One Week Closer

Weekly Happenings: We’ve made it through another week! We’re now one week closer to my favorite time of year (I love, fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). It was another typical week in the Darr household. Distance learning, toy playing, family time, chores, and the like. Oh, and we also celebrated Paul’s birthday. 🙂 It was a small family celebration (as they have been due to the pandemic). I made cheesecake (Paul likes it better than regular cake), we grabbed food to bring home from one of our favorite burger joints, and had him open his presents (a new vice and an angle grinder). Even though we didn’t do our normal celebration with friends, it was still fun.

The Weekly Weather: It’s been slightly cooler than last week, which is nice. Fall in San Antonio isn’t like fall in other parts of the country, but it does cool down a smidge, at least.

What Paul’s Been Doing: He has been busy with work and the like. He does have a training to attend for work, but luckily, it’s virtual, so he’ll be doing the training at home (thank goodness he has a dedicated office space).

What Sarah’s Been Doing: I had a full week of piano students, helped Joseph with school, kept Abigail entertained, and even managed to do a little bit of cleaning every day so that by the end of the week, the house is pretty clean (I tidy every day, but it had been a little while since I’d really cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed, etc.).

What Joseph’s Been Up To: He got through another week of school. He’s been doing so well with everything being on the computer. I was just thinking that if there had to be a situation where kids couldn’t go to school, at least it happened during this generation. The technology we have has made it possible for kids to still get their education, even if they can’t be in the classroom. Oh, and he was so excited that his Halloween costume came in the mail that he wore it all day yesterday, even during his Zoom meetings (his teacher was fine with it and his classmates got a big kick out of it).

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She’s been quite the ham this week. She’s got some new catch phrases: “Oh, brother!” “Alright, alright, alright” (in an exasperated tone), and “Oh…my…gosh”. She has also started pretending a lot more with her toys. Just this morning, she told me how Mickey had to save Minnie from a witch (her stuffed bear), and that Snoopy and Woodstock had to fly in their rocket (she has a Happy Meal toy that is Snoopy and Woodstock sitting on a rocket) to help Mickey save her. This age can be challenging, but it is also so much fun!

This Week in Pictures:

I really had to zoom in to get a good shot of this guy (he was probably between 2-3 inches long). I left him be since he was probably cleaning out any bugs on my plants that I don’t want there anyway.
Showing me the grass she picked, haha. I was fine with it because it was actually a weed and not grass.
Enjoying the fact that now our trees are big enough to actually give off a good amount of shade.
I can’t believe how high my tomato plant decided to get. I had thought about trimming it back (Paul had already trimmed back most of the rest of the kind of dried out branches from when it had gotten really hot during the last bit of August and we’ve found that if he does that, we usually can get one more round of healthier, fresh growth before it completely dies over the winter), but it had 6-7 tomatoes on it!
One morning, I went in to wake her up. As I was picking out clothes for her, she got out of bed, dragging her favorite blanket behind her. When I came out of her room, I saw this. She told me to go away because she wasn’t ready to get up yet, haha.
Normally I make a cheesecake that is twice this size, but since it was just us this year, I cut the recipe in half.
Singing “Happy Birthday”.
Blowing out his candle.
We got him a new vice and an angle grinder.
I’m pretty sure these are in the same family as morning glories, but I find it hilarious how they’ve decided to grow through our neighbor’s fence and up and around the stake that we keep next to our compost bin (we use it to smash down plants and other compost materials and then to also stir the contents of the bin so that they can better break down into soil). We probably won’t be able to keep these ones around, though…they spread like crazy and will work to take over our yard before too long.
Joseph’s costume for this year (built in mask…take THAT, stinkin’ pandemic). Abigail is still going to be Vampirina (she was rather emphatic about it), but Paul was able to find a kid mask with vampire fangs on it (he also got an adult one for me to wear when I take them trick-or-treating in the hopes that if we match, Abigail will want to keep hers on…we haven’t had much luck with her keeping masks on). They should be here by the end of the month.
Striking a cool ninja pose. He also really liked the fact that the costume came with all sorts of weapons. 😀

Bonus Video: Abigail’s primary teacher dropped by with a note and some Pop Rocks candy. Since neither kid had ever tried them, I knew I needed to film it. After I finished recording, Abigail decided that they were okay one at a time (as opposed to trying a lot at once, which she did in the video). Joseph really liked them, though.


Chuggin’ Along

Weekly Happenings: I feel like we’re almost in a routine. I keep adding things, though, which makes it difficult at times, haha. We survived another week of distance learning, and I started back some of piano students (with more starting back next week).

The Weekly Weather: We’ve had mostly warm and humid days, but we did have one glorious day where it dipped down into the 50s in the morning and only barely got into the 70s. It was so nice. We also got quite a bit of rain.

What Paul’s Been Up To: He worked from home this week, which was nice, because he was able to help me with some technology issues that arose. He’s also been working a lot with the local Libertarian party since election day is swiftly approaching.

What Sarah’s Been Up To: I got to go to book club, which truly is a highlight of the month for me. I also (as was previously mentioned) started back some piano students (two new and one returning). It was a bit strange working in masks, but I think we’ll adjust. Next week I’ll have three more new ones and two more returning students. So that will be eight students coming. I have three more who want to come back, but want to wait things out a little bit more.

What Joseph’s Been Up To: He had his annual physical and everything turned out well there. He also did really well getting his flu shot. He gets such anxiety about shots. The nurse was awesome and really accommodating (she let Joseph play his games and sit next to me…and she also tried talking to him about his game while she was getting things ready and during the shot so that he was a little distracted). Other than that, school was pretty average this week for him.

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She’s been busy, busy, busy. It’s hard for me to keep up with her some of the time. She likes to pick her clothes most days (and the combos are really…unique sometimes), and has enjoyed getting to play with me during the day (in between helping with Joseph’s schooling).

This Week in Pictures:

Driving cars on the cars rug.
Ladies and gentlemen, in the case of Abigail dressing herself, I give you exhibit A: a dress with geographic designs, butterfly shorts, and rainbow tennis shoes (not pictured). Oh, and her brother’s old pair of Spiderman sunglasses.
We’ve been having slightly cooler evenings, which have meant we can go out to play more.
Playing chase.
These are my awesome mixing bowls from Pampered Chef that I use on almost a daily basis. I love their size (the small one holds four cups and the big one holds eight), the measurements on the side, the shape (since they are tapered, it’e really easy to scrape along the bottom to make sure everything is mixed in), the handles and spouts (so easy to hold as I’m mixing and easy to pour with), and the fact that they both came with lids that pop on to make it easy if I need to store anything in the fridge covered.
He’s made quite the mash-up here: an X-wing (Star Wars) being piloted by a Lego figure with a Minecraft Lego figure’s head. He’s also doctored up the X-wing with extra weapons. 😀
He was trying to do a self-portrait for one of his assignments, but kept having to get up to look in the mirror, so I snapped this picture for him to be able to look at. I kept it, because, well, this is my sweet boy!
Little loophole finder: I told her no toys on the piano, only hands…she switched to playing with the scarecrow’s hands. Oiy. Also, exhibit B of her dressing herself. 😀
We had one overcast and cold day this week. It was so nice!
A gloomy outside usually makes for a cozy inside. I love my fall piano so much!
She was watching PBS and there happened to be a Halloween episode of whatever show she was watching, so she wanted to put on her Halloween costume, which then made her ask to watch Vampirina (which is what her costume is). It’s fun to see how her mind works.
I had to take photographic evidence of just how good it felt to finally have a cold day. These are temperatures that I literally haven’t seen in months (well, sometimes our lows have gotten into the 70s, but that 58 felt just glorious).
Abigail wanted to draw something for the art board, so I helped her hold the pencil steady (we’re working on getting her to do more than just scribble) and coached her through making a person. She said she was drawing me and that I needed four arms. ;D
Playing with her Little People toys.
She heard my camera take the picture, so she had to run over for a close-up.
Playing with the little sewing toys that used to belong to Joseph.
I think these will be good for her hand-eye-coordination.
This one isn’t a crazy outfit, but it definitely is a Texas outfit. Her shirt has Buc-ee on it. He’s the mascot for Buc-ee’s, which is a chain of huge gas stations in Texas (I think there’s one or two outside of Texas, but they’re mainly here and started here). Her boots (old ones of Joseph’s) have the Texas flag on them. I sure love this girl who loves all things Texas (which is only fitting since she’s the only one of us that is a true-blue Texan). 😉

I snapped this picture right before putting Abigail to bed. I love how much he loves his sister!

Birthdays Galore

Weekly Happenings: This week kicked off our birthday month. Mine was on Tuesday and Joseph’s was on Thursday. I call it our birthday month because Paul’s will be in a couple of weeks. Poor Abigail has to wait until December…but we did what we could to help her not feel left out (it’s tough to be three and just starting to understand birthdays, but not understanding that you need to wait three more months for your birthday, when literally everyone else in your family is having one within days of each other). We ate out both nights (birthday person’s choice) and had cake and ice cream (and presents).

The Weekly Weather: It’s been disgustingly humid. We have had quite a bit of rain the past couple of days, though, which has been nice. Next week, we’re supposed to have a legitimate cold front come through that will drop the temperature into the 70s for a couple of days. I’m ridiculously excited!

What Paul’s Been Up To: He had work, and yard work, and all of that fun stuff. He also spent a good chunk of his day today hanging up all sorts of things for me upstairs. I’m so blessed with my hardworking husband!

What Sarah’s Been Up To: My birthday was pretty great. A friend dropped by and surprised me with a homemade cake. Then we ordered take-out (Olive Garden) and I opened presents (a book of Strange Planet comics, a blow-dryer brush, and a new doormat). I also had a couple of friends drop by with flowers and a cookie. Other than that, my week was full of helping Joseph with school, keeping Abigail happy, and trying to put a dent in the housework that I’ve been…trying to ignore, haha.

What Joseph’s Been Up To: For his birthday, I made him a cake (we made sure to share leftovers of my cake with friends and Paul’s coworkers so we wouldn’t be completely overwhelmed with an abundance of cake), got the kids Happy Meals for lunch, and then Joseph chose to go pick up Panda Express for dinner. We squeezed in present opening (some video game characters, a few new video games, and then a new computer that will make distance learning easier…then when that’s over, it’ll be a good addition to the “man cave”) and cake and ice cream.

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She’s been liking having a little more one-on-one time with me (in between me helping Joseph with school). She is also expanding her imaginative play. She likes to speak out loud for her toys. I can tell the difference between her talking to me (she’ll call me “Mom”) versus her toys talking to me (she’ll call me “Abigail’s mom”). It was really cute when my friend dropped by with the cake. Abigail ran up and said, “Hi! My name is Abigail!” (which was kind of funny because my friend totally knows who she is, but this is one of the first times Abigail has introduced herself to someone, so that made it cute). Oh, and today at Hobby Lobby, she was sitting in the cart and if we were walking towards someone, she would say, “Excuse, me, ma’am!” (regardless of gender, haha). So then we had a little talk about when to say “ma’am” and when to say “sir”. 😀

This Week in Pictures (warning: there’s a lot this week):

I had a dentist appointment this week. Paul sent me this picture that he took while I was gone.
She wanted to be a queen dancer (complete with dancing shoes…thank goodness her church shoes kind of look like ballet shoes).
She asked me for fancy hair and wanted me to use all of her butterfly clips. Then she took it all out an hour later. Good thing I only spent about ten minutes doing it in the first place!
I couldn’t find a quote about September that I liked better than the one I used last year, so I just used the same one. 😀
Abigail was excited about getting the fall decorations out. Now, if only the weather would cooperate!
She loved getting to sing “Happy Birthday”. She also loved that I let her help me blow out my candles.
School days mean early mornings….and sometimes not everybody is quite ready.
This is what a 9-year-old looks like (and an almost-4-year-old). 😀
Yup. That’s ranch in her hair. Also, she may have been fishing a french fry out of her ranch…or she might have been just dipping her finger in it…I wasn’t watching too closely. 😉
Joseph’s cake. I love when he wants toys as cake toppers…it makes “decorating” a lot easier!
No friend party this year, but we still put up his favorite birthday sign.
Unwrapping presents.
A game he’s wanted for a while (Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild).
We got him a couple of games.
These little figurines have something embedded in them that can be activated with his Switch, so that their character can appear in the game and do something (as you can tell, I’m clearly VERY knowledgeable about this…). 😉
Paul’s brother also got Joseph a couple of games.
I love how excited he was about everything.
I mean…
…his face says it all.
Our toad hopped into my planter to get away from all the rain (his burrow was probably flooded).
Cake! Abigail’s face should tell you that we were singing “Happy Birthday”.
Blowing out the candle. I had to put my hand in front of Abigail’s mouth, though, because I knew Joseph wouldn’t be as happy as I was about her wanting to help blow out the candle. 😀
Enjoying ice cream…
…and cake.
This sunset caught my breath. I love when it goes purple.
She insisted I take her picture. I was more than happy to oblige.
Paul had some business that took him past Bucc-ee’s, so he picked up this shirt for Abigail…
…this shirt for Joseph…
…and this magnet for me (he knows I like magnets).
One thing that Paul hung up in the loft was this bulletin board that used to be in Joseph’s room (we had to take it down when his new bed went in). I put fresh paper (I had some left over from when I originally put paper on there, but it was that really good paper that doesn’t fade…that paper’s 8 years old, y’all) and a new border (which I got at Hobby Lobby) on it and turned it into a “gallery” for the kids’ artwork. Now I just need to get Abigail to make something for it.
I found this cute metal pumpkin at Hobby Lobby and knew it would be perfect for this spot.
Abigail already had this metal flower over her door, so I wanted to get things to put over our door and Joseph’s door…
…so I found this for our door…
…and this for Joseph’s door. Now all of our bedroom doors have identifiers over them.
I also found these fun decor items for the loft.
The wall’s done!
Paul also got some things hung up in Abigail’s room: a picture of the Savior walking with a little girl and her name page that we got from one of Paul’s work picnics. Basically, since there are a lot of people at Paul’s work that speak different languages, they will take a paper and write your name in a bunch of different languages. Joseph also has one (his is a strip of paper with his name in different languages…which is still cool, but I kind of wish it had the names of the languages on them like this one does, just because I don’t recognize a lot of them).
Paul also rehung the picture of Pikachu that I drew for Joseph. We had to take it down when we moved Joseph’s new bed in, but he told me he kind of missed it, so we found a new place for it.