Monday, June 22, 2015

And So Now It's June. . .

The question is, will this be published before the end of the month?!?

So far, it's been a crazy month. . .we haven't had all four kids under one roof yet this month.  Frederick went to "Camp Van Jura" (his aunt and uncle's) then ended up with Nana & Grandpa for another week. . .now Margaret is having her turn (but only one week total b/c cheerleading calls. . .).

Thomas and Margaret went to Fuge with our Cookeville church. . .and now Marie and Thomas are both at Cedar Lake Camp as a Counselor-in-Training and a Jr. Counselor.  Quiet weeks around here.

Margaret had cheer camp with her middle school last week.

We put an offer in on a house in our new city last weekend. . .and it was accepted. . .had our inspection last week. . .things are moving along.  Anything could happen at this point be we are hoping not. . .it's been a long 4 months in our 1400 sq. ft. apt.  We really like it here. . .but it's time for our own space.  It has never really seemed "too small" but when all people are here and in school and in sports, well, there's not much room for all the "stuff".

I had a teaching job interview a few weeks ago but sadly, they never called back.  Even to say "sorry, but you're not the right fit".  I would have loved it -- middle school social studies in a Christian school!!!  I have another interview Tuesday for one of our county middle schools -- I'm not exactly sure where it is, but it's a large county and the first bite I've gotten in the 60-some jobs I've applied for!  Whether I end up back in the classroom or not. . .it's the Lord's Will. . .school around here starts August 10th so there's still some time to figure it all out.

That's the "news". . .here are some glimpses of life:


 Unfortunately, I never posted about Margaret's 13th birthday.  This is the bag that the kids and I got her. . .she carries it everywhere!  I love when a gift is loved and used like that :)  Marie had the idea, but everyone thought Margaret should pick it out herself. . .and it was an excuse to go to River Sports -- ha!



 We have all begun to enjoy our time at the various dog parks in our area.  There are two that we frequent 4-5 times a week -- sometimes both in one day!!  It sure wears the doggie out and gives her time to run a bit since she doesn't currently have a backyard. . .
A picture of the day that I, for some reason, did not have to cajole out of the kiddos!  This was our first trip to the lake (I think) this season.  There used to be a rope swing there and they were disappointed that it was gone.  Still plenty of trees to hang their Enos in though. . .

 There's a girl in her Eno :)


I doubt I ever got off the boat -- a perfect day for me!







How our doggie spends her days.  Really.  (This is the only piece of furniture she's allowed on.)
Sometimes she gets even more comfortable:
She is a crazy dog!

Lunch with AVJ and my mom -- any time with them is a good time!
Another birthday girl!  AVJ's sister, Susan. . .Frederick, Margaret, and I were all there to celebrate with her too (that was just one night. . .then she had her "real" birthday at a safari in Columbus. . .then a family birthday party the following week. . .it's hard turning 11!)


These two. . .they are great pals!  The kids decided that Margaret could not be the only one with a Kavu bag. . .

















Frederick's speciality:  omelets.  On this day there were all made-to-order. . .we were a lucky audience!!

A shopping score - Krogers - I saved 50% on my total bill this day!!!


Still looking for houses. . .driving around (as I do/did most days) I snapped this picture trying to convince Tom that maybe *this* was the "one". . .














A weekend project:  powerwashing the driveway.  I've been begging to do this for about two years.









It turned out SO good!
We also painted the deck. . .it looks a lot better too. . .and to give Tom the credit he deserves. . .he repaired the stairs, replaced some boards, and helped Marie and I paint. . .
If only someone would like to make this house their home. . .



Ummmmmm. . .my phone was hijacked. . . .



















There's nothing better then sitting in the sun reading for pleasure!!!

Margaret got her hair cut -- it looks fabulous!

And yesterday was Father's Day.  Only Frederick was around for present-opening (although we had managed, throughout the last week, to have everyone sign the card -- ha!)
My heart and my love and the four children he gave me. . .what a great June 2015 so far!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Day in May

Here is another "Day in the Life" post -- a month late but that's how I've been rolling lately. . .

I took these pictures on a Monday in May, knowing that I wanted to document another "random" day of our lives here in our new town, trying to figure things out. . .

Hopefully this is a short season in our life. . .this transitional season. . .there are so many GOOD things about it but, truthfully, it would be great to be "settled". . .house/home, job, teams. . .

Since moving here, most days (weather dependent), we can at least reach our local stations.  Tom gets up and moving at 6 a.m., I usually start moving about 6:30, get the kids up at 6:45, and when the Today Show begins at 7 a.m. I have begun making breakfast and all kids are at least out of bed.
Because the kiddos have such a hard time doing *anything* when any screen is on, I set the sleep timer to go off at 7:30 so we can all catch the news headlines, weather, and a few other things, then it goes off before we have to head out the door.

I like it when I wake up to a clean dishwasher!


Looks like I have things out ready to make my favorite summer drink, Peach Green Tea Lemonade.  (I saw today a way to add ginger to my tea, which is supposed to help with inflammation. . .)


Although I am continually grateful for the apartment we are living in, I will be happy, happy, happy to have a larger, better dishwasher in my new home.  First world problems for sure.





What our house looks like before the kids are roused from their slumber. . .

Yes, there is a child in each of those beds. . .:)

















One of the biggest privileges of getting to be an "at home mom" right now is the ability to make breakfast (almost) each morning and having the time to do weekly menu plans.  I really, really like this part of my life right now!


I keep this list on the refrigerator and wish I could get the kiddies to reference it more often, instead of continually saying, "what's for dinner tonight?" -- ha!


















I want to remember these days, sitting around before school. . .just beginning the day together.
When the 7:35 alarm rings we gather up everything (including the dog most days) and head to the bus stop.  Thomas drives himself to the high school.
 Off to school. . .as the year went on the dog got better about leaving the kids at the bus stop without waiting for the bus to come and get them. . .when we first started walking them down she would *not* walk back to the apartment until she saw them safely on the school bus :)
 I'm sooooo lucky right now. . .after I take the dog back home, I get to walk to the clubhouse and do this. . .no getting in my car and going anywhere. . .awesome!!!

And it is *always* empty before 8 a.m.

And, of course, I get to continue to watch Today AND read a book AND exercise -- all at the same time!!!  My kind of life :)

















I try to have 5K steps in by 9 a.m.


Walking back. . .construction is coming along here. . .(you can reference what it looked like in March here)
It's still green. . .looks yellow in this shot though. . .
Now it's mid-June and all the grass is in, the parking places are in and the garages built.  I'm afraid the dog park they promised us behind our unit will not get done anytime soon. . .probably the week we move out -- ha!



This is what I spend *many* days doing. . .applying for jobs and getting rejection letters. . .sigh. . .it's all part of it, eh?

 I have a dozens and dozens of these. . .it's a large county with lots of employees.  My guess is right now they are just shifting people around and awarding long-term subs with their positions now.  Gotta keep trying though!


On this day, Margaret was performing at her school for the up-coming 6th graders -- she is part of the 2015-2016 Beaver Cheerleading squad!!!

This is the part where I am super-blessed at this point to be at home with the kids and able to pop into school for a quick performance and then right back out. . .

The at-home-mom thing again took a little getting used to. . .but now it will be hard to put my working-mom shoes back on (shhhh. . .don't tell Tom!)
Next season is going to be a *great* season!  (Just so I remember, she is talking to the mascot in the first pic and in the front right in the second.)

 I spend almost an hour every day looking for houses.  On this day I was following a lead on a house we saw online (we have to be very careful to stay in the school zones where the kids are currently attending. . .it's really hard!).

I go straight for the one that is advertised, then spend time going up and down *every* street in the neighborhood.  I have found many that are "coming soon" or for sale by owner this way and jump on them with my realtor right away.

Tom and I went back to this neighborhood later in the week  but decided that it was too far away from "everything" to be a serious consideration.  We just left an area that we LOVED except we had to drive an extra 15 minutes every time we wanted to go somewhere.  We just don't want that again. . .we're hoping to find a home that is more centrally located to school, shopping, and Tom's job.


 We definitely like the more mature neighborhoods and are certain we do not want to build.  The newer neighborhoods have very small yards and are "on top of" one another. . .to build we would have to find land, figure out what we want, etc. etc. . .too many decisions and too much time.  A neighborhood like this one would truly be perfect.  We have a 6-month lease and hope to find something before it is up!!!




From here it was the grocery store. . .
 Then to pick up our doggie from the kennel (we were out of town for the weekend with soccer)
Driving in to get Chelsea

Bringing the doggie home!!!

She hates, hates, hates the kennel.  Well, really, I think it's the separation that is awful for her.  She always comes home and passes out for about 2 days.  She was a stray that adopted us so we're not sure what has made her such an anxious dog, but we love her and she loves us!!!

 More errands. . .allergy shots TWICE A WEEK this year -- crazy, awful, rainy spring season.
 Mail a netflix movie back and something else too. . .I try really hard to keep cards around and send as much snail-mail as I can when I have time (which I do right now!!!)
Back home to get dinner started. . .
Beer brats!  We're grilling out by the pool tonight :)











Gotta get started on all these summer camp forms. . .and relax a bit with Facebook of course. . .



















Since the high school JV soccer season is over (varsity is hoping to get to State!), Thomas is home before the other kiddos.  Today we took the trash down with the dog and waited for the middle school bus.



She is always so happy to see the kids!

. . .and back home. . .Marie is just happy that another school day is over. . .she is not the "school" kid (she was my best homeschooler) and it is just plain horrible to move the last quarter of your 8th grade year.  As always, she has done her very best to "just get through it". 

Frederick was super-proud of the project map he made for one of his classes (social studies?).  I've been taking pictures for years and not keeping all of these. . .I wish there was a way but honestly it's just TOO MUCH.  I am very proud of his work and I know one day he will want to look back and see what he was doing in 6th grade. . .this gives such a neat indication to who he is inside his head.

We headed to the pool area to set up and grill our dinner. . .(I *love* this perk of having a community with a clubhouse!!!)



Margaret

And then. . .

POURING RAIN!!!
It was a hard one too with wind and everything.  We were quickly moving all the food set up on the counter further under shelter. . .and, instead of eating around a table, this is what we did:
Not sure where Frederick was. . .Thomas had left to go watch his team play in one of the play-off district games.  You can see how far the rain blew in!
Delicious, summertime meal by the pool. . .even in the passing storm. . .

















And then, well, it was over!  Back outside. . .to enjoy another hour of our day together. 


Margaret and Frederick were in the pool. . .Marie and Tom were throwing balls to them. . .we had the pool to ourselves!!!


















Then Marie ran back to the apartment and brought me ice cream (sometimes she's my favorite!)










And then, when we got home there was a knock at our door. . .some neighbors brought us still-warm-from-the-oven brownies!!


I know, it's almost crazy that we are looking to LEAVE, right?!?











Our evening ended typically and quietly. . .



I really enjoy my Netflix shows (Blacklist!!!  Scandal!!!  House of Cards!) but Tom won't watch them with me so I go to our bedroom and watch them on my Kindle. . .

 This is Frederick's brain going at night. . .he doesn't think of what he needs to get done until he's already in bed. . .then I think he winds down and there's always something. . .
 Believe it or not, I do try to blog more regularly. . .but seeing as this post is over a month late. . .well. . .I just get easily distracted :)
Last note of the day -- I made my goal of 10,000 steps. . .!!!  I really, really like my FitBit -- thanks Mom!!

And that is a Day in the Life. . .for me to look back on and reflect on and see the joy in this season because it will pass, as they all do. . .

Love,
Jenni