Monday, September 15, 2014

The symphony of our schedule

We are well into the month of September and all our fall activities are in full swing. 
Each season/year comes with its own sports, extracurricular activities, and events to put 
on the schedule.  Now with everything started our routine is a fine tuned machine. 
This isn't without hiccups though, and meetings mommy or daddy needs to attend to 
that throw our routine off  here and there.  
But for the most part we are getting the hang of our new normal. 
Last week, Rosie had her first orchestra session. 
She has chosen to play the violin.  
When she came home with the paper stating that the child has the choice of being in orchestra or not, she immediately said she was all in,even with early morning practices before school once a week!
It's only been a week, but she has been dedicated to practicing and it sounds really good.
I look forward to watching her perform in the concerts this year. 
Brings back lots of memories, since the hubby and I were both in band.   
 Lil Miss has added her own activities to our schedule this year. 
We have a ballerina in our midst. 
She is super ecstatic to be dancing on her tiptoes and learning what a pirouette is with her best-est friend.

 Is there anything cuter than little girls in leotards? 
This is quickly becoming my favorite 30 minutes of my week.  
School is going well for everyone.  
We are knee deep in homework every night and studying for tests as much as we can. 
I feel smarter every time I quiz the kids and I know the answer. 2 +2 =4 YES!!
15 years out of school and I still got it!
This past week, Lil Miss' school celebrated grandparents day and I happily 
took the place of grandma and grandpa at the party. 
I've been dying to go and see her in action. 
She has grown so much from just the few days she has been at school. 
She has learned how to write her name and even though it isn't all in order, all the letters are there.  
She can point our "her letter" on every sign as we drive down the road.  
Doesn't get old at all.  LOL

Even with all the routine, we still manage to throw some fun surprises into our lives. 
This past weekend, we visited the zoo with the hubby's work and had lots of fun.   
 The monkeys.
Carousel rides.
Tinkerbell Sighting. 
Sporting our scarlet and gray on a football Saturday. 
Every night we have something going on, its the nature of having 4 children all 
in activities and venturing more and more into the sports. 
Tonight is no exception, the boys are off at boy scouts and Rosie is getting ready for basketball practice. 
Sometimes it is just necessary for us to divide and conquer to make it all work.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Big Apple

Who doesn't love a three day weekend? 
Add a trip to the Big Apple, a beautiful wedding, and three days with just Nate and I, and you have a combination for an incredible weekend. 
We started our weekend on Friday morning after dropping off the kids with Uncle Neil. 
He definitely gets major bonus points for watching all four kids for us to get away.  
 This was my first time in the Big Apple and the hubby's second time. 
He does not remember much about his class trip to NYC though, so I hardly think that counts.
The hotel we stayed at was in Jersey City just across the Hudson from Manhattan.  
The views of the city were stunning.  
{navigating the subway system}
 One of the things on his "to do in NYC" list was visit the 9/11 memorial.  
The memorial and museum are both amazingly done. 
Freedom Tower standing majestically beside the memorial is a beauty as well. 
At one point in the museum, there was a room off to the side and there was an employee holding a box of tissues.  My heart told me not to walk in that room, but my feet weren't listening and I just followed the hubby blindly into the room where they played the tape of communication from on board United Airlines Flight 93 before it went down in Shanksville, PA.
Let's just say I was a mess and needed a few tissues before I walked out.  
As dark (literally the exhibits are kept dim and help in solemnity of the space) and intense as the museum is, it was uplifting to ride the escalator up out of the museum to see the rebuilding going on outside and then stand under Freedom Tower.  There was happy and uplifting music playing as we made our way up to ground level.  It was a site I was glad to see.  A reminder of what happened on that day, especially so close to its 13th year anniversary.  
 Always the planner, I had a mental list of the things that it would be fun to see in NYC while we were there.  My list for things to do around the city, was just about as long as my list of things to see inside Central Park alone.  Yes, I am a parkspace/plant/tree/flower nut and this to me was iconic of Landscape Architecture.
I actually spent some of time in college actually studying Central Park. 
  Most of my family was not as excited as I was to go to a "park", let's face it I was almost giddy, so 
hubby and I ventured off to Central Park sometime before the end of the Ohio State game on Saturday.  
I KNOW!  He left before the game was over.  It was actually just starting the 4th quarter. 
He really loves me! 
 I actually remembered many of the iconic spaces within Central Park that I studied. 
Bow Bridge -- which movie goers would recognize from You've Got Mail
 Cherry Hill Fountain
 Views of the Upper East Side

 Bethesda Fountain - I will spare you the picture of the guy wading in this fountain trying to find money
 The rolling grass areas, the large mall of majestic elm trees, the many bridges, 
make up hundreds of spaces in Central Park to explore. 
It was beautiful and for all the millions of people who visit NYC's Central Park every year, 
it didn't seem that crowded.  
That night we went out to dinner with my sister and her husband at a seafood restaurant Gina recommended.  It was fantastic.  Lure in Soho, was like stepping into a yacht as you entered the restaurant.  
The boys stuck with american beef, and us girls enjoyed seafood.  
Nothing like fresh oysters!

On Sunday we were all dressed up for the big day.  
I felt very privileged to be doing a reading out of our Grandmother Aggie's bible during the wedding. 
This book that she had marked up with her special notations and filled with lots of supplemental material made her feel very close to us even though she is no longer with us. 

A New York City wedding is so removed from what we are used to. 
The whole day was an experience.  Every location was beautiful and had completely different views of the city. The ceremony was in Jersey with a backdrop of Manhattan and a view of the Statue of Liberty to the south. 
 The wedding was so romantic. 
 We were whisked off on a ferry after the ceremony to a restaurant in the City.  

{the bride and her mother}
 I can't talk about the wedding without talking about the drinks. 
Yes, the yummy drinks.  
There were signature cocktails at every location, and they were all so yummy and how 
cute were the name tags at our table.  Engraved Bulleit whiskey bottles. 
 Then after the lunch, drinks, social hour, we were whisked off again in double decker buses to Times Square.  The views from the bar in Citizen M were fantastic, especially since Times Square wasn't a place we had seen yet.  Gina and Josh took care of every little detail and the wedding was perfect! 

It was a little sad to leave in the morning for the airport because of all the fun we had but I 
was glad to see my babies.  Before you think I am all fancy and classy,
all the drinks the previous day, made for a really horrible hangover.  Throwing up in an 
airport is not what I call fun.  Just keeping it real.  LOL
This stay at home mom from Iowa had way too much fun in the Big Apple! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

First Day of Preschool

I just dropped off Lil Miss off on her second day of preschool.  
She has got this thing handled.  
It was our first Monday of getting all 4 ready for school and out the door.  
I would give us a B+  
We didn't forget anything so that's a plus, but we ran up stairs about a dozen times shouting "Oh, my glasses", "I need socks", "I forgot to brush my teeth", "Mom, what's that smell in the bathroom?" 
Luckily the "smell" was only one of the girls putting on WAY to much perfume, but this is how the second full week of school looks.   Messy.  
I wanted to share some of Lil Miss' First Day of Preschool pics from Friday. 
She was overjoyed to finally be able to put on her Doc McStuffins backpack and walk out the door with her brother and sisters.  The smile on her face was from ear to ear and never went away, even when the heavens opened up and there was a torrential downpour at the same time as drop off.  
Because of the onslaught of ran, I didn't get any pictures of her in front of school/church but I did take some at home before the rain came.  
 An apple for the teacher. 
 This picture is blurry because Lil Miss literally hopped out of the van and skipped into school.  
No turning back and waving, no last "mommy don't leave", this girl was ready for preschool. 
The rain coming down helped to hide the tears that were falling down my cheeks because my little girl had grown up.  

I was much more calm and collected when she came out to the van after school.
(after breakfast with hubby and some retail therapy)  
She had so much to say. 
She talked about her friends, the snack, the dress up clothes she played with, 
the books the teacher read, she was so excited to tell me about her first day. 
I know each day it will be hard to let her go.  
It's still hard everyday as I watch the big kids walk into school, but 
they are healthy and happy and no matter how much I try, I can't stop time. 
So here's to learning our ABC's, meeting new friends, and enjoying preschool to the fullest!
It's going to be a BIG year. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One week in....

We are a week into the 2014 - 2015 school year.   
The big kids are in a routine and mornings are going very smoothly... so far. 
Lil Miss misses her brothers and sisters everyday while they are away.  
After we drop them off at school, she says to me "its only us mom."  
I know baby girl.  I know. 
We spent last week getting ready for camping.  
We hadn't camped since June so I had to get a lot of things around and 
dust alot of things off after not being used for over a month. 
The weather couldn't be more perfect for an August camping trip. 
The puppies were excited to camp too. 
The two older girls got to bring friends along. 
With 6 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 adults in the camper we had a great time. 

I am so glad I stocked up on glow sticks.  They come in handy 
at the campground after dark.  Seeing all the glowing neon rings running around on the playground 
makes it easy to see which ones belong to me!  
On Saturday night we had excitement.  
Gigi lost her first tooth!  
She had been pulling at this one "loose"tooth for months wanting it 
to fall out and for the tooth fairy to come.  Mommy was not prepared.  
She was all smiles as she walked up to me in the camper and told me that it came out at 10 pm at night!
Tooth Fairy made her first appearance in the camper. 
And if that wasn't enough excitement.  
Lil Miss met her teacher and starts preschool this week. 
Since the big kids have started school she has been counting down the days til she goes to school.  
Well the time has come.  
Friday she has her first official day without me.  
She loves her classroom, her teacher, and is not shy to raise her hand (or just shout out) 
answers.   I have no doubt she will be running the classroom in a week. 
The house is getting empty though.  
I can actually hear myself think. 
Not sure what I am going to do with all this time to myself, but I have started lists.