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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Farmstand Fun, Dirt & more!

The leaves on the trees are brilliant colors, nights & mornings are crisp and pumpkin donuts & apple cider are all the crave right now- yes, it must be Fall!  I loaded up the kids the other day with grandma & grandpa and we went to Heidi's, our local Farmstand.  This time of year, not only is it fun to pick out pumpkins there, but also to play in the dried corn, visit animals, go on hay rides, venture into the "corn maize", and slide down a huge tube to name a few.  We had a blast!
My crew!  Lauren, Hannah, Jenna, Tyler & Tanner watch ducks with grandpa 
I love Tyler's expression- he wanted so badly to get in the pen & be part of the 5 goat-kids instead of just a plain ol' 5 kids!
Lauren wants to get a little closer to the pony
Grandpa watches as the quads go vertical! 
"Why hello, horse.  My name is Tyler and you say 'neigh'."
I just love Jenna's sense of style!  She ALWAYS dresses herself and has her own flair!
Grandma, as always, can juggle my crew like a pro!
Tyler popping a squat
Lauren picking out the perfect pumpkin
Tanner jumping in the dried corn- the coolest play spot e.v.e.r!
I think our house needs a few corn boxes, too :)
Giant Tube Slide- my attempt to go down with all 5 kids was laughable!

In other news, we FINALLY received the building permit to start the addition!  That has brought lots of much anticipated movement on our house recently and I am so excited that progress is being made even if that means a lot of dirt these days!

So, what the heck are we doing?  Glad you asked.  Essentially, we are adding another bedroom & a little more living space.  But additionally, we had our kitchen renovated (Hallelujah!), are getting vinyl siding on the house (so long, woodpeckers), and getting a deck with rungs that are to code (no more cirque-de-sole children through spindles, which is heart stopping!).  The concrete guys poured the walls this past week and I am told it all goes much faster from here.  Hope so!!!  I am trying to be patient, but oh my goodness will the reclaimed space, additional bedroom & return to (kinda) normal be SOOOOO nice!

The new space, viewed from the current dining room.  It will be 2 levels of 14'x17' space

Side view of the renovation site.
I can't wait to show the "After" pictures!
And oh, we also started Potty Training Lauren.  This process is taking longer than I expected (I think I set my expectations waaaay too high with that 3-day potty training method that all the moms say work.  Well, with 3 other toddlers the same age & into EVERYTHING the moment mommy turns her back or goes into said bathroom with Lauren, it just ain't gonna happen like that.  But every some days we make a little progress.  So that's something.
And that's all I have to say about that.

Our fantastic, awesome, lovely neighbors (The Schmidts) took it upon themselves to help pick out Halloween costumes for our kids this year.  Now, how did they know that I had NO IDEA what I was going to do???  They are amazing.  So I will end with these cute pictures of the kids in their adorable outfits because of course, we had to try them on & then go show the Schmidts!

Tanner the Dinosaur, Hannah, Jenna & Lauren the princesses, and Superman Tyler
We are ready to go, Halloween!
That's our Fall in a (few) snapshots, how about you?



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

5 Little Monkeys

Currently there are guys busy working on our house.  I LOVE that our house renovation is in full swing, but it sure is very chaotic in here at the moment!  Vinyl siding is being hung, walls are being built for the bedroom downstairs, countertops & the sink are being installed in our kitchen right now... I mean, it is HOPPIN' here!

I am very happy we decided to stay here instead of move & I love how it looks so far, despite the crazy atmosphere.  Funny, this morning I took the quads to Costco for a nice little "break" and to keep them out of trouble with all this going on.  Shopping with four busy little people is no picnic, but you do what you gotta do!

And how did it get to be almost October already?  Jenna is really liking First grade, and the quads are full-fledged busy little monkeys.  Let me just re-iterate how thankful I am that we are going to be gaining more space in our house.  With the house under construction, most toys have been temporarily boxed up and everything has been whittled down to one room.  Good grief these kids are literally climbing the walls some days!  More space will be such a relief to us all!

The gate is worthless at this point, but I vainly try to keep it up as a visual reminder of what the limits need to be right now.  Don't you know that a million times a day as soon as mommy turns her back they are hurdling themselves into the "no-no" zone.  Sigh.
At least they are always very eager to help out!  

The bedtime situation has been a joke lately.  Everyone climbs out of their cribs at liberty, and even the cribs with mattresses dropped to the floor they climb in & out like crazy.  Last week I tried an experiment:  I pushed all cribs together in an "If you can't beat em', join em'" kind of thought.

Well, it was the best playground ever!!!

The cribs have now been pushed back to the walls.  Every crib mattress that can be on the floor is (there are 2), every crib that can hold a sheet on top during nap time has one (there are 3), and there are (4) children that will definitely be transitioning to big kid beds as soon as that bedroom is done!
"It's time for bed, said mama..."
Yes, we do indeed have 5 little monkeys.  In the photo above Jenna was having so much fun playing on the jungle gym beds with the kids, but outside she has been loving to swing on the ropes that Andy has suspended in our trees (he started Oak Meadow Tree Service two years ago).  Andy had her harnessed in this past weekend, and she gleefully swung 60 feet in the air.  I think I know who will be working with daddy in a few years!

Yes, that is a very happy monkey girl Jenna (safely) swinging in our trees.

Just hanging around!



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer Vacation Recap

Ahhhhhh!  Michigan is such a beautiful state.  
These are pictures of Lake Michigan taken by Auntie Kim.

I don't know where you live, but this year summer has been mild and some nights have already been getting dare I say crisp.  I am not ready for Fall to arrive, so I was grateful our vacation the first week of August was warm and sunny in the 80's with nights in the 60's- PERFECT cottage weather!

Tanner & Hannah scheming under a table (yes, that is a electrical plug in her hand).
So mischievous, yet so cute!

The fun fine motor activity of the week: 
buckling & re-buckling booster seats!

Thankfully the cottage is on a private beach, so Andy & I packed up all the baby gates and made one giant oval that stayed on the beach all week long.  The locals were kind of worried when I started to set it up (i.e. dads with beer in hand asking with fear in their voice, "Uh, how crazy are these kids of yours?!?"), but by the end of the week (and several compliments later) everyone agreed that containment was KEY for our busy little crew!

One day three random ducks decided to come say hi.  I found it hilarious because I have never seen ducks decide to peruse the beach before (or be so friendly)!

The kids LOVED to play with sand & water this year, unlike the boys who were freaked out by anything beachy last year.  Clad in puddle jumpers, Lauren, Hannah & Tanner also LOVED to play in the water!  I did not get any pictures because I was too busy acting like an octopus and making sure everyone was safe, but trust me when I say they looked adorable.  I came to the conclusion that Tyler is a land-loving guy.  No worries dude, no worries :).

Every year it's tradition to have all the girls dress up one night and go out for either appetizers, dessert, etc.  Last year we made the exception and brought the boys, but this year the men all stayed behind and just the girls went out.  Look at all these beautiful Niemeyer ladies!

My three beautiful girls- Lauren, Jenna & Hannah
Anna & Julia- beautiful inside & out!

So was it a relaxing vacation?  Well.
It was not relaxing in the sense of getting to do whatever I wanted to do, going on beach runs, or sleeping in- (for heavens sake, the whole sleep thing was awful because the quads are professional crib-crawler-outers and every single morning I awoke to little people crawling over me, jumping on me & poking at my eyes....)-- but it was SO wonderful being with family for a week in a cottage by the beach, catching up on everyone's life and sharing meals & stories.  Plus, the kids all LOOOOOOVED it and overall did great...
So it was definitely a worthwhile vacation!
Our cozy quarters!
My bed is the one surrounded by 4 pack n plays (you know, those things the kids are crawling out of).  And to answer your question, NO, I am not ready for toddler beds at home yet!!!!



Jenna is a FISH!  She swam every chance she could!

~Trying to get the kids to smile in a picture      &     trying to take a family picture~

~Our family~
L-R:  Tanner, Becky, Tyler, Jenna, Lauren, Andy, Hannah

As I write this today I want to say a special Thank You to you, the reader, for caring enough about us to read this blog and catch a glimpse of our life.  I never aimed to write a blog any more than I aimed to have quadruplets.  The very fact I do both and have lovely folks like you sharing the journey with us means so much to me.  Thank you.

I love writing down & capturing life.  I use to scrapbook, and blogging has happily taken that place.  I will continue to blog as long as I am able but I must admit blogging gets pushed to the back burner sometimes.  I definitely do not blog as often as I did when I had all the time in the world with four preemie newborns & a preschooler (insert sarcasm font here).  But for now, my lack of blog time is because (well, besides the obvious 5 busy kids and all) our addition has started!  

Check this out:  this is what our house looked like when we went on vacation:  

And this is what it looked like when we got home!!!
During (current)....

There is still A LOT that needs to be done.  Floors in the kitchen, windows, pantry, paint, counter-tops- and that's just the kitchen update!  We still have 2 walls to break down and an addition to do on the top & bottom levels.  Andy & I decided that instead of moving, we would stay put and add another bedroom & a little more space to the house.  We also finally addressed the aging kitchen (which I  we have been eagerly anticipating since moving here 4 years ago!!!).

I will keep you updated as much as I can but let me just say I AM LOVING the changes!  Many days feels like a 3-ring circus because the little kids are curious and into everything, Jenna is bored bored bored, things are not where they should be, and I am here all day, every day.  I am praying that with school starting soon for Jenna, work starting for me, and the addition continuing on at a good pace, the circus atmosphere will level out.

One can at least pray for such things, right?