weekly wrap-up Archives

The wedding is done. The kitchen is finally clean again after months of crazy – a word I have come to use all too much to describe our goings ons and I do think it’s time to come up with an alternate word for that word.

Cockamamie?

I put up Christmas lights yesterday. This isn’t something I usually do before December but it felt normal and right and we had used some of the lights at Kait and Vince’s wedding and I didn’t feel like putting them all away just to get them out again in two weeks so now we’re the cockamamie people on the block that are already decorated for Christmas.

[there should be a picture here but I failed and it’s light outside now so you’ll just have to wait]

Rabbit and I stood out on the lawn just after dark last night and looked at my creation. He eyed the roof of the house and said in all seriousness, I’m thinking maybe we should add some up there, and I realized that we are in the honeymoon stage that happens after a wild patch and we’ve got to be careful not to do too much because nobody is going to want to take all these lights down come January.

Did I mention that my daughter is married?

Wow.

And the entire wedding was perfect and beautiful and I can’t wait to have pictures to post. Our photographer is a family friend and she has had numerous weddings over the last couple of weeks so we’re going to sit and be patient but I know they turned out terrific.

We left on vacation the day after the wedding. We didn’t leave town, basically staying in our own backyard but Pensacola Beach is quiet and beautiful this time of year and the weather was perfect and we didn’t have to drive very far.

And the view from our condo was perfect.

Hot lemonade and favorite blankies on the balcony on a cool, breezy evening…  Who knew that was all it would take to appease these two little ones.

I will be honest and say that I was very happy to be back home after the four days at the beach but the vacation was so good.

And now to our last order of business to get everything caught up…

I mentioned before that we became foster parents in September, a task we took on at probably the worst possible time but we absolutely do not regret it one bit.  Our current placement is just the cutest child imaginable. I wish I could post her pictures and tell you all about her but that just can’t happen. What I can tell you is that she is the sweetest 2-year-old with a very uncertain future but she is doing amazingly well with us. Many of you have asked if there is anything we need or anything you can do to help and the truth is, if you would add her, her sibling, and their bio parents to your prayer list that would be the most helpful thing you can do right now.

And one last thing…

I am so sorry to all of you who have sent me messages after reading one of my posts here or on Facebook. I have been so overloaded with foster care appointments and meetings and wedding stuff and Lanie’s therapy and normal family things that I have had to cut out a lot of my social activities recently. But things do seem somewhat calm for the moment so I’ll hopefully do better.

And one more last thing…

We got Lanie a posterior walker. People, she is the cutest thing ever. Expect a video soon. 

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We’ve been doing this 12 days of Christmas thing and I’ve been meaning to blog about it each day but I keep procrastinating because that’s my talent and now it feels like it’s too late to do a separate post for each one so I’m just going to sum it up and tell you about tonight’s fun.

Anyway, Rabbit and I are surprising the kids with one activity each day for 12 days, ending on Christmas day.

Day 1: We named a star as a family (the name Patrick won by a landslide) and launched that name into space. Or if you’re Sam, you launched an actual star into space.
Day 2: Rabbit took half the kids to a Jaguar’s game and the younger ones stayed home with me and got to enjoy a new game. It was unfortunate that we had to split up for this one but it turned out that everybody had a great time.
Day 3: Fire pit, roasted hot dogs, s’mores, and friends.
Day 4: Family movie night and popcorn with $1 tree popcorn buckets.
Day 5: We went hunting for the best Christmas light displays.  There is a neighborhood close by who really makes this special.
Day 6: We went to Sweet Frog for frozen yogurt and candy.

And that brings us to tonight, day 7.

The gingerbread house building contest.

Now, Kait and I swore last year that we would never, ever, ever attempt to build a gingerbread house again.  Especially together in the same room.  Or same city.  Or same state.  So when the voices inside my head starting telling myself, Self, you should invite the entire family to join you in self torture this year, I should have shut the voices down right then and there by drinking something spiked.  But I didn’t and that is how Kait lost an eye.

No. I kid.
Kait and I had one very short tense moment but we both managed to make it through the whole event with all of our eyes in tact and functioning properly. Though she did threaten to stab herself in the head with a butter knife if she didn’t get her way.

gingerbreadhousecontest2013

We split into two teams, creatively named them Team 1 and Team 2, pulled out our ginger bread house kits, and each team got to work trying to build and decorate a winner.

Team one decided to go the fun, happy, holiday house route.  It turned out pretty neato.  Kait even made a car out of some left over fondant.

team1

Team 2 decided to go the Hansel and Gretel get eaten by a zombie gingerbread man route.

team2

Which one do you think is best?

Personally, I think I more prefer the more holiday-spirited house and it’s abundant use of candy; but there is something quite attractive about that creepy gingerbread man standing in front of the one-eyed, haunted, zombie house.

 

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You know when you have a dream so disturbing that it takes you half the day to get over it?

I’m not going to go into what the dream was about but it involved somebody in my family who should have known better than to be awful in my dream. Also, it’s kind of silly because I’ve had worse dreams. Dreams of abduction and death and alopecia. My dreams are decidedly vivid. Rabbit says I’m like a sleep-psycho or something.

In other recent news…

My step-brother passed away in a snow mobile accident. It’s been incredibly heavy on my mind even though I didn’t know him all that well. Prayers for his wife, their son, and my step-mom. I can’t imagine losing one of my children.

Last weekend we spent some time at the park with some friends. We ate pizza and the kids played and it was awesome because we hadn’t been able to enjoy time with them in a couple of months. Funny story – the pass and ID guy here on the Navy base told her she needed to have a notarized permission slip from her husband to drive on base because her name wasn’t on the registration. What the heck?  Next thing you know they’ll be requiring full on Abaya.

Ben turned 7. Kait turned 17. Lucy climbed up onto the table and I didn’t even know she could do that.

SAMSUNG             

We went to the beach.
My 7 boys (husband included) ran around and acted like crazy people with no sense.  Lucy ate sand.

SAMSUNG

SAMSUNG

I thought that the water would be too cold for her and then a wave came up too close and too fast and knocked her over and I learned that I was wrong. She was invigorated by the chilly water and tried to chase the wave back into the ocean. I’ll be having to keep a close eye on this one, I think.

Kait’s been working on a business plan for her Uncle. Great experience. Very challenging. I have no idea what she’s even talking about.

In the car on the way to church this morning I spotted a random street sign that said slow down my daddy works here. It also appeared to be typed in comic sans which is very new-sign-making-guy. Also, where is the one for mommies?
And if you don’t get why this is funny you need to think about it a little bit more.  If you still don’t get it you should probably just laugh along like you do get it.

And then we spotted this:

SAMSUNG

It’s a car that appears to have been painted to purposefully reflect all shades of baby poo.

And then Sam did under doggie with Lucy in the swing.SAMSUNG

Which actually consisted of him giving her a little push then crawling on the ground under her swing. You can see the video on our YouTube channel.

And now I’m sitting here tapping this post out on my computer while Rabbit plays him some LEGO Rock Band.

And that’s our week in a nutshell. We’ll just not talk about how I failed to post it on Saturday. Again.

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Here is another Saturday week in review that I’m not writing on Saturday.  Our internet has been spotty due to a failing USB cord and then a replacement cord that failed after about 24 hours. Having to run out to the store for new cords during the holidays was super irritating so I wasn’t really pushing the issue. But now I have a working cord and my internet is back and all is well.

Friday before Christmas, we went to my sister’s for a Christmas family reunion thing and it was awesome and I’m not just saying that because they read my blog. It was a serious good time. I can’t wait for Easter when we do it all again.

There was so. much. food. – my brother-in-law, Frank, is a very good chef and cooked enough food for about 173 people all by himself. Some of you have experienced this wonderfulness through Uncle Frank’s Mac -N- Cheese, a recipe I stole from Frank years ago and now make on many occasions.  


Uncle Franks Mac-N-Cheese is some serious delicious cheesy-ness like you have never known. Unless you’ve had it before. Then you know what I’m talking about.
The first picture was taken right before we ate. It’s all of us together and that hasn’t happened in many, many years.  The second picture makes me so happy and is of me and my sisters and our babies.  My actual sister is on the left, then my chosen sister, then me, then my brother’s wife.  It was awesome that we were all together.   The third picture is of my sister and Frank, Ryan and me, and my brother and Nina. I don’t know that we’ve ever all been together before so this was pretty awesome.
The last picture is present opening time and it was, how you say, C R A Z Y.  And then afterwards most of the kids and guys went outside to play a very dangerous game of spotlight tag which I politely declined to be a part of because I’m not into sneaking around in the dark and running into trees and large men.
We drove the 4 hours home on Saturday morning with boxes of Christmas presents stuffed in the back of the van and once we were home the kids spent the rest of Christmas Eve happily occupied with board games and walkie talkies and all kinds of other stuff.

 Then, that night, Lucy got the croup.

She was sick and slept most of Christmas day but it was quite mild and she recovered fast.

Then Jesse got the croup that night.

It was not mild but we managed to stay out of the emergency room Sunday night and Monday night, barely. Even a week later he still has a cough, but he’s not sick anymore and that is good.

By Monday my family was deep into their new obsession with Rock Band.  Papa and Grandma Neese purchased it for the kids for Christmas and it’s a pretty big deal now. The kitchen has never been cleaned so well.

It involves guitars and drums and singing. My husband and kids all think they’re rockstars now.  I, on the other hand, hold no such delusion.  I am no rock star and have no desire to pretend like one. I’m boring like that, I guess.

And the week went on.  I found a Eoin Colfer hardback on sale for $4 at Walmart so that was sweet.  And the weather held itself in the 70’s up until today.

And on a sad note, while Rabbit and I were out having breakfast on new year’s eve we saw this:

A small plane crashed – the pilot didn’t live after his plane nose dived into this parking lot and I have been so sad about it. I actually had trouble sleeping that night because I couldn’t stop thinking about the pilot – what must his last thoughts have been knowing he only had 20 seconds left to live? I feel so much sorrow for his family.

Our friends, Carrie and John, are coming to visit in a week! YEAH!  I can’t wait to see you, friend!
And my sister, who, as it where, is also named Carrie, is hoping to be able to visit very soon too, and I’m so excited about this!

Also, Lucy is almost walking. We had thought she would maybe be walking by Christmas but she has decided that it’s more fun to take two steps and fall straight forward and giggle when we catch her.  Any day now, people.  Any day now.

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I’m tired.

Lucy.

She’s darn cute but her favorite thing to do right now is keep me awake at night and have happy time.  I’ve tried to tell her that this is not working for me but that’s not working for her.

So, as I’ve had all I can handle with my coffee and brushing my teeth, I haven’t been much for blogging so I’ve kinda gotten backed up in everything going on around here. So here is your regular Saturday Tuesday week-in-review post.

  • First, Kait’s phone broke. Like, forever broke. She had a modest time of mourning and now she’s in denial, asking her dad often when he thinks she’ll be able to have her phone back.
  • Sam(4) busted his lip two Saturdays ago and it got infected so now he’s on antibiotics. We had quite the interesting morning this past Saturday at the Navy clinic trying to convince the doctor that Sam did have a busted lip, not a really awful cold sore. A blood test confirmed that it wasn’t a cold sore and might I add that when they took Sam’s blood he didn’t even cry? He’s one tough cookie.  
    The doctor also told me that you should never put peroxide on a cut and I began to wonder what planet he was from. Or have I just been misinformed for pretty much my entire life?
    Why do I have such bad luck with doctors anyway?
  • Rabbit and I went to the squadron Christmas party. This was one of the most disappointing nights and I would go into why but this blog is mostly G. It was like being at a seedy dance club and that is all I have to say about that.
  • Rabbit has been feeding a stray cat. Which has turned into 4 stray cats. And two raccoons. I’ll definitely have to blog about that. Also, Raccoons are really quite adorable and are very hard not to try to hug.
  • They have made one too many Pirates of the Carribean movies.
  • I have continued my sewing adventures and came up with these (pattern found here), which I promised my sister pictures of 4 days ago. I am fail.And this crackly-crinkly owl to put in Lucy’s stocking:

    I followed this tutorial to create it, using left over fabric from the hats I have been sewing. And because Lu loves the crackly sound of heavy plastic bags, I put a couple of cleaned out potato chip wrappers in it. I think she’ll like it.
  • Sometimes when I can’t remember what I was going to blog about I’ll go back through the pictures on my phone because that’s part of how I take notes. And for the life of me I cannot recall why I took a picture of my vacuum cleaner. But I did.
    There was probably an amazing story behind this that will never be told because I can’t remember anything. I’m sorry, okay?
  • We’ve lived in this house for only 5 months and I moved the couch last week to sweep under it and $#%@ is all I have to say about that.
  • Three weeks ago I put out the Nativity set my sister got us a bunch of years ago. It has a bunch of people with it and some sheep and the baby Jesus. Within an hour after setting it up, however, this:

    Every single one of the figurines was gone and in their place stood a small My Little Pony. We managed to find the people and the sheep a few days later but the baby Jesus and his manger are still gone. I even offered a nice prize to the finder, which almost always works. Still, the baby Jesus eludes us. I’m not worried about it but I can’t help feeling like it should be a big deal so I’ll keep you posted.
  • We watched The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra Returns Again. Pure genius, people. Though not as pure genius as the first one because I’ve seen a bear do things, well… even things that even a bear wouldn’t do.”
  • MUST HAVE for Lucy and Jesse’s bedroom.
  • And why does this even exist?
  • I am having trouble finding a way to end this week in review so I will just go now.
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the weekly wrap up. times two.

We carved pumpkins last Saturday. I haven’t done this in years but it’s something that I loved doing before and now apparently the kids love carving pumpkins too.

It was really fun.

And really messy.

And Rabbit roasted the pumpkin seeds and they are SO very good.

I’m the resident artist, it’s sad really, but I ended up drawing most of the designs on the pumpkins for the kids to carve away at. Gabe and Joe had an Angry Bird. Kait carved an Aardvark, I carved a don’t panic thumb, and Rabbit carved a pair of golden wings. Not so golden, but turned out pretty close to the wings he earned when he became a pilot. Everything turned out really cute until the next day when the humidity hit our perfectly carved gourds and kind of melted them into themselves.

What a pitty.

And today we have friends visiting and it’s been a lot of laughing and a lot of fun. It’s really too bad that it’s been cool and windy because we haven’t had much luck making it down to the beach to look for shells. Good times are being had anyway and It’s always good to see friendly faces, yes?

And for the wrap up –

My friend Marty at Sam’s Family wrote a post on Complicated Simplicity that is says exactly what I would have said had I the articulation she has. It’s a good post and there is a recipe included. You’ll have to read…


Telling Dad dishes out pearls of wisdomabout parenting, answering questions like, “My toddler likes to play with her poop. Literally, she will cut it up with her toy knives and forks, put it on a plate and stick it in her toy microwave! HELP!”, and other things. If you have a child, or if you have a sense of humor and you would like to get it tickled you’ll want to read what this dad has to say.


Halloween happened. There is sugar everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And I’m not eating sugar right now because my allergies are awful and I’m way more tired than I should be. It’s like this sick cosmic joke because there are Tootsie Rolls everywhere I turn.
Oh, good grief, people. I mean actual Tootsie Rolls.
You’re all sick.


Kaity-Jane reviewed the book Zombie Church. It’s a book written about dead churches stuck in the rut of rituals and routines and how they need a wake up call and she didn’t appear to be too thrilled with it at all. And then the author commented on her less than sparkling review and it is all too interesting.


This past month, something I missed a few weeks ago when I did my first week in review, Savanah Montana wrote about her week with us. She’s one of Kait’s besties and they had a great time together. Lots of pictures. Good memories.


And camping is coming up soon! YAY! Every other year we camp over Thanksgiving with a bunch of friends. It’s a pretty ginormous affair and we’re so excited about seeing friends we haven’t connected with in a while.

And then there is desert ala Wesley. And Becky.

Portal Cake.

This is remarkably unfair.

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a whole lot about nothing. our weekly wrap-up.

Today we ended up at the fall festival here on base. There were a bunch of booths to walk past and inflatables to jump on and stuff to climb and food to buy but the lines were longer than the county fair lines during midnight madness so we let the kids pick one fun thing to do and then we met up in the free caricature line and waited there FOR TWO HOURS. And guess what happened. 

Yes.

Right when we got up to the artists, right when it was our turn, this lady came up and said, with a great deal of negative zeal, that the artists could only do one more and then she let people behind us cut in front of us because they were like, But we’ve been waiting in line for an hour and fifteen minutes! And my disappointed, super patient children were like Oh well. But I was like No. This will not do. So I had a little chat with the time police lady about how wrong it was that other people got to cut in front of us and that we had been waiting 45 minutes longer than they had and she was basically like, There is nothing I can do. But apparently one of the artists was listening to our conversation and heard what had happened and agreed that we SHOULD get ours done and so they DID draw all of our pictures and the kids were like, Mom, you’re awesome! Because I am.

I tipped the guys pretty well for taking the extra 15 minutes on our caricatures too, though I sure felt bad for the 50 or so people that had been waiting behind us who didn’t know that there was a time cutoff because NOBODY TOLD US but instead just let us all wait in line. At least it wasn’t hot. Mid 70’s and sunny. Perfect line-waiting weather.

And now for the wrap up:

Kait ran a few book reviews on her review blog. Lost In Dreams by Roger Bruner and Love On The Line by Deeanna Gist.

And she posted about our beach here, on her personal blog.

How to know if your cat is plotting to kill you. This could be important, people.

And World War Z discussions are starting up at The Self Esteem Fund. Get aware. Be ready. It’s time to prepare.

Things many homeschooling parents miss – a very good read. This has nothing to do with Zombies.

The Rabbit surprised me by coming home THREE DAYS EARLY, YAY-YUH! And that means he’s here right now beside me and so I’m smiling a lot because I missed him.

Next week our friends, the Johnson’s are coming to visit… SWEET.

And, by the way, the caricatures turned out brilliant.

image

This one is of the Rabbit and me.

I’m so happy that he got to come home early. SO HAPPY.

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the weekly wrap-up.

Gabe took these pictures of Lucy in her Juppy on the beach. As you can see, this little girl loves the beach.
Lu also started crawling last week and a couple days ago she started pulling up on the table and ripping everything off of it. It’s bitter sweet because I love watching her grow up and do new things but I hate having to constantly remember to keep my coffee out of her reach because it seems to be the first thing she goes for.

And can you believe she’s 8 months old today? I can’t. It seems like I just wrote her birth story yesterday. Time just refuses to slow down.

I’ve been meaning to start doing weekly wrap-ups for a while now. Like for more than a year. I have children with blogs and friends who write things that I really want to share but I just haven’t done it yet. I’ll normally post this on Saturday, as we’re normally at church on Sundays. But since I’m nursing sore muscles and a mild head cold and the Rabbit is out on the ocean and Jacksonville traffic is brutal even on Sunday, I’m home today. I’m going to have to get over this fear of driving in Jacksonville. Seriously. The Rabbit will be gone for 7 months next year and I can’t just not go to church.

I’m such a traffic wimp.

And to get on with the wrap-up…

My boys haven’t blogged much of anything in weeks, maybe months. Sorry to disappoint.


What Kaity-Jane has going on her review blog:
The Juppy. A thing for babies. She’s also giving one away here. Two different posts so make sure you don’t get lost.
She reviewed Along Wooden Paths, an Amish story by Tricia Goyer.
She also reviewed Twilight. You MUST check out this review if you’re contemplating reading the series or giving them to your daughter.


Savanah, Kaity-Jane’s bestie, came to visit for a week and it was pretty much the most hilarious week EVER. Two peas in a pod, those two, and their witt definitely plays off of one another. If that makes any sense.


I wrote about how running works here, along with a couple of zombie apocalypse awareness posts. And I complained a little about people.


My across the street neighbor had a garage sale yesterday and I seriously got probably 4 or 5 hundred dollars worth of high end boy’s clothes that were in excellent condition for around $15. The Rabbit and I were talking about how much money we were going to have to spend to replinish our boys’ dwindling wardrobes. It was giving me a headache – but no longer!
On a different note – how do people keep their kids clothes so stinking soft? I just can’t seem to keep my kids’ clothes soft at all. Maybe Google can help me with this.


On one of my favorite blogs, Stephanie recounts her Russian husband’s run-in with a Turkey. Is awesome.


In January my best-good-friend, Carrie, who I haven’t seen in more than 3 years, is coming to visit with her somewhat obnoxious husband John, all the way from Montana! YAY!


My dad is a published author and you can get his books on your Kindle. I’d recommend Before Anne After first because it’s only the BEST BOOK EVER (content warning for young readers). He blogs here if you’re interested.

I KNOW. I missed some incredible stuff. I’m kicking myself about it.

UPDATE: Stupid stupid stupid (I’m hitting myself in the head).  Our friends, the Johnson’s, are coming from Pensacola to visit us in November and that is SUPER GREAT!  And I didn’t forget about them coming to visit because it’s pretty much been all we’ve been talking about here, I just didn’t add it because I’m a doofus.

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