Ordinary Days October Edition

Abbey came home for fall break.  Does every girl in a family of boys have food hoarding (or let's call it extreme possessiveness so it doesn't sound so serious) issues?  I've heard from others it is true and not at all rare. :)  I don't blame her in some ways-without this sign it would have been gone.

Those darn squirrels!

Patrick's soccer cheerleaders.

Another "victim" of nurse Janey.

Doing her homework like the big kids.

Andrew received the Faith in Action award for cross country.

I remember Patrick loving these guys (we have two) at his age also.

I felt really nostalgic this Halloween.  Patrick was invited with a friend to trick or treat but I said no way am I losing him this early.  I'm just going to pretend I will have a trick or treater forever. 


We had to hide our pumpkins-those crazy squirrels again!

Andrew did go with friends and it was such a rush to get him there I forgot to get his pic, so this is in the dark after trick or treating.

In other news, Janey is doing great and really turned a corner about a week and a few days after surgery.  

I have been running every morning and it feels so good. I need it. No skunk sightings, but I love the quiet and my little route and it makes such a difference in how I feel all day.
I have a stack of books on my nightstand that I always plan to start after Janey falls asleep but I can't keep my eyes open.

The weather has been lovely and we have been taking walks and admiring the gorgeous color.

Isaac's friend from Denmark visited for a long weekend, and it was so fun to meet her and get to know her.  I think we asked her about 500 questions, but she was such a good conversationalist. 

Happy Autumn!

Thinking, Playing, Reading

Little Janey had surgery to correct her kidney reflux and this picture makes my heart hurt because oh boy, I didn't know how hard the whole deal would be for all of us, especially her and especially her mom, because what mom's heart doesn't split in a thousand pieces when she has to comfort a child in pain?  We spent a night at the hospital-enough for me.  She woke up the next morning and said, "Mommy, get me out of here."  She has been on the mend slowly and surely, but it has been more painful and longer than I expected-I guess I didn't know what to expect because none of my children have had surgery.  She has a pretty nice "Madeline" scar to show for it all but has been such a little trooper. 

I am so grateful for her very experienced physician who I trusted completely, and also I kept telling myself while in the hospital that it one thing to be in the hospital for a good reason-to fix something so it works better-than for a reason like the little boy next door to us in the hospital receiving chemo treatments. Talk about worry and heartbreak and stress on part of the parents.  I can't even imagine.

I am so grateful for wonderful family and friends that helped us out this last week.  

In addition, I am so thankful to all of you moms who gave me advice and shared their experience a year ago when I found that Janey had kidney reflux and asked on this blog for help-I received so many emails and it helped me so much decide what different courses of treatment we might be in for.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  


I was given this awesome play dough recipe that our preschool uses and we have had already made two batches.  It's fun and easy and cheap to make, smells delicious and stays soft and mushy if you keep it in a tupperware container between uses.  We split this recipe before mixing in the Koolaid so that we get two "flavors".  (That usually get mixed together nevertheless.)

Kool Aid Play Dough

3 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup salt
4 tsp cream of tartar
2 pkgs unsweetened Kool Aid
3 TBS cooking oil
2 cups water

Mix together with blender.  You can mix two Kool Aids of the same flavor with this one batch, or divide the dough and mix one packet with each half for two colors.


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Younger Next Year for Women

I am in the middle of this book, recommended by my cousin, and love it.  It is SO motivating when it comes to eating right and exercising.

It explains the science behind aging-which to me is the really motivating part.  I have really been thinking about this all since I started eating better and exercising this year, and what a difference it has made in everything from my fitness capabilities to my skin.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone over the age of 40 (so maybe some of you might want to buy it for your parents :). It turned me from sort of majorly panicking about the process of aging (something about approaching 50 does that to you!), to thinking, "Heck I can totally take control of this process and keep right up there with my kids for a long long time."

This book has taught me that SO much of what we witness when it comes to aging does NOT have to happen that way-so much of it is about pushing our body to "remake" itself through exercise and feeding it right.


Thinking, Playing, Reading


We went to the most beautiful wedding this last weekend in Buffalo NY.  It was the first time in 5 years that Jeff and I were able to get away by ourselves. (And we didn't have to fly which I hate doing, so it made it even more special.)  I loved every bit of this wedding-which speaks to the beautiful bride I am sure, since she no doubt put it all together.  I don't know how to describe it except to say it reminded me of a wedding before Pinterest existed. Just simple and elegant and classy and old-fashioned. Like a breath of fresh air with no pressure emanating because it was all the good stuff emphasized without much fluff?  I took notes for the future (not that I will have a lot to say with four boys?)


A tree got in the way of an awesome football move, poor kid. 

I let my boys choose their haircuts within reason (I do have limits.)  I always laugh when we go to the hair cut place because the ladies always ask me what I want and I say, "They will tell you!"  I love hearing them describe what they want. Andrew is the funniest because he knows very specifically, and is so happy when he gets the girl he thinks is the best. 

I am starting to collect ideas for Christmas-I have a little list of notes and pics on my phone. Here is something we bought for Andrew's birthday which has been a  hit-it sits on our island and is played with constantly- I will add this to our "Favorite Games" post for sure.  You do need two players-the first to match the pattern on the little cube (I didn't get a pic of the shaker cube) wins.  Simple, easy, quick, no direction reading and inexpensive, what more could one ask for?


We are all decorated for Halloween and our books are out of the box. Here are our favorites:

This is a new one we received last year and I love it-the message is so neat, about appreciation and gratitude and how that makes life purposeful.

Perfectly hilarious because we have CRAZY squirrels this time of year, I swear they talk, fight, and work together-and sometimes meet their death in their daring desperate ways.

Our copy is so worn, I just love this tough little old lady.

My kids have always thought this was funny-teachers who give homework on Halloween, imagine!

A story of friends working together.

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Janey carries this book around so I couldn't find our copy to take a pic but Humbug Witch is one of those vintage classic cute Halloween stories, of a little girl trying to be a witch but not succeeding.

And of course, (which is out of print but so worth hunting down):