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Friday, November 7, 2014

Crib reduction, house addition!

It has been a whirlwind of a season, in all meanings!  I blink and it feels like another week has gone by.  I'm not the only one, right?  Well, we have been entertained & excited to see our house grow with every week.  Here is a recap of the last few weeks in terms of our addition:
Fist the bottom layers... then the frame...
And as of today, windows, roof, sliders, & WOOD FLOORS in the kitchen!  I am still giddy every time I walk into the kitchen and don't get my pants or toes snagged on sub-floor or partial-floor.

Ta-Da!  Hello wood floors, I have been waiting for you :)
This Fall we have been enjoying playing outside since there is little room to play inside, good thing we have a lot of play space outside.  I never thought I would say this being a former city girl, but I love living in the country!

L-R: Tanner, Jenna, Lauren, Hannah & Tyler waaaaay back in the woods where he is not allowed!
Jenna & kids were having loads of fun throwing the leaves up in the air.  My outdoor girl!
Tyler, again, on something that he is not allowed on.  Take a guess which kiddo likes to break the rules!!!
For Halloween Jenna was Dorothy & had fun trick or treating with her cousins.  The little kids & I stayed warm and ate handed out candy at Aunt Wendy & Todd's house.
At her school parade.  It was yucky outside, so an indoor parade had to do!

Tanner, Hannah, Tyler & Lauren
 Candy was the only thing keeping this crew sitting for a millisecond so I could take a picture!
I finally resigned last week and decided it was well over-time to take apart the cribs.  They were more like a jungle gym the last few months, and while they served to help improve everyone's motor skills, it was time to let it go and be done with the season of the crib.
Unfortunately, the new bedroom will not be ready for a few more weeks so I am trying to figure out a good temporary option for four toddlers.  It has been a sleepless last week, let me tell you.  I am still working out all the kinks, but I probably will get it right just in time to split them up 2/2 and then I am sure will have another round of problem solving regarding getting the crew to sleep.
Pre-crib removal
Post-crib removal.  Kids were a little confused and honestly, it still is a difficult transition.

Our current hodge-podge sleep options:
twin & crib mattresses on floors, a toddler bed, and one jungle gym crib
"Mom, you are so funny when you tell us to go to bed.  No.  No thank you."
Sigh... lots of problem solving.... please pray for me that I am in a state of gratitude instead of complaint during this season, because I can feel myself easily slipping there and the last thing I want is to be ungrateful for these 5 amazing children, this family, and the opportunity for an addition.

And with that, I hope everyone reading this & myself can slow down a little this month to reflect on what we are grateful & thankful for.   There is truly so much.

Blessings to you & hugs!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin Masterpieces

Ever since I was a child, there is just something I LOVE about picking out, creating, and carving a pumpkin masterpiece for Halloween.  When Jenna was the kids' age, I remember teaching her the magic of pumpkin carving:

My sweet Jenna at age 2!  My does time fly.  
Who do you think looks the most like her?

Fast-forward four years & four more kids later: Sometimes I can be a little ambitious, but there was NO WAY I was going to do pumpkin carving with four toddlers.  Instead, I decided to get out the paints and enjoy decorating our pumpkins we got at the local Farmstand last week.

Tanner dabs paint onto his pumpkin but truth be told, art is not his thing.
Tyler created a beautiful masterpiece and didn't want to stop!
Hannah was very methodical and took this activity very seriously.
Jenna was so sweet & encouraging to all the kids!
Ta-Da!  Four one-of-a-kind pumpkins!
 Jenna was a big help as always, and then later on she got the chance to carve her own pumpkin.  For the first time ever, Jenna drew & carved her face BY HERSELF!!!!!  She had a blast and was so proud of herself.  Of course, she used those safety pumpkin carving knives, and the kids and I helped scrape and deal with the guts.

Ta-Da!  Good pumpkin, Jenna :)  Afterwards, she decided it needed a little paint, too.

My friend and fellow quad-mom Amber actually just posted a blog yesterday about her crew decorating their pumpkins, and she also had them do stickers.  This morning, inspired by that post, I thought what the heck- so we grabbed the dried & colorful pumpkins off the porch and decided to add just a tad more decorations to them:  the kids had a BLAST!

Tyler is showing me the glue on his finger- he is saying, "Icky."

Ta-Da!  Five completely decorated pumpkin masterpieces.

What types of things do you enjoy this time of year?



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?