Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Phew....Wait, what day is it?

Someone asked me today if I was still blogging.  Blogging?  Oh yeah...I am.

Then I realized I hadn't blogged in a long time and decided it was about time!  Wes, this blog is dedicated to you :) 

Here is a sneak peak of what has been happing at the "farm" the past 2 weeks.  I have a hard time remembering what day of the week it is some days.  I seem to be in a really busy season right now.  I feel like I can only live one day at a time and I haven't been thinking about the next day until it is the next day.  That isn't good.  I needed a babysitter for today and waited until this morning to find one.  I had a meeting at 11:30 and thankfully Dan's mom was able to watch the two little ones when we texted her at 7:30 this morning.   Cause that is how we roll.  I am thinking we need to work on that!
 These lanterns are gracing my ceiling in the kitchen .  They make me happy.  They make doing the dishes more manageable.  In case you are wondering.  We load and unload the dishwasher at least 2-3 times a day...some days more if we bake/cook more.  I do at least one round of hand washed dishes a day as well.  There are ALWAYS dirty dishes in the sink.  Always.  It is annoying.  Sometimes I put empty dirty cups in the fridge so I can have a clean sink until the dishwasher is done running.  That's the truth.  The pennant flags I made for my front porch are all done and hung.  They looked cute for about a day.  Then the wind came.  Now they fall off or get whipped around constantly.  I am in denial.  I WON'T take them down.  No way.
 Griffin got his hair cut, finally!  He had such a shaggy mop on his head.  The lady used blue gel to spike his hair.  Blue gel?!?!  For a little guy who's favorite color is blue....he was pumped!
 I was cleaning the kitchen the other day....go figure... and I went to find Molly to ask her to take the dog out.  This is what I saw.  Pure happiness I tell ya.  From the seashells airing out from our Alabama escape to the fact that they grabbed pillows to put behind their backs to the outfits they have on.... Sigh.  I could look at this picture all. day. long.  (well I would photoshop out the white truck zooming past if I had to look at it all day long!)

 Molly and Sadie took part in a Forensics thingy at school.  Molly recited some poems and Sadie and her friend recited a poem together.  They were so cute and grown up.  Boo for kids growing up.  Yeah for being brave and rocking the Forensics thingy.
 Over the past 6 months Griffin and Gavin have become buddies.  They play together, the whine together, they fight together, the ask for snacks all the time together, they wrestle together and they ask for more snacks together.  I love watching the brother bond forming.
 Molly was asked to babysit one day.  Awe...to have a baby in the home again.  My uterus was crying that day.  All of the girls did such a good job taking care of baby Eden and loving on her.  They kept saying we need a baby.  Dan?
 I saw this disc golf game at Costco the other day.  I wanted to buy it.  I didn't.  :(
 The older girls and I worked hard to make a little Wilke Farm Store for last week.  They are trying to fundraise to help cover some of their outdoor Ed costs.  We almost sold out of our clipboards!
 I am reading in Exodus right now.  I was in a crabby poopy mood the other day.  Just feeling yucky.  I had to stop and really read my bookmark.  You mean I should always be joyful?  You mean I should be thankful in all circumstances?  Wait...I should never stop praying?  Yup...that bookmark was just what I needed that day.  Attitude adjustment baby.
 Last Friday I hosted a photo board sign session.  Lots of ladies left with super cute photo boards!  I will post more pics of that tomorrow!

 Saturday night I held a private session for the Positive Mom's group.  They brought in some awesome food and crafted away.  I love their creativity on all their boards!
 Tank is still around.  He needs a haircut desperately but I am too cheap to take him in.  Griffin and Lanie love to play with him and tank just goes with the flow...most days.  Even if it means riding around in a laundry basket.
 This is how Griffin spends most of his day.  Pulling up a white stool and opening cabinets and asking for a snack.  Then I say , "no."  He will then go put a toy away and tell me he put that toy away and then say, "now can I have a snack?"  How can I say no to that?  He wins 99% of the time.  Really...he's the baby and I can't say no to him.
 I am organizing and baking for a candy table this weekend.  Grasshopper bars, chocolate covered oreos, cake pops, s'more pops, and puppy chow are some of the goodies being baked in the kitchen this week.  I don't want to ruin the table for anyone coming so I will post pictures of it next week!

 After a day of head spinning and planning and conversations and meetings....I came home to this.  Molly had set up a candlelit dinner for Dan and I outside.  It was 7:15 at night and freezing cold...but we bundled up and ate our burgers outside.  She had ice water and fresh flowers and lanterns and two hershey kisses....It was so sweet.  And look at the amazing sunset!
                                                          How did I get to be so blessed?

This weekend I am heading up for a women's retreat and doing the candy table and hosting a pallet session.  I will be back Sunday night and will be packing to leave again on Tuesday morning for Outdoor Ed with my two oldest girls.  I thought it would be like a little vacation until I attended the Chaperone meeting tonight.  We have to get the kids up by 7:00 am and lights out are at 10:45 pm...what?  What did I sign myself up for?  And there is talk of sleeping in a tent one night too!   Ummm...I'll keep you guys posted on that!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

We Totally Booked out of Town....

 So did that really just happen?  Why, yes, yes it did!    Alright this is the deal.  I posted a while ago about wanting to get away.  Blah blah blah.  I can't even begin to tell you how God had this in the works the entire time.  I spent so many hours crying and complaining and whining and being jealous and having a pity party.  God must have been looking down on me rubbing His hands together and saying," Have patience, my child."
 For starters I complained about not having a vehicle big enough to fit our family.  It has been a sore spot in my heart for a year now.  If we needed to go anywhere as a family we would squish, double buckle or take two vehicles.  That plain just stunk.  On a whim 2 weeks ago Dan and I went to look at a van that could seat 12.  12 you say?!?!?  YES 12!  Well, because I am super optimistic on everything (ahem..sarcasm) I went expecting to be disappointed.  Instead we were blown away.  I cried.  A car we could all fit in?  No way.  Long story short...we traded in our minivan for our new box on wheels.  It is basically a work van with passenger seats, but it has seat belts and air bags and windows and 12 seats and it is just perfect!  I sat in the van and prayed before we went ahead with it. I prayed that if God wanted us to have the van He would allow it to go smoothly. If it wasn't a good idea for us, I prayed He would put up a road block.  All went super smoothly.
 Boom....God had that all along.
 A few weeks back when we took our trip to IKEA I made the girls try on 10 different swim suits.  I couldn't decide.  I finally decided and made the purchase online when they were on sale and with an extra coupon and free shipping....and that is what they got in their Easter Baskets.  God knew all along just how soon we would be using them.  Boom....He had that too.
 Last week was the only week we had NO commitments.  (except 2 things Dan forgot about!)  It happened like this.  Dan and I were driving back from my mom's house on Easter Sunday around 4:30/5:00 ish.  Abbie was turing 10 the next day and we wanted to do something special for her.  We didn't know what to do.  My brother and his wife were in Alabama already on vacation and I jokingly texted her telling her we could totally still come.  (why wouldn't anyone want our family of 9 to crash their vacation, right?)  And so our journey began.  We got home and I made a few calls.  There was one room left at the place my brother was staying.  Hmmmm....what should we do?  So we did what any logical family would do....we totally booked out of town.  We told the kids to pack a small duffle bag with minimal clothes and necessities only.  2 hours later we left.  Friends took our dog within one hour and we put a huge bowl of food out for the cats.  We had just turned in our boiler for metal scrap that week and left with a little bit of cash and headed for the open road.  We drove all night long.  The kids were awesome.  Like really awesome.
 We rolled in on Monday late afternoon, unloaded as fast as we could and headed down to the ocean.  What an amazing sight!  To see your kids experience the ocean, most for the first time, was seriously the best.  Within 10 minutes of being in the ocean...a certain child of mine...whom I had already warned to remove her glasses...lost her glasses in the ocean.  Gone. Forever.  I tried to hold it together as best as I could.  I wanted to run away crying because I knew what this meant.  I spent the next half hour calling around looking for a place to purchase new glasses.  Molly can't see very well without them so not getting her a replacement pair was not even an option.  We headed a half hour out to find a Lens Crafters and used all our spending money on new glasses.  And you know what?  I think that made the trip even better.  We couldn't spend our money on souvenirs or things we didn't need.  What we needed was the ocean.  And that is what we got.
 For three days we spent our day on the beach.  The place we stayed also had a outdoor pool and and indoor pool and we frequented all of them.  The suits remained permanently damp.  I can't tell you how many times we did laundry...it was constant.
 We built a giant ninja turtle in the sand.  The boys buried themsleves.  The older girls body surfed and jumped waves for hours and hours.  We hunted ghost crabs and came home with buckets of seashells.
 I almost finished a book.  We all got burned a little.  We went through 4 bottles of sunscreen.
 The kids held a crab.  We caught a squid.  We caught jelly fish.  We saw dolphins.  We ate not so healthy meals.

We simply laid around.  The kids played a game in the ocean and would call out names for the waves.  A shark was a huge wave and everytime a huge wave came they would yell, SHARK.  Good thing the waves are so loud that others couldn't hear the word shark being called out!  That could have been bad!  The kids bonded and played so nicely.  Gavin and Griffin chased each other with dead jelly fish and sandy hands.  Griffin love having to get sunscreen on his buttcrack because his suit wouldn't stay up.

I could go on and on.  I have TONS more pictures.  I think I will do a second post with more because I just can't pick some and not show some of the other great ones!

I think the best thing about this trip was that I couldn't plan.  I know that sounds super weird.  I am a planner.  I like to have things lined up and know what to do and how to get there and what we will need.  I didn't have time to do any of that.  And off we went.  16 hours there.  We had beautiful weather, sunshine, fog, and warmth.  All of the things I had been longing for and God provided.  I am trying to process the past week.  It is hard to believe any of that just happened.  It did and I am SO thankful that we booked it and got a break and developed a love for the gulf shores.  We don't need stuff...we just need the beach.  I can't wait to "book out of town" again.