Hi friends.  Its been a long time.  Things around here have been... interesting. That's about all I can say about it, but moving forward, I am hoping things start to settle down.  We're planning our trip home for summer, which is exciting; we're enjoying outside weather (it's been in the mid-thirties & sunny!) which is also exciting; and I am planning our homeschool year for next year (second grade + preschool for the little) and that's getting me very excited.  So despite the bit of crazy, there are good things happening.

Projects recently include haircuts for all the men in my life (3 boys + daddy) and not to toot my own horn, but I am getting pretty darn good (and fast!) at it!  I am also doing inventory on our house to see what we need to use in the next two months before summer vacation, and what we need to make sure we have for next school year.  (ie spices, soap, toothpaste)

The twins earned 100 AR points (Accelerated reader is a program the school here has where you can read a book, test on it, and earn points.)  We've been able to access it online and their reading has taken off because of it. 100 points is the equivalent of 200 books!  In honor of their accomplishment, each twin got a chance (separately) to have some special time with mommy & daddy, staying up late and sleeping with me in the bed that's in our playroom.  They loved the one on one time and I cherish the memories I made with each individually.  Although this morning Wyatt in formed me that he needs special time staying awake too.

The last two weeks have been challenging in parenting this little one.  A friend of mine hashtagged "threenager" in regards to her little cherub, and I about died. That is exactly spot on!  Wyatt is a three year old teenager.  Craving independence, rolling his eyes every time I open my  mouth, and arguing with every.blessed.thing.I.say.  It's so frustrating.  So this week I decided to focus on the positive.  I am praising everything he does well, and setting very clear boundaries for him.  Today was a bit of a challenge, but I saw some turn around (AKA less eye rolling and more "okay, mom").  So I have hope.

I am finishing Son by Lois Lowry, the fourth in The Giver quartet, and I am going to be so sad when it's all over!  Next I will work on finishing The Well-Trained Mind, and starting Boys Will Be Boys.  I also have The Last Letter From Your Love by Jojo Moyes on my shelf, and I've been itching to pull it off. So that'll likely sneak in there somewhere, too.

As we are getting close to wrapping up our homeschool year, I am impressed by how much we've accomplished.  I am also impressed at how much the boys' focus has grown.  School originally was an hour long, back in preschool.  Now we are doing school for up to four hours.  I love that they get excited about learning new things, like about Pharoah's in our history book, new math concepts in our math curriculum, and the human body in our anatomy book (--thanks again, Robert!)  It makes me proud that we have come this far, and excited when I picture the future with them.

I've been working out everyday again, I missed a few days from being sick, but was proud of myself when I got right back to it.  I feel stronger and I know it helps my mental health, too.  I use Walk at Home videos and love how quick & easy it is.

My word of the year "linger" has me spending more time at bedtime with the boys, singing, rocking, snuggling; saying yes to playing when they ask; and trying hard to enjoy the everyday moments we share.  

"The most important work 
you will ever do 
will be within the walls 
of your own home."  
-Harold B. Lee



I spend my days parenting.
As the joke goes, "From Son up till Son down" 
I am on.

I have found myself as of late constantly thinking of two moms in particular who inspire me to do better, be better.  I am so grateful for the "momspiration" they provide.  I love that although we've never actually met, the support we give each other is the same as if we all lived next door.  (Which, by the way, girls, sounds awesome!)

Who are these lovely ladies?
One is Tabitha, or Tab, as I call her, acting as if we're the oldest and best of friends;
and the other is Ashley, who mama's five kids. 
(yes, we're using "mama" as a verb now... "it's what you do.")

These two girls are amazing.

They set goals;
They parent broods of small children;
They homeschool;
They try...
They fail...
They try again.

I love them for it.

Recently Tabitha has inspired me to let go of our morning TV.  I am loving how our days start without it, and know I wouldn't have had the courage to let it go without her "momspiration".  Ashley homeschools her boys like me, and she introduced me to our new history book, which re-inspired my homeschooling.  I have since re-read The Well Trained Mind, and am determined to take on classical education for the remainder of this year and for second grade next year.  (more on that to come...)

Throughout the day, as I fold laundry, wash dishes, wipe faces and clean counters, I think of these two mothers, going through the same motions, in their houses, with their children, and I feel less alone.

Needing some momspiration for yourself?

Check out Tabitha's life as a coach wife & you'll be thanking your stars for your mellow schedule.  Or check out her beautifully honest post about raising three under five.  

Ashley's weekly {around here} updates make me giddy when I see them every Friday and her monthly goals never cease to inspire me.

Thank you girls-- 
for existing, for parenting on, and for inspiring me just when I need it.
Virtual {{hugs}} all around!!!


My First Sons

"Maybe I
was born
with you
inside me.

Maybe I
have always
carried you
with me.

Maybe you
are all
the wild
in me."

-Tyler Knott Gregson



Lately, the waiting...  It's killing me. Do you feel like you go through periods of time that are for a specific purpose.  Where the same theme keeps popping up, over and over again?  For me, right now, I'm in a period of waiting.  Waiting to see what the future holds for our family (more babies? no more babies?)... Waiting to see how my grandpa is (--luckily I finally got word that all is well and he is home! praise the lord!)... Waiting for Josh to get home from work in the evenings... Waiting for math to "click" with the boys... Waiting for afternoon quiet time and a break... Waiting for time to slow down... Waiting for more hours in the day to appear so I can get more done around here...

And more specifically, I've been waiting for THINGS.  Three weeks ago I was blow drying my hair after a workout and a shower, and I used the "cool" button (the cute blue one with the snowflake on it? You know?) and the whole thing shook, kind of sparked, and turned bright orange inside.  Pretty much scared the bejeezus out of me, and I immediately unplugged it and set it on the counter to cool down before telling Josh it needed to be taken to the dump.

Now I don't know for sure that it would have caught my hair/face/body on fire the next time I used it, but I felt fairly certain that it would, so we threw it out. I had had that blowdryer since before I had the twins, so it was nearing a decade old.  As soon as I got downstairs I jumped online and ordered  a replacement from Amazon.  It said it would be here in two days.  I knew that was a lie, considering where I lived, but I thought it'd take a week at most. 

Fast forward 21 days of surviving in ALASKA with cold, wet hair every morning, and I finally got my blowdryer yesterday!  This morning was like when you get home from camping and get to take a "real" shower, only better, because my hair is not a) in a messy bun and b) bringing my core temperature down.  

In addition to waiting for that blowdryer, I am waiting for:  the co op to have eggs, coffee creamer and tomatoes; date night tomorrow (We've missed date night for two weeks because the school has been hosting basketball, and bonus, Josh bought the new Hunger Games for us to watch!); Saturday Social for the boys to run crazy (we also missed that for two weeks because of basketball games); and for me to finally feel caught up.  

You guys, how do you do what you do? Yes, you. How do you manage to get done all the things you get done in a day living where you live, doing what you do? I am home (literally in.my.house) every single day, barring a few hours on Saturday, and still the laundry piles up, there's toothpaste all over the sinks, and things on the to-do list that taunt me as I re-write them every week, having never crossed them off the week before.  I can't imagine how you do it with jobs (did I really used to have one of those? How in the world did I swing it?!?) and after school activities, social engagements, and traffic and shopping and all the demands that are LIVING.  Here I am, tucked away in my quiet corner of the world (granted, with three very loud, rambunctious little boys...) but still, here where things move slowly and the demands on my time aside from family are few, and I often feel I am drowning in all the work.  I end each day wishing I had read more, laughed more, done more.

I am hopeful that the arrival of my blowdryer (betcha didn't know a blowdryer could signal a change from the heavens?) is a sign that my times of waiting are coming to an end.  My hope is that tomorrow Josh will come home from the co op with eggs, creamer and tomatoes (and maybe even lettuce! But let's not go too crazy!), that my weekend won't sneak away from me while I'm not looking, and that I will finally get some of those to-do's crossed off that evil list.  I hope my grandpa keeps doing awesome (seriously, I love that guy and am so grateful he's well!) and I hope that as I prioritize and reorganize what my days look like, I will go to bed feeling more content and less demanding.

In the meantime, I know God is just growing my patience. 



My Grandpa

{Hello from the hospital}
My grandparents are some of my most favorite people on the planet.  They're my dad's parents and they live at the beach, which makes visiting them in the summer a double bonus. 

Awesome grandparents? check!  
Awesome locale for entertaining small children? check!

Grandpa has the best attitude, tolerates my obnoxious children and can laugh and joke his way through just about anything. I love that about him.

{Wyatt taught Grandpa how to play Angry Birds}
Today my sweet grandpa is having heart surgery to put in some stents.  Other than this bit of heart trouble, he's healthy as can be, active and loving life everyday.  I am so excited for him to have this surgery behind him, to be able to go back home and have his full energy back.  

{Selfie with Grandpa!}
I hate that I haven't been there to support him (and my grandma) through this extended hospital stay (there have been quite a few ups & downs) and it has made being away from home seem especially hard.   So this afternoon and evening, if you think of my awesome grandpa, will you say a prayer? That his surgery goes smooth, that he wakes up feeling great, and that grandma is surrounded by peace. I'd so appreciate it.

"Grandfathers are just antique little boys."

This quote cracked me up.  
That must be why he and his great grandsons get along so well!