Friday, November 18, 2011

A Full One

Fridays are usually the laid back day to round our our usually very busy Monday through Thursday. Today, not so much.
First thing this morning I began the laundry routine so I could finish packing for our trip. Packing five people for two weeks is a challenge when space is limited. And, because we're heading north I need to have lots of warm clothes which always take up way more space.
I'm also one of those people that can't leave home for vacation without having a clean house first. For me, there is nothing worse than coming home to crumbs on the floor, dirty sheets, full laundry baskets, and toothpaste remnants in the sink. When I come home after traveling, I want clean and tidy.
So, while the washing machine was spinning nonstop, I got floors vacuumed, bathrooms cleaned, and every surface dusted. The kids? They were doing something in the toy room. There were no tears and there was no yelling so I didn't bother to peek in and check.
At 10:30, we drove to our weekly Spanish class. The boys love coming to class early so that they can enjoy the playroom for several minutes. Now that Annalyse walks everywhere, she gets geeked to run and play too. She really does... squeals and giggles and attempts to run.
Today's lesson in Spanish focused on various family members. When Senor Ricardo asked the class, "Who are the most important people in your life?" my boys immediately shot their hands in the air.

Grady Lee: "God is!"

Micah: "No, Jesus is!"

Senor Ricardo: "Um, yes. They are important to some people. Any one else have someone they can think of? Maybe a mom or a dad or a brother or a sister?"
I stifled a laugh as I watched their innocent witness for Truth by answering such a simple question.

I should also mention that several weeks back when the kids were learning the names of colors, Grady Lee pointed out to the class that "our hearts are negro until we ask Jesus to make them blanco." That's my boy.
After Spanish class it was time for lunch and a half hour of table work with spelling and math while I folded laundry.

When schoolwork was finished, the kids enjoyed surprise Thanksgiving cards in the mail from Nana.
"Money! Money! I got more money!"

Micah asked to go to Target right away and Grady Lee wondered how he could break his dollar bill so that he could keep part and give away part. Annalyse had more fun chewing her card and ripping the envelope.
While Micah and Annalyse napped, Grady Lee got to work on his list of chores and I packed four suitcases, a snack bag, and a try-to-make-the-car-ride-bearable-with-DVDs-games-and-fun-activities bag.
Grady came home from work early to mow the lawn (for hopefully the last time this year) and both boys jumped at the chance to help. It's always funny to watch my two little men tromp around the yard pushing their mowers. I wonder if they'll think it's fun when they have to mow the lawn in a few years?
At 4:30 we headed to Monkey Joe's for the evening to celebrate the fourth birthday for one of the boys' friends. And I thought Annalyse was geeked to run in the playroom before Spanish. OhMyGoodness, OhMyGoodness! This girl was all about the inflatables!
In and out and up and down - she didn't stop moving or smiling! This girl can hold her own, thanks to putting up with two older brothers.
The evening started out fairly quiet, but by the time we left at 7:30 it was full and loud and, well, obnoxious. Or maybe I was just tired because I knew I still had a list of things to do once we got home.
I remember visiting places like this when the boys were much younger and still needed my help. I remember watching the other moms around me chat with each other and relax on a bench while their kids ran wild. I remember thinking, "Will my kids ever be able to do these steps and slides without needing me to give them a boost?"
Guess what? They can. They don't need me anymore.

On the one hand it's exciting to enter the realm of the "Cool Moms That Go Places and Talk To Each Other" club. But on the other hand, it's really kind of boring. I miss not being able to slide and jump. I miss other people telling me I must be a fun nanny to those boys... because clearly, any mother in her right mind wouldn't get such a kick out of places like this.

On this rare occasion, Grady Lee hightailed it to Monkey Joe and threw his arms around the furry purple neck. Micah wanted nothing to do with him and Annalyse just sat in her stroller and stared.
After getting sufficiently hot and sweaty it was time for dinner! A room full of hot and excited children that are simultaneously thirsty and hungry is a sight to behold.
This is the Birthday Girl herself - in all her spunky cuteness! Her parents are fun friends with us and Grady and I have told Micah she would be a great choice to marry someday. His reply? "She doesn't know how to tie her shoes yet, Mom, so I can't marry her." Ah yes, I see the logic there.
After dinner it was time to hit the inflatables for a while longer! Not only did we enjoy a fun evening with friends, but my kids burned lots and lots of energy so they are hopefully (and prayerfully) ready for a long ride in the car tomorrow. There were lots of yawns on the drive home and Grady Lee even asked if he could "go to bed as soon as I take a fast shower?" Music to my ears.
Tomorrow morning we load up the van to capacity, I'm sure. We're off for a fun seven hours in the car before enjoying a swim in the hotel pool, and then we've got a lovely six hours on Sunday until we reach Michigan where I'm sure Grandma will have the van door open and Annalyse out of her car seat before Grady has actually put the van in park. You think I'm exaggerating, but I assure you I'm not.
We've got two weeks of family time and holiday traditions coming up... stay tuned for details on our  sure-to-be-an-adventure-like-always trip.
(Happy Birthday Eden! Thank you for sharing your special evening with us!)


  1. Wow, that is a FULL day! Whew! Hope that you can enjoy a somewhat relaxing & whine-free trip to MI! Will be praying for your safe travels!
    And, oh-my-goodness, Annalyse is no longer the little baby just sitting sweetly in her she is right in the thick of everything, hangin' with the big guys, yet still with that sweet smile on her face, PRECIOUS!!

  2. Wow - that WAS a lot for a Friday! You are so like me with the clean house when we get home thing ~ and maybe since you're at your parents house you can get the laundry done before you head home - I always love that! Have a fabulous trip, enjoy the family time and the cool temps!

  3. How did I miss that you posted?! That is a busy day, and I say you are an awesome mom for going to a party the night before heading on a trip. (Oh, and isn't it so true that sisters of older brothers know how to play!)