Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Settimana Nove

I'll take you back in time today to the end of July...week nine of summer to be exact. This was the epic week of changing rooms. One might ask (and many have) why we decided to switch rooms. Here are my reasons:

1. Pearl wasn't very happy sharing a room. She wasn't really unhappy either, but she had voiced her complaint and I didn't think it fair that just because she was the littlest that she should forever share a room. Likewise for Daisy.

2. Everyone should learn to share a space.

3. I don't want the girls to become attached to a room. Someday when kids are grown, they will leave and you'd better believe that I am going to use that space. I don't want any tears when I put stuff in 'their' old room.

4. Decluttering. It is an essential skill to learn how to throw things away. Whether it is actual garbage or just things that have been held onto for enough time, it is important to learn how to let go and minimize if necessary.

5. There is the loner room down in the basement. It has the benefit of having its own bathroom and seclusion, but it is not the first pick. I didn't think Robyn should have to remain relegated to the dungeon forever.

I think that about covers my reasoning for week nine. We didn't do our normal activities. I figured it would take us a good while to move everyone's stuff. Along with moving stuff, the girls were required to deep clean the room they left. I stressed the importance of cleaning a space when one leaves it. It is courteous to make a place hospitable for the next guest.

And often do you deep clean a bedroom? All the rooms were needing a good dusting of shelves and baseboards. Not to mention shutters.

To encourage cooperation, I gave each of the girls a budget along with the room change. I would supply $75 toward something to beautify the room. (i.e. rug, paint, lamp, picture, etc.) I also built in an incentive NOT to use too much of my money. If they decided to keep the room as it was, I would give them $30 of spending money instead.

Here was the shakedown:
June: Paint
Daisy: Paint - these two were sharing a room so they combined resources to change the color of the room.
Robyn: Canvas so she could create her own art. This is yet to be purchased. She is planning to paint with Grandma.
Ivory: Spending money
Pearl: Spending money

I really wanted to avoid painting because it seemed like such a huge project, but two kids didn't take the bait and I had only myself to blame. And so we painted.

There was much debate about color, but the two finally decided on a sky blue and there are plans to eventually add some hot air balloons. We went shopping and got our paint. Then on a seemingly normal Wednesday afternoon, we got down to business. (We kind of stole Tyler for the day. I couldn't have done it without him.) Ready for the color reveal?


All the girls got to take a turn painting. Mom and Dad did the edges and Dad got all the stuff up high. (I really couldn't have done it without him.) It was a really fun family activity.

I loved the finished product. Blue is such a relaxing color.

Then we were back to rearranging rooms. It is amazing how much stuff little girls can collect. I won't name names, but some people needed the purge more than others.

That same evening, Robyn and I took on the task of making a bookcase that June bought for her room. We were quite the handywomen. Too bad the bookcase was warped and our finished product, while looking amazing, didn't hold shelves. (Thankfully, the real handyman was able to fix it.)

We did take one break that week. We had tickets to a Hale Center play, so we all went to see the Little Mermaid Jr. It was really cute and the girls had a great time. Robyn was invited to see it with a friend the day after, so we used her ticket and invited June's friend, Lauren.

Theater selfie.

Afterward, we took pictures with Ursula. She was a favorite as well as her glowing eels.

Besides the room changing, I mentioned that our appliances were on the fritz. On Monday, the fridge stopped cooling. We had all our food in coolers for two days until some guy came in and banged on the fridge motor and it started up again. (Seriously? Don't you hate it when it is something you totally could have done? I could hit my fridge.) While he was there, we asked him to fix our persistent leak that results in ice chipping each month. He looked at the problem, pronounced the solution and was done a few minutes later.

YAY! Except that it didn't solve the problem. I chipped out ice a few weeks later. I should call him back, but I'm too annoyed right now. Also more pressing problems came up, like the washing machine breaking.

I was the VERY patient wife who let my husband buy a part and try to fix it instead of just getting a new washer. When it turned out to be more problematic than that one part, we got a refurbished washer to hold us over. And by hold us over, I mean, I don't foresee a new washer this year. The 'newer' washer we have at the moment seems to do the trick and I only have to readjust laundry inside when it gets unbalanced on the spin cycle and sounds like a moose crashing through the bathroom. This would bother me less if I didn't have to do laundry twice a day just to stay on top of it. Please...just send money for Christmas. I'm saving up for my sanity.

Whoa, I am way off track. Let's get back to the bedrooms. I had to put off taking pictures of the finished rooms, because Ivory slept in her bed for two nights and then we had company...Sharon...arrive. It was SSSOOOO fun to have her visit, but it just meant that I didn't get pictures until three weeks later when all company had gone and girls could clean up. (Totally worth it though. We love visitors.)

Without further ado, let's check out these bedroom makeovers. I wish I could also show you all the stuff we donated or threw away. You would be so proud.

The room downstairs in Atlantis is cozy. Ivory has less large furniture, so she was able to try a new setup. I really like it. (The first picture is before and the second after. I didn't label them this time, but I think you can figure it out.)

In the odd shaped room, there are many places to put the bed. Ivory chose one way, and Pearl chose another. It seems strange, but she loves her bed back in that corner. Easy access for peaking outside at all hours.

The shared room had the biggest alteration with the color change. I like it so much more than the lavender.

And finally, the room with the secret closet. I didn't get as much time with Robyn, filtering her stuff. I think she got a lot tucked back in the closet that I don't know about. But it is only a year until I get another stab at her hoard. I like how her space looks for now, complete with the Batman logo from Mr. Mortensen's classroom.

Week nine sure was busy, but with it came a great sense of fulfillment. Maybe it is time to deep clean my own room...

Ten Years of Fete

Wow, ten years! Can you believe it? This holiday is older than Ivory. Sometimes I get overwhelmed planning a holiday right at the end of summer when school is so close and people are finishing vacations, but when it is all said and done, I am always happy we celebrated.

We have been through plenty of colors. I was debating about doing brown, but last year was grey, the year before black and white, and I didn't think it was right to have all the neutral colors together. So, in honor of our ten year anniversary, we did the color that started it all....PINK!!

Pearl was getting into the spirit right away thanks to June and her face paint.

Our activity this year was Water Kickball. It was so fun. We got three kiddie pools and used them as bases. Then there was a slip-n-slide between third base and home for the grand finale coming back to home plate. We invited some good friends. You have to be a good friend to dress up all your boys in pink. But I hear that 'real' men wear pink.

Thanks to Sharon for taking that picture. True to form, I was having a great time and didn't touch the camera the whole time. Sharon took some pictures at the beginning, but I didn't change the settings, so they were a little bright. (Not her fault at all.) I loved this cute picture of Austin.

Then Tyler grabbed the camera to get some action shots while we were playing. I love this picture of TJ ramping up to kick the ball. (Sorry, he is a Bishop and I should probably call him by that name.)

Now he is practically flying.

I think this picture is pretty descriptive. Parker is sliding into home, Charity is going to tag Christian out. (Pretty spry for a pregnant lady.) Anabelle is keeping third base under control. I think Doug is thoroughly soaked in the outfield. (He took advantage of the slip-n-slide.)

June was a great kicker.

But check out this amazing catch by her mother. (She never had a chance.)

Actually, I am the worst at catching the kickball. I caught it three times while we played and felt amazing. It was funny, because Bishop Moore was being very circumspect, and often dropping the ball to help the younger kids. Not so much with me. It wasn't that I was being competitive...I was just happy to catch the ball.

But don't worry, even if you were 'out,' you still got to run around all the bases and slide into home. Go June!!

Sadly TJ Bishop had to leave early for a meeting. But we got the majority in our group picture.

What a crazy group. (Haha, Sharon and June have almost the same face.)

Then Tyler left for a meeting as well and so ends all the pictures of Fete Day. We opened fabulous pink presents and ate yummy ice cream cake and Creamies (thanks Sharon). We even played some Kubb afterward. It was the perfect weather and the perfect company for Fete Day.

May the Fete be with you until next year.

Last But Not Least

Pearl always seems to be waiting for school to start. Fortunately, it was only an extra week this year compared to the 2+ months last year. She went to back to school night yesterday and was really excited to meet her teacher. I think her teacher will be a perfect fit for her personality. I'm really excited for this year.

Pearl has plenty of time to get ready in the morning, considering her sisters are out the door so early. We went out to take our picture and beat the rain by only a few minutes.

But no gray day is going to dampen her spirits. We walked to the bus stop and Pearl gave me a last 'hug' before she was off.

Still, I was that mom who drove to school to meet her getting off the bus and make sure she found where she was going. It was a good thing too, since they didn't line up where they planned because of the rain. (Way to be predictable on the first day.)

As I gave her a last kiss and hug, I got a little teary eyed. My last baby is starting kindergarten. A momentous chapter is closing in my life. I came home to a quiet house and the potential to be very lazy.

But don't you worry. Remember, I have my mom stations to keep me busy. It is an A Day. And I can check blogging off as a success.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Daisy's 7 Year Gallery

I have been having some computer drama recently. I can't get easy access to my photo editing software so not much is happening on the blog front. I have the final weeks of summer to document, but it is looking like Pearl will have to be officially in school mode before that happens. In the meantime, I finally took Daisy out for her photo shoot and that always inspires me to sit down and blog. Who doesn't like looking at beautiful pictures of their children? Or my children?

SPOILER ALERT: Sadly, I have not been able to document Daisy losing her first tooth yet, but you can notice in some of these pictures. I'm quite glad that we didn't take pictures until now because she is so adorable with that gap at the bottom, but all the official information about said tooth will be in a different post.

For now, just enjoy the cuteness that is Daisy. I love her fun glasses that we got online. (I'm pretty sure that I am never going back to store bought glasses.) She is so spunky at seven. And so easy to spend the afternoon with, while taking photos.

 At the end of the photo session I told her we should take a selfie together but that it would look funny because of the camera I was using. I said, "Are you ready for a really CLOSE up selfie?"

We both thought it was great. The event ended with our traditional treat. We went to Culver's planning to sample the 'Flavor of the Day' but couldn't pass up making our own mint Oreo creation. Yummy!

I sure love my Daisy cakes. She has a great personality full of love and silliness. It is hard not to enjoy every minute you spend with her.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Here We Go Again is back. It is never gone for long. It lurks around the corner all summer just waiting to nibble at toes and eventually suck children back through its doors before the warmth has even left the air.

It didn't take me by surprise because I knew it was coming, but our home has been filled with guests literally until after kids left to catch the bus this morning, so we have been a tad off kilter. Nothing serious, but the blogging suffers in those kind of situations.

The good news is that I should have PLENTY of blogging time now that school has started. Pearl starts Kindergarten next week and I should have "extra" time on my hands. Assuming I don't slump over in sheer exhaustion in the mornings, I may get a steady schedule worked out. In fact, June was helping me map out an efficient use of my time, including 'Mommy' stations. She even has me on an A/B schedule much like the Junior High.

Speaking of Junior High...there is no going back now. June went to school yesterday for 7th grade day, where they have the school to themselves to get accustomed to the new building and system. Luckily she found her best friend at the door.

She came home beaming and so excited for the new year. I think she will have a great time. I think I am ready for this next step. Mostly.

This morning was the real deal. Lunches again of course.

And four cute girls with different hopes and dreams set out into the big wide world.

The bus stop is still down by the horses, although I watched one horse take a snap at Robyn's hand this morning. Maybe don't get too close gals. You will need all those fingers for school.

There are still friends at the stop and friends waiting at school. I think all the girls are excited to be going back. (Even if they don't say it right out.)

Here is to a great school year, with minimal homework for this mom.