Quick Takes {January Edition}

1. Ice Skating

Early in January, right before my sister returned to school in CA, she and my brother and their significant others, did the very auntie uncle task of taking the big kids Ice Skating.

I video chatted with them while they were there. My quick observations were: Katherine seems to be ok (definitely better than last year), Johny at least doesn’t fall too much, and Karl just goes for the outing.

Anyway, they had fun.

Here’s a pretty long video, but if you’re interested 🙂

2. Sick

The day after they went skating, Karl got sick. Then the babies. Then the big kids.

Oh. It. Was. Fun.

That continued for well over a week.

Then they passed it to me.

Blah.

It was just a bad cold and not a stomach bug, but still…..

Fortunately Jared didn’t get hit with it too hard, but he did manage to have a nice serious foot/ankle/gout flareup which kept him out of work for a few days.

3. My birthday is coming down!

Karl turned 5!

{Birth Story if you’re into that sort of thing: Here it is!}

He had been counting down his birthday since the bigger kids had their birthday last September and seemed to be getting the whole timing of things a little more this time around; at least in the general sense. For example, he finally got the concept that it was my birthday then Christmas then January then… still a few days till his birthday. He  basically asked every day since January began “what day it is?” {what date} and “how many days till my birthday?” He was in one of his frequent “talking all the time about the most random things” modes and “My birthday is coming down” came out of his mouth.

We managed to get just well enough from being sick to have a birthday party. He was thrilled. Had two cakes and everything 🙂

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{And also blew out candles on pancakes on his actual birthday breakfast}

4. Lack of Teeth

Nicki is now 10 months!

Crawling upstairs and onto low beds, however he has yet to master getting down, so that’s been a slight problem. We’re working on it, but he’s not really grasping the concept yet.

Attempting to let go of furniture and “fall-walk” towards another piece of furniture.

Pretty sure he says something like “Cahhhhh” and it means “Cat”, otherwise he doesn’t say much.

Weighed just over 20lbs (or maybe it was 21? I don’t remember) at his last appointment.

Pretty much will eat everything that’s given him. He especially seems to love finishing off Z’s juice/milk cups. So… yeah, he’s had real milk a full two months “early”.

Loves the vacuum.

No teeth. Poor guy needs to get them in ASAP because I think they’re making him super duper cranky and that’s just no fun.

5. New Hobby

I took up embroidery a few weeks back. I’m slowly working on a small sampler with a grand total of seven (that’s right 7) different stitches. But because I have so many hobbies it’s not moving very fast.

It has turned out to be simpler than I thought it would. I mean, I’m not sure exactly why I thought it would be complicated, but… I did.

Anyways, it’s nice to grab some thread and do a row of stitches. I just don’t pick it up very often.

6 Football

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Don’t know if I blog-introduced our kitty. But, in case I didn’t, we got a kitty for Christmas. Her name is Eowyn (from Lord of the Rings).

Apparently she likes football.

Johny really got into it too. He had to go to bed during the Patriots game last Sunday and first thing he did Monday morning (like, literally first thing – I heard him jump out of bed and run immediately downstairs) was ask who won the game.

Now contemplating letting his stay up and watch the Super Bowl.

7. 

Signing off now because I just realized I have exactly 13 minutes left of “nap time” and I had a few more things I kinda needed to get done before the chaos starts again.
You know, all that lovely stuff…

Order books from the library…
Pay bills…
Check in with a linkup I joined last week, but haven’t participated in…

Yeah, that’s so not happening in 13 minutes 😉 Oh well, life 🙂

~~~
Linking with Kelly for Quick Takes

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Coffee Beans

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One of my favorites that I took this week. I used it for this week’s #thebethadilly52 prompt which was “My Style”. Briefly: I haven’t ever really thought about my style of photography. I mean, I like to take pictures of my kids. Mostly of the snapshot variety. Because mostly I love to show just everyday life.
But, occasionally I can convince one of them to pose for me and that opens up my “artsy” photo taking just a little bit more. 🙂
Overall, I think my style leans towards “dark and moody”. I like a little grit in my photos. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE those nice crisp, white, clean, lifestyle photos that are so popular, but…. it’s not me.
As a bonus we were able to talk about where coffee comes from (these particular beans are from my uncle’s farm in Costa Rica). And could we plant it in our garden? (no… sadly). I’d like to feel I made her world just a little bit bigger.
(Don’t forget, you can follow along with the rest of my 365 Project on Instagram)
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Photalife

Documentary {1/52}

I’m trying a new photo project this year (I know, I know… all these projects I keep attempting… but, hey! This one is a once-a-week thing, so totally doable right?). Anyway, it’s a 52Project or a Project52 not sure on the terminology, but the idea is to take one photo a week. I’m following along with the Bethadilly prompt list, so each week is a different theme.

This week… sorry, *LAST* week’s prompt was Documentary. I feel like most of the photos I take are documentary. I mean, the majority reason I take pictures is to remember the daily parts of life. I guess we’re supposed to just have these be a little more focused? Maybe one event?

Anyways. I chose to “document” the kids going outside and playing in the snow. This was the first snow we got last week, not the big snow we got over the weekend.

So this is really what a trip outside involves. {Jackets, snowsuits, hats, gloves} x 5. All to have gloves fall off (Z, age 2) and snow get on your hands (go figure). Tears flowed. I’m afraid he didn’t really like the snow. Although, he DID enjoy being outside, and he really wasn’t happy unless he had the shovel.

In other photography news, I’m not going to be putting my weekly photos of 365 Project up here on the blog. The majority of those pictures I take with my phone, and the process of getting them off my phone, tweaked, and back up online just hasn’t really been happening (it’s a bit time consuming). So I decided I’m just going to be putting them up on Instagram. I even have a specific hashtag so you can search that if you’d like to see them #365hfn2017. Or you know, you could just follow me over there and see ALL the photos ;). {For folks that don’t have a smartphone, you can still sign up for an instagram account, and login on the computer. You can view, like and comment on photos. The only thing is you can’t actually upload a photo from the computer… well, technically, you can, but it requires another separate program to work around that…}. {Click Here for my account over there or use the button on the sidebar}.

 

 

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I’ll probably be linking up with Country Kids later in the week. {Check back for link}

Reading Plans 2017

 

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Just popping in this evening to share my reading plans for the year.

I’m planning on joining in on The Deliberate Reader’s online bookclub. I did this last year. And while I didn’t join in all the discussion (probably closer to 50% of them), I enjoyed it. She picked books that I wouldn’t have necessarily picked up on my own, so it was a nice way to expand my reading.

  • Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
  • Emma by Jane Austen (a re-read)
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry (another re-read)
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik (won’t be reading this one this year as I jumped the gun and read it in December. Really enjoyed it!)
  • True Grit by Charles Portis
  • The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
  • Plainsong by Kent Haruf
  • Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas
  • Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
  • Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

I’m also participating in Well Read Mom. Doing it solo, although I’d love to be able to join/start? a local group if anyone is interested and reads this, let me know, and we’ll see what we can come up with.

The books remaining for this cycle (it started in September) are…

  • I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux
    By Jean C. J. d’Elbée (started this and am moving slowly because I’m finding I just need that much time to digest. So far, I’m loving it.)
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Withering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (a re-read, but it’s been a few years)
  • Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis (another re-read. have actually been wanting to re-read this since I finished it last time)
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (a re-read, but it’s been… a long time)

So, those are the official reading groups.

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I’m also attempting Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading challenges…. This will be the third year I’m attempting (I’ve yet to actually complete one). But. I’m determined 😉

My main goal for this challenge is to find books on my shelves that will fit into the categories.

Reading for Fun Challenge…
a book you chose for the cover {didn’t chose one yet}

a book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able: Outlander book 4 (blanking on the title)/The Name of the Wind Redwall {haven’t decided yet, maybe all three. I own two of them and the third is on the library hold list}

a book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit: Moloka’i (from above)

a book you’ve already read: Emma 

a juicy memoir: {didn’t pick one… not sure what classifies as “juicy” and also not sure I want to read something with that classification. I enjoy memoirs, so I may just pick something else for this category}

a book about books or reading: The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society {that’s bookish right?}

a book in a genre you usually avoid: True Grit {from the bookclub}

a book you don’t want to admit you’re dying to read: Ready Player One {it’s based on video games…. I don’t like video games… but I keep hearing great things about the book…}

a book in the backlist of a new favorite author: His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik {author of Uprooted from the bookclub}

a book recommended by someone with great taste: A Man Called Ove

a book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven’t read yet: Animal Vegetable Mineral {from the bookclub} OR The Little Oratory

a book about a topic or subject you already love: Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory

Reading for Growth Challenge…
a Newbery Award winner or Honor book: Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH {sitting on my shelf, possible read aloud with the kids}

a book in translation: The Little Prince {been wanting to re-read this for a few years now… and it’s short 😉 }

a book that’s more than 600 pages: The Eye of the World {Jared wanted me to read this wholeentireginormousseries last year… I started, but didn’t finish. Going to attempt it.}

a book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices {Will be reading for school with the kids, so two birds and all that}

a book of any genre that addresses current events: Hillbilly Elegy {not sure this qualifies for the category, but I wanted to read it and it sorta kinda fits…}

an immigrant story: Funny in Farsi {from the bookclub}

a book published before you were born: St Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Ox {wanted to attempt a Chesterton, don’t ask me why I chose THIS one}

three books by the same author: C.S. Lewis OR Louise Penny OR JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith {haven’t decided yet}

a book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks author: Brown Girl Dreaming {on my list for a while now}

a book with an unreliable narrator or ambiguous ending: ??? {open to suggestions}

a book nominated for an award in 2017: {waiting on this one…}

a Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award winner: Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor. {Maybe by the end I’ll figure out what’s going on… Seriously though, several stories in and still pretty much just baffled.}

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I’m over on Goodreads (just search my name) where I find I’m pretty good about listing the books I read and giving them at least a starred rating if nothing else. So if you want to follow me along over there. I think I might *try* and do a monthly recap on the blog, but no promises.

Off to squeeze in approximately 11 minutes of reading before I fall asleep or Nicki wakes up, whichever comes first!

12 photos for 2016

I started looking through pictures, trying to get an idea of what I’d like to post… But… Man! Having to chose just ONE photo from each month?!?!?!?! I’ve made it through my January photos in the last 15 minutes and, really, just can’t decide…

January

Week 4 366-6

We did a quick trip to the DC/Baltimore area to visit Jared’s brother and family who were there for a temporary job. It was right after that huge blizzard that hit the area. And it was cold. Nice to see them, but next time we’re definitely going to pick a warmer month to traipse around DC.

Other happenings:
The kids saw their first movie in theaters (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) on Jan 1 (significant because of when they saw the most recent one). Karl turned 4!

February

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We had a snowstorm I guess. They all kinda blur together after a while. But I remember I went to take photos of the snow at a park (which I almost never do).

Other happenings:
One of my grandpas passed away on Ash Wednesday. We went to see the Americana LEGO expo at the mall (totally worth it, if there’s ever a LEGO show in your area!). And apparently the rest of February was warm because I have photos of kids running around outside without coats on…

MarchN birth story pics-2

Clearly, THIS is the event of Our Year! Baby Nicholas joined the family on March 13. (Birth story over here if you’re interested)

Other happenings:
We went with my family on a mini-vacation literally just before Nicholas was born.

April

366 Project Week 13-7

Wildflower bouquet from the kids. Love the spring time 🙂

Other happenings:
Nicholas was baptized, April 16 (that post here if you want to see)

May

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Apparently I let my kids play in the mud 🙂

June

Project 366 - Week 25-2

We grew roses! About the only thing that survived this year. We also picked the roses and nursed the baby, if my photos are any indication of the year! 🙂

July

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I guess you could just say: we do the same things over and over…. This time they happened to name the game “Orcs”. My guess is this was pretty soon after watching LOTR. We also managed to make it to the beach. It was, sadly, the only time we went this summer.

August

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We went for a “hike” in the woods. Quite possibly the first and only time we do that. I was glad to do it for the kids, but not so glad to carry Nicholas. We also started harvesting our grapes (oops, I lied above, about the roses, we also got grapes) and made grape juice.

September

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Jared and I went on vacation (with Nicki 🙂 ). The kids missed *him* more than us. {shrugs shoulders} Katherine started ballet and first communion class. And Kat and Johny had their annual ginormous double birthday party. (Someone PLEASE remind me that next year WE DO NOT want to do this… again…)

October

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We blew bubbles. We went to The Beach House. Flew Kites… took a very cold rainy walk on the beach (oops, sorry, lied again about the beach… but technically, we weren’t able to swim here… ). Zachary turned 2! And I spent a solid two weeks of the month making an Ahsoka Tano costume for Katherine for Halloween. (Link to that photo on IG if you’re interested). Oh… and Karl swallowed two pennies. {Face Palm}

November

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Katherine lost her first tooth, we went to visit an airplane (but not to fly in) and we played in the leaves. And also got in some quality candle blowing practice. 😉

December

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Made ourselves some cookies. Celebrated {myBirthdayChristmasPartiesNewYears}.

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This is very likely the only “year in review” type post I’ll be doing. We had a very low key year overall. We basically just did life. Or, I heard this term from another blogger at one point: This was a Baby Year (meaning: a year when a new baby joined the family). Which for us translates into: staying home as much as possible and just doing the normal old everyday stuff: Laundry, dishes, cleaning, playing in the yard, reading books, doing school.. repeat, repeat, repeat.

I know it was a crazy, rough year for the rest of the world, but for us, at home: It was GOOD.

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Bobbi at Revolution of Love is hosting the link up for “12 in 2016” if you’re interested in adding your own. Or if nothing else, take a few minutes and go through your photos for the year. It was really fun to just see those pictures again. 🙂

Happy New Year!