Saturday, September 23, 2017

Other Fun

I have been trying to figure out why I am feeling off today.  As I sit here, I digest my last 5 weeks since school started.  The first few weeks, I was trying to find my footing at school and hoped life at home would roll on as normal.  Now I feel like I have established a routine or system at school, although still feeling a bit lost at times.  But I look at my weeks, and they are filled with teaching, Jeremy working and sometimes gone for work, school, ballet lessons, and other obligations.  My weekdays end in a panicked rush to get kids to bed.  And I feel like I am just trying to survive.  My Saturdays are filled to the brim, scrambling to clean in the two hours before rushing Ellie to ballet, grabbing groceries during her 45 minute lesson, and speeding home to finish the rest of my to-do list. 

And the 30 minutes in the van with Ellie to ballet today was filled with a constant barrage of her “reading” Nancy Clancy and Ready Freddy. After she had just finished saying, and I quote, “Whew! I am so tired of talking. I am glad I can have a break!” (… she had been playing school prior to ballet.)  The 30 minutes home was filled in the same manner.  And I wonder, When did her stories become an assault on my senses instead of entertainment and a sense of awe at her creativity?  And I think it happened when I gave up part of my motherhood to working. 

I don’t dislike my job.  In fact, I had a great week – the best week this whole year.  I even feel like I have maybe turned a corner in building relationships. 

But, there is a trade-off.  I lost my time to be with my kids – to be present and not be hurried.  I can only imagine what it would have been like this year with two in school and me at home.  I imagine I could have all my cleaning and errands done, so Saturday could just be enjoyed.  I imagine that I could welcome them off the bus with a smile and a hug and be ready to listen to their day, instead of turning in my work chair in the classroom, hugging them, and trying to wrap up my last thoughts for the day.  I imagine that while there would still be homework to squeeze in, I could have at least prepped supper to ease the stress of the night.  I imagine that I would have been able to get a walk in and exercise instead of feeling a bit of bitterness of the loss of “me” time. 

But I suppose if I talked to stay-at-home moms they would say it is not that idyllic.  That there is still stress, even when kids go to school and you stay home.  That while the day may be a time to get your work done, the end of the day is still a panicked rush to fit in chores, play, homework, meals, showers, books, snuggles, and bed. 

It is just an adjustment right now, a transition.  Something I always struggle a bit with. 

You probably wonder, “Hey, where’s the fun you mentioned in the title??”  I get it.  I got off on a tangent.  I realized as I was going to post that these things are bits of goodness that are squeezed into the days of our otherwise hectic life.  And it makes me appreciate it all the more. 

So, for the goodness that abounds through pictures (and probably a lot of missed because I didn’t take a picture)…

A friend’s birthday party – sleepover themed party, complete with pizza and pajamas!

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Flowers from Jeremy just because

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A double rainbow to remind me of God’s grace, His abundance, and His loving kindness for His childrenIMG_3649

Getting together at Grandma Yoh’s house to catch-up with Aunt Lisa from Texas, taking pictures with Aunt Marianne and Erin, and turning SnapChat into a bonding experience with Aunt Diane.

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Having an impromptu leftover buffet lunch at Luke and Steph’s house with Ben and Steph after church last Sunday.  I was craving this family time and didn’t even realize it til it happened.  We hung out til 5pm just being friends and family.  The kids (Lilli, Madison, Ellie, and Landen) just played like cousins do.  It was rejuvenating.  I am thankful once again for family.

Right now, I am thankful that Jeremy and Gloria took the girls to Lehman’s fall fest so I could recover from the last five weeks of life.  It gave me time to read, work a bit on school, and digest and process life. 

Thanks for reading as I write.  This has become my outlet, my memory keeper, and my journal over the past 10 years.  I appreciate those who walk the journey with me, whether I know you are there or not Smile

Happy Birthday, Jeremy!

Sometime during fair week, Jeremy celebrates his birthday.  Some days we go on his birthday, this year, we went the day before.  I used Monday to go fall/winter clothes shopping for the girls.  That also happened to be his birthday.  Usually, I try to at least make a nice meal or something of the sort to celebrate at home, but when you are out shopping pretty much all day, you can’t make a nice meal.  But I did put together a good meal – marinated (by Buehler’s) pork chops, mashed potatoes (by Bob Evans), and some green beans; it was actually pretty tasty.

The best part was dessert.  I knew in my head that the girls would want to bake him something up.  I also knew that the day would be scrunched for time, and baking something from scratch would be stressful. 

We did it anyway. 

One super delicious chocolate cake, recipe courtesy of the children’s book, A Whopper Cake by Karma Wilson.  (Ellie had saved the recipe for weeks wanting to make it!)  We topped it off with the frosting from our kids’ garage sale chocolate cupcakes.  While I don’t really like chocolate cake or icing, I liked both of these.

Madison and Ellie worked on frosting and sprinkling the cake while I made supper.  And they decorated earlier in the morning while I sorted through their current fall/winter clothes.  I love that my kids are gaining some independence; we’ll see how long I continue to say that! 

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They also wrapped up some unique gifts and made some fancy cards.  They love their daddy!!  And they love a party!  (And you get a sneak peek at Halloween costumes we snagged while shopping that day!)

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To a great man, a loving husband, and a spoiled daddy!

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Fair

It’s that time of year again… the fair.  It happened twice this year because of the Elkhart County fair we went to in late July.  The girls were pumped for rides this year!  They went Saturday (while we were at the Indians’ game) with Grandma.  She wanted to see Sam and Lilli show their goats, so the girls joined her.  They were there pretty much all day.  They scouted out the produce, the art work, the animal barns, the tents selling stuff, the rides (did the Ferris wheel), the food, and more. 

When we went on Sunday, they had things in mind they wanted to do and show us.  First up: the BIG PIG.  It truly lived up to its name!

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We hit the rides first thinking there might be less lines early in the day.  We predicted well and had almost no lines at any ride.  (We realized later that day or the next the reason our lines were so short was probably because one of the kiddie rides had broken while children were on it the day before; made people a little hesitant…)  We stayed in kiddie land most of the 2ish hours of rides.  They did the carousel, the frogger (always a hit), dragon wagon (lots of times), kangaroo, helicopter, swings (also a favorite), motorcycles, and probably something I am forgetting.

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Madison also tried out the Indiana Jones Obstacle Course.  She had fun.

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Then, we hit the BIG rides.  I went with them on the first one (don’t know the name). 

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Jeremy went with them on Pharoah’s fury. 

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They LOVED them and came off smiling.  Ellie gripped the bar pretty tightly.  Truth be told, so did Jeremy and I!!

We also visited the produce, saw Madison’s artwork displayed (right side pic of circles and left side shape picture behind her),

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looked at tents of goods, pondered the worthlessness of carnival games, ate supper and treats, and checked in with Sam and Lilli.IMG_3617

It was a good year with good memories.  Jeremy and I both decided while we have little love for the rides and the cost of the bracelet, it is worth it just watching the girls’ expressions of joy while riding them.  The weather this year was perfect, and no one was grouchy.  Can’t wait til next year!

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Indians Game

We had the opportunity to attend an Indians’ game because of Jeremy’s participation in the Velasano team that the Indians sponsored.  They gave us free seats; Jeremy was down on the field; and we had an event afterwards.  Unfortunately, we missed the free jerseys they were giving out to the first 10,000 fans; we were even there an hour before first pitch! 

First, Jeremy went down with some others from the Velasano team for the presentation of the check. 

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Then, we watched the game.  It was a good game, and baseball doesn’t even always hold my attention.  It became the Indians’ 17th consecutive win!  (As I type, they are now on win 21 in a row!)

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Our post-game event ended up coinciding with the season ticket holders event, which was fortunate for us.  All the players came out to give autographs (if you waited in really long lines).  We walked around and took paparazzi pictures of them instead of waiting in line. In order of appearance: Kipnis, Salazar,Jackson, Perez, Santana (award for best dressed), Carlos Baerga, and Francona.

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Jeremy did get the one autograph he wanted – Sandy Alomar.  He had saved three laminated posters from roughly 20 years ago of Sandy Alomar.  He finally got the signature he saved them for!

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The only thing close to to beating that (and maybe it did) was getting to go down on the field and play catch.  It was pretty cool, and every boy’s dream come true.  It is amazing how big the outfield really is and how far they have to hit the ball to get a home run. 

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We also met some of the fun mascots…

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On top of everything else, this was our date night for Jeremy’s birthday.  I am pretty sure it will be hard to top this on in years to come!

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