Saturday, August 27, 2016

Boundary Waters & Back to School!!

1.  Two of our family members just got back from a week long canoe trek in the Boundary Waters (Minnesota / Canada).  Confession:  they actually returned August 6th but it has taken this long to download/edit pictures.  Plus I may have been a wee bit busy getting the younger kids ready to head back to school (see Take #7), so there's that.  Continuing on...they paddled 57.45 miles in 6 days and even made a brief trip into Canada.  Pictures!!
On their way out

Blessed 4 way medals I gave them
(because I'm Catholic)



Finally Home!!
(ignore child eating Krispy Kreme donut)

2.  While they were gone I held down the fort at home.  No major house renovations, unless you count painting and hanging a re-purposed coat rack for the entryway.  Technically, I did not actually hang it myself (thank you Dad).  I do hang lots of stuff but this one required hitting studs so I decided to call in the expert.  But it turned out great and makes me so happy, this will make getting the kids out the door in the morning so.much.easier and will also give them a place to hang all their stuff when they walk in the door.  I was going to put a nice smelling candle on the shelf but then decided the odds of a heavy candle falling on someone's head if the front door is slammed is just too risky for our household.

3.  Although they were only off the radar for 6 days the total time they were gone for the trip was almost two weeks.  So to say we missed them is a bit of an understatement.  I did take the other kids on a few day trips while they were gone...

No we did not see Ghostbusters, he's just fascinated with the sign!  We were actually there to see the new Ice Age movie.  We also rented quite a few movies from the video store because it was too hot for them to play outside much and I needed to get some decluttering done and curriculum put together for the upcoming year.

4.  Speaking of that...we now have two high schoolers in the homeschool!  I won't lie, I'm not particularly looking forward to getting the school year started.  Mostly because I remember it is just a lot of work to get everyone (including myself) going.  We start slow and don't throw in all the subjects for the first couple of weeks.  The goal is trying to get everyone into the new routine.  It probably takes about a month before things start running smoothly.  A month of ordered chaos where the house sort of falls apart and the meals are bare bones as all my energy is diverted to getting the homeschooling up and running.  I'm a bit exhausted just thinking about it.  Received an e-mail from Firstborn's Chemistry teacher who mentioned classwork would start up soon.  I think I heard an expletive cross through my mind when I saw it.  So here we go...

5.  Am I the only one who sees pinterest projects come across my screen and think "that is a whole heck of a lot of work...who has time for that".  For example, a cute back to school cardboard picture frame you can make after you spend what looks like 30 minutes cutting it out to look like a school bus, then painting it yellow, then painting their name, then adding chalkboard paint so you can write their grade on it (I'm assuming because it looks cute and not because you're planning on reusing it next year because cardboard projects do not survive 365 days in our casa...that's if I remember where I put it...a big IF).  Add lots of tape and shazam!  You have them hold it up so you can take their picture.

Right.  I'll get right on that.  Honestly I'm lucky I get a picture uploaded to Facebook.  #notasocialmediaexpert

6.  Had to call the pediatrician today and ask for a favor so our kindergartner wouldn't miss his first day of school.  I hate when stuff slips through the cracks like that on my watch.  I swear the amount of forms our doctor has to fill out for the kids annual check-ups is mind blowing.  Seriously, I come in with a file folder full of stuff I pre-filled out for camps, scouts, sports, you name it someone has a form that needs signing.  I thought I had gotten his check-up back in March because that was when kindergarten pre-registration is for our school.  But no, as I was looking at my calendar today I realized I did not because it was a few weeks too early and the insurance would not have paid for it.  At the summer registration (yes, I went through 2 registration processes for the same school) I asked the nurse if she had everything for him and she thought she did but was going to check her files and call if she was missing anything.  I didn't get a call but last week I had this nagging feeling that I was missing something so I checked my calendar and called the doctor and sure enough...
This is before he had to get 3 shots...

7.  The two younger ones headed off to school this week...

All smiles for first day of school

The house has seemed eerily quite with them gone.  There are still 4 people in the house all day but anytime more than one person is gone you can really tell the difference.  Except for a slight bus mishap on the return home yesterday (he fell asleep and missed his stop) everything went well.  My older ones warned Princess that 2nd grade is when school becomes "hard" I'm guessing everything before that is just "fun"?  Hard to say, but it is funny what kids remember.  The rest of the gang is still homeschooling and school officially began last week.

8.  Bonus Take!!  Because I just ran across this video on Facebook (from 2012) and thought it was excellent, especially for those of us parents in the trenches with struggling readers and/or writers.  I wish I could have watched this years ago when my older ones were slogging through it.  So I thought I would link this up for anyone else who'd like to watch it.  I know it's a bit lengthy but I think it really does a good job summarizing many of the different issues kids can get tripped up on when learning to read and some of the ways to help them get through it.  Lots of good suggestions.

Soaring not Stumbling, Teaching Struggling Readers and Spellers:

That's it for now.  It actually took me three weeks to put together one Quick Take, but I'm blaming the photo uploading and life in general.  Probably why I don't blog for a living!  Of course much thanks to Kelly @ This Ain't the Lyceum for hosting, head over and click away...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Back to Blogging!!

1. has been too many months since I last posted, almost a year has passed.  What can I say?  It's been a season of silence and prayer.  We attended too many funerals, one of which was a teenage friend of my older kids.  I lost a friend when I was their age, so this had me reliving the experience as a parent.  In some ways I think it was more difficult walking with them through the grief process than it was going through it myself so many years ago.

Although my blog was silent I was still reading and keeping up with many of yours (thank you Bloglovin).

2.  It is hot outside!!  Hot, hot, and more hot...

We are currently in an "excessive heat warning".  I see people taking their kids to the area parks and zoo and I think are you crazy??!!  I, obviously, appreciate air conditioning a bit too much.  The high humidity outside just zaps my energy so we've been doing indoor projects with a late day trip to the pool thrown in.  Last week we had storms roll through that took out lots of branches and uprooted trees in the neighborhood.  When I took the kids out the next day they commented "why did all the neighbors decide to trim their trees at the same time"?  We were blessed that our power was not out all night, some places in town lost it for days.

3.  Our air conditioner on the van went out again last week.  It went out a couple weeks ago and they recharged it and added a dye so they could find the leak.  Did I mention how hot it is?

Great timing.  We also found out it is a $2,000 fix if we want to keep the rear air vents going in the back of the van.  In comparison, we're looking at $200 for a cheaper fix but we'll lose the back air vents.  Really thinking the rear vents are not worth the additional $1,800 (granted, I don't ride in the back of the van that often).  The kids may have a different opinion but they're not the ones paying for it.  When I was young enough to ride in the back of a van the "rear air vents" were called "windows".   Doug recalls their family always drove with the windows down and rarely ran the AC.  In fact, when we were dating he preferred riding with the windows down.  Nostalgic!  He mentioned to me yesterday that he is almost getting used to not having AC again...which is my signal to get it fixed ASAP before he relapses into the 90's.

4.  That sinking feeling you get when the kids ask if you purchased a "Big Hero 6" blu-ray.  Um, no, why do you ask?  Then they bring you a video rented from the video store two or three weeks ago that was not returned because it was mistakenly placed in our personal video collection.  I know we've been to that store at least once or twice since then and they never mentioned the outstanding video!  Sigh... (Update, it only cost me $2, hallelujah)!

Speaking of overdue fees, our library card is up for renewal and I'm considering asking if we can just get a free year because we probably paid more in overdue fees/lost item replacements last year than the actual cost of the card.  I'm sure they just love us.  When you have 5 kids and you're checking out the number of items we do being one day late costs us $2.00 (at the rate of 10 cents per item per day).  No excuses since I can do the renewals on-line.

5.  I just started reading this book...

I'm still in the first week of it, but so far I like it.  A study on Divine Mercy according to the teachings of Doctor of the Church, St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower).  Great reading material for this Jubilee Year of Mercy.  I read Michael E. Gaitley's previous book, 33 Days to Morning Glory about this time last year.
Throwback pic from last Fall,
note pumpkin flavored coffee with whipping cream
Really great stuff.  The hardest part for me is only reading one page a day, I'm the type of reader who wants to devour the whole book at once and then go back over it and reflect piece by piece.  Only reading and digesting a little at a time kills me.

6.  My youngest did some artwork in his Sunday school class this weekend...

Me:  Who did you draw
Youngest:  That's you and that's me
Me:  ???
Youngest:  I forgive you for last week when you dropped me off at class and told me you'd be right back but you didn't come back!
Me:  I did come back to get you.
Youngest:  You weren't very fast...

I'm glad he's paying attention in class but I think a 5 year old's version of time might be a bit different than mine.  I did promise that I would not use the words "right back" anymore and let him know I would pick him up after class instead.  At least I'm forgiven!

7.  A picture from the pool...

Thanks to the awesome Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum for hosting the 7 Quick Takes, click over to read blogs of people who post more than once a year!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Requiescat in Pace Mary Elizabeth

The blog has been quiet lately, with the end of summer and the new school year moving into full swing.  The two youngest are both enrolled in the local school districts and to attempt to keep my sanity I put our homeschool on the same calendar.  Which means we actually started school in mid-August!  (heavy on the sarcasm, I would have liked to wait a few more weeks).  I've had plenty of blog posts bouncing around in my head but before I get to any of those I wanted to get this one out there...

My paternal Grandmother, who just celebrated her 88th birthday on Easter Sunday and her 70th wedding anniversary this past December, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday night, August 23rd at 11:00 pm.  Our family attended her funeral on Thursday of that same week.  Since then my extended family has been scrambling a bit because my Grandma was the primary caregiver for my Grandpa.  I wanted to get this post out in memory of her, because she was such a big part of my life.  I'm sure her spirit is shining down on the family left to miss her here.
Grandma & Grandpa's 70th wedding anniversary!
My Dad (left) and Uncle

I think the thing that surprised me most about the funeral was seeing all the pictures of Grandma as a young lady.  My Grandma loved to collect pictures, she kept them all in boxes and managed to keep them in perfect condition.  She could pull out a picture from 1975 and it looked like she had just snapped it yesterday.  I am grateful that during the last few months she had started to go thru her picture collection and pull ones out for me and my sister.  She already had pictures in envelopes with our names on them.

The young couple!!
Grandma was born right before the Great Depression, the youngest of eight children.  She was a city girl who fell in love with a "country boy" and moved out to the middle of nowhere to raise a family with him.  Grandma went out to eat with me for my birthday this past year and I asked her what was one of the best things about moving out to the country.  She replied "Mom Leila's fresh cream butter".

In reflecting on her life I've thought a lot about how she spent it.  She never traveled very far, never went to see the ocean.  I don't recall her doing bake sales or serving on a school board.  She might have done volunteer work when my dad and uncle were still young, but I don't know.  Grandma didn't work a job that earned a paycheck.  What she did was totally invest in the lives of those around her, in particular her family.  I spent a lot of time with her as a young girl, she would always take me with her shopping or to the laundromat (before she had a washer and dryer installed at her house).  She always kept my favorite snacks in her fridge.  I never recall a time of her saying no to my request to spend the night at her house, she always said yes.  Grandma had a magical way of having the post office deliver your birthday card on your actual birthday, every time.  I always wondered how she pulled that off.  She sent us money every year in our anniversary cards and told us to use it to go out for a date to celebrate (a tradition I'm going to have to remember when my own kids get married)...

Grandma (right) and her sister

Grandma and her twin boys

Grandma, Grandpa, my Dad and Uncle

My Dad is an identical twin, and I can't identify him in the above pictures, but my Grandma could.  She could always tell them apart in pictures (and argued that they got them switched around in their senior yearbook in high school)!  Grandma didn't own a computer or a smartphone but I know she read my blog (I gave her a printed version for Christmas a few years back).  She was such a beautiful soul, inside and out,  I am so privileged that she loved me so much and I have the honor of calling her my Grandma.

One of grandma's favorites, she'd say
"those are my girls"

"We become what we love, and who we love shapes what we become"
                                                  ~~ St. Clare of Assissi

Friday, July 24, 2015

7 Quick Tips for St. Flags

Our family used our free reading tickets this past week and headed over to Six Flags St. Louis.  This was one of our better visits and my husband and I kept saying stuff like "we'll have to remember this for next year."  So I'm doing a post about it that I can look back on it next summer when we plan our annual Six Flags outing.  It's becoming a 7 Quick Takes posts so all the readers can benefit.  Sorry, no pictures because I decided I'd rather live in the moment than document everything.  Plus iphones and water don't mix.

1.  Tickets!!  We had three free reading tickets, one for me and we had two children in K thru 6th grade who qualified.  Homeschoolers can sign up on their Read to Succeed website in October, the reading has to be done in January and February.  Don't forget to log onto their site and verify their 6 hours of reading (although they send you multiple e-mail reminders).  I usually verify the reading when I sign them up so I don't forget.  Princess earned her ticket in school and I earned mine as a homeschool teacher with Game Boy.  Six Flags e-mails you the tickets to print out.  They expire the beginning of August, so you have to plan on using them in June and July.  Also, they are not valid on Saturdays.

We decided to leave Toddler Boy with Grandma this visit so we had to purchase three General Admission tickets for Doug and the two older boys.  There are ticket discounts on coke cans and in the McDonald's app.  To use these discounts on-line they charge you a $9 processing fee.  We found our best deal thru our local Farm Bureau.  Members can purchase tickets at their office for $43 (as opposed to $62 at the gate).  Bonus, pick the tickets up from the Bureau office and you can skip the ticket line at Six Flags and go straight to the turnstiles.

Thrill passes cost the same as a General Admission ticket (Farm Bureau sells season tickets for $60).  If you're going to go to Six Flags more than once they are definitely worth the money.  It might be a consideration for next year or when we have enough older children who would enjoy going more than once a year.  Six Flags also has meal passes membership holders can purchase, which would be worth it if you plan on going to the park at least three or four times.

2.  Parking costs $20 and there's no way around that (unless you have one of their gold memberships which gives you free parking).  Drive to the far right lane when entering because this lane splits into three lanes at the ticket booth (which means it goes much, much faster).  Not really worth it to pay extra for premier parking, if you get there when they open the general parking is just as good.  Park entrance is to the right so the farther right you park the better.  Also, the parking lot exit is to the right side in the back.

3.  Weather.  This was a big factor.  It has either been raining or scorching hot this summer, very little in-between.  Scorching hot with super high humidity is NOT the day you want to go to Six Flags.  We did that one year, never again, not worth it.  The blacktop in the park seems to radiate the heat, you are melting while standing in line.  The water park was not even refreshing, water does not evaporate off your skin in high humidity, which is what cools you down.  This year we scored a day with high humidity but temps were in the low 80s, which worked our really well.  They heat the wave pool and lazy river so even with cooler temps the water was nice.  Princess and I spent most of our time there while the rest of the family did the water slides.  She loves wave pools.  Game Boy's favorite slide is the Bazooka (the one that drops you in a tube).  The rest of the gang thought the Tornado was the best.

4.  We always do the water park first so the lines are short for the water slides.  We managed to fit everything in a medium size locker for $16 but next year I might spring the extra $4 for the larger one.  Then we change and go to the car to eat lunch, reapply sunscreen and head back into the park for rides.

5.  This year we sent the older boys off by themselves to ride the roller coasters while we took the younger ones to the more tame rides.  We met back at the entrance fountain in two hours (remember to send them with a watch).  If you plan the trip mid-week the lines aren't terribly long but next year we might want to plan more than two hours.  I have a friend who goes to Six Flags on July 4th every year and she swears the park is not crowded that day.  Be careful because the free reading tickets are not valid on Saturdays, and this year July 4th fell on a Saturday.

6.  What's up with changing all the rides?  I realize this keeps things fresh and such but it can get downright confusing.  The Evil Knievel coaster is now called "American Thunder" and the good old Time Tunnel was changed to the Scooby Doo ride (which added the laser guns).  Now it has been reinvented to "Justice League, Battle for Metropolis".  Sadly, I believe they changed that one from the beloved boat ride thru the air conditioned dark light tunnel.  Now there is no water and you ride in a car on a track shooting targets with lasers.  I miss the old Time Tunnel, it was kind of like going through a haunted house in a boat.  I have fond memories of that one.  We didn't get to ride the new Justice League one this year because it was down for repairs.  Thankfully we had only stood in line for 10 minutes before it broke, I feel for the families who were in line for an hour or more before the shut down.  Or, as Doug said, what about the ones actually on the ride when it went down?  Six Flags got rid of our beloved bumper cars too, now replaced by a new roller coaster The Boomerang.  For future reference, the first curve on the Mine Train is a hard one, make sure to hold onto little ones or they might get thrown out!  Princess is not a huge fan of fast roller coasters.  She didn't even care for the Log Flume, which is one of the original rides the park debuted when it opened in 1971.  (Yes, we did ride the info train this year).

7.  All in all, a very fun trip.  The cost breakdown:

3 general admission tickets...$129.00
food for the cooler...$18
McD's on trip home...$18
2 drinks we bought in park...$7
waterpark locker...$16
1 lb. chocolate fudge purchased in park...$3.50
6 suckers for kids from park...$5

For a grand total of $216.50, for a family of 6 it comes out to about $36 per person and includes the waterpark and two meals.  Not bad

As always, thanks to Kelly for over to This Ain't the Lyceum for more Quick Takes!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

To Love Jesus Like Mary

I was watching this week's The Journey Home program and Father Leo Patalinghug from Grace Before Meals was the guest.  I have never heard of him, but a priest who is a foodie and has a cooking show is something I definitely want to check out.  During the show Father Leo had a quote that really made me think.  He said "we should love Mary like Jesus" (I've heard that before).  But then he added "and we should love Jesus as much as His mother loves Him."

Hmmm, as a mom of mostly boys this quote was interesting.  What does it look like to love Jesus like Mary?  I grew up with one sister and no brothers so I wasn't the most qualified candidate to raise a family of boys.  Seriously, some days I'm not sure what God was thinking.  Over the years I've grown quite accustomed to all sorts of crisis situations (recently they had to do a search and rescue when one of the boys accidentally lost a tree frog in the house).  Blood no longer makes me queasy either.  Splinter removal has become an art form, as have my cooking skills.  Now there is a special place in my mother heart for each one of my little chaos tornadoes.  When I was newly married an incident happened that made me appreciate that fierce love a mother has for her son.

My mother-in-law is no stranger to raising boys, she gave birth to four of them and I married her oldest.  I was her first daughter-in-law and our relationship was rough in the beginning because it was such new territory for both of us.  She had come over that morning to babysit for Firstborn because Doug and I were both working full time.  Doug worked in the city and I had borrowed his car the night before to go to a meeting and didn't check the gas gauge.  He apparently didn't check it either and ran out of gas on the interstate about half-way between our house and his office.  Doug was none too happy about being stranded on the interstate and after he called a co-worker to bring him some gas he called me at the house to let me know just how unhappy he was about the situation.  We had a pretty heated argument discussion over the phone.  I was upset because I hadn't purposely used up all the gas in his car.  He knew I had used his car the night before, wasn't it his responsibility to check the tank?  Newlywed life is just bliss, isn't it?  I can look back and smile about it now but at the time I was angry enough to hang up on him and figured he deserved to be stranded on the road with that attitude.  (Very mature of me).  When his mom asked what happened and I told her she was upset and wanted me to drive her to where he was right that second to help him out.  Uh, no.  I'm not even talking to my husband right now and there's no way in you know what that I'm going to go help him.  Besides, I told her he already had a co-worker on his way with gas and I wasn't even sure exactly where he was located.  That answer was not going to fly with my now really upset in-law who was demanding I tell her where he was and SHE would go by herself (which would then leave me stranded at home with the baby until she returned).  Moot point, because I couldn't tell her where he was anyway.

There's a few lessons to be learned from this incident:

1.  It is never a good idea for a parent to come into an argument between a husband and wife.  Because eventually the spouses will make up but the damage done to the in-law relationship will take more time to heal.

2.  A mother's love for her son knows no bounds.  It is a fierce and protective love, kind of like a mother grizzly bear.  You don't mess with a mother grizzly bear.  Ever.  Nothing good will come of it.

Doug's coworker came to his rescue and I made it to work a bit late that morning.  My husband and I made up that evening but it would be three months before my MIL would speak to me again.  I just couldn't understand why she was so mad at me.  As I gave birth to more sons and those sons grew older I started to get it.  My MIL was adding more daughter-in-laws too as Doug's brothers married.  I was beginning to understand her better as I looked at her actions in relation to her love for her children.  When my boys were little she would watch some of their antics and tell me it reminded her of Doug and his brothers.  She taught me how to cook some of his favorite meals (probably because she was afraid he would starve with my cooking skills).  We frequently exchange recipes now.  I became a better wife as I worked at seeing Doug the way his mom saw him.  She saw him in his entirety and knew him better than anyone else.  I loved him, but I only knew him as a teenager and adult.  She had known him before he was even born.

When we love Jesus like Mary, it doesn't mean love Him in a "motherly" way.  It means love Him with that kind of intensity, with that all encompassing passion that she has for her son.  She carried Him, gave birth to Him, nursed Him and watched Jesus grow from a toddler to a strong man.  She loved Him all the way to the cross and beyond.  She knows Him better than any other human person and she wants us to love Him just as much as she does.  As we draw closer to her she can teach us how to love Him better, just like my mother-in-law taught me.  Mary was my biggest hurdle coming into the Catholic Church.  As a Protestant, I figured I didn't need her.  I already had a relationship with Jesus, why bring Mary into it?  But that would be like me saying I already loved my husband Doug, why get to know his mom?  Isn't my marriage, my relationship with Doug enough?  But I didn't just marry my husband, I also entered into his family.  We're part of Jesus' family, and his mom is a big part of that.  As I grew in my relationship with my MIL it transformed my marriage, it helped me to love my husband and kids better.  Mary can do the same thing for my relationship with Jesus if I allow her to lead me.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

7 Quick Takes - Monopoly & Horses

Also linking up with Kelly for a 7 Quick Takes post.  Thanks to you guys for hosting!!

1.  I had a whole bunch of random stuff that has been going on around here so I thought I'd do a Quick Takes post and combine it with a What I Wore Sunday link-up.  So here's the Sunday pictures...

From the porch...

Courtesy of my in-laws' back porch swing.  I had on the same black skirt I wore in my last WIWS post, the shirt is a new one I scored on sale from Kohl's.  It's summertime in the Midwest (and I knew I was going to be visiting the country) so I braided my hair and had it twisted up.  Doug was giving me grief that I was wearing my "Catholic bling" (miraculous medal) with the silver necklace he gave me last year.  Medal is new, I picked it up when I visited the adoration chapel to do a holy hour on Friday.

2.  I cantored my last time at 8:00am service this week.  We will move to our new Mass schedule next week, the new early Mass time is 7:30am (which I happen to be scheduled for next week).  Hopefully I won't wait until the last minute to practice like I did this week...
Saturday around 11:00pm
Rockin my daughter's pink headphones, listening to music and not wanting to disturb the little kids who were already asleep.  I don't normally wait that long, but it's been a weird week.  I was super excited that I got to sing Amazing Grace, my all time favorite hymn.  I figured it was only a matter of time before it came up and today was the day!

3.  More horse pictures...

Princess riding bareback

They get REALLY close!

Firstborn & Savanna

Loving Princess' borrowed blue boots

He's not particularly fond of horses
so points for riding

Dad & Toddler Boy

We spent Sunday at Doug's folk's house and Princess was going into horse withdrawal so Grandma agreed to take her out to the pasture.  No fear with her, she absolutely adores the horses.  The older two boys commented that "the horses seem smaller since last winter".  No, the horses aren't smaller, you've grown bigger!

4.  We attended our Protestant church Saturday night and had a potluck afterwards to welcome our new pastor and his family.  Complete with a bounce house, it's always nice to have something new to bribe the kids with to get them to be good through service.  Added bonus, they were so worn out that bedtime was easy that night.  The adult conversation was great too, it's good to be able to sit and talk with old friends while your kids run around with other kids and burn off energy.  Usually it's so busy after church that it's hard to say more than hi and bye (that's if you even happen to attend the same service, we have four to choose from).  My Catholic parish is also getting a new priest this coming month.  What are the odds that both churches I attend are getting new pastors within the same month??

5.  What is better to do on a rainy Friday morning?  Play monopoly of course...
Rolling dice

Counting dice

And moving!

The little kids talked me into a game, which took quite awhile when allowing the youngest to count and move.  BUT, great for math skills, the teacher mom in me is excited!  I was the banker to help keep things moving along, Princess quit and gave her estate to Soccer Boy, I merged my estate with Toddler Boy but in the end Game Boy came out on top.

6.  Referencing Miraculous Medal from take #1, I was glad I was wearing it this Sunday while letting Firstborn drive down to his grandparents house.  It's took us about an hour and he had to go through a construction zone AND pass a tractor combine on the way and we all survived the ordeal.  He's not a terrible driver by any stretch, but Doug and my nerves are about shot.  And to think we have to do this four more times.  We've logged in about 8 hours with Firstborn, only 42 more to go!  I think I need to stock some heavier liquor in la casa, drink recipes welcome...

7.  My girlfriend gave birth to her twins last month!!  They are so sweet!  I've been spending some time at her house helping out and holding babies...
Princess holding baby girl
Me with baby boy

My friend is awesome and taking things in stride.  She also has three other children, the oldest being 8 years old.  So if you could say a quick prayer for her and her husband and family I'm sure they'd appreciate it.

That's it for me, but head over to visit Kelly @ This Ain't the Lyceum for more 7 Quick Takes and check out all the other beautiful ladies at Fine Linen and Purple for more WIWS posts.