LATELY : : OCTOBER 2018

October is my favorite month. It may have started because it is the month I was born, but as I have aged, the reason has shifted and I now I love it for all of the celebrations it holds and, now that I live up north where fall exists, I am allowed to feel cool air and view the changing leaves making October, officially my favorite.

This month it seemed to go by so fast I couldn’t soak it all in and enjoy all it had to offer. I know I will enjoy looking back on our days as I scroll through this blog in ten years or so, but right now I thoroughly appreciate that it is helping me notice just how full our days, months, and years are.

Every month goes by faster than the next and I am usually left feeling as though we didn’t accomplish anything of worth. Slowly building each post and finding I have more and more to add shows me a different story.

So, let’s get on with the final bit of this month’s story…

We began our month celebrating both of the girls’ birthdays with Zack’s mom  (Rae’s birthday is in November – We will celebrate even more!) – a post all about our many celebrations will be posted at some point in November.

Orange and red and yellow are creeping up here and there. Not cold full-time yet though, so we have yet to start up the fireplace or furnace. Please be cold, November…

Bailey has a new favorite nap spot. In the window box right smack dab in the path of the sun. My kind of lady.

Rae hiding in the bathroom to get away from G. ^ He loves her so much.

^ Those toes! ^

I wrote about our month with the boys back here.

We spent a day in the city as a family – which used to be a common occurrence but sadly isn’t anymore. Autumn is our favorite time and we’re trying to make the most of it. We went to the London Tea Room, the Saint Louis Art Museum, and Ikea – Three of our favorites!

We’ve got a new member of the family. She’s incredible.

Lady lost her third tooth! She wrote the tiniest note to the tooth fairy and set it on my pillow, not hers. She wanted to pretend the tooth fairy was real, but then nixed that idea when she realized she would only get a little bit of money versus a treat (her own pint of dairy-free ice cream). I still kept the note. I love it so much.

Side spiel : The girls decided they would like to pretend Santa is real for the second year in a row. We’ll see how that goes. Their letters to Santa seem to be in a hieroglyphic code which Momma may not be able to decipher…

So much time ( so. much. time. ) was spent in the car. This seems to be our new normal. It’s okay, though. I like our car and it has heat!

Mae started therapy for her feet (she’s fine), so we have spent a couple days a week at the doctor. We still have four or five weeks left to go. Thankfully the kids are all so patient while we wait for her!

For school this month we have been using the fly by the seat of our pants method.

We began a large-scale project on the food chain – producers & consumers. The girls have designed their own food web, complete with labels and a map key. (and not featured on the web – scavengers and decomposers)

We received our second Little Passports country. JAPAN!

Brazil and Japan are the first two?? Those are the countries my parents were born and raised in. It is a smidge creepy that those are the two the folks at Little Passports chose, but also great for us. We have pulled out quite a bit of the Japanese items we own to help us along in our research.

In the first week, they practiced origami, wrote their own haikus (and used fancy ink pens to do so), studied maps and books on their own time, and begun memorizing certain Japanese words and 1-10 (Mae already knew those). Oh, and of course eating Ramen (with ham and boiled eggs) with chopsticks…okay, eating everything with chopsticks…

We plan on making sushi – or at the very least, we will take them somewhere to try it – and watching all of Miyazaki’s movies for the hundredth time. As if we need an excuse.

Now, next month we may not know the country so well, but I think that may make it a bit more interesting (for me). We have studied several countries over the years, but Little Passports has a good way of helping us along and makes it interesting and helps us get creative.

Rae and her animals. Bailey has been really generous with her snuggles on the cold days. On the warm days, Rae hunts frogs.

I turned 31. This is all the proof I have of that day. Mae on day three of wearing that sweater, Rae holding a frog. Mae being a stinker, me paying her back with classic rib-tickles. I’m so glad I get to be their mom and hang out with them full time.

We visited with a turtle for a bit.

A love of tire swings bloomed in Miss Mae. I still don’t trust our trees enough to put one up in our own yard…

More cute notes. The one on the left I received at 10 P.M. one night from a girl who couldn’t sleep. The other one, I found while cleaning out my Bible. (I put it back in my Bible.)

Cute girl being cute.

Here are some more photos of Mae in her favorite sweater – just in case you hadn’t seen enough of it yet…

Mae had costume day at Dance the week before Halloween and we followed it up with a Halloween party at our cousin, Anna’s house!

For their final performance, they went as a normal witch and an eagle (she couldn’t find part of her Dorothy costume.).

ATTACK!

…the second attack was not so well received… That is one proud eagle, though.

It was cold and rainy and just how Halloween should be. We went door to door with G and his family as well as up to the school. Zack had a booth at the school’s Trunk or Treat. The Art Club trunk was incredible (not surprised!). He’s brilliant.

NOW! on to more color, colder days by the fire, more birthday celebrations, and a long holiday weekend spent with our favorite man!

We’re ready for you, November!

 

 

GRANT’S FARM

For our October field trip, we went to Grant’s Farm. G’s mom went with us (and Zack, since teachers had a day off), as well as her sister and my friend, Ven! It was a full house.

The day was, for me, broken up quite a bit – with a doctor appointment for Mae at an early 7 A.M. followed by a two hour drive to the farm and some of our group getting there a bit later than us, some leaving early, and an unexpected lunch outside of the park – all on top of every school in the area being out for the day (busy roads and restaurants). It was quite a day. It was so nice to see everyone there together (even Zack!)

I loved the drizzly, cold weather and the German-style buildings!

The Clydesdales were gorgeous. A couple of them even let us pet them and give ’em a good scratching behind the ears.

They were studying at the map and looked like the cutest little tourists. A sight which quickly dissipated once they saw the camera. Still cute though.

Always collecting. We came home with quite the collection of wet (but colorful!) leaves.

I normally cringe at the thought of making my girls pose, but I couldn’t pass up this gigantic green door without a cheesy mannequin pose.

Thanks, everyone who tagged along and spent their day with us!!

Next month’s field trip will involve only Zack and the girls. They’re going to see a play and go out to lunch!

BOYS IN OCTOBER

Things have shifted a bit here in the Rogers’ house this month. The glory that is a new school year has lost its luster. The dream of what it could be is still there but so is the knowledge that our year won’t be all that it could be and the new hard-to-swallow understanding that that is okay.

The month started out with teething babies, a newly jealous two-year-old, school, those extra! curriculars!, new responsibilities and travel and – among other things – simply not enough hours in the day. But after a near meltdown, a long talk with Zack, and a sermon that said just what I needed to hear, I can safely say I’m genuinely fine. Crisis averted.

We’ve begun evening and weekend schooling and tossed out any notion of a regularly scheduled school day. Flexibility. One of the many many things I appreciate about homeschooling.

All of that (internal) drama and still so many great moments were created with our favorite baby boys!

As I mentioned, A is teething – and that means I get to hold him all day long! Y’all know I never tire snuggling.

(He’s not usually in the carrier, but when he is, my hands are free to hold the camera.)

G loves music as much as we do and dancing as much as his momma! …and holding the speaker as close to his ear as possible…

Zack has had a lot of teacher work days this year, which usually means we get to see him for lunch – and my leg gets a break from this terrific game G loves to play.

In true Ozark fashion, October brought us temperatures from the mid-90s all the way to a freezing 30 degrees. I was (am) ready for cold weather but didn’t mind a couple final warm days on the porch with A. He’s so great.

G is just the right hight to touch the lens when I tilt my head to take his photo. It is a very hilarious game that, I’m sure, will be played for months to come.

Leaving the popcorn in the pot means he can use it as a steering wheel while he chews. Another new game that is sure to stick around for a while.

Mae and ‘her baby’ sitting on the couch. She lervs him so much.

The boys got some visits from their family!

Our new school routine meant G and I had nearly an hour of uninterrupted time building play dough turtles. hashtagworthit.

It’s rare, but when G decides to hang out with his brother and attempts a conversation. Oh boy. I bet their momma’s heart fills up real quick at the sight of such a moment!

G ran and put his coat back on (with the hood, of course!) so he could match his buddy.

G asked me to join him in watching something on the television and then rested his hand on mine and then I died.

Hand resting is gateway behavior to hand-holding don’t ya know. While simpler, in this case, it was somehow better. He just wanted to be closer to me. Ugh. These boys.

My girls are going to have such great memories of spending their childhood alongside their cousins. All the reminder I’ll need the next time I feel overwhelmed by duties and quiet, quality moments that turn into demanding flurries.

LATELY : : SEPTEMBER 2018

September flew by!

I’m very glad I decided to post more frequently throughout the month, as I used to. It feels strange to have such a short monthly round-up post!

^ My buddy on dance nights ^

Wrote a post about dance and gymnastics back here.

There haven’t been enough cold days for me to get into the spirit of autumn, but boy am I tryin’! We’ve got a few good steady playlists for fall playing on the regular, “Hobbit cookies” (above) and other such treats are making the rounds and we’ve gone simple with the decorations so far with just some candles, two pumpkins the girls bought for themselves (we’ll use them for our first from-scratch pie), and some dried oranges to hang by the kitchen window. In October, we’ll go full force with the decorating…if it has become permanently cold by then. Please oh please oh please.

Where we have been successful with the fall mindset is with our movie watching! Fall is our favorite season for movies – followed closely by Christmastime – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

Our annual favorite is Fly Away Home. This year added Rudy to our line-up – Zack and I hadn’t seen it since we were kids – we ate this ham and bean soup with homemade bread for the occasion. Oh boy. So good. Some other favorites are You’ve Got Mail, Wallace and Gromit and the Warerabbit, E.T., Harry Potter series, and The Hobbit trilogy – which pairs nicely with those “Hobbit cookies” and more soup.

I had poison ivy and a cold for the first half of the month. I finally caved after a week and a half of torture and went to the doctor for some good stuff (for the poison ivy). The girls were such troopers. I’m not surprised, just happy about it.

Katie has officially grown on us. By that I mean, we have officially grown on her.

She particularly adores G. She actually curled up on his lap and purred loudly as she fell asleep. I didn’t think she was that type of cat!

We only took one trip to the river in September. It was the perfect night for it!

^ Mae’s Black Panther.

We went to the St. Louis Scottish Games.

After more than a month, we finally made it over to our neighbor’s house! It’s weird to go so long without a visit. She has brought us vegetables and other goodies over to us, but taking time to sit and chat about life with them is so nice! All of the kids adore her and she, them. What a blessing good neighbors can be.

There is also our school round-up, here. Our month with the boys, here.

 

BOYS IN SEPTEMBER

It has been so fun having the boys around this semester! Occasionally trying sometimes as I try and juggle the needs and desires of four children, but I couldn’t ask for better kids to have around.

G is eversograteful anytime we’re able to go outside. His favorites right now are riding in the wagon, chasing cats, checking on his ladybirds and collecting their eggs, swinging (yes please!), riding his bike in the yard and playing with the water gun.

He is obsessed with the cats. He is always just as excited about his fifteenth daily sighting as he is at his first upon his arrival in the morning. He’s becoming so much sweeter and tamer around them, they often gravitate towards him now.

G is never far from Rae. She’s mostly okay with this. Haha.

^ photos of A sitting up were taken by Rae ^

We made pretty regular trips to the library this month. It’s always a little daunting taking four kids anywhere solo, but we tend to go when we’re the only ones there. That helps.

We’ve got plans to see these boys outside of our home tonight at a town movie night and tomorrow at their grandma’s house. I’m so glad they never seem sick of me or react as one does when they see a teacher in public.

My phone’s two-year mark has come and gone. With that came the usual side effects – quick draining battery, slower reaction time, etc. What I didn’t expect was my camera to stop focusing. My camera has two water spots on the lens which was well, I dunno…annoying? Not enough to fuel a desire to order a new lens, though.

Well, I finally decided to leave my Nikon permanently dusted off.

Day one yielded such good results (according to me). I caught myself noticing little details like I used to, like the girls’ matching stance as they worked through a poem and I played with the baby on the floor. G looking oh so cool biting his nails, staring off into space, while wearing “boss glasses,” and Rae scrubbing dishes from above as I grabbed cinnamon from the spice cabinet for Mae’s pancakes.

Rae even took an interest and snapped a photo of me changing a diaper…and about twenty photos of the “flamingo parade” from Planet Earth II (not pictured).

MY BOYS!

The new school year has begun here, and that means that our boy, G, is back – and this year, he brought a friend! I have to say, his brother, A, may steal Mae’s Easiest Babe of All Time crown. I’m pretty stoked.

As I began to type the August round-up post (I write it slowly throughout the month), I realized I had too many photographs of these fellas and decided to give them their very own post.

So here goes…

Rocking a baby has to be one of my favorite ways to spend an hour. A seems more than happy to go along with it anytime I feel so inclined.

G still adores the hens. He picked up right where he left off with his bird-related chores. So far he’s only broken one egg!

The girls are over the moon that they are now five and seven – both suitable ages for holding and feeding babies.

^ Illegally sitting on the table (scissors and Sharpies!). But there was a Mario maze game up there, so at least it was for a good reason.

G typically follows Mae around. He repeats nearly every word she says and sometimes mimics her movements. They cute.

G fits on Mae’s American Girl scooter. Whatababe, but I think I need to find our balance bike…

A, like his brother, enjoys dancing any chance he gets. We’ve never had so many ‘dance parties’!

A joins us for afternoon school. It’s so nice when we are able to study outside!

His momma has red hair and it looks like he has red hair, but after both of my girls being ginger-teases, I’m not holding my breath…

I believe my favorite moments have been when the girls take over and really care for the boys. For Mae, that usually means helping change diapers and read book after book to them. For Rae, that means sharing her things with G. Neither Rae nor G are too keen on sharing, so seeing them flip through dinosaur books snuggled close or playing with Star Wars “figure actions” together really makes me happy.

I was worried Rae would feel like a middle child again, but so far (in the past three weeks -ha!) she is doing well and not feeling over-shadowed.

I plan on schooling these boys until they head off to school – and for G right now, that means learning colors, counting to ten, learning names of animals and their sounds, the ABCs (or the “BCs” as he calls them), and getting into a habit of basic chores he’s able to do – unload his own dishes and take them from the table to the kitchen counter, sweep, pick up his toys, wipe the table, feed the hens and collect their eggs, and wash windows – all things he already enjoys doing anyway!

It is going to be a good school year!!