Monday, February 27, 2012

Top Scouts

Yesterday, Seth and his friends were promoted to the top level in Cub Scouts!  You are looking at four very proud 2nd year Webelos Scouts!
Moms, dads, sisters,
and brothers
celebrated with these boys at their Blue and Gold Banquet.  Here's the dads doing a little face-painting to mark their achievement.
Father and son!
We look forward to celebrating (with grandparents too!) next year when Seth gets his Arrow of Light and crosses over to Boy Scouts with Henry!
So proud of you, Seth!

SNOW DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You should have heard the collective cheer that rang out at our house when I told the kids that school had been cancelled on Friday. To top it off, school had been cancelled because we had a big snow storm the night before. The poor kids in our area have been very much "snow-deprived", so kids throughout the neighborhood all came out to enjoy what they've missed all winter. :)
The older boys made their snow headquarters in the backyard, while Dad helped the younger ones make their fort in the front.  A recycle bin made a good snow block maker!
The kids played outside all morning, and then came in for some soup and hot chocolate to warm them up.
All of the excitement of the day proved a little much for Evan by the late afternoon.  He was exhausted, and because of that, CRANKY.  He wound up on a time out in the laundry room at one point.  When I went to spring him after 5 minutes, this is what I saw...
He slept like that for about a half an hour!  Fortunately, when he woke up, he was in a MUCH better mood!  :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Evan's a lucky boy...

because he got to spend the morning with some of his best buddies, Connor and Michael.

I'm a lucky girl because I got to spend the morning catching up with my dear friend, Kathy, and because I got to hold her beautiful little 3 week old baby (and my God daughter) Emma!
By the way, Kathy crocheted that sweet little dress Emma is wearing. Isn't it darling?!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Listening to my body

One of the things that I was so excited about when I started my eat-clean diet last year was how it would increase my energy level, level out my moods, etc.  A week into my diet, I had already noticed changes, and I was thrilled with them.  I can remember texting my sister that my body was " la la!"  That's how good I felt.  It continued like that for a while.

This fall when school started for the kids, as well as all of their sports, I started feeling more tired.  I was more impatient, felt more blue, etc.  However, I attributed that to the fact that we were transitioning to a busier time, and don't most moms feel this way a lot?  It's a busy, stressful life full of many ups and downs.  I continued to feel this way through out the fall and winter, especially through the holidays.  But again, don't most people feel stressed, tired, cranky at that time of the year?  Plus, I was so cold ALWAYS, which might not be entirely shocking to those of you who know me well. It was so easy to blame the way I was feeling on my circumstances at the time.

I couldn't imagine that any of how I was feeling was due to my diet.  I thought I was taking care of myself the way I should, so I kind of ruled that out.

It turns out that I was pretty anemic.  A simple blood test at my yearly physical told me that.  Most of how I was feeling could partially be attributed to that.  I was perplexed.  Yes, I don't eat much red meat at all, but I do eat plenty of other iron-rich foods.  How could this be?

A talk with my doctor and a little internet research answered my question for me.  A few factors were at play here.  First of all, the long-distance running that I do increases my need for iron.  Second, many women are at risk of developing anemia due to their monthly cycle.  And third, apparently the tannins in the tea I was drinking with EVERY meal (because I love it!) were blocking my body's absorption of the iron that I needed.

All of that added up to a tired, impatient, discouraged, cold Sarah who thought that she was taking care of her body the way that she should.

In the end, this situation is such an easy fix.  I'm taking an iron supplement during a time of the day at night when I don't drink tea or have calcium.  I am looking forward to feeling stronger, more energetic, more patient and happier.  We'll see if I wind up feeling warmer too. ;)

Here's what I learned from this...In order to do the best job that I can do as a wife and as a mom, I have a responsibility to take care of my body.  I need to listen to my body more, trust/believe what it is telling me and not just grin and bear it or write it off to the rigors of this job I am blessed with.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Story and a Snuggle

What a cozy way to end the night, snuggling and sharing a story with some of my favorite kids...and dog.  Moxie!!! What are you doing on the couch?!!!
We used to have a hard and fast rule that Moxie was not allowed on the couch.  However, now she knows that she is allowed up when we read stories at night, and she takes full advantage of it.  :)

Happy birthday, Great Grandma!!

On Sunday we gathered at the lake to celebrate our ever-lovin' Great Grandma's 92nd birthday.  Doesn't she make 92 look good?!  She is AMAZING...sweet, kind, fun-loving, HILARIOUS, encouraging, thrifty, loyal, silly, spunky, teasing, all about family, generous, ever-present and, she is all of that, and sooooo much more.  We LOVE this woman!
We gathered at the lake house that she and Great Grandpa bought over 50 years ago, the lake house that continues to bring family together and keep them close.  From the solarium, she watched some of us playing on the ice together, just as she watches us swim in the summer.  She gets a front row seat for watching our antics.  ;)

Here's some of the great grandkids!

We walked through the channel.  It was beautiful!

Moxie was one happy dog as she is now trustworthy enough to stay close when she is off her leash, thanks to her training collar.  She was having the time of her life, bounding all over the place, but always coming when she was called.  It did my heart good to see her loving life as a dog should.  :)

The following picture of her cracks me up.  It reminds me of how when she was told to come, she would run so fast that she wouldn't be able to stop when she got to us.  She would try so hard to stop on the ice, but it just wouldn't happen.  She would slide right on by, perplexed at why she couldn't stop.  Wish I had it on film.  It still makes me giggle to think of it!

She's a happy...

happy dog who is enjoying her freedom because she knows her boundaries.  YAY, MOXIE!

After our outdoor fun, and a yummy dinner, some of the kids played "Happy Birthday" to  Great Grandma on their instruments.  Nadia played the flute...
and Anabel and Henry played their trumpets.  (Henry had a little trouble with one of his valves sticking, but still did a great job!)

After that, these two played a few more songs that they've learned.
It was a great way to ring in "92"!  Happy birthday, Great Grandma!

Friday Night Fun

On Friday night, Caroline went to a friend's house for a sleep over birthday party.  That meant that we only had three kids for the night, and we couldn't have that.  So Henry invited 2 friends, and Seth invited one friend for a sleep over.  Poor Evan tried to make his case that he was old enough to invite a friend too.  However, as my friend Kathy pointed out, having a sleep over for 5 year olds would be considered torture by some.  So we opted out of that.

Thankfully, the older boys included Evan in whatever they did, so he had the time of his life!  They played a lot of hide and seek in the dark outside.  Then that turned into wrestling, our three boys teamed up against their friends.  Poor Henry practically had to handle them all when Seth went in to use the washroom!
Evan tried to help, but Jack held him off while Alex and Nick double teamed Henry.
Henry tackled Nick, but then Alex tackled Henry.  Unfortunately, Evan went down too.
When Seth came back, he came close to bringing it to be an even match.

Sadly, my boys lost when their opponents captured the prize, which was Henry's shoe.

It was a victory celebrated with a chest bump!
Better luck next time, boys!

We miss her.

It is very hard to believe that it has already been a year since our Aunt Shirley passed away.  At every family gathering this year, her presence has been sorely missed.
On Saturday, my sweet daughter accompanied me to Aunt Shirley's grave.  We laid a pot of pansies there because they were her favorite flower.
We continue to be thankful for many happy memories that we have of her, and grateful for the blessing of her life.
But we miss her. :(

Open House and Progress Reports

Missed me?  I blinked, and it's been a week since I've posted last.  All is good here, just busy, tired, catching up on my to-do list and sleep.   When the kids went to bed this week, so did I.  So that left not a lot of time for blogging.  ;)

Last Thursday we went to the elementary school open house, where Seth and Caroline took us on a tour of their classrooms and show us some of their classwork.  They were so proud, and so obviously love their classrooms and teachers. 

Caroline and her teacher, Mrs. Hill

Seth and his teacher, Mrs. Bateman
Caroline and Seth received their progress reports, and they are both doing very well. 

Henry received his progress report too.  6th grade is the first year that students get letter grades, and so far Henry has maintained straight A's.  He and his younger siblings are hard workers.  I could not be more proud of them!  (Ok, I might be more proud if, say, they would do a better job of cleaning their rooms, or something like that.  But I digress.)

Good job, kids!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An important day

Seventeen years ago today, Dave and I had our first date.

Fifteen years ago today, Dave proposed to me in my 3rd and 4th grade classroom during our Valentine's day party.

Today, we've been married about fourteen and a half years, and have been richly blessed in our life together.  Life is good.  :)

Among those blessings are four children and one puppy that we spoiled with extra love in the form of...

...a special Valentine's day breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs!

...special candy treats!

...and a pork tenderloin dinner topped off with a red velvet cake that Evan helped me to make!
The kids were also spoiled by their grandparents and great grandma with a big cookie treat and some money to spend at their book fair.  Caroline was so excited to finally get her own copy of The Tale of Despereaux.
The kids also received all kinds of valentines from their classmates at their school parties.
Lest you think that I am excluding our oldest in this post, I'm not.  :)  He just had a very busy early to school, jazz band after school, a play date, and a boy scout meeting.  We love you, Henry!

Happy Valentine's Day, family and friends!

Monday, February 13, 2012

We may need a press agent.

Henry was in our local paper in a picture that was taken at his band concert.  He was pretty excited!
With all of the publicity our family has gotten over the past few months (ditto house, Seth's pinewood derby car), Dave was wondering...

What should we do to get in the paper next month?  ;)

My Funny Valentine

Today my funny five year old and I went to his Valentine's Day party at his school.

The kids had yummy treats of frosted sugar cookies, Rice Crispie treats and juice.  He's got to live it up with these sugary treats in school this year because next year at the elementary school they only allow healthy snacks.  :(
Evan with one of his best buddies, Connor...CHEESE!
Evan with his "girlfriends", Nora and Teaghan :)
Mmmm...beautiful necklace, Evan!
Happy Valentine's Day, Evan!  I love you!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What a day!

The kids are in bed, Dave's playing basketball, and I'm sitting at my computer reflecting on the day. I look around my house tonight, and I feel a sense of accomplishment. Now, if anyone else were to look around the house, they might not get the sense that a lot was done, especially because there are still some groceries on the counter, and some clutter hanging around. However, I know...
--that all of the laundry (7 loads) was washed, dryed, folded, hung and put away.
--we went grocery shopping for the week.
--piles of papers were sorted, some recycled, some filed.
 --two big social studies projects were done, homework was done.
--Valentines were made for three classes.
--most of the kitchen and family room is cleaned up.

But the biggest accomplishment of all was what Dave did, with some help from the kids...

They installed the floor in our project/playroom/break dancing room (I kid) downstairs!!!
Evan and Caroline helped by standing on the underlayment after it was rolled out.
Seth worked all afternoon with Dave...
The finished results are BEAUTIFUL! (Dave also finished the ceiling and most of the trim as well!!! YAY!)

When it was all finished, the crew wanted to celebrate by trying out their break-dancing moves on the new floor! Good work, Dave and crew!