Oh my…we’ve been busy!
I can tell by these pictures just how long it’s been since I blogged last because rather than the occasional leaf that you see in the yard above, our backyard is now sporting a rather thick layer of yellow foliage. Time to start bribing the kids to rake.
Bear with the long post while I try to catch you up to speed on what’s been keeping us so busy…
We officially ended our summer, and sent off my parents to Arizona, with a Camp-for-a-Day trip to Lake Pueblo. It was hot and sunny, but oh so fun! The kids, of course, love anything to do with swimming. Add digging in the sand and you basically have a win win. I kept laughing every time Elaina proclaimed, “I love the ocean!” or “I think I just stepped on a sea urchin!”
It really didn’t matter how many times I reminded her that Lake Pueblo was NOT the ocean, and that the likelihood of stepping on a starfish was non existent here, she was basking in the glory of the IDEA of being at the ocean. Who am I to take away her dream?
Look at that killer view of the mountains!
After that, we headed up to Northern Colorado to celebrate our great nephew’s 1st Birthday. There is one thing my in-laws really know how to do, and that’s throw an amazing party! We all had so much fun!
It was my turn to host Girls Night so I treated everyone to a Tuscan-style feast. We made Autumn initial décor (painted initials with some fall foliage and ribbon) and they turned out pretty cute, even if my stripes sort of leaked under the blue tape….
After a nice relaxing weekend, and deciding that the "extra" $50 in our budget should go to a spontaneous trip to the Beauty Academy for some stylish new highlights, I set out for my "spa treatment." It was actually more like a tortuously long, bored-out-of-my-bones, sitting with my head in the horribly uncomfortable sink for nearly an hour, butt falling asleep, and other such agonies that are the mandatory part of experiencing a budget hair-do at the Beauty Academy. In the end, and nearly 5 hours later, I ended up with purple (although the stylist insisted it was a shade of mohogany) hair and a trendy set of brassy orange highlights. Surprisingly enough, not the exact look I was hoping for. I ended up "fixing" it with a box color, and an at-home toning treatment that I made with blue/green food coloring and vinegar. Both helped to re-shade it, but no where near fix it, and I fear I am going to be regretting this spontaneous hair decision for a long, long time. Saul has, likely due to the constant complaining and conversation fixation that I have submitted him to, temporarily revoked my hairstyle-choosing powers, for the foresable future, or until I prove I can be trusted with such decisions. He probably deserves an award for all the emotional support he offered me while I blathered on and on about my purple hair. I've spared you any photographic evidence because frankly, I refused to take a picture of myself. So there.
Just after that we had a bit of a bed bug scare when an itchy mystery rash suddenly appeared on four family members. What followed could be only be described as panic induced cleaning mania, which included encasing the beds, vacuuming every surface of the house, (nearly) boiling every scrap of linen and clothing in the house even the window treatments, applying an insecticide, and going completely mad in the process. After a very thorough inspection, and 40 loads of laundry, it was concluded that we do not have bed bugs but rather an infestation of carpet beetles. I will refrain from sharing what gross things I learned about these creatures during this brief psychotic episode of my existence, but I will easily admit that carpet beetles are welcome in my house as long as it means that I don’t have bed bugs. Bed bugs are way worse, and I’d like to think we are one step ahead of the game in any bed bug battle that may lie in our future. Lord deliver me from any such horrendous event, as I so readily exposed my lacking mental and physical abilities to survive it. In the end, we are currently living in a much cleaner, clutter free home, albeit still a smidgen itchy from a healing rash.
You know it just couldn’t be described as a normal week in my life without some kind of drama to “build character”, or “patience”, or whatever God’s glorious purpose is, in handing out what he does at casa Sanchez. Truthfully I am holding out that a reward awaits me in heaven…
(Fancy Frogs currently decorating our dining room walls.)
School is going amazingly awesome for both of the girls. I just love that I can consistently share that! In addition to lessons going smoothly, we have been blessed with so much quality relationship building time.
This last month, Elaina has really gotten excited about reading, so much so that she cried one evening when she had read all of her chapter books from the library and had nothing left for the next day. I'm not even exaggerating when I tell you that my jaw fell down and I just stared at her fit throwing for a few minutes before I was able to process what was happening. Needless to say, we made an extra trip to the library. She worked through the rest of the Reptile Unit that I put together for her – frogs and toads. She shared with me how much she loves these special units and all of the fun extra activities that we get to do. That one statement was enough for me to realize what a quality time girl she is, and I am so happy to be able to feed into her Love Language during this fun season of homeschooling.
We are all set up for Parent/Teacher conferences next week, but the preliminary report for Isaac was not so good. As in his grades are not awesome. Or even passing. I’m trying not to freak out until I hear more, but this has definitely been quite an adjustment for our eldest son. In addition to that, he made his first appearance in the principals office this week for playground rough-housing. Aaannnd, he experimented with his scissors during class one day and gave himself a bang trim, leaving the mess of hair behind for his teacher to discover and clean up. Looking back (and at the picture above) I probably should have noticed something sooner since the front part of his hair was strangely thin. He is now sporting a very short buzz cut with a special extra short area right in the front. Kind of reminded us when Olivia tried her hand at hair cutting last year, and also pretty grateful that his would likely grow out a lot faster than the three months it took for hers to.
My kids are like most when fall rolls around – they love playing in the leaves and then jumping into the piles. Which usually means that a fair amount of those leaves end up in the house after being dislodged from kids hair and clothing. This picture was early in the foliage drop. Now you can’t even see any hint of green showing through from the grass. Me thinks a large amount of leave trash is in our near future.
We celebrated Nate’s 10th Birthday with a big family party. In case you didn’t know, we are a bit party-stingy around here, and only offer big celebrations at 1,5, and now 10 years old. All the “in between years” we do a much more modest personal birthday that allows us to spend more money on gifts for the kids. In theory, this was a great idea to help us spread out the extra expense. But three of our four kids have big birthdays the same year…completely defeating our well laid plans. Oh well.
Nate got a lot of money, which made him really really happy. He spent nearly all of it the following day at Target. I think he looked pretty cute pushing around a cart full of toys. Boy on a shopping spree. Unfortunately he permanently lost his new Nerf Gun after repeatedly shooting faces at close range and leaving bruises in his wake. Shortly after losing his gun, he reported that he’d flown his new AirHog helicopter on top of the roof, where it quickly lost battery and died. It is still sitting up there now, unless a brave neighborhood squirrel has knocked it down or confiscated it for nesting material. I warned all the children, with a special emphasis focused on Isaac, that no child is to be found attempting a rescue of the helicopter, including but not limited to use of the extension ladder and any combination of long stick-like objects. Dad will have to climb up and retrieve it this weekend.
My brother has been staying with us for a couple of months, job hunting, and entertaining the boys with his expert Mine Craft playing, chess strategy teaching, and other such boyish abilities like doing flips on the trampoline. Or at least that is what they believe he has been here for. The girls do their best to keep waking him up with their loud dancing, “pull-up-your-pants” bossing, and horse-impersonating abilities (a skill neither Saul or I are willing to claim is from us). Sadly though, we said goodbye to him just this week. He decided to move to Tucson and try his luck in the job market there. Don’t tell him, but I cried a lot the day he left…he will be very very missed!
Olivia was temporarily discharged from her speech therapy sessions. I think it was a combination of burn out and a personality clash with her therapist, but either way it lead to a refusal on Olivia’s part to participate during her weekly sessions. Call me crazy, but greeting your therapist with a dreary, “How many more times do I have to see you?” statement is probably not a good sign that you are enjoying your time with her. Ugh. The therapist reassures me that Olivia has made great progress and a little two month break will be fine. I hope she is right. I feel pretty determined to continue working on her sounds here at home.
I have only three pictures of food from the past month, which is crazy because I know I cooked a lot more than that. Maybe it’s a subconscious effort to block out the cooking slump I’m in? I’m really in a Gluten Free slump. Sometimes it just feels like too much work to try something new, so we eat the same menu of gluten free pasta, and tacos, and baked chicken every week.
(Greek Night, Chicken Gyros)
We have a few fun plans for the weekend. Saturday is Trunk-or-Treat at church, which I am just now remembering Elaina needs a costume for, and Sunday Saul and I have an actual date planned! Woot woot! (Jennifer if you are reading this, you have to know how very special and exciting it is that you are watching the kids for us! I’m just hoping and praying that my kids are sweet to you and don’t #1 steal chocolate syrup from you, #2 rearrange your furniture, #3 poop in your utility room during a game of hide-and-seek, #4 decorate Benjamin’s face with permanent marker, #5 try to repot your houseplants in your heating vents, #6 disassemble anything with movable parts, or #7 lock you out of your own house. Just so we are clear, my children have proven they are not only capable, but completely willing to test you in any one of these, or any other unimagined ways. Consider yourselves warned. Oh and just so you know, if you want to back out now, I will still love you. )