Monday, February 02, 2015

Pictures for Grandpa

I haven't updated on my dad in awhile.
{Oh, let's be real....I haven't updated this BLOG in awhile...}

He has made the decision to stop chemo.  It's just gotten too hard and is making him miserably sick.  He had an MRI last week and it showed that the cancer has gone into his spine.  He is losing feeling in his arm and shoulder so will be starting radiation tomorrow.  The radiation always makes him quite tired and sick, so prayers would be greatly appreciated.  He continues to be in pretty good spirits - except for the days that he is very sick. 

One thing he has requested is that I post pictures of the kids to the blog.  So in no particular order, here is a random sampling of what we have been doing the past month or so.

 Christmas Day.  God answered Dad's prayers to have a memorable day with his family.
He also felt well enough to tell the kids one of his famous bear stories.
Here is my mom passing out all the presents she bought and wrapped.  My dad is always telling me how cute she is.
 Back home, Jeff had a surprise for the kids.  I thought I had pictures of them riding but all I have are videos.  Sorry!
I found a pogo stick at a local resale store and the kids have had a blast with it. 
  This hockey game brought back many memories of my childhood games with my brother.  The kids had fun with it for a few days until it broke.  Ugh.  Cheap piece of junk.

Katie-bug had a birthday...her last one in double digits.
She requested a bonfire, which her older brother was happy to provide
She wanted a giraffe cake and Jillian made this for her.  So cute!
Jake and Zoey rooted for the Patriots during several games in January - although Jake often just rooted for whoever was winning.  Siiigh...
We got all excited a week or so ago when snow started to fall.  It was dark so we turned on the outdoor lights to watch it.  The following morning we woke up to actual snow on the ground.  This was the big show - ha!  It looked more like a hard frost and melted by noon.
Most days it's in the 40's or 50's but the days that reach the 60's mean that the kids are begging to wear shorts and t-shirts.  When I tell them it's not warm enough, they tell me they are 'roasting hot' and sweating.
 So I relent.
They play outside almost every day and love zipping up and down the driveway - which is quite long.  Good thing we don't have to shovel snow here!
We have had some days that were warm enough to do school on the front porch.  
One day we looked up and noticed that Jordan was relaxing with his feet out the window.  Or maybe SaraGrace  (his school partner) told him that his feet stunk.
Wherever Chloe is doing school, the dog is right beside her 
(whether the dog wants to be there or not). 
And sometimes Ginger likes to appear smart.
We have spent countless hours playing Dutch Blitz - the best game on earth.
SaraGrace shows us one of her "Dancing with the Stars" moves.  
{Don't look at the messy counter behind her.}
Jake drew a portrait of me.  I seem to have jaundice, a broken arm... and my brother politely mentioned that I appear to be a man.  When I asked Jake why he didn't finish coloring the picture, he said his crayon broke.
This awesome room is the one we use for school but we had no place to put our books.
Daddy to the rescue!
Look what Jeff built!  He spent several weekends hard at work and did a great job!

Another project...We didn't care for the wallpaper, so Taylor stripped it.  The built-in ironing board was a big disappointment because it hit the washing machine and wouldn't fully open.  Doh!  Sadly, it had to go bye-bye.
I wanted a board and batten wall with hooks, kind of like something I would see in a Pottery Barn catalog.
Here it was mid-way through the process.
Not totally decorated but Jeff's part is all done.  Oh...and OF COURSE it always looks like this.  
I took all the coats down and pushed the shoes out of the way to take the picture.

Jillian and I have painted a few rooms but that will have to be a post for another day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

When there is no snow and you want to go sledding...

We haven't missed the snow.  At All.

But sometimes, you just need the wind in your hair.

Sledding provides that for you - hence the mention of snow.

The movers left behind one of their dolly's several weeks ago after the move.  Within minutes of the discovery, the kids started playing with it by wrapping scarves around it and pulling each other around.  A few days later, the movers came back with my sewing machine that had gotten mixed in with another family's belongings.  We offered the dolly back to them but after several failed attempts to remove the scarves, they good-naturedly said the kids could keep it.

Sunday afternoon the kids got it out again.
They made a seat out of a cardboard box and the boys, in an odd act of chivalry, offered to be mules and pull the girls around.
Wheee!  Hold on tight!
These two love to pose.
Things went reasonably well. 
For awhile.
Until one of the mules lost interest and bailed out.
A new mule was found.  She was a bit over-eager and energetic.
The riders started to scream with delight at how fast they were going.
Then the delight turned to fright as SaraGrace realized that perhaps the 'sled' was going out of control as the mules ran amuk.
Kate had no such insight.
Suddenly, Jordan tripped as the happy mule dashed on ahead of him and caused a pile-up.  Jordan only had some skinned palms and although Zoey is lying on the ground, she was just fine.  

The riders decided that they had enjoyed enough thrills for one day so that was the end of the 'sled' for that day.

Today some of them found a board that they were using to 'skateboard' down the slide.
Thankfully, that ended without incident.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Digging out from under the boxes

I still feel pretty unsettled due to boxes lying around and only half of our pictures hung, but I can at least see the floor.

Last week, while I was unpacking, I decided to show the kids what I did as a child after a move that my family made.  I explained to them how my brother and I had made a small city out of the boxes.  It was actually more of a tunnel but we had little 'rooms' and spent hours crawling through them.  Ours were in the basement, so we didn't have to clean them up.  

Sadly, there are few basements in the South, so we no longer have a basement.  I let the kids set up their box city in the living/dining room.  They were far more creative than my brother and I had been.  Soon I heard the obnoxious sound of the pumpkin cutting knives sawing through cardboard.  

Well...whatever.  I didn't stop them.  I had stuff to do.

When I came back, I saw sights like this:
And this...
 The phone was a nice, albiet odd touch.
Chloe included the dog in her 'house.'  She also hung artwork on the walls. 
Don't be gettin' your tinsel in a tangle, ya'll.
Some made signs warning would-be intruders to stay out.
SaraGrace made a mail slot with a handful of 'letters' that she wrote out for everyone (even those who had no mail slots). 
Zoey was bummed because her house lacked the creative flair that some of her siblings have coming out of their pores.  I {think} I convinced her that her house was also very cool.
Jordan was bothered because his house was small due to having to wait endlessly for the pumpkin cutter since his {bossy} sisters hogged it for such a long time.  Jake was just happy to have a box resembling some type of dwelling.
{Sorry for the dreadful iphone pic}  Kate--the family cuddle bug, dragged her blankets, pillows and stuffed animals into her box and snuggled in for a five second nap.

We let them have their box city for about 24 hours until we were driven nearly mad by having to skirt it 26 zillion times a day as we unpacked our belongings.  

They begged to take their city elsewhere, so we let them move it to their rooms.  Do I hear some sad trombones playing in the background?  

Several of them still have their boxes in their rooms and have been sleeping in them.  Ha!

I am just thankful not to be tripping over them anymore.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Farewell, New England...

I hinted in my last post about needing to catch up on some news. 

And then I didn't post.

Because I can't get my act together, ya'll.

The reason for that is that we are moving South in 10 days.  Eeek!  Jeff has been working down there since mid-July while the kids and I remained behind to get the house sold.  It took awhile, but it finally sold.

We were soooo done getting the house ready for showings.  We all got pretty good at stashing things in weird places and we are still looking for some of those items.  Argh.

And now it is time to say goodbye....goodbye to some of our favorite places...

 The Mayflower in Plymouth - where it all began for us...

We have loved living in New England, despite being so far from family.  Our church family has become so dear to our hearts and our kids have benefited greatly from the excellent doctors in Boston. 
My favorite harbor
Sturbridge Village
Seeing Mitt Romney
And Scott Brown
Driving the infamous White Mountains to see the fall folliage
Going for a boat ride and climbing rocks near the Light Houses in Maine
Traveling to the spot where the "shot heard 'round the world was fired," Lexington MA
 Then on to Concord where the militia marched that day...where the Waldon Pond, the David Henry Thoreau home and Louisa May Alcott home is located.
And favorite city of all
Many trips to this hospital
And meeting 'Ben Franklin'
Farewell, Boston...

 We will miss all of our friends here as well as the amazing New England history and  picturesque village greens, white steeples and picket fences in every town.  We didn't want to move here but God had wonderful blessings and surprises in store for us.  We have had heartache here at times but through it all, God has held us and grown us in new ways.  He is so good!

Now we are on to a new adventure - our first time living in the South.  We will treasure the memories and friends we have made here and look forward to making new friends soon.