Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Ends and Transition

We have a teen and a toddler creating the book ends in our family. I have been so behind in jotting down our family triumphs and tribulations in part because of the exciting journey of raising these two and of course everyone in between.
LuLu & James

This morning I woke up early to see James off. He is in Jr high now, seventh grade, and leaves an hour before the rest of the kids. He is self sufficient and we rarely get up with him but today I just wanted connection time. I made him waffles and hot cocoa and got to hear a bit about school, his week and winning the basketball championship in Duluth this past weekend. He gave me a big bear hug before he left. Almost the same size as mom and the doc said he has just started growing! He hugged me and said, "Thanks for everything mom, love you" and heads out into the cold morning to walk the couple blocks to his bus stop.

In a big family it is rare to have quiet one on one time, it is also rare to have mom wait on you. That said all the kids are so grateful and expressive with their love and it makes all the hard work it takes to raise a big brood doable for me.

This has been the best start to a school year we have ever had with our eldest, I think more responsibility and independence has made him think about what kind of man he wants to be (other than on the court, watch out he ain't pretty and his manners go out the door, just saying) and his role in the family.

The book ends continue to have an amazing bond. We had a rare date night (we have GOT to get back in the habit of getting out)! And James babysat the crew as usual. We got home and he was passed out next to Lucy with a barbie on his head and hand resting on LuLu's back as she slept. He has already said he will come home from whatever college he attends to see her play games or have school concerts, he visited her nursery school group, well all the kids did, before Lucy started.

LuLu at Children's Circle Waldorf 
The new house!

We have had a massive time of transition. The children all started new schools. Lucy a Waldorf nursery group, Daisy, Mark, Nate, Mickey, John and Annie a new neighborhood elementary and James the local Junior high. We also moved and are attempting to sell our old (lovely) home now. There are moments of stress and balance each day. The new school was the right choice for us and the children have made their way very gracefully and happily into the new friendships and classrooms. The new house gives us more family and personal space and makes daily tasks simply more manageable, like cooking and laundry.
Daisy is Thankful for her dolls
Halloween 2013
Nate & Mark celebrate being 9 & 8 with mama

As we move into this Thanksgiving week I am reminded to focus on the amazing gifts of each of our kids. How raising children is really raising people you want to hang out with for life, and to focus on the joy not on the stress as we kick off our holiday season.

Friday, September 27, 2013

First Conversations

John to Mark: What do you think the best part of the new house is?
Mark: Well, my bed is really comfortable.
John: I think it is the same bed you already had.
Mark: Oh, good point. I guess that we are all here together.
Nate: Ya, the best part is we didn't loose anyone in the move.
Mickey: Like loose a kid?
Nate: I don't know (giggling) I guess it doesn't matter where we are as long as we have the 10 of us.
Daisy: We have the bestest family.
James: Best, and we could use an xbox to be the best.
Daisy: I SAID best
Annie: OK everyone, lets leave it as we are super lucky, for this house, for everything, ok?
Mark: I think we should live in a cabin next.
Nate: Ok, but all together.

A picture Mickey announced they might need future therapy after taking, dressed up at the farm building at the MN State fair. They all went in for Lucy, who consequently loved it!
An actually conversation, I guess they are not as impressed by the beautiful woodwork, floors, paint and new roses out front. But they seem to have gotten the point, we are together. Lucy was busy unrolling toilet paper quietly during this exchange.

Monday, August 12, 2013

August Crash

That post coffee crash can turn a great morning into a lousy one fast. My solution to this is....have a second cup.

August seems to be a very strong black brew and we all miss our tennis routine. We did 7 weeks of Urban Tennis, essentially daily lessons for the kids in one hour shifts by age group. Those not playing tennis would be at the park or doing summer workbooks. I pre packed snacks and we had a wonderful system.

August has descended like a wonderful deep brew. The intoxicating possibility of sleeping in and having no structure is upon us. Kids all think this is going to be uber cool until week two and they are at each other. Feet stick out just slightly in the hopes of tripping another, bikes are taken without asking the owner (a sibling of course) and snacks roll listlessly into meal times.

To add to the crash we are in the final push of finishing a home build, getting our house ready to sell, starting new schools and potty training L. She actually did number two in the potty today and needless to say it was the highlight of my day. Poop. Her potty sings so it makes poop rather fantastic really.

I am overwhelmed and trying to figure out what my second metaphorical cup of coffee might be. If you have any ideas I'll buy you a latte.
Lucy in a bucket.
Daddy took this trying to get some yard work done while
I slipped away for  a moment of rare solo time.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Otis Food, Recipes & Healthy Kids

I have been trying to be more creative with having our kids have less processed snacks, things like gold fish and pretzels that seem to "take over" our snacking. Some friends reminded me we do a lot of creative snacks already and I thought I would share those! I am always looking for more ideas. We also do beef sticks, cheese sticks and veggies with dip but these are some fun ones. 

Zucchini Muffins

1 shredded zucchini, I shredded and squeezed out water from the day before. If frozen drain. Then microwave to get soft, about 2 min if raw, 4 if frozen then drain and put aside to mix with:

1 ripe banana
3 eggs whole
teaspoon corn starch
cinnamon & sugar teaspoon or plain cinnamon, or add savory spices

Spray a muffin tin, 12 openings. Bake about 12 min or so until brown edges.  

33 Calories per "Muffin" 

Simple Otis Cucumbers 

4 cucumbers peeled and sliced (even the youngest kids love peeling these!)
regular vinegar, 1 cup

1 tablespoon garlic salt

1 tablespoon Stevia (or 2 table sugar)

1 sliced red onion.

Mix together, put in tupperware and turn upside down so all the pieces can "pickle" our kids eat like chips! I leave on the counter and they walk by and nibble. Stays good even in heat because of the vinegar so a great picnic option.

Staying active!
Sheff put up pull up bars in most door ways. If Kids act up they need to do pull ups until they are spent. This payed off when they do the physical fitness tests yearly:)

Chopped Kale Salad

1 head of kale, take off the stems, chop and microwave for 1 min to soften
add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries 

Mix vinegar and Stevia to taste, about 1/2 cup and 1 teaspoon

Chop 1/4 red onion finely toss wit kale, dressing and cranberries.

Add crumbled feta when served. Also good with chopped fresh cucumber or other veggies and in a pinch a greek vinaigrette is really good as well.
Lil Mark & Nate, we have treats too! I just find balancing sugar with fiber and protein helps behavior and energy for all the kids and PARENTS

Apple Pie Apples

6 apples sliced
Ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon
Sugar, 1 tablespoon
Fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon.

Toss and leave out for kids. Lemon stops from browning and the apples really taste like a treat!

Real apple pie is lovely too and a regular treat. I use a bit of unsweetened apple sauce and corn starch to make a bit of extra gooey filling with extra cinnamon, fresh apples, lemon juice and stevia.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Plans and the moment we are in

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

Simple Mom blog today spoke to the question of purpose as mothers. Are we doing what we had planned on doing, are we in fact doing enough? What would my younger self wish to add to the life I have now? These questions make me turn to gratitude for the moment I am in.

This has been one of the best summers we have had in ages. We are doing daily tennis lessons for the kids, James has had the opportunity to go to camp up north and Annie to do horseback riding. Nate and Mark have been solidifying their creative bond with the production of family plays. Daisy has started sports! She loves tennis and newly discovered soccer like her big sister. John and Mickey have had the best season of Travel baseball because they have a pretty phenomenal coach (Dad)! Sheff is coaching along with a good family friend, and having a blast. They both are so pumped up and excited about the all American sport it puts Sheff on cloud nine.

For me it has been a time to be wholly focused on the kids in such a peaceful way, not having the pull of school and the crazy driving (even the 6 sports teams seem manageable in the summer months). It is refreshing being able to really hang out with each of them. We have found fun new reads from the library including some new cookbooks. I have been writing here and there and journaling my goals personal, spiritual and physical. Sheff and I have started running together, we used to run all the time when we were dating. The run time gives us check in and connect time.

Who did I miss? LUCY. Oh that baby is like a dessert, spicy and sweet all wrapped up chubby cheeks and laughter. She is a spitfire and a social butterfly. She is sharp as a tack and she keeps up with the brood. She is everyone's baby and will be quick to tell you "I am NOT a big girl, I am THE baby!"

Wishing everyone wonderful lazy days of summer, family connection and moments stolen for personal reflection.
Daisy finding  patch of "her flower" by the new house

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Escape and Imagination

I am phasing out a bit from blogging and attempting to sit down and write in, yes how Great Gatsby of me, a novel each day. Am I succeeding? Well, no not really but the thought is there and bits are forming. I want to figure out how to print the blogs I have done and make a book (shoot me a note if you have done this!) and take time to get a romance novel written before Lucy is out of elementary school.

Once when I had a baby and 3 toddlers I remember standing at our kitchen counter back when we lived in Saint Paul and reading a biography on Nora Roberts. She wrote when she had two young boys in order to escape. I still can feel the tug of small chubby hand on my leg, the crusted over lasagna pan in the sink and baby I was juggling on my hip. As much as I adore my job 87% of the time escaping into a book is pure bliss.

What housewife does not want to ride off to Saudi Arabia or sail the emerald isle? I have always had a stack of books by by bed, in my purse, dog eared next to the potty chair where I am teaching someone that developmental phase. When I read in Freakenomics that the number of books in a home was more indicative of children's future career potential that being read to I was thrilled. Yes, I read to the kids, but just as often you will find a pile of us each reading our own book, or kindle!

I have started many novels and books over the years, and I have a chest full of books I wrote in junior high and high school. For someone who is not overly sentimental I cant seem to recycle these notebooks. They hold the memory of pure unfiltered hope that I would someday be a writer.

Now, as a mother and a family of ten executive assistant, the time to write is fleeting at best. I also struggle with the demons of believing I am not smart enough to write or succeed. Honors at graduation both high school and college and IQ tests don't hold a candle to how hard it is to be dyslexic in a fast typing world.

That said, as I restart writing after 5 years of personal literary dormancy (aside from the blog) I am reminded of my love for fantasy. Of what a JOY it is to research areas of the world I want to visit again or explore for the first time. I am amazed at how easily I write about places I have not been for over twenty years. Buying fresh figs in Italy, climbing into abandoned villas in France, a wooden fun park in Ireland and learning to read in London. Even how peacful it was running along the fields in college and helping on farms in rural Minnesota.

I may be approaching the reality of a middle aged housewife but I can't help my love for pushing limits ever so slightly even if it means creating imaginary landscapes in stolen moments.

Wishing everyone a moment of escape and imagination as we enter into the sweet summer months.

My first priority is being the best mother and wife I can be, but I want to make sure a close second is bit of time for my own writing. Imagination is not practical but it sure is wonderful.

Friday, April 12, 2013

New Rhythms, Promise of Sunshine.

I have been away from my post a bit this spring. In part, how could anyone call this spring! And in part, it has been a more intense few months than we have had in a while. I am feeling the stress lift  bit after trying some new ideas around our abode.
Sometimes treats are OK to brake up the winter blues!
 We have gone back to the great goal of weekly dates with mom or dad, hot cocoa ,
a meal or the fav Freestyle Frozen Yogurt:)

Sheff and I both love goals, life goals, family goals and fitness goals. We have goals to read books that teach us something new once a month, goals to try a new ethnic dish, goals to read a section of prayer together and discuss and of course goals to be better and more balanced parents each day. The cool thing for both of us is we very often reach these goals with the other person cheering us on.
M & M in Florida, such a family bonding vacation for our family

The early part of this year we both stunk at setting goals, a few pounds crept on, the books were trade magazines and fashion rags and we felt hopeless with the idea of new parenting ideas having been around the some of the issues so many times already. Like for many people when they are sitting in the potty training day of family education for the....third time. For us when it comes to a toddler wanting a sippy cup at night or another learning to read it can be hard to find new energy and excitement about these milestones. But that sentence makes me sad! Of course we can find new excitement that is the privilege of being parents in a big family and we simply buck up and dive in.

Going out and having Mom & Dad time once a week (ideally) is good for us and good for the kids.

The tides have turned, spring is on the way, or maybe we will roll from winter to summer this year! We have prioritized getting some date nights back on the books, we are reading family devotions together after meals, purchasing new early readers and including big kids in finding excitement to potty train Lucy. The kids are helping me plan meals and fun snacks. We promise to devote a blog soon to Otis recipes.  I am including the kids in some workouts such as a yoga DVD and dance parties in the basement.

Things called Beeny Boos have entered our house, but the kids play for hours with them.
Thanks Easter Bunny, great choice!
John-Luke has really stepped up to help with the baby, it is a gift to watch new alliances
and friendships form within the family. It is constantly changing in a great way!

Sisters! Working out with the girls has been a little comical, Yogis falling on other Yogis , but teaching great life habits  for how to manage stress and find a peaceful moment in our days of rushing around.

Long hard days (and months!) can give way to new breath, new patterns. Giving thanks for the ability to create change and the young budding family we have that is open and excited to be on this journey!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Come Spring!

OK spring we are ready and waiting! As a mom who has about 20 million boots to put away and hats in every direction it is time for some sunshine and fresh air. I have been filling my kindle with books about the south and pacific, we have a coconut candle on the counter and mango smoothies for a snack today after school. We are calling for the sunshine to come out and play!

As a fun activity we looked through albums last night and here are some great spring pictures from years past. It is fun to play "Do you know that Otis?" Now that they are getting bigger some of the photos are getting harder to identify (not for mom...yet:)

Hope to get out there and snap some for this years album SOON! Melt ice, melt snow lets go out and play!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Parenting Choices

We are trying to make some big choices for our kids and it is not an easy task! It is always hard with the oldest because that is the only real roadmap you have as a parent. I always say if I was propelled back in time I would be the luckiest mama around, all these strong hardworking kids. But in our century, the measurement of personal success being in part activities and clubs, it is very difficult to support achievement.

If I could say, "Go build a cabin, find food to eat and make sure those other people don't die on your watch" my oldest son would thrive. Now same child say, "Keep your papers in order, keep your locker clean, dot your I's cross your T's and research this abstract subject" and you'll find him outside shoveling. He really loves to work hands on and he is very smart at the engineering side of any problem. He makes truly amazing origami, is technical and a natural athlete. But he is struggling and it breaks my heart. It really does.

Decisions for him, and for the other kids are difficult. Where will he and they be supported, challenged and guided? How many travel sports should kids participate in? How much should parents help with homework? Is a B student who did not receive any guidance really an A student in today's helicopter world? How can I use my energy to best serve my kids needs?

If anyone can answer those questions feel free to let me know I will buy you a glass of wine, or a beer or a cup of tea. See? I am willing to go down different paths to support friends, and to support my children. If only each path was clearly labeled.

Praying for a clear mind and time for conversation with my always level headed parenting partner.

Looking forward to the light and levity of spring.

May I always be a mother that supports the beauty &
difference each of  our children brings on this journey of parenthood.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Good Books, Margaritas & Kids in the Sun

Posing with a skeleton, the story is a sailor who waited FORVER for some big shrimp the kids got a kick out of acting bored, because they never are of course:)

Getting around cart style & very fun Mexican
place where you eat under a canapy of banana trees!
Suitcases to unpack, cream to rub on red noses and photos to upload. We are home and sleepy and missing the sunshine. This trip for our gang was especially wonderful. We had so much pure, messy FUN in the sand, in the water and even charades in the hotel room. Back to the basics of enjoying ourselves as a family and bonding with Grandma and Grandpa (Deirdre's parents). Also, visiting Uncle Steve and Aunt Marian further down Captiva Island The kids thought it was pretty cool we could only reach them by boat!

We had amazing weather, even on the blustery days we were able to jump waves and collect shells on the beach. The kids loved the Bubble Room a famous restaurant with kitsch galore. They thrived on the positive feedback and did really well moving efficiently as a big group in busy situations!

All the kids helped with Lucy in the water, she seems a day away from swimming already. Daisy and Mark were like fish this year so we could soak our toes in the pool while they played. Not being a big swimming it was nice to have such self sufficient kiddos. One downside we used sun block that was not water proof the first day on some noses (Mark & James!) and yowzers did they burn. Who makes non waterproof sunblock? Not helpful for a busy mom. But all in all we had a healthy and happy vacation!

Here is proof mom actually read, and finished two books in 5 days. Maine was a wonderful family drama reminding me of summers on Bailey Island and feeling grateful for a kind mother! 

The children were gems and happy to fight :) and play in the pool and ocean waves all day long. Remembering and appreciating every moment!

Hoping this vacation's heat and happiness can roll us into spring.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Flying cups, potty training toddlers & POOLSIDE soon!

This is one of those mornings where juice cups have been flying at siblings heads, coffee spilled on my favorite clean socks (the cushy ones from Costco) and someone managed to pour sand on the kitchen floor. Sand in March in Minnesota. It is like they find ways to be creative with mess. Lucy is potty training which adds another level of minor disaster to the everyday.

Spring break is upon us and this year we are excitedly leaving our house to a competent house sitter and hitting the balmy island breezes. I am guessing the house sitter will create less chaos than eight kids, so the house will be in good shape. What an adventure to pack for 10 and embark on a holiday mid winter.

James reminds readers this was when he was 11 and thus his pipes are simply not what they are now:)
Right now Nate is lining up pieces of paper with everyones names in the living room. Each person is putting their proposed travel items by their paper and then we will discuss the yeses and nos. We pulled out the summer bin and tried on flip flops and crocks. This may be where the sand originated, still not quite sure. Next we plan color days, yes dorky but an Otis tradition they all expect.

I am feeling a mix of overwhelmed and grateful. Praying for God to bless this vacation with fun, connection and perhaps a moment to read a magazine poolside. If this happens to be your spring break as well, wishing you and yours blissful R &R free from flying cups and potty training toddlers.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Faults and Hugs

We all have our faults. At a women's weekend away a few of us self diagnosed our biggest weakness. Guys would be talking about cars, here we are doing self help with our wine!

It seems fitting a blogger and mom of many would have the fault of over sharing. I know I have many faults so no need to send me messages, "Deirdre we really think adding green things to brownies should be high up on the list!" I have taken that one into consideration.

I realize there are upsides to being someone who always seems to say too much. One upside is I truly adore people, I am an extrovert and if I see you at the store or park I will genuinely want to chat! I will also likely tell you about my latest recipe failure, what kind of wood we have chosen for the new house and that I hate pairing socks. I love hearing about other peoples lives, struggles and triumphs. I hug all the time, last tournament a hugged a referee. He did say he loved big families but perhaps someone else might have just given a high five:)

When I recount highlights from a typical day it is the small connections, some of which might not have happened if I did not blurt out to a random person "You are rocking those skinny jeans I could never pull off seafoam!"

Downside of over sharing, sigh, is well wishing I hadn't.

It can make people uncomfortable and it can make my kids late for the next activity when mom is gabbing with the new mom of twins at the gas station. I do get it.

Thankfully, in this phase of life I have been blessed with some amazing friends who are willing to hear the ins and outs of the mundane along with the profound.

As much as I am both acknowledging and trivializing the behavior I am fascinated with change. How do we set goals and create new habits? How do we read what others need from us and how do we have a meaningful relationship? I am grateful to have people in my life who will tell it like it is. And I think working on things as a mom allows my children to see the power of self discipline. I am absolutely terrible at Minnesota nice, I would much rather hash things out Irish pub style until of course we are hugging and over sharing.

I promise not to ask you at the coffee shop what your biggest personal fault is, but if you happen to share I will be all ears.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lent 2013

Lent is a time to re focus, set goals to be just a little bit better and put faith on the front burner.

This year we have added a breakfast prayer to our daily routine. For some reason we always pray at dinner but in the rush of morning, honestly in the stress of morning, we forget to give thanks.

I love hearing what others are working on to be supportive and get new ideas for next year! Giving up shopping at Target has been a challenge and Nate giving up chocolate is a navigational experiment in the kitchen. James giving up sprinkles seems a bit light, and Annie's goal to study more is par for her course. Whatever the goals it is a great time of year to try something new.

In the time of day I often find my self snacking instead of being productive I added a daily devotional. I have to admit week one is off to a rocky start for our personal goals (except Nate of course) but we have prayed each morning 10 strong. Small victories!

Lent 2008 with our crown of thorns and baby Daisy

Wishing everyone a blessed Lent!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Daisy explains yogurt pants and being small

Daisy sits on the end of our bed and muses to me regularly. Lately I have been taking quick notes when a pint sized nugget of wisdom is shared.

Daisy: I have not figured boys out yet, but I sure think deodorant helps them be handsome.

Daisy and her little friend Abbey are playing with a wooden castle and have princesses going shopping.  Abbey declares she needs a silk dress. Daisy responds, "Well I hear your words, but that is not realistic. Lets go with something you can play in and washes up lickety split" Abbey looks a bit put out. Not quite the glam imaginary gown she was going for.

Daisy: Preschoolers get away with things because they are small. 
Me: Because they are small? What kind of things?
Daisy: Well, they spill things a lot and ask for treats all the time, they also say they can't put their jackets on themselves. It is such a crock.
Me: Daisy Eleanor! Where did you learn that word?
Daisy: I can't remember I am small.

Daisy: I want to be a mom someday so I can have lacy things underthings, dance when I clean and have yogurt pants.

I may have to get her a pair of yoga pants :) to be just like mom.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Remembering Connie Otis

Honoring Sheff's Grandmother Connie Otis
Constance Shepard OTIS June 23, 1919 - January 28, 2013 

To each of us memories are given 
time passes gently from toes dipped lazily in the lake
days turned quickly in calendars marking holidays
special occasions in which the seeing is more important than the reason
chicken recipes, philosophical wonderings
small children 
loving introductions
commonality of knowing family
being in a place simply to enjoy a story

Written without rhyme and meter but with honoring intention
Dedicated to Mrs James C. Otis (Connie) much love Mrs James S. Otis (Deirdre) January 2013

Above image is Sheff with baby Daisy Eleanor in Connie's outdoor pool, the children loved those visits and she loved watching their antics.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Just you wait!!

When we first started having kids, people were very free with the commentary. I am so blissfully grateful that we seem to have more of a shield now, and so much community support. If you are one of those people who has thanked us after church for raising well behaved kids, or one of those teachers who has told the children they have a beautiful family, we thank you. That support kept us going when we had so many little ones. Now, as they kids get a bit bigger, we are able to relax so much more into enjoying our family.

My potty training boot camp members circa 2005

Some of the comments we heard all the time were, "Oh just wait! Until they are all potty training, have homework, are preteens, eat you out of house and home" and of course the list goes on. The idea being if we just wait something catastrophic was going to happen! Of course this made young mama me defensive not weary. I thought I will meet these things head on! I will potty train all three (at the time we had a five year old, a four year year old and three Annie, John-Luke and Mickey, who were all two years old for a few months and new baby Nate) in a week! I will get the videos, I will toss the diapers and we will prevail! And we did, it was actually a funny week with naked babies running everywhere, I was deliriously in denial with my non toxic vinegar spray and a baby in the sling. But we did it and I thought, whew this did not cave in the family, "what's next?"

One my favorite "Just you wait!" comments "Just you wait until you have all those kids in boots, your house will be disaster" Can't say it was always perfect but vinegar spray really gets mud off tile and wood in a swipe.
Well, here are the pre teens. I admit they are not for the faint of heart. But our oldest seems to bust down the walls of the next phase of development with practiced flourish. I mean did he ever need deodorant and start eating more overnight, yowza. In come the requests for PJ 13 movies, OK scratch that, in come the requests for R movies. But the upside is it is really fun to have a kid to hang out with to watch some of those flicks from the 80's again. Men in Black the second time around was awesome. Now is it appropriate for our whole gang? No. And is it tricky to have different needs in different age groups? Yes. But we look at it as an emerging peer group. Kids we will go to the movies with, hang out with on a friday night and talk to.

I will never be accused of attempting to be my kids best buddy, I just don't seem to be hardwired that way and neither is Sheff. But we have known all along we have to raise up this family with values and interests so we can enjoy their company for life!

You can't travel with that many kids! You are crazy!
Well, lets leave the crazy up for debate but traveling has been a family highlight for our gang.
Each stage has a "Just you wait!" factor, and I fully admit some are really difficult. By the end of the preteen years I fully expect we will take a door off its hinges and have a talking back jar, BUT I want to meet each challenge head on. Meet each challenge with the hope our family can weather the storm and look back with laughter on roadblocks we maneuvered vinegar spray in hand.

Friday, January 18, 2013

January is a Butthead

Dressed to play in the Minnesota cold!

January has not been our favorite month around here, busy without a lot of down time!  Mark announced coming home from school with very cold hands (wet gloves) "January is a butthead!" Have to say we agree with Mark this year.

Mark & Lucy

But this week we celebrate Lucy Claire turning 2!! What a wonderful, if a bit sleep deprived, two years these have been. Between the business of Sheff's work and me fighting back pain from the accident in December we have been playing sub par.

Things seem to be moving along, I am feeling a bit better and Sheff has been making time to lift & workout again. We have some fun social things coming up, and some basketball games to watch. We have sunshine to look forward to in March (hey its not THAT far away) and it is almost Lent, a season I love to celebrate as a family. Lent is also a time to check in about my own goals, my connection to God and how I can bring faith and fun together as a mother.

We had a wonderful Christmas! Here are the kids with their stockings
Needing a little levity and light in the last part of January, but thrilled to focus on Lucy, she brings out the best in all of us.