Back to the Grind

Weekly Happenings: This week ushered in the start of school for Joseph. It’s been sort of nice to get back into a routine. We didn’t really do too much out of the ordinary, otherwise. This morning we zipped out to the zoo as a celebration for my birthday.

The Weekly Weather: School may be back in session, but Mother Nature sure is reminding us that it’s still technically summer. It’s been sunny, warm, and humid.

What Paul’s Been Up To: He’s been enjoying having his evenings back, has been busy with work, and has done a few things around the yard (mowing, edging, dismantling the pool) as well.

What Sarah’s Been Up To: I’ve been working at getting back into having to keep track of time (it would not get me any Parent of the Year awards if I forgot to get Joseph from school), haha. I also enjoyed opening my birthday presents: a new phone case, new cooking utensils, and a new hat (of the baseball variety).

What Joseph’s Been Up To: He had a great first week back. He’s loving his new teacher, excited to be back with his school friends (and was happy to introduce the few church friends in his class to his school friends), and he really enjoyed the fact that I brought mini cupcakes in yesterday for his class to share. Since his birthday falls on Labor Day this year, there won’t be school on his actual birthday. He did have a bit of a hard time waking up in the mornings, though. One day (I think it was the second day in), he told me that if school wasn’t created, he’d be good. 😀

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She’s getting used to Joseph not being around during the day and gets excited when I tell her it’s time to go get him from school. She has also introduced the word “choo-choo” to her vocabulary. She will ask me for “Gickey choo-choo” which means she wants to watch the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode called “Choo-choo Express”. It’s amazing to watch the transformation from baby to toddler occurring. It can also be interesting in other ways. The other day she insisted on closing the front door but then immediately got upset because she wanted it back open (it had latched when she closed it) so that she could watch Paul mow the lawn.

This Week in Pictures:

Showing off a cute dress that a friend of mine passed along for her.
All ready to go!
Not an ounce of personality in this one, eh?
At his desk in his classroom. He was excited that he’d get his very own desk (instead of a spot at a table, like in kindergarten).
I hadn’t had a chance to get Abigail new church shoes since she outgrew her last pair (she’s just been wearing her sandals), so I took the opportunity to do so this week. I couldn’t resist these when I saw them.
She couldn’t resist them, either. She wanted them on as soon as I got the tags off.
She loves to sit and look at books.
His degree came in the mail! Yay!!

Bonus Video: Abigail and a hula hoop:


A Couple of Especially Hot Days and 16 Years!

Weekly Happenings: Our week started off with a bang…on Sunday night, our AC stopped working. Paul was able to take a couple of days off work to install a window AC in our room (so that we would at least have one cool room to all sleep in since the AC company couldn’t send someone out until Tuesday) and be here for when the repairman showed up (I always feel better when he’s here for that type of thing). The compressor stopped working, so we opted to replace the entire outside unit (since that was not much more than replacing just the compressor). While waiting for the repairman to be able to come, we spent a lot of time in other air conditioned areas. The middle of the week was pretty typical and we ended the week with a much more preferable event: our 16th wedding anniversary. We exchanged gifts (I got a new purse and Paul got a new ball cap and a beard-grooming kit), went out for dinner, and then let the kids run around at the local outdoor mall playground.

The Weekly Weather: Warm and sunny…not too humid, which has been nice.

What Paul’s Been Up To: He’s been busy with work but has enjoyed having his evenings back to be able to relax and hang out more with the family.

What Sarah’s Been Up To: I’ve been keeping the kids happily entertained. 🙂

What Joseph’s Been Up To: He enjoyed getting to go meet his first grade teacher. He’s excited that his teacher likes superheroes just like him, and is looking forward to seeing his school friends again.

What Abigail’s Been Up To: Just about everything, haha. She keeps us on her toes with her ever-increasing reach and wins us over with her sweet little phrases (“there you go”, “thank you”, “hi”, “awww”, and the like).

This Week in Pictures:


This is the result of about two minutes with the book box. I was surprised when she lifted the entire thing (after she’d emptied it about halfway) to bring to me. That’s how it ended up on the floor. She is definitely a determined child.
We were waiting for Paul to run a quick errand when this pigeon just randomly landed on our car. Joseph got a kick out of it (he loves a specific set of books that feature a pigeon).
This was our set up for Monday night (Abigail had already napped in our room on Monday afternoon). Thank goodness our room is so big!
Waking up from one last nap session in Mom and Dad’s room on Tuesday afternoon. The AC repairman was able to replace the outdoor unit about an hour after I took this picture, so both kids were able to be back in their own rooms that night.
Pushing Minnie in her stroller.
Busy builder.
She loves these things!
Anniversary flowers and my new purse.
Paul showing off his beard. I think it looks really good on him.
Family shot! Abigail really liked seeing herself (and I think she might have been saying “hi” to everyone else).
This is where 16 years of marriage has taken us. It’s been a wild and rough ride at times, but it’s also been amazing.

Bonus Video: Abigail dancing to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse exit song (and saying “bye” to the characters)


Post-vacation Recovery

Weekly Happenings: We’ve pretty much been in recovery mode since we got home from vacation. Vacation as a child and vacation as a parent are TOTALLY different, haha. We spent most of the week just lazing around the house (well, Paul had to go to work). We had a few play dates to fill up the time, which were fun.

The Weekly Weather: warm, humid, and pollen everywhere, haha. We did have a couple of good rainstorms come through, which greened everything up nicely.

What Paul’s Been Up To: He’s officially done with school! I’m so, so proud of all the hard work he put into it. Not only did he complete his degree while working full-time, but he maintained excellent grades while doing so. Not to mention still finding time to maintain the house, yards, and spending time with me and the kids.

What Sarah’s Been Up To: My main task seems to have been working on getting the kids back on our time zone, haha. I did get to go to my monthly book club meeting, which was a nice break. One funny thing that happened: one morning, I noticed a burrowed hole (about an inch in diameter) in the larger of my two succulent pots. I brushed the dirt back into the hole and told myself I would watch it to see if the hole reappeared. It didn’t, so I figured whatever had made it had moved on. A couple days later, I noticed more loose soil in the same pot (easy to notice since my succulent pots have a layer of gravel on top). I went to brush it away and noticed a section of it…undulate. At that point, I got Paul (because, well, it could be friend or foe, haha). He discovered one of the huge toads that have been living in our yard in there. That thing was about the size of my fist! Paul gave it a temporary home in our larger planter until it could move back into the yard somewhere.

What Joseph’s Been Up To: He’s been enjoying soaking in the last few bits of summer. He goes back to school in a little over a week. He’s excited to meet his new teacher and see all his school friends again.

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She’s been up to (and into) everything! She loves to give hugs (and even says, “awwww”, when she does so), has added more words to her vocabulary, and seems to have even added a couple phrases. Once, she said, “I go ni-ni” (I go night-night) and she says “Der-oo-go” (there you go) on a daily basis. She also has a very clear “no” (haha). It’s crazy to think that she’ll be two in just a few months!

This Week in Pictures:

“Playing” a game together.
When did he get so tall?!
The toad that had taken up residence in my succulent.
Paul dug a hole in this planter for it to use as a burrow (after he had carefully extracted it from my succulent pot). It stayed there for a bit and then moved on.
She was walking all over the house like this, haha.
She LOVES lift-the-flap books.
A perfect example of one of our lazy summer early evenings. I needed to get dinner made, so I turned on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
It’s been 8 months since I’ve gotten rid of all the nonstick cookware in my house. I enjoy my stainless steel pots, but I LOVE my cast iron.
Park fun.
Joseph found a cool painted rock at the park. He re-hid it so another kid could have the fun of finding it.
I spent most of the time at the park chasing this one around. She was so excited to get out amongst the trees.
My Little Bear always “wants something to put on.”
Paul took some time today to trim our trees.
They needed to be trimmed and he said he was tired of having to duck under them when mowing (and still getting poked even though he ducked). They look so good!