Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Back to Fall (and some structure, thank the Lord!)

Well the summer was a full one, but we are officially in full swing of fall and I'm glad. Yesterday we woke up to see snow covering the big mountains way off in the distance, always a sure sign that summer is waning. Mornings and nights are cold enough to see your breath, but it warms up to the high 60s/low 70s during the afternoon, perfect for outdoor fun! I've been trying to get us all outside as much as possible. Today  I put Izzie in the backpack and we all put on our tennis shoes and went exploring in the field behind our house. It was nothing spectacular, but they loved it and they practiced the letters they've been learning as they explored and found different things outside. We are picnicking, going to parks, hiking, biking, running (I'm in running mode, we will see how long this lasts!) and digging in the yard behind the barn, finding lots of rusty "treasures". Today Lily said she would like this day to never, ever, ever, ever end until it's time to go to heaven:) That made me so happy!

We've settled into a bit of a routine, which I let go of in the summer, but crave after going awhile without. I mean, I start to go crazy when we don't have any routine or structure to our days. Flexible structure is what I prefer:) Our average weekday looks a bit like this (skip to next paragraph if you don't care!): The girls get dressed and come downstairs, where we have breakfast in the sunroom/dining room/school room (I never know what to call it, but it is my favorite!) and have a morning devotional/pray over our day. They help me clean up breakfast and then they can hardly stand brushing their teeth because they are so excited to start school. We do school for a couple of hours, with a break somewhere in there to go outside and run around/get fresh air. Then we run errands or go to the gym, come home for lunch, and then I send everyone away for quiet time. Note:*Forced quiet time, whether or not they are tired, is mandatory for a stay-at-home-mom's ever-loving sanity* Izzie takes a nap, Lily reads/sometimes sleeps, and Addison reads, while I get things done (okay, I occasionally nap too). Addison usually comes out early because she can't stand the quiet any longer, and I read a chapter or two of Little House in the Big Woods, until everyone else wakes up. Then they sometimes do more school, or a craft that goes along with what they're working on for school that week. Then Brad gets home and we play and eat and do business and the evening flies by, and next thing we know it's morning again. Days go so fast! We take Friday off of school and have "Friday fun day/random act of kindness day", where we hit the library, go somewhere special to eat lunch (they love getting to use their lunch boxes!), or go to the science museum, and do something nice for someone just because. I'm hoping they start coming up with the ideas and thinking of nice things to do for other people, and getting excited to do so. Friday night is family night and we let them eat dinner in the living room while we watch a movie, play a game, or just do something fun as a family. We hope to keep family night a thing all the way through their teen years, making it something they look forward to (we're banking on the fact that they will still want to hang out with Brad and I when they're teens...call us crazy)

While I do school with the big girls, Izzie opens drawers and pulls everything out, pulls leaves off of house plants, throws things in the toilet, climbs on tabletops, spills any liquid left in her reach, and repeatedly gets ahold of the girls' pencil boxes, dumping the contents everywhere, creating pandemonium. :) On rare and beautiful days, she decides to take two naps, one of which is around 9, and we have school in peace. In all honesty...she does do all of the above, and it is exhausting, but she is such a riot all the time, we all can't help but laugh. She's a little parrot and talks non-stop. Whenever anything is going on where someone is even slightly upset, Izzie runs frantically in circles shouting "What happened? What happened?" She's the clown of our family and we adore her even when she's making awful messes:)

Here's a few snapshots of life around here...

family night=pizza in the living room and Cinderella

camping with dad...in their bedroom because it got too smoky outside

her first ice cream cone ever:)

weeds in a coffee cup, and lily practicing her photography skills

helping me make popcorn for an afternoon snack

building little kid projects with daddy in their home depot aprons:)

Life isn't perfect, but it's pretty good. Yeah, we still own a meth house, and I have health issues, and the girls fight, and blah blah blah, but God is in control, and we see him at work powerfully in our lives, and we are a thankful, grateful, blessed bunch.

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