Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Project 365, Week 8

The office was short-staffed this week and it was still the very busy part of tax season, so I worked significantly more hours than usual. It required juggling and flexibility and even recruiting a little help (thanks Mom and Sienna!) and it made me glad every week is not like that. 

February 13
In my kitchen.

February 14
Shaun was able to reserve his evening, allowing him to be home just after 6PM. This meant we have dinner together as a family, a very rare treat these days. I lit a jar candle and put it in the center of the table. Shaun slid it over to right in front of the two of us, and that was our romantic Valentine's dinner. And so it goes.

Later, chess.

February 15
And the next day, more chess. It gets played every morning before work/school, every afternoon after school and its usually the last thing to happen before bed.

I worked 16 hours this day and was exhausted and bummed to have missed the girls game, but again, a day like this is highly unusual and I really enjoy my work.

February 16

Last game of the season, and we even won. The girls ended up being glad that they stuck it out and hopefully they picked up some skills and character, too. It was the first year the school has had a team in several years, so watch out for us next year! ;)

February 17
Feeling spring in the air!!

My nephew Nathanael had the opportunity to preach at youth group. He's in 8th grade and was able to summon the guts to get up there in front of his peers. I SO admire his bravery and heart.

February 18
The next day, my nephew Colombo had his last home hockey game and they had a special time of honoring the seniors (and the parents who helped them get here!). Very proud to be associated with him and amazed that he got here already.

The "up and comings". :)

February 19
Sunday was a pretty quiet day and the weather was amazing.

Photo worthy: these two played peacefully together for an extended amount of time...say, 30 minutes. Not a common occurrence. 


My first time sitting on the porch since the fall and the warm afternoon sun felt so nice. I had a reading partner (who was also packing a gun ;). I tried to chat with him a little but he was nearing the end of his Hardy Boys book and it was intense. :)

An extra-large helping of games (and a short work day for Shaun!)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Project 365, Week 7

I'm a little late, this week has been intense. We're going back a week now. This was an easier week than we'd had. Shaun gently suggested that I pare our lives down a little until the worst of the tax season is over, so I heeded his advice and tried to keep things simple. Un-crazy is hard for me to sit with, but we all benefited.

February 6
No picture.

February 7 
Our one and only away game. 

With two of the sweetest fans watching.

February 8
Chess is the game of the last couple weeks, filling in any extra spare minutes.

During a quick break in the day, Shaun showed the boys how to put air in the tire.

February 9
Snow day!

Hard to not concede to an hour of screens on a snowy day, though I can't stand to see them this way.

This is better. :)

February 10
Snow day #2.

Friends at breakfast. :)

February 11
Avery had worked really hard with me, getting all the properties shoveled and I told her she would be rewarded for her diligence while the other kids just played and fought. She wanted to go shopping. Shopping makes her happy and it makes me crazy. Shaun is generally the clothes and stuff shopping parent (he dislikes it slightly less than I do), but sometimes for the sake of love and connection I go with Avery. And I sit in the dressing room and listen to her exclaim over the clothes and I marvel at the young woman she is becoming and I'm thankful that I get do those things with her.

February 12

On my list of dislikes, bio visits for the foster kids is up there. They are difficult on all of us. On this "day after" a storm of negative emotions was brewing. So in the middle of the storm of snow, H and I bundled up, leashed the dog and walked aimlessly around town. I mostly just listened and slightly prayed that God would equip me and help me. Foster care means always being the bigger person, not taking things personally, withholding judgment, seeking to understand a foreign way. Its hard, so on a day when a walk can help reset, we rejoice.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

February's 10 on 10

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month (Friday).
{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day! }

Its always such a time of celebration to me when the sun comes up for a new day. To think...it happened again and I'm still here to witness it.

Reaction to 'Its a snow day!' announcement.

Every working parent knows the juggling required when school is cancelled last minute. Often I'm able to just take the day off and be with the kids, but this day a couple people called out so I was needed. Shaun was able to stay with them in the morning and then Grandma and Bobbi took over for a couple hours. When I left, the kids were already out adventuring.

Snowy view from office #1.

Snowy view from office #2.

Its been so cool to be part of the tax season this year. Shaun's brother owns the three offices and the brothers each head up one of the locations. Being on the "inside", I've been able to hear and see what a fantastic job they do. They are extremely knowledgeable of all things taxes and customer service is a priority. They've all been at it for many years and each have a very loyal following. People constantly rave to me about "their guy", without even knowing I'm related. I'm proud to be on their team.

Laryssa took over the front desk and I took over my kids + one. There are good things and bad about being able to sit up in a walker. :)

I took the kids to UCONN, where there is an incredible hill for sledding. Gavin and I stayed in the car away from the wind, and the others had a blast.

Avery is happiest when she has a baby in her arms.

I took H to youth group and got to spend a couple minutes with Maddy and C4. They are incredible humans and I love getting time with them.

The regular babysitters had called out, so they were in desperate need of someone to watch the youth worker's kids during youth group. I raised my hand. We read stories, did dress up and played with Floof (which is the strangest stuff!).

H loves the time he gets at youth group and he's got some good support in some of the leaders. I'm always so grateful for other adults who step in and speak life to him. Our family is so good about that, too.

When we got home, Shaun and the kids were wrapping up a Star Wars movie. I knew I'd be dealing with cranky kids the next day, but I don't begrudge him getting whatever time he can with the kids during tax season. Sometimes 10 o'clock at night is what works.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Project 365, Week 6

Just like that, we've cleared out of one month of a new year! January is the hardest month...the cold, dark combo and fresh tax season can be difficult. But February gets lighter and there is a better potential for a warmish feeling day. Also, we can start to be on the lookout for things sprouting and growing out of the earth. Life!

January 30
Too cute! Aiden left this note under his pillow for the tooth fairy....Thankfully she remembered a tooth had been lost! :)

On a moment's notice, I went to cover the office. I had the kids sit in the car, watching a movie, but after a while, it killed the battery. So they snuck into my office and watched Cupcake Wars and ate lollipops. We left at 7pm, so they also got fast food out of the deal, making it was the best ever.

January 31
My knight rescued me the next morning.

Early dismissal from school and a baby cousin taking his first ride in a sled.

We played games, and had a dance party and baked cupcakes and read and held a baby. It was lovely.

Baby torture...trying to include him in the dance party. :)


February 1

February 2
The kids memorize a Bible verse a month and all participants receive a treat if they can recite it. Bribery for a good cause. ;)

The LORD your God is with you,
The Mighty Warrior who saves.
With His love, He will calm all your fears.

Zephaniah 3:17

February 3
We don't go as often as we used to, since they have "Library Day" every week at school, but its still a special place for all of us.

February 4
Avery is in a weekly club at school called Math Counts. Each year they hold a competition for middle schoolers at the regional, state and national levels. Our regions were held at the Coast Guard Academy, with about 275 students. The students were sequestered for most of it, but parents and coaches were able to join in at the beginning and the end.

So proud of her for being brave! (Also, there were several dozen cadets volunteering to make the whole day run smoothly. Avery noted, Mom, everyone looks so good! If they are a man, they look handsome and if they are a girl they're so pretty. Totally agree!)

Grading the individual round.

My mom and dad had the kids, so Avery and I were able to get some time together in between the goings on. She's getting so old! I thought it would be incredibly sad to see them grow past three, but its actually quite awesome.

February 5
When I told the kids we were taking the dog on a hike, I didn't picture much of it being on the ice, but that's what happened, at least for H and Amanda and Ginger. Avery and I stood watch from the shore. :)