Monday, June 4, 2018

In the name of love

February. The month of love. Valentine's Day and our anniversary. 9 years this past February. We celebrated by going out to a couple new breweries in Fort Wayne. 
You know who seems to get the most love around here? You know. Simon. Who do the girls want to see the minute they get off the bus? Simon. Who does Mommy take too many pictures of? Simon. Who does Felicity beg to see the minute he wakes up? Simon.
First smoothie.
Favorite toy-that-belongs-to-Elijah
Something's off here.
Yes, apparently he doesn't get proportions yet.
BFFs + Super Mom
Yup, that sums up the Simon life.

So in other February news...there was e-learning. WE LOVE e-learning. These are our bonus days. The girls are home and we don't have to make up school for bad weather. We just do the school work at home. It's a lovely, lovely thing.
On a relatively warm afternoon, we went up to Pokagon for a hike through the woods. These peaceful times as a family are going to be memories we'll cherish. When people say, "You're going to miss these days" they're right. We will miss the days we stopped everything to just enjoy our children. 
 Mommy and Aunt Bridget took Simon, Elijah, and Felicity to the botanical gardens in Fort Wayne. It's an annual trip that let's us pretend it's summer for a day with warm, fresh air and play that feels almost outdoors.
Tim took Vivian to a friend's birthday party at the local roller skating rink. She really enjoyed it and is getting pretty quick on those skates. Just has to figure out how to balance on them and she'll be ready to let go of the trainer!
AND speaking of love...we love Aunt Bridget! Her birthday is in February and we surprised her with a family birthday party! The Canadian family members even came!!
A quick, lovely post for a short, lovely month.

Monday, April 23, 2018

"And I'm back in the game!"

Points to anyone who can name the movie the title is from. A.Lot.Of.Points!

Everytime we ALMOST catch the blog up to real time...we don't. Life moves fast. Faster than we anticipated. There are just not enough moments in the day. This is the family sub-motto. The family motto is Just Keep Going

There's a story, often-repeated by Matthew Kelly of Dynamic Catholic, about the boy throwing starfishes back into the ocean that had been abandon on the shore by the tides. An old man tells the boy to give up because he can never save them all. The boys replies, "I can make a difference for this one" as he gives it a toss back into the sea.

The point is that the family motto Just Keep Going can sound negative. Like we're worn out and have to keep chugging along, dragging our tired bodies and beat up wills. And, in all honesty, it can feel that way sometimes. But Just Keep Going means that while we aren't doing life perfectly and there is always work to be done and a broken society around us and a tide we're often swimming against and another lovely child we're pouring all our love and energy into...we can make a difference. Hope is not lost. So Just Keep Going. Because every action counts and we can save the next moment even if the last one went very badly. Just Keep Going.

So here's January, better late than never.

Speaking of late...guess who didn't sleep in late on New Year's Day.
Good guess.

We spent the second day of the year in Canada visiting our newest baby cousin, Teresa Bridget. Still so tiny and sleepy and perfect. 
The girls LOVED holding her and playing with her older sister Catherine for the day. Simon even gave her a very nice kiss when it was time to leave!
Mommy still does preschool at home with Felicity and she made some fun crafts in January as we discussed snow, the letter S, and more... 
We try to do activities while Simon is taking his morning nap and the girls are at school...but sometimes he woke up early or the girls had a snow day. They just can't resist all the fun we have.
One of Mommy's New Year's Resolutions is to take a hike every month. We started strong with a fun, quick hike in the snow at Pokagon State Park. The sun kept us warm enough and the girls skipped ahead along the trail, never complaining a bit. Simon was comfy in the toddler backpack we bought off Craigslist years ago.
Snow was a big theme in January. So much snow. So many snow days. Mommy loves snow days. They're a bonus day with the girls home. We have e-learning which means the teachers email the lessons and we work at home so there are no make-up days at the end of the school year. Sarah wanted to home school; having a few days to teach and be with the girls really is the best. They all know how much Mommy looks forward to these days and shriek and dance when we get the email saying school is cancelled. We're going to learn, be together, have fun, play in the snow, drink hot's going to be a very good day.
Snow and Simon. Simon and Snow. Simon just doesn't like snow. He doesn't like to be cold. Or walk in the snow. Or wear mittens. By January he didn't cry EVERY time we went outdoors to play. But he wanted to be carried through the snow and don't expect him to get close to the sled.
Two tiny January miracles: Simon smiled while standing in the snow.
 AND we had a warm day!
Spring-like weather. We played and played outside. Perfection.
One January disaster: Long story...
January was so, so cold. The ice was thick on all the local lakes so we took the girls up to visit Uncle Michael at his home on Big Turkey Lake. We walked all the way across the lake on the ice to the island. He showed us the beaver dam. Mommy said, "There has to be a spot where the beavers get in and out!" And she nosily looked for it. The girls followed Sarah while Tim and Michael and Simon wandered away. Sarah found the beaver hole...and ice was thin enough around the hole that Felicity and Vivian fell right through. It wasn't deep, we were close to the edge of the island. Their boots hit the bottom and they were standing knee high in frigid water and crying as Mommy pulled them out. Michael grabbed Vivian and Sarah took Felicity; we ran them across the ice to Michael's home. It was an extreme moment of Mom Guilt. Tim brought Simon and Miriam back. Everyone lived, but those girls were cold. We stripped them out of their cold, soaking wet boots and clothes, wrapped them in towels, and mopped up the floor where we dragged in snow and water. It was a mess. Felicity had peed her pants the minute the cold water hit her skin. The boots was full of freezing pond water. And no spare clothes in the van. Hopefully Mommy learned her lesson!
All the craziness helps us appreciate the beauty of warm pajamas and a bedtime story.
Vivian had her week as the Star Student of 1st grade. She worked very hard on her poster. A seven year old Vivian. Still as spunky and fun as ever, but being Simon's big sister has made her more giving and better able to see the needs of others. If three year old Vivian felt impossible, seven year old Vivian feels encouraging.
We took the kids to their first circus! They were enchanted by the whole experience. The lights and sparkles and animals and magic and cotton candy and drama. As adults, the circus feels different...just as fun and inspiring...but also: Who insures this madness? Where is OSHA? How is someone older than us standing on a galloping horse's back and not falling off?
That same day, our family met our newest friend, the daughter of our good friends Becca and Eric. Miss Penelope. Leo's Sweet Pea. Each girl needed a turn holding her, of course!
That pretty well covers January. Except...the Simon update. How about a pile of Simon pictures and a few words to summarize: Elijah. Messes. Stirring. Maybe a cuddle.
Until next time, Just Keep Going, friends.