Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: highlights from 2014

In an effort to get myself back on the blog- one of my favorite creative outlets- and also a way for me to catch you up on all the blog post updates I may have missed..here's the top ten highlights of 2014 (for us... at least).




10.  Strong school year.  Both boys have seamlessly settled into 5th and 2nd grades, with new teachers, and a new zeal for learning.  Last year was difficult to get them motivated, and each morning was a fight, so this new-found enthusiasm has been a welcome change.



9.  Baseball, karate, soccer, and basketball, oh my.

We've done them all.  Manic May was rough (on me... they loved it!) with karate and baseball and soccer all at once.  But we managed to come through (relatively) unscathed. 

A started strong with pitching and hitting well, entered into a hitting slump, but pulled out of it in time to help his team clinch 2nd place in the league.



C graduated to a orange belt, and then we put the "hold" on karate to spare the budget and my sanity.  He asks about it often, so we'll be looking into some options coming soon.
 


C really developed quite a few soccer skills this year earning him top scorer at many (too many?) games.  He's FAST on his feet and understands strategy and skills needed to succeed in this game.  We made a deal with him- if he played soccer in the fall, he would try baseball in the spring.  He agreed. This will mean LOTS of baseball, but we enjoy the sport.



Dave is coaching A's basketball 4-6th grade team this year.  Due to some team members traveling during a tournament, C got pulled up to play.  Both boys enjoy the sport and are looking forward to building skills in the years to come.  (Side note:  my husband coaching is unbelievably endearing... and hot. Very hot.).



8.  We purchased a new set of wheels.  While I'm not one to brag about wheels... especially when we usually purchase them under the guise "don't laugh, it's paid for", it's worth noting that the engine is sound (ish), and it's super nice to have a van that doesn't start smoking when you stop at a red light and the heater is on.  Also, having a car with mileage UNDER 240,000 isn't too shabby either.




7.  Work.  Dave is still owner/operator of his own construction business.  His attention to detail, clean work space, and respect for others has really caught on because he is fielding calls for new work everyday!  His brother, Matt, works with him pretty much every day, and I think it's nice that he has someone to talk to other than (yelling at) talk radio.  :). I am still enjoying my sabbatical from the 9-5 grind to raise our family.  Christian Education continues to be a main focus of our family ministry, and my not-working a traditional job has allowed me to really get involved in things like helping with hot lunch ("hoagies and grinders, hoagies and grinders... navy beans, navy beans"....channeling Adam Sandler here!), coordinating a spring auction, running a road rally and serving our church as a social media coordinator.  I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to serve and have the kids see that in action.  I'm sure someday I'll go back to work full time, but I still need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  :)



6. Old friends/ new friends,  Dave and I continue to enjoy the friendships that we've made in years past, and continue to follow where God leads us.  This includes branching from our old small group and starting a new one- which was a transition- and while change is sometimes hard, it's refining and God has been faithful to us as we continue to grow in our faith in this new group.  I continue to serve in my local MOPS chapter at the church on the corner of our own street (where I serve with and met some fantastic friends), and I joined a new Bible study at a Lutheran church right down the road- where I met some really amazing women and played my first round of Bunco. (extrovert's delight!)



5.  Work on the Love Shack continues.  2014 marked the 9th year we've been at this location- and while we're no longer in the 780 square foot shack, the work is still unfinished.  BUT, this year, we completed the exterior portion of our home with a deck (hooray!!!) and the stone facing on the front. 
 
 



 
This was well-timed as our neighbors just put their home on the market.  We're so sad to see them leave our wooded-community, but excited at the prospect of a young family next door!  Fingers crossed!  (If you're in the market for a new home, and have a family, and are normal... and like dogs, won't you be my neighbor???)

Lest you think we're close to being complete... we aren't.  We still need to complete C's new room, main hallway, main bath and kitchen.  Then we have a driveway to do... then sprinkling... then the kid's college.  :). (BUT- as I type, the floor in C's room is being installed... so there's progress!)



4.  Dave and I both made it to 38.    A few bumps and bruises along the way, a few more wrinkles (me) and gray hairs (him), but we're here!  And we're still learning things about each other, and still enjoying each other.   We were able to steal some time away - just the two of us- for a few dates this year, and it was nice to reconnect. I love that guy more than anything, and I'm so glad he chose to dance the minefields with me.



3.  Chicago.  We had our first family "vacation" in.... well.... I'm not sure we've ever been on a family vacation (that wasn't a visit to someone's house)... so in ever.  You can see the blog post on it here.    We had a small radius in which to travel, and an even smaller budget, but the kids talk like we took them to the TajMahal.  When asked about the best part of the trip, the kids said:


A: "LEGOLAND and Soldier Field"
C: "Staying in a hotel"
Baby L: "My-cago and fishies."



Now, every time Baby L. sees a city with a few tall(ish) buildings, she calls it "My-cago.". It's cute.

(Also worth noting that Dave and I learned a LOT about each other during this trip.  Like my need to fly by the seat of my pants, and his need to plan out.every.last.detail.  Something for both of us to remember on our next family trip.)

2.  Birthdays. 

A made it to 11!    Double sticks.  This sweet, sport-loving boy is the quintessential first born.  Lots of planning, lots of anxiety, lots of cuddling, lots of love.  He is very responsible, and wants me to let you know he now knows how to make scrambled eggs and macaroni and cheese.



C. is now 7 (how did this happen??? It seems like time flies the fastest with him.)  He has two speeds:  fast and sleeping.    When he's in, he's ALL in.  His teacher informs me that he has become quite the leader in his classroom this year- which warms my heart (as long as he's leading in the right direction).  He has the biggest heart, and great empathy for the under-dog.  I love this about him.  As of TODAY, we have officially made it 2 years without calling 911 or an emergency department visit for his asthma.  We'll counting that as a "win" and saying prayers we're over the hump of scary-blue-faced midnight runs to the hospital.



Baby L is less "baby" and more "trying toddler.". This girl knows what she wants... and what she does NOT want.  She's head-strong (I have NO IDEA where she gets this), as well as sweet to the core.  She's a hard-core extrovert- knowing every name of every child in school and church, and loves to be around people.  Every Monday she goes through a little slump when the boys go back to school.  She loves all things Mickey Mouse, Curious George and Thomas the Tank Engine.  She has rounded my mom-boy corners and added a loving ruffle to our family.  Sometimes I'm still amazed that she even exists, and at the same time, I cannot image our life without her.  She loves her brothers, and is daddy's little girl. 



1.  God's grace and mercy abounds.  Always a highlight of every year.  Always number one.  Dave and I have been given many opportunities this year to grow in our faith, as well as share our faith with others.  We both sin and mess up daily...but God's grace pulls us through to show His love another day. And for that, we are so thankful.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Not-so-hot mess.

Hello.

This is me; a not-so-hot mess.

I'd say I'm a "hot" mess... but my bloodshot eyes, yoga pants, ponytail, and sweatshirt would suggest otherwise.

Hence, the "not-so."


I had a conversation the other day with someone who (occasionally) reads my blog.  She laid into the mommy-bloggers who act like they have it all together.

She lumped me into this category.


I laughed out loud.

And not one of those, "hehe...I fooled you" demure type giggles...


...a full-belly, tilt-the-head-back LAUGH.


Then, I asked, "Have you REALLY read my blog???"

So... in case you think I have it all together...

a..or in case you feel like you need to "keep up" this Christmas season,

I'm going to give you a current state of affairs in the PMD house... and you'll feel better about yourself.


Yes, I'm a giver.  Consider it my Christmas present to you:



-  First... THIS is my Christmas tree.  My UNlit, pre-lit Christmas tree.


 
- My undecorated unlit pre lit Christmas tree.
 
-  I had the brilliant idea to de-wire the unlit part, but the wires are all interconnected....
 
- So, there is a PILE of wires under the tree- still attached to the tree, but hidden by the tree skirt.
 
-  I purchased 2 boxes of lights to fill the top, but that wasn't enough... so there's a row or two of tree with no lights.  Good enough.
 
- My boys are singing in the school Christmas service.  I'm not sure when the service is- or when practice is.
 
-  There are two basketball games this week.  And a tournament on Fri/Sat.  I have no idea how many kids are playing- or the exact address of any of the games.
 
-  Our outdoor decorations are laying in a heap on our front porch.  Next to our backwards welcome mat.  So, if you leave our house..." Welcome to the outdoors."
 
-  I have no scotch tape.  I'm using packing tape to put things together currently.  It's a tad on the "overkill" side... but you know- secure presents are happy presents.  Right?
 
-  I'm wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt because I have a bunch of laundry to do.  And by bunch, I mean.... about 12 loads.  Not kidding.  The lack of make-up is just sheer laziness.  But I should be wearing it- not for vanity, but a s a public service.  (Moms, avert your children's eyes...)
 
-  My house is a mess. 
 
-  We did 3 advent devotions yesterday to make up for some of the days we missed.  It's like Advent Cliff's Notes.
 
- I decided to make my Godchildren's ornaments this year.  Only, I need to FINISH them and send them out.  BEFORE their families take their Christmas trees DOWN would be really beneficial.
 
-  I haven't sent our out-of-town family's presents out to them.  At this point, I think I need to write "Happy New Year" on the box.
 
- I'm feeding my boys Lunchables for the week.  Yes, I've given up on life.
 
-  Somewhere in the midst of it all, A. has a birthday.  And birthday presentations at school... and special person's visit, and and and...a party on Saturday.  Which will be fun- and they may have to overlook the spots on my floors.
 
-  I am missing some very important addresses for my Christmas cards.  Like, best friend addresses.  I KNOW I wrote them down once upon a time... but they're not in my address book.  How do you send a note like "Hey... we've been best friends for 20 years now... and I still can't find your address.". Yeah.
 
-  I found my nephew's birthday card under my Christmas card pile.  His birthday was earlier...LAST month.  Winning.
 
-  I still have no birthday gift for A.
 
-Planning for the auction event I'm coordinating should have been well-underway by now.  (at least, in my mind...).  And it's not.  And I'm having anxiety about this.
 
 
 
So... here you go.  A not-so-hot mommy blogger
 
Who certainly does NOT have it all together.
 
And I hope you feel better about yourself at this very moment.  :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Learnings and realizations

It's been a while. 


Hi friend, how have you been?

I didn't mean to be gone so darn long... there was nothing really keeping me away, but nothing bringing me back either. In the past few months, I've learned a lot of things.  I've realized a lot of things as well.  I thought I'd document them:

-  Three children in three different phases of life can be exhausting.

-  I still dislike laundry.  I'm not sure there is anything that will get me to like doing laundry. 

-  It takes me approximately the length of the movie, Pitch Perfect, to fold 12 loads of laundry.

-  If you tell me that you don't like the movie, Pitch Perfect, I will break up with you.

-  I can find friends.... trustworthy friends, in unlikely places.

-  I like to start projects, and not finish them.

-  I also like to shop for all the stuff to start the projects and never start them.

-  I am in ENFP.  There are not any "ideal careers" under the ENFP setting that appeal to me.  I am doomed.

-  I got Christmas cards for free. And I obtained them 10 days ago.  Something so trivial can still make me feel like I'm a step ahead of the curve.  This feeling doesn't happen often. I'm cherishing it.

- A seven year old can fit approximately 12 sticks of Extra Watermelon gum in his mouth and still talk.  He may drool, but he can still talk.

-  I love snow.  As long as I can enjoy it from inside my house.  And never ever go anywhere.

-  It is not wise to skip adrenal meds.

-  I do not sleep well when my bed is empty.

-  Being passionate about something usually includes a lot of work.  A lot.

-  Having other passionate people on your team will help.  Immensely.

-  I am horribly out of shape. I'm working on it.

-  Sometimes Simon and Garfunkel songs come on at the perfect time.

-  No matter how hard I try, I can never seem to get a birthday card out in the mail on time.

-  It is possible to completely forget about parent/teacher conferences.  Completely forget.

-  Teachers who are passionate about your child and his success will quickly become your favorite person... and the reason to say some thankful prayers.

-  My voice carries (a little too well) in a gymnasium.

-  The more I hear about things in the public (and charter) schools, the more I'm confident in our schooling choice.

- I can be super happy about cutting 4-5 inches off my hair.

-  I love coffee.

-  I still don't like beets.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ten on Tuesday (with pictures and regular commentary)

 
 
 
1.
At C's soccer game a few weeks ago.
She loves her daddy.
 
 
2.
Pumpkin carving last night.
Baby L. is a carving master at the tender age of two.
We love minions. 


3.
Showing off her art skills on her new table.
Thanks, IKEA for cheap furniture.
 
 
4.
We had to take a birthday present back
(it kept falling apart)
L picked her own present.
She chose a semi-truck, a Thomas bath toy and a Thomas toothbrush.
Apparently, big brothers are rubbing off on her.


 
5.
I was helping C with his science homework tonight,
and started reading other pages.
Every page mentions God.
Christian Ed: totally worth the tuition payment
No confusion here!
 
 
 
6.
I got the Halloween boxes the other day to see what C was going to be.
Baby L had fun while the boys were in school.
The bow adds a sweet touch,
don't you think?
 
 
 
7.
It's fall.
This is my road.
I love it.


8.
This is how the contractor measures his kids.
By the way, A. is officially 5'3"
Growth spurt.
 
 
 
9.
C's unofficial soccer picture.
He was a part of the undefeated lions.
He won the "super speedy fast" award.
It fits him.


 
10.
This is probably my favorite picture of C.
Perhaps of all time.
It was such a sweet moment.
We were waiting for our friends to arrive from Korea with their new son.
We have been praying for many years for that moment.
C turned to me and told me he was going to keep praying
until he met Andrew in person.
I love his little heart.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

38 RAK for the 38th bday





 
I turned the ripe old(ish) age of 38 on the 6th of this month.
 
Half way to 76.
 
(Yikes.)
 
 
Anyway, I wanted to do something different than the normal
 
"it's just another day"
 
routine.
 
I once read a blog about how a lady did one RAK for every year she was old.
 
I thought:  genius.
 
 
Then, I read this blog.
 
This is the younger sister of a student who was killed in my high school.
 
Instead of holing up every October, she does RAK's and encourages everyone to do the same.
 
So, I'm going to file this birthday under #AdamsActs.
 
So...38th birthday, here we go!
 
1.  The night before my birthday, I left a gallon of cider and donuts in my friend, Leah's, car. We had just recently had a conversation that about the weather and how it made her want to eat donuts and drink cider.
 
 
 
2- 13.  I made a pan of cinnamon pull-apart bread, put it in individual containers, and brought it to the faculty and staff of our school/church.  The following were recepients: Pastor, Joel, Debi, Anne, Kristin, Ashley, Jennifer, Yvonne, Diane, Ellen, Chris, and Dawn.
 
 
 

 
14.  I sent a Redbook subscription to my mom.
 
 
 
15.  I sent a long-overdue baby gift to our new nephew.
 


 
 
 
 
16.  I gave a little boy 2 quarters to play a claw game.  I was going to tape it to the machine, but he was there checking out the toys, so I thought I'd save WalMart the left over tape residue.  :)
 
 

 
 
17.  I prepared the coffee pot for Dave so when he got up in the morning...well, read the note.
 

18.  I dropped a mum plant off at my friend, Barb's house.  She has amazing gardens, and I just know she will take good care of it!
 
19.  I dropped some peanut butter M&M's off in Melody's van.  I went incognito on this trip...so it was a surprise to her! 
(finger inserted to protect the innocent)
 

 
20.  I dropped dark chocolate covered acai berried off to my sister-in-law.  I didn't go incognito on this one simply because their dog wouldn't have it.  BUT I did get to chat with Marianne and got a birthday hug out of the deal, so I'll call that a win!
 
21.  I purchased a busy bone for Ally.  Dogs need kindness too. 
 

 
 
 
22.  I brought Marie Catrib's to my friend Michelle and we lunched together.  I also introduced Baby L. to the AMAZING chocolate pudding there.  Oh my word.
 
 

 
23.  I dropped off a devotion book to my friend Rach's house.
 
 

24.  I left another devotional book on my friend, Abbie's, car while she was working.  :)
 
25.  I took the carpool kids through the drive thru for ice cream cones on the way home from school.  (I got to be the cool mom today!)
 
26.  I emailed action shots to the other parents on C's soccer team.  (Normally, I would have just deleted them after several months post season...)
 
 
 
27.  The lady that did my last pedicure was GREAT with child and told me she was having a girl.  I dropped of a baby gift to her husband.
 
 
28.  I did a drive-thru pay-it-forward at Biggby.  (Where I also got my free birthday drink.  Mmmmm)
 
 
 
 
29-32.  I filled 4 carts at Aldi with quarters.  Some mama who only has nickels and dimes in her change compartment will silently thank me.  :)
 


33.  I left a cookbook on the front seat of my friend, Sarah's, van.  (This was also an incognito mission.)

34.  I sent two of my favorite coffee flavors to my favorite pen pal in Texas.




35.  I sent Gina a card.  Just because.


36. I stuck a sweet note in A's lunch box.
 
37.  I made C's favorite dinner. (It's literally called C. Casserole because the boy will eat 1/2 of the 9x13 in one sitting.  True story.)
 



38.  I planned a hot date for my husband and me to go out for dinner.  Secured the babysitter, fed the kiddos, made reservations, paid out of my lunch (and grocery) envelope.




Whew!
 
38 RAK's done!

I learned something going through this: doing these RAK's...I felt more and more energized as we went along.  Like they were filling me instead of me filling them.  It made me want to do more and more.


Perhaps that's how kindness works. 

All I know is that the world could use more of it.
 
Pass it on.
 
Pay it forward.
 
Be kind.
 
 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  1.  Based on my absence, you can probably tell something's been going on.  Well, your right.  That something is life.  Over commitment, lots of things happening all within the same few weeks. Sleepless nights due to a sleepless toddler and unfinished to do lists.... just a lot.
  2. It's all good, just a lot.
  3. I've discovered that , even though I'm a huge extrovert, I still have some introverted days where I need to hole up and absorb quiet in order to recharge.
  4. I waved my white flag and called my mom to rescue me today.  She came and stayed with Baby L for the entire day so I could get some work done.  I spent 5 hours today working on stuff that would have taken me forever to get done.
  5. My baby girl turns 2 on Sunday.  How is it that she is already 2??   
  6. Is it bad that I'm still surprised that I was pregnant with her in the first place?
  7. It is refreshing when you have an open and honest conversation with someone else and they are of like minds.  Like a breath of fresh air.
  8. I love fall in Michigan.  There is nothing like it.
  9. I just finished reading "The hardest peace" by Kara Tippets.  It's amazingly encouraging.  You can check our her blog here.
  10. I'm in a dinner slump. Please send cheap, great tasting, low prep gf meal ideas my way!  (is all that too much to ask?)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Countng Mine {331-342}

331.  Realizing that Satan is working on you IN the moment- and being able to say, "get behind me, JERK" in the moment... and not after the fact.


332.  Problem solving.


333.  Crisp fall days.


334.  Umbrellas.  Big umbrellas.


335.  Sitting on the soccer field sidelines- in the frigid blowing rain- with only 2 umbrellas. He gives me (and baby) one and the brother the other since he had his winter jacket with hood.  We head to the car (with umbrella).  I look back to the field to see my soccer player on the sidelines wearing his dad's winter jacket.  And dad.... in the cold... in a sweatshirt.  That man.... I'm thankful for that man.


336.  Friends to have lunch with.


337. Phone calls wishing me a Happy Birthday!


338.  Date night.


339.  Small group night


340.  Gluten free pumpkin donuts.  With cream cheese frosting.


341.  Cider slushies. 


342.  A clear countertop.