So, let's take a advantage of a 7 Quick Takes Friday (thanks to Jen) and get caught up a bit....
1. Viruses Stink.It's been a long time since our whole family has been down for the count. This respiratory virus snuck up on us....first taking down Mia.....then the boys....then me. Somehow James was spared, so at least there was one germ free human in the house to take care of us sicklings. It was almost comical to see the boys tag team their breathing treatments. Ok, not funny at all. It was really sad and I'm so thankful we only have one who normally needs those on a seasonal basis.
2. Yiayia and Papa came!My parents were actually at the end of a string of visitors we had over the summer. Mia and Sully are September babies, so Yiayia and Papa scheduled their visit in between those two special days. The weather had cooled down from the sweltering week before and it was the first time they had been to Ohio when the trees were green and the snow was just a distant frigid memory.
3. BirthdaysWe try to make each of our kids' actual birthday a really special day. We have a tradition of sending them on a treasure hunt for their birthday gifts in the morning. James upped his game and while I (still trudging through my turn in sicktown) tried to put together some clues for Mia, he was busy drawing a treasure map. He wrote a secret message (the present's hiding spot) with a white crayon on the back of the map and then cut it up into four pieces.
A piece of the map was hidden with each clue and once she found/pieced all four parts together, she had to paint over the backside with water colors to reveal the hidden message.
Of course, Sully then expected one for his birthday too, and we will now be doing this approximately 4 times a year for the next 18 years.
4. The Backyard PartyThis was the first year that we had a no kidding, real party for the kids' birthdays. I know. Parents of the year. We had a good ole fashioned back yard party (which would not have happened without my parents' help) and lived to tell the tale.
I'll share more about how we kept it simple, fun, and low budget in another post. It pretty much boils down to cake. Serve some sort of cake and everyone is happy.
5. Best Day
By the way, James was really excited about having 20+ kids over. He loves children. Really, he does.
Clearly when you go to the grocery store to pick up last minute party decorations, and you spot mums for $4.99 you must come home with 6 of them. James was super happy to have the back of his 2-door Explorer filled with potted flowers, while being assaulted by 10 giant helium balloons as he drove home. Buried somewhere beneath the heap of "party necessities" was a small case of happiness in the way of beer. So, you know...about even.
7. Apple PickingEvery fall, I have this glorified image of us strolling through an apple orchard, filling baskets with the juiciest of the harvest....then coming home and making our own apple crisp, cider, applesauce, and all the usual fall suspects. From scratch. With my children. In matching aprons.
Well, we found an orchard! The trees were a bit underwhelming, but the place was completely charming. And my kids, along with Iron Man, picked all of the most minuscule apples they could find.
They managed to get approximately 3 average sized apples in the bunch, but of course all the different types of apples are now mixed together and I couldn't tell you what's what if I tried. They're all still in the bags and if I don't whip something up quick, they will all be rotting in my trash can.
But hey, it really did feel like fall out there! And the little country store sold a mean frozen apple cider, which we all inhaled, along with a side of brain freeze.
The cooler weather has stuck around and these almost-fall days are absolutely gorgeous. Hope you all enjoy a fall-like weekend in your neck of the woods!
Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!