Another Week and a Fun Couple of Projects

The majority of this week was pretty typical. One funny thing: on occasion, if Abigail is finally sitting still and doing something quietly, Joseph will walk up to her and see if he can get her to do something fun or silly with him. This is normally not a problem until he recognizes the correct time to stop being silly…and she doesn’t. Then I’m stuck trying to get her to calm down, which is no easy feat (and usually ends in tears). Since I don’t want Joseph to think he’s in trouble when I ask him to stop before he starts, I’ve started using the phrase, “Don’t rock the boat” with him. Well, there was one time, when Abigail was playing on her tablet, and he came up to her, trying to start a tickle match. Apparently she wasn’t in the mood (which is kind of surprising, actually) because she said, “Mom! Joseph’s rockin’ the boat!” Hahaha!

It was really cold on one of our walks this week. I sure love my mini-me!
The sky was beautiful, at least!
I love how blue the sky is out here.
A leaf-footed bug that randomly landed on my car while I was waiting for the kids to get out of school. It startled me when it thumped down!
Pretending to be a zookeeper.
She wanted a giraffe shirt (which she doesn’t have), but luckily her llama shirt was good enough, haha.
Fun project #1: Paul picked up a toy kit for Joseph to put together.
Getting to use the mini hammer that my mom gave him (along with the little black and yellow tool chest).
Working together.
Almost done…can you tell what it’s going to be?
Giving it a coat of paint.
It’s a castle for Abigail to play with! He was so excited to be able to build something for his little sister!
Fun project #2: This is a doll cradle that my dad built (we think, at least…at first we thought my brother Dave built it, but he said he thinks Dad built it). Mom said we could take it home for Abigail to play with. Paul carefully disassembled it so that we could take it home (flat is always easier) and then reassembled it when we got home. It’s so pretty!

Easing Back Into Real Life

This past week was our first full week back after vacation. I kind of feel like we were cheated by Mother Nature a bit, though…while we were in California, the weather at home was gorgeous (sunny, warm) and the weather in California was cold and rainy (luckily there were some sunny days mixed in, but it was still kind of chilly). Then, when we got home, the weather took a turn (we even had a couple of nights where the low dipped below freezing) while the weather in California changed back to warm and sunny. Dangit! 😉 As far as what we did this week, it was kind of a recovery week. I got the kids back into their school routine, Paul jumped back into work with both feet, I got back into my working out and walking routine, and we worked together to get Christmas tucked away (and I also added a couple of small new household items). Here’s to a brand new year!

I love my holiday decorations (fall, Halloween, and Christmas), but I equally love my “rest of the year” decor.
Santa put this in my stocking this year and I’ve been playing it in the car quite a bit. Abigail thinks it’s great music for dancing…Joseph thinks it’s…”Mom’s music” (I think the jury is still out on whether or not he will admit to liking it or not, haha).
When I tucked away my Christmas lantern, the space felt so…empty. I scooted over to Hobby Lobby and took advantage of the fact that all of their tabletop decor was half-off to get this little decorative lantern. It doesn’t light up, but I love its look! It fits into my farmhouse style perfectly.
I also did a mini revamp to this area. I bought the birdhouse and I also relocated some of Abigail’s books so that I could move some of my favorites down from the big shelves.
It’s always fun to see all of my “circles” completed. That’s how I know I’ve gotten decent movement during the day. 🙂
I was getting home from my walk and noticed this butterfly just chilling on one of my snapdragons. I didn’t want to startle it, so I kept my distance and zoomed waaaaaay in to get a close-up. 🙂
This is what the weather was like the day after I took that pretty butterfly picture, haha.
It was literally a thirty degree difference between the two days…I took this picture at noon! It didn’t get much warmer.
Last night, I even pulled out the big, heavy blanket I got while I was on a cruise down to Mexico with my college choir. This trip was the spring before Paul and I got married, so this blanket is now twenty years old. When Paul found out we’d be going on-shore in Ensenada, he told me I should make sure and grab one of these blankets. Best. decision. ever. I’m glad I remembered to take his advice (I even left a bit of room in my luggage in anticipation of getting one, haha).
The first fresh rolls of the new year…I made them different sizes to better suit differently-sized tummies for…
…meatball sandwiches!!

Photo Dump: Abigail’s Birthday, Christmas, and Family Fun

Strap in for a lot pictures. A lot has happened in the last little bit. We celebrated Abigail’s fifth birthday and then the next day, we left for California to spend Christmas at my mom’s house. Three of my siblings (Kevin, Dave, and Gary) and their spouses (Rita, Jolee, and Lorna) were able to come as well (along with my brother, Aaron and his family who still live in Southern California). We also got to see Paul’s brother Jason, his wife, Saira, and their daughter, Luna. We spent most of the time visiting with family, but we did stop by Knott’s Berry Farm for a couple of hours of fun. We got home last night and are getting settled back in before school starts back again for the kids tomorrow.

Sunday before Christmas: Abigail had the giggles.
I sure love these two!
Our new five year old!
Playing with her animals.
Walking along the greenbelt.
I do love how pretty San Antonio is!
Opening her first present.
She was so excited!
Play make-up vanity (not actual make-up, because that would be a huge mess, haha).
Present sent from Jason, Saira, and Luna…
…a My Little Pony castle!
She was excited that it came with a pony.
A Bluey caravan playset.
It was cute seeing them playing together.
Since we were leaving the next day, we opted for birthday sundaes instead of cake. She was so happy when we were singing to her!
Get ready and…
Sleeping at Grandma’s.
Showing me the Rolo-filled candy cane that Santa left in her stocking.
Joseph was pretty excited to get one, too.
Santa also got him a new video game.
Santa brought Abigail a new game (Bingo’s Bingo).
Abigail’s “wear” (since we do a “want, need, wear, read” for them) was new rain boots.
Joseph’s “read” was the Wings of Fire books.
Abigail’s “read” was some new books with her favorite characters.
Joseph’s “need”: new Vans.
Abigail’s “need”: a new board game (to help her learn about taking turns).
Joseph’s “wear”: a new shirt.
Abigail’s gift from Jason, Saira, and Luna: Spider-Man walkie-talkies.
Joseph’s gift from Jason, Saira, and Luna: a new video game. 🙂
Abigail’s “want” was a Bluey tent.
It was fun to see them both in there.
Telling Uncle Gary and Justin (one of Aaron and Dusty’s sons) a fantastic story, apparently.
Joseph with Andrew, Daniel, and Kayla (Aaron and Dusty’s triplets).
Gary playing his bagpipes.
It always amazes me to watch him. I love listening to him, too.
Abigail loved watching him, too.
I thought this was cute.
She was marching along behind him.
Messing with the practice chanter.
She thought the “duck noises” were funny.
Okay, so there are foothills all around my mom’s house…and there are burros up in the foothills…who occasionally come down out of the foothills. I saw these guys just chillin’ when I was on one of my walks.
My elementary school.
Palm trees and foothills. ❤️
It was fun getting to walk around the streets where I grew up.
My mom’s succulent game is strong!
My oldest brother, Kevin and Abigail. They were watching Kevin’s dog (Jake) run around in the yard.
Joseph on a ride at Knott’s.
Abigail riding the planes.
Joseph on the swing ride.
Me and my mini-me.
Getting ready for a roller coaster.
Sitting with the cowboys (or maybe they’re miners?). Abigail was trying to strike up a conversation.
My brother Aaron reading to Abigail.
This is a view I didn’t realize I missed until I saw it again.
Joseph and Jake. ❤️
My mom and my babies. ❤️
Aunt Lorna playing “pull the football” (Abigail got a Charlie Brown and a Lucy from Knott’s).
I loved watching them playing.
Abigail had so many people who were great at entertaining her.
Morning snuggles.
Playing with Luna.
She’s a little over a year older than Abigail, so they were quick to get along.
Abigail used some Christmas money to buy a baby doll on the way home. It helped make the two-day drive much more manageable.