Monday, October 31, 2016

Family Day

We try our best to keep Sundays for God and family. It is always so nice to see the kids enjoying playing together. They frequently have have friends and neighbors over, so it is a nice opportunity for them to focus on just enjoying each other. I went out to watch them playing yesterday and had to defend that cause, as it tends to attract neighbor children over when they are out! But it was worth it. ;)

All Saints

Our parish had its All Saints Celebration yesterday afternoon. I was a little disappointed that it was not on the actual feast or the vigil (Halloween), but I understand the logistics making more sense to have it on the weekend. Everyone came home after mass and dressed up except Sebastian. He was super grumpy about it so we just gave up and took him in regular clothes. He had a great time though!
Allia - St. Lucy Yi Zhenmei, Anastasia - St. Anastasia, Gloria - St. Therese, Mariana - St. Gemma, Stephen - St. Stephen

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Crazy Pregnancy Project

Even though I barely have enough energy to keep up the laundry and cook dinner, my crazy nesting hormones somehow inspired me to paint/redecorate the kids' bathroom. I blame this, in part, on Sebastian potty training. Sometimes it takes him 10+ minutes to figure out he is really finished. So I am sitting there staring at the walls. One day I decided that I just had to paint them! It took me about 3 weeks because I could only do a little at a time, but I am finally finished, and I love it! I did a sea creature theme to go with the existing shower curtain.

Before (well, sort of. I had already started painting a bit):

The color is really you can see it looks more blue in some light and more green in other light. So the bathroom is always changing colors! I replaced the unframed mirror with a framed one.
And I replaced the existing towel racks with this set of hooks.
Now I need to focus my nesting energy on things that are actually important, like getting baby stuff out and washing it! The girls loved it when I pulled out the bin of baby girl clothes the other day!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A catch

We are having problems with possums in our yard again and don't want to end up with another family making home in the shed for the winter! So Austin decided to put out a trap using cat food, which is what they usually come foraging for. The first night, we caught Ginger, our own cat! Silly guy! But last night we caught one of the possums. Yay! They are actually sort of cute except for the nasty giant rat-like tails. Ick!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Mariana had her first meeting with a robotics team last week for 4-H. It is going to be really tough to fit another thing into our busy schedule. But she enjoyed it even more than I expected! She has a gift for building/putting together/fixing things. When Austin has a fix it project, she is always his first choice in helpers (and usually the first volunteer) and often aids him in the actual problem solving.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Manic Monday!

After a fairly routine weekend with our usual activities plus a few extras, Monday turned out to be c.r.a.z.y. We had 4 scheduled activities for the afternoon/evening basically all back to back with a few overlapping. Then to top it all off, while in between pick ups and drop offs, we picked up some sharp object on the highway that flattened our tire almost immediately. I had just enough time to exit and pull into a parking lot, thankfully!

My knight in shining armor (or nice work clothes, rather) came to rescue us...could you imagine an 8 months pregnant lady with 4 other kids in tow changing the tire on a 15 passenger van? That would have been a sight plus I doubt I could have actually done it. The kids were really interested, and he even enlisted them to help.
Austin generously traded vehicles with us and took the van to get the tire repaired while we continued our crazy evening. Pawpaw filled in for me, picking up Allia at swim practice so I wouldn't be late getting her. Then we all met at the pumpkin patch for a 4-H photo shoot and pumpkin picking since we hadn't been yet this year to get pumpkins. With the change of plans we had to let Stephen hop out, pick his pumpkin, and then we dropped him off at soccer practice.

 Then the rest of us went back to take our time enjoying and picking pumpkins...and Allia took pictures of course. Here is Allia with the other photographers

Anastasia is missing because she was running fever all day and had to stay with Manah. :/ The others picked a pumpkin for her, though.
 Gloria and Mariana wanted to take some photos too.

This is one well-cared-for pumpkin! They didn't want it to get messed up while we went to pick Stephen up from soccer!
After a quick stop for a couple of pizzas we finally made it home for a quick, late dinner just after Daddy returned from the tire shop. Whew! What a Monday!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Gorgeous weekend!

We had such beautiful weekend weather. It finally felt like fall for a few days (and I got to wear real clothes! I have been wearing mostly workout clothes for the last 5 months because I am so hot all the time!). Sunday afternoon we couldn't resist spending some time hanging out outside. Pawpaw and Manah even joined in.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Dance and Fall Piano Recital

Another busy weekend at our house. We started with Stephen waking up Saturday morning with eye and cheek pain (the eye was oozing stuff), low fever, and a puffy bruised look under his eye. Poor guy had a sinus infection from a cold we had the week before. So we made an early trip to urgent care and cancelled his participation in his soccer game.

That evening, we went to the vigil mass and a dance at church to honor some good friends of ours celebrating their 25th anniversary. It was so much fun! Manah and Pawpaw graciously took the sick guy home with them after mass so the rest of us could enjoy the evening. This photo is precious because Austin and Patrick have a long standing tradition of dancing crazy to disco music together at wedding receptions and the like. Their sons decided to carry on the tradition this year with them. They actually started it, and the Dads joined in! We were two very entertained, proud wives/mothers, but the teenage daughter in the house was mortally embarrassed. ;)

Then on to the fall piano recital Sunday afternoon! The children all had fun dressing up for their pieces and played really well. Stephen was able to participate since he was feeling a little better and had been on antibiotics for over 24 hours. Whew! It was his first recital, so we were extra proud!
 Gloria was thrilled that her artwork was chosen for the program this time! She was grinning ear to ear!
 The whole group
 Allia played the teacher accompaniment to Stephen's piece, Old McDonald. It was precious!
And the videos for those interested...
Stephen (with Allia)- Old Mc Donald (I only caught the last part because my camera acted up!)

Gloria - Forest Drums

Mariana - Part of That World (Little Mermaid)

Allia - In Dreams from LOTR (I am going to miss hearing this one!)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Lito Visit

We had a quick visit from Lito this weekend. He didn't quite make it in time for Stephen's soccer game Saturday morning (in which Stephen scored his first goal- YAY!). But we were able to watch the neverending Aggie football game together later that day and into the evening. He brought lots of fun little goodies for the kids, which they really enjoyed. But the best is always time with Lito...we can never get quite enough!

We took a short trip to the park this morning to try out the fun there. The handle of this little wagon detaches to become a shovel. Sebastian loves it!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

National Night Out

We almost missed it this year, as it caught me by surprise. But we did a little juggling with the help of Pawpaw and made it work! I also didn't get a lot of photos since I was going solo the first hour waiting for Austin to join us. It was crazy with big kids on the giant water slide, some playing games, little guy eating and in line for a sno cone, etc. Whew! They all had a great time, and we were able to visit with lots of neighbors too. Anastasia actually spent most of the time on the big water slide (even though they had a smaller one for younger kids!) with the older ones. The ants were bad this year, but the kids who got into them recovered quickly since there was just so much fun to be had.

 Sebastian was so excited to see the moon!
We didn't win any door prizes this year (for the first time!), as they did not let our family enter all the kids' names in. :/ But Pawpaw won something just before he and Mariana left for ice skating. Fun times!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Little buddies

Now that the weather is a tad cooler, the kids have been playing outside a little more. These two little ones are such cute buddies!

Soccer Team and Swim meet

Stephen had another soccer game Saturday and team pictures. It was a crazy morning because Allia also had her first swim meet (just an intrasquad meet)! We had to divide and conquer. So Austin went to swim and I went to soccer. Here is Stephen's team.
Austin didn't get pictures at the swim meet (despite my request!). He did get a short video of her diving in. It was a good experience for Allia, and now she knows she needs to work hard to get faster and be more competitive! She was a little disappointed at her performance, but she has only been swimming for a month, so we thought she did great.