Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saturday 7 x2

1. I didn't get a post up last weekend. I think part of my problem (with consistently posting late) is that the weekends around here are the most unscheduled of all our days. I never know what we are going to be doing on any given weekend and I don't usually spend much time on the computer on the weekends. (Although... that is actually true most days so maybe that's my problem lol.)

2. Last Sunday we took the kids skiing. Thanks to our awesome homeschool ski club that meets every Weds. during Jan. and Feb., the younger two kids are just as good (if not better!) than the older two on the slopes. (I took Tristan down a black diamond for the first time and he did great!) This definitely bodes well for future years of family fun. I decided this year that it would be in my best interest to take lessons while my kids are doing theirs... I'm a self-taught snowboarder and although I've been at it for close to 10 years, my technique is... well, self-taught. ;) It was actually a lot of fun-- it was me and 5 teenagers-- and despite having to put up with the snowball fights and good-natured constant jabbing at each other, I've already improved a lot! Maybe I will be able to keep up with my own kids now. ;)

3. I'm reading a book called Evicted, about the long-term spiral effects on low-income families that evictions can have. Sobering and so outside my box of experience. It's been a great read, along the lines of Just Mercy that I read (& loved) last year. I get so frustrated with Christians who don't care about social justice issues if they don't affect THEM. Not everyone is so blessed to have a "normal" middle-class American life. We ALL have the responsibility to advocate for and look out for those who weren't given the leg up in life that we were.

4. Olivia and Tristan started basketball and cheerleading last week. Their practices are on the same night, 20 min away... two hours apart. (Of course!) But they are loving it, and really, why not add another night of playing mom taxi to my week. ;)

5. Last Sunday we hosted our annual soup cookoff. Seven neighbors brought a crockpot full of soup and everyone else brought desserts, drinks, etc. We had around 40-50 people show up, and after much discussion and a final vote, our neighbor Fred took home the trophy with his excellent Shrimp E'Touffe! (How could you not win with a soup named that. ;)) It was supposed to take place after an neighborhood hockey game on the lake, but thanks to the rain last week, the ice was slush so we just went straight to eating... never a bad thing. ;)

6. Olivia got a lego roller coaster for Christmas and Will is finally building it for her today. I bought a new 30x40 print for the mudroom wall (after the frame finally showed up from amazon!) and it will hopefully get hung today. I'm hoping to make progress on an owl embroidery I'm making for a friend. Today we will have a lazy Saturday (minus the bball/cheer games) because Dan worked 58 hours last week, so I think we all deserve it. ;)

7. That's all for now, folks. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Two Week Recap

1. Last week was our first week back to school. It was rough on all of us! Thursday was the first night I had to leave the house for running kids around for evening activities and I was in such a funk about it. Haha. Christmas break should be a monthly occurance!

2. Dan and I have been trying to be better about going on dates. We have gone out twice in the past 3 weeks and it's been so fun. We've decided to go somewhere new each time, and it's been fun researching hole in the wall places that have fun drinks and yummy food. Also the kids keep asking me when their favorite sitter can come back again, so that was kind of a kick in the pants to call her ...and get out the door! ;)

3. New years' resolutions! I love them. I have a bullet journal that I utilize and I am all set going into 2017! I aim for progress, not perfection, and try to set goals that I know are attainable if I actually put effort into it. Like... one of my goals is to workout 3x/week. I know if I aimed for 5 days a week, I would fail, and get discouraged and possibly quit altogether. But 3x/ week I know I can do! Half the battle (for me) of successfully completing goals at the end of the year is setting myself up with realistic goals at the beginning of the year. I'm feeling optimistic and ready to take on the year!

4. Yoga. I decided to (in addition to working out 3x/week) try to do yoga once or twice a week. I am seriously inflexible but I have loved the few yoga classes I've tried! I found some online yoga thing that I can stream to our appleTV. It's sad because I can't do any of the poses well (yet) and my balance is atrocious (this cracks me up, because I can snowboard just fine but I can't hold a yoga pose?! What gives?!) but I'm planning to "harness the power of incremental change over time"  ... progress can't help but follow, right?! I can sometimes talk one of the kids into doing it with me too, which is fun. :)

5. January decluttering! I got the purge bug this year and am doing this one-month declutter challenge.  It's been great so far! I have taken a bunch of stuff to Salvation Army and passed more on to friends... I don't know how STUFF seems to reproduce out of nowhere, but it sure is nice to get stuff thinned out and organized!

6. Homeschool ski club has started up again! This week the big kids had a snow day so we all (plus two friends!) hit the slopes for the day. It wasn't too cold (unlike last weekend when it was about 8* and we were out there!) and the kids had a blast. I'm working on focusing on improving my boarding technique (instead of just trying to keep up with the kids!)... hopefully it will pay off in the long run. ;)

7. Our kids are 7, 10, 11 & 13 right now. They are (mostly ;)) delightful and interesting and fun to be around. The boys and I play card games together ... Hallie and I go for pedicures & have interesting conversations, and Olivia bakes box mix brownies in the kitchen by herself. And our entire family can ski together for a day! This is what I dreamed of before I had a family, and here it is-- I'm smack in the middle of my dream. I thought I would miss the baby stage but I am SO loving this middle stage. I am so entirely grateful for this life and these people.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year (Reading Recap)

In 2015 I read 82 books.
In 2016 I read 60 books.
My goal for 2017 is 75!
I'd like to say this was because I was so busy doing other, more important things, but I think the truth is that I just didn't get sucked into the plot of as many books this year as I did last year. I read a lot of good books but for me to have really high numbers, I need to be reading obsessively-- while I'm stirring a pot of soup, while I'm walking down the driveway to get the kids off the bus-- and that didn't happen much this year. Which is ok! I'm not all about the numbers anyway, I just think it's interesting to note the differences.

Anyway. Here are my top 10 favorite books I read in 2016.

1. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
2. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
3. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
4. Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
5. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalinithi
6. For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
7. The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe
8. The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee
9. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
10. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacquline Woodson.

My family wants me to come make waffles now so I may or may not come back and update this with summaries of why I loved each book. :)