Thursday, November 20, 2014

Color Drive 2014

 i am a fan of traditions.  for me, they hold a sense of security.  a comfortable feeling that kind of makes me feel like everything is always okay.  i think it's because when i was growing up, things could be disheveled or hectic, but there were certain things that remained.  and i held onto those things because they felt good.

i'm 34 years old and i still find that same comfort in those traditions.

we haven't been to every single color drive my entire life.  things happened or came up and there were years we couldn't go.  but i still hold tight to this weekend because it's a favorite weekend out of the year for me.  i can't think about the days when these traditions slip through my fingers.  because that brings a sadness over me that i almost can't handle.

it's called the color drive because it takes place on the 3rd weekend in october and all of the leaves are just beautiful.  pike county (where my gma lives) is really a pretty place.  being around family is great.  everyone always complains of the noise now that there are a million and one grandkids and family members....but i'm used to the noise.  my house reminds me of a gym during a basket ball game.  loud, echoy, and weird screeching noises that you just aren't sure where they're coming from.

we used to stay at my gma's house, but now that we are a family of 5 we pretty much take up her entire home.  so we stay at a local hotel off the square.  it's been redone and is pretty awesome.  we love the atmosphere and homeyness of the building.

i wish my gpa was still living here on earth.  he would LOVE all of these people and the kiddos and the crazy things that are going on around the farm.  

top row: uncle kevin, uncle bill, my dad, uncle danny
bottom row: aunt suzie, aunt linda, my mom, my gma, aunt ginny

 the first cousins.  these are the ones i grew up with.  no matter what is going in on anyone's life, there's comfort to me in knowing that i have known these guys for my whole life.  they've always been there.  man oh man, we have stories....and memories....  i'm sad they weren't all here.

top row: my brother matthew, kim, jennifer, my sister meghan, chris, chasity
bottom row: lindsay, andrea, gma, me

 all the family.  some are missing here and there.  but this is us.

 one of the towns had a woman making skeins of yarn.  my kids and my niece (and that random girl in the back with the blue shirt on) stood there watching her for nearly 30 minutes straight.  probably longer.  but they were completely in a trance.  asking her questions like how long have you done this?  do you like making yarn?  is it hard?  do you get itchy?  what's your favorite yarn color?  how long does it take you to make a ball of yarn?  will you adopt me and call me your child? you have a yarn making school i can attend?...

it was adorable.

 this could be the worst picture in the history of pictures of me.  but it's the only one i have of us.  ((if you guys have any other one will you please send it to me so i can redeem myself?!))
these girls.....we all 4 grew up together.  :)

okay, so my gma basically invented garage sales in her county.  and still has them yearly...she's almost 93 you guys.  this is insane.  you can find anything in her garage.  for instance, if you are looking for an old hat with no brim, she's got that!  and it's only a quarter!

this woman is amazing in so many ways.  

 however, this may be my favorite thing she has ever tried to sell.  in my entire life, i have never known my gma to either exercise or diet.  but somehow she has this gem.  how or why she has it isn't the question. because that's just gma.

i told you.  she's amazing.

 what is this?  1980?  who gets there finger in the frame anymore?!  (me...that's who.)

 oh my goodness.  i love her so much.  when i think of how much i love her there is almost a slight pain in my heart.  she has given me more in my life than almost everyone i know.  my other gma was the same way.  they added so much to my life during some hard times. and never faltered on their love or care or attitude for me.   i hold on tight to the things of her.  because i can't even imagine what things will be like someday.  i wish everyone knew her.

 the husbands and boyfriend.

the cousins.

we were so lucky this year because we had family home from arizona.  things are just better when we're all together.  we had a great weekend.  it's never long enough and always feels both like we've been there a week and yet only a day at the same time.  either way, it was good to get away to the farm.  :)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

f a l l

since we moved this past spring, i've felt this unbelievably welcomed new ability to just live in the season i'm in.  i didn't wish summer to hurry by, i didn't wish fall to get here quickly, i haven't wished for winter to arrive....or move on to the next holiday.  

that isn't always my M.O.  

this fall has flown by. 

 we checked out a different library.

 waited in the pick up lane.

 enjoying this feature the most.  we are all about the fires.  i think phillippe just likes to play with the logs in there with his magic fireproof glove.  but we really love it so much.  one of our favorite things about this house.

 ''traffic jams'' with tractors.

 chilly moments on the porch watching the children play.

 this may be a favorite moment with my son as of late.  he joined me in my shadow puppet show.  he said ''i'm a professional at birds.''
and i thought that was the greatest thing he could have said.

he is rather good at the birds.

 i got to go on a field trip with him to the orchard.

 he thought this giant freezer was the coolest thing.

 this is a street in our development.  i wish it would stay open like that.  it's really pretty.

 our local library is just the sweetest.  they do so much for those kiddos.  they made homemade playdough (that smelled like apple cider) and ate apples.

i managed to shatter my iphone screen twice in one week.  this was the second go-round. 

 and also the screen of one of our ipads.

some might call that 'a bit of bad luck'.

gabriela's response when i showed her what i did was ''daddy's gonna hit you....!''

which, by the way, has never happened.  but after she said it i was a little nervous.

 we wait a long time in the school pick up lane.  we do lots of playing.  or else we did...before it got so cold.

 at the park with the kiddos and their friends.

 my dad was given an award for working at hyvee for 35 years.  that's a lot of years to work for the same place.

 we went on a heart shaped rock hunt.  i love that my kids were able to see beyond the traditional heart shape and see formations of that general shape.  it was a lot of fun.

 oddly enough, this sign is slightly tilted to the left.  :) but it is now at home in the half bath.  we're slowly adding things to this house.  it's taking a while.  but that's okay.

 gabriela has had yet another prescription change for her lenses since she first got her glasses at the beginning of the year.  crazy.  it should steady out for a while.

 at the library.  again.  we do this a lot.

 i took photos for a girl that also takes photos.  so we swapped a session.
we are not good at family photos.
i'll be the first to admit.  my kids get weird.  or stiff.  and have all of these ideas for how i want the photos to look.  it just never goes accordingly.  i should know better than have any expectations whatsoever.....

also, it was about 35 mile and hour winds that day.  so we all look wildly pretty.

 our library had a dress up day for halloween.  but we didn't want to use her rainbow costume because it was a little wide and delicate.  so she said 'i want to go in my 'jamies and wear my high shoes.'

it worked.

 i'm having the HARDEST time making decisions about this home and how to decorate it.  phillippe and i found this rug online on sale and decided to go for it.  we loved it so much!  and still do.  but it just doesn't fit our space very well.  so it will be going back.  and now i'm on the hunt for something different.  we just like neutrals.  i wish i had a space to keep this, though.  like a cabin.  :)

dress up day for tae kwon do.  that was a fun class for them!

i am ready for photo season to be d o n e.  busy busy busy.  it's taken up more time this year than i had planned.  but i'm lucky to be able to do it.  (but deep down, i'm ready for the break.  only 4 left this season!!!!!)

we are hosting thanksgiving this year for phillippe's side of the family.  we're really excited about that!

isabela is no longer in preschool.  this is a bummer for me.  because i was honestly looking forward to some time to myself.  not a lot of time, but something small.  but it's not worth it anymore trying to push her to go.  she cried all the time about it.  never wanted me to go.  and come to find out, was crying often while she was there.  so we pulled her.  she'll go next year.  but for now, she'll be at home. and we're okay with that.

gabriela is in gymnastics at chows gym.  they are pretty serious about their classes.  which is perfect for her.  she's a natural and has really loved it there.  the class time isn't ideal, friday night at 7:30.  which means she's gone from 7-9.  major bummer.  we are a friday night fun kind of family.

andre is still going in tae kwon do.  he's in a harder class than before, which has been a little frustrating to him, but he still wants to do it, so we're going to let him.

the kids are all in awana at our church, which i also help out with on wednesday nights.

gabriela is in piano on saturday mornings at 10, which she also loves.

so basically, we're staying busy.  very busy.  sometimes i wish we could stop all of the activities for just a week or two weeks.  and just be home a lot.  it gets to be a lot of running around and back and forth.  the kids get burnt out sometimes.  but if they are in it, they need to stay in it.  i mostly feel bad for the kids being shuffled along with them.  but we support our family.  even if that means we have to sit a lot and wait around.