  Our best friends when we first moved to Columbus had little kids, and we knew that their lives revolved around those kids and we never put them down or made them feel left out because of that.  But alas…not everyone is like that :(

And then on top of these things are the issues of others.  I have friends that have health issues, spouses with health issues, and newborn babies with health issues.  I hurt for these people, and I wish more than anything I could drop everything and just help them.  But I can’t…I have a very demanding family-life of my own.  It’s hard when you’re limited on how much you can help.

So what can I do?  The only thing that I can do is pray.  I can pray for myself and truly give all my burdens and stress to Him and let Him handle it – because He can and I can’t.  Plain and simple.  And I realize that I’m not perfect (not that I think I am by any means) and that I will make mistakes…LOTS OF THEM!  And that when it comes to healing people or changing the hearts of people, the only person that can do any of that is God, and so I need to pray and ask Him to help…not think I can do it on my own.

So here you go God…everything is being put onto You.  Thank you for being so strong and taking these worries from me.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Apple Picking and Football!

What a weekend!
It started with us actually not crashing Friday night, which is unusual for us :)  John needed to go for a run (have I mentioned that he’s training for the Columbus ½ marathon?), so he got ready to run, and I got the bike ready to pull Colton and Ryan behind me.  Josh ended up wanting to go too, so while John ran, Josh and I followed behind him on our bikes.  We went about 6 miles, which was perfect!  And we got to see two trains while we were out (the bike path runs parallel to the train tracks and is literally feet away), which made the two little boys super happy!  After we got home we had homemade pizzas for dinner (made by Josh and Ryan and me :) ).
Saturday morning we got up and went apple picking!  It was a gorgeous, sunny day and absolutely perfect for it!  For the past couple years, everyone always worn Buckeye shirts and the pictures have been so neat with the bright red against the green of the trees and grass.  So this year I made sure that Kylie had a new Buckeye shirt (she didn’t have one that fit her) and I even got myself a new shirt.  But apparently Joshua is anti-Buckeyes!  You know why?  Because one of his friends hates the Bobcats and likes the Buckeyes, so he decided that because of that, he’s going to hate the Buckeyes and obviously loves the Bobcats.  And even though I LOVE my apple-picking pictures and I would love for them to be “perfect,” I didn’t want to fight him when he was set on wearing Bobcat gear.  So you know what happened?  Kylie decided she wanted to wear her Bobcat shirt, and John wanted to wear his Bobcat shirt.  So we were a family divided?  Which of course was perfectly fine :)
We ended up picking 40 lbs. of apples and having a blast!  Then it was a rush to get back home where Kylie made it to the last half of her gymnastics practice.  After that Rachel came over and the girls played and the rest of us played outside.  We played with the new tennis net that my dad got Ryan for his birthday and had a lot of fun!  Then it was a quick trip to Wal-Mart for football snacks and Chick-fil-A for dinner.
Sunday was church and then Ryan’s first football game!!!  I just can’t believe how fast the time has gone…I can’t believe that this is how we started with Josh and Ryan was only 1!  And now he’s 4 and playing in his own game!
We had quite an audience…my parents, Aunt Suzie, Aunt Cindy, Uncle Josh and Miss G and Kasey.  We all thought it was so funny how serious Ryan was!  He was a hoot to watch and he had a blast out there (but unfortunately didn’t win :(  ).  Then Josh played his game and I have to admit, the overall game was so much more fun to watch!  These kids know what they’re doing!  Josh pulled a bunch of flags and scored at least one touchdown…I can’t remember if it was more than that.  I was just grateful to my sister and Miss G who really helped out with Colton.  Suzie would walk him around and took him with her to get a drink and it gave me time to really get to watch the boys play.  Josh’s team did end up winning!
After the game we headed home.  The two little boys were out like a light in the car, but unfortunately, they didn’t stay sleeping when we took them in to their beds :(.  It actually ended up working out though because our neighbors asked us to go to dinner with them and we ended up having a wonderful dinner out and got to catch up with friends we haven’t been able to see in so long!  The kids were all so well-behaved and it was just a very nice dinner.
At home it was getting ready for bed and then playing a little before bed.  An overall fabulous weekend!