Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas from our crazy family to yours!!

 Well, we woke up this morning....Dan and I actually slept in until 9:30 and the Christmas decorations came down.  It's not that we don't like Christmas, but I guess it is kinda our family tradition to take everything down the next day.   We had successfully not watered our tree and killed it weeks ago so it was dropping needles like crazy anyways.  We jus can't seem to keep any sort of plant, succulent or tree alive.  Anyways, I am currently sitting downtown at the Marcus Center in the middle of the atrium blogging while Abbie is backstage waiting for her performance to start.  2 more shows and the Nutcracker season comes to an end.
 I will say that this Christmas looked a lot different this year for our family.  That came with a lot of mommy guilt for me.  This was the first year that I was working full time and that made Christmas look a lot different.  We didn't even get to decorate a ginger bread house.  I made sugar cookies (which are currently sitting unfrosted in a box on top of our washing machine) just waiting to be decorated.  I could sit here and tell you all of the things we didn't do this Christmas....but that would bring everyone down, so I have to focus on what we DID get to do!!
 We were able to take each child shopping and out to dinner one on one.  Our kids do a sibling exchange and then we take them one at a time to shop for the sibling they picked!  They have so much fun with it.  Best part of it this year.....3 of the kids used their OWN money to buy their sibling gift!!  YAHOO!!!!!  They get to exchange with each other on Christmas Eve and watching the JOY and excitement on their faces is just precious.  
 Along with my new job comes some pretty big responsibilities.  One of them being Jingle Jam.  This is a huge outreach event we do and a big Christmas family service.  That has been all consuming for me this year.  Practices and planning was my life for a while.  I tried really hard to leave it all at work and come home and be a mom and wife...I don't think I balanced that quite well....but I am learning.  Anyways, one of our family traditions has been to go to the Country Springs every year to look at the lights with the kids.  It was Christmas Eve and we hadn't gone yet.  I made it my mission on Saturday to get the kids to the lights!  We finished Jingle Jam, cleaned up, set up, napped, went back to work Christmas Eve service and then we did it....we made the drive and got to look at the lights!!!!  What a blessing that was to be able to keep that tradition alive!!
 The kids seem happy with their gifts.  Molly got a microphone, Sadie got some organizing things, Abbie got a ballet barre, Kenadie got some zsum zsums, Gavin and Griffin got pedal cars and Lanie got a gymnastics mat.  We try to keep it simple and functional yet fun!!  My most favorite tradition ever is that we sit down as a family on Christmas morning and read the birth of Jesus account from the Bible.  Each kid brings down their Bible and they take turns reading.  This year Lanie was able to read some of it!!!  I bet next year Griffs will be reading too!  It's fun to get gifts, but it's even more rewarding to teach our kids what Christmas is really about.
 Dan picked out one gift for Gavin and Griffin...otherwise I did the rest.  The one gift Dan got the boys was a set of Nerf guns.  After Gavin got a huge welt on his side from being shot....I asked Dan what the age suggestion was on the box.  Um....14!!!!  Ha!  So, our 8 and 5 year old boys have nerf guns that leave welts....cause we are that awesome!!
 Overall, Christmas may have looked different this year for us, but that doesn't mean it was a bad thing.  Time was spent together.  Memories were made.  Jingle Jam is over and I have this week off to spend time with the kids.  What an incredible blessing this time of year has been to me.  I have learned so much, met so many new people and grown to learn more and more what really matters in my life.
 So, from our very crazy wild family to yours....A very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

8 weeks. is official.  I have been a full time working mom for 8 weeks.  Here are some 100% true facts from what I have learned/accomplished these past 8 weeks. 
1. I don't remember 3/4 of what has happened the past 8 weeks.
2. My kids have eaten maybe 4 home cooked meals in the past 8 weeks.  
3. We have eaten way too many sandwiches and bowls of cereal for dinner in the past 8 weeks.
4. I basically just sleep at home now...and empty and load the dishwasher....all the cereal bowls from our "healthy" dinners.
5.  I have resorted to doing my grocery shopping online.
6.  We don't make our beds.
7.  Working is so hard yet so rewarding.
8.  My kids can't really deep clean a bathroom...they more or less wipe "around" with a clorox wipe.
9. I love love love watching my kids play in any sport or activity. 
10.  I wouldn't change a thing!!

Yes, working full time has been quite the adjustment here at the Wilke household.  However, I think we have figured out a rhythm.  I am blessed to have a flexible job that still allows me to work while the kids are in school and still be there for them after school and for their activities!  

Here are some highlights of the past 8 weeks...from what I can remember!

 We had a Friday off of school and headed to holy hill with some friends!  It was gorgeous and beautiful and amazing.  We packed a picnic and did some hiking!

 Kens is flourishing in log rolling.  For a kid that just started log rolling in the late summer, she is a log rolling beast!  I am one proud log rolling mamma!  Watch out lumberjacks....she's coming to roll against you!

 Griffs finished his soccer season.  He is crazy out on that field.  He is loving school...most days.  He has turned into a little longer my little baby.  (although he still likes a good nap...against his will of course!)

 Our oldest turned, um barf, 14.  We had her class over for a party.  Crazy kids got lost in the cornfield.  We warned them...they didn't listen.

Woodmans delivers.  Enough said.  They do all my shopping, load it up, drive it out to my house, unload it and leave.  They charge me $9.95 to do this.  I had groceries delivered to my house yesterday morning at 7 a.m.  Um...where have you been all my life??? 

 This is my office....a crazy unorganized, organized mess.  Things are getting day at a time!
 I will do anything to embarrass my kids.  Especially the older ones. Including showing up to their Race for Education looking like a man.  And, you're welcome, children!  You can't pick your parents!!

 Molly gave these two a hair cut the other day and then cut Dan's hair as well.  Boom!

 I don't think I ever officially announced it....but our ballerina is in the nutcracker with the Milwaukee Ballet this year as a soldier.  She will be performing in 10 shows!  Come see her.  You really won't be able to tell which one she is....but come anyways!  She loves dancing.  She is dancing 5 days a week and loving being on pointe.  Makes my mamma heart so happy and proud!

 Sadie is a beast on the soccer field.  I watched her game last week and almost started to cry.  She scored a goal...when I wasn't recording, of course....and took a player down.  What more could you ask for as a soccer mom?

 We went trick or treating with some friends last weekend.  Apparently when  you are in 8th grade you no longer want to trick or treat with your siblings, did you know that?
 Snugs is super duper flexible.  Like almost a contortionist.  She is taking a tumbling class as a gift from my mom for her birthday.  She has learned how to do a back walk over!  Crazy kid!

We had 3 play this season.  What fun it was!  Abbie's team won the conference any good parent we didn't get a picture of her playing.  She also isn't in the team picture because she had mandatory nutcracker here is her team without her!  

 Molly has become a boss at serving.  She really has got some VB skills.  I like to line judge any opportunity I can.  Here she is serving and here I am watching to make sure she doesn't cross the line....hey, someone has to do it!

 Sadie and her played on the same team.  I can't believe Molls will be moving on to high school next season.  And.....tears.
They ended up taking 2nd place in the tournament.  So so so fun to watch...and line judge! 

And just like that....8 weeks have flown by.  

My heart is full. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Where do I even start?

 I am trying to figure out where to begin.  The past month has been a whirlwind here at the Wilke Farmstead.  Life changing things have happened.  I don't know how else to say it, but it has been crazy here.  Crazy good.  Crazy bad.  And plain Crazy.

For starters, I began a new full time job 3 weeks ago.  I haven't worked full time since before I had my first baby almost 14 years ago.  This decision carried a lot of weight in my heart.  At the end of the day, God opened all the right doors to make this even an opportunity.  He closed door after door all summer for me leaving me feeling inadequate.  He knew all along.  I doubted.  So here I am, the Director of Children's Ministry.  The adjustment has been kinda easy kinda hard.  I have a big job.  A lot to do.  A lot of weight on my shoulders.  One day at a time.  One day at a time.

On the same day I was introduced as the new Director, my one ballerina got her very first pair of pointe shoes.  The smile couldn't have been bigger that day for her!  Her teacher was so patient with her class and even taught them how to sew their own shoes.  She is loving it!  I secretly want to go buy a pair of pointe shoes...and I just might still do that.  I would love to get back up on pointe!  

I now have two ballerina's dancing with the Milwaukee Ballet.  Lanie started pre-ballet III and is loving it as well!  

Oh...and BIG NEWS....Abbie will be in the Milwaukee Ballet's Nutcracker again this year!  She made it!! YAHOO!!

 2 birthdays came and went here faster than we could process.  Lanie turned the big 6 and Dan turned the big 35.  I may have had them share a cake :(
 Sads started her refereeing career this fall.  She looks adorable in her gear, but is an even better ref!  She is working with U-8 girls and is loving it!

 I had the awesome opportunity to take Fridays at the Farm on the road to Lake Geneva.  I did a pallet session for a bachelorette weekend for a sweet group of ladies.  It was so much fun and nice to take it on the road!

 I wanted to give you an update on our farm life as well.  We added 10 more chickens to the mix here.  We have lost a few of our "older" ones.  One got attacked by a hawk, one died and smelled up our garage like you wouldn't believe and one disappeared.  One day in passing I said to Dan, "hey, we should probably think about getting more chickens at some point."  The next day he left an invoice on my desk for 10 chickens.  Lesson learned. We have a fat orange cat that keeps all the critters away and a long haired cat that sleeps with the kids every night.  We currently are nursing a 2-3 week old baby kitten back to life as well.  We have a salamander living somewhere either inside or outside of our house as well.  I almost stepped on it barefoot one day and may have freaked out.  I question every day my ability to live here at the farmstead.

Griffs has adjusted to school and so have I.  I went on his first field trip with him last week to the Fire Station.  Let me tell you, that little sweet boy of mine is a social butterfly.  I can't believe the change that has happened in that sweet baby boy.  

 My mom took us apple picking last weekend.   We went to Peck and Bushel which is an organic apple orchard near us.  The girls had a blast picking apples!
 Volleyball season has begun.  The 2 oldest are playing on the same team and then we have one on the 5 & 6th grade team.  I love to watch them play.  I love to line judge almost as much as watching them play!
 I keep getting the amazing opportunities to take pictures as well.  I super super love to take pics.  It makes my heart happy.  I am so grateful that people trust me enough to capture memories for them!

There is so much more I could go on and on about.  Dan and Molly went away for a week together to South Dakota for her 8th grade class trip.  This happened the week I started working full time.  Mamma was a little stressed that week.  We pulled through...barely.  

Life is good.  Life is hard.  Life is crazy.  We are taking it day by day.  We are learning.  We are growing.  We are eating a lot of chocolate...well some of us are!