After the Storm

Well I’ve taken quite a hiatus. Schoolwork really got overwhelming and I got behind on everything! I am now finished with student teaching and am THISCLOSE to my degree! All I have left is the “Professional Development” test and fingerprinting!

I want to get back into this whole blogger thing! I’m linking with The Simple Woman’s Daybook for today.

 

Looking out my window:  It’s a rainy day and chilly! Definitely a jeans sort of day!
I am thinking:  I need to meal plan because my week is about to get busy!
I am thankful:  That I got to see family and friends yesterday at my brother’s HS graduation party.
One of my favorite things:  That the day is slow. I get to breathe and plan for the week!
I am wearing: Black polo with “breastfeeding peer counselor” embroidered on it, a red cardigan, gray slacks, dark brown Clarks and my hair in a ponytail. No makeup.
I am creating:  Not a whole lot. Memories, I guess!
I am reading:  “Pax” by Sara Pennypacker. SUCH a cute story! I’m reading it with Kayden but I can’t put it down!
I am hoping:  That I can work in the yard and garden tomorrow and hopefully get started on additional garden beds!
I am learning:  Nothing at the moment! Classes are done and I’m giving my mind a break!
In my kitchen:  Nothing at the moment since I am at work but there is cherry pie in the works for tonight!
In my garden:  Right now only little pea sprouts and buttercrunch lettuce. Need to plant more, hopefully tomorrow!
Shared Quote:  “Celebrate the little things“-Classic but a goodie! I’m focusing on this right now.
A moment from my day (yesterday):boys at graduation

Racking Up Miles in my Van & Fall’s Arrived!

Once again, I’ve gotten busy and neglected my blog. Life seems to keep getting more and more busy, which leaves me little time for much else. I seem to always be rushing and my cup definitely runneth over! I’ve spent so much time in my van, it’s ridiculous! Driving to work, driving the boys to practice, going to games, driving to get groceries, drive, drive, drive! I’m not getting very many steps on my FitBit because I’ve been doing a lot of driving somewhere, then sitting for a few hours, then driving home! Not much opportunity to move! But I wouldn’t give up the joys of watching my boys do something that they love!

Fall comes with changes in the fields.

12080605_1505318519780083_1224621840_n
The corn is ready to be harvested!

11910321_733276273485117_332099603_n

Fall is here and with it comes all this beauty!12132966_307099129465223_2051839130_n(1) 11931197_1627017250920925_1176610648_n11875387_950127538386113_546612761_n11856694_1678241225725456_605346502_n11348262_757950647666551_1435426444_n11881763_549440585221724_1810758295_n

September was busy with FOOTBALL! C played Jr. High football and although he didn’t get to play much, had a good season and enjoyed playing! He played on the line during defense and sometimes offense. L and K are playing youth football and have had pretty good seasons. K is on the junior team and plays on the line during offense, L is on the senior team and plays on the line during defense.11856751_592580500880148_1242404862_n 11939539_1734988820062207_78379382_n 12105200_455794904600097_743203128_n

C’s football games are over but the other boys have a few more games left. We travel all over for these games, mostly in Iowa. It can get pretty tiring driving that far, but it’s worth it! The boys didn’t get to attend many of C’s games because they were fairly far away in Missouri and because they usually started around 5pm, which meant that I didn’t have enough time to leave from work and pick them up. Usually I was late to his games because I couldn’t leave until after work. L and K play on Saturday mornings, so at least we all can go! While we are driving, I require the boys to bring a book and read. I hope to instill a love of reading in all of them!

I’ve been busy at work too. I’ve been doing more outreach activities, which are more exhausting than I originally though that they were going to be. I’m not sure if I will continue with them or not because they take so much of my time to just plan!.

Also, I’ve been studying like crazy to get ready for my History exam. It’s on Dec 10th and I’m freaking out about it! I’m really worried that I won’t pass because I’m nowhere close to ready. I can take it as many times as I need to in order to pass…but each time I take the exam, it costs me $100.

During my “free time”, I have managed to write a few letters and read a couple of books. I’m currently reading Agatha Christie’s first book, which was published in 1920 but written during WW1. I’m a Christie fan so I’m hoping this one is just as good as her others!The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The pear tree at my parents’ house is overflowing with pears! They are delish! I need to can them and make pear honey, but the boys keep eating them! Haha! I don’t mind too much. I want them to enjoy the fruit! The cool thing about this pear tree, is that my great-grandmother (the one who built my parents’ house and bought the farm 100 years ago) planted that pear tree. So it’s pretty cool to know that the pears that I’m feeding my boys are the same ones that she fed her boys. 12070659_1708658769367777_407555825_n

Halloween is nearly here and we’re not ready yet! I need to get on the ball and start putting costumes together for the boys. C is in 8th grade, so this may be his last year Trick-or-Treating! The thought of that makes me sad! My boy is growing up too quickly! I see my time with him sift through my fingers like sand. Sniffle!

I will leave here on a good note. E has gained 5 lbs, which is so nice because now we don’t have to have weekly weigh-ins at the doctor’s office 12140715_10156127069875274_2473114945371924419_nand pumpkin spice lattes are here! Starbucks is pictured but McDonald’s is what I buy more often, since the nearest Starbucks is quite a drive. Yeah for pumpkin and positive things!11325783_1054134654629607_999971946_n

August

In-between the time that I posted last and today, which doesn’t seem like a very long time, we’ve been on vacation and went school shopping! We went to St. Louis for our vacation and we had a lot of fun! We camped out at a KOA campground, which means cooking meals over a campstove and sleeping on cots and an air mattress that deflated in the middle of the night! We went to the zoo, the Arch, the Magic House, Grant’s Farm and the Cahokia Mounds which are just over the Mississippi River into IL. I won’t post all the pictures right now; that’s what Facebook is for! Hahaha!

E with Randy the Snake (plastic) that he now takes everywhere.
E with Randy the Snake (plastic) that he now takes everywhere.
Polar bear at the St. Louis Zoo. E took this picture. He's a great photographer!
Polar bear at the St. Louis Zoo. E took this picture. He’s a great photographer!
The boys at the base of the Cahokia Mounds in IL. This is the biggest mound at 100 feet above the ground! All the mounds were built by hand over 600 years ago!
The boys at the base of the Cahokia Mounds in IL. This is the biggest mound at 100 feet above the ground! All the mounds were built by hand over 600 years ago!

We went the last week of July and then when we got back home, we jumped into football practice and getting ready for school to start. It’s always bittersweet when they return to school. I like the alone time during the day when I’m not working and the ability to get caught up on what needs to be done…but I miss getting to spend time with them. As much as I complain sometimes, I love the little bundle of legs and feet and arms all over the place.😀

They went back to school today and everyone was really excited! I can’t wait until they get home so I can hear all about it!

All four stair-steppers waiting for the bus!
All four stair-steppers waiting for the bus!

eighthsixthfifthfirst

July Adventures

I can’t believe that it’s been a MONTH since I last blogged! That’s crazy! Obviously I’ve been busy. I’ve been studying for my History exam to get into the Student-Teaching Program. I put it off for quite awhile but now I have to schedule the test. Blah! I’m not looking forward to paying for the test ($95) nor taking the test.

In other news, July has been a busy month for us! I’m not sure why I tell myself at the end of every month that the next month will be less crazy. It’s never true! And now that the boys are older, it seems that we are more involved in stuff and go more! I miss those days when they were little that seemed to go on forever and we never went anywhere! lol!

We did summer camp:

troop

11379165_875515609197115_1123763101_n

C and L went to Boy Scout Camp for a week. It was C’s 3rd year of camp and L’s first. L didn’t think that he was going to like it, but when I saw him on Family Day he told me that he was having the time of his life! He learned so much and made a bunch of new friends! Also, C got tapped to be in the tribe of Mic-O-Say, which is a BIG DEAL when you are in Boy Scouts! His Mic-O-Say name is Eagle Man and he is currently a Brave. So proud of them!!!

daycamp2

daycamp11355151_1588712691382126_1727216148_n

While the older 2 boys were at Boy Scout camp, the younger 2 boys went to Cub Scout Day Camp, which was 2 days. They had a LOT of fun! This is K’s 5th and final year of Cub Scout camp (he’s a Webelo 2 now!) and E’s first year of Cub Scouts (he’s a Tiger Cub!). They got to do super fun stuff like FLY IN AN AIRPLANE that was “higher than a water tower” (E’s quote), build and shoot a pop bottle rocket, make a kite, shoot BB guns, sling shots and shoot a bow and arrow.

Lots of GREAT memories made and milestones met this week!

We gardened:

garden1The weather hasn’t been that great to grow anything other than a weed but we have managed to have some tomatoes and our watermelon is going to town! E loves to work in the garden and one of his favorite things to do is to run out to the garden and check to see what new is growing! He keeps me updated at least once a day on how big the watermelons are getting. Ha!! We will have so much fun eating our organic goodies!

We were silly:

partyThe middle 2 boys + 5 other boys played on a summer basketball team that I coached. We didn’t win any games but we had fun and got a little better at the game! We had a party to end the season. I kept it simple with just cupcakes, drinks and foam noodle swords. Who knew that foam noodle swords could occupy 10-11 year olds for over an hour?! They had a really good time!

11358294_1615882708696868_287091781_n

The infamous blanket fort that the boys like to make. To really make it good and sturdy, you must rip off all the sheets! Ha! They were giggling and having a good time…plus they were a little quiet, so I had to see what they were up to! This blanket fort was highly advanced: 2 rooms and “air conditioned” (really just a blanket over a fan). lol! Boys are fun!

We went to the movies:

Jurassic 2

We saw “Jurassic World” in theatres and the boys loved it! This was E’s first full move and he did great sitting through it! Popcorn helped!

That’s been our July so far! We’re going to St. Louis soon and I can’t wait to share with you all of our adventures! Until next time, toot-a-loo!

Jurassic1

Days of Summer

I saw these beautiful wildflowers by the side of the road and had to stop to take a picture!
I saw these beautiful wildflowers by the side of the road and had to stop to take a picture!

June is wrapping up and  I can’t believe how quickly it has come and gone! We’ve had a busy month, even a busy week since I last posted! We’ve officially hit the hot days of summer and while it is nice to get some use out of those summer clothes, our air conditioner has been continuously running!

Last week was tournament week for Little League (C & L) as well as Minor League (K), so we were a busy bunch! The season ended well with Minor League winning second and Little League winning third.

Second place winners after a hard battle!
Second place winners after a hard battle!

I’m really proud of all three boys and can’t believe that another baseball season is now behind us.

3rd place
3rd place

Blue SillyDid you know that third place makes you silly?! Hahaha!

11377974_118049485196565_264897633_n
C enjoying the crisp pool water!
11377482_1013181045361257_1185018049_n
E with his favorite pool toy!

We also have been to the pool and the library. Unfortunately, the weather has not allowed for us to go to the pool much, but when we went to the pool it was perfect! The water felt sooo good!

K 3rd
K very proud of his medal!
Gooseberry 5k
The boys and my mom all geared up and ready for the 5K! The other boys had numbers too, but were on their back.
Running
Runners in action! Can you spot 3 of the 4 boys?

On Saturday, the health department put on a 5K for the Gooseberry Festival and the boys all ran it. Only E wasn’t able to finish it and while they all did well, K got THIRD in his age division! He is very proud of his medal!

On Tuesday, I took K to a super arcade called Power Play. It was a belated birthday present and this was the earliest that we could go due to the hectic baseball schedule. It was my first time every going and it was actually pretty fun! It’s not just an arcade, although it has a lot of arcade games. It has a mini bowling alley, laser tag, laser maze, bumper cars, a little roller coaster, a mini ferris wheel, a Tilt-A-Whirl and a Go Kart track (it was raining so we couldn’t do Go Karts) and a buffet. I was prepared to spend a little more, but then I saw a deal that if you went on a Tuesday AFTER 4pm, for $15 you could get the buffet, 1 hour of unlimited play and 40 points (for arcade games that gave you tickets for prizes). WHAT a deall!!

K Powerplay
K extremely excited to finally go into PowerPlay! He felt like he had to wait forever to get to go!
K game
K concentrating on a game.

I can’t believe that all this happened in just ONE week! I wonder what will happen in the week to come?! The joys and surprises never end when your the mom of 4 boys! Yea!

These busy summer days!

Hello! I’m still a busy baseball mom! It’s tournament week, so baseball is winding down. Hopefully I can have some calm time at home in the next few weeks! Yesterday was INSANE! I got home late and went to bed around midnight because of a baseball game and getting stuff ready for the next day. THEN I got up at 5:30 to take C to football weights. I’m not sure if you knew this or not, but one of the worst things you can say to a teenage boy at 6am is “Did you remember to put on deodorant?”. Hahaha!

deo
This is forbidden to speak of before 11am apparently. 

After I took him to weights, I went back home and finished getting everyone ready to go in actual public. Went back 2 hours later and picked C up (with all the rest of the boys) and we went to town for K and E’s doctor appointment with our primary care doctor. K needed to get refills for his inhaler and E needed a follow up on his weight that we’ve been monitoring.

After the doctor appointment, we went home for about an hour and then headed to the city to visit with E’s neurologist. The older two boys stayed with my mom so they could get to their ballgame on time. The neurologist visit went well and he is now been seizure free for 6 months!! So, we had to celebrate! E got a giant ice cream cone from Burger King—only 50 cents!

drr

Since there isn’t a Starbucks near where I live, I never miss an opportunity to stop in and get some of their yummy goodness. K wanted a mini frapp. He got a s’mores frappiccino and I got an iced mocha. Delish!

K’s first Starbucks!

dr

Here are some other pictures that I took a few days ago. They are the Quiet Area at the library, one of my fave places to write letters!😀 My local library is so awesome!

li lii liii

Strawberry Jam and Gooseberry Pie

Hello again! My life has been a crazy mess of driving the boys to their baseball games, watching baseball games, spending way too much on concession stand food, doing an insane amount of laundry, searching for uniforms that I know I just washed, dried and folded, and taking C to early morning weights for football. I can’t seem to find much time for me!

I have been able to accomplish a few things. Yesterday, in the cool early morning hours, I made a batch of strawberry jam. I popped it in the fridge to cool and haven’t been able to put it into jars yet (haven’t even gotten to taste it yet! Bummer!) but hope that it’s really good as it’s my first batch I’ve made on my own. I only got 3 strawberries (so far) from my garden so I bought 6 pints from an Amish stand. They were totally organic too!

I picked a ton of gooseberries a few days ago and plan on making a pie with them, but haven’t had the time yet. I don’t want the berries to go bad, so I may have to freeze them. Baseball is winding down, which always is bittersweet, so my life won’t be near as busy then.

My little garden is coming along. I wasn’t able to build any additional beds like I had planned, so I am trying to plant things in pots. We’ll see how they turn out! E loves the garden the best and has to check on the plants at least once a day, if not more. Who knows, maybe I got a bunch of strawberries but he ate them all! HaHa!

The boys have a good time at the ballgames even if they aren’t playing! There’s always a group of kids to play with! ballgameAnd the days are getting warmer, so it feels more like summer now. No more long sleeves!! We haven’t been to the pool yet, but hope to this week.

The boys are also (ALL 4!) participating in the summer reading program and there are always fun things to do at the library!

Mail has been slow, but that’s because I’m in a writing slump. I think it is because I’m so busy that I sort of fall into bed at night. I DID write a letter yesterday, so hopefully I’m over the hump!

See you all on the flip side!

Catchin’ Up

Hello! Hello! Well, it’s June now-can you believe that?! I haven’t been on here much. I’m not sure why. I’ve been really busy, so there are tons of things that are being overlooked at the moment. Hopefully, things will slow down and I can BREATHE!

busylol! I think that I have used this before, but it really explains my life at the moment!

So, we are full into baseball season. It is so much fun going to the games and rooting in the stands, eating concession stand food (especially “walkin’ tacos” and soft pretzels with cheese) and seeing people you only talk to during baseball season. Being a baseball mom is fun!😀

Kayden baseball                    Evan tball                From left to right: K in his uniform, E in his uniform.

I haven’t taken pictures of the older two boys in their uniform yet! I keep forgetting!

We’ve been busy doing other things too. Mowing the yard, spending rainy days inside the house (it rained nearly EVERY day in May!),

Evan garden 1 Evan garden 2Gardening! These pictures are of E prepping the garden. Too many weeds!! He loved digging in the dirt, weeding and all the creepy crawlies that he unearthed!

farmers garden We went to the Farmers Market and got a bunch of awesome goodies!

roseMy new rose bush bloomed. Isn’t it beautiful?! I had no idea what it was going to look like and don’t even know the name of this rose, but I couldn’t be happier with the results!

Cole Chloe                                The puppies are getting bigger and are super adorable! L is holding Cole and C is holding Chloe. Everyone is going to be sad when we have to give them away…but we really can’t keep them. Too many beings in a tiny house!

gooseberriesThe gooseberry bushes are LOADED and I spent part of the weekend picking gooseberries. I still need to stem them and then make a pie! I can’t wait! Gooseberry pie is so yummy!

kaydenK had a birthday on Sunday and turned 10! This was a picture of him on the last day that he was 9. Sob! My kids are getting much too old!!! Wahaahaa!

Finally, I leave you with a picture. This scene calms me, reminds me of home and makes me smile because I love where I live. I feel lucky that I have wildflowers to look at instead of neighbors and buildings. wildflowers

Coffee Talk

Linking with http://www.csandsblog.com/ to participate in “Coffee Talk”. Jasmine says, “This link up is all about talking about the goals we have and making sure we accomplish them. All you have to do is pick three goals you’re really dedicated to accomplishing, write about it and do it”.

http://www.csandsblog.com/

These are my goals for the week:

1) Meet my daily steps goal on my FitBit! I have to show improvement over the next few months since the Health Department bought them for us and in May I really sucked. I had some really good days and some awful days, which brought my average waaay down.😦

2) Finish stemming the gooseberries and make a gooseberry pie.

3) Get the pile that has been bugging me in the living room sorted out and organized. I think a lot of the pile is donation stuff just waiting to be donated. GET it DONE!

Wish me luck! I think that I can accomplish these three goals this week!

Did ya miss me?

Argh, I know I haven’t blogged in forever! I was really busy finishing up my LAST class for my Bachelor’s!!!! Now all I have left is a couple of exams, my background check and student teaching in January 2016!!!

confetti     I finished Sunday and then this week has just been crazy so far! Monday I had the day off but couldn’t enjoy it as I had to run all over the place: Evan’s prescription, getting my tire fixed, waiting at the pharmacy and mowing my giant yard. Tuesday was the boys’ first baseball games! No pictures because I was too busy rooting in the stands! Wednesday was quieter and we watched Big Hero 6. Hopefully things start to slow down a little!

busy