The Cutest Little Gamer

“Ervin, if you do that, you’ll regenerate. That means come back.”

Essie is such a gamer, like her brothers. She comes by it naturally, although I’m more like Ivy and will only play if I’m in the exact right mood (I loved to play the fighting games with my guy friends because I was an awesome button masher and they hated it).

She’s good, though, and she’ll play Minecraft or the Xbox for a long time if we let her. And she loves to play games on her tablet.

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Random Thoughts on a Sunday

~~~Is it summer yet? Because I’m already sick of all the cold weather laundry and it’s barely even begun to be cold.

~~~These pictures of baby Essie with a Mohawk make me say things like “wook at the boodee widdle boonieboodieawwwwww”

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~~~And then looking at 6 year old Essie right after makes me realize that she’s lost all of her physical baby-ness and wahhhhh.

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~~~I’m in Christmas denial. Even though I have a lot of presents bought/ordered already, I have a mental block. I added an “Indie Christmas” playlist on Google Play, but I haven’t even been able to open it yet.

~~~While I don’t mind cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I wish my kids would eat more than just the most basic, everyday items on the menu (like plain turkey and biscuits).

~~~Related: my fourth grader still wants to bring his “sack” lunch when they have their “Thanksgiving feast” at school. I’m pretty sure the girls would love to be able to eat that school offering.

~~~I’m ridiculously excited about only getting the kids to pack two lunches for school this week.

~~~My kids are ridiculously excited to see The Good Dinosaur in the theater this week. They’ve only been seeing previews for nine months.

~~~I have very mixed feelings about this school year being nearly half over already and Ervin being in full day kindergarten next year. It will be so nice to actually have time to do things during the day (vs two and a half hours between drop-off and pick-up) but I really like hanging out with him in the mornings, and he’s really really good when I take him on errands and to appointments. And kindergarten is the basically the beginning of the end.

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Excuse me, I have something in my eye.

What are your random Sunday thoughts?

Letting Go.

Patience has never been a strength of mine. Since I was little, I’ve tried to find out what my presents were before the holidays happened. I get tired of waiting on people when I’m ready to go somewhere or be done with something. My least favorite time of year is the holiday season; I love the joy and the giving spirit, but the lack of control that I have and the need I feel to please everyone stresses me out. The logistics and the schedule complicate things, and I hate things that are complicated. I want easy. I want stress-free. I want to let go of the things that cause anxiety on my part (and in my heart). I’m the mother of four school-aged children, so things are naturally complicated, but I’ve learned to let go of certain “perfections.”

  • The wardrobe. I don’t fight about it anymore. My youngest went to his preschool open house a couple of weeks ago, and then he had a week at home before preschool actually started. For four of those seven days, he wore the shirt he had on when he met his teacher. He didn’t take it off at all. Now that he’s going to school every day, I do insist that he wears clean clothes, but I don’t fight with him when he demands that he wear his socks upside down. His big sister wore mismatched Christmas socks with a skirt to her second day of kindergarten last year, and every striped article of clothing she owned to a birthday party. I see it as an outward show of independence that isn’t hurting me. In fact, without those battles that I’ve chosen not to fight, getting ready to leave the house is much, much more pleasant (and honestly, entertaining).Essie socks
  • The Betty Homemaker Persona. I do not get paid to feed my family. On the contrary, it’s really quite expensive to feed the six of us. If I did, I’d be happy to make every member of the household a meal to satisfy their daily whims. Since I don’t, I make one main meal and they eat it or they don’t. They get a choice of sides most of the time, and they have to choose one. I also don’t make everything from scratch. I try my best to decorate cupcakes so they make the birthday child happy, but I probably made them out of a box. My best is good enough for me and my family, even if it’s not good enough for Pinterest.minecraft cupcakes
  • The perfect family photo. I take a ridiculous number of pictures of all of my kids together. There are four of them, remember, two of whom have very strong personalities and opinions. The “job” I’ve given myself as a blogger-mom, is to create memories and capture them. So what if I try to take a picture of four kids and only two are smiling? That’s a memory. That’s real life. They’re cute whether they’re happy about getting their picture taken or not, so if I have to take a candid shot to get all four of them together or if I have to settle for two happy faces and two grumpy ones, so be it. At least I have a picture to look at later.jammies

What standards of perfection have you let go of?

Back At It.

I’m sitting in a quiet office while my big three get used to their new classes on the first day of school and Ervin sleeps or plays with his grandpa. He stayed at their house last night so he wouldn’t have to take the big kids to school and then come back home with me. He’s pretty excited about preschool, but it doesn’t start for a week and a half, and I don’t think that would’ve been a popular turn of events.

I got the big kids ready this morning, playing requested Mika and serving frozen gluten free cinnamon waffles and bacon and requesting pictures (of course).

first day of school

We piled in the car. Everyone was excited and only Henry admitted to being nervous about fourth grade. I told them that I would be getting hugs and kisses in the van before I walked them in, in case anybody wanted to blow me off inside the gym where they wait with their classes.

I gave Henry a tight squeeze and kiss on the cheek and told him that he was going to have a great year in fourth grade.

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I hugged Ivy next, and had to eventually peel her off of me.

first day of school Ivy text

Essie giggled as a I gave her little first grade cheek kisses over and over and over.

first day of school Essie text

We walked into the building, holding hands in a line. As I suspected, Henry saw his best friends up at the top of the bleachers and walked off without looking back.

Ivy walked to the first graders with me and hung back, holding my hand, until she also saw her best friends and went to them.

Essie stood by me, holding tight, for a few minutes, smiling at her friends but not budging, until I asked her if she’d sit by the new girl that was alone behind everyone else. A couple of other girls had the same idea, and they all piled in the row.

It was me that lagged behind, catching Essie’s attention to say goodbye (again) before walking out of the gym and heading home.

It’s going to be a good year.

Through the Lens Thursday: Serene and Car

I totally missed last week. Not only we were deep in the trenches of bible school every day, but I’m still kind of getting used to being on summer break again (yes, even after two weeks).

There is absolutely nothing serene about four kids being home every day, but even more so, when apparently locusts that have been hiding underground for 17 years come out and have SO MUCH TO SAY. It’s deafening, and I’m not exaggerating. Swarms of them screeching together in all of the trees in our front yard.

So, this picture looks serene but actually wasn’t quiet or peaceful to take on my front porch. AT ALL.

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Even as I type this, the kids are making up some dance to a song they made up and yelling at each other because they’re not doing it right. Or something. SERENE, MUCH?

Now for car. Speaking of summer break, this is what it looks like any time I need to go anywhere.

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Happy summer, y’all!

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Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is TIE.

Through the Lens Thursday: Pattern

I thought about taking a picture of something patterned this week, but then I thought…no, it would be kind of fun to make a pattern out of pictures.

We dropped the big two off at overnight church camp yesterday and headed to the playground.

Truck, plane, plane, truck, plane, plane.

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pattern 6pattern 5pattern 3

Have a great weekend!

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Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison of Writing, Wishing and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is SERENE.

Through the Lens Thursday: Music

This was the perfect prompt for our house right now. When Ivy decided to learn to play the mandolin, T. started playing along with her. Then they got out an old guitar my grandpa had given me years ago, fixed the strings, and started playing that. Then Essie wanted to play the big guitar, and we ended up ordering her a kid-sized guitar to play. So, they’ve all been learning together (although, T has been serenading me just about every night after the kids go to bed when he practices).

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music 1music 2music 4music 5

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Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison of Writing, Wishing and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is ROUND.

Through the Lens Thursday: Upside Down

This was a fun prompt. It was a beautiful day, and I told the kids I needed some upside down pictures.

 

I was under the tree branch looking up in this one:

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For this one, Ivy and I were both lying down in the grass, and I held my camera over my head, upside down, and took a picture.

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I sat in the grass and Ivy leaned over me for this one:

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And well….Essie was swinging upside down here:

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Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison of Writing, Wishingand I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is MUSIC.

Through the Lens Thursday: Yellow

There’s a lot of yellow in our yard, so I took my camera out to find it.

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Look mom, no training wheels!

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yellow 4

yellow 5

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Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison of Writing, Wishing and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is CAFFEINE.

Through the Lens Thursday: Table

Every year, during the week of Kansas’ birthday (today, January 29!), the kids’ school lets the kids bring guests to eat lunch with them. Erv and I went this year (yesterday), to sit with the girls during the first lunch and Henry during the second. These are some views from the cafeteria table.

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through-the-lens-thursday-250x250-button_thumb.jpg

Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison of Writing, Wishing and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is POLKA DOTS.