Thursday, January 12, 2017

LILY IS EIGHT

Stop the presses - my oldest baby is eight years old, and it is just about to blow my mind.  Truly it goes by more quickly than I ever imagined.  And, as I looked back at past birthday posts, I pretty much say the same thing every year.  I am that broken-record mother who can never believe the passage of time.

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Our Lily is so precious to our family, and we love her so.  She brings a unique perspective to each situation and is proving to be highly responsible, as a typical first-born might be.  She is ALWAYS listening to John and I, and regularly regurgitates conversations that we had with one another.  Then she reminds us that she is always listening, while she grins slyly.

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Lily is thriving in school and truly adores her siblings.  (Until the moment when she doesn't, but we all have those moments.). She and Bella play well together, and they both look for ways to take care of and engage William and Violet.  Lily is growing in her love and knowledge of the Lord, and I am routinely pleased to hear some way that she is processing the spiritual world and God's place in her life.

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(With Lambie and the stuffed snake that she just purchased with her own money - what a delight and totally what we needed!)

She is developing a wit that sometimes expresses itself even more in written word, and teaching her to text has been one of the funnier experiences of the past several weeks.  I decided to interview her with the same questions that I used last year with these responses.

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Her birthday sneaks up so quickly after Christmas that we are holding off on party fun for several more weeks still.  Instead, we had cookie cake at home and also went out to eat at a restaurant.  She was well celebrated on her actual birthday.

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(These kids can destroy some Pizookies.)

Happy Birthday, Lily!

.......  In other news - I have my computer back!  I hope to be back to blogging more regularly . . . We shall see.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

SNOW DAY

The snow fell softly in the early hours of Friday morning, and with that, our snow day was set in place.  The roads were legitimately slippery at just the wrong time for anyone to try to get anywhere, and schools were canceled and so were all of my plans.

Since only three days had passed since our routine had resumed, this snow day + weekend felt like an extension of our Christmas break which wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, but it ended up being nice all the same.  I have long lamented snow days as the mother of small children, because honestly, they've been hard.  John usually has to work extra hard on snow days, and then I've been stuck at home with children who are stir crazy and hate the cold.

But not this snow day.  All of my children happily played outdoors for a while.  This has NEVER happened, and I want to celebrate it with happy pictures from this personal landmark - I will title these,

"The First Snow Day that Didn't Suck."

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We had a fun walk in the woods, which I tried to stop while everyone was still having fun.  We came back to the house and had hot chocolate.  No one screamed - though there was still a bunch of laundry and John still had to work.  All in all, I am so grateful for this turn of events and thankful to be at a place where some things are more enjoyable with all four kids.  It's a gift, and I certainly do not take it for granted.

Also, I am so glad I took the big camera out to mark the occasion.

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The other thing that saved this snow day was that the roads cleared off pretty quickly.  We headed to CFA at the mall for lunch and had a blast riding the escalators.

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I have several blog posts that I want to have written, but since our routine has been wild and my computer is still broken, that hasn't yet happened.  Maybe this week . . .

And though I hope we don't have too many more these this winter, for now, I'm celebrating the small joy of having an enjoyable snow day!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

END OF CHRISTMAS BREAK

The kids headed back to school today, and I must admit, I was ready for a return to normalcy.  It's been wild, and I'm not sure that many of us have been thriving under the "wild" model.  But, we did enjoy our Christmas break - especially once we washed our hands of the ER.  Violet and I did sleep really late for a couple of days in a row to recover.

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We had a blur of fun and activity which included seeing SING, which was super cute,

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Healing from a stool falling on my foot Christmas morning 🙈 ,

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Going on a quadruple date with friends,

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Falling asleep right before heading to a NYE party,

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Celebrating NYE with friends!  Was such a fun night.

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Enjoying Christmas decor for the last few days of the season.

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John and Bella got a sweet afternoon together to ring in 2017.

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Taking down the Christmas decor and feeling like crazy people with stuff everywhere.

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Having Violet "help" "clean" the shower.

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It's been fun and good, though I'm not sure I would want to repeat it any time real soon.  Looking forward to getting our groove back as we swing into 2017.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A LOOK BACK AT 2016

Every year I do one of these posts where I look back at our highlights.  2016 had highs and lows, pretty much like all years and like life in general.  I think in the big picture of our nation, 2016 was rough and divisive, and I've been heartbroken watching people tear one another apart and only see their own perspective.  Thankfully, that does not dictate all factions of our life.  Here are a few of our highlights!

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(fam pictures by Main Street Studios)

Lily turned seven years old and had a super fun Lego party.

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I began and *mostly* completed a Magical Tidying journey in our home.  (I need to round out this in 2017, mainly in my craft room, as Lily keeps reminding me.)

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Bella trusted Jesus to be her Savior!

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John and I enjoyed our trip to CFA Next and Harry Potter World - though it was not without a ton of drama on the home front.

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We traveled with friends for Spring Break to Memphis - so much fun!

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William and Violet turned three years old and celebrated with a Very Hungry Caterpillar party.

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John and I managed a super quick trip to NYC and got to see Jimmy Fallon's monologue rehearsal among other fun things!

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We spent a lot of time on the lake this summer, first going to Hot Springs with some of our college BFFs, then going with some of our Little Rock friends and then again with our Hot Springs friends.  Thanks, friends!

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We also saw Falling Waters in AR for the first time, again with friends.  I'm sensing a theme here - we love hanging out with our friends. 😂

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John and William had their first big Father/Son Getaway to St. Louis to see the Dodgers play.

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We hung out with my family in Kansas and spent even more time on the lake.  It truly was a lake summer for us.

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All of our children went to school in August, which I was highly dramatic about for many months in a row.

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We have survived the advent of school, and I might even go as far as to say that we are thriving.  Turns out, God really does know best for our family.

September was a wild and crazy month with a lot of travel - first we headed to the Dominican Republic with good friends which was such a FUN trip and actually relaxing!

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Then, I joined a group of like-minded women to visit Africa New Life based in Kigali, Rwanda - it truly was an amazing trip.

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Bella turned six years old and had a 101 Dalmatians Jumping Party.

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We saved the world for Halloween this year!

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The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of holidays and cookies.  It's been truly great, but also rather exhausting.  And when I look back at the rest of the year, I can see that it's had a lot of fun moments for us, but this post misses out on a lot of the hardness.  The sum total of both leaves us tired at the end of 2016.

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We are looking forward to seeing what 2017 holds for our family and trusting God with what he has for our family.  He is so faithful and good in all things, and I'm thankful to know him.

Happy New Year from the Spenst family!